Monday, December 29, 2008
I got some sweet swag for the holiday. My loot tally included a DVD of Rambo, a copy of A Farewell to Arms, a copy of The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemmingway, a Copy of Soul by Seal, a copy of Neon Bible by Arcade Fire, and some clothes and cash.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
One of the things that makes the Heisman so interesting is that the ballot simply instructs the voter to select the "most outstanding player." Some voters take that to mean the most valuable, to some it means the best performance, and to some it means the best player on the best team. Because of this, people can make an argument for any of the finalists.
I personally believe that Sam Bradford has a much stronger case than either Tebow or McCoy, given that Bradford is the best player on the number one ranked team at the time of voting. Bradford also enjoys a significant statistical advantage over the other QBs. Bradford has more yards from scrimmage, more TDs, and a higher passer rating than either of his opponents. McCoy has a higher completion percentage, and Tebow has fewer turnovers, but the overall statistics clearly give Bradford the edge. Bradford had the best performance, while playing on the #1 team. Seems like a no brainer to me.
But as always, there is dissent in the mainstream media. Here are a few examples.
Chris Low, SEC blogger for ESPN.com, puts forth this article. He stumps for Tebow based on the argument that Tebow faced much tougher defenses. This might be true, however, he makes several mistakes. First off, he makes the mistake of using raw defensive rankings. This is a problem because it gets you into a chicken/egg argument very quickly as to why scores are so low in the SEC. Do the offenses struggle because of powerhouse defenses, or are the defenses being inflated by offenses the likes of Auburn and Tennessee? Just as QBs like McCoy or Bradford might make a defense look silly, so to do Jonathon Crompton and Kodi Burns make even the most pathetic defenses look like the 1985 Bears. The other mistake he make was claiming that Arkansas was the worst defense Tebow's faced this season. I guess he thought the game against the Citadel was just a scrimmage. That's OK, he wasn't the only one...
In defense of McCoy, Jeff Martin of the Kansas City Star claims that, "Twisted Logic will rob McCoy of the Heisman!" I find this piece hilarious, because the only twisted logic in the article is his case for McCoy. He starts out by dismissing Tebow with this quote,
So we're going by performance, rather than value to team. That's OK, I can dig it. But then it's down to Bradford vs. McCoy, and Mr. Martin goes all M. Night Shyamalan on us, and brings out the twist!
Tebow is a great college football player. Every television talking head said as much over the weekend. But how can you give him the Heisman a year ago in large part for his statistical achievements — the first I-A player to finish with more than 20 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns in a season — and then turn around a year later and twist the criteria? Now it's about who is most valuable to his team?
OK... So he's going one of two ways here. Either he's claiming that McCoy deserves it over Bradford because he won the head to head matchup of the teams, or he's completely reversing tack on his argument against Tebow, simply to justify McCoy winning. In the event of the former, it shows a tragic lack of understanding of the nature of the QB position and the sport in general. If it's the latter, then he's a hypocrite who laughably accuses hypocrisy to be the reason why what he believes is right might not occur. Either way, I would expect more out of a major city newspaper sports journalist.
McCoy and the Longhorns took the Red River Rivalry, 45-35, even though Bradford had the far loftier statistics, not to mention the superior offensive supporting cast.
Maybe this is being too simplistic, but McCoy did more with less all season long, which is why he was No. 1 on my ballot and Bradford was No. 2.
All rhetoric aside, we'll find out which argument was the most persuasive at the Heisman ceremony on Saturday.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Blue C operates on a conveyor belt. They have the food laid out on color coded plates, ranging form $1.25 for the greens, to $5.25 for the dark blues. The food sits on this conveyor belt and scrolls around the place, passing by each table, where the customers can grab it at their leisure. Soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger are siting at the end of each table. At the end of the meal, you add up the plates on a scorecard, and that becomes your bill.
The food is decent. There's Sushi, some cooked dishes, and some vegetarian dishes, but if you don't like Sushi, you'll find eating at Blue C to be difficult. However, if you are a sushi fan, or at least find it edible, then Blue C will be an enjoyable experience for you. The seared tuna is delectable. They've got the standard set of drinks, a functioning bar, and the obligatory sake menu, which allows you to quench the fire of the spicy salmon rolls.
The ambiance is solid. The layout is fairly open, and the walls are dominated by either large picture windows, large pictures of the iconic Tokyo Square crosswalks, or large televisions showing bits of Japanese life. The music is forgettable, and the din of the crowd usually drowns it out. The service is a little detached, as it's basically a moving buffet.
To get the best out of Blue C, bring a crowd. Each plate comes with 4 sushi rolls or 2 sushi slices. With more people, you can get more variety out of your meal. It's a little slice of Tokyo Chic in Seattle, and it's a 8/10.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Here's my stance on this. If the best teams lose out, then clearly, they weren't the best teams. This is a problem that will have been manufactured by the money grab known as the conference championship games. I am deeply opposed to conference championship games. They undermine the importance of conference play, and they screw up the national title picture. However, it is the bed the Big XII has made, and now they must lie in it.
The fact that he's arguing for the Big XII makes his case even shakier. The Big XII has already screwed up the BCS picture in this exact same manner twice. In 2001, the Big XII champion was Colorado, however, the Big XII sent Nebraska to the national title game. The result? 37-14 Miami. They didn't learn their lesson. In 2003, Kansas State was the Big XII champion, but the Big XII sent Oklahoma to the National Title Game. This time it was 21-14 LSU.
I believe the voters might have learned their lesson. Last season, Georgia was ranked second with only the conference championship games to go. Georgia was not playing, so they figured that their spot in the title game against Ohio State was assured. Far from it. Eventual SEC Champion LSU jumped from 7th to 2nd, and locked the #3 team in the SEC from attempting to play in the title game. The results were quite pleasing to the SEC. 38-24 LSU.
So to answer your question Brad, in case your doomsday scenario does play out, yes, Penn State-Florida would be just fine.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
"Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large, thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?"
If there's an author this side of Earnest Hemingway who really knew his liquor, it was Ian Flemming, the creator of secret agent James Bond. In honor of the release of Quantum of Solace, I bring you the drink Flemming created through 007, The Vesper.
The Vesper was introduced in Flemming's 1953 novel, Casino Royal. During a high stakes game of Baccarat. Bond invents the drink when asked if he'd like a drink from the bar. When Felix Lighter, one of the other players comments on the drink, Bond says this.
"I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name."
As you can read above, the drink involves Gin, Vodka, and Kina Lillet. However, if you want to make an accurate Vesper, you must keep in mind that this recipe was devised in 1953, when men were men, and alcohol was strong. Gordon's Gin has been cut down in proof, and most vodkas currently sold are 80 proof. Kina Lillet isn't made anymore. They replaced it with Lillet Blanc, which has no quinine in it, so it lacks any real bite to it.
To get around these issues, there are several quick fixes. Many modern gins maintain the 94 proof of 50's Gordon's. 100 proof vodka is easy to find. A dash of quinine powder turns a Lillet Blanc back into Kina Lillet. The quinine powder might be difficult to find, so if you can't get your hands on it, substitute in 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters.
You wind up with 3 oz 94 proof gin, 1 oz 100 proof vodka, 1/2 oz of Lillet Blanc, and a dash of Quinine Powder (or two dashed bitters). Shake until cold, then strain into a Cocktail glass, or a deep champagne goblet if you want to be true to Bond. Garnish with a long thin lemon peel. Take a sip, and picture yourself heads up with Le Chiffre.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Quantum - [kwon-tuhm] -(physics) the smallest discrete quantity of some
physical property that a system can possess.
Quantum of Solace is the latest James Bond film, and once you watch it, the title becomes quite apt.
Daniel Craig stars for the second time as the man with a license to kill. Craig's portrayal of Bond is more in line with the model put forward by previous actors Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton. Craig's Bond is a killer for his country. Gone are the quips and one liners of the campier Bonds. Personally, I like it this way.
Judi Dench comes back as M, Bond's supervisor. As always, she does a sharp job at this.
Olga Kurylenko and Gemma Arterton play Bond Girls Camille Montes and Strawberry Fields, respectively. Montes is a beautiful Russian Bolivian woman who's on a vendetta against the man who killed her family. Fields is a lovely British redhead working for the British Consulate. Fields exudes the almost prudish form of sex appeal that only the British have mastered.
Mathieu Amalric plays Dominic Greene. The main villain of the film. Eco friendly CEO of a major corporation, and member of the secretive criminal syndicate Quantum. Unlike previous villains, Greene lacks an outstanding deformity. He's probably the most normal villain to grace Her Majesty's Silver Screen. He still comes off as a little creepy though.
Quantum of Solace picks up right where Casino Royal left off. Right off, as in Mr. White, the operative for Quantum that Bond captured at the end of the previous film, is still in the trunk of Bond's Aston Martin. The film jumps right into a pitched gunfight on the narrow European highways, and the action never slows up.
After making his escape from the gunmen of Quantum, Bond brings Mr. White to an MI6 safehouse, where M herself prepares to interrogate him, using unscrupulous means if need be. Mr. White laughs her ominous threats off, claiming that Quantum has people everywhere. Usually when someone says that, it's a setup for someone to be a double agent down the road. Apparently, it wasn't very far down the road, because one of the MI6 agents in the room opens fire, killing the guards. Bond gives chase, leaving Mr. White unattended.
In Bond's furious pursuit of the traitor, we begin to get a peak at the reason why the film was given it's name. The betrayal and death of Vesper Lynd in Casino Royal has made him into an inconsolable font of wrath. He has buried himself in his duties with MI6, and walks a perilous line between his duty, and pure vengeance.
As he chases leads regarding the shadow syndicate of Quantum, he is led to Dominic Greene, the CEO of Greene Planet. Mr. Greene has some shady dealings going on that will bring about the downfall of the Bolivian government, and give Greene control of the worlds most valuable resource.
This is an EON Bond film, so it's rather stunning visually. The stunts are jaw dropping. Picture Parkour on roid rage. The score suits the film well. It utilizes the Bond Theme leitmotif, without becoming dependent upon it. The theme song is well done, but a little unremarkable. I liked "You Know My Name" from Casino Royal better. However, Alicia Keys does a good job singing.
The writing has gone far away from the gadget filled camp of the series prior. For the most part, everything they use is plausible. There are not so subtle homages to Goldfinger and Moonraker. Think black gold. The characters are much more filled out in the Craig films than in any previous incarnations.
The film is 106 minutes long, and garnered a 58 on Metacritic. Most critics complained that it didn't seem like Bond was having fun in this one. I agree, but I believe that that was the point of this film. 007 is no longer the quip producing charmer in control of everything. He's human now. He bleeds, he hurts, and he has doubts. I think this is a great move. I give the film an 8/10.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
My question is, what kind of talent do you really think Clemson has? Do people really think that Clemson has the kind of Talent to match up with major conference championship calibur teams?
Talent is really just a measure of potential. It does not always make a good player, but it does make a good draft pick. So recent draft picks is a good way of measuring what kind of talent a program has been working with in recent years.
Over the last four years, Clemson has had 13 players drafted. This puts them at Sixth in the ACC, behind Virginia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina State, Florida State, and Miami.
Let's look at some of the output of some of the perennial powerhouses. Oklahoma has had 24 players drafted in that same span. Texas has had 21. Michigan has had 19. Ohio State has had 23. USC has had 31. Florida has had 17. LSU has had 22.
What kind of teams have had a similar talent level over the last 4 years? Arkansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oregon, Stanford, and Louisville have all had 13 players drafted over the same span. Together, those 6 teams, in 24 attempts, have 1 conference championship between them. They are also a combined 22-16 this season, which basically averages out to 4-3. Also, with the exception of Oregon, all of these teams have stumbled recently with coaching changes. These are the talent peers of Clemson. This is no longer the 1980s.
Tommy Bowden was not a coach who was going to take Clemson to the BCS promised land. But I don't really think that was a place Clemson is capable of going to. He's pretty much a face value coach, give him a mediocre team, and you get mediocre results. But he was consistent. And in college football right now, consistency equals money. Those eight bowl appearances netted the ACC over a million dollars in prize money. With Tommy, you knew what you were getting. Now, Clemson has opted to roll the dice.
I don't like the move. Coaching changes after a successful season tend to faceplant. I would not be surprised if Clemson falls apart completely the next few seasons. Especially if they hire some retread coach, which, after the dismissal of Bowden, might be all they can get, as the hot names, like Bronco Mendenhal and Will Muschamp will be able to take their pick of the vacancies. Clemson's best bet, assuming that they can't get one of those two, might be an unorthodox one.
Gus Malzahn, the offensive coordinator of Tulsa. Orchestrator of the number 1 offense in college football, averaging 603 yards and 53 points per game. The first step to set the table for him is the benching of Cullen Harper, a senior, in favor of the more talented and less experienced freshman Willie Korn. Get him some experience. Also, do whatever it takes to keep CJ Spiller on campus. Those two, along with receiver Jacoby Ford, will provide the initial nucleus of a new offense Malzahn can build. Clemson has already decided to scrap this season. Don't be surprised if they drop out of bowl contention entirely, which would have been unlikely with Bowden. All Clemson can do beyond that, is pray.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
What the fuck happened to accountability? I always thought that one of the key ideas of capitalism was that you accept both the earnings and the losses. These lending institutions took risks by handing out mortgages to any Tom, Dick, or Harry with a pulse. "You make $25k a year, and you want to buy a $1.5M house? Sure, we'll back you!" Who approved these boneheaded moves?
People talk about the collapse of these lending institutions as if it's the end of the world. They claim it's the next Great Depression. Did any of these politicians live through the Great Depression? It's like claiming that the Iraq War is the next WWII.
People point to the failure of Washington Mutual as if all banks will fail and all the money people have saved will just vanish into the ether. Did these people notice what happened to Washington Mutual? It got bought out by JPMorgan Chase and was open the next day. This is capitalism, people. The banks perform both a vital, and lucrative, service. If there's a void, and there's profit to be made, that void will be filled.
It's not the government's place to insulate businesses from the consequences of their bad decisions. All the government needs to do is ensure that business is being conducted in an ethical manner, and beyond that, fortunes will be made and lost by the hands of the businessman, not the congressman. You aren't solvent enough to cover your debt? Fine, sell assets until you are. Don't whine to the government for free money. If the government has to bail out a business, it should be nationalized, rebuilt, and eventually sold back into the private sector. Put the jackasses who ran that ship into the ground out on their ass.
The other concern I hear about is all the people who will get foreclosed upon because of their bad mortgages. Cry me a river. You're going to lose your house? Cash in your end of the mortgage, let the bank foreclose on you, and buy a house that you can actually afford. What? It'll ruin your credit rating? It should, I wouldn't lend to your dumb ass after you made a mistake that big.
In the end, it all comes back to accountability. People are in this mess because both sides made some God awful decisions. Bailing them out at this point is simply rewarding them for making those decisions. It takes all the risk out of business, and in the end, is tantamount to theft from the taxpayers.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Mark Schlabach says that now other conference champions can afford to lose a game, because there's no way USC can leapfrog them.
Ted Miller says that even if the other conference champions lose two games, it guarantees nothing for the Trojans.
Dennis Dodd says that the loss is part of a disturbing trend.
Mike Ventre says that USC can forget about another national title.
These people are sensationalist idiots looking to attract readers through gloom and doom. One of the few respectable sports journalists in the world, Mark Bowden, readily admits that the sports media doesn't know a thing about sports. And it's true. It's amazing that the very people who vote in the AP poll don't know the twisted rules that they themselves cast their ballots by.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Will the voters please cease shackling themselves to the nonsensical "poll rules", and keep Ohio State out of a third BCS game, as they clearly have little competition in the Big Ten? It was clear that Ohio State didn't belong on the same field as USC. The defensive line is woefully undersized, and gets bullied by a strong running game. The two QB just doesn't work, it never does, I don't know why people think it does.
Cal, you have embarassed the Pac 10. Arizona State, you too. Arizona, well, your whole state just sucks. The Pac 10 should have won every one of those games.
UCLA is a shattered shell of itself, so they get a pass. Wazzu's just so damn bad, that commenting on them makes me feel like I'm beating up on kids with Down Syndrome.
Oregon slept through the first half, and nearly paid for it.
Oregon State started slow, but turned things around. They might have stabilized their season. Riley got out the shotgun mentality and began to establish the run. However, opponents have begun to key in on the fly sweep. To reduce the fly sweep to background noise, Riley needs to move recievers to in motion every third play or so. Doing this will cause them to stop keying in on it, and can actually open up the passing game and conventional running game. Furthermore, Sammie Stroughter needs to be running more deep routes of 15 to 20 yards. Throwing those smoke screens aren't as effective as we'd hope. Also, the line needs to block a little bit.
Did Auburn really win a game 3-2? Or did they kick of baseball season early?
Missouri is making a strong case for the Big XII crown. That offense is the scariest in the conference.
Jake Locker must look at Mark Sanchez, and kick himself for picking Washington.
Did anyone see Texas Tech's flooded field? Raiders indeed...
1. Mark Sanchez: Prime time exposure works wonders. Sports fans everywhere are in his debt for crushing USC.
2. Chase Daniels: Well, Nevada was a speed bump.
3. Knowshon Moreno: Need to step up. The game against South Carolina was not good enough.
4. Tim Tebow: Name recognition is keeping him alive until they hit the meat of their schedule.
5. Sam Bradford: Played well as of late. But Sophomore status will require a lot of people to screw up for him to win.
In 2007, the metal band The Protomen released their eponymous debut album. It is a concept album that takes the form of a rock opera based on the Mega Man video game. The band is completely engrossed in their tale, touring the nation in their "protobus" and stopping in various cities to do shows, or "battles". The band wears masks to show the character they are singing as. Mega Man is known in Japan as "Rockman", and this band shows you why.
The album paints a picture of a dystopian future where the people are oppressed by Dr. Wiley's army of robot masters. The first track, "Hope Rides Alone" is a Prog Rock track that establishes the background to the current story. Dr. Light labored to build a machine that could over throw Dr. Wiley's regime. In the year 200X, he hits a breakthrough, and builds Proto Man. A powerful robot designed to cut through the robot army. An epic battle against Dr. Wiley's army ensues. Proto Man fights valiantly, but in the end, as the denizens of the city look on, Proto Man is overwhelmed. As Proto Man dies, humanity fails to attempt to save him, looking on as Dr. Wiley orders the coup de gras.
The next track is "Funeral for a Son". A slow instrumental track that represents Dr. Light burying Proto Man, whom he had invested 12 years in his creation.
"Unrest in the House of Light" has a kind of Johnny Cash feel to it. Dr. Light had gone on to build a new robot in the mold of Proto Man. His name was Mega Man. Now Dr. Light is faced with the difficult task of explaining to his new "son" what happened to his brother, and why he refuses to let Mega Man attempt to finish the fight of Proto Man. Dr. Light is bitter about the Kitty Genovese-esque actions of the people of the city.
"The Will of One" is a rock song that noticeably incorporates the old school Mega Man 8-bit theme. Mega Man explains to Dr. Light that he's going to go fight Wiley, against Light's wishes. Mega Man refuses to leave the humans who are unwilling to help themselves to their doom. He also wishes to avenge the death of his brother. As he contemplates the situation, he notices that someone has defaced Proto Man's gravestone with the phrase, "Hope Rides Alone".
"Vengeance" is another fast paced rock song, where Mega Man smashes through Dr. Wiley's forces with ease. As he cuts a swath towards Dr. Wiley, his last defender steps forward from the shadows to challenge Mega Man.
The pace slows down for "The Stand (Man or Machine)". Dr. Wiley's final defender steps foreword. Revealing himself to be Proto Man, thought dead. Proto Man explains why he chooses to stand against humanity. Like Dr. Light, Proto Man is bitter about the apathy of the people that he gave everything to fight for. No one is willing to fight for themselves, expecting a "hero" to step forward and save those who would not save themselves. Mega Man is forced to choose between fighting his brother, or forsaking mankind.
"The Sons of Fate" is probably the heaviest song on the album. Proto Man and Mega Man face off against each other. Proto Man castigates the people for their inaction, as they call for Mega Man to destroy his brother. As the music slows, Mega Man finishes off Proto Man, and defeats Wiley. As the crowds praise Mega Man as a hero, he looks down upon the remains of his brother, and distraught by his actions, turns his back on the people.
"Epilogue: Due Vendetta" is a fast, hard, and heavy track that doesn't really have any bearing on the story.
All in all, the album is an impressive showing for an indy band. The mastering could really use some tightening up, and the guitars and vocals have some harmony issues, but, for me at least, the audacious concept makes up for it. I'll give it an 8/10.
Really illustrating both the feel of the story The Protomen are telling, and the atmosphere of the band live, are the two music videos they've released.
The video for "Hope Rides Alone" really drives home the atmosphere they're trying to construct.
This is the video for "The Will of One", and it's a recording of a live concert. Complete with the Mega Man helmet.
Both Videos can be found in higher quality at the Protomen's website.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The remains of the quarry was a nice natural amphitheater. We were told beer would be for sale, and we bought it, again. The lie, that is, not the beer. Instead, all they had was energy drinks for sale. Real smart, it's 108 degrees at noon, and they want to trap us for several hours with no water and only pure caffeine to drink? Do they want us to die from heat stroke? Fucking idiots.
Anyways, the event kicked off with a comedy show. Each company got a shot at making people laugh. Alpha Company came out and bragged about how they smoke their joes, and provided a demonstration, involving a rucksack, rifle, and loincloth. Sadly, they weren't joking. We share a tent with Alpha company, we've seen them do this. It's like watching the monkeys at the zoo. That didn't engender laughter so much as nervous silence.
We were up next. We fell back on the old standard of mocking our superiors. We had the BC complaining about not meeting his salute quotient, the CSM bitching about the water not being ACU pattern, goose stepping OCs executing infantrymen with impunity, and the TOC, complete with spinning plates and circus music. Hilarity ensued.
Charlie Company tried a stand up act that actually got the hook. Delta company just fired their crew served weapons. No one was impressed. HHC has a 1st Sergeant Mishra. He's SF, Ranger, and Airborne. HHC then converted Chuck Norris Facts into 1st Sergeant Mishra facts. There was mild laughter.
Bravo Company won that competition. Then came a break dancing competition between the lieutenants. So that's what they learn in OBC. We had a flyby from an Apache. And then they kicked off the concert. After a rousing rendition of "America, Fuck Yeah!", a local Idaho Rock band, The Unread, kicked off. They were pretty good.
The Unread were followed by Miss Tammi, who I swear had to be here solely as a favor to her brother, Major Reese. She embarked on the worst lip syncing this side of Milli Vanilli. She went through the usual sex songs that are the standby of any female rapper. I wonder what Major Reese thinks of his sister now?
After Miss Tammi, the headliner kicked off. The Sammus Theory, a band from Arizona, named one of MTV's best upcoming bands. These guys were real good. I mean, REAL good. A mosh pit quickly forms. An Army mosh pit is the most violent mosh pit known to man. Rank goes out the window. I laid out Delta Company's CO, and had Bravo Company's 1SGT elbow me in the kidneys. I watched a 1LT and SSG go head to head like a pair of bighorn rams. It was awesome.
The band was great, despite some technical difficulties. Hard Rock. Loud, fast, and energetic. The mosh pit kicked up so much dust, we could barely breath, I can't imagine what it was like for the lead singer.
That night the band slept in our tent, and rode out on the convoy with us for the next mission. After the mission was over, we let them burn out some blanks on our weapons. It was kind of funny watching a band used to playing on top of blaring speakers plug their ears as someone fires a 240B. The guitarist compared it to sex, and lit up a cigarette.
They were great, autographed my CD, and regaled us of stories of some of the bands they've toured with. Apparently Everclear are a bunch of cunts.
It seemed sagging offenses were the norm. Ohio State, West Virginia, Alabama, and Florida all looked a little weak on O.
I've already said my piece on BYU/UW.
If Oregon State wants to win, they need to get out of the shotgun offense, open up the running game, and teach their LBs to tackle.
Georgia looked real good.
East Carolina looked good. Finally, a team that the Carolina's can be proud of. Given the remainder of their schedule, and BYU's poor performance against UW, I think ECU is the new front runner for the Mid Major BCS Buster.
Penn State looked real good.
Wake Forest's struggles with Ole Miss, VT's dismal performance against Furman, Virginia struggling with Richmond, NC State letting William and Mary hang around, Duke's loss to Northwestern, Miami's Loss to Florida, and Maryland's loss to Middle Tennessee State, have solidified the ACC as the joke conference of the year.
Without Chris Wells, Ohio State will likely get crushed by USC, sparing us another dismal showing in the title game!
1. Chase Daniel: Another Strong showing puts him as a good statistical leader on a front running team. He needs to keep it up.
2. Knowshon Moreno: Looked real good, with a freakish highlight against an underated Central Michigan team.
3. Mark Sanchez: There's only so much you can do to maintain momentum in a bye week.
4. Tim Tebow: Still hasn't really had a wow game, but survives and advances. Such is life in college football.
5. Josh Freeman: Looked very impressive. We'll see if he can keep it up through the meat of Kansas State's schedule.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
The first conference to switch to a championship game was the SEC in 1992. In 1994, sixth ranked Florida edged out third ranked Alabama for the championship. Alabama went on to the Citrus Bowl, where they defeated Ohio State 24-17, and finished the season ranked 5th. Florida went on to the Sugar Bowl, where they lost to Florida State 23-17, and finished the season ranked 7th. In 2001, 21st ranked LSU knocked off 2nd ranked Tennessee. In the bowls, LSU defeated Illinois by 13 points, while Tennessee obliterated Michigan by 28. LSU finished ranked 13th, Tennessee finished 6th. In 2005 the tables were turned as 13th ranked Georgia slipped past 3rd ranked LSU. Georgia went on to lose to West Virginia while LSU blasted Miami 40-3.
The next conference to adopt a conference championship game was the Big XII in 1996. That very year, unranked Texas upset 3rd ranked Nebraska. While Nebraska crushed Virginia Tech, Texas got run over by Penn State. Nebraska finished the season ranked sixth, while "champion" Texas finished 23rd. In 1998, 10th ranked Texas A&M upset 2nd ranked Kansas State in overtime. Both teams went on to lose their bowls, and finished ranked 10th and 11th, Kansas State on top. In 2001, 9th ranked Colorado upset 3rd ranked Texas. Colorado went on to be murdered by Oregon, while Texas beat Washington. Washington and Oregon were co champs of the Pac 10 that season. In 2003, Kansas State upset 1st ranked Oklahoma. While most people remember Oklahoma rolling over for LSU, few remember that Kansas State got crushed by Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. 2007 featured Oklahoma knocking off top ranked Missouri. Oklahoma proceeded to get embarrassed by West Virginia, while Missouri blew out Arkansas.
The most recent conference to jump on the band wagon was the ACC in the wake of their rape of the Big East. They got things started quick, in the inaugural game in 2005, where the 22nd ranked Seminoles of Florida State upset the 5th ranked Virginia Tech Hokies. FSU promptly lost to Penn State, while VT defeated Louisville. VT ended the season ranked 10th, FSU was still 22nd.
These are examples from every conference where an inferior team got hot for one game and walked off with the conference championship. Most of these cases ended with the "champion" badly embarrassing their conference, usually on national television. Imagine if the Big 10 had a better team in their conference, and still decided to send Ohio State to the slaughter in the last two BCS Title Games. That does not happen in the Pac 10, or even the Big 10. Almost always, their champion might not win, but they are the best team in the conference, without a doubt. In a playoff situation, not sending the best team would cost the conference millions, and look really bad too.
Why then, do the SEC, ACC, and Big XII, willfully risk such embarrassment? The answer is the almighty dollar. An extra game, particularly one that single handedly determines the champion of a major football conference, produces millions of dollars in income for the conferences. Merchandise, gate proceeds, television rights, it's all very lucrative. However, by limiting the competition from a ten team conference to a six team division, you increase the weight placed on each game. There's really only 5 games that matter in a 12 team conference, as opposed to 9 in a 10 team conference. Football, being a fairly unpredictable sport by nature, will wreak havoc on records due to this. One off game, one fluke play, and you're likely never to recover in a 12 team conference, even if you are the superior team in the long run. By maximizing the number of games that matter, in time, the cream will rise to the top. If you follow the example of the 12 team conferences, all you'll learn is that, in the short term, shit can float.
I don't like excessive celebrations. They rankle me as the actions of primadonnas. They represent everything that is wrong with the game. However, this was not an excessive celebration. There were no cell phones, no sharpies, no dancing, and no planning. This was a kid and his teammates ecstatic about making the big play. Raw emotion and pure victory. It was everything that's right about football, and team sports in general. Without that emotion the game is lessened. It is everything for sports.
The referee who threw the flag was Larry Farina. Pac 10 coaches have the opportunity to "rest" a referee for a game, essentially blackballing them from the game. Mike Riley, head coach of Oregon State, and probably one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, has only used that authority once. He "rested" Farina from refing OSU in 2006. In 2007, he was not given the roster of referees to review before the game against Washington. He trotted onto the field, and found Larry Farina waiting for him. The ensuing game was one of the worst officiated games I have ever seen in my life. Three OSU players were ejected, and a blown fumble call that nearly cost OSU the game. Oregon State's athletic director, Bob DeCarolis, went on a rampage to get the officiating crew suspended.
The lack of oversight and standardization of the officiating of games is another problem. Pac 10 officials have been particularly bad, and Farina's been the worst of the bunch. The entire system needs to be overhauled, and Farina needs to be fired. "Rested permanently" if you'd like to use the NCAA's soft PC language. These games bring in millions of dollars and we're trusting them to part time workers? Hell no. You can throw the refs on the pile of things I'd fix with college football if I were king.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
1: USC: Bye Week
2: Georgia: vs. CMU, -24, 56 ov, Look for Central Michigan to cover, and take the over. Enjoy the Dan LeFevour show.
3: Ohio State: vs. Ohio, -34, 45 ov, Ohio State will cover, but take the over.
4: Oklahoma: vs. Cincinatti, -21.5, 53.5 ov, Oklahoma will cover, take the under.
5: Florida: vs. Miami, -21.5, 51.5 ov, Take Florida and the Over. Tempers will flare.
6: Missouri: vs. Southeast Missouri State, No spread.
7: LSU: vs. Troy, -24.5, LSU will cover in another cupcake game. Please Les, grow some fucking balls.
8: West Virginia: @ East Carolina, -7.5, 50 ov, Take West Virginia and the Under.
9: Auburn: Vs. Southern Miss, -17.5, 41.5 ov, Take Auburn and the Under.
10: Texas: @ UTEP, -28, 58 ov, Take Texas and the Over. UTEP got lit up by Buffallo, I don't think the oddsmakers caught this one yet.
11: Wisconsin: vs. Marshall, -20.5, 51 ov, Take Wisconsin and the Under.
12: Texas Tech: @ Nevada, -10.5, 64.5 ov, Take Texas Tech and the Over.
13: Alabama: vs Tulane, -30, 43.5 ov, This being Tulane's first game, they've been gunning for Alabama all offseason, Tulane covers, take the Over.
14: Kansas: vs. Louisiana Tech, -20.5, 52 ov, Take Kansas and the Under.
15: Arizona State: vs. Stanford, -14, 53.5 ov, Take ASU and the Under.
16: BYU: @ Washington, -10, 55 ov, take BYU and the Under.
17: South Florida: @ UCF, -14, 53 ov, Take USF and the under.
18: Oregon: vs. Utah State, -35.5, 50 ov, take Oregon and the Over.
19: Penn State: vs. OSU, -16.5, 46 ov, OSU will cover, take the over.
20: Wake Forest: vs. Ole Miss, -8, 47 ov, Wake Forest and the Under.
21: Fresno State: Bye
22: Utah: vs. UNLV, -22, 40.5 ov, take Utah and the over.
23: UCLA: Bye
24: Illinois: vs. Eastern Illinois, no spread
25: South Carolina: @ Vanderbilt, -10, Take South Carolina in their traditional fast start.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Downey: "Everybody knows you never do a full retard."
Stiller: "What do you mean?"
Downey: "Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, 'Rain Man,' look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Count toothpicks to your cards. Autistic, sure. Not retarded. You know Tom Hanks, 'Forrest Gump.' Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition. That ain't retarded. You went full retard, man. Never go full retard."
When Tropic Thunder is stupid, it's a hilarious, farcical, deconstruction of the movie industry, and actors world wide. When Tropic Thunder goes completely stupid, it's just annoying. Unfortunately, it skews between the two often enough that it seems the film just isn't sure of what it wants to do.
The cast is star studded. Ben Stiller plays Tugg Speedman, an over the top action star on the downside of his career, similar to another actor on the film.
Darryll Catchings, I'd just like to say that I hate you.
However, Sammie Stroughter is back. Hot Damn!
Coach Riley needs to run the ball more. He also needs to hire an assistant who's sole job is to constantly keep him appraised of the play clock and game clock.
The theory of SEC supremecy just took a blow, as the 18th ranked Tennessee Volunteers just fell to the unranked UCLA Bruins and their third string QB.
Speaking of Kevin Craft, is he schizo? There was a 180 degree difference between his first and second half performance.
The ACC is a joke this year. Their top 2 teams fall in upsets, and even their wins were pretty freaking ugly. 7 points over Delaware? 8 points over McNeese State?
USC is out to prove a point this season.
Jake Locker reminds me of Elway at Stanford. Great QB, with a garbage team around him.
I think Chris Well's injury is worse than they're letting on. If he's still in a boot during practice, it might be broken.
Michigan is in for a long, LONG season. And it makes me smile.
Between Georgia and Auburn, it looks like they gonna drop out of the race due solely to injuries.
Will someone tell Les Miles to grow some balls and schedule a real non conference schedule? Tell the rest of the SEC while you're at it.
Please note that I rank the Heisman Winners as in, and in order of liklyhood to win. You will not see Armanti Edwards or Vontae Davis on this list.
1. Mark Sanchez: Got off to the hottest start. 300+ yards, 70%+, and 3 TDs against a BCS defense. He's bolstered by the recent performance of Palmer and Leinart, establishing position of USC QB as one of national Prominence.
2. Pat White: He's provided a valuable cushion for his passing stats. 5 TDs through the air puts him well on his way.
3. Chris Wells: He underperformed, and the injury cost the preseason front runner.
4. Tim Tebow: Lackluster day cost him a chance to blow up his stats before Harvin comes back.
5. Chase Daniels: Great Performance in a shootout with a ranked team on prime time.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
The film then jumps to modern times with an expose of the O'Connell's opulent home in Oxfordshire, England, earned as a reward for their actions safeguarding priceless artifacts in the Second World War. 13 years after The Mummy Returns, their son Alex is now 21 years old, and secretly conducting an archaeological dig in China, searching for the tomb of the Dragon Emperor. A British diplomat approaches Rick and Eve with one final task, taking the Eye of Shangri-La to the Chinese Government. Eve's brother, Jonathon, now owns a nightclub in China, the aptly named Imhotep. There they run into Alex, and the traditional father son spat ensues. As tempers cool, Alex offers to show his parents the exhibit he'll soon be opening at the very museum that the O'Connell's need to deposit the Eye.
While inspecting the sarcophagus of the Dragon Emperor, Alex's partner reveals a treacherous plan by renegades within the Chinese military to use the Eye of Shangri-La to resurrect the Dragon Emperor and establish China as the center of his new, worldwide, empire. As the emperor reawakens, he escapes, despite the best efforts of the O'Connells. Heading towards a remote monastery, the emperor takes the Eye of Shangri-La, which will unveil the location of Shangri-La, and the pool of immortality. It's up to the O'Connell's to stop him.
The visuals, acting, and story are all what you'd expect from the Mummy series. That is to say, great, sub par, and dumbed down, respectively. The plot is written more for the 10-14 year old demographic, so it seems a little slow for the older viewers. some of the plot points get to be a little excessive, especially when the yetis get involved.
Jet Li isn't nearly as impressive an actor when he isn't doing crazy martial arts stunts. Given his retirement from Wushu films after Fearless, this is disappointing. Brendan Fraiser is still the high point of the film, with his fly by the seat of your pants attitude of Rick O'Connell portrayed perfectly. I've already stated my issues with Maria Bello's job, and Luke Ford comes off as too whiny.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is a mediocre film, sufficient for fans of the genre, but not for general audiences. The film is 114 minutes long, and was given a 31 on metacritic.
I give the film a 4/10.