The Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress prediction calls of the Gurus 2.0 are, for the most part, just as timid and safe and soft-bellied as the choices made the first-string Gurus. Okay, so In The Valley of Elah ranks a little higher and Zodiac got three Best Picture votes instead of one…big deal.

I know — it’s unfair to refer to Gurus 2.0 as second-stringers when what they are, basically, are “the other guys.” Is there another way to put it, something less dismissive? Thirteen smart critics and bloggers who’ve been labelled as…what, first-stringers who came second? There doesn’t seem any way around terms like “second choices,” “the farm team,” “the Bad News Bears” The term 2.0 implies advancement, but that’s a gloss, a con. Poland describes them as “serious” pundits who are “not quite as, uh, overexposed.”

Look for my “pure” Oscar nominee rundown box — I’m calling it IF THERE WAS A GOD… — sometime tomorrow, or at the latest by Friday. Nominees decided upon with no regard whatsoever for what the Academy might decide down the road.