Allow me to wish everyone a safe, happy and healthy 2014.
It was a good 2013 for sports in our area.
The Cardinals made a return trip to the World Series, where they lost to Boston in six games.
The Rams finished the season with a 7-9 record and have some promising young talent, but need to start making noise in the tough NFC West.
The Blues had a nice regular season, but suffered a disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the playoffs.
On the college scene, the University of Missouri football team had a great year. The Tigers were one win away from playing for the national championship. They played in the SEC championship game and take an 11-2 record to Friday’s Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma State.
MU basketball lost to Colorado State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Saint Louis Billikens lost to Oregon in the second round.
On the local front, winning state championships were Borgia volleyball in Class 3, Hermann volleyball in Class 2, Pacific wrestler Austin Repp at 170 pounds in Class 3, Warrenton wrestler J.J. Filipek at 182 pounds in Class 3 and the Borgia dance and cheerleading teams.
A number of other teams and individuals from the area covering many different sports claimed district titles and state honors.
Before we look to see what will happen in 2014, let’s point out some of my many 2013 prediction misses from last year’s column.
• I did predict the Dodgers to defeat the Cardinals in the NLCS and then to lose to Toronto in the World Series. (The Cardinals and Dodgers did meet in the NLCS, but the Cards won. Toronto didn’t even sniff the playoffs.)
• I made the ridiculous prediction that Mizzou would defeat Kansas to win the NCAA basketball championship. (Mizzou lost in the first round and Kansas lost to Michigan in the Sweet 16.)
• My Final Four teams were Mizzou, Kansas, Duke and Indiana. (Instead, it was Louisville, Michigan, Syracuse and Wichita State. Louisville cut down the nets.)
• I predicted Maty Mauk would beat out James Franklin for Mizzou’s starting quarterback job and the Tigers would go 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the SEC. (Mauck did make an impact while Franklin was hurt, but he didn’t beat out Franklin, and the team was better than most of us thought they’d be.)
• I predicted the Rams would become one of the top defensive teams in the NFL, finish the regular season 10-6 and lose a wildcard playoff game. (The defense is coming around, but the team was 7-9 and missed the playoffs.)
Predictions for 2014
• Auburn outscores Florida State in the BCS football title game, 72-71.
• In Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, N.J., Seattle defeats Denver in a massive snow storm, 13-12.
• Rams defensive end Robert Quinn is named the NFL defensive player of the year.
• FRC basketball champions will be Hermann’s girls and Sullivan’s boys.
• The Blues make some noise in the playoffs, but fall to Chicago in seven games in the Western Conference finals.
• With their two first-round draft picks, No. 2 and No. 13 overall, the Rams select a pair of Texas A&M players in offensive tackle Jake Matthews and wide receiver Mike Evans.
• Reaching the NCAA Basketball Final Four will be Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Wisconsin. Michigan State cuts down the nets.
• Indiana defeats Portland in the NBA Finals.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the Daytona 500.
• Adam Scott wins the Masters.
• Chicago defeats Detroit in the Stanley Cup Finals.
• The St. Louis Cardinals easily win the NL Central title and knock off Washington in the NLDS. And then things get interesting. The Cardinals will then play the two Los Angeles teams, the Dodgers in the NLCS and the Angels in the World Series. When the smoke clears, the Cardinals defeat Albert Pujols, David Freese and the Angels to take the World Series in seven games.
• With Maty Mauk at quarterback, the team expectations sky-high, and Alabama, Auburn and LSU not on the schedule, Mizzou football goes 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the SEC. The Tigers will be invited to play in the Outback Bowl.
• With the new college football playoff format in place, the four teams to reach the championship semifinals will be Alabama, Florida State, Oregon and Ohio State.
• With one of the top defenses in the NFL, the Rams continue to struggle to put a consistent offensive attack together. They finish the season with an 8-8 record and miss the playoffs.