NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Educators at the University of Alabama have peered into their crystal balls and come back with some interesting predictions for 2012 -- from what will happen in the presidential race to the strength of Occupy Wall Street. The school has trawled its teacher ranks for predictions every year going back to 1981, but their predictions haven't always been right.
Educators at the University of Alabama make predictions every year, and this year their look ahead includes everything from the presidential race to Occupy.
In 2011, the professors said baby boomers would take to the streets to protest changes in Social Security -- but in an otherwise remarkable year for protests, that one didn't happen. They also said a mosquito-borne infectious virus would sweep the U.S., which also didn't happen. (As baseball legend Casey Stengel once said, "Never make predictions, especially about the future.") But it's a new year and the professors are back for more. Plus, some predictions do come true. What are some of their more topical and unique predictions? Here's a snapshot: Prediction: A female running mate may determine election. All eyes are on the Republican primaries right now as the GOP candidates battle for a chance to run against Obama, but one professor says the vice presidential race is the one to watch this year -- and may determine the outcome of the election. "On the Republican side, none of the current candidates is likely to beat Obama, despite his perceived weakness," says Dr. Janis Edwards, associate professor of communication studies at the university. "The partner on the ticket could be very meaningful for Republican momentum, especially if there is great appeal to women voters." Edwards says there is an outside chance Vice President Joe Biden could assume the role of secretary of state, opening up the vice presidential spot on the Democratis side (to the current, double-x-chromosome-having person currently heading the Department of State).