Evening Report 8/30/16

Syracuse, ostensibly an FBS football program in a P5 conference, opens against Colgate, an FCS team.

Michigan State, not to be outdone, opens against Furman, which may be in a lower division than even Colgate.

There are some good games scheduled this weekend – real intersectional clashes. ‘Bama is playing USC in Jerryworld. K St. goes to Stanford. UT plays ND Sunday night. Oklahoma is at UH; not a true old fashioned intersectional game, but it does pit preseason #3 against preseason #15. UNC v. UGA, Mizzou at WVa and LSU traveling to Lambeau to play Wiscy round out the potentially good games, I think, except for this one.  UCLA is traveling to College Station to play the benighted Aggies.  Here is UCLA’s take on Aggie “traditions”:

http://www.bruinsnation.com/2016/8/28/12685880/a-bruin-field-guide-to-game-day-strangeness-in-college-station?_ga=1.233849438.1963087941.1472559008

In other news, Turkey needs the west and the west needs Turkey, according to this article:

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21705828-how-manage-relations-natos-most-awkward-member-dont-lose-plot

The EC wants to fine Apple more than a billion Euros for something.

https://espresso.economist.com/5133aa1d673894d5a05b9d83809b9dbe

What Texas state employees earn:

https://salaries.texastribune.org/

And piston engine airplanes are the last major source of lead in the atmosphere.

http://news.mit.edu/2016/unfriendly-skies-piston-engine-aircraft-pose-significant-health-threat-0826

 

College Football Playoffs and the remaining good bowl games

Such interesting possibilities.  Stoopes and the Land Thieves are 3-0 against ‘Bama, and Austin native Baker Mayfield is lighting it up at QB for the Sooners.  However, Brent Venables, who for a decade under Stoopes was the defensive guru of the Big 12, is now at Clemson.  Stoopes dumped Venables so that he could hire his brother, Mike Stoopes, who had been fired from his HC job.  Mike is a downgrade from Venables.

Michigan State was consistently the best coached defense in the nation under Dantonio and Narduzzi, but Narduzzi is now deservedly a HC on his own.  Nevertheless, MSU has not forgotten how to defend.  Twist for the ‘Bama – MSU game is that Saban used to coach at MSU.

Could ‘Bama grind out a victory against any of the other three?  All of the other three are better than every team that ‘Bama faced, but there are many truly NFL capable studs in the Tide’s lineup. Crucially, I would rate all three of the other starting QBs in the playoffs well ahead of ‘Bama’s Jake Coker.

Could MSU score enough to beat OU or Clemson?  Could either Clemson or OU  score four TDs against the MSU or ‘Bama defenses?

The Playoff Schedule:

No. 1 Clemson faces No. 4 Oklahoma on Dec. 31 in the Orange Bowl.

No. 2 Alabama will face No. 3 Michigan State on Dec. 31 in Jerry World, the Cowboys’ stadium, mislabeled the something Cotton Bowl.

For OU, Arlington TX would have been a home game, so it was a sure thing that OU would be ranked #4, although that ranking is certainly “reasonable”, regardless.

While I would not predict the results of a game between 19 YOs without inside information on injuries, grades, drinking habits, and girl friends, I will guess that styles will produce more TDs in the Arlington game, and that the final will provide a true contrast.  Here is a statistical model, taken without benefit of the “model information” I consider crucial:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/college-football-playoff-championship-win-predictions/

In the other Bowl games of note, the truly outstanding teams that fell short of the Playoffs will be butting heads.  TCU and ND had so many injuries that they were not the same teams by midseason as they were in early September.  They remained very tough squads, and if they heal before their bowl games, they will be as good to watch as the playoff teams.

Stanford, Ohio State, Iowa, Florida State, UNC, Okie Lite, and Baylor (if it has its first or second string QB back), are all highly competitive teams.  In fact, there was no single dominant team this year, and I am not inclined to believe that Clemson’s record set it apart.   I find ACC competition suspect, below the top three teams.  By contrast, the very competitive PAC has some good multi-loss teams, as does the western half of the SEC.

Only one non-power conference team is worth a mention: Houston.  Not having played even a fruit blender schedule there is no comparable way to measure them.  They do have talent and are very well coached by Herman, however, who was previously OC at tOSU.

So these are the best of the remaining bowl games, but remember when there is nothing on the line, either team may show up or not, depending in part on how much they want to party over Winter Break:

Dec 29
Citrus Bowl NKA as something else
UNC v. Baylor (but one of BU’s two best QBs must return for this or it will not be worth watching)

Dec 31
Peach Bowl
FSU vs UH (classic who wants to be there game)

Jan. 1 –

Fiesta Bowl
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State (injuries for ND and no incentive for tOSU?)
Rose Bowl Game
Stanford v. Iowa (Stanford has a great RB who will set many records)
Sugar Bowl
Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss

Jan 2 –
Alamo Bowl
Oregon vs. TCU (another injury bowl – but these are exciting teams)

Jan 11 – National Title Game from Glendale, AZ

FWIW, do not bet on these games.  19 YOs, girlfriends, drinking, injuries, passing finals, arrests in New Orleans…you cannot know the outcome.  That is why we watch.

And – GOOD LUCK to Michigan State!

 

 

 

Saturday Open Thread 1/11/2014

Unlike last weekend it looks like the weather is swinging the other way (at least here in the mid-Atlantic area)–fog and rain here today and tomorrow and then warming up into the 50s early in the week. I’m guessing we have some very confused plant life out there!

Playoffs start in earnest in the NFL, and (since my Packers and the Eagles both lost last weekend) I’m reduced to hoping the Seahawks make it into the Super Bowl.

Happy weekend, all!

Saturday Open Thread–Polar Vortex Edition

It’s set to be a cold, cold weekend as the NFL playoffs begin.  One news story had it thusly:

This “polar vortex,” as one meteorologist calls it, is caused by a counterclockwise-rotating pool of cold, dense air. The frigid air, piled up at the North Pole, will be pushed down to the U.S., funneling it as far south as the Gulf Coast.

Ryan Maue, of Tallahassee, Fla., a meteorologist for Weather Bell, said temperature records will likely be broken during the short yet forceful deep freeze that will begin in many places on Sunday and extend into early next week. That’s thanks to a perfect combination of the jet stream, cold surface temperatures and the polar vortex.

“All the ingredients are there for a near-record or historic cold outbreak,” he said “If you’re under 40 (years old), you’ve not seen this stuff before.”

And three of the wildcard games are being played outdoors, which will separate the men from the boys (as it were):

Philadelphia: The Eagles host the Saints with an 8:10 p.m. Eastern kickoff on Saturday, and it will be cold: The forecast calls for an overnight low of 21 degrees, with a 20 percent chance of precipitation, and wind at 5-10 mph. Those conditions should favor the Eagles, who went 4-4 at home this season, winning their final four at Lincoln Financial Field, and already proved that they can play well in bad weather when they beat the Lions at home last month, in one of the snowiest games in NFL history. The Saints have been a bad road team all season (they went 8-0 at home but just 3-5 on the road), and Drew Brees and Co. will have a tough task on their hands dealing with the elements.

Cincinnati: The Bengals host the Chargers with a 1:05 p.m. Eastern kickoff on Sunday, and although it won’t rival the Freezer Bowl when these two teams met in the playoffs 32 years ago, it will be cold: The forecast for Sunday in Cincinnati calls for a daytime high of 34 degrees and an 80 percent chance of snow. (The game will end before it turns bitterly cold and dips below zero on Sunday night in Cincinnati.) With a Southern California team coming to town, the bad weather is good news for the Bengals, who were 8-0 at home in the regular season. The Chargers, who were 4-4 on the road, may be in for an unpleasant Sunday.

Green Bay: There’s cold, and then there’s really, really cold: The Packers host the 49ers with a 3:40 p.m. Central kickoff on Sunday, and it’s going to be brutally cold. The National Weather Service has issued an advisory that warns of “An Arctic outbreak” with “near record temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills.” Temperatures at Lambeau Field could rival those of the famous 1967 Ice Bowl, when game time temperatures of 15 degrees below zero made for the coldest game in NFL history. The forecast calls for a high of 5 degrees below zero and an overnight low of 20 degrees below. The Packers, who went 4-3-1 at home this season, are more accustomed to cold temperatures than the 49ers, who went 6-2 on the road this season. But neither team is accustomed to cold like this.

I wish you all a happy and warm weekend. . . Go, Pack!

Saturday Football Open Thread (Wrap-up and Bowl Preview)

The annual Army-Navy game, played in Philadelphia, is the only game on the schedule for today (line: Navy, spread: 10)(3:00 pm EST/CBS). Since I don’t think any of us have a dog in this hunt, I hope it’s simply a great game. The weather will be problematic, with the forecast being for rain/snow at kickoff turning to snow around the end of the first quarter or so. Bundle up!  UPDATE: Navy wins 34 – 7.  

Bowl games start next Saturday; here is the complete bowl lineup:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Washington State (6 – 6) vs Colorado State (7 – 6).  ESPN/2:00 EST

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: Fresno State (11 – 1) vs USC ( 9 – 4).  ABC/3:30 EST

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Buffalo (8 – 4) vs San Diego State (7 – 5).  ESPN/5:30 EST

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Tulane (7 -5) vs LA-Lafayette (8 – 4).  ESPN/9:00 EST

Christmas week

Monday, 12/23: Beef ‘o’ Brady’s Bowl, East Carolina (9 – 3) vs Ohio (7 – 5). ESPN/2:00 EST

Tuesday, 12/24: Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl, Boise State (8 – 4) vs Oregon State (6 – 6). ESPN/8:00.  Wear sunglasses–the combination of those two uniforms is likely to be blinding!

Thursday, 12/26: Little Caesar’s Bowl, Pitt (6 – 6) vs Bowling Green (10 – 2). ESPN/6:00 EST.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, Utah State (8 – 5) vs Northern Illinois (12 – 1). ESPN/9:30 EST.

Friday, 12/27: Military Bowl Presented by Northrup Grumman, Marshall (9 – 4) vs Maryland (7 – 5).  ESPN/2:30 EST.  Another game that may require sunglasses.

Texas Bowl, Syracuse (6 – 6) vs Minnesota (8 – 4).  ESPN/6:00 EST.  May the best ATiM team win! (I notice Texas doesn’t need any stinkin’ help hosting a bowl game)

Fight Hunger Bowl, BYU (8 – 4) vs Washington (8 – 4).  ESPN/9:30 EST.

Saturday, 12/28: New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Rutgers (6 – 6) vs Notre Dame (8 – 4). ESPN/12:00 noon EST.

Belk Bowl, Cincinnatti (9 – 3) vs North Carolina (6 – 6).  ESPN/3:20 EST.  Am I the only one who knows what “Belk” is, or are they outside North Carolina as well as inside?

Russell Athletic Bowl, Miami (FL) (9 – 3) vs Louisville (11 – 1).  ESPN/6:45 EST.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Michigan (7 – 5) vs Kansas State (7 – 5).  ESPN/10:15 EST.

New Years Week

Monday, 12/30: Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Middle Tennessee (8 – 4) vs Navy (?7 – 4?).  ESPN/11:43 EST.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Ole Miss (7 – 5) vs Georgia Tech (7 – 5). ESPN/3:15 EST.

Valero Alamo Bowl, Oregon (10 – 2) vs Texas (8 – 4). ESPN/6:45 EST.

National University Holiday Bowl, Arizona State (10 – 3) vs Texas Tech (7 – 5). ESPN/10:15 EST.

Tuesday, 12/31: AdvoCare V100 Bowl, Arizona (7 – 5) vs Boston College (7 – 5).  ESPN/12:30 EST.  Scott and “Carl” get to fight it out!  May the best ATiM team win.

Hyundai Sun Bowl, Virginia Tech (8 – 4) vs UCLA (9 – 3).  CBS/2:00 EST.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Rice (10 – 3) vs Mississippi State (6 – 6).  ESPN/4:00 EST.

Chik-fil-A Bowl, Duke (10 – 3) vs Texas A&M (8 – 4).  ESPN/8:00 EST.

Wednesday, 1/1:  Happy New Year!

Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl, Nebraska (8 – 4) vs Georgia (8 – 4).  ESPN2/12:00 EST.

Heart of Dallas Bowl Presented by Plainscapital Bank, UNLV (7 – 5) vs North Texas (8 – 4).  ESPNU/12:00 EST.

Outback Bowl, Iowa (8 – 4) vs LSU (9 – 3).  ESPN/1:00 EST.

Capitol One Bowl, Wisconsin (9 – 3) vs South Carolina (10 – 2).  ABC/1:00 EST.

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio, Stanford (11 – 2) vs MSU (12 – 1).  ESPN/5:00 EST.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, UCF (11 – 1) vs Baylor (11 – 1).  ESPN/8:30 EST.

Thursday, 1/2: Allstate Sugar Bowl, Oklahoma (10 – 2) vs Alabama (11 – 1).  ESPN/8:30 EST.

Friday, 1/3: AT&T Cotton Bowl, Oklahoma State (10 – 2) vs Missouri (11 – 2).  FOX/7:30 EST.

Discover Orange Bowl, Clemson (10 – 2) vs osu (12 – 1).  ESPN/8:30 EST.

Saturday, 1/4: BBVA Compass Bowl, Vanderbilt (8 – 4) vs Houston (8 – 4).  ESPN/1:00 EST.

Sunday, 1/5: GoDaddy Bowl, Arkansas State (7 – 5) vs Ball State (10 – 2).  ESPN/9:00 EST.

National Championship, Monday, 1/6/2014:

Vizio BCS National Championship Bowl, Florida State (13 – 0) vs Auburn (12 – 1). ESPN/8:30 EST.

Championship Saturday

This is all about getting to the Mythical National Championship, or the other four BCS Bowls for consolation.  First, we say goodbye to Louisville, NIU, and Fresno.  Byebye.

 
Then we look at what ought to be the premier matchup: MSU [10] against tOSU osu (they don’t deserve capitals, Mark!)[2], tonight around 7:15 CST.
Kelley and my sis are Spartans for life.  They are underdogs here.  While I will back MSU and Narduzzi’s creative defense in this game, it is not without fear that ESPN will engineer an SEC team into the MNC Game if tOSU osu loses.  ESPN controls college sports now and it is hopelessly in bed with the SEC.

 
First game is at 11CST.   Okie Lite[6] hosts the Land Thieves[17] in Stillwater in unseemly cold weather for the southwest.

 

At 2:30 CST, my ‘Horns [25] are in Waco ready to be drubbed by Baylor [9].  Should be Mack Brown’s last regular season game.  Because of the unseemly weather and the popular nickname for our noodle armed QB, we shall call the game “Derp on ice”.

 
At 3 CST, MO [5] plays Auburn [3].  It doesn’t occur to ESPN that MO and aTm have done far better in the SEC than they did in the entire history of the Big 12.  I pick MO.  I think Malzahn may be UT’s next coach despite the extension he just signed at Auburn.

 

At 6:45 CST Stanford [7] plays ASU [11].  Top to bottom, the PAC has been really strong this year, but this game is only for the Rose Bowl, thanks to the possibility of two unbeaten teams and the certainty that ESPN will force us to watch SEC football if either unbeaten goes down.

 

At 7 CST FSU [1] plays a BASKETBALL SCHOOL [20] for the ACC title.  Since Jameis has been cleared of rape charges and not indicted, there is no hope whatsoever for the BASKETBALL SCHOOL.

 

With Fresno and NIU gone from the unbeatens, the five BCS bowls will have ten BCS teams from six BCS conferences.  The four extras should go to the PAC, the 12, the BiG, and the SEC, but not to the ACC or the little east or whatever that abomination is.

 
Finally, ‘Goose may have some interest in Utah State v. Fresno [23] at 9 CST.

 
‘Goose, edits are welcome!

Saturday Football Open Thread, Week 13

None of the early games were terribly interesting (Rice beat UAB in OT 37 – 34, UCF trounced Rutgers 41 – 17, and UNLV crushed Air Force 41 – 21 on Thursday, then Navy beat San Jose State 58 – 52 on Friday). Today’s action:

MSU is at Northwestern (line: MSU, spread 7)(Noon EST/ESPN). This should be a rout–go, State! UPDATE: MSU wins handily, 30 – 6.

Michigan is playing Iowa (line: Iowa, spread 3.5) and that will probably be a closer game, especially since they’re playing in Iowa City. BTN at noon EST, if you’ve got it. UPDATE: Iowa wins 24 – 21. It was a much better game.

Oklahoma is at Kansas State (line: KSU, spread 3)(Noon EST/FOX Sports 1). Boomer, Sooner! UPDATE: Boomer, Sooner indeed! Oklahoma 41 – 31.

Pittsburgh is at Syracuse (line: Pitt, spread 1.5)(12:30 EST/ESPN3) in ACC action. Go Orange! UPDATE: Pitt squeaks out a win, 17 – 16.

Alabama A&M is playing Georgia Tech (line: GT, spread 51 [!!!])(1:30 EST/ESPN3). Sting ’em, Jackets! UPDATE: Georgia Tech wins 66 – 7. Damn!

Oregon is at Arizona (line: Ducks, spread 17.5)(3:30 EST/ABC)–go, Wildcats! UPDATE: “Carl’s” ‘Cats pull off a stunner and beat Oregon 42 – 16.

BYU visits Notre Dame (line: ND, spread 1)(3:30 EST/NBC). I’ll leave it to your imagination which team I’m rooting for in this game. UPDATE: Notre Dame wins 23 – 13.

BC is risking their eyesight today here in Maryland (line: BC, spread 1). Go, Eagles! Try to not be blinded by those uniforms. . . UPDATE: BC comes from behind to win 29 – 26.

Wisconsin is playing Minnesota (line: UW, spread 14.5)(3:30 EST/ESPN) and Indiana is at osu (line: osu, spread 31.5)(3:30 EST/ABC). C’mon Hoosiers–osu has to lose sooner or later! UPDATE: Wisconsin cruises past UMinn 20 – 7 and osu (dang it!) beats the Hoosiers 42 – 14.

Nebraska is in Happy Valley (line: PSU, spread 2.5). UPDATE: Nebraska pulls it out in OT 23 – 20.

Utah travels north to Washington State (line: WSU, spread 7). UPDATE: WSU wins 49 – 37.

SMU plays a late game at USF (line: SMU, spread 5.5). UPDATE: SMU wins 16 – 6.

Texas is resting up for Texas Tech on Thanksgiving.


Housekeeping note: I’ll be on the road between Michigan and home next Saturday, so there won’t be a football thread next week unless someone else wants to throw one up.


What else?


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