On a recent episode of SportsCenter, Bill Polian, Marcellus Wiley, and Herm Edwards made their predictions for the 2012 season for the AFC North division. Here’s a recap of the predictions, as presented by Jamison Hensley, ESPN’s AFC North blogger:
Herm Edwards: Ravens, Bengals, Steelers and Browns. ”There’s a lot of change in Pittsburgh right now and I’m sorry, Cleveland, that’s where you sit.”
Bill Polian: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers and Browns. “I believe the Bengals, because they’ve had such a great offseason, will win the division. The Ravens will be a close second and be reckoned with in the playoffs.”
Marcellus Wiley: Ravens, Bengals, Steelers and Browns. “[The Bengals] will have the same record as the Steelers but they win the tiebreaker because it sounds like heresy to say the Steelers are third in their division. [They're] followed by an improved Cleveland Browns team.”
This is clearly a panel of experts in winning football. Herm Edwards only had 1 divisional championship in his coaching career, and that was by winning a tie-breaker with 2 other teams in the AFC East that had the same lousy record. He was traded by the Jets (who trades a head coach?!!!) and fired by the Kansas City Chiefs. Marcellus Wiley played for 4 teams during his 10 seasons in the NFL, none of whom won their division on his watch. At least Bill Polian has a Superbowl ring from his time as President of the Indianapolis Colts, which makes up for the 4 he lost with the Buffalo Bills. He just joined ESPN after the Colts fired him.
It’s tempting to offer a poll to determine whose comments make the least amount of sense. Suffice to say, none of them are based on any facts. It is reminiscint of 2010, when the Steelers were also predicted to finish in 3rd place in the division. At least there was some logic to that scenario, which accounted for Ben Roethlisberger’s 4-game suspension. Despite that, the Steelers won the division and the AFC Championship.
With new Steelers OC Todd Haley installing a new offense and the first potential for a solid offensive line in years, these geniuses may very well be eating their words by the time the playoffs roll around.