Friday, November 26, 2010

Nit Picks: Rankings

It’s rankings time!  I’m only going to do top 10, though, because no one actually gives a shit if you have South Carolina over Texas A&M for the coveted 17 spot, even if that could totally be the difference between the Kragen Auto Parts Pensacola Bowl or the American Van Lines Long Haul Trucking Bowl or whatever.  The college football postseason is so dumb.  God.
Anyways, let’s keep it to 10, but why stop at college?

1. College Football Rankings

1. Boise State- Come on.  They are number one.  They just are.  They do whatever they want on the field.  They don’t make mistakes.  Their defense is stifling.  Their offense is unstoppable.  They are the best team in the nation.  There is no doubt about it, schedule be damned.
2. Auburn- They are the best team in the SEC, which should get them into the National Championship game.  Sure, I have every intention of seeing them get completely exposed this weekend, but for now that is good enough for number 2.
3. Oregon- Their offense is a juggernaut, but I am entirely unimpressed with the Pac-10.  Stanford is good, Oregon is good, and Arizona might be good I guess.  But no one else is even a little bit imposing this year.
4. TCU- ANDY DAULTON SUCKS.  I don’t know, I have nothing rational to say about these purple mothe-…you get the idea.  I hate them.
5. Stanford- I could just copy and paste the sentences above.  I refuse to say anything positive about Stanford.  I played them in hockey, lit a kid up, and he said I was ‘just mad because I couldn’t get into Stanford.’  That’s not true at all.  I didn’t want to go to Stanford.  I looked at Stanford and hated Stanford.  I was mad because I didn’t get into Northwestern or Dartmouth.  So there.
6. Wisconsin
7. LSU- Somehow they are quietly at only one loss in the SEC.  I don’t think that the conference is all that strong this year, at least compared to the last few, but that still seems odd.
8. Michigan State- There are three big-10 teams that deserve to be in the top 10.  I am speechless. 
9. Ohio State- Despite their president, who, to a man, everyone seems to agree is a moron.  Good work dude.
10. Alabama- Still the most talented team in the nation.  Somehow, this information is erroneous. 

2. Power Rankings

1. Nuclear- Efficient and clean.  Really, it should be our number one source at this point.  I blame The Simpsons for giving it a bad name, and also the whole Chernobyl mess, which is admittedly something to be avoided.
2. Solar- According to no lesser source than Wikipedia, the Sun is approximately 149600000 KM from the earth (that’s the mean distance, our orbit is elliptical).  Since my only functional measure of distance is the number of hours it takes to drive somewhere, I have no idea how far that is.  Sounds like a long way though.  Still, with a well placed solar grid, I’m told that this is a viable energy source.  Sounds crazy, but what do I know.
3. Lithium Batteries- Lithium is fucking awesome.  I love my cell phone battery, and my Ipod, and my laptop.  Can you imagine if we still had to break out fucking Duracells for that shit?  That would be fucking terrible.  Also, did you know that if you had $1,000,000 to invest in 1981, the best thing to spend it on wouldn’t be Microsoft, or waiting for Google, or even oil.  The biggest return you could get over those 30 years would be if you were to buy shares in lithium.  The stuff was useless back then, now it is one of the most important substances on earth.  You probably didn’t know that, since I just made it up, but it seems to make sense, no?
4. Hydroelectric- We have plenty of salt water which is more or less useless if you happen to not be a fish, we may as well use it for something, right? 
5. Fossil Fuels- Sure, oil gets a bad rap, and we think about it as expensive, but when you think about it, a gallon of it costs less than a gallon of milk, and will make the standard car run for 20-30 miles.  That’s pretty damn impressive if you ask me.  So to the alarmists talking about how we’re going to run out of oil soon, I say this, yeah, but chances are we’ll be dead by then so who cares?  Seriously.  If we can make it to 2120 or so (I’m giving myself plenty of breathing room) with oil, I’m good.  Let my children’s children worry about hydrogen fuel cells and other confusing shit like that. 
6. Wind- Kind of badass if you think about it.  I mean we can take moving air and turn that into Xbox and TV and lights and so on and so forth.  Really though, those windmills look weird as hell, and they aren’t very efficient, so wind power is dropped to the second half of the power rankings.
7. Black Power- Kind of dated but holding on. 
8. Power House- Where I live…relegated to 8 because it is a dump and we have a shitty landlord.  But other than that it’s great!
9. Coal- The worst of the mass-produced powers.  I’m not a hard core environmentalist or anything, but this shit kills the areas that it comes from, is dirty to produce power with, and isn’t even that effective.  Great for barbecuing, not great for powering cities’ grids.  On the other hand, I’m pretty sure the Chilean miners were mining coal, and that turned out to be a great story.  Sure, they might not think that being trapped underground for more than a month was worth it, but who didn’t enjoy watching them come out and then play soccer against the guards of the Nazi prison (wait, it was the relief workers…the Nazis was the movie Victory).  That’s just basic utilitarianism. 
10. Copper Batteries- I think it is time to get these out of our lives entirely, no?  I don’t want to evoke the old ‘it’s 2010 and…’ but seriously, I thought that those annoying little cylinders would be a thing of the past by now.  But alas, I still have to deal with them for shit like my remote control and Xbox controllers.  Come on science, I need a little more effort out of you on this one. 

3. NFL Power Rankings

1. New England- THE FAHKIN PATS AHH BACK BABY!  WELKAH!  DANNY FAHKIN WOODHEAD!  TAWMY BRADY!  (dion branch), (ben jarvis green ellis)…you get the idea
2. Atlanta- Just like I predicted before the year, who’s with me!
3. Philadelphia- Turns out they were right to get rid of McNabb.  Who knew that Kolb could carry them this far?
4. New York Jets- I need more Rex Ryan in my life.  I have Hard Knocks Withdrawals every time the Jets are mentioned. 
5. Green Bay- I have
6. Pittsburgh- Nothing to
7. New Orleans- Say about
8. Baltimore- these
9. Chicago- teams.
10. Tampa Bay- Wait what?  Fuck me I really just put the Bucks in the top 10, didn’t I?  Whatever, I’ll stand by it.  Hard to argue with 7-3.

4. Ranking Rankings

1-4. Mine- This should be obvious.
5. AP- Boise will almost certainly be the number 2 team after Auburn gets messed up by the Tide on Friday, so we’re cool here.
6. USA Today- Gets the slight nod over…
7.Harris Poll- Because the Harris Poll has the gap between Boise and TCU a little bit larger than the USA today.
8. ESPN NFL Power Rankings- Why not right?
9. SI NFL Power Rankings- Ditto.
10. BCS Rankings- I guess with Boise poised to pass TCU with a Nevada win, and even move into contention if Auburn or Oregon slip up, I can’t complain too much, but the rankings are a representation of the system as a whole, and therefore should never be any higher than this. 
2687210915. The ‘JS’ Computer Rankings- They got straightened out a little bit this week, but in week 12, these rankings bore absolutely zero resemblance to the rest of the polls.  They had Stanford at 3, and Boise at 12.  Arkansas and Missouri were top 10 teams.  Wisconsin and Ohio State weren’t.  On top of that, they evened out with the rest of the polls enough this week that that even though nothing really happened last weekend, they bear almost no resemblance to the week before.  Do you know what that says about these rankings?  That they value different stuff?  That they are a different philosophy?  No.   IT MEANS THAT THEY ARE FUCKING WRONG!  That’s all caps and italics.  That’s how wrong they are.

5. Reason America Kicks Ass of the Week (Which actually is tangentially related to football)
Now, pretty much any of the reasons why America Kicks Ass, along with a million other things, could be categorized as ‘why the terrorists hate us.’  But Thanksgiving is a pretty damn good reason.  The entire point of the holiday is to eat as much as we possibly can and then watch football, all while reflecting upon how fucking awesome we have it.  Gluttony and excess aren’t a byproduct of Thanksgiving, they are the entire point.  Now, some might counter that by saying that the real point isn’t to stuff yourself with turkey and potatoes and delicious, delicious gravy.  All over everything.  With the cranberry mixed in, kind of bordering the gravy so that they get mixed a little bit, but not enough to clash.  And the lightest softest bread imaginable on the side.  Just soaking up the goodness of the plate.  What were we talking about?  Oh yeah.  Some might say that isn’t the point.  Aside from being wrong, though, they are missing the fact that really, the fact that we take an entire day to think about what we are thankful for means we have enough that we could pretty much be described as excessive and gluttonous.
And that is freaking awesome.
(Postscript from this year’s edition- everyone forgets this every year, but after overeating the turkey, potatoes, stuffing pie etc, everyone is moody and tired and just wants to lie around.  Usually, this wouldn’t bother me, since that pretty much sums up my day to day life.  The problem is, I eat like a goddamn glutton every day, so I am much less bothered by the pounds upon pounds of food weighing me down.  Sure, I go a little harder than normal on Thanksgiving, but I am no worse for wear.  So after dinner, everyone wanted to be left alone to sit there and try to consciously speed up the digestion process, whereas I was ready to go.  Annoying to say the least.)

6. (Lifted from my own facebook status, but…sue me I guess)
The Cowboys should take the interim tag off of Jason Garrett as head coach based on his red flag throwing ability alone.  Sure, he is 2 and 0 on challenges as I type this in the first half of the Dallas-New Orleans game, but that is entirely beside the point.  I’m talking about his form in actually, physically throwing the challenge flag on to the field.  It is impeccable.  If I knew how to download something off of my DVR I would show you, but that sounds like a lot of work so you will have to take my word for it.  Step, clear out with the play card, turn the shoulders, release and follow through.  It is beautiful, I’m telling you.

7. Did I mention I hate rooting for teams that aren’t Boise State?  Because I hate it.  Glad that’s clear.

8. I’m not feeling that ranty right now (blame tryptophan), so the music rant of the week is going on hiatus for Thanksgiving.  Sorry.  Instead, here are two absolutely insane videos of Paul McCartney that will make you feel worthless and talentless.  Enjoy.

9.  This is the best four day weekend of the year as a football fan.  It really is.  We go from Thursday all the way through to Sunday with a schedule chocked full of legitimately meaningful games.  This year is no exception, and if anything, is even better than usual.
Thursday, the NFL games.  Friday, an orgy of BCS implications.  Saturday, as good as most Saturdays, then NFL on Sunday.  Unreal.  Then we have the worst Monday night game of the year with the Niners and Cardinals, but I’m not even mad.  I’ll be worn out by then anyways.

10. So, last week I was 8-1.  What’s that?  High school game?  Yes.  I know that one was a high school game, but A WIN IS A WIN DAMMIT!  So what if I made up the line?  I could have made it a pick ‘em.  Or favored Suffield by 25.  I’m counting it.  Anyways, we are being distracted from the issue at hand.  Which is that I was 8-1 last weekend and that makes me awesome.  I am holding everyone at UC-Berkeley personally responsible for fucking up my perfect weekend. 


Way too many good games to cherry pick games that I can win this week.  I’m sticking to the big boys this time.  God I’m pumped.

Alabama (-4.5) over Auburn
The Iron Bowl may, in fact, be the best thing in the world.  True story.  The entire state goes absolutely apeshit.  That’s something that I can get behind.  Anyways, Alabama is better, and Auburn’s defense is pours.  Make it 3 in a row for the Tide.

Arizona (+20) over Oregon
HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A HOMER!  I SWEAR IT IS COMPLETELY ABOVE THE BOARD THAT I AM PICKING AGAINST THE TWO TEAMS ABOVE BOISE!  Anyways, I actually think that Oregon wins this game, but 20 is a lot.  Zona isn’t bad and Oregon looked a bit venerable against a brutal Cal team.

Boise State (-15.5) over Nevada
Michigan (+550) over Ohio State
Upset pick of the week.  It was really tempting to take the 16.5 and pocket a W, but I’m going all in with this.  Boom.

Oklahoma (+125) over Oklahoma State
Should be a pick ‘em.  Gimme odds.

Titans (+240) over Texans
The Texans have been a train wreck for the last five weeks. Those are huge odds.

Eagles (-3) over Bears
No way I am betting against Vick right now.

Packers (+1.5) over Falcons
The birds have been good, but I think that the Packers are going to pull back the love a bit this week.

Drew Magary link of the week

I’m out of juice.  This is way late already.  Here’s Magary’s thanksgiving jamboroo.  Happy holidays.

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