After reviewing several columns I wrote this year, I've concluded I'm not a good fortune teller.

You might even put me in the category of the Weekly World News Web site, which is predicting this to happen in 2008: "Vampires realize that the blood of tuna fish suits their macabre nutritional requirements as effectively as human blood. The undead begin lurking near the shores of the Black Sea, sucking fish dry and discreetly throwing their bodies into the water."

Weird stuff, but I guess somebody has to do the predicting.

Maybe I'm more like former IBM chairman Thomas Watson, who in 1943 said, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

For whatever reason, my prediction radar has been on the fritz, so for now I'm leaving the predicting to the WWN. Otherwise, I'm just inviting trouble. In June, for example, I said Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko "has made it clear he simply can't play his best game in Jerry Sloan's structured system."

Maybe not, but he's sure playing someone's best game. He is averaging a career-high 5.5 assists and getting more rebounds, steals, points, blocks and minutes than last year.

My off-target observations also included this item, written in April: "If history is an indication, (the Jazz) aren't going far this postseason."

Yeah, well, the Western Conference Finals aren't all that far — if you're the San Antonio Spurs. They always go beyond.

In hindsight, some of my predictions have proven flat-out outlandish. Why be cautious when you can be flamboyant, right? So after the first week of college football, I wrote that "Utah's season is toast" and added "with no rushing game and a reserve quarterback ... plan on this being a five-win season at best."

Turned out they won eight games and are expected to be invited to the Poinsettia Bowl. Meanwhile, backup running back Darrell Mack rushed for 1,128 yards.

So maybe I was off a little on those, too.

Here's another of my predictions: "USU's Brent Guy will be job hunting at year's end, providing USU can afford to buy out the final two years on his contract."

Good thing for me I added that disclaimer. Looks like USU couldn't afford to buy him out. Or maybe he just has pictures of his boss.

In September, I wrote a column about motivating the Utes by negative reinforcement. Among the things I said were "YOU'RE GOING TO LOSE TO THE AGGIES!" (Utah won 34-18) and "They're (USU) a program with nowhere to go but up. You guys (Utah), on the other hand, can still sink lower."

After which the Utes went on to a seven-game win streak.

I also wrote this after Utah's win over Louisville: "Now all that's left are Mountain West Conference games, and you know what that means. More worry. And very possibly even more losses."

OK, there was one more loss, against you-know-who.

And the Utes came within a half-minute of winning that.

In all modesty, I can't say I'm always wrong. I've had some good moments in the prognostication business. In October 2002, I wrote of then-Ute coach Ron McBride: "They can't fire coaches for beating BYU regularly, tying for a couple of championships and going to bowl games, can they? Count on it. The Mac Attack is a doomed train."

Sure enough, Mac was gone before the snow flew.

In October 2004, I noted that football coaches Urban Meyer (Utah) Gary Crowton (BYU), Jerry Graybeal (Weber) and Mick Dennehy (USU) could be moving — voluntarily or otherwise. "My educated guess is that Crowton and Dennehy will be gone after this season, but Graybeal will survive, thanks in large part to his contract (assuming he doesn't go 0-11)." I added it was "likely Meyer will be staying (at Utah) for now."

"For now," I guess, meant four weeks.

Luckily for me, Crowton and Dennehy were fired. Graybeal moved into athletic administration, and Meyer went to Florida.

Two out of four isn't bad, the way my luck is running.

I feel like ESPN's Mel Kiper must have felt in 1995, when he predicted BYU quarterback John Walsh would be a first-round NFL draft pick. Not only did Walsh fall to the seventh round, he never played in the league and ended up working for Snap-on tools.

If my radar doesn't improve, I could be doing the same.


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