Monthly Archives: October 2012

J3C College Football Top 25 (after week nine)

Tough weekend to be undefeated.

Or, as five teams are now known, “formerly unbeaten”.

Alabama did that thing that they do to Mississippi State, no surprise there.  For Florida, having Georgia do that thing they hardly ever do anymore has to be doubly bitter.  For Rutgers, it may mean karma is taking revenge for the whole Snooky thing, how else to explain seven turnovers against Kent State.   For Ohio U it means a return to afterthought status.  And for Oregon State it means hoping that their game against Washington finished so late that nobody noticed.

Meanwhile, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame are all trying to figure out why the whole undefeated thing was so hard for everybody else on Saturday, they certainly didn’t have any trouble staying that way.

Of course, most of the teams playing over the weekend had long since fallen from the ranks of the undefeated, including 5 more of my top 25.  USC found a way to squander a 345 yard receiving day from Marqise Lee and lost the Unlikable Coach Bowl to Arizona.  Michigan saw a horrifying glimpse of life without Dennard Robinson, or life with a freshman backup that now has as many interceptions through 21 attempts this season- 4 – as completions.  And even if you count both, he still misses everybody 60% of the time.

As bad as Rusell Bellomy has been, he might be an upgrade at Georgia Tech … on defense.  The Al Groh Vindication Classic saw the Jackets give up over 400 yards and 41 points to a BYU team that isn’t exactly a powerhouse.  The triple option produced only 157 yards all day, thanks in no small part to a shocking 0-for-10 afternoon on third down conversions.  At this point the best thing left in this Tech season might be if the rumors about AD Dan Radokovich leaving for Clemson.  That might start the long road back, and wreck an ACC rival in the process, a win-win situation for the athletic Joke by Coke.

I’d love to give Tennessee equal time here, but I just can’t.  Suffice to say that in the history of the Southeastern Conference only one program had ever managed to start three straight seasons 0-5 in conference play … until Saturday, when the Vols joined Vanderbilt on that list.  Still, given the horrifying knee injury suffered by Marcus Lattimore, talking about the game seems almost crass.   By all accounts not only is the young man who turns 21 today a great running back but he’s also a tremendously likable all around good person.  Nothing but good wishes, thoughts and prayers for him.

One final note, for the folks down in Auburn, basketball season starts November 9th against IPFW.  Football season has been over for several weeks now so I’m sure you’re looking forward to some hoops.

1. (1) Alabama
2. (2) Oregon
3. (3) Kansas State
4. (4) Notre Dame
5. (6) Ohio State
6. (8) LSU
7. (11) Florida State
8. (15) Georgia
9. (12) Clemson
10. (5) Florida
11. (16) Louisville
12. (9) Oregon State
13. (20) Stanford
14. (7) USC
15. (10) Oklahoma
16. (13) Mississippi State
17. (24) Texas A&M
18. (14) Texas Tech
19. (18) South Carolina
20. (21) Boise State
21. (22) Toledo
22. (25) West Virginia
23. (Un) Nebraska
24. (Un) Arizona
25. (Un) Kent State

Dropped Out This Week: Rutgers (17), Michigan (19), Ohio (23)

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Rebuilt, restored and ready to rock once more.

Took about 6 days & more hours than I care to add up to get my primary YouTube playlist back in full working order but it’s finally done.   That’s a memory I’ll just try to forget.

Typical week — 3 songs in & 3 songs out — List of missing songs now down to two once again, as Hoobastank magically reappears on the service

Missing songs:
Demons – Candlelight Red, Let’s Ride – Kid Rock

New to the Spotify list this week:
This Is Gonna Hurt – Hoobastank (returned to Spotify), Long Way Down – Kiss,  Something To Remind You – Staind

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
Sex – Motley Crue, Welcome To The Church- Foxy Shazam,  Sandpaper – Fozzy f. M Shadows

For the larger (once again nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s new music from Three Doors Down, a considerably different sounding Bullet For My Valentine track, The Sword, Ten, and De La Cruz.    You can find it at this link

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Social media? Or monologue?

File this one under “too long for a Facebook status”.  It’s not quite a full-on “Jon-rant” either, more like a (hopefully) quick bit of thinking out loud.

For years I’ve described my personal internet presence; i.e. the things I have ownership/editorial control over —  message boards, forums, websites, Facebook — as being akin to my living room.  If I’d give you leeway to say it there then I’m good with you saying it in my digital space.  Think of it as being a guest at a party basically.  If you got invited in the first place then you’re most likely not expected to kiss my ass in order to remain welcome.  Within whatever arbitrary boundaries I may set, whether in advance or as the situation requires, you can say what you will.

Just like with that virtual party though, there are some lines you could cross that would get you asked to leave, or maybe even physically escorted to (or through) the front door.   I make no pretense about that imaginary line being exactly the same for every guest either, some people have more leeway than others.  I don’t think that makes me any different than just about any other regular Joe/Jane out there.  Our relationships with people generally have a value  related to the investment you’ve made in each other over time.  A beloved relative therefore is going to get more benefit of the doubt than the new neighbor you met two weeks ago & invited out of some sense of obligation or just trying to be polite.

In reverse, I treat other people’s digital domains the same as I treat my own, it’s your living room & I’m allowed there at your sufferance.  I’m still not likely to censor myself beyond what I find reasonable or tolerable in the digital realm any more than I am if I were standing on your carpet.  In other words, I really try to be the same guy online that I am in person.  Good or bad, right or wrong, for better or worse, there’s basically only one me.  I have enough trouble keeping that one between the ditches, no chance I’m going to try to have a whole different personality, behavior, rules, etc. just for the internet.  If you have a problem with that, you’re just as free to ask me to stop or ask me to leave or bounce me out the door as you see fit.

Hopefully all of that makes a reasonable amount of sense to everybody, because the living room analogy is key to what I’ve really got on my mind:

What about those in between spaces?  I originally described it as a “virtual porch” when I started writing this entry, but quickly realized that wasn’t the right metaphor.  Maybe “common area”, like you have if you live in a condo or neighborhood or something but that really wasn’t it either.

When I say something here or on Facebook or on Twitter, the very nature of the venue invites comment & feedback.  Like making a statement aloud in the middle of the living room at my own party.  Hence the phrase SOCIAL media.  Ultimately I have control over what feedback is acceptable, but I really don’t believe it’s realistic to pre-emptively issue a blanket order for people not to comment.   That’s not a party, that’s a lecture, and to be honest even my ample ego is pretty sure the number of people signing up for “An Evening With Jon” is going to need a pretty small room to hold everyone who wants to attend.  And truth be told, 99.9% of Evening With Person X lectures are going to be able to take place in the same linen closet.

Thing is, the nature of social media is a lot like that living room party.   With the current technology it’s difficult to nigh on impossible to only hear (well, read) the stuff you want to hear or will like or agree with.   And that’s fine, we’re not required to attend anybody’s “party” but it’s just not remotely reasonable to invite us to enjoy the cute little weinies-in-crescent-rolls but expect us to not hear something you say at full volume in the middle in the room.

Our hearing isn’t that selective, neither are the user options on most internet sites.  I can’t just filter out, strictly for example, every reference to Obama that is made by a left-leaning friend.  I have to either deal with those in order to also see the latest news about their kids (which I find imminently more agreeable) or do without all of their content.   Heck, I can’t even consistently & effectively filter out disagreeable references made by people I don’t even know, those “friends of a friend” are the source of frequent irritation for a fair number of people.  The technology is simply much more “all or nothing” than that, same as I can’t control what some idiot co-worker of a friend might say if I was at their home to celebrate their kid’s graduation or something.

The choices really aren’t that complicated.  I can deal with it in silence, I can object to whatever degree I decide is appropriate, I can leave the party altogether … but I can’t control whether or not I hear it if I’m going to attend the party.  That’s not an option, the technology in use on most sites simply isn’t that advanced … so please don’t be surprised if there’s occasional feedback that isn’t always hunky-dory agreeable.

Likewise, please don’t expect everyone to comment exclusively if they’re in wholehearted agreement.  Those aren’t “friends”, those are sycophants.  Nothing wrong with being selective about how often you express that disagreement,  go too far too often & well, you likely ain’t gonna remain friends.  Nothing wrong with choosing your words wisely, nothing wrong with at least trying to do so with the amount of respect you deem appropriate … but reality says there IS occasionally going to be heard a discouraging word.   I’d strongly suggest people either deal with that reality or find a different venue, because you’re expecting more out of the current social media landscape than it can really provide.

Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that anyone suffer endlessly or anything of that sort.  A user can pretty easily cut off communication that becomes intolerable.  To be frank, I’ve done exactly that on more than one occasion, when someone simply stepped irrevocably over the line between what I was willing to tolerate from them and what I wasn’t.  {shrug}  No different than “real life”, sometimes people simply become more trouble than they’re worth to you.  When or if that happens, you deal with it and move on, may not be something you wished would happen, but it does.  Such is life. {shrug again}

In the interest of even more clarity, a couple of other things I think ought  to be said before I close this one.
1) Neither Obama nor anything left-leaning nor even the political season has anything to do with this bit of wisdom.  The reference above was strictly an example, nothing more.  Honest & for true, that stuff has exactly zero to do with this entry, so please don’t try to connect dots that don’t exist.
2) Yeah, there was an actual incident that prompted this blog post at this particular moment (waves to the one or two readers who saw it) but I was a relatively innocent bystander.  The subject is nothing new though, what happened today was merely a catalyst for writing on a topic that’s crossed my mind plenty of times in the past few years.

So Jon, (I can hear someone saying) exactly what is your point here?  I guess what I’m shooting for is just a combination reminder/advisory that we all should have reasonable expectations about how the various online avenues are going to function (and dysfunction), be ready to cope with situations that arise, and to urge that those coping mechanisms be rooted in reality rather than in some peace- love- Kumbaya sing along fantasyland that doesn’t exist in the physical world much less in cyberspace.

And that’s my three cents.

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week eight)

I knew yesterday wasn’t going to be much fun to watch.

Take one of the worst — or even least — coached teams in college football.  Put them up against a machine.  And then duck.

What Alabama did to Tennessee was actually lighter than it could have been.  The Crimson Tide took a workmanlike approach to dismantling the hapless Vols in the first half.  In the second half they scattered the miscellaneous parts to the four winds.   In an interview conducted before the game Tennessee AD Dave Hart talked about needing to see improvement – not just with the football team but with athletics in general – with “urgency”.  The most urgent need in Knoxville at the moment is a legitimate Division 1 head football coach.  Until that happens, there’s really no reason to think anything will improve.

But there’s a lot of teams with things that need urgent improvement.  Take West Virginia’s defense.  Please.  Embarrassed and exposed for a second straight week, it’s hard to imagine that just a couple of weeks ago the Mountaineers were among the top five or six teams in the nation.  Of course we now know that they weren’t, we just thought they were.

The same situation, slightly less dire perhaps, in South Carolina.  In some respects the Gamecocks may have actually looked worse against Florida than they did the previous week against LSU.  At least the Tigers dominated the game.  The Gators scored 44 points with only 183 yards of total offense, as the Poultry imploded with 4 turnovers.  With Marcus Lattimore limited to three carries because of injury and Connor Shaw limited (mercifully) to just one half of dismal play, South Carolina can only hope that yesterday represents rock bottom for their season.

Then there’s Georgia, who has to be wondering what it takes to stop playing down to the level of their competition, struggling to beat woeful Kentucky.  And it took help from some bad officiating to manage even that much.  Joker Phillips is one of the few coaches that might not be an upgrade over Derek Fooley in Knoxvegas … but he held his own against the consistently lackluster staff on the other sideline.  The post-game pronouncement from Saint Richt that “I’m happy with the victory” spoke volumes about the source of the issues in Athens.

The end of the Texas Tech-TCU triple overtime shootout was fun, BYU hanging tough against Notre Dame wasn’t bad, and there’s something almost surreal about Vanderbilt having 2 more conference wins that Auburn & Tennessee combined.

That’s about it for this week I think, although I suppose congratulations are in order for Georgia Tech and their win over what looks like a mediocre high school team.   Beating Boston College proves that a tie isn’t the only thing that’s nice but doesn’t mean much.  Onto the poll, where stability in the upper reaches is the order of the day.

1. (1) Alabama
2. (2) Oregon
3. (3) Kansas State
4. (4) Notre Dame
5. (5) Florida
6. (6) Ohio State
7. (7) USC
8. (8) LSU
9. (10) Oregon State
10. (11) Oklahoma
11. (12) Florida State
12. (13) Clemson
13. (17) Mississippi State
14. (19) Texas Tech
15. (15) Georgia
16. (16) Louisville
17. (18) Rutgers
18. (9) South Carolina
19. (23) Michigan
20. (24) Stanford
21. (25) Boise State
22. (Un) Toledo
23. (Un) Ohio
24. (21) Texas A&M
25. (14) West Virginia

Dropped Out This Week:  Cincinnai (20), TCU (22)

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

I know it seems like “a little late” has become the new normal for this regular blog entry, but this time I’ve got a pretty good excuse.

Not sure when YouTube introduced a way to accidentally delete entire contents of a playlist, nor why they chose to make it so easy to do without realizing, but that’s exactly what happened to my nearly 200 song primary playlist this week.  Poof.  Gone.  Without even realizing it had happened until a half hour later when I tried to make an edit.

Rebuilding that is a rather tedious process that is still underway, but it will be done.  About halfway there now, I’ll ask your patience as I try to get it finished up.

About the usual movement this week — 4 songs in & 4 songs out — List of missing songs drops back to three again, as I move on from the first Mark Tremonti single and get ready for the next one (which also hasn’t shown up on Spotify yet).

Missing songs:
This Is Gonna Hurt – Hoobastank, Demons – Candlelight Red, Let’s Ride – Kid Rock, Turn It Up – Texas Hippie Coalition

New to the Spotify list this week:
The Pride – Five Finger Death Punch, Doom & Gloom – Rolling Stones, Bring It – Trapt,  Sandpaper– Fozzy w/M. Shadows

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
Sick & Twisted Affair – My Darkest Days, Love/Hate Masquerade – Surrender the Fall, Forget You – Digital Summer

For the larger (nearly 200 songs once fully restored) YouTube version there’s new music from Cherri Bomb, Primal Rock Rebellion, Kissin’ Dynamite and that new Rolling Stones single.    You can find it at this link

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week seven)

No Tech game?  No Georgia game?  Ah well, at least there’s the familiar sound of Tennessee’s bubble being popped, as well as another pretender crashing to the floor.

Close(r) but no cigar for Derek Fooley’s Vols on their trip to Starkville, meaning a third consecutive 0-3 start in conference play.  With Alabama and South Carolina next on the schedule, the question doesn’t seem to be whether Tennessee will once again be 0-5 in the SEC (also for a third straight year) but rather whether a November 10th visit by Missouri will give them back to back years of 0-6 records in the SEC.

Speaking of South Carolina, what a flop.  Being pushed around by the LSU defense is one thing but giving up over 400 yards to their offense in another matter entirely.  The prospect of an undefeated Spurrier team playing Florida was entertaining to consider, instead there’s the depressing prospect that the SEC at this point might as well be Alabama and the Thirteen Dwarves.

Maybe the Gamecocks just took their cue from another former Spurrier team, the Duke Blue Devils.  Off to a 5-1 start and unbeaten in the ACC coming into Saturday, the long suffering program jumped to a 20-0 lead in Blacksburg … and then gave up 41 unanswered points to Virginia Tech.  Granted, nobody really thought Duke was a contender or anything but still, that’s a pretty major collapse.

Then again, this seemed to be the week for it.  How else to explain West Virginia & their XBox offense being held to 14 points by Texas Tech?  Or Texas trailing 36-2 at the half against Oklahoma, eventually losing 63-21?   Given all that happened over the weekend, Ohio State has to be breathing a sigh of relief that they staved off the challenge of mighty Indiana.

All was not lost however.  Georgia State finally found a team they could beat, routing Rhode Island 41-7 for their first ever win as a member of the football bowl subdivision.   Good thing too. With Villanova, James Madison and Old Dominion — a combined 15-4 this season — on the schedule ahead, this was probably their best shot at a win.

All in all, just another weekend in paradise … unless your team got exposed of course.

1. (1) Alabama
2. (2) Oregon
3. (5) Kansas State
4. (6) Notre Dame
5. (8) Florida
6. (7) Ohio State
7. (9) USC
8. (14) LSU
9. (3) South Carolina
10. (10) Oregon State
11. (11) Oklahoma
12. (12) Florida State
13. (13) Clemson
14. (4) West Virginia
15. (15) Georgia
16. (17) Louisville
17. (19) Mississippi State
18. (20) Rutgers
19. (Un) Texas Tech
20. (21) Cincinnati
21. (22) Texas A&M
22. (23) TCU
23. (Un) Michigan
24. (18) Stanford
25. (25) Boise State

Dropped Out This Week:  Texas (16), Michigan State (24)

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Funny, feels like I just did this 😉

A little more movement this week — 3 songs in & 3 songs out — And the list of missing songs climbs again, now back up to four songs of my personal top forty currently unavailable on Spotify (the Hoobstank song which suddenly showed up in late August just as suddenly vanished last week)

Missing songs:
This Is Gonna Hurt – Hoobastank, You Waste Your Time – Mark Tremonti,
Demons – Candlelight Red, Let’s Ride – Kid Rock

New to the Spotify list this week:
Keep On Swinging – Rival Sons, Homegrown – Lynyrd Skynyrd,  Alive– Adelitas Way, Save Me – Hinder

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
Last of A Dyin’ Breed – Lynyrd Skynyrd, Take My Bones Away – Baroness, Hell or Hallelujah – Kiss, This Is Gonna Hurt  – Hoobastank* (still in top 40 but disappeared from Spotify)

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version things were kinda of hectic because of all the possible moves.  New music from Kid Rock, Mark Tremonti,  Staind, Flyleaf, Stone Sour and Black Oxygen among the additions this week.    You can find it at this link

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