David White

2019 crystal ball: Bulldogs to NCAAs, Paul George wins NBA title and more

The Oklahoma City Thunder and All-Star Paul George are headed to an NBA championship, David White predicts.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and All-Star Paul George are headed to an NBA championship, David White predicts. Associated Press file

Fresno State may finally feel a draft in the room.

Maybe it will be record-smashing receiver KeeSean Johnson. Or, juniors Mike Bell and Jeffrey Allison, who tweeted they would be entering the NFL Draft a year early.

All we know is that one of these Bulldogs will put an end to Fresno State’s total lack of NFL draft picks the past three years.

And you thought 2018 was as good as it gets.

Because you miss every guess you never make, here is what else to expect when 2019 hits you between the eyebrows.

▪ The Fresno State men’s basketball team will win its way into the Top 25 by following the football team’s lead: beat every no one in particular that comes their way.

The football Bulldogs did it this season without beating a single Top 25 team during the regularly scheduled program.

New coach Justin Huston’s Bulldogs are on the same track. Their two losses were by a combined 10 points to Texas Christian and Miami. They have victories against name-brands Northwestern and Cal.

fresno state file
Fresno State’s Braxton Huggins shoots against Cal on Dec. 19, a 95-73 Bulldogs victory. David White predicts Fresno State will make the Top 25 this season. CRAIG KOHLRUSS Fresno Bee file

Beat No. 6 Nevada at home? Rodney Terry will hate himself for taking a house in El Paso over this.

▪ Fresno State alum Paul George will win NBA championship jewelry in Oklahoma City, because it sure won’t be the Golden State Warriors.

George’s 26.3 points per work shift is his best through December since the Pacers made a first-round pick out of him in 2010. His 2.18 steals per game are second in the league.

You just watch.

▪ Fresno State baseball wins its first NCAA Tournament game since 2012, because they just will, OK?

Games with Utah, Kansas, Cal State-Fullerton, Stanford and Oregon – road games, one and all – will do nothing for the left side of the win-loss ledger. It will do everything to prepare this uber-talented team to win a conference that is short on Top 25 power.

▪ The San Francisco 49ers will not make the playoffs, because they just won’t, OK?

Winning and almost winning games long after the season is lost makes for encouraging signs of things to come, but losing is losing is losing. That’s all the 49ers have done since they mutually agreed to fire Jim Harbaugh.

With the Raiders headed out the door, that makes the 49ers the losingest NFL team in the Bay Area. You sure you don’t want a two-fer on this, Las Vegas?

▪ The Rams will win the Super Bowl. Unless the Saints do, or the Bears, or the Seahawks, or the Chiefs, or the Patriots.

That’s called hedging the family farm, which is the smart play. So many good teams, so many possibilities. This kills the ’90s, when the Cowboys and 49ers ran a co-op on the Lombardi Trophy.

▪ The Fresno State football team will win the season-opener at USC. Because, USC isn’t as USC as the name suggests.

Besides, Jeff Tedford has proved for two years he doesn’t need Pac-12 players to win games.

Beat Minnesota the week after, and the next prediction won’t come until New Year’s Day in 2020.