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Study in monkeys raises hope for HIV vaccines (Reuters)

Reuters – An experimental vaccine helped protect monkeys from an especially deadly form of the AIDS virus, raising new hope for an effective vaccine in people, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

2011 Bowl Predictions: Florida State and Other Teams That Will Impress the Most

It’s bowl season, and that means it’s time for the stars to shine and the pretenders to pretend they’re good.

For college football fans, it’s also the time to kick back and root for their favorite teams and players, while being as subjective as possible.

Well, here’s my objective view of who I see impressing in 2011 bowl games.


No. 3: Florida State (8-4)

Let me be clear: this is strictly talking about Florida State’s defense.

Despite managing just 95 yards of total offense against Florida on Nov. 26, the Seminoles still managed to close out their regular season with a 21-7 victory. Florida State did this by forcing four turnovers in the game.

In fact, the Seminoles have allowed just 15.2 points per game this season—fourth in the nation—and haven’t allowed more than 19 points in a game since Oct. 8.

I think Florida State’s defense will wreak havoc for Notre Dame’s offense in the Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 29.


No. 2: Oklahoma (9-3)

Yes, I know Oklahoma got blown out by Oklahoma State, 44-10 in the final game of the regular season.

But this is still good team, albeit inconsistent, featuring a top collegiate quarterback in Landry Jones and a solid rushing attack.

Against 7-5 Iowa, Oklahoma should have a field day in the Insight Bowl on Dec. 30 and get back on track to end the year.


No. 1: Baylor (9-3)

Gotta love the Cinderella Baylor Bears led by Heisman winner Robert Griffin III.

The Bears, who were unranked to start the season, have beaten TCU, Oklahoma and Texas this season, and Griffin is looking like a top NFL prospect.

Beyond Griffin, there’s also receiver Kendall Wright, who has soared up NFL draft boards as a legitimate first-rounder. He is drawing comparisons to Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, due to his blazing speed.

This offense is dazzling to watch and has averaged 43.5 points per game this season—seventh in the nation.

Expect Baylor to dominate 7-5 Washington in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 and for Griffin and Wright to enter the NFL draft on a high note.

NFL Playoff Picture: Oakland Raiders’ Carson Palmer Will Haunt Bengals

Oh, the irony.

After being traded from the Cincinnati Bengals to the Oakland Raiders early this season, quarterback Carson Palmer has a chance in Week 17 to wrestle the AFC’s No. 6 seed away from the Bengals and send them home unhappy.

It’s entirely possible and, in my mind, likely.

The Bengals could easily lose to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17, while the Raiders have a good shot at beating the inconsistent San Diego Chargers. I also expect the Denver Broncos to beat the Kansas City Chiefs and win the AFC West while the Tennessee Titans lose to the Houston Texans.

If that happens, the Raiders will claim the No. 6 seed in the AFC and the Bengals will have another reason to be aggravated with Palmer after he demanded a trade in the offseason.

It’s not like I expect Palmer to have a spectacular game. He’s thrown 11 touchdowns to 15 interceptions this season and he goes up against a Chargers defense in Week 17 that is ranked 10th in pass defense.

What I am saying is that Palmer will do enough to lead the Raiders over the Chargers, who got steamrolled by the Detroit Lions in Week 16, 38-10.

Keep in mind the Chargers don’t have a great rush defense, either. They’ve allowed 4.4 yards per carry this season.

That’s not a good match for the Raiders’ rush offense, which has managed 4.5 yards per carry despite losing Darren McFadden to injury earlier in the season.

This game is also being played in Oakland. The Chargers are 2-5 on the road this season, further stressing the soft image they have generally portrayed throughout the years.

In the end, it will be Palmer cackling while Bengals’ owner Mike Brown regrets letting the disgruntled veteran ever get his way.