Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jason King Reports on the Kansas Basketball Team and the Matter of Thomas Robinson, Which the NCAA Got Right

We have heaped so much criticism on the NCAA over the past years that it is only fair to report on something that the NCAA has gotten VERY RIGHT, the matter of Thomas Robinson, Kansas basketball player.

See

All about the Big 12: NCAA gets it right - College Basketball - Rivals.com

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf at Yahoo writes that Martin Kaymer Now Best in the World - Is that True?

At Devil Ball Golf, a Yahoo! Sports Blog, Shane Bacon writes that Martin Kaymer's dominant win makes him best in the world.

That Kaymer has the potential for greatness is clear, but we think that the declaration of a title of Number 1 is yet a bit premature. Nor are we impressed by some sort of Official World Rankings.

Right now it would seem to us that no one deserves the Number 1 title because a clearly dominant force such as Tiger Woods was in the past simply has not surfaced in professional golf yet in the aftermath of Tiger's demise. Kaymer may become that dominant force, but he is not there yet.

College Football Bowl Game Prediction Results 2010-2011 NCAA Division I-A (FBS)

Update: Going into the bowl games for the 2010/2011 college football season we were 569-195 in calling the winner and 318-338-18 against the spread (betting line). In bowl games we were 24-11 in calling the winner and 20-13-2 against the spread, finishing the season 593-206 in calling the winner of 799 games (74.2%) but an overall disappointing 338-351-20 against the spread (in games with a betting line), the first year we have not beat the spread for the season, as we relied almost solely on our NAYPPA stats for prognosticating this year, something we will change in the coming season.



College Football Bowl Game Prediction Results 2010-2011 NCAA Division I-A (FBS) 

The numbers in parentheses give the YPPPSYS Final Pre-Bowl Ranking. The odds werere taken from Yahoo odds on December 7, 2010, which may have changed by game time, so do not rely on our quotation of the Las Vegas odds. We used the odds as we found them at the time of our predictions.

As for our predictions, past results are no guarantee of future performance.

Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware). We make this material available in good fun out of interest for the sport of college football. Please do not rely on our material to place bets or wagers of any kind. No one knows the exact outcome of a game or a season before it is played and that is what makes it so interesting. We disclaim any and all liability for the consequences of anyone relying in any way upon our postings, analysis or reasoning - for which we make no warranty of accuracy. May the best team win.

Total offense and total defense stats were made according to cfbstats.com.
We calculated schedule difficulty using the Massey Ratings (but we take the average ranking of opponents, not the Massey Ratings schedule rank, which we find to be not optimal).

We use Massey Ratings ranking for the best win and worst loss rank. Our own ratings sometimes might give diverging results, but this avoids confusion.

Saturday, December 11, 2010, 2:30 p.m. (all times EST)

AMERICA'S GAME, PHILADELPHIA'S HONOR

Army (90) vs. Navy (48), Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Navy was favored over Army by 7 points.
Our call: Navy 28-17.
Result: Navy won 31-17.
This season we are now 569-195 in calling the winner and 318-338-18 against the spread (betting line).
 
Saturday December 18, 2010

The 5th Annual  New Mexico Bowl, 2 p.m. in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Brigham Young (65) was favored over UTEP (89) by 12 points.
Our call: BYU 38-14.
Result: BYU won 52-24. It was no contest as the Cougars gained nearly 300 more yards offense for the game and led 31-10 at the half.
This season we are now 570-195 in calling the winner and 319-338-18 against the spread (betting line).

The uDrove Humanitarian Bowl
, 5:30 p.m. in Boise, Idaho
Northern Illinois (52) was favored over Fresno State (68) by 3 points.
Our call: Fresno State 34-31.
Result: The Huskies ripped the Bulldogs for more than 500 yards total offense in winning 40-17. Although we predicted a Fresno State win, we did so only because Northern Illinois was so awful in their MAC championship game loss. Otherwise, this result was no surprise.
This season we are now 570-196 in calling the winner and 319-339-18 against the spread (betting line).

The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, 9 p.m. in New Orleans, Louisiana
Troy (102) was favored over Ohio (79) by 1 1/2 points.
Our call: Troy 28-17.
Result: The Trojans led hapless Ohio 38-7 at the half in winning 48-21.
This season we are now 571-196 in calling the winner and 320-339-18 against the spread (betting line).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beef O'Brady's Bowl
, 8 p.m. in St. Petersburg, Florida
Louisville (53) was favored over Southern Mississippi (74) by 3 1/2 points.
Our call: Southern Miss 24-23.
Result: This was a nice win for a resurging Lousville football program 31-28, but in fact the Golden Eagles outgained the Cardinals 396 to 287 yards total offense. The game changer was a 94-yard kickoff return for a TD by Jeremy Wright after Southern Miss had taken a 28-21 lead in the 4th quarter.
This season we are now 571-197 in calling the winner and 321-339-18 against the spread (betting line).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Maaco Bowl
, 8 p.m. in Las Vegas, Nevada
Boise State (1) was favored over Utah (26) by 16 1/2 points.
Our call: Boise State 38-17.
Result: The Broncos looked rusty in the first quarter but still were the clearly dominant team in forging a 26-3 victory over the Utes. Boise State averaged 7.1 net average yards per play to only 3.8 yards for Utah, a 3.3 net average yards per play advantage (NAYPPA), closing out the Bronco season with a NAYPPA of 3.5 net average yards per play advantage -- which is a record in NCAA Division I-A and FBS football, as far as we can tell from the records available to us. Of course, Boise State played an easier schedule than the greatest teams of all time. By comparison, TCU beat the Utes 47-7 earlier in the season, outgaining them 7.8 yards per play to 3.8 yards per play, for a NAYPPA of 4.0. Boise State's tragic overtime loss to Nevada negated this team's greatness much as the Southern Cal loss to Oregon State in 2008 did the same to USC.
This season we are now 572-197 in calling the winner and 322-339-18 against the spread (betting line).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Poinsettia Bowl, 8 p.m. in San Diego, California
San Diego State (23) went into the game favored over Navy (48) by 3 points. We made our prediction before any odds were available online.
Our call: San Diego State 35-31.
Result: The Aztecs were impressive in beating Navy 35-14, even outrushing the rush-happy Midshipmen and putting up 555 to 382 yards total offense, as the Aztec defense put up a stalwart game, whereas the offense was never in doubt. Brady Hoke is doing a great job at San Diego State and we are surprised he has not already been hired away by one of college football's major programs. If we were the University of Michigan, Hoke, defensive line coach for the Wolverines from 1995 to 2002, is the man we would try to hire to replace the possibly departing Rich Rodriguez, who does not seem to be a best fit for that school. Hoke would put the Wolverines back where they belong, at the top.
This season we are now 573-197 in calling the winner and 323-339-18 against the spread (betting line).

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hawaii Bowl, 8 p.m. in Honolulu, Hawaii
Hawaii (9) was favored over Tulsa (56) by 11 1/2 points.
Our call: Hawaii 54-37.
Result: We originally wrote that the offenses were both about equally strong, but that the Warriors seemed to have the stronger defense, ranking 38th to Tulsa's 107th. Although Hawaii outgained Tulsa 542 to 531 yards total offense, it was the Tulsa defense that helped destroy Hawaii 62-35, intercepting 5 passes, as the Warriors turned the ball over 6 times. Moreover, Tulsa averaged 8.4 yards per play to on only 6.5 yards per play for Hawaii, a clear net average yards per play advantage (NAYPPA) of 1.7 ypp. Gus Malzahn's offense lives on at Tulsa.
This season we are now 573-198 in calling the winner and 323-340-18 against the spread (betting line).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
, 8:30 p.m. in Detroit, Michigan
Toledo (84) was favored over Florida International (93) by 1 1/2 points.
Our call: Florida International 31-27.
Result: It was a wild one and an exciting game for the fans as the lead changed hands several times, including a Toledo 32-31 edge with 1:14 left on the clock via a two-point after-touchdown conversion. But the Golden Panthers came back to win on a field goal 34-32 as time expired, following a playbook-perfect hook-and-ladder play on 4th and 17 that had given them a first down. The Rockets outgained FIU 436 to 308 yards total offense, but had three passes intercepted and gave up a game-changing 89-yard kickoff return by T.Y. Hilton.
This season we are now 574-198 in calling the winner and 324-340-18 against the spread (betting line).

Monday, December 27, 2010

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl, 5 p.m. in Shreveport, Louisiana
Air Force (42) was favored over Georgia Tech (62) by 2 1/2 points.
Our call: Air Force 31-24.
Result: Four Yellow Jacket turnovers were the difference as the Falcons prevailed 14-7 in a strange game in which the two teams went for 1st down on 4th down eight times. Both teams need to add more effective elements of modern offenses.
This season we are now 575-198 in calling the winner and 325-340-18 against the spread (betting line).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Champs Sports Bowl, 6:30 p.m. in Orlando, Florida
West Virginia (32) was favored over North Carolina State (55) by 2 1/2 points.
Our call: West Virginia 20-17.
Result: The Mountaineers lost 4 fumbles and gave up 1 interception in falling ignobly to the Wolfpack 23-7.
This season we are now 575-199 in calling the winner and 325-341-18 against the spread (betting line).

Insight Bowl
, 10 p.m. in Tempe, Arizona
Missouri (19) was favored over Iowa (28) by 1 point.
Our call: Missouri 31-27.
Result: Missouri led 24-20 midway through the 4th quarter and had the ball 1st
and 10 on the Hawkeye 29-yard line, but got greedy and Micah Hyde intercepted a Blaine Gabbert pass for 72 yards and the winning TD in the 4th quarter, 27-24. Winning the big ones is a skill that still has to be learned by the Missouri coaching staff whose team put up 512 yards total offense and still lost. That is just poor field marshalling.
This season we are now 575-200 in calling the winner and 325-342-18 against the spread (betting line).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Military Bowl, 2:30 p.m. in Washington, D.C.
Maryland (41) was favored over East Carolina (76) by 7 1/2 points.
Our call: Maryland 38-31.
Result: The Terrapins humbled the Pirates 51-20.
This season we are now 576-200 in calling the winner and 325-343-18 against the spread (betting line).

Texas Bowl
, 6 p.m. in Houston, Texas
Baylor (36) was favored over Illinois (50) by 2 points.
Our call: Illinois 31-27.
Result: The Bears never got untracked against the Fighting Illini as Illinois ran over them 38-14.
This season we are now 577-200 in calling the winner and 326-343-18 against the spread (betting line).


Valero Alamo Bowl, 9:15 p.m. in San Antonio, Texas
Oklahoma State (8) was favored over Arizona (18) by 6 points.
Our call: Oklahoma State 41-31.
Result: For the second straight year Arizona was outscored heavily by a strong Big 12 team, losing 36-10, even though the Wildcats amazingly put up more total offense, 370 to 312 yards against the nation's top-ranked offense. 4 Arizona turnovers were the difference in the ball game.
This season we are now 578-200 in calling the winner and 327-343-18 against the spread (betting line).

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
, noon in Fort Worth, Texas
SMU (44) was favored over Army (90) by 8 points (updated December 13 as no line was known before that)
Our call: SMU 36-21.
Result: The Black Knights held on to a 16-point first half lead to win 16-14 in spite of gaining only 229 yards against 413 yards for the Mustangs. Sometimes the best team does not win as 3 turnovers were the difference.

This season we are now 578-201 in calling the winner and 327-344-18 against the spread (betting line).

1st New Era Pinstripe Bowl, 3:20 p.m. in the Bronx, New York
Kansas State (63) was favored over Syracuse (49) by 1 1/2 points.
Our call: Syracuse 24-21.
Result: The Orange won a wild one 36-34 as an overdue celebration penalty cost the Wildcats a short 2-point conversion try at the close. Coaches must train their players to celebrate AFTER the game, in case they win, not before.
This season we are now 579-201 in calling the winner and 328-344-18 against the spread (betting line).

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, 6:40 p.m. in Nashville, Tennessee
North Carolina (24) was favored over Tennessee (46) by 2 points.
Our call: North Carolina 27-21.
Result: The Tar Heels won 30-27 in 2 overtimes.
This season we are now 580-201 in calling the winner and 329-344-18 against the spread (betting line).

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl
, 10 p.m. in San Diego, California
Nebraska (11) was favored over Washington (47) by 13 points.
Our call: Nebraska 38-10.
Result: Is Nebraska back? Under this coaching staff, never. Washington showed what good coaching is all about. You LEARN from your previous mistakes and you improve as the Huskies have in the course of the year. You do not stagnate or even get worse, as the Cornhuskers have this season. The Husker defense, the heart of the team, held the Huskies to 2 points less than in their regular season meeting, but the Nebraska offense, which already got a strong warning signal in barely beating FCS South Dakota State early in the season, floundered under its inept offensive coordination and managed only one touchdown as Nebraska rushed 41 times for an average of 2.2 yards in losing ignominiously 19-7. The game meant nothing to nearly everyone but Washington, while the NU players surely were not highly motivated after having beaten this same team 56-21 in the regular season, but you can't win if you have a block-headed coaching staff that does not learn and does not know how to coach offensive football. A good offensive coordinator would have known that the opposing team would make considerable adjustments for this game in order not to get crushed again. It looked for this game as if there was as good as no preparation and little adjustment when things looked to go bad. The Little Big Red persisted in running on the first two downs for as good as no yardage and then passing on the 3rd. Gross stupidity is a description that comes to mind for this kind of playcalling. Goodbye to the NU offensive coordination, we hope. Generally, Nebraska is a poorly coached football team lacking discipline. The Huskers gained 91 yards rushing, 98 yards passing, but lost 102 yards to penalties, plus 2 turnovers, so that mistakes negated the little good that was done on offense. The team was outcoached, outplayed and outhustled. A shameful day for all Husker fans and sad to see this senior class go out this way.
This season we are now 580-202 in calling the winner and 329-345-18 against the spread (betting line).

Friday, December 31, 2010

Meineke Car Care Bowl, noon in Charlotte, North Carolina
Clemson (45) was favored over South Florida (57) by 4 1/2 points.
Our call: Clemson 26-21.
Result: Clemson fell as far back as 31-13 as Skip Holtz's 1st South Florida team won 31-26. The lesson here, go with the better head coach.
This season we are now 580-203 in calling the winner and 329-346-18 against the spread (betting line).

Hyundai Sun Bowl
, 2 p.m. in El Paso, Texas
Miami of Florida (38) was favored over Notre Dame (31) by 3 points.
Our call: Notre Dame 26-24.
Result: The Fighting Irish won 33-17, intercepting 4 Hurricane passes as 1st year head coach Brian Kelly's progress at Notre Dame became more evident.
This season we are now 581-203 in calling the winner and 330-346-18 against the spread (betting line).

AutoZone Liberty Bowl, 3:30 p.m. in Memphis, Tennessee
Georgia (35) was favored over UCF (Central Florida) (43) by 6 1/2 points.
Our call: Georgia 24-17.
Result: Central Florida had a landmark victory for its football program, as the Conference USA team beat the SEC Dogs 10-6 through a stellar defensive performance and notched their first post-season win ever.
This season we are now 581-204 in calling the winner and 330-347-18 against the spread (betting line).

Chick-fil-A Bowl
, 7:30 p.m. in Atlanta, Georgia
South Carolina (27) was favored over Florida State (14) by 3 points.
Our call: Florida State 27-24.
Result: The Seminoles beat the Gamecocks 26-17, who turned the ball over 5 times. Right now, the much-touted SEC is the only conference without a win in a bowl game this season, going 0 and 3, albeit all Eastern Division teams.
This season we are now 582-204 in calling the winner and 331-347-18 against the spread (betting line).

Saturday, January 1, 2011


1st TicketCity Bowl, noon in Dallas, Texas
Texas Tech (61) was favored over Northwestern (73) by 9 1/2 points.
Our call: Texas Tech 38-21.
Result: Greed is not a good quality in football or anywhere else for that matter. The Red Raiders raced to a 24-6 half time lead and then had to hang on for dear life in the second half to win 45-38 after Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville, with Texas Tech leading by 3 TDs, called for an onside kick, which backfired, changing the entire tenor of the game and giving the Wildcats new life. Calling that a stupid bush-league call would be generous.
This season we are now 583-204 in calling the winner and 331-348-18 against the spread (betting line).

Outback Bowl
, 1 p.m. in Tampa, Florida
Florida (22) was favored over Penn State (58) by 7 1/2 points.
Our call: Florida 27-17.
Result: The difference between victory and defeat is sometimes much smaller than the final score indicates.The Nittany Lions took a 24-20 lead into the 4th quarter but lost 37-24, after Penn State, trailing only 30-24, with a 3rd and 3 at the Florida 25-yard line, was intercepted by Ahmad Black for an 80 yard TD that sealed the game with 1:11 left in the game. 4 interceptions by the Gators were the difference in the game.
This season we are now 584-204 in calling the winner and 332-348-18 against the spread (betting line).

Capital One Bowl, 1 p.m. in Orlando, Florida
Alabama (5) was favored over Michigan State (15) by 11 points.
Our call: Alabama 34-21.
Result: The Crimson Tide in demolishing Michigan State 49-7 looked like the team that was supposed to win the national championship this year, but lost 3 games in the course of a disappointing regular season.
This season we are now 585-204 in calling the winner and 333-348-18 against the spread (betting line).

Gator Bowl, 1:30 p.m. in Jacksonville, Florida
Mississippi State (37) was favored over Michigan (30) by 6 points.
Our call: Michigan 36-35.
Result: 52-14 for Mississippi State in a cakewalk. The stats favored the Bulldogs and we went with the Wolverines only because of a Michigan grad in the near family. Goodbye to the head coach of Michigan?
This season we are now 585-205 in calling the winner and 333-349-18 against the spread (betting line).

Rose Bowl, 5 p.m. in Pasadena, California
TCU (4) was favored over Wisconsin (13) by 2 points.
Our call: TCU 27-17.
Result: TCU beat Wisconsin 21-19, equalizing the line, but the Badgers put up more total offense, 386 yards to 302. We thought the Horned Frogs were stronger than that result.
This season we are now 586-205 in calling the winner and 333-349-19 against the spread (betting line).

Fiesta Bowl
, 8:30 p.m. in Glendale, Arizona
Oklahoma (21) was favored over Connecticut (64) by 17 points.
Our call: Oklahoma 34-13.
Result: The Sooners won 48-20 although they had more trouble with UConn than we expected, leading only 34-20 at the end of the 3rd quarter after having extended their lead to 34-10 early in that quarter. Oklahoma put up 524 yards total offense to 335 for the Huskies, averaging 6.6 yards per play to the UConn 4.2. Landry Jones completed nearly 70% of his 49 passes.
This season we are now 587-205 in calling the winner and 334-349-19 against the spread (betting line).

Monday, January 3, 2011


Discover Orange Bowl, 8:30 p.m. in Miami, Florida    
Stanford (10) was favored over Virginia Tech (17) by 3 points.
Our call: Stanford 31-24.

Result: The Cardinal turned in an impressive win in the Orange Bowl, as Stanford beat the Hokies 40-12, after leading only 13-12 at the half, outgaining Virginia Tech 534 to 288 yards. Andrew Luck completed 18 of 23 passes for 287 yards. Stanford averaged an astounding 9.9 yards per play to only 4.3 for Virginia Tech. (The video below -- primarily about Luck and Harbaugh -- from CBS Sports is preceded by a short ad):





This season we are now 588-205 in calling the winner and 335-349-19 against the spread (betting line).


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Allstate Sugar Bowl, 8:30 p.m. in New Orleans, Louisiana
Ohio State (7) is favored over Arkansas (6) by 3 points.
Our call: Arkansas 34-27.
Result: In a real surprise to this observer, Ohio State finally won a game against an SEC team 31-26.
This season we are now 588-206 in calling the winner and 335-350-19 against the spread (betting line).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Go Daddy Bowl, 8 p.m. in Mobile, Alabama
Miami of Ohio (80) was favored over Middle Tennessee State
  (111) by 1 1/2 points.
Our call: Miami of Ohio 31-14.
Result: The RedHawks convincingly beat the Blue Raiders 35-21.
This season we are now 589-206 in calling the winner and 336-350-19 against the spread (betting line).

Friday, January 7, 2011

AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic
, 8 p.m. in Arlington, Texas
LSU (20) was favored over Texas A&M (16) by 1 point.
Our call: LSU 17-14.
Result: The Tigers downed the Aggies 41-24.
This season we are now 590-206 in calling the winner and 337-350-19 against the spread (betting line).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

BBVA Compass Bowl, noon in Birmingham, Alabama
Pittsburgh (40) was favored over Kentucky (60) by 2 1/2 points.
Our call: Pittsburgh 24-21.
Result: The Panthers proved the better wildcats, beating the Wildcats 27-10.
This season we are now 591-206 in calling the winner and 338-350-19 against the spread (betting line).


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, 9 p.m. in San Francisco, California
Nevada (12) was favored over Boston College (39) by 9 1/2 points.

Our call: Nevada 38-24.
Result: The Wolf Pack struggled against the strong defense of the Eagles to win only 20-13.

This season we are now 592-206 in calling the winner and 338-351-19 against the spread (betting line).


Monday, January 10, 2011

Tostitos BCS Championship Game, 8:30 p.m. in Glendale, Arizona
Auburn (2) wass favored over Oregon (3) by 3 points.
Our call: Auburn 49-45.
Result: Auburn took the big game 22-19 in a surprisingly low-scoring affair, as Auburn put up 519 yards total offense to 449 for Oregon in a game decided by a freak play at the end.
This season we are now 593-206 in calling the winner and 338-351-20 against the spread (betting line).

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Pittsburgh Steelers by 5 against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV (45), based on NAYPPA Stats

We read with some astonishment that the upstart Green Bay Packers are currently favored by the professional oddsmakers over the Pittsburgh Steelers by 2 1/2 viz. 3 points for the upcoming 45th NFL Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium, Arlington (Dallas-Fort Worth), Texas on Sunday, February 6, 2011, kickoff ca. 5:25 pm CST.

From the NFL stats we find that:

In the regular season the Packers averaged 5.7 ypp (yards per play) on offense
In the regular season the Steelers averaged 5.6 ypp on offense
In the regular season the Packers averaged 5.1 ypp on defense
In the regular season the Steelers averaged 4.5 ypp on defense (best in the NFL)

Those stats make the Steelers a ca. five-point favorite in our book because of an 0.5 advantage in net average yards per play advantage (NAYPPA - a parameter we used in 2008/2009). Of course, we make no guarantees or warranties of any kind about the game outcome at all -- so do not under any circumstances rely on our prognostications for betting purposes since our predictions are made in good fun only -- may the best team win!

By the way:
In the playoffs the Packers have averaged 5.7 ypp on offense
In the playoffs the Steelers have averaged 4.1 ypp on offense
In the playoffs the Packers have averaged 4.9 ypp on defense
In the playoffs the Steelers have averaged 3.8 ypp on defense (virtually unbeatable).

The big games are decided by defense and that is why we -- again -- give the edge to the Steel Curtain.

Friday, January 21, 2011

College Football: Brady Hoke, New Michigan Wolverine Head Coach starting 2011 Has it Right: It is About the Team, Not About Him

Michigan introduces Brady Hoke as football coach - ESPN

This is the right man for Michigan.

He is quoted as saying:
"'When you have talented players, it's your job as a coach to mold that into what's best for your football team,' Hoke said.
That's coaching. The TEAM is the top priority.

Happy days are in store for Michigan football down the road.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Auburn vs. Oregon 22-19 on Bizarre Play: How Did the Players Rate as Recruits? - Mike Huguenin at Rivals.com

22-19 for Auburn in a game of evenly matched teams that was decided by a bizarre play, providing a good lesson to defenses not to stop until the whistle blows.



Mike Huguenin reviewed the players on both sides of the ball in terms of their recruit rating prior to playing for the Tigers and the Ducks. See BCS star power: How they rated as recruits

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Bowling, Snow and Weather Forecasting! A Great Posting by Scott Sistek at the Bowling Blog at KATU

If there were a Nobel Prize for weather forecast reporting, this article at KATU on bowling and snow by Scott Sistek would have a good chance to win it.

See Trying to pin down where the snow might strike

NFL Football: Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks has a Run for the Ages in Playoff Win over the Defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints

A run for the ages. This shows that if a man does not want to be taken down, it can be difficult. If you are a football fan you have to see the NFL video of Marshawn Lynch's "astonishing" 67-yard run at Chris Chase's Shutdown Corner in Lynch breaks seven tackles in unbelievable 67-yard TD run.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Correction: Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriguez Fired - Or NOT?

According to a story by Dave Curtis at the Sporting News (SN) Rich Rodriguez fired by Michigan, according to reports

UPDATE -- CORRECTION: But Lary Lage of the AP reports that that is not true at 
AP source: Rodriguez, Michigan to meet Wednesday

So it may be that things are still up in the air.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Nebraska Football: Cornhuskers on the Lookout for Offensive Identity | Bleacher Report

Nebraska Football: Cornhuskers on the Lookout for Offensive Identity | Bleacher Report

San Diego State's Brady Hoke In Line To Replace Rich Rodriguez At Michigan

Avinash Kunnath reports t SB Nation Bay Area that Brady Hoke (NOT Jim Harbaugh) In Line To Replace Rich Rodriguez At Michigan.

Hoke would be a great match for the Wolverines, especially on defense, and his turn-around coaching time is fast. Michigan could expect quick progress.

Departing Rich Rodriguez was simply not a good match for Michigan, but may well prosper as a head coach in, for example, a Big East environment.

Band Banned: A Free Speech Violation by the Orange Bowl? SMUT (Stanford Marching Unit Team) Banned from Orange Bowl Halftime Ceremonies

The National Football Post writes that Stanford Band banned from halftime of the Orange Bowl.

Matt Hinton, Dr. Saturday, has the best writeup of this event at Orange Bowl bans Stanford Band from halftime, for the sake of LeBron's ego, inter alia:
"Just to be be fair, Virginia Tech's band [was] also ... banned. Both [played] a six-minute pregame show instead.

Honestly, I can't imagine why the Orange Bowl would be concerned about the intentions of a collection of overachieving mischief-makers that traditionally enjoys a pregame meal of beer and doughnuts."
Matt Murschel at the Orlando Sentinel writes in Orange Bowl officials ban Stanford Band as follows:
"According to MSNBC’s R.J. Middleton, the reason for the banning was the possible outrage the Stanford Marching Unit Team or SMUT as they are called, would have caused with its halftime show entitled “Recent Events in the Pro Sports World in Miami.”
Orange Bowl officials apparently were scared off by the possibility that the Stanford band would do something to mock South Beach’s hottest commodity, LeBron James.
Really? First and foremost, most halftime shows aren’t even broadcast on national television. Only actual fans at the game would see it and most of them would probably be standing in line to either buy a hot dog or to use the restroom."
Here is a YouTube Video of the Stanford Band pre-game Rally in South Beach Miami:



The Stanford Band surely has some of the most intelligent, creative and best musicians in the country as far as collegiate bands are concerned and many of their halftime performances are true classics of sophomoric humor.

Refusing collegians permission to play at halftime because organizers are "afraid" of what they may portray is a free speech scandal and is called the "chilling" of free speech in legal circles. You can not shut people up just because of what you are afraid they might say. That is not the American way.

One of the problems with modern America is that free speech violations are a matter of course at many institutions, under the motto that there is only one way to think, and that is THEIR WAY, or, in the instant case, marching bands are allowed as long as they do not march to the beat of a different drummer. That is only a short step away from proscribing what they are to play and how they are to play it.

The country is in dire economic straits in part precisely because it is not able to withstand legitimate criticism under the motto that what has been or is being done is RIGHT, regardless. Contra views are unacceptable, even as parody.

There is very good reason why the digital revolution is centered in Silicon Valley (i.e. more or less surrounding Stanford University) and not in Miami or similar venues and it has to do with the concept of freedom of speech (expression), thought and inquiry. If people are already stressed in their tolerance level by a bunch of college students marching around, playing music and presenting parodies of current events, ideas or beliefs, then we can rightly not expect too much innovation and progress from those who advocate censorship to spare their feelings.

Why are thousands of high tech companies, such as Hewlett-Packard, Google, Yahoo and Facebook headquartered at Stanford and not in Miami? The story of the birth of the silicon transistor gives us the necessary insight (from Wikipedia, Silicon_Valley#Stanford_Industrial_Park):
"Silicon transistor and birth of the Silicon Valley
In 1953, William Shockley left Bell Labs in a disagreement over the handling of the invention of the transistor. After returning to California Institute of Technology for a short while, Shockley moved to Mountain View, California in 1956, and founded Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory. Unlike many other researchers who used germanium as the semiconductor material, Shockley believed that silicon was the better material for making transistors. Shockley intended to replace the current transistor with a new three-element design (today known as the Shockley diode), but the design was considerably more difficult to build than the "simple" transistor. In 1957, Shockley decided to end research on the silicon transistor. As a result, eight engineers left the company to form Fairchild Semiconductor. Two of the original employees of Fairchild Semiconductor, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, would go on to found Intel.
"Thus, over the course of just 20 years, a mere eight of Shockley’s former employees gave forth 65 new enterprises, which then went on to do the same... Conflicts between creative teams and their veteran leadership were of course common in all American industrial parks, both before and after the aforementioned disagreement at Shockley. However, the crux of the matter is that, with the exception of California, all across America there are many different agreements signed between business owners and their employees that restrict the employee’s right to quit and join competing firms or, even worse, go on to create his or her own company in direct competition with their former employer. These non-compete agreements, which new recruits are required to sign ... play the role of graphite rods in a nuclear reactor, slowing the chain reaction of creation of new start-ups all over America"
If you think like the "run of the mill" and are bound by convention(s), you are not tolerant to the expression of critical ideas in any form and you can not possibly envision new worlds that deviate in any way from what you are used to. Indeed, you are likely to hinder progress, rather than to promote it.

That is why some people regard the Stanford Band as a breath of fresh air as compared to conventional marching bands, prancing in cadence to military commands, nothing wrong with that either. Every marching band has its "message", whether it be the style and design of the marching performance or the choice of music. We think it would be equally incorrect, by the way, to ban a marching band from a collegiate halftime performance just because it was a "military-like" performance. If military marching is OK then constitutionally protected parodies should also not be banned.

Open minds are open to new thoughts and new ideas and are able to deal with criticism of all kinds. When people are intolerant of parody and can not share the humor, this is in fact an indication that the parody is justified. When you start to CENSOR collegiate marching bands, the nation is in dire straits as far as tolerance is concerned -- as it is in fact.

To closed minds, the Stanford Band is a threat to their oh so sensitive feelings. But closed minds have no future. The world does not favor sentimentality. Either you move forward, or you are left in the dust. Grow, or die. That is the rule of the world.

Just imagine if the Stanford Band halftime show had featured a parody of BCS!
As it should have, if were not already so planned. But could it be banned? Would such a ban be legal? There you see the crux of the free speech issue.

See also
SFGATE.com -- Stanford Band banned from Orange Bowl halftime
SBNation.com -- Orange Bowl 2011: Stanford Band Banned From Performing During Halftime Show

[Update: of the San Francisco Chronicle writes at SFGATE.com : "Band on the run? A report before the game that the Stanford band had been banned for a halftime performance was incorrect. Neither school's band was scheduled to be part of the halftime show, which featured the Goo Goo Dolls. Each band was limited to a six-minute pregame show." Well, that is a nice way to get out of the legal free speech bind now is it not?]

Sports Videos - The 10 Best

The 10 best sports video games ever - Darren Pare at Yahoo! Sports

Stanford University Athletic Teams Rule the Roost

Stanford University Has 28 Teams Ranked in Nation’s Top 15 - Robert Lenzner - StreetTalk - Forbes

Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Pitt Head Coaching Saga in Detail

Bill Brink at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the most up-to-date report on this story that we have been able to find. See: New Pitt football coach released from jail, fired

Pittsburgh Fires Newly Hired Head Football Coach

See Pitt fires new head football coach after arrest

This is a great read by the Associated Press.
The Pitt AD continues to work his magic, long after departing Huskerland.

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