College football Week 8

We are now 8 weeks into the college football season. It seems like the season just started. The playoff picture looks a little clearer. Alabama and Clemson are head and shoulders better than anyone else in college football this year.

That crashing sound you heard yesterday was Ohio State’s playoff chances after they were destroyed by Purdue 49-20.

Don’t look now, but Chip Kelly has UCLA on a two game winning streak.

SEC dominates the rankings

Is the SEC once again claiming supremacy in the FBS? Well, my rankings this week have six of the top eight teams from the SEC. Add four more to round out the top 25. That’s 10 of the top 25!

Need a reason to love college football?

Old Dominion got a crazy win last night against Western Kentucky. Clock winds down to no time left with score tied at 34. But ODU is flagged with a roughing the passer penalty that allows Western Kentucky to attempt a 57 yard FG. They miss the kick but ODU was penalized again. This time for having 12 men on the field. WKU now tries a 52 yard FG. They miss it again but this time ODU has a player in the end zone who runs the kick back all the way to the WKU 17 yard line. So going to overtime. But wait, WKU is flagged for a grabbing a face mask. So since a game can’t end on a penalty, ODU kicks a FG to win the game.

What happened to the Alabama offense?

This years Alabama offense is averaging over 50 points per game. This is not your father’s Alabama. Hell, this isn’t the Alabama offense from 5 years ago. This offense is unstoppable as far as I can see. Dominant line. 5 star skill players. And a QB who seems to throw the perfect pass nearly every time.


My weekly FBS rankings are here.

My weekly FCS rankings are here.

FBS College Football Rankings Week 12

Another week, another shakeup. Two more teams fall from the undefeated ranks. Here’s my top 25:

  1. Alabama (10-1, 130.310)
  2. Clemson (11-0, 129.421)
  3. Oklahoma (10-1, 129.251)
  4. Iowa (11-0, 128.761)
  5. Baylor (9-1, 128.224)
  6. Notre Dame (10-1, 128.220)
  7. Oklahoma State (10-1, 127.516)
  8. Ohio State (10-1, 127.492)
  9. Florida (10-1, 127.146)
  10. Michigan (9-2, 127.083)
  11. Michigan State (10-1, 127.056)
  12. Navy (9-1, 126.758)
  13. TCU (9-2, 126.607)
  14. Ole Miss (8-3, 126.182)
  15. Northwestern (9-2, 126.157)
  16. Stanford (9-2, 125.953)
  17. North Carolina (10-1, 125.533)
  18. LSU (7-3, 125.176)
  19. Florida State (9-2, 124.882)
  20. Tennessee (7-4, 124.801)
  21. West Virginia (6-4, 124.583)
  22. Wisconsin (8-3, 124.514)
  23. Mississippi State (8-3, 124.393)
  24. Toledo (9-1, 124.392)
  25. Utah (8-3, 124.210)

You can find my complete rankings here.

There’s a new conference at the top of my conference rankings. The Big 12 sneaks past the SEC for the highest average rating.

  1. Big 12 (123.335)
  2. SEC (123.241)
  3. Big 10 (122.709)
  4. Pac-12 (121.453)
  5. ACC (121.141)
  6. AAC (118.402)
  7. MAC (115.755)
  8. Mountain West (114.411)
  9. CUSA (113.815)
  10. Sun Belt (113.764)

The Elgato Turbo.264 rocks!

One of my hobbies is converting Virginia Tech football games from video to digital. I’m using Final Cut Studio to do the job. I export my video’s to MPEG-4 H.264 640×480 resolution at 2500 kbits/s and 128kbps AAC audio. Normally, I export only one half of a football game at a time and let it do the encoding while I’m sleeping. A 30 – 40 minute video will take about 3 to 4 hours on my Power Mac Dual G5 2.0ghz machine.

I had been reading about the Elgato Turbo.264 device which offloads the encoding from the computers CPU to the Turbo.264 Video Encoder Hardware. It looks like a thumb drive and plugs into a USB 2.0 port. Well, I ordered it and received it today.

I did a test to see how it performed. I took a video clip of a Virginia Tech game that was 2 minutes 6 seconds and exported it to Apple TV format. This translates to a 720×480 video at 2500 kbits/s data rate. It took about 9 minutes. Then I plugged in the Elgato Turbo.264 thingamajiggy and had the clip export to the Apple TV (Elgato Turbo) setting. It was done in less than 3 minutes! Amazing! So how’s the quality? Looking at the two video’s side by side, the Turbo.264 encoded video looks far better.

For my final test, I copied the video to my Mac mini which is running Ubuntu 7.04. I brought up VLC and the video looks great on Ubuntu as well.

I highly recommend it. And you too can save $2500 like I did. The Mac Pro is $2499. The Elgato Turbo.264 is far less at Amazon.

Diamond Mind Baseball on Mac OS X

For those of you who don’t know, Diamond Mind Baseball is the most statistically accurate computer baseball simulation/replay game on the market. I’ve been a user of the game since it was under the name Pursue the Pennant way back in 1992. I moved away from the Windows platform back in 1994 and switched to OS/2 but I was still able to play the game under OS/2 since it was DOS-based back then.

After I gave up on OS/2, I played Diamond Mind Baseball, which by Version 8, was Windows-based, on Windows 95 for a little while until I couldn’t stand using Windows anymore. I switched to Linux and had to put Diamond Mind away for a while. Eventually, I got Diamond Mind Version 8 to run on Linux using Wine. But Version 9 never worked right under Wine, so once again I put it away.

When Apple made the switch to Intel, there was hope again. And Parallels has brought joy to Mudville. I can finally run Diamond Mind on Intel-based Macs. And how does it look in coherence mode? Just look at this screenshot.

And here is a video of it in action.

Is it time to cancel my cable television?

Why do I need cable tv anymore? Almost all my favorite shows are available from the networks over the internet. I can watch 24 in HD over the internet from Fox. USA Network makes Monk and Psych available. I’ve already watched Friday Night Lights from my browser. I don’t subscribe to HBO anymore so I don’t even know what new shows are coming there. Seriously, why should I pay $50 a month for stuff I can view for free.
The only gotcha for me would be Virginia Tech football games. Without cable tv, I could still watch the games in a bar or something, but I’d be unable to record them anymore.