Uncertainty is the hardest part of the offseason. Will your team exceed expectations? Will it stumble? Just what does the future hold? Previously, we only had statistics and extrapolations to address these questions. Let's face it - those are just guesses, and we want ANSWERS.
And answers we got. With the help of SB Nation's own Dan Rubenstein, we had New Orleans soothsayer Vance read the tarot cards for the 2013 season:
Vance felt a lot of strong energy coming from Brown, but also saw that he was dealing with some sort of ongoing problem, possibly of the scandalous variety. She predicted the Longhorns would struggle in conference this year as other teams in the state became tougher competition. Promising things in store for you, Baylor, Texas Tech, and TCU fans!
The cards were mixed for Alabama, according to Vance, who foresaw a start for the Crimson Tide that would be "mediocre, but not pathetic." Does that mean a 17-10 overtime win against Virginia Tech? Could anything be MORE mediocre?
Bad news, USC fans. The spirits whispered to Vance, and they saw unfortunate things. Kiffin will have an unspectacular season, with insecurity surrounding the team at every turn. Interesting twist: Vance told us Kiffin would be connected in some way to a blonde woman in broadcasting. I think we all know what that means: NANCY GRACE SEX TAPE.
Almost immediately, Vance saw struggle in Muschamp's future. That struggle was due to losing something valuable which Muschamp would not easily replace, and Vance suggested that might be players who'd left the program for the pros. (Vance said nothing about how Muschamp would deal with that struggle, so stay safe, butcher shops of central Florida.)
Manziel's cards said promising things, as Vance was certain that the Heisman winner is "in control over what he's doing" and "can hold his own." Dan and I assumed the implied noun there was "liquor." When we pressed Vance to tell us if Manziel would match last year's success, she could only tell us he'd have a strong season. We blame this hesitance not on Vance's skills, which were never in question, but instead on the inevitable bullshit media members that refuse to vote for Manziel again because he parties too real.
Vance could only get a partial read on Delany but said things were not looking good for the Big Ten Commissioner, who would have to dig himself out of a hole this season. Remember this in a month when Jim Delany falls down an abandoned well.
It was alarming how strongly Vance got a read on Spencer - so strong she claimed the cards weren't even necessary. Here's an approximation of the conversation:
VANCE: He wears glasses, doesn't he?
VANCE: And he has lighter hair than yours?
VANCE: Is he Southern?
DAN: He is!
VANCE: Oh, he's a trip. He wields great influence and power and if something isn't interesting him he doesn't bother with it. You don't want to be on his bad side.
DAN: What will he do with that influence this season?
VANCE: He'll continue to wield it however he wants.
Prince was the last name we gave Vance. Before this, it was very clear she was not a college football fan - she referred to "Nick Sabean at Alabama State," asked where Manziel coached, and wanted to know if Lane Kiffin was new at USC. All of these very famous names meant nothing to her.
Except Ron Prince, who Vance said she'd heard of. THE POWER OF A PRINCE REACHES BEYOND THE MORTAL PLANE. Vance said Prince would bring lots of attention and curiosity to Rutgers, but the season could go either way. "Ron Prince is a wild card," Vance warned us, "but he'll put Rutgers in the spotlight."
With Vance's help, Dan and I are comfortable revealing the following: the National Championship participants will be Texas A&M and Rutgers. Who will win? Only Vance knows, but we ran out of money.