Monday, November 29, 2010

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 13

A quick story...
 
Your humble purveyor was questioned rather passionately (via e-mail) by a number of know-it-all fans about why South Carolina was not included in TEC's rankings after the Gamecocks defeated then #1 Alabama seven weeks ago.  I responded with a gut feeling, as Spurrier's upset victory over the Crimson Tide "...felt more like an anomaly than an exhibition of team superiority."  My rebuttal wasn't well-received, but it was soon legitimized: Kentucky, a perennial also-ran, defeated SC the following Saturday.
 
South Carolina (9-3, AP #18) recently clinched it's first division title, and thus, a spot in the SEC championship game, since joining the conference 18 years ago.  While this accomplishment is notable, it also speaks of a surprisingly weak division in which no other team -- including Florida, Georgia and Tennessee -- won more than half of their in-conference games.  As a result, South Carolina's worth has been proven.  The Gamecocks are competitive, but they're not national contenders.

Based on a comparable process of reasoning, TEC has opted to keep Boise State in the top 10 despite the Broncos' one-point loss at Nevada (11-1, AP #14).  Why?  Because the last two paragraphs wouldn't be necessary had BSU's senior kicker made a 34-yard field goal that he makes 97% of the time.  Thus if Alabama didn't fall out of the rankings after their first loss, then neither will the Broncos.  But God help them if the lose next week to Utah State.
 
In the end, last Saturday gave us all the more reason to love college football.  Aside from Boise State, LSU & Oklahoma State also lost.  They are replaced by Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Rankings as of November 29, 2010
#1  Oregon (11-0), 660 pts.
#2  Texas Christian (12-0), 645 pts.
#3  Auburn (12-0), 635 pts.
#4  Wisconsin (11-1), 580 pts.
#5  Stanford (11-1), 555 pts.
#6  Ohio State (11-1), 520 pts.
#7  Michigan State (11-1), 480 pts.
#8  Boise State (10-1), 315 pts.
#9  Oklahoma (10-2), 310 pts.
#10  Arkansas (10-2), 300 pts.

Adding insult to injury after LSU's tough loss to Arkansas, here's another shot of Cheerleader Man.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday's Quote: God

One of the great Conservatives of all-time perhaps said it best:

"Skepticism about life and nature is most often expressed by those who take it for granted that belief is an indulgence of the superstitious — indeed their opiate, to quote a historical cosmologist most profoundly dead.  Granted, that to look up at the stars comes close to compelling disbelief — how can such a chance arrangement be other than an elaboration — near infinite — of natural impulses?  Yes, on the other hand, who is to say that the arrangement of the stars is more easily traceable to nature, than to nature's molder?  What is the greater miracle: the raising of the dead man in Lazarus, or the mere existence of the man who died and of the witnesses who swore to his revival?"
-- from "How Is It Possible To Believe In God?" by William F. Buckley, Jr., founder of National Review, author of over 50 books, including God and Man at Yale, and possibly the foremost Conservative in American history.


And for good measure...

America's never had a perfect President, nor has any nation or municipality in history enjoyed a leader devoid of imperfections.  Yet there's something about Ronald Reagan that puts a smile on my face.  Inspired by a picture I recently came across of William F. Buckley (quoted above) at The White House with our 40th President, the following are part of a collection housed at the University of Texas:

Ronald & Nancy Reagan aboard a boat in California, August 1964 [archive catalog identifier H43-11]

Ronald Reagan celebrating is election for California Governor at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, CA; November 8, 1966 [H99]

President Reagan at Rancho Del Cielo in Santa Barbara, CA; August 13, 1981 [C3525-20]

President Reagan speaking at a rally for Senator David Durenberger in Minneapolis, Minnesota; February 8, 1982 [C6287-7]

President Reagan meeting with fellow Conservative icon British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street in London; June 9, 1982 [C8575-32A]

President Reagan at Ashford Castle in Ireland; June 2, 1984 [C22240-34]

President Reagan poses at the White House; October 3, 1984 [C24744-22]

President Reagan salutes as he boards Marine One on his last day as our nation's leader; January 20, 1989 [C51664-20A]

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rise of the Black Conservatives (all two of them)

There is no easy way to say this: Black men and women who support the American Right Wing catch a lot of hell.  Although volumes have been written on this topic (monolithic voting blocks rarely accomplish much), it should be noted that freethinking individuals who deviate from this unfortunate norm, not on the basis of race, but upon the premise of philosophy, do exist -- and are thriving.

Allen West (pictured) is a retired Army Lt. Colonel and the Representative-elect of Florida's 22nd congressional district.  Having won his rematch earlier this month against incumbent Ron Klein, the Tea Party favorite and 22-year military veteran will become the first African-American Republican from Florida to sit on Capital Hill in over 130 years.  The University of Tennessee graduate (B.A. '83) will also serve a contingency that has voted Democrat in each of the last three Presidential elections.  So disapproving eyes -- especially the Congressional Black Caucus -- will be watching.

Along with Representative-elect Tim Scott, the first African-American Republican from South Carolina elected to Congress in 113 years, these two men will carry the banner for Black Conservatives once held solely by the former four-term Representative from Oklahoma, J.C. Watts.  And considering the grief that is undoubtedly heading their way, I hope they carry the banner proudly.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

It's hard to know where to begin, but I'm thankful to live in the United States, a nation for whom God undeniably shed His grace.  I'm equally thankful for the Pilgrims, the Founders, Conservatism, our military, and the defeat of the Left Wing.  Anyone offended by that should buy a one-way ticket to North Korea... or Venezuela... or Pakistan... or Ethiopia... or China... or some other oppressed nation where you'd have much, much more to complain about.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Real Music: Tupac

An old Bellevue friend with whom I keep in touch via Facebook recently used a status update to ask his friends, over 1,000 in all, about their personal taste(s) in music.  I responded with the following:

"My preferences include virtually every genre' of Rock, most of the mainstream Pop songs from '79-'95, contemporary and instrumental Jazz, real Country (not the pretty boy crap that's so prevalent today), R&B from the late '80s to mid-'90s, elements of Rap from the same era, and electronic/"mood music" that has grown on me considerably over the past five or 10 years."

Chaz, and another friend of his, liked my comment.  Although most of my social network responses invoke a comparable amount of depth (you'd be amazed), one might be just as surprised to find that I possess any appreciation for Rap at all.  In fact there was a time, not that long ago, when I considered Rap/Hip-Hop a somewhat viable medium worth my time and, perhaps, a little bit of my money.

Those days are gone.  Lacking the creativity and social consciousness that once fueled its fire, Rap has become largely reprehensible (not to mention repetitious).  But this particular release from Tupac Shakur's debut solo album nearly 20 years ago is responsible for showing me what the genre' was intended to be all about, and it remains the greatest song from a truly golden era by perhaps the most skilled and provocative MC of all-time:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lest we forget

Some 35 years ago, we were warned about the possibility of a new Ice Age.  Indeed some of the so-called experts felt it was imminent.  But here we are, in the 21st century, about to burn the hell up.  And yet, despite all of the purported evidence, I'm still weighing the climate change protagonists in the balance.

Consider the scene in Al Gore's docudrama, An Inconvenient Truth, where the American seaboard is shown completely immersed by rising sea levels, and contrast that with the $9 million beach house -- 50 yards from the potential threat of the Pacific Ocean -- he purchased in southern California just a few years later.

And then there's Climategate.  Refer to me however you like, but what is a potential believer in these theories to make of other truths deemed inconvenient by those who possibly abide by little more than flawed fear tactics?

Monday, November 22, 2010

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 12

In short, the top-ranked Ducks were in their bye week, Wisconsin is officially impressive, Stanford has remained impressive, LSU and Ohio State are the most fortunate among the upper echelon, and Nebraska lost.  Replacing the Huskers are the Spartans of Michigan State, who sneaks back into the top 10 for the first time since Week 8.

Rankings as of November 22, 2010
#1  Oregon (10-0), 670 pts.
#2  Boise State (10-0), 655 pts.
#3  Texas Christian (11-0), 615 pts.
#4  Auburn (11-0), 600 pts.
#5  Wisconsin (10-1), 535 pts.
#6  Stanford (10-1), 510 pts.
#7  Louisiana State (10-1), 410 pts.
#8  Ohio State (10-1), 375 pts.
#9  Oklahoma State (10-1), 330 pts.
#10  Michigan State (10-1), 300 pts.

I'm really sick of LSU.  And yes, this pic is authentic.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday's Quote: The difference

If you've seen the "Coexist" bumper sticker about town, then you might appreciate a certain reinterpretation (from an unknown source) that addresses the main problem with such a bold, trans-denominational mandate --


Adding to this point is something I read from the American Bible Society several days ago, which conveys a considerable difference between Christianity, at its core, and all the rest:

"The Bible itself is a mystery.  The biggest mystery about the Bible is that it exists at all -- that its ancient texts have survived down the centuries, to exert unique spiritual influence on men and women today.  Unlike sacred writings such as the Koran and the Book of Mormon, the 66 books of the Holy Bible had no single person as their author.  In fact, over an estimated 1,600 years, forty different authors from all walks of life -- including kings, shepherds, priests, prophets, a physician, a tax collector, a leatherworker, and several fishermen -- wrote the poetry, history, laws and teachings found in the Old and New Testaments.  The Bible was not even written in a single tongue: its authors employed three languages -- Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic."
-- from "Inside the Mysteries of the Bible: New Perspectives on Ancient Truths," pg. 94

Just Thinking Out Loud: Look at me!

Everyone laughs at you (behind your back) for taking your laptop to Starbucks.  It's a desperate cry for attention that concurrently announces your adherence to all things trendy.  It's unnecessary and lame.  Don't do it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Iconic Shot: The 1956 Tennessee Volunteers

Ending the year ranked #2 in the nation behind an Oklahoma Sooner team in the midst of what would become a record 47-game winning streak (from '53-'57), the '56 Vols won the Southeastern Conference championship and finished with a 10-1 record.

Featuring a native son at tailback, Johnny Majors (#45) finished second in voting for the Heisman Trophy behind Notre Dame's Paul Hornung.  It marks the only time in the award's 75-year history that a player from a losing team has won the coveted award (the Fighting Irish went 2-8).  Over 50 years have passed, and many among the Volunteer faithful remain less than pleased about the snub.






And another for good measure...

A two-time Southeastern Conference MVP as a player, Johnny Majors led the Pittsburgh Panthers to a national championship as head coach in 1976.  He returned to his alma mater the following year, ultimately compiling a .645 winning percentage en route to three SEC titles and victories in seven bowl games.

This picture from 1982 (source unknown) is from the Vols' 35-28 victory in Knoxville over Paul "Bear" Bryant and the Alabama Crimson Tide.  It was the first win for Majors in six tries against the legendary Bryant, who retired at season's end and died the following January.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On This Day in History: Happy birthday, Mickey

326 – The original St. Peter's Basilica is consecrated.  The one that currently stands in its place was dedicated on this day in 1626, exactly 1,300 years later.

1307 – Arrested for not bowing to an oppressive Austrian overlord, a Swiss man named William Tell is offered to be freed if he successfully shoots an apple from atop his son's head.

The Vogt, as the overlord was also known, noticed that Tell had removed two bolts from his holder before the shot instead of one.  Asked why, Tell replied that if he had killed his son, he would have used the additional bolt on the bailiff himself.  In the end, Tell's defiance sparked a rebellion that eventually led to the formation of a Swiss Confederation that lasted nearly 500 years.  Always the hero, Tell died in 1354 while trying to save a child from drowning in the Schächenbach river in Uri, Switzerland.

1493 – Christopher Columbus becomes the first explorer to spot the island known today as Puerto Rico.  He landed the next day.

1928 – Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, is released by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks.  Consequently, today is also considered Mickey's birthday by the Walt Disney Company.

1978 – Jim Jones, a practitioner of "apostolic socialism," led his Peoples Temple cult to a mass murder-suicide by drinking Kool Aid poisoned with cyanide, among other things, in the South American nation of Guyana that claimed 918 lives, including more than 270 children.  Hours earlier, Congressman Leo J. Ryan (D-CA, 11th district) was murdered by members of the cult.

1988 – President Ronald Reagan signs a bill into law allowing the death penalty for drug traffickers.  Ronnie didn't f--- around.

1999 – A 59-foot structure intended for use in the Aggie Bonfire at Texas A&M, so large that it normally required four weeks to complete, collapses at 2:42 a.m.  Traditionally built in each of the previous 90 years prior to the annual game against their chief rival, the University of Texas, 12 people were killed and 27 were injured.  As a result, bonfire festivities would not resume for three years.

Picture above © The Long Now Foundation

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Southern Defenders Series: John C. Breckinridge

Considering the Southern theme that develops from time to time, I have come to realize that the best way to view the South is to possess and better understanding of her defenders.  Hence a new feature of summaries about the Southland's finest has come to fruition:

Born into a prominent Kentucky family, John C. Breckinridge graduated from Centre College in 1839 and attended Princeton soon thereafter, earning admission to the bar in 1840.

Upon serving with the 3rd Kentucky Volunteers during the Mexican-American War, Breckinridge made his way to Capital Hill in 1851 and undertook two terms as representative of Kentucky's 8th congressional district.  Having declined an ambassadorship to Spain, he eventually served as Vice President alongside President Franklin Pierce.  At age 36, John Cabell Breckinridge was, and remains, the youngest Vice President in American history.

He took a seat in the Senate at the outset of Abraham Lincoln's first term, but his nine-month stint abruptly ended when he was expelled for vocally supporting the South's secession, as had 10 other Senators before him.  Subsequently landing a commission in the Confederate Army, Breckinridge broke with his State when the Kentucky Legislature initially voted to remain with the Union.

As commander of the 1st Kentucky Brigade -- nicknamed the Orphan Brigade because of the men who felt abandoned by the government of their home State -- Major General Breckinridge led his troops valiantly throughout the Western Theater, beginning with the Battle of Shiloh (near Savannah, about an hour from Memphis) where he was wounded in action.

After the War, Major General Breckinridge personally oversaw the preservation of both the government and military archives of the Confederate States.  And by doing so, he ensured that a full account of the Southern war endeavor would be preserved for future generations.  In fact, all that I've just written was made possible by the efforts of John C. Breckinridge: American Representative, Senator, Vice President, and Confederate General.

Monday, November 15, 2010

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 11

Your humble purveyor has some decisions to make.

Despite having dominated every team up to last Saturday, the top-ranked Ducks struggled mightily against an average Cal team that possibly won't make a bowl game for the first time in eight years.  But is Boise State's less-than-surprising 38-point victory over a four-win Idaho squad enough to overtake Oregon for the #1 position?

Despite the increasingly volatile Cam Newton situation, should Auburn jump into the top three because Texas Christian didn't put away a respectable San Diego State team until the very end?  Is Wisconsin's impressive 83 points against lowly Indiana, a game in which every Badger played, enough to stake their claim in the top three as well?

The answer to these questions, at this moment, is no.  Because every possible argument can be made for each contending team, and because there were no major upsets, there is no reason to change the rankings from last week.  But a considerable shakeup can be expected as the regular season draws to a close.  Stay tuned.
 
Rankings as of November 15, 2010
#1  Oregon (10-0), 670 pts.
#2  Boise State (9-0), 655 pts.
#3  Texas Christian (11-0), 620 pts.
#4  Auburn (11-0), 605 pts.
#5  Wisconsin (9-1), 530 pts.
#6  Stanford (9-1), 505 pts.
#7  Louisiana State (9-1), 410 pts.
#8  Ohio State (9-1), 375 pts.
#9  Nebraska (9-1), 325 pts.
#10  Oklahoma State (9-1), 305 pts.

Carried off by his team last Saturday upon earning South Carolina's first ever berth in the Southeastern Conference championship game, Steve Spurrier is as colorful as he is successful.  Prior to his arrival in Columbia, Darth Visor won six Southeastern Conference titles and the 1996 national championship at the University of Florida: the school at which the Ol' Ball Coach was originally a two-time All-American quarterback and recipient of the Heisman Trophy in 1966.

There's a bitter sweet irony in the Tennessee Vols' longtime antagonist being hoisted by the visiting team on the field in which he initially garnered so much success.  But it wouldn't bother me to see the Gamecocks beat Auburn on December 4, either.  Photo © Associated Press

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday's Quote: Defending the (seemingly) indefensible

Yesterday I came across an individual (online) who chose to rail against the placement of the Confederate flag on the grounds of the State capital in Columbia, South Carolina.  Here's my response:

"When someone can adequately explain why such an appreciable uprising of mostly underprivileged, non-slave-holding Southerners would even consider battling against their brethren of the logistically superior North to maintain a slavery establishment perpetuated by the wealthiest 6% of the Confederate populace (according to the U.S. Census of 1860), then, and only then, are you able to convince any thinking individual about the malignancy of the Southern Cause.

"Those who fly the Confederate banner to demonstrate a hatred of anyone do not require a symbolism to exhibit their disdain.  If the Confederacy had never existed, they would still hate.  And let's be especially real about this -- heavy racial issues persist to this day in New York City, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Detroit, stretching all the way to Los Angeles and many points in between.

"Because all arguments against the flag eventually make their way back to a matter of slavery, let us not overlook the fact that human servitude is a phenomenon that has existed on practically every corner of the planet for nearly 4,000 years.  In fact Free the Slaves, a human rights lobby group in Washington, D.C., claim as many as 27 million slaves exist in the world right now.  Yet it's the South that is hit with the inclusive liability of all racial matters while practically all others, past and present, are given a collective pass.

"Eliminate the Confederate flag, and you accomplish nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  Convince yourself otherwise if you like, but your energy is better served in other capacities.  God bless."
-- Me, just yesterday responding to the impassioned plea of an anti-Confederate activist.  I have opted to identify neither the person, nor the website, as my innocuous rebuttal was removed just hours after it was posted.  Presumably he accepts comments from like-minded individuals only.

Soldiers of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Regiment, 2nd Marine Division during Operation Moshtarak somewhere in the Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just Thinking Out Loud: Judging a classic

Having initially committed to read through a select list of transcendent classics, I opted to challenge myself by starting with a book that resists definition.

Included on TIME's list (something they do well) of the 100 best English language novels from 1923 to present, Gravity's Rainbow is commonly regarded by a variety of know-it-alls as both Thomas Pynchon's magnum opus and as the greatest postmodern work of 20th century literature.  Yet having plowed through the first 100+ pages, it has become difficult to invest myself any further into the semi-apocalyptic adventures of Slothrop, Pirate, Roger Mexico and Jessica, among many others.

So what am I missing here?

Perhaps the famously reclusive Pynchon gets his kicks by making intellectual schlubs like me feel that sense of inferiority for which it seems he strives with every word he writes.  But the original criticisms of this largely celebrated work -- "turgid," "overwritten," "obscene," etc. -- appear valid as well.

The mention of such an iconoclast can become a divisive topic.  So much, in fact, that the Pulitzer board eventually overturned its own decision to award Pynchon their prize for fiction in 1974.  It wasn't the first time (it was the eighth such occurrence in nearly 60 years), but it remains the most prominent episode by which the impact of this book is most adequately conveyed.  And that, by all accounts, is exactly how Pynchon prefers it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Iconic Shot (sort of): This isn't very nice of me, but...

Although someone skilled in the manipulative art of Photoshop was trying to make a rather humorous statement with a creation that has since made the rounds all over the Internet-connected world, a relatively well-known picture of Princess Letizia of Asturias (left) and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Wife of the President of the French Republic (her official title), was meshed with a completely separate shot taken of First Lady Michelle Obama when all three were in Spain making formal visits in April 2009.

Authenticity is preferable, especially in regard to the worldwide praise Mrs. Obama has garnered for being the most notable White House fashionista since Jacqueline Kennedy.  Yet the underlying point of this contrivance, however sophomoric, is anything but lost on the humble purveyor of this blog.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How 'bout some negativity

An assessment of issues that thrust the GOP to handsome Congressional gains last week was postponed to gauge the fervent and innumerable retorts made on behalf of the Left's embattled Chosen One.  The finished piece will be out soon enough, but in the meantime I thought sharing some humbling statistics from the November 7 edition of The Commercial Appeal (via the Associated Press and Harper's Index) would be in order:

-- According to the latest government figures, compiled two years ago, an astonishing 73% of Black, 66% of Native American, 53% of Hispanic, 29% of White, and 17% of Asian babies are born to unwed parents.

-- About 10 million American adults, 1-in-31 to be exact, are either incarcerated, on probation, or on parole.

And perhaps most sadly...

-- There has been a 37% increase in the number of buttock-augmentations since 2008.

Monday, November 8, 2010

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 10

Last Saturday's highly touted battles of top ranked schools didn't play out as most likely anticipated, as Texas Christian drilled Utah in Salt Lake City and the Crimson Tide were shocked in Baton Rouge by a Louisiana State team that seemingly the entire nation has expected to implode since the start of the season.  And that's why we love college football.

Along with LSU's re-entry, Oklahoma State enters the top 10 for the first time this season after an impressive win over a very solid Baylor squad.  And for those questioning Boise State's #2 ranking, which places the Broncos ahead of both Auburn and Texas Christian, do not overlook the fact that BSU received more first place votes in the latest Associated Press poll than both of the aforementioned 10-win teams combined.  Please believe me, the Broncos are worthy.
 
Rankings as of November 8, 2010
#1  Oregon (9-0), 670 pts.
#2  Boise State (8-0), 655 pts.
#3  Texas Christian (10-0), 620 pts.
#4  Auburn (10-0), 605 pts.
#5  Wisconsin (8-1), 530 pts.
#6  Stanford (8-1), 505 pts.
#7  Louisiana State (8-1), 410 pts.
#8  Ohio State (8-1), 375 pts.
#9  Nebraska (8-1), 325 pts.
#10  Oklahoma State (8-1), 305 pts.

Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead (left) celebrates with wide receiver Brandon Kinnie after scoring the go-ahead touchdown in the overtime of their eventual 31-30 victory at Iowa State.  Photo by the Associated Press

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday's Quote: The duality of manhood

We don't appreciate our heroes for being paradigms of chastity and virtue.  We revere them for inspiring us to the point that overlooking their imperfections, however numerous, becomes reasonable.  A new favorite writer of mine expanded on this point in the most recent edition of Esquire:

"This magazine recently commissioned a survey of twenty- and fifty-year-old American men, and when asked to name the coolest man in the country, both groups chose [Clint] Eastwood by a wide margin.  The guys born in 1960, the ones who grew up growling, 'Feeling lucky punk?' to their friends, make sense, but the ones born in 1990?  How did they end up picking the old guy from 'Space Cowboys' over Clooney and LeBron?

"The answer is simple, really: During all the real and imagined crises of American masculinity that the past half century has coughed onto our screens, Eastwood has been the one stable figure in the midst of the darkness and the turmoil, a man entirely apart from the boring and draining established types that have dominated movies for four decades -- macho pigs, lovable schmucks, merry pranksters, and impossibly cool hipsters.

"Eastwood's endurance is the endurance of saints, and what he embodies more than anything is the definitive virtue for American men both then and now: restraint.  He rides the line between his own terrible desires and the world as it is with the grace we all aspire to."
-- from "Why is Clint Eastwood Still the Man?" by Stephen Marche; Esquire, November 2010 (with the ravishing Minka Kelly on the cover)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just Thinking Out Loud: Rock

The older I get, the more I appreciate Dave Matthews Band's first three albums, Stone Temple Pilots' first four albums, Metallica's first five albums, Van Halen's first six albums, and The Beatles' last six albums (minus Yellow Submarine, which doesn't really count anyway).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Iconic Shot: Wartime leaders

(click to enlarge)
A sculpture by Lawrence Holofcener depicting a jovial moment between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, located on New Bond Street in the Westminster borough of London, England.  © AndrĂ© Leroux

Monday, November 1, 2010

Did You Know (or Care): Helmet history

Being that I'm a random fact/trivia buff, here's a new feature I should have added a long time ago:

Although the University of Michigan football team is noted for its throwback "winged" helmet design, the original pattern debuted in 1933 by UM's cross-state rival, Michigan StatePrinceton followed two years later, and Michigan adopted the design by which the Wolverines are best known in 1938.

At least 10 colleges (in various divisions) and dozens of high schools throughout the nation currently feature the same iconic design on their helmets today.

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 9

Last weekend's match-ups were as entertaining as they were unsurprising, and the top four remain in place as a result.  Several key games will be played next weekend -- Utah vs. TCU & Alabama vs. LSU, among others -- that will undoubtedly impact the upper echelon.  Dropping from the top 10 are Michigan State and Missouri, while Nebraska and Stanford enter the rankings for the second time this season.
 
Rankings as of November 1, 2010
#1  Oregon (8-0), 680 pts.
#2  Boise State (7-0), 655 pts.
#3  Auburn (9-0), 640 pts.
#4  Texas Christian (9-0), 565 pts.
#5  Utah (8-0), 555 pts.
#6  Alabama (7-1), 470 pts.
#7  Wisconsin (7-1), 430 pts.
#8  Ohio State (8-1), 370 pts.
#9  Stanford (7-1), 325 pts.
#10  Nebraska (7-1), 310 pts.

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck rushes for a 51-yard touchdown in the first quarter against Washington.  The Cardinal defeated the Huskies, 41-0.  The men from Palo Alto are definitely for real.  © Otto Greule, Jr./Getty Images