For a while there, I had to ask myself, “Old son, did you really change your first name to ‘Homer’?” Because that’s what I was getting called by many of y’all. Prompting this charge was my stated belief that Georgia, Georgia Tech and the Falcons would all win divisions. But with 2013 near at hand, this Homer must confess that he considers his prognosticating work of 2012 a triumphant odyssey.
Because Georgia won its division. And so did Georgia Tech. And so did the Falcons. And who called it way back when?
The jinx of all jinxing. The archduke of addled thinking. Dumb ol’ MB.
Usually the annual Accountability Scoreboard serves a three-course dinner of Crow Soup, Crow Mignon and Humble Pie. Not this time. And yes, I’m as surprised as you are.
I predicted every Georgia regular-season game correctly. I did miss on the bigger part of my UGA prediction: The Bulldogs will not play USC for BCS title. (For the life of me, I can’t imagine what led me to pick a Lane Kiffin thing to win anything. I can, however, state with great certainty that it will never happen again.) The Bulldogs did not face LSU in the SEC championship game. Nor did they beat Alabama in the SEC championship game.
But Georgia did beat Florida, a pick I made in May and re-affirmed in October at a time when almost nobody was giving the Bulldogs a chance in Jacksonville. I’m kind of proud of that one, if I do say so myself.
Admittedly, I needed a heap of help to look good on my Coastal Division pick. I was wrong that Georgia Tech’s path to the top would be paved by a Labor Day upset of Virginia Tech. But even if Miami’s self-removal from the ACC title game affixed an asterisk to Tech’s season, the fact remains: The Jackets tied for first place and were the only eligible team left standing.
As for the Falcons: I’m willing to concede I may have underclubbed. I picked them to go 12-4. They could go 14-2. Back in February, I came pretty close to guessing what the Falcons would (and wouldn’t) do over the offseason, and in August I opined that Matt Ryan would have a huge season, which he indeed has. As we got into the season, though, I didn’t think the Falcons’ first loss would come in New Orleans. Tampa Bay was my incorrect choice.
I thought the Braves were a wild-card team, and they proved me right. (There was a time when I even suggested they might sneak up and win the East, but the mood soon passed.) Right after they traded for Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson, I suggested the Braves could play deep into October, but I never actually picked them to beat the Cardinals in the wild-card playoff/in. I’m kind of proud of that, too, because that’s one of the few times I’ve resisted making some sort of call. But if I’ve learned nothing else, I’ve learned that choosing a winner in any single baseball game is a fool’s errand.
Speaking of fools: I did pick the Falcons over the Giants in that wild-card round, and I did pick Georgia over Michigan State in the Outback Bowl. What can I say? My 2012 started badly. But it got better as it went.
I picked only one of the correct Final Four, and I didn’t pick that one — Kentucky, which happens to be my alma mater — to win it all. I went with North Carolina instead. Why did I not pick UK? Oh, I don’t know. Probably because I didn’t want to look like, ahem, a homer. Figured I’d save that part for later in the calendar year.
And I am on record — both written and video’d — as picking the Falcons to go to the Super Bowl (in the video) and win the darn thing (in print just this week). Go ahead and scoff. Homer Bradley will just point to the latest Accountability Scoreboard and smile.
Further reading: The 2011 Accountability Scoreboard (not a bad year).
Grim tidings: The 2010 Accountability Scoreboard (not a good year).
Ancient history: The 2009 Accountability Scoreboard (good on Tech, if nothing else).
By Mark Bradley