With the books officially closed on 2012, 2013 brings a fresh start and new opportunities for all the Pittsburgh sports teams. 2012 was a rather disappointing year for Pittsburgh sports with the Steelers and Pirates falling just short of the playoffs and the hockey locking out keeping us from watching Sid the Kid and Geno Malkin carving up the ice. But as stated before, the New Year brings a fresh start for all these teams. With new starts comes a plethora of new predictions and expectations for the teams. With that being said, here are my 2013 bold predictions.
For the Pitt Panthers, 2013 not only brings a new season but also a completely different outlook with all teams leaving the Big East Conference and joining the Atlantic Coast Conference. In recent years the Pitt Football team has been mediocre at best. With Head Coach Paul Chryst going into his second season, I see Pitt to continue the trend in their first year in the ACC. Even though the ACC is a basketball dominant conference, much like the Big East, the football completion is still much stronger than Pitt will be accustomed to. I feel Pitt will have an adjustment period throughout this season and I see going .500 in conference play a best case scenario for the Panthers.
For the Pitt Panther basketball team, 2013 will be all about getting back to what Pitt Basketball once was. After a disappointing 2012 where the Panthers did not qualify for the NCAA tournament, the Panthers look much improved and look to be almost a lock for the 2013 tournament. Even though the Panthers had a weak non conference schedule, the Panthers have been the only team that has played the Michigan Wolverines tough. They will have some things to make adjustments to during Big East play but I see the Pitt Panthers basketball team making a run to the Sweet 16 during this year’s tournament.
In 2012, the NHL gave way to their second lockout since 2000 leaving Penguins fans without their team. My first prediction for 2013 is that the NHL will miss the entire season and there will not be Hockey until next fall. However, when next fall comes around I see the Penguins going back to their dominant ways. First off, Sidney Crosby will play every game of the 2013 season. Secondly Crosby and Malkin will be one and two in the NHL points leaders with Crosby winning yet another scoring title.
Finally we get to the boys of summer. The past two seasons have been a roller coaster for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both years the Pirates have had or shared the division lead only to give way to a late season collapse. Well guess what, it’s not going to happen again. 2013 will be the year the streak ends. Andrew McCutchen will once again take over as the Pirates main offensive weapon and have yet another MVP caliber season. My perhaps boldest prediction comes right here. James McDonald will return to what he was pre all star break last season and he will win the National League Cy Young award. I am also prediction the Pedro will put up 30 plus home runs and newly acquired catcher Russell Martin will put up 25 of his own. The Pirates will not only make the playoffs but they will win the division.
The 2013 Steelers will play against seven playoff teams during their regular season and have to take part in tough road games in Green Bay, New England, and London. With this being said, I still see the Steelers having a great deal of success. I’m predicting a 12-4 record from the Steelers and see them making a deep playoff run. Need I remind you that the past two seasons the Steelers missed the playoffs, the next year they made a Super Bowl run. 2012 proved to be a reality check for the Young Money Crew. Look for Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace and Emanuel Sanders to return to Young Money form and have stellar seasons for the Steelers.