American democracy: A view on why Obama won; plus NFL pix 'n fantasy, Uncle Luke, new SOPY rankings & more
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A VIEW ON WHY OBAMA WON: The president won reelection by a significantly greater electoral margin and a greater popular-vote margin than I'd predicted (see below). Democracy in action makes me a proud American, and I especially have never been prouder of my state. I felt from the moment the Obama-Romney choice was set that the president was very vulnerable for defeat because of the economy, but that Romney was not the man to defeat him. I also felt strongly that the VP choice of Paul Ryan did not help the Republican ticket. It was not the game-changing loser that McCain's choice of Palin was, but when your VP cannot even carry his own home state, that is an ominous sign. Economic indicators gradually trending upward helped Obama late in the race, but so did factors that made the contest about much more than just the economy. Romney's intention to abolish Roe vs. Wade and to fundamentally alter Social Security put him at odds with mainstream thinking and made his views seem radical to many. More than that, the race became one of personal integrity. More than any presidential campaign in my lifetime, Romney's campaign defied fact-checkers and flatly and intentionally misled, as with the Jeep ads. The tactic played Americans for dumb. Americans are not dumb. The affirmation of that was quite resounding. Original post from Tuesday, with the headline THE HONOR OF VOTING: Am proudly wearing a 'My Vote Counted' sticker after casting my ballot this morning at my local elementary school. What an honor. It might sound corny, but it makes me proud to be an American. I never feel a more organic, visceral connection to democracy than when voting -- particularly in a presidential election, of course, in the company of dozens of other citizens waiting in line just like me. This election has been so polarizing. I wish Obama and Romney supporters alike could start from a point of mutual respect, an understanding that we all want what's best for the country and that the candidate we don't support is not the devil, but just a guy with different views. I'm not sure this is possible, but we can dream. My prediction for tonight: Obama wins reelection with just under 300 electoral votes, but Romney narrowly wins the overall popular vote. Should this happen, let's hope that 200 years has been enough time for disappointed voters to understand how the election works and therefore not feel cheated. The minute a winner is declared -- either way -- healing must begin and progress continue. It is a big part of what separates America from countries that wish they were.
SOPY RANKINGS (WEEK 10): A NEW LEADER!: This college football season marks the blog debut of our weekly State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) rankings, which I like to call the "Sunshine State Heisman." Our chart encompasses the most productive seasons of any quarterback, running back or receiver from the state's seven FBS teams: Miami, Florida and FSU, FIU and FAU, and South Florida and UCF. (Note: Rankings consider only passing, rushing and receiving, not returns). Our formula awards one point per offensive yard gained running or receiving and a half-point per yard passing, plus six bonus points for touchdowns thrown or scored. Because our rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week take a temporary hit that evens out over course of season. After Week 10 it's South Florida's B.J. Daniels surpassing Florida State's E.J. Manuel, who was on a bye. The SOPY Top 10 entering Week 11:
Rank (LW) Player, Team-pos. SOPY Pts. Week=Year
1 (2) B.J. Daniels, South Florida-qb 128.5 = 1,585.5
2 (1) E.J. Manuel, FSU-qb BYE = 1,483.5
3 (3) Stephen Morris, Miami-qb 124 = 1,365
4 (4) Jake Medlock, FIU-qb 103.5 = 1,215.5
5 (5) Blake Bortles, UCF-qb 106 = 1,205.5
6 (8) Graham Wilbert, FAU-qb 102.5 = 1,043.5
7 (7) Jeff Driskel, Florida-qb 93 = 1,039
8 (6) Chris Thompson, FSU-rb BYE = 965
9 (9) Mike Gillislee, Florida-rb 119 = 953
10 (10) Latavius Murray, UCF-rb 214 = 914
Bubble: Duke Johnson, Miami-rb, 797.
State of the State rankings: 1. Florida (8-1); 2. FSU (8-1); 3. UCF (7-2); 4. Miami (5-4); 5. South Florida (3-6); 6. FAU (2-7); 7. FIU (2-8).
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blgopost...