Let the (college football) games begin! On the eve of the opening Wildcats game — we take on the California Golden Bears this Saturday in Evanston — I offer my predictions on the coming B1G football season.
1. Michigan State Spartans
2. Wisconsin Badgers
3. Michigan Wolverines
4. Ohio State Buckeyes
5. Nebraska Cornhuskers
6. Iowa Hawkeyes
7. Minnesota Golden Gophers
8. Penn State Nittany Lions
9. Indiana Hoosiers
10. Northwestern Wildcats
11. Illinois Illini
12. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
13. Purdue Boilermakers
14. Maryland Terrapins
First seven will definitely be bowl eligible. Maybe one or two others.
Sorry I couldn’t show more love for the Wildcats, but facts are stubborn things!
The best preparation for the demanding work of a first-year law school is surely rest and recuperation. Enjoy time with friends and families and take the time you need to wind down from work responsibilities as you make the transition to the exciting, focused journey of the beginning law student.
Still and all, pre-law students — OLs, as the new term describes them — ask about valuable readings to help better prepare them for their law school work. Everyone has their favorites, so let me suggest some of mine.
“A Man for All Seasons”
Robert Bolt’s magnificent play about Thomas More and the ethical dimensions of lawyering, faith, and client service in the shadow of the struggles of merry old England under the regime of Henry VIII.
“The Bramble Bush”
A short, remarkable book by one of the great legal scholars of the 20th century, Karl Llewellyn. Rewarding and insightful, even several decades after its publication.
“Law School Without Fear: Strategies for Success”
A helpful book, written by two of our beloved Northwestern professors, Helene and Marshall Shapo.
“A Civil Action”
Page-turner on modern impact litigation by Jonathan Harr.
On law, lawyers, and the system:
“Six Amendments: How and Why we Should Change the Constitution”
From our esteemed alumnus, Justice John Paul Stevens, a thought-provoking short book on of the key legal controversies of our times
Intriguing book (also refreshingly short) by futurist Richard Susskind. Frames well the challenges to young (and not-so-young) lawyers in the coming decades. Not for the timid, but a very interesting perspective.
Our brave new world (books which explore the key dimensions of our complex technological age, and how future professionals ought to cope and even thrive in this distinctly different era we are in):
Wonderfully insightful book from NU Law prof. John McGinnis. Big data meets democracy.
“The Second Machine Age”
Food for careful thought by two innovative MIT professors, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee.
Comprehensive biography of this remarkable figure by Walter Isaacson. Baffling genius; extraordinary story of Apple and its intersection with modern economic trends
On a lighter note:
Anything by David Sedaris. Hilarious.
“You Were Never in Chicago” by Neil Steinberg. Especially for the newcomers to our City of Big Shoulders!
And don’t forget to catch up on your binge-TV watching. We like House of Cards; Homeland; Veep; Downton Abbey, Newsroom, and Boardwalk Empire.
Some photos from our university graduation yesterday under relatively clear skies in Evanston.
Yesterday Uruguay is thrashed by Costa Rica. Didn’t see that one coming. Impressive performance on both sides of the pitch by Costa Rica. Thinking too far ahead, England-Uruguay matchup is an intriguing one. I wouldn’t count Uruguay out of the Cup just right now.
Ivory Coast’s win over Japan was more dominant than the score indicates. While IC’s trouble in both halves in finding the goal is, well, a bit troubling, they have an impressive attack. And they manage to do much without cheap fouls and (relatively speaking) much theatrical flourishes. I stand by my depiction of them as a decent contender to go far.
Today is about contenders. An impressive Switzerland squad; perennial power France (looking for redemption after the travesty of 2010), and a Messi-led Argentina team. All three excellent all-around teams; all three primed to escape the first round with clear victories. I will say that all three of their opponents will be fortunate to put up two goals among them.
Here is a wonderful collage of WC photos courtesy of Huffington Post.
All the attention marbles are on England v. Italy, later this eve. Marquis matchup between traditionally great European powers. But these two teams have seen better days and this matchup, to me, bodes less-than-thrilling soccer. I predict a yawner 1-1 draw.
By contrast, I am very interested in watching Uruguay, a seasoned, well-coached So Amer squad that, with a favorable draw, could be a serious finalist contender. They matchup very well against Costa Rica, of course, but it will be interesting to see whether they can put together a big, bold (>4 goal) show. They have all the tools.
I also like the Ivory Coast-Japan matchup. IC is a dark horse, with a top player in Gervinho and an exciting style and setup. They could surprise folks. Japan, albeit a bit less formidable, is an interesting team to watch. Wouldn’t be surprised if they over perform, maybe snagging an upset against a good (but I think not much more than that) Colombia squad. My prediction is 3-2 Ivory Coast.
By the way, are there any Colombians left in Colombia. They are L O U D.
Little to add to the commentary about the Spain-Netherlands clash yesterday. Masterful offense and defending by the Dutch. Silva, Ramos, and Costa AWOL. This was a second half of total destruction. (The first half most notable for a sublime Dutch header, truly one of the best goals you will ever see).
Intriguing to me is how Spain’s cautious, slow-to-the-ball, spread attack is tailor made for beat-downs by fast, foot-forward squads from Latin America. Look at Chile’s attacking, especially when the match result was in doubt, versus Australia. And imagine a reenergized Brazil and a Messi-led Argentina. Uruguay and Columbia, too, look very well-matched against a Spain that was not only lackluster in execution, but seemed determinedly slow on the attack. Announcers speculated that the problem might have been the sheer fact of age and fatigue. I wonder whether there is a more tactical issue, and that is a South American style that will reward fast, aggressive attacking over the kind of methodical approach that furthered the ambitions of Spain most notably, but also Germany, Italy, and France in their dominating two-decade runs.
Think about this: No European team has won a World Cup on South American soil. Perhaps Spain’s beat-down provides a window into why this is so.
Postscript: Contrary evidence, of course, is provided by the amazing Dutch. Yes indeed. We may not know for a few days more how truly competitive is this squad. But, meanwhile, let’s give credit where credit is due. This was quite a performance.
Nate Silver’s blog says 43% M > C, 27% C > M, 30% draw.
I have a 1-1 draw on my (currently 100% accurate) forecast.
Here is a good post from Grantland.
You’ll want to check out this blog for World Cup ruminations over the next month.
Here is what you should know for the purposes of my own street cred in this regard:
Yesterday, I began my World Cup pick ‘em pool by correcting picking the exact score (3-1) of the Brazil v. Croatia match. So, as of right now, I am 100% accurate in your WC forecasting.
Now, so far as yesterday is concerned, Brazil’s performance was, to me, a so-so endeavor. Flat in the first half (not including the “own goal” that gave Croatia a temporary taste of what might be). More European than Southern American in affect, in offense, and in attitude, the first half was an inauspicious beginning to what promises to be an exciting world cup.
Inexplicably, Croatia was cold during the second half and Brazil had its way in the last 50 minutes. Apart from a meaningless last-minute goal, Brazil could put only one penalty-kick goal (on a dubious call) in during a lackluster second period. Neymar yes, but Brazil needs to show more.
Today: Mexico begins on shaky ground — shaky because of their terrible road to qualifying, and shaky because apparently the Dunas arena in Natal has major construction defects. Egad. That said, Cameroon ought to put up a decent fight.
UPDATE: My prediction is 1-1 Mexico-Cameroon draw.