This Week In College Football All The Wild Scenarios That Could End

College football starts in September with 128 teams and billions of different paths to the playoff. Nearly all of that multiverse has been closed off — on Saturday, it’ll be sealed for good.There are four major conference titles at stake Saturday, but only two could really cause chaos for the playoff selection committee: those of the SEC and ACC. The Big Ten championship game matters less, from our perspective, because the winner is almost certainly getting in. And the Pac-12 championship only comes into play if Stanford wins and Alabama or Clemson loses (or both).To break down just how those games could affect the playoff picture, my colleague Jay Boice and I ran 20,000 simulations of FiveThirtyEight’s College Football Playoff model. This gives us greater insight into both how Saturday’s games could play out and, more importantly, how the committee might make its playoff picks based on those outcomes.Two things we know:Oklahoma is in. In all our scenarios, the Sooners are virtually certain to make the playoff.The Big Ten winner is in. Whichever team wins the championship game — Iowa or Michigan State — its probability of making the playoff also approaches 100 percent, according to the model. (Our projection favors the Spartans.) It’s very unlikely that the loser gets in under any scenario, and so throughout this analysis it’s assumed that the loser is out.I analyzed the multiverse of playoff scenarios by first looking at the two most important games: the championship games for the ACC (Clemson vs. North Carolina) and the SEC (Alabama vs. Florida). If Alabama and Clemson win, the selection committee’s job is super easy, but if one or — Bear Bryant forbid — both lose, then it’s not so clear.If there is chaos on Saturday, three teams are standing offstage: Stanford, Ohio State and North Carolina. But none of them controls its own destiny (even if UNC beats Clemson). The model can’t say with any great confidence which of those teams would take the place of the Tide and/or Tigers should those favorites fall — or whether Alabama or Clemson would be replaced at all.The possible scenariosBoth Alabama and Clemson win (42 percent likelihood): This is the simplest outcome. The Tide and Tigers are in, alongside Oklahoma and the Big Ten winner. That’s an impressive pair at the top: an undefeated ACC champion and a one-loss winner of the SEC (arguably the strongest conference in college football). This is the likeliest scenario, happening 42 percent of the time.(Stanford fans: You may notice that the model gives the Cardinal a 3 percent chance if they win the Pac-12 in this scenario. It’s not happening; the model’s just being cautious/polite.)Alabama wins but Clemson loses (32 percent likelihood): This scenario is the second-most-plausible because North Carolina is more likely to upset Clemson than Florida is to upset Alabama.What would come next is complex. (Which should come as no surprise — this is college football, after all.) If Clemson loses, four teams could be vying for the fourth playoff spot: Stanford, Ohio State, the newly crowned ACC champion Tar Heels and … Clemson. That’s right, our model thinks there’s a decent chance that the Tigers could make the playoff over North Carolina even if they lose the ACC title to the Tar Heels. At 42 percent, Clemson is better-positioned than any of the other three teams. But it’s close: Stanford isn’t far behind at 34 percent, should the Cardinal win the Pac-12.How could Clemson make it over the team it just lost to? The Tigers have a more impressive schedule than UNC and a signature win against Notre Dame. The Tar Heels suffer both from a weaker schedule and an embarrassing early season loss to South Carolina. Would that really be enough to outweigh North Carolina’s conference championship and its head-to-head win? FiveThirtyEight suspects that the model is being slightly too kind to Clemson,1In particular, although the model gives a bonus to conference champions, it does not directly consider head-to-head results. but the committee would have a lot to think about. As my boss Nate Silver wrote last year, only a handful of No. 1-ranked teams have lost their conference championship game. On average, those teams were demoted to No. 4 after the loss. If the Tigers suffered the same fate, they’d still be in the playoff. Still, there’s no guarantee that the playoff committee would treat them similarly.Instead of choosing an ACC team, the committee could opt for plans C or D: Stanford, if it wins the Pac-12 championship (it’s a slight underdog), or Ohio State. In some ways, this would recall the dilemma the committee faced last year: Without clarity about whether Baylor or TCU was the superior Big 12 option, it froze the Big 12 out of the playoff.If Stanford loses, the committee still has three teams to choose from. But once again, our model thinks Clemson is as likely to make it as anyone. The Tigers are given a 46 percent shot. The Tar Heels are not far behind with a 36 percent shot. In this scenario, an emphatic win over Clemson might be enough to get the Tar Heels in, while a close one might not. Ohio State would have a 17 percent chance — but one problem for the Buckeyes is that, if the committee is OK with a one-loss team that failed to win its conference, it might decide Clemson is the superior one.Alabama loses but Clemson wins (15 percent likelihood): This scenario would shake things up a lot. Clemson, Oklahoma and the Big Ten winner are locks — but the fourth team is anyone’s guess.We know, though, that it wouldn’t be Florida. Beating the Tide isn’t enough for the Gators. After an awful finish to the season — a 27-2 loss to Florida State after inexcusably close calls against Florida Atlantic and Vanderbilt — the Gators have lost more ground in the playoff chase than they can make up, and the model gives them just a 2 percent chance of making the playoff even with a win over Alabama. So an Alabama loss would probably shut the SEC out of the postseason.But who takes Alabama’s place would be a complicated question, depending in large part on what happened in Stanford’s game against USC.If Stanford won …The Cardinal would then be the best-positioned team to nab the fourth slot. They’re not a lock, though — the model thinks two-loss Stanford has a 61 percent likelihood of taking Alabama’s place.Behind the Cardinal is one-loss Ohio State, which has a 25 percent chance of making it if Alabama loses but Stanford and Clemson win. The Buckeyes are the defending national champion and had won 23 games in a row before losing to Michigan State on the last play of the game two weeks ago. We think Stanford probably has the inside track — but the committee could conclude that the Buckeyes’ overall résumé outweighs Stanford’s conference championship and two losses, especially if Stanford’s win over USC is underwhelming by its “eye test.”Beyond Ohio State, another team could conceivably make it in this scenario: that same Alabama team that just lost the SEC championship! The model gives the Tide a 13 percent chance of snagging a playoff spot if they lose and both Clemson and Stanford win. It’s doubtful that the committee will be so forgiving, however, unless perhaps the SEC championship involves a controversial finish.But if Stanford lost …It would clear the way for Ohio State. The one-loss Buckeyes make it 64 percent of the time that Clemson wins but Stanford and Alabama both lose. The two-loss Tide gets a 25 percent shot in this scenario. For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Football Power Index projections say Stanford is slightly more likely to lose than to win on Saturday.Both Alabama and Clemson lose (11 percent likelihood): This is the committee’s nightmare scenario: unlikely to happen, but ugly if it does. All of a sudden, there would be two slots available and five teams vying to fill them.If this happens, Stanford is the best bet to make it into the playoff. But only if it wins the Pac-12 championship. The Cardinal’s odds rise to 62 percent in this scenario — their highest probability of any of the rabbit holes we sent them down.Assuming Stanford wins …Then Clemson’s odds fall to 50/50. The Tigers, as noted earlier, are still considered potentially playoff-worthy by our model even if they lose to North Carolina. The ACC champion Tar Heels, however, aren’t a bad option either and are given a 43 percent chance. Ohio State is also a viable alternative at 30 percent.Alabama is unlikely to make it; the Tide have an outside shot at 12 percent. That makes sense, as both UNC and Stanford would have conference championships over Alabama, and in the Tar Heels’ case, they’d have fewer losses, too.However, should Stanford lose to USC …Then this quagmire becomes slightly less difficult (four teams for two spots). Clemson, North Carolina and Ohio State stand somewhere between a 48 percent and 67 percent shot in this scenario. Two-loss Alabama would be a longer shot at 24 percent.But to be honest, we’d be entering uncharted territory here. From an empirical point of view, these messy outcomes would be great: We’d learn a lot more about how the committee weighs conference championships, losses, strength of schedule and other factors. For football fans, though, they would be another controversial finish to a thrilling season. Which maybe should come as no surprise — this is college football, after all. read more

The NBA Players Who Are Too Busy Complaining To Get Back On

Of course, it’s one thing to lag and another to complain. You’ll notice, for example, that the list is filled with stars, who can be forgiven for not running quite as hard on defense sometimes since they’re doing so much on offense for their clubs each night.So I dove into the film, watching hundreds of these lag instances. I found that someone like Houston’s Trevor Ariza, a player whose role is to spot up for corner 3s, owes his Lag Rate to his positioning on the court. Look where he is at the end of this Rockets possession, for example, in the top-left portion of the screen.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.But the top five, I discovered, aren’t really victims of positioning — they’re victims of their own play styles. Play styles that, yes, sometimes include complaints.Draymond Green: Some of Green’s delays in getting back down the court appear to happen because he’s disappointed with himself after an overly fancy pass he’s made is intercepted. But the Warriors’ fiery fifth-year forward makes his fair share of complaints and often stays behind to air them.No one can dispute Green’s value, given his superb passing ability and his immense defensive skill, which makes him a deserving candidate for defensive player of the year. But he’s prone to joining plays late when he feels he’s been bumped off course while en route to the basket. (He sometimes argues when he feels teammates are fouled, too.)Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.There are times when Green’s lateness burns Golden State. But based on the film I watched, the Warriors’ defense — one of the league’s best — was able to hold off opponents until Green made it back down the court more often than not.Russell Westbrook: Through March 21, Westbrook had 41 instances of lags of more than 3 seconds, 17 more than LeBron James, the next-closest wing player. Studying video of each example, I found a wide variety of reasons why he took so long to get back on defense.Every now and then, Westbrook seems to fall this far behind as a way to catch a quick breather — understandable given how much he’s asked to do for OKC’s offense. Other times, the hyper-athletic Westbrook takes an ugly spill or appears to get hit in the face, sending him into a momentary daze.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.But, yes, he absolutely complains, and occasionally does it by continuing to sit on the floor long after he’s fallen to the ground.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.LeBron James: The King’s inclusion on this list is not a surprise. But it was surprising to see why he made the list. Yes, James complains plenty about no-calls.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.But the primary reason that James is in this group is simple: After missed shots and turnovers, he often cherrypicks when it looks like the opposing team may speed the ball down the court for a quick shot. That makes for awkward instances when Cleveland’s opponents pull the ball back out to actually run their offense, as it forces him to try to rejoin the action up to 10 seconds after the fact.Cleveland’s struggles on defense have been a head-scratcher to many. James’s choice to often stay on one end of the floor is likely part of the reason why the Cavs ranked last in transition defense during the regular season.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.John Wall: Wall — every bit as explosive as Westbrook, if not more — encounters many of the same issues as the Oklahoma City star. When Wall is bumped in the air while moving at a high speed, he goes flying. As such, his delays in getting back are seemingly split: About half the time, the Wizards guard appears to genuinely fall down; the other half, he is beside himself over a no-call.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.One thing that sets Wall apart from many of the others on this list: He’s fast enough to be completely out of a play and then recover in time to force a turnover.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.James Harden: Harden is the player whose lag seems most often to be the result of complaining. Unlike Wall and Westbrook, who race around the court, Harden is more deliberate and generally doesn’t fall over when bumped. His displeasure with the calls is generally what’s slowing him down.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Harden, the slowest-moving defensive wing in the NBA,2Among players logging 20 minutes or more. sometimes argues for too long, putting the Rockets in a tough spot when he does. Houston’s been fantastic when it can set its defense; the club ranked seventh in efficiency on that end after a make, according to Inpredictable, which specializes in win probabilities and advanced stats. But the club falls to 24th after it misses a shot and has less opportunity to align itself properly.While the playoffs figure to stop players from lagging behind, don’t expect the shot at a title to quiet the arguments. Over the weekend, ESPN commentators Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson were taken aback by all the complaining.“I understand why referees just put their hands up at a certain point and say, ‘Just stop,’” Van Gundy said during Game 1 of the Pacers-Cavs series. “Because on every call or non-call, everybody is complaining.”“To me, it’s at an all-time high,” Jackson responded. NUMBER OF TIMES PLAYER CROSSED HALF COURT BEHIND BALL … PLAYERTEAMTOTAL3+ SECONDS LATERLAG RATE Only players who lagged more than 3 seconds behind the ball at half court at least 15 times included. Through March 21.Source: SportVU LeBron JamesCLE1292419 Russell WestbrookOKC2134119 James HardenHOU1191916 Bradley BealWAS1341813 As someone who each week watches about a dozen NBA games for a living, I have my fair share of pet peeves. Like many fans, I lose my patience with the glitchy League Pass whenever I’m forced to stream a game on my laptop. By the ends of close games, I’ve often lost interest during the 15-minute span it takes to play the final two minutes.I have a special place reserved, though, for players who fail to get back on defense. In particular, nothing drives me up the wall like seeing a complaint from a player about a no-call lead to a 5-on-4 advantage on the other end of the floor and a basket by the opposing club. Now, instead of losing out on just 2 points from the no-call, a 4- or 5-point swing has taken place in mere seconds.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.With that in mind, I wanted to find a fun way to estimate which players most frequently take the longest to get back on defense, because of complaints or other reasons. Even with all the fancy new player-tracking systems, there’s no “lagging” stat. So we tried to approximate it. Brittni Donaldson, a data analyst from SportVU, the NBA’s camera-based tracking system, sent me how many times each player had trailed the ball across the half-court line this season (as of March 21) after a failed offensive possession.But a player might be slow across the line for lots of reasons, some more legitimate than arguing with the refs — battling under the boards, for example. So to get a better sense of who’s taking their sweet time instead of getting back on D, we baked another layer of data into our analysis, looking at how many times each player took more than 3 seconds to reach half court once the ball had already crossed that point.From there, we divided the second number by the first one to find how often a player was lagging way behind. And voila — that’s what we’re calling “Lag Rate.”1This also helps neutralize elements of pace, since a player like Toronto’s Kyle Lowry gets so many fewer plays per game than Houston’s James Harden, for instance. Only players with at least 15 instances of crossing half court more than 3 seconds after the ball qualified for inclusion on the list. Players who rank highly don’t always trail the ball across half court — but when they do, they’re behind it by seconds and seconds.One huge caveat here: No power forwards or centers rank highly in this metric because they’re generally bigger and slower than other players. They also camp near the rim for offensive boards — something that makes it more difficult for them to get back on D as quickly. So, in effect, we’re seeing a list of the wing players who lag behind most often. With that said, here are the leaders in “Lag Rate”: Draymond GreenGS901820% Kyle LowryTOR1141614 Kyrie IrvingCLE1231714 DeMar DeRozanTOR1011515 Which NBA players lag behind on defense? Trevor ArizaHOU1101715 John WallWAS1242319 read more

VikingsLions Is The Biggest Game Of Week 12

Cincinnati1592111– Carolina91274– AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF MIN WINSIF DET WINSSWING 3. Arizona (4-5-1) vs. Atlanta (6-4) — 70 total ‘swing’ points Baltimore32243814– 1. Minnesota (6-4) vs. Detroit (6-4) — 101 total ‘swing’ points Baltimore32%14%46%32– CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS Houston80867412– Cincinnati1529524– According to the Elo ratings that our NFL predictions are based on, the five best teams in the AFC are New England, Kansas City, Denver, Buffalo and Oakland — all in the East or West divisions. Since it’s looking unlikely that the AFC South or North will produce a wild-card team, Steelers-Colts will go a long way toward determining two divisional playoff spots and not much else.Indianapolis is in a rough position because of a bit of karmic payback: Although the Colts have outperformed their point differential the past few seasons, the Texans (6-4, outscored by 34 points) are managing the same feat this year. The Colts will need some help to win the AFC South even with a win. The Steelers, meanwhile, have a slightly better point differential than the Ravens, with whom they’re tied for first in the North, but it’s come against a slightly easier schedule. Pittsburgh is a good bet to make it in with a win, and not all the way out of it with a loss. Denver76%58%89%30– Detroit58%32%79%46– Pittsburgh5559527– Minnesota65894643– Despite a narrow lead in the NFC South, the Falcons are in stronger shape than they may seem to be. Elo thinks Atlanta is way better than 5-5 Tampa Bay and 4-6 New Orleans, and although the Panthers still rank high (by Elo), they’re unlikely to win a division tiebreaker and their remaining schedule is rough. That means that if Atlanta wins on Sunday, the Falcons will make a pretty big playoff jump — and if they lose, their NFC South rivals make only modest gains. Washington, which currently holds the second wild-card spot in the NFC, would prefer that Arizona all but end its playoff hunt with a loss. 2. Pittsburgh (5-5) vs. Indianapolis (5-5) — 96 total ‘swing’ points CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS Buffalo2627252– Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Arizona1122418– AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF PIT WINSIF IND WINSSWING Atlanta78%64%87%23– Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS New Orleans101285– Kansas City83967322– AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF KC WINSIF DEN WINSSWING N.Y. Giants6667653– Tampa Bay1519136– Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF CIN WINSIF BAL WINSSWING With Thanksgiving upon us, we’re entering the home stretch of the NFL regular season. So what are the most important games of Week 12?One way of looking at this — as we did in 2014 — is to figure out how much every game affects each team’s playoff chances. We do this by using the model behind our 2016 NFL predictions to calculate each team’s playoff “swing” based on a game outcome. For example, we estimate that if Oakland beats Carolina, the Raiders’ playoff chances will rise to 88 percent from 81 percent. If they lose, their chances will drop to 70 percent — an 18 percentage point swing.1 Some detail on what this means. Our NFL predictions are based on 100,000 simulations of the rest of the season and are updated after every game ends. In the simulations in which Oakland beats Carolina, the Raiders make the playoffs 88 percent of the time. In the simulations in which they lose, they make the playoffs 70 percent of the time. But at the end of Week 12, it’s unlikely that Oakland’s playoff probabilities will be exactly 88 percent or exactly 70 percent, because the team’s chances depend on the outcome of several games, not just their own. Carolina’s chances would see a more modest swing (rising to 17 percent from 9 percent if the Panthers win and falling to 4 percent if they lose); Buffalo, Atlanta, Miami and several other contenders could also see their probabilities change.By summing up these individual swings, we can get sense of which games will make the largest total impact league-wide. Here are this week’s top five, ranked by total swing: Miami2931283– Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Pittsburgh55%70%42%28– Oakland8182803– This is another big game toward determining the AFC North winner. Cincinnati is very much alive despite its 3-6-1 record and even though star receiver A.J. Green is out with a hamstring injury for the next few weeks — the Bengals would improve to a roughly 1-in-3 chance of making the playoffs with a win here. Baltimore can make similar gains, and Pittsburgh, which has beaten Cincinnati but lost to the Ravens in Week 9, would rather the Bengals win. CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS 5. Kansas City (7-3) vs. Denver (7-3) — 66 total ���swing’ points Indianapolis22123119– Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Washington5653585– CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF ARI WINSIF ATL WINSSWING The NFC North is on the line, and, for once, the Packers aren’t involved. Going into 2016, Green Bay had made the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons, winning an average of 11 games each year. So it’s come as some surprise that the Packers have basically played their way out of playoff contention by Week 12 — we give them just a 6 percent chance of making it to the postseason. Rising in their place are the Lions and Vikings. The winner of their game on Thursday will be in strong shape; the loser will be more likely to miss the playoffs than make them. 4. Cincinnati (3-6-1) vs. Baltimore (5-5) — 68 total ‘swing’ points The Broncos have already lost to the Raiders, who sit on top of the AFC West at 8-2. A loss to the Chiefs would put Denver in a dangerous situation, at risk of losing a division tiebreaker or a wild-card tiebreaker (or both!) to an AFC West rival. A Denver loss would have a pretty big impact: Since 1995, 7-4 teams have made the playoffs 68 percent of the time, but we’d give the 7-4 Broncos just a 58 percent chance if the Chiefs knock them off.CORRECTION (Nov. 23, 2:10 p.m.): A footnote in an earlier version of this article said incorrectly that FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction model does not project ties and gave an incorrect number of simulations in which the Oakland Raiders and the Carolina Panthers were projected to win their game on Sunday. In 100,000 simulations of the NFL season, Oakland was projected to win the game 58,042 times, not 57,955, and Carolina was projected to win 41,791 times, not 42,045.Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more

Commentary The roar likely will never be restored for Tiger Woods

The man who electrified the sporting world when he won the 1997 Masters by a record 12 strokes at the age of 21 is not the player he once was. Tiger Woods is now 35 years old. He is still on pace to break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major victories. However, Woods has gone 11 majors without winning, the longest streak of his career. Heck, he hasn’t won since Sept. 23, 2009. That’s not to say Woods still won’t break Nicklaus’ record. In early March, Nicklaus said it was too early to dismiss Woods’ chances. But that was before the Masters performance Woods turned in this past weekend. Yes, the literal “Tiger roar” returned to Augusta, Ga., as Woods made a Sunday charge on the front nine. In the past, Woods has made clutch putt after clutch putt to run away with the victory while others faded. That didn’t happen this weekend. He missed short putt after short putt. Even after leader Rory McIlroy collapsed, Woods couldn’t capitalize, and finished No. 33 in putting at the Masters. It’s fair to say the aura is gone. The younger players aren’t scared of Woods anymore. Sure, McIlroy buckled. But Jason Day, Adam Scott and the eventual Masters champion, Charl Schwartzel, all of whom are younger than Woods, didn’t blink. The 26-year-old Schwartzel birdied his last four holes on Sunday. How’s that for wilting under Woods’ pressure? Pressure is something Woods also puts on his body. Even his revamped swing involves incredible torque on his left leg. Shortly after he won the 91-hole 2008 U.S. Open, Woods revealed he’d been playing with a torn ACL in his left knee for more than 10 months, and had also suffered a double stress fracture in his left leg two weeks before the U.S. Open. Woods’ surgery to repair his left knee following the tournament was the third on his left knee since 2003. On Monday, Michael Wilbon, co-host of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” said Woods should play more in order to induce more muscle memory and that Woods can’t afford to take so many tournaments off in between majors anymore. But, it appears Woods has no plans of doing that. Early last month, Woods was asked why he’d only played nine competitive rounds so far in 2011. “Well, because I have a family. I’m divorced,” Woods said. “If you’ve been divorced with kids, then you would understand.” The only court Woods had to appear in following his personal transgressions was divorce court. He split from former wife Elin Nordegren on Aug. 23, 2010 — but he was executed in the court of public opinion. Perhaps he truly has become a family man. Whether it’s an incomplete game, a lost aura, an injury history or family devotion, it’s clear Woods is a different man. What remains to be seen is whether he can break Nicklaus’ record, something that’s always been his No. 1 goal. read more

Ohio State baseball gives up rout to Oklahoma State 163

Ohio State baseball (21-22, 10-8 Big Ten) was looking to rebound from a series loss to Illinois going into their non-conference game against No. 19 Oklahoma State (32-15,12-8 Big 12), but instead were handed a 16-3 defeat behind the Cowboys’ offensive explosion. OSU went into the game hoping to improve above .500 behind senior starting pitcher Dean Wolosiansky. The captain could not get it going however and after giving up six runs in 4.1 innings was pulled out of the game. The pitching troubles did not stop there however, junior reliever Brian Bobinski let Wolosiansky’s two left-over runners score and then gave up five of his own runs in 1.2 innings. “We were up in the strike zone all night tonight and we made it easier on their hitters,” said coach Greg Beals. “They are good hitters, not taking anything away from them, but the quality of our pitches weren’t quite there tonight.” It took the Buckeyes offense until the seventh inning to get to Cowboys starter Andrew Heck. Through six Heck held OSU scoreless, but after loading the bases in the seventh, he hit junior David Corna to score a run. A following RBI ground out by junior outfielder Joe Ciamacco and throwing error produced the only three runs of the game for OSU. “It was a mixture between just as a team having a bad game, offensively and defensively,” said senior outfielder Brian DeLucia. “It’s definitely a lesson learned and we’re just going to have the mentality to come back and fight tomorrow.” Game two will be Wednesday with a 6:35 p.m. starting time. Freshman John Kuchno (1-4, 7.62 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Buckeyes. No pitching zone The bats for Oklahoma State came ready and Buckeye pitchers could do little to cool them. OSU pitching as a whole gave up 16 runs on 20 hits and only one was unearned. They have given up 41 runs in the past four games Wolosiansky’s woes The pitching struggles have continued for Wolosiansky with an outing that saw the captain starter give up 8 runs and 11 hits in only 4.1 innings of work. He went to 2-7 on the year and his overall ERA rose to 6.48. “This year hasn’t been his year but if we just stay together as a team and he keeps leading, that leadership reflects everything, so he’ll do alright and bounce back,” DeLucia said. Change in the bullpen After Wolosiansky was pulled in the fifth inning, Beals went with a different bullpen than usual, giving the ball to Bobinski and then letting junior Paul Geuy finish the last three innings. His usual bullpen rotation includes junior Andrew Armstrong, sophomore David Fathalikhani, senior Jared Strayer, and freshman two-way playerJosh Dezse. “We have to manage our personnel a little bit with conference being priority number one,” Beals said. “You’re not going to go to an Armstrong or Strayer or Dezse at that point in the ballgame.” read more

Opinion Kyrie Irvings new contract offers new hope for Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving attempts a shot during a game against the Chicago Bulls Jan. 22 at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers lost, 98-87.Courtesy of MCTOn April 15, 2013, as the final buzzer sounded, he ran toward the locker room and wasn’t seen again for the rest of the evening.It was simultaneously the final game of the 2012-13 season at Quicken Loans Arena for the Cleveland Cavaliers and “Fan Appreciation Night” —  a night dedicated to the thousands of Clevelanders who watched the Cavs put together another atrocious campaign.While many players stood on the hardwood following the game to toss their shoes, uniforms and promotional giveaways into the audience as a sign of their appreciation, Kyrie Irving could not be bothered.All of a sudden, the 21-year-old prodigy, who offered a ray of hope following the departure of LeBron James, was Cleveland’s newest target and it showed throughout most of the 2013-14 Cavaliers season.His 2014 All-Star Game MVP trophy paled in comparison to his ongoing feud with fellow first-rounder Dion Waiters.His 20.8 points per game scoring average meant nothing, as he refused to cooperate with coach Mike Brown on the defensive end of the floor.His on-court selfishness overpowered the slick moves to the hoop that earned him his 2012 Rookie of the Year trophy.Seemingly disgruntled by his inability to appease the Cleveland fan base with his play, Irving had a decision to make with contract negotiations looming — or so he thought.Irving’s decision was made for him by the Cavaliers, who collectively have done almost everything in their power to cater to the young superstar this offseason.For starters, they fired their coach and, in one way or another, Irving’s apparent nemesis Mike Brown.They then lucked their way into another first-overall selection in the NBA Draft, ensuring that Irving would have the opportunity to be joined by another young talent.Next, they did their due-diligence when hiring a new coach and wound up with David Blatt, who, according to many, is one of the greatest offensive basketball minds in the world today.These three moves all but sealed Irving’s fate, but the Cavs had one more move to make.Rather than to wait or to force Irving to travel back to Cleveland to negotiate at midnight on Tuesday, Dan Gilbert, David Griffin, David Blatt and the Cavs contingency flew to New Jersey and were at his door as the clock struck 12, confirming that their No. 1 priority and the future of the franchise was none other than Kyrie Irving.With the front office fully behind him, Irving quickly agreed to the max extension, making him a Cavalier for the next six years.When he signs the dotted line on July 10 — the first day that players can officially sign contracts with teams — Irving will have erased all of the doubts that Clevelanders wrestled with for the past four years.Is he committed to the team? Without a doubt.Is he committed to the city? No question.Is he committed to helping this team and this city win a championship for the first time since 1964? Absolutely.At times, it seemed Cavs fans would once again be abandoned by a player who carried their hopes and dreams.The story had a similar start, but the expected end now must be rewritten. read more

Football Ohio State remains at No 10 in latest College Football Playoff

Urban Meyer prepares to lead the Buckeyes onto the field prior to start of the game against Maryland on Nov 17. Ohio State won 52-51. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorAfter a 52-51 overtime win over Maryland, Ohio State remained at No. 10 in the latest edition of the College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday.The Buckeyes entered the first playoff rankings at No. 10 and have not moved after wins over Nebraska and then-No. 18 Michigan State.Ohio State is one of four teams in the Top 25 according to the College Football Playoff rankings, joining No. 4 Michigan, No. 12 Penn State and No. 19 Northwestern.No. 10 Ohio State will face No. 4 Michigan at noon on Saturday at Ohio Stadium.Here are the full rankings:1.) Alabama2.) Clemson3.) Notre Dame4.) Michigan5.) Georgia6.) Oklahoma7.) LSU8.) Washington State9.) UCF10.) Ohio State11.) Florida12.) Penn State13.) West Virginia14.) Texas15.) Kentucky16.) Washington17.) Utah18.) Mississippi State19.) Northwestern20.) Syracuse21.) Utah State22.) Texas A&M23.) Boise State24.) Pitt25.) Iowa State read more

Matthew Baldwin to transfer to TCU

Redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin (12) throws a pass down the field in the first half of the 2019 Spring Game on April 13. Gray beat Scarlet 35-17. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorRedshirt freshman quarterback Matthew Baldwin’s transfer from Ohio State is now official.After taking to twitter to announce his transfer on April 18, the now former Buckeye stated Tuesday that his transfer destination would be TCU, per reports by 247Sports.At the time he entered the transfer portal, Baldwin cited a desire to be closer to home as his motivation for leaving Ohio State.“My family and I have prayed and talked a lot about where I belong and what is best for me,” Baldwin said in the April 18 twitter announcement. “In the end, we’d feel it’d be better for me to step away from Ohio State.”TCU is located in Fort Worth, Texas, a three-hour drive from Baldwin’s hometown in Austin, Texas.Baldwin will apply for immediate eligibility with the Horned Frogs.Baldwin concludes his Ohio State career before taking a single snap. At the 2019 Spring Game he finished 20-for-36 for 246 yards through the air, with two touchdowns and three interceptions.While sophomore quarterback Justin Fields appeared to lead for the starting job at the position for the Buckeyes, he and Baldwin were considered in open competition by head coach Ryan Day.Should he be granted immediate eligibility, he’ll have four seasons available to play at TCU. read more

Drugdispensing contact lenses offer hope to glaucoma patients at risk of going

first_imgWe may have an option for glaucoma that’s more effective than what we have todayDoctor Joseph Ciolino, Harvard Medical School Glaucomais the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world.While there is no cure for the condition, medications are designed to lower pressure in the eye with the goal of preventing vision loss.Currently, the medications are delivered in the form of eye drops, which sometimes cause stinging and burning.Contact lenses have been studied as a means of drug delivery for nearly 50 years, yet many such lenses are ineffective because they dispense the drug too quickly.The researchers behind the new study designed the contact lens to allow for a more controlled drug release by using a tiny film of drug-encapsulated polymers in the periphery, which slows the drug coming out of the lens.Because the drug film is on the periphery, the centre of the lens is clear, allowing for normal visual acuity, breathability and hydration.The drug-dispensing lens can also be designed to do the traditional job of correcting eye sight where necessary.The researchers are currently designing clinical trials to determine the safety and efficiency of the lenses in humans.Dr Ciolino said: “If we can address the problem of compliance, we may help patients adhere to the therapy necessary to maintain vision in diseases like glaucoma, saving millions from preventable blindness.”This study also raises the possibility that we may have an option for glaucoma that’s more effective than what we have today.” Doctor Joseph Ciolino, an ophthalmologist at Harvard Medical School, said: “We found that a lower-dose contact lens delivered the same amount of pressure reduction as the latanoprost drops, and a higher-doselens, interestingly enough, had better pressure reduction than the drops in our small study.”Based on our preliminary data, the lenses have not only the potential to improve compliance for patients, but also the potential of providing better pressure reduction than the drops.” Eye drop being administered Eye drops can be difficult to self-administerCredit:Telegraph Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Drug-dispensing contacted lenses could offer new hope to people suffering from glaucoma, which causes blindness, after they were found to be at least as effective as eye drops.Researchers say that the lens, which is designed to deliver medication gradually, may improve the treatment of patients who struggle with eye drops, which can be imprecise and difficult to self-administer.It is estimated that more than 500,000 people in England and Wales have glaucoma, a build-up of pressure on the eye, but many more people may suffer from the condition without having been diagnosed.last_img read more

Mo Farah sent to back of queue while boarding flight home from

first_imgRunner Mo Farah with wife Tania and daughter Rhianna, who holds his new gold medal. The wife of four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah today reveals his “humiliation” at being forced to go to the back of the queue for a business class flight.Tania Farah says her husband, 33, was singled-out by a flight attendant who refused to recognise that he had a business class ticket for the journey back from Rio.Witnesses later claimed Mrs Farah swore at the airline worker, called her “pathetic” and told her she led a “sad little life”, and was being “disrespectful”, before demanding an apology. The alleged incident on August 22, as the couple and their four children waited to board a 9.35am connecting flight from Atlanta, Georgia to their home in Portland, Oregon.Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Telegraph, she said: “This woman basically humiliated him until people came forward and said: ‘That’s Mo Farah, the Olympic champion…’ She was mortified afterwards, but had basically yelled at him like he was a piece of s— to get back into line.“He was the only black person [in the queue] and hadn’t done anything to warrant it. I just knew she had a problem with him.”Mr Farah was carrying a Team GB holdall, witnesses said, while his stepdaughter, Rhianna, 11, clutched a Pride the Lion Team GB mascot. Tania Farah embraces her husband Mo But despite Mo’s huge success – which has led to calls for him to be granted a knighthood – she revealed she is still nervous of discussing her religious faith for fear of how others might perceive her.“Religion is important to us despite how it might look, ” she explained. “We don’t pray five times a day, but we certainly follow the main fundamentals of the religion, especially for our kids.“I’m sometimes a bit wary of telling people I’m a Muslim because I’m worried of how they might view me. It sounds terrible because I should be proud and I am, but I’m also conscious of how we’re viewed nowadays.”She added: “The more people can give a positive image for Islam the better because we so need it and we’re all about peace.”Mo and Tania Farah will compete in the Great North Run on Sunday in Newcastle. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Tania Nell and Mo Farah arrive for GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2016 Tania Farah embraces her husband Mo after he won the Men’s 5000 metre final on August 20, 2016Credit:Patrick Smith/Getty Images Tania and Mo Farah arrive for GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2016 at Tate Modern, London, on September 6, 2016Credit:Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Runner Mo Farah with wife Tania and daughter Rhianna  It is understood the family were finally allowed onto the aeroplane when a second official intervened. Once aboard, they were applauded by passengers.A Delta Airlines spokesman said: “We are investigating this situation and will be working directly with the Farah family.”He added that the company “takes precautions to protect customer data and information”.In her candid interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mrs Farah also describes how the pair fell in love after bonding over their shared religion of Islam while attending a school in a predominantly white area of London.She expresses her hopes that the family will one day be able to visit the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, considered holy in Islam.last_img read more