2011 Sports Predictions: World Series, Stanley Cup and Other Predictions in 2011
New Year's Eve is upon us, and that means it's not only time to look back on the year we've just had, but to look forward and think about the year ahead of us.
We've got quite a year in front of us in 2011. We've got another World Series, another Stanley Cup, the possibility of lockouts in the NBA and NFL, the list goes on and on.
With all of this excitement in front of us, why not throw out some early predictions?
Here are predictions for how the big events of 2011 will unfold.
1. Stanley Cup Champions
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The Canucks were close last year, and they have all the pieces this year.
With Roberto Luongo in the net and the Sedin twins keeping it hot on the ice, the Canucks should have what it takes to make the run down the stretch.
I do want to throw out a sleeper pick, though, in the New York Rangers. The Rangers have been hot and cold this season, but when they are going, they are a dominant team (see their 7-0 stomping of the Capitals).
2. World Series Champions
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This one comes down to one person: Cliff Lee.
With Lee back in the pitching rotation, what can stop them?
3. NBA Lockout
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
There will be an NBA lockout in 2011
There simply hasn't been enough movement in regards to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Who knows how long the lockout will last, but there will be one.
4. NFL Lockout
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There will be an NFL lockout in 2011
Just like with the NBA, the NFL simply hasn't made enough progress towards a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
As long as owners continue to push an 18-game season, the NFLPA will not agree and a new CBA cannot be formed.
5. Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck Will Remain at Stanford
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Some of the biggest speculation in football this year has surrounded the biggest sports figures from Stanford since John Elway and Bill Walsh.
Andrew Luck, star quarterback for the Cardinal, is assumed to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft by many.
His coach, Jim Harbaugh, has been linked to college and professional football head coaching jobs all over the country, from the San Francisco 49ers to the Michigan Wolverines.
I'm here to say that, at least for 2011, the two will remain on the farm.
Harbaugh wants more, and Andrew Luck, whether he admits it or not, probably wants to win the Heisman.
6. Carmelo Anthony Will Be a New York Knick
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Someday, the speculation will end with some kind of resolution, and the most likely one will be that 'Melo ends up with the Knicks, creating a team that has the potential to keep good pace with the Big Three in Miami.
The idea of Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire being on the floor at the same time is just too good, and the Knicks have Anthony on the hook.
7. The BCS Will End
I'm not saying that the BCS will be over and done with in 2011, but rather that 2011 will be the last year with the BCS.
It's a bold prediction, but the BCS has come under so much heat recently, especially after the matchup between Oklahoma and UConn in the Fiesta Bowl, that the movement to bring it down may gain enough steam to succeed.
8. Tim Tebow Will Start For The Broncos, Denver Has Winning Season
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Yes, this is contingent upon one of my predictions being wrong, but isn't that the nature of predictions?
If the NFL does play a 2011 season, expect Tebow to start and expect the Denver Broncos to break even in the regular season.
Hard to believe, I know, but it's possible.
9. Tiger Woods Will Not Return to Form
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Tiger Woods hasn't been the same since he left golf late last year to deal with his divorce and sex addiction treatment, and I wouldn't expect things to change.
There just seems to be something off about him.
He may win a few tournaments, but he will never get back to No. 1, that much can be guaranteed.
10. The New Orleans Hornets Will Move
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The Hornets have a loophole in their arena contract with New Orleans that could allow them to ditch the Big Easy for greener pastures on March 30th, and I would fully expect them to do so.
As much as I would like to see them as the Charlotte Hornets once again, don't count on it.
The real twist could be, will the Hornets move to.....Seattle???
Seattle basketball fans have been more than bitter since the Sonics turned into the Thunder and moved to Oklahoma City, and it seems possible that the NBA could come crawling back to Washington.