Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a member and past president of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year 10 times and has been inducted to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Like It Is:
Expect these '23 predictions to come true
Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson runs for a touchdown during the Liberty Bowl game against Kansas on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn.
Ringing in a New Year with predictions and a couple of resolutions.
The NCAA and Power 5 football conferences will continue to tweak the transfer portal, even though the majority of those players who leave a program are 3-star recruits or less.
The NCAA and Power 5 football conferences will try to overhaul the NIL, which is already causing problems in the locker room. With no salary cap, rules or regulations, some rogue boosters are trying to buy success. But a major issue for the coaches is between some players making hundreds of thousands of dollars and others a few thousand.
The Arkansas Razorbacks will make the Final Four this season, if Nick Smith gets healthy and plays.
Eric Musselman will lose four players to the NBA Draft and all he’ll do is shrug and replace them with great players. Recruits want to play for a coach who can put them in the NBA and Musselman is proving he can do that.
Sam Pittman will continue to field competitive teams and the Arkansas Razorbacks will make a third consecutive bowl appearance.
Razorback fans will continue to travel to road games and be a big part of why bowls love the Hogs.
Some will write or say Georgia’s Kirby Smart is the new sheriff of the SEC. They will be wrong. The king of the hill remains Nick Saban until he retires, which may be never.
After the easy win over Kansas State on Saturday, a few Alabama fans will declare the Crimson Tide as national champions, like they did several years ago when the Tide finished third in the SEC.
This will be John Calapari’s last season as head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats.
Cristiano Ronaldo will be the greatest soccer player in the history of Saudi Arabia, but will no longer be discussed as the greatest of all-time in the real soccer world. And for the record, the GOAT was Pele.
The Houston Astros will repeat as World Series winners.
The Dallas Cowboys will win at least one playoff game.
LeBron James will be traded, freeing the Los Angeles Lakers to rebuild a once proud operation.
Oaklawn Park will continue to be one of the most successful thoroughbred tracks in the country and purses will be raised.
It will be announced that Texas and Oklahoma will become part of the SEC in 2024, a year early.
Deion Sanders will have a winning season at Colorado with a record number of portal transfers.
The Arkansas Razorback baseball and women’s softball teams will win the SEC.
Wagering on sports will reach an all-time high as more states legalize wagering.
Bowls will be concerned about using Pac-12 officiating crews after one made two horrendous calls against the Razorbacks in the Liberty Bowl, both which could have cost the Hogs the game.
The Pac-12 will not apologize for its mistakes.
There will be more conferences merging and more schools leaving conferences.
There will be talk about the NFL scheduling games on Saturdays when colleges are playing, which will help clear the picture why UCLA and USC jumped to the Big Ten. TV networks that air college games have to have better games to compete with the NFL
Covid-19 will continue to be part of our daily lives.
KJ Jefferson will on someone’s preseason All-America team and if he stays healthy, in the postseason, too.
Arkansas’ track and field programs will continue to be the standard bearers.
A couple of resolutions:
A. To continue to exercise and watch what is eaten to keep my heart healthy.
B. Go to Europe, but not within 300 miles of a war zone.
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