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Alabama Is OhSoClose To Being The Best Team In History

A few weeks ago, I wrote that Alabama might be on track to become the greatest college football team of the AP poll era,1So, going back to 1936. at least according to the Elo rating system we like to use here at FiveThirtyEight. At the time, the Crimson Tide had two regular-season games remaining: Home games against Chattanooga (an FCS team they had essentially no chance of losing to), and Auburn (in the Iron Bowl). By my reckoning, there was no way Alabama could pass the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers for No. 1 all-time in Elo versus Chattanooga, and they’d have to win by at least 32 against Auburn to pull off the feat. Instead, they beat the Tigers by 18, so here’s where the Tide stand going into next Saturday’s SEC championship game against Florida:By the slimmest of margins, Alabama is still No. 2 all-time behind Nebraska. But if the Crimson Tide wins the SEC championship by at least 11 points, it would also break the record for the highest peak Elo rating of any team since 1936. Elo says ‘Bama should be favored by 23 points at the Georgia Dome’s neutral field, and the consensus of the betting lines favors the Tide by 24.5, so it’s probably more likely to happen than not.2It’s worth noting, of course, that teams always gain Elo after winning, even if they win by less than would have been expected going into the game. So Alabama will keep picking up rating points as long as it keeps winning. But if not — say, Alabama only beats Florida by a touchdown instead — the Tide would need to win their first game of the College Football Playoff (most likely against Washington, if our CFP model holds up) by any margin in order to break the record. After that, there’s just the little matter of finishing out the season with another win to keep pace with Osborne’s Cornhuskers, who peaked at the end of the season with a national title.CORRECTION (Nov. 28, 5:26 p.m.): A previous version of this article misstated Nebraska’s 1995 football ranking. They were the sole champions, ranking No. 1 according to both the AP and Coaches’ polls; they did not share in the national title. VIDEO: Ohio State’s chances are better than most read more

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Team chemistry key to Columbus Clippers continuing hot streak

They’re at it again. After winning the 2010 International League championship, the Columbus Clippers are delivering more of the same in 2011. The Cleveland Indians may have the best record in the American League but their Class AAA affiliate is off to an even hotter start. The Clippers (24-8) lead the west division and own the best record in the league by 4.5 games. “We’ve won a bunch of different games already in different ways,” second baseman Jason Kipnis said. “It hasn’t been just the offense or just the pitching staff.” Though the team was adamant that success has come from all phases of the game, the team’s hitting has been most impressive. As of Tuesday, Columbus leads the league in batting average (.297), runs batted in (191), and on base percentage (.389). “It’s kind of contagious when one guy is hitting,” right fielder Jerad Head said. “Everybody in the group is feeling group and everybody is swinging the bat well in the lineup.” Head has been especially proficient at the plate as he leads the Clippers in batting average. The hot hitting has taken the pressure off of the Columbus pitching staff. Though pitcher Zach McAllister leads the league in wins, the team is only tenth in the league in earned run average and seventh in strikeouts. Shortstop Cord Phelps attributed the fast start, which included a 13-game winning streak, to the team’s chemistry. “I think everybody enjoys being around each other and when that’s the case the atmosphere is more relaxed and people are able to play at the top of their ability,” he said. “When you kind of have all those working parts that go together it translates to wins.” Despite the camaraderie, the players have also been fueled by battles for playing time and the opportunity to play for the Indians. “I think the depth on this team has been causing a lot of great competition. A lot of players have stepped their games up,” Kipnis said. With 113 games remaining, keeping the wins coming may not be easy. “We’ve had a really hot start and I think we can continue to play at a high level but it’s important to realize that the really hot streaks don’t always happen even when you are playing good baseball,” Phelps said. “I think we’ve just got to continue with our approach and continue to have fun and we’ll be alright.” The chemistry the team has been able to establish may be the key to staying on top the remainder of the season and having an opportunity to repeat as champions. “We have veterans and young guys that have really jelled and meshed together well early,” Kipnis said. “So I really don’t think it will be a problem.” The Clippers continue their series with the Charlotte Knights tonight at Huntington Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. read more

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Buckeye briefs Tidbits from around Ohio State athletics

Even on a rainy, September day when the men’s golf team is the lone Ohio State team in action, there’s still plenty going on in the world of OSU athletics.OSU football’s Oct. 8 meeting with Nebraska will be nationally televised on ABC, according to an athletic department release.The game, scheduled to take place at Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium at 8 p.m., is the Buckeyes’ first-ever trip to Lincoln, Neb., and the teams’ first meeting since 1956.Players on both the OSU men’s and women’s soccer teams grabbed weekly awards from the Big Ten conference.Senior goalkeeper Katie Baumgardner claimed the Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 18. Baumgardner helped lead the Buckeyes to a 2-0-1 record last week, which included a 1-1 tie to Minnesota and a 2-1 win against Illinois. Baumgardner then capped her week with a 2-0 shutout against Northwestern. Thanks in part to Baumgardner, OSU (7-3-1, 2-0-1) remains unbeaten in conference play.On the men’s side, junior midfielder Chris Hegngi was named co-Offensive Player of the Week along with Indiana’s Alec Purdie.Hegngi slid the game-winning goal home for the Buckeyes’ in Sunday’s 3-2 overtime win against Michigan. Hegngi is OSU’s leading scorer on the year with five goals.Hegngi and the men’s team (5-3-1, 1-0-0) will continue play on Wednesday against defending national champion Akron. Kickoff at Akron is set for 7:30 p.m. read more

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Ohio State outlasts California 5234

BERKELEY, Calif. – In a game that saw Ohio State and California combine for more than 1,000 yards of total offense, the Buckeyes outlasted the Golden Bears 52-34 Saturday.The Buckeyes ended the game with 608 yards of total offense.After a quick three-and-out by Cal to open the game, OSU wasted no time getting into the scoring column. Redshirt-senior quarterback Kenny Guiton, who was named the starter in place of injured junior quarterback Braxton Miller, hit junior wide receiver Devin Smith down the right sideline and Smith took it 90 yards to make it 7-0. The score was the longest offensive play in Ohio State football history.Not even two minutes later, the two connected again for another touchdown, this one from 47 yards out to give the Buckeyes a 14-0 advantage. Golden Bear freshman quarterback Jared Goff was stripped by junior linebacker Ryan Shazier on Cal’s next drive, resulting in Guiton’s third touchdown pass of the game, as he found senior wide receiver Chris Fields on fourth and goal from the one.Cal scored quickly on its next drive on a Goff touchdown pass to make it 21-7, and a 39-yard field goal by the Buckeyes made it 24-7. Goff threw his second touchdown pass of the game on the ensuing drive to make it 24-14 after one quarter of play.Even though OSU got off to a such a quick start, coach Urban Meyer said he did not feel secure until there were only a few minutes left.“I never felt comfortable until three minutes left or something like that,” Meyer said. “I felt like we could control, running the ball, run the clock out but I never…not until the end I felt comfortable.”Redshirt senior running back Jordan Hall scored on a one-yard touchdown run to give the Buckeyes a 17-point lead, and Cal kicked two field goals making the score 31-20 at the half.Hall scored twice in the third quarter, as the offenses kept humming. Goff threw two more touchdown passes himself to make it 52-27 at the end of the third.The Golden Bears were able to score once more in the fourth quarter on a one yard run by running back Daniel Lasco, but the Buckeyes ran out the clock to hold on to the win 52-34.Meyer called the high offensive production something that was “fun to watch,” and the way the unit is playing right now is what he envisions it looking like.“We couldn’t have done this a year ago. Its not going to happen,” Meyer said. “The development of Devin Smith, the development of Corey Brown, Philly Brown, and there are some weapons on offense right now.”Guiton finished the game with 276 yards passing and four touchdowns, and Hall ran for 168 yards on 30 carries and scored three touchdowns.Even though he said he was never really told he was going to start Saturday, Guiton said that did not change his preparation.“I really was never told a a set time when I was going to start or anything but all week I practice with the ones and just prepared with them like the starters,” Guiton said. “I kept the mindset like I was starting and today when I got the nod and everything I was just ready to go.”OSU takes on Florida A&M in Columbus next Saturday at noon. read more

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Buckeyes seal spot in firstever College Football Playoff set to play Alabama

OSU coach Urban Meyer celebrates with redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones after the Buckeyes defeated Wisconsin in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game. OSU won, 59-0. Credit: Chelsea Spears / Multimedia editorThe Ohio State football team is set to compete in the first-ever College Football Playoff after checking in at No. 4 in the final playoff rankings of the season, announced Sunday afternoon.The Buckeyes shellacked then-No. 13 Wisconsin, 59-0, in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday, extending their winning streak to 11 games. That winning streak is the second longest in the nation, behind No. 3 Florida State.OSU (12-1, 8-0) is set to match up with No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.The Buckeyes sealed their spot on the playoff despite the four teams previously ranked ahead of them each picking up wins over the weekend. Undefeated Florida State moved back to No. 3, while Texas Christian University fell to No. 6, paving the way for the Buckeyes to make the playoffs.Oregon was No. 2 in the final standings while Baylor moved up to No. 5.OSU’s shutout of the Badgers — which came less than a week after it learned of the death of walk-on defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge — was sparked by redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones, who was starting in place of redshirt-freshman quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate J.T. Barrett.Barrett fractured his ankle during OSU’s win over Michigan in the final game of the regular season and was ruled out for rest of the year. With Barrett — and senior quarterback Braxton Miller — out, Jones is set to make just the second start of his collegiate career in the College Football Playoff semifinal matchup.The College Football Playoff rankings were decided by a panel of 12 members, including Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, Lt. Gen. Mike Gould and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In total, the panel is set to consist of 13 members, but former Mississippi and NFL quarterback Archie Manning is taking a leave of absence because of health concerns.The Sugar Bowl is scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. start in New Orleans. read more

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Neves must stay at Wolves – Deco

first_imgRuben Neves must remain at Wolves for next season and focus on his first season of Premier League football, says DecoThe Portuguese midfielder was shockingly sold to Championship club Wolves last summer in a £13m deal from FC Porto, despite having become the Champions League’s youngest ever captain at 19 with the club.Neves’ impressive performances in England this term have reportedly attracted the interest of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who is looking for new midfielders this summer due to the retirement of captain Michael Carrick and the expected departure of Marouane Fellaini.Deco, who won the Champions League with Mourinho at Porto in 2004, has advised his compatriot to reject any interest from his former boss and instead focus on his debut campaign in the Premier League.“I need to confess that when Porto sold him to Wolves I didn’t understand because he was young, he could be one of the best players in Porto – but this is business for the club,” the former Barcelona midfielder told Sky Sports.“At that time I didn’t understand why they sold him, but for him, it was good because he’s won the Championship, now he will be in the Premier League.harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…He’s young and has a good future. I’m happy for him.”Deco feels that Neves has performed above expectations in English football and should now forget about leaving Wolves for now.“He’s doing his career step by step. Normally when a player is doing well, everybody says he needs to change to a big club, but I think he’s doing his job. He needs to wait, he’s young,” he said.“He did well in the Championship when people maybe believed that would not be possible.“If I was him I would just relax now and enjoy the Premier League.“When Nuno went there the people in Portugal started to look at Wolves in a different way.”last_img read more

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Pogba wants to be the next Zidane – Ferdinand

first_imgPaul Pogba aspires to be the next Zinedine Zidane or Michel Platini for France in the World Cup at Russia, says Rio FerdinandThe France international joined United for a second spell in the summer of 2016 for a then-world record fee of £89.3m, but has struggled to replicate his impressive performances with Juventus on a consistent basis at Old Trafford and found himself out of favour with Jose Mourinho this season.But Ferdinand is convinced that the World Cup offers Pogba the perfect platform to show the world what he is capable of and he believes that the 25-year-old is keen to be considered as great as France football legends Zidane and Platini.“Paul is desperate to ­announce ­himself on the world stage,” said the former defender, according to Sports Mole.Opinion: Neymar will earn respect back from the PSG fans Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 After completing his incredible return to Parc des Princes, we predict that Neymar will earn the respect back from PSG supporters.The situation between Neymar…“Paul is someone who wants to be known as a great player. When you look at the history in the French national team – with Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane – he wants to be ­remembered as a player like that.“But Pogba has to play well. And he has to win – and that’s not easy. There will be ­pressure because ­expectations are huge on France. Pogba and [Antoine] Griezmann will be carrying the hopes of their ­nation on their shoulders – and I would like to see Paul do it.“He’s a showman and someone who wants to be the ­centrepiece of what comes out of that team. Now he has the opportunity to do that. There is no ­doubting Paul’s ­talent. Anyone who sees him play would be a fool not to see he has immense talent in all areas.”Pogba scored six goals and made 10 assists for United in his 27 Premier League appearances this season.last_img read more

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On the Hill Trump Signs FY19 Milcon Minibus Congress May Send White

first_imgPresident Trump on Friday signed the first batch of fiscal 2019 spending bills Congress is planning to send his way by Oct. 1, providing full-year appropriations for the military construction-Veterans Affairs, energy-water and legislative branch titles. The conference report for the three-bill minibus allocates $10.3 billion for military construction and family housing programs next year, a $241 million increase over current year spending. The funding falls $130.6 million below the Pentagon’s FY 2019 budget request, however. … Next up is the conference report for a two-bill spending package covering the defense and labor-HHS-education titles. The House is expected to adopt it this week — after the Senate easily passed the minibus last week — placing its fate in the hands of Trump, who has offered conflicting signals as to whether he will sign it. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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Crusader Against Cancer

first_imgAs far back as Ancient Egypt, cancer has frustrated medical practice. Papyri written around 1600 BC describe various cases, with one concluding that “there is no treatment.”Jacqueline Barrientos, MDBut there’s hope for patients diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)—a cancer that attacks the blood and bone marrow—thanks to Jacqueline Barrientos, MD, who isn’t intimidated by the history surrounding the disease.She’s too busy helping to rewrite it.Barrientos is part of a team researching new CLL therapies at the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute’s CLL Research and Treatment Center on Long Island. In clinical trials, the pioneering drug treatments produced unprecedented results—considerably better than those achieved with chemotherapy, and minus the brutal side effects.“We’ve never seen response rates like this before,” says Barrientos. “It’s astonishing.” When the FDA approved the use of the new treatments last year, she and her team were elated. “We’re giving life to patients who once had no hope of surviving because the cancer was so aggressive.”For Barrientos, the CLL therapy is the zenith of a long journey. “I always wanted to treat cancer,” she says.Her passion for the work is personal: when she was 6 years old, her mother was diagnosed with refractory lymphoma, a form of cancer that is resistant to treatment.“We didn’t have good cancer doctors in Peru,” explains Barrientos, who was born in that country’s Chincha Province. Her father, a general practitioner and surgeon, took her mother to Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center seeking more advanced therapies, which also were unsuccessful. “She didn’t respond, ever. She suffered a lot.”Although she couldn’t know it at the time, her mother’s illness set Barrientos on the path she travels today. “I felt we needed to find better ways to treat the disease. We treat infections with antibiotics…why couldn’t we do the same with cancer?”As an undergraduate in Puerto Rico, she traveled to the University of Virginia (UVA) to participate in what would eventually become the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Minority Medical Education Program (MMEP), and later the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP).At UVA, she was introduced to like-minded people, including doctors who had once participated in the program.“They talked about their experiences and how they made it, and I thought, ‘I hope that will be me one day,’” she says.SMDEP has empowered students like Barrientos—from underrepresented populations, with few resources or little community support—to realize their dreams in health and health care. It focuses on students in the first two years of their college education, when they derive the most benefit. The free, six-week academic enrichment program has created a pathway for more than 22,000 participants, opening the doors to life-changing opportunities.“Life-changing” is what Barrientos and her work have been to the patients she treats. To those patients, she and her colleagues are saviors.“You have given us hope where there wasn’t any,” wrote one. “I thank you, my children thank you, and my eight grandchildren thank you.” SMDEP is currently accepting applications for its 2015 cohort; the application period closes March 1. To learn more about the program or to apply, visit http://smdep.org/apply-to-smdep/.last_img read more