Tuesday, August 22, 2006

More on the exclusionary rule

Expanding on a previous post, published by the Omaha City Weekly:

http://omahacityweekly.com/article.php?id=2119

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Reading the tea leaves

Much like the Las Vegas gamblers are the most reliable sources of analysis for sporting events, the K Street lobbyist firms are the most reliable barometer of the political winds. So, the Democrats have to be heartened by this story:

K Street courts Democrats
Lobbying firms recruiting in anticipation of November gains
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14383394/

Admittedly, there's lots of time between now and November, and I have every confidence that the party of John Kerry can screw this up. But at least for now, November bodes well for the Dems.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fearless Predictions - NFL

AFC EAST
1) PATRIOTS: No Vinatieri and aging Dillon mean Pats take a step back, but still class of the division.
2) DOLPHINS: Culpepper has something to prove, but still a year off.
3) BILLS: The corner has been turned, but not enough to challenge.
4) JETS: Rough year in store for new coaching staff.

AFC NORTH
1) BENGALS: Defense enough to answer questions about Palmer's health.
2) STEELERS: Defending champs still not enough to win division.
3) RAVENS: Adding aging McNair doesn't make defense any younger.
4) BROWNS: Not awful, just bad, this year.

AFC SOUTH
1) COLTS: Could this be the year, even without Edge?
2) JAGUARS: Good, not great, enough to compete.
3) TEXANS: No Reggie Bush, but still a marked improvement.
4) TITANS: Some promising rookies, but lack of talent means a struggle.

AFC WEST
1) CHIEFS: Improvements in defense push Chiefs over the edge.
2) BRONCOS: Plummer is not a QB for long term success.
3) CHARGERS: Rivers will be good, just not this year.
4) RAIDERS: Probably the worst team in the NFL this year.

PLAYOFFS: 1) Chiefs, 2) Colts, 3) Bengals, 4) Patriots, 5) Steelers, 6) Broncos. Bengals over Broncos, Steelers over Patriots. Chiefs over Steelers, Colts over Bengals. Colts over Chiefs.

NFC EAST
1) GIANTS: Eli's year to step up.
2) REDSKINS: Good defense, but QB play will hold them back.
3) COWBOYS: Addition of TO doesn't help.
4) EAGLES: Subtraction of TO doesn't help, either.

NFC NORTH
1) LIONS: Mike Martz and Jon Kitna make the difference.
2) BEARS: Good defense, no offense, not enough this year.
3) VIKINGS: Loss of Robinson makes a difference.
4) PACKERS: Favre is great, but not enough around him.

NFC SOUTH
1) PANTHERS: Class of the NFC
2) FALCONS: Good defense, more weapons for Vick improves squad.
3) BUCCANEERS: Young at skill positions, a year off.
4) SAINTS: Will compete this year, but not ready to succeed.

NFC WEST
1) SEAHAWKS: Something to prove after Super Bowl failure.
2) CARDINALS: Juggernaut in the making, but O-line deficiency ends hopes.
3) RAMS: Rebuilding from Martz will take a year or two.
4) 49ERS: Direction is right, but a ways off.

PLAYOFFS: 1) Seahawks, 2) Panthers, 3) Giants, 4) Lions, 5) Falcons, 6) Redskins. Giants over Redskins, Falcons over Lions. Seahawks over Giants, Panthers over Falcons. Panthers over Seahawks.

SUPER BOWL XLI: Colts over Panthers

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fearless Predictions - Big XII

NORTH:
1) NEBRASKA - Returning quarterback, increase in offensive talent to fit the system, and potentially dominant front 7 on defense make 'Huskers odds-on favorite in weakened North.

2) IOWA STATE - Possibly the best overall offense in the North, but questions on defense and special teams and a brutal schedule leave the Cyclones as the bridesmaids again.

3) KANSAS - Jayhawks come off strong finish to the '05 campaign, but graduation leaves too many holes to fill. A win in Lincoln early in the conference season could catapult KU to something special.

4) MISSOURI - Tigers again have a lot of talent and a coach who will mismanage it. One of the great miracles of life is how Gary Pinkel remains employed.

5) COLORADO - Down year learning the new system and recruiting, but Hawkins will build a winner in Boulder soon.

6) KANSAS STATE - Cupboard too bare in Manhattan to compete. Test for Prince will be in '07 and '08 when KSU gets his players in.

SOUTH:
1) TEXAS - The pick of the South before Bomar's creative timekeeping. With OU losing their starting QB, Texas becomes the prohibitive favorite in the South.

2) TEXAS TECH - High scoring offense as expected, but improved Red Raider defense makes TTU take the next step. A win over the Longhorns in Lubbock puts Tech in the title game.

3) OKLAHOMA - Stout defense makes Sooners formidable, but question at QB lets teams stack the line and take Peterson away. Sooners drop from great to good.

4) OKLAHOMA STATE - Second year in new offense shows progress for the Cowboys. Still a year away from making serious noise.

5) TEXAS A&M - Possible make-or-break year for Franchione leans towards break in loaded South.

6) BAYLOR - Not your father's laughinstock Bears, but Baylor still doesn't have enough to get out of the cellar in the South.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Texas over Nebraska