Blog Fiasco

September 28, 2010

NWS mobile radar page updated

Filed under: Funnel Fiasco,Weather — Tags: , , , , — bcotton @ 4:53 pm

I put a little bit of effort into the NWS mobile radar page this afternoon and am proud to announce that it has been bumped to version 0.2b.  It is now available from the Mobile Weather page (http://weather.funnelfiasco.com/mobile/).  A mostly complete list of changes is below:

  • Added site selection menu.  I didn’t think it was necessary initially, but several users have suggested it, and my own experience while on vacation proves that there probably aren’t too many people who know the ID for all 154 sites.  The added bonus is that I’ve begun support for a requested feature, which is to select adjacent radar sites.  The difficult part will be filling that information in for each site, so it will likely be a gradual roll-out.  Sites can still be selected manually, which is probably quicker if you already know the ID.
  • Added license information.  In line with the rest of the website, the code for this script is licensed under the CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0. That information is now contained in the comments as well in the code output.
  • Put site selection and product selection on separate lines.  This is a small tweak to (hopefully) improve usability.  While horizontal real estate is constrained, there’s more room to separate things vertically on most devices, so let’s go with that.  If nothing else, users are used to vertical scrolling.
  • Added spacing of other products under radar image. Another usability tweak, which should make the clicking process a little bit simpler, especially on touch-only devices.
  • Change radar image label from <p> to <h3>.  This makes the site and product a little more visible and adds some vertical spacing to keep things from looking too jammed together.

September 24, 2010

Beonard’s Losers — 2010, Week 4

Filed under: Funnel Fiasco,Sports — Tags: , , , — bcotton @ 4:25 pm

Listen to the show here! (mp3)

Howdy, football fans!  It hasn’t been the best week for Michigan State.  Shortly after their last-second overtime win against Notre Dame, coach Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack.  He’s out of the hospital now, and we wish him a speedy recovery.  Then on Tuesday, a player was arrested for his alleged involvement in a laptop theft ring.  The Big 12 has some mixed news, as it has gained nearly $7 million in exchange for losing Colorado a year early.  Of course, I also have to mention this week’s Mascot Fight, in which Rufus Bobcat got the best of Brutus the Buckeye.  You’d think that by late September the drama would all be on the field, but I guess it’s just not to be.  So while we wait for more non-playing drama, let’s take a look at this week’s games.

Austin Peay at Wisconsin

After a close call against Arizona State last weekend, Bret Bielma’s Badger boys will be glad to bring some easier competition back into Camp Randall Stadium.  Austin Peay hopes to enjoy the luck that some other I-AA teams have had this year, but it’ll be the Governors that get vetoed.  Beonard’s loser? Austin Peay

Ball State at Iowa

Kirk Ferentz’s flock got plucked last weekend, but on Saturday they return to the friendly confines of the Kinnick Stadium nest.  The Muncie fowl need to snap their skid before heading into MAC play, and ruling the roost in Iowa City would be a great confidence boost.  Unfortunately for them, the hometown birds aren’t likely to take kindly to strangers.  Beonard’s loser? Ball State

Bowling Green at Michigan

RichRod can’t afford to take any opponent lightly, after narrowly escaping the Massachusetts milita last weekend.  The Falcons fly in to Ann Arbor with the nation’s 29th best passing yardage — and a 0-2 road record.  The Wolverine defense has allowed more points as each week goes by, and once again it’ll be the offense called to save the day.  This game may be closer than most Michiganders would like, but they’ll be happy with the result.  Beonard’s loser? Bowling Green

Northern Colorado at Michigan State

For the fourth straight week, the Bears play a team with “State” in the name.  This weekend, it’s the East Lansing spear-toters.  After last week’s dramatic win, Sparty could use a bit of a break, but the Greely gang are no slouches.  They average over 45 points per game this season, albeit against weaker competition.  With Notre Dame last weekend and Wisconsin and Michigan coming up, this has all the makings for a trap game.  Beonard’s loser?  In a close one, Northern Colorado

Central Michigan at Northwestern

The purple kittens have gotten themselves off to a solid start, quietly working their way into the top 10 defenses in football.  On Saturday, they’ll host the number four defense.  With both of these teams better when they don’t have the ball, it could be a low-scoring game, but the pass-happy play should keep things lively enough.  Pat Fitzgerald has shaped his herd into a force to be reckoned with, and they’re well on their way to a school-record third straight bowl game.  Beonard’s loser? Central Michigan

Toledo at Purdue

The old gold and black locomotive picked up some steam last weekend in a win over Ball State, and it’ll need that momentum when Toledo blasts into the West Lafayette switching station.  Tim Beckman and company oughta feel right at home in the Cradle of Astronauts, but that might not be such a good thing.  The missiles have lost their only home game, and won both of their road matchups.  On Saturday, however, they won’t be able to get into orbit.  Beonard’s loser? Toledo

Alabama at Arkansas

The number two and number five scoring defenses face off in what’s sure to be a lively Razorback Stadium.  The Tide D made it a full nine quarters into the season before they surrendered a touchdown, and last week’s dismantling of Duke was the first time a team has scored twice.  The piggies, meanwhile, gave more points to Georgia last week than Alabama has allowed at all.  Still, it’ll be tough for either team to move the ball.  At the end though, there’s a reason Alabama is the top-ranked team.  Beonard’s loser?  In a close one, Arkansas

Eastern Michigan at Ohio State

In yet another Big Ten-vs-MAC matchup, the Eagles fly into the Horseshoe to try and get their first win.  Not a chance.  Beonard’s loser? Eastern Michigan

Stanford at Notre Dame

After two straight losses to Big Ten teams — and you wonder why the Irish decided to remain independent — Brian Kelly will try his luck against the California tree.  Stanford’s had no problem scoring points, having scored at least 35 in each of their first three games.  Although the Pope’s boys can score too, they’ll really need their defense to step up if they hope to win this game.  After a promising defeat of Purdue to start the season, Brian Kelly has looked  more and more the sinner every week.  Beonard’s loser?  Notre Dame

Temple at Penn State

The most lopsided active “rivalry” in football kicks off in Happy Valley Saturday afternoon, with the Owls looking for their fourth win — not only of the season, but of the series.  The winged professors have shown that they’re not the pushover they’ve been in years past, but Joe Pa’s kitties have their claws sharp.  Beonard’s loser?  Temple

Akron at Indiana

Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more MAC teams playing against the Big Ten this weekend, the Zips head into Basketballtown to take on Bill Lynch’s unproven squad.  The winless kangaroos are nearly last in points for and points against.  Frankly, I’m surprised that the cream and crimson aren’t defending the rock against Jackson Creek Middle School.   Beonard’s loser? Akron

South Carolina at Auburn

Another matchup of ranked SEC teams is in store for us Saturday evening when Steve Spurrier takes his Cocks into Jordan-Hare Stadium to take on the Auburn kittens.  Both teams are hoping to remain undefeated in conference play, but the home team certainly needs it more, with the depth of the SEC West.  South Carolina has a stout defense, despite the 19 points they let Furman have.  Meanwhile, Auburn has struggled to keep teams in the teens, and that just won’t work against this kind of opponent.  Beonard’s loser? Auburn

Oregon State at Boise State

With the wheels coming off Virginia Tech’s season, Boise State needs to make the most of this second game against a ranked opponent.  Mike Riley’s flattails haven’t had the best of luck keeping opponents off the scoreboard, and that’s a real problem when you’re playing on the blue turf of Bronco Stadium.  Critics can say what they want about strenght of schedule, but when it’s the real deal, the Boise Broncs know how to ride off into the sunset victoriously.  Beonard’s loser? Oregon State

Northern Illinois at Minnesota

The last of the MAC/Big Ten games kicks off in TCF Bank Stadium when the Huskies take on the “Please Don’t Fire Me. Love, Tim Brewster”s.  This is quite the pillow fight and I’m not entirely convinced either team should win.  I do think that things look very bad for Mister Brewster.  Beonard’s Loser? Even if they win, Minnesota

West Virginia at LSU

Bill Stewart takes his squad down from the mountain to do a little bit of explorin’ in the Baton Rouge swamp.  The visitors let Marshall go to overtime, so they’ll want to fix their defenses before they encounter the Bayou Bengals.  Les Miles and company don’t seem to be able to throw the ball, but they can slink downfield just fine, and they sure don’t like letting strangers have their way in Tiger Stadium.  Beonard’s loser?  West Virginia

Okay, folks, that’s all I can come up with this week.  Come back here next week and we’ll talk about some more losers.

To the Beonard’s Losers main page

September 19, 2010

Marketing LISA ’10

Filed under: Linux,The Internet — Tags: , , — bcotton @ 9:23 pm

This post is also available on the Usenix blog at http://blogs.usenix.org/?p=520.

You may recall that I’ve been selected to the Blog Team for the Large Installation System Administration (LISA) conference taking place in San Jose in November. As part of my pre-conference duties, I interviewed Anne Dickison, the Director of Marketing for the USENIX Association. As Director of Marketing, much of Anne’s work involves promoting this large annual event. With less than two months left until LISA ’10, Anne and her team have already been hard at work for several months, getting the word out and enlisting the aid of others (including the Blog Team). LISA ’10 work began shortly after LISA ’09 ended, with the Call for Papers. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to spread the word about large events.

The rise of social media has changed the lives of all marketers. Anne says she relies “heavily on social networking to get the word out.” With a small budget, “barter agreements and word-of-mouth” are invaluable to promoting LISA. Twitter and Facebook have shown themselves to be excellent tools for spreading LISA news, as well as giving attendees a chance to interact with each other before, during, and after the conference.

Last year’s introduction of the blog program was so beneficial that it has been expanded into a “full-fledged team”, and this year there’s a new feature in store. For the first time ever, LISA will have a UStream.tv chat and on-site interviews. Few details are available right now, but Anne said “I think it will be extremely helpful in showcasing the benefits of attending a LISA conference.”

There are many benefits for LISA attendees. A wide variety of technical sessions, training, and vendor exhibits are scheduled, but perhaps the most beneficial events are more informal. Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions and various activities provide opportunities to cultivate relationships that can be a source of personal and professional interactions long after the conference has wrapped up. Anne says “we try to make it as easy as possible for people to interact, [and] set up systems so that the discussions started at LISA can continue long after the conference, via mediums such as the sage-members mailing list or the Facebook page.”

With such a large amount of effort put into making LISA successful, the payoff is personal for Anne Dickison: “My favorite part of LISA marketing is hearing really positive feedback from a first-time attendee. It’s great to watch new people who’ve never heard of us discover how much fun they can have and information they can learn by attending the conference.” The uniqueness of LISA also allows more creativity than is sometimes permissible in traditional marketing. “It’s probably the most fun event we do,” Anne told me. “I have more leeway in doing fun things like the adventure theme of this year or the puzzle theme of ’05.”

Registration is still open at http://www.usenix.org/events/lisa10/. Many discounts are available, including for hotel and airfare. Discounted is registration is also available to those who register online by October 18.

September 14, 2010

Does the death of Bloglines signal the death of RSS?

Filed under: The Internet — Tags: , , , — bcotton @ 7:18 am

In a blog post last week, Ask.com announced that they were shutting down the Bloglines service.  This has lead some to conclude that RSS is dying.  Do Twitter, Facebook, and aggregator sites like Fark and Reddit obviate the need for RSS?  For me, at least, the answer is clearly “no.”

There’s no doubt that I find many interesting news articles through those methods (although I get more value in the discussions on Fark and Reddit than I do from the articles themselves), but at the core this operates based on what others find interesting.  Sure, in the case of Twitter and Facebook, the posts I see are probably from people with similar interests, but I want to make sure I get the posts that I want to see.  Social media/news aggregator sites are great for finding new sites, but pretty lousy for following them.

Visiting each site on a regular basis to check for new content isn’t exactly a beneficial use of my time, either.  I currently have 85 subscriptions in my Google Reader account.  Some of them haven’t updated in weeks (or months!), while 13 update more than once per day.  Visiting each site to find that some have many updates for me to catch up on while even more have nothing new sounds like a recipe for frustration.

Of course, many sites post to Facebook and Twitter when a new post is up (I do the same thing), but that lacks state.  I’ve got no way of telling by looking at a Tweet or Facebook post if I’ve read the article or not.  Social media is a great tool for sharing sites that I or others find interesting, but it doesn’t work well when trying to catch up on a few days of missed posts.  With an RSS service like Google Reader, it’s possible to access the latest posts from your favorite sites from multiple devices and always know which have been read.

So is RSS dead?  Hardly.  RSS will continue to drive podcasts and blog reading for many people, regardless of what Ask.com feels like doing.

September 11, 2010

Beonard’s Losers — 2010, Week 3

Filed under: Funnel Fiasco,Sports — Tags: , , , — bcotton @ 8:36 pm

Listen to the show here! (mp3)

Howdy, football fans!  Not everyone is pleased with how last week went.  Perhaps no one is more distressed than Frank Beamer, who watched his Hokes lose again, this time to I-AA powerhouse James Madison.  Tim Brewster’s Minnesota squad lost to a I-AA team, too, putting his job in further jeopardy.  It’s not hopeless for these guys, though.  Take Kansas as an example: they upset Georgia Tech a week after their I-AA loss.  Still, as the season goes on, these kinds of losses become harder and harder to take.  So who will be a victim of a killer cupcake in week 3?  Let’s take a look at this week’s games.

Ohio at Ohio State

After holding steady in the face of a Hurricane, Jim Tressel’s nuts will try to defend themselves against the Athens pride.  The cats have been stingy on defense, but they haven’t faced competition like they’ll see in the Horseshoe.  The lesson here is that these trees won’t make good scratching posts.  Beonard’s loser?  Ohio

Arkansas at Georgia

SEC play begins for Arkansas on Saturday, although it’s also the beginning of legitimate competition for the pigs.  Neither team has been very willing to let opponents into the end zone, but Bobby Petrino’s squad may do just that if they keep looking at next week’s game with Alabama.  This will be a close game, but it won’t mean much, except that the red clay hounds are better than their loss to South Carolina.  Beonard’s loser?  In an upset, Arkansas.

Kent State at Penn State

After a rough trip to Tuscaloosa, Joe Pa’s kitties will appreciate the return to Happy Valley.  Kent State comes into this game amid a three-game road trip.  The Flashes couldn’t get it done to start the trip, and that’ll continue this week.  Beonard’s loser?  Kent State

Massachusetts at Michigan

With the last-minute win over Notre Dame last weekend, the Wolverines showed that their fortunes may finally be turning around.  They can’t rest just yet, though, as the Amhurst riflemen will be marching into Ann Arbor.  The Minutemen have won both of their battles so far, but they’ll find these weasels too much to handle.  Beonard’s loser?  Massachusetts

Northern Illinois at Illinois

The Huskies start a three-game road trip with a journey down to Chambana to face Ron Zook’s tribe.  The Illini had no trouble getting Saluki pelts last weekend, but they’ll find these pups a little tougher to tame.  The DeKalb doggies have a good rushing attack, but they’ll find themselves rushing to week 4.  Beonard’s loser?  Northern Illinois

Ball State at Purdue

Danny Hope’s iron workers picked up their first win of the season last week in a lackluster defeat of Western Illinois.  This weekend, they’ll face an in-state opponent in the form of the Ball State Cardinals.  The Muncie birds lost at home to Liberty, and they’re not likely to fare any better against a locomotive — speeding or otherwise.  Beonard’s loser? Ball State

Arizona State at Wisconsin

The Sun Devils take their unblemished record into Camp Randall Stadium in the hopes of burning the hair off of Bret Bielma’s Badger boys.  The desert demons have averaged 47-and-a-half points in the first two weeks, but that’s hasn’t exactly been against top-notch competition.  The cheeseheads have done their own cupcake smashing, and they’ll make sure it’s the visitors who end up singed.  Beonard’s loser? Arizona State

USC at Minnesota

Things went from bad to worse for the Gilded Rodents last week when they lost to South Dakota.  On Saturday, it goes from worse to worser as the L.A. wooden horse gets wheeled into TCF Bank Stadium.  Despite the off-the-field kerfuffle, Lane Kiffin’s squad will be ready to do some varmint huntin’, and there’s not much the Twin City faithful can do to stop it.  Beonard’s loser? Minnesota

Indiana at Western Kentucky

Willie Taggart must be glad to return to the top of the hill after getting demolished on the road in the first two weeks.  They’ll play host to a Hoosier squad that shellacked Towson, but remains mostly undefined.  Bill Lynch needs the Basketballtown Boys to tune up for the start of Big Televen play in two weeks, and this trip to Bowling Green should do just that.  Beonard’s loser? Western Kentucky

Notre Dame at Michigan State

The 74th battle for the Megaphone Trophy kicks off on Saturday in East Lansing.  After a heartbeaking loss last week, Brian Kelly will try to earn absolution for the papal pigskin squad.  Scoring points against the untested Spartan defense shouldn’t be a problem, but containing the potent rushing attack might be.  In the past nine years, the home team has only won the trophy once, but that might become twice.  Beonard’s loser?  In a close one, Notre Dame

Iowa at Arizona

After two straight easy home games, Kirk Ferentz takes his Iowa City flock down to Tuscon to face off against the local feline population.  Mike Stoops hasn’t seen his squad face real competition yet, so he might not know what to expect.  What I expect is to see fur and feathers flying, and a bunch of neutered kittens at the end.  Beonard’s loser? Arizona

Okay, folks, that’s about enough pigskin prognostication for one week.  Join me again next week when we’ll have another crop of losers.

To the Beonard’s Losers main page

September 10, 2010

Beonard’s Losers — 2010, Week 2

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , — bcotton @ 11:58 am

Listen here! (mp3)

Howdy, football fans!  The college football season got off to an interesting start in places like Mississippi and Kansas.  Of course, if you ask the crowds there, they’d prefer life a little less interesting if it’s all the same.  Not to worry, though, we saw the traditional cupcake sacrifices, too, and none worse than the 72-to-nil whuppin’ that the Oregon Ducks gave to New Mexico.  That stings from here!  Fortunately, week two is a time to right the ship and try again.  After all, half of the teams in college football are undefeated right now.  With the pep talk out of the way,  let’s take a look at this week’s games.

San Jose State at Wisconsin

Bret Bielma’s Badger boys are used to facing off against Spartans, but the Greeks they’ll meet on Saturday aren’t quite as impressive as the ones from East Lansing.  Mike MacIntryre will try to get his first win as the leader of this army, but he’ll be lucky if the score’s better than last week’s 48-3.  Beonard’s loser?  San Jose State.

Illinois State at Northwestern

The Normal birds fly up to Evanston on Saturday to face Pat Fitzgerald’s purple kittens.  Ryan Field has become less hospitable of late, and the Redbirds will need to have their claws sharp if they want to pull out some fur.  In fact, they’d probably ought to go ahead and book a flight home, because I doubt they’ll be able to fly back on their own.  Beonard’s loser? Illinois State.

South Dakota at Minnesota

After tunneling out of a second-half deficit against Middle Tennessee, the gilded rodents look forward to the relative ease of facing South Dakota.  Coyotes have been known to eat their share of groudhogs, but Brewster’s buck-toothed brigade will come out of this one on top.  Beonard’s loser?  South Dakota

Michigan State versus Florida Atlantic

Although it’s not technically a home game for the spear-toters, it’s at least at a familiar battlefield.  This will be to their advantage when coaching legend Howard Schnellenberger brings his flock of Owls up from Fort Lauderdale.  Mark Dantonio feels like his East Lansing army hasn’t gotten enough respect around the conference, so he’ll probably use this weekend to try out a few things in preparation fro Notre Dame next Saturday.  Despite the long view, the visiting nocturns will have a long flight home.  Beonard’s loser? Florida Atlantic

Western Illinois at Purdue

In what may be the manliest matchup of the weekend, the Leathernecks will arrive at the West Lafayette switching station to face Danny Hope’s bartenders.  After a tough loss to Notre Dame, the gold and black choo-choo could use a confidence boost.  Fortunately, the leathery necks of the visitors won’t be too stiff.  Beonard’s loser? Western Illinois

Florida State at Oklahoma

The Tallahassee tribe head into Oklahoma to get another win for their new chief.  After a slaughter of the Samford Bulldogs, they’re feeling pretty confident, but Bob Stoops will have his wagons circled.  The Norman wagon train had a good test last weekend and should be ready to fight off the invaders.  Beonard’s loser?  In a close one: Florida State

Iowa State at Iowa

After pulling out some dog fur, the Amesnado sweeps into Iowa City to try to reclaim the Cy-Hawk trophy.  The winds might cause a bit of a problem for the pass-happy offense of Kirk Ferentz, but his birds know how to fly through a storm.  This may be a bit closer than the past few matchups, but once again, the Hawks won’t be plucked.  Beonard’s loser? Iowa State

Michigan at Notre Dame

Cardinal Kelly got his tenure off to a good start in last week’s excommunication of Purdue.  This week, he’ll play host to the Wolverines.  If anyone could use a blessing right now, it’s RichRod, who needs a few signature wins to keep getting signatures on his pay check.  So long as the Domers can keep Michigan’s versatile quarterback in check, the Indiana Vatican will remain holy another week.  Beonard’s loser?  Michigan.

Miami at Ohio State

The ACC/Big Ten Challenge happens a few months early when Randy Shannon’s cyclone makes landfall at Columbus.  The ‘Canes are used to knocking trees out of their way, but Jim Tressel’s nuts are unflappable. This will be a great game, but Sweatervest will make sure the trees remain standing.  Beonard’s loser? Miami

Penn State at Alabama

JoePa’s kitties head into Bryant-Denny Stadium hoping to knock the pachyderms off their perch.  With both a key defender and the defending Heisman winner stuck on Nick Saban’s bench, the visitors have a lucky break.  Still, the felines line up with a freshman quarterback, who hasn’t faced this kind of pressure before.  It won’t be easy, but the Tide will roll.  Beonard’s loser? Penn State

Well, my friends, that’s about all I’ve got for you this week.  Come back here next week when I’ll have more losers for you.

To the Beonard’s Losers main page.

September 7, 2010

How do you solve a problem like Pete Rose?

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , , — bcotton @ 9:39 am

I’ve considered making the three-hour drive to Cincinnati on Sunday to attend the Pirates/Reds game.  Not so much because I care about either team, but because MLB has decided to allow Pete Rose to be honored for the 25th anniversary of his breaking Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record.  It’s ironic that he will miss the day that MLB says is the 25th anniversary because of a pre-scheduled engagement at a casino.  It seems appropriate for a guy who earned himself a permanent ban from baseball by betting on games.  He may be the most talented player to receive the ban hammer since Shoeless Joe Jackson, the difference being Rose actually deserves the ban.

By the same token, all of the betting in the world doesn’t give him 4296 hits or a lifetime batting average of .303.  Those were earned bit-by-bit over the course of 24 seasons.  Whatever he may be off the field, on the field he’s Charlie Hustle.  Being a great athlete does not excuse anything, but I’m glad Rose’s accomplishments are being honored this weekend.  After all, he’s not receiving a humanitarian award.  Besides, if a complete jackass like Ty Cobb can be in the Hall of Fame, the least we can do is let Pete Rose get a round of applause.

September 4, 2010

Tropical Storm Earl results

Filed under: Funnel Fiasco,Weather — Tags: , , , — bcotton @ 9:13 pm

Well, the results are in.   Earl weakened pretty significantly as he traveled up the east coast, resulting in fairly minor damage.  The game had a lot of first-timers, and most of them did pretty well.  I’m pleased with my own performance, but I’d rather win.  There might be another chance shortly if the remnants of Gaston get back together.

Also, I finally made a page with a link to all of the scored games and added that link to the tropical weather page.

September 2, 2010

Beonard’s Losers — 2010, Week 1

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , — bcotton @ 6:51 pm
Due to technical problems, this week’s Beonard’s Losers has not been recorded.  Sorry for the lack of audio, and also the late post.

Howdy, football fans! It’s been a long, crazy off-season. Conference shuffles mean the Big Ten and Big XII are about to get very confusing. Notre Dame continues to insist that the calendar says 1989. At least they’re not USC, which is facing a two year ban from post-season play. Or BYU who just this week hopped on the independent bandwagon.  All-in-all, it’s enough to make you ready for the start of football season. Once again, we’ll be looking at the Big Televen, plus Notre Dame and a selection of top-25 matchups. Now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s take a look at this week’s games.

Marshall at Ohio State

Doc Holliday’s Herd thunders into Columbus on Thursday evening, and will try to give their coach an unblemished start to his career. Jim Tressel’s nuts come into the season ranked number two, and they’d hate to give that up so quickly. The Bucs have a big trip to Miami scheduled for the following weekend, but Ol’ Sweatervest will keep them focused. Beonard’s loser? Marshall.

Towson at Indiana

The Tigers stalk into Memorial Stadium in the hopes of catching the home team playing a game of basketball. Bill Lynch needs his boys to defend the rock early and often if he wants to keep his job much longer. Fortunately for him, Indiana’s been fairly good at starting the season with a few wins. Beonard’s loser? Towson.

Minnesota at Middle Tennessee

It’s a color clash on Thursday night when Tim Brewster brings his gilded rodents into Murfreesboro to take on the Blue Raiders. The pedagogues are no slouches, winning their last six games on 2009, including the New Orleans Bowl. The groundhogs, meanwhile, haven’t won six in a row since 2003. It hardly feels right picking a Sun Belt Conference team to win against the Big Ten, but there you have it. Beonard’s Loser? Minnesota.

Youngstown State at Penn State

Have you ever seen a Penguin try to fight a Lion? Let me tell you, friends, it’s not a pretty sight. With Bobby Bowden out of the way, JoePa can run up the lifetime wins total without having to worry about any competition, including from the visiting team. Beonard’s Loser? Youngstown State.

Western Michigan at Michigan State

The Broncos start the season by taking a ride into East Lansing to take on the green and white warriors. Soldiers traditionally get along pretty well with horses, but these spear-toters would much rather fight on foot. With a fairly agreeable conference schedule, Mark Dantonio hopes to sneak his way atop the conference standings at the end of the season, and feasting on horse meat is a good way to start. Beonard’s Loser? Western Michigan

Eastern Illinois at Iowa

Unlike Youngstown and Penn States, this matchup favors the avian team.  Iowa worked their way into the national championship discussion last season, and you know Kirk Ferentz will have his flock ready.  Kinnick Stadium is just no place for kittens.  Beonard’s Loser? Eastern Illinois.

Illinois versus Missouri

With the Arch Rivalry scheduled to go on hiatus for a few years, it could be Ron Zook’s last chance to win this contest.  Mizzou has gone 5-0 in games played this century and the Chambana tribe ain’t too thrilled about losing again.  Unfortunately for the natives, Zook’s squads have been masters of disappointment, and this hunting trip looks to end in disaster.  Beonard’s Loser? Illinois.

Purdue at Notre Dame

With a new coach at the altar, the Papal pigskin squad will try once again to bring glory back to the Indiana Vatican.  Adjusting to a new system is never easy, though, and the West Lafayette locomotive has already had a year with Danny Hope in the engine.  If the conductor can keep from calling a timeout at the end, the train will roll on through.  Beonard’s Loser?  In an upset, Notre Dame.

Connecticut at Michigan

It’s not often Connecticut is a “must beat” team, but that’s very much the case for RichRod and his Ann Arbor animals.  The winningest program in college football can’t be happy with a third straight losing season, and dropping the season opener at home would not be a good start.  The Hartford pups fared pretty well in the Big East last year, but playing in the Big House is a different game all together.  Beonard’s Loser?  In a close one, Connecticut.

Northwestern at Vanderbilt

Robbie Caldwell had better be an expert deep-sea diver, because Vanderbilt currently sits at the bottom of the ocean.  His salvage efforts will be hampered by Pat Fitzgerald and the purple kittens.  It’s not too often we see the Big Televen and SEC face off, but the Dixie-dwellers would just as soon this game doesn’t happen.  By the end of the day, the Evanston felines will be Nashville cats.  Beonard’s Loser? Vanderbilt

Wisconsin at UNLV

For the second time in four seasons, the cheese-eaters head for the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip.  In 2007, the Badgers only managed to win by 7 points.  This year, the game should be a little more one-sided.  Bret Bielma wants to come into the game against The Ohio State 6-0, and his boys will steamroll anyone who tries to get in the way.  Beonard’s Loser?  UNLV.

Well, friends, that’s about all I’ve got time for this week.  Stay tuned for next week when we have a whole ‘nother crop of losers.

To the Beonard’s Losers main page.

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