June 15, 2010

Big 12 to Big 10

As the dominos continue to fall in the wake of Colorado leaving for the PAC 10, and Nebraska to the Big 10, both official moves now departing the Big 12, I have a dilemma.  I have spent the better part of my career as a sports handicapper spending a great deal of time and effort learning and knowing the Big 12 conference, and its teams both in football and basketball.  It is well documented as to my affiliation with the Nebraska program, not only as an alum, but doing radio for 8 years in Lincoln as an announcer, color analyst, nightly 2 hour talk show co-host of Average Joe Sports Show with ESPN, and of course my own show.  I had numerous opportunities to interview and meet coaches in all sports from the Big 12 conference, their SID’s, and PR departments.  It always provided insight into upcoming games and gave me as good as an edge as anyone in the USA in the handicapping arena pertaining to Big 12 action.
 
Sadly, being deemed as a Big 12 Expert will only last this next season.  I understand as of today, Texas, OU, Texas Tech and Okie State are all considering the PAC 10 as well, Texas AM and Baylor will fall in line or miss the gravy train I understand, although Texas AM is leaning to SEC (good luck there Aggies!).  At the annual Big 12 presidents meeting a while back, all 6 southern schools in the Big 12 DID CONFIRM they had informal talks about joining the PAC 10.  Missouri had expressed interest, not only from the Athletic Department but from their Governor Jay Nixon, a strong desire to join the Big 10 which apparently has not panned out for them.  Nebraska to protect their interests in long term stability, reached out to the Big 10 and a deal was struck.
 
Nebraska did not initiate or break up the conference, many schools were talking to not 1 conference but 3 at once, and were asking the Huskers to commit to the Big 12 at the same time, and NU was having no part of it.  Lots of haters including Mizzou and Texas folks, but I think they are more upset about missing the boat and not being proactive, so they point fingers and call the Husker Nation disloyal.  Nebraska is loyal to the taxpayers, fans, and student athletes of the fine state of Nebraska, where their track record and tradition of winning, and being perceived as a national power has never been question.
 
Now it is time to brush up on the Big 10, and specialize in it, head first so to speak.  I have great sources at some Big 10 schools and some cappers who know this conference inside and out, and I have reached out to them already.  The Big 12 schedule IS IN TACT for 2010 and I will commit my last year to continued profits in the Big 12, as I go for 8 straight winning years in the Big 12 conference BOTH in football and basketball.  My learning cap is on, as I have entire year to get up to speed on Big 10 schools, their depth, coaching styles, key talent players at skill positions, their offensive and defensive styles, and follow their recruiting.  That is what it takes to single out a conference and build success in winning games, more times than not as a specialty conference.  You will see because of this, a push from me in terms of Big 10 releases both in football and Hoops this year.
 
So the tab “Big 12 Expert” expires in about 14 months, and Big 10 Specialist will apply after that.   While you can ride the coattails of seasons past for only so long, my track record in Big 10 games the past few years has been good, but not my specialty.  The moniker of Expert has to be earned.  I will go out with a loud bang in 2010 in the Big 12, and roar into the Big 10 in 2011 with a full head of steam.  If the PAC 10 decides to take all the southern schools, at least 4 of them, you will see me making more plays out of the PAC 10, and that is a conference I do a great deal of capping in as well.  The landscape is changing, and so am I.

Many Charlotte, N.C. Workers Still Pessimistic about Prospects in 2004.

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News January 1, 2004 By Amy Baldwin, The Charlotte Observer, N.C. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Jan. 1–Despite Wall Street’s double-digit gains last year and signs that the economic turnaround is quickening, many in the Charlotte area remain downcast about 2004 bringing improvements to jobs, stock portfolios or business in general. go to web site oasis day spa

That’s the take from locals in the know, and we’re not talking economists either. If you want real peoples’ perspectives on economic conditions, talk to those who listen for a living. Think of the folks who pour our coffee or our gin and tonics, or those who trim our beards or pluck our eyebrows.

“I haven’t detected anyone saying things are going to get better. I haven’t heard that at all. It has all been on the downside,” said Bill Thigpen, owner of Tattoo Bills.

At his shop on South Tryon Street, Thigpen, a tattooist and body piercer, said many customers lost their jobs in the three-year bear market and many more lament labor being outsourced overseas. The Carolinas lost 50,600 manufacturing jobs in the last year, according to state statistics. In all, South Carolina lost 47,100 nonfarm jobs in the 12 months ending Nov. 30; North Carolina gained 5,300 nonfarm jobs, despite the loss of 31,800 manufacturing jobs.

“They talk about all of our manufacturing and how it is just not here any more,” he said. “Our steel and iron and all is shipped in from somewhere else.” Still smarting from ghastly stock market declines from 2000-2002, millions of layoffs, and measly — if any — raises, people are “just hanging in there,” reported Reece Starnes, owner and sole barber at Sedgefield Barber Shop on South Boulevard.

“There are some (who are) optimistic. They think it is going to change or pick up. But they are just like me and you, they don’t know, and it is hard to tell,” said Starnes, who’s been cutting hair and shaving faces in his no-frills shop for 34 years. see here oasis day spa

At Oasis Day Spa on East Seventh Street, co-owner Roberta Johnson heard one woman say during a facial that she didn’t like her job. This woman wanted to leave her position but was afraid she wouldn’t find another, because jobs have been so scarce, Johnson said.

“I get that a lot,” Johnson said. “It seems like people have settled and aren’t really happy.” At Carolina Family Restaurant on Wilkinson Boulevard near the airport, the mood is decidedly pessimistic, said Maria Gavrilis, who waits tables and works the cash register. Gavrilis, who greets regulars by name, said she has seen lots of patrons lose their jobs, mostly those who worked for US Airways or Duke Power.

“I talked to one (former) Duke guy recently. He sent out 60 resumes and got only three call backs,” she said. “We’re like a family here. We learn about people’s lives.” But not everyone is negative.

“You have some optimists who say the stock markets are going to bounce back up and this is how it’s gonna be in an economic recovery,” Gavrilis said.

Across town in the tiny Dilworth neighborhood, bartender Keith Miller said he never hears people moaning about money or the economy.

“Most people in this area are optimistic people,” said Miller, who works at Sole Spanish Grill on East Boulevard.

Same goes for the clientele at the Charlotte Cafe in the Park Road Shopping Center.

“In here, it’s more optimism than pessimism,” said Dan Hendrickson, manager and server. “I don’t hear customers say, ‘I just lost my job and I don’t have any money.’” Unfortunately, the same doesn’t hold true for several of Hendrickson’s friends who’ve been laid off, he said.

Give it time and the public’s mood will improve with everything else, said the Rev. Jody Seymour of Davidson United Methodist Church.

“If things are getting better, and a lot of indicators say they are, there are still a lot of people catching up to that reality,” Seymour said. “People may just be a little cautious or afraid to feel good again.” UAIR, DUK,

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