As a sportstalk host, making a Super Bowl pick before the season starts is a no-lose proposition. No one really expects you to be right, but if you happen to nail it, you can remind people about it for the next year.
Last season, I happened to get lucky, and got half of the matchup correct...I had the Ravens facing the Green Bay Packers. Good enough for a little on-air boasting.
My strategy for picking a Super Bowl matchup in two-fold. First, I want to be confident the team I choose will make the playoffs. Sure, we've seen 9-7 teams get hot in January and win the whole thing, but we also see 9-7 teams that fail to make the tournament. Thus, I have to stay away from those marginal playoff teams.
Still, I like it when a team gets tested in the regular season. I'd rather have a wild card team that went 10-6 in a tough division than a squad that cruised to the playoffs with a 13-3 record. Those teams seem ripe for January upsets every year.
With that in mind, I'm taking the Seattle Seahawks over the Houston Texans in Super XLVIII. The Seahawks may not even beat out the 49ers for the NFC West title, but they'll make the playoffs, and they've got the defense to compete with anyone in January.
In the AFC, I expect the Patriots and Broncos to coast to division titles, but both teams have proven to be very beatable in the postseason in recent years. With that in mind, I believe the Texans will fight off the Colts in the AFC South, and if they stay healthy, I think J.J. Watt and Arian Foster could carry Houston into the Big Game.
Mark it down: Seahawks vs. Texans.
And when I wrong, we'll never mention it again.