College Football Kickoff

College football is back!

My picks (all picks 2 units unless otherwise indicated) for the first night of college football: Utah -3 over Utah State, Fresno State -11 over Rutgers, Tulsa +165 over Bowling Green, Vanderbilt +140 over Mississippi, USC -24 over Hawaii, Akron +23 over Central Florida, South Carolina -13 over North Carolina (3 units), UNLV +14 over Minnesota.

Also too, John Amato of Crooks and Liars and yours truly talking sports - Link.

Open Thread.

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    Just posted this in the last Open Thread, (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:24:00 AM EST
    but it might get lost there, so here's something that's either really funny, or terribly depressing:

    Ordering a Pizza in 2015

    It's actually not that hard to imagine this scenario - that's the depressing part.

    It's both... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:02:54 AM EST
    hysterical and likely prophetic.

    Love the health surcharge lol!  But they shouldn't they just call it a tax like we do with cigarettes?  

    And wouldn't it be a sin to give away free tofu sticks that will only get thrown in the garbage? ;)

    Nice find Anne.


    Someone sent it to me in an e-mail, (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:24:45 AM EST
    but I didn't notice until I was copying the url, but this was done by the ACLU, so I decided to head over there to take a look for more info.

    And, to my surprise, I found that the ACLU made this video in 2004.  They revisit it, in February of this year, here:

    In 2004, the ACLU produced a satiric video called "Ordering Pizza in 2015" that has become the single most-downloaded piece of content we've ever produced (at least we believe in the absence of complete stats).


    Apparently, as John Pavlus notes on the Technology Review blog, the video has "bubbled back up" on social media this week, and Pavlus decided to evaluate how its predictions have held up. Though he says that "at first glance, the video seems laughable," and calls it a "dopey, decade-old" piece (true enough), he concludes that "a lot of what it depicts has come to pass." Pavlus observes that we didn't anticipate location tracking or mobile apps. And more significantly, while companies are actually gathering more and more information from disparate sources about their customers, in reality they are usually far too cunning to actually reveal that to customers.

    Of course we never thought a company would--the blunt honesty and coarse treatment of the hapless customer in the video is part of what made it a parody. No, as companies increase their leverage over customers by violating their privacy in ever-more-sophisticated ways, it's the smooth dishonesty and deft manipulation we really have to be afraid of.

    What probably seemed relatively far-fetched in 2004 doesn't seem so unlikely in 2013.


    Even scarier... (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:46:37 AM EST
    I have a nephew named James Alexander, but thankfully not James Alexander Kelly!

    It is (none / 0) (#13)
    by lentinel on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 11:14:17 AM EST
    too current!

    The last message - added at the end by the ACLU - asked if we want to prevent this from happening. It says, "Talk Action".

    Obviously, then and now, whatever action, if any, that has been taken has been extremely ineffective. It is happening, it has happened, and we have a president and a congress that is just fine with it.


    And, what are the people (none / 0) (#22)
    by christinep on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:45:47 PM EST
    saying by their action or inaction or other responsible or lackadaisical response?  <Yep, ain't that the way it so sadly goes.>

    The people have spoken... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 01:30:24 PM EST
    we have surrendered.  The debate, or lack there of, is over...privacy lost and lost big time.

    And by the time we truly realize what we've lost, and how little we've gained for the sacrifice, it will be too late to do anything about it.  

    Ain't that the way it goes is right!


    Actually, the NSA programs (none / 0) (#33)
    by KeysDan on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 02:50:48 PM EST
    are just putting the newest technological capabilities into the service of democracy.  It is actually a great means for the government to listen to its citizens--busy people all who have little time to write or call their president and congressional representatives.  

    Through our routine emails, blogging, social media and even snail mail, citizens can indicate, and the government can determine,  what our thinking is on issues of interest and importance. Even our  calls home can multi-task: hi to Mom, which helps to  ameliorate the "you never call" guilt trips,  and, permits an otherwise difficult to achieve, direct input to distinguished administration officials, such as  James Clapper.  


    One disagreement (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by christinep on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:04:02 PM EST
    With so many modern aids that modern society has given all of us (think grandparents, great-grandparents), I really don't buy the "we are so busy" excuse for non-participation in government at the various levels.  I do not buy or subscribe to that excuse at all.  What really goes down in life is that--when we have food & shelter, which needs have been met by the vast majority in modern-day US society--we often choose to let others do it because there is a TV show or a game or an "I'm too tired, not because I scrubbed floors all day or worked in the mines all day, but I just want to relax & veg out."  Nope, buying into those excuses only encourages majorities of people opting out only to be followed by blaming others.  I guess that I must be grouchy today, but arguments about how hard we have it compared to those before us are without merit.

    You have a great point there (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:44:11 PM EST
    My grandparents did twice the manual labor I do every day and they were very politically active, on the ground, in the trenches.

    This (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by lentinel on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:10:00 AM EST
    is a great point.

    Maybe I can take advantage of this is they would give us an 500 number - and I could just call and ask when the last time was that I called Mom.

    I could provide her with a receipt when questioned - and it would be from the government so she'd know it was authentic.

    And direct input to such stellar figures like Clapper.
    Who could resist?

    You put a whole new light on things.


    Liked your humor here (none / 0) (#67)
    by christinep on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:56:20 PM EST
    We sure need a sense of good old humor.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 111 (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:09:12 AM EST
    This just in. DOJ Surrenders on Legal Weed (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:53:03 PM EST
    Holder announced today that DOJ would let CO and WA proceed with legal marijuana.

    Real progress would be to declassify weed as a Schedule 1 drug.

    Sh*t man... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 01:33:01 PM EST
    forget real progress, a simple sign of a sliver of collective intelligence (oxymoron perhaps?) would get reefer outta Sch. 1.

    Pre-Season Top 25 (none / 0) (#2)
    by DebFrmHell on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:42:12 AM EST
    From the AP top 25 Pre-season:
    I thought A & M would be a little higher (5th) and while I am hoping Texas does better than 15th, I can't see it.

    I hope that everyone gets of chunk of A & M!  But I might be a little biased.


    And I negate you! (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:04:08 PM EST
    I am an Aggie (graduate school) and even though Johnny Manziel acted the fool, I hope we beat the crap out of Alabama (again) and win the SEC title (at least).

    As far as Texas, I always root against them!  ;)


    I hope you beat crap out of Alabama :) (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:43:52 PM EST
    They have a little too much of it.  Just knock it down a peg.

    Watch for (none / 0) (#53)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 12:01:58 PM EST
    Manziel to be on the TM Bum Steers cover this January 2014 or 2015.  He's from Kerrville and was a bit of a problem child before he got to A & M. This last incident is hardly the first.

    I think they should be a little higher than 7th.  I thought they would be in the top 5.

    But, if it matters, I did get a giggle out of A & M beating ALA in regular season 2012...beat 'em in their own house!


    I remember watching the Alabama game (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 12:50:00 PM EST
    And I just kept yelling at the TV - "Holy Crap!  I can't believe it!"

    Read a story recently (none / 0) (#55)
    by CoralGables on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:00:49 PM EST
    on the Manziel ancestry. Lots (and lots) of lawsuits and jail time in that family. Not exactly the perfect background to be raised.

    Talking about the Deadspin story? (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:29:24 PM EST
    No problems listed there (none / 0) (#59)
    by CoralGables on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:07:29 PM EST
    concerning the legal issues which is all I commented on. Family money high or low and how it got distributed doesn't interest me.

    Should I ever wind up in jail... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:30:16 AM EST
    I want a friend like David Wayne Jordan.

    For grins and giggles ONLY (none / 0) (#7)
    by Visteo1 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:23:36 AM EST
    HAWAII +24
    UNC +13

    Can someone please explain units?

    Units = Betting Units... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:28:04 AM EST
    If you're a low low roller it could be ten bucks, a high roller maybe 10 large...typically it's a hundo.

    Not to be misunderstood, (none / 0) (#9)
    by Visteo1 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:27:38 AM EST
    non-bold assumes the same spread BTD has listed.

    Take USC in the Hawaii game. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:10:19 PM EST
    If the final margin's less than 24 points, I'll be happily surprised. Go, 'Bows! (After a 13-year hiatus, UH restored the former name of the Rainbow Warriors during the offseason, to the delight of many longtime fans out here.)

    Better than (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:14:28 PM EST
    Their two original names - "The Fighting Deans" (1909-1923) and then the "Rainbows".

    I like rainbows.  It just doesn't sound like a sports team name.  :)


    Nor do (none / 0) (#19)
    by CoralGables on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:32:41 PM EST
    The Banana Slugs, The Fighting Artichokes, or The Anteaters sound like sports team names but all still great nicknames. Hawaii Rainbows was a great name.

    Know what (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:41:50 PM EST
    the only college team mascot is named for a female member of a species?



    The University of Delaware Fighting Blue Hens. (So it's actually redundant to talk about the womens' sports teams as "The Lady Blue Hens")


    Slight correction to your post (none / 0) (#24)
    by CoralGables on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:50:51 PM EST
    you meant coeducational college of course as we mustn't exclude the Sweet Briar Vixens.

    Ah, no fair (none / 0) (#26)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:59:39 PM EST
    That's an all-girls school!

    The Vixens! (none / 0) (#39)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:09:39 PM EST
    Love it!

    They were known as the Rainbows until 2000. (none / 0) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:59:21 PM EST
    In fact, UH men's teams were known as the Rainbows for the better part of seven decades. They were initially distinguished from the newly constituted women's teams in 1975 by adding the word "Warriors," while the women's teams became known as the "Rainbow Wahine" and the entire athletic program was elevated to NCAA Div. I status. But to the local faithful, they were always known affectionately as "the 'Bows" -- regardless of the sport.

    Removing the name from "Rainbow" so that it just the "Warriors" was a now-questionable marketing decision initiated in 2000 by agent Leigh Steinberg, who represented then-Coach June Jones, and was the so-called marketing genius / agent who was supposedly the inspiration for the film "Jerry MacGuire." He and Jones wanted the name change because they had overly-grandiose ideas about marketing UH football on the mainland, and they further changed the football uniforms to all-black.

    Steinberg insisted on the change for exactly the reason you stated -- as well as his additional, homophobic and wholly unnecessary "it just sounds too faggy" comment, which went over like a lead balloon with local fans and former players alike.

    Given that rather auspicious beginning, suffice to say that these changes never really sat well at all with a lot of longtime UH fans and alumni out here, who remained stubbornly loyal to the green and white and the Rainbow nickname. With the exception of men's volleyball, the other sports had long resisted using the name "Warriors" and were allowed to keep the Rainbow name through the years.

    And truthfully, the attendance at UH football games dropped by some 30% over time because Steinberg and Jones eventually alienated the local fan base, and filling the stands is what it's really all about, when you get right down to it.

    Under coaches Dick Tomey and Bob Wagner in the 1980s and '90s, the Rainbows developed a well-deserved reputation as a very scrappy squad which feared no one. They would regularly sell out Aloha Stadium, while I could count on one hand the number of sellouts the now-former Warriors enjoyed over the last decade. The first thing now-retired Coach Greg MacMackin did upon replacing Jones in 2008 was to bring back green and white uniforms, which Jones had exiled during his tenure.

    But really, local public pressure on the UH administration to restore the Rainbow nickname across the board went almost ballistic this summer after brand-new UH Athletic Director Ben Jay -- fresh from Ohio State -- announced publicly this past May that henceforth, the name "Rainbow" would be dropped completely from all sports, men's and women's alike.

    Simply put, the public rebelled wholesale, and when UH President Marci Greenwood sided with public opinion and asked Jay to "reconsider," the decision was rescinded and Coach Norm Chow immediately announced that once again, the football team would once again be known as the "Rainbow Warriors."

    (One has to feel a little for Ben Jay, who had just left Columbus to take the reins in Honolulu, then announced his very first substantive decision as UH AD, only to get smacked around very publicly for it.)

    Personally, I always thought it inevitable that UH would restore the Rainbow nickname to football. And I'm glad they did, and started marketing again to the folks here, rather than in California. Season ticket sales at UH football are already up 20%.



    Is Hawaii still running (none / 0) (#28)
    by Visteo1 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 01:26:47 PM EST
    a strong option offense?  Is it a little late to take that back or do I get until 11:00 EST?

    Coach Chow got rid of ... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:08:45 PM EST
    ... the run-and-shoot option at the start of last season. He's has been a long-time disciple of the West Coast offense, and given his past success as the offensive coordinator at BYU, USC and Utah, he'll stick with it.

    4:18 2Q: USC 10, Hawaii 5. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 11:28:46 PM EST
    I'm at the game. Who'da thunk that the 'Bows would be hanging tough with the Trojans? This time last year, it was already 35-0.

    BTD (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:23:38 AM EST
    an important notation is missing from your College Football Kickoff...

    Go Gators!!!

    Curious: (none / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:42:19 AM EST
    what's the story with "Urban"? Did he come from a very Catholic family? Not that theres anything wrong with that..

    Yes (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:06:16 PM EST
    And, he's "the third"

    From Wiki:

    Meyer was born on July 10, 1964 in Toledo, Ohio,[4][62][63] and grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio.[64][65] He graduated from Ashtabula's Saint John High School in 1982.[66] Meyer was also selected in the 13th round, as a shortstop, by the Atlanta Braves in the 1982 Major League Baseball Draft.[4] Meyer spent two seasons playing minor league baseball in the Braves organization.[18] He concurrently played defensive back at the University of Cincinnati before earning his bachelor's degree in psychology in 1986.[4] During his undergraduate studies, Meyer also became a brother of the Sigma Chi Fraternity (Zeta Psi Chapter), and met his future wife at Sigma Chi's Derby Days philanthropy event.[67]

    Meyer went on to earn his master's degree in sports administration at Ohio State.[4]

    Meyer married Shelley Mather Meyer in 1986.[4] The Meyers have three children: Nicole ("Nicki"), Gisela ("Gigi") and Nathan ("Nate").[4] His two daughters currently play Division I volleyball: Nicki plays for Georgia Tech[68] and Gigi plays for Florida Gulf Coast.[69] He is a practicing Roman Catholic.[70]

    A new Z factoid: (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:28:14 PM EST
    She [Shellie] revealed she wasn't home the night her husband confronted Trayvon because they had an argument and she was staying with her father.

    Orlando Sentinal

    Are you trying to chase BTD away? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:45:42 PM EST
    This is his Open Thread, by default a GZ-free zone...Jeralyn's Wednesday Open is where you want to have that discussion.

    Coral gables has recently accused.me of (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:49:39 PM EST
    "past-posting" so I decided I'd best put the comment here. But it turns out others have noted the same info in Wednesday open thread!

    FTR (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 01:19:27 PM EST
    Haven't disappeared.

    Just really busy. Actually owe a book review to former Sen Byron Dorgan who was kind enough to sit for an interview with me and David Waldman of Daily Kos Radio.

    I can spitball a few comments here and there but no enough time for a real post.

    But but but, you did that sports talk thing with Amato you might say?

    Well yeah but I put that off for weeks.

    Football was about to kick off so my hand was forced.


    Pro football news (none / 0) (#31)
    by ragebot on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 01:52:09 PM EST
    Rolling Stone guy says Aaron Hernandez will beat the murder rap and be back in the NFL in three years or so if he can not beat the gun rap.  I have not seen how strong the case is against Hernandez, anyone know how accurate this blurb is


    Okay BTD, help ...you said UNLV (none / 0) (#32)
    by DFLer on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 02:24:14 PM EST
    +14 over Minnesota. That means the Gophers have to win by OVER 14 pts. to beat this bet?


    Yes (none / 0) (#34)
    by CoralGables on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 02:59:38 PM EST
    If the Gophers win by over 14 points BTD loses

    Correct... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 03:01:43 PM EST
    to cash a winner on the Gophers, they must win by 15 or more.  

    If the Gophers win by 14 on the nose, it's a push...betters on both sides only lose the vig.


    thanks all (none / 0) (#36)
    by DFLer on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 04:53:33 PM EST
    Go Gophers! (okay MileHigh...waiting for your snark!)

    lets see (none / 0) (#44)
    by DFLer on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:30:23 PM EST
    51 23 U of MN

    that do it? Go furs!


    ....Umm, fwiw (none / 0) (#42)
    by NYShooter on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:41:03 PM EST
    None of the gentlemen I've ever known who took "investments" over the phone ever charged the vig premium on push outcomes. I owned two sports bars in NY back in the day and knew a lot of sports "brokers," and this was true with all of them.

    But, I've been out of action for quite a long time now, so things might have changed. If they do charge the vig on push's today that would put the "Investor"  in an almost impossible-to-overcome statistical disadvantage, especially if they "invest" on many games.


    I'm not a sports investor... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:49:45 AM EST
    myself except for pools and an occasional sheet, but I know my buddies who invest pay the vig on a push.

    Maybe someone else can chime in???


    They need a new book (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 07:53:51 AM EST
    Never pay vig on a push.

    Though I get creamed yesterday anyway.


    I'll tell 'em... (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:41:13 AM EST
    I thought it was industry standard...Talkleft is so educational! ;)

    Hate to record this but records are important (none / 0) (#50)
    by CoralGables on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:44:59 AM EST
    BTD College Football Week 1:

    Record: 2-6
    Financials: -7 units

    Disastrous first day (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:59:08 AM EST
    And should have been worse.

    Utah shouldn't have covered.


    Perhaps it's best to take a step back and let (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 11:50:13 AM EST
    your readers (as opposed to your listeners)  know your view on U.S. military intervention in Syria.

    I'm interested. (none / 0) (#56)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:10:04 PM EST
    And in case you are unaware, UNC was stopped 1 yard short on 4th and goal in the waning seconds of that game...I am tied with BTD...hoping BTD's units were of the small variety.

    Actually, my interest in football is confined (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:39:23 PM EST
    to tepidly following Michigan. Not w/my $$ though. And the likelihood I will ever master the betting lingo is quite low.

    Why tepidly? I like Michigan until (none / 0) (#60)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:08:46 PM EST
    until they play the Illini.

    They stole our National Championship in the final four, one year.  (OK...we lost in that third meeting, but Illinois was favored)

    Then, there is the football game some years later...the only game where the Big Ten administration wrote a letter of apology for the officiating.  I had to listen to Michigan fans tell me "a win is a win".  Arghh!!!


    Tepidly b/c I a.m a self-identified (none / 0) (#63)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:28:09 PM EST
    culture vulture.

    Eventually the sport will evolve (none / 0) (#68)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 07:30:28 PM EST
    into football ballet.  I think we are ready to have the QB being touched behind the line of scrimmage whistled dead as a tackle. Anything more than a touch should be a roughing penalty...just like a run when you go down before contact. I'm not being sarcastic.  The QB can be vulnerable in a passing situation even with the current rules.  

    You'd have to do an intensive seminar (none / 0) (#61)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:09:04 PM EST
    with BTD, kdog and Dadler. (Or get an online tutorial from Rosetta Stone.)

    I'm sure Pimsleur has CD's. (none / 0) (#62)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:20:58 PM EST
    I can listen and repeat while driving.

    You're further along than you admit to (none / 0) (#66)
    by CoralGables on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:43:24 PM EST
    Seamus Heaney, the great Irish poet, (none / 0) (#64)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:31:59 PM EST
    "Can't Lose" investment system (none / 0) (#65)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:38:01 PM EST
    Now, this takes a little work but, followed properly, the only two possible outcomes are: 1. You win, or, 2. You push (tie.) There is no possible combination whereby you lose any money.

    But, first, a disclaimer: This goes back to the days when I was active in this business, and rules may have changed since then. So, if anyone is interested in doing this please check out today's rules and see if they haven't changed.......it makes all the difference.

    The game is hockey. There's a reason why hockey is the only game where the system is viable. So, if anybody is interested, I'll spell it out for you; if not, you'll save me a lot of typing time.

    Gotta go out for a little while now; I'll check back later.