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Other Sports

Nobody asked me, but ...

By Drew Markol, Contributing Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Just about anybody can make a list in early January about what they think is going to happen in the sports world for the coming 12 months.

But it takes a really bad prognosticator to make the same kind of predictions in late February.

Well, you're reading a really bad prognosticator and now is the time to let out the secrets about what we're going to see. Bear in mind, I'm always wrong, until today, that is.

All right, enough explanation, let's go:

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Maybe this is more wishful thinking than anything else, but a quote "little guy" finally gets it done as Butler cuts down the nets in early April.

HORSE RACING

Horse racing? Yes, horse racing. The Triple Crown drought will continue as we go another year without a wonder horse to save the sport.

After we don't get a Triple Crown (in fact, no horse will win more than one of the biggies), it will be 35 years since Affirmed did it last. Think about that. Unless you're nearing 50, you don't even remember Affirmed.

NBA

Why not? Let's go with the Los Angeles Clippers to win it all. They're having a great regular season and have energized their quickly growing fan base. They'll have to get past the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals and then beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

In other words, it's not going to be easy, but the Clips will do it.

NHL

The shortened season will play right into the hands of the Vancouver Canucks.

They will do what they need to do, that's get into the playoffs, and then turn it on when it counts thanks to a solid corps of veterans.

Oh, and they'll beat the New York Rangers to do it.

GOLF

It's going to be a lean year at the majors for U.S. players as no American is going to win any of the four.

The Masters: It's time for Rory McIlroy to erase the Augusta demons from a few years back when he had his famous collapse. He will win a green jacket.

In fact, McIlroy is going to make it look easy. He's going to have one of those weekends when he goes really low and blows the field away. And defending champ Bubba Watson? Well, it's going to be a struggle from the start and he misses the cut.

The U.S. Open: The top guys go to Merion in suburban Philadelphia in June and they'd better be able to hit it straight.

And the guy who does it best, and will do it then, is Luke Donald. He can work the putter, too, and that never hurts at a U.S. Open.

The British Open: This season, Lee Westwood is scheduled to play mainly on the PGA Tour in the United States, but he'll get his major overseas.

The PGA Championship: By the time we get to the last major, the pressure will be on Tiger Woods not to be shut out again in his quest to catch Jack Nicklaus. Tiger does give it a run in this one, but it's Graeme McDowell, who many thought would win the U.S. Open, adding a PGA Championship title to his resume.

BASEBALL

The Los Angeles Dodgers paid a king's ransom to get talent and it will pay off with a World Series title. They just have so much pitching and they can hit, too, and that will get it done. So, the World Series title stays in California.

It almost goes to Michigan, but the Detroit Tigers come up short again, in six games.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Yes, we won't know who actually wins the national title until 2014, but we'll tell you right now it's going to be South Carolina. And the Gamecocks will beat the Oregon Ducks to do it.

NFL

Same deal as with college football (we won't know until 2014), but let's remove the suspense and give you plenty of time to put down some cash.

The San Francisco 49ers make it back to the Super Bowl, but again come up just short. The Houston Texans have the confetti fall on their heads.

As we close, please don't forget my prediction record. It's 0 and a lot.

Drew Markol has been a sportswriter and columnist for several Philadelphia area newspapers for over 25 years.

02/19 09:14:04 ET

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