Thursday, November 26, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week 13 aka 'Fuck kansas Week'

Florida State (+24.5) at #1 Florida
#2 Alabama (-10) at Auburn
#3 Texas at Texas A&M (+21.5)
New Mexico (+44.5) at #4 TCU
Illinois (+21) at #5 Cincinnati
Nevada at #6 Boise State (-13.5)
Georgia (+7.5) at #7 Georgia Tech
 #8 Pitt (Pick 'em) at West Virgnia
#11 Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (-9.5)
#14 Virginia Tech (-16) at Virginia
#15 Clemson at South Carolina (+3)
Arkansas at #17 LSU (-3.5)
#22 Utah at #18 BYU (-7.5)
#19 Miami at South Florida (+5.5)
#20 Mississippi at Mississippi State (+8)
#23 North Carolina (-6) at North Carolina State
UCLA at #24 Southern Cal (-13)
Rice (+29.5) at #25 Houston

Nebraska at Colorado (+10)
Mizzou (-3) vs. Kansas
Texas Tech vs. Baylor (+20.5)

Last Week: 12-12
Overall: 105-99-1

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week Twelve

Florida International (+44.5) at #1 Florida
Kansas at #3 Texas (-27.5)
Wyoming (+31) at #4 TCU
#6 Boise State at Utah State(+23)
#9 Ohio State (-12) at Michigan
#10 LSU (+4) at Ole Miss
#11 Oregon (-6) at Arizona
Colorado (+17) at #12 Oklahoma State
#13 Penn State (-3) at Michigan State
Cal (+7) at #14 Stanford
Minnesota at #15 Iowa (-10)
North Carolina State at #16 Virginia Tech (-21)
#17 Wisconsin (-7) at Northwestern
Virginia (+21) at #18 Clemson
Air Force at #19 BYU (-10)
#20 Oregon State at Wazzou (+31)
Duke at #21 Miami (-19.5)
San Diego State at #23 Utah (-20)
#24 Houston at Memphis (+23.5)
#25 Rutgers at Syracuse (+9.5)

Oklahoma (-6.5) at Texas Tech
Iowa State at Missouri (-14.5)
Baylor at Texas A&M (-5)
Kansas State at Nebraska (-16.5)

Last week: 14-11
Overall: 93-87-1

Friday, November 13, 2009

This Week on College Football: Week 11

Pretty brutal showing last week, going 10-15, and 0-3 in non-top 25 Big 12 games. Now just teetering above .500 on the year.

#1 Florida (-17) at South Carolina
#2 Texas at Baylor (+23.5)
#3 Alabama (-12.5) at Mississippi State
#16 Utah (+20) at #4 TCU
West Virginia at #5 Cincinnati (-8.5)
Idaho at #6 Boise State (-32)
#7 Georgia Tech (-12.5) at Duke
Notre Dame (+7) at #8 Pittsburgh
Louisiana Tech at #9 LSU (-24)
#15 Iowa (+17) at #10 Ohio State
#25 Stanford at #11 USC (-10.5)
#12 Miami (-3) at North Carolina
#13 Houston (-4.5) at Central Florida
Arizona State at #14 Oregon (-18)
Texas Tech at #17 Oklahoma State (-4)
#18 Arizona (+1) at California
Indiana at #19 Penn State (-25)
#20 Virginia Tech (-18.5) at Maryland
Michigan at #21 Wisconsin (-8.5)
#22 BYU at New Mexico (+26.5)
#24 Clemson (-8) at North Carolina State

Missouri (-1) at Kansas State
Colorado (+5.5) at Iowa State
Nebraska (-4) at Kansas
Texas A&M at Oklahoma (-20)

Last week: 10-15
Overall: 79-76-1

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This Week in College Football: Week 10

Decent enough week last week. Still above .500.

Vanderbilt at #1 Florida (-35)
Central Florida (+35) at #2 Texas
#12 LSU at #3 Alabama (-7.5)
#4 TCU at San Diego State (+24.5)
#5 Boise State at Louisiana Tech (+21.5)
Northwestern at #6 Iowa (-16.5)
Connecticut (+16.5) at #7 Cincinnati
#8 Oregon (-6.5) at Stanford
#12 Ohio State at #10 Penn State (-4)
Wake Forest at #11 Georgia Tech (-16)
#13 Southern Cal (-10) at Arizona State
Syracuse (+21.5) at #14 Pittsburgh
#15 Houston at Tulsa (-1.5)
New Mexico at #16 Utah (-27.5)
Virginia at #17 Miami (-13.5)
#18 Oklahoma State (-7.5) at Iowa State
Washington State (+32) at #19 Arizona
#20 Oklahoma (-5) at Nebraska
Navy at #21 Notre Dame (-11)
#22 Wisconsin at Indiana (+10.5)
Oregon State (+7.5) at #23 California
#24 Virginia Tech (-13.5) at East Carolina
#25 BYU at Wyoming (+13)

Kansas (-2.5) at Kansas State
Texas A&M (-3) at Colorado
Baylor at Missouri (-14.5)

Last Week: 13-11
Season: 69-61-1

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I hate crime victims

I'm not going to write about gay marriage and Maine because I would just end up venting and cursing out Mormons and Catholics and that would be unproductive. So moving on...

I was having this conversation with Kyle the other night and he decided we should continue it on my blog. I've had this conversation before, namely in the comments of my buddy Vik's blog about Dante Stallworth and on but it's a favorite of mine and I've never written about it on here so who cares.

So anyway, this post was originally entitled 'The Importance of Intent' but I figured why not be catchy and inflammatory with my title. So the gist of my position is that I think intent should be the single most important factor in criminal prosecutions and sentencing. In other words, I think that we should punish people based on the act they intended to commit rather than based upon the random and arbitrary outcome or consequences of their action.

One major instance where we punish people based on the random outcome of their actions rather than their intended action is intoxication manslaughter. Under Texas law, the crime of driving while intoxicated is a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. On the other hand, intoxication manslaughter is a second degree felony, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison term of no less than 2 years and no greater than 20.

Now at first glance, this seems to make perfect sense. I mean one person caused another person's death and one person did not. But think about it a little bit more closely. What purpose is served by punishing the drunk driver who kills more severely than the drunk driver is not so unlucky?

The fundamental purpose of the criminal justice system should be to protect society. Not to protect individual crime victims, or to make those victims feel better in any way, but to protect society as a whole (this is where the me hating crime victims part comes in). Punishing people who commit crimes accomplishes this purpose in two distinct ways. Firstly, it takes criminals and confines them away from society where they cannot commit crimes. Secondly, the threat of confinement is presumed to deter people from committing crimes. Victim advocates would argue there is a third purpose, retribution. Retribution is just another word for revenge but because we all intuitively know that revenge is not an admirable purpose, victim advocates attempt to hide that fact by calling it retribution.

So the question is, how does punishing the intoxicated manslaughterer (not a word, deal with it) more than the intoxicated driver promote those two purposes of criminal punishment?

The first purpose is removing the criminal from the street. Is someone who drives drunk and kills another inherently more dangerous to society than someone who drives drunk but does not? The incredibly slim chance of a drunk driver actually killing someone would indicate that whether a drunk driver kills a person is just dumbass luck. In 2005, 182,414 people were arrested for DUI in California while 1,574 people were killed in an alcohol related auto accident. So even if we grant that 100% of drunk drivers were arrested (an assumption which is obviously absurd as the number of drunk drivers arrested is probably closer to 5%), the chance of a drunk driver killing someone is 0.8%. Any time a particular act has a less than 1% chance of a particular consequence, I have zero problem assuming the occurrence of that consequence is random absent evidence to the contrary. Due to the seemingly randomness as to which drunk drivers kill and which do not, there seems to be no indication that an intoxicated manslaughterer poses a greater threat to society than a drunk driver.

The second purpose is deterrence. Because intoxication manslaughter is by nature an accidental consequence of drunk driving, it's impossible to only deter intoxication manslaughter without also deterring driving while intoxicated. Because of this, this is no deterrent value in punishing one greater than the other because the goal of both punishments is to deter the same act of driving while intoxicated.

Now of course, punishing intent rather than consequence does not always benefit the criminal, namely when it comes to attempt crimes. In Texas, to attempt, but fail, to commit a crime results a the punishment being downgraded one step, such as murder being a first degree felony while attempted murder is a second degree felony. Again, we are punishing two people who intended to do the exact same thing in different manners based on random consequence. Assume a man walks up to me and shoots me in the chest. Unbeknownst to him, I wore my bulletproof vest that day so his bullet was stopped by the vest, leaving me alive and well. Assume a second, wholly unrelated man walks up to the person next to me and shoots her in the chest. She is not wearing a bulletproof vest and so she dies.

Going back to our two purposes, why should the guy who tried to kill me but failed get a break just because he had bad luck? Deterrence isn't even an issue here because the person is attempting to commit the greater crime so it is that is the punishment they would have in mind when weighing the risks of the crime. So that only leaves removing the criminal from society. Ceteris paribus, do the two men not pose the exact same danger to society. Both have tried to kill someone and arguably would kill again. One just had the crappy luck of picking a target who was wearing a bulletproof vest. So why give the attempted murderer a lesser sentence than the murderer?

So ultimately, would it not better serve society by punishing people for the act they intended rather than the random consequences of said act? Agree? Disagree? You're not sure or just want to argue with me for sport?