There are just two weeks remaining in the NFL regular season — and, as expected, we’re getting much more clarity about which teams are most likely to make a run to the Super Bowl.Twelve teams will make the NFL playoffs. Four of them — New England, Denver, Indianapolis and Arizona — have clinched a position. Another seven — Seattle, Detroit, Green Bay, Dallas, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati — have at least an 80 percent chance of reaching the postseason. It’s more likely than not that one of these teams will be knocked out, but the playoffs aren’t as wide-open as they appeared a few weeks ago. The 12th spot will go to the winner of the NFC South.The real drama, however, will ensue once the playoffs begin. More than at earlier points in the season, there’s a clear top level of teams. It consists of the Patriots, Seahawks and Broncos.You could debate the order of these teams. FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings have the Patriots first, the Seahawks second and the Broncos third. Football Outsiders’ DVOA also has New England first, but the Broncos ahead of the Seahawks. Jeff Sagarin, of USAToday, has the teams in the same order as DVOA. Vegas point spreads imply that Seattle is the best team, followed by New England and Denver.But there’s reasonably clear separation between the top three and everyone else in the league. According to Elo, in fact, the gap between No. 3 Denver and No. 4 Arizona is wider than the gap between Arizona and No. 12 Philadelphia. Collectively, the Patriots, Seahawks and Broncos have a 62 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl.None of these teams is exactly a surprise. In fact, each one ranked in the top four in our preseason Elo ratings, which were based on the teams’ Elo ratings at the end of last year.More generally, this has been a year where the richer teams got richer and the poorer ones got poorer. If you take the preseason ratings and divide the teams into halves, 11 of the 16 teams in the top half of the ratings have seen their Elo ratings improve since the start of the year. But 10 of the 16 teams in the bottom half have seen their ratings decline.The Elo ratings generally haven’t behaved like this in past seasons. The way the system is designed, a team is about equally likely to see its rating improve or decline, whatever rating it starts with.It’s probably premature to decipher any long-term trends from this season’s results. But perhaps there are some factors nudging the NFL away from the parity we’ve grown used to in recent seasons. Rules changes have allowed great quarterbacks to be more dominant. Access to information, technology and analytics may be enabling teams with great coaching, scouting and management to maintain more of an edge even as player personnel turns over.As for the rest of the teams in the playoff hunt, we’ve reached the point where playoff outcomes are more deterministic and less probabilistic, with several opportunities for teams to clinch or eliminate themselves from playoff position with wins or losses this week. Mike Beouy and Reuben Fischer-Baum’s column on playoff implications has all the detail you’ll want on these, but here’s how Elo has the numbers:There are some subtle differences between the playoff odds that Elo assigns and the ones that Beouy and Fischer-Baum do. This is partly because they use different measures of team strength and partly because the Beouy/Fischer-Baum system has a more complete handling of the NFL’s complex tiebreaker rules. But the overall message is largely the same; each system has the 11 teams I mentioned before with an 80 percent chance or greater of making the postseason.However, it matters significantly how the teams are seeded. This is most acute in the case of the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are currently one game ahead of the Seahawks in the NFC West, but Arizona lost to Seattle earlier this season, so Seattle would move ahead on the tiebreaker if they beat Arizona this weekend at University of Phoenix Stadium. Elo has Seattle as only narrow favorites in that game, but Vegas odds have the Seahawks favored by 8 points.If Arizona wins, it will clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Arizona holds the tiebreaker advantage over the rest of the conference, partly by virtue of having beaten Dallas and Detroit earlier this season. Uniquely, this advantage would also extend to the Super Bowl, which is being held in Glendale, Arizona, this year. The Cardinals would become the first team ever to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium (although the San Francisco 49ers came close when Super Bowl XIX was held in Stanford, California.)So even though they’ve clinched a playoff spot, this weekend’s game couldn’t be more important for Arizona. The Elo simulations give them a 37 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl if they win the NFC West, but just a 7 percent chance if they enter as a wild card team instead.Elo point spreadsRecord against point spread: 113-93-3 on season (8-7 in Week 15)Straight-up record: 156-67-1 on season (12-4 in Week 15)The dominance of teams like New England, Seattle and Denver has made it easier for Elo to “call” winners correctly this year; the team favored by the system has won about 70 percent of the time this season.Elo also has about a 55 percent winning percentage against closing Vegas point spreads. But as we’ve said every week, we still don’t think you should place bets using Elo, at least not without considering a lot of other information. Although we didn’t publish Elo ratings before this season, historically they would have picked only about 51 percent of games against the point spread.A 55 percent winning percentage sounds impressive, but there’s still a lot of noise in the sample of 206 games. (This total excludes games that ended in pushes and cases where the Elo and Vegas lines exactly matched one another.) If a system’s long-run winning percentage was 51 percent, there’s still a 12 percent chance it would finish with a 55 percent winning percentage or better in a sample of that size, according to a binomial distribution.Elo has mostly been right about the Cardinals, however — and it’s the Arizona-Seattle game that will tell us the most this weekend about who’s going to the Super Bowl.
OSU freshman Myles Martin celebrates after winning the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 19 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Credit: Courtesy of OSUOver the weekend, the Ohio State wrestling team traveled north to Eastern Michigan, where several competing Buckeyes claimed spots atop the podium.Saturday’s competition marked the official start of the season for OSU’s wrestlers, and the team hit the ground running fast, with six Buckeyes placing third or above in their weight classes. At 133 lbs., freshman Luke Pletcher made the most of his collegiate debut, winning four matches on the day, with a crucial 4-1 victory over Mario Guillen of Ohio University to advance to the final match. In the title match, Pletcher faced off against Buckeye teammate freshman Brendan Fitzgerald, a match in which Fitzgerald conceded in a medical forfeit, putting Pletcher atop the podium to win first place in the weight class.Fitzgerald’s day was strong, pinning two opponents, while powering through a close match versus Giuseppe Penzone of Tiffin University, winning 6-4. Fitzgerald finished his wrestling with a fall in just a minute over Stevan Micic of Michigan.In his first tournament at 149 lbs., redshirt sophomore Micah Jordan dominated Saturday, scoring an impressive 79 points throughout four matches. Jordan’s final match of the day was more of the same, defeating Justin Oliver of Central Michigan University 15-7, becoming the second Buckeye to claim a title.Wrestling at 197 lbs., redshirt freshman Kollin Moore gave OSU its third title, where Moore scored in the double digits in all four matches. Storming to the final match to compete for the title, Moore defeated Riley Lefever of Wabash College 11-6, finding his way to the top of the podium.Two Buckeyes placed third at Eastern Michigan. Redshirt sophomore Cody Burcher, at 165 pounds, along with redshirt junior Jack Rozema, at 184 pounds, both bounced back from semifinal losses to claim third on the day in their respective weight classes.Meanwhile, at Cleveland State University, OSU sophomore Myles Martin wrestled in a feature match at the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic Saturday night. The 184 pound dual brought Martin against two-time defending national champion Gabe Dean of Cornell. Martin’s first match at 184 pounds did not go his way, as he fell to Dean 13-4. OSU’s wrestling team travels next to Troy, New York, for the ASICS/Journeymen Classic on Sunday.
When discussing college recruiting, experts often say, “the sky’s the limit” about a specific recruit’s potential. Ohio State recruit Tyrone Williams might have already reached the sky. The towering 6-foot-7-inch, 215-pound wide receiver from East Cleveland, Ohio, brings a height element to the OSU receiving core that Buckeye fans don’t see often. “He is unlike any other receiver prospect that has come into the program during the Jim Tressel era,” said Kevin Noon, managing editor of Buckeyegrove.com. Williams had 39 catches for 685 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior and was second team All-State for Shaw High School. He was the No. 34 ranked wideout in the class of 2010 according to ESPN 150. He was also a letterman in basketball and track. Steve Helwagen of Bucknuts.com said Williams has a lot of potential at the college level because of his size and build. “There aren’t a lot of Randy Moss-type players. That is going to be able to create some mismatches for Ohio State in the red zone where they can throw him a jump ball,” Helwagen said. “We saw that in the Fiesta Bowl two years ago where Todd Boeckman threw the ball to Terrelle Pryor, and Texas had no defense for it.” Williams, who was also recruited by West Virginia, Cincinnati and Illinois, might have had other suitors if not for a knee injury that cut his junior season short. “The injury his junior year left a little bit of skepticism out there,” Helwagen said. “I think some schools wanted to see what he did at the start of his senior year, but when Ohio State offered, it was an open and shut deal.” Noon thinks that Williams can probably benefit from redshirting this upcoming season. “He can learn the system, get into a collegiate strength and conditioning program, and work a little bit on honing his skills,” Noon said. Helwagen said that if Williams doesn’t redshirt, he could make an impact due to his height advantage. “He’s a weapon that Ohio State doesn’t have currently,” Helwagen said. “If he shows them that he can make plays right away in the fall, he’ll bring that element where he’ll be able to out jump corners because of his height.” Outside of the obvious height advantage, Williams brings great body control, a huge wingspan and a power forward’s frame to the Buckeyes. “He is deceptively fast and has the ability to go get the ball,” Noon said. “He is able to give quarterbacks a huge target.” Ohio State clearly has a recruit in Williams, who has the potential to be a great receiver for the Buckeyes if he is able to shake off the effects of his injury and grow into the position. Noon said, “If he is able to live up to the billing, Ohio State got an absolute steal in Tyrone Williams.”
Former Florida coach and current ESPN analyst Urban Meyer has agreed in principle to become Ohio State’s next head football coach, according to a report from WKMG-TV in Orlando. An OSU spokesman on Wednesday did not deny that Meyer will be the Buckeyes next coach. According to the WKMG-TV report, the deal is worth $40 million over seven years, which would make Meyer the highest paid coach in OSU history. “We have not been commenting on rumors and speculation,” university spokesman Jim Lynch said in an email to The Lantern. Meyer released a statement through ESPN denying a deal is in place. “I have not been offered any job nor is there a deal in place,” Meyer said in the statement. “I plan on spending Thanksgiving with my family and will not comment on this any further.” If the report is true, Meyer will be replacing interim coach Luke Fickell, who has led the Buckeyes to an 6-5 regular season record. Meyer began his coaching career at OSU when he accepted a graduate-assistant position for the Buckeyes in 1986 as the tight end coach. He became a wide receiver coach the following year. For the next 13 years, Meyer served as an assistant coach, which included stints at Illinois State, Colorado State and Notre Dame. In 2001, Meyer accepted his first head coaching position at Bowling Green where he led the Falcons to a 17-6 record in his two years there. He left to accept another head coaching job at the University of Utah in 2003. Meyer led the Utes to a 10-2 record and was named Coach of the Year in the Mountain West Conference. The following season, Meyer coached Utah to an undefeated season and beat Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl, 35-7. It was the first time since the creation of the BCS that a school from a non-automatically qualifying BCS conference was able to run the table and finish the year without a loss. After the 2004 season, both Florida and Notre Dame pursued Meyer to become their next head coach. Meyer chose Florida and signed a $14 million contract. Meyer went 9-3 during his first year as the Gators coach, including a 31-24 victory of Iowa in the Outback Bowl. During his second year as Florida coach, Meyer led the Gators to a National Championship and 13-1 record by defeating the OSU 41-14 in the BCS Championship Game. Two years later, Florida won another National Championship after defeating the University of Oklahoma in the BCS Championship Game, 24-14. On Dec. 26, 2009, Meyer announced he would be resigning as coach of Florida following the team’s scheduled appearance in the BCS Sugar Bowl due to chest pains and severe headaches. The following day, Meyer announced an indefinite leave of absence instead of resigning. On Jan. 1, 2010, Meyer coached the Gators to a 51–24 Sugar Bowl victory against Cincinnati. After the win, Meyer took time off, but returned to his role as Gators head coach in time for the start of spring practice. Florida went 7-5 during the 2010 regular season, but on Dec. 8 Meyer announced his retirement from coaching. In his final game as Gator head coach, Florida beat Penn State in The Outback Bowl, 37-24. In 2011, Meyer accepted a position at ESPN working as a college football analyst.
Rangers Football Club manager Steven Gerrard has hammered his team’s defenders after their horror outing against Spartak Moscow on Thursday.The Gers took the lead three times in Moscow, but a woeful second-half display handed them their first UEFA Europa League defeat of the season.The Scottish Premiership club were on a high when first-half strikes from Glenn Middleton, Daniel Candeias and an own-goal from Roman Eremenko gave them a 3-2 advantage.But shocking defensive lapses, especially in the second half, allowed Spartak to seize control for a 4-3 win, as they blew Group G wide open.Gerrard’s side seat third in their group behind Spartak and Villarreal, but host the Spanish club on match day 5 as they look to secure qualification for the second round.However, the former Liverpool youth team coach refused to spare his ropey rear-guard and knows more lamentable defending in their next two group games will cost them any shot at the last 32.Owen reveals why Liverpool didn’t offer Gerrard a new contract Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Owen, the Reds wanted to sell Gerrard two years before he left the club and that’s why they didn’t offer him a contract renewal.He said, according to Express: “I’m very disappointed with the result. You saw two sides of our performance tonight. We attacked very well and were dangerous and countered bravely. We got our rewards and had control at half-time.“However, football is about levels and if you don’t do the basics well enough and defend properly, then high-level teams will normally punish you and that was the case here.“People who have had a lot of praise and who did really well to get us to this stage just didn’t do the basics well enough.“Normally, to come here and score three goals you get a result, but I’m bitterly disappointed with how we defended.”
Wales manager Ryan Giggs has criticized his side for their complacency after they lost 1-0 to Albania on Tuesday.Wales end 2018 with back-to-back defeats as lost 1-0 to Albania in a friendly on Tuesday thanks to a controversial second-half penalty, and Giggs after the game admitted the players lacked concentration.“The performance was not good enough and the result was what we deserved,” Giggs told Sky Sports.“We controlled the first half and thought it was going to be easy. We should have won that game, we were in total control.Report: Euro 2020 qualifying Group H George Patchias – September 11, 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying Group H is being controlled by France and Turkey, but Iceland is still in with a shout.Reigning world champions France ran…“But they let themselves down tonight. We go a goal down, we don’t play our own game, we are pumping the ball in their box.“Quite simply we turned up thinking we would win and thinking someone would get us out of trouble.“I have been in football long enough to smell when something is going to happen and I said that at half-time because players didn’t have that concentration tonight.”
Brazils World Cup stadium in Natal is up for sale as the company that owns it is suffering from cash flow problems following a corruption scandal.Natals Dunas arena is being sold by owner Grupo OAS, with the company also trying to sell the 50% share it owns of the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador.The company has struggled for months with the impact of a corruption investigation at state-controlled oil company Petrobras, which undercut the builders access to financing.An economic downturn, government austerity and a slumping currency has also taken its toll, leading to Grupo OAS to announce it is selling its stakes in football venues and other businesses to focus on the core construction business.OAS spent $187m (£126.2m) on completely rebuilding the old Fonte Nova arena in Salvador and $134m on the new Dunas arena. The Fonte Nova hosted six games in the 2014 tournament and the Dunas arena four.The announcement was the latest in a string of bad news for Brazilian football post-World Cup.Earlier this week Esporte Club Bahia, one of the biggest clubs in Salvador, said they were abandoning plans to use the Fonte Nova because they felt the owners did not respect their fans. Close
Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public MediaThe Houston City Council has approved an agreement with Harris County that will allow its Flood Control District to buy out several houses that got flooded during the Memorial Day flood of 2015.The Houston City Council approved Wednesday an agreement with the Harris County Flood Control District to provide it with up to $10.6 million in federal funding it has at its disposal so that the District buys out about 57 houses that were flooded during the Memorial Day flood of 2015.The homes are located in the neighborhoods of Braeburn Glen, Glenburnie and Cashiola, and Langwood.According to the City, these neighborhoods are low and moderate-income areas.The buyouts will be voluntary and, after the houses are demolished or removed, the properties could be repurposed as parks, gardens and playing fields.Additionally, the goal of the buyouts is to restore the floodplains to their natural function for stormwater storage.Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner talked about the agreement with the County after the City Council’s meeting and said that “there are thousands more homes that are subject to buyouts.”“We need to do it, handle it,” added Turner “in a very strategic fashion, and we need to kind of factor in all of the strategies that will be required to make the city more resilient.” Share
via Japantrends Explore further More information: Citation: Panasonic releases wireless solar charging table (2011, May 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-panasonic-wireless-solar-table.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — Most of us forget how much our cell phones are a part of the day-to-day of our lives until we don’t have access to them. I’m not just talking about when you leave it at home, in a callous act of irresponsibility. An event as simple as a dead battery can mean that you miss an important call that creates ripples in your whole week. © 2010 PhysOrg.com NTT Docomo’s new smartphone features wireless charger So when you are out and your battery suddenly goes to red what are you going to do about it? Unless you happen to have an outlet in your pocket, in which case you are probably a robot, you are short on options. Or, at least you used to be. In the near future Panasonic may have a solution to your problem. They were showing off a prototype of a solar-powered inductive charging table at the Retail Tech Expo in Tokyo. The device would be able to wirelessly charge any device with a Qi battery simply by setting the device down on it. This not the first wireless charging station on the market. In 2010 Energizer put out a similar pad that relied on being plugged in to a power source. Various companies have created solar chargers for mobile devices, though most of these have been too unwieldy or too expensive to become popular. Panasonic is the first company to date to combine the two ideas and create a wireless solar charger. Panasonic did mention that these units would be on sale by the end of this year in Japan. No word has been given yet on when this device will be on sale in the United States.
15Jan MacMaster named ‘Legislator of the Year’ Categories: News,Photos State Rep. Greg MacMaster, center, was recently presented the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association’s first ever “Legislator of the Year” award by the association’s executive director, Amy Frankmann, and Matt Smego of Michigan Farm Bureau.The Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) named Rep. Greg MacMaster as its first ever Legislator of the Year.The 105th House District lawmaker was recognized for his work on House Bill 5228, which the governor signed as Public Act 231 of 2012. The law changed Michigan trucking regulations for small business trucking and trailer combinations.“Through his efforts, Rep. MacMaster revolutionized Michigan’s Green Industry by correcting a bad law that was costing our family-owned businesses a great deal of time, money, and aggravation,” said Amy Frankmann, MNLA executive director. “The changes that he enacted have already resulted in our members investing the dollars that they would have spent trying to comply with this faulty law, back into their firms by hiring additional employees and purchasing needed equipment and supplies.”The law exempts Michigan companies and operators with eligible vehicles from:Annual and ‘spot’ traffic stop inspections;Federal registration and the display of USDOT numbers;Maintenance of operator log books and other miscellaneous records; and,Minimum bonding requirements.MNLA highlighted three reasons for MacMaster’s recognition: HB 5228 passed both the House and the Senate by unanimous votes; the law was enacted during MNLA’s 90th anniversary year of representing Michigan’s Green Industry; and MacMaster is the first legislator to receive the MNLA’s award.“I am honored to receive this award from the nursery and landscape professionals, especially since it’s their first one in almost 100 years,” said MacMaster, R-Kewadin. “Removing the red tape and obstacles that can hamper small business operations has been part of reinvigorating Michigan, and I’m glad to have been able to help our Green Industry be part of the state’s rebound.”The Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association, established in 1922, represents over 8,000 licensed Green Industry firms that comprise Michigan’s largest specialty crop and contributes $5.715 billion to the state economy.