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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

SOCK IT TO ME BABY!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NHFFL last week, FCS playoffs, and the Johnson/Finnegan bout

The season finale of the NHFFL concluded last night, and it will be the T-Cubs and the Fiery Beagles getting a week off while the other playoff teams fight for the privilege to challenge them. The T-Cubs ripped the Clock BBQs 56-22 behind 4 td passes by Jay Cutler- no lie- and 3 scores by Dwayne Bowe. The Beagles punch their ticket with a 40-33 win over the Angels, their 6th straight, while the KCAs were falling to Buzz 38-10. The Beagles got 27 of their 40 on Thanksgiving Day ( 15 from Tom Brady and 12 from Chris Ivory). The win and KCAs loss gives them the Purple Div. championship and the #2 seed. Buzz wins his division and takes the #3 seed with their win, highlighted again by Turkey points- 2 tds from Wes Welker. The KCAs get the #5 seed and will play the #4 Clock BBQs. The Rhinos solidified their #6 seed with a 29-28 win over fellow Shenanite SVA. Once again kicker Dan Carpenter was the big star for the Rhinos with 16 points. In non-playoff crucial matches, the State Ducks pass the Angels for third in the Scarlet division with a 51-21 win over the Rangers. Brandon Lloyd and BenJarvis Green-Ellis each got 2 tds for the Ducks; the Rangers lose their last 5 to finish 3-9. And finally, it was the B2s taking third in the Gold div. with a 57-19 rout of the Elks. The Elks lost Clinton Portis yet again for this game and finish 5-0 when he played and 0-7 when he didn't. Portis' total contribution to Elk scoring for the year? 12 points. Go figure. Peyton Hillis yet again led the B2s' charge with 3 tds.



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PURPLE

WLPFPARP
Fiery Beagles84401423570-7th
KCAs75485414759-3rd
SVA57428431482-9th
Rangers39335503178-12th

GOLD

T-Cubs93524384887-1st
CBBQs75465427629-4th
B2s57450478505-8th
Elks57466496460-10th

SCARLET

Buzz Lightyears75493431693-3rd
Ragin'Rhinos75458452576-6th
State Ducks57499465605-5th
Arden's Angels48419574185-11th







______________________________________________________

Speaking of playoffs, here's a brief look at the FCS playoffs. Western Illinois scored with less than 2 minutes left and blocked a nearly last second attempt to tie to top Coastal Carolina 17-10. They play #1 seed App State Saturday. North Dakota State showed they could win in blowouts as well as 3-0 games by ripping Robert Morris 43-17. They go on to face #4 seed Montana State. Lehigh greatly disappointed me by tipping Northern Iowa 14-7. On the bright side, I won't accidentily call the Iowans "Northern Ireland" again till next year. The Patriot league champs get a second chance at getting really clobbered when they play #3 seed Delaware Saturday. Finally, Georgia Southern overcame 4 turnovers and 2 missed extra points, as well as losing their qb early in the game, and ripped South Carolina State 41-16. Their reward is to play #2 seed William AND Mary next. Also up this weekend are second round matches between Villanova and SF Austin, #5 seed Eastern Washington and SE Missouri State, Bethune-Cookman and New Hampshire, and Wofford and Jacksonville State.

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Finally, I have a few things to say about the NFL's decision not to suspend Houston wideout Andre Johnson and Tennesee df Courtland Finnegan. I truly believe that the ONLY reason that they get to play this coming week is because Titans coach Jeff Fisher is a highly regarded member of the rules committee and a friend of Commissioner Roger Goodell. Favioritism towards Fisher is what keeps one of the dirtiest teams in the NFL from being overloaded by penalties and fines/ suspensions. Johnson got the blessing of not being able to suspend one and not the other. I really tire of the NFLs favoritism towards the teams and players that they want to pimp. New England gets every call and has for years. Peyton Manning says a cross word and gets rules modified this preseason, and his teflon butt can slide any distance he requires. And now, bring on the (let's give them a hand at winning this year's super bowl) Jets. Hines Ward and Troy Palomalu were right. Brady and Manning, and now Sanchez, get league breaks no one else can touch. I think it would be funny if some really big scandal would touch these sacred cows. See Manning get busted for selling pot or Brady having an affair with Tiger Woods' mistress and get into a fight. Or better yet, Jeff Fisher taking candy from a baby or somesuch. It would be fun to see how long it takes for the league to send Tony (one touch and they're a saint) Dungy to pick up the pieces and rehabilitate them.

Okay, deep breath. I really don't want all those, or any other, bad things to happen to them. Except maybe Sanchez. But it would be nice if the league would cease such blatent favoring of their little buddies.

Oh, and Jeff? I promise I won't text you an apology.



Friday, November 26, 2010

Step into my time machine week thirty-one

Hi, kids, hope you had a nice Thanksgiving, and hope you enjoyed TM's Thanksgiving special. I'm considering the special to have taken care of the jaunt through other years at #1 this week, but we have a lot of fun still lined up, including Batdorf and Rodney (who?), Bill Fries (who??), and a trip through Nellcote (where?) and the Chateau d'Herouville (where??). Come join our Convoy!



Not that I want to fall flat on my face right off the top, but out of eleven hot hundred debuts, we're only going to mention 4- and I only knew 2 of those! Coming in at 97 was the George Baker Selection with Una Paloma Blanca. The song Somewhere In The Night comes in at 83- and 89. The higher one was by Helen Reddy; the second was by a duo I'd never heard of called Batdorf and Rodney. It was very well done- basically you can imagine the Helen Reddy song structure with the Barry Manilow vocals and you'd be close. Finding info on Batdorf and Rodney was a bit more difficult. However I did get the story- maybe more than I wanted- on John Batdorf's website. Digested for time, they met when Mark Rodney's brother heard John at some club and got together. Eventually they met up with Ahmet Ertgum of Atlantic and were signed. They were basically an instrumental jam acoustic band who record execs kept trying to turn into a new Simon and Garfunkel. Somewhere was released at the same time Helen Reddy's version was, and John claims that Helen's team bullied stations into not playing theirs "Or they'd never get another Helen Reddy record again." (which is amusing, since the only other hit of any great size she had after that was You're My World.) Also, execs were cutting Mark's vocals and he was getting pushed farther and farther out of the mix. John formed a new band called Silver, who were "forced" to do a song I loved called Wham Bam Shang A Lang, which we'll see next summer if TM's still around. He hated it, much like he dissed Helen's version of Somewhere, and that's basically the end of his story.



Anyway, the other stop here in the lower rungs this week was the highest debut- Olivia Newton-John doing a cover of He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother. It was pretty much what you would imagine. Oh, and speaking of the lower rungs, the Road Apples move up from 89 to 74 with Let's Live Together- or to put it another way, right where they were 3 weeks ago before they fell off the charts for one week.



The big movers this week were easy to find, sitting right next to each other. The Big dropper was Born To Run, running down 31 notches to 65. At 66, up 32, is Bill Fries, or as you better know him, CW McCall, with Convoy. "CW McCall" was a character invented by Fries for an ad campaign for a bread company, and the trucker persona of McCall was the one he used in most of his hits- yes, there was more than Convoy.



Time to look at our #1 album countdown. We're up to the summer of '72, and Jethro Tull was at the top with Thick As A Brick. Meant to be a parody of progressive rock concept albums, it was one long 45 minute song, split on the vinyl album. In concert, it expanded to a 60-70 minute first half, followed by a 25 minute second side along with other tunes, with an ersatz "weather report" in the intermission. Thick held forth for two weeks until being replaced the week of June 17th by the Stones' Exile On Main Street. The group were tax exiles at the time, and recorded in the basement of a rented villa in Nellcote, France. It was scrabbled together in between bouts of extreme drug use and police raids, and contained the singles Tumbling Dice (#7) and the Keith Richards' vocal Happy (#22). It spent 4 weeks at the top, and yielded on the week of July 15th to Elton John's Honky Chateau. Also recorded in France at the Chateau d'Herouville, it contained the #6 Rocket Man and the #8 Honky Cat, and spent 5 weeks at the top.



Coming into the top 40 this week were 5 tunes. Alice Cooper climbs a notch to 40 with Welcome To My Nightmare. David Ruffin walks up from 57 to 39 with Walk Away From Love. Gladys Knight and the Pips move up from 42 to 34 with Part Time Love, a song I didn't know and sadly didn't remember 2 minutes after I played it. The other two rip into the countdown: Diana Ross' Theme From Mahogany knew where it was going to- from 52 to 28; and the Love Rollercoaster that the Ohio Players were riding rolled up from 44 to 23.



Our almost but not quite is a bit of a tricky subject. John Denver's Calypso was the b-side of his #1 I'm Sorry. As such, Billboard considered it the second half of a 2-sided #1. Cashbox, however, separated the two, and this week Calypso falls from a peak of 26 to 38. So it's either a top dog, or an almost but not quite, depending on how you look at it.



Two songs go into the top ten, 2 fall out. The droppers are Who Loves You, from 7 to 12; and Heat Wave, from 6 to 22. Also in this area, what might be the last report on Feelings; it drops from 16 to 22 in its twenty-fifth week.



Coming in at 10, up 5, is Jigsaw with Sky High. Jigsaw (or the British Jigsaw, as they were known in Australia) was an English band who had evolved from a wild, instrument-burning stage act to a pop band who did the original of the Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods hit Who Do You Think You Are. Natalie Cole holds at 9 with This Will Be. Coming in at 8, also up 5, are the Bay City Rollers with Saturday Night, a song that failed to chart in its first version in the UK a year before, and the reworked song was never released in Jolly Ol', making its money everywhere else in the world. Simon and Garfunkel (the real ones) move up 1 to 7 with My Little Town. The Way That I Want To Touch You moves down 2 to #6 for the Captain and Tenille. The Bee Gees hold at 5 with Nights on Broadway. Pop Staple and his daughters shoot up 6 to #4 with Let's Do It Again; Elton John hangs on to #3 with Island Girl. Silver convention falls off the perch to 2 with Fly Robin Fly; which means we have a new top dog! At #1, up one spot...



KC And The Sunshine Band, with That's The Way I Like It!

So it goes this week. See ya next time!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time Machine Thanksgiving Special

So here I am sitting by myself (boo hoo) on Thanksgiving eve when it comes to me to do a special about all the #1 songs of Thanksgiving week. Well, first the size becomes daunting, so I decide on the top ten Thanksgiving #1's. Then it becomes a matter of what era, and do I include songs I don't know; so I shortened the list to songs from the eras I knew best (1955-1989). This eliminates my need to listen to them to see if I knew them, and lobs off the 1990's crap like Boyz 2 Men that got tons of week at #1 with no discernible talent involved. Next- is it going to be the greatest hits, or my favorites? To make it based on time at #1, I'd have to include several of my least favorite songs, notably the stretch including 1977 (You Light Up My Life), 1978 (You Don't Bring Me Flowers), 1979 (Babe) and 1981 (the biggest cringer of the lot, Physical). Not to mention, I'd have to deal with other gaggers such as the amazing we-aren't-really-singing Milli Vanilli (Blame It On The Rain, 1989); as well as some that I like better than many people, such as Starship's We Built This City (1985), which in 2004 was voted by Blender Magazine as the worst single record in history (they were a little closer with some others on the list; Don't Worry, Be Happy was #2, and Achy Breaky Heart was #7).


So it evolves into a hybrid of the greatest songs that I actually like, or something along those lines. I hope you'll enjoy it.





10. The Rain, The Park, And Other Things- The Cowsills (1967). Probably better known as "I love the flower girl", This pretty harmony by the family that inspired some hack to invent the Partridge Family (whose I Think I Love You was the 1970 #1) was a true family effort, with 4 brothers, (I think, I lost track) a couple sisters, and Mom, with Dad managing the group.
Notable here includes lead singer Bill getting fired by dad (ironically known as Bud) for smoking a joint- a curious thing happening to the group that sang Hair. Also, John was a member of Tommy Tutone when they hit it big with 867-5309. The group has had much tragedy: Brother Barry was a victim of hurricane Katrina, and the family learned at his memorial that Bill had passed as well.





9. Big Girls Don't Cry-The Four Seasons(1962). Boy, these guys get involved in everything, don't they?
This tune made Frankie and the boys the first act in history to hit #1 with their first 2 chart hits.





8. You Send Me- Sam Cooke (1957). This first hit for Cooke is one of three songs in this list that were originally b-sides. The qualifications for A&R man must be as stringent as those for FCS poll voter.







7. Family Affair- Sly And The Family Stone (1971). In a list where many things are not what they seem, the only members of the family on this recording were Sly and sister Rose. For more about this song, go back a couple TMs ago when I featured There's A Riot Going On on the album countdown.







6. Mr. Blue- Fleetwoods (1959). I swear that Gretchen Christopher sounds just like Jane Jetson on this song. When it hit the top, the Fleetwoods became the first act to have 2 number ones in a single year.






5. Big Bad John- Jimmy Dean (1961). Another b-side (I well remember the flip- I Won't Go Hunting With You, Jake [But I'll Go Chasin' Wimmin]),
Dean wrote this at a point where his record company was about ready to drop him for lack of hits. Soon later, he was selling sausage and hunting injuns with Daniel Boone.





4. Sixteen Tons- Tennessee Ernie Ford (1955). I was really conflicted about putting this here- it could have just as easily been #1. The third of our b-side-cum-hit-songs.






3. Are You Lonesome Tonight- Elvis Presley (1960). Here I gotta show you the story about the International Hotel version. From Wiki:


Elvis, occasionally during live performances, would randomly change lyrics to give them humorous connotations. One popular instance was recorded at the International Hotel in Vegas on August 26, 1969. During the performance, instead of singing: "Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there", he sings "Do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair". Moments later, he saw a bald man in the audience (as legend has it), and burst into laughter which continued into the next lines. The audience was treated to additional laughter during the spoken verse singing: "You know someone said that the world's a stage, and each must play a part." Seeing the irony of his own lyrics, Elvis was again overtaken by laughter and barely recovered. The audience enjoyed the sincerity of the moment while Elvis regained his composure. Meanwhile the band and backup singers continued to keep the song going. It is speculated that much of Elvis' mirth derived from the solo backing singer whose falsetto remained resolute throughout. To this, Elvis comes back just in time for the line: "And I had no cause to doubt you" followed by more laughter. So overtaken, Elvis encourages the backup singer to "sing it, baby" drawing even more laughter which nearly brings the house down. In the end, the song is finished to a round of applause. The version is considered to be a popular underground classic, and was a UK Top 30 hit in 1982 after first being commercially released by RCA in the 1980 box set Elvis Aaron Presley.
According to
Dr. Demento, who plays the version on his show, there is nothing on the label of the recording to indicate that it is anything other than an ordinary recording of the song--"People must have been surprised when they took it home and played it."
Elvis said at the end, "That's it, man, fourteen years right down the drain...boy, I'll tell ya."





2. Love Me Tender- Elvis Presley (1956). Boy, that Elvis sure loves Thanksgiving! Wiki says that he got a writing co-credit on this despite not having wrote word one of it (and the tune dates from the Civil War). However, I don't want Graceland Management mad at me too, so if it says he wrote it, he wrote it. As Galileo once was supposed to have said, "...and yet..."





1. Love Child- Diana Ross And The Supremes (1968). This song gave me my first sorta celebrity crush when I was a mere first grader. That was back in the days when I didn't know what a lot of songs meant and didn't care- or mutilated the meaning to my dark 6-year-old purposes. For example, thinking Angel Of The Morning had something to do with nuns.
In this case, it was mishearing the "worn, torn" in "worn, torn dress that somebody threw out" as "war-torn blah blah blah" and assuming another of the era's protest songs. Like Family Affair, the "Supremes" were there in name only as the group had already begun its terminal fragmentation. Also like Family Affair, doesn't affect the greatness of the tune.


And there ya go, sports fans! From all of me to all of you, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Science and genesis

Early Universe Was a Liquid, Nuclei Collisions at the Large Hadron Collider Show
ScienceDaily (Nov. 23, 2010)
— In an experiment to collide lead nuclei together at CERN's Large Hadron Collider physicists from the ALICE detector team including researchers from the University of Birmingham have discovered that the very early Universe was not only very hot and dense but behaved like a hot liquid.
By accelerating and smashing together lead nuclei at the highest possible energies, the ALICE experiment has generated incredibly hot and dense sub-atomic fireballs, recreating the conditions that existed in the first few microseconds after the Big Bang. Scientists claim that these mini big bangs create temperatures of over ten trillion degrees.
At these temperatures normal matter is expected to melt into an exotic, primordial 'soup' known as quark-gluon plasma. These first results from lead collisions have already ruled out a number of theoretical physics models, including ones predicting that the quark-gluon plasma created at these energies would behave like a gas.
Although previous research in the USA at lower energies, indicated that the hot fire balls produced in nuclei collisions behaved like a liquid, many expected the quark-gluon plasma to behave like a gas at these much higher energies.
Scientists from the University of Birmingham's School of Physics and Astronomy are playing a key role in this new phase of the LHC's programme which comes after seven months of successfully colliding protons at high energies. Dr David Evans, from the University of Birmingham's School of Physics and Astronomy, and UK lead investigator at ALICE experiment, said: "Although it is very early days we are already learning more about the early Universe."
He continues: "These first results would seem to suggest that the Universe would have behaved like a super-hot liquid immediately after the Big Bang."
The team has also discovered that more sub-atomic particles are produced in these head-on collisions than some theoretical models previously suggested. The fireballs resulting from the collision only lasts a short time, but when the 'soup' cools down, the researchers are able to see thousands of particles radiating out from the fireball. It is in this debris that they are able to draw conclusions about the soup's behaviour
.

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

If you read by faith, you learn that there is nothing inconsistent between science and the Bible. The only problem between them is that very first temptation.

(Genesis 2:)15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
(Genesis 3:)1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Man still seeks that tree of knowledge, and still justifies it on the premise that "Why would God give us a logical, questioning mind, if not to learn about the world around us?" And this is true. But Satan's temptation is the line," and you will be like God". Scientists are lead to deny the existence of God because the concept of God presupposes that there is some knowledge man can never find. Science believes, because of Satan's half-truth, that Knowledge will make him his own god, knowing good from evil, so to speak. Eventually, they think, man will learn all things, and be able to re-arrange and fix his universe according to what is "right" for everyone.

And yet, what have they learned? That from a highly compacted primordial "soup" came a great explosion of light and energy- a "big bang"- and time started from that point.
(Genesis 1:) 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

This is not "day and night" as we know it, because that is linked to the sun and moon which haven't been created (or formed) yet. This is the start of time, begun when the primordial creation began in a burst of light. And dovetails with the current theories of the big bang.

And if we read it in faith, we could say, "Ah, I understand." But Science is too busy still eating from the tree that will make man into God.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NHFFL week 11

The playoff spots were decided in an orgy of scoring this week. Who gets what spot, and who wins the divisions, is still up in the air, but all six playoff teams have been decided.

Going in order of highest scorer this week- and we have our 4th and 5th 70+ point games this week- we start with the T-Cubs, who blew out the Angels 75-35. The T-Cub wr corps totalled 51 of those points; 18 by Greg Jennings, 12 each for Robert Meachum and Dwayne Bowe, and a long 9 pointer by Mike Wallace. This really put the Clock BBQs behind the eight-ball, division title-wise. They must beat the T-Cubs by 14 points to replace them at the top in next week's regular season finale.

Darren Sproules' 57 yard reception but the Elks over the top in a 74-41 trouncing of the Buzz Lightyears. This oddly enough marked the return of injured RB Clinton Portis to the Elks lineup, and they win for the first time since he left, losing all 6 in the meantime. Even odder, Portis was one of the few players for the Elks that didn't score; Ben Rothlesburger tallied 15, Nick Folk and Fred Jackson 12 apiece.

The Beagles kept the pressure on the KCAs in the Purple Div., rolling up a 61-47 score on the collapsing Sunset Rangers. Rumours abound that Ranger coach Brad Childress will b... oops, wrong team. Marcus Colston and Thomas Jones each had 12 for the Beagles, who need a win and a KCAs loss to supplant them as division champ.

The Clock BBQs stay alive in the Gold div. race and clinch a playoff trip with their 61-25 rout of the Rhinos. Balanced scoring was the BBQs keyword, with 21 points by the RBs and 24 by the receivers. The Rhinos, like the Beagles need a win and a Buzz loss to overcome the BLs for the Scarlet title.

In the Meaningless game of the week, the Ducks spank the B2s 48-22.Aaron Rodgers' 12 led the Ducks, who capped their victory off with Brandon Lloyd's td last night.

And finally, the KCAs rack up 21 last night from the Phillip Rivers/Malcolm Floyd combo to top the SVA 37-26, ending the SVA playoff hopes.

I had the intermural matchup this week and go 1-0 and 12-15 for the season. Laurie was 2-1 (15-15); KC (15-16) and Shenan (17-12) were 1-2 this week.

Next week ends the regular season, and besides the T-Cub/Clock BBQ match, it's KCAs/Buzz, Rhinos/SVA in an intermural game, Beagles/Angels in another, While the others engage in non-playoff related hijinks.


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PURPLE

WLPFPARP
KCAs74475376782
Beagles74361390513
SVA56400402461
Rangers38314452213

GOLD

T-Cubs83468362776
CBBQs74443371674
Elks56447439513
B2s47393459396

SCARLET

Buzz65455421594
Rhinos65429404531
Ducks47448444502
Angels47386534176













Monday, November 22, 2010

Football odds and ends

Just looking over the new coaches poll FCS rankings vis-a-vis the playoff bracket, and it is clear that the selection committee pays about as much attention to the poll as I did. The new #1 team, Eastern Washington, got the #5 seed; #2 SF Austin did not get one of the five seeds (though they did get a first round bye); #3 App State got the #1 seed; #4 William AND Mary got the #2 seed; #5 Delaware got the #3 seed; #6 Wofford got a first round bye but no seed; and it was #7 Montana State who grabbed that last remaining seed, the #4.

Considering that Ivy League champ Penn, ranked #13, doesn't accept playoff bids, that means that if the selection committee went by the poll, that the top 21 teams minus Penn would get in. But since they don't, #15 Liberty (who cheesed themselves getting beat by CC two weeks ago), #17 Montana (who cheesed themselves in the Great Divide game loss to Montana State), and #19 Jacksonville and #25 Dayton (who got cheesed because the elitist contingent of the selection committee thinks that a Pioneer League which contained FCS's leading offense is inferior to the Patriot League whose champ lost to the two other playoff teams it played 66-10) get to watch on TV. The other two ranked teams that don't go are #23 Grambling (whose conference plays their own championship game- and besides, are a combined 1-18 over the years in the playoffs) , and the amazingly still-ranked Cal Poly. Mind you, this is a team who had the meltdown against rival UC-Davis two weeks ago, and did not play this week, and WENT UP 3 SPOTS, from 23 to 20! There is obviously a sizable contingent of west coast writers involved in the poll who are ABUSING THEIR OFFICE AND SHOULD BE EXPELLED. This is the main reason I got involved in this in the first place.

Joining the list in these teams' place are Western Illinois (#24), Robert Morris (#28, and an auto qualifier from yet another league that is so obviously superior to the Pioneer League), #22 Georgia Southern, and Big South AQ Coastal Carolina who DID NOT GET A SINGLE VOTE! (nor should they have; at least there is some common sense among the voters.

In the meantime, I'm watching Monday Night Football, and this week's NHFFL report will have a record amount of scoring- with things not over yet, we have TWO (2) teams that have 70+ points and another TWO (2) teams that have 60+ points! We are currently at a league average for the week of 44 points even, and I would assume that is a new league record. Not to mention that we have 3 teams getting beat with 41 points or more.

And finally, congrats to Ziggy Wulf, Minnesota Vikings co-owner, who finally had wisdom fall like manna from heaven upon him and fired coach Brad Childress. I would have fired him when he started making major personnel moves behind my back, but I suppose some people have a higher tolerance for insubordination than others.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chris' FCS page

I wanted to wait until the tourney bracket was released this morning to do my FCS page this week, and am glad I did. I would have put Jacksonville State (which, by the way, is from Jacksonville, Alabama) at #1, but then they blew a 24-7 lead with under 12 minutes left, giving up 3 80+ yd TD drives in a total of 6:26 to lose to Tennessee Tech 35-24 and almost make me look foolish(er) two weeks running. Instead of just doing my rankings, I'm going to go over the bracket, and weave my rankings and thoughts in.

Four games are featured in the opening round next Saturday. The Contestants:
Western Illinois(7-4)- they rolled Northern Iowa (who already clinched a playoff spot) 30-14 yesterday to get here; they end up15th on my rankings. They lost their big boy game to Purdue by a respectable 31-21 score, and are 2-0 against playoff teams, having also beat North Dakota State 28-16.
Coastal Carolina(6-5) will be their opponent, and they snuck in the hardest way. The Big South bid was between Stony Brook (5-0 in the conference going in), Liberty (my # 9, 4-1) and CC (4-1). With Stony Brook and Liberty playing each other and CC playing sucky Charleston Southern, a three way tie loomed. This would go down to the 4th tie breaker- points allowed in conference games. And here it was Stony Brook (68), Coastal Carolina (103), and Liberty (110). All Stony seemingly had to do is keep Liberty under 39, and hope Charleston So. could manage a couple of field goals. But Liberty won 54-28, and CC won 70-3, and the tiebreaker and the playoff spot went to CC. CC's big boy game was a 31-0 loss to West Virginia, and a 43-26 loss to Georgia Southern was their only match against a playoff team. They had lost to Stony Brook and got whacked by Richmond 41-19- the same Richmond team that William AND Mary beat 41-3 to close out the year. Quite obviously, I never did rank CC.

Robert Morris (8-2) was the automatic qualifier out of another weak Conference (the Northeast); I had them ranked 15th. They are one of 5 playoff teams that did not have a big boy game; they are the only one to play no other playoff teams, although they upset Liberty and lost fairly big to Dayton (10-1, 11th), whose conference (the Pioneer League) got boned by the selection committee.
They face off against North Dakota State (7-4, 21st), whom I thought had no chance of getting in after their season ending 3-0 loss to Missouri State. One thing in their favor was that they are one of only 2 playoff teams to win their big boy game, 6-3 over hapless Kansas. However, they've lost both games against playoff teams (16-9 against Northern Iowa and 28-16 against Western Ill.)

Lehigh (9-2, 24th) is the AQ from another league that doesn't really rate one, the Patriot League. In addition to not having a big boy game, they lost to fellow playoff squads New Hampshire and Villanova by a combined 66-10. They get to meet Northern Iowa (7-4, 19th), who went 1-2 against playoff teams ( the loss to Western Ill., plus the win over North Dakota State and a loss to Stephen F. Austin 22-20). Northern's big boy game was a 27-0 loss to Iowa State.

The final first round tilt features South Carolina State (9-2, 12th) against Georgia Southern (7-4, not currently ranked). SC State lost its BBG to Georgia Tech 41-10, and its only playoff opponent was a 14-0 loss to conference rival Bethune-Cookman. GaSo lost its BBG 13-7 to Navy (which is a darn side better than Notre Dame did) and was 2-1 against playoff teams, winning against Coastal Carolina (43-26) and Appalachian State (21-14) and losing to Wofford (33-31).

The Western Ill./CC winner draws Appalachian State (9-2, #1), the tourney's top seed. The Mountaineers got abbreviated by Florida in their BBG (48-10) yesterday, and split their playoff matchups, losing to GaSo but beating Wofford 43-13. That winner faces the winner of Villanova (7-4, 16th) and Stephen F. Austin (9-2, 10th). 'Nova lost their BBG to MAC powerhouse Temple 31-24; they have played a tourney-highest 4 playoff teams, beating Lehigh and Delaware (yesterday, 28-21 in OT, to get in), and losing to William AND Mary (31-24) and New Hampshire (28-21). SF Austin lost their big boy game to Texas A&M (who by the way, beat #7 Nebraska last night) 48-7, but if not for that collapse for the ages against Texas State a few weeks back, they would have never lost again. Their only playoff team was a 22-20 win over Northern Iowa.

The 5-seed is Eastern Washington (9-2, 13th), and they play SE Missouri State (9-2, 14th) in their second round game. I've always ranked Eastern lower because of the weakness of their schedule, which outside of their BBG ( a 49-24 loss to Nevada and Colin Kapernick) featured only (fellow playoff team) Montana State (who blasted them 30-7) and Montana (who they beat). SEMO, as they're known, lost both their BBG (27-10 to Ball State) and their one playoff team (29-27 to Jacksonville State), although they did manage to rout the same Tennessee Tech team that flattened J-ville State yesterday.

Montana State (9-2, 8th) is the 4-seed and will play the winner of Robert Morris/ ND State. State got nipped in their BBG by Washington State (23-22), and beat rival Montana (7-4, 22nd) to get in, as well as their pasting of Eastern Washington, but like their state rival, got clocked by Northern Arizona 34-7.

Delaware (9-2, 4th) would have been the 1-seed and my number one had they not lost to Villanova yesterday. However, they skipped the BBG and lost to both William AND Mary (17-16) and 'Nova to go 0-2 against playoff competition. They draw the Lehigh/ Northern Iowa winner.

Bethune-Cookman (10-1, 6th) lost their undefeated season yesterday in the Florida Classic to Florida A&M 38-27, but still got the AQ bid. Their conference is problematic; their only playoff match was the 14-0 win over SC State, and they had no BBG. They play New Hampshire (7-4, 2oth) who went 2-1 against playoff teams (the wins against Lehigh and 'Nova and a 13-3 loss to William AND Mary) and had a decent BBG, a 38-16 loss to Pitt. In addition, they had a midseason stretch where they swept Richmond, JMU, and UMass by a combined 84-27, essentially putting all three of them out of the playoffs.

Wofford (9-2, 2nd) faces Jacksonville State (9-2, 7th) in their second round game. Their Terriers split their playoff games, both against conference rivals ( the loss to App State and the win over GaSo), and had no BBG. J-ville State, in addition to the aforementioned meltdown last night, won both their only playoff match (against conference rival SEMO) and their BBG (49-48 in OT against Ole Miss).

Finally, we have the #2 seed, William AND Mary (8-3, 3rd). They played a great BBG against North Carolina which they only lost in the 4th quarter 21-17, and they swept their 3 playoff matches over 'Nova, UNH, and Delaware. They draw the GaSo/SC State winner.

Teams I ranked that don't get a tourney invite include #5 Jacksonville (10-1, 5th) #9 Liberty, #11 Dayton, #17 Penn (whose league doesn't accept invites), #22 Montana, #23 Old Dominion, and #25 UMass (who I thought would get an invite, along with either Jacksonville or Dayton).

My first round picks: Western Illinois will clock CC; I'll give a slight nod to ND State over Robert Morris; Northern Iowa will prove that Lehigh has no business at the table; and GaSo will beat SC Stae in a shootout.
My second round picks: App State cruises over Western; SFA over 'Nova; SEMO upsets Eastern Washington; Montana State blasts ND State; Northern Iowa upsets Delaware; UNH over Bethune-Cookman; J-State over Wofford; W&M over GaSo.
My third round picks: SFA stuns App State; Montana State rolls SEMO; UNH edges Northern Iowa; W&M routs J-State.
My semis picks: SFA over Montana State in a classic shootout; W&M over UNH- again.
Championship: William & Mary in a tight, low scoring game which isn't SFA's forte.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Step into my time machine week thirty

A big week ahead on Time Machine. Lots of debuts, a new #1, a wedding, and an album that was born in a barn. Before we take off to 1975, I'd like to direct your attention to the comments section of last week's episode, and the continuing discussion of the true origin of the song "Superstar". Steve Fischler and I are sniffing out the issue, and hopefully there will be more on this somewhat less than breaking news story coming soon.

We open with what seemed to be thirteen debuts- but one really doesn't qualify. That one is a subject we've mentioned before, Let's Live Together by the Road apples. Due to that intriguing name I had checked it out when it actually debuted a few weeks ago. It had dropped out of the hot 100 last week after peaking at 74, but re-enters this week at 89. The real debuts include: CW McCall's trucker novelty Convoy, at 98; Nazareth's excellent Roy Orbison cover, Love Hurts, at 95; America with Woman Tonight at 81; Bob Dylan's plea for wrongly convicted boxer Rubin Carter, Hurricane, at 87; Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes' dynamic Wake Up Everybody at 72; and way up at 69, Earth Wind And Fire with Sing A Song. Two songs tie for biggest drop, a mere 15 spots to 55 for last week's top 40 debut Peace Pipe by BT Express, and to 54 for Helen Reddy's former top 10 Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady. The big jumper was a real battle, with songs jumping 19, 22, 24, 32, and 33 notches NOT taking the title. The winner, as usual, awaits us in the top 40.

This week, we're in the 2's as we look at the #1s this week in other years. 1992's top dog was How Do You Talk To An Angel by Heights. 1982 had Up Where We Belong by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, from the movie An Officer And A Gentleman, at the top; 1972 had Johnny Nash with I Can See Clearly Now, a song I taught to my kids long ago. In my inaugural year of 1962, not surprisingly we find the ubiquitous Four Seasons on top with Big Girls Don't Cry. And in 1952, Patty Page led the charts with I Went To Your Wedding, which was the third of her 4 #1s and 11th of her 24 top 10's, a streak that ran from I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine (#8 in 1950) to Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte (which hit, ironically, # 8 fifteen years later).

David Geddes leads off our top 40 debuts this week with Last Game Of The Season, up 22 to #40. Hot Chocolate comes in at 39, up 8, with You Sexy Thing; the Isleys leap 32 with the ballad For The Love Of You (which, of course, I didn't recognize). Our Big Jumper lands at 36 this week, up 41 notches from 77 a week ago- Sweet's Fox On The Run. The O'Jays come in at 35, up 22 with I Love Music; and the top debut, up 22 to #33, Barry Manilow's I Write The Songs.

Going to our #1 album countdown now, we're up to early March, 1972, when American Pie is dethroned by Neil Young's Harvest. (Did you know Neil's middle name was Percival? I'd a never guessed that!) In addition to the #1 Heart Of Gold and the #31 Old Man (both containing background vocals by Linda Ronstadt and the banjo-guitar pickin' James Taylor), it also featured AOR hits A Man Needs A Maid (one of two songs featuring the London Symphony Orchestra) and The Needle And The Damage Done (recorded live at UCLA). Some of the songs were recorded (for that proper ambiance) in a barn on the studio property, leading to this conclusion:
Mixing was done at both Quadrofonic and at Young's house. During playback at the ranch, Mazer ran the left channel into the PA speakers still in the barn and the right channel into speakers in the house. With Crosby and Nash beside him Young sat outside listening to the mix. When asked about the stereo balance, he called out, "More barn." (thanks yet again to wikipaedia)
Harvest would become the top selling album of 1972; yet it only held forth at #1 for two weeks. It was replaced by America's self-titled debut. This album had been released in 1971 without the unfinished Horse With No Name; once it began to catch fire, the album was re-released with Horse on it, and this time was #1 for 5 weeks. Along with Horse, this album featured the number 9 I Need You and airplay hit Sandman. Horse was hamstrung, so to speak, by both a misconception it was a drug song (horse being slang for heroin) and its similarity - intended- to Neil Young, whose Heart Of Gold it replaced at #1 in a weird twist of musical fate.
It was overtaken in late April 1972 by Roberta Flack's First Take. This album had just the one single, the #1 First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, but that was enough to propel it once the song was featured on the Clint Eastwood flick Play Misty For Me. Roberta would also spend 5 weeks at the top in the spring of 1972.

Two songs enter the top 10, 2 fall out. Dropping are Low Rider, from 5 to 11, and Lyin' Eyes, at last giving ground from 8 to 17. Not so willing to give ground this week is Feelings; it holds at 16 again this week, its 24th on the hot 100 ( longer than anyone else this week by 6 weeks) and 13th in the top 40.

Our almost but not quite this week is ABBA's SOS. I was a bit surprised that this was their third top 20 hit- my memory says second, but apparently I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do was before it. It peaks at 12 this week, and America was about the only place it charted that low (and it certainly didn't peak this low locally). It was #1 in Australia, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, and South Africa, and #2 in Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Mexico, and (?) Rhodesia.

Top Ten Time! The Staple Singers, horny lot that they are, jump 7 notches to #10 with Let's Do It Again. Natalie Cole climbs one spot to 9 with This Will Be. Up 4 to #8 is the Simon And Garfunkel reunion, My Little Town. Here's a note on this by Paul Simon, courtesy Wikipaedia:
Simon has stated that the song is not autobiographical; instead he says that it is about "someone who hates the town he grew up in. Somebody happy to get out."He has been quoted describing the writing of the song: "It originally was a song I was writing for Artie. I was gonna write a song for his new album, and I told him it would be a nasty song, because he was singing too many sweet songs. It seemed like a good concept for him." After playing the song for Garfunkel, the two decided to collaborate again in the studio on this one track.
Those ubiquitous Four Seasons hold at 7 with Who Loves You; Linda Ronstadt, who also shows up a lot, drops to 6, down from 4, with Heat Wave. The Bee Gees shoot up from 9 to 5 with Nights On Broadway. The Captain and Tenille slip from 3 to 4 with The Way That I Want To Touch You. Last week's top dog, Elton John's Island Girl, loses its hold on the top and falls to #3. KC And The Sunshine Band hammer their way from 6 to 2 with That's The Way (uh-huh uh-huh) I Like It; so that means our new top dogs are....









Silver Convention (at least the singing part of them) with Fly Robin Fly, a song that was "Run Rabbit Run" until mere moments before the recording. Kinda makes ya wonder where the rabbit was going to run to.






That's it for this trip. See you next week, and stay tuned for more "Superstar" news!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Things I don't get

I know, I know, "what a wide open category," you're saying. but see if you can explain these to me.





--- I don't get Muslims, period. I mean, look at it from the outside just once. These people are expected to give complete obeisance to a god whose main desire is for his servants to kill everyone who doesn't believe. I know some of you will say, "look at Christianity", but again I say, whose intent is being served? When the Church in its misguided zeal launched things like the crusades and the inquisition, were they obeying a command from God? Jesus said, "I give you a new command- to love one another," and "blessed are the peacemakers". Those who murder in the name of Islam can show the rewards they are promised for doing so- nothing misguided there. It is a religion of hate, for other faiths and for each other as they battle over who really follows the real successor to Mohammed, which was so important to the prophet that it slipped his mind, and Allah's apparently, to name one. They are much like the IRA used to be- killing as a profession and reasons behind the killing secondary. They hate infidels, they hate each other, they hate their women- mere property that are "so precious" that they must be hidden behind a closet full of coverings. "No, I don't mind that I don't get to look at her. We've been married since we were six and have had sex whenever I demand it since she was 9 or 10." And they resent us because we aren't enlightened enough to induct Shiera law into our courts. In the midst of this rant is what I don't get- how can you allow yourself to be/expect others to be so slavishly loyal to such a deranged god that his main command to you is "Hate!"





---- I don't get idiots like the one we heard about on the way home tonight, who kills his ex-girlfriend and sets their baby daughter on fire alive. You're upset, okay. We all get upset. You feel the woman has screwed you over, I suppose, and maybe she has. Even if, in the longest stretch of your imagination, she deserved it, WHAT DID THE CHILD DO TO YOU? Why do we constantly have these murder suicides that involve killing innocent children? One of the many reasons that God will never see fit to make me king of the world is that this chump would, upon arrest, would be taken to the nearest tree grinder and ran through it. No trial, no lawyer, no excuses.





---- A Cleveland father took his 8-yr-old son to the game with the Jets. They were Jets fans. (No, this isn't about their poor choice of teams; it's a free world there.) A drunken Cleveland Browns "fan" decided that this wasn't proper and TACKLED the eight year old- knocking him down and leaving him crying while he escaped. It reminded me of the day several years ago when Sam Wyche was coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. One snowy day in Cincy, the fans began to try to hit the officials with snow and ice balls after a badly blown call. Wyche got on the PA, chewing the so-called fans out for doing this, adding those fateful words, "You don't live in CLEVELAND!" Sam had to apologize for that later in the week. My question, then and now, is why? Fans in Cleveland and her sister city of Philadelphia constantly pull this kind of crap. One CBSSports columnist suggested that perhaps with fans like these, Cleveland deserves to never get a championship. All these years I've considered Art Modell an a-hole for moving the original Browns to Baltimore. Today, at least, I see his point.





--- In a NYC suburb, a couple of enterprising boys were running a cupcake stand. Their dream was to one day save enough dough to open their own restaurant. Then a police officer came along and said SOMEBODY had turned them in for not having a permit, and he would have to shut them down. Here's more:





The newspaper got on the case, filed a Freedom of Information Act request, and learned the tipster was Michael Wolfensohn, a Democratic councilman.
Wolfensohn told the newspaper: "All vendors selling on town property have to have a licence, whether it's boys selling baked goods or a hot dog vendor."
Asked whether he could have told the boys to obtain a licence instead of going to the police, Wolfensohn said: "In hindsight, maybe I should have done that." He added: "The police are trained to deal with these sorts of issues."
Getting a permit requires a $1 million certificate insurance, plus a $150 to $350 fee per two hours
.





Obviously Democrats, fearful of the looming extension of the Bush tax cuts, are getting withdrawl shakes and are desperately looking for other income sources. I wonder how much of the per-hour fee was supposed to end up in Wolfensohn's pocket. The sad thing is this is about the fourth time a story like this has surfaced just this year. Isn't it about time that Federal, state, and local governments look themselves in the mirror and say, "this kind of law enforcement is NOT HONORABLE."? Or, to paraphrase Pink Floyd: "HEY, LEECHES, LEAVE THEM KIDS ALONE!!!"





Okay, done ranting now. If you haven't been mentioned so far in this post, have a nice evening. If you have been spotlighted...


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NHFFL week 10

On first look, you'd say that the playoffs are settled except for the question of whether the Beagles can hold off SVA. Perhaps; but the only thing settled is the T-Cubs have clinched the first playoff spot. The Beagles rode 17 points from Tom Brady and 2 tds from Maurice Jones-Drew to rout the KCAs 48-23, or to put it another way, 2 points less than they needed to get the tie breaker. SVA kept pace with a 49-42 shootout with the Rangers, who drop to 3-7 and pretty much DOA. Shenan's three active WRs (Antonio Gates was on the bye) totalled 4 tds, holding off the Rangers who were led by Mark Sanchez's 12. The T-Cubs clinch a playoff spot with a 43-37 win over the Elks, which was achieved with 2 Mike Wallace Sunday night tds. The Elks drop their 6th in a row, and the patient is barely breathing on the respirator at 4-6. The Clock BBQs keep their division title hope alive with a 43-34 win over the B2s, snapping their 4 game winning streak. Recent acquisition Joe Nedney and the Indy D piled up 25 points for the BBQs, who lost to the T-Cubs 34-21 a while back and thus need to beat them by 14 when they meet to close the season in two weeks. Buzz, who already hold the tiebreaker with the Rhinos, drop into a tie with them after the Angels blast them 49-29. Once again, the kicker and defense total 25 for the winning team, this time David Akers and Denver. The Rhinos achieve the tie with a 41-34 win over the Ducks that finishes them off at 3-7.
Justin Forsett surprisingly joins fellow RBs Frank Gore and Arian Foster in scoring, and K Dan Carpenter and the Philly D each tally 11 points, holding off a 2-td performance by the Ducks' Brandon Lloyd.

My teams returned to form this week, going 0-3 to put me at 11-15 in the owner's race. Shenan (3-0) still leads at 16-10; KC is at .500, 14-14, and Laurie is 13-14.

The only games with 2 teams with serious playoff aspirations next week is the KCAs/SVA tilt and the Clock BBQs/Rhinos battle. However, the results will probably decide most of the playoffs.



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PURPLE

WLPFPARP
KCAs64438353700
Beagles64300343419
SVA55377365465
Rangers37266391219

GOLD

T-Cubs73393327642
CBBQs64382346548
B2s46371411412
Elks46373398393

SCARLET

Buzz64414347626
Rhinos64404363569
Angels46351459222
Ducks37400422396













Sunday, November 14, 2010

A look at FCS playoffs

I found a neat site this morning called "In The FCS Huddle" that basically took the playoff scenarios piece by piece. This is a not in depth look at their basic story.
Lehigh gets in because despite their being one of the less powerful leagues, they have an automatic bid, and Lehigh won the league. Appalachian State clinched their auto bid with the win over Wofford, and Robert Morris and Northern Iowa have also got auto bids. Those are the four "for sures".

Delaware, Jacksonville State, Wofford, William and Mary, Montana State, SE Missouri State, and Eastern Washington will all either get their league's auto bid or get an invitation. Call them probable.

Bethune-Cookman gets a bid with a win against Florida A&M; if they lose, A&M gets their auto bid and its questionable that their conference will get 2 teams in. Liberty needs a win or a loss and a Coastal Carolina loss, or else Stony Brook gets their auto bid and their conference also is unlikely to get 2 bids. Stephen F. Austin looks pretty good either way, but a loss to Northwestern State would cost them the auto bid and could put them in trouble. Defending champ Villanova would surely get in with a win in their last game. Unfortunately for them, that last game is against #1 Delaware. Call these teams questionable with extenuating circumstances.

Georgia Southern, Chattanooga, UMass, North Dakota State, Western Illinois, Montana, and Richmond all have either strength of schedule questions, 6 division one wins (when the playoff committee prefers 7), or 4 losses and a game they need to win coming up, along with a limited number of playoff spots not already or soon to be spoken for. Call them questionable.

Jacksonville, Dayton, South Carolina State, Cal Poly (the shoot-myself-in-the-foot kings), Central Arkansas, Sacremento State, and McNeese State have severe strength of schedule concerns without the "Lehigh advantage" combined with some or all of the above. As a group, call them doubtful.

New Hampshire, Bryant, ODU aren't getting any love; and since the Ivy League strangely values academics over athletics, Penn will follow tradition and decline their automatic bid. Call them "sorry charlies".

I have to question a system that bounces the Pioneer league but give Lehigh and Penn automatic bids, but that's the way she stands this morning. tune in next week to find out how it goes.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

FCS and hockey stuff

I'm a bit early tonight, but I'm going to have faith that Cal Poly, who leads UC-Davis 21-3 just starting the third in the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe, will hang on and win. If I'm wrong it will be no surprise today;my #'s 2,4,6,9,11,13,14,19,22,and 23 (the coaches' 4,11,2,21,25,8,9,13,and 22) went down to defeat today. What a mess!

I move Old Dominion (7-3) into my count at 25 after their 45-28 romp over VMI; they replace Richmond after a lackluster 15-6 win over URI. Sorry, Spiders! The aforementioned Cal Poly team, who are shooting for 7-3 (their lead is now 21-6. uh-oh...) come in at 24; they replace Grambling who lost Thursday night to conference rival Texas Southern 41-34. Also new is #23 Bryant (7-3), who beat last week's #11 Robert Morris (8-2) 27-21. The Colonials move down to 15th with the loss.

Montana (7-3) is allowed back in the house at #22 after topping North Dakota 27-17. The Grizzlies take the spot of Central Arkansas, who got beat by Sam Houston State 20-13. The first holdover is #21 New Hampshire (6-4), who upset former #13 Villanova (6-4) 31-24. This second straight loss by the Wildcats drop them to 18th in this week's poll. Taking the big dive from 9 to 20th is Western Illinois (6-4) after a 20-10 loss to state rival Southern Illinois.

Moving up 2 to 19th is Ivy League leader Penn(8-1), who tromped Harvard 34-14. 17th is Eastern Washington (8-2) who stopped Southern Utah 31-24. I move Northern Iowa (7-3) up to 16th with their 38-14 romp of Missouri State. Usually I drop teams that lose (duh) but how do you drop last week's #14 SE Missouri State (9-2) after a 29-27 loss to last week's #8 Jacksonville State (9-1)? I didn't; SE MO ST stays at 14, while J-ville St. climbs back to 4th after the rasher of top-rank losses. North Dakota State (7-3) beat media darling South Dakota State 31-24 ( a common score this week) to rise 3 to 13th.

South Carolina State (8-2) scoots up 5 to #12 after a 32-10 win against Morgan State. Dayton (10-1) sneaks up one notch to 11th despite a 2OT struggle to beat Marist 41-34. Stephen F. Austin (8-2) returns to the top ten , up 5 after routing SE Louisiana 51-14. Liberty (7-3) drops from 4 to 9 with a 45-31 embarrassment to Coastal Carolina. Things were so messed up in the top ten that I had to move Montana State (8-2) up two to #8 despite their being idle this week.

William and Mary (7-3) drop a notch to 7th with a 30-24 loss to former somnambulist James Madison. This week, #s 2 and three faced off; Appalachian State (9-1) didn't blink, whupping Wofford (8-2) 43-13. App State moves up one to runner-up, while the Terriers drop to 6th. Like Montana State, I reluctantly move Jacksonville (10-1) up to 5th after they barely survive Campbell by a score of (you guessed it) 31-24. The lone undefeated, Bethune-Cookman (10-0) goes to 3rd after a 35-20 win over Howard. And Finally, Delaware (9-1) slapped UMass (also known as last week's #19) 45-27 to retain the top spot this week.

The lead for Cal Poly is down to 21-15 with 12 minutes left... uh-oh...

Next week is about it; in fact, Jacksonville, Dayton, SE Missouri State, Robert Morris, and, once they finish blowing their lead tonight, Cal Poly are already done(In fact, J-ville and Dayton end up tied at 8-0 at the top of the Pioneer Conference.. Liberty faces a battle with Stony Brook in order to claim the Big South title, and thanks to their Coastal Carolina loss, even that may not do it. #8 Montana State and #22 Montana battle it out for the Great Divide Trophy; #1 Delaware faces #18 Villanova; #16 N. Iowa plays #20 Western Illinois. Bethune-Cookman faces a stiff challenge to end their hopefully undefeated season- 7-3 Florida A&M- in the Florida Classic. William and Mary faces rival Richmond for the Capital Cup; Penn plays Cornell for the Trustee Cup; and Appalachian State plays its big boy game after having clinched the Southern Conference title yet again- they get to play the Florida Gators in the Swamp, right after Florida lost in the swamp tonight against South Carolina and the ol' Ball Coach. This... might not be pretty.

Guess what? with 35 seconds left, UC-Davis leads Cal Poly 22-21. If they lose, I'm replacing them with Richmond.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The quick look at European hockey this time starts in the UK's EIHL, where Belfast continues to lead, but that 7 point cushion is down to 1 over Nottingham, and last season's regular schedule winner Coventry, along with Sheffield and Cardiff, are all within 9 points.

Ligue Magnus is a slow moving ordeal; Angers, Rouen, and Strassbourg are all at 13 points after just 6-7 games.

Kloten's big lead in Swiss National League A is down to 4 over surging HC Davos; Zug has dropped back, and last year's champ SC Bern is 4th, 11 out.

Valpusteria widened it's lead to 8 points in Italy's Serie A.

In Norway's GET-Ligaen, the Spartans of Sarpsborg have widened their lead to 6 over defending champ Valerenga, while Stavenger fades a bit to 9 behind.

SonderjyskE continues to roll the field in the Danish AL-Bank Ligaen, 14 points up on Herning.

In Germany's DEL, Hanover's Scorps maintain their lead, although Manheim has slid and the Tomas Sabo team has moved into second.

KAC Klagenfurt has blown out to an 8-point cushion over Red Bull Salzburg in Austria's Erste-Bank Liga. VSV, who was just 2 behind last month when we checked, has faded into the pack.

Sweden's Elitserien continues headed by HF Lulea, by 7 over new runner-up Skelleftea AIK.

JYP Jyvaskyla has widened its lead in the Finnish S-M Liga, from 4 over HIFK a month ago, to 5 over Assat and 9 over HIFK.

The Czech Extraliga shows that HC Mountfield has crumbled, its 1 point lead changed now to 5th place, 8 points behind HC Ocelari Trinec, with last year's winner Vitkovice Steel 3 behind Trinec in second.

In the Slovak Extraliga, Kosice pushed its lead to 6 over Banska Bystrica; KHL wannabe Poprad has moved in to third, albeit a distant 17 points out. I should point out that most of these leagues, unlike the Komets and the NHL, give three points for a win, with 2 for OT wins and 1 for OT losses.

In the Russian KHL, UHC Moscow Dynamo continues to lead the west, although Severstal Cherepovets has faded; Lokomotiv has moved into second, 6 behind, and SKA St. Pete has recovered from a slow start to trail by 8 in third. Likewise, Avangard Omsk has faded in its pursuit of leader (and league best) Metallurg Magnitogorsk, leaving former 7th place Sibir Novosibrsk to drive into second, 6 back and tied with perennial power Ak Bars Kazan.

In the Asia League, Oji's Eagles have passed Anyang Halla into first by 1; Tohoku joins the Korean squad in second. The horrible China Dragon seems not to have played in the interim; I was unable to find out if they folded or something, but with an 0-8-1 record and being outscored 13-67 in 9 games (roughly 7-1 per game), it would hardly be surprising. (Actually, with a seven team league spread out over most of East Asia, it's the result of just a horribly unbalanced schedule.)

---------------------------------------------------------------

And, as I figured would happen the moment I tried to rank Cal Poly, they lose to rival UC-Davis 22-21. Kinda they way it was a couple a years ago when I did an FBS top 25 and tried to rank Notre Dame. So put Richmond (6-4) into 24th and get'em ready to lose to the Tribe.