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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 22, 2012 10:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was Motown mutt adopted. The next post in this blog is Hail, hail, the gang's all here. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Us, root for USC?

We have a hard and fast rule: We root for whoever's playing Southern Cal. Even our disdain for the Ducks doesn't allow to us to root for the Trojans when those two teams meet. But this weekend we're being urged by our friend, colleague, and fellow USC-despiser Tung Yin to pull for Southern Cal (a 5.5-point underdog) against Notre Dame.

Now, we're no fan of Notre Dame, but we're not a hard-core foe, either. And so for us to be cheering on Southern Cal would require an extraordinary showing of good cause.

Here's how Tung explains it: If Southern Cal loses, they'll surely fire their coach, and he's so ineffective that his continued tenure would actually hurt the Trojans in the long run. So we want him to stay, and if USC beats the No. 1-ranked Fighting Irish, he might.

Besides, USC is going to finish the regular season either 8-4 or 7-5, and there isn't much meaningful difference between those two records. In addition, if USC beats Notre Dame, the Cardinal win over the Trojans will look better in the computer rankings. (But then again, so will the Ducks' win over S.C.)

These arguments bring us at least to neutral, but can we really cheer for Tommy Trojan and the boys? We've got until Saturday night to figure it out.

Meanwhile, there's drama for Stanford, and part of it depends on what happens in the Oregon "civil war" game on Saturday. It's a little complicated at this point, but here's how we think it goes: If the Ducks beat the Beavers in Corvallis on Saturday, Stanford will have to beat UCLA two weeks in a row -- first in L.A. Saturday and then in the conference title game, which would be held in Palo Alto -- to make it to the Rose Bowl.

If the Beavers win, Stanford can lose to UCLA down south this week but will have to beat the Bruins in L.A. next week to make it to the Rose Bowl. If Oregon wins and Stanford loses this weekend, the Ducks will play UCLA for the conference title and the Rose Bowl bid, next week in Eugene, and Stanford is headed for something like the Tostitos Bowl.

To recap:

Beavers win, Stanford wins: UCLA at Stanford for conference title
Ducks win, Stanford wins: UCLA at Stanford for conference title
Beavers win, UCLA wins: Stanford at UCLA for conference title
Ducks win, UCLA wins: UCLA at Ducks for conference title

Whew! Correct us if we got any of that wrong. Stanford at UCLA is at 3:30 our time Saturday; Stanford is a mere 2-point favorite. Ducks at Beavers is at noon; U of O is favored by 9.5 points. The conference title game will be in the evening, a week from tomorrow.

If you were UCLA, in the title game would you rather play the Ducks in Eugene, or Stanford in Palo Alto? If the answer is Stanford, and if the Ducks win the first game this Saturday, might UCLA be tempted to throw the second game?

Comments (12)

It's never acceptable to root for USC. There are no exceptions to that rule.

USC: Up S*** Creek

Here's another good reason why you should root against Notre Dame: they got gifted a win by the refs in OT over Stanford. Stanford might have had a shot at the National Championship had it not been for that. USC, as loathsome as they may be, are the Pac-12's means of revenge, and a win by them will help mitigate the potential for some sort of ND-SEC snoozefest for the national championship. And I concur with your colleague that a Lane Kiffin-coached USC is good for the whole conference, because he's a colossal goon. Canzano said it best in the O a couple weeks ago.

I'll admit I'm a Ducks fan (and a WSU Cougars fan), so I abhor USC, too--it's hard for me to pull for them under any circumstance, but this is one of those situations. I'll also add that I don't have any real animosity toward Stanford. Coach Shaw is a class act, and they simply outplayed the Ducks in a close game last Saturday, so congratulations to the Cardinal.

Unlikely UCLA would outright throw the game. On the other hand, they might be tempted to rest any starters with the smallest of nagging injuries. If I was their coach, I'd save my A game plan for the championship, and in losing, wouldn't have to come up with another one.

When I was growing up in the Chicago area, our hard and fast rule, on account of the rabidity and self-righteousness of its fans, was to root against whoever opposed Notre Dame. Notre Dame has fallen on mostly hard times since, but the latent tendencies of its fan base are just below the surface, waiting to reemerge. Go Trojans -- win this meaningless (for you) game.

I mean root for whoever opposed Notre Dame.

So Ducks win/UCLA wins/USC wins + Georgia wins SEC champ game over bama = Ducks go to Natty!
My horoscope advised me not to wager on any sporting contest, so I won't go for this pac12 trifecta.

USC wins, Ducks lose - SEC vs SEC championship again? That alone should be reason enough to cheer on the Irish.

The Hunchbacks of Notre Dame play just like a stereotypical SEC team. Statistically speaking, they're most similar to Florida. Plenty of defense, hideous offense, and a tendency to barely squeak it out, at the last minute, against mid-majors and teams with losing records. They may not be part of the conference or geographic region, but they'll produce a snoozer of an NCG as well as (if not worse than) any potential SEC vs. SEC matchup.

With ND losing, the only possible scenario for another SEC vs. SEC would entail Oregon State, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida winning this weekend. As Alabama and Georgia have to play one another in the SEC championship, the winner would end up playing Florida.

I'll root for SC this once, just because of the following two things:

A. I don't want to see Notre Dame back into a National Championship game playing a weak schedule that includes service academies and an incredibly soft Big Ten (now 14)

B. If the Domers go to a National Championship game against Alabama, they're handing Alabama another trophy, and then we all have to suffer through all the commentary about how the SEC is just playing at a higher level than everyone else, etc. ad nauseum. We need to have a national championship game that doesn't include Alabama (or better yet, doesn't include the SEC) for once in a long time.

College Football is better when the sports media isn't falling all over themselves for one particular conference's affection. With the BCS (and future playoff system) being firmly affected by human perception, can we please help to put it on a more level playing field? Look no further than the latest BCS top ten to see how ridiculous the SEC bias is.

Go, Beavers.

That is my single interest in this complex of calculations.

If Oregon wins tomorrow, Florida State beats Florida, and USC wins over Notre Dame, guess what? It wouldn't matter if Stanford wins or loses. Georgia will have to play in the SEC title game, which would involve Bama, so one would lose. Stanford could win the pac12 title, and still see Oregon in the national title game. Oregon would end up #2 at the very end. Could you imagine? Best case scenario for Oregon would be winning tomorrow, FSU winning, USC winning and UCLA winning. That would put them in the pac12 and the title game.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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