GAA NOTES: NAOMH COLUMBA

first_imgNaomh Columba 04.10.2011Well done to our senior team and management, who have set up a county intermediate championship final meeting with St Nauls, after overcoming Naomh Colmcille in last Saturday’s play-off. Final score: Naomh Columba 0.10 Naomh Colmcille 0.07.The finals will take place on Sunday, October 16th. Our reserves contest the semi-final this Saturday, when they travel to O’Donnell Park in Letterkenny to meet Carndonagh. 4.30pm throw-in. Ádh mór to the lads. Returning to league action, and the club play host to Bundoran this weekend.Games are scheduled for Sunday, with 1.30 and 3pm throw-ins at Páirc na nGael. This is our second last home league game this season, and we would encourage a good attendance. Hard luck to the Coláiste na Carraige under 14 panel who suffered defeat in their first outing last week, losing out to Glenties Comprehensive.The school seniors are in action this Friday, when they play host to Carndonagh in the second leg of their first round game. 1.30pm throw-in at Páirc na nGael. Please come along and support. Scór na nÓg: Naomh Columba will take part in the regional heats of Scór na nÓg on Saturday, October 15th, in Gleann Fhinne. We will take part in the recitation, solo singing, traditional music, and quiz team categories, but are still looking for anyone under the age of 17 who would be interested in taking part in a ballad group.For further information contact Caitríona on 086 1970127, or through our facebook page. An underage presentation event, for our under 10 and under 14 teams will take place this Saturday, October 8th, in the Halla Muire, Cashel. Our under 10s will be presented with their medals at 7.30pm, followed by our under 14 presentation at 8.30pm. A disco will follow, and everyone is most welcome. 2011Dinner Dance: we are currently accepting orders for tickets for the 2011 dinner dance, which will be held in the Blue Haven Hotel on Thursday, December 29th. Tickets are unbeatable value, priced at €30 for dinner, music with Na Fianna, and disco. Numbers will be limited, so please get orders in early: contact Noel Ellis, Geraldine Mc Guire, Caitríona Nic Seoin, or alternatively contact us through facebook. Cúrsaí lotto na seachtaine seo caite: Uimhreacha–6-9-11-16. Duaiseanna Aitheantais: €50 Ronan & Ryan Gillespie, Mín an Aoire. €30 Breid Keennedy, Mín an Aoire. €20 John Byrne, Gaineamh. €20 Sarah Connolly, Droim Rua. €20 Anna Mc Brearty, Mín an Aoire.Lotto na seachtaine seo chugainn €5200.GAA NOTES: NAOMH COLUMBA was last modified: October 4th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAA NOTES: NAOMH COLUMBAlast_img read more

Biofuels Turn Out To Be a Climate Mistake

first_imgReduce and removeScience points the way to climate protection mechanisms that are more effective and less costly than biofuels. There are two broad strategies for mitigating CO2 emissions from transportation fuels. First, we can reduce emissions by improving vehicle efficiency, limiting miles traveled, or substituting truly carbon-free fuels such as electricity or hydrogen.Second, we can remove CO2 from the atmosphere more rapidly than ecosystems are absorbing it now. Strategies for “recarbonizing the biosphere” include reforestation and afforestation, rebuilding soil carbon and restoring other carbon-rich ecosystems such as wetlands and grasslands.These approaches will help to protect biodiversity – another global sustainability challenge – instead of threatening it as biofuel production does. Our analysis also offers another insight: Once carbon has been removed from the air, it rarely makes sense to expend energy and emissions to process it into biofuels only to burn the carbon and re-release it into the atmosphere. Carbon flows and the ‘climate bathtub’This result contradicts most established work on biofuels. To understand why, it is helpful to think of the atmosphere as a bathtub that is filled with CO2 instead of water.Many activities on Earth add CO2 to the atmosphere, like water flowing from a faucet into the tub. The largest source is respiration: Carbon is the fuel of life, and all living things “burn carbs” to power their metabolisms. Burning ethanol, gasoline, or any other carbon-based fuel opens up the CO2 “faucet” further and adds carbon to the atmosphere faster than natural metabolic processes.Other activities remove CO2 from the atmosphere, like water flowing out of a tub. Before the industrial era, plant growth absorbed more than enough CO2 to offset the CO2 that plants and animals respired into the atmosphere.Today, however, largely through fossil fuel use, we are adding CO2 to the atmosphere far more rapidly than nature removes it. As a result, the CO2 “water level” is rapidly rising in the climate bathtub.Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, recorded by the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. The line is jagged because CO2 levels rise and fall slightly each year in response to plant growth cycles. [Scripps Institute of Oceanography]When biofuels are burned, they emit roughly the same the amount of CO2 per unit of energy as petroleum fuels. Therefore, using biofuels instead of fossil fuels does not change how quickly CO2 flows into the climate bathtub. To reduce the buildup of atmospheric CO2 levels, biofuel production must open up the CO2 drain – that is, it must speed up the net rate at which carbon is removed from the atmosphere.Growing more corn and soybeans has opened the CO2 uptake “drain” a bit more, mostly by displacing other crops. That’s especially true for corn, whose high yields remove carbon from the atmosphere at a rate of two tons per acre, faster than most other crops.Nevertheless, expanding production of corn and soybeans for biofuels increased CO2 uptake only enough to offset 37% of the CO2 directly tied to biofuel use. Moreover, it was far from enough to offset other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during biofuel production from sources including fertilizer use, farm operations, and fuel refining. Additionally, when farmers convert grasslands, wetlands, and other habitats that store large quantities of carbon into cropland, very large CO2 releases occur. RELATED ARTICLES Ever since the 1973 oil embargo, U.S. energy policy has sought to replace petroleum-based transportation fuels with alternatives. One prominent option is using biofuels such as ethanol in place of gasoline and biodiesel instead of ordinary diesel.Transportation generates one-fourth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, so addressing this sector’s impact is crucial for climate protection.Many scientists view biofuels as inherently carbon-neutral: they assume the carbon dioxide (CO2) plants absorb from the air as they grow completely offsets, or “neutralizes,” the CO2 emitted when fuels made from plants burn. Many years of computer modeling based on this assumption, including work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, concluded that using biofuels to replace gasoline significantly reduced CO2 emissions from transportation. Uncertainties inspire a new lookThese uncertainties spurred me to start deconstructing LCA. In 2013, I published a paper in Climatic Change showing that the conditions under which biofuel production could offset CO2 were much more limited than commonly assumed. In a subsequent review paper I detailed the mistakes made when using LCA to evaluate biofuels. These studies paved the way for our new finding that in the United States, to date, renewable fuels actually are more harmful to the climate than gasoline.It is still urgent to mitigate CO2 from oil, which is the largest source of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in the United States and the second-largest globally after coal. But our analysis affirms that, as a cure for climate change, biofuels are “worse than the disease.” The biofuel boom is a climate blunderFederal and state policies have subsidized corn ethanol since the 1970s, but biofuels gained support as a tool for promoting energy independence and reducing oil imports after the September 11, 2001 attacks. In 2005 Congress enacted the Renewable Fuel Standard, which required fuel refiners to blend 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol into gasoline by 2012. (For comparison, in that year Americans used 133 billion gallons of gasoline.)In 2007 Congress dramatically expanded the RFS program with support from some major environmental groups. The new standard more than tripled annual U.S. renewable fuel consumption, which rose from 4.1 billion gallons in 2005 to 15.4 billion gallons in 2015.Biomass energy consumption in the United States grew more than 60 percent from 2002 through 2013, almost entirely due to increased production of biofuels. (Energy Information Administration)Our study examined data from 2005-2013 during this sharp increase in renewable fuel use. Rather than assume that producing and using biofuels was carbon-neutral, we explicitly compared the amount of CO2 absorbed on cropland to the quantity emitted during biofuel production and consumption.Existing crop growth already takes large amounts of CO2 out of the atmosphere. The empirical question is whether biofuel production increases the rate of CO2 uptake enough to fully offset CO2 emissions produced when corn is fermented into ethanol and when biofuels are burned.Most of the crops that went into biofuels during this period were already being cultivated; the main change was that farmers sold more of their harvest to biofuel makers and less for food and animal feed. Some farmers expanded corn and soybean production or switched to these commodities from less profitable crops.But as long as growing conditions remain constant, corn plants take CO2 out of the atmosphere at the same rate regardless of how the corn is used. Therefore, to properly evaluate biofuels, one must evaluate CO2 uptake on all cropland. After all, crop growth is the CO2 “sponge” that takes carbon out of the atmosphere.When we performed such an evaluation, we found that from 2005 through 2013, cumulative carbon uptake on U.S. farmland increased by 49 teragrams (a teragram is one million metric tons). Planted areas of most other field crops declined during this period, so this increased CO2 uptake can be largely attributed to crops grown for biofuels.Over the same period, however, CO2 emissions from fermenting and burning biofuels increased by 132 teragrams. Therefore, the greater carbon uptake associated with crop growth offset only 37% of biofuel-related CO2 emissions from 2005 through 2013. In other words, biofuels are far from inherently carbon-neutral.center_img Mistaken modelingOur new study has sparked controversy because it contradicts many prior analyses. These studies used an approach called lifecycle analysis, or LCA, in which analysts add up all of the GHG emissions associated with producing and using a product. The result is popularly called the product’s “carbon footprint.”The LCA studies used to justify and administer renewable fuel policies evaluate only emissions – that is, the CO2 flowing into the air – and failed to assess whether biofuel production increased the rate at which croplands removed CO2 from the atmosphere. Instead, LCA simply assumes that because energy crops such as corn and soybeans can be regrown from one year to the next, they automatically remove as much carbon from the atmosphere as they release during biofuel combustion. This significant assumption is hard-coded into LCA computer models.Unfortunately, LCA is the basis for the RFS as well as California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, a key element of that state’s ambitious climate action plan. It is also used by other agencies, research institutions, and businesses with an interest in transportation fuels.I once accepted the view that biofuels were inherently carbon-neutral. Twenty years ago I was lead author of the first paper proposing use of LCA for fuel policy. Many such studies were done, and a widely cited meta-analysis published in Science in 2006 found that using corn ethanol significantly reduced GHG emissions compared to petroleum gasoline.However, other scholars raised concerns about how planting vast areas with energy crops could alter land use. In early 2008 Science published two notable articles. One described how biofuel crops directly displaced carbon-rich habitats, such as grasslands. The other showed that growing crops for biofuel triggered damaging indirect effects, such as deforestation, as farmers competed for productive land.LCA adherents made their models more complex to account for these consequences of fuel production. But the resulting uncertainties grew so large that it became impossible to determine whether or not biofuels were helping the climate. In 2011 a National Research Council report on the RFS concluded that crop-based biofuels such as corn ethanol “have not been conclusively shown to reduce GHG emissions and might actually increase them.” John DeCicco is a research professor at the University of Michigan. This post originally appeared at The Conversation. Ethanol Under FireCorn Ethanol: The Rise and Fall of a Political ForceThe Case Against More EthanolThe Case for More Ethanol Our new study takes a fresh look at this question. We examined crop data to evaluate whether enough CO2 was absorbed on farmland to balance out the CO2 emitted when biofuels are burned. It turns out that once all the emissions associated with growing feedstock crops and manufacturing biofuel are factored in, biofuels actually increase CO2 emissions rather than reducing them.last_img read more

Jarin wants less Alejandro-centric offense from Bulldogs

first_imgLOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netNational University head coach Jamike Jarin wants his players to stop relying on just one person to get themselves out of tight situations.In the Bulldogs’ 90-83 loss to Far Eastern University Wednesday, wingman J-Jay Alejandro was the lone player from Jarin’s team to display the fighting spirit in the fourth quarter against the Tamaraws.ADVERTISEMENT Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentcenter_img Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  LATEST STORIES Racela proud of Tolentino’s improved defensive effort For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. And seeing just one player try to carry the whole team did not bode well with Jarin as they dropped to 2-3 in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball standings.“An all J-Jay offense is a concern,” said Jarin at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “This team is not talented enough to win games individually so it has to be a collective team effort. We need to step up offensively and defensively.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutNU trailed 76-68 at the start of the fourth until Alejandro willed the Bulldogs to a 9-2 run late in the period to cut the deficit to five, 86-81.Alejandro scored 11 of his 23 points in the fourth while his teammates mustered just four in the final period. MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

10 months agoEmery hopes Arsenal defeat acts as wake-up call

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Emery hopes Arsenal defeat acts as wake-up callby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery hopes defeat to Southampton was a wake up call.The Saints ended Arsenal’s 22-match unbeaten run and won their first home league game since April thanks to Charlie Austin’s 85th-minute header with Hasenhuttl running on to the pitch to celebrate with his players on the final whistle.In a see-sawing encounter, the hosts took the lead after 20 minutes as Danny Ings muscled home a header from Matt Targett’s cross.Henrikh Mkhitaryan nodded in shortly after for Arsenal, following good work by Alex Iwobi and Nacho Monreal – but Ings struck again just before the break.Nathan Redmond’s floated cross was precise and Ings cushioned a looping effort into the far corner.Arsenal turned the screw in the second half and restored parity as Mkhitaryan’s shot deflected in off Jannik Vestergaard.The Gunners had their chances with Alex McCarthy impressing in the home goal, but Southampton were dangerous on the break and Shane Long had a goal rightly ruled offside before providing a teasing cross for Austin’s winner.Emery stated: “We could have lost at any time and it was today.”If we won’t win like today, we cannot be in the top four.”After 22 matches unbeaten we didn’t lose and we are only fifth position in the table and the reason is because other teams are very well.”Other teams usually they are winning but we need to do our way and continue to build. The objective is therefore top but we know it’s not easy because the other teams are at a high level.”We need to be very, very demanding.” last_img read more

MAN LPG Engine to Power Chinese VLGC

first_imgzoomGaz Imperial from the TSM fleet. Image Courtesy: MAN Jiangnan Shipyard, owned by China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC), has ordered an LPG-burning engine for an 86,000 cbm very large gas carrier (VLGC), MAN Energy Solutions said.The ship, which will be equipped with MAN B&W 6G60ME-LGIP engine, is being built for China’s shipping company Tianjin Southwest Maritime (TSM) and is scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2021.“With 2020 and the new IMO emissions fast approaching, interest in using LPG as a fuel – within and outside of the LPG carrier segment – is growing due to its sulphur-free character, widespread availability, price competitivity, and ease of bunkering. At MAN Energy Solutions, we feel that the introduction of the ME-LGIP is proving timely,” Bjarne Foldager, Senior Vice President, Head of Two-Stroke Business at MAN Energy Solutions, said.MAN Energy Solutions already won the first orders for the new engine earlier in 2018 when Hanjin Heavy Industries announced that it would construct two VLGCs at its Philippines yard for Exmar, the Belgian integrated gas-shipping company. The 86,000 cbm newbuilds will each be powered by an individual MAN B&W 6G60ME-LGIP Mk9.5 engine.The company could also announce the first retrofit orders for the ME-LGIP in September 2018 when it signed a contract with Oslo-listed BW LPG for the world’s first retrofitting of four HFO-burning engines to LPG-propelled dual-fuel engines. The order includes options for further retrofits in the future with work expected to begin during 2020.The company also reported that the ME-LGIP engine has experienced an up to 18% reduction in CO2 and circa 90% reduction in particulate matter when running on LPG, compared with HFO, and expects a strong demand for this type of engine from VLGCs and coastal vessels.LPG is an environmentally-friendly fuel, in much the same class as liquefied natural gas (LNG), and an LPG-fueled engine will significantly reduce emissions, enabling vessels to meet the stringent IMO SOx emission regulations due to come into force globally from 2020. As well as being an important step towards reaching the 2050 IMO GHG targets, LPG also gives credit towards IMO EEDI compliance requirements.Image Courtesy: MANAccording to MAN, LPG’s future as a viable fuel for general marine transportation looks promising as it will not require as large an investment in infrastructure – such as bunkering facilities – in contrast to other, gaseous fuels. As a widespread energy source, availability is high and LPG is easier to store and handle, compared with cryogenic gaseous fuels.Furthermore, LPG is traditionally a cheaper fuel than MGO yet delivers the same performance and efficiency. Importantly, the ability to use LPG cargo as a supplemental fuel source provides significant cost savings for LPGC owners or charterers, including reduced time and fees for fuel bunkering.last_img read more

Fire forcing evacuation of Keewaywin First Nation in northwestern Ontario

first_imgA raging forest fire in northwestern Ontario has prompted the full evacuation of the First Nation community of Keewaywin, authorities said on Thursday.More than 200 residents considered vulnerable had already been flown this week to Sioux Lookout, Ont., as the fire moved closer, while roughly 200 more were being sent to another city Thursday. Joe Meekis, a former long-time chief of Keewaywin — which has about 450 residents — called the situation scary.“The community is threatened,” Meekis said in an interview from Sioux Lookout. “Everybody has to get out.”Known as Red Lake Fire Number 23, the blaze which is now about 546 square kilometres began as a small fire a week ago about 40 kilometres from the community. Earlier this week, the winds picked up and it “grew really fast,” Meekis said.Smoke began drifting into the community, prompting residents to close windows and doors, and shut down air conditioners.Ultimately, the chief declared an emergency and the initial transfer of babies, pregnant women, and children under five and their families began. On Tuesday and Wednesday, a total of 227 people were flown about 330 kilometres south to Sioux Lookout, which has declared its own state of emergency aimed at defraying the cost of helping the arrivals.Volunteers in the town were helping provide access to snacks, supplies and information, as well as responding to requests from the evacuees, a spokesman said.“All evacuees are being housed at a local hotel, and a local restaurant is providing all of the meals,” said Brian MacKinnon, the town’s manager of corporate services. “(However), Sioux Lookout is presently at capacity with respect to the number of evacuees we can host.”As a result, the more than 200 remaining evacuees were being flown to Timmins, Ont., on Thursday, leaving just a skeleton crew in the community for security purposes, Meekis said.“They’re moving people today, as we speak,” Meekis said.By noon Thursday, the fire was 10 kilometres southwest of the Keewaywin boundary, which is 12 kilometres from the town itself, according to the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources.Jonathan Scott, an information officer with Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services, said an incident management team was on site looking for “aerial ignition opportunities” in which fires are deliberately set to take the blaze to natural barriers and slow its spread. Crews and equipment were also in the area.Despite some isolated heavy rains Wednesday night, the fire hazard in the region ranged from low to extreme. Speaking from Dryden, Ont., Scott said 12 new smaller fires were confirmed on Wednesday near Red Lake, Fort Frances, Dryden and Sioux Lookout.In all, more than two dozen fires are burning in northwestern Ontario, 12 out of control.Large numbers of huge forest fires are not unusual in the region. There have been 183 to date this season, well below the 500 of last year and about half the 10-year average of 366, Scott said. Still, the fires pose a logistical challenge.“Ontario is so stretched with their resources,” Meekis said. “There’s fires all over the place. So we have to sort of fight for the resources.”Keewaywin’s last full evacuation occurred in 2011. While the community was spared, damage to the surrounding area was significant.Colin Perkel, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

NFL Week 4 Elo Ratings And Playoff Odds

Before scrolling down and peeking at the table, take a guess: Which team has the highest projected end-of-season win total according to FiveThirtyEight’s latest NFL Elo ratings and playoff odds?While you’re thinking, let me briefly explain what these numbers are all about. A team’s Elo rating represents its current strength — or at least an estimate thereof using a simple method that incorporates margin of victory, home-field advantage, strength of schedule and team quality in previous seasons. (For the really gory details of how the ratings work, click here.) To give you a sense of the scale, the average NFL team always has an Elo rating of 1500, and the ratings usually range from 1700 on the high side to 1300 on the low end of the spectrum.Anyway, once computed, they can be used to derive win probabilities for each game and even point spreads. That’s how we’re able to simulate the remainder of the NFL schedule thousands of times and track each team’s chances of winning the division or making the playoffs, right down to using the NFL’s actual, highly arcane tiebreaker rules.OK, so now that the explanation is out of the way, which team has the most predicted wins?Perhaps you’re thinking of the Seattle Seahawks, who won their Super Bowl rematch with the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. You’d be close; Seattle once again checks in with the top Elo rating this week (see left), but their schedule is difficult enough — eighth-toughest in the league, to be exact — that they don’t have the league’s highest expected win total. Speaking of the Broncos, they had the most predicted wins in last week’s column, but their loss to the Seahawks was damaging — both because it took away about 0.38 expected wins for the Seattle game itself, and because their Elo rating was downgraded by 14 (or the equivalent of a little more than a half a point of victory margin per game), reducing their win probabilities in future games as well.New England, then? The Patriots did manage to win last week but only marginally improved their Elo rating after a seven-point victory over the Oakland Raiders in a game Elo thought they should have won by more than two touchdowns. They currently rank fourth in expected wins. And the Carolina Panthers, who had been pegged for 10.7 wins after a 2-0 start, dropped to a 9.1-win expectation in the wake of an 18-point home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.The answer you were looking for was actually the Cincinnati Bengals, who project to win a league-high 11.2 games, according to our simulations. The Bengals moved to 3-0 for the first time since 2006 (don’t ask what happened that year) by drubbing the Tennessee Titans 33-7, and they now have the NFL’s best point differential. They also have an easier remaining schedule than the teams above them in the Elo pecking order. Based on Elo, an average team would be expected to beat Cincinnati’s remaining opponents by about 0.1 points per game (taking into account where the games are being played), while an average team would lose by 0.6 PPG against Seattle’s slate, 0.4 PPG against Denver’s and 0.2 PPG against New England’s.The Bengals also have the league’s best playoff odds at 78 percent and its second-best shot at winning the Super Bowl. Cincinnati does not have the best division odds, thanks to the re-emergence of Pittsburgh and Baltimore (sorry, Cleveland). Before the season, we thought the AFC North would be up for grabs, and three of its teams had preseason Elo ratings above 1500, but they were all bunched at the fringe of the top 12. Now Elo’s fourth-, ninth- and 12th-best teams hail from the AFC North, making it the NFL’s second-best division (in terms of its members’ average rating) behind the fearsome NFC West.Either way, Bengals fans should enjoy their team’s newfound success. They’re in a relatively prosperous cycle of the franchise’s history; including the end of last season, the team is consistently producing its best Elo ratings since the end of the 2005 season. Let’s hope there isn’t another Kimo von Oelhoffen moment waiting to derail the momentum this time around.Here are the projected standings and playoff odds for every NFL team:Some other observations:After briefly pulling themselves up to a 1503 Elo with a win over the New York Jets in Week 2, the Green Bay Packers dropped below 1500 again and now have their worst rating since the beginning of the Aaron Rodgers era. It’s a far cry from the Packers team that boasted a 1780 Elo late in the 2011 season, just 145 short weeks ago.Like Cincinnati, the Arizona Cardinals are zooming up the expected-win charts. Our simulations have them winning an average of 10.6 games by the end of the season, which ranks third in the league. Interestingly, by Elo they aren’t even the second-best team in the NFC West — San Francisco is barely ahead despite losing to Arizona last week — but they are expected to win 1.8 more games than the 49ers because they are already two games up in the standings (though they play the fourth-hardest schedule in football from now on).San Diego shouldn’t be forgotten in the Super Bowl derby. Although the Seahawks are the clear favorites, with a 14 percent chance of winning it all, the Chargers are at the periphery of the next tier of contenders — a group that also includes Cincinnati, New England, Arizona, Denver and possibly the Philadelphia Eagles. And along with the Bengals and Cardinals, the Chargers have added the most to their Elo score since the preseason ratings, improving from a 1555 to their current 1602 mark over the course of three straight victories.Although their 1999 incarnation was pretty extraordinary, the 2014 St. Louis Rams — along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars — seem to be deteriorating. No teams have shed more points off of their Elo ratings since the season began, with each losing in excess of 49 points (the equivalent of about two points per game of expected scoring margin) compared to their preseason ratings.As I mentioned, Elo ratings can also be used to generate point spreads for future games. It is our staunch recommendation, however, that these be used for “entertainment purposes only” — especially after a performance like last week. Going up against the point spreads listed at Pro-Football-Reference.com, Elo’s picks were a dreadful 4-11-1 in Week 3. (They did have a 12-4 straight-up record.) But we’ll soldier on anyway and list the matchups for this week, along with their predicted win probabilities and point spreads:The best matchup of the week in Elo’s eyes is Philadelphia at San Francisco, which matches Nos. 6 and 10 in our rankings. But as far as marquee games go (measured by the harmonic mean of the two teams’ pregame ratings after adding half the home-field advantage to each side), it’s the worst week-leading matchup of the season yet.Even so, there are some interesting pairings to be had, in addition to Eagles-Niners. Elo considers Washington and the New York Football Giants to be a classic “pick ’em“, while Vegas sees Washington as three-and-a-half point favorites, perhaps underestimating just how bad of a period this is in the franchise’s history. Likewise, Green Bay is a one-and-a-half point favorite at Chicago despite Elo pegging the Bears as five-point favorites. How much of that is owed to the Bears’ banged-up defense, and how much simply stems from a refusal to believe the Packers aren’t the same team they were several years ago, is tough to say.Finally, a couple of NFC South teams are getting a lot more love in Vegas than the ratings say they deserve. The books have both Atlanta and New Orleans favored by 3 on the road this week (the Falcons visit Minnesota; the Saints go to Dallas), while Elo thinks Vegas is off by about 5 points in each matchup — enough to swing the expected winner of both games. In general, Elo has the NFC South as the fifth-best division in football, but if both teams buck the odds and live up to those spreads on the road, our computer might have to change its tune. read more

Postseason approaches for Ohio State mens basketball

Depending on a team’s record, playing in a college basketball conference tournament can have a variety of implications. For some, it’s a final opportunity to attain an unlikely spot in the NCAA Tournament. For others, it’s a chance to improve seeding or tune up for a deep tournament run. This year, the Big Ten tournament could serve as something else: a tiebreaker. Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State each finished with a 13-5 record in the Big Ten, forcing a three-way split of the regular season conference title. Would winning the Big Ten tournament, which will be played Thursday through Sunday, give one of those three teams an unofficial title as the conference’s best? “These tournaments, the regular season champion, tournament champion, they’re a big deal,” said OSU junior forward Evan Ravenel. “It kind of sets you apart from the rest of the pack as far as within your conference.” Although a Big Ten tournament championship by one of the top three teams might offer some clarity within the conference, it might not have a significant impact on the national level. Despite the Big Ten being widely regarded this season as college basketball’s top conference and having five teams ranked 15th or better in the AP Top 25 Poll this week, many projections don’t have a Big Ten team receiving one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tourney. OSU coach Thad Matta said that should the Buckeyes, Spartans or Wolverines win this weekend’s tournament, that team should receive a top seed for the national tournament. “From what I’ve just gone through, I would say yes,” Matta said. “Now you can say, ‘Hey Thad, how would you guys do going through the Big East?’ There’s probably too much hypothetical involved in it, I don’t know the answer. But I know, just lobbying for the Big Ten, the different styles that you face from night to night, the arenas that we play in, that sort of thing, it’s a great challenge. But yeah if one of the three of us wins the conference (tournament) championship I could see validity in (getting a No. 1 seed).” Unlike last season when the Buckeyes went 16-2 in the Big Ten en route to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the strength of teams in the Big Ten this season ultimately prevented a team from pulling away in the standings. “We did a nice job of beating each other up throughout the course of (this season),” Matta said. “You didn’t have that dominating performance by anyone in the league. I mean 13-5 won it, so it probably just speaks more to top to bottom how good the conference is.” Based on tie-breaking procedures, Michigan State is the top seed, Michigan is the No. 2 seed and the Buckeyes are the third seed in this weekend’s tournament. OSU will play Friday in the quarterfinals against the winner of Thursday’s game between sixth-seeded Purdue and No. 11 seed Nebraska. Matta said conference tournament games give the younger OSU players a preview of what NCAA tournament games are like. “You’re going to a neutral site, you’re playing in a nice arena, you’re playing great competition obviously, and there’s that heightened awareness of second half, score tied, ‘Hey, if we don’t get it done we’re going home,’” Matta said. “So without really saying it, they have that understanding and appreciation for what we have to do at that time. “I will be anxious to see how this team plays in this setting.” Tip between the Buckeyes and either the Boilermakers or Cornhuskers is set for 9 p.m. Friday at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. read more

Ohio State defense stiffens in second half of 4228 win

Redshirt-freshman linebacker Darron Lee (43) runs a recovered fumble toward the end zone during a game against Michigan on Nov. 29 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-28. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorFor nearly three quarters of play, Ohio State football fans across the country must have thought it was deja vu.Just like the previous year, OSU was heavily-favored going into its game against archrival Michigan. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, however, the Wolverines were once again matching them step for step. With 7:41 left in the third quarter, Michigan tied the game at 21 following a 12-play, 75-yard drive. The Wolverines had already scored on drives of 80 and 95 yards in the first half, leaving a record Ohio Stadium crowd virtually quiet.Enter Michael Bennett.The senior defensive lineman and co-captain gave a speech to the entire Buckeye defense after the score, he said, and the unit then forced the Wolverines into two straight punts and a fumble, allowing the offense to take the lead back in what would become a 42-28 OSU victory.OSU allowed just 129 yards in the game following the speech, and after the game redshirt-freshman Darron Lee credited Bennett with the improved caliber of play.“Second half, yeah — credit that to Mike Bennett for getting into us in the third quarter. He’s a vocal leader, a vocal force when we’re not doing our job,” Lee said. “He’s a great captain for that. We all needed that for our defense and it showed.”Bennett took similar action during halftime of OSU’s game against Minnesota on Nov. 15. At that point the Buckeyes only led by three, and this time around Bennett said the message was simple.“When you gotta say something, you gotta say something. I felt like that was the best time. I think they had just scored, and it didn’t feel right, they way they were scoring,” he said after The Game. “We expected them to do a bunch of screens and draws and all this stuff, but they just straight up ran the ball down our field and scored, and that’s not all right.”The Centerville, Ohio, native finished with three solo tackles and one sack, as did his linemate, junior Adolphus Washington. Washington noted after the game that Bennett’s interventions in the games against Minnesota, and now Michigan, have been important to the defense’s play.“Guys definitely respond better to peers than they do to a coach, so Mike’s been showing a lot of leadership these past couple weeks,” he said. “And I think that’s been helping us a lot in this second half.”But before addressing his teammates, Bennett and Buckeyes were just hanging on against Michigan’s redshirt-senior quarterback Devin Gardner. In the meeting between the two team’s last season, Gardner threw for 351 yards and four touchdowns. This year he had 129 yards in the first half, and helped the Wolverines convert on four of six third-down attempts in the opening 30 minutes.Washington credited the competitive nature of the rivalry as the reason why the Wolverines —  who ranked last in scoring offense in the Big Ten entering Saturday’s game — put together long drives and 21 points through three-and-a-half quarters.“They always got a game plan for us, they always have something up their sleeve for us. Like you said, they were coming right at us and was we were making mistakes on little things and they were just capitalizing on it,” he said. “But once we went in there the second half and we talked about it, we got it covered.”Despite the defense finding its collective footing and the offense doing similar, perhaps the biggest play of the game came on the first play of the fourth quarter. With OSU driving, redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett was tackled after a short game. But he didn’t get back up. The potential Heisman Trophy candidate had to be carted off the field, and an OSU official said after the game that Barrett suffered a fractured right ankle on the play, meaning his season is over.Lee said he approached Barrett after the play to reassure him that the team had the game under control.“I went out there and told him, ‘hey man, we got you.’ Told him I love him because I do, he’s a great guy and he’s a great brother,” Lee said. “Everybody was just gonna pick it up from there on, and that’s all it was.”After the teams traded three drives in which they punted, the Buckeyes extended the lead to 14 when sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott ran in from 44 yards. On Michigan’s next drive came the real game-clincher: sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa stripped Gardner, before Lee picked up the ball and took it another 33 yards into the end zone.It was a similar play to the first game of the season against Navy when Lee — in his OSU debut — gathered a fumble and ran for a score. The linebacker said his play against the Wolverines hadn’t quite hit him yet.“It’s really different from the video games, I’ll tell you that. It’s nice, a lot louder,” he said. “Hasn’t really sunk in yet, but it feels good that we won.”Even in victory, eyes turn to OSU’s quarterback situation as redshirt-sophomore Cardale Jones takes the reigns for a Dec. 6 matchup in the Big Ten Championship and a potential bowl game. Junior linebacker Joshua Perry, who leads the Buckeyes in total tackles with 108, said the change means the defensive side of the ball has to be even better than before.“We’ve got some things to shore up, definitely,” he said. “We can’t have six and seven-yard runs on first down. But you get past the emotions of the game and you really turn on the film and see what you need to work on, and we’ll find out.”Lee had similar feelings when it comes to what the defense must do to help the team win going forward.“Personally, I feel like defense is going to have to step up tremendously now,” he said. “I’m gonna do everything I can, and if that means I gotta do a little extra, then so be it.”OSU is scheduled to face Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship on Dec. 6 in Indianapolis. read more

Gomes doesnt want to leave Barcelona

first_imgAndre Gomes was struggling at Barcelona after moving there from Valencia but he has finally found his old form during the last couple of weeks – and he insisted that he doesn’t want to leave the club at all.Manchester United have been said to be interested in the midfielder but the player himself denied that he wants to leave Catalonia and he claimed that he is just happy to be finally meeting the expectations.The Portugal international spoke about his future as he said, according to Goal:“Right now I do not think about that.”“I am enjoying myself and living the dream that all children want to live.”Fati and Suarez shine against Valencia at Camp Nou Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 15, 2019 With a mesmerizing first half from Ansu Fati and a brace from Luis Suarez in the second half, Barcelona demolished Valencia at Camp Nou.Valencia…“The first six months were pretty good but then things changed.”“Maybe it’s not the correct word but it turned into a bit of a hell because I started to feel more pressure. With pressure, I feel fine, but with pressure on myself, I don’t. The feeling that I have during games is bad.”“There is only one Busquets.”“I work as hard as I can so that the manager knows he can count on me.”last_img read more