Coming into 2012, we expected that our inaugural award for Best Pundit of the Year would likely go to a political pundit. However, as we have reviewed at length, that pundit community turned in an awful election season. There were a few bright spots, including Nate Silver, although we have argued that the performance of the quants has been overhyped by the media. Chris Cillizza of Washington Post merits an honorable mention, as he picked Obama to win the election and nailed the final tally for the House of Representatives. Moreover, Cillizza’s prediction that John Kerry would be the new Secretary of State post and that Scott Brown would take Kerry’s spot in the Senate now looks quite possible (click here for Cillizza’s full list of predictions).
Turning to Finance, our recent recaps of their 2012 Prediction Lists revealed that none of the financial pundits did particularly well, although Marc Faber and Mario Gabelli deserve credit for their impressive investment picks.
In the end, we concluded that the Best Pundit of 2012 award should go to a sports pundit, one who has demonstrated terrific game-picking prowess this year.
That pundit is Colin Cowherd of ESPN.
Here is our aggregate data for Cowherd, who hosts The Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio, since we began tracking him in 2010:
Colin Cowherd Grade: A+
Cowherd’s “Blazing Five”, in which he picks five games each week against the Vegas spread, account for the lion’s share of his predictions. Here is his Blazing Five track record by season:
|Season||Record||Hit Rate||$1 Yield|
Cowherd had an average season in 2010, an excellent one in 2011, and an off-the-charts turn so far this year. For those new to the site, the $1 Yield metric is the average payout had you bet $1 (using Vegas odds) on each of the pundit’s predictions; we award an A grade to any yield above $1.10. As such, Cowherd’s $1.40 yield so far this season (with 70 predictions) is sensational. After going 2-3 in Week 1, he has rattled off 13 consecutive weeks of winning records:
In addition to his weekly picks, we are also tracking Cowherd’s full-season predictions for both baseball and football. In baseball, his performance this year was merely average, although he was one of the few who selected the Tigers to make the World Series. Here were his NFL predictions:
|2012-13 Prediction||Likely Outcome|
|Patriots to win AFC East||TRUE|
|Ravens to win AFC North||TRUE|
|Texans to win AFC South||TRUE|
|Broncos to win AFC West||TRUE|
|Giants to win NFC East||TBD|
|Packers to win NFC North||TRUE|
|Falcons to win NFC South||TRUE|
|Patriots to win AFC||TBD|
|Bears to win NFC||TBD|
|Bears to win Super Bowl||TBD|
|Bills to win more than 7.5 games||FALSE|
|Rams to win more than 6 games||TBD|
|Colts to win more than 5.5 games||TRUE|
|Saints to win less than 9.5 games||TRUE|
|Lions to win less than 9 games||TRUE|
The Bears Super Bowl prediction looks dicey at the moment, but overall, Cowherd’s pre-season picks are looking quite strong.
For a full breakdown of Cowherd’s predictions, click here to visit his PunditTracker profile page.
We are now tracking more than 120 pundits on PunditTracker.com. With the 2013 Predictions rolling in, check out all the latest predictions and enter the PT Challenge to compete with the “experts” and win prizes.