10/17/2008

about time

I would highly encourage reading of the letter the Obama campaign sent to Attorney General Mukasey regarding the Republicans' fussing about 'voter fraud', as if the Democrats are the ones trying to disenfranchise people.

It's pretty fundamental stuff. If people are kept from voting, and if the legal system is politicized, then we lose confidence in the outcome of elections, destroying the very democracy that supposedly governs our society.

It's very exciting to see Obama wading into the discussion.

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10/12/2008

week 7 rankings

Well, Missouri won't have a perfect season.

Of course, the good news is that's apparent after game 6 instead of game 1. They had a game to lose; it just would have been wiser to save that for Texas next week. The real irony is that by losing, Missouri actually makes the Big 12 conference by far the best conference in the country. In essence, the Tigers created another top team. It's just unfortunate that MU had to lose in order for Oklahoma State to get some recognition.

I've got some teams this week that are kind of just waiting for them to play each other. I think Oklahoma and USC, for example, are better than Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. But I'm not ranking them higher until Oklahoma State and Texas Tech actually lose a game (which I think will happen in two weeks for both of them). I think Georgia is notably better than Vanderbilt, but they both come in 5-1. If Georgia wins, I'll move them up a fair amount. But I think for a week at least, they don't belong in the top ten. Kansas and Vanderbilt are probably more wishful thinking than great teams, and will likely each pick up their second losses next week. But it's not next week yet. Another place where I seem to differ from the national pundits is with the Big East. It's not great this year, but there are four one-loss teams, and West Virginia's got to be one of the best two loss teams out there. That Auburn-West Virginia game should be pretty interesting.

I continue to think BYU and Utah are overrated. They'd be .500 ball clubs in the Big 12, SEC, ACC, or Big Ten, and more empirically, they just don't have any quality wins. Michigan and UCLA are both losing programs. But the schedules are better than Ball State, so I'm willing to keep ranking them as long as they stay undefeated. In a sense, I look at LSU the same way; without a strong schedule so far, getting that first loss drops them significantly in my book.

1 B-12 Texas
2 B-Ten Penn State
3 SEC Alabama
4 B-12 Oklahoma State
5 B-12 Texas Tech
6 B-12 Oklahoma
7 B-12 Missouri
8 ACC Virginia Tech
9 SEC Florida
10 P-10 USC
11 B-Ten Ohio State
12 B-E South Florida
13 B-12 Kansas
14 ACC Wake Forest
15 SEC Vanderbilt
16 SEC Georgia
17 ACC Florida State
18 MW Utah
19 MW BYU
20 SEC LSU
21 ACC North Carolina
22 P-10 California
23 B-Ten Michigan State
24 B-E Connecticut
25 B-E Pittsburgh

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neighborhood party

So my neighborhood threw a little party on Saturday to celebrate our centennial. Jodi took some pictures of the firetrucks, and there were political folks all about.

It was really interesting, I've only seen politicians in rather formal events. This was remarkably casual. Mayor Slay just pulls up, gets out of the car, and I say hi. Representative Clay wanders by a couple minutes later. There's no security, no lines, no particular program; they're just there.

It was a fun little surprise.

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10/06/2008

week 6 rankings

In my mind, this was a much more stable week. The biggest problem I'm having is with the Big East. USF lost to Pitt, but I'm not ready to rank Pitt yet after that first game loss. The biggest risk I'm taking is probably putting Virginia Tech back in the top ten.

Just like I had Alabama ranked higher than some others earlier on, I'm now apparently on the low end. I don't think you can jump LSU and Missouri until they lose. I also bumped BYU and Utah farther down the list after a more careful scrutiny of the Mountain West. It just looks to me like middle of the pack teams from the other conferences would run through the MWC pretty easily, too.

So I've got my 7 undefeated teams that I think are among the best in the country and the 7 one-loss teams among the best. Then I've got 5 more undefeated teams which I think will lose soon or who have pretty weak schedules. Then I've got 6 one-loss teams that are about equally likely to move up or drop out.

1 B-12 Oklahoma
2 SEC LSU
3 B-12 Missouri
4 SEC Alabama
5 B-12 Texas
6 B-Ten Penn State
7 B-12 Texas Tech
8 ACC Virginia Tech
9 P-10 USC
10 SEC Florida
11 SEC Georgia
12 B-Ten Ohio State
13 B-E South Florida
14 B-12 Kansas
15 SEC Vanderbilt
16 B-12 Oklahoma State
17 B-Ten Northwestern
18 MW Utah
19 MW BYU
20 ACC Wake Forest
21 ACC Florida State
22 ACC North Carolina
23 B-E Connecticut
24 P-10 California
25 B-Ten Michigan State

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