Welcome to the second day of 2015. It's that time that I make my predictions for what's going to happen in the upcoming months. Most of these will be wildly wrong, but who knows. Every now and then I actually get something right. So...
10. Jadeveon Clowney tears his ACL on his first play back on NRG Stadium turf. The Texans still refuse to acknowledge any problems with the pallet system. The next game, J.J. Watt tears his ACL and must miss the entire season. At this point, the NRG Stadium turf is immediately ripped out and replaced by the rotting astroturf sitting inside the Astrodome.
9. The Rice Owls win Conference USA, the second time in three seasons the football team has pulled this off. The Houston Cougars, under new head coach Tom Herman, win eight games and look to be a vastly improved team with high-powered offense and an attacking defense.
8. Rice and UH will face off against each other in Omaha at the College World Series.
7. The Texans will release Case Keenum because he doesn't look like a classic quarterback. Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Mallett will be re-signed as the team decides the best approach for the future continues to be mediocrity. TV announcers will continue to talk about Fitzpatrick having gone to Harvard -- generally after he throws an interception.
6. The great minds behind the numerous failed plans to save the Astrodome come up with another brilliant plan to save it. Of course, despite this plan supposedly being great for private development, it's funded entirely through public financing. The plan is presented to the voting public, who roundly reject it, again. The voters are then once again attacked as uneducated idiots who fail to understand the historical importance of the Astrodome. The great minds, as always, then ignore the public will and once again start dreaming up schemes to keep the building alive. 5. The national media descend on Houston in March for the NCAA South Regional. They'll bitch about the lack of mass transit and the distances they have to travel to get to NRG Stadium. At some point, one of the so-called wittier writers will trot out a "Houston, We Have A Problem" wisecrack.
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4. The Astros will fail, again, to contend for the playoffs. But the team will flirt with .500 for the season and finish in third place. The team will definitely finish in front of the Texas Rangers, who have turned into a Dumpster fire. George Springer will put up monster numbers and flirt with MVP. A.J. Hinch will finish in the running for manager of the year.
3. Andre Johnson has played his last game as a Houston Texan. The greatest player in team history will be asked to take a pay cut due to salary cap issues. While Johnson appears amenable to the idea, the Texans make him an insulting offer, hoping he'll leave the team. The fans strike out at Johnson, calling him overrated and greedy. Johnson, meanwhile, signs with a team that has a QB who actually gets him the ball in stride. This team, knowing how to take advantage of a receiver like Johnson, wins the Super Bowl.
2. Neither Jeff Bagwell nor Craig Biggio is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Biggio, who fell just two votes shy last season, fails by a larger number this season as part of a voter backlash against last year's backlash against the voters. Bagwell's numbers increase, but he still falls short of induction.
1. The 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees will be Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Mike Piazza. Piazza's induction will be good in the future for Bagwell, as those who voted for Piazza but not Bagwell because of the crowded ballot will now vote for Bagwell in the future.