Published Mon. Aug 14th, 2023 From the Desk of Richard Billingsley

I started this website in 1997 and only one time in those 26 years have I posted a personal message. The first time came after the release of the book DEATH TO THE BCS in which I was referred to as an Oklahoma Hillbilly with no formal mathematical training who had no business being part of the BCS. That was too good not to respond to. Ever since I have laughingly called myself the Hillbilly Football Guru. Previously, in 2005, my rankings had been published in the ESPN College Football Encyclopedia as their official computer rankings right alongside the AP and Coaches Polls. In 2014 the prestigious PREDICTION TRACKER web site named The Billingsley Report as the BEST OVERALL Predictive System in America. I've always let my work speak for itself. 


But, the time has come for another personal message. One that is not so easy to convey. In the offseason I was diagnosed with Parkinson's and it has been rather fast moving. I have lost partial use of my right hand and right leg and along with some shaking and loss of some ability to swallow has come a debilitating weakness and fatigue. It forced some major decisions to be made quickly. Reluctantly I sold my 3rd generation family home in Hugo, Oklahoma and moved to the Houston area in with family and closer proximity to medical care. The Billingsley family moved to Hugo in 1926. 97 years later, I was last in the line. I'm a blessed man and I thank God for my close knit family, my brother Dave, and my four Nephews Steve, Travis, Tony and Joe, all of whom live in the area, but It was a very emotional time. Part of me will always consider Hugo home. 


The outstanding question remaining is how will this affect my work in football? My hope is that it will continue, but it will most certainly be delayed. Everything about my life is slower and more difficult. Previously my goal was to have my rankings posted by Noon on Sundays and Projections posted by Noon on Mondays. That will no longer be possible. I'm going to try to have rankings posted by 5pm Monday and projections following on Wednesday Noon. I'm hoping for the best but being realistic about the future. The Pre-Season rankings and the first week's abbreviated schedule of projections have just been posted. That's a good start but hardly reflective of a full week's schedule. It will be a week to week and perhaps day by day experience for me to fulfill my obligations. 


In spite of the difficulties I'm excited and looking forward to the 2023 season. It should be a dandy. And for the Longhorns, Aggies etc.  my move could be a good omen. It seems that whatever state I live in a team from that state wins a National Championship. I was born in Oklahoma in 1951 and Bud Wilkinson won titles in 1955 and 56. I moved to Texas in 1963 and the Longhorns won the National Championship. I moved to Nashville in the 1990's and Tennessee won in 1998. I moved back to Oklahoma in 2000 and the Sooners won the title. What team will 2023 smile upon? Stay tuned!   

Article Tags: Aggies , Oklahoma , Texas

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