November 3, 2008

Polls, Polls and More Polls!

I wasn’t going to throw out a new column just yet…quite frankly because neither you nor I care much about your team or your pseudo thirst for football passion anymore. Yet as I stated before, I’m about to go on a long-needed vacation, and it's probably best for both of us that I get as many backhanded slaps in at you while the microphone is still turned on as I can. (Contrary to popular belief...when I"m out of the country on vacation, the last thing I worry about is Husker football. Shocking I'm sure.)

**
Although it will be difficult for most of you to tear yourself away from your giant bowl of Cheetos and your VHS copy of the 1994 Orange Bowl, hopefully you did your civic duty and voted Tuesday on the people and issues that will shape the nation in the near and not-so-near future. As I've stated before...I love politics and I love arguing about politics...but it’s extremely difficult for me to hold back my own opinions within this blog. Not because I don’t care or I don't have an opinion; but one thing that really pisses me off is when people try and tell me how to think, how to vote and how to act. As much as I truly dislike many of you...I'm not about to do that; not here...not anywhere.

Truth be told; Politics…like religion…should be deeply personal and private. That’s why it pisses me off that I get 9000 phone each night, interrupting my evening of watching non-stop political commercials before I go to work and listen to non-stop political radio ads. But despite that, I'm well aware of how it all works. If you are committed to your party or your candidate…that’s flipping awesome. Seriously, this country would be a better place if more people educated themselves on the issues, and voted on the facts, and not what a radio show or radical blog told them to.

But as I’ve stated before, politics have become more of a spectacle/event than an actual contest to choose the best leaders. Gone are the days where a farmer from North Carolina would challenge a blacksmith from New Hampshire. Here are the days where only a career politician with millions upon millions of dollars in financial backing has even a semblance of hope to become the leader of the free world. Hell, the one time a guy actually went out of his way to find a nobody for the 2nd highest office, the woman was basically laughed on the stage by the very people who demand that the “same old same old” be put to rest. (I understand Sarah Palin has about as much qualifications as I do to be V.P., but why all the hate? Seriously, I don't get it..and trust me...I hate just about everyone.)

What it comes down to is the fundamental principle of media influence on a populace which is….in case you haven’t noticed….isn’t very smart to begin with. That goes both ways…within both parties; whether it’s the fearful rantings of republican hate-radio….or the blatantly biased slander of mainstream media outlets funded by individuals with personal interests at stake.

Regardless, the American election…the last bastion of freedom left on earth..is very quickly turning into the media circus and financial fueled car wreck of a bad TV reality show. By the time you read this, the whole thing may well be over, and somebody’s candidate will have won…and the other side would have lost.

But make no mistake…we have all lost, because the true meaning of bi-partisan cooperation is not only dead…but quickly disappearing in the rear view mirror of an entire society. Did the authors of the Constitution realize that votes for all higher offices would be broken down by 500,000 blogs and 24/7 news coverage on about 6 different networks?

Depressing indeed on what should be a spectacular day to celebrate Democracy. God help us all, no matter who wins.

**

I’m starting to join the small minority that says college football polls should be saved to the very last weekend of the season. How else can you explain the media’s love with a USC team that lost to Oregon State and a Florida team that lost to Ole Miss (at home). How could either of those teams be held in higher standing than Oklahoma (who lost to Texas) and Texas (who lost to an undefeated Texas Tech?) Why are these mega-power teams given a free pass, just as LSU was handed a free National Title last year (at home), when they had lost to a slightly-better-than-average Arkansas team a few weeks before? (at home)

This week is a perfect example: HOW CAN Texas be BEHIND USC (Oregon State) and Florida (Ole Miss) for Christ's sake…when they lost to the #2 team in the country…on the road..on the last play of the game? Completely and totally ridiculous.

I’m not about to go ranting about a college football playoff, because a playoff would completely kill the week-by-week drama that is college football. But until somebody recognizes the ridiculousness of it all, it’s all going to be based on lies, bullshit and the cesspool that is ESPN and their pundits.

Rest assured, I can already tell you what is going to happen. Penn State, while completely avoiding a remotely difficult game as well as a championship game, will play a USC team that not only skated through the last 2 months of their season in one of the worst conferences in the country…but also lost to a bad Oregon State team in a performance that would BURY 99% of other teams around the country.

(And don’t even get me started with TCU, Utah and Boise being in the top 11)


Power Poll – Election Edition:

NORTH:
1) Missouri ( 7-2, 3-2) vs. Kansas State – In typical Mizzou style, the Tiger’s defensive strategy to defend Robert Griffin nearly backfired in a closer-than-expected 31-28 win in Waco. Next up is hapless KSU, who is giving up the points by the ton. Senior Day for the Tigers and a dismal forecast of cold and wind could make for a rather miserable day for the Cats. (But I'm sure I'm not the only Missouri fan who is on gaurd for another letdown)

2) Kansas (6-3), 3-2) at Nebraska – KU needs a win against Nebraska (or a miracle against Texas next week) to hold onto their shrinking Big 12 North hopes. The fat man shored up the defense just enough against KSU to ease into a victory. The Squaks big-game experience and mobile QB should be too much for the pathetic Husker defense and their non-existent pass rush.

5a) Colorado (4-5, 1-4) vs. Iowa State – Who out of this threesome do you put at 5a as opposed to 5b or 5c? Because Colorado has a signature win (West Virginia) and beat Kansas State (albeit barely) I'm going to give the Buffs the very light nod. Regardless, CU's bowl hopes hinge on a win over the hapless Clones in the wind tunnel Ames and then a trip to Lincoln later this month.

5b) Kansas State (4-5, 1-4) at Missouri – We’ll see how KSU does against the Hicks next week, but for now, their ability to at least keep it close against Oklahoma keeps them ahead of an NU team that has done nothing. The two teams are actually similar (semi-potent offenses, zero defense and no signature wins)…so it will be intresting how that ends up. In the meantime, a death march into Columbia awaits as the Ron Prince job watch begins. (Possibly)

5c) Nebraska (5-4, 2-3) vs. Kansas – Quietly, Nebraska faces one of their bigger games in recent memory against KU. Why you ask? Because a loss here puts ALL the pressure on the Hicks to go to a ½ decent bowl game as compared to Shreveport or worse yet…no bowl at all. KU isn’t exactly defensive juggernaut, but they should be able to stop whatever King Bo can throw out on the field. (If he allows them to take the field at all…considering he is done pouting)

6) Iowa State (2-7, 0-5) at Colorado – A bad season gets worse. The Clones are giving up 41.6ppg over the past 6 games. Lucky for them, the Buffs’ offense resembles a ’78 Dodge Diplomat with bald tires. Unfortunately, the game is in Boulder. CU has been pretty bad this season…but not that bad.


SOUTH:
1) Oklahoma (8-1, 4-1) at Texas A&M
– Going by the overall body of work, I still say the Sooners are the best team in the division..despite losing to the Horns earlier last month. Their offense is clicking (35+ points in every game so far) and if the beatdown against the Hicks Saturday is any indication, they are starting to roll downhill. A&M is slowly improving, but don’t possess enough firepower to slow this train down..even for a little bit.

2) Texas Tech (9-0, 5-0) vs. Oklahoma State – Let the record show…the ONLY reason Tech is rated #2 on my list is because that kid for Texas dropped that fluttering sure-interception with only seconds remaining. Don't kid yourselves...if that kid makes that catch…UT is rolling toward Kansas City with big-time National Title hopes. Instead, Tech wins their first game against a ½ decent opponent...pretty much ever, just in time to get into a track meet with OSU this weekend. Either way...put em where you want for now…OU is going to destroy them next week anyway.

3) Texas (8-1, 4-1) vs. Baylor – Strangely enough, the Horns may have the clearest path to Kansas City of the big 4 in the South. OU, Tech and OSU all play each other over the last few weeks, while UT takes on the likes of Baylor, KU and A&M. They’ll need Tech to lose twice to win the South outright..but even if they lose once…it will most likely come down to BCS standings, which will most likely have UT out front. Not a bad position to be in. Oh, and they’re going to destroy Baylor this week.

4) Oklahoma State (8-1, 4-1) at Texas Tech – Personally, I don’t think the Pokes are near deep enough to get by Tech and then get by a sometimes dangerous CU team in the mountains before the rivalry game with OU to end the season. Tech looked awfully tough against UT, and OSU has already proven they can win in a hostile environment when they won in Columbia. Should be close, but I think they’re the odd men out…at least this season.

5) Baylor (3-6, 1-4) at Texas – Robert Griffin is the real deal. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have nearly enough weapons around him and Texas is going to be really really pissed off. Yikes.

6) Texas A&M (4-5, 2-3) vs. Oklahoma – Don’t look now, but the Aggies have won two straight and are starting to score some points. Oh, they’re still going to get crushed by OU…but at least they’ll have something to build on for next season…if they aren’t demoralized in Austin by a far superior UT team.

9 Comments:

Anonymous runralphierun said...

Good evening all my fellow h8ers!

AJ: first things first, CU plays ISU in Boulder this weekend, not in Ames; but after a truly pitifull choke job at the home of the 12th man this last weekend and an injury to our lone emerging star on offense, this game which should have been a blowout may be fairly close.

with that being said, I have a modest proposal/request in the closing month of the Big XII season and final year of this blog. I ask for an honorary hate week for this years CU-Nebraska showdown in Lincoln this year.

To all the Husker faithful and Big XII fans around, I ask you to swallow your pride and recognize this game for what it truly is: a pretty damn good rivalry. For the better part of my life, I have been raised to despise the Big Red and everything you all stand for. You can stand back and do what you're known for and deny that CU-NU is, or ever has been any sort of rivallry, but I think you're missing the point about why this game is so truly speacial in Buffalo Country.

Our hatred for the Big Red, is and always has been built out of respect for the prestige of Nebraska and the numerous ass-whoopings you delivered to us in the good and bad years alike.

Anybody who has stuck with the Buffs over the years, will tell you that the early 80's under Chuck Fairbanks, were some of the worst and most embarassing in our history. In 1982, a young wide-eyed desciple of the great Bo Schembechler at Michigan, Bill McCartney took the helm of the CU program in hopes of any sort of success for the future of a dying program. McCartney felt that the program lacked the motivation to truly succeed in the grueling Big 8. He pointed to the success of Nebraska as a motivation to that which he wanted of his program.

After many rough years in the mid-80's. In 1986 McCartney earned his first marquis win for the Buffs en route to a 20-10 upset of the mighty #3 Huskers. The Buffs were now a real threat. 3 years later, in 1989, the Buffs went 11-0, including a big win over nebraska in the famous "Hagan to Flannigan" game, giving the Buffs their first National Title shot in school history only to fall short to Notre Dame.

The next year, the Buffs relinquished a huge win in Lincoln as one of the greatest wins in school history behind a 3 touchdown performance by Eric Bienemy. The Buffs later would win their first and only national title, but because of the infamous "5th down" game and a scurvy and bitter Tom Osborne deciding vote in the final coaches poll...the title was split with Georgia Tech. Still to this day, this one of the mainstay reasons for our great hatred for the Red.

Again, in 1994, the Buffs fielded perhaps their greatest team to date in Kordell Stewart, Michael Westbrook and soon-to-be Hiesman winner Rashaan Salaam; fell short of their national title bid because of a 24-17 loss to, who else, but NEBRASKA.
After coach Mac retired, Rick Nueheisel faced a good deal of success, but was eventually fired for his failure to beat Nebraska. Enter Gary Barnett...

Year one, close...but choke. Year two, despite going 3-8, the Buffs stand up and play Nebraska down to the wire, but once again...choked. It was not til 2001, could we again taste the sweet fruits of victory again. 62-36 over the BCS #1, Eric Crouch led Nubs. A day of greatness for Buff fans near and far that none will soon forget. We finally stood up to the beast of burden for which haunted us for years.

So, Husker faithful, you may sit back and cling to your Big 8-era psuedo rivalry with Chokelahoma, or you can swallow your pride and recognize us for what we are: your rival. We are damn near polar opposites of eachother. The modest rural conservative right vs. the outlandish suburban left. Perenial underdog vs. fallen giant. We envy your success and loathe your cockiness, you resent the shots we've taken at you in the past and despise our "in your face" attitude towards you and others alike. For years, this game has always been entertaining, close and filled with sweet, delicious hate that keeps this blog afloat.

I hope this long diatribe helps put our years of hatred and frustration towards you into context. It is, primarily out of respect for the success you all grew up with. I ask all of you, to keep the hate coming, make this game of 2 up-and-coming has-beens into one of the great rivalries for the future of Big XII. This blog may be ending, but our fight shall never cease.

Stay classy h8ers!

11:54 PM  
Anonymous saunders45 said...

Great Post AJ. GET OUT THERE AND VOTE!!!

Also, check this out. Ben Afleck, actually being funny...
http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/countdown-with-keith-olbermann/805561/

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed runralphierun, the CU-NU week should be a special one for this blog.

What should make this year's edition of the CU-NU rivalry special (and yes, it is a rivalry, as I'll protest below), is that NU needs CU more than ever. You see, Nebraska held on to their rivalry with Oklahoma for so long because it raised the prestige of the NU program. OU has a ton of MNCs, the long winning streak, and (Brian Bosworth, Jamelle Holieway, and Howard Schnellenberger aside) a measure of distinction. Having OU as a designated rival elevates the perception of any program.

But NU is not OU's rival (see Texas, Oklahoma State). NU fans wanted to adopt a rivalry with Mizzou earlier this year because, again, it would raise the perception of their program. Alas, Mizzou has Kansas and a history of blood. K-State? Please. A couple of years of the Mildcats playing in the elite doth not make a rival.

Enter CU. In the grand scheme of things, a 21 year-old rivalry is an infant compared to other rivalries, but what a 21 years it has been. CU and NU routinely played for conference titles in the '80s and '90s, and oftentimes national championships were in the balance. NU knocked a great many CU teams (especially 1994) out of national title aspirations, and often by razor thin margins. Furthermore, CU was the first program to hit Nebraska directly in the mouth (62-36 over #1 Nebraska) which, while it did not knock NU out of the NC game (edging CU of course), it started the horror show which continues to this day. In sum, CU killed Nebraska.

Here are some examples of why NU has their rival in CU:

-Tom Osborne almost taking the Colorado job after nearly being driven out of town by petulant NU fans
-“Sal is dead, Go Big Red” signs and bumper stickers – making light of CU's fallen player, and the type of vitriol typically reserved for your worst enemy
-Tom Osborne voting Colorado 4th (repeat, 4th) in his final poll in 1990, as Georgia Tech finishes one (repeat, one) point ahead of CU in the final coaches poll. Thanks Tom for taking away CU's unanimous national championship.
-"Restore the Order" t-shirts that NU players chose to wear for the CU game in 2005 – I don't think Nebraska players have stayed up all night making t-shirts for any Oklahoma games

More to come of course around Turkey Day...

--BuffNut99

10:48 AM  
Blogger Damien said...

runralphierun... Did you really spend your entire evening putting that together? I stopped reading after "Good evening". I'm sure someone has enough time to read your 5 page comment essay.

11:00 AM  
Blogger colo4nu said...

AJ AKA BUFFL8TR,

18 years later the Buffs fans are still whining about sharing their one and only National Championship. They got that because of the worst call in the history of college football. Even us Hicks can count downs in a game. I just watched the replay of that game on youtube and the funniest part was watching the losing team rush the field and tear down the goalposts. Wow, the football IQ of Missouri fans amaze me. I am predicting that ISU will smack the Buffs upside the head this Saturday. I'm even heading to the Republic of Boulder to witness the beat down by the Clowns. CU is selling tickets for $15. Can't pass up a good deal. Instead of a week of hate, please make it the rest month.

3:23 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

ISU is not going to beat Colorado.

Come on man...

4:22 PM  
Blogger colo4nu said...

Ya never know..best player out with broken leg..O-Line depleted..true freshman QB..Earlier you said ISU would have a big upset..hopefully in Boulder..

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3682639

5:36 PM  
Blogger daddyact said...

aj,

CU is falling apart and Ron Prince just lost his job. You don't honestly believe either of these teams will beat the Huskers this year, do you?????

6:19 PM  

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