25 Bold Predictions For The World of Sports In 2014
25 Bold Predictions For The World of Sports In 2014
What a year we just finished, eh? We saw some amazing things happen in the sports world in 2013 that will be remembered for a long time. The Boston Red Sox made an improbable run to the World Series that helped uplift a city in mourning. The Miami Heat won their second straight NBA title, but instead of dominating everyone in their way, they were challenged to their core, which made the playoffs incredibly entertaining for us to watch.
In college football, we saw the rise and subsequent fall of the Alabama dynasty. In college basketball, we were treated to another great NCAA Tournament and a thrilling Final Four. In the NFL, we saw the young quarterbacks in the league, like Andrew Luck, assert themselves as the future, while the other quarterbacks, like Peyton Manning, continue to play at a high level. We even saw the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team have arguably its best year ever in 2013.
It’s been sad to see 2013 end, but everything that happened has set up the sports world for an even better 2014. We’ve already seen a brilliant start to the NFL playoffs, as well as a great college football national championship game. We now have the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to look forward to, on top of the MLB season, NBA playoffs, NFL playoffs, and highly anticipated drafts in the NFL and NBA. There are so many great things waiting to happen in 2014, and here are 25 bold predictions for the year ahead in the world of sports:
25. Jason Kidd Will Be Fired
Whether or not he survives the season, Kidd is going to be fired at some point in this calendar year. He was unqualified to be an NBA head coach and at some point the Nets are going to rectify the decision they made to hire him.
24. The Big 10 Will Be Left Out of The College Football Playoff
We don't know quite what to expect in this new system, but look for the Big 10 to get left out in year one. The conference has an image problem, and that's going to be a factor when the selection committee chooses the four teams to go to the playoff. The SEC and Pac 12 are both capable of putting multiple teams in the top four and that's going to push the Big 10 champion out of the playoff.
23. Andrew Luck Will Assert Himself As The Best Quarterback in the NFL
If Luck beats Tom Brady and Peyton Manning on his way to the Super Bowl, there will be no doubt that the torch has been passed, but even if it takes until the end of the 2014 regular season, by this time next year it'll be clear that Luck is the best quarterback in the league. If you've seen him play recently, you know why that's inevitable.
22. Bobby Petrino Will Leave Louisville For A Job in the SEC
Surely you don't believe that Petrino will stay long in his return to Louisville. Petrino is always on the look out for a better job, and quite frankly Louisville is crazy to have hired him. There were no firings in the SEC this season, but at the end of the 2014 season there should be a few openings, and Petrino is going to jump on one of them, as he wants redemption after the way thinks ended for him at Arkansas.
21. Manti Te'o Gets A Girlfriend That Actually Exists
Te'o seems to have weathered the fake girlfriend situation and he's completed his rookie season without being a distraction to the Chargers, so now it's time for him to get back out there and meet someone for real. You know as soon as he's spotted with any girl anywhere that the media is going to be all over it, so that's something we can all look forward to in 2014.
20. Robert Griffin III Will Continue To Struggle
He'll come back in 2014 healthier than he was in 2013, and he'll have a new head coach, but it'll be the same old story for RG3. He has trouble throwing from the pocket, and unless that changes his legs won't be as effective. Washington has gone all in on him, but they're not going to get the return they were hoping for in 2014.
19. Russia's Social Issues Will Overshadow The Games at 2014 Olympics
Nobody wants to see this happen, but Russia isn't the most trustworthy nation and we all know they have their issues, and at some point those are going to come to the forefront, at least temporarily pushing the games to the background.
18. The 4-seed Will Win The College Football Playoff
Look at all the upsets in the BCS Bowl Games, even when we finally get to a playoff things aren't going to go as planned. There could very well be a lot of controversy regarding the fourth and final team that gets into the playoffs, but that team will surprise everybody and end up winning the national championship.
17. Florida Gators Will Miss A Bowl Game For The Second Straight Year
The Gators had an awful season in 2013, going 4-8, including a loss FCS Georgia Southern. But what's going to be different next year? They still don't have playmakers at wide receiver and they're going to lose key defensive players to the NFL, which will lead to another bad season that ends without a bowl game and with Will Muschamp being fired.
16. The Weather For Super Bowl XLVIII Will Be Just Fine
After all the complaining and the controversy, there will be no sign of snow or high winds plaguing this year's Super Bowl. It won't be warm, but a balmy 48 degrees at kickoff will be just fine as Peyton Manning and the Broncos score 35 points against the Seattle defense and win Super Bowl XLVIII.
15. SEC Football Will Have Just 1 Top-10 Team At The End of 2014
Think of the great quarterbacks the SEC is losing: Johnny Manziel, A.J. McCarron, Zach Mettenberger, Aaron Murray, Connor Shaw, and a few others. That's going to hurt the conference and prevent them from having more than one or two dominant teams, and by season's end, the league won't have an overwhelming presence in the top-10, as we've become accustomed to seeing.
14. The Team That Drafts Johnny Manziel Will Make The Playoffs
Obviously, we don't yet know which NFL team will draft Johnny Football, but even if it's just beginners luck he's going to have a great rookie season and take his team to the postseason.
13. The Big East Will Have More NCAA Tournament Teams Than The ACC
The Big East was more or less left for dead when the ACC added its two best teams, and they lost a few others to the new AAC, but the Big East is still a power conference with good depth and NCAA Tournament caliber teams. Meanwhile, the ACC looks top heavy this year and could struggle to get more than three or four teams into the tournament, as even North Carolina is worrying about making the tournament.
12. The Miami Heat Will Not Win The NBA Championship
There will be no three-peat for the Heat. Their previous two championship runs, especially the one they had last year, will tire them out and if the Indiana Pacers don't get them in the Eastern Conference Finals, someone in the West will in the NBA Finals.
11. The New York Mets Will Have A Top-5 Rotation Without Matt Harvey
Harvey missing the season is a devastating loss for the Mets, but they still have good rotation with the addition of Bartolo Colon and young ace Zack Wheeler, who was always considered to be a better prospect than Harvey. The Mets would be great with him, but even without him they're going to surprise everyone and have one of the best rotations in baseball.
10. Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James Remain With Current Teams
Both players could opt out of their contracts after this season, which has caused rampant speculation about where they could both end up, but in the end neither will go anywhere. In the end, James Dolan will do anything to keep Carmelo, while LeBron won't be leaving South Beach as long as Pat Riley is calling the shots for the Heat.
9. The U.S. Will Play in the Semi-Finals of the 2014 World Cup
Yes, the Americans will play in the Group of Death, but they are in the best shape they've ever been in entering a World Cup, and the U.S. always thrives when playing the role of the underdog. The U.S. will shock the world this summer in Brazil and advance all the way to the semi-finals, eventually finishing fourth.
8. Tim Howard Will Win Best Goalkeeper At 2014 World Cup
How is the U.S. going to reach the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup? They're going to do it on the back of Howard, who will further distinguish himself as one of the top goalies in the world with a brilliant performance at this summer's tournament. Howard is great week in and week out in the EPL, but on the world's biggest stage he's going to take his game to another level and carry his team throughout the World Cup.
7. Andrew Wiggins Falls Outside The Top 3 Picks in the NBA Draft
Wiggins isn't the lock for the top pick that he was once thought to be. Jabari Parker and Julius Randle have been incredible this season and could be more appealing picks by the time this summer's draft rolls around. Don't be surprised if Marcus Smart makes a strong push for a top-3 selection that causes Wiggins to drop, while Kansas teammates Joel Embiid and Wayne Seldon could possibly pass him as well.
6. Missouri's Maty Mauk Will Win The Heisman
Mauk is a dark horse to win the 2014 Heisman after starting four games as Missouri's back up in 2013. When the entire country watches him player as a starter in 2014, they'll see a slightly bigger and less brash version of Johnny Manziel; Mauk can make big plays with his arm or his legs and he was a great spark to the Missouri offense this year as a redshirt freshman. He'll have a huge year in 2014 and be the best quarterback in the SEC and the best player in the country.
5. Derek Jeter Will Play the 2014 Season Injury Free
Jeter appears to be getting frail in his old age, but 2014 is likely his last season and there's no way that Jeter, who is arguably the greatest Yankee of all time, will spend half of his final season on the disabled list. Jeter will finish strong in 2014 and play at least 140 games in his swan song.
4. 2014 Final Four Will Be Syracuse, Wisconsin, Iowa State, and San Diego State
No Duke, no Kansas, no Kentucky, no Arizona. All of the teams flaunting their great freshmen that were all McDonald's All-Americans will be knocked out before the Final Four. In the end, Jim Boeheim's Orange will take home the championship, and the MOP will be a freshman that was snubbed from the McDonald's All-American Team: Tyler Ennis.
3. The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Beat The Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS
That's right, the small-market Pirates will be the high-spending Dodgers to advance to the 2014 World Series. Pittsburgh will prove that last year's postseason appearance was not a one-time thing, and they will find a way to get back and go even further than last year.
2. The Jacksonville Jaguars Will Make The Playoffs
At the end of October, we were wondering if this team was going to 0-16, but they were much improved during the second half of the season, and that'll carry over into 2014. The AFC is not a deep conference, and the contenders for the final wild card spot were dropping like flies late in the season. Jacksonville isn't in a tough division, and in year 2 under Gus Bradley they're going to show a lot of improvement and make the playoffs.
1. The New England Patriots Will Not Win The AFC East
New England's reign over the AFC East has to end some time, so why not now? Miami had a promising season, Buffalo has brighter days ahead, and the Jets may surprise us all again in 2014. With Tom Brady aging and his supporting cast deteriorating, someone else is going to win the AFC East in 2014.