With the Lobos' victory over the Valparaiso Cruisaders last weekend, they improved to 10-0, their best start since going 12-0 back in 2009. Fans are extremely happy because there is a high chance that they can at least match that opening record this season.
This Lobo team is just as deep as last year's and possibly even deeper. Alex Kirk sat last season out due to an injury, but has started this season off with some exciting play that has helped earn the Lobos the number 17 spot in the Associated Press top 25.
"They are being mentally challenged right now," head coach Steve Alford said in the post-USC victory radio interview in reference to the final exams that the players were focusing on. But he admitted that they would also be physically challenged in attempt to keep their undefeated record alive. Challenging the players during finals week paid off with another victory, and we'll just have to wait and see how it affected them academically.
The next three games that the Lobos play are games against unranked opponents that should add more victories to their impressive resume. In fact, the next game that should pose any challenge will be when they face the 11th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats on the road. Starting with this game on the Dec 27th, the Lobo's schedule will increase in difficulty as they move into conference play soon afterwards.
This year, the Mountain West Conference is arguably the most competitive it has ever been. While the Lobos are definitely one of the best teams in the conference, there are several teams that would like to take the conference championship away from them this year.
San Diego State is currently ranked just below the Lobos in the AP top 25. This makes sense considering last year the Lobos were able to win two out of three matches against the Aztecs. There are also the UNLV Runnin' Rebels and the Wyoming Cowboys who are going to give the Lobos tough matches. While Wyoming is not currently ranked, there is a good chance that they will be because they are receiving votes in both the AP top 25 and the USA Today Coaches polls and have also started out with a perfect 10-0.
With high expectations this year, the Lobos are going to have to practice hard and show some true resilience as they face the stiff competition of conference play.
Last week’s art section covered old-school booksellers fighting the good fight in the digital age. The Alibi article written by Robin Brown focuses on local book stores like Bookworks in the North Valley. “Keeping Their Word” shows how our local shops are staying alive in today’s market.
Mexico City can still host a book fair with more than 1 million customers; printed copies of books are not a dead product. When book fairs like this continue to be successful, it is a great sign for the global market for physical books.
At the Zocalo International Book Fair, there were hundreds of publishers exceeding expectations and expanding the market for literature in Central America. The host nation highlighted works from neighboring Guatemalan authors.
In her article, Brown mentions that there are a lot of people in the writing industry that are uncertain about how the market is going to play out over the next few years. Writers are not sure how well their books are going to sell, publishers are freaking out because of the rapidly changing market.
Ten years ago no one could have predicted that tablets as sophisticated as the Kindle would cause sales of physical books to decline. Even with e-books staking their claim in the market, there is no way that real books are going to be forgotten.