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Wildfire season

Hey, I know California’s the heavy favorite this year again. They always are. It’s so annoying. And yeah, Texas is set up to have a good season too, just like any other year. More than likely the finals will come down to those two at the end of the summer, but I’m sick to death of both of them dominating the headlines year after year, so I’m picking a dark horse for this year’s champion. Going out on a burning limb, you could say.

No, it’s not Idaho. I know they’ve been a trendy underdog pick the last few years, but seriously, come on. They’ll regress to the mean. Colorado looks good in the betting markets too, and I actually think they have a shot at the season title if things break right, but no. My pick isn’t New Mexico or Nevada or Montana either. Hell, even Oregon’s chances are fun to flirt with, but give me a break. Instead, I’m going east and picking Georgia to win it all.

I know what you’re thinking. There’s not enough acreage there to pull it out in the end, and I hear you. I don’t expect my take to be popular, but there’s a key stat people overlook, and that’s frequency. It’s true that running up the numbers with huge fires that cover hundreds of miles is why Texas and California are perpetually in the playoffs. But everybody seems to forget how much the number of individual fires can counterweight that in the final point totals, and Georgia’s been rocketing up the charts in recent years. I’m telling you, they’re a better team than you think.

Sure, it sounds like a long shot. Even if they could sneak into the finals, California’s a behemoth. I know, I know. Like I said, I’m miserably tired of them dominating the league, so I’m obviously biased here. But I really believe a Moneyball-style approach would work if Georgia played the digits right. Their recent hire of General Sherman’s great-great-great-grandson as their top talent scout certainly won’t hurt. Light ’em up, Peach State!

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