September 30, 2006
Well, I’m 8-12 against the spread (improving from my 2-7 start after week 2), and a low 15-6 straight up (damn you, schools in Michigan!)… Now, though, we’re getting into the meat of the season. There aren’t as many expected blowouts when you get into conference play, unless you’re playing Illinois, a 26-point underdog to MSU. Furthermore, this is conference play, where things get a lot hotter. You’re no longer trying to pad your win total for bowl eligibility, you’re battling for conference standings and the question of whether your bowl will be Jan 1, or a lowly December bowl game.
So let’s see if I might improve my record this week.
Wisconsin (3-1) @ Indiana (2-2):
Vegas Says: Wisconsin -11
Something’s wrong here. Wisconsin is only 11 point favorites? Granted, they put up a whopping 13 points last weekend on offense, and yes, their offense is replacing pretty much everyone. But that 13 was scored against the best defense in the Big Ten, and they’ve been scoring in their other games. Even so, let’s say they only score 13 (unlikely, against IU’s defense). Can IU score even 3 on the Wisky D to beat the spread? It’s questionable, since they only put up 7 on UConn. IU won’t be able to put up points on Wisconsin, and Wisconsin will run right through IU’s D. This game should be settled by halftime.
Prediction: Wisconsin Covers
Predicted Final Score: Wisconsin 31, Indiana 13
Final Score: Wisconsin 52, Indiana 17
Kansas St (3-1) @ Baylor (1-3):
Vegas Says: Kansas St -1.5
This is an odd one. How can a 3-1 team be only a 1.5 point favorite over a 1-3 team. Something doesn’t quite add up when you see a line like that. So I have to look at these teams a little closer. K-State squeaked by a decent Illinois State team, then blew out two doormats. They then got stomped by #8 Louisville, but that’s to be expected. Baylor, on the other hand, was expected to be decent this year, but is sitting at 1-3. Yet they’ve played decent in their losses to TCU, Wash St, and Army. So I’ll have to look at the stats. Baylor appears to be a pure air attack, averaging only 30 yards per game on the ground. K-State is much more balanced. On defense, both teams appear to be putting up decent totals, but given the level of competition Baylor has faced, I have to give the edge to Baylor. In this game, I think Baylor is going to go to the air early and often. If they can get an early edge, they might be able to take this one over. But I think K-State is expecting that, and their pass defense has been decent. I frankly don’t see a lot of scoring here all day. That being said, the team that passes more has the chance for big plays, and I have to give the edge to Baylor.
Prediction: Baylor beats the spread
Predicted final score: Baylor 13, Kansas State 10
Final Score: Baylor 17, K-State 3
Northern Illinois (2-2) @ Ball State (1-3):
Vegas Says: NIU -6.5
Here we see a team with a blazing talent in Garrett Wolfe, who put up gaudy numbers against the defense of Ohio State, against a MAC up-and-comer who has respectable losses against two Big Ten teams. NIU has a ridiculous offense and a porous defense, while Ball State has a good offense and a worse defense. It’s tough to judge, of course, as Ball State faced a prolific Purdue offense that put up astonishing numbers, and NIU faced a prolific Ohio State offense that put up astonishing numbers in the first quarter. But in this case, I look at the question of whether anyone on the Ball State defense can even contain Garrett Wolfe. And the answer is no. I don’t think we’ll see much defense from either team, but with the rushing attack of NIU, I do think we’ll see a lower-than-expected score.
Prediction: Northern Illinois covers
Predicted final score: Northern Illinois 24, Ball State 17
Final Score: NIU 40, BSU 28
#6 Michigan (4-0) @ Minnesota (2-2):
Vegas Says: Michigan -10
Here’s one of those games that might be based on last year’s outcome. Minnesota edged by Michigan in a close, hard-fought game at the Big House. The question is whether they can do it again? Well, I’m here to tell you, the answer is an emphatic no. Minnesota gains its numbers on the ground, and Michigan has the best rushing defense in the Big Ten. Minnesota doesn’t play well when forced to go to the air, and Michigan has the best defensive backfield in the Big Ten. And Minnesota’s defense? Not so good. About the only chance that Minnesota has of beating this spread is if Michigan doesn’t throw the ball. But Michigan is looking for national mindshare, so a blowout is in their interest here. This one is also out of hand by the half.
Prediction: Michigan covers
Predicted Final Score: Michigan 38, Minnesota 17
Final Score: Michigan 28, Minnesota 14
#1 Ohio State (4-0) @ #13 Iowa (4-0):
Vegas Says: Ohio State -7
Ahh, finally we have a game! Two ranked teams, ESPN College Gameday headed to Iowa City, and both Rose Bowl and potential National Championship implications. On the one side, we’ve got Iowa’s stifling defense, complemented with a scrappy QB and a determined– if not experienced– offense. On the other side, we’ve got an OSU offense capable of scoring from anywhere on the field at any time, complemented with a scrappy, talented– if not experienced– defense. This is coupled with a night game in Kinnick Stadium, which is not exactly a “friendly” place to play. So how will it turn out? Well, I simply haven’t completely bought into Iowa yet this year. I don’t know if they have the receivers to do it, and the loss of Greenway and Hodge on defense is going to hurt against an ultra-talented offense like Ohio State’s. And I know better than to think Troy Smith is going to walk into Kinnick Stadium even a bit intimidated. If Iowa knows what’s good for them, they’ll try to jam RB Albert Young directly into the OSU defense (as Texas should have done). But I don’t think it will be enough. OSU has the answers this year, and I don’t think anyone except Michigan has what it takes to run with them.
Prediction: Ohio State covers
Predicted Final Score: Ohio State 23, Iowa 13
Final Score: Ohio State 37, Iowa 17
Purdue (4-0) @ #12 Notre Dame (3-1):
Vegas Says: Notre Dame -14
Purdue has been described as “the worst 4-0 team in the country”. So be it. I’ll be happy if next week they’re described as the “worst 5-0 team in the country”. I don’t care about rankings. Purdue is only one of 4 undefeated teams in the Big Ten, and the only unranked one. This team has its warts, but it’s a scrappy team that plays all-out. Notre Dame, however, is probably the most overrated 3-1 team in the country. They’ve squeaked by Georgia Tech, beat an ailing Penn State, got blown out by Michigan, and squeaked by a Michigan State team who gifted them the game. And we’re looking straight into third-straight rivalry game for Notre Dame. I posted my preview of the game, and not a lot has changed. If Purdue wins the turnover battle, I think they might win this game. But Painter has shown himself to be a bit interception-prone this year, and nobody knows how this team will play on the road. Purdue, if they cough up the ball, could lose it big. That being said, Brady Quinn shows a different side when he’s pressured, and Anthony Spencer has already had the pleasure of planting him into the turf. Purdue’s defense just might force a turnover or two. I worry about how damaging this game might be to my weekend if I get too hopeful, but I just can’t help it.
In all reality, there’s far too much emotion riding on this game for me to predict a winner. So I’ve got no final score for you. But unless Purdue is -2 in the turnover battle, they’re going to keep this game close. I have a feeling they’ll be playing on pure heart, but then again, that might elevate them to the next level. Either way, I think this will be a much better game than -14 points.
Prediction: Purdue beats the spread
Final Score: Notre Dame 35, Purdue 21
Prediction: NO DECISION
A few more hours, and I’ll be put to the test. Frankly, I don’t care if I go 1-5 against the spread, and 0-5 straight up, as long as Purdue beats the spread and wins. But I hope to do a lot better than that, and redeem my lackluster performance of weeks 1 and 2.
UPDATE: So, I went 5-0 against the spread, 5-0 straight up. The Purdue game didn’t go as planned, but at least they equalled the spread, so the pick is basically a tie.
September 29, 2006
This isn’t mine, but it’s funny as hell! There are quite a few of these that apply to me, such as the fact that I’ve got 30+ gallons of beer at home at the moment, and that doesn’t seem like all that much!
You might be a homebrewer if…
IF you wander through the isles of the grocery store saying to yourself “I wonder if that would ferment.”
IF you know what the hell a sparge arm is.
IF you have more empty bottles in your house than Teddy Kennedy.
IF your idea of international diplomacy is combining Belgian yeast with British malts and German hops.
IF the FBI raids yous house, suspecting that your yeast ranch is a WMD lab.
IF you know the secret motto “RDWHAH”.
IF youâ€™ve been banned from the kitchen ever since the “Boilover Incident of â€™99″.
IF youâ€™ve ever tried to improve a Budweiser by stirring in a crumbled hop pellet.
IF you have a hose adapter permanently attached to your kitchen faucet.
IF you wanted to name the puppy “Fuggles.”
IF you own a sterile trash can.
IF you have more than 10 gallons of beer in your home right now.
IF you measure beer in gallons.
IF you donâ€™t think 10 gallons of beer is a lot.
IF youâ€™re ever used a mop on a ceiling.
IF all party invitations you receive say “bring a keg.”
IF you have a large stove pot that no one else is allowed to use.
IF youâ€™ve ever driven your car in winter with the windows down and the heat off because you were afraid the cooler in the backseat was getting warm.
IF youâ€™ve ever stumped the tour guide on a megabrewery tour, deliberately.
IF you have a glass that you wash by hand instead of in the dishwasher.
IF youâ€™ve ever said any of these phrases:
“In a not-frosted glass, please.”
“Probably dirty hoses.”
“What kind of beer is it supposed to be?”
“By weight or by volume?”
“My yeast is ready.”
“Aw, crap, twist-offs.”
IF there is a bottle in the refrigerator with an air lock on it.
IF youâ€™ve ever butted into the conversation of total strangers because you overheard the word “sparge.”
IF you canâ€™t remember the last time you popped open a flip-top beer can.
IF your favorite character on Bonanza reruns is Hop Sing.
IF youâ€™ve ever cut a hole in a refrigerator door.
IF youâ€™ve ever gone to a redemption center to buy bottles.
IF your 10-year-old critiques the clarity and head retention of her root beer.
IF the owner of the beer store doesnâ€™t remember your name anymore.
IF a waitress has said youâ€™re the first person ever to send a beer back.
IF your kid entered the science fair with a demonstration of =
IF youâ€™ve ever bought a six-pack of beer just because you liked the empties.
IF walking across your kitchen floor sounds like Velcro.
IF youâ€™ve even thought about adding hop oil to unscented love oil.
IF youâ€™ve ever pulled bottles out of other peopleâ€™s recycling bins.
IF youâ€™ve ever put the kids to bed dirty because the tub was full of soaking bottles.
IF every T-shirt you own is from a brewpub or microbrewery.
IF your key chain has a bottle opener on it.
IF you have a T-shirt or bumper sticker that says:
“I Brew, Therefore I Am”
“I Fear No Beer”…
“Iâ€™d rather be home…brewing!”
IF you refer to the foam on a pot of boiling spaghetti as “hot break”.
IF you have several boxes of empties (various sizes and types) in your garage, even though you Keg, “just in case”.
IF you have ever put hops in your coffee, and thought “Hey, thatâ€™s better!”
IF you find yourself standing next to another guy at Home Depot holding several brass fittings and a cooler.
IF you can brag that your vehicle can actually hold 40 cornies and still have room in the front seat…
IF you have more refrigerators in your garage than in your house.
IF you have more taps at home than in the corner bar.
September 26, 2006
Well, as I’m sure most of you have been able to tell, this is one of the biggest games of the year for me. I’ve been thinking about it since the final moments of the Purdue-Minnesota game. I’m not going to actually make a pick yet, at least until I see the line, but here’s how we stack up.
Notre Dame entered this year ranked #2, and I said they were overrated. They survived a scare against Georgia Tech to start the season, when inexplicably the Georgia Tech coaches decided to stop throwing the ball to Calvin Johnson. They beat Penn State handily, but Penn State gave them 5 turnovers, and also inexplicably didn’t attempt to beat Notre Dame by blitzing Brady Quinn. Michigan destroyed Notre Dame, albeit with the help of quite a few turnovers, and planted Quinn on his back early and often. Michigan State was on pace to rout Notre Dame, but in usual fashion, imploded. Notre Dame is currently ranked 12th, but hasn’t looked like the powerhouse they were expected to be.
Purdue, on the other hand, wasn’t expected to be a powerhouse, and if they’re going to be so by the end of the year, they haven’t shown it yet. Purdue’s offense has been racking up yards and points in big bunches, but their defense hasn’t really shut anyone down. They’re currently 4-0 and would be ranked about 29th in the AP poll, which isn’t a surprise who they’ve played and how they’ve beaten them (close). What has impressed me, though, is their tenacity in the face of adversity, and the way they’ve learned and improved over the season. The defense we had on September 2nd was the defense I saw last Saturday, and the one we unveil this weekend should be just a bit better than last week. Beyond that is the way this team has stepped up and big plays when it needed big plays. Purdue over the last two years has had a horrible tendency to fold at the end of a close game. This team looks like the type that will fight like a cornered dog from kickoff to final whistle.
How does this play out for Saturday? Notre Dame should win this game. They have a lot more experience at the skill positions, and while I think they’re overrated, they’re not a bad team. On paper, Purdue isn’t quite ready for them. But I don’t think the Purdue players care about that. This is a rivalry game, and I guarantee they’re not scared of walking into that stadium and laying it out on the field.
So here’s how they stack up.
Purdue Rush O vs ND’s Rush D:
Advantage Purdue. ND’s line is pretty good, but their linebackers are not. MSU, PSU, and Michigan were able to move the ball on the ground. With the one-two punch of Kory Sheets & Jaycen Taylor, and the hopes that the passing game can force their safeties onto their heels a bit, I think we’ll be ahead in this one.
Purdue Pass O vs ND’s Pass D:
Advantage Purdue— *IF* Curtis Painter shows up. We definitely have the receivers to torch their D. Their LB’s can’t cover Keller, and if we can get Orton back to 100% after his hip pointer, the spread of Bryant, Orton, Lymon and Keller will be great. They’ve been shown by both Michigan and MSU to be vulnerable to the pass. But to do it, Painter has to come up big in this very big game.
ND Rush O vs Purdue Rush D:
Even. Frankly, I’ve never thought Darius Walker was all that good, and both Michigan and MSU bottled him up. However, Michigan has one of the best Front 7’s in college football, and while we’re starting to come together, we’re not at that level. Walker can probably gain 80-120 yards on us, but I don’t see him being able to run down our throats.
ND Pass O vs Purdue Pass D:
Advantage ND. Simply put, their receivers are bigger and more experienced that our DB’s. I was happy to see TE Anthony Fasano graduate, but their replacement TE came up big against Michigan State. The only way to match up against that passing attack is going to be to get Brady Quinn off his rhythm, and to do that, we need to put him on his back. We’ll need to bring the blitz, and I hope to see at least 2-3 sacks. Our best weapon is to make Quinn throw the ball inaccurately, because our DB’s can’t match up with the receivers.
Advantage Purdue (slight). Purdue’s been pretty solid in the kicking and special teams game, so I’m going to give us the edge there. Notre Dame has missed some field goals and extra points, and surprisingly Zbikowski has been fumbling some punts.
Advantage ND. First, the game is at South Bend, not an easy place to play. Second, Painter hasn’t won on the road (I can say I’m glad Tiller gave him the experience @Wis and @PSU last year though), and this team may be young enough to get rattled with an aggressive crowd. Third, Weis is a very aggressive coach. It could be his downfall, but our players can’t be sure that stopping ND on third down will be enough. And when you make a big third-down stop and then they line up with the offense on 4th, how easy is it, emotionally, to get up and do it again?
I see ND scoring 14 points based on our defensive mistakes, since we have some young DB’s that haven’t had to face anything like receivers Jeff Snuffaluffagus and Rhema McKnight. Based on the rest of their offense, they can score another 14-21. I see their score being in the low 30’s. So the question is whether Purdue can match that. It’s not going to be easy, because we’re going to have to execute extremely well– on the road in a hostile environment– to match that.
I think two metrics are going to define this game. Third down conversions and turnovers. Personally, I don’t even think big plays are going to be a big metric, because both offenses will have them. The key is going to be the crucial stops. If Purdue converts well (> 65%) on third down and wins the turnover battle, I think we can take this game. If we don’t, we will get beat.
The Unrepentant Individual linked with Purdue @ ND Wrap-Up
The Unrepentant Individual linked with 2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 5
September 25, 2006
Headed out for a tradeshow. Normally that would mean I’ll have down time in a hotel, but not this week. The wife realized that she had a free hotel in Boston, one of her favorite cities, and that she had all sorts of frequent flier miles available. So she’s heading out with me. That means when I’m not doing show-related work, I’ll be doing the tourism bit with her, and probably won’t be able to post much at all. I’ll schedule a Purdue post for Tuesday, but don’t be surprised if I’m not responding to comments.
September 24, 2006
Well, it was raining today, so I couldn’t do any yardwork (oh, darn!)… So I managed to watch the MotoGP round in Japan. The race itself wasn’t very exciting. Capirossi ran away at the front, Rossi gave chase but never got close enough to challenge, and the top 8 mostly stayed in place the whole race. There was so little excitement that I thought I was watching Formula 1!!!
But while the race wasn’t hot, the championship standing is getting there. Nicky Hayden finished down in 5th, allowing Valentino Rossi to come within 12 points with a mere 2 races remaining. Hayden hasn’t been the most electrifying rider this year, but he hasn’t fallen off or had mechanical issues. He’s certainly been a bit underwhelming here at the end of the season, and it will only take two finishes behind Rossi for him to lose the championship.
Hayden understands this, and I’m thinking he’s getting to the point where he’s desperate. He could start pushing too hard and cause some fireworks over the next few races. They’re off until Oct 14th, so he’ll have some time to contemplate it…
September 23, 2006
…has apparently found the Michigan State Spartans
It’s no secret that they’ve had a tendency to melt down about mid-season. But it’s coming early this year.
Playing Notre Dame, up 37-21 in the fourth quarter, they get the ball and they’re comfortably within Notre Dame territory. Which they proceed to turn into a 3rd and 42 yards, back on their own 35 or so, through several holding penalties and a sack. Shot themselves right in the foot.
So Notre Dame scores, to come back to 37-27 (missed 2-pt conversion). About six minutes left in the game, MSU with the ball back, Drew Stanton runs the option, getting the ball stripped and giving it back to Notre Dame deep in MSU territory. Touchdown Notre Dame, missing the extra point to leave it at 37-33.
So MSU gets the ball again, and all they need to do is run out the clock to take the win. But they need to get a first down. What do they do? 3rd down, under pressure, Stanton throws a pick, returned by ND for the touchdown. Notre Dame wins 40-37.
It’s one of the worst meltdowns I think I’ve ever seen. We’re not talking about a situation where Notre Dame took over and beat them, we’re talking about MSU beating themselves.
2006 is over for Michigan State. They’re 3-1 right now, but they’ll be very lucky to make a bowl game. They may beat winless Illinois next week, but with this Michigan State team, even that is in jeopardy.
September 22, 2006
Well, so far I’m 5-10 against the spread, but 11-4 straight up. Not doing well, but the games are getting easier and easier as we progress. There are some big games in the Big Ten this weekend, but every Big Ten game this week is in a stadium with thunderstorms predicted (except Northwestern, which is in Nevada on Friday). That may play a major role, as passing teams like Purdue in the rain and wind lose some weapons. I’ve got a couple of Big Ten picks, and a few outside this week. So let’s see how they turn out…
Miami (OH) (0-3) @ Syracuse (1-2)
Vegas Says: Syracuse -7
I have to admit, my first thought in this game was “Syracuse is a favorite?!” I mean, they beat Illinois, but I think my high school team could beat Illinois. But then, Miami is 0-3, with a losses to Northwestern, Purdue, and Kent St. But looking at this, I still just can’t figure it out. Syracuse isn’t putting up offensive yardage, only played Iowa close because Drew Tate was injured, and is getting beaten on defense. They may be 7 point favorites, but I just don’t see how they can cover. Miami has had a rough couple games, but I don’t see them going 0-4.
Prediction: Miami beats the spread
Predicted Final Score: Miami 28, Syracuse 17
Final Score: Syracuse 34, Miami 14
Air Force (0-1) @ Wyoming (1-2)
Vegas Says: Wyoming -1
This is a tough one. Wyoming has a blowout over Utah St, followed by respectable losses to Virginia and Boise State, who are decent programs. Air Force has only played one game, but they nearly defeated ranked Tennessee, who blew Cal out of the water and lost a close one to Florida. First things first, I have to consider Air Force a better team based purely on how they played Tennessee. But something tells me that’s just not enough to base a pick on. So let’s look at the stats. In their one game, Air Force gained and gave up about 400 yards. Tennessee has been putting up lots of yards, so I won’t fault their defense for allowing so many. And their offense deserves credit for gaining 400 on Tennessee, above Tennessee’s average for the year. But on the other side of the ball, Wyoming has only allowed an average of 193 yards/game in their three games. They haven’t scored much, but they’ve held some good offenses to low yardage. So my pick? I still have to go with Air Force. They’ve scored 4 TD’s in one game against an SEC powerhouse, while Wyoming has scored 6 TD’s in 3 games against 2 WAC teams and an ACC patsy. I think Air Force looked far more impressive in their loss than anything Wyoming has shown all year.
Prediction: Air Force beats the spread
Predicted Final Score: Air Force 17, Wyoming 13
Final Score: Air Force 31, Wyoming 24
#12 Notre Dame (2-1) @ Michigan State (3-0)
Vegas Says: Notre Dame -3
This, as usual with any Notre Dame team, is an emotional game for me. I have watched as MSU has owned ND in recent history, culminating in an exciting overtime victory last year. When MSU planted their flag on the turf at Notre Dame, they were throwing down a gauntlet with today in mind. On paper, when the MSU offense is clicking, they’re absolutely unstoppable. On paper, the ND offense hasn’t exactly excited this year. Defense, both teams may be good, but not great, and MSU doesn’t have the front seven to punish Brady Quinn the way Michigan did. Perhaps that might explain why there’s a 59-point over/under in this game. Looking it over, I think two factors are at play. If the weather is okay, this game becomes a shootout, with firepower on both sides. I give a slight edge to MSU in that case, since QB Drew Stanton is a proven force both in the air and on the ground when he’s playing with confidence, and he’s carrying some swagger this year. If the weather goes south, I have to think the MSU running game blows the doors off overrated Darius Walker and Notre Dame, and MSU wins. So either way, I think MSU wins. If it’s a dry day, it’s going to be a major shootout. If it’s a wet day, MSU pounds them on the ground.
PS – Though I love to watch ND lose, I actually think I’d prefer to see them win. Purdue plays them next weekend, and if they lose to MSU, they’ll be desperate to beat Purdue to salvage their season. If they beat MSU, the pressure is off, and Purdue might show up to shock them. So it’s a game where my heart and my head are at odds…
Prediction: MSU beats the spread
Predicted Final Score (based on bad weather): Michigan State 27, Notre Dame 17
Final Score: Notre Dame 40, Michigan State 37
Prediction: NO DECISION
#24 Penn State (2-1) @ #1 Ohio State (3-0)
Vegas says: Ohio State -17
Again, a tough pick. I have no doubt that OSU will win this game. They have too much experienced talent on offense, and some proven talent on defense, to lose. Penn State is replacing far too many players on both sides of the ball, particularly their incredible QB Michael Robinson, their OL, and most of the DL and secondary. Ohio State is firing all over on offense, and while they’ve got some vulnerability against the run, their defense looks solid. But 17 points is a big line… Again, weather may be a factor. On a dry day, Ohio State is going to attack Penn State’s inexperienced defensive backs, and Ted Ginn and Anthony Gonzalez have huge days. Penn State didn’t prove they could pass on Notre Dame, who has a much worse defense than OSU, so I dont’ see them competing if this game goes to the air. But, if the game is played in the mud and muck, Ohio State knows they can win without airing it out. They’ll pound Antonio Pittman all day long, but may not win big. So my prediction will be that in the bad weather, OSU plays a controlled running game and pounds the ball at PSU. If the game goes dry, I’ll say that OSU, knowing Jim Tressel, slows down once they have a 14-point lead, and starts running the ball, making their beating of the spread a question. Either way, I worry that not enough points will be scored to really justify a 17-point margin.
Prediction: Penn State beats the spread
Predicted Final Score: OSU 28, PSU 17
Final Score: OSU 28, PSU 6
Minnesota (2-1) @ Purdue (3-0)
Vegas Says: Minnesota -3
Again, I’m worried about weather. Moreso here than anywhere else. Minnesota’s strength is their ground game, and Purdue, while being fairly balanced, has such incredible weapons in the vertical attack that we can’t allow a team to force us to be one-dimensional. And nobody knows how sophomore QB Curtis Painter will handle rain and wind. Looking at the offenses, I think Painter has a much stronger arm, so he’ll be better able to handle the rain and wind than Minnesota QB Bryan Cupito. If we have a rain game, I think Purdue can force Minnesota to purely run the ball, load the box to stop the run, and still have enough of a two-dimensional game to win. If it stays dry and with a calm wind, though, we’ve got an issue. Bryan Cupito isn’t a great passer, but he’s good enough to make Purdue pay if they try to load the box against the run. He’s got two big strong receivers to throw against Purdue’s inexperienced secondary, and could kill us with the playaction pass. You’ll notice I haven’t made much noise about the defenses. Well, neither team has one. This game will be high-scoring, even if it’s raining. The only consolation I have is that Purdue has shown strength in the face of adversity this year, and I hope that will continue.
Prediction: Purdue beats the spread
Predicted Final Score: Purdue 41, Minnesota 38 OT
Final Score: Purdue 27, Minnesota 21
Wisconsin (3-0) @ #6 Michigan (3-0)
Vegas Says: Michigan -13.5
This may be the closest we’ll come this week to a defensive battle. Wisconsin is putting up huge numbers rushing, and so is Michigan. Wisconsin has a stout defense, allowing only about 200 yds/game, and Michigan is doing the same. Neither team has really needed to air it out this season, so I’m unsure how either team will do, but both appear to have very strong pass defenses. Wisconsin has beaten three below-average teams, and Michigan has beaten two below-average teams and blew out a team in a game that might have been competitive were it not for about 5 turnovers. This game should be a joy to watch. Working out the stats, both teams look good; Wisconsin a lot better than expected, and Michigan a lot better than last year. But looking at the numbers, I think Michigan’s rush defense is incredible. They won’t shut down Wisconsin, but should definitely contain them. Michigan is more two dimensional than Wisconsin, and should be able to keep Wisconsin’s defense honest, opening up the game for Mike Hart. I see this staying close for a half or so, and then Michigan blowing the doors off. Even if it’s a wet day, I think Michigan has the rushing and passing offense to score.
Prediction: Michigan covers
Predicted Final Score: Michigan 34, Wisconsin 17
Final Score: Michigan 27, Wisconsin 13
So, that’s it for this week. 5 teams beating the spread, one covering… So be it. Hopefully I’ll do a little better than some past weeks, though…
September 21, 2006
So, the clone I brewed of the Stone Vertical Epic Ale 06.06.06 is finally mature enough to drink. And the Victorious Boilermaker IPA has been in the keg a few days. I must say, both are doing very well…
Stone Vertical Epic Ale clone
This is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, and it has a very deep color. Not quite as black and opaque as a stout, but close. More of a very deep red color to it, slightly translucent. Being a Belgian, it’s got a fruity, estery smell, almost like a fine port. It’s light on the tongue, but with a very complex flavor, the result of dark grains and the Belgian yeast strain. All in all, this is already a good beer. It’s the first I’ve had of this batch since I bottled it a month and a half ago, and while I worried it would take longer than this to age and mature, it seems to be doing quite well for itself. More time is always beneficial, but I might start breaking into these every once in a while.
Victorious Boilermaker IPA
As I mentioned previously, this was my first all-grain beer, and I was a little bit worried about it. I didn’t hit anywhere near the right target metrics during the brew process, so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Well, my fears were completely unfounded! Now, this isn’t a beer for everyone. It’s a hop machine, weighing in at an unbalanced 6.4% alcohol with a whoppingly-bitter 110+ IBU’s! It was intended as a fairly light-bodied ale, and it’s definitely not lacking bitterness. This is a beer for a true hop-head. Light, nice flavor, good pale color, and with a bitterness that will suck your cheeks out of your mouth. Again, it’s not for everyone, which just means there’s more for me!
I do believe I’ll have to pour a few pints of the Victorious Boilermaker IPA this Saturday, while watching my Boilermakers attempt to go 4-0 playing Minnesota and brewing up a Scottish Wee Heavy with fellow blogger Neal from autoDogmatic, and smoking some cigars… I do believe this is what they call the “good life”.
The Unrepentant Individual linked with Longhorn Beer
September 19, 2006
Another week in, another Carnival of Liberty. I’ve been ultra-busy this week, so I’m not going to try to impress with flowery prose or exotic themes (even though I’d considered a beer-themed CoL). What I will do is give you a no-nonsense look at this week’s posts.
Grab your cup of coffee, or if I finish this that late in the day, your favorite adult beverage, have a seat, and prepare to see the world through a bunch of cranky libertarians’ eyes…
Phil for Humanity starts us off with A Solution for Politicians. I’ve got a couple to add, mostly in the same frame of mind as the joke starting with “What do you call 20,000 politicians at the bottom of the ocean”, but Phil’s already touched on my voting strategy this November: anti-incumbent.
To solve this problem, I believe that we should re-elect no one. No person should be allowed to run for a political position while being in a political office. As a result, politicians will be more connected to the outside world since they will periodically be the outsiders, and this would leave plenty of room for new politicians with new ideas and noble goals to take office. Therefore, career politicians will become a thing of the past and political corruption should decrease.
Please remember on election day: RE-ELECT NO ONE!
The esteemed Peter Porcupine, a founding father born about 200 years too late, asks Should Talk Be Cheap? Considering that Hahhvahhd is inviting a humanitarian sure to win a Nobel Prize for peace in the near future, Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, there will undoubtedly be state-provided protection for Khatami. While it’s certainly Hahhvahhd’s right to bring in whoever they would like to speak, who should foot the bill? Internalize the externality, Hahhvahhd. How do you like dem apples?
Gov. Romney has had heads of state visit before, and must know the cost of the security details incumbent upon such an operation. Porcupine suggests that he present his alma mater, Harvard University, with an invoice, payable in advance, for these services and thus take the burden entirely away from the taxpayers for the schoolâ€™s repellent misjudgment.
Porcupine is certain that Harvard and its endowment will be pleased to foot the bill for what the university is pleased to refer to as, â€œthe tradition of the free exchange of ideas that is a central part to the life of the University.â€ Perhaps the school will learn that not all exchanges are free.
Cody Herche Legal Redux looks at 9/11: a place in the law. Whether we like it or not, whether the changes follow the limits proscribed in the Constitution, or whether those changes are long-term benefits to our world, law changes. Typically those changes in laws are responses to major changes in society or major events like war. Cody looks at some of the ways that 9/11 impacted this process, and how the law has changed as a result:
While there are several other events that have dramatically impacted the way laws are administered both here at home and abroad, the above serves as a suitable introduction to the 9/11 terror attacks.
As we near the 5th anniversary, the â€œwood anniversaryâ€ for all my guy readers, we should pause to reflect on the legacy the infamous attacks have left on our legal system. How is the law different today because of 9/11 and the resulting War on Terror?
The big doing of the blogosphere for the 5-year anniversary of 9/11 was the honoring of the 2,996 folks who died in the attacks. Taking part was Tracy Coenen of Sequence, Inc., who profiles John Patrick Tierney, a firefighter who lost his life that day:
Johnny was a new firefighter, with only 8 months on the job. He graduated from the academy in July 2001, and his new assignment with Ladder Company 9 in Manhattan began only six weeks before the tragedy. His mother said that he wanted to be assigned to Manhattan â€œto be where itâ€™s busy and he could learn the job and really get out there.â€
While still on probationary status, Johnny had his five minutes of fame. He was pictured in a newspaper fighting a fire in Queens. This was Johnnyâ€™s first fire.
On September 11, Johnny was finishing a night shift with Engine 33, that was to end at 9:00 a.m. He was supposed to go home, but was so dedicated to his job that he stayed to help. He jumped onto a fire truck that was so crowded as it headed toward the World Trade Center, he had to sit on another firefighterâ€™s lap.
Mapmaster of The London Fog tells us about Pro-poverty activism in public education. It seems that in Ontario, a new school popped up to “instill a passion for social justice and humanitarianism in the students”. They don’t teach you basic logic and history, because that might make you understand that a passion for social justice and humanitarianism is a lot less likely than individual freedom and capitalism to generate positive results. And in publick edukashun, we’re all stuck paying for it, and not only with our dollars:
If parents want their children to have a facile and fruitless education in this sort of mindlessly celebratory dalliance with a pop-lite expression of a criminal ideology, I am defenseless. But not only am I and every other Ontarian forced to directly subsidize this fantastic debasement and enervation of children’s minds through the publicly-funded education system but we will also be condemned to subsidize just as directly their future NGO or civil service aspirations or else otherwise unemployable welfare prospects. Of the cost to civil society and political conversation in this country, it is incalculable and will exact far greater tolls than only taxes.
Lisa, also of The London Fog, brings you the next group of authoritarians looking to control you for your own good, with The Obesity Messiahs. In addition to pointing out how taxes on fatty foods actually hurt the poor by making it less likely that they can even afford to eat, she puts her finger squarely on the nature of government. Create a problem trying to fix a problem, try to fix that problem while creating new ones, and so on and so forth:
From the government’s perspective, it is more “cost-effective” to increase taxes on shit that people actually want, while at the same time forcing taxpayers to subsidize tofu and granola consumption. And if the sugar farmers suffer from the increased taxes on sugary food, they too will be eligible for subsidies, just like the tobacco farmers. As for “after-school physical” activity, why not just devote even more of the school day to jumping-jacks? So long as the marginalized minority is the minority, they are entitled to more rights than the majority.
The Atlantic Review gives us a snippet of the Speech of Hope, which “set the course for American-German relations 60 years ago”. After WWII, the question of what would happen with a nation who had started two World Wars in a short period of time was brewing. Some were worried about the future of Germany, and the “Speech of Hope” helped to calm the noise:
Some critics argue that there is a dearth of gratitude in Germany for America’s monumental support for the countryâ€™s reconstruction. I think that gratitude is not only ubiquitous but a vital component of postwar German identity. Yet in recent years some Germans have forgotten what America is — a land of diversity and debate, of writers and innovators, of checks and balances â€“ and that it deserves a measure of confidence in turn.
Over at The Liberty Papers, I relayed a story about a coworker and his roommate. If The Government Wonâ€™t, Who Will? is the story of a debate over gay marriage. It highlights a classic mistake, where people on the left act as if the government is the provider of our rights, not the protector of those rights. We don’t need government to recognize marriage at all, but that’s a difficult point to get across:
But his roommate just simply could not see it. She could not understand that a marriage could be a marriage without a license from the government. She could not understand that society doesnâ€™t require government to stick its grubby fingers into every one of our institutions to give them some sort of legitimacy. This sort of blindness is one of the major barriers to people moving towards small government. Theyâ€™ve lived with government intrusion deep into their personal affairs for so long that they canâ€™t even imagine life without it.
One Man Bandwidth: An American Professor in China tells us about an editorial cartoon depicting Chinese President Hu Jintao, resulting in the cartoonist being fired. It could be worse, though, this may be a sign of progress. Years ago, his punishment would be much more severe…
A few months ago I was altering a picture of Mao in Photoshop. I thought it would be funny to bald my friend Geoff and have him presiding over Tiananmen square in Beijing. But, when Ms. Yue caught sight of my laptop in Starbucks she let out an uncharacteristic shriek. She implored me to erase the photo right away. She was genuinely concerned that I might publish the shot and subsequently get deported or. worse yet, jailed for my transgression. I did not know, but it should have been clear to me, that defacing a cultural icon (manufactured or not) was beyond taboo.
A cartoonist after he drew a weeping Chinese President Hu Jintao, learned the same lesson this week the hard way: According to Reuters Kuang Biaoâ€™s cartoon HERE of a weeping Hu replying to a letter of the daughter of a mainland professor who died of overwork (aged 48) caught the eye of PRC censors and the reaction was not as benign as Ms Yueâ€™s response to my screw-up. He was summarily sacked.
PurpleSlog, responding to one of the things that is also my own pet peeve, tells us Democracy != Elections, Modern Democracies areâ€¦ and gives us a list. While I’d take issue with using the word “democracy”, as the principle of majority rule makes it ambiguous, it is clear that modern free nations have elements much wider than simply voting to describe their society. Telling us why we should promote the nation-state he describes as a democracy, he gives us these points:
* Democracies donâ€™t fight each other (Democratic Peace concept)
* Democracies donâ€™t mass enslave/murder their citizens (Death by Government concept)
* Democracy gives individuals their best chance at achieving their personal goal, whether those are economic, entrepreneurial, familiar, artistic, etc. (maximizing human potential and return on human capital)
* Democracy enables prosperity
* Democracies are future focused and constantly getting better at the above.
In a second post, he outlines SLOE/Future, giving a template to any politician who wants his vote:
Security â€“> from bad guys: transnational, national and local
Liberty â€“> free to organize and associate etc as one wants (includes religion, contracts, etc)
Opportunity â€“> all humans should have lots of opportunities to achieve there potential (opportunity creating stuff = good stuff)
Enrichment â€“> of wealth, knowledge, experience etc, for all members of ones community (local, national, global). All humans should be uplifted by the exercise of liberty and opportunity maximization
Future Oriented â€“> No status Quo! I want 200 year life spans, cheap limitless energy, asteroid mining, orbital communities and mars settlements â€“ a better future of all humanity!
The Ogre highlights another attempt by government to get their hands on the internet, with his post The ADA Screws Some More. In an effort to ensure fairness and accomodation to all of humanity’s creatures, a Federal Judge has said that the Americans with Disabilities Act should apply to web sites… Great… Next they’ll be trying to protect the Illegal Immigrants with Disabilities…
That’s right, all the “accomodations” that are required by the ADA that often crush competition, destroy freedom, and force private companies to go out of business are now supposed to apply to the internet. Government is really angry that they don’t have control over the internet, and they’re doing all they can to GET control.
In this one specific issue, the complaintant is actually crying and whining because one company’s web site doesn’t have alternate text for some images. For those who don’t know much about web stuff, that’s an element of a tag — when you use the IMG tag, you’re “supposed” to include a section that says ALT=”imagename” or something. And now, according to this judge, if you do not include it, you’re in violation of the ADA and subject to huge fines.
The ADA: yet another horrible law that does nothing more than grow government and crush freedom. Well, the case is being overseen by a San Francisco Federal judge — and they absoultely despise anything to do with freedom.
Stephen Littau from Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds remembers 9/11 with Never Forgive, Never Forget. Stephen takes a look at today’s political climate, wondering how we ever got to a point where we are so divided over the prospect of fighting terrorism. As much as I hate to say this, I think that many Americans have forgotten, and that it may be tough to keep our resolve without another attack occurring. Stephen’s post is a great reminder to keep that from happening:
Well believe it. Welcome to the America of 2006. Itâ€™s an election year. It is a time when honest discussion on the threat of Islamofascism is nearly impossible. But you know something? Bin Ladenâ€™s henchmen did not care if they killed Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, or even other Muslims. These Islomofascists only wanted to kill Americans. I am certain that the passengers of United Flight 93 had a diversity of political opinions but they had one goal: to stop the hijackers from hitting their intended target. We should keep that in mind as we move forward.
Greenman Tim from Walking the Berkshires gives us a history lesson in Patriotic Covers. After receiving some collectible material from his family, he posted with some pictures and descriptions of Civil War-era patriotic memorabilia. Good stuff, and I highly suggest you check it out.
NOTE: I left off an excerpt, because it would be out of context without the pictures.
Hell’s Handmaiden tries to determine who will win The battle for the mind of North America by looking at the conflation of journalism, corporate media, and the government. He points to a corporate-sponsored YouTube sensation “Lonelygirl15″, a recent case of the government fueling anti-Castro propoganda through the media, and the ABC miniseries “The Path to 9/11″ as examples of how powerful interests are trying to control information to mislead us. I’m reminded of a mantra I also once heard on TV: “Trust no one.”
NOTE: Again, the nature of the entry didn’t lend itself to an excerpt.
Preparing for November, RG Combs of Combs Spouts Off tells us about The GOP’s Wrong Turn. He is feeling the worry that a lot of us are these days, after having watched the GOP leave their fiscal conservatism and expand their social conservatism, it’s tough to stomach voting for them as a party. But when it’s considered a vote against their opposition, it may just make sense:
Personally, I think a good portion of that turnaround isn’t due to anything the GOP did — it’s disgruntled Republicans looking at and listening to the country’s leading Democrats, and saying, “Whoa… are these folks for real?!?” — and then swallowing real hard and deciding that the good-for-nothing, unprincipled Republican who they had no use for a few weeks ago may be tolerable after all.
I can understand that. I hate that things are that way, but I can understand it. My best-case scenario for this November’s election is that the Republican base is just pissed enough to badly scare and chasten the GOP, and maybe get some of them listening to people like Sager (or even Gingrich) — but that we avoid having to live with Speaker Pelosi. [shudder]
Similar to RG Combs above’s sentiments, Divided We Stand, United We Fall is a blog devoted to the prospect of divided government with All we are saying, is give divided government a chance. They even have a catchy hook!
Can’t you just imagine William Niskanen picking up a guitar and singing a duet with Yoko Ono while sitting on a bed in a Montreal Hotel: “Give divided government a chance”? Um. Nevermind. Neither can I. In the article Niskanen repackages and freshens some of his previous work on divided government. Ok… All Together Now! Take off those suit coats… Loosen those ties… Roll up those starched white shirt sleeves… Hands in the air, sway to the beat, lets hear it people! Sing along!:”All we are saaaying, is give divided government a chance.”
Celebrating Constitution Day, Matt Barr of the Socratic Rhythm Method brings us a Constitutional Quiz! I’m going to have to warn you though, it’s actually quite difficult. I thought I knew a lot until I took a look at this quiz! Here’s a sample:
6. The General Welfare clause, according to the Supreme Court:
A. Has no legal force and effect, being part of the Preamble
B. Is a limitation on the power of Congress to spend on local projects
C. Authorizes New Deal-type legislation during widespread economic depression
D. Is an expansion of Congress’s powers enumerated in Article I
Last, but not least, we have the snark and satire patrol. Ion Zwitter of Avant News tells us that there are still Nearly 21 Million Iraqis Not Yet Killed or Wounded. Heck, that’s like most of them, isn’t it?
“I think massaging the facts in this particular manner really helps put the whole so-called Iraqi insurgency, quagmire, civil war, catastrophic disaster or what-have-you into proper perspective,” Gerald Bulpuppit, spokesman for Donald Rumsfeldâ€™s secret task force on fact massage, said. “What this says is that nearly 21 million Iraqis are doing very well, particularly if you discount the nearly universal absence of reliable food, fuel, water, electricity, government, security, or the extremely high likelihood of getting killed or kidnapped.”
And that’s all she wrote. Tune in next week at One Man Bandwidth, a bit of a juxtaposition of the Carnival of Liberty being hosted from China!
Watcher of Weasels linked with Weekly Roundup of Weekly Roundups
Below The Beltway linked with Carnival Of Liberty XLIII
hell’s handmaiden linked with Carnival of Liberty LXIII
Carnival of Liberty LXIII « PurpleSlog linked with Carnival of Liberty LXIII « PurpleSlog
Don Surber linked with Carnival
September 18, 2006
Well, I went 3-3 against the spread this week, and 4-2 straight up. The picks are starting to get a little more predictable now that we’ve got a few weeks of play.
I got to actually go to a game this weekend, and I have to say that I missed being in West Lafayette. I got a chance to go hang out before the game at my fraternity house. I met some of the current brothers, and a few alumni from my time also showed up. Ever enjoying the days back in school when alumni would show up with free booze, I had a cooler full of nice beer to share as well
On the football field, Purdue is looking a little better, and I think they played much stronger football than the 38-28 final score indicated. With about 4 minutes to play, they were up 38-13 in a rout. I think they laid down and got a bit complacent, which isn’t too surprising for such a young team. But it did allow Ball State to rack up 15 very quick points. You can’t do that against better competition (which I’m sure the coaching staff will impress into their minds today).
So far, the Purdue offense is looking absolutely unstoppable. The only thing that can slow them down is Curtis Painter getting intercepted, which is happening FAR too often, but he’s a young guy and needs to learn a little more about reading defenses. Again, these mistakes, while costly, are manageable against the likes of Miami and Ball State, but they need to be cleaned up before we play teams like Notre Dame or Iowa. Purdue’s receiving corps, though, is looking stellar. Veteran Dorien Bryant is always a threat, but in past years we haven’t had big-play talent opposite him. In 2005, defenses would just bracket Bryant, shutting him down. This year, we have Greg Orton and Selwyn Lymon. While young, these guys are big, NFL-style wide receivers, with speed and athleticism that will one day make them stars. At tight end is Dustin Keller, who is widely considered a “freak of nature”. About 6′5″, 250 lbs, with inhuman strength, and 4.5 speed. And coming out of the backfield is RB Kory Sheets, who currently leads the NCAA in scoring with 60 points. Defenses can’t double-cover anyone on this team. Heck, they can’t COVER everyone at once effectively. There are just too many targets, and Painter showed last Saturday that he can spread the ball around to all of them. Add that to a 1-2 combination of Sheets and RB Jaycen Taylor in the backfield, and a very solid offensive line, and I don’t think there’s a defense we face this year that can effectively slow us down. As long as we don’t make our own mistakes, we can score on anyone.
The only problem, then, is how many points get scored on us. The defense is very, very young. And I can say from what I’ve seen so far that they’re improving. But they’ve got a long way to go. After already losing two defensive backs to injury, while already starting mostly freshman and sophomores on this team, we have a lot of room to grow. I think this team will get much better on defense, but I would say taking the Over on any Purdue game this year will be a good bet. Our defense means that we’ll be in some offensive shootouts this year. We’ve got plenty of firepower to match, but to win those games takes luck and senior leadership as much as skill. Against teams with senior QB’s like Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan State, we’ll be hard-pressed to win those battles.
Overall, though, I don’t think Purdue looks that bad. Which, given our scare against Indiana State and letting Miami take us to OT, is a very positive statement. I think we’re slightly better than even money to beat Minnesota this week, and probably destined to lose against both Notre Dame and Iowa. But even if that’s the case, and we’re 4-2 after Iowa, we’re still in decent shape. Our defense will be a different team by week 6, especially as we are already seeing notable improvement in their play week-to-week. Northwestern looks down this year, and I think we can beat them, and then perhaps split a 2-game home-stand against Wisconsin & Penn State. And it’s downhill from there. This team hasn’t really looked very good to start the season, and the growing pains have nearly cost us a game. But I see an attitude out of this team that they’re young and hungry for respect. Every week I see them learn from their mistakes, and get a little better. This team is going to be pretty good in a month, and be incredible the next two years.
Oh, and in other news, Notre Dame got crushed. It was a good day for two reasons. First, I always like to see Notre Dame lose, and they’re looking a lot more vulnerable than I thought they were. Second, Purdue doesn’t play Michigan this year, because they look tough. The Big Ten Championship just might come down to an undefeated Michigan and an undefeated Ohio State playing in November for the National Championship berth. Michigan is a complete team this year, and they just earned some serious street cred for it.
September 16, 2006
Well, I’m still 2-7 against the spread this season, but I was looking it over, and I’m 7-2 straight up. Considering that I’m trying to pick mostly competitive games, that could be a lot worse. So it’s time to look at week 3.
Oh, and BTW, I again won’t be able to live-blog the results. I’ll be sitting in beautiful Ross-Ade Stadium on a crisp fall Saturday, after tailgating with some friends, and then watching my beloved Boilermakers win some respect from David Letterman’s alma mater, Ball State.
Ball St @ Purdue:
Vegas Says: Purdue -17
This is a tough one. Purdue hasn’t exactly show they have a defense to go with their offense. They let Miami (OH) take them to OT last week, Purdue barely blocking the Miami go-ahead field goal to force OT. But I realized something as I looked over the game. Purdue threw three picks. Not only that, it was their first week running a 3-4 defense, so they had no game film to figure out their new scheme. And Miami had the time of possession battle dominated, holding the ball for over 38 minutes, thanks to all those turnovers. Purdue gave Miami every possible chance to win, and still held on.
This week, a few things will be different. First, and foremost, MLB George Hall will be back from injury. As a junior, he’s one of the old guys on this defense, and is both a vocal leader and hard hitter. He’s going to be helping the new guys read the offense, and his ability to play run defense will allow LB Dan Bick to roam a little more, disrupting plays everywhere. At the same time, the defensive backs are one week older. That may not seem like much, but they got torched by Miami last week, and since it’s 3 freshman and one JuCo transfer, they’re still in a learning stage. These kids have talent, and a week of watching film and talking to the coaches should help them understand what went wrong and how to make it right. They’re not going to suddenly become all-Big Ten guys, but they should be one more increment better than last week. And last, I think the offense should be a little less mistake-prone. Curtis Painter threw three interceptions because the Miami MLB was spying on him on throws across the middle. He also will have a week of game film to understand what he did wrong on those throws and make corrections. I’m predicting a game where Purdue is mostly turnover-free (I wouldn’t be surprised to see one), and the Purdue defense causes one, but more likely two. George Hall makes a statement, and Purdue wins handily.
Prediction: Purdue covers
Predicted final score: Purdue 45, Ball State 17
UPDATE: Final Score: Purdue 38, Ball State 28
Iowa State @ #16 Iowa:
Vegas Says: Iowa -13.5
Some of you will look at the fact that Iowa went into overtime against lowly Syracuse last week and say “WTF are they thinking giving them 13.5??” Well, the Syracuse game was played without Iowa QB Drew Tate, who is the heart and soul of that team. Much like Drew Stanton is for Michigan State, Iowa only plays as well as Tate plays. Of course, they’re talented enough that with Tate on the bench, they still beat a bottom-feeder like Syracuse. Tate will be back from an abdominal strain this Saturday. But will he be 100%?
I don’t have to tell one blogger how important this game is, because he already knows. But for the rest of you, think of how much I hate Notre Dame. That’s how much these schools hate each other. This instate rivalry means nothing to their conference standings at the end of the year, but it’s a blood feud. Iowa was embarrassed last year, and is looking for retribution. And this game will be played @ Kinnick Stadium, not an easy place for a visitor.
This is a tough one. Iowa has a dominating defense. They should be able to hold ISU. But frankly, I think Tate isn’t 100% ready to play, I think this is a blood feud game, and while they may want retribution, I don’t think I’m going to give Iowa 13.5 points. ISU is a lot better than Syracuse, and unless Tate comes out swinging, this game is going to be a close one.
Prediction: Iowa State beats the spread
Predicted final score: Iowa 23, Iowa State 17
UPDATE: Final Score: Iowa 27, Iowa State 17
Michigan State @ Pitt:
Vegas Says: Pitt -2.5
Another difficult pick. When MSU QB Drew Stanton is on, he’s unstoppable. Pitt looks like a decent team, with solid 3-touchdown wins over Virginia and Cincinnati, but isn’t putting up 500 offensive yds/game like MSU. MSU only beat Idaho 27-17, but then rebounded, routing Eastern Michigan 52-20. Is Pitt for real? Does MSU have momentum from their destruction of a patsy?
My heart tells me MSU takes this one. Behind the senior leadership of Drew Stanton, they should be able to roll up points. But then I have to ask myself one question: have they proved themselves yet? Pitt has beaten two BCS conference teams, has done so convincingly, proving in both games that they could put up points AND play defense. Michigan state has squeaked by Idaho (a WAC patsy) and let Eastern Michigan, who got soundly defeated by fellow MAC team Ball State, score 20 points. There’s a part of me that says MSU is going to break out and score some serious points. But without proof, I’m going to have to give this one to Pitt in a barn-burner.
Prediction: Pitt covers
Predicted final score: Pitt 42, MSU 37
UPDATE: Final Score: MSU 38, Pitt 23
#15 Oklahoma @ #18 Oregon
Vegas Says: Oregon -5
Oregon opened the season blowing the doors off Stanford, but then had to rely on trickeration to beat WAC powerhouse Fresno State. Oklahoma didn’t destroy U of Alabama-Birmingham, and but then defeated Washington handily in week 2. Like usual for the Pac-10, Oregon is putting up obscene yardage on offense, and giving up quite a bit on D. Oklahoma, on the other hand, is running the ball down the throats of their opponents on the back of Adrian Peterson, yet is giving up more rushing yards on defense than Peterson is gaining!
This is a fairly evenly-matched battle. Looking it over, though, I have to give Oregon the edge. They’re at home, which is worth 3 points. They’re gaining mad rushing yards, which should continue to work against Oklahoma. And Oklahoma hasn’t yet proved that they can threaten with the pass, so Oregon can hope to keep their offense one-dimensional, especially with Oregon’s ability to defend the pass. Oregon wins this one, not by a huge margin, but enough to cover.
Prediction: Oregon covers
Predicted final score: Oregon 31, Oklahoma 24
UPDATE: Final Score: Oregon 34, Oklahome 33
#6 LSU @ #3 Auburn
Vegas Says: Auburn -3
I think the Tigers will win
Seriously, though, this is a tough one. Looking at the performance this year to date, both teams look like they’ve got stellar offenses and lock-down defenses. but delving into it, one asks “who have they played?”… Auburn shut out Mississippi State, but it’s possible Miss St won’t score an offensive point all year, the way they’ve been playing. They did let Washington State score 14, but then, Washington State hung 56 on Idaho, so that might have been a good defensive effort. LSU beat both Arizona and Louisiana-Lafayette by identical scores, 45-3. Arizona may be in the PAC-10, and has actually won a game, but it certainly isn’t due to offensive prowess. And Louisiana-Lafayette is a Sun Belt team. So I think these teams may have lock-down defenses.
So I’m going to pick this game based on the offense. Both starting QB’s look to be very competent. Both teams have some very talented receiving corps. Where do I see a difference? At running back. Auburn has Kenny Irons, who is a go-to guy. LSU appears to be doing the running-back-by-committee deal, but without any real standouts. And Auburn’s Irons is doing this behind an offensive line who has already allowed 5 sacks on the year. I think Auburn tries to wear down LSU’s defense on the ground, and wins a tight battle.
Prediction: Auburn covers
Predicted final score: Auburn 13, LSU 9
UPDATE: Final Score: Auburn 7, LSU 3
#11 Michigan @ #2 Notre Dame:
Vegas Says: Notre Dame -6
Michigan should dominate the line-of-scrimmage, whether on offense or defense. Michigan will attack Brady Quinn like crazy. Michigan should be able to shut down Darius Walker. Michigan’s defensive backfield is probably the best in the Big Ten, and should be able to contain ND’s receivers. Offensively, Michigan should be able to run the ball at the ND defense at will. And Chad Henne and Michigan’s receivers, while not as strong as ND’s receivers, should be able to outclass ND’s poor secondary. Michigan should win this game.
But they won’t. Troy Smith of OSU comes out and win’s big road games. Chad Henne doesn’t. Chad Henne, through 2005, was about 10-3 at home, and 6-5 on the road. And comparing Lloyd Carr to Charlie Weis is like comparing Paris Hilton to Bill Ford. One has gotten somewhere and squandered it, and the other has shown that they deserve at least some acclaim. This game is going to be a defensive battle, up until the 4th quarter. Notre Dame will be leading, with Chad Henne in position to come back and win it. Henne will fail, and while Notre Dame will win, they won’t cover.
Prediction: Michigan beats the spread
Predicted final score: Notre Dame 20, Michigan 17
UPDATE: Final Score: Michigan 47, Notre Dame 21
September 15, 2006
Go Blue! Remind Brady Quinn what turf tastes like!
September 14, 2006
I realize I haven’t brought this up in a while. I’ve been brewing beer, but had a bit of lag in drinkable beer due to the type of stuff I was brewing. My Belgian Strong Dark Ale (Clone of the Stone Vertical Epic 06.06.06) is aging right now, and will be hitting it’s stride about the end of this month and into next month. My Imperial Stout is about to get bottled, and will be drinkable about 2 months after that (maybe late November). Those batches took up a lot of time in my fermentation vessels, cutting down on the amount of stuff I could have in the pipeline.
But now that pipeline is going to be bursting! My Victorious Boilermaker IPA went into the keg last night, so I’ll probably start drinking that on Monday when I get back from Indiana… It will be a great way to celebrate the Boilermaker victory that I’ll be watching on Saturday. A week ago, my neighbor brewed up a batch of the Sierra Nevada clone. Last night I brewed an Irish Red Ale that I’m thinking will make an excellent session beer. Monday the neighbor will be brewing a crazy Rye Pale Ale that he’s shooting for an ABV around 10% with his recipe. And next weekend I’ll be brewing something to follow up that Irish Red. I haven’t decided on a recipe, but I used a specific yeast to get my Red the way I want it, and I’ll need to tailor my next recipe to that strain.
We’ve started to get the process down of doing all-grain batches. My Victorious Boilermaker IPA had an absolutely beautiful color to it when I put it into the keg, but as I mentioned a while back, I didn’t really hit my target numbers. The Irish Red last night was right about the efficiency I should be hitting, and the process really went smoothly. I hit good numbers and it certainly looked like a great beer. I’m sitting back thinking I need to drink that IPA quickly to make room in the keg for the Red!
It’s going to be a blurry fall season!
September 13, 2006
This is an anti-pot message I can get behind…
None of the folks I knew in college who smoked pot were destined for a life of heroin addiction. Most of them didn’t do any other drugs, and were pretty normal folks. But that doesn’t mean that they were ready to be productive members of society. All the folks I knew in college who smoked pot wanted to be in the tourism industry or public education… Ya know, no ambition. At the least, this is a heck of a lot more honest than Reefer Madness.
As reported by Every Day Should Be Saturday, Indiana coach Terry Hoeppner, who recently underwent surgery for a brain tumor (missing only two days of work in the process) is headed under the knife again:
The Indiana University Department of Athletics announced today that head football coach Terry Hoeppner will undergo surgery on Wednesday, Sept. 13 to address a medical issue. In his absence, assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Bill Lynch will assume the position of interim head coach, effective immediately.
Hoeppner has been under the care of neurosurgeon Dr. Marshall Poor, who will perform the surgical procedure.
“An MRI scan displayed evidence of a possible recurrent tumor,” Poor said. “Surgery is planned to resect the tumor, and I would anticipate a return to work in two to four weeks.”
As a Purdue fan, to say that I’m not exactly friendly to IU is obvious. But at the same time, I wish Terry and his family the best. He seems to be a genuinely good guy, and nobody deserves this. I don’t care if he’s a Big Ten coach, or what he’s doing to revive the IU program. This is just a tough time for a person and a family, and I wish him the best during his fight against this.
I didn’t mention this, but the funeral I attended a few weeks ago was my aunt. She was a part of the family group who came out to visit us at Easter. At that time, she was lucid, energetic, and we all had a great time. In early-mid July, I got a call that she was having speech problems, and found out shortly thereafter that she had an inoperable brain tumor. In August, I was at her funeral. These things happen quick.
I can imagine what Terry Hoeppner and his family are going through. While my aunt was 85 years old, Terry’s in the prime of his life. Regardless of his fame, on a purely personal level I hope he can pull through this.
If you have any thoughts for Coach Hep and the IU faithful, send them over:
Indiana University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Assembly Hall, 1001 East 17th Street
Bloomington, IN 47408-1590
Office e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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