Know the difference between a weather forecaster and a meteorologist? A weather forecaster will tell you there’s a 70 percent chance of rain. A meteorologist will tell you why there’s a 70 percent chance of rain.
Truth is, both are just guessing.
Now, with modern technology and communication — from simple cell phones to Blackberrys, radar, message boards, chat rooms — virtually anyone can predict with reasonable accuracy two things: the weather and college football.
When it comes to picking football games, Kurt Schmitz has just as much chance of being right as Kirk Herbstreet. (Unless it involves Kurt’s Wisconsin Badgers. Then, a little natural bias might obscure his objectivity.)
Thus, after an offseason of intense research, I have developed a foolproof method for accurately foretelling college football. Take the meteorological approach. They never guarantee their predictions. Likewise, as we enter the final week before kickoff — can I get a universal “amen?” — I offer this official preseason projection with no guarantees.
Ÿ There’s a 70 percent chance that Georgia will win 10 games again. Now, if you look out to the west, there’s a scary situation brewing over Stillwater, Okla. The Bulldogs have to travel to Oklahoma State — which may have its best team ever. Georgia lost three of its top four offensive weapons — quarterback Matthew Stafford, tailback Knowshon Moreno and wide receiver Mohammed Massaquoi — to the NFL draft. But there’s still plenty of talent, team speed and leadership to handle the heavy load. Official AccuPig forecast: 10-3.
Ÿ Conditions are favorable for Auburn to improve. OK, that’s largely because the worst storm of the past decade has already passed.
Still, Auburn will be better because there’s a new coaching staff. Not that Gene Chizik is better than Tommy Tuberville. But the new staff appears more unified than last year’s.
Auburn will be better because there’s a new offense, one better suited to the current personnel and to the physical demands of the SEC.
Auburn will be better because there’s a new attitude.
But mostly, Auburn will be better because, how hard is it to improve on five wins? Official AccuPig forecast: 9-4.
Ÿ There’s nothing but clear skies for Alabama after last year’s improbable 12-win season. Fortunately, Hurricane Utah that battered the Tide in the Sugar Bowl didn’t leave any evidence of damage.
But see these dark clouds here? That’s an offensive line being rebuilt. And right behind that is a whole new backfield. And if we circle this over here to the east, that’s an opener against Virginia Tech, which should be a lot more challenging than last year’s opener against an overrated Clemson team.
Shouldn’t be too rough. But expect some scattered showers throughout the season. Official AccuPig forecast: 9-4.
Ÿ The sun has been beaming over Georgia Tech’s Grant Field since last November, when the Yellow Jackets broke Georgia’s eight-game series winning streak. There’s a steady gust of warm air blowing toward the northeast, in the direction of Athens. But it’s nothing to be too concerned about. It’s just Paul Johnson’s ego exhaling.
There have been conflicting reports that Johnson’s option offense is either as outdated as the rotary telephone or as impossible for opposing defenses to decode as ultraenergetic cosmic rays. Actually, it’s really no tougher to stop than any other offense. Play your position and tackle, which Garner-Webb did a better job of doing than Georgia.
Fun to watch? Yes. Especially when Jonathan Dwyer has the ball.
Much like Alabama, Tech may have to endure a little more rain this year than its fan base expects. Official AccuPig forecast: 8-5.
Turning to today’s weather. Better take your umbrella. You might need it. I guarantee it.
Contact Guerry Clegg at firstname.lastname@example.org