This page is no longer active

Da Blog has moved to Please update your bookmarks, links, and RSS readers.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Could the real force behind King George Bush's warmongering... Israel?

I hope you have actual intelligence to share with the US and not just paranoid delusions...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Return of Da Countdown - long-form style

I profess to having something of an interest in politics, and I'm starting to follow the coming 2008 election with some interest. From here until November 4, I'll be counting down every second here on Da Blog.

More such countdowns are forthcoming.

UPDATE: Blogger appears to bastardize the JavaScript code in the name of "debugging" and "streamlining". I may have to host Da Countdown on the web site or switch to a Flash solution. And there's a reason I chose this approach...

UPDATE: Switched to a different code, which appears to be working. But it doesn't do anything more than a year in the future, and only allows the target to be chosen in hour increments.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sunday Night Football Flex Scheduling Watch and Playoff Watch: Week 14

Well, now I'm not sure how much I should have relied on Awful Announcing for the protections not provided by Michael Hiestand, because AA pulled a brain freeze earlier this week and claimed there were protected games Week 17. Notwithstanding that that is expressly prohibited, it would also violate the limit on the number of protectable games - that or AA is forgetting his own previous post listing the protected games!

NBC's Sunday Night Football package gives it flexible scheduling. For the last seven weeks of the season, the games are determined on 12-day notice, 6-day notice for Week 17.

Last year, no game was listed in the Sunday Night slot, only a notation that one game could move there. CBS and Fox were able to protect one game every week each but had to leave one week each unprotected and had to submit their protections after only four weeks.

Now, NBC lists the game it "tentatively" schedules for each night. However, the NFL is in charge of moving games to prime time.

Here are the rules from the NFL web site:
  • Begins Sunday of Week 11
  • In effect during Weeks 11-17
  • Only Sunday afternoon games are subject to being moved into the Sunday night window.
  • The game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night during flex weeks will be listed at 8:15 p.m. ET.
  • The majority of games on Sundays will be listed at 1:00 p.m. ET during flex weeks except for games played in Pacific or Mountain Time zones which will be listed at 4:05 or 4:15 p.m. ET.
  • No impact on Thursday, Saturday or Monday night games.
  • The NFL will decide (after consultation with CBS, FOX, NBC) and announce as early as possible the game being played at 8:15 p.m. ET. The announcement will come no later than 12 days prior to the game. The NFL may also announce games moving to 4:05 p.m. ET and 4:15 p.m. ET.
  • Week 17 start time changes could be decided on 6 days notice to ensure a game with playoff implications.
  • The NBC Sunday night time slot in "flex" weeks will list the game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night.
  • Fans and ticket holders must be aware that NFL games in flex weeks are subject to change 12 days in advance (6 days in Week 17) and should plan accordingly.
  • NFL schedules all games.
  • Teams will be informed as soon as they are no longer under consideration or eligible for a move to Sunday night.
  • Two other rules were established earlier: CBS and Fox each protect games in five out of six weeks, and can't protect any games Week 17 this year.
  • Three teams can appear a maximum of six games in primetime on NBC, ESPN or NFL Network (everyone else gets five; the Pats and Cowboys already have six) and no team may appear more than four times on NBC.
Here are the current tentatively-scheduled games and my predictions:

Week 11 (November 18):

  • Selected game: New England @ Buffalo.

Week 12 (November 25):

  • Selected game: Philadelphia @ New England.

Week 13 (December 2):

  • Selected game: Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh.

Week 14 (December 9):

  • Selected game: Indianapolis @ Baltimore.

Week 15 (December 16):

  • Selected game: Washington @ NY Giants.

Week 16 (December 23):

  • Selected game: Washington @ Minnesota.

Week 17 (December 30):

  • Tentative game: Kansas City @ NY Jets
  • Prospects: Awful. This has the best chance of losing its spot.
  • Other possible games/Playoff Positioning Watch:
    • AFC East: Patriots clinched.
    • AFC North: Two-horse race. The Steelers are leading but the Browns are just a game back. Bengals and Ravens out. Steelers-Ravens out along with the Ravens' playoff chances.
    • AFC South: The Colts are now two ahead of the Jaguars and the Titans and Texans are both out. Titans-Colts can still excite (see below) but is now vulnerable to an NFC game.
    • AFC West: Chargers two ahead of the Broncos and the Chiefs and Raiders are both out. The Chargers are playing the Raiders; the Broncos, the Vikings. Not looking likely.
    • AFC Wild Card: The Jags and Browns would get the nod if the season ended today, with the Titans and Bills a game back, the latter playing the Eagles. The Texans and Broncos are two back. Note the Jags-Texans matchup, probably the only serious competitor to Titans-Colts in the AFC. As the Ravens fade, Steelers-Ravens is probably out. Bengals only other team in playoff contention, and only because I'm too lazy to check the tiebreaker.
    • NFC East: Cowboys clinched.
    • NFC North: Packers clinched.
    • NFC South: Bucs up two on Saints, and Panthers would come down to tiebreaker with the Panthers still with one to play against the Bucs. Guess what week that is? Saints playing Da Bears.
    • NFC West: Seahawks' lead over Cardinals comes down to tiebreaker.
    • NFC Wild Card: Giants and Vikings would get the nod if the season ended today. Packers-Lions now fading with NFC North locked up and Lions on a losing streak. Vikings-Broncos becomes a minor dark horse. Redskins, Lions, Saints, and Cardinals are all a game back at 6-7, lending a little credence to Packers-Lions, and the Eagles, Bears, and Panthers all have outside shots at 5-8, lending a little credence to Bills-Eagles, Saints-Bears, and Bucs-Panthers. All three of the other teams are at 3-10 and out.

New SuperPower Rankings once again

Very briefly: Picking Detroit over San Diego as the Upset Special, because I still believe the Lions are almost as good as everyone thought they were when they were 6-2. No one will look at the schedule and notice that this losing streak has come almost entirely against good, playoff-bound teams.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Last-Minute Remarks on SNF Week 16 picks

Week 16 (December 23):

  • Tentative game: Tampa Bay @ San Francisco
  • Prospects: Very problematic, even with the Bucs' success, which just makes it look lopsided. Tell me NBC and the NFL won't settle for 8-5 v. 3-10.
  • Protected games according to AA: Texans-Colts (CBS) and Packers-Bears (FOX).
  • Other possible games mentioned on Wednesday's Watch and their records: Lions (6-7) v. Chiefs (4-9); Giants (9-4) v. Bills (7-6); Ravens (4-9) v. Seahawks (9-4); Redskins (6-7) v. Vikings (7-6); Eagles (5-8) v. Saints (5-7); Browns (8-5) v. Bengals (5-8).
  • Impact of Monday Night Football: The Saints can conceivably improve to 6-7 with a win, but it would still lag behind Skins-Vikings and Giants-Bills.
  • Analysis: Not only does Giants-Bills benefit from the Bills winning, it also benefits from not looking as lopsided as I originally thought. Skins-Vikings is the only other halfway decent game.
  • Final prediction: New York Giants @ Buffalo Bills.
  • Actual selection: Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings. I take two things from this. One is that NBC and the NFL did see Giants-Bills as being awfully lopsided. Another is that they may see the Vikings as speeding ahead a little, since they've been on fire of late. But I might want to discount both. Selecting the Giants would have had no effect on Week 17, since the Giants are on NFL Network that week, but it would have kept NBC from selecting any other team with five primetime appearances. Only three teams fall into that category, but they include the Colts, who have a game very much in the running on that night.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Golden Bowl Tournament Quarterfinals

At least I got any votes at all, but I got a grand total of two total votes on the poll, so I had to make decisions on the other six matchups myself.

#1 Virginia Tech v. #8 Oklahoma (Cotton Bowl)
In a tight contest, Oklahoma survives by the seat of their pants after stalling a late comeback attempt by the Mountaineers. Now it comes down to a battle between #8 and #11 in rushing defense. The marquee matchup to watch is when the Sooners have the ball, as the #3 offense goes against the #2 defense in points put up.

#2 Georgia v. #7 Ohio State (Capital One Bowl)
The Buckeyes and Tigers have a tight, low-scoring classic, as Missouri manages to contain the Buckeye running game enough to keep them in it. The Buckeyes just barely hang on for the 10-7 victory. Being a matchup between two of the most storied college football teams in the country, this game sells itself, but Georgia will now learn in a hurry just how difficult it can be to get past one of the strongest defenses in the country. Georgia does have a fairly stout defense of its own, though, and on offense, both teams' strength lie in their respective running games. That means the matchup will focus on Chris Wells v. Knowshon Moreno.

#3 Kansas v. #11 USC (Fiesta Bowl)
Todd Reesing has a career day against the Knights of UCF and gives Kansas the trip to the second round they need. Meanwhile, USC puts up points in bunches and pulls off a 28-17 victory over the Eagles on the road. Now they play much closer to home against the Jayhawks, in another game that will rely much more on the arm of John David Booty than on the running game. Reesing and the #14 passing attack will have their hands full with USC's #8 passing defense. Clearly, the Jayhawks aren't playing cupcakes anymore!

#5 LSU v. #13 BYU (Orange Bowl)
A last-second field goal gives LSU a 44-42 win over the Warriors, but Florida is not so lucky. I probably should have mentioned this at the Selection Show, but we're assuming that all players' injury situations are the way they would be as of the close of voting, not at full strength. Seeing Tim Tebow's arm in a cast at the Heisman presentation, I realized he would have been lucky to play at all. Without Tebow, the Gators go down in defeat, and BYU doesn't have to leave the state for its next game. LSU is #12 in rushing offense and #12 in points put up, but BYU is #13 in points allowed, #10 in total yards allowed, and #7 in rushing yards allowed. BYU is #13 in passing offense and #15 in total yardage, but LSU is #3 in yards allowed and #16 in passing yardage, not to mention #18 in rushing yards allowed. It's a veritable stat-a-palooza!

All polls expire in TWO weeks at 5 pm PT.