It’s the first column of the New Year. Time to look ahead and make a few random predictions for 2015.

The Patriots will beat the Ravens, it just won’t be easy. You’ll read a lot of stories this week about how Baltimore, facing New England in the playoffs for the fourth time in six years, won’t be scared by Bill Belichick and Gillette Stadium. Nor should they be. The Ravens have a defense that will test the Pats offensive line for 60 minutes Saturday. Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil will be bringing the heat to Tom Brady. This is no layup for New England, but they should survive.

 Boston will get the Winter Classic for 2016. Seems like a fait accompli, but we are still awaiting the NHL’s official announcement on next year’s outdoor game. We still love the concept, but the league has to be careful not to kill the golden goose. Last Thursday’s game in Washington, D.C. had the lowest overnight television ratings in the history of the event. Maybe the fact that there were six NHL games played outdoors last year had something to do with it. Bringing it back to Boston – and featuring a true rival like the Canadiens – would help.

 Milan Lucic will score a goal. The question is, when? Lucic has just six goals in 39 games this season. He has one year left on his contract with the Bruins. Will he make it to the end of that deal? The Bruins need scoring help, and they need to clear room off the salary cap to get it. Moving Lucic and his $6 million salary would help. Getting a fresh lease on his hockey life might help Lucic, too.

 The Red Sox will add another pitcher. It just might not happen until July, when teams that held onto top talent are persuaded to move their aces. Pitchers like Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels, and David Price might not be moved before the season, but they might be dealt at the trade deadline. If the Sox are in the AL East race at that point they might need to pull the trigger on a deal to get a top-of-the-rotation arm.

 The Sox will be in the AL East race in July. Toronto made some interesting moves in the off-season, but the rest of the division seems to have taken a step back this offseason. That’s why the Sox might be best served going with their current rotation and waiting to add an arm. Please note this could all change if Max Scherzer suddenly joins the staff of an AL East team.

 This will be the most entertaining Hall of Fame ceremony in years. Pedro Martinez alone would be worth the price of a trip to Cooperstown this July, but he is likely to be joined by Randy Johnson and John Smoltz among (possibly) others. How about a pitching round table discussion with those three?

 The Celtics will continue to play games. We just won’t know who is in uniform to play them. Rajon Rondo is gone, and rumors are already circulating that Jeff Green could be one of the next players to go. Let’s hope we all survive long enough to see the fruits of whatever master plan is underway on the parquet.

 The first national championship will be the highest-rated college football game ever. New Year’s Day proved that the time was right – if long overdue – for a playoff. My guess is it won’t be long until the four-team field is expanded, but this first season of working toward a Final Four was an unqualified success.

 Sportswriters and sportscasters will be wrong in their predictions. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Tom Caron is the studio host for Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.