9 Predictions for 2012:
- MU Diamond sports will surge in awareness and popularity among students and fans, as both the Softball and Baseball teams have exciting and successful seasons in their final run through the Big 12.
- Mizzou's pitching will surprise a lot of people in 2012. Eric Anderson will be a dominant force in the Big 12 and nationally, and will lead a very good starting rotation.
- Newcomers - Freshmen and JuCo transfers - will be a major factor in the success of the pitching staff, providing depth to the weekend and mid-week starting staff, and providing quality innings in the bullpen.
- The lineup may change more often than Mitt Romney's opinions (or Newt's wives). With an embarrassment of riches at nearly every position - both infield and outfield - there will be healthy competition that will drive the Tigers to excel.
- Depth in both pitching and the daily lineup can give the team staying power in the late season and into the post-season. Giving playing time to "the bench" provides the luxury of keeping the entire roster rested and fresh.
- MU's Final Big 12 Tournament will see the Tigers in the top half of the seedings, but MU won't need to win the championship game in order to get a bid to an NCAA Regional.
- A Super Regional will feature Missouri matched head-to-head with one of their future SEC rivals. Game Three will be decided with a dramatic finish in the 9th inning. The crystal baseball is cloudy on the question of whether the Tigers advance to Omaha.
- Tim Jamieson will be named Big 12 Coach of the Year in his final season in the Big 12.
- 2012 Draft Day could have a big impact on Mizzou, with as many as 6 to 10 Tiger players picked. One or two of those may choose to return to the Tigers for 2013. One of MU's draftees will go in the first or second round.
Of course, if these predictions turn out to be all wrong, don't blame me. Blame the Crystal Baseball.