Sunday, November 23, 2008

Who Would You Vote For?

It has come down to this.

Almost. Pretty sure it will, though.

At least since Texas Tech beat Texas, it's looked like there could be a three-way tie for the lead in the Big XII South. Now that Oklahoma has beaten Tech--and if the three of them all beat their opponents next week (which only seems reasonably iffy in Oklahoma's case)--it will come true.

As has been discussed on Tim Griffin's blog many times, the South champion will be decided by the fifth tiebreaker, BCS standings. This is clearly a horrible system, but I'm sure nobody really thought it would really come down to the fifth tiebreaker. The horror is that it's going to come down to coach votes instead of being decided in some way on the field, and it's probably going to be a terrible, terrible situation. (You know, speaking relative to college football, not world events. I'm not trying to compare this to Darfur, I'm just saying that in the limited scope of Div I college football, it will be bad.)

So I've been thinking all evening: if I were a coach, who would I put closest to the top of my ballot? There are several different factors to take into account.

1. Their games against each other
Craig James was giving Doug Flutie a hard time because Doug would put OU ahead of t.u., when t.u. beat OU. But then, texas lost to the Tech team that OU was able to beat.

Margins of victory aren't technically supposed to matter, but of course they do.
  • Tech beat t.u. by only one point (one of the announcers tonight was saying, "Well, if [that kid from texas who dropped a possible interception near the end of that game] hadn't dropped that interception near the end of that game, texas would have won!" Which monumentally stupid, because he did drop the interception. Tech would have lost if Crabtree hadn't made the amazing catch at the end, but he did, so who cares? Sorry, I think it was Brent Musberger that said that and I hate that guy).
  • t.u. beat OU by ten points
  • OU beat Tech by eleventy billion. OK, 44. Which might as well be eleventy billion. (Sidenote: Tech got beat worse by OU than A&M did. I choose to feel a little smug about that because it's all I have.)
If there's an advantage here, I think it has to be texas's. Maybe Tech's score vs. OU makes Tech look like a bad team to lose to, but it was only by one point. And a 10-point victory over the Sooners is pretty solid.

2. Out-of-conference schedule
  • t.u.: Florida Atlantic, UTEP, Arkansas, Rice
  • OU: Chattanooga, Cinncinnati, Washington, TCU
  • Tech: East Washington, Nevada, SMU, Massachusetts.
Tech's non-conference schedule was, as usual, horrible. That right there is K-State levels of cupcakitude. The commentators I've heard and read count Tech out in the three-way tie, deciding it comes down to texas and OU, and it's probably for the unfair reason that Tech just doesn't have the reputation or the history. However, the non-conference is in my opinion a fair reason to count Tech out. texas's isn't great either, so the clear advantage here is Oklahoma's. There are two conference champions on that list and one more that even though they are TERRRRRRRIBLE this year, is at least from a BCS conference. That is the way that everybody ought to schedule. If every big team scheduled like OU did this year, college football would be much better for it.

3. North slate
This is one I haven't seen anybody talking about, because I don't think people on the national scene think about the North-South disparity in terms of how it affects schedules of teams in the same division.
  • t.u. played Colorado, Missouri, and Kansas
  • OU played Kansas, K-State, and Nebraska
  • Tech played K-State, Nebraska, and Kansas
They all played KU, so that cancels out, and OU and Tech played the very same slate. CU and K-State are pretty even in their not-goodness, but Colorado did win the head-to-head matchup. And if Missouri loses to KU, it'll be a fluke. Missouri is not as good as 2/3 of the south division, but they're better than Kansas. Advantage: texas.

So . . . I'm still not sure who I would vote for. I agree with the talking heads that this is actually a two-horse race. Tech has done a heck of a job this season, but they struggled with Nebraska and they were losing at the half to A&M (who--and I don't know if you've heard this--is not very good this season). texas and OU have each lost a game, but neither of them got embarassed doing it.

If you were to pretend it were an actual two-way tie (say Tech manages to lose to Baylor somehow--some people do), t.u. wins it simply. But then, OU has been looking really good. And there's that non-conference schedule that boosts their schedule strength. (The voters may also reward them because they finish with a tougher schedule than texas and apparently coaches are like goldfish.)

(Another thing about the coaches voting: Leach and Mack have votes, while Stoops does not. Wouldn't it be a travesty [again, a travesty in a sports sense] if OU gets passed over just because there's no coach making a ridiculous ballot with his team at #1 and the other two at like 19 and 22?)

So I'm kind of hoping one or two of those teams lose next week (I can think of one in particular that would be super!) to clear this thing up and keep it (kind of) out of the hands of the coaches and the computers (if computers had hands. Someday).

Of course, if all three of them lose, that creates a four-way tie with Oklahoma State! It's too late at night for me to try to figure out the tiebreakers for that.

ETA: For kicks and giggles, I went and checked out what would happen if they all lose and Ok State gets in the mix: it would still come down to Infamous Tiebreaker #5. Presumably, OSU would get discounted because they got steamrolled by Tech. So, not as interesting as I thought it might be.

EMTA (edited more to add): All right, fine. Pending any crazy developments next week, I would say texas (even though at this point the real voters are saying OU). OU is playing extremely well right now, but when you get right down to it, t.u. beat them. On a neutral field, even.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Music Quiz!

(I took this from Meg.)

Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line (unless the first line reveals the song title) from the first 25 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 3: Strike through the songs when someone guesses both artist and song title correctly.
Step 4: Looking them up on Google or any other search engine is CHEATING!

(I didn't entirely follow the rules--I discarded bunches and bunches of songs. [I went through about 100 to get these 25.] I have a lot of obscure and, frankly, many boring songs. Mostly though, I didn't realize until I went through this exercise how very many songs have their title in the first line. Bucketloads, people. Bucketloads.)

1. Standing on the dock at Southampton, trying to get to Holland or France
2. Get a load of me, get a load of you, walking down the street and I hardly know you
3. I could feel it from the start--couldn't stand to be apart
4. Billy Ray was a preacher's son, and when his daddy would visit he'd come along
5. I don't care if you wreck my car or shave off all my hair
6. Well, I had two weeks of vacation time coming after working all year down at Big Roy's Heating and Plumbing
7. We've been together for so very long but now things are changing and I wonder what's wrong
8. I don't want to hold you and feel so helpless
9. Tale as old as time, true as it can be
10. I am just a poor boy though my story's seldom told
11. Oh the shark, babe, has such teeth, yeah
12. I got sunshine on a cloudy day
13. Momma, hey Momma, come lookin' for me
14. Caroline (Caroline); Oh Caroline all the guys would say she's mighty fine
15. Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?
16. Oh baby baby, how was I supposed to know something wasn't right here?
17. We've been together since way back when, sometimes I never want to see you again
18. I took a walk around the world to ease my troubled mind
19. All I can ever be to you is the darkness that we know, and this regret I got accustomed to
20. I packed my bags last night pre-flight
21. Does he love me, I wanna know--how can I tell if he loves me so?
22. Dear, I fear we're facing a problem: you love me no longer, I know
23. I had a match, but she had a lighter; I had a flame but she had a fire
24. Well, let me tell you a story 'bout a man named Charlie on a tragic and fateful day
25. Life was kinda hectic and I was having trouble sleepin'

ETA: I realized once I came back to cross things off that I don't know how to do strikethrough in Blogger (help, anybody?), so that's why the "got" ones are italicized.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dream Semi-Ephiphany

It came to me in a dream last night that Barack Obama's inauguration day would be on the same date as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Now, it's not actually true, but dreams are kind of stupid.

I checked the calendar when I woke up and it's actually the day after MLK Day, which is still kind of cool. I'm surprised that during the media frenzy of "OH NO WAY YOU GUYS WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT" that that didn't come up, but maybe they're saving it for the inauguration.

(By the way, be sure to scroll down after this post, because I posted not once but twice yesterday. Side note: what is the correct way to punctuate "not once but twice"?)
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Keeping Up With My Correspondence

Dear Barack Obama,

Hi! Again, I would like to ask you not to pick Hillary. At least not for Secretary of State. I mean, is that really the best job for her? More importantly, is she the best person for that job?

The answer is no. Most news outlets are making it sound like Hillary is a done deal, so my only ray of hope is that there are also stray mentions that it might turn out to be Bill Richardson instead. (This story talks about them as fairly even options for you, which I find encouraging. Although I did have to shudder when it pointed out how gross and ugly a Hillary confirmation hearing would get. [Shuddershudder]). As I have previously established, Bill Richardson is totally cool. He'd be great for that job!

Look, you and I both know you don't want to have to work with Hillary that closely. Sure, find her something since she doesn't care about being a Senator anyway, but Secretary of State is too big to hand out as a consolation prize. She's a smart, pretty competent lady, but no way does she have the foreign policy chops for this. No. Way.

And of course, you can take your sweet time with this. (Like you did with the Biden pick. I had to wait forever for that text message!) Don't rush into anything, especially anything that would bring more spotlight onto Bill (because Hillary? Comes with baggage).


* * * * * * * *

Dear Fightin' Texas Aggie Football Team,

I don't even want to talk about it. Just try not to give up 70 points to t.u., and we'll meet back here after Thanksgiving. OK?

Gig 'em,
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College Football Joke

Did you hear that this year's Ohio State-Michigan game was cancelled? The game's in Columbus, and Michigan can't get past Toledo!

(What makes this really great is that it's a geography joke too!)
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

I found a webcomic today. I can't put it better than the author does:

Garfield Minus Garfield is a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb.

I think it's pretty hilarious. This one might be my favorite so far:
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Sunday, November 9, 2008


I don't really have anything substantive to say here (I could complain about how well Texas Tech is doing but . . . I just don't have the energy. This is the worst season ever [albeit the Aggies have dramatically improved; you just wouldn't know that from their score today]), I just had to mention: there is a picture of Graham Harrell on's homepage, and it is terrible.

And I just had to share that in some venue. (I thought about posting it in a "Caption this!" thread on TexAgs, but I was afraid of the answers it would get.)

Nothing against Graham Harrell personally (I've come to realize that I don't actually hate Texas Tech's teams so much, I mostly just loathe their fans. Except for Angela.*) This is just a very bad picture.

*Angela: if you leave the names of some of your Tech friends that you would be willing to vouch for (as in, they don't throw stuff on visiting fans--you know, Coke, batteries, bleachers, goalposts), I will make sure to mentally exempt them as well.
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

An Uninteresting Post about Late Night Talk Shows

Lucky me: I saw Paris Hilton interviewed by David Letterman last night, and I'm watching her on Craig Ferguson tonight. (Not that this isn't my own fault. I should really start going to bed earlier.) I prefer Craig to Dave, but this is proving that David Letterman is a much better interviewer.

Craig is really enthusiastic and fun when he's interviewing somebody he cares about or likes, but he's really stilted with this. He's being perfectly nice and everything, but he can't put Paris at her ease. He also can't really talk her on a level where he can start a fluid conversation. (He tried to talk to her about his favorite subject, Project Runway, but she doesn't watch and it was a very awkward non-starter.)

This is strangely increasing my respect for David Letterman, that he can talk to Paris Hilton in a way that it sounds like a real conversation. Of course, this could just be that Dave has been doing this a lot longer. For example, Jon Stewart isn't a great interviewer, but he's gotten so much better since he started doing The Daily Show that it's really astounding. (He was SO BAD at first.)

Then again, one of the reasons I like Ferguson is that he's a little too honest. In his position, he ought to come off like he likes all the celebrities he interviews equally, but you can tell he doesn't. That's how I would feel! If I had a show, there would be people I'd be totally psyched to meet and talk to (and that group would overlap pretty well with Craig's, from what I've seen) and some people I'd just have to force myself to chat with. He also endeared himself to me the other night when he was talking to Bill Maher about his Religulous thing and you could tell he was uncomfortable with Bill Maher's deal with that.

This is also an interesting demonstration/reminder that interviewing people is a skill, a craft even. And I can't decide whether I wish Craig Ferguson was better at it or not.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hee hee hee!

The NBC analyst is saying Nebraska is going to split its electoral votes. Nebraska and Maine are the only states that assign their votes to districts, instead of winner-take all, but they've never actually given their votes to more than one candidate. The analyst thought it happening for the first time was really cool, and he was like, "But that's the sort of thing that only I care about." Not true, NBC guy! I think it's awesome!
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Item of Interest from Election Coverage

NBC had an interview with David Paterson, the governor of New York. They made a big deal about him being black--which makes sense, since black governors are not a dime a dozen--but I think it's a little more interesting that he's blind. I would think that would be a bigger obstacle to overcome. What do you think?
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Monday, November 3, 2008

Random Thoughts of the Day

On campus today, I saw a guy riding a bike with a toothbrush in his mouth. That's gotta be a safety hazard.

Leggings have never been, and never will be, pants. I don't think these undergrad girls who walk around in leggings and a big shirt realize that they're just walking around in public pantsless. On the other hand, maybe they're doing it on purpose.

I went with my friend when she bought some candy. I couldn't decide whether to get some for myself or not, so I bought a single Airhead. I figured that was a compromise.
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