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Hot Takedown for March 17 2015 Bracketology NFL Free Agency and Chris

More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Links to what we discuss in this week’s show:FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions.Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings.Seth Davis’s story in Sports Illustrated about the pace of play in men’s college basketball.The UConn women’s team’s incredible margin of victory this season.Neil’s conversation with Benjamin Morris and Walt Hickey about Chip Kelly’s mad spree.Chris Borland talks about his decision to retire from football. If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. Embed Code Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. This week, we discuss the start of March Madness and what the FiveThirtyEight men’s and women’s brackets reveal; whether Chip Kelly is a free-agency genius; and the retirement of 49ers linebacker Chris Borland at the age of 24.Stream the episode by clicking play above, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients below. By Chadwick Matlin, Neil Paine, Kate Fagan and Jody Avirgan read more

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On The Verge Top 3 Stories of NBA Offseason

Sports journalist Chris Mannix gives his three things to keep an eye on during the NBA’s offseason.The main story is on the future of Dwight Howard. Will he resign with the Los Angeles Lakers? Time is running out.What will the Nets look like after they acquire Kevin Garnett and Paul Pearse? With the addition of those two, the Nets starting five are bound to command attention, especially with Jason Kidd as the new head coach.Finally, the Miami Heat year after year have always added someone to their roster to make them a better team. Who will it be this year? read more

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Condoleezza Rice Joins College Football Playoff Committee

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is one of nine people expected to be part of the selection committee for the College Football Playoff that begins in 2014.George Schreeder of USA Today Sports wrote: “A person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the committee has not been announced, also confirmed the following members: Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez, USC athletics director Pat Haden, Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long, West Virginia athletics director Oliver Luck and Clemson athletics director Dan Radakovich, in addition to Rice, former Ole Miss and NFL quarterback Archie Manning, former NCAA Executive Vice President Tom Jernstedt and former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese all to be selections.”Apparently Rice’s appeal came from her diverse background, she holds degrees from the University of Denver and Notre Dame, and is currently a professor of political science at Stanford. She served as national security advisor from 2001-05 and secretary of state from 2005-09.Rice and the others are expected to be charged with weighing in on head-to-head competitions, comparable opponents, conference championships and how key injuries might influence a team’s performance.“It’s an all-star cast,” the source boasted.This information was supposed to be kept confidential until an official announcement was made, but obviously that didn’t happen. read more

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What If Tom Brady Missed Four Games Every Year

201411 201325Bye 200711 200644 20093T4Possible playoffs 201111 This one looks a lot worse. If you took one win away from every Pats team since 2001, not only could they have missed the playoffs two more times (depending on whom they lost to), but they would also lose a playoff bye at least twice and possibly four times, again depending on which game they lost and by how much. It’s also probably worth noting that the 2008 Patriots, who had Brady for less than one quarter of one game, would have been a No. 3 seed if they could have squeezed out one more win, or even been a bye team if they managed two more wins. Instead, they missed the playoffs.More importantly, losing one more game would have had negative effects on New England’s playoff position in three of its four Super Bowl-winning years. And that’s why four games of Brady might be even more valuable than the draft pick — to the Patriots. For most teams, a first-round draft pick is probably worth more than a single win. But if that one win is crucial to your Super Bowl chances, you take it. 200422 20031T1Possible home adv. 20012T4Bye 20132T2Possible bye 2002outout YEARSEEDSEED W/ ONE FEWER WIN IN FIRST FOUR GAMESCOST 2008outout 20054T4Possible playoffs But that version of this examination is probably too granular. In the Patriots’ four games without Brady, there are only so many outcomes — they can only win zero, one, two, three or four games with or without Brady. While technically every swing has some probability (they might have won zero games with Brady but now win four games without him), the most likely effect is that the Patriots drop zero or one games — that’s the outcome the 7-point estimate produced in 10 of the 12 years in which Brady played in all of the season’s first four games. That is, if they would have gone 3-1 with Brady, without him they’d probably stay at 3-1 or drop to 2-2. Now let’s focus on the most likely negative scenario. What would happen if we just took one teensy-tiny win away each season? 201011 2008outout 201223Bye 2002outout 201011 20111T1Possible home adv. Tom Brady, Super Bowl MVP; Tom Brady, NFL icon; Tom Brady, scofflaw. The Deflategate punishments have been handed down by the league office, and the official report on the incident refused to speculate about whether the New England Patriots got any advantage from their deflated balls, saying: “It is impossible to determine whether this activity had an effect on the outcome of games or what that effect was.” But suspending Brady (and taking away draft picks) is almost sure to have an effect.The Patriots owe the league $1 million, one first-round draft pick in 2016, and one fourth-round draft pick in 2017. All of that for “violation of the playing rules and the failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation.” Meanwhile, for “conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL,” Tom Brady — the Patriots’ reasonably well-known quarterback — received a 4-game suspension, which he is planning to appeal.The best spin on this news for Patriots fans is that Brady’s value is relatively unknown. While he has a history of great accomplishments and stats, QB success is much more of a team accomplishment than an individual one. Unlike certain other quarterbacks who have played for multiple teams and multiple coaches, Brady has only played for Bill Belichick’s Patriots. We don’t know if the Patriots would collapse without him — the one season where he missed significant time (in 2008), the Patriots went 11-5 with Matt Cassel under center.1I certainly look forward to some empirically significant games next year if Brady’s appeal fails. The Patriots’ backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, actually had a higher passer rating than Brady last year, though he only had 27 attempts and was sacked five times.But while I don’t know what Brady is really worth, I can lay out a couple of estimates and see what the effects of his suspension might be. Let’s use history as our guide and look at the past 14 years to see what might have happened had Brady been forced to sit the first four games of each season.While I’m not always in love with how Vegas values QBs, it’s a decent place to start: According to RJ Bell of Pregame.com, the betting line in the Patriots opener against the Steelers has shifted by about 5 points, though Bell claims gamblers usually consider Brady’s value to be closer to 7 points. So for this first test, I took each game that Brady played for the Patriots in the first four team games of each season and took away 6.5 points. In other words, if the Patriots won by 7 or more, I assumed that they would have won even without Brady, while if they won by 6 or less I counted it as a loss (if he didn’t play, I left the result as is). I then re-jiggered the playoff standings to see how the Patriots’ new record would have affected their playoff position each season. This recalculation cost the Pats eight wins since 2001, knocked them out of the playoffs in 2005 and 2009, and cost them a first-round bye in 2013.2Assuming everything else had played out the same — which is unlikely, but counterfactuals are pretty much always just mind candy. However, it also leaves all of their Super Bowl-winning seasons unscathed: 20054outPlayoffs 20093outPlayoffs YEARSEEDSEED W/ BRADY OUT FIRST FOUR GAMESCOST 200644 20141T2Possible bye 200422 200711 201222 200122 200311 read more

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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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3 notes from Urban Meyers Monday press conference

OSU coach Urban Meyer looks out toward the field during a game against Rutgers on Oct. 24. OSU won, 49-7. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo Editor Despite not playing a game on Saturday, No. 1 Ohio State consumed much of the headlines in the college football universe after news broke that redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett had been suspended for the Buckeyes’ upcoming game against Minnesota after being cited for operating a motor vehicle while impaired.On Monday, OSU coach Urban Meyer spoke to the media for his weekly press conference in which he discussed the Barrett situation and looked ahead to the game against Minnesota.Here are three notes from his presser.J.T. Barrett As expected, the majority of Meyer’s time at the podium was spent discussing the situation surrounding Barrett.Probably the most interesting wrinkle that came to light is that Barrett will have his summer aid revoked, Meyer announced.Initially, the thought was that the Wichita Falls, Texas, native was having to pay for his fall or spring semester — which would have been a hefty payment since Barrett is from out of state.An OSU spokesman later clarified that it is Barrett’s summer aid that is being rescinded.This precedent was set in 2012 when former offensive lineman Jack Mewhort was involved in an alcohol incident. The same punishment was handed out to now-redshirt sophomore tight end Marcus Baugh in 2013.One thing that Barrett has not lost, at least yet, is his role of being a team captain. Meyer said the possibility of removing the hypothetical ‘C’ from the redshirt sophomore’s uniform has been tossed around among the team, but as of now, it will remain.“I visited with some older players about that,” Meyer said. “My initial reaction was that he might but we just talked to some guys but it was very strong with the leadership on the team to (not take it away). I’m still in my own mind going through that. But as of now, no.”For many fans on Saturday, the news of Barrett’s citation greeted them when they awoke from their Friday night slumber. The same was true for OSU’s coach.“(I found out through) a text message at 6 a.m.,” Meyer said. “ I called the person who texted me and said, ‘is this right?’”After getting the message, Meyer said he went about dealing with it, considering all the facts and consulting with athletic director Gene Smith before settling on the one-game suspension.Later in the day, the coach said, Barrett came over to his house “blown away, devastated” by his actions. Meyer stressed that the redshirt sophomore was distraught over the possible harm his mistake would place on the team.Meyer said he is “disappointed it happened” but the team is set to turn the page on the issue.“We did what we did and we’re moving forward,” he said.Braxton MillerRedshirt junior quarterback Cardale Jones will reassume the role of starting quarterback, which he occupied for the season’s first seven games. This Saturday, however, Barrett will no longer be backing him up.So who slides into that spot in case something, like an injury, were to happen to Jones during the game?Is it redshirt freshman Stephen Collier who has seen the field in garbage time once already this year? Or is it a certain former two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year?The latter.“As of right now, it would be Braxton (Miller),” Meyer said of the backup role. “There is no question he is our No. 2 quarterback.”Even if the situation where another quarterback would have to come in for Jones in case of injury fails to materialize, there is a chance that Miller still may be used in some capacity as quarterback, specifically in the red zone.In the first seven games with Jones at the helm, red zone efficiency was an area of concern for OSU. To strengthen that weakness, Meyer capitalized on Barrett’s added dimension of running the football inside the red zone for two games before promoting him to full-time starter.Now, potentially, Miller might assume Barrett’s old role.“We’re not there yet, it’s still early in the week so we’re having those conversations right now,” Meyer said.Wide receiver depthContinuing with the discussion of the offensive side of the ball, Meyer talked about the hobbled state of the wide receiver position for the Buckeyes.The coach said that junior H-back Dontre Wilson, who was been in and out of the rotation this season, is questionable for the Minnesota game after having a procedure on his foot.Redshirt freshman Parris Campbell has seen the field sparingly in 2015 because an array of minor injuries, which continue to affect him into this week. Meyer said that the Akron native is also listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest.Johnnie Dixon, a redshirt freshman, was a player that appeared to be poised to fill at wide receiver in the beginning of the season. But like Campbell, injuries have plagued the Palm Beach, Florida, native, limiting him to just one catch for 29 yards in the season opener against Virginia Tech.Meyer said that Dixon has a microfracture right below his patella in his knee that will keep him out a couple of weeks.All of this means that redshirt senior Jeff Greene and redshirt sophomore James Clark will most likely spend meaningful time on the turf against the Golden Gophers.Both the said players saw most of their action this season on special teams, but in OSU’s game against Rutgers on Oct. 24, Greene and Clark both were in at wide receiver before garbage time arrived.The duo received champion grades from Meyer mainly for their effort in perimeter blocking, although Greene did have one catch for 10 yards.With the availability of Wilson and Campbell up in the air, Greene and Clark should be split out wide at some point on Saturday, as OSU and Minnesota are set to kickoff at 8 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. read more

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OSU hockey players Crosby and Rothgery share special bond since childhood

Current OSU hockey players Maggie Rothgery and Nick Crosby hold up trophies from their time on the Elyria Panthers.Credit: Courtesy of Maggie RothgeryNick Crosby always thought he would “end up with her.”The “her” Crosby, a fourth-year in health sciences and a forward on the Ohio State men’s club ice hockey team, is referring to is Maggie Rothgery, a senior forward on the OSU women’s varsity ice hockey team.What did she think of her current boyfriend way back when?“I always thought he was out of my league,” Rothgery said with a smile.Irony aside, the two have been together for quite some time, even when they weren’t dating.Crosby and Rothgery grew up in Elyria, Ohio, playing on a line under Maggie’s father, and former Buckeye hockey player, Don Rothgery when they were six years old.It was under her father’s tutelage where the two developed their relationship and became the talented players they are today.“They hit it off right away as friends when Nick came in our last year on mite hockey,” Don Rothgery said. “They are two of the nicest people I know. They’ve been friends forever.”Current OSU hockey players Maggie Rothgery and Nick Crosby during their days on the Ohio Flames and St. Edwards Eagles, respectively.Credit: Courtesy of Maggie RothgeryIt was not until their high school years when they officially starting dating. Nick attended St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio, while Maggie stayed close to home, attending Elyria High School.Crosby competed for state titles as an Eagle, while Rothgery further honed her skills with the Ohio Flames AAA program.Following graduation, Crosby began his time at OSU while Rothgery took her talents to Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, to play for the Lakers.As one might imagine, the four-hour separation between Columbus and Erie wasn’t easy for the two.“Distance was difficult, but I was very lucky that Nick was willing to come visit me almost every other weekend,” Rothgery said. “The hardest part was that we went from living two minutes apart and seeing each other everyday, to living in completely different states.”After a few years, Rothgery decided to transfer to OSU to become a Buckeye.“I was struggling at Mercyhurst and I knew being closer to Nick, regardless, would be better than the situation I was in there,” Rothgery said. “Mercyhurst just wasn’t the right fit for me and in the times that I visited, I loved OSU. The campus is beautiful and it’s arguably the best education you can get in Ohio, and in the country for that matter.”Now in Columbus, the two continue to have a relationship as solid as the ice they play on.OSU hockey players Nick Crosby and Maggie Rothgery.Credit: Courtesy of Maggie Rothgery“She’s my best friend,” Crosby said. “I’ve talked to some of my friends about it. They say, ‘Usually, when I hang out with my girlfriend, we have to try and find stuff to do.’ We can just go out, play hockey, and have a great time.”Granted, there are challenges that come along with dating and being student-athletes.The two are in the same major, meaning they see each other in class during the day, but homework, practice throughout the week and traveling for out-of-town games on weekends can be tough to work around.“We dedicate a few nights a week to each other,” Crosby said. “That’s pretty much all we get are nights.”With no Big Ten hockey conference established for women, Rothgery has to endure the rigorous travel accompanied with life in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Flights to Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin are scattered throughout the season.However, she said having Crosby waiting for her when she returns home is quite the luxury.“It’s nice to date your best friend,” Rothgery said. “He makes it easy. Sometimes I’ll come home and he’ll make me dinner. It’s nice to just relax and have someone to relax with.”Seeming like it has all happened so fast, Rothgery still finds herself in disbelief. Her linemate at 6 years old continues to be right by her side to this day. read more

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Field hockey knocks off Michigan

An offensive burst led the No. 19 Ohio State field hockey team to a win over rival Michigan Sunday.Sophomore forward Maria Briones led the Buckeyes with two first-half goals in the 4-3 victory.Freshman forward Berta Queralt also scored in the first half for the Buckeyes. Queralt drilled her shot into the top shelf, pushing the Buckeyes’ lead to 2-0.“It was just a beautiful goal,” coach Anne Wilkinson said. Michigan struck back just two minutes later, but Briones’ second goal pushed the Buckeyes’ lead to 3-1 at the half. Early in the second half, OSU increased the lead to three when junior Aisling McKeon finished a pass from Queralt.Both Briones and Queralt admitted that the Buckeyes relaxed after building the three-goal lead, letting Michigan back into the game. The letdown forced the Buckeyes to fend off a late Michigan rally led by midfielder Meredith Way, who finished the game with two goals and an assist.The Wolverines scored two unanswered goals, making it 4-3. “They kept coming at us, which we knew they would,” Wilkinson said.The Buckeyes are now 3-2 against the Wolverines in their last five meetings. OSU also improved to 8-1 at home this season and has won 10 of its last 11 games overall.The Buckeyes improved to 3-1 in the Big Ten with the victory and are now second place in the conference. OSU will battle Michigan State for the conference’s top spot Wednesday in East Lansing, Mich. MSU is currently first in the Big Ten at 3-0. 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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Schottenstein Center briefly evacuated during Ohio State mens basketball game

The Schottenstein Center was evacuated briefly during the Ohio State men’s basketball game on Dec. 16, 2017. Credit: Lantern file photoEarly in the second half of the Ohio State men’s basketball team’s game against Appalachian State Saturday evening at the Schottenstein Center, everyone in the building was told to evacuate.During a stoppage of play, the fire alarms sounded, triggering an audible alert throughout the building that ordered people inside the facility to leave.Colin Thompson, the general manager of the Schottenstein Center, said the fire alarm went off due to the failure of an exhaust fan in a concession stand. The failure of the fan caused the smoke to build up and eventually set off the alarm.Less than 10 minutes later, fans re-entered the arena and the game resumed shortly thereafter. There were no injuries during the evacuation.“All building systems performed exactly how they were designed,” Thompson said. “We were really pleased with the way the staff responded. We really apologize for the interruption.”This was the first evacuation in the history of the Schott during a game. read more

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Football Ohio State ends fall practice with uncertainty

Freshman cornerback Tyreke Johnson (13) and freshman safety Josh Proctor (15) warm up as Ohio State finishes its final practice in fall camp. Photo: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorOn the surface, everything seemed to stay the same. As Ohio State practiced for the final time during Fall Camp, the coaching staff continued to weave in and out of the warm up lines, encouraging their players prior to the beginning of regular season practices when classes start on Tuesday. However, instead of the bellowing sounds of head coach Urban Meyer in the middle of the huddle prior to the first period of the final practice, it was Ryan Day as the acting head coach. Despite all of the national attention surrounding Ohio State, with the ongoing investigation of Meyer by the university and his knowledge of domestic abuse allegations made against former assistant coach Zach Smith, the Buckeyes still have a game to prepare for. Ohio State will open the season on Sept. 1 against Oregon State, two weeks after the end of fall camp. After the practice update Day released Friday, there were not many surprises on the football field. On the offensive line, with sophomore Thayer Munford and fifth-year senior Brady Taylor sidelined, the first team had junior Michael Jordan in the middle at center, flanked to the left by redshirt junior Joshua Alabi and fifth-year senior Malcolm Pridgeon and with fifth-year senior Demetrius Knox and senior Isaiah Prince on the right. Freshman quarterback Matthew Baldwin was seen throwing, still with limited movement inside the pocket and with a brace on his left knee as he continues to recover from an ACL injury. In Friday’s update, Day said the Lake Travis, Texas native “will not be 100 percent for another couple of weeks.” Freshman safety Marcus Hooker was also sidelined and not in pads for Saturday’s practice and had a sling on his right arm. In drills, running backs coach Tony Alford had his position group, participate in catching drills, highlighting the ability of both sophomore J.K. Dobbins and freshman Master Teague in that element of the running game. For the tight ends, Kevin Wilson led his group in blocking drills to start the day. With the amount of attributes in the tight end room, with redshirt sophomore Luke Farrell coming in as primarily a blocking tight end and freshman Jeremy Ruckert, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound athlete coming in with hype involving his pass catching ability, Wilson began with blocking drills, something that, no matter what the offensive scheme is in the tight end room, could be vital to the run-heavy attack Ohio State has had in the past. During the warm-up period, first-year safeties coach Alex Grinch continued to get in the faces of players, saying over and over “It’s a depth chart day.” Even with the focus on football, there still seemed to be something missing on the practice field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. With two weeks to go before the first game against the Beavers, it is still uncertain if that will continue into the regular season. read more

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Mens Basketball Ohio State sets tone after win against Cincinnati

Ohio State senior guard C.J. Jackson (3) sizes up his defender during the second half of the game against UNC Pembroke on Nov. 1. Ohio State won 81-63. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorChris Holtmann has never been one to shy away from big non-conference games. In his time as head coach at Butler, he helped schedule matchups against the perennial college basketball powerhouses. Opponents that would test his teams. Test the resiliency of his roster. Holtmann brought those same ideas with him to Ohio State. When gaining control of the schedule, the second-year head coach planned a home-and-home with Cincinnati, the first time Ohio State has played the Bearcats within state borders since 1920. With the weight of the series history between the Bearcats and the Buckeyes, with the weight of the recruiting implications, Holtmann used this opportunity to test his team like he tested Butler. And Ohio State lived up to the first test, defeating Cincinnati 64-56 on Wednesday, starting the season with a road win in an environment. To senior guard C.J. Jackson, it’s just the kind of person Holtmann is: a resilient and work-hard personality that Ohio State molded into as he built his program. “Once he kind of got his hands on this team, it was so new,” Jackson said. “Last year’s team was kind of established, we were all from kind of another coaching staff, so this team is basically kind of his team, so we all just took after him and that win has a lot to do with coach Holtmann.” Sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson knew what was coming first. As the freshmen and the new members of the program became acclimated with Ohio State, this Cincinnati game had been circled on the calendar for months. It was the first opportunity for the Buckeyes to show what they had without the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year and without their emotional leader. This was a mentality that Wesson felt as Ohio State neared the first game of the season. “Nobody respects us like they did last year,” Wesson said. “So, I tell everybody just get real disrespectful in your preparations.”  Ohio State came out for its first game of the season already with a chip on its shoulder. For Holtmann’s team, he said the main priority, especially for an unproven team such as this one, is to make an impact defensively, something the Buckeyes showed Wednesday night. The Buckeyes allowed Cincinnati to shoot 27.4 percent from the field, with the Bearcats making 6-of-26 from behind the 3-point line. Even with the announcement of the transfer of junior forward Micah Potter, Wesson and sophomore forward Kyle Young stepped up, both starting at forward with Young backing up Wesson at the center spot, the spot Potter would have had. Wesson and Young combined for 15 of Ohio State’s 33 rebounds. It also gave an opportunity for the new players to show what they could do in a Buckeye uniform. Wesson said a game like this is a good opportunity for the younger players to get a chance to see what this level of play is all about, setting the tone for the remainder of the season. “I feel like having it early for the young guys, they see what college basketball is about, how tough it is, how the trenches are,” Wesson said. And that’s the point. That’s the point of the tough schedule to start the season for Holtmann and his Ohio State team. To test his players early. To see what their flaws are, to see what needs to improve prior to Big Ten play, prior to when important games become more of a reality. Resiliency is something teams don’t normally form after the first game of the season. But it’s something Jackson sees from his teammates day one. “I think we found out what type of guys we got. It’s guys that really care. We can’t really go wrong,” Jackson said. “Everybody is going to make mistakes. It’s a long game and it’s new. We are a new team. New faces. So as long as they give their all, you can’t really ask for anything else.” read more

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Football Urban Meyer looks forward to Big Ten Championship

After defeating Michigan 62-39 on Saturday, head coach Urban Meyer is now preparing Ohio State for the Big Ten Championship where the Buckeyes will take on No. 19 Northwestern on Saturday in Indianapolis. Even with more on the line than just a Big Ten title, Meyer said in his weekly Monday press conference that this game is only special if his team wins it. “I used to say compete for championships in November,” Meyer said. “And [assistant athletic director for football sports performance Mickey Marotti] went a step further and said get to Indy. Now we’re in Indy so go win it.The Buckeyes will face a Northwestern team that lost all three of its non-conference games this season and lost one Big Ten game to then-No. 14 Michigan. The Wildcats have ranked wins against then-No. 20 Michigan State, then-No. 20 Wisconsin and then-No. 21 Iowa.Meyer complimented Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald and how he runs his program heading into the championship game. “I think he’s one of the best coaches in college football,” Meyer said. “I don’t “think” he is. He’s one of the best coaches in college football. And his kids plays like that.” Wyatt Davis replaces Knox at right guard After redshirt senior right guard Demetrius Knox left the game in the fourth quarter of Ohio State’s win against Michigan, Meyer reiterated redshirt freshman offensive lineman Wyatt Davis would take the start the Big Ten Championship on Saturday against No. 19 Northwestern. “Wyatt Davis was going to get his first start as a Buckeye, and there’s a lot of confidence around here because I’ve been talking about it for five weeks now,” Meyer said. “He’s the next man in.” Meyer likes what he has seen from Davis in practice. “He’s a rugged guy. And he’s been scratching and clawing for playing time ever since probably five, six weeks ago, and has been close,” Meyer said. “But we didn’t want to disrupt the flow of the five guys in there.” Meyer said redshirt freshman Josh Myers, who he described as having a great month and a half of practices, junior Joshua Alabi and redshirt junior Branden Bowen, who Meyer said is “back to almost what he was” after suffering a leg injury last season. Meyer said the Michigan game was the best he has seen the offensive line play, not allowing a sack against the Wolverines, saying the unit has shown a level of consistency over the past few weeks. Now with the Knox injury, Meyer said he has a level of depth at the offensive line he had not had earlier in the season. “Remember about five weeks ago we were down to the last tack, last group of guys, and now we’ve got some depth,” Meyer said. Meyer wants Martell in the game Even with the lack of success for redshirt freshman quarterback Tate Martell in the Michigan game when he entered in the red zone, Meyer said he wants to try and continue to utilize his skill set in some way. “I’m a Tate Martell fan,” Meyer said. “So I’m pushing it real hard. And we’re going to do what’s best.” Martell recorded one yard on two rushes within the 10-yard line against the Wolverines on Saturday, failing to convert a red zone trip to a touchdown each time he entered the game. Meyer said it’s not just the play of the quarterback. There are other factors that determine the success of that particular red zone package. For the head coach, it is simple why he may continue to use Martell in those kinds of situations. “I want him in the game,” Meyer said. read more

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Theresa May to hold talks with Barack Obama at G20 summit in

first_imgTheresa May is to hold talks with President Barack Obama at the G20 summit in China on Sunday.It will be the first meeting between the leaders since Mrs May succeeded  David Cameron as Prime Minister in July.The meeting will be held against a backdrop of Mr Obama’s warning in April that Britain would go to  the back of the queue in any trade deal if the UK voted to leave the EU.Amid reports of an EU-US trade deal having stalled, Britain will be hoping to start talks on its own trading arrangements with the United States. 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. “The president and the prime minister will discuss a range of bilateral and global issues, and, as close friends and steadfast allies, the United States and United Kingdom continue to enjoy an enduring special relationship,” a White House official said.Downing Street officials said that the discussions would explore how the relationship would look once Britain has left the EU.Mrs May will see a number of world leaders at the summit where she will seek to convince them that a Britain outside the UK remains “open for business”.One Whitehall source added: “It is a real opportunity for the Prime Minister to send a clear message to the world’s biggest economies that Britain will continue to play a bold, confident and outward-looking role as the UK leaves the EU.”last_img read more

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Michael Bublé to present next years Brit Awards

first_img 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. The awards, known as the biggest night of the UK music scene, usually take place in February and Bublé has been nominated for a gong at the ceremony three times before, but is yet to get a win.British stars usually front the event, although in the past Kylie Minogue and Ru Paul have been among the presenters.Brits boss and Sonny Music chairman Jason Iley said: “This is a huge coup for The Brit Awards and we are delighted to announce Michael as our host for 2017.”He is an extremely talented and charismatic world-class entertainer much loved by the British public.”Michael will add an exciting element to our show in 2017.” Canadian crooner Michael Bublé is to shake up The Brit Awards by being drafted in to host the 2017 ceremony.The singer has been signed to take over from Geordie presenting duo Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, who have hosted the awards evening for the last two years.Bublé told The Sun: “It’s a huge honour for me to host such a big night in music. Even though I didn’t grow up as a Brit I’ve always been well aware of The Brit Awards and their impact globally.”As a fan of music this is the perfect gig. I’m very much looking forward to February and celebrating the success stories of a great year in music.”last_img read more

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Prince Harry and girlfriend Meghan Markle spotted buying Christmas tree together in

first_imgPrince Harry has been spotted choosing a Christmas tree with his new girlfriend Meghan Markle in south London.The pair were spotted buying a 6ft-tall tree from a firm in Battersea Park on Monday night before staff gave them bunch of mistletoe.The Prince, 32, and his 35-year-old TV star girlfriend – who he has been dating since August this year – popped into the Pines and Needles store. The Prince now lives in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace, where Prince William and Kate moved into when they were newlyweds in 2011 before they moved into the plush Apartment 1a, Princess Margaret’s old home.Prince Harry is expected to spend Christmas at Sandringham, but Ms Markle is unlikely to be joining him, as royal convention means partners are only invited  to join the festivities once they are engaged to a family member.The purchase of a Christmas tree together has prompted speculation that the couple may enjoy an early Christmas together in London. Ollie Wilkinson, a 22-year-old staff member who was working when the Prince came to the store, said: “The girl who served him is American so she didn’t realise it was him. Me and the other guy were netting a huge tree and eventually looked up and realised it was him. He had a woolly hat on.”Because his girlfriend is American they were chatting about living in this country and he was asking about how many trees we sold a year and how much we donated to the charity.”Then I gave him a bunch of mistletoe – he smelled one of the berries and said it ‘smelled a bit weird’ and [Meghan] said she liked it. Then they got into the car. They walked off holding hands with [Prince Harry] holding the tree in one hand.”Onlooker Gary Spence said: “It was a bit weird seeing Prince Harry browsing the Christmas trees. I thought he’d go for the biggest one around, but he just wanted a little six footer.”Pines and Needles have had a number of celebrity customers, with Madonna, Elton John and Noel Gallagher all snapping up Christmas trees in the past. Staff at Pines and Needles Show more Ms Markle discussed missing home food at this time of year with her server Zaqia Crawford, a fellow US native.The 30-year-old said: “I had no idea who he was at all. I was talking to the girl mostly – she was really nice. She told me that she was from LA and I said it was sunny over there and she said ‘yes it’s cold over here’. We talked about the food here and in the United States and what kind of things I like to eat here. “He asked me what my favourite thing to eat here was and I said I don’t know, I’m home sick. They offered to help me [with the tree] because I was struggling a bit”. Rather than buying a 12ft tree for £186, the couple plumped for a 6ft non-drop Nordmann Fir, for which he paid £65. Harry also donated £1 to charity.According to sources, the Prince did not buy a Christmas tree stand, which sells for £20.95, or festive lights for £29.95, or pay a £15 delivery charge to get the tree delivered to his home in Kensington Palace.Staff said he left holding hands with Ms Markle with the tree under his arm after browsing the trees for around 30 minutes – and is believed to have taken it to his home in Kensington Palace by car, around two miles from Battersea Park. 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.center_img Ollie Wilkinson, a 22-year-old staff member who was working when the Prince came to the store, said: “The girl who served him is American so she didn’t realise it was him. Me and the other guy were netting a huge tree and eventually looked up and realised it was him. He had a hat on.”Because his girlfriend is American they were chatting about living in this country and he was asking about how many trees we sold a year and how much we donated to the charity.”Then I gave him a bunch of mistletoe – he smelled one of the berries and said it ‘smelled a bit weird’ and [Meghan] said she liked it. Then they got into the car. They walked off holding hands with [Prince Harry] holding the tree in one hand.” Staff at Pines and NeedlesCredit:Paul Grover The firm was set up by brothers Josh and Sam Lyle in 1996, when they were just teenagers and spotted a gap in the market and transported trees from their home in Scotland to London.Sam Lyle confirmed that Prince Harry and Ms Markle bought the tree on Monday night.He said: “We have looked after some of Britain’s highest profile names for nearly 20 years but you could have heard a pin drop – or a needle –  when Prince Harry and Meghan walked into the store.”They were completely charming together and blissfully unaware that our jaws had hit the floor. They chose a gorgeous Nordmann Fir and walked away after exchanging Christmas pleasantries.”We hope we can add them to our list of illustrious names who buy from us each and every year. There would certainly be a rush from our staff should they ask us to decorate it, too!” I gave him a bunch of mistletoe – he smelled one of the berries and said it ‘smelled a bit weird’ and [Meghan] said she liked itOllie Wilkinson, staff memberlast_img read more

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Archbishop of Canterbury preparing for Royal wedding by listening to Stormzy

Stormzy performs on stage at The BRIT Awards 2017 Credit:WireImage The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby In March he officiated as she was baptised and confirmed into the church in a secret ceremony, describing it as “beautiful” and “very special”. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin WelbyCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley for the Daily Telegraph Stormzy performs on stage at The BRIT Awards 2017  “I’ve made a couple of cack-handed mistakes over the last couple of weddings I’ve been involved in and I’m thinking this is probably not a good moment to make it a hat-trick.”He has previously admitted to fearing he might drop the ring during the service 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. When asked by presenter Lorna Bailey how he’s preparing himself, the Archbishop said a line from grime artist Stormzy’s song, Blinded By Your Grace, was helping him in the run up to the nuptials.Mr Welby explained: “There’s a line in that – ‘I stay prayed up and get the job done’ – I think that sort of sums it up. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle The Archbishop of Canterbury is taking inspiration from a Stormzy song as he nervously prepares for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.The Most Rev Justin Welby will officiate the highly anticipated ceremony on May 19, but even the Church of England’s most senior cleric is not safe from the nerves of the big day.Speaking on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire he told of how he is preparing for the ceremony.Mr Welby said: “I’m always nervous at weddings because it is such an important day for the couple – whoever they are.” Prince Harry and Meghan MarkleCredit:WireImage The Archbishop, who is the second most senior figure in the church after the Queen, who is supreme governor of the Church of England, has already had an instrumental role in preparing Ms Markle for the wedding. read more

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