Worst Sports Predictions of All-Time

Submitted by Zone Read Left on July 1st, 2010 at 10:02 PM

While I wish LLP the best of the luck and am not trying to rag on him, his departure today reminded me of the prediction by Tim McCormick that LLP would be "the best UM pg since Rumeal Robinson". Is this the worst sports prediction you have ever heard?

I've established the following criteria to define a "sports prediction":

1. The person making the prediction must be a talking-head who is paid by a medium to analyze sports.

2. The prediction being made must be one that is unique to the person making it. While predicting Ryan Leaf would be a good NFL qb is an all time terrible decision, you can't really fault Mel Kiper for saying so because EVERYONE thought Leaf would be a good qb.

3. The person making the prediction must not suffer from dementia. I don't wan't Lou Holtz's outlandish ND predictions taking up the whole list.

4. The person making the prediction must actually believe what he is predicting and not just saying it for the sake of argument/to make compelling tv.

Off the top of my head, here are the all-time worst sports predictions I can think of (in no particular order):

1. "LLP will be the greatest UM pg since Rumeal Robinson" - Tim McCormick

2. "Ron Pawlus will fin 4 heismans" - Beano Cook

3. "Oregon State is our preseason #1 team" - SI

4. "Michigan will make the Alamo Bowl in 2008" - Brian Cook (just kidding)

What other terrible predictions would you guys put on this list?



July 1st, 2010 at 10:10 PM ^

Beano Cook's prediction of 4 heismans for Pawlus is my personal favorire...and still a sore subject for a few of my Domer friends.  That guy was hyped so much (obvs), and I'll never forget pics of him standing on the sideline, arm in a cast.


July 2nd, 2010 at 1:59 AM ^

While Beano Cook is an excellent choice for stupid predictions, he actually said Powlus would win only two Heismans:

"Ron Powlus will win the Heisman two times and be the greatest quarterback in the history of Notre Dame."

Doesn't make the prediction any less terrible, just thought it was worth noting. Beano and Loopy Lou really deserve their own wing in this Hall of Fame.


July 2nd, 2010 at 2:59 AM ^

Those quotes were from his first game.  It was Chris Collinsworth that was working the Michigan game his second week and said, "this kid could win four Heismans".  I've pretty much hated Collinsworth for as long as I can remember and I trace it back to the Powlus love fest during that game.


July 1st, 2010 at 10:14 PM ^

How about the Lions predictions that Charles Rogers and MIke Williams would make a sweet receiving corps, catching bombs from Joey Harrington


July 2nd, 2010 at 1:44 AM ^

Kevin Smith did last year.

I remember in '08 when we were 0-15 and before the final game of the season (I beleive it was at GB), one of the db's (can't remember the name) from the Lions said he would walk back to Detroit if they lost. I'm not sure if he did or not though.


July 1st, 2010 at 10:38 PM ^

Every year when some moronic sports guru claims sparty football is a team on the rise that will be contending for a Big Ten championship that year or the next


July 1st, 2010 at 10:45 PM ^

I seem to remember a major publication (SI maybe?) that predicted that the Lions would win the super bowl following a mediocre season.  Obviously they went on to be absolutely terrible that year. 


July 1st, 2010 at 10:50 PM ^

and what made it even more absurd is that I recall him saying (not trying to disagree with the OP - perhaps it was two separate comments) that he would be the "most pure" point guard since Rumeal Robinson.

I can count the number of times Lucas-Perry brought the ball up the court on one hand.

Tim Waymen

July 1st, 2010 at 10:50 PM ^

Didn't Beano Cook also say in 97 that Michigan shouldn't even bother against PSU, only to see us go into Happy Valley and pound the Lions 34-8?


July 2nd, 2010 at 2:43 AM ^

I wouldn't say Wyoming over Texas was the worst prediction ever...the first half of that game was one of the biggest surprises of the season and lock-step in keeping with Ware's prediction.

It turned out to be wrong (by a considerable margin), but I think Ware was one of the few who believed Wyoming could even play on the same field as Texas. And in that regard, he was right.


July 1st, 2010 at 11:17 PM ^

"When it comes to college football, Los Angeles clearly belongs to the Bruins.

Not USC, not any more, not even close, and not only just this year.
This is a Bruin football town, and has been a Bruin football town, and will continue to be a Bruin football town as long as the Bruins continue running the consistent, directed program so lacking across town."-October 25, 2001


July 2nd, 2010 at 12:15 AM ^

Darko. (Chad Ford).

I remember some recruitnik said about Jerod Ward, the number 2 recruit behind Kevin Garnett- "he scores like we breathe". Yes, if we had asthma.

I will always remember how in The Sporting News college football preview that Michael Bradley said Michigan Football was done, they had fallen behind everyone else, and the M in Michigan stood for mediocre. Of course, that issue came out the summer of 1997.


July 2nd, 2010 at 9:57 AM ^

I remember some recruitnik said about Jerod Ward, the number 2 recruit behind Kevin Garnett- "he scores like we breathe". Yes, if we had asthma.

That was during my most active days covering football and basketball recruiting. Ward was actually in the Class of 1994. Garnett was in the Class of 1995.

I saw Ward play in Mississippi and I thought he'd be better than he was...but I didn't  have him in my top-10. That said, my #1 player that year was Felipe Lopez and my #2 player was Zendon Hamilton. I had Antoine Walker at #3, Danny Fortson at #4, and Ricky Price at #5.

That was, of course, the Fab Five II class with Maurice Taylor, Tarvis Conlan, Maceo Baston, and Willie Mitchell (and Ward). After adding Louis Bullock, Robert Traylor, and Albert White, I actually wrote that Michigan was going to be looking at another series of Final Four appearances and had positioned themselves as THE "it" school in the midwest.

Whenever I talked to underclassmen on the camp circuit, they always mentioned Michigan on their initial lists.

BTW, I had Garnett at #3 the following year behind Ron Mercer and Stepon Marbury...but I think I was just feeling like a contrarian.


July 2nd, 2010 at 11:59 AM ^

...or was that you who said it?  Because if so, wow, small world.

And you're of course right.  It wasn't Garnett...I was thinking of Lopez....who never hit it big either, but he was the #1 player that year.


July 2nd, 2010 at 1:10 PM ^

No, no...I didn't say it. As I mentioned above, I wasn't quite as bullish as others on Ward. You're right, he was in just about everyone's top-five.

I saw Ward live a couple of times and I saw him on tape a lot and I just didn't think he was as intense as he needed to be.

Felipe Lopez was something else. We had a dominant 6-5 PG in several classes in a row. In 1992, Jason Kidd was the man. In 1993, it was Randy Livingston, and in 1994, it was Lopez.


July 2nd, 2010 at 1:42 PM ^

Didn't Ward also have a catostrophic kneed injury? He was actually pretty good in his final year at Michigan.

Lopez, I remember, was on the cover of SI as as messianic figure. WHOOPS.


July 2nd, 2010 at 4:35 PM ^

No one can hold it against you that a consensus highly rated player was fairly highly rated by you. I mean, that happens all the time where expectations arent met. It was just the guy who dropped that line so full of hyperbole that stuck with me all this time. Jerod did have injuries, and seemed a good kid. Just at no time did he score that easily in college, even before the injuries. Bagging on the hype, not the player (and that hype specifically).


July 2nd, 2010 at 12:20 AM ^

Dan Pompei once picked the Lions as his preseason choice to win a Super Bowl.  That was instantly the worst prediction in sports history the moment it hit the press.

In fact, it was probably the worst prediction in all of history since the Civil War gem, "They couldn't hit an elephant at this ra-".

Monocle Smile

July 2nd, 2010 at 1:54 AM ^

We always tend to lambast Notre Dame as the once-proud program now in shambles that is "returning to glory" every year. In reality, Sparty has been doing this for a longer time period.

The Irish were good in the late '80s and haven't been truly significant (besides one or two odd years) since then. According to ten minutes of research, Sparty hasn't been that good since the '60s.

Yet it seems like random sports dudes have been calling MSU the team "on the rise" since forever. I just find it funny how we point to Notre Dame as the faux "return to glory" team when we should be pointing at Michigan State for longevity.

deshawn swimms

July 2nd, 2010 at 7:32 AM ^

Does not really fit your criteria, but something like 94% of voters on espn thought Florida was going to beat UM in the Citrus, er Capital One bowl in 2008.

tn wolverine

July 2nd, 2010 at 7:54 AM ^

Herbstreit did say about the 2008 Capital One Bowl that was the game he was least looking forward to, because it wouldn't be close. He was right... if Michigan hadn't turned it over 4 times they'd have won by 4 td's instead of 6pts. Of course he actually said it wouldn't be close because Tim Teblow would run crazy on us. I guess an osu education isn't worth...Oh that's just too easy.


July 2nd, 2010 at 9:28 AM ^

But to call it the worst prediction of all time?  That is lame.

Raise your hand if you thought we would beat Florida in that game.  Now put your hand down you f'ing liar.

Florida had won that national title the year before (and ended up winning it the year after).  We had the Horror, the Dennis Dixon game, getting blown out at Wiscy, and scoring 3 points against OSU. 

I believe we were also 10 point underdogs in that Capital One Bowl.

Now I'm a huge Michigan fan and clearly addicted to this blog, but to expect a win when your team is 10 point dogs is foolish.  It can always happen (and in this case it did), but I did not have high hopes going into that game.


July 2nd, 2010 at 8:20 AM ^

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper was quoted as saying, “whenever Gus Ornstein chooses to come out of college he will be the first player selected in the NFL draft.”


July 2nd, 2010 at 9:33 AM ^

SI's preseason baseball predictions for 2009:   Tigers versus Cubs in the World Series.

At least the Tigers were close with the play-in loss to the Twins.  Cubs were @6 games under .500

But then again, you could just say "Any SI preseason prediction"