Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Foggy Day at the Airie.

I woke up this morning to a very foggy day and it never burned off. The Aerie stayed in the clouds all day. When I went down the hill at 10 AM to fetch the mail, I did get below the clouds at around 1700 feet of elevation, but found myself reentering the cloud as I came home.

Terry asked if it was raining, I told her that it couldn't be "rain" since rain has to fall. This stuff was moving sideways and even up the hill. It was more like the trees, house and even the grass were acting as a sieve grasping the droplets of moisture from the air as they passed by.

A lot like these:

The Fog Collectors: Harvesting Water From Thin Air


College Football: Preweek 9 Polls
and Week 9 Opponents

We turn the midway point of the 2014 season with just four undefeated teams out of the 128 FBS teams remaining and although three of them are at the top of the charts only two of those three have any chance at all of going all the way. (#1 Mississippi State and #3 Ole Miss will play each other on November 28th.) Currently ranked #23, Marshall is the Rodney Dangerfield of the group. Their (very) weak schedule will probably result in an undefeated season, but little love from the pollsters.

Ranks on the left are those of the AP/Coaches Top 25/CBSSPORTS.COM 128 Polls as reported by NR = Not Ranked)

1/1/1 Mississippi State (6-0) The Bulldogs are on the road playing the Wildcats of Kentucky (5-2). Look for the Bulldogs to continue their winning ways in a tough game.

2/2/3 Florida State (7-0) The Seminoles will be idle this week.

3/3/2 Ole Miss (7-0) The Rebels will play on the road against the #24 LSU Tigers (6-2). Ole Miss will handle LSU easily to remain undefeated.

4/4/5 Alabama (6-1) The Tide hits the road to face the Tennessee Volunteers (3-4). The Tide’s too much for the Vols.

5/6/4 Auburn (5-1) The Tigers host the South Carolina Gamecocks (4-3). Tigers will enjoy the company.

6/7/6 Oregon (6-1) The Ducks will go south to face the California Golden Bears (4-3). It is fall so the migration south is welcome to the Ducks. They’ll head north with a win when it’s over.

7/8/7 Notre Dame (6-1) The Irish have this weekend off.

8/5/9 Michigan State (6-1) The Spartans will host their in-state rival, the Wolverines of Michigan (3-4). Big Game” it used to be. Spartans win big.

9/9/8 Georgia (6-1) The Bulldogs will have this weekend off.

10/10/11 TCU (5-1) The Horned Frogs will host the Red Raiders of Texas Tech (3-4). Frogs jump all over the Red Raiders.

11/11/10 Kansas State (5-1) The Wildcats host the Texas Longhorns (3-4). Kansas State should easily win this one.

12/13/13 Baylor (6-1) The Bears will not be playing this week.

13/12/12 Ohio State (5-1) The Buckeyes will play on the road against the Penn State Nittany Lions (4-2). Penn State has been struggling to find and hold on to an identity. Ohio State learned its lesson against Virginia Tech. Ohio State wins this one big.

14/14/18 Arizona State (5-1) The Sun Devils head north to face the Washington Huskies (5-2). This will be a close but high scoring game. I think the Sun Devils will prevail.

15/15/14 Arizona (5-1) The Wildcats head north to play the Washington State Cougars (2-5). Washington State has shown it can score. Problem is it can’t stop anybody. Arizona.

16/16/15 Nebraska (6-1) The Cornhuskers will host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-2). Rutgers has the toughest schedule in the Big Ten. Last week it was Ohio State, this week it’s Nebraska and Wisconsin and Michigan State loom on the horizon. I want the Scarlet Knights to win. I dream of the Scarlet Knights winning. But reality is that they are not quite big enough on the line to go with these teams. Rutgers will beat the current spread (17.5 pts), but the Cornhuskers will win the game.

17/18/16 Oklahoma (5-2) The Sooners are idle this week.

18/17/19 East Carolina (5-1) The Pirates will be hosting the Connecticut Huskies (1-5) on Thursday night. The Pirates will win this one easily.

19/19/21 Utah (5-1) The Utes host the #20 Southern California Trojans (5-2). The Trojans will have to bring their A-game but they should win this in a close contest.

20/21/22 Southern California (5-2) The Trojans are on the road to face the #19 Utah Utes (5-1). Trojans.

21/20/20 Clemson (5-2) The Tigers will play host to the Syracuse Orange (3-4). Clemson’s colors include bright orange. It’s the only thing that will make Syracuse feel good. Tigers win big.

22/24/23 West Virginia (5-2) the Mountaineers head west to face the Cowboys of Oklahoma State (5-2). West Virginia is on the cusp of being an elite team in the Big 12. They may push the envelope in this one. Mountaineers shoot down the Cowboys.

23/22/17 Marshall (7-0) The Thundering Herd play host to the Owls of Florida Atlantic (3-4). Rollin’, rollin’ rollin’. Keep them doggies rollin.! Call it Herd mentality. Marshall in a blowout.

24/23/NR LSU (6-2) The Tigers host the #3 Ole Miss Rebels (7-0). Ole Miss gets a win in Baton Rouge.

25/NR/25 UCLA (5-2) The Bruins hit the road to play the Colorado Buffaloes (2-5). UCLA should win this one handily.

NR/24/NR Minnesota (6-1) The Golden Gophers will be on the road to face the Fighting Illini of Illinois (3-4). Gophers win.

NR/NR/24 Duke (6-1) The Blue Devils will have this weekend off.

Monday, October 20, 2014

College Football: Week 8 Results

Week 8 is over and there were a few surprises.

The lone shutout in all of FBS football this week belonged to #7 Alabama at the expense of #21 Texas A&M. To shut down A&M completely is a shocker. Scoring 59 points against them? Not so much.

And there were a couple of upsets:  The #4 Baylor Bears got beat by the West Virginia Mountaineers. A pair of missed field goals and a blocked extra point cost #11 Oklahoma against #14 Kansas State. As a result we can expect more movement in the polls later this week.

Ranks on the left are those of the AP/Coaches Top 25/CBSSPORTS.COM 128 Polls as reported by NR = Not Ranked)

1/1/1 Mississippi State (6-0) The Bulldogs had this weekend off.

2/2/3 Florida State (7-0) The Seminoles game back from a first half deficit and held on late to defeat the #5 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (6-1) 31-27. Everett Golson completed 31 of 52 passes for 313 yards and three TDs. Jameis Winston went 23 of 31 for 273 yards and 2 TDs—much of it in the second half. Tarean Foster had 120 yards rushing on 21 carries for the Irish. But it was two short TD runs by Karlos Williams in the third and fourth quarter and a penalty on the Irish on an apparent go ahead TD in the final seconds that made the difference.

3/3/2 Ole Miss (7-0) The Rebels dominated the Volunteers of Tennessee (3-4) 34-3. The Vols were the first to score--in the second quarter—with a field goal. But that 3-0 lead disappeared quickly as the Rebels dominated on defense from then on. Bo Wallace struggled with just a 13 of 28 for 199 yards but did connect for two TDs.

4/4/4 Baylor (6-1) The Bears got knocked out of the undefeated ranks by the West Virginia Mountaineers (5-2) 41-27. The Bears’ weak defense and penchant for penalties cost them. Baylor was penalized 18 times for 215 yards. West Virginia got flagged 14 times for 138 yards. Bryce Petty did throw for 223 yards and two TDs but Clint Trickett tossed for 322 yards and three touchdowns, two in the final quarter when the Mountaineers outscored the Bears 14-0. Turnovers and injuries kept the game closer than it needed to be. WVU lost two fumbles and Trickett was intercepted once. They also lost their two starting cornerbacks and their starting running back in the first half. Antwan Goodley had nine catches for 132 yards and a TD for the Bears while Kevin White had 132 yards and two TDs on 8 catches for the Mountaineers.

5/5/5 Notre Dame (6-1) The Fighting Irish failed to score in the final seconds and dropped a close one to the #2 Florida State Seminoles (7-0) 31-27. More above.

6/8/6 Auburn (5-1) The Tigers were idle this week.

7/7/7 Alabama (6-1) The Crimson Tide shut out the #21 Aggies of Texas A&M (5-3) 59-0. T.J. Yeldon ran for two TDs, Blake Sims had a 43 yard TD run and threw for 268 yards and three more scores before Jake Coker cleaned up with a TD pass of his own as Alabama out gained A&M 602 to 172 yards. (It was 449 to 51 yards at halftime.)

8/6/9 Michigan State (6-1) The Spartans beat the Indiana Hoosiers (3-4) 56-17. The Spartans allowed Indiana to remain in this game—for the first half—in part thanks to a 75 yard TD run by Shane Wynn. Even then it was 28-17 at the half. It was 28-0 in the second half. Connor Cook completed 24-32 for 332 yards and three TDs. Michigan State ran 83 plays on offense, Indiana just 49. MSU had 662 net yards, Indiana just 224. MSU had the ball for nearly 39-1/2 minutes and racked up 30 first downs. Indiana had just 7 first downs.

9/9/8 Oregon (6-1) The Ducks beat the Washington Huskies (5-2) 45-20. Royce Freeman had 169 yards and four TDs on 29 carries for the Ducks who took a 28-6 halftime lead. Marcus Mariota threw for 336 yards and two TDs.

10/10/10 Georgia (6-1) The Bulldogs whooped the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-4) 45-32. Not that as close as the score indicates as Arkansas scored the final 13 points. Nick Chubb rushed 30 times for 202 yards and two TDs for the Bulldogs. Talk about depth at running back! Hudson Mason rushed for one TD and threw for two more. Dominick Sanders returned a fumble 54 yards for a TD. Brandon Allen did throw for 296 yards and three TDs but it wasn’t nearly enough.

11/11/12 Oklahoma (5-2) The Sooners were edged by the #14 Kansas State Wildcats (5-1). Sooners missed two very short field goals and had an extra point blocked. Either would have altered the outcome. Jake Waters threw for 225 yards and two TDs and benefited from a y yard interception return by Danzel McDaniel. Trevor Knight threw for 318 yards and three TDs for the Sooners but had that one pick-six. Oklahoma ran 78 plays for 533 net yards on offense compared to Kansas State’s 55 plays for 385 yards but came up short on the scoreboard.

12/12/11 TCU (5-1) The Horned Frogs drubbed the #15 Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-2) 42-9. Trevone Boykin threw for a career best 410 yards and three TDs for the Frogs. Two of those TDs went to Josh Doctson on passes of 77 and 84 yards. Doctson finished the day with 7 catches for 225 yards. B.J. Catalon had TD runs of 34 and 35 yards on 10 carries for 102 yards. All of the Cowboys scoring came off the toe of Ben Grogan who hit field goals of 30, 27 and 28 yards.

13/13/13 Ohio State (5-1) The Buckeyes drubbed the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers (5-2) 56-17. The Buckeyes dominated the line of scrimmage in this one and led 56-10 after three quarters. J.T. Barrett threw for 261 yards and three TDs and ran for two more scores. Eli Apple returned a fumble four yards for a score. Rutgers had two lost fumbles and turned the ball over on a Gary Nova interception. Desmond Peoples had two rushing TDs for the Knights.

14/14/16 Kansas State (5-1) The Wildcats edged the #11 Oklahoma Sooners (5-2) 31-30. More above.

15/15/17 Oklahoma State (5-2) The Cowboys got whipped at home by the #12 TCU Horned Frogs (5-1) 42-9. More above.

16/17/14 Arizona (5-1) The Wildcats had this weekend off.

17/18/22 Arizona State (5-1) The Sun Devils beat the #23 Stanford Cardinal (4-3) 26-10. They outrushed and outpassed the Cardinal; had 23 first downs as compared to 14; only punted 4 times to the Cardinal’s 7 and held on to the ball for nearly 35 minutes. They had a 14-0 lead at the half. It could have, should have been worse for the Cardinal but two lost fumbles and being limited to four field goals in the second half (Zane Gonzalez hit on 25, 47, 25, and 31 yards) kept it closer.

18/16/19 East Carolina (5-1) The Pirates were idle this week.

19/19/15 Nebraska (6-1) The Cornhuskers beat the Wildcats of Northwestern (3-4) 38-17. Ameer Abdullah had 146 yards and four TDs rushing for the Huskers. Justin Jackson rushed for 128 yards and two TDs for the Wildcats. It looked promising for Northwestern as they took a 17-14 lead into the locker room, but the Nebraska defense would have none of that as they shut down the Wildcats in the second half allowing a mere 28 yards.

20/23/24 Utah (5-1) The Utes defeated the Oregon State Beavers (4-2) Thursday night 29-23.  It took two overtime periods. Devonte Booker finished the night with 279 yards rushing and three TDs. Two of those TDs came in overtime. Regulation time looked like a field goal contest: Andy Phillips hit three (38, 43, 45 yards) for Utah while Trevor Romaine hit three from 37, 45, and 49 yards for Oregon State. Sean Mannion hit Jordan Villamin for two TDs of 72 and 2 yards.

21/21/18 Texas A&M (5-3) The Aggies got embarrassed by the #7 Crimson Tide of Alabama (6-1) 59-0. More above.

22/25/NR Southern California (5-2) The Trojans routed the Buffaloes of Colorado (2-5) 56-28. Cody Kessler threw for 319 yards and a school record 7 touchdowns in the blowout. Four of those TDs came in the first quarter a USC took a 28-0 lead. Oh, and the Trojans out rushed the Buffaloes 213 to 172 yards with Javorius Allen doing the bulk of the damage: 15 carries for 128 yards and a TD.

23/20/25 Stanford (4-3) The Cardinal got beat by the #17 Arizona Sun Devils (5-1) 26-10. And it shouldn’t have been that close. See above for more.

24/22/21 Clemson (5-2) The Tigers edged the Boston College Eagles (4-3) 17-13, when C.J. Davidson ran 32 yards for a fourth quarter TD. After the Tigers fell behind 13-10, Cory Stoudt led them on in a 90 second, 82 yard drive culminating in Davidson’s TD. The game was played in heavy rains that hindered both teams.

25/24/20 Marshall (7-0) The Thundering Herd defeated the FIU Golden Panthers (3-5) 45-13. The Herd spotted FIU 7 points in the first quarter then scored 45 unanswered points behind the passing of Rakeem Cato (15 of 27 for 214 yards and four TDs. (It’s the 39th consecutive game in which Cato has thrown a TD pass.) Corey Tindal added a 30 yards INT return and Steward Butler had a 61 yard run for a TD.

NR/NR/23 Duke (6-1) The Blue Devils defeated the Virginia Cavaliers (4-3) 20-13. Anthony Boone was 22 of 37 for 176 yards with 1 touchdown, but it was his backup, Thomas Sirk, who threw a pass for the winning score half way through the fourth quarter

Monday Morning Coming Down

Terry arrived in Phoenix last Thursday and has survived her first few meetings as a regional director for the Embroiderers' Guild of America. I imagine these early meetings are primarily meet-and-greet-your-fellow-officers with lots of organizational business and how-to-run-a-chapter/region training type of meetings. Today she gets to be a participant in various classes and activities as the "real" convention starts.


Here at the Aerie things have been windy, chilly and otherwise quiet. We got a bit of rain as a front moved through on Saturday and that's when the temperatures dropped too. Sunday morning it was down to 32 degrees for the second time this fall and there was some frozen precip on the deck when I came down stairs. Won't call it a "killing" frost, however. There was more than enough air movement to prevent that from happening. You need still air when the temps are borderline to actually do damage to plants and we haven't had that since early last week. In fact, we seldom get really still air on the hillside. Even when the winds are calm, the sinking of cold air and the rising of warm air still produces some movement. (I've mentioned before that we are at 2100' on a hillside that goes from around 650' at Route 6 up to around 2400' on Mountain Ridge.)

Lots of trees have shed their leaves and the hillsides are taking on the drab grey/brown of winter. Nearly all of the ash, most of the oak and a preponderance of the maples have gone naked thanks to the combination of wind and rain. Aside from the hemlocks and firs, only the locusts and some of the poplars are still green. And the locusts are usually the last to leaf in the spring and the last to lose it in the fall--although they sorta cheat. As soon as a leaf turns color, it falls. None of this hanging around for company on the old locust bough, no siree! It's every leaf for itself. As for the poplars.... Some are a Thomas Kincaid yellow/orange--the kind that seems to glow--really striking when the light hits them just right--while others less than 20 yards away are still green but shedding individual leaves as they turn.

We're set for the winter, however, as the propane guy made a delivery on Thursday and there is firewood in the drying rack. Some of it need splitting, however.

I do need to get some more bird seed for my feathered friends. I've just 1-1/2 bags of sunflower seeds left of the dozen I bought last fall. I would have used them up too if not for the bears causing me to pull the feeders in early last spring. (They--the bears--haven't caught on to the fact that the feeders have been on the deck for almost a month now.)

I'll soon have to think about either raking leaves or using the lawn mower to mulch and bag. The latter is mush more likely as it will be easier on my back than all the twisting and turning raking involves. I'm trying to hold off until the last of the leaves fall, but that may not be possible. (Stubborn oaks!) I need to get it done but also need for things to dry out a bit before I can do it. The early week forecast isn't promising, however, with 40-60% chance of showers for a couple of days.

Monday, October 13, 2014

College Football: Preweek 8 Polls
and Week 8 Opponents

Week 8 is upon us and the playoff picture (best four teams) is still up in the air. With two teams from the SEC West in the #1 and #3 slots things are bound to remain cloudy for some time. Several Top 25 teams will be facing off this week: #2 Florida State vs #5 Notre Dame, #7 Alabama vs #21 Texas A&M, #11 Oklahoma vs #14 Kansas State, #12 TCU vs #15 Oklahoma State, and #17 Arizona State vs #23 Stanford.

Ranks on the left are those of the AP/Coaches Top 25/CBSSPORTS.COM 128 Polls as reported by NR = Not Ranked)

1/1/1 Mississippi State (6-0) The Bulldogs have this weekend off.

2/2/3 Florida State (6-0) The Seminoles host the #5 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (6-0). The Seminoles may see their long winning streak come to an end.

3/3/2 Ole Miss (6-0) The Rebels will host the Volunteers of Tennessee (3-3). The Rebels continue to roll.

4/4/4 Baylor (6-0) The Bears will be playing the West Virginia Mountaineers (4-2) on the road. Bears win…if they play any defense at all.

5/5/5 Notre Dame (6-0) The Fighting Irish head south to face the #2 Florida State Seminoles (6-0). Notre Dame and Golson pound the ball keeping Winston and company off the field.

6/8/6 Auburn (5-1) The Tigers will be idle this week.

7/7/7 Alabama (5-1) The Crimson Tide host the #21 Aggies of Texas A&M (5-2). Alabama seldom loses at home. This could be the week. They’ll need more than a blocked extra point to outscore the Aggies.

8/6/9 Michigan State (5-1) The Spartans are on the road to play the Indiana Hoosiers (3-3). The Spartans take no prisoners in this one.

9/9/8 Oregon (5-1) The Ducks host the Washington Huskies (5-1). A couple of weeks ago I would have had no problem picking the Ducks in this one. Still will.

10/10/10 Georgia (5-1) The Bulldogs are visiting the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-3). The Bulldogs will need to get production from their running game…again, but their young corps of backs may be just enough.

11/11/12 Oklahoma (5-1) The Sooners will host the #14 Kansas State Wildcats (4-1). Sooners will use their powerful defense to break the Wildcats.

12/12/11 TCU (4-1) The Horned Frogs play host to the #15 Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-1). The questions to ask are: Can the Cowboys score enough? Can the Horned Frogs defense play a full four quarters? Pick ‘em.

13/13/13 Ohio State (4-1) The Buckeyes host the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers (5-1). My heart and soul will be rooting for Rutgers. My head says it’ll be a miracle. Ohio State wins.

14/14/16 Kansas State (4-1) The Wildcats play on the road to face the #11 Oklahoma Sooners (5-1). Sooners win thanks to their defense.

15/15/17 Oklahoma State (5-1) The Cowboys will be on the road to face the #12 TCU Horned Frogs (4-1). Pick ‘em.

16/17/14 Arizona (5-1) The Wildcats have this weekend off.

17/18/22 Arizona State (4-1) The Sun Devils host the #23 Stanford Cardinal (4-2). The Sun Devils win.

18/16/19 East Carolina (5-1) The Pirates are idle this week.

19/19/15 Nebraska (5-1) The Cornhuskers are on the road to face the Wildcats of Northwestern (3-3). Cornhuskers will win as they have a large day rushing.

20/23/24 Utah (4-1) The Utes will be on the road to play the Oregon State Beavers (4-1) Thursday night. This will be a close one. Pick ‘em.

21/21/18 Texas A&M (5-2) The Aggies head east to face the #7 Crimson Tide of Alabama (5-1). Possible upset for the Aggies. Assuming they can keep the Tide in check.

22/25/NR Southern California (4-2) The Trojans host the Buffaloes of Colorado (2-4). USC wins.

23/20/25 Stanford (4-2) The Cardinal head out to the desert to face the #17 Arizona Sun Devils (4-1). Sun Devils beat the Cardinal.

24/22/21 Clemson (4-2) The Tigers head north to play the Boston College Eagles (4-2). Clemson wins.

25/24/20 Marshall (6-0) The Thundering Herd will head south to play the FIU Golden Panthers (3-4). The Herd romps.

NR/NR/23 Duke (5-1) The Blue Devils will host the Virginia Cavaliers (4-2). Duke edges the Cavs.