Monthly Archives: September 2011

J3C College Football Top 25 (after week 4)

A fast & furious week and things are starting to come into focus a little more clearly, but so are the questions that remain.

Georgia Tech’s defense did just enough to hold off North Carolina.  Question is whether the offense can continue their blistering pace & overcome the defensive lapses that are so familiar on a weekly basis? … UGA’s offense did enough to get by an Ole Miss team that looks really really bad.  Question is what the heck is wrong with Blair Walsh?  (Questions about what is wrong with the Dawgs offense seem to have a pretty obvious answer, and it’s wearing a headset) … We know that Alabama & LSU look pretty darned good.  Question is what the heck are they going to do to when they have to play each other? …  We know that Texas A&M is officially headed to the SEC.  Question is does anyone outside the TV networks & the Aggie Nation give a damn? … We know that it looks like Stephen Garcia has the South Carolina QB job locked up.  Otherwise The Ol’ Ball Coach would have pulled him sooner during a miserable start against Vanderbilt.  Question is, how did Connor Shaw go from starting to being that far in the doghouse?  Is it as simple as one crappy outing against East Carolina? … We know that USC isn’t accustomed to losing to Arizona State. The question is how long until games like that get Kiffy run out of California for the second time in a decade? … We know that it’s about time for a new Top 25, question is how many of these teams can stand the pressure of such an honor?

1. (1) Alabama
2. (2) Oklahoma
3. (5) LSU
4. (3) Stanford
5. (4) Wisconsin
6. (6) Boise State
7. (8) Oklahoma State
8. (9) Nebraksa
9. (10) Oregon
10. (13) Virginia Tech
11. (12) South Carolina
12. (16) Baylor
13. (7) Texas A&M
14.  (18) Florida
15. (21) Clemson
16. (17) South Florida
17. (19) Texas
18. (14) Arkansas
19. (15) West Virginia
20. (22) Michigan
21. (11) Florida State
22. (23) Michigan State
23. (Un) TCU
24. (24) Illinois
25. (25) Iowa State

Dropped Out: USC (20)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after Week 3)

So another week is in the books, let’s see what we’ve learned.

We’ve learned that Tennessee is about what I thought they were: better, but still with a long way to go to be anywhere near the upper echelon of the SEC.  I think I feel worse about the injury to Justin Hunter for him than I do for the team.  Seems like a pretty okay kid, here’s hoping his recovery is much easier than the one facing a Vols program that remains significantly outmanned … We’ve learned that Georgia Tech can roll up even more amazing numbers against bad D1 teams  than they can against bad I-AA teams.  Whether they can do anything of note against anyone else is still TBD … We know that UGA would probably be the best team in the Big South conference.  Don’t laugh, at the rate teams seem to be switching conferences  lately this might become very important info …  We now know that Auburn has some serious rebuilding to do, but it looks like the problems are much more serious on defense than offense … Thanks to Oklahoma State, Tulsa and some bad weather, we’ve learned that you can still be playing football at nearly 4 a.m. local time.  Seems like good practice for OSU and their fans if they end up in the PacEverHowMany … We’ve learned, or maybe just been reminded, that the bottom of the Top 25 really isn’t a stable place to be, good thing I get to redo this every week.

1. (1) Alabama
2. (2) Oklahoma
3. (3) Stanford
4. (4) Wisconsin
5. (6) LSU
6. (7) Boise State
7. (8) Texas A&M
8. (9) Oklahoma State
9. (10) Nebraska
10. (13) Oregon
11. (5) Florida State
12. (11) South Carolina
13. (12) Virginia Tech
14. (15) Arkansas
15. (16) West Virginia
16. (18) Baylor
17. (19) South Florida
18. (22) Florida
19. (23) Texas
20. (20) USC
21. (Un) Clemson
22. (Un) Michigan
23. (14) Michigan State
24. (Un) Illinois
25. (Un) Iowa State

Dropped Out: Ohio State (16), Auburn (21), Arizona State (24), Mississippi State (25)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week 2)

Some pretty good games for so early in the season, better than you might have expected beforehand based on ranked matchups and whatnot.   Still, hard to complain about them from a viewing standpoint.

Georgia Tech has discovered a promising innovation that adds a new wrinkle to the offense, they call it the forward pass, but it remains to be seen how it will work against legitimate D1 opponents … Tennessee surprised me Saturday with how easily they handled a not-bad Cincinnati team and Justin Hunter is a fun receiver to watch … South Carolina found a way to take the heat off of Mike Bobo for at least a week …  Michigan & Notre Dame gave fans as good as a finish as you’re likely to see for a while, well, unless you’re a fan of the Irish …  Duke even made things interesting against Stanford for nearly a half, right up until the point where they turned back into Duke … And I can’t remember a week where I saw more onside kicks, fake punts that went for big yards and other assorted oddities.  Week 3 better bring it’s A-game if it wants to keep up with the standard set by the previous weekend … and with that warning, it’s time for the latest top 25.

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

 

Dropped Out: Missouri (20), BYU (23)

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10 Years Later

10 years ago today, I’m pretty sure most of us remember where we were.  As the milestone anniversary arrives I find myself wondering how well we remember, or are willing to remember, how we got there.  As unthinkable as the events that unfolded seemed to most Americans that day, they were far from unimaginable to others, downright predictable even.  One of those people was Rick Rescorla.  Maybe that’s why my thoughts often turn toward his story when the weather begins to cool just a little and the calendar turns to September.

I could spend the next year writing about the figure who would become known as The Man Who Predicted 9/11 but I couldn’t come close to doing his story justice.  Born in Britain in 1939, he found himself joining the U.S. Army in 1963, eventually graduating from Officer Candidate School & airborne training at Fort Benning.  That’s how a lad from Cornwall would find himself leading American troops in Vietnam, how he would find himself fighting in the battle of Ia Draing, and how he ended up being the solider pictured on the cover of We Were Soliders Once … and Young, a fitting representative as what Col. Hal Moore called “the best platoon leader I ever saw”.

Still, it’s his accurate prediction of not only the use of a basement vehicle bomb to attack the World Trade Center in 1993 but also predicting the use of aircraft in the subsequent attack that gives rises to the more modern part of his legend.  The rest of his iconic status comes from the roughly 2,700 employees of Morgan Stanley who survived the attack on WTC 2 because their director of security – Rescorla – considered the instructions from the Port Authority to keep workers at their desks and replied with a simple “Piss off, you son of a bitch” and began evacuating immediately thereafter.  With virtually all of the employees evacuated, Rescorla was last seen on the tenth floor, heading back up the stairs to check for stragglers before planning to evacuate himself “as soon as I make sure everyone else is out”.

His remains were never found.

While we pay tribute, rightfully so, to the multitude of heroes who sacrificed so much on 9/11 and in the days that have followed, I find myself dismayed at how easily we seem to tarnish their efforts by willfully embracing a return to the same complacency that contributed to the ability of our attackers to act in the first place.  Even more I find myself bewildered at the ease with which we’re willing to allow future generations to suffer from our inability to learn from past mistakes.

A few days ago columnist Michelle Malkin wrote brilliantly and clearly about how ” too many children have been spoon-fed the thin gruel of progressive political correctness over the stiff antidote of truth”.  About the persistent efforts to sugarcoat the reality of the world we live in and, more specifically, about the enemies we face in that world.  The desire to “blame America” is alive and well, we focus educational efforts on things like “embracing diversity” and “celebrating our differences”, generally promoting tolerance of the intolerable instead of  making it crystal clear to the next generation that some very clear, cold, hard facts remain (which Malkin again summed up concisely):

“9/11 was a deliberate, carefully planned evil act of the long-waged war on the West by Koran-inspired soldiers of Allah around the world. They hated us before George W. Bush was in office. They hated us before Israel existed. And the avengers of the religion of perpetual outrage will keep hating us no matter how much we try to appease them.”

Having a thirteen year old currently studying both 9/11 and terrorism in general for the past several weeks has really brought home to me just how little has been done to educate even the brightest students about the world around them.  He’s among relatively few of his peers who recalled ever seeing footage of the towers collapse, among even fewer who were able to connect many of the obvious dots, and seemingly unique in  knowing relevant details such as the 2001 attacks not being the first launched against the WTC.

The stunning lack of comprehension among teens – young adults effectively and even more critically perhaps, just a few short years away from voting – takes me back where I was on the morning of September 11, 2001.  Specifically in the den of our home in Monticello.  My wife & I watching in horror as the morning unfolded.  The discussion and conscious decision that we made about how to deal with the day with respect to our then three-year-old, still sleeping upstairs when the towers collapsed.  As we reached the conclusion that it would be practically impossible for him to avoid the scenes entirely, I remember something I said as I headed upstairs to wake him to join us “This is the world he lives in, he’s going to have to deal with it whether we like it or not”.    Sadly, I get the feeling that we may be in the minority of parents who chose to deal with that reality.

Instead, there’s no shortage of “useful idiots” willing to appease those clearly and willfully dedicated to their destruction.  We not only survived the Cold War in spite of the best efforts of enemies both foreign and domestic, we won it (even if significantly by allowing the enemy to lose it).  That alone should give me plenty of optimism in our latest conflict … but it doesn’t.  It seems we’re plagued by even more people willing to not only fraternize with the enemy but also to render him aid & comfort.   We’re at war not only with enemies dedicated to our destruction but also with ourselves, divided as thoroughly as we’ve been in more than a hundred years.  The earthly outcome of both those wars remains in doubt, but to insure our survival it seems vital that we refocus our efforts on not only remembering the lessons of the past but also to making sure those lessons are taught to the generations who will know them only from history books.   On this anniversary, we owe that debt to all the heroes that have fallen, to all those like Rick Rescorla whose warnings went unheeded.

Ten years later, on this September 11th, 2011,  it’s no longer enough to simply remember.  We have to be willing to learn from the past, to accept the responsibility of reality however unpleasant, and to teach those truths to all who will have them.

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week 1)

Just like that, college football is back in full swing and some things don’t seem to have changed much.

Tennessee still has problems running the ball, Georgia Tech is still embarrassing on special teams, Georgia still can’t win a game that they seem to have a lot riding on, LSU still wins in spite of themselves (or at least in spite of their QB), Notre Dame still starts the season overrated.    On the other hand, things are dramatically different.  Auburn struggles with Utah State, GT completes a forward pass, conference realignment has been settled … oh wait, scratch that last one, I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention since it’s time for a new Top 25.

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

Dropped Out: Notre Dame (13), TCU (16), Georgia (25)

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About my CFB Top 25

In case you’re new to the blog & wondering why the heck I do this, I’ll refer you back to what I said about that last year

There aren’t many college football fans who lack an opinion, I’m no exception. And since I already do this every week as part of a group of online friends & acquaintances anyway, I figure I might as well share it here as well, in advance of the opening weekend.I try to set aside any personal bias, same as I did years ago when I actually got to vote on one of these for real (as a voting member of the old UPI College Basketball Poll), I believe there’s certainly enough teams on here that I can’t stand to back up that claim.

Okay, that said,  with a few games completed & a fairly full slate coming up on Saturday, I was curious to see how my preseason poll turned out versus the end of the season poll.  I also started wondering how my 2011 pre-season rankings looked compared to last year’s.

2010 Pre-season Rank/Team/Final ranking

1. Alabama  (9)
2. Texas (NR) Yikes, did I ever miss on this one
3. Florida (NR) Yikes again
4. Ohio State (5)
5. TCU (2)
6. Virginia Tech (16)
7. Boise State (11)
8. Oklahoma (6)
9. Nebraska (15)
10. Penn State (NR)
11. Oregon (3)
12. Arkansas (13)
13. LSU (8)
14. Iowa (NR)
15. Miami (FL) (NR)
16. Georgia Tech (NR)
17. Cincinnati (NR)
18. Wisconsin (7)
19. Pittsburgh (NR)
20. BYU (NR)
21. Texas Tech (NR)
22. Oregon State (NR)
23. North Carolina (NR)
24. Georgia (NR)
25. Florida State (19)

Meanwhile, at the outset of 2010 I failed to include quite a few teams from the year-end rankings … and that’s an understatment.  I initially overlooked Auburn (1), Stanford (4), Nevada (10), Oklahoma State (12), Michigan State (14), Mississippi State (17), Texas A&M (18), Utah (20), South Carolina (21),  Central Florida (22), Maryland (23), Tulsa (24), and San Diego State (25).

In other words, 13 out of the final top 25 weren’t even in my list when the season began, including the eventual national champion and two others in the top ten.

Good thing this is just for fun.  I think I’ll just skip trying to figure out any correlation between my pre-season expectations this year versus last year, that might take the fun out of it.

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JC3 College Football Top 25 (before Week 1)

Posted this elsewhere on Wednesday, stupidly failed to post it on my own #$%@# blog until now.  I reckon you’ll just have to trust me (why else would I still have TCU where they are if I was trying to cheat)

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

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