Friday, April 30, 2010

NCCA Football: BCS vs. Playoff system

One topic that has generated a lot of discussion lately is over the current college football championship system. Some people believe that the current way (BCS) is the best way to decide a national champ. However, many people also think that there should be a playoff system, similar to the NFL.

In the article A College Football Playoff that Works, Chris Suellentrop argues in favor of a new playoff system. He argues that fans, coaches, and the media are demanding a new playoff system. He proposes an 8 team playoff that would consist of the champion of each of the 6 major conferences in college football as well as two at-large teams from mid-majors. He goes on to say that the basis of this playoff is that if you aren't good enough to win your conference you can't win a national championship.

On the opposite side of the argument, in an article titled BCS Chief: A College Football Playoff Would Increase Problems, the author, Bill Hancock, argues against a change to a playoff system. Hancock argues that the current BCS system has given smaller schools a chance to play in big-time bowl games. He uses the example of the TCU football team from last season to prove this point. He also argues that the BCS system is too good of a way to make a large amount of money that helps the NCAA and each individual school.

Bill Hancock's article against implementing a playoff was the more convincing argument. This is because he used quotes and opinions from current coaches to back up his views. Whereas, Suellentrop did not use any evidence or quotations from experts to back up his argument.

After reading these articles my opinion has not changed about this topic. I still believe that a new playoff system needs to be put into place. I believe this solely for entertainment purposes. It happens too many times that the BCS games are complete blowouts. These games are supposed to be the best of the best playing each other. Instead, it often times turns into a very lopsided game that is not fun to watch.

Peer Response to Daniel's Post on Drinking Age

In Daniel Lester's blog, he talks about the debated topic of the drinking age in Australia. Many people believe that the drinking age should be raised from 18-21 in Australia in order to help limit alcohol abuse and drinking related problems in Australia.

Daniel uses to two different articles to represent both sides of this argument. In his first article, the author is in favor or raising the drinking age. Daniel discusses how the author thinks that the government should raise the price of alcohol as well as the legal drinking age in order to stop violence due to alcohol.

In the next article that he used, the author was opposed raising the drinking age. The author claims that the drinking age should remain at 18 and he uses ethical evidence to back up this claim. One main argument that is used is that if one can serve and fight for their country in the armed forces, then they should be able to drink alcohol if they want to.

Daniel thinks that the first article, by Bibby, in favor of raising the drinking age was the most convincing. I agree with Daniel's opinion on the articles. Bibby's article used much better facts and research evidence than the second article by Terri. Terri uses an ethical appeal and not much evidence to back up his claims.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Peer Response: Darius' "fake" vs. "real" peaches

In Darius' blog, he talks about how when he was younger his mom used to bring home fresh peaches from the market. But, since he is now living on his own, he has switched to "fake," or canned peaches. He compares the two types of peaches to each other. Darius says that the canned peaches have a sweeter taste than the fresh peaches his mother brought home. He compares the scents of the two types and concludes that they smell very similar. Darius goes on to say that the canned peaches have a much slimier texture than the fuzzy skin of a fresh peach. The main difference between the two forms is that the canned peaches have much less nutritional value than a real, fresh peach. This means that real peaches are healthier for people. Darius believes that the canned peaches are more consistently sweeter than real peaches. This is due to the corn syrup and added sugars that also contribute the the canned peaches being less healthy than fresh ones.

I agree with Darius' comparisons to canned versus fresh peaches. Canned peaches are more convenient and easier to find than good, fresh peaches. But, like many other processed foods, they are not as healthy. Darius does an excellent job of explaining why he eats canned peaches more, and he does a great job comparing the two products as well. Darius linked to a cite that explains that canned fruits are not nearly as healthy as fresh fruits. This article further compares "real" and "fake" foods.

"Real" Potatoes vs. "Fake" Potatoes

One food that I frequently now eat in its "fake" form is mashed potatoes. This is a very easy food to make in its fake form compared to its real form. For the most part, all you have to do is add a few ingredients and heat it up. This fake version is a pretty close substitute for the real thing. The food looks very similar. That is, white, fluffy, and soft. The taste and smell are also very comparable to the real thing. The fake food does not provide any extra nutritional benefits. However, it is a very close equivalent in nutritional value to the real foods. This can be rare for packaged and processed foods, but potatoes are an exception to some extent. The fake version claims to be better than real potatoes because it is much easier and quicker to prepare than going through the whole process of making real mashed potatoes.

I switched to the fake version when I started cooking in college. I did this because it is much more convenient and easier than making real mashed potatoes. Instead of peeling the potatoes, then boiling them, then mashing them all together, and adding milk, butter, etc..., just heating and adding a few ingredients is much easier. I do believe that I will return to eating the real food in the near future. This is because there is no replacing good, "real" mashed potatoes. I would like to go back to the real version eventually.

In Sandy Swarc's blog she writes about processed foods and how they are not real. She says that they are manufactured version of food and lack essential nutritional benefits that real foods contain. She compares food processing procedures from the past to what we now know as "food processing" which contains chemicals and other unhealthy things.