no wonder the pac-10 needs utah

I've decided on a new way of looking at the Pac-10 this year. They're not a weak major conference. They're a good mid-major conference. It looks very much like the Mountain West and WAC, from the disparity between top and bottom right down to recruiting Utah to join the Pac-10. Fully half of the conference will finish the season with a losing record - unless, of course, Arizona picks up its fifth loss and Oregon its first. Stanford and Oregon have only beaten three teams each with a winning record all season. They each face just four bowl-eligible teams - including sanctioned USC.

This perspective helps address what to do with the fact that there are four one loss teams which I just don't think have had as good a season as most of the two loss teams. Specifically: Stanford, Nevada, Boise State, and Ohio State. Of those four, Nevada and Boise State have the best wins, not Stanford and Ohio State.

It's also the problem with the BCS. Not the rankings themselves so much as how the bowls choose their participants. If Stanford is good enough for a bowl, then so is Nevada and Boise. On the other hand, if the Sugar Bowl gets to pick Arkansas because they're in the SEC, that shows the problem with not having a BCS bowl in the Big 12. Over the long term, the easiest solution is adding the Cotton Bowl or creating some bowl with a particular tie-in to the Big 12 that's actually in the Big 12. In the short-term, my solution this year is to have the Sugar Bowl be Arkansas and Missouri.

As for the rest, here's a take a little different than most, but mostly in line now that Auburn is clearly at the top, TCU better than Boise, and Alabama now having the 5th best season in the SEC:

1. Auburn
2. Oregon
3. TCU
4. Michigan State
5. Nebraska
6. Missouri
7. Arkansas
8. Wisconsin
9. Oklahoma
10. LSU
11. Oklahoma State
12. Ohio State
13. Nevada
14. Boise State
15. Stanford
16. Virginia Tech
17. Texas A&M
18. South Carolina
19. Alabama
20. Florida State
21. Utah
22. Mississippi State
23. Arizona
24. West Virginia
25. San Diego State

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20th anniversary special edition

I'm a big believer in being involved in the community. I don't really care what it is. Just do something. Out There. With people you wouldn't normally see.

For me, it's working with high school kids. I like teenagers. They're old enough to take care of themselves and young enough not to know what they're not supposed to be able to do.

Let me clarify. I like other people's teenagers. They're coachable and talented and energetic.

In small doses, and then I go home. Without them.

Maybe I'll see you around next year, when the Clayton Fall Classic speech and debate tournament turns old enough to drink.

You know, the coffee and coke necessary to hang out with teenagers. At 8:00 am. On a Saturday.

Speaking of anniversaries, blogger says this is my 500th post. I don't know if that's a lot or a little? It's at least a big fat round number. Maybe it's the public service announcement tax. Every 500 posts, plug helping the kiddies! Being involved with kids is much better than moaning about kids these days trampling your lawn in their unkempt suits and ties and heels. I mean, what's the world coming to? They have girl debaters. And racial minorities. And children of immigrants.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh........be very afraid............of something...........that's just so inferior about kids now..........that totally wasn't the case when you were growing up.........

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finale for the ages

Whatever else there is to say about the season, the Big 12 is going out in style. When you look at the combination of top teams, bowl eligible teams, and race for the champion, no other conference is close. The SEC is having a down year; that happens from time to time. Their conference championship game has already been decided; Auburn and South Carolina can both lose and they'll still face each other. It's really the Pac 10 and Big Ten I would pick on. The Pac 10 is awful. Fully half of the conference has a losing record. Assuming Oregon doesn't embarrass itself at Arizona, the Pac 10 only has two teams with fewer than four losses! Outside of their game against each other, Oregon and Stanford won't have played a single top 20 team all season. That's unbelievable when you think about it.

Meanwhile, in the Big Ten, there are three good teams. Everybody else has at least four losses there, too. And the one that won the head-to-head matchup isn't the one getting the respect. However, because Michigan State and Ohio State didn't play each other this year, that means they also, like Oregon and Stanford, had no other game in the entire season against a top 20 team.

At least the SEC, like the Big 12, has had its top teams playing good competition for more than one game. And the ACC and Big East are having competitive races; their shortfall is a lack of victories by their top teams out of conference.

In contrast, in the Big 12, every top team has played multiple games against other top teams. If Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M had only played one top 20 team, all five of them would have zero or one losses. Think about that. Every top team took care of non-conference games. Even bottom teams, like Colorado and Kansas, have wins against non-conference opponents like Hawaii, Georgia, and Georgia Tech. The championship game won't be determined until the very end of the season. There's a legitimate shot of having either ten bowl eligible teams or four different teams with at least ten wins each.

It seems fitting that part of the story comes down to Big 12 quitters Colorado and Nebraska. Does CU end its Big 12 run with an embarrassing season, or do they send NU packing with a gut-wrenching loss?

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i am spartacus

The title of this post takes as inspiration the hilarious police-state saga of Robin Hood airport in England. A frustrated airline passenger made a joke. On Twitter. And authorities, naturally, took it in stride.

By fining him for threatening to blow up the airport.

In response, thousands of people started using the hashtag iamspartacus.

Perhaps the Michigan State Spartans need a similar flurry of activity. The human voters seem to think they're not, like, in first place in the Big Ten. You know, having beaten Wisconsin. Like, on the field. During the season. The same Wisconsin team that turned around and beat Ohio State. On the field. During the season.

LSU, Missouri, and Oklahoma State are of course still underrated by the humans, as well, and Boise State remains overrated. This is the week I bump Oregon over TCU, too; a little bit sad, but it looks like Oregon really should be there. Utah, San Diego State, and Baylor are good wins, but the Stanford win for Oregon just seems to outweigh that now.

There is some good news, though. Alabama bias is officially over. And it looks very likely that the national championship will have Auburn, Oregon, and/or TCU. So come on humans, you are making progress. We're almost there.

1. Auburn
2. Oregon
3. TCU
4. Boise State
5. LSU
6. Nebraska
7. Michigan State
8. Oklahoma State
9. Stanford
10. Wisconsin
11. Ohio State
12. Alabama
13. Missouri
14. Oklahoma
15. Arkansas
16. Virginia Tech
17. Texas A&M
18. South Carolina
19. Mississippi State
20. Iowa
21. Arizona
22. NC State
23. Florida State
24. Utah
25. Nevada

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week 11 rankings

This is why they play the games. Alabama is still the third best team in the SEC.

And Michigan State still leads the Big Ten.

And horror of horrors, Nebraska is the best team in the Big 12 the year they are leaving. At least Colorado sucks; that helps, slightly.

The humans have acknowledged their SEC errors, and they now have TCU ahead of Boise State, but they still show silliness up north. Therefore, another ranking is necessary to correct these deficiencies.

1. Auburn
2. TCU
3. Oregon
4. Boise State
5. Nebraska
6. LSU
7. Michigan State
8. Oklahoma State
9. Stanford
10. Wisconsin
11. Ohio State
12. Alabama
13. Missouri
14. Oklahoma
15. Arizona
16. Iowa
17. Arkansas
18. Mississippi State
19. Utah
20. Virginia Tech
21. Baylor
22. Kansas State
23. Texas A&M
24. Florida State
25. Florida

Subject to change with the actual games played next week, of course.

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good thing dc was awesome

The Chiefs and Tigers had very similar road meltdowns this weekend. So sad. At least last weekend was fun.

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fed rally sports trifecta

I'm actually home enough now to a put a few thoughts down! The past couple weeks have been fantastically busy.

DC was absolutely gorgeous this past weekend. Warm for Halloween, brilliantly clear skies, perfect backdrop against the Capitol. We overwhelmed the city; literally. There were people waiting so long for the subway in the morning that they didn't make it to the mall by the time the rally was over. It took Doug over half an hour just to buy a ticket at 9 in the morning. Oh, and Jon, there are bees in DC in October. One was buzzing around our section of the crowd for about half the rally.

The Federal Reserve is even more anxious and insecure than I imagined. They're so afraid now that they openly view the public as the enemy, personified beautifully by how they handle their flagship building, the Eccles building. One of the great structures to come out of the Great Depression, it's built in dignified stone and marble on Constitution Ave overlooking the northwest end of the mall. We just don't build like that anymore. Unlike many other government buildings in the area, this structure is built back from the road, allowing a simple public plaza area between the steps and the street. Fountains and stone benches flank the sides, while stone pathways and open grassy areas comprise the middle.

Bernanke has instructed his security guards to chase off American citizens having the audacity to use this public plaza, far away from the actual entrance to the building. On a Sunday afternoon. With the Marine Corps Marathon running along Constitution Ave. I never knew how powerful a scrawny white dude was to confront our failed and fraudulent financial crooks until I was literally chased away from their HQ. I can't think of anything that would better symbolize what is going on in our country right now.

Except maybe college football voters. Just totally bizarre. Nebraska is ranked 6th by the computers, 10.5 by the humans. LSU tied Nebraska for 6th in the computers, but has an 11.5 by the humans. The machines have Michigan State at 10; it's 15.5 for the humans. Missouri is number 4 in the computers, 14.5 in the human polls. Of course, Alabama and Ohio State work the other way: 15 and 16 in the computer rankings, 5 and 8 in the human polls.

This is getting to the point where it's hysterically funny. Michigan State is number 1 in the Big Ten right now, except the humans think they're number 3. Missouri and LSU both lost to much better teams than Alabama, so of course the humans think Alabama is having a much better season. Forget playoffs. We should just select the BCS participants from the preseason prognostications. Playing the games seems to be an irrelevant waste of time. I can't wait to see how this weekend turns out. And I do wonder if Nebraska is going to get the Missouri treatment. What if Missouri wins out, Nebraska loses in the Big 12 Championship, and then the BCS selects Missouri over Nebraska the way Kansas was chosen over Missouri a couple years ago?

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