A Good December So Far

December 21, 2014

Turning the calendar page from November to December made a huge difference for the Columbus Blue Jackets. The CBJ is 8-0-1 so far in the last month of the year, with three games to go, all at home. At now just one game under .500, we’re right back in the playoff race.

The Ohio State men lost to another ranked team, this time North Carolina in a game played at the United Center in Chicago. UNC had lost some games earlier in the season, but seem to have their act together now. They dominated the Buckeyes for most of the game.

In the second game at the United Center, Kentucky annihilated UCLA 83-44. This after beating North Carolina last Saturday 84-70. The Cats actually struggled a bit in beating Columbia by 10, after trailing the entire first half.

As I type this, the UK women are being routed in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Looks like the Cats will suffer their second loss of the year. Senior guard Bria Goss is out several weeks with a broken thumb.

From me to all readers: Best wishes for a joyous holiday season!

Who’s In? We Are!

December 7, 2014

With all of last week’s top four in the college football playoff rankings having won this weekend, I didn’t expect the Buckeyes to move into a playoff position, even with the incredible 59-0 rout of Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game last night. But sure enough, when the final rankings were announced this afternoon, TCU fell from third to sixth, Florida State moved from fourth to third and Ohio State moved into the fourth and final spot. The Bucks will play top-ranked Alabama on January 1. The other semifinal is Oregon vs. Florida State.

In basketball, Kentucky handled visiting Texas Friday night in a war. Both teams are pretty good defensively, and the game was close for awhile. The UK women went to Louisville today and beat the Cards. Of the upsets this weekend, NJIT winning at Michigan is the biggest head scratcher. Another good top-ten matchup was yesterday as Arizona beat Gonzaga in overtime.

Up To #5

December 4, 2014

WIth Ohio State’s 42-28 win over visiting Michigan, and the Ole Miss upset of Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, the Buckeyes moved up to fifth position in the College Football Playoff rankings. But the injury bug bit hard as J T Barrett broke his ankle in the fourth quarter against the Wolves. With Braxton Miller being hurt all year, Ohio State goes to the third quarterback in the depth chart. So Cardale Jones will be at the controls Saturday night in Indianapolis in the Big Ten Championship game.

If Ohio State wins, they still need help to get into the playoffs. #4 Florida State will play Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship game. #1 Alabama plays Missouri for the SEC title. #2 Oregon plays Arizona for the PAC-12 Championship. #3 TCU has what will probably be an easy game against Iowa State.

In basketball, Ohio State lost in Louisville Tuesday, a game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Bucks were down by 19 early then rallied to make it close. The Big Ten won the challenge this year 8 games to 6.

The UK women had three games last week in the Virgin Islands. One of those games was a loss to Illinois, which was a surprise to me. The UK men have a big game tomorrow night against Texas. Between now and Christmas, the Cats will also play North Carolina and UCLA.

I managed to work a station in Hawaii on the 30-meter band in November. This completed Worked All States for me on that band. I now have WAS on 8 different bands.

One More Chance At Bowl Eligibility

November 26, 2014

There was a lot of hope in Lexington as Kentucky started the football season 5-1 (with the one loss being in overtime at Florida). But since then 5 consecutive losses in the rugged SEC have left the Cats on the verge of another losing season. Kentucky visits Louisville Saturday at noon. The Cards have had a good season in the ACC, and will be big favorites.

In basketball, the Kentucky men and women continue undefeated. The women had a close 3-point win at Central Michigan. Otherwise, the games have not been close.

It’s too early to stick a fork in the Blue Jackets, but things need to turn around soon. Despite the return of Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus has gone 0-3 since my last post on hockey.

Still #6

November 26, 2014

Ohio State is still ranked #6 in the College Football Playoff rankings. To make the playoffs, they have to be in the top 4 when the final rankings are announced in early December. Beating Michigan and winning the Big Ten Championship game are necessary but probably not sufficient for a move up. So, we have to hope some of the top 5 lose.

Florida State is undefeated but has had a lot of close games. Saturday the Noles play host to Florida. Gators Coach Will Muschamp is leaving, and I’ll be hoping the Gators can pull off an upset in what is likely to be an emotional game.

Tomorrow night, TCU visits Texas. This is not your father’s Texas Longhorn team. But playing at home, UT can make a statement with an upset of the Horned Frogs.

Saturday afternoon is the Egg Bowl as Mississippi State visits Oxford to play Ole Miss. The Rebels have collapsed after a great start to the season, and last week were routed by lowly Arkansas. But the talent is there, and a good bit of redemption would be earned with a win over their cross-state rivals.

Auburn is another team that started out great, then faded. Saturday night the Tigers take on #1 Alabama, in a rematch of the game last year that featured Auburn’s last-minute kickoff return for a touchdown. That’s probably enough motivation for the Tide to take care of business, but we’ll see.

Another big rivalry game Saturday night is Oregon at Oregon State. The Beavers need one more win for bowl eligibility, and had a nice upset win over Arizona State two weeks ago.

Basketball Underway

November 19, 2014

The Kentucky men were dominant last night in Indianapolis in a rout of Kansas. Kentucky’s talent level has been described as “scary”, and with so many great players, Coach Calipari has implemented a “platoon” system. While there is still a good bit of youth on the team, the Wildcats look head-and-shoulders above everybody else. They just have to maintain the intensity level they showed last night.

The Kentucky women came from 14 points down to beat Baylor in Rupp Arena Monday night. The SEC is even better than normal in women’s basketball this year, so a conference title may prove elusive. But Coach Mitchell definitely has another fine team this season.

I got to see Ohio State last night for the first time, as they pulled away from Marquette. The Bucks committed a lot of turnovers, but their shooting was better than has been typical lately.

I haven’t gotten to see the Ohio State women yet. They lost their opener at Virginia, but are rebuilding. Georgia visits Columbus tonight, and will be a good test for the Buckeyes.

The Lexington GlobalTuner #2 will be off the air indefinitely. After several hours of work I determined that the CI-V interface that allows the computer to control the radio has failed. I will probably replace it eventually, but they are not cheap. The Icom PCR-1000 continues to be online as “Lexington Kentucky”

One Losing Streak Ends, Another Doesn’t

November 19, 2014

The Blue Jackets got up to nine losses in-a-row, tying a franchise record. A 4-3 win in Philadelphia Friday night finally ended the streak. Sergei Bobrovsky was back between the pipes Saturday and Columbus beat San Jose 2-1. But last night the Jackets were shutout by Detroit 5-0. Columbus is in last place in the Metropolitan division. But with Bobrovsky back, they have a chance to make some progress as long as they can generate some kind of offense. There are still a lot of skaters injured.

Kentucky has now lost 5 football games in-a-row and has fallen below .500. If the Cats can beat Louisville on November 29th, they will finally become bowl eligible.

Ohio State on the other hand has continued to win since the head-scratching loss to Virginia Tech. Last night the latest playoff standings were announced, and the Buckeyes are sixth. So it is not out-of-the-question that OSU could end up in the final four, if teams above them rack up some losses.

But A Rough Couple Weeks

November 3, 2014

The Blue Jackets pulled out a nice 5-4 win in San Jose on October 23rd, as Mark Letestu scored the game winning goal with 20 seconds left. But Columbus hasn’t been in the winner’s circle since. Injuries have continued to mount, and none is bigger than the loss of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

In the meat of the SEC schedule, Kentucky has now lost three in-a-row, to LSU, Mississippi State and Missouri. Only one more win is needed to become bowl eligible. Remaining opponents are Georgia, Tennessee and Louisville.

Ohio State continues to roll along since the loss to Virginia Tech, and is 4-0 in the Big Ten along with Michigan State. Those two get together Saturday night in East Lansing. This will probably determine the Big Ten East champion.

A Good Start

October 22, 2014

The Blue Jackets began the season winning 3 and losing 2. And in the two losses, Columbus had plenty of shots on goal. So, the season is off to a good start despite injuries. Nathan Horton’s back problems may end up being career-ending. The Jackets begin a visit to California tomorrow night.

Kentucky had high hopes visiting Baton Rouge but ended up getting routed 41-3. This Saturday, the Cats play host to #1-ranked Mississippi State.

Ohio State has looked better lately. J. T. Barrett seems to have gotten his sea legs since the loss to Virginia Tech. A tough battle at Penn State looms Saturday night.

The college football season continues to amaze and amuse. Last Saturday’s Notre Dame-Florida State game might be the best game I’ve seen all year. Time will tell if the Mississippi schools are for real, or the usual elite teams emerge in time for the playoffs.

Kentucky 4-1

October 5, 2014

With last night’s thrilling 45-38 win over visiting South Carolina, Kentucky moved to 4-1 on the season. The Cats twice rallied from 14 points down for the win.  The only blemish on the record so far is a 36-30 triple-overtime loss to Florida in The Swamp. The main positive thing about Kentucky is that the quarterback situation is pretty stable with Patrick Towles. They still make mistakes on both sides of the ball, but are competitive the SEC for the first time in awhile. The general weakness in the SEC East has a lot of people thinking we may have a very special season unfolding. But a lot of tough competition looms.

Kentucky’s 17-7 win over Vanderbilt in September ended a streak of 17-straight conference losses since November of 2011 when the Cats knocked off Tennessee. Unfortunately the long streak of losses to the Gators continues. Kentucky has not beaten Florida since 1986.

Over in the SEC West, the Mississippi schools haven’t had much to cheer about recently until this year. Yesterday Ole Miss knocked off Alabama, and Mississippi State beat Texas A&M. In fact, 4 of the national top 6 teams lost this weekend. It’s hard for me to have any idea at this point who might be the top four teams headed to the college football playoff at the end of the year.

During September I got a QSL card in the mail confirming a contact I made on the 17-meter band with South Carolina. That was the last state I needed to complete Worked All States on that band. That becomes the sixth band on which I have W.A.S. The others are 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters.

Just four days to go until the Blue Jackets open regular season play. Columbus is fighting a lot of injuries. So, it will be interesting to see if they can maintain the momentum they ended last season with.

I have wanted for some time to take pictures of all my license plates. This collection on Flickr shows them all. You can view by state/country or by topic (lighthouses, amateur radio). https://www.flickr.com/photos/ku4a/collections/72157647870557595/

 


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