Tulsa leads Bowling Green, 21-0 at the end of the first quarter of the GMAC Bowl, and the Golden Hurricane is threatening to score again. That’s bad news for Trisha Neudorff and good news for Seth Carmack, who, as noted earlier, will clinch the 3rd annual Irish Trojan Bowl Pick ‘em Contest if Tulsa wins tonight.
UPDATE, 10:35 PM: It’s 42-7 Tulsa with 11:20 left in the third quarter. I’m going to bed now, but I think we can safely declare it over: Tulsa wins, and Seth Carmack is the 2007 Irish Trojan Bowl Pick ‘em Contest champion!
Carmack is the first winner to clinch the contest prior to the BCS title game. That’s partly the result of how heavily favored LSU is — just three of the current Top 15 contestants picked Ohio State, so most of them have no opportunity to gain any ground on Carmack, who went with the majority and picked LSU — and partly the result of my blatant editorializing in making the Mythical Championship Game have an equal point value to the other BCS bowls. If the title game was worth 8 points, like last year, Neudorff would still be alive to win. But it’s only worth 5, and she trails by 6, so the best she can do is lose by one point.
Anyway, congratulations, Seth!
Does anybody have copies of last Monday’s and Friday’s New York Timeses that you’d be willing to send me? I wanted to buy Monday’s paper (the baby’s birth date) for posterity, and Friday’s for the Iowa caucuses coverage, also for posterity — but I didn’t have a chance to get Monday’s, and I totally forgot to get Friday’s. If anyone has them and wouldn’t mind sending ‘em to me, shoot me an e-mail at irishtrojan [at] gmail.com. Thanks!
UPDATE: Following an anonymous suggestion in comments, I just ordered these back issues from the Times directly, so I no longer need them. Thanks!
Thomas Edsall breaks down the dynamic of the GOP race:
As the pared-down field of presidential candidates returns to battle today in preparation for next Tuesday’s primary, the GOP faces the prospect of two struggles: one, an intra-party conflict to determine who is going to be the Wall Street/national defense establishment candidate; and, two, a civil war in which the winner of the first conflict takes on Mike Huckabee, the Iowa victor who is leading a right-populist/evangelical insurgency.
The initial GOP contest is to determine whether John McCain, leader of the national defense wing, will defeat Mitt Romney, who now carries the mantle of anti-tax, economic conservatives, to become the overall choice of the party’s mainstream - or whether Rudy Giuliani will stage an improbable comeback. [Or Fred Thompson! -ed.]
Whoever takes the New Hampshire Republican contest on January 8 will face what is likely to be a far more divisive challenge from Huckabee in the next round of primary and caucus states. This fight threatens to fracture the Republican party - recalling the schism engendered by the 1964 Rockefeller-Goldwater battle.
It sounds like Edsall thinks the McCain/Romney/Giuliani/Thompson battle — the fight to become the anti-Huckabee — will be settled in New Hampshire. I don’t think that’s at all realistic. New Hampshire might send one or two of those guys down a path where they’re out of the race by the end of the month, but it’s hard to believe there won’t be at least two anti-Huckabees still alive and kicking by the time Super Duper Tuesday (February 5) rolls around.
Really, though, that only serves to underscore Edsall’s larger point. A deep and lengthy Huckabee-vs.-the-establishment schism would be potentially devastating for the party — especially if, as I expect, Barack Obama has the Democratic nomination wrapped up by the end of Super Duper Tuesday. And if the Republican “establishment” isn’t able to rally around a single standard-bearer, even after February 5 — if, say, McCain and Thompson both remain viable on into February and March — the allocation of delegates could be such that the GOP’s civil war continues right up until the convention in September, which would mean the Dems would have a presumptive nominee for seven months while the Republicans continue to fight among themselves. The GOP leadership is probably disciplined enough to prevent that from happening, but it’s certainly not impossible.
The news was not as good for USC, which fell to 0-2 in the Pac-10 and 9-5 overall (albeit against a much tougher non-conference schedule than the Irish) with a 52-46 loss to #24 Stanford. The Trojans were ranked #22 before their consecutive road losses to Cal and Stanford, but will undoubtedly fall out of the poll next week. It doesn’t get any easier for ‘SC in the loaded Pac-10, as they host #4 Washington State and a Washington team that almost beat Wazzu yesterday, then travel to Westwood for a showdown with Kevin Love and #5 UCLA.
Gonzaga, meanwhile, finished up its pre-WCC schedule with a 75-67 win in the Battle of the Bulldogs against Georgia.