Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA professors make predictions for coming year

Each year, The University of Alabama’s Office of Media Relations coordinates the Educated Guesses project. This will be the project’s 34th consecutive year.

The Educated Guesses project is a program through which the Office of Media Relations offers predictions from faculty experts for the upcoming year.

“Media Relations staff members brainstorm ideas for the guesses and then ask faculty members if they would like to participate,” said Cathy Andreen, director of media relations. 

Participating faculty members make predictions only within their area of expertise. The number of predictions made vary from year to year; this year the top 15 predictions were chosen. Predictors make their predictions about topics people find interesting and base them on current data trends.

Andrew Billings, director of the Alabama program of sports communications and M.A. director of telecommunications and film, is making predictions for his third consecutive year. This year his predictions are: Beijing will be the first to host both winter and summer Olympics and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s authority to punish NFL players will be curbed. Billings has predicted that this year annoucement will be made that the 2022 Winter Games will be held in Bejing. If Billings is correct, this will be the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games.

In regards to his NFL Commissioner prediction, Billings said, “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s role in determining the punishment for player crimes and misbehavior will be significantly lessened, as a consensus forms that this power serves no one well.”

Ahmad Ijaz, associate director of The University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research in the Culverhouse College of Commerce, predicted that in 2015, the economy will grow to 2.6 percent and lower gas prices will only negate some impacts of higher groceries. Ijaz believes lower gas prices will help add about .4 percent to real gross domestic product, but this will only help lessen the economic impacts of higher grocery prices. Ijaz said the U.S. economy is forecasted to grow by about 2.6 percent in 2015, led in part by growth in transportation equipment manufacturing. 

When asked how he makes his predictions every year, Ijaz said, “Forecasts are based on economic models and historic data about how the economy has done in the past and is currently doing.”

Assistant Director of Health Education and Prevention Sheena Quizon Gregg predicted Three –Square Meals will go belly-up in 2015.

“Despite Pinterest and food delivery companies further inspiring millennia’s to cook at home with fresh, organic ingredients, the concept of three square meals a day will dissipate in 2015 as more people will dine on the go or choose options like green smoothies or snacks” Gregg said. 

Last year, Gregg’s prediction for 2014 was that plant-based diet trends would strengthen. Although her predictions may have not been 100 percent accurate, plant based diets did become more popular in 2014. 

The predictions that are made each year have been referred to as a “light-hearted feature.” Although many of the predictions made each year are accurate, faculty does not go back and check to see if they came true. Some are trend stories that are ongoing; others many not be realized in the coming year but will be in the next three to five years. 

“The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, so while things always shift, there are certain trend lines that one can use to decipher what would most likely come next,” Billings said. 

To see the full list of the 2015 predictions as well as predictions made in years past visit

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