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What’s the best play in Auburn vs. South Carolina?

I had another .500 week in Week 6, going 2-2. I nailed two underdog plays (Kansas State and East Carolina both won outright), but was way off in my two other picks — especially my under play in the Notre Dame vs. Florida State game. Yikes. 

At this point in the year, I have a respectable 15-13 record. I’ll take it. 

Compared to last week, Week 7 is looking a little less enticing from a quality standpoint. That’s other than the No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Alabama game, of course. But there are still opportunities on the board at BetMGM — including four weeknight games. Two of those are highlighted below. 

(Note: All times ET, odds from BetMGM)

Coastal Carolina at No. 21 Louisiana

Time: 7:30 p.m. (Wednesday) | TV: ESPN | Line: UL -7.5 | Total: 58.5

I had this game in my picks last week before it was postponed from Saturday to Wednesday due to Hurricane Delta. Last week I liked Coastal Carolina at +7, and I like CCU even more with the hook. 

CCU is averaging 44.3 points per game after trouncing Arkansas State 52-23 in its most recent game. Louisiana opened the season with a road win over Iowa State but has won its last two games by a combined five points against two subpar Sun Belt opponents, failing to cover the spread both times. CCU is 5-1 against the spread in its last six games as a road underdog. Let’s make it 6-1. 

Pick: Coastal Carolina +7.5

No. 14 BYU at Houston

Time: 9:30 p.m. (Friday) | TV: ESPN | Line: BYU -3.5 | Total: 63

BYU is off to a 4-0 start, but last week’s 27-20 win over UTSA was the first time this year it didn’t thoroughly dominate its opponent. Perhaps it was because the Cougars were looking ahead to this game against Houston. Houston, after several false starts due to COVID-19 issues with its opponents, finally opened its season last week with a 49-31 win over Tulane. 

BYU doesn’t have many high-profile matchups this year, so I like Kalani Sitake’s team to come out swinging and refocused on Friday night in a primetime matchup. BYU QB Zach Wilson should be able to have plenty of success through the air, and I think Houston will have a tough time protecting turnover-prone QB Clayton Tune. 

Pick: BYU -3.5

Gallery: College football Week 6: Picks and preview (Yardbarker)

No. 15 Auburn at South Carolina

Time: Noon | TV: ESPN | Line: Auburn -3.5 | Total: 50.5

The natural inclination here with these two programs is to lean toward the under. But I think this could end up being a fairly high-scoring game. Auburn has been nasty on defense in recent years, but not so far this year. Just last week, the Tigers allowed 437 yards to Arkansas in a game they barely won. South Carolina has been able to move the ball fairly well with transfer Collin Hill at quarterback. On the other

What’s at Stake for Education in the 2020 Election

Photo credit: Hanna Varady/Getty
Photo credit: Hanna Varady/Getty

From Marie Claire

In regard to education policy in the November 2020 election, from student loan policy and COVID-19 education rules to public versus for-profit schools, much of it comes down to one woman: Betsy DeVos. President Trump’s Secretary of Education, a woman who has been described as “the most unpopular person in our government,” is behind what some pundits describe as the longest-lasting and most seismic legacies of the current administration. In particular, critics have taken aim at DeVos’ policies that work towards defunding and delegitimizing public education.

It’s likely that under another term of President Trump and DeVos, public schools will continue to suffer and lose resources; meanwhile, private, religious, and for-profit institutions are likely to be deregulated and given tools to flourish. Here, some of the most critical issues in regard to education policy, and where the Democratic and Republican candidates stand on each.

Education and COVID-19

Trump and DeVos: Trump threatened to defund schools that do not open despite COVID-19 concerns—a threat that DeVos supported—in a move that has been called “dangerous” and is at odds with CDC recommendations. Experts said he has no legal authority to withhold the funds. DeVos, meanwhile, is using the $2 trillion coronavirus stabilization law to funnel money designed for public school to private and religious schools, and was accused of “exploiting Congressional relief efforts.”

Harris and Biden: As for Harris and Biden’s COVID-19 plan as it relates to schools, the plan is to allow the CDC to provide national-level guidance about the dangers of COVID-19 spread to young people; to utilize funds to account for shortfalls in budget that impact teachers; and to use a “dial” analogy to make critical decisions about when to close or open schools and how to re-open them safely based on risk and spread.

Public vs. For-Profit and Private Schools

Trump and DeVos: DeVos has strongly advocated for private religious schools like the one she attended. For the fiscal year 2020, DeVos supported the administration’s providing no support to the community schools program but $40 million to charter schools. That proposal would cut $5 billion from public schools and cut Department of Education budgeting by 10 percent. DeVos also champions federal vouchers for private schools, which would drain money from public schools.

Harris and Biden: The Biden-Harris education plan proposes prioritizing public schools and providing additional supports like health professionals; leveraging community resources for additional care to students and parents; eliminating gaps in funding between white and non-white schools; establishing universal pre-K; and ensuring a safe school environment (including investing in infrastructure and increased gun control).

Teachers’ Rights and Salary

Trump and Devos: DeVos has criticized teachers and called them “bullies.” She’s very anti-union, and anti-teachers’ unions in particular. She has favored programs that arm teachers in the classroom.

Harris and Biden: Jill Biden, an educator for three decades, is the face of Biden’s plan for education. Biden has said that he’ll ensure teachers receive adequate compensation and benefits

What’s The Difference Between A Glacier And An Iceberg?

I am grateful for this platform because it allows me to provide little science lessons periodically. Many people rarely think much about basic science once school days have passed. While watching the the game show America Says on Game Show Network recently, a contestant said something that inspired this article. I believe the question asked the team to name things that you might see in Alaska. The team captain said something along the lines of, “We all love the movie Titanic so we are going to go with a glacier.” That was the correct answer, however, it was actually an iceberg that sank the Titanic. What’s the difference between a glacier and an iceberg?

As an atmospheric scientist and meteorologist, I am familiar with little things like this. People routinely ask me about meteors (I don’t study them) or tsunamis (an ocean process not an atmospheric one). However, I had not consider that some people may not think about or know the difference between an iceberg and a glacier. Let’s start with formal definitions and then dig a bit deeper.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) website, a glacier is, “a large, perennial accumulation of crystalline ice, snow, rock, sediment, and often liquid water that originates on land and moves down slope under the influence of its own weight and gravity.” One of my favorite family trips was to Glacier National Park a few years ago in Montana. We went to catch a glimpse of a glacier since most of them in the park have disappeared over the past century.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website points out that an iceberg is “ice that broke off from glaciers or shelf ice and is floating in open water.” While it is likely that any chunk of ice floating in the ocean might be called an iceberg, the NOAA website explains that to be considered an iceberg, the height must exceed 16 feet above sea level, have a thickness between 98 and 164 feet, and cover an area greater than 5,382 square feet. Icebergs can also take on many