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Charleston, SC, United States
"Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself." -ACIM

Sunday, October 26, 2008

College Football Week 9

Time for Week Nine in the world of College Football!

A good week in the world of College Football. Lots of upsets and great games from the big conferences. Offense was the word of the day on Saturday with a lot of points being put up on scoreboards around the nation. A couple of teams didn’t look as good as the hype and a few proved they were in it to fight for some championships. Overall some great football on Saturday and too bad I missed a lot of it since I had to pull the night shift.

There is only one real note that I need to make about this week and it is on the Big-12’s defenses. I thought that the Big-12’s offensive numbers were inflated because of the style of offense they ran. I mean, we can all agree that the spread offense is going to put up some points. However, after watching the Texas Tech game and the extended highlights of several of the other Big-12 match-ups, I can tell you that every single defense that I saw SUCKED! No wonder TT hung 63 on Kansas. Even I can throw for 386yds in a game if every single receiver has a 5 to 10-yard cushion and I can set up every pass with a run game that faces no D-line pressure. Mizzou put up huge numbers against a bunch of slow ass Buffalos and Oklahoma and K State’s defense couldn’t get out of their own way in efforts to let the other team score. I mean go look at the highlights of every Big-12 touchdown from this weekend and then look at the SEC. There is a difference between scores and contested scores. Hell even Florida had to fight for every one of their scores against UK and they’re my Beat Down for this week.

Moving on…

GAMES OF THE WEEK:

#3 Penn State over #9 Ohio State 13-6
Defense. Can I get a little defense? Oh yes I may! What a game. This was the type of game Penn State needed this contest to be in order to win. Everyone knew that if PSU was to have any chance of winning they had to shut down OSU’s offense and hope for the best. And, that’s just what happened. The game ended on an INT by PSU in the end zone and the whole game was dominated not by the big names but by the guys you don’t hear about in the highlight clips every week. The two teams combined for only 568 total yards in the game! Hell, there were a few QBs from the Big-12 that had more yards than that. I’m starting to cheer for Joe Pa’ all of a sudden. I kind of want him to win something this year so he can go ahead and retire.

#1 Texas over #6 Oklahoma State 28-24
Oh Texas, you almost let OKSt. get by you there. Granted the Cowboys were in the top ten and had a good chance of pulling out an upset, but Texas did what a #1 team needed to do and that’s win at home. I do think that Texas may have lain down in the fourth quarter a little bit. UT went up 28-14 midway through the third and then did nothing else on offense for the rest of the game. 60 minutes guys, 60 minutes. A couple of turnovers didn’t help them much and they may have left a window open for a group of teams that are gunning for that #1 spot. Once again though this was the McCoy and Shipley show in Austin hooking up for 168yds and a TD through the air and combining for 58yds on the ground and a TD from McCoy. (Tebow loves him by the way).

#7 Georgia over #13 LSU 52-38
Oh my Dawgs hung 52 on LSU! I’m not going to lie; I was worried about this one. And, for those of you that will cry homer, I try to keep Georgia out of my top games, but this was a good one for many reasons. For one, unlike the Texas Tech v. Kansas game, this shootout actually featured defense. Stafford managed the game well going 17/26 for 249yds and 2Tds, while Knowshon went off for 163yds on the ground and a score. You’d have to look at the box score to see how back and forth this one was. Total yards = LSU 497 to 443. Rushing yards = UGA 194 to 188. Time of Possession = UGA 32:10 to 27:50. The key stat that separated the two teams was Turnovers = LSU: 3; UGA: 0. The Dawgs scored 14 points on two pick 6’s and that was truly the deciding factor. That, and some great defensive stops. Stat of the game... 30. LSU had won 30 straight home games that were played on Saturdays, with its last Saturday home loss coming in 2003.

UPSETS OF THE WEEK:

Wow, a bad week to be in the middle of the pack. But, if you go back and look at some of my previous posts, you would have seen three of these upsets coming. Explanations to follow…

Louisville over #16 South Florida 24-20
How many times have I said that South Florida was overrated? Hmmm? They are now 6-2 on the year with both of those losses coming from other Big East schools. Boooo!

Rutgers over #17 Pittsburgh 54-34
Another overrated Big East school and now you have a 2-5 Rutgers picking up their third win on the road against a “Top 20” program who should have been fighting like hell to win their conference and keeping some semblance of respect.

Virginia over #18 Georgia Tech 24-17
I believe it was just last week that I said Virginia wasn’t as bad as everyone thought they were. And now here they sit at 5-2 after beating GT on the road. You’ll also remember that I said Tech was a hot and cold team. Must have been chilly in Atlanta this weekend.

Indiana over #22 Northwestern 21-19
Um… ok, you will not see much mention of either of these teams in my other posts, because, really… who cares? Northwestern may be on a hard fall back to Earth with Minnesota, OSU and Michigan coming up in the next three weeks.

BEAT DOWN OF THE WEEK:

#10 Florida over Kentucky 63-5

Ouch! Blocked kicks setup Florida for some short early touchdown drives and before the fans even had time to get on their third beer it was 35-0. UK didn’t even score the safety at the very end of the game; it was a bad snap that went out of the end zone. This was the 22nd straight win for Florida over UK and the only highlight worth mentioning was the rushing TD for Tim Tebow that tied Emmitt Smith for Florida’s all-time mark.

Runner-up: #15 Missouri over Colorado 58-0 It’s really not that much fun picking on your retarded cousin is it?

RIVALRY WATCH:

Michigan State over Michigan 35-21
Another rivalry that used to mean something. Now it only means that Michigan State has rolled up a 7-2 record and Michigan is stuck on 2. (Thanks Miami of Ohio and Wisconsin) Ringer had 194yds on 37 carries with 2TDs and is looking like a back that may be able to prove himself at the next level. I think that without him Michigan State would only have 4 wins at most and with him they may have something to say about the Big-10 Championship with Wisconsin, Purdue and Penn State still left on the schedule.

PILLOW FIGHT OF THE WEEK:

Florida Atlantic over Louisiana-Monroe 29-28
A match-up of 2-5 teams? I can’t resist. This week’s pillow fight comes to us from the Sun Belt Conference. Somebody has to get to three wins right? (We know it’s not going to be North Texas, that’s for sure. 45-17 loss to Troy this week). It took a 22-yard touchdown pass with :20 left in the game but somehow FAU was able to get the last swing to connect in this epic pillow fight. Up next for the Owls is the Mean Green of N. Texas and I smell win number four.

BIGGEST LOSER:

The Washington Huskies!
The Huskies are now 0-7 on the year and while they may be bad they at least… well no, they are just bad. Only 4 of the 10 teams in the PAC-10 have winning records. So, it’s not like they are playing against really tough competition every week. And this week’s loss to The Fighting Irish (33-7) didn’t help matters that much. The Husky defense is giving up an average of 40 points a game while averaging only 16 points a game on offense. Their leading rusher is QB Jake Locher (whom you might remember from the Biggest Loser earlier in the year) with 180 yards… on the season! By the way, he’s missed the last three games due to injury. Better luck next year guys!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

College Football Week 8

Time for Week Eight in the world of College Football!

This is the last week of ‘polls that don’t matter.’ The BCS comes out on Sunday and people can start arguing about computers and “quality wins.” Wins are wins people. Either way, once the BCS is out everybody just needs to worry about where they are and fight for the one and two spots at the end. And we can all only hope that somehow Ohio State beats Penn State next week so neither Big-10 school can have a claim this year.

My Dawgs looked flat on defense this week thanks to those damn 12:30 start times. I hate those early games. The players aren’t ready, the fans aren’t drunk and nobody is ready for had-hitting football. But, a 24-14 win is… say it with me… a win. Good. And this one can qualify for the discussion too since Vandy was actually ranked. Knowshon looked good going off for 172 yards and a TD on 23 carries but Stafford was less than stellar and Georgia had better pick it up with LSU and Florida coming up in the next two weeks.

Moving on…

GAMES OF THE WEEK:

#13 LSU over South Carolina 24-17
So close to being an upset. SC lead this one 17-10 at half and the game was back and forth with a lot of hard hitting and defense all over the place. Even the Umpire got in on it tackling Carolina’s QB late in the second quarter. Really the second half was dominated by defense with LSU only able to put together two drives in the half (9 plays 53yds and 11 plays 83yds); both of which however ended in TDs. LSU had a hard loss last week to Florida and I expected them to play well, but SC always plays hard at home and this was a great game to watch.

#4 Oklahoma over #16 Kansas 45-31
Offense anyone? That’s 1,164 yards of total offense in this one. Sam Bradford finished 36/53 for 468 yards and 3TDs. That yardage is a school record by the way. I think people expected OU to have a letdown game after last week, but the offense looked good despite losing one of their top receivers in the first quarter. Oklahoma really pulled away early in the second half but KU showed some fight and you have to start to wonder about the Sooner defense since they’ve given up 76 points over the last two games. Hmm… But, a big shout to KU’s receiver Briscoe for catching 12 balls for 269 yards and 2 TDs. That’s a good day in any league.

#2 Alabama survives Mississippi 24-20
Defense anyone? Ol’ Miss had already tripped up Florida this year and had their sights set on Bama this weekend. 675 total yards in this one thanks to some great defensive play on both sides of the ball. Alabama is proving to be a fast starter, but is having some trouble closing out games. Mississippi outscored them 17-0 in the second half but much like Georgia two weeks ago, they dug too deep of a hole in the first half to climb out of.


UPSET OF THE WEEK:

TCU takes out #9 BYU 32-7 (The Crusade Game)

Christians vs. Mormons in a classic MWC upset game. Guess none of the Latter Day Saints could make the game and perform a miracle for the Cougars. This just goes to show that you should never put your trust in upstart programs (or religions) and never bet against Christ. Running was the key to the game with TCU racking up 240 rushing yards compared to BYU’s 23 (on 28 attempts none the less). The four turnovers didn’t help Mormon U either.

BEAT DOWN OF THE WEEK:

#6 USC over Washington State 69-0
Dear Lord! 69 to zip? Not even 3 points? This was the largest shutout win for USC since they beat Montana by the same score back in 1931. Now we all know that WSU is no powerhouse Montana (6-1 this year in the Big Sky), so this must have been bad. The Dirty Sanchez even threw for five touchdowns in the first half. As if the score wasn’t bad enough, total yardage went to USC to the tune of 624 to 116.

Runner up: New Mexico over San Diego State 70-7

RIVALRY WATCH:

Virginia over #18 North Carolina 16-13 in OT
I wouldn’t necessarily call this one an upset. North Carolina has been playing over their level all year long and Virginia isn’t as bad as their now 4-3 record would lead you to believe. North Carolina held Virginia to 3 points all game long till their final drive tied it up with less than a minute left. UNC kicks a field goal in OT; UVA gets a TD. Ballgame.

PILLOW FIGHT OF THE WEEK:

Tulsa over UTEP 77-35
This week’s pillow fight comes to us from C-USA. Offense anyone? If you thought that Oklahoma game had some scoring then you missed this one. Tulsa is now 7-0 on the year but that doesn’t mean anything when 4 of those wins came against other C-USA teams. But the 1,144 total yards made this an instant classic pillow fight. Tulsa’s QB went 21/27 for 434 and 5TDs with 1Int. 112 total points is just crazy and had to be entertaining as hell. Too bad the game wasn’t on TV anywhere except maybe the UTEP student’s center.

BIGGEST LOSER:


North Texas!
Let’s see, out of all the major and mid-major conferences in D-I there is one team that stands alone as the one and only winless team out there and that honor goes to the Sun Belt’s own North Texas. Sorry Shane, your team is the worst. 0-7 with conference leader and powerhouse Troy (4-2) coming up next. The “Mean Green” is averaging just under 16 points a game while giving up just under 51 a game. That’s an average margin of 35 points a game. Damn! N. Texas is #118 in the nation in points per game only better than Florida Atlantic and Wyoming. So for right now, North Texas is the NCAA’s Biggest Losers!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Book Sale Time!

Ah the annual Charleston Library Book Sale was yesterday.

I can’t resist a mass gathering of other bookies who sift like dung beetles through books that other people are willing to just give away. The Galliard Auditorium was packed Sunday afternoon and I was there walking along with all that Charleston Society has to offer.



Started off in Political Nonfiction since those tend to be outdated and if you want anything current you need to get there early before the intellectual types get out of bed. Unfortunately, I was out of bed late as well and the only thing I could find of interest were a couple of Al Franken books I’d already read and some Rush Limbaugh trash that I didn’t need since I stocked up on toilet paper earlier in the week. I did see a copy of ‘Foreign Policy Decisions Today’ which is a collection of essays and articles from a bunch of smart guys and policy makers. A quick flip through was entertaining since all of the articles were published in the Spring of 2001. Wow! You mean we used to be interested in AIDS in Africa and Trade Policy with China? What? South America and the oil crisis is something we should be considering?
The PNF section was filled with other twenty-somethings and a couple of those creepy old guys that talk to themselves that all the twenty-somethings will have to avoid becoming if they keep reading Political Nonfiction.

Moved on to Biographies because you never know what to expect there and if there is anybody worth reading about, you had better look hard. This section was full of lonely women looking for an edition of Dianna that they hadn’t read yet and old women looking for that Eleanor Roosevelt they used to hear about on the talking box. There were a few older men there too looking for Patton or Washington Carver but defiantly an older crowd that was easy to navigate around as I changed tracks on my iPod. I did see a Benjamin Franklyn there, but couldn’t remember if I had already read it or one on Jefferson by the same author so I passed.

Travel was next. Very disappointing this year. Come on people; let’s throw away better books on travel this year. Really nothing more than a photographical journey through Greece and a couple of travel guides for Australia and England. I did stop long enough to flip through ‘A Bed and Breakfast Guide to Scotland.’ It was kind of cool and will have to make my ‘If I win the lottery’ list of things to do. Good mix of people here, but there was one crazy guy who felt the need to dig though and unfold every map that was there to make sure that the inside matched the description on the outside. No problem really, but if you’re going to be “that guy” make sure you’re a guy that knows how to fold maps back to their original condition. He looked like a Dad in the front seat of a minivan lost on family vacation. Oh and yes he was wearing a sweater vest. And why do you need to check the accuracy of ‘1800’s Europe’ anyway? Going back in time Sir?

Ok, the warm up was over. Time to move on to Fiction. Now let me say that Fiction is the Great Wall of China of book sales. And, if you’re like me, it is where you have to be willing to spend some time if you’re going to find anything good. Also, you have to be willing to read the name Danielle Steel 8,000 times. I play a little game every year where I count how many of her novels I see. Unfortunately, I lost count around 23 this year. A lot of good stuff in this section and I did manage to pick up a few books that I’ll get around to eventually. Mainly you have to remember to stop every now and then to look around at the people near you. Soccer mom, old lady, fat sweaty guy who breaths really hard, college girl in her pajamas, college girl who is way too dressed up for a book sale, middle aged guy in a suit obviously just out of church, mom with kid in tow, the list just goes on.
Fiction is the cross section of society. But, there is always somebody in the line of people behind you that is in way too big of a hurry and leaning too close and the person in front of you that is moving way too slow taking every single book jacket in. One trip down the tables can go without incident and the next can be hell on earth with strollers and the smell of moth balls.
I also like Fiction because if you’re going to pick up a woman at a book sale, this is the second most likely place to do it. Arts, Theater and Poetry are number one; that section is dominated by women of all ages. I only saw one real prospect this year but she ruined it by placing a copy of ‘Her Own Rules’ by Barbra Taylor Bradford in her bag. Hahaha. I think not Honey. Sure, she sells books, but tears, broken hearts and a pint of ice cream are not my idea of a good time. I digress.

With Fiction out of the way I moved on to Foreign Language to see if there were any Russian texts or anything of note. Lots of French and Spanish but I did find a Russian workbook (minus the tape) that seemed like it might help for some brush-up work. Mostly the odd crowd in that small corner of the auditorium, so I moved on.

Assuming that anyone who is anyone would be there by this point I moved on to the previously mentioned Arts, Theater and Poetry. There were a few prospects in the crowd, but none that felt worth the effort of striking up a conversation on John Keats; and Sylvia Plath is just too depressing for that ‘hey what are you doing later?’ type conversation. There were surprisingly a few cougars in the mix but I’m bad a sorting the married ones from the unmarried ones when they have books in their hands and you can’t see the ring finger.
After I had seen everything I needed to see book wise, I tried to camp out and check the people out. I had picked up two books from this section for my roommate since he’s into the theater stuff, so I wasn’t there just to ‘look’. But, while I was sitting there trying to look interested in the selection in front of me, this lady who looked a lot like my 11th grade English teacher kept trying to move me along by leaning all up in my space and checking out what was in my hand. (I had ‘A Collection of Irish Prose’) Now, to me there is only one way to move someone around you short of saying something rude, just start reading to yourself quietly and look really into whatever is in your hand. I hate Irish Prose. The old lady moved on. I did too after making my point.

With all of my serious book shopping out of the way, I figured I would cruse over to Science Fiction and Spy Novels to see if there was anything worth reading over there. There wasn’t, but the crowd in that section is always worth a look. Wow! My Barbra Bradford girl was there too; confirming my previous assumption as I saw her bag a few more selections from this section as well.

My mom and I always end up at this sale at the same time and had just agreed to meet at the Local Authors section when we finished. I was amazed when she was there as I made my way up. Usually I’m standing around waiting on her for at least twenty minutes. Anyway, we checked out then went to lunch by the water before she went home and I went off to watch football for the rest of the afternoon. All together a good Sunday and I should have a couple of good books to get me through the next few months. So, if you missed it, or you don’t live in Charleston, be sure to look for your local library’s book sale in the near future. They’re a great place to pick up some cheap books and cheaper laughs.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

College Football Week 7



Time for Week Seven in the world of College Football!

Now I had promised my version of contender or pretender this week, but I’m thinking that’s going to have to wait until a special post on Monday. I need to see the new rankings and have a little more time to digest the action from this week in college football. A lot of games this week that could very well set up several teams for a stretch run.

The Big-12 made a statement this week as a powerhouse conference (and provided the best games of the week) while the Big-10 looks to be a two horse race between Penn State and Ohio State. The SEC is still up for grabs and a two loss team may be making its way to the championship game from the East. It’s still too early to tell but, the Mormons are in the race at this point from out west in the MWC. Polygamy Now! The PAC-10 is USC’s game to lose but Arizona may have something to say about it before December.

This weekend defiantly belonged to the BIG-12 and SEC as they were the only two conferences putting on big games. Which, isn’t that the case every week? The best conference award still sits with the SEC but the best quarterbacks are in the Big-12. Too bad we can’t set up one of those basketball style tournaments between the two.

My Dawgs got themselves another win this weekend, but… they may just be slightly overrated. There, I said it! A 26-14 win over Tennessee does nothing for my confidence. Although I did like the fact the Georgia only allowed 1 yard on the ground for the whole game and our offense held the ball for over 42 minutes.

Moving on…

GAMES OF THE WEEK:


#5 Texas over #1 Oklahoma 45-35
I can’t really call this one an upset since we really didn’t know which of these teams were better going into the match up since neither had played any tough competition. I watched every second of this one and I wasn’t disappointed at all. A great game on both sides (if you weren’t looking for defense) and some real good looking offenses. The only thing that was missing from this was a running game for either team. 48 total yards on the ground for OU. Sam Bradford had a great game. Too bad it was wasted. This game gave some fuel for the fire of those talking up the Big-12, and either of these teams could be back in the National Title talk later in the year.

#7 Texas Tech survives Nebraska 37-31 in OT


Graham Harrell (20/25 284 with 2TDs) actually got outplayed by Nebraska’s QB Ganz (36/44 349 2TDs and an INT) for 4.25 quarters. The problem was Ganz threw his INT in overtime after Tech was already up 6. Ball game. How 6 you ask? They missed an extra point in OT. Doesn’t matter. Nebraska should have never been in this game and I was surprised that their defense held Tech to less than 50 points. I think though, Tech’s defense will be their downfall since they allowed Nebraska to hold the ball for over 40 minutes and rack up 471 total yards. Ouch.

#17 Oklahoma State upsets #3 Missouri 28-23
Whoa! This was the second upside down game of the day for the Big-12 with only TT preventing a third. I wasn’t able to watch most of this because I was mesmerized by Florida’s running game, but I did catch the fourth quarter and some of the second. Chase Daniel didn’t help his campaign with those 3 INTs, that much I can tell you. And I know Mizzou isn’t much of a running team, but 68yds aint gonna cut it. Two great quarterbacks in this game and what I saw was very entertaining. To me OKSU looked to be the better balanced team on offense and deserved to win this. Hunter’s 154 yards on the ground and a TD doesn’t hurt either.

UPSETS OF THE WEEK:


Arkansas over #20 Auburn 25-22
What the hell has happened to Auburn? I mean you just lost to Arkansas at home! I know you just fired your offensive coordinator, but this was bad. Arkansas? Arkansas sucks! Wow, sorry guys. This was billed as a rebuilding year for you, but this was a demolition.

#13 Vanderbilt falls to Mississippi State 17-14
What the hell has happened to Vandy? I mean you just lost to Miss State on the road! Ok, sorry. Vandy must have remembered who they were and you can’t blame a team for getting Croomed. Sylvester Croom has lead Miss St. to some good wins since he got there and he is known for getting his under talented team to trip up ranked teams that dare go to Starkville. Oh well. Vandy should have stepped up and defended their ranking; they stayed in the game at least...

BEAT DOWN OF THE WEEK:


#14 Utah over Wyoming 40-7
This week’s beat down comes from the “highly competitive” Mountain West Conference. Now, I can’t directly shit on Utah. It’s not their fault their conference sucks. In fact, they now stand at 7-0. Two of those wins are impressive: 25-23 over Mich. and 31-28 over Oregon State. Now I say impressive because for Utah, that’s good. This year’s fly could be the Utes. With only the game versus BYU in the Battle for the Mormons game left against tough competition, they could be 12-0. I mean making a run through the Mountain West is like making a run through a red rover game put on my third graders, so let’s not get too excited. Red Rover, Red Rover, send some real competition on over!

Runner up: #6 Penn State over Wisconsin 48-7
See below for story line

RIVALRY WATCH:


#12 Florida over #3 LSU 51-21
Shit! Just when Florida looked like they were headed for the tank and back to back losses they some how found a running game. 265 yards on the ground is more then I’ve seen Florida pull off in a long long time. Demps alone had 129 on just 10 carries. The SEC had better wake up cause if Florida can run and pass they may not lose again this year. LSU just looked shocked in this one like they had no idea what just hit em. This to me qualifies as a statement game for the Gators and could spell trouble for everyone left on their schedule. It’s hard to come back from a 20-0 deficit against anyone, but when Florida just kept scoring last night, LSU didn’t have a prayer.


PILLOW FIGHT OF THE WEEK:


Toledo over Michigan 13-10
Score one for the MAC! Michigan had a 24 game win streak going over MAC teams until Saturday. Oh hahahaha. Every time Michigan loses an angel gets its wings. Both the Rockets and Wolverines now find themselves at 2-4; records worthy of an instant classic pillow fight. And with a missed field goal by Michigan at the end Toledo can add their names to a long list of teams to go into the “big” house and “shock” the Wolverines.

BIGGEST LOSER:


The Wisconsin Badgers!
This week’s biggest loser award goes to Wisconsin for falling off the map. The road to mediocrity is paved with bad losses. Going from #10 in the nation to three straight bad losses lands them here. Ouch! All three of those losses were in their own conference (the big-10). Double ouch! 27-25 to Michigan, 20-17 to Ohio State and now 48-7 to Penn State. That last loss had to feel like taking it up the ass from a blowup mascot. Triple ouch! I mean hell, even Toledo beat Michigan. It’s been six years since Wisconsin lost two straight home games and their run at a decent bowl game may be over. Sorry Badger fans, but this does not appear to be your year. Better luck next week against Iowa. And hey, there’s always that mop up game at the end of the year against Cal Poly.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

College Football Week 6

Time for Week Six in the world of College Football!

There were a lot of games this week that looked to be great on paper that didn’t turn out that way. For example Purdue usually gives Penn State a good game but the #6 Knitting Lions went on the road and took it 20-6. An upstart 24th ranked and 5-0 UConn played another upstart UNC team and should have been favored but lost 38-12.

Not the upsets from last week but a few were closer than they should have been. Everyone is scrambling for early season positioning as the meat of everyone’s schedule should be coming up in the next few weeks. A 2 loss team is no good in October or November. This week or next is your last chance to lose if you’re going to have enough time to make up the ground before the end of the year. So here we go…

GAMES OF THE WEEK:

#19 Vanderbilt upsets #13 Auburn 14-13
Let me be one of many to say congrats to Vandy for being 5-0 for the first time since 1943 and for winning a game as a ranked team for the first time since 1956. Vandy is a private academic university not a football school. But today they played some good football and find themselves one win away from bowl eligibility. Defense though was the story of the day in this one including the late interception by Vandy to seal it up.

#14 Ohio State over #18 Wisconsin 20-17
The Badgers once again found a way to blow a game after leading late in it. Last week it was the Wolverines this week it was the Gay Acorns. Wisconsin lead 17-13 with a minute to go in the game then let Prior lead OSU right down the field and then walk into the end zone from 11yards out. Booo! They should have let the suspended and drunken marching band play instead of the actual players. The worst was after Wisconsin got the ball back with time to make something happen; they threw an INT to Malcolm Jenkins on the first play of the drive. Double Booo!

Michigan State over Iowa 16-13
I know what your thinking… unranked teams in a game of the week? Huh? Well I felt the need to give the Big-10 some love this week because these two put on a good game and I thought it was actually entertaining. MSU is 5-1 now and they’ve got a great backfield; Ringer is second in the nation right now with 988 rushing yards. Iowa, well not so good (3-3), but traditionally a tough match up because they are well coached and corn fed farm boys that play tough.

UPSET OF THE WEEK:

Pittsburg over #10 South Florida 26-21
Ha! South Florida is one of those teams that is so overrated it’s pathetic. Are you kidding me? #10? They killed themselves with 84yds in penalties and 245 total yards. And its not like Pitt is a team that should be able to go on the road an knock off a top ten team. Really, I expect South Florida to fall off the map pretty soon.

BEATDOWN OF THE WEEK: (a.k.a. The Sara Palin Award)

#7 Texas Tech over Kansas State 58-28
This should have gone to #1 Oklahoma over Baylor, but everyone expected that one. Kansas State had a chance to beat TT, but decided against it and now Tech is 5-0 and taking a stand for a strong Big-12 conference. Harrell decided to do his best #4 impersonation and threw for 6TDs and 454yds while leading Tech to 626 total yards in the game (He now also leads the nation with 2,027 passing yards). The Big-12 should be interesting over the next few weeks and if Tech’s defense can step up they may have something to say this year. But lets not forget about dates with Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

RIVALRY WATCH:

Florida State over Miami (The U suck) 41-39
Remember when the world used to stop for FSU vs. Miami? Now the state of Florida doesn’t even pay attention. This was an entertaining game worth of the rivalry though even though there wasn’t a last second field goal miss. This game ended up being played in a driving rain and had some good hits throughout. FSU was up 24-3 at one point in this game and had it in hand, but Miami ended up playing a strong second half and made it a game. Ah Miami; where great athletes go to become bad football players.

PILLOW FIGHT OF THE WEEK:

Akron over Kent St. 30-27 in OT
I love when the pillow fights go into extra time. When 60 minutes isn’t enough to prove who sucks worse a Kangaroo or a Golden Flash. God even their mascots suck. Let’s see, Kent St. is now 1-5 and Akron is 3-3. But Akron is the winner of a giant Wagon Wheel! (The annual trophy given out to the winner of this contest) Even their Trophy sucks! I mean seriously, who wants a wagon wheel? What! Are we playing Oregon Trail? No.

Runner-up: Tennessee over Northern Illinois 13-9


BIGGEST LOSER:

CUBS FANS! Nothing makes a bitter baseball fan happier than to see the Cubs get swept out of the playoffs. “This is our year.” “The Cubs are gonna take it all man!” “Kerry Wood is healthy and our outfield is set.” “What curse?” “100 years of rooting for these guys and it’s all going to pay off this year!” SHUT UP!

One of my favorite Cubs quotes came from Bernie Lincicome When he said, “Now, 0 for 50 would be a historic achievement on any other team, but on the Cubs it is usually called September.” Amen Bernie! And the worst time to be a Cubs fan is October. They had better pray that the season ends in July next year so they can end on a high note.

Now I don’t believe in curses but I do believe in a team being historically bad. It’s like the Cubs are the France of Major League Baseball. And why not? Their fans are loud, usually drunk, not the brightest when collected in large groups, and start out well but end up fading into obscurity.

That’s it for this week fans! Sorry that I had to go off on that baseball rant there at the end, but it’s a great day when the sun is out, the birds are singing and the Cubs get knocked out of the playoffs. Tune in next week when we get deeper into conference play and college football gets to Pretenders vs. Contenders. (Texas v. OU, LSU v. Florida, OK State v. Missouri and Penn St. vs. Wisconsin)

Friday, October 3, 2008

New Test For New Americans

Ok, Time to see if you can pass the government's newest version of the Citizenship Test. (I put the answers in there too so have fun.) For all of my Mexican readers out there, study up and don't worry, you only need to score about 70% and you're in. Oh wait, you're already in. Well now you can stay.
I think we should also require this test for every American at the polls too. I don't care if they say you can't have voting tests. I say it should be required. Less than 60%? Guess what you don't deserve to have a part in deciding the direction of the country.
Anyway, in honor of Palin not answering questions, here are 100 that you should know.

Civics (History and Government) Questions for the Redesigned (New) Naturalization Test

The 100 civics (history and government) questions and answers for the redesigned (new) naturalization test are listed below. Applicants who filed the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, on or after October 1, 2008, should study this list. The civics test is an oral test and the USCIS Officer will ask the applicant up to 10 of the 100 civics questions. An applicant must answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test.

Although USCIS is aware that there may be additional correct answers to the 100 civics questions, applicants are encouraged to respond to the civics questions using the answers provided below.

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
A: Principles of American Democracy
1. What is the supreme law of the land?
▪ the Constitution
2. What does the Constitution do?
▪ sets up the government
▪ defines the government
▪ protects basic rights of Americans
3. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?
▪ We the People
4. What is an amendment?
▪ a change (to the Constitution)
▪ an addition (to the Constitution)
5. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
▪ the Bill of Rights
6. What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?*
▪ speech
▪ religion
▪ assembly
▪ press
▪ petition the government

7. How many amendments does the Constitution have?
▪ twenty-seven (27)
8. What did the Declaration of Independence do?
▪ announced our independence (from Great Britain)
▪ declared our independence (from Great Britain)
▪ said that the United States is free (from Great Britain)
9. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
▪ life
▪ liberty
▪ pursuit of happiness
10. What is freedom of religion?
▪ You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.
11. What is the economic system in the United States?*
▪ capitalist economy
▪ market economy
12. What is the "rule of law"?
▪ Everyone must follow the law.
▪ Leaders must obey the law.
▪ Government must obey the law.
▪ No one is above the law.
B: System of Government
13. Name one branch or part of the government.*
▪ Congress
▪ legislative
▪ President
▪ executive
▪ the courts
▪ judicial
14. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?
▪ checks and balances
▪ separation of powers
15. Who is in charge of the executive branch?
▪ the President
16. Who makes federal laws?
▪ Congress
▪ Senate and House (of Representatives)
▪ (U.S. or national) legislature
17. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?*
▪ the Senate and House (of Representatives)

18. How many U.S. Senators are there?
▪ one hundred (100)
19. We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?
▪ six (6)
20. Who is one of your state’s U.S. Senators now?*
▪ Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents and residents of U.S. territories should answer that D.C. (or the territory where the applicant lives) has no U.S. Senators.]
21. The House of Representatives has how many voting members?
▪ four hundred thirty-five (435)
22. We elect a U.S. Representative for how many years?
▪ two (2)
23. Name your U.S. Representative.
▪ Answers will vary. [Residents of territories with nonvoting Delegates or Resident Commissioners may provide the name of that Delegate or Commissioner. Also acceptable is any statement that the territory has no (voting) Representatives in Congress.]
24. Who does a U.S. Senator represent?
▪ all people of the state
25. Why do some states have more Representatives than other states?
▪ (because of) the state’s population
▪ (because) they have more people
▪ (because) some states have more people
26. We elect a President for how many years?
▪ four (4)
27. In what month do we vote for President?*
▪ November
28. What is the name of the President of the United States now?*
▪ George W. Bush
▪ George Bush
▪ Bush
29. What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now?
▪ Richard Cheney
▪ Dick Cheney
▪ Cheney
30. If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
▪ the Vice President
31. If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
▪ the Speaker of the House
32. Who is the Commander in Chief of the military?
▪ the President

33. Who signs bills to become laws?
▪ the President
34. Who vetoes bills?
▪ the President
35. What does the President’s Cabinet do?
▪ advises the President
36. What are two Cabinet-level positions?
▪ Secretary of Agriculture
▪ Secretary of Commerce
▪ Secretary of Defense
▪ Secretary of Education
▪ Secretary of Energy
▪ Secretary of Health and Human Services
▪ Secretary of Homeland Security
▪ Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
▪ Secretary of the Interior
▪ Secretary of Labor
▪ Secretary of State
▪ Secretary of Transportation
▪ Secretary of the Treasury
▪ Secretary of Veterans Affairs
▪ Attorney General
▪ Vice President
37. What does the judicial branch do?
▪ reviews laws
▪ explains laws
▪ resolves disputes (disagreements)
▪ decides if a law goes against the Constitution
38. What is the highest court in the United States?
▪ the Supreme Court
39. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?
▪ nine (9)
40. Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?
▪ John Roberts (John G. Roberts, Jr.)
41. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?
▪ to print money
▪ to declare war
▪ to create an army
▪ to make treaties

42. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states?
▪ provide schooling and education
▪ provide protection (police)
▪ provide safety (fire departments)
▪ give a driver’s license
▪ approve zoning and land use
43. Who is the Governor of your state now?
▪ Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. does not have a Governor.]
44. What is the capital of your state?*
▪ Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. is not a state and does not have a capital. Residents of U.S. territories should name the capital of the territory.]
45. What are the two major political parties in the United States?*
▪ Democratic and Republican
46. What is the political party of the President now?
▪ Republican (Party)
47. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?
▪ (Nancy) Pelosi
C: Rights and Responsibilities
48. There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.
▪ Citizens eighteen (18) and older (can vote).
▪ You don’t have to pay (a poll tax) to vote.
▪ Any citizen can vote. (Women and men can vote.)
▪ A male citizen of any race (can vote).
49. What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?*
▪ serve on a jury
▪ vote in a federal election
50. Name one right only for United States citizens.
▪ vote in a federal election
▪ run for federal office
51. What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?
▪ freedom of expression
▪ freedom of speech
▪ freedom of assembly
▪ freedom to petition the government
▪ freedom of worship
▪ the right to bear arms
52. What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?
▪ the United States
▪ the flag

53. What is one promise you make when you become a United States citizen?
▪ give up loyalty to other countries
▪ defend the Constitution and laws of the United States
▪ obey the laws of the United States
▪ serve in the U.S. military (if needed)
▪ serve (do important work for) the nation (if needed)
▪ be loyal to the United States
54. How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?*
▪ eighteen (18) and older
55. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?
▪ vote
▪ join a political party
▪ help with a campaign
▪ join a civic group
▪ join a community group
▪ give an elected official your opinion on an issue
▪ call Senators and Representatives
▪ publicly support or oppose an issue or policy
▪ run for office
▪ write to a newspaper
56. When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?*
▪ April 15
57. When must all men register for the Selective Service?
▪ at age eighteen (18)
▪ between eighteen (18) and twenty-six (26)

AMERICAN HISTORY

A: Colonial Period and Independence
58. What is one reason colonists came to America?
▪ freedom
▪ political liberty
▪ religious freedom
▪ economic opportunity
▪ practice their religion
▪ escape persecution
59. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?
▪ American Indians
▪ Native Americans

60. What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?
▪ Africans
▪ people from Africa
61. Why did the colonists fight the British?
▪ because of high taxes (taxation without representation)
▪ because the British army stayed in their houses (boarding, quartering)
▪ because they didn’t have self-government
62. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
▪ (Thomas) Jefferson
63. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?
▪ July 4, 1776
64. There were 13 original states. Name three.
▪ New Hampshire
▪ Massachusetts
▪ Rhode Island
▪ Connecticut
▪ New York
▪ New Jersey
▪ Pennsylvania
▪ Delaware
▪ Maryland
▪ Virginia
▪ North Carolina
▪ South Carolina
▪ Georgia
65. What happened at the Constitutional Convention?
▪ The Constitution was written.
▪ The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.
66. When was the Constitution written?
▪ 1787
67. The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.
▪ (James) Madison
▪ (Alexander) Hamilton
▪ (John) Jay
▪ Publius
68. What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?
▪ U.S. diplomat
▪ oldest member of the Constitutional Convention
▪ first Postmaster General of the United States
▪ writer of "Poor Richard’s Almanac"
▪ started the first free libraries

69. Who is the "Father of Our Country"?
▪ (George) Washington
70. Who was the first President?*
▪ (George) Washington
B: 1800s
71. What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?
▪ the Louisiana Territory
▪ Louisiana
72. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s.
▪ War of 1812
▪ Mexican-American War
▪ Civil War
▪ Spanish-American War
73. Name the U.S. war between the North and the South.
▪ the Civil War
▪ the War between the States
74. Name one problem that led to the Civil War.
▪ slavery
▪ economic reasons
▪ states’ rights
75. What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?*
▪ freed the slaves (Emancipation Proclamation)
▪ saved (or preserved) the Union
▪ led the United States during the Civil War
76. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?
▪ freed the slaves
▪ freed slaves in the Confederacy
▪ freed slaves in the Confederate states
▪ freed slaves in most Southern states
77. What did Susan B. Anthony do?
▪ fought for women’s rights
▪ fought for civil rights
C: Recent American History and Other Important Historical Information
78. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s.*
▪ World War I
▪ World War II
▪ Korean War
▪ Vietnam War
▪ (Persian) Gulf War

79. Who was President during World War I?
▪ (Woodrow) Wilson
80. Who was President during the Great Depression and World War II?
▪ (Franklin) Roosevelt
81. Who did the United States fight in World War II?
▪ Japan, Germany, and Italy
82. Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war was he in?
▪ World War II
83. During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?
▪ Communism
84. What movement tried to end racial discrimination?
▪ civil rights (movement)
85. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?*
▪ fought for civil rights
▪ worked for equality for all Americans
86. What major event happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States?
▪ Terrorists attacked the United States.
87. Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.
[USCIS Officers will be supplied with a list of federally recognized American Indian tribes.]
▪ Cherokee
▪ Navajo
▪ Sioux
▪ Chippewa
▪ Choctaw
▪ Pueblo
▪ Apache
▪ Iroquois
▪ Creek
▪ Blackfeet
▪ Seminole
▪ Cheyenne
▪ Arawak
▪ Shawnee
▪ Mohegan
▪ Huron
▪ Oneida
▪ Lakota
▪ Crow
▪ Teton
▪ Hopi
▪ Inuit

INTEGRATED CIVICS
A: Geography
88. Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.
▪ Missouri (River)
▪ Mississippi (River)
89. What ocean is on the West Coast of the United States?
▪ Pacific (Ocean)
90. What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?
▪ Atlantic (Ocean)
91. Name one U.S. territory.
▪ Puerto Rico
▪ U.S. Virgin Islands
▪ American Samoa
▪ Northern Mariana Islands
▪ Guam
92. Name one state that borders Canada.
▪ Maine
▪ New Hampshire
▪ Vermont
▪ New York
▪ Pennsylvania
▪ Ohio
▪ Michigan
▪ Minnesota
▪ North Dakota
▪ Montana
▪ Idaho
▪ Washington
▪ Alaska
93. Name one state that borders Mexico.
▪ California
▪ Arizona
▪ New Mexico
▪ Texas
94. What is the capital of the United States?*
▪ Washington, D.C.
95. Where is the Statue of Liberty?*
▪ New York (Harbor)
▪ Liberty Island
[Also acceptable are New Jersey, near New York City, and on the Hudson (River).]

B: Symbols
96. Why does the flag have 13 stripes?
▪ because there were 13 original colonies
▪ because the stripes represent the original colonies
97. Why does the flag have 50 stars?*
▪ because there is one star for each state
▪ because each star represents a state
▪ because there are 50 states
98. What is the name of the national anthem?
▪ The Star-Spangled Banner
C: Holidays
99. When do we celebrate Independence Day?*
▪ July 4
100. Name two national U.S. holidays.
▪ New Year’s Day
▪ Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
▪ Presidents’ Day
▪ Memorial Day
▪ Independence Day
▪ Labor Day
▪ Columbus Day
▪ Veterans Day
▪ Thanksgiving
▪ Christmas