And, in progress now, a potential huge upset: BYU 59, #1 North Carolina 58 with 7:54 left. It’s on ESPN2. Go
Mormons Cougars! BYU won the Holy War in football earlier today, so this would be quite a double-whammy, if they can pull it off.
UPDATE: UNC survived the score from BYU.
So far, it’s all Chase Daniel & co., and Kirk Herbstreit has already described Kansas as being “exposed.” Maybe those cupcakes didn’t serve their purpose? Anyway, they’re just starting the second half, and it’s 14-0 Mizzou.
Earlier, West Virginia gave UConn a good old-fashioned whoopin’, 66-21. D’oh! So now WVU is a win over Pitt away from the BCS title game. Now, Pitt isn’t very good, but do you think they’ll be a little motivated to play their “Backyard Brawl” rivals with a chance to derail their title hopes? Remember what happened to USC against UCLA last year, Mountaineers, and be careful: that could be you. (In which case, hello, Ohio State!)
Also, fUCLA shut out Oregon, which means that if they now turn around and lose to USC next week, the Trojans will be Rose Bowl-bound. Thanks, Bruins!! … Oregon’s loss is also good news for Hawaii, as the Ducks will presumably join Texas in dropping behind the Warriors in the BCS standings. (And frankly, if Kansas keeps looking this bad, they might take enough of a plunge in the polls to fall behind Hawaii as well, especially given the weakness of Kansas’s prior schedule, which is almost Hawaii-esque.)
P.S. With regard to Hawaii, assuming Kansas stays ahead of them, I think the two major questions are: 1) will Arizona State stay ahead of them? And 2) will Tennessee leapfrog them? If the answer is “no” to both, I see the Warriors at #12 next week, going into their finale against Washington (unless Hawaii can leapfrog someone based on their performance against Boise State).
Meanwhile, the best hopes for a conference champion to finish ahead of, if the Warriors need it (i.e., if they’re between #13 and #16), now come from the Pac-10 (if USC loses to UCLA, triggering bizarre tiebreakers extraordinaire) and, of all places, the SEC (if Tennessee beats LSU and doesn’t leapfrog Hawaii). The Big 12 and ACC are now guaranteed to have their champions finish in the Top 14, along with the Big Ten and almost certainly the Big East (even if they lose to Pitt, I don’t think West Virginia would fall that far).
UPDATE: Kansas rallied valiantly from a 28-7 third-quarter deficit, but Missouri won 36-28. So it’s now Missouri and West Virginia in the driver’s seat for the national-championship game, with Ohio State waiting in the wings if either of them falter next week, and mass chaos if both falter. (Ohio State vs. … Georgia? LSU? Oklahoma? USC? Boston College? Virginia Tech? Kansas?? Hawaii???)
Time has a very interesting poll about morality at the moment. Please go look at it first; it will take you less than 5 minutes to answer it.
(waiting for you to go answer the poll questions)
(no, really, go do so)
I’d heard about this poll before, but this time I get to see the exact scenarios laid out. My answers, for those who are interested, are: yes, yes, yes, no, no.
In the first scenario, the baby’s crying will lead to not only my death, but also to the deaths of others, including itself. Obviously, you try other means to quiet the baby first: give it something to suck on, rock it, change its diaper, whatever. But the scenario states that the baby can’t be quieted in any other way. If that baby continues to scream, it’s going to die very soon no matter what. Better that it be just the baby that dies, and not take me and the other refugees with it. I’m smothering the baby.
In the second scenario, if someone isn’t kicked off the lifeboat we’re going to capsize and all die. If one individual is already grievously injured and bound to die soon anyways, and killing him just a little bit sooner preserves my life and those of others, I’m pushing him out of the boat. I’ve got a strong survival instinct.
In the third scenario, we have a group of 5 idiots on one train track not paying attention to oncoming vehicles, and 1 individual on another doing the same. They’re all equally stupid, and none of them are guaranteed to die soon if I don’t send the train at them. I therefore bow to the notion that 1 death is better than 5 deaths, and send the train at the lone individual.
In the fourth scenario, we have the same 5 idiots unaware of an oncoming train, but I’m on a bridge over the track with a stranger, and if I push him off the train will stop before it hits the 5 clueless. In this case, the idiots on the track are more culpable than the guy on the bridge with me, who is entirely blameless. I’m not going to make him pay the consequences of the idiots being idiots. I’ll yell for them to get out of the way and maybe throw rocks at them if I think I have a chance of getting their attention, but I’m not going to kill an innocent bystander to save them.
In the 5th case, the guy in the catapult is just as innocent as the guy on the bridge. So, I won’t kill him to save 5 idiots. I’m assuming he’s not been sentenced to sit in the catapult as payment for a crime, nor is he being an idiot and playing in a catapult which has obviously been constructed to fling people at oncoming trains.
Of the people who had responded when I wrote this, 70% agreed with me in the first case, 56% in the second, 79% in the 3rd, 60% in the 4th, and 52% in the 5th. I’m surprised more people are OK with killing the baby than the presumably adult lifeboat passenger, but maybe they care that the baby probably won’t really understand its coming death while the lifeboat passenger will.
What are your answers?
Horrible. Another illegal helmet-to-helmet hit against a quarterback goes uncalled. What the f*** is wrong with these referees? And with college-football referees generally? Good grief.
P.S. Um, but anyway, Go Irish, Beat Farm. It’s 14-14, late in the third. Speaking of refs, apparently there was an awful call that robbed ND of a touchdown earlier, though I missed it.
UPDATE: Irish win!
So it’s 3-9. Remember “9-3 is not good enough”? … Still, it could have been worse. Like 2-10.
Ah, well. Next year.
UPDATE 2: Reading this over, I realized it sorta sounds like I’m saying, sarcastically, “Ah, well. Maybe the Irish will got 2-10 next year.” That wasn’t my intention. I meant “Next year hopefully they’ll be better.”
It looked like the Wildcats were going to win for sure in the second OT after they intercepted Eric Ainge and just needed a FG to win, but then Tennessee blocked the kick… and looked for a moment like they might run it back for a touchdown, until Kentucky stopped the run by committing what looked like a facemask against the ball-carrier, which was not a penalty “by rule” because Tennessee was on defense in overtime (so I guess a Kentucky player could have pulled out a gun and shot the UT player with the ball, and it would be okay).
Anyway… the SEC really is kind of a war, isn’t it?
UPDATE: Tennessee wins! 52-50 in 4OT, and the Vols are SEC East champs! They’ll play LSU in the conference championship game in Atlanta.
Notre Dame has a 7-0 lead over Stanford early. BEAT THE DRUNKEN TREES!!!
Meanwhile, in Morgantown, UConn took an early 7-0 lead over West Virginia, but the Mountaineers have rallied and are up 14-7 with 4:14 left in the first quarter. WVU’s second touchdown came after a devastating UConn fumble on a punt return deep in their own territory. The Huskies’ success this season has been based largely on an excellent turnover margin, and now is definitely not the time to stop taking care of the football, with a BCS berth on the line.
Incidentally, the biggest UConn fans in the country right now are in Columbus, Ohio, as a West Virginia loss would send Ohio State to the national championship game (unless a two-loss SEC champion could leapfrog one-loss Ohio State). In addition, a UConn victory would mean that Hawaii, if they get BCS-eligible, would probably go to the Fiesta Bowl rather than the Sugar Bowl. (The Sugar Bowl picks last, the Fiesta Bowl second-to-last, and I imagine the folks in Glendale would prefer Hawaii to UConn if those were their only two options.)
P.S. Tennessee is beating Kentucky, 31-14. Win, and the Vols clinch the SEC East — and eliminate Georgia from the SEC race, and hurt the slim national-title hopes of both LSU and Georgia, but virtually guarantee Georgia a BCS at-large berth (if the Bulldogs beat Georgia Tech).
Also, Oklahoma is up 14-7 over Oklahoma State at the end of the first. A Sooner victory would largely eliminate the various truly wild BCS title-game scenarios, since the Big 12 would be guaranteed to produce a highly ranked champion. A hypothetical two-loss, Big 12 champion Oklahoma would represent the “floor” for BCS scenarios; anyone who can’t finish the season ranked ahead of them would be eliminated. (Whether that would totally eliminate USC, I’m not entirely sure. The computers don’t much like Oklahoma.)
Nebraska coach Bill Callahan has been fired, and Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron, a former USC assistant, reportedly will be fired momentarily. All this after Texas A&M’s Dennis Franchione resigned yesterday.
Gonzaga lost to Texas Tech in the Great Alaska Shootout semifinals Friday night, derailing a potential rematch of last year’s Preseason NIT final against Butler. Instead, it will be Bobby Knight’s Red Raiders who take on Butler tonight (i.e., Saturday), while the Zags will play Virginia Tech in the consolation game.
Meanwhile, USC edged Miami of Ohio in the Anaheim Classic semis to set up an intriguing championship game against #19-ranked Southern Illinois. That’ll be a real test for the Trojans, Sunday at 9:00 PM Eastern on ESPN2.
Oh, and in the Legends Classic semifinals, Tennessee nipped West Virginia to set up the men’s version of the game Becky and I saw last week on the women’s side: UT vs. UT, Burnt Orange vs. Tennessee Orange. That’s right, it’s #7 Tennessee against #15 Texas, at 4:00 PM today on Versus.
Hawaii and Boise State are underway in their much-hyped battle for the WAC title and a possible BCS berth. It’s 13-7 Hawaii early in the second quarter. (Boise blocked the PAT after the Warriors’ second touchdown.)
UPDATE: Very entertaining game so far. Boise State has scored 10 unanswered points, and leads 27-26 with 6:52 left in the third quarter.
UPDATE 2: Now it’s 39-27 Hawaii heading into the fourth quarter.
Unlike the Broncos, the undefeated Warriors, if they win tonight and beat Washington next weekend, have a real shot at finishing in the Top 12 and qualifying automatically for a BCS bowl — now likely the Sugar Bowl against LSU! — without the need to finish ahead of a big-conference champ or squeeze in because of a glut of SEC and Big 12 teams in the Top 14. And to that end, Texas’s loss to Texas A&M earlier today is very helpful.
UPDATE 3: Hawaii 39, Boise State 27, final. The Warriors are WAC champions, and they’re 11-0 with Washington coming to town next week.
28-14. Clinched it on a pick 6 with about two minutes left. Crowd rushed the field as Bulldogs beat rival Farragut for the first time in nine tries and advance to the semifinals.
Bearden and Farragut just started the second half, tied 7-7. It's standing-room-only craziness in the crowd.
Arkansas leads LSU, 14-6, with 9:40 left in the third quarter. Darren McFadden just rushed 73 yards for a touchdown; he has 151 yards on 17 carries today, making him the first 100-yard rusher against the Tigers this season.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M is leading Texas 10-0. A loss by the Longhorns would eliminate the juicy possibility of a USC-Texas Fiesta Bowl, but on the bright side, it would boost the Trojans’ extremely slim national-title hopes. (Oklahoma would then need to lose to Oklahoma State tomorrow, but win the Big 12 title game next Saturday. And lots of other teams would need to lose, specifically LSU, West Virginia, Georgia, Virginia Tech and Oregon. It also wouldn’t hurt if Boston College loses to Miami but then wins the ACC title game… and if LSU loses twice. If all of the above happens, and the Trojans beat the Bruins, that would leave two-loss USC, possibly two-loss UConn, one-loss non-conference-champ Kansas, and perhaps undefeated WAC champ Hawaii arguing over who gets to play Ohio State in New Orleans, and I think the Trojans would win the argument.)
UPDATE: Arkansas wins!! Final score: 50-48 in triple OT.
I had a feeling LSU was going to lose, either today or in the SEC title game. As I wrote last night, it was foolish for anyone analyzing the BCS to just assume the Tigers would win out, as had seemingly become the norm. LSU has been living on the edge all season, and as I put it last week, “I think the Tigers are a bit like Hillary Clinton: they’ve been at or near the top of the polls for long enough that they are starting to feel inevitable, but they haven’t actually done anything to establish that they’re head-and-shoulders above everyone else.” Tonight, they were brought back down to earth.
That said, don’t believe anyone who says “LSU’s title hopes are dead.” They’re not. All the Tigers need is for West Virginia to lose (to UConn tomorrow or to Pitt next Saturday) and Oklahoma to win the Big 12, and they’ll be right back in the hunt.
If Kentucky beats Tennessee tomorrow and Georgia beats Georgia Tech, the SEC title game next Saturday would feature the nation’s two highest-ranked two-loss teams, LSU and Georgia… and if UConn upsets WVU tomorrow, the two-loss SEC champ would only need Oklahoma to beat Kansas or Missouri to potentially earn a trip to New Orleans to play Ohio State. That scenario would create a debate between Oklahoma and the LSU-Georgia winner, and perhaps USC and Virginia Tech if they win out and win their conference titles, and one-loss, non-champion Kansas. But I think the SEC champ would get the better of the argument, in part because of the Kreutz Theorem (”when [pollsters] rank SEC teams, they automatically subtract a loss from their record”) and in part because, well, the SEC champ honestly would probably be the best choice in that situation, unless you want to make an argument for undefeated Hawaii. Particularly if the champ is LSU, they’ll be able to say: 1) they won the nation’s toughest conference, and 2) their two losses both came in triple-overtime. That’s a more compelling case than any of the others would be able to make. So I think LSU is still effectively fourth in the BCS pecking order, behind the winner of tomorrow’s Kansas-Missouri game (#1), West Virginia (#2) and Ohio State (#3).
P.S. Oh, and also, Texas lost! Woohoo!!
I just got back from my first-ever excursion into the early-morning madness of “Black Friday.” There were a couple of items I wanted to buy, for myself and others, that were on really good sales, so I braved the lines at Office Depot, CompUSA and Radio Shack. The store employees were pretty harried (especially at Office Depot), but they were doing their best, and my fellow customers were quite friendly. (Hey, it’s the South.) A couple of the things I wanted to buy had sold out by the time I got to them, but others weren’t. Overall, it was a reasonably successful shopping trip, and in any event, it was kinda fun to participate in the grand insanity that millions indulge in every year on the day after Thanksgiving. Also, because I was up so early (I left the apartment shortly after 5:30 AM), I got to see Venus, Saturn and Mars — a very bright, very red Mars — in the early-morning sky, which I don’t often have the opportunity to gaze at. Oh, and while waiting in line for a store to open, I ran into a lawyer who works with the ex-clerk who preceded me at my current job! Small world.
Did any of y’all brave the Black Friday crowds?
Fight on USC! Beat ASU!
UPDATE: Trojans lead 17-7 with 3:44 to go in the first quarter.
Ridiculous unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty against Sedrick Ellis just now. The NCAA really needs to reign in the trend among referees to try and take all the emotion out of college football with bulls**t calls like that. It happened to Notre Dame’s John Carlson against Duke last week (details here), and this one was equally absurd. Good lord, football is exciting, the players get emotional sometimes, and they celebrate. Big freakin’ deal. Unless they’re jawing in the opposing players’ faces or something, it shouldn’t be a penalty. Let them play, you a**holes.
Also, the BCS “analysis” by the ESPN announcing crew and Charles Barkley was insipid. Anyone who thinks it’s even a question whether ASU will be “in the conversation” if they win out suffers from a failure of imagination and foresight. In this of all seasons, can’t these people wrap their minds around the reality that the landscape changes from week to week, and of course the Sun Devils will be “in the conversation” if they win out? Also, why does everyone just assume that LSU is going to win out?!? LSU has two tough games left, and no one can take anything for granted this season. All the talk is about Kansas/Missouri and West Virginia fighting for the last spot. People, they might both get in. Or they could both lose, along with LSU, and the title game could be Ohio State vs. Arizona State. Or Ohio State vs. Georgia. Or Ohio State vs. USC (!). Lots of crazy things are still possible. It’s just plain stupid to look at the current BCS standings and assume nothing will change.
UPDATE 2: It’s 27-17 USC at halftime.
UPDATE 3: WOOOOOO!!!! 44-17, late in the third quarter.
I think it’s safe to say “Beat the Bruins” with this playing of Conquest. :)
UPDATE 4: Okay, I know the game is over, but how the hell is it “unsportsmanlike conduct” for Sedrick Ellis to briefly and unobtrusively celebrate a sack, but Rudy Carpenter can get in the referee’s face about a call, yelling and screaming at him like a second-grader throwing a temper tantrum, and not get flagged? These refs are HORRIBLE.
UPDATE 5: Trojans win, 44-24. Pete Carroll is 23-0 in November.
BEAT THE BRUINS!!!!
P.S. All this talk about USC needing Oregon to lose to reach the Rose Bowl sort of misses the point, in a certain sense. If USC beats UCLA next weekend, they will go to a BCS bowl. The only question is which one: Rose or Fiesta? Frankly, I actually prefer the potential Fiesta Bowl matchup with Texas to a Rose Bowl pre-match with Ohio State, the Trojans’ second opponent next season. But regardless, while USC may not control its own Rose Bowl destiny, it does control its own BCS destiny, as a practical matter. I don’t think I heard anyone on ESPN mention that all night.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
And remember, if you’re feeling sleepy after dinner today, don’t blame the turkey.
UPDATE: Thanksgiving Dinner a la Becky:
‘Twas a yummy feast!! And it’s not over yet. I’m particularly looking forward to eating those pumpkin pies. :)