From a lot of angles, Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback of all time. His second Super Bowl win, however, came in decidedly un-Peyton-like fashion, with Manning riding in the wake of an all-time defense while doddering well below replacement level for most of the season. Perhaps this is karma, a just reward after a career of — with a few exceptions — being shackled to some of the worst defenses ever to run deep into the playoffs. It’s the popular line of thinking, at least, and popular enough to dig a little deeper. So: Just how bad were Peyton’s defenses in his best years?Here’s a look at the statistical profiles of Hall of Fame and near-Hall of Fame QBs from the modern era — this includes the defensive and rushing support each received throughout his career, but especially his prime. To find this, I took each passer’s performance in a few categories — completion percentage, yards per completion, touchdown percentage, interception percentage, sack percentage — and sorted them by their percentile relative to the league in any given season. I then weighted each season to give more weight to a player’s best years according to value over replacement (like I did with Ken Griffey Jr. here). Then, I did the same for Defense-adjusted Value Over Average for both rushing offense and defense. PERCENTILE VS. LEAGUEDVOA FROM… Brett Favre78558257704763 Terry Bradshaw48788643616282 Roger Staubach79707983407375 Ben Roethlisberger81797157355968 It’s been a stunning reversal, the likes of which we haven’t really seen from such a good QB before; the only possible exceptions were the final full seasons of Marino, Ken Stabler and Joe Theismann’s careers. Those performances all came in the service of mediocre teams, though. Somehow Manning actually turned an even more extreme version of this formula into a championship.We aren’t sure if the Super Bowl was Manning’s final game, and it’s hard to speculate about how this changes Manning’s legacy (not that a paltry two titles will ever satiate the “Count The Ringz!!!” crowd anyway). But even if Manning happened to be dragged to a championship in the final throes of his senescence by Von Miller and Denver’s ferocious defense, it’s hard not to appreciate the strange symmetry after Manning spent a career elevating middling and worse teams with his brilliance. Troy Aikman88384677788056 QUARTERBACKCMP%YD/CMPTD%INT%SK%RUSHING OFFENSEDEFENSE Carson Palmer69597551775547 Peyton Manning91648870956052 After breaking down the characteristics of Manning and his teams over the years, it’s amazing to see how sharply the usual tendencies were inverted along Denver’s path to the championship. On average, Manning’s teams were middle-of-the-pack on defense, and a shade better than that at running the ball. That was more than enough to rattle off an absurd string of 10-plus-win seasons, because Manning was very good — if not completely and totally great — in every facet of passing the football. His average defense was worse than that supporting Brett Favre, Joe Montana or Steve Young, and the running game was less efficient than what Tom Brady, Drew Brees or John Elway was working with.Manning did have a lot more help than Dan Marino, but he also bested him across every passing category — like a more accurate, deeper-throwing version of the Dolphins great, who got the ball out just as fast but was more careful with it. And since we’re looking at percentiles instead of raw output, the differences between eras soften, though they don’t completely disappear.That was prime Peyton, however. This year’s version was far, far worse, particularly in categories where he once excelled. To wit: His rates of completions, touchdowns and interceptions, each typically among the top 30 percent of regular QBs, all dipped into the bottom quarter of passers this season. Meanwhile, his defensive support, usually in the middle of the pack, zoomed up to the best in football. Dan Marino74577866945030 Tony Romo80778259606954 Ken Anderson83526784486945 Warren Moon74537159705259 Kurt Warner93828944676061 Joe Namath42886839924930 Aaron Rodgers82799388367759 Bob Griese86558756458750 John Elway59646367637649 Drew Brees90528267887031 Jim Kelly76647947656456 Dan Fouts81697160875530 Steve Young98719078428267 Donovan McNabb45677285457972 Sources: pro football reference, football outsiders Tom Brady77688485787852 Philip Rivers82738167644333 Joe Montana93327484717369
Month: September 2019
Unproven welterweight Josesito Lopez made former welterweight champion Victor Ortiz quit on his stool Saturday night, breaking Ortiz’s jaw en-route to a miraculous upset victory.As he leaped onto the top rope, Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs) showed his surprise at Ortiz’s decision to quit, shrugging his shoulders and smiling at the Staples Center crowd. Lopez was a last minute replacement for Andre Berto, who failed a drug test in the months leading up to the fight.“I knew I had to fight the fight of my life to win,” said Lopez, a native of Riverside, California. “I knew the longer it went, the better chance I’d have. He hits hard, but I was never going to quit. I knew it was a close fight on the scorecards, and I knew I could press him more and more if I continued. He’s like a tree. I had to chop him down.”Ortiz came out strong, using his superior power and overall boxing skills to keep Lopez on the retreat. Despite his obvious disadvantages Lopez conterpunched Ortiz, who is subpar defensively, landing power punches in return.“I’m a man, and I’m not intimidated by anything, I have a big heart. He tried to intimidate me, but it didn’t work. Victor has no heart.”The upset put Ortiz’s career in flux. His showdown with Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was abruptly cancelled after his defeat, and the boxer has lost his last two fights.
Louisville, shaking off another sluggish start, finished the national championship game and the college basketball season with a bang, fending off Michigan to capture its third NCAA Tournament title Monday night at the Georgia Dome.The Cardinals’ 82-76 victory was born of unmatched depth and poise. It also helped that they were inspired by injured guard Kevin Ware and coached by Rick Pitino, who became the first to ever coach two different teams to the championship.Not only that, but Pitino earlier Monday was named an inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame.“I had the 13 toughest guys I’ve ever coached,” Pitino said. “I’m just amazed they could accomplish everything we put out there.”It was not easy. Led by player of the year Trey Burke (24 points) and freshman Spike Albrecht, who had 17-first-half points, Michigan led by 12 points in the first half and seemed in control of the game. It was then that Louisville’s toughness showed up. Reserve Luke Hancock, who was huge in the semifinal win over Wichita State, delivered again, hitting four straight three-pointers that actually put the Cardinals in front by one just before halftime.Michigan got two free throws to earn a one-point halftime advantage, but Louisville had built momentum. Hancock went on to become the Final Four’s most outstanding player for his career-high 22 points Monday night.But he had plenty of help. Point guard Peyton Siva was outstanding in attacking the Michigan defense and forward Chane Behanon (15 points, 12 rebounds) was an inside force, as Louisville pulled ahead 76-66 and did what it needed to do to earn the title.Ware, the guard from metro Atlanta whose legged snapped in gruesome fashion in the Duke win, cut down what remained of the nets in the Cardinals’ post-championship celebration. Ware’s poise and strength got them pass Duke and his presence on the sideline at the Georgia Dome fueled them.Still, some players said they were inspired by something else. Pitino told the team he would get a tattoo if they won the national championship.Siva (18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) called it, “Our biggest motivation.”Pitino said he would fulfill his promise. What’s a tattoo to a man who had the week he has, which included the Hall of Fame announcement, his horse winning the Santa Anita Derby to set up a Kentucky Derby run, and his son, Richard, getting the coaching job at Minnesota?The championship is what he wanted most, and Pitino and the Cardinal nation can bask in that achievement.
Photo by The Associated Press.Embattled offensive guard Richie Incognito has filed a non-injury grievance against his team, the Miami Dolphins.”The grievance challenges his suspension for conduct which was alleged to have occurred while he was with the club,” the NFL Players Association said in a statement. ”In the grievance, Incognito requests that the hearing be held on an expedited basis so that he can immediately resume playing for the team.”The NFL Players Association will continue to protect the rights of all players.”Incognito was suspended by Miami on Nov. 3 for misconduct related to inappropriate treatment of teammate Jonathan Martin, including racial slurs in voice and text messages. Martin left the Dolphins last month, checked into a hospital briefly and has not returned to the team.The NFL is investigating whether Incognito harassed or bullied Martin. Incognito has said the conduct was all part of the normal locker room environment.Incognito has missed one game, and the suspension by the team can last for four games. The Dolphins, who have not said how long Incognito is suspended, said they do not comment on grievances.Martin is scheduled to meet Friday with Ted Wells, the independent investigator hired by the NFL. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also plans to meet with Martin.A second-year pro, Martin left the team because of what his attorney has alleged was daily harassment by teammates, including Incognito.On Monday, Ross announced the formation of two committees to examine the Dolphins’ locker room culture. In recent days, players have been virtually unanimous in saying it doesn’t need to be changed.
Going into Week 9, the No. 1 slot in our Elo ratings had been the exclusive province all season long of last year’s Super Bowl participants, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. In fact, the last time a team other than Denver or Seattle ranked first in Elo was Week 19 of last season, when the San Francisco 49ers owned first place after beating the Carolina Panthers on the road in the NFC divisional playoffs. (They would cede that ranking to Seattle the very next week.)This week, though, the New England Patriots have finally broken the Denver-Seattle duopoly on No. 1 after the Patriots crushed the Broncos 43-21 Sunday afternoon. How unusual was the Seahawks’ and Broncos’ long stranglehold on the top slot? Going back to the advent of the 16-game schedule in 1978, it’s the eighth-longest span into a season it’s taken for a third No. 1-ranked team to emerge. Last season, it took seven weeks for Seattle to wrest No. 1 away from a Denver/New England duumvirate.For the Patriots, it’s a long-awaited return to a familiar spot. New England occupied No. 1 in 27 (!) consecutive editions of the Elo rankings between Week 19 of the 2011 season and Week 2 of the 2013 season. And since 2000, they’ve spent more weeks at No. 1 (102) than the next three most frequently top-ranked teams (the Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Rams) combined.But of all teams, the Patriots should know that a No. 1 Elo ranking midway through the season is no Super Bowl guarantee. They sat atop the league through the first nine weeks of both the 2012 and 2007 seasons but failed to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy either season. (Since 1978, the top-ranked team through Week 9 has gone on to win the Super Bowl at a 41.7 percent clip.)New England also faces a difficult schedule. It has a bye this week, but after the break it will have to travel to Indianapolis to face the fifth-ranked Colts. Then, following a home date against the 17th-ranked Detroit Lions, the Patriots must go on the road against the No. 12 Packers and the No. 14 San Diego Chargers in back-to-back weeks, with the surging No. 16 Miami Dolphins waiting in the wings after that. An average (1500 Elo rating) NFL team would be expected to win only 46.6 percent of the Patriots’ remaining games, which means they have the seventh-hardest remaining schedule of any team in the league.Our Elo-based simulations give the Patriots just a 16 percent probability of winning the Super Bowl, which is well below the aforementioned historical average for top-ranked teams through nine weeks. Part of that is simply an artifact of league and playoff expansion. Since the NFL adopted its current size and divisional format in 2002, the top-ranked team through Week 9 has won the Super Bowl 25 percent of the time, a rate more in line with New England’s simulated odds. But 2014 has also been a strange year in terms of the distribution of ratings across the league’s 32 teams. The Patriots’ 1677 Elo rating at No. 1 is 21 points below the average for that slot through Week 9 from 2002 to 2013, while 18 of the next 22 highest-rated teams have better Elo ratings than the average for their ranking from the previous 12 NFL seasons.In other words, New England isn’t as strong as the typical No. 1, and there is an unusual number of solid teams out there for the Pats to tangle with en route to the Super Bowl. That lends credence to the growing talk of 2014 being a banner season for parity in the NFL.Meanwhile, the league’s nine worst teams by Elo are far worse than usual, culminating with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders each falling more than 50 points behind the typical ratings of the NFL’s two worst teams through nine weeks. It will be worth monitoring whether this year’s atypical dispersion of Elo ratings is a one-year quirk or part of a larger trend.Here are the current playoff and Super Bowl odds for all teams:I mentioned that San Francisco had defeated Carolina (who ranked fifth in Elo at the time) to briefly claim the No. 1 ranking during last season’s playoffs. This year, however, neither team has enjoyed the same kind of success, going a combined 7-9-1. And there’s a 55 percent chance that both will be shut out of a return trip to the postseason.After starting the season 1-2, the 49ers had regained some measure of playoff probability with three straight wins over the Philadelphia Eagles, Chiefs and Rams in Weeks 4 through 6. Going into Week 7, they even had an NFC West-leading 65 percent probability of making the playoffs, as well as the division’s best projected end-of-season win total in our Elo simulations. But a pair of losses sandwiched around a bye week have left San Francisco on the verge of missing the playoffs entirely. Its current playoff probability stands at 32 percent after taking into account their mediocre record (4-4), the difficulty of their remaining schedule (ninth-hardest), and the strength of the teams they’d have to beat out for a wild card (as their hopes of winning the NFC West have been all but extinguished).Carolina’s chances of returning to the playoffs look even worse. Despite failing to win five of its previous six games (it lost four and tied one), Carolina still had a 44 percent probability of qualifying for the postseason before its game against the New Orleans Saints — but our weekly playoff implications article also identified Panthers-Saints as one of the most crucial matchups of Week 9. Sure enough, New Orleans’ 28-10 victory dropped Carolina’s playoff probability by 25 percentage points, leaving it with less than a 1-in-5 chance of making the playoffs.In addition to the Panthers and 49ers, the other teams who lost the most from their playoff odds in Week 9 were the Baltimore Ravens and the Chargers in the AFC.The cause for Baltimore’s decline was all about the division odds — predictably, its head-to-head loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night had huge ramifications for the AFC North race. Going into the game, the Ravens had a 33 percent chance of winning the division, with the Steelers sitting at 28 percent; after the game, Pittsburgh’s chances had increased to 45 percent and Baltimore’s had dropped to 13 percent. (Neither team’s wild card odds really budged at all.)San Diego’s dip, on the other hand, had little to do with a division race. The Broncos are rated so much higher than their AFC West competitors that our simulations see little chance they don’t win the division. That leaves the wild card as the only real viable path to the playoffs for the Chargers and Chiefs, both of whom are in a dogfight with each other — as well as the losers of the AFC East and North — for one of those two slots. (The AFC South loser is unlikely to make much of a wild card push.) Miami’s 37-0 pasting of San Diego on Sunday had direct consequences in that regard, boosting the Dolphins’ wild card probability by 17 percentage points as the Chargers’ chances dropped by 19 (with scarcely a change to either team’s division odds).Elo point spreadsRecord against point spread: 64-62-3 (7-5 in Week 9)Straight-up record: 94-39-1 (9-4 in Week 9)Although the Elo ratings are performing better against the spread in recent weeks, we still would strongly advise you not to take them to Vegas as a betting tool. Even so, it is always interesting to see how they differ from the spreads offered by the major sportsbooks.This week’s biggest disparity is in the Dallas Cowboys-Jaguars game, which is not only taking place in London, but adds the wrinkle of Dallas quarterback Tony Romo’s availability being in question. With the possibility that the Cowboys will once again have to start backup QB Brandon Weeden, who oversaw the team’s Week 9 defeat to the Cardinals, the oddsmakers have dropped Dallas to a mere 6-point favorite against the lowly Jaguars, rather than the 10.5-point favorite the Elo ratings would suggest.Aside from that change, the other big discrepancies against Vegas this week involve the Cardinals and Rams (the books have been comparatively down on Arizona all season, relative to Elo) and the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns (Elo rates Cincinnati slightly higher — and Cleveland slightly lower — than Vegas’s power ratings would value the two teams). But in the Detroit-Miami tilt, which may go down as the biggest game of the week from a playoff-implications perspective, both Vegas and Elo agree: The hosting Lions should be favored by about a field goal.CORRECTION (Nov. 6, 11:56 a.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly said that Elo is 62-44-3 against the point spread. It is 64-62-3.(Nov. 6, 2:04 p.m.): A previous version of this article said the Dallas Cowboys had a 75 percent chance of defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Dallas should have an 82 percent win probability, because it has an Elo difference of +259 and there is no home-field effect in either direction.
The Ohio State football team wears throwback jerseys for their game against Nebraska on Nov. 5. The Buckeyes won 62-3. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorA dominating performance Saturday against then No. 10 Nebraska and a stunning loss by then No. 4 Texas A&M has thrust the Ohio State football team back into the College Football Playoff picture, as the Buckeyes find themselves at No. 5 with the latest playoff poll on Tuesday night.Alabama remained in the top spot, with Clemson and Michigan following behind, respectively. In a shake-up of the top four spots, Washington has now moved up to fourth.Texas A&M has now dropped behind OSU, finding themselves at No. 8. As for the rest of the Big Ten, Wisconsin jumped to No. 7, while Nebraska dropped to No. 19. Penn State now finds itself at No. 10 after posting 41 points Saturday against Iowa.OSU will be traveling to College Park, Maryland, to face the Maryland Terrapins at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN. OSU is 2-0 all-time against Maryland, winning 49-28 in Columbus. With just three weeks remaining in the regular season, OSU needs to bank on Michigan winning the next two games or a Penn State loss to keep its title contention hopes alive.
OSU senior forward Marc Loving (2) looks down the court to redshirt junior guard Kam Williams (15) during the Buckeyes 78-68 win over Navy on Nov. 11. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorEarly on against Jackson State, the Ohio State men’s basketball team looked to be hitting a bit of a slump. After jumping out to an early lead, OSU found itself trailing after back-to-back 3-pointers from the Tigers. The six-point lead by Jackson State would be its largest lead of the contest, as the Buckeyes came roaring back with a pair of 3-pointers from redshirt junior guard Kam Williams and freshman forward Andre Wesson.From there, the Buckeyes seemingly cruised to a 78-47 victory over Jackson State. It wasn’t quite the 85-41 drubbing OSU gave to the Tigers last time the two teams met in 2011, but it sent fans home happy. Led by Williams in the first half with 12 points, and a healthy dose of assists from sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle, OSU improved to 5-0 this season, with four of those five wins at home.The win came without the help of junior forward Keita Bates-Diop, who sat out for the second straight week with a sprained ankle.For the third week in a row, Lyle was instrumental to the team’s win, finishing with a team best 11 assists, and even adding 10 points. It’s the first time this season he has picked up a double-double.“Basketball isn’t always scoring the ball,” he said.In the first half, Lyle played the role of distributor, racking up eight assists. Two of his first half assists came by way of thunderous alley-oops to redshirt junior center Trevor Thompson. Lyle hit Thompson on back-to-back possessions in midair, while the 7-foot center jammed home the finish both times.Jackson State struggled in the first half, going just 1-for-10 to close out the initial period. The Buckeyes, on the other hand, picked up five makes on their last six attempts. Overall, the Tigers’ finished the night shooting just 29.5 percent, while OSU set a 55.3 percent mark.The Tigers’ were led by redshirt junior guard Paris Collins. The Texas native finished the game with 19 points and 11 rebounds, all topping his season averages.OSU’s top-scorer, senior forward Marc Loving, poured in three 3-point shots. After picking up just six points against Western Carolina in OSU’s last game, Loving was able to find a groove and find the basket on multiple occasions for 19 points.“Here’s the thing, Marc is — I know 19 points, but he’s doing a real good job defending,” said OSU coach Thad Matta. “We got to keep building on that. But it was good to see a couple shots go down for him. I thought he had good leg drive on the shots and even the ones he missed were good shots, so hopefully we can continue to build on that. We need him playing well, there’s no question.”It was a season-high for Loving, who had been struggling with his shot in the team’s first few games. Clearly in a good mood following the win, he and Lyle were joking with the media. When asked what was different in tonight’s performance, Loving smiled and cracked a joke.“The ball went in. That’s pretty much it,” he said.The second half was far from perfect for OSU, as the Buckeyes shot under 30 percent in the first 10 minutes of the second period. However, defensive pressure helped keep the lead in favor of the Scarlet and Gray. OSU forced 20 turnovers, and allowed just nine assists by Jackson State.Jackson State falls to 1-4 this season and will return home to face Western Carolina on Saturday. OSU remains at home and will face Marshall on Friday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
For the first time in the 10-year history of the Ohio State men’s soccer team’s annual Connor Senn Memorial Match, the Columbus Crew won’t be playing. The Crew have designated their July 26 match against the English Premier League’s Newcastle United as this season’s unpaid game. Crew technical director Brian Bliss said an additional non-league match, including the Connor Senn Memorial Match, would cost the club $10,000 because of the Major League Soccer Players Union’s most recently ratified collective-bargaining agreement, which stipulates that MLS clubs can schedule only one non-league “free game” per season. “Anything after that, we have to pay our players,” Bliss said. “It comes down to a matter of resources and how the club wants to spend its resources.” The Crew competed in each of the previous nine editions of the match, which honors Connor Senn, a former OSU player who died Sept. 26, 2001, from a congenital heart defect during a game against Akron. With the Crew opting not to participate in this year’s event, the Buckeyes will instead host the Dayton Dutch Lions of the USL Pro league in today’s match. Crew defender Danny O’Rourke, a childhood friend and teammate of Senn’s, told The Lantern that he and other Crew players have committed to playing a small role in today’s festivities. “Some of my buddies like Will Hesmer, Chad Marshall and Duncan Oughton will be out there mingling with the crowd and signing autographs,” O’Rourke said. O’Rourke said he is disappointed the Crew won’t be participating on the field. “I think the whole cause of the game got lost in the process,” O’Rourke said. “The whole point is to celebrate soccer in Columbus, to celebrate the best college team in Columbus and the best pro team. It’s just sad that it gets lost.” OSU athletic department spokeswoman Alissa Clendenen said there were several factors involved in the Crew’s decision not to play in the match. “We have definitely enjoyed the ongoing partnership with the Crew the last nine years, and are disappointed for it to change, but excited to play the Dayton Dutch Lions,” she said in an email to The Lantern. Crew coach Robert Warzycha said he hopes his team will return to the memorial match in the future. “We’ve been participating in the game for so many years,” he said. “We have to make sure we find time, and, whatever happens, hopefully participate next year.” The 10th annual Connor Senn Memorial Match will kick off at 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Recruiting never was a problem for former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel. But with the face of the program gone and an impending NCAA ruling, recruiting becomes a big worry. “(The resignation of Tressel) is a tremendous loss,” said Steve Helwagen, who covers OSU football recruiting for Bucknuts.com. “Recruits that we would interview over the years would say one of the reasons they chose Ohio State was the integrity and character of Jim Tressel, and he’s not there anymore.” Luke Fickell will become the interim head coach, but, because his position isn’t permanent, the program is left with some uncertainty. “With Luke Fickell being a interim coach, it basically puts the program in limbo,” Helwagen said. “I think for recruits who want to see the long-term stability of a program, Ohio State won’t be able to show anyone that until December or January at the earliest.” The members of the 2011 recruiting class have already signed with OSU, making it difficult to switch schools. As of Monday evening, no players had announced intentions to transfer. 2011 signee and offensive lineman from Shaker Heights Antonio Underwood was quick to say he still planned to attend OSU. “Yes, sir,” Underwood said of his intentions. Others have followed suit. Tight end Nick Vannett posted on his Twitter account, @N_Vannett81, “For all of those that have asked, I am and will remain part of the #buckeyenation #Noquestion.” Bucknuts.com reported that defensive back Doran Grant also has voiced his intentions to stick with OSU. While the 2011 class appears to remain intact, future classes might be the most affected by the recent scandals. Underwood said Tressel’s resignation and the NCAA allegations would affect the way future recruits go about making decisions about OSU. “I think some recruits would reopen their options,” he said. “You have to go back and recruit the kids even harder.” Kevin Noon, managing editor of Buckeyegrove.com, said OSU still will be a very strong option for all recruits, especially those in Ohio. “I don’t think the loss of Jim Tressel is going to be enough to cripple Ohio State’s recruiting within the state of Ohio,” Noon said. “A lot of these kids grow up as Ohio State fans regardless of who the coach is.” Tressel had the support of Ohio high school coaches throughout the entirety of the NCAA allegations. On Saturday, the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association sent a letter of support to Tressel, university President E. Gordon Gee and athletic director Gene Smith. “During the next few months, when some individuals may try to detract from the outstanding accomplishments that you and your staff have achieved, the OHSFCA wanted to go on record to show our loyalty and appreciation for you,” the letter said of Tressel. “You are without question the best thing to happen to Ohio Football in a long time, and we want you to know we hope you will continue to be here for a long time to come.” Despite Tressel’s resignation two days later, Ohio high school coaches still support the university, even if Tressel is a part of it. “It’s still the flagship program in the state of Ohio,” McKinley Senior High School football coach Ron Johnson said. “It’s one of the greatest programs in the country, and it’s not going to attract a low-quality coach. The program will carry on.” Shaker Heights High School football coach Anthony Watkins agreed. “It will not affect (the recruiting of) any of my student-athletes, in my perspective,” Watkins said. “It’s about his education, his playing career and all the people playing around him. And all the people I’ve ever dealt with at Ohio State have been outstanding people.” But, Noon said, OSU’s biggest worry isn’t its relation with high school coaches, but the upcoming NCAA ruling Aug. 12. “The truth of the matter is Ohio State will always have good coaches in place, but the kids want to be able to play for rings and championships,” Noon said. “If the NCAA comes down and mandates that the Buckeyes will not be in the postseason for a couple of years, that’s where the real trouble comes in.”
U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey celebrates a goal during a match against Germany June 2, at RFK Stadium. The U.S. won, 4-3.Credit: Courtesy of MCTThe U.S. Men’s National Soccer team is looking to take another step toward qualifying for the 2014 World Cup this week in Columbus.In the team’s latest qualifying match, the U.S. saw its 12-game winning streak come to an end when it fell on the road to Costa Rica, 3-1. The loss dropped the U.S. to second place behind Costa Rica in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football qualifier standing. The Ticos now lead the group with a total of 14 points, one point ahead of the U.S.The U.S. men’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup increased on Friday despite the loss, as Mexico was defeated at home by Honduras, 2-1, earlier the same night. Mexico is in fourth place in the group on eight points, the top three teams advance directly to the World Cup.This was the first qualifying match has Mexico lost at home since 2001, when it fell to Costa Rica 2-1.Mexico fired manager Jose Manuel de La Torre the day after the Friday loss to Honduras. Luis Fernando Tena, one of Torre’s top assistants, will take over in an interim position.The U.S. will be missing four players from the team in the match against Mexico. Midfielder Michael Bradley sprained his left ankle minutes before the game against Costa Rica and will sit out again against Mexico. Defenders Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler and forward Jozy Altidore will all sit out because of yellow card accumulation. Altidore had scored in five straight matches before failing to tally against Costa Rica.Many Ohio State students were interested in attending the game, especially after D-Tix at the Ohio Union announced an undisclosed amount of tickets would be offered to students with a valid BuckID for $25 each.The tickets went on sale through D-Tix Sept. 3, but because of more students wanting tickets than originally expected, D-Tix switched the method for students to buy tickets to a lottery.Former Columbus Crew right back Frankie Hejduk said he is excited for the game against Mexico as well as the growth of the soccer scene in Columbus.“It was very awesome to see how excited and passionate students are for soccer,” Hejduk said in an interview with The Lantern. “I see students getting into soccer more and more. I see Crew, U.S. and (Premier League) stuff all over the place.”The U.S. would qualify for the 2014 World Cup with a victory over Mexico and a win or tie by Honduras. A loss for Mexico and a Honduras win over Panama would almost completely end Mexico’s chances of moving out of fourth place in the group.The fourth place team will compete in a playoff with New Zealand to determine another spot in the Cup.The U.S. v. Mexico game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Crew Stadium.
“Melissa Payne Cochran is in the hospital with a broken leg, rib and a cut on her head but will recover from her injuries. Sending all the love to her for a quick recovery.””It’s just completely surreal,” Nate Kizerian, a friend of Mr Cochran’s told The Telegraph. Another victim of the Westminster terror attack, which left four dead on Wednesday, has been identified as Kurt Cochran, an American tourist.Mr Cochran was an engineer who also owned his own music studio in Utah.The man, 54, is believed to have been killed while walking on Westminster Bridge as a car mowed down pedestrians.He and his wife, Melissa, were believed to be two of the first people mown down by the vehicle. He died of his injuries. Mr Cochran is believed to have either jumped or been pushed over the edge of the bridge onto steps beneath it.Mrs Cochran, 46, was also injured in the attack.She sustained a broken leg and rib and a head injury, but it is not believed to be critical.Mrs Cochran’s sister, Shantell Payne, wrote on Facebook: “With a heavy heart I must pass the sad news of our beautiful brother, father, husband, son and friend Kurt Cochran.”He could not overcome the injuries he received in the London terror attacks.”This pain is so heart wrenching and raw it has rocked our family and all that knew him to its core.”We will miss Kurt beyond words.”We love you Kurt. RIP. 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. Mr Cochran described himself as a “self-starting business owner” and spoke frequently of his passion for music.In a 2014 interview with a local newspaper about his business, he spoke about his background.He said that he “grew up in Maryland, lived in Texas for a while, then ended up in Salt Lake City in 1983.”Mr Cochran was also a big rock music fan, explaining: “As I grew older, hard rock/heavy metal took over as my favorite genres, like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Rush and Aerosmith.” A great American, Kurt Cochran, was killed in the London terror attack. My prayers and condolences are with his family and friends.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2017 Melissa, his wife, is believed to be in hospitalCredit:Facebook He also spoke of how his parents got him interested in music, telling the paper: “My parents were big into music and entertaining. Mom loved jazz and Dad loved country. Music was very prevalent in my early years.”I have a sister who is 10 years older than I am, and I used to sneak into her room and listen to Hendrix, Cream and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young”.The musician also played in a band with his friend. He explained: “One day, my best friend was goofing around on a Casio keyboard and I picked up my guitar, and we started jamming. At that moment, we started a band. We played for a few years, played a few gigs and then decided that instead of a half-assed band we would build a kick-ass studio.”So we did. We kicked around many names and because the studio is located on historic Onion Street in West Bountiful, the name Onion Street Studio became the obvious choice.”The music fan managed to achieve his dream of opening his own recording studio in 2007, and it appeared to be a roaring success, with customers giving it rave reviews.One customer wrote: “I cannot say enough good things about Onion Street Studio. Very reasonable pricing. Creative and productive environment. Flexible hours and great people. I never felt pushed or pigeonholed into a direction I did not want to go. I will never use anyone but OSS! All around great experience!” The Utah-based fellow musician said Kurt and Melissa had helped support his music career, even inviting him to record his songs for free at their studio. “He brought musicians together,” he said.He said Kurt’s legacy as a musician should be an inspiration to others. “It can be hard when you’ve got responsibilities in daily life to dive into your dream. But he did just that. He gave it all to make it happen, and he succeeded. He said Kurt had been helping another friend of theirs record an album, that they are going to complete upon his return.He said the attack would not deter him from travelling to Britain, or feel unsafe. “I think if you buy into fear, then they win, Isil win.”Mr Cochran appeared to have been travelling around Europe this month, having posted photographs of his recent visit to Holland, Germany, Scotland and Ireland on his Facebook page.He and his wife were reportedly due to return home next week.He was a keen musician, according to friends who posted their condolences on social media, and he played the guitar from the age of seven.
The inspection, the third made less than a year, found that pupils “are not taught explicitly about issues such as sexual orientation”. “This restricts pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and does not promote equality of opportunity in ways that take account of differing lifestyles.”… Vishnitz Girls School, an Orthodox school in Hackney, north London, failed its third inspection last month after inspectors found that it does not give pupils “a full understanding of fundamental British values”. A private Jewish girls’ school which teaches children aged up to 8 has failed three Ofsted inspections because it does not teach pupils about homosexuality or gender reassignment.
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. A seaside town is to ban sex toys and blow-up dolls in public as part of a crack down on raucous hen parties which disrupt the peaceful resort.Drunk partygoers will be taken off trains before they even reach Tenby in Pembrokeshire, and people will not be allowed to flaunt sex toys in public.During most of the year, the town is home to 5,000 people.However, as partygoers flood in during the summer, it swells to 60,000.British Transport Police’s Sgt Steve Dawkins told The Sun: “Some have certain memorabilia that doesn’t want to be seen by families with children.“We want to nip this in the bud. Any lewdness or crudeness will be stamped out at the earliest opportunity.”A police officer from Tenby Insp Aled Davies told the paper: “In the past we have seen a minority of visitors cause trouble due to drinking too much alcohol.“Very often some have arrived by train already intoxicated. By this initiative we will also be able to stop people from getting on board in the first place.”The scheme is to run until the 28th August.
But Miss Ayoob added: “The birds probably came from several locations. There was the storm of 1987 which wrecked a lot of averies and those birds joined those from The African Queen and that’s why we’ve got so many today.”The parakeets are just one of several invasive species which have arrived in Britain through improbable routes. “This went on for quite a few years until the winter of ‘62-‘63 which was quite a cold winter and the birds disappeared and the theory is that that is when they moved into central London because it was much warmer and they have thrived there.”Escaped parakeets have been spotted in Britain since the 19th century with the earliest recorded sightings in Norfolk in 1855, Dulwich in 1893 and Brixton in 1894. However populations began to increase rapidly after the 1950s and by the 1990s they were frequently spotted in the capital. The bird is native to southern India, but there are now around 8,600 breeding pairs of ring-tailed parakeets living throughout England, with the biggest population in west London. They have also been spotted on the borders on Wales and Scotland and are expected to eventually spread throughout the British mainland. Zoologist Jules Howard told the festival how the midwife toad existed in just three areas of Britain because of the actions of one family.“They exist in Bedford,” he said. “A gardener accidentally imported them in flower plant pots from France and they remained and spread in Bedford.“Two other populations exist, and it’s a nice family link, his sons grew up and one moved to Worksop in Derbyshire and another elsewhere.“So the distribution map of midwife toads in Britain is just three plonks on the map because three parts of the same family grew up listening to them.”A population of African clawed toads also exists in Wales. The toads were once used as pregnancy indicators, because they produce eggs if injected with the urine of pregnant women. But with the advent of pregnancy indicator sticks, many labs simply released them into the wild. “He started feeding them with nuts, and dates and dried fruit and so did loads of his neighbours, and then when winter arrived they started building them little wooden shelters in the back garden Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart on the film set of African Queen The parakeets are just one of several invasive species which have arrived in Britain through improbable routesCredit:Sunset Boulevard The urban myth that Britain’s invasive parakeet population flourished after the birds escaped from the set of The African Queen has long been dismissed by experts. But according to one zoologist it may actually be true.Hana Ayoob, a curator at The Cheltenham Science Festival, said her great grandfather had lived near to Worton Hall Studios, in Isleworth, west London, where many of the jungle scenes were recreated. And he recalled that after filming finished in the early 1950s, “little green parrots” began to arrive in local gardens.Speaking about the arrival of then parakeets at the festival, she said: “No-one is 100 per cent sure where they came from. There is a story that at the end of filming of The African Queen they released all the parakeets that had been used on set.“And there is a lot scepticism around this story, but my great grandparents were living near to the studio at that time and my great grandad remembers one day these little green parrots starting to appear in his garden, and his neighbour’s gardens and started eating his apple trees. Stories about their origins range from claims that rock star Jimi Hendrix released a breeding pair in Carnaby Street in the 1960s, to suggestions they escaped from private collections during the Great Storm of 1987. Another legend said that they absconded from Syon Park in west London after debris from a passing plane damaged an aviary. The link to The African Queen emerged when large flocks started appearing near Isleworth in the 1990s but it was largely dismissed as fanciful particularly as the film was often wrongly listed as being filmed at Shepperton Studios in Surrey. Some film historians also insisted that parakeets were never used in the production. The link to The African Queen emerged when large flocks started appearing near Isleworth in the 1990sCredit:Alamy 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.
Drawing pictures of friendly spiders can help people overcome arachnophobia, a Harley Street hypnotherapist has said.Adam Cox, a Clinical Hypnotherapist, encourages clients in his art therapy sessions to draw brightly coloured, smiling spiders with “big eyes” to reduce their feelings of anxiety towards the arachnids.With an estimated 12 million UK adults admitting to arachnophobia, Mr Cox’s techniques could become increasingly sought after as the autumn marks the start of spider mating season.Mr Cox’s therapy workshops involve an average of 10-15 participants, all of whom have been able to touch a tarantula or help capture and release a house spider afterwards. Adam Cox’s art therapy is seen as causing far less emotional distress than traditional remedies based on persuading patients to directly confront the spidersCredit:Susannah Ireland The ‘Phobia Guru’ warns that as the fear is often learned from parents, it can easily be passed on to a child who can then develop general anxiety disorder.There is also the danger of an arachnophobic being involved in an accident, like a car crash, if a spider appears in front of them while they are occupied with another activity. Mr Cox, who himself used to suffer from a fear of heights and public speaking, also uses his psychological training to help arachnophobes face the creatures in the ‘Spider Courage Experience’.Phobias are more pronounced than fears, and can become overwhelming and affect day-to-day life. All of Mr Cox’s clients have been able to touch a tarantula or help capture and release a house spider after the session.Credit:Kin Communications An Anxiety UK spokesman said: “Art could play a role in the treatment of spider phobia in that a client with this fear may find it helpful, as part of the graded exposure process, to draw a spider and in doing so, become accustomed and eventually overcome any fear associated with this activity thus enabling them to then move on to the next step, which might be seeing a spider in a jar, for example, placed at the far side of a room.” He told The Telegraph: “The art therapy is partly down to desensitisation but mostly by creating new associations. We encourage the participants to make draw them with big eyes, a smile, give them a name and use bright colours.“In the 4 hour workshop we use a varied approach which includes hypnotherapy, NLP, art therapy, education and desensitisation alongside immersive therapy where they hold the tarantulas, capture and release a house spider and hold a house spider.”Using art therapy is seen as a treatment which causes far less emotional distress than traditional remedies based on persuading patients to directly confront the spiders. 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.
Two people were shot dead in London within eight hours amid police warnings that gangs are finding increasingly inventive ways to import firearms.A 25-year-old man is believed to have accidently shot himself when a bullet ricocheted off the windscreen of a parked car in broad daylight.One eyewitness said the victim “came to shoot someone else, but he ended up shooting himself” on a busy street in Sydenham, south London shortly before 4pm on Sunday.A 56-year-old local resident said: “The bullet bounced off a car window. After it happened, the boy he came to shoot stood there filming him.”A shopkeeper said a group of men had been sitting in the car but ran off when the other man approached, prompting him to start smashing the vehicle with the back of a gun.“As he was hitting the windows the gun went off and he shot himself,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been told.” Three men fled the scene as a witness called the emergency services in Sydenham Police at the scene in SydenhamCredit:Lucy Young/Evening Standard /eyevine It was the first of three violent deaths in the capital on Sunday. Some ten miles away, in Kentish Town, a man in his 20s was shot just before midnight.A witness who tried to save his life said he heard a loud bang before finding the man unconscious on the street with a “tennis ball” sized” wound in his chest.In a third attack in nearby Camden, a woman named locally as Shakira Mercedes, 23, the mother of a six-year-old boy, was stabbed at around 11.15pm after it is claimed she “tried to stick up for someone” in an argument. A 35-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of murder. The violence came as police warned that the “fluid supply” of guns was becoming increasingly difficult to control, with gangs using new and innovative ways of smuggling them past border defences. A video that emerged last night showed a man dressed in black and wearing a balaclava leaning over the body yelling: “He’s shot himself, he’s f—ing shot himself” before running away.Det Chief Insp Richard Leonard from Scotland Yard confirmed that officers were investigating the possibility that the man had “unintentionally discharged a firearm resulting in his fatal injury.” Simon Brough, head of firearms at the National Crime Agency (NCA), also warned that the “sheer volume” of firearms coming into the UK represented a “pernicious threat” that urgently needed to be addressed.“The scale is really challenging, he told the Telegraph. “We are doing everything we can but criminals are operating in a lucrative business where they can be increasingly innovative and operate in a highly effective way.” Last week, an Irish man found with 60 firearms in his car in Dover, en route from Calais, admitted gun smuggling.Robert Keogh, 37, was stopped on August 2 by Border Force officers who found the weapons concealed deep inside the vehicle’s bumper and both rear quarter panels.The number of shootings has been on the rise since 2013 and has in part being linked to the 2,000 drug supply chains identified as part of the country lines network.Mr Brough said hand guns were being smuggled through eastern Europe, across nexus points in Belgium and the Netherlands and then onwards into the UK.“Some of the methods criminal groups are using are incredibly sophisticated, for example, they are built into the interior of vehicles,” he said. “The challenge at the border is the sheer volume of the operation.“When a gun is coming in as a fast parcel, how can we find that? It’s a needle in a haystack.”Shotguns lawfully held are being diverted into the criminal market via burglaries while other weapons are purchased blank and then converted.Mr Brough said there was a trend towards “new and clean” guns being used for the first time that did not link to previous crimes. “The source of them and availability leads to incidents such as we’ve seen this weekend,” he added.Towards the end of last year, the NCA took the rare step of using its legal powers to direct every police force to step up their fight against illegal guns.Mr Brough said the directive had received a good response and had led to a rise in intelligence and new leads but said more investment is needed to develop new capabilities. 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.
Mr Bodset said: “Non-supermarket forecourts receiving deliveries now will see the cost reflecting the wholesale price and, understandably, put up their pump prices. The fuller impact of any sustained wholesale price increase will take a matter of days to be substantially reflected on the UK average. The supermarkets will take longer to pump up their prices, mainly because they are on longer-term contracts.”Motorists could gain some respite from the worst of the rises after oil prices fell back on Tuesday in response to reports that 70pc of the output lost in the attacks on Saudi Arabia could be restored within weeks, which should feed through to lower wholesale petrol prices. The oil price remains more than $4 above the level before the attacks happened however.The taxman takes the bulk of the revenue from a litre of petrol in fuel duty of 57.95p a litre as well as VAT of 21.3p based on the current 127.7p average price, with wholesale prices and the retailer’s margins making up the remainder. Motorists could face a 5p per litre spike in pump prices after wholesale petrol costs soared in the wake of the drone strikes on Saudi Arabia, the AA has warned.The drivers’ organisation said the weekend attacks – which sent the oil price as much as 20pc higher on Monday – also pushed up the wholesale cost of petrol by 4.21p a litre, according to industry data. Including VAT of 20pc, the surge spells an extra 5p a litre at the pumps, if passed on in full by petrol retailers. That would take the average price of a litre of petrol from the current 127.7p to 132.7p a litre, the highest since October 2013.The AA compared the impact of the attacks to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, which also pushed up a litre of petrol by 5p before falling away.Drivers who fill up at supermarket forecourts should be insulated for price rise for longer than independent petrol retailers, who will be forced to pass on the jump in the wholesale price more quickly, according to the AA’s spokesman Luke Bodset. Asda, Sainsburys and Tesco are engaged in a petrol price war after slashing pump costs by 3p a litre last weekend. 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.
Bisnauth Baldeo Ram of Section ‘A’ Cotton Tree Village, West Coast Berbice reportedly turned the family’s single-storey wooden structure, measuring 20ft by 18ft, into a pyre in which he perished following hours of dispute with his wife on Thursday.This publication was told that resulting from this dispute, Ram’s wife had earlier departed the home, claiming she was going to the city to stay with a relative; and neighbours had last seen the 52-year-old Ram standing in front of his gate on Thursday at about 10:45hrs, when he was overheard saying that he had had enough of his wife walking out of the house, and was going to burn the house and kill himself in the process.Smoke reportedly began emanating from the front of Ram’s house at about 11:00hrs, but by the time the Fire Service arrived on scene some 30 minutes later, the entire building was engulfed. A fire unit from GuySuCo’s Blairmont Estate first responded, and then the Onverwagt Fire Station sent a unit.When the fire was extinguished, Ram’s charred remains were found among the debris. He reportedly had been unemployed, and was said to have been an alcoholic.According to a source from the New Amsterdam Fire Service, Ram had locked the door and had placed a table to prevent anyone from entering the building in the initial stages of the fire.Ram’s body is currently at the Fort Wellington Hospital Mortuary, awaiting a post mortem. (Andrew Carmichael) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedJilted husband burns down home after family left over alleged abuseFebruary 14, 2017In “latest news”Parika bed sheet murder: Husband on the run caughtApril 10, 2017In “Crime”Parika man who consumed poison after setting his home alight succumbsSeptember 26, 2017In “Crime”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBandits caught in Agricola minutes after robbing minibus passengersDecember 13, 2017In “Crime”Two gunmen caught; others on the run after robbing Mahaica businessmanMarch 5, 2015In “Crime”Armed bandit fleeing on bicycle captured after robbing WCD businessJune 16, 2018In “Crime” – at ECD bus parkThe prime suspect in an armed robbery committed on a miner on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) minibus park in downtown Georgetown, has turned himself into Police custody.The 33-year-old South Cummings Lodge, ECD, suspect has since admitted to the commission of the crime and also to ownership of the unlicensed firearm and five live rounds which were recovered along with some of the stolen jewellery in a motor car, in close proximity of the crime scene.These items were recovered by detectives from the carThe robbery took place last Saturday, sometime around 15:00h.According to Police reports, the 44-year-old victim, who is a miner and resides at Middle Walk, Buxton, ECD, was a passenger in a minibus along with other passengers at the East Coast bus park when he was attacked by two suspects.One of the suspects was armed with a handgun as they pounced on the miner and relieved him of his gold and diamond chain valued some $950,000 and fled in the direction of the Stabroek Market.The victim gave chase after the armed suspect which resulted in a confrontation in front the Stabroek Market. The suspect then withdrew his firearm and discharged several rounds, hitting the victim on his left hand and buttocks. The gunman then quickly proceeded to a parked motor car, where he concealed something and escaped, leaving the vehicle locked.The car was towed to the Brickdam Police Station and later searched in the presence of its owner, who provided a key to gain access. The owner claimed to have rented the car to a Kitty resident since July.Meanwhile, the victim was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was treated and later discharged.The Police said that diligent investigative works into the armed robbery resulted in the prime suspect turning himself into Police at the Brickdam Police Station, accompanied by his attorney.Nevertheless, efforts are being made to have the other suspect arrested.