Case in point: The Gazette’s Milo Bryant predicting in a column earlier this year that Air Force will go 8-4. Nobody else in the country (that I know of) has the Falcons finishing even at .500, and in the preseason Mountain West Conference poll, Air Force was selected by members of the media to finish seventh out of nine teams.
I don’t vote in the preseason polls (The Gazette doesn’t let me) and, as a beat writer, I am not allowed to make a prediction on Air Force games (the whole conflict of interest thing).
But I’ve gone over The Gazette’s policies with a fine-tooth comb, and I see nothing prohibiting beat writers’ dogs from making predictions.
So, Norm, my dog, will be calling each game this year through an exact and rigorous process. Basically, I’m going to hold up a mini-replica Air Force helmet and the mini-replica helmet of the opponent they are facing that week (you can see them in the foreground of Norm’s picture below). Whichever one Norm goes to first, that’s the team he thinks is going to win. Just to be completely sure, we’re doing best three out of five. If Norm picks the same helmet three times in a row, he’s thinking blowout. If he chooses one team three times and the other one once, he’s thinking the game will be decided by about a touchdown. If he chooses one team three times and the other one twice, then it’s going to be close.
I didn’t have a South Carolina State helmet, so I wrote “Air Force” on one piece of paper and “South Carolina State” on the other. Norm went for “Air Force” twice in a row, then South Carolina State, then Air Force again.