Business as usual

first_imgThe Sinaloa Cartel, led by the recently captured Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, is responsible for an estimated 25 to 50 percent of all illegal drugs that come into the United States through Mexico.According to experts, Guzmán’s organization has annual revenues of more than $6 billion, and is one of the main culprits behind the spiral of violence in Mexico that has claimed more than 100,000 lives.The Gazette spoke with Evelyn Krache Morris, an associate with the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, about the effects of El Chapo’s arrest on the Mexican drug trade. Krache Morris is writing a book on the history of Mexican transnational criminal networks and their impact on U.S. relations with Mexico. GAZETTE: The number of people killed in Mexico due to drug-related violence is staggering. Between 2007 and 2014, there were around 164,000 deaths, more than the number of civilian deaths in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And yet this tragedy doesn’t get a lot of attention here. Why is that?KRACHE MORRIS: I think it doesn’t get a lot of attention because it doesn’t fit into what we have grown to understand as threats to the United States. It’s seen as a Mexican problem that doesn’t affect the United States because it’s not seen as a terrorist threat. It’s not ISIS or al-Qaida. And because of that, the violence is largely ignored. To the extent it is discussed, it is often in terms of “drug dealers killing other drug dealers.” That is as sophisticated as the rhetoric has gotten.GAZETTE: What impact will El Chapo’s arrest have on the drug trade in Mexico?KRACHE MORRIS: As long as there is money to be made, and with such a profitable market next door, this business is not going to go away, because if it’s not El Chapo, it’s going to be someone else. There is too much money to be made.GAZETTE: How did he become the world’s most powerful drug trafficker?KRACHE MORRIS: Separate from the fact that he’s a murderous criminal, he’s a very good businessman. In order to create and run an organization the size and scope of Sinaloa, that’s really a requirement. Also, he was quite adept at playing off other transnational criminal networks against each other within Mexico. El Chapo was, at least, the symbolic head of what most people call the Sinaloa Cartel. I think “cartel” is the wrong term, because his organization is involved in drug trafficking, particularly heroin and meth, but also in a number of other businesses, including smuggling people and pirated software.Evelyn Krache Morris is an associate with the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerGAZETTE: What’s the term you use to describe these criminal organizations?KRACHE MORRIS: The term “drug trafficking organizations” gets closer, but drugs are only one of the products that these organizations are involved with. They’re also involved with things like avocado, limes, oil, and people. The term I like to use is transnational criminal networks, because that gets at the scope of what they’re doing.Cartel implies they’re working together to fix prices, like OPEC. That’s not how these organizations function at all. They’re extremely competitive. Much of the violence is the result of competition among these organizations for routes and transit points, particularly into the United States.GAZETTE: More than two decades ago, the drug trade was ruled by Colombian criminal organizations. How did the Mexican drug organizations take over?KRACHE MORRIS: The U.S. Coast Guard got much better at interdicting shipments coming through the Gulf of Mexico, and the Colombian organizations needed to find another way to get their products to the United States. They started working with Mexicans to get their products into Mexico, and then into the United States. As so often has happened, in various points with these organizations, the people working for you take over. That’s what happened. As the Colombian organizations were degraded, the Mexican organizations, which already had the logistics to get the products into the United States, took over.GAZETTE: Were there other factors behind the emergence of the Mexican drug organizations?KRACHE MORRIS: It was the dismantling of the Colombian drug organizations, but also the passage of NAFTA, which not only facilitated cross-border trade but also undermined Mexican agriculture. So you had lots of agricultural workers who were out of jobs and couldn’t support their families and were looking for something else to do. And one of the things they found was the drug trade.GAZETTE: How big a business is the drug trade? Many experts say their revenues amount to those of big global companies such as Nike ($30 billion) and Facebook ($18 billion).KRACHE MORRIS: The best number I found was $30 billion. It’s probably bigger than that now. It’s a multibillion-dollar industry spanning all across the globe. These Mexican transnational criminal networks are importing chemicals from China to make meth and fentanyl, or synthetic heroin, and they’re moving their products into the United States. They have connections in Europe, and they’re working with criminal organizations in Central America. They have a very broad reach.GAZETTE: What is the role of these drug organizations in the violence that is engulfing Mexico?KRACHE MORRIS: They have an enormous amount to do with the violence in Mexico. And one reason for the United States to dismiss this threat is to think that it’s drug dealers killing other drug dealers. That’s not true. It’s drug dealers killing police, journalists, and mayors.GAZETTE: Does the United States have any role in this wave of violence?KRACHE MORRIS: Mexico has stricter gun laws than the United States. About 75 percent of the guns used in Mexico are coming from the United States, where it is much easier to get them. States like Texas, where gun laws are quite liberal and share a border with Mexico, make it easy for guns to be trafficked into Mexico. The insatiable American demand for illegal drugs also, of course, contributes enormously to the violence and corruption in Mexico.GAZETTE: How have the Mexican criminal organizations evolved since they took over the Colombian organizations? What’s their role in the opiate epidemic in the United States?KRACHE MORRIS: Mexican organizations don’t sell much marijuana because it’s not profitable anymore. They’re into meth and heroin, which are extremely profitable.They’re filling a void that was created in part by cracking down on the so-called “pill mills,” by which people were getting prescription painkillers or opiates. They became harder to find, prices went up, and that didn’t mean that people were going to stop using them, but that they were going to find a substitute product. It was the classic business model of product substitution. The Mexican organizations filled that gap with heroin and fentanyl. Poppies can be grown in Mexico, but heroin has a high labor cost because the sap has to be harvested from the poppies and then it has to be refined. Fentanyl is less labor-intensive because it is made from chemicals that can be imported and thus it’s more profitable than heroin.GAZETTE: Speaking of profits, you’ve been advocating for more aggressive prosecution of the banks that have benefited themselves from laundering money from the drug trade. Could you tell us more about this?KRACHE MORRIS: A number of banks, including HSBC and Wachovia, have paid fines as result of investigations into money laundering. But these have been for trivial amounts. And calling it laundering is, in some cases, glorifying it. Bank branches in the capital of Sinaloa reconfigured their deposit windows into the shape of the boxes that men would bring, full of dollars, to shove them under the windows. Every bank has a compliance department to ensure they’re adhering to all the rules they need to. If you’re laundering money for Sinaloa, and if you have windows cut in your branches to make it easier for people to shove their dollars through, you’re not in compliance. If senior-level people at these big banks were subject to criminal prosecution, I think the banks would tighten things up.GAZETTE: What does it take to make a dent in the drug trade? Is it a combination of law enforcement, prosecution, interdiction, or maybe legalization?KRACHE MORRIS: The real pie in the sky, which is never going to happen, is uniform federal legalization of drugs like meth and heroin so there is no interstate price arbitrage and the laws are the same as well as the tax rates. This would dramatically cut down the profitability. That’s not going to happen. I think a solution that might happen is cracking down on the banks.GAZETTE: In your view, has the war on drugs been successful?KRACHE MORRIS: The long answer is I don’t think it’s being taken seriously enough. I think there’s still this attitude that says, “If you use drugs, you get what you deserve.” Filling the prisons with drug users so they can meet other drug users, or drug dealers, is not a great answer. Rehab takes a long time, it’s expensive, and it doesn’t work with sound bites. The short answer is that it has been a failure.last_img read more

Mount Sentinel off to provincials once again, make 26th straight appearance after bouncing Crowe and Stanley Humphries at zone finals

first_imgIn 1985, Microsoft Corporation released the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0; compact Discs are introduced to American Consumers and the Mount Sentinel Wildcats won the West Kootenay High School AA Boy’s Volleyball zone.Twenty-six years later, technology has changed but the same school is being represented at the Provincial AA Volleyball championships.The Wildcats booked its 26 consecutive trip to the provincials by defeating Trail’s J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks and the Rockers of Stanley Humphries during the zone finals Wednesday at the Mount Sentinel gymnasium.The Cats posted straight set wins over both teams.Mount Sentinel enters the tournament, set for two weeks time at UBC Okanagan gymnasium in Kelowna, up a few rungs on the ranking ladder after posting wins over Kimberley’s Selkirk Storm and Prince Charles Comets of Creston during the recent Mount Baker Tournament in Cranbrook.Selkirk is ranked 12th while the Comets are locked in tenth spot.“Mt Sentinel has now moved up in the rankings and is playing some of their best volleyball of the year heading into to the Provincials,” said head coach Glen Campbell.Leading the Cats is senior striker Zach Grigg.The Grade 12 player won the Spike Competition in Cranbrook and has been recruited heavily by colleges and universities.Grigg has been recognized at one of the top five high school players in [email protected]last_img read more

Wade, Chirico pace Bombers to 5-1 win over Rockers

first_imgThe Bombers looked strong on the home pitch at Lakeside, scoring early and often.Naomi Perkins scored the other goal for the Bombers.”There was amazing mid field work by Allie Zondervan and Abbie Bourchier-Willans while keeper Tara Yowek  was outstanding in the net,” said coach Val Gibson.The winner of Tuesday’s semi final advances to meet the Rossland Royals in the West Kootenay Final Thursday (October 25) at Pass Creek.The zone winner qualifies for the B.C. High School AA Fieldhockey Championships in Burnaby.The loser plays a backdoor game into the provincials against Fraser Valley No. 2 in Kelowna October 30. Sarah Wade and Chiara Chirico each scored twice sparking the  L.V. Rogers Bombers to a convincing 5-1 decision over the Stanley Humphries Rockers in West Kootenay Fieldhockey League action Wednesday afternoon at the Lakeside Pitch.The game was a preview to the West Kootenay semi final set for Tuesday at Pass Creek in Castlegar.last_img read more

Come one, come all to the annual Christmas Classic Hockey in Castlegar

first_imgWhen asked to comment on the event, Selkirk Saints Head Coach and GM Brent Heaven comments:“The Selkirk Saints Hockey Program is extremely excited to be a part of the CGHL Christmas Classic Hockey Game again this year,” Heaven said.”This is a great event which raises funds for many local charitable foundations, and one that is always fun to attend and be a part of.  We encourage everyone to come out and support the event which helps spread the holiday spirit, brings families together and raises funds for a great cause. #SaintsNation”Come out to the Christmas classic and have a couple beverages, then take the shuttle bus to the Element.  This is all for a good cause, and most importantly a good time to see everyone over the break.“We started this thing as a small hockey game to just bring friends together and over the past 5 years we’ve been able to help raise over $5,000 towards local groups like the Rebels, Selkirk Saints, CGHL and the Castlegar Broomball Association,” said organizer and originator Bergen Price.”This speaks to the close knit community we are fortunate enough to of grown up in.  People come out and are so supportive.”The Christmas Classic would especially like to thank Dale Donaldson (Source for sports), Steve Cartwright (Cartwrights Pub), Joanne Bursey (Century 21) and the Element Night club for all their support in making this event possible.For more information on the event, please email [email protected] originated at The Nelson Daily It’s back!!The 6th annual Christmas Classic Hockey game is scheduled to hit the ice at the Castlegar Community Complex on Wednesday Dec. 23 from 7 – 9 p.m. followed by the after party, which will be at the Element night club from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.The goal of the Christmas Classic Hockey game and after party is to raise funds for the Selkirk Saints Championship Hockey Program. The hockey game is free, but there will be raffles, prizes and a beer garden.  The element will have a $5 cover charge with proceeds being donated to the Saints.After the game, shuttle busses (provided by the Element) will arrive at the Complex after the game to provide safe rides to the Element after party.last_img read more

HEAVILY FAVORED MIDNIGHT STORM EARNS 1 ¼ LENGTH VICTORY UNDER BEJARANO IN GRADE II, $200,000 SAN PASQUAL STAKES; D’AMATO TRAINEE GETS 1 1/16 MILES OVER A WET FAST SURFACE IN 1:40.65

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2017)–With the mighty Arrogate declared from the race earlier in the day, trainer Phil D’Amato’s Midnight Storm assumed the mantle of heavily backed favorite and he didn’t disappoint, taking Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths under Rafael Bejarano while getting a mile and a sixteenth in 1:40.65 over Santa Anita’s wet fast main track.Breaking from the outside in a field of four older horses, Midnight Storm went to the lead as expected, but was immediately engaged by eventual third place finisher Dalmore, who although he was never able to draw even with him, pressed the winner through splits of 23.02, 45.59, 1:08.93 and 1:33.98.“I knew I had to put my horse on the lead,” said Bejarano.  “I needed a good start and when I put him on the lead, I felt the pressure right away.  Dalmore was right next to me, chasing me the whole way.  I kept him on the lead but tried to give him a breather at the half mile pole.  At the three eighths I knew he would keep running.  He loves to be on the lead and he always gives me something else.”A Grade I stakes winner on turf, Midnight Storm came off a rousing 7 ¾ length win on dirt in the Grade III Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 27 and was thus dispatched as the 3-5 favorite today.  With no show wagering, he paid $3.20 and $2.10.“I thought he’d love the surface,” said D’Amato.  “They were going fast.  I saw 45 and 1:08 and change and he dug in there gamely and held them off today.  We were going to the lead, whether Arrogate was in or not…We thought Accelerate would be the one pressing us, not Dalmore, but it still worked out and he maintained through some grueling fractions and he showed his class in the stretch.”Owned by A Venneri Racing, Inc. and Little Red Feather Racing, Midnight Storm, a 6-year-old horse by Pioneerof the Nile, notched his 10th win from 21 starts and with the winner’s share of $120,000, increased his earnings to $1,461,110.Last after the first half mile, Accelerate, who was ridden by Tyler Baze, flew late for second money, finishing 2 ½ lengths in front of Dalmore.  Off at 7-2, Accelerate paid $3.00 to place.“He’s going to be a super horse, I really mean that,” said Baze.  “I think John’s going to try blinkers next time and we’ll try to get him into the race a little sooner.  He’s going to be a special horse.”Santa Anita will be open for special holiday racing on Monday, with first post time for a nine-race card at 12:30 p.m.  Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.last_img read more

Liverpool icon’s criticism of Pogba explains why he is not a top class midfielder

first_img 2 France fans have been calling for Deschamps to drop Pogba from the starting XI Graeme Souness has offered a valid criticism of Paul Pogba that explains why the Manchester United midfielder is not a top class player.Pogba is preparing to represent France at this summer’s World Cup, and though he seems a shoo-in to start for Les Bleus, fans have been calling for manager Didier Deschamps to drop Pogba to the substitutes bench. Pogba endured another season of relative disappointment with Manchester United France seem to perform better when Pogba is not selected, and the player himself struggles to show off his best talents while representing his nation.This is not a problem restricted to international football, however.Pogba has rarely set the world alight since his transfer to Manchester United in the summer of 2016, with flashes of brilliance coming all too rarely, and nondescript performances the norm.He is still being judged by his price tag, which is not fair, but it certainly is not a wild accusation to call Pogba’s time at Old Trafford disappointing.And Souness, the Liverpool legend, has offered a view on Pogba’s struggles for both United and France.In his Sunday Times column, Souness wrote: ‘Like Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, Didier Deschamps struggles to find a system that gets the best out of Paul Pogba. He should draw a line under that. 2 ‘You can’t trust him as a central midfielder and, ultimately, that’s how Deschamps will see it. He could use Pogba as an impact substitute.‘If you’re 1-0 up, you’re not bringing him on to close the game down.‘If you’re chasing the game, he might do something, but still doesn’t understand the midfield role properly.’last_img read more

X-BLADES ‘XPOSE` – VOLUME 1 2008

first_imgTFA brings you the latest news in the lead-up the 2008 X-Blades NTL in the X-Blades ‘Xpose`.TFA National Media Coordinator Karley Banks brings you the weekly wrap from NTL central.The ‘Xpose`- Volume 1 2008 is now available on the NTL websitelast_img

10 months agoAC Milan coach Gattuso acknowledges sack pressure

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say AC Milan coach Gattuso acknowledges sack pressureby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan coach Rino Gattuso acknowledges he was under pressure ahead of victory over SPAL.There was talk he could be sacked if they lost.Gattuso said, “The Milan jersey and history of this club naturally means people expect more, including the club owners, Leonardo and Paolo Maldini too.“This team can give more, even if we have many young players who need to gain experience. Every time we look as if we’re ready to make the step up to the next level, we fall down, and that’s where we have to improve.“We also have to deal with players who can make mistakes and the San Siro crowd does not let anything go, but remember this is a tough league.“All I can bring is honesty. We look each other in the eyes with respect and clarity every day, as those are the elements we need to sort things out.” last_img read more

Recycling all that crap

first_imgThe latest data on rural sanitation from the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) has said that more than 99 per cent of India’s rural households have been covered by toilets. The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey of 2018-19 points out that around 38 per cent of the toilets are attached to some kind of septic tank. Officials from MDWS say the septic tank is the most popular option for people, who have a tendency to move towards it as an option for on-site sanitation. Also Read – A special kind of bondThis raises a concern — what will happen to the huge of amount of faecal sludge sucked out of these tanks? Subhash Kirpal, a resident of Linga gram panchayat of Nagpur district in Maharashtra says communities that are well-off prefer septic tanks. In Uttar Pradesh’s Kannauj district, the toilets in the Umrada block constructed under the Swachh Bharat Mission are attached to box-like containment structures wrongly termed as “septic tanks”. Kirpal explains that faecal sludge in the septic tank (or the box in some cases) is emptied by honey suckers and dumped in agricultural fields. The villagers struggle with the raw faecal sludge in the fields. There have been studies to show that dry faecal sludge can be mixed with organic wastes and used for crop production successfully. Countries like India and Bangladesh have implemented some of these projects. Also Read – Insider threat managementAccording to Olufunke Cofie, International Water Management Institute, Africa Regional Office, Ghana, inorganic fertiliser is not sufficient to add nutrients to the soil for crop production. Cofie says that excreta contains valuable nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and organic matter. Municipal solid wastes (MSW), which are also dumped without planning, contain phosphorous, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and carbon. Co-composting of faecal sludge and MSW complement each other and provide missing components to each other as per Cofie. The microbial population in the final product is reduced enormously says a 2009 study by Cofie. The study says that the final product complies with the 2006 standards of the World Health Organization for the safe reuse of faecal sludge. A study published in 2017 in the International Journal of Recycling of Organic Waste in Agriculture shows that de-watered faecal sludge mixed with agricultural wastes like oil palm, empty fruit bunches or cocoa pod husks is a good fertiliser. An experiment had been carried out at the University of Ghana at the Forest and Horticultural Crops Research Centre. The researchers point out that Ghana produces around 3.5 million tonnes of human excreta based on the average production of 400 grams per capita per day. Similarly, the country also produces 3,135,000 tonnes of empty fruit bunches and 550,750 tonnes of dry cocoa husks. This leaves a lot of human and agricultural wastes in the environment, which are dumped in landfills. According to the authors, co-composting of dried faecal sludge and agricultural wastes can be used as an alternative option for managing these wastes and to produce a suitable soil amendment. The Rural Development Organisation Trust, a Tamil Nadu-based non-profit that has been working in the Nilgiris since 1980, has put up three faecal sludge treatment plants (FSTP). The compost from here is blended with kitchen waste compost. About two tonnes of co-compost is produced every day, says Raj Kumar, the Chief Executive Officer of the plant. Kumar explains the Ketty Town Panchayat in the Nilgiris has developed an FSTP a year-and-a-half ago. There are 68 villages here, with 40 to 50 households in each village. The toilets are either connected to leach pits or septic tanks. The tanks are emptied by honey suckers and brought to the plant. The Town Panchayat has a resource recovery park and the FSTP has been developed as a part of this. The manure is tested at a laboratory in Chennai every month before being distributed to farmers at a subsidised price of Rs 5 per kilogram. The revenue is collected by the Town Panchayat. According to Kumar, the cost of the FSTP comes to Rs 50,000 per kilolitre per day. (The author is the Programme Manager, Water Programme. She is a geologist by training and works on the policy related issues of water management and sanitation. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Is This The Year Georgia Finally Wins The College Football Playoff

USCPac 10200512-12,061200611-22,003 *Season Score is a blend of a team’s final end-of-season Elo, its peak Elo and its overall average Elo throughout the season.Source: ESPN Year 1Year 2 SchoolConferenceYearRecordSeason Sc.YearRecordSeason Sc. PittsburghIndep.198011-12,002198111-12,012 UGA has been great … but not great enoughTeams since 1980 with a Season Score* of 2,000 in back-to-back seasons, but no national championship in either season AlabamaSEC201311-22,066201412-22,099 Ohio StateBig Ten201712-22,002201813-12,057 The hallmark of Georgia’s recent run under Smart might be how complete his teams are. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, UGA had the nation’s fifth-best offense and third-best defense in 2017. They then inverted that with the third-best offense and fifth-best defense last season. The Bulldogs boasted not one but two 1,200-yard rushers (Nick Chubb and Sony Michel) back in 2017, when Fromm was a freshman, but they showcased more passing last season — with Fromm ranking as the third-best QB in the nation according to ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating, trailing only Tagovailoa and Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray.Georgia does lose five starters apiece on offense and defense from last season, including cornerback Deandre Baker, who won 2018’s Jim Thorpe Award as the country’s top defensive back, and receivers Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley. But Fromm’s return negates one of the biggest factors in an offense’s demise: losing the starting quarterback.According to data collected from the 2001 through 2017 seasons, a previously average offense that loses five starters including the QB would expect to be about 12 percent less efficient than before. However, if the team retains its signal-caller, it can basically expect to carry on without missing a beat — great news for an offense as strong as UGA’s last season. The same can be said for a defense that loses five starters between seasons; our research says that team can also expect no real drop-off in efficiency between seasons, generally speaking.And this Georgia team might be better equipped to handle moderate personnel losses than just about any other program. According to 247Sports.com’s Team Talent Composite, which adds up the total value of all the players on a roster based on their high school recruiting ratings, the Bulldogs rank third nationally going into the 2019 season with a score of 961.85 points. That’s effectively no different from last season, when UGA ranked third with a composite score of 963.87. Add in another year of seasoning for Fromm, who ranks as one of the top QB prospects in next spring’s NFL draft, and the fourth-most returning experience of any team in the SEC according to Phil Steele’s calculations, and the talent in Athens should rival that of almost any other team in the nation.However, one team that still may be running ahead of Georgia in that regard is the same rival that’s been a thorn in the Bulldogs’ side over the past few years: Alabama. The Crimson Tide have scored better than UGA in the Team Talent Composite for five consecutive seasons, and they are also ahead in ESPN’s early season projected FPI right now. It appears Georgia will need another breakthrough to join Clemson and Bama at the very top of the college football mountain, since the gap between Alabama at No. 2 and UGA at No. 3 (5.6 points) is the same as the gap between UGA and No. 10 Oregon.And that’s to say nothing of the Bulldogs’ crushing schedule strength. With games against Texas A&M and Notre Dame on tap, in addition to a trip to Auburn and what looks like a tougher-than-usual matchup with Florida, all before even potentially reaching the SEC title game for a third-straight season, it’s no surprise that FPI has Georgia’s schedule rated as the fourth-most difficult in the country this year. That’s even tougher than Alabama’s slate (which ranks 22nd), and it’s a big reason why FPI gives Georgia only a 2.7 percent chance of navigating through its regular-season schedule without a loss, while Bama has 15.3 percent chance of doing the same.But Georgia has also shown these past few seasons that it belongs squarely in the College Football Playoff conversation, even if it does lose a game during the regular season. Remember, in order to blow late leads over Alabama in crushing fashion, you first have to get late leads over Alabama — and the only other team that can say it has done that recently is Clemson. The Bulldogs have proven they can hang with the game’s top programs, and they have the talent to do it again. Now it’s up to Smart, Fromm and company to finally turn that potential into championship results this season. FloridaSEC19849-12,03319859-12,017 Florida StateIndep.198811-12,004198910-22,034 It’s hard to come closer to a national title without winning one than the Georgia Bulldogs did over the past two seasons. In 2017, UGA had a 20-7 second half lead over Alabama in the College Football Playoff Championship — at one point, ESPN’s win probability model gave the Dawgs a 92.5 percent chance of winning — before Bama backup QB Tua Tagovailoa led the Crimson Tide to an incredible comeback win. Last season, the Bulldogs were an elite team again, and yet again they had the Tide on the ropes in the second half of a hugely important game (this time the SEC Championship) before ultimately losing when a backup QB helped engineer another Alabama rally.1In Part II, it was Jalen Hurts relieving an injured Tagovailoa, in a role reversal that Hollywood would have laughed at if you’d pitched it in a movie script. UGA ultimately missed the playoff as a result, despite probably having enough talent to deserve inclusion.If, as they say, the third time is the charm, then this is it for head coach Kirby Smart and Georgia. The team has been good enough to win a championship in each of the previous two seasons, only to be thwarted by extraordinary circumstances — and an extraordinary opponent in the form of Smart’s old boss, Nick Saban. With junior quarterback Jake Fromm coming back for what might be the last time, this could be UGA’s most talented team yet under Smart. But can they finally break through in another college football season that figures to be dominated by Clemson and Alabama?Other teams from history have been as good as the 2017-18 Dawgs in consecutive seasons with zero titles to show for it — but it’s pretty rare. For each team in every season since 1980,2The 1980s can be viewed as the decade that kicked off college football’s true modern era; the Ivy League was moved out of Division I-A in 1982, for instance, while powerhouse programs gained more control over lucrative television revenues, making the sport resemble its professional counterpart more and more. I calculated a “Season Score” based on our Elo ratings. The Season Score takes three measures of a team’s performance — its end-of-season Elo; its average season-long Elo; and its peak Elo3The latter two of which are computed excluding a team’s first three games of the season, to avoid undue influence from preseason ratings (which are based largely on the previous season). — and averages them together to create a composite rating on the same scale as regular Elo, where the FBS average is about 1,500.A Season Score of 2,000 is very impressive; only 100 have happened since 1980, and 33 percent of those teams have won the national championship.4Counting split titles as half-championships. (The best Season Score belongs to Alabama in 2016 — ironically, a team that didn’t win the championship — with a mark of 2,229.) But a score of 2,000 in consecutive seasons is even rarer. Last season, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State joined the ranks of just 43 teams since 1980 to have back-to-back Season Scores of at least 2,000. All but eight of those teams — a number that includes both Georgia and Ohio State — failed to win at least a share of a championship in either season. OregonPac 12201112-22,008201212-12,025 GeorgiaSEC201713-22,077201811-32,007 read more