Weekly Musings – Arizona State Edition and the Bye Week After

What an incredible couple of weekends of college football, not so much because of incredible endings to games but more because of big surprises in games. From a USC standpoint I don’t see how Trojans could be anything but both thrilled and shocked at how well things went in the AZ desert last Saturday night. The Utah whooping of Oregon in Eugene last week was certainly a surprise, but in a lot of ways I am more shocked at how unimpressive Oregon looked in their week-after game against Colorado (at least they won?). Michigan pummeling BYU had to be a surprise. The ending to the TCU/Texas Tech game was all kinds of things last week.  And then this week I think most people are surprised at how easily Alabama handled Georgia; certainly the Ohio State struggles against really bad teams are surprising a lot of people; and now the Pac-12 south has gone crazy.   

Let’s run around the country first and then discuss all things Troy …


Gary Patterson is hysterical. Not only was TCU’s defense atrocious, and not only did they win the game in the most freakishly bizarre and fortunate of ways, but he dissected reporters in the press conference afterwards, a level of venom and disgust I (a) Found to be awesome, and (b) Have no idea where it came from. I think he is a good coach, but I do laugh when I hear Trojan fans say that USC needs a tough defensive minded coach, and then also needs Gary Patterson. Texas Tech scored nearly 60 points. Texas Tech.

Speaking of those coaches USC fans were clamoring for, Texas loses a game by a missed PAT last week and loses this week by a fumbled punt. They may not win five games this year. A humiliating loss at the hands of Texas Tech this week.  And some USC fans were screaming for Charlie Strong to be our coach.  “Well it takes time”.  Yes, it does.  He’s a good coach.  Try telling that “it takes time” mantra to the USC community.  LOL.

Anyone want to point out how Chris Petersen and Washington are doing?

Utah going into Oregon and mutilating the Ducks was perhaps the biggest shock of last weekend. It is the symbolic ending to the Duck Dynasty, as Mariota becomes the first quarterback of their post-Carroll run to obviously have really, really mattered. Oregon survived the loss of a bunch of QB’s over the years, but Mariota Is the one they really flourished under. As for the coach, mark my words, his days are numbered. I’ve heard Oregon has one single donor who isn’t going to stand for this.

Carroll took care of business with Oregon. When he left they found a strut. The rest of the conference became afraid of them. That seems to me to be changing. The rest of the conference may not be better than them yet, but Utah coming into Eugene and doing this tells you all you need to know about how afraid people are.  But Colorado played last night with no fear of them either.  Colorado.

Not sure what to make of that Michigan whooping of BYU. It isn’t like BYU went out and fumbled all over the place to make it look bad; Michigan really punched them in the mouth. There are a few scenarios here: Either Michigan is better than we thought or at least getting better; or BYU is worse than we thought, which makes me think differently about UCLA’s one-point win in the Rose Bowl last week; or Michigan just played a big game and/or BYU played a clunker. I actually think it may be all three.

UCLA looked strong last week and Arizona looked atrocious. The same can be said for USC and Arizona State. I doubt we will see a ranked team in Arizona the rest of the year.  But then last night Arizona looked worse or as bad against Stanford.  So they’re done.   UCLA’s loss IN THE ROSE BOWL to Arizona State, with all 16,000 of the Bruin home game fans or whatever it is you call that, was a real shock to most of college football.  It was not a shock to those who habve followed Jim Mora, who has not beaten a great team and often lost to mediocre teams since arriving at UCLA.  He is popular because he has done the one and only thing anyone at UCLA cares about – he has beaten USC.  On Tuesday or Wednesday of next week when Bruins find out UCLA lost this weekend they will not so much as pause.  They care about one game, period.  Mediocrity isn’t something to be loathed.

I remain of the opinion that Alabama is very much alive and well in the playoff hunt, though the Ole Miss ugly loss to Florida is bizarre.  

They already have printed the LSU running back’s name on the Heisman.


So about my Trojans … In a sense it worked out well that business didn’t allow me to complete last week’s musings on the normal schedule, because we now have perhaps a different perspective on our thumping of ASU (with what ASU did to UCLA in the Rose Bowl).  I think USC looked good, but still vulnerable on defense.  AND I think ASU blew themselves up with a couple nightmarish turnovers.  So all things considered, USC and the coaches deserve kudos for the comeback performance after the awful defensive effort against Stanford, AND we have to worry a bit about how “lucky” we got with ASU’s misfortunes.  Pretty objective,. huh?  The ASU fans took the loss in stride, which is to say they were blacked out at a party doing upside down keg stands or something like that before, during, and after the game.  The beauty of partying 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, is that you are never bummed after a football loss.  I digress.
One thing I wish more were talking about is the ability to change games that Adoree Jackson gives us on special teams.  I am completely positive he has #5 playmaking abilities, and I am equally convinced we will see multiple games where the scoreboard and especially field position are altered by what he does in return situations.  He is extremely special.

The offensive weapons, the steadiness of Cody, and the seasoning of the O-line (more in run blocking than pass protection), leave me with little fear about our offense.  The playcalling has been stellar too.  Frankly I just want to see a string of good games from our defense to feel better about this season.  October’s schedule leaves little room for experimentation.

I can’t get excited for the Notre Dame game because we have to take care of business against Washington first.

It is wide open in the Pac-12 south and wide open around the country.  Give it until November 1 to start getting all your forecasts wrong; for now they’ll be really, really wrong.

If you haven’t loved the last two weekends of college football, you weren’t breathing.

Fight on Trojans!

Wall Street Bonanza: A Tale of Three Books

I have reviewed dozens upon dozens of books over the last six years dealing with the causes and aftermath of the financial crisis, and I one day intend to write my own book on the subject. There was a bonanza of books that were written on that subject, some from highly capable economists offering their ideological perspective to the events, some high profile journalists whose point of view was sought after, and others were perhaps stretching to warrant an invitation to the fray but nonetheless chimed in … It was a topic that justified a bonanza of books, and I think we covered it well here at The Bahnsen Viewpoint.

Lately, some may notice there has been another bonanza of books, also dealing to some degree with finance and investment, but not necessarily about something so material and historical and ideological as the financial crisis. Rather, this round has been more “experiential”, or “biographical”. Essentially, they all in one way or another were “I worked or still work on Wall Street and here is what my story was”. Some of you may be thinking, “who cares?”, and some may be thinking, “I didn’t know such a genre even existed – not my dish”, but I have actually eaten it all up, and the results have been rather telling. I ate it up and will continue to eat it up because I have devoted my life to the capital markets. I am in the business of managing money for real people and institutions that have real life things going on, and this means on a day to day basis I am engaged in the lives of those people, but also that I am engaged in the capital markets from which investment opportunities and facilities exist. It is a career, but it is a calling. One I wouldn’t give up for all the tea in China. I love what I do, and when someone else decides to sit down and write a book or make a movie about their own journey, if I end up being the only soul in the land who cares, so be it – I love this stuff. And so I read. And now, I write.

This review will be a sort of combination review, tackling three books I read this summer all at once. The first was Josh Brown’s Josh Brown Backstage on Wall Street. It is admittedly a bit dated at this point, but Josh is a talented writer, an entertaining voice on CNBC, and one of the handful of pundits I enjoy listening to and following whether I agree with him or not (which I often do). He is not an analyst, but he and his partner, Barry Ritholtz, are gifted and opinionated writers, provocateurs, and users of new media to distribute a point of view (they have been extraordinary in their ability to leverage the blogosphere and Twitter to disseminate their perspective). The book sought to “shine a light” on how Wall Street works, and since Josh and I entered the business at the same time, I suspected there would be an interesting parallel path (from big brokerage firms to the land of independence, where he now sits and where I launched in April of this year). A few comments are in order, though. First of all, the book is entertaining, and from my vantage point as a member of the industry, interesting. He is critical of the industry’s embedded conflicts, as I am, and he shines a light on the need for fiduciary care, as I certainly would. I do think some of the rhetoric and illustrations are a bit dated, and I suspect Mr. Brown knows this (one could easily point out that even the big, bad wirehouses have primarily moved to “fee based” models vs. old school commission systems without invalidating any of the larger points he was making). There are various categories he wanted to address in the business, various motivating factors that drive so much of how financial products become into being and a part of an individual investor’s portfolio, and he pulled it off. His chapter on wholesalers – the “sales” folks from mutual fund companies who “cover” financial advisors at big firms – was painfully funny. I feared that the book would delve into too much self-righteous moralizing and such, and frankly, one could choose to read part of it that way. But I put the book down when I was done believing Josh Brown had done readers a service, was not guilty of a sort of ethical narcissism, and had effectively written what I am sure he set out to write.

I would have guessed that John LeFevre’s Straight to Hell was going to be the book I enjoyed the most. GSElevator His famous @GSElevator handle which I follow on twitter has been a heavy source of entertainment for several years, and by entertainment, I mean there have been moments of side-splitting laughter. You will have to dig further if you are interested, and most of the enjoyment of his stuff is past tense (he now seems to just tweet about his own fantasy football efforts ad nauseum, but when he was really just being GSElevator, it was golden). With the backdrop that this was an ex-investment banker who pretended to work for Goldman Sachs in an interview (before he was outed) and had effectively built a massive audience with side-splitting humor pretending to be a sort of cliché Wall Street alpha male, naturally I couldn’t wait for the book! I read it cover to cover, and then I texted as many of my friends as possible to make sure they didn’t buy the book on my recommendation (because I had hyped it for them before I read it). What LeFevre did wrong was be LeFevre instead of @GSElevator. I cannot imagine there are people out there who find it interesting how many times a mid-level investment banking employee got drunk in his 20’s, but if you read the book, you will be hard-pressed to find 15 pages that talk about anything remotely resembling investment banking, and you will find pages anywhere you look that you are certain you already read earlier in the book describing various drunk escapades – one that aren’t particularly funny, interesting, or unique. Young man with frat boy mentality goes on business trip. Young man drinks and drinks and drinks. Young man no longer in the business. Young man writes book about it. Reading the book, I felt like a group of frat boys got together and reminisced about old drinking stories (“remember when we got wasted at Scotty’s party that time – that was awesome”), and someone transcribed their conversation and then put it out as a book. But here’s the thing – if LeFevre and his publisher thought his stories of booze and hookers were worth writing a book about (not as a story of redemption, by the way, but a sort of amoral mindless exercise in hedonistic boasting), fine. I would have never dared to review the book because it wouldn’t have been worth the five minutes of my life necessary to write it (any more than the few hours it took to read the mindless drivel were worthwhile). However, the narrative coming from SOME parts of the press (most have hammered the book along the same lines I have) and from the author and publisher themselves has been something I couldn’t let pass … It goes something like this – “Finally, LeFevre shines a light on what is REALLY happening in investment banking”. “Before this book, you never knew that investment bankers drank a lot in Hong Kong hotels, but now you do!” “This is a business with a deep dark side, and LeFevre shows that Wall Street is a really bad place”. Blah blah blah. I dare anyone to read the favorable press coverage of this mindless rag and then read the actual book. There is not a single iota of interesting business coverage, and not a remote chance you will learn something about the business you didn’t know. Unless you didn’t know that young men with a job often drink and party before they either (a) Flame out (as is the case here), or (b) Pull their act together and grow up. I will leave it there. Skip this one!

Last and certainly not least is Jason Trennert’s My Side of the Street Trennert. Trennert is the Managing Partner of Strategas Research Group, a splendid investment boutique whose research I use heavily. His book serves as a sort of antidote to some of the silly caricatures that exist in Wall Street folklore. He is transparent, honest, and real in describing some of his own bouts of struggle and iniquity, and yet doesn’t seek to center the book around his happy hour excesses, let alone glamorize or romanticize them. Rather, he delves into the formation of his own research firm having left one of the largest ones where he earned his stripes as an analyst. The book is personal but informative; it builds a connection but also educates; it is defensive of Wall Street without being naïve and ignorant. I am not sure how much people outside of our industry would care, but the book is endearing and worthwhile for every single person who calls Wall Street home (even if they live in Newport Beach, California). He understands free markets, he writes eloquently about them, and he portrays a story of real human aspiration – the desire to become something in the business of capital markets, and how he did exactly that. The fact that he sets up the narrative as a tale of two restaurants at 54th and Madison is hysterical, for I have dined at San Pietro’s countless times telling myself I was the most blessed man in the world to eat there, and I have sat over at Rothmann’s across the street countless times STILL feeling like I was the most blessed man in the world. For one thing, I love fine dining Italian AND steakhouses all the same. But I also got exactly what Trennert was referring to. You enter this business and take on all the stress, risk, and anxiety it represents because you are an aspirational person. You love the human flourishing that capital markets help to unleash. What Jason Trennert’s book does is personalize his story around such endeavors, and in the process inform his readers about a perspective on Wall Street few have done. A great read.

There will surely be more books coming about life on Wall Street because (a) Some want to demonize it, and (b) Some want to caricaturize it. Some will sell, and some will not. I will likely read them all because I am a junkie for it. In the case of these three books, though, one got a little sample of the whole new cottage industry. I am better off for having read two of these three, and I am better off for now having written about all three.

Weekly Musings – Stanford Debacle Edition

I like writing these musings at 4:00 in the morning on Monday rather than at the crack of dawn on Sunday, the morning after the game, because it gives me a little time to let some of the emotion out and some more reflection in (note to many chat room participants: consider the same). I am not less concerned this morning than I was yesterday, but I am less antagonistic. The reality is that it was a bad weekend for Trojans, and a really disruptive week around the country as well. Let’s start there and come back to the men of Troy …

– Ohio State was, in my opinion, going to lose their #1 ranking after a nail-biting, barely held-on win over Northern Illinois (one touchdown and easily could’ve gone to Overtime). However, the #2 team in the country LOSING their game took that off the table. The Alabama loss does nothing to take them out of playoff contention – nothing. The SEC champ will be in the playoff whether they have 1, 2, or even 3 losses (MAYBE not 3), and we all know it.

– But Alabama does have problems. Not only is their Quarterback situation problematic, but a little team in Oxford, Mississippi seems to own them. In Tuscaloosa? Ouch. For those who missed the game, there was one of the truly bizarre and incredible plays I have ever seen worth watching here

– I didn’t see the Ohio State game but that is truly a weird deal that took place there. Anything can happen every single week.

– Auburn will not be back in the top 25 all year

– I am skeptical that Michigan State is the #2 or #3 team in the country but it would make for the first Big 10 game that anyone cares about since the 1970’s

– The other USC had a pretty tough weekend too. Not looking pretty in Columbia. Is it time for Spurrier to go?

Let’s talk about my USC now. At the end of the day, one forced punt to start the first half and one to start the second half, and NO OTHER PUNTS FOR THE STANFORD OFFENSE THE ENTIRE GAME, is simply inexcusable. This was a Stanford team that two weeks ago could not get a first down against Northwestern. It was a pitiful defense effort, and one that I am very skeptical is going to be fixed any time soon. This defense has Sua Cravens, and then it has very few others capable of making plays, containing the edge, putting pressure on the quarterback, or handling straight man assignments. And this has been the case for several years now … I haven’t paid attention to the Sark haters since the game so I do not know what their chorus is saying, but this was a unique loss for USC since Sark arrived in this sense: I really doubt anyone is blaming this on clock management, play calling, or some particular aspect of game time coaching. This was just a BAD defense that got exposed by what had been a BAD offense (but on Saturday looked like the Patriots). It was all my worst nightmares come true: A USC team that played too junior high teams at home to start the season, then gave up a game in the Coliseum to start conference play against a team that has absolutely no business beating the talent of our Trojan offense. I still believe this offense will average 40 points per game, but this defense has no chance – none – of beating the stalwarts of the Pac12 conference if they are as bad as they looked on Saturday. There was poor talent, poor execution, and poor adjustments, but there also was poor effort. Poor discipline. Insane penalties. And the most unforgivable thing in college football:

That gnawing sensation that whatever the other team does on offense on either first down or second down is IRRELVANT, because you known darn well they will convert on 3rd down. It is the defining hallmark of a team that will lose 3 games if they’re lucky and 5 games more realistically – a team that cannot get a stop on a third down to save their lives. Stanford converted 67% of third downs, everyone of which mattered, while USC converted 40% of theirs, of which every failure mattered.

I like our offense. I like the play-calling. I like the establishment of the run game. I like the minimal horizontal passing that goes on. I like the speed of the tailbacks. I love finding JuJu in space. I love the way we get receivers the ball to make plays near the goal line. But we can’t win if we give up that many yards and that many points. And we can’t win if we have the ball 30% of the time. Penalties, Time of possession. Third downs. Nothing else needs to be said.

Can this season be salvaged? Of course. Can we still have a great and even phenomenal year with one or two losses. Certainly. But will we end up with just one or two losses? You tell me. Something has happened where the front seven of USC’s defense cannot rush a quarterback, cannot contain an edge, and where the secondary cannot make a play. I don’t believe we’ve forced a turnover since 2008. Is it cultural? Perhaps. But it needs to get better, or we are in for a long year.

I imagine the negative idiots are not offering objective commentary right now so much as celebrating a loss for the coach they hate, who happens to coach the team they pretend to love. I want nothing more than for Sark and this coaching staff to win every game. But what the men of Troy need to remember is that run-first offenses make pass-happy offenses very productive, and that defenses win championships. The first part we are finally getting. The second part is what our season will be made by, or broken by.

The Round Two Winner is …

Look, I don’t really have the energy to do a good job reviewing tonight’s 3.5 hour debate, because, well, I just got done watching a 3.5 hour debate. I guess 3.5 hours of debate beats 3.5 weeks of non-stop Fed/interest rate talk, but I think some people have better diversions from their day job than I do. I digress.

It was a long debate – too long – but there were some illuminating moments. There is no point to mentioning how unpresidential and weak and ignorant and narcissistic and shallow Donald Trump is, because anyone reading my blog already knows that, and if they don’t, they aren’t going to agree now. He is incorrigible, but not as incorrigible as his minions are. I assume Sean Hannity went on air tonight to praise his advanced studies on immigration and serious, impressive approach to, say, jurisprudence, but for my readers whose IQ exceeds Sean Hannity’s, which is to say, all of you, Trump was a disaster. The air is coming out and the only question is how fast. I assume his handlers will take that slap mark off his face that Carly left squarely on it. Highlight.

Carly was strong, really strong. She should have left the Christie thing alone when he rightly scored points for pointing out the irrelevance of Donald’s and Carly’s pedigree. Going back to it a second time was not necessary, but all in all she was really outstanding – sort of an anti-Hillary: Impressive story, well-spoken, likable, informed, intelligent, charismatic.

Jeb had a disastrous first half of the debate, and did do better in the second half. His line defending his brother was ironically the strongest point of his campaign so far. Jeb’s problem, though, is unsolvable – totally unsolvable – and that is that he is lacking in mojo, and mojo is not to be bought with PAC fundraising. He is bright, and he is a solid conservative, but he is a yawner, and that is not going to work this time around – I promise you.

I don’t have anything to say about Rand Paul or Mike Huckabee.

Scott Walker tried. He was well-prepared with cute lines. But he comes across desperate now. He barely had the mic. He just doesn’t seem relevant. For him to get back into this thing it would be a far bigger comeback than what John McCain experienced in 2008, and that thing was for the record books. I like the Governor, but I do not believe he is Presidential.

Dr. Carson had a bad night. It was supposed to be his night to pick up those Trump folks who maybe perhaps have a brain or a conscience, and he did not do so. He started slow, and he didn’t pick up much throughout the night. His Afghanistan material was abysmal – like shockingly bad. You can tell he doesn’t have a campaign filled with consultants because I assume if he did they would have told him to do a better job tonight.

Christie had a good night. He is going nowhere, but he had a good night.

I want to give Ted Cruz a chance, I really do. But I have no tolerance for his hypocrisy on the Justice Roberts issue (he CLEARLY and EMPHATICALLY supported a Roberts nomination at the time), and his disingenuous use of the “amnesty” term is unbecoming someone of his intellect. He is bright, and he is formidable, but he grated on me tonight.

Kasich had a bad night, and perhaps one he won’t recover from. That may be too dramatic. But his waffling on the Iran deal is ridiclous – there is no “if” when it comes to Iran funding Hamas and Hezbollah – we KNOW that they ARE doing so. We don’t have to see IF they will do so. His people have him tunnel-visioned on this 1990’s nostalgia thing, as if American fondness for the balanced budget will give HIM more points than Hillary CLINTON in the end. Totally bizarre. Kasich is a strong candidate because he governs a state that probably delivers the Presidency, and he is a grown-up. But he had a bad night. He can recover though.

I am perfectly fine with readers believing my own biases for Marco Rubio prohibit me from giving an objective assessment of his performance, but I would suggest that anyone who watched the debate who does not believe Rubio simply SHINED is the one lacking objectivity. Solid on Russia. Solid on Syria. Solid on ISIS. Best foreign policy credentials on that stage. Best economic message – solid vision of hope and aspiration. Articulate. Out of the fray with Trump the Clown. Really a great night overall.

So here we are. Two down. I don’t remember how many to go. Tonight should have counted as two. We have three or four people I’d like to see up there. It will take awhile. The report card tonight:

Rubio and Fiorina – the winners
Kasich and Carson – the losers
Huckabee – kinda sad
Rand Paul – I found a guy who dislikes him more than me (but I dislike that guy)
Christie – good night
Walker – mediocre
Bush – some warm; some cold; so lukewarm
Cruz – irritated me tonight
Trump – I’m excited to hear Trump will have a team to tell him the names of world terrorist leaders. I’ll pay him to stop giving people five on stage and making me wince at the awkwardness

Good night.

Weekly Musings – Idaho Edition and More

These are the tougher weeks to write musings, in a lot of ways harder than the weeks USC has a bye. We played a full game – four quarters worth – and there are pages of stats, highlights, and points to show for it. And yet, no rational person can believe we saw anything of substance in our Trojan team the other night. There was really no aspect of the game in which Idaho wasn’t almost cartoonishly outmatched. And yet perhaps the fact that USC blew a woefully non-competitive team out of the water does say something about the preparedness and maturity of this team relative to a lengthy list of other teams around the country … More on that later. Off we go.

Yes, USC blew Idaho out of the water and completed a two-week run of Sun Belt teams that had no business being on our schedule. I realize SEC teams have been doing this kind of thing for years (including with !-AA teams, or FCS or whatever you want to call them), and I also realize that we have Arizona State, Notre Dame, and Oregon ON THE ROAD this year, and don’t need to make the schedule any more painful than it already is. However, there are unranked teams, and then there are high school teams. And I suspect Idaho would lose to a couple premier high school teams in California, and perhaps badly. All things considered, it is going to be September 19 before we really get to see our actual Trojans play. Now we saw Cody’s arm a bit Saturday (I was laughing at those who said “he will never throw an accurate long ball” last week as he dropped dime after dime downfield), and we certainly saw the playmaking of Adoree Jackson in all its highlight reel luster. I most enjoyed seeing the spurts out of Tre Madden and Justin Davis that I believe will represent the make-or-break of our offense this year. But no, the line, the grit, the speed, the talent, the play-calling, the overall package – none of it can be evaluated in any meaningful way. This Saturday we not only get conference-opening action, but Stanford is a real team – one that is reverting to the mean of Stanford football, but a legit opponent. I can’t wait.

Around the country, I would just like to say wow – absolutely wow – to this stat: Oklahoma beat their first ranked opponent at any level since 2013 on Saturday. Oklahoma. The SEC had the kind of weekend this week that the Pac-12 had the week before (and I couldn’t care less about either conference, including the one USC plays in) … Arkansas (ranked #18) lost to Toledo AT HOME, Tennessee gave up a SEVENTEEN POINT LATE LEAD at home, and worst of all Auburn basically needed fluke after fluke to not lose to JACKSONVILLE STATE also AT HOME. Yes, they got an OT win, but was it really a “win”? This was an ugly week. South Carolina lost to Kentucky, and it looks like my beloved Gamecocks (USC east) may be headed for a rebuilding year.

One game few are talking about that all should be talking about is ASU vs. Cal Poly. I remain unclear if this Cal Poly team is in Pomona or San Luis Obispo or elsewhere and I live in the southland, and I had no idea that any Cal Poly school had a football team. I believe the final score ended up being two touchdowns wide but with just minutes left in the game ASU was tied to Cal Poly AT ASU. Arizona State may be as good as advertised, but a first week loss and a nail-biter with a junior high team is not saying so.

Oregon’s quarterback missed some throws in a bad way Saturday night but he made some good throws too. Oregon went into a tough road game and competed, so while they are clearly a notch or four down from last year, they are still highly competitive and the hands on favorite for the Pac-12 north.

My guess is that this is all just same as it ever was … That we need the entire month of September to separate pretenders from contenders, and that some teams need to shake off early season rust and others need to establish themselves. We know Ohio State and Alabama are in the top tier. We’ll see about the various Texas schools and many more. The Notre Dame QB loss may not have the impact on them some fear. When all is said and done, it’s going to be a great year.

So the school with an atheist chaplain comes into USC this weekend, site of several high profile games in recent years. It is a big test for our defensive front seven and it is a test of my theory that Kevin Hogan is not a QB up for the task of winning a big game. I have been wrong before. By wrong, I used to think Andrew Luck would WIN some big games. I was wrong on that, and I could certainly be wrong about Hogan losing his.

The greatest sport in the history of the world is about to hit its stride. Bye bye Arkansas State (who competed hard with Missouri over the weekend and could have beaten the highly ranked SEC team), and bye bye Idaho. Bring on the farm!