New Year College Football Thread

Happy New Year! New Year's Day means college football. 5 games on tap today. Here are my selections:

The Outback Bowl features Auburn from the SEC versus Northwestern from the Big Ten. I am tempted to take Northwestern with the 8.5 points, given that this is clearly a down year for the SEC. But I think Auburn has the better players and should be able to cover. I like Auburn (-8.5).

Bobby Bowden's last game is the highlight of the Gator Bowl. FSU faces West Virginia, which is a 3 point favorite. Sentiment rules the day. I like the Noles (+3). More . . .

LSU faces Penn State in what once was known as the Citrus Bowl (as in 'you can't spell Citrus without UT). I think it is called the Capital One Bowl now. Anyway, this is a pick em game. I pick LSU (Even).

The Grandadaddy of Them All, the Rose Bowl, pits Ohio State against Oregon. I have lost any belief I had in the Pac 10. I like the Buckeyes (+4.5).

The Florida Gators, the drama queens of college football this year, end the soap opera tonight in the Sugar Bowl. It will be Tim Tebow's last game, maybe Urban Meyer's last game (Meyer's melodrama has been utterly ridiculous and has hurt the team, at least recruiting wise, one top recruit has already switched to FSU) and thankfully, the end of a fairly unenjoyable season for Gator fans. It sounds spoiled to say that for a 12-1/BCS bowl season, but Meyer and Tebow have, imo, not handled the season well. I do not know if anyone could have, given the pressure.

In any event, Florida is a 13 point favorite over an undefeated Cinncinati team that won the Big East. The Sagarin ratings nailed the Va Tech-Tenn game last night. In this game, Sagarin rates Florida as 9 points better. I'll go with Sagarin then and take Cinn (+13).

Go Gators!

Happy New Year!

This is an Open Thread.

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    sugar bowl (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by jharp on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:08:44 PM EST
    Not a Florida fan. At all.

    Ohio Stater here.

    And yet I am thoroughly enjoying the whuppin Florida is laying on Cinci.

    Good work Gators.

    And good picking this season, BTD. I am very much looking forward to the talkleft football handicapping contest next year.

    Happy New Year to all.

    My picks (none / 0) (#1)
    by Jackson Hunter on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 09:47:57 AM EST
    I'll take Northwestern over Auburn for no particular reason to be honest.  I guess I do because NW will show up bigger as they are not a yearly bowl team and it'll mean more.  Really, this is just a guess.

    I agree with you on FSU, they'll win because they will really want to send Bowden off on a high note.  

    LSU has really been up and down this year, it's hard for me to pick them but Penn State isn't the stalwart it once was, especially on defense.  I'll go LSU.

    I disagree about Ohio State, they are very weak at the QB position (in two years, WATCH OUT, but for now, ick) while Oregon has a dynamic and experienced QB.  I'll take Oregon, probably big over OSU.  Of course, I'm not a big OSU fan so maybe my bias is leading me astray, but I don't think so.

    I think Cincinatti covers the spread, but loses the game as I think Florida will focus more than they have lately.  Does your pick above reflect a spread cover or an outright win?

    Happy New Year everybody.


    I don't like football (none / 0) (#2)
    by SOS on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 09:48:02 AM EST
    it's stupid.

    Information (none / 0) (#3)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:04:18 AM EST
    I am wondering if some legal types here could comment on the Blackwater Nisour Square prosecution (or lack thereof)? The links I read refer only to an assitant US attorney (Kenneth Kohl) prosecuting the case. According to the federal judge (Ricardo Urbina)and other prosecutors, this case was, for lack of a better term, BADLY handled. Is Kohl a Bush appointee holdover? If not, then why does Eeric Holder still have a job at this particular moment?
    If I am compelled to politically defend the Dept. of Justice from being rendered irrelevant by anticonstitutional, xenophobic conservatives, then I need to have a better rationale than this. If this is the type of performance we are to expect in the future, then IMO it only validates the conservatives' claims.

    I'd love to hear opinions and any background on Kohl and his team.

    Short answer is that it seems (none / 0) (#9)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:31:14 AM EST
    pretty clear that the prosecution team tanked the case, purposely.  From the opinion:

    From this extensive presentation of evidence and argument, the following conclusions ineluctably emerge. In their zeal to bring charges against the defendants in this case, the prosecutors and investigators aggressively sought out statements the defendants had been compelled to make to government investigators in the immediate aftermath of the shooting and in the subsequent investigation. In so doing, the government's trial team repeatedly disregarded the warnings of experienced, senior prosecutors, assigned to the case specifically to advise the trial team on Garrity and Kastigar issues, that this course of action threatened the viability of the prosecution. The government used the defendants' compelled statements to guide its charging decisions, to formulate its theory of the case, to develop investigatory leads and, ultimately, to obtain the indictment in this case. The government's key witnesses immersed themselves in the defendants' compelled statements, and the evidence adduced at the Kastigar hearing plainly demonstrated that these compelled statements shaped portions of the witnesses' testimony to the indicting grand jury.  The explanations offered by the prosecutors and investigators in an attempt to justify their actions and persuade the court that they did not use the defendants' compelled testimony were all too often contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility.

    It's a 90 page .pdf, but the core of it is:

    1.  The Blackwater guys were compelled to give statements to investigators in the immediate aftermath of the shootings.  Those sorts of statements are automatically granted use and transactional immunity upon beng made.  The cases governing that are known as Garrity and Kastigar.

    2.  DoJ assigned experienced prosecutors to the case to make sure the trial team and investigators did not run afoul of Garritty and Kastigar.

    3.  The trial prosecutors and investigators disregarded the advice and warnings of the experienced DoJ attorneys and built their investigation and case around the compelled statements.

    4.  The trial prosecutors and investigators then were a bit less-than-wholly-forthright about it, leading the trial judge to conclude their stories in the hearings were not credible.

    The unavoidable conclusion is that these trial  prosecutors deliberately tanked the case because they repeatedly disobeyed the warnings about violating Garrity and Kastigar.

    Oops. The link to the opinion (none / 0) (#10)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:32:31 AM EST
    Sorry (none / 0) (#4)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:06:48 AM EST
    That should have been in the last thread.

    I saw this at Baloon Juice (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jackson Hunter on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:31:53 AM EST
    and it is one of the best things I have ever seen.  It's a complex 70 minute takedown of "The Phantom Menace" that is just brilliant.  So, if you're bored and not a football fan, here you go:

    http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/12/17/watch-this-70-minute-video-review-of-star-wars-the-phantom-menac e/


    To paraphrase Joe Pesci (none / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:52:48 AM EST
    in Raging Bull, that movie "effing-s*cked-big-effing-elephant-d*cks". What a piece of Reifensthal-esqe crap.

    With lunch boxes and action figures yet.


    Happy New Year! (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:14:14 AM EST
    Curled up in a warm living room with a view of falling snow out the windows, I'll be watching the hockey game, Philly at Boston, in the snow at Fenway.

    And then we'll see if Fox and Time Warner cable kissed and made up, or whether a big chunk of football gets x-ed off the dial by two megacorporations fighting over how much more they want to suck out of my pocket.

    It's a new year, but little has changed.

    Corporate Bowl games are on (none / 0) (#8)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:21:25 AM EST
    Fox and TW are giving it a couple more days. I'd like to see the numbers crunched after they suck more money out of us . . . .

    I really hate to pull for OSU. (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:19:51 AM EST
    Meanwhile, Disney Hall is represented on a float in the Rose Bowl Parade.  A moving ad for LA Opera's Ring cycle.  

    Happy new year BTD! (none / 0) (#12)
    by daria g on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 12:41:23 PM EST
    I guess I've been reading your posts in the blogosphere for over six years now! Wanted to say thanks to you and Jeralyn both.. I rarely comment these days and my must-read list of political blogs is a LOT smaller, but TalkLeft is still at the top of it. All the best.

    (No thoughts on college football, just waiting for NFL. Still going to watch my Redskins, but at this point am only hoping for less of a disaster than the past two weeks.)

    heh (none / 0) (#13)
    by Turkana on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 12:41:31 PM EST
    i will be surprised if ohio state comes within ten of oregon.

    But does the Oregon marching band (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:00:30 PM EST
    do cursive?  

    only stanford (none / 0) (#25)
    by Turkana on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 03:08:22 PM EST
    has a marching band worth bragging about!

    Wrong. I have gone to the Rose Bowl (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 03:09:57 PM EST
    3 times and each time Michigan lost.  But the Michigan marching band was marvelous.  

    No matter how good (none / 0) (#28)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 03:18:58 PM EST
    marching bands are, they always seem to wind up sounding like a Cecil B. DeMille soundtrack.

    Highlight was being in a hotel ballroom (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 03:20:37 PM EST
    while the band played there live.  Really loud!

    TBDBITL! n/t. (none / 0) (#45)
    by sallywally on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:01:19 PM EST
    Ohio State (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by rdandrea on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 04:16:24 PM EST
    Has excellent offensive and defensive lines.

    Don't ever say the CA Legislature (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:22:23 PM EST
    is gridlocked.  Here are a couple of new laws they passed:

    Liquor ads: Waives rules prohibiting indoor alcohol advertisements in one club that sells the featured products: Club Nokia, a downtown Los Angeles venue owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz.

    Office bets: Changes the penalty for participation in a non-commercial or office "sports betting pool" from a misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $1,000, to an infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed $250.

    Also, restrictions on dairy farmers docking of cow tails.

    And:  no environment review required re proposed new NFL stadium to be built in City of Industry (w/o a team!).  

    the stadium (none / 0) (#17)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:02:01 PM EST
    of all the places in LA County where someone could've decided to build and lure and NFL team, eastern city of industry is about as obscure as you get. middle of nowhere in socal. no mass transit.  twenty miles from downtown, thirty from the westside and valley. really, really, really odd. and if this is where alex spanos is serious about moving his chargers, then phuck 'em, good riddance.

    But hasn't Jerry Sanders discovered (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:42:10 PM EST
    s previously undisclosed city mmoney to build a new stadium on Carnation site in San Diego?  Ironic.

    Yeah but it's close to The Commerce Card (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 03:12:43 PM EST



    My daughter is a sophomore at Oregon (none / 0) (#16)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:47:07 PM EST
    She's at the game today, along with a whole bunch of her friends.

    I hope they don't plan to party.

    Go Ducks.

    I've got lots of UofO (none / 0) (#38)
    by ZtoA on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 05:16:15 PM EST
    kid friends - lots at the game. Nahhh. I'm sure they do not mean to do any partying.

    Suspense in Central Florida (none / 0) (#18)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:26:23 PM EST
    Will Fox and Bright House cable networks reach a deal today so that Bright house can carry the Gators tonight? The contract expired at midnight, but Fox agreed to let Bright House carry their signal while negotiations continue today. The deadline was extended till 3pm, and I have not heard the results. I believe Fox is still on my TV though, so they must still be talking....

    The game is one thing, but if I don't get to watch

    after the hiatus I am going to be really mad.

    You will probably be ok. Fox held up (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:43:32 PM EST
    TW here but I notice the Rose Parade was on Fox this am.  

    NW flight from Detroit to Orlando (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:51:19 PM EST
    diverted to Nashville due to suspicious package.  Turns out package contained a Christmas ornament. Orlando Sentinal

    More evidence (none / 0) (#22)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:58:32 PM EST
    The terrorists have won.

    The MSU students sd. all is copacetic (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 03:00:37 PM EST
    as they got a free lunch!

    I want to see a pic of (none / 0) (#24)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 03:07:17 PM EST
    the ornament . . .

    Betcha it wasn't (none / 0) (#43)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 06:47:11 PM EST
    one of those Dale Earnhardt Jr. christmas ornaments.

    How much you wanna bet it was an angel-y lookin' thing or, worse, one with a "Peace on Earth" slogan somewhere on it. This one might be the worst - the buildngs kinda look ... [shudder] ... like something from the Middle East.

    FWIW, I have one of those angels on the top of my tree.  It's been in the family a good 50 years.


    More airplane fun (none / 0) (#30)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 03:22:13 PM EST
    A friend who just flew home from Europe (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 03:25:51 PM EST
    sd. the pilot told them they had received three different sets of rules since Christmas.  One was no on board entertainment, such as movies, tv, provided by airline.  Plane full of small kids.  Fortunately that rule didn't apply that day.  

    When I came back from London (none / 0) (#32)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 03:31:47 PM EST
    the sound equip was down, so no movies. Plane was delayed several hours because of security, and the flight crew wouldn't adjust the mealtime routine even though we had been stuck in a secure holding area with no food etc. Fun flight! Ended up with a deck of cards, some new friends, lots of drinks and crackers, lol!~ They really should have served up some meals  ;) I tend to get the messed up flights {sigh}

    Who cares? (none / 0) (#34)
    by ChiTownDenny on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 04:51:02 PM EST
    Yours may be bigger than mine, and mine may be bigger than his.  If body scanning can save blue haired old ladies from having to remove their shoes, I'm all for it!

    You might want to ask (none / 0) (#35)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 04:55:42 PM EST
    blue haired old ladies how they feel about body scans vs removing shoes . . .  just sayin'  ;)

    I think they've made themselves clear. (none / 0) (#36)
    by ChiTownDenny on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 05:02:06 PM EST
    This is a theme that has been supported by those who have blue hair and those who don't. A simple search of this site will confirm.  
    With respect, your suggestion for an alternative?

    If you want to take the opinion (none / 0) (#39)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 05:22:13 PM EST
    of the few on this site vs the masses, fine. I'm thinking modesty might rule the day when it comes down to women and full body scans vs taking our shoes off. I know what camp I fall in. My socks don't have holes ;)

    I'm really worried commentors here (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 05:46:52 PM EST
    can tell my hair color via Talk Left.  Now that's scary.  

    Make sure you check your socks. (none / 0) (#41)
    by ChiTownDenny on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 05:55:49 PM EST
    Holes, and all that.

    go ducks!! (none / 0) (#37)
    by ZtoA on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 05:13:25 PM EST
    Great floating touchdown!

    Ducks were doing great until that (none / 0) (#42)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 06:32:34 PM EST
    touchback following the fumble.

    No joy in Duckville (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by caseyOR on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:07:03 PM EST
    Sadly, the mighty Ducks have struck out. Ohio State wins the Rose Bowl.

    The Ducks appeared out of synch today. Clearly not their best game.

    Oh well, there's always next year. At least, that's what I'm telling myself.


    Terrible call, imo (none / 0) (#47)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:10:48 PM EST
    going for that barely-in-range field goal on fourth and one. Is their kicker normally that good?

    Apparently not, but (none / 0) (#55)
    by sallywally on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 11:35:37 AM EST
    OSU's is.

    Just a little pitch for the home team....


    If you need a reason to drink during the late game (none / 0) (#44)
    by Makarov on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 07:02:24 PM EST
    what is Tebow's Bible cite (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 09:15:22 PM EST

    EPH 2:8-10 (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:28:25 PM EST
    loosely translated: now that the pressure is off we will beat you like a red headed step child. God bless.

    Aren't you outraged Cincinnati (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 01:09:20 AM EST
    was ranked #3 and FL #%.  Shouldn't the U.S. Congress investigate and mandate a play off?  

    Rankings (none / 0) (#53)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 01:29:34 AM EST
    are fairly meaningless, but it's safe to say the Gators will finish ranked in the top 3 or 4 and finish tied for their best record all time. Quite successful if you ask me even though some seem to view their season as less than great.

    Hmmm: (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 01:11:25 AM EST

    BTW, some of the young fans in the stands had writings on eye black.  Biblical?  


    Gator Bowl - Noles Win One for Bobby Bowden (none / 0) (#54)
    by john horse on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 07:00:16 AM EST
    I just got back from the Gator Bowl.  It was one of the most memorable games I've ever seen, from Bobby Bowden walking into the stadium for the last time with his team.  Behind the team were the former FSU football players.  Unlike the team, they didn't have on their game faces.  They were smiling, waving, joking around with each other, reliving old memories.  It was pretty cool.

    Needless to say, it was an emotional game given that this was coach Bowden's last game.  Early in the game it looked like West Virginia was going to run FSU out of the stadium.  It looked like FSU's notoriously poor defense was going to live down its reputation.  I even saw a few FSU fans leaving when West Virginia took a 14-3 lead.  However, the team fought back and was only behind 14-13 at the half.  

    The second half was FSU's.  They played with a lot of heart.  FSU's offense was unstoppable.  FSU's defense kept West Virginia to 1 touchdown.  

    The speaker system went down just before the end of Bobby Bowden accepting the Gator Bowl Trophy, so we never did hear his last words.  Wouldn't  it be funny if it was something like "rosebud"?  

    "I told that Bear Bryant (none / 0) (#56)
    by jondee on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 12:36:49 PM EST
    he didnt stand a chnce.."