UGA, Tech and the Falcons as division champs? I called it

In 2012, there was much cause for local football celebration. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

In 2012, there was much cause for football celebration in these environs. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

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

186 comments Add your comment

todd grantham

December 20th, 2012
3:52 pm

and i couldnt be prouder of you!

Mark Bradley

December 20th, 2012
3:53 pm

Wow. I’m blushing, tg. Thanks much.

GeoffDawg

December 20th, 2012
4:05 pm

Want to go ahead and predict 2013 while you’re hot?

Pietas81

December 20th, 2012
4:09 pm

Congrats Mark, especially on the Falcons picks. There was zero optimism from the media for the birds before the season, aside from your column. A big props go out to you

Steve

December 20th, 2012
4:12 pm

Ready for the 2013 predictions Mark!

Michael

December 20th, 2012
4:15 pm

When can we look forward to the 2013 predictions?

The Grinch

December 20th, 2012
4:16 pm

If you want to call Tech back-dooring it’s division a win, knock yourself out.

GTBob

December 20th, 2012
4:16 pm

I predicted every Georgia regular-season game correctly.

So did I and most other people. You say that like it was a challenge this year. I actually predicted the loss to Alabama and even the correct bowl game. If UGA continues to not play anybody then their results will stay pretty predictable.

GeoffDawg

December 20th, 2012
4:19 pm

As predictable as your posts Bob? You can set your watch to those.

Mr C

December 20th, 2012
4:19 pm

Falcons won’t win the Super bowl. Baby steps first…. let them win a playoff game first

todd grantham

December 20th, 2012
4:20 pm

Falcons SHOULD win Super Bowl, but you know what can happen.

bo

December 20th, 2012
4:21 pm

GT Bob: ” I actually predicted the loss to Alabama and even the correct bowl game.”

You really went out on a limb there, didn’t you?

Dawglasville

December 20th, 2012
4:25 pm

I thought your picks were crazy when you made them. Not bad. Very happy you were wrong about USC and Kiffen. I thought UGA would lose one, but not to USC or UF. Also thought we would lose to LSU or Bama.

Gee Bob, if UT, Auburn, or Tech would hold up their end our schedule wouldn’t look so bad.

Dawglasville

December 20th, 2012
4:35 pm

Bob – Outside of UGA and Clemson, who did Tech play? After Clemson gets hammered by LSU, about like they did in last years bowl game, the question will then be who did Tech play outside of UGA?

GTBob

December 20th, 2012
4:38 pm

You really went out on a limb there, didn’t you?

I predicted that UGA would make it to the SEC championship game, lose to Alabama, and fall into the Capital One Bowl before the season started. Is that more clear?

dawgfan

December 20th, 2012
4:40 pm

Its not exactly going out on a limb to pick Tech to win the Coastal either GTBob. Half the division is an embarassment to the game of football and the other half is in trouble with the NCAA. Agnes Scott could have won the Coastal this year.

I would be more impressed if Bradley had predicted Georgia Tech as ACC “Champ,” with the caveat that they would also be the laughing stock of college football at 6-7 and Sun Bowl bound with an NCAA waiver.

That would be impressive.

Spanky

December 20th, 2012
4:44 pm

Bob, did you predict that Tech would lose to Middle Tenn, and a ONE WIN Kansas?!? Do you predict that anyone will ever give a flying crap about your opinions??

DawgFaithful

December 20th, 2012
4:46 pm

Bob,

If we continue to not play anybody?

We’re going to play the teams on our SEC schedule. That’s all we can do. You act like teams from other conferences schedule tough out of conference games. Who are they?

Next September we play Clemson, South Carolina and LSU.

dawgfan

December 20th, 2012
4:46 pm

“I predicted that UGA would make it to the SEC championship game, lo”se to Alabama, and fall into the Capital One Bowl before the season started. Is that more clear?”

LOL. Is anyone buying this load of crap? That means GTBob predicted us to beat Florida. Does anybody in their right mind really believe that this clown thought we could beat Florida?

Uh oh GTBob. Busted talking out your backside again.

Spanky

December 20th, 2012
4:46 pm

…scratch that…sub BYU with Kansas..that was last year… I predict Bob will have something to say about it..

Travis Nunnally

December 20th, 2012
4:47 pm

GtBob, you were wrong again. It all happened after the season started, not before the season started.

Birmingham Jacket

December 20th, 2012
4:51 pm

I’ll give you credit for UGA and The Falcons.

Georgia Tech a champion?

Hardly…

How about giving us your prediction of how much longer we will have to put up with our coach who belongs in high school, before we make a change?

gdawg

December 20th, 2012
4:51 pm

Woof woof woof. Woof woof woof. Bark Bark.

UGABob

December 20th, 2012
4:55 pm

Remember people, ignore GTBob! He is a moron! He knows nothing about college football. His life consists of getting you all worked up. That’s it! He is a guy who has no friends or woman, was picked on when he was young, and grew up without a father. His favorite team also happens to be one of the worst teams in college football. He has a lot of issues!

GTBob

December 20th, 2012
4:58 pm

LOL. Is anyone buying this load of crap? That means GTBob predicted us to beat Florida. Does anybody in their right mind really believe that this clown thought we could beat Florida?

Florida ended up better than expected. Before the season started most people picked UGA to easily beat Florida.

J-bone

December 20th, 2012
4:59 pm

I’m impressed – well done there MB.

Discount DoubleDawg

December 20th, 2012
4:59 pm

The real joke here is what this says about the ACC and GaTech… What a complete and utter joke

Hillbilly D

December 20th, 2012
5:00 pm

Even a blind hog can find the trough, once in a while. ;-)

GTBob

December 20th, 2012
5:04 pm

We’re going to play the teams on our SEC schedule. That’s all we can do.

Yes, but that won’t change the fact that you have had incredibly weak schedules the past couple of years. Next year looks to be a bit more difficult. Good luck with it.

GTBob

December 20th, 2012
5:07 pm

He is a guy who has no friends or woman, was picked on when he was young, and grew up without a father.

Dangit UGABob. I told you all of that in secrecy.

Bali

December 20th, 2012
5:12 pm

Ok Mark, so is the world gonna end tomorrow??

Hillbilly D

December 20th, 2012
5:13 pm

Let’s face it, most every major college team has 5 or so “pushover” games on the schedule. It’s the nature of the beast and how they keep the money rolling in.

Bali

December 20th, 2012
5:18 pm

Well GTbob said it, UGA is a disgrace to the state and should just shut it’s doors(from a different blog). I don’t know if the state would like that bob……UGA brings in a ton of money for our fine state. But I’m sure you’ll have some kind of a rebuttal.

GTBob

December 20th, 2012
5:19 pm

Let’s face it, most every major college team has 5 or so “pushover” games on the schedule.

Pac 12 teams are playing a 9 game conference schedule and still frequently schedule tough out of conference opponents. Cal played Nevada and Ohio State. Stanford played Notre Dame, Duke and San Jose St. USC played Notre Dame.and Syracuse. UCLA played Nebraska, Houston, and Rice. Those schedules are much tougher than almost any SEC teams play and UGA is usually one of the lightest.

UGABob

December 20th, 2012
5:19 pm

Bali, that he will! That is what he lives for!

GTBob

December 20th, 2012
5:21 pm

UGA brings in a ton of money for our fine state. But I’m sure you’ll have some kind of a rebuttal.

The relatively minor amount of money that UGA generates would easily be worth the improvement in the state as a whole if the university were to close its doors or at least drop down to community college status in Athens.

Discount DoubleDawg

December 20th, 2012
5:23 pm

The pac 10 has 4 teams ranked in the top 25 BCS poll. The SEC has 6 ranked in the top 10. A 9 game pac 10 conference schedule is a gift.

UGABob

December 20th, 2012
5:25 pm

Yea, UGA never, ever plays out of conference quality teams! Clemson (2013), Boise St., Colorado, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, etc. I would add Tech to that list but they are far from a quality team. Remember little GTBob, these games are scheduled years in advance so there is no way to know how good or bad they will be. Do your comment on my comment GTBob! Do it!!!!

GTBob

December 20th, 2012
5:30 pm

Yea, UGA never, ever plays out of conference quality teams! Clemson (2013), Boise St., Colorado, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, etc.

The only reason UGA played Boise St was because of a huge payout they got at the last minute. They wanted no part of Boise St and you saw why. As for the other teams, including Colorado and Arizona St as quality teams is pretty generous. Ill give you Oklahoma St and Clemson though, although Clemson is an ACC school so they don’t count, right? So there ya go. 2 decent OOC games in 10 years. Congrats.

Discount DoubleDawg

December 20th, 2012
5:30 pm

Gosh if UGA should be a community college what does that say about tech… I know 4 kids personally in my town that were accepted to Tech and not UGA. I hear about it happening more and more and now I am seeing it with people I know. Not an anomaly…

GTBob

December 20th, 2012
5:31 pm

The pac 10 has 4 teams ranked in the top 25 BCS poll. The SEC has 6 ranked in the top 10. A 9 game pac 10 conference schedule is a gift.

Sorry but playing any Pac 12 team is a little more impressive then playing Buffalo and Georgia Southern.

Bali

December 20th, 2012
5:31 pm

Bob…..sometimes I wonder if you’re just a plant….sent here to rouse the ire in people

GTBob

December 20th, 2012
5:32 pm

I know 4 kids personally in my town that were accepted to Tech and not UGA.

Yes, GT is now nothing but students who were rejected by UGA. We all believe your theory.

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

December 20th, 2012
5:33 pm

Bham Jacket…if you Tech grads are so smart then why don’t you cough up some of that big money and buyout Paul? Guess you like to sit on your azz and throw rocks at those that do spend the money trying to win a glass ball.

Auburn is coming after the Golden Corral poster boy Rodney Garner.

UGABob

December 20th, 2012
5:34 pm

Bali, that’s what happens when a person has nothing in their life except talking bad about UGA and the SEC. Sad huh? Poor little boy.

GTBob

December 20th, 2012
5:39 pm

Bham Jacket…if you Tech grads are so smart then why don’t you cough up some of that big money and buyout Paul?

Most Tech fans don’t want to buyout CPJ and even if they did they wouldn’t donate $10 million to do it when they could donate to the institution instead. Its called priorities.

UGABob

December 20th, 2012
5:40 pm

This shows how smart GTBob is. Posted before the UGA/UF game. Hilarious:

GTBob

October 23rd, 2012
5:45 pm

Against common opponents (UT, Vandy, SC, UK) this year:
UGA: 3-1, +29 point differential
Florida: 4-0, +102 point differential

On top of that Florida beat a top 10 team. Something UGA hasn’t done in recent memory. Plus its Florida who UGA never plays well against. Sorry, but UGA seems like a pretty silly pick here Mark. I know you want to play the hopeful homer but be realistic every once in a while.

Jacket Man

December 20th, 2012
5:40 pm

Mark, I’ll chip in for the sling you’re going to need because you’ve just dislocated your shoulder patting yourself on the back!

GTBob

December 20th, 2012
5:43 pm

This shows how smart GTBob is. Posted before the UGA/UF game.

If I would have know that Florida would turn the ball over 6 times and pretty much hand the game to UGA then I might have chose differently. If they played again tomorrow I would pick UF and im pretty sure they would be favored in Vegas.

Discount DoubleDawg

December 20th, 2012
5:44 pm

the truth hurts huh bob? You have always had a hard time with the truth and facts… The seperation in academics between UGA and Ga Tech isn’t what it use to be. If someone thinks otherwise they are a fool. I know you are not a fool, so maybe you are just embarrased or in denial. All I know is, 4 high school seniors who I know personally (actually I know their parents) were accepted to tech and rejected by UGA.

Oh and colordao and washingon state are not that much better than buffalo and ga southern and those teams are in the pac 10. Try again… And yes I do think ga southern would give both of them a game.