Sunday, October 31, 2004

Handicapping the Nation's top 15


I am a lifelong hockey fanatic, and have only recently taken an interest in NCAA football during the past three years. Primarily, I am a Michigan Wolverines fan, and I am mostly only familiar with the Big 10. Given the fact that the NHL is locked out this season, I have had a chance to more closely follow the college football schedule this year.

In an effort to familiarize myself with the rest of the nation's conferences, I decided to take a look at each of the top 15 teams in most recent national poll. Since the ESPN/USA Today poll was the first one out this morning, I based my rankings on those.

For each team listed, I took a look at the remaining games, and listed the games that were most likely to be upsets. From the listed games, I selected the one that I thought was most likely to be an upset, and placed an asterisk next to that game. Using the list of tough games remaining, I put together a predicted final overall and conference record, along with a predicted pre-bowl ranking. I also offered a brief description of the team's performance, and how I thought the team's remaining schedule would play out.

Again, I want to emphasize that I am a relatively new fan, and am by no way an authority on NCAA football. Every week there are upsets -- witness UNC/Miami, Maryland/Florida State, Baylor/Texas A&M, Northwestern/Purdue, and Indiana/Minnesota -- all in one week. Given that fact, I will be surprised if my final predicted rankings are anywhere near the final results :)


#1 USC
(8 - 0, 5 - 0 PAC-10)
(PREDICTION: 12 - 0, 8 - 0 PAC-10, Final Rank #1)

November 6th at Oregon State 4:00 PM (4 -4, 3 - 2 PAC-10)
November 27th vs Notre Dame 8:00 PM (5 - 3)
*December 4th at UCLA 4:30 PM (5 - 3, 3 - 2 PAC-10)

USC currently looks like the strongest team in the country. They have put together big wins vs. Virginia Tech and California this season. USC Will most likely finish the season undefeated, although they do have a couple tests remaining, including a tough road game at UCLA in the final weak of the season.

#2 Oklahoma
(8 - 0, 5 - 0 Big 12)
(PREDICTION: 11 - 0, 8 - 0 Big 12 + 1 Post Season Win, Final Rank #2)

*November 6th at (22)Texas A&M TBA (6 - 3, 4 - 1 Big 12 South)
November 13th vs Nebraska TBA (5 - 3, 3 - 2 Big 12 - North)

Oklahoma dodged a bullet this week, narrowly escaping with a 38-35 victory over Oklahoma State, as a last second, tying field goal tailed just wide of the upright. Oklahoma will most likely go undefeated, although they will face a big challenge on the road at Texas A&M next weekend.

#3 Auburn
(9 - 0, 6 - 0 SEC)
(PREDICTION: 11 - 0, 8 - 0 SEC + 1 Post Season Win, Final Rank #3)

*November 13th vs (5)Georgia TBA (7 - 1, 5 - 1 SEC)
November 20th at Alabama TBA (5 - 3, 2 - 3 SEC)

Auburn has a bye next week, and then a huge test at home vs. (5)Georgia. At home, I'll pick Auburn to win out the season. Even if they finish the season undefeated, they will still need to face the SEC East Champion in the SEC Championship, which will be against either be (11)Tennessee or (5)Georgia.

#4 Wisconsin
(8 - 0, 5 - 0 Big Ten)
(PREDICTION 10 - 1, 7 - 1 Big Ten, Final Rank #11)

November 6th vs Minnesota 3:30 PM (6 - 3, 3 - 3 Big Ten)
November 13th at Michigan State TBA (4 - 4, 3 - 2 Big Ten)
*November 20th at (20)Iowa TBA (6 - 2, 4 - 1 Big Ten)

Wisconsin has put together an impressive 8-0 start to their season, but it is unlikely that they will finish the season undefeated. Other than the narrow 20-17 victory over Purdue, and a victory over a seemingly-weak Ohio State, this team has not been tested so far this season. I do not think this team is capable of back-to-back road wins over a resurgent Michigan State team, and Iowa.

#5 Georgia
(7 - 1, 5 - 1 SEC)
(PREDICTION 9 - 2, 6 - 2 SEC, Final Rank #12)

*November 13th at (3)Auburn TBA (9 - 0, 6 - 0 SEC)
November 27th vs Georgia Tech TBA (4 -3 , 3 - 3 ACC)

The matchup on the road vs (3)Auburn is pretty much a tossup, but I'll give the edge to Auburn at home. I think Tennessee is going to win out their season, which will allow them to edge out Georgia for the SEC East Championship.

#6 California
(6 - 1, 4 - 1 PAC-10)
(PREDICTION 9 - 2, 7 - 1 PAC - 10, Final Rank #13)

November 6th vs Oregon 3:30 PM (5 - 3, 4 - 1 PAC-10)
*December 4th at (21)Southern Miss 3:00 PM (5 - 1, 4 - 0 CUSA)

California's biggest remaining test will be a non-conference road game versus (21)Southern Miss on December 4th, which was rescheduled after being postponed on the originally scheduled September 16th.

#7 Texas
(7 - 1, 4 - 1 Big Twelve)
(PREDICTION 10 - 1, 7 - 1 Big Twelve, Final Rank #5)

November 6th vs (19) Oklahoma State TBA (6 - 2, 3 - 2 Big Twelve)
*November 26th vs (22) Texas A&M 3:30 PM (6 - 2, 4 - 1 Big Twelve)

Texas has two big games remaining, although both are at home. Oklahoma State had Oklahoma on the ropes this weekend, and just missed a last second field goal that would've sent the game into overtime. A final weekend outing at home vs Texas A&M will be another big test. At home, I will pick Texas to win both, but I wouldn't be surprised to see an upset in either of these matchups.

#8 Utah
(8 - 0, 4 - 0 MWC)
(PREDICTION: 11 - 0, 7 - 0 MWC, Final Rank #7

*November 13th at Wyoming (5 - 3, 2 - 2 MWC)
November 20th vs BYU (4 - 4, 3 - 1 MWC)

Utah will most likely win out the season, with a perfect 11-0 record. Unfortunately, Utah didn't have the toughest schedule, so they really shouldn't move into the nation's top six.

I believe Utah should work hard to secure a matchup against one of the nation's top schools next year. A victory against a top tier school would go a long way to validating this program's place in the national rankings. It is unfortunate that the strength-of-schedule facet of the BCS ranking was removed, because many schools may be reluctant to schedule a matchup against a team like Utah or Boise State during their non-conference schedule.

#9 Michigan

(8 - 1, 6 - 0 Big Ten)
(PREDICTION, 10 - 1, 8 - 0 Big 10, Final Rank #4)
November 13th vs Northwestern TBA (4 - 4, 3 - 2 Big Ten)
*November 20th at Ohio State 1:00 PM (5 - 3, 2 - 3 Big Ten)

Michigan will most likely win out the season, although a road game vs. perennial rival Ohio State in the final week of the season is always a challenge. I believe Wisconsin will most likely lose a game vs. Either Michigan State or Iowa, which will give the Big Ten championship to Michigan.

#10 Miami
(6 - 1, 3 - 1 ACC)
(PREDICTION 10 - 1, 7 - 1 ACC, Final Rank #6)

*November 13th at (13) Virginia TBA (6 - 1, 3 - 1 ACC)
December 4th vs (18) Virginia Tech 1:00 PM (6 - 2, 3 - 1 ACC)

Miami fell pretty dramatically this week with the loss to unranked North Carolina. This team has two huge tests remaining, with a road game versus (13)Virginia on November 13th, and a home game versus (18)Virginia Tech. I think Miami is too good of a team and will prevail in both, and crawl back up to #6 in the national rankings.

#11 Tennessee
(7 - 1, 5 - 1 SEC)
(PREDICTION: 10 - 1, 7 - 1 SEC + 1 Post-Season Loss, Final Rank #12)

*November 6th vs Notre Dame (5 - 3)

I believe Tennessee will most likely win out the season. Coupled with a Georgia loss to Auburn, this will make Tennessee the SEC-East Champion. A post-season loss to Auburn will likely knock Tennessee back close to where they started.

#12 West Virginia
(7 - 1, 3 - 0 Big East)
(PREDICTION: (9 -2, 5 - 1 Big East, Final Rank #13)
November 13th vs (25)Boston College (5 - 2, 1 - 1 Big East)
*November 25th at Pittsburgh (5 -2, 3 - 1 Big East)

West Virginia could possibly win out the season, to go 9-1 overall, although a loss to either Boston College or Pittsburgh is possible. I'm guessing there will be an upset in one of these two matchups, pushing West Virginia back to #13.

#13T Virginia
(6 - 1, 3 -1 ACC)
(PREDICTION 8 - 2, 5 - 1 ACC, Final Rank #15)

*November 13 vs (10)Miami TBA (6-1, 3-1 ACC)
November 27 at (18)Virginia Tech

Virginia has their work cut out for them, with a home game versus (10)Miami on November 13th. If they manage to escape that one, they have a tough road game versus (18)Virginia Tech on November 27th to close out the season. I'm guessing they will lose against Miami

#13T Florida State
(6 -2, 4 - 2 ACC)
(PREDICTION 9 - 2, 6 -2 ACC)

*November 20 vs Florida TBA (4 - 4, 2 - 4 SEC)

Florida should win out the season, but I don't think they really deserve to move up much in the standings, given the loss to Maryland, and the relatively easy end-of-season schedule.

#15 Boise State
(8 - 0, 5 - 0 WAC)
(PREDICTION 11- 0, 8 - 0 WAC)

*November 20th vs Louisiana Tech (4 - 4, 3 - 1 WAC)

Boise State should end up undefeated, but it is tough decide how they should be ranked, due to a fairly easy schedule. Boise State's toughest challenges came against Oregon State, BYU, and UTEP. Although Boise State has put together a very impressive season, including a 69-3 assault vs. Hawaii, they failed to play a single game against a nationally ranked team. The failure to include such a matchup means that it is impossible to provide a measuring stick to compare this program against the nation's top ranked schools. As such, I don't believe Boise State should finish any higher than #8. Boise State's situation is similar to that of Utah, although Utah did have a tougher schedule than Boise State.

The game vs. Louisiana Tech will not be automatic. Although a 4-4 record for Louisiana Tech doesn't look so hot, you should take note that three of those loses came against ranked teams: (10)Miami, (11)Tennessee, and (3)Auburn.

Final Predicted Pre-Bowl Rankings

#1. USC (12-0, 8-0, PAC-10)
#2. Oklahoma (11-0, 8-0 + 1 Post Season Win, Big 12)
#3. Auburn (11-0, 8-0 SEC + 1 Post Season Win) + 1 Post Season Win
#4. Michigan (10-1, 8-0 Big 10)
#5. Texas (10-1, 7-1, Big 12)
#6. Miami (10 - 1, 7 - 1 ACC)
#7. Utah (11 - 0, 7 - 0 MWC)
#8. Boise State (11 - 0, 8 - 0 WAC)
#9. Iowa (9 - 2, 7 - 1, Big Ten)
#10. Georgia (9 - 2, 6 - 2 SEC)
#11. Wisconsin (10 - 1, 7 - 1 Big Ten)
#12. Tennessee (10 - 1, 7 - 1 SEC) + 1 Post Season Loss
#13. Virginia (9 - 2, 5 - 1 ACC)
#14. Florida State (9 - 2, 6 - 2 ACC)
#15. West Virginia (9 - 2, 5 - 1 Big East)


-Given the important late season game between Auburn and Georgia, along with the SEC Championship game, we know that two of the following three teams will drop in the standings: Auburn, Georgia, and Tennessee. My money is on Auburn beating Georgia in the regular season, allowing Tennessee to take the SEC East.

-Given the remaining schedules, I am guessing that we will see five undecided teams: USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, Boise State, and Utah. Auburn has the toughest road ahead, with a regular season game vs. Georgia, along with the SEC Championship game.

-Even though Boise State and Utah will both most likely finish their seasons undefeated, I don't believe either team deserves to play in a BCS championship game. Neither of these teams faced a true national power during their entire schedules, so it simply impossible to measure the caliber of these clubs against the other nationally ranked teams.

I truly believe the strength of schedule component should not have been removed from the BCS calculations. I think all teams should work towards developing stronger non-conference schedules, playing against teams of the same caliber.

Personally, I would much rather see Michigan play Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, and Boise State in their non-conference schedule, finishing with a 9-2 mark, than see a non-conference schedule involving teams like Central Michigan, Miami (OH), and San Diego State.

The only way we would ever see these types of matchups would be to completely remove the computational aspect of the BCS rankings. The only true way to do this would be to use the Coach's poll as the final set of rankings. Only a human is able to look at a team's performance over the entire season to determine how they should be ranked, automatically taking into account intangibles such as a team's strength of schedule, and the quality of the team's victories.

The problem is that there is simply no way to measure a team like Boise State's performance unless they add games like Texas, Georgia, and Michigan to their schedule. Adding a requirement for a quality non-conference schedule for national title consideration would go a long way to making the non-conference schedule more interesting, and ensuring that the national rankings are measurable and fair.


Saturday, October 30, 2004

COMEBACK COMPLETE!!!! (Michigan 45 - Michigan State 37)

That was an amazing game! I am definately calling that the greatest game I have ever seen. Final Score: Michigan 45 - Michigan State 37. Wow...everything had to go exactly right in the fourth quarter. Amazing performances all around....Braylon Edwards, Mike Hart, Chris Henne all put together career performances in the second half of the game.

Edwards fumbled the ball early in the third quarter, with Michigan State leading 17-10, just as Michigan looked like it was gaining momentum, and about to tie the game. You could see the look in Edwards eyes -- he knew it was an important play -- and he was determined to make the difference if he had the chance -- and, boy, did he ever.

From that point, Michigan State pulled ahead 27-10, and the game was looking out of reach. With 6:31 remaining, Michigan looked unable to make a big play, with not enough time remaining for 3 scores.

Suddenly, Edwards snags a 43 yard bomb. Michigan then scores a fieldgoal. The next play, Michigan went for an onside kick, and PULLED IT OFF. Next play, another long bomb to Edwards -- 37 yards -- and he pulls it off the defender's helmet, and held on for the touchdown.

Michigan then punted to Michigan State, and the defence got the job done, forcing state to punt. Mike Hart ran the ball 26 yards, to put Michigan in position for another big play. On the next play, the comeback was complete -- a 22 yard pass to Braylon Edwards, and we have a tie ball game.

Overtime was a nail-biting affair -- An amazing comeback had been undertaken, and now every play was of utmost importance. In the second overtime, Michigan State scored a touchdown, and it started to get tense. On third down, Henne connected with Avant, and Rivas kicked the extra point to once again tie the game.

Michigan started the third overtime with the ball, and faced a 3rd and 9 on the opening drive. Henne connected with Edwards, who scored his 3rd touchdown of the game. Michigan was forced to go for the two point conversion, and Henne found Massaquoi between two defenders.

In the end, Michigan's defense once again got the job done, and Michigan was finally able to relax after pulling off the greatest home comebackin Michigan's history.

Overall, Michael hart had 31 carries for 224 yards and a touchdown (3 straight 200+ yard games, and over 800 yards in his past 4 games. If he keeps this up, he may even get some Heisman votes. I think he is going to take the Big 10 rushing yards title, and he may even be able to challange for the national title)

Braylon Edwards had an absolutely huge game. He simply made the plays when they needed him to get the job done -- including three amazing catches near the end of the game. Overall, Edwards caught 11 passes for 189 yards, and 3 touchdowns.

Henne again showed the composure unheard of for a freshman quarterback. Henne was 24-35, with 281 yards and 4 touchdowns. Also important was the fact that he threw 0 interceptions this week.

With the win, Michigan improves to 8-1 overall (6-0 in the big ten) There are two games remaining -- one against Northwestern, and one against Ohio State. Michigan has a share of the conference lead, but must rely on Iowa, Minnesota or Michigan State to play the spoiler role and defeat the Wisconsin Badgers. If the two teams remain undefeated, Wisconsin will take the Big Ten championship, based on the fact that Michigan has a non-conference loss.


OH MY! What a comeback!

The defense does the job, getting the ball back to Michigan.

Breaston started by giving them good field position. One big run by Hart (Who has now rushed for over 800 yards in the past 4 games)

I felt bad from Braylon with that fumble early in the second half. It looked like Michigan was just getting their momentum.

What a 4th quarter. What a job by Edwards to make those three amazing catches (one to set up the field goal, and the two touchdown catches) Hart is amazing. I can't imagine how good this guy is going to be playing a full season.

Come on.....LET"S GO BLUE!!!

Let's win this one, and keep the championship drive alive.


Comeback in the making!!!

What a game this has been. Michigan kicks a field goal, recovers an onside kick, and throws a touchdown pass to Braylan Edwards, and suddenly it's a 27-20 game with 6:06 remaining.

Edwards makes two huge catches late in the game, and suddenly we have a football game.




Big Ten Update

It's a very windy day here in Ann Arbor. I'm talking 35+ mile per hour winds....stuff is blowing all over the place. Look for both teams to run the ball a lot today, and look for Hart to be the difference. 600 yards in the last 3 games.

It's the last play of the game for Purdue -- in a shocker, down 13-10 to Northwestern. Stubblefield just dropped an easy pass to set up a tying field goal. Will Purdue win it with a final desperate Hail Mary?

oh....incomplete....he had it in his hands in the end zone, but the defender stripped it out. What an exciting finish. Orton sat out the 4th quarter.

Ohio State pulled out a 21-10 victory vs. Penn State

Minnesota (23) is down 20-14 to Indiana in the second quarter. Is this another potential upset in the making?


The Department of Funny #1

Throughout the week, I stumble upon at least one hilarious web page or video almost every day. Rather than keeps these sites all to myself, I have decided to share their comedy goodness with all of you.

If you've followed or heard about the Florida voting scandals at all, this clip is hilarious:

(If not, you should really get out from under that rock)

From the department of anything you say in a debate might end up becoming a website:


An awesome clip put together for the RNC by the Daily Show --
hilarious. Even if you've seen it before, I recommend a second
viewing for a good, hearty laugh. (This video is about 5 minutes long)

Jon Stewart's appearance on 60 Minutes. (This video is about 5 minutes long)

If you haven't seen Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire, you owe it to yourself to find a copy of the file to view. This clip is very entertaining -- Stewart basically takes over the show, and calls out the hosts on not doing their jobs. Stewart claims that they are ruining America, and makes a very persuading case while doing that. Jon Stewart has taken some heat for the appearance -- many complain that he hides behind the premise of "Fake News", even though he has an astounding influence on the political perspectives of much of the younger demographic in America.

I, for one, think that Jon Stewart is the most entertaining person on television. I find myself agreeing with almost everything he says, and would even go so far as to say that I would vote for him if he ever ran for office. Of course, Stewart would consider such a thought absolutely ludicrous -- I mean, he's a comedian, for gosh sakes -- but, he does seem to have his finger firmly on the pulse of what drives America. He's amazingly quick-witted -- he surely doesn't need a speechwriter, or a hidden ear piece -- he's able to walk all over anybody he wants when it comes to a one-on-one interview....and, mostly, he holds strong political opinions, and he has a very good grasp on the way this country should be run.

Anyways, you should be able to find a copy of the crossfire clip somewhere. This looks like a good starting point:


Movie Review - Team America, World Police

The concept of this movie ended up being a lot better than the execution. I have to admit that I was pretty excited after viewing the original preview for this movie -- I mean, come on, a comedy/political satire, given today's political climate -- using puppets. How could they possibly go wrong? The title alone is hilarious, and makes me laugh any time I think about out.

The problem with this movie is that the concept has so much potential, and they fell so far short of that potential. Afterwards, I asked myself "What should I have expected?" I mean, this is coming from Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of such masterpieces as "South Park" and "Baseketball". The South Park movie was funny. The problem is that they resorted to the same sort of sophomoric humor in this movie, while trying to deal with a much more serious subject.

Given the absurdities of the current Bush administration -- this film had so much potential. The administration has been a comedy gold mine...look at the material the Daily Show is able to generate day after day, week after week. I will forever be disappointed because they ruined a perfectly good concept for a film that so much going for it. The artistic value was great -- I thought the puppets and backgrounds were great -- I just wish they would have hired some better screenwriters. If the staff of the Daily Show had written this movie, I believe it could've ended up in my all time top-ten list.

It wasn't the political viewpoint that this movie took that disappointed me. Basically, this movie was a satire that ridiculed the extremes we witness at both ends of the political spectrum -- mocking both the die-hard Bush fanatics that believe we should be the police of the entire world, and the Peace-loving, left-leaning group of Hollywood actors that don't seem to have a firm grip on reality. It was the lack of effort put into writing solid dialog. Stone and Parker have both said that this movie was targetted for an adult audience - I mean it originally had an NC-17 rating. The dialog of this movie simply leaves a lot to be desired.

Overall, I will give this movie a 5.9 / 10. If I hadn't been so excited by the premise of this movie, I may have been a little more lenient, because it did have its moments. But, puppet sex and barf gags did not cut it for me -- I'll think twice before I see another movie written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker.


Big Ten/Wolverines Football Preview

This weekend represents another big test for the Michigan Football team. Michigan is perfect in conference play, with a 5-0 record. They are 7-1 overall, with a single loss early in the season against Notre Dame.

Even with big wins against Minnesota (25) and Purdue (21) in the past few weeks, Michigan has not moved up much in the national conference standings. Michigan started the season at #7, but dropped as low as #18 after the loss to Notre Dame, and a narrow victory over lowly San Diego State.

Michigan Current Rankings:

BCS - #12
ESPN//USA Today Coaches Poll - #11
AP - #12

Michigan has three games remaining on their schedule, but they are all against currently unranked teams (Michigan State, Northwestern, and Ohio State) There is little chance that wins in these three games will be enough to move Michigan significantly higher in the poll.

Winning all three games will ensure Michigan at least a share of the Big Ten Championship with Wisconsin (#6 in all three polls), who is 5-0 in conference play, and 8-0 overall. Since Michigan won the big ten championship more recently then Wisconsin (2003), the tie-breaker rules state that the conference championship would go to Wisconsin in the event of a tie.

I was really hoping Wisconsin would've lost to Purdue two weeks ago. It was so close. Purdue had the lead, and the ball with a few minutes to play. Kyle Ortan was going for first down, and he did this stupid head first dive over a tackler. He got hit, and the ball fell out before his knee hit the ground. A Wisconsin player picked it up and ran to the end zone. Purdue had one last chance to tie the game with a field goal....they got within field goal range, but missed the kick
in the dying seconds.

So, now, Wisconsin has 3 games remaining. So far, Wisonsin's schedule has been pretty easy, although they did manage to pull off the win against Purdue, and a big win vs. Ohio State. None of Wisconsin's remaining games are going to be easy. They get this week off - but then they have to play Minnesota, followed by road games vs. Michigan State and Iowa. If anything, I am guessing that they will have a very tough game against Iowa on the road. Let's hope one of these three teams can beat Wisconsin to give Michigan the conference title.

Back to my original point -- I was hoping big wins vs. Purdue and Minnesota would've pulled MIchigan higher in the rankings, but that hasn't happened. The loss vs. a mediocre Notre Dame team is really holding them back. If Wisconsin loses a game, and Michigan wins out the season, the big ten championship will guarentee Michigan a spot in of the major BCS bolls, although it sure looks like the national title game is out of reach now.

A few weeks ago, today's game against the Spartans looked like an easy win for the Wolverines. The spartans started out 2-3, with losses against Rutgers, Notre Dame, and Iowa. The turning point for the Spartans was a huge 51-17 victory over Minnesota, the week after Michigan just barely squeeked by the Golden Gophers. Prior to that victory, Michigan States onlyl victories had come against weak teams --> Central Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. Michigan, meanwhile, has wins against three strong teams (Purdue, Minnesota, and Iowa), along with wins versus a few weaker teams (Illinois, Indiana, San Diego State, and Miami (Ohio)). Michigan has been on fire ever since a strong second half vs. Iowa.

There were question marks for both teams early on this season, but Michigan found the answers in two freshman -- Mike Hart has rushed for 936 yards in 7 games this season, including an astounding 600 yards in the last three games. If he keeps up his numbers from the past three games, he has a small chance of being the nation's leading rusher, where he currently in 10th in the nation, 277 yards behind Ryan Moats. ESPN has a feature story on Hart this week:

The other answer has come in the form of freshman quarterback, Chad Henne. Henne has shown exceptional composure for a freshman. At key moments in games, Henne has shown that he can dig deep all pull out the plays needed to win the game. Defining moments have been late fourth quarter scoring drives versus Minnesota and Purdue.

Today's game should be an exciting one. Although a resurgant Spartans team should keep things interesting, I think the Wolverine's at home in Ann Arbor will be too much to handle. I predict a 34-21 victory for Michigan.

Big 10 Predictions:

Michigan (11) 34 - Michigan State 21

Purdue (19) 38 - Northwestern 14

Minnesota (23) 35 - Indiana 14

Iowa (24) 28 - Illinois 17

Ohio State 28 - Penn State 21


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Random News Tid-Bits #1

A new website, created by a bunch of cousins and relatives of
President bus, has opened. The website contains a family tree, and a
list of reasons as to why President Bush should not be re-elected.
The website address is:

Walmart is refusing to carry John Stewart's new best selling book,
America. (291 to 247) and (276 to 262) are both
currently predicting that Kerry will win based on current polls.

Most polls, including the New York Times, Time, Newsweek, Zogby, and
Rasmussen have the two candidates in a statistical tie. ABC News gives
Kerry a slight lead (50% to 47%), while a Fox News poll gives Bush
(49% to 47%) a slight edge A recent Gallup/CNN/USA Today poll appears
way out in right field, with an 8 point lead for Bush. The Gallup
polls are almost always skewed to the right when compared to other
national polls.

Recent Quotes:

Matt Damon, at the Berlin premiere of "The Bourne Supremacy": "I would
pay $1 million to have Kerry in the White House.'' (The Boston Herald)

Sting, to a German newspaper this week: "[I'd] rather vote for a
chimpanzee than Bush." (Rush and Molloy)


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Will we see Bush's Bulge during the Final Debate?

I can't help it....this is the most interesting story to follow right now :)

The Bush administration has been unable to explain the bulge, and it is the only plausable explanation I can think of for the giant delays in Bush's rebuttals in the first debate. I'm curious to see how this all unfolds tonight....

Will Bush wear his wire today? Now that there is so much public scrutiny on the matter, I doubt the Bush administration will risk it. Expect a nervous and bumbling Bush in tonight's debate. All eyes will be on dubya's back

Quote from famed tailor Frank Shattuck:

"This isn't bad tailoring," he said pointing to the bulge in an Associated Press photo from the second debate. "This suit fits around the neck and has balance, even though it lacks zip and looks like something off the rack from Today's Man."

The Whitehouse has changed their stance on the matter several times ("Flip-flopped", if you will)

First, there was no bulge, although it appeared in televised pictures of the president's back. Second, someone had manipulated the picture to fake the bulge, but it showed up in the original pictures. Third, a spokeswoman said it was most likely a rumpling or a wrinkle, but that didn't account for the rectangular shape. Then the president's tailor said it was a pucker along the jacket's back seam, accentuated when the president crossed his arms and leaned forward. The New Yorker's recent profile of the president's tailor, Georges de Paris, made it clear that the man who has been tailor to every president since Lyndon Johnson was unlikely to leave oddly shaped puckers in a jacket. Finally, the spokeswoman tried to end speculation by declaring, "There was nothing under his suit jacket."

The device most likely worn by President Bush:

Bush's Bulge Links:

Spot the Bush bulge!

Technical expert: Bush was wired

Bush Accused By Some Of Being Wired During Debate

You believed this picture . . .

. . . shouldn't you believe this picture??
Basically, it boils down to this issue...

The Bush Administration convinced the US public that Iraq was an imminent threat. They "Flip-Flopped" on their reasoning quite a bit:
1) First they scared the nation by claiming Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. (OUTRIGHT LIE - AND THEY KNEW IT)

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.

-George W Bush, State of the Union Address

There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction. If biological weapons seem too terrible to contemplate, chemical weapons are equally chilling

-Colin Powell
Address to the U.N. Security Council

We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud

-Condoleeza Rice
National Security Advisor

2) Then they claimed that there were indisputable ties between Saddam and Al Kai

The war on terror, you can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror. And so it's a comparison that is -- I can't make because I can't distinguish between the two, because they're both equally as bad, and equally as evil, and equally as destructive.

-George W Bush (Who still can't distinguish between Saddam and Osama RE: First debate)

We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases.

-George W. Bush (Who has closer ties to Osama then Saddam Himself)

3) Then they claimed that America is a Safer Place

-A completely unmeasurable/unquantifiable statement. Let's see...we went 200 years without an attack on the American Soil. Seven months into your presidency, and 2,752 people are dead. You have been singularly responsible for turning Iraq and the middle east into a breeding ground for Anti-American sentiment, and you have turned world favor against the United States. America is most definitely not a safer place!

In conclusion, we invaded Iraq on flimsy intelligence and allegations, which have since proved to be false. The American public is now presented with another situation where we once again have been presented with allegations based on Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), and Human-Source Intelligence (HUMINT). Who should we choose to believe----An administration that has failed to earn a shred of credibility during the entire 4 years in office, or the eyes and ears of the millions of viewers who watched the debate and witnessed Bush pause for 6-7 seconds before continuing his rebuttals after anxiously calling for each rebuttal like an eight year old school kid.


Saturday, October 02, 2004

Kerry Regains Lead!!!!

I've been scanning the headlines all weekend, looking for some positive news following Kerry's strong performance in the foreign policy debate. Well, here it is:

Newsweek Poll on

Kerry is now up 49% to 46% (+/- 4%), which is a huge relief after a significant period where Bush was in the lead.

According to the poll, Kerry won the debate by a margin of 61% - 19%, which means the Bush Administration was unable to spin the debate the way some of the major networks tried to play it. Bush's scowl during the debate said it all - they really don't have any leg to stand on, so they've tried running their entire election by attacking Kerry as a flip-flopper.