Metro Sport ReporterSunday 8 Dec 2019 3:47 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link937Shares Advertisement Niko Kovac to attend Arsenal match after making interest known to club chiefs Niko Kovac’s representatives have spoken with Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Niko Kovac has reportedly informed Arsenal that he’s interested in becoming manager.Arsenal relieved Unai Emery of his duties after a miserable start to the season and talks have taken place to replace interim coach Freddie Ljungberg.Ljungberg began his reign with a 2-2 draw away to Norwich which preceded Thursday night’s dismal 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton. The club are now on their worst winless run in the league since 1977.Brendan Rodgers, Massimiliano Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino have all been heavily linked with the vacant position and Kovac is the latest manager to emerge as a potential contender at the Emirates.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTAccording to Goal, Kovac’s representatives have held informal discussions with Arsenal to make the club aware of the 48-year-old’s interest. Kovac is expected to watch Arsenal’s match with West Ham (Picture: Getty)Though Kovac’s approach is being considered by Arsenal, the Croatian is not thought to be among the favourites for the position.Kovac has been a free agent since leaving Bayern Munich by mutual consent at the beginning of November and is on the lookout for jobs in the Premier League.The former Croatia boss was in the stands as Everton beat Chelsea this weekend, but played down speculation that he could replace Marco Silva in the hot seat at Goodison Park.Kovac is also expected to attend Arsenal’s clash with West Ham at the London Stadium on Monday evening. Keown never saw Ljungberg as a future manager (Picture: Getty)Martin Keown admits he never saw Ljungberg as management material after a difficult start for the Swede as caretaker boss.‘He’s a fiercely competitive individual,’ Keown told talkSPORT about his former Arsenal team-mate.‘I never saw him as management or a coach, he was quite an individualistic player, he did everything his own way, but that maybe helps him to be a very good manager.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘We shouldn’t expect a magic wand because this has been a problem that’s been in the making for some time. Emery obviously inherited it and he didn’t find a solution.‘It was about changing personnel, recruitment so you needed central defenders that wanted to defend, loved defending, they’re not there.‘We need different midfield players. The likes of [Mesut] Ozil, if they don’t want to toe the line, they don’t want to play, for now you’ll have to upset one or two.’Would Kovac be a good option for Arsenal?Yes0%No0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Frank Lampard considering £40m buy-back deal for Nathan Ake Comment Advertisement Pochettino is reportedly on Arsenal’s shortlist of managerial targets (Picture: Getty)Pochettino refused to rule out the possibility of replacing Emery when directly asked about the Arsenal job last week.‘It’s important to have a moment of calm to lower the decibels and find the energy to take on a new project, and we’ll see where that is,’ the ex-Tottenham manager told TyC Sports.‘I’m going to spend a few days here [in Rosario] with my family and friends, and then I’ll return to London.’
A researcher with the Mars Express project claims to have found formaldehyde along with methane in exceptional amounts, reports News@Nature. Since methane is destroyed by radiation in hundreds of days, and formaldehyde in several days, there is either a geological source for it, or it comes from living organisms in the soil, Vittorio Formisano claims. Another recent Mars Express finding, reported by Mars Daily and others, is evidence for large water reservoirs near the Martian equator. This is of “extraordinary importance,” the article says, because up till now most of the H20 on Mars was locked in polar ice. This is giving hopes for at least past Martian life a boost; see also the 16 Feb and 23 Feb stories on the New Scientist website. Other scientists are not so sure; only 25% of scientists at the first Mars Express Conference accepted the idea that life exists on Mars now, reports Space.Com. Most think Formisano’s measurements are on the borderline of detection and questionable. One skeptic thinks such claims come from the faith, not fact: “We all want to believe in something,” says Yuk Yung, a planetary geologist from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. “Even as scientists we’re not completely objective, especially about something we’ve worked on for ten years. There’s enormous pressure to deliver, and under this pressure you can easily believe things that are unbelievable.” (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Dr. Yung thinks the spectral match is not convincing, and doesn’t believe it. Formisano claims to have convinced other skeptics to his position, though. Even if the source of these gases is geological, not biological, the measurements will be a surprise if confirmed, reports News@Nature:The discovery of martian methane last year excited scientists, who said that there were two likely sources of the gas: active geological processes beneath the planet’s surface or a population of methane-generating microbes. Because Mars was long thought to be a dead planet, devoid of both life and geothermal activity, either prospect came as a revelation.Some recent Mars Express images suggest that the planet’s volcanos were active recently – and could be active today. Meanwhile, news agencies have had to retract reports circulated last month that NASA had found strong evidence for life on Mars; see Mars Daily. This claim made its way onto BadAstronomy.com.Have scientists become midwives of myth? Are they being pressured to deliver cute little astrobiological packages? Is that what the Mars Express program is all about? We don’t want scientists to give birth to speculation. We want them to observe the facts, and report them with honesty and integrity. If Mars is burping gas, fine; that’s interesting enough, and doesn’t require a baby. Actually, it would be very interesting. Notice that the article said that “Mars was long thought to be a dead planet.” Why? Because according the Law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be altered, the solar system is 4.5 billion years old. This dogma has led naturalistic geologists to conclude that Mars, with a much smaller volume than Earth, should have long ago cooled down, and therefore could no longer sustain volcanic activity. If it indeed has volcanos active now, more things are going to erupt than natural gas and embalming fluid.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Tags:#mobile#privacy#Real World#security#Trends#web The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Mobile carriers in the U.S. will soon have expanded Family Locator solutions in place that offer far more controls than simply tracking family members’ whereabouts. Instead, these services will offer tools that allow parents to stop teens from texting while driving, stop “sexting” from occurring and stop kids from communicating with unwanted parties. Parents will also be able to read the content of text messages, preview mobile photos before being posted publicly on the Internet or sent to friends and will be able to specify what types of applications can be downloaded to kids’ phones and when those apps can be used.Personal Security is Big Money Maker in Location-Based Services MarketFor those who grew up before the era of mobile phones, these type of “mom and dad are your Big Brother” services may strike you as a bit disconcerting with the level of access they provide. But for mobile operators and the service providers, that access has proved both valuable in retaining customers, as well as quite lucrative (to the tune of a $50 billion personal securities market, no less.)According to the CEO of one such service provider, Tasso Roumeliotis, founder and CEO of Location Labs, there’s a high willingness to pay for “Family Locator” services like AT&T’s FamilyMap, T-Mobile’s FamilyWhere and Sprint’s Family Locator, for example.Carriers like selling such services, too. When a mobile operator is able to convert an account to a family plan, it reduces its churn rate by 75%, Roumeliotis says. Currently, 65% of subscribers in the U.S. are on this type of plan. Within this market, there are now millions of users who are happy to pay for Family Locator solutions at a cost of $5 to $15 dollars per month, generally speaking.While there’s much debate over the future of location-based “checkin” services like Silicon Valley darling Foursquare or Facebook’s Places, there’s no question that families are finding the real value of location-based services in tracking their family members’ movements. To put these numbers in perspective, Roumeliotis says there were more “paid-for locates” last year than there were Foursquare checkins. And according to Foursquare’s own data, there were 381,576,305 checkins in 2010, to give you an idea.Parental Controls and Access Baked Into Handsets Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … sarah perez Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement But while location-based tracking and alerts (child arrives at school, spouse left the office) have been available for some time, other types of services are now on their way to users’ handsets, too.Location Labs is now providing solutions that address the texting-while-driving problem, via partnerships with both Sprint and T-Mobile at present, and more are on the way. Unlike smartphone applications, these services reside deep in the phone’s firmware and cannot simply be switched off by closing an app or turning off GPS. Instead, the service, provided by Location Labs’ security platform called “Sparkle,” works by using APIs (application programming interfaces) that provide developers access to location, velocity plus controls for data, voice and text. And it works on both smartphones (iPhone, Android and BlackBerry) and select feature phones (Brew Mobile for now).In addition to being able to track where a family member is located, or turn off the ability for someone to text while the car is in motion, this service also provides access to other data and activity taking place on the device. For parents, this means that they’ll soon be able to observe and control more aspects of how their children are using their phones.Parents will be able to preview photos before they leave the device, read the content of text messages, stop kids from downloading apps or games, restrict Web searches, restrict when apps or other features of the phone can and cannot be used, whitelist or blacklist specific applications, restrict who can contact kids (and vice versa) and much more.And unlike some of the Internet “net nanny” solutions from days past, those being tracked on their mobiles are never unaware. The service sends out messages at intermittent (but for security reasons, random) intervals, alerting users that they are being located or monitored.While these advanced features are not available on phones today, their arrival is just around the corner. Location Labs says it will make an announcement related to this technology in Q3 2011 involving at least one major carrier here in the U.S. And in two years time, says Roumeliotis, ubiquitous parental controls like this will be the norm on all carriers.Come to the ReadWriteWeb 2WAY Summit, where danah boyd of Microsoft Research will explore the practice of teen sexting, highlighting why entrepreneurs should care, what the social and legal implications of this practice are, and how technology companies should respond. Learn more.
The J&K’s political parties on Monday called for “simultaneous and early” Assembly and Parliament elections, as the full team of Election Commission of India (ECI) arrived in Srinagar on a two-day visit to hold deliberations and assess the ground situation.The ECI team, comprising Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Ashok Lavasa, met at least 11 political parties and individuals in Srinagar. It also held discussions with senior officers of the police and the administration “to get a first-hand information on the ground situation” of the State, which witnessed several cycles of both street and militancy-related violence since 2014.“Elections are soon going to be held to uphold the principles of democracy. The ECI desires that the elections should be the most inclusive with absolute neutrality by people involved in organising them” CEC Arora said.The ECI team met the representatives of National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Congress, BJP, CPI (M), Peoples Conference (PC), People Democratic Front (PDF), Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN), Awami Ittihad Party (AIP) etc. in Srinagar and sought their inputs.“Situation in Kashmir is fragile. An elected government is the only way out to bring normalcy. The ECI should not wait to announce dates for holding both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls together,” said NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar.PDP leader A. R. Veeri also told the ECI that “prevailing alienation and unpredictable situation can only be handled by an elected government and both the elections should be held simultaneously”. Seconding the demand to hold both the elections together, Congress leader Taj Mohiudin said, “Security agencies should create a conducive atmosphere for polls”. AIP chief Engineer Rashid early these elections were important to allow the local government “to deal with the issues of Article 35A and Article 370”. CPI(M) leader M.Y. Tarigami pointed out that “in absence of an elected government, uncertainty in the State is was deepening day-by-day”. “There is no justification to delay elections in J&K, neither political nor constitutional. The elections dates for both Parliament and Assembly should be announced soon,” said Mr. Tarigami. DPN chief Ghulam Hassan Mir said holding early elections would be a test “whether the ECI was an independent body or was influenced by the Centre”. The BJP said it’s also ready to face the elections. “We expressed our readiness to contest the elections as and when ECI desired it,” said BJP spokesman Altaf Thakur.Meanwhile, the ECI team reviewed “preparedness of various departments of civil and police administration”, besides transportation of EVMs and polling material. The ECI team will visit Jammu on Tuesday and meet political parties there before it leaves for New Delhi to take a final call.J&K first came under the Governor’s rule on June 19, 2018 and under President’s rule on December 19, 2018. The state is without an elected government for around 10 months and the President’s rule will complete its six months in June this year.
Mumbai, April 22 (PTI) Oilseeds: Bold (in Rs.Per 100Mumbai, April 22 (PTI) Oilseeds: Bold (in Rs.Per 100 kgs) Groundnut Kernel 5800 Groundnut Bold 60/70 7200 Javas 60/70: 8700 Javas 70/80: 8400 Javas 80/90: 8200 Kardi 3050 Sesame (Whitish) 98/2/1: 7100 Sesame 95/5/1: 6950 Sesameseed crushing 48/2/4 5900 Sunflowerseed 3950 Nigerseed 9350 and Castorseed Bombay 3250.Oils & Seeds: (In Rs. Per 10 kgs) Groundnutoil 1160 Kardi Expeller 870 Sesame Expeller N/T Sunflower Expeller 695 Refined 760 Cottonseeds Refined 665 Palmolein Refined 604 Soybean Refined 660 Soybean Crude N/T Rapeseed Refined 890 Rapeseed Expeller 860 Copra White 860 Ricebran 4-7% FFA N/T Ricebran N/T Linseeds Oil 890 Castoroil Comm 680 FSG 690 Kandla 655 Mowra N/T Neem 970 Karanji 630.Deoil Cakes: (Rates in Rs.per mt) Groundnut Extraction 45% 30,500 Kardi Extraction 13,000 Sesame Extraction N.Q. Cottonseed Extraction N.Q. Undec Cottonseed Exp 25,500 Rice Bran Extraction N/Q Sunflower Extraction 24,500 Rapeseed Extraction N/Q Soyameal 48% 39,860 and Castor Extraction 4650. ———- Oilcakes:- Groundnut Expeller Oilcake Rd(per met. tonne)(50%): 33,500/- Kardi Expeller Oilcake Rd(per2 metric tonnes) : UNQTD. Groundnut Extraction (per metric tonne) : UNQTD. PTI JBH SBT MKJ SNK
When referee Gene Steratore turned on his microphone at midfield to greet the captains for the pregame coin toss Thursday night in Baltimore, the crowd could hear him say: “Good evening, men. It’s good to be back.”And with that, the fans roared.That act likely will be played out in stadiums across the NFL on Sunday, as the traditional officials retake their positions on the field and the much-maligned replacement officials faded to black.Steratore and his seven-man crew donned their familiar stripes for the first game of Week 4 after three weeks of replacement officials created moments of chaos throughout the league. The new/old officials predictably were serenaded with a hearty round of boos for one call that went against the home team, but there were no headline-making gaffes.“You know we always pride ourselves in being a face without a name,” Steratore, a 10-year league veteran, told The Associated Press about an hour before kickoff. “This will be a little different, but I don’t expect it to last too long. And that’s the goal — is that we can let them get through that portion of this. It’s happy to be back; it’s happy to be appreciated. But then as soon as the game starts, it’s happy to disappear again and let the entertainers entertain.”The final pass of the game sailed out of the end zone, saving the regular refs from the same type of call that brought the replacements to the height of unpopularity just three days earlier.Referee Gene Steratore and his crew didn’t have to decide which player came down with the ball, and fans and players aren’t going to spend Friday going ballistic that their team was robbed. From the pregame cheers to the final whistle, it was overall a good return for the NFL’s veteran men in stripes, who ran a mostly smooth and efficient game Thursday night as the Baltimore Ravens edged the Cleveland Browns, 23-16.“It was great to have those guys back,” Ravens running back Ray Rice said. “It looked like they knew what they were doing.”.The league’s experiment with replacement officials ended on “Monday Night Football” in controversy. A touchdown was awarded even though replays appeared to show it should have been an interception. From then on, the posturing was done. The sides got down to serious negotiating with Thursday night’s return the result.“I thought they handled (the game) great,” Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur said. “I had all the confidence in the world that this was going to be officiated in the right way.”The love for the officials was evident all evening. About an hour before kickoff, they walked on the field and heard cheers from the early arrivals. A few minutes later, Steratore was shaking hands with Shurmur near midfield and getting a hug from Ravens face-of-the-franchise Ray Lewis at the 30-yard line.Later, when the crew returned, it received a standing ovation, and the officials doffed their caps to the crowd. One fan held up a sign that read: “Finally! We get to yell at real refs! Welcome back!”
The 2014 World Cup’s host country returns to action Tuesday, but we’ll be watching another game, in search of wunderkinds.Belgium vs. Algeria: 12 p.m. EDTBrazil vs. Mexico: 3 p.m. EDTRussia vs. South Korea: 6 p.m. EDTIN BRIEFSee our World Cup interactive for the latest probabilities.IN DEPTHBefore we get into why Belgium and Algeria is our game to watch, we should note that we cheated a bit in our criteria for Tuesday’s pick. Typically we’ve taken the greatest harmonic mean between competing teams’ SPI scores, which — as of Monday night — would have put the Brazil versus Mexico match atop the list at 82.4. But we’ve already seen both Brazil and Mexico play in this tournament and their matchup is one-sided, with Brazil having an 86 percent chance of winning (Mexico’s is 3 percent). So instead we’ve chosen to watch one of this year’s dark horses, Belgium, in its tournament debut.Belgium currently has the eighth-best chance of winning this year’s tournament (a mere 1 percent chance, but still). It’s the only team in SPI’s top 10 that hasn’t played yet. Its opponent, Algeria, on the other hand, has the lowest SPI of any team in the tournament and likewise a less than 1 percent chance of winning it all. But we think Tuesday’s matchup will be much closer than anticipated — the projected goal differential between the two teams is only 1.2, compared to 2.6 in the Brazil and Mexico match.But what’s most exciting about Belgium (which returns to the World Cup after failing to qualify for the last two tournaments) is its youth: 23-year-old Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard, 21-year-old Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, 22-year-old Wolfsburg midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and 19-year-old Manchester United midfielder Adnan Januzaj all have dazzled in the top leagues in Europe but have yet to play on the World Cup stage. Both Belgium and Algeria feature rosters with 10 players under the age of 25, but Belgium’s youngsters are some of international soccer’s most talented. Hazard averaged 0.4 goals per game with Chelsea this year, and Lukaku averaged 0.45 for Everton.Many analysts discount Belgium’s talent after it breezed through qualifiers against teams like Macedonia and Scotland, so Tuesday’s matchup against Algeria will be the first time we see what these kids are really capable of.YESTERDAYThird time’s a charm. The United States entered Monday’s match against Ghana aiming to avoid becoming the first country to lose to the same opponent in three consecutive World Cups.Punctuated by a quick Clint Dempsey goal, the U.S. had the best of the first 10 minutes, with 66 touches to Ghana’s 52, including a 30-13 advantage in the attacking half. But from the 11th minute onward, not so much. The final score — 2-1 United States — didn’t reflect it, but the U.S. spent most of the game on its heels.Here’s a couple stats:The U.S. ended the match with 88 touches in the defending penalty area, the most by any team thus far in the World Cup. U.S. Goalie Tim Howard ended as the team’s leader in touches with 61, as well as pass attempts with 49. The U.S. recorded 45 clearances as a team. It’s the most by any team in a World Cup match since at least the start of the 1966 World Cup, as far back as ESPN Stats & Info’s data set goes.It was defender John Brooks, making his U.S. men’s national team debut, who scored the winning goal in the 86th minute, becoming the first substitute to score a goal for the U.S. in the World Cup. (At 21 years, 139 days old, Brooks is also the youngest player to score in this year’s tournament.)In the first match of the day, Germany became the first country to play in 100 World Cup matches, and in its 4-0 dismantling of Portugal was the first nation to score at least four goals in four straight openers.Germany had a slight possession advantage over Portugal, amassing 684 touches to Portugal’s 556, but had a big advantage where it counted; Germany had 24 touches in in the attacking penalty area compared to Portugal’s eight. Mario Gotze had more touches (nine) in the attacking penalty area than the entire Portuguese team. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo managed just one touch in the attacking penalty area.The star of the match was Germany’s Thomas Müller, who had his country’s first World Cup hat trick since Miroslav Klose in 2002. Müller made the most of his seven touches in the attacking penalty area, scoring on each of his three shots on target. — Jacob Nitzberg, statistics analyst, ESPNOFF THE PITCHAlgeria versus Belgium is the most mismatched pairing in Group H, with a 65 percent chance of Belgium winning and just a 12 percent chance that Algeria will claim victory. And this imbalance is no less true in the countries’ trade relationship, at least as far as diversity goes. According to OECD data, Belgian exports to Algeria in 2011 totaled $2.06 billion spread over a wide range of categories — the plurality of which were cars and car parts at 22 percent, closely followed by preserved milk at 21 percent. But flip the relationship around, and a whopping 92 percent of Algeria’s $3.45 billion in exports to Belgium consisted of crude petroleum.Mexico and Brazil, on the other hand, have a much more symmetrical trade relationship. On both sides, a majority of the exports was some type of machinery, which made up about 53 percent of Brazil’s exports (a well-spread mix of everything from cars to sewing machinery) and 58 percent of Mexico’s (of which cars made up a 46 percent plurality).Russia and Korea are another evenly matched trade duo, and the sectors even complement each other. Korea’s biggest export to Russia was machinery (mostly cars and car parts) at 55 percent, while Russia’s was — surprise, surprise — oil, at 60 percent. — Hayley MunguiaFURTHER READINGThe U.S. Now Has a Better Shot at the World Cup, But Still Needs a Point Against PortugalWhy Isn’t the U.S. Men’s National Team Better at Soccer?A World Cup Fan’s Guide to Accepting Refereeing Decisions in Your FavorU.S. Soccer Fandom: The Investigation Continues
Ohio State redshirt senior defensive end Nathan Williams trailed behind the pack of scarlet and gray-clad Buckeyes players as the team rushed onto the field for the opening game of the 2012 season. Williams said he was savoring the cheers of the 105,039 fans in attendance Saturday at Ohio Stadium for the No. 18 Buckeyes’ game against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. It was Williams’ first chance to make the dash onto the field since OSU’s Sept. 3, 2011, home opener against the Akron Zips, which he exited with an injury that would eventually require season-ending microfracture surgery to repair his injured knee. In the year that followed the game against Akron, Williams’ life has consisted mostly of rehab and icing his injured left knee. Football, Williams said, was a job he loved to get up in the morning for, and it was taken from him last September. “For so many months, I was down and out,” Williams said, “and on a machine and icing. Countless ice bags I’ve made.” Projected by several OSU coaches to play between eight and 10 snaps in his return against the RedHawks, Williams reclaimed his livelihood in surprising fashion – he started, was on the field for about 30 plays and made two solo tackles in OSU’s 56-10 win. “It means a lot. I’m at a loss for words,” Williams said following his return. “I’m happy that the coaches believe in me and that these players have stuck by my side and Buckeye Nation stuck by my side. I appreciate everyone for that.” First-year OSU coach Urban Meyer was noncommittal about Williams’ status for Saturday’s game until Tuesday when the player passed tests in practice to get into the game. After beating the RedHawks, Meyer said Williams played more than he expected and lauded his performance. “I love Nate. I love the fact that he is a warrior, that he loves Ohio State. That he’s doing the best he can,” Meyer said. “And I like the fact that (Williams’ position coaches) had enough confidence to get him in the game.” It was more of the same from OSU co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell, who said he wanted to ease Williams back into the flow of the game by limiting his time on the field. That plan changed after watching Williams get loose before kickoff, Fickell said, adding he could tell Williams had a chance to really make an impact. That intuition was realized by game’s end. “You see what kind of competitor he is,” Fickell said after the game. “From what I saw, he looked pretty good.” There’s still work to be done – Williams knows that. He failed to convince himself that he was the same player that tallied 92 tackles, 26 tackles for loss and 11 sacks prior to the surgery that ended his 2011 season. On Miami’s first drive of the game, Williams missed a chance to sack RedHawks senior quarterback Zac Dysert, a player Meyer said has NFL potential. “If I would have got (Dysert), I would have considered that I’m back,” Williams said. “I’m kind of upset that I didn’t. My glove kind of slipped over top of him. There ain’t gonna be no more of that.” Williams said he saw an opportunity on the play and went for it, but defensive line coach Mike Vrabel disagreed during a Monday interview at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, saying there was no opportunity because Williams didn’t do his job. Perhaps evidence of lingering rust, Williams incorrectly abandoned his assignment to cover a Miami running back on the play, Vrabel said. However, Vrabel’s remarks came across as playful chides at Williams – he and members of the media laughed while delivering his criticisms with a smile. Vrabel said he was among those that were just glad Williams was a productive member of the team again. “Nathan, God love him, he can tell you whatever he wants,” Vrabel said. “I’m happy he was out there. He had some energy. He had some enthusiasm. (He) played with some toughness and, you know, I think it was a big confidence builder for him to be out there. He was pumped. He was excited that he could do it.” Considering the long hours of rehab and bagging ice cubes to tape to his surgically repaired knee, pumped might be an understatement. “Unparalleled” and “a dream come true” were the words Williams used to describe his feelings. “Getting another chance to be in this stadium and play for you guys – I wake up every morning looking forward to go to work just to make you guys happy,” he said, “so I’m not going to take it for granted.” OSU returns to action Saturday at Ohio Stadium with a game against Central Florida scheduled for noon.
The Michigan Wolverines football team takes the field for a game against OSU on Nov. 30 at Michigan Stadium. OSU won, 42-41.Credit: Lantern file photoAnyone who follows college football even a little knows that the Southeastern Conference dominates the landscape.But it wasn’t always that way.As I sat in my living room late Wednesday night after coming home from work, I turned on the TV, and after a few minutes of channel surfing (us men are so good at that, right, ladies?) I came across the 2004 Michigan-Michigan State football matchup and began to watch.In the game itself, No. 12 Michigan defeated unranked Michigan State in what is arguably one of the best games Michigan Stadium has ever seen. The Wolverines won in triple overtime, 45-37, behind 224 yards on the ground from then-freshman running back Mike Hart and 189 receiving yards from then-senior wide receiver Braylon Edwards.While those names might make some Buckeye fans cringe, the fact remains that they were good, if not great, ballplayers and they made Michigan a contender in the Big Ten. Then it hit me — the key to a successful Big Ten is the success of Michigan.Now, is it strictly just on the shoulders of the Wolverines to carry the Big Ten back to the promised land? Of course not.The successes of other traditional Big Ten powers like Ohio State, Penn State and more recently Michigan State are also key, as the Buckeyes and Spartans have carried the conference in recent years.But let’s go back to that 2004 season.Michigan went to the Rose Bowl and lost to Texas, despite being upset in its season finale by the Buckeyes in Columbus as the No. 7 team in the country.The SEC had just one team in the BCS that season, as Auburn won a low-scoring affair against Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl, 16-13.Not quite so dominating, right?So where did the tables turn on the Big Ten? How was the SEC able to separate itself?Well, let’s start with the next three seasons.A certain coach you might have heard of named Urban Meyer was hired at Florida late in 2004 to take over for a program that had started to reel under Ron Zook. Where did the struggling Zook find work? Illinois, the traditional Big Ten doormat.Just a season later, Meyer’s Gators were putting a beating on the Buckeyes in the 2007 BCS National Championship game, which began a string of seven straight years of SEC dominance in title games.Building on that, Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez, who was largely responsible for the turnaround of the Wisconsin program in the early ‘90s, retired following the 2005 season, leaving the door open for Bret Bielema.And we all know how that turned out. The Badgers would finish 2-4 in bowl games under Bielema.In 2007, Michigan dropped a game to Appalachian State which, let’s be honest, was the beginning of the end for Wolverine legend Lloyd Carr’s coaching career.So with Carr and Alvarez gone, and Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes dropping back-to-back blowouts in national championship games, the Big Ten took a dive into the deep end it has not yet come up from.The addition of Meyer to the Buckeye staff following the Tattoo-Gate fallout saved the OSU program, but unfortunately for Michigan, it has not had the same success in hiring a coach since Carr’s departure.The Rich Rodriguez experiment was a colossal failure and for a brief moment, it appeared the hiring of proclaimed “Michigan Man” Brady Hoke would resurrect the once proud program.For the 2011 season, it appeared Hoke had done just that as the Wolverines exploded to a 11-2 season which culminated in back-to-back wins over the Buckeyes and the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Sugar Bowl.But the wheels have fallen off quickly for the Wolverines and the Big Ten, as Michigan sits at 3-4 on the season, and is, quite frankly, struggling to make a bowl game. Combine that with the Shane Morris incident in which Hoke played the clearly injured quarterback following a ruthless hit from a Minnesota defender, and we have seen a once-dominant program reduced to a laughing stock.The recent downward spiral of the Michigan program led them to lower their student ticket prices Thursday down to $175 from $280 for seven home games for the 2015 season in an effort to increase attendance.While it might be fun for Buckeye fans to see their rival fall from the graces of college football’s best, it is quite frankly awful for the Big Ten conference.And as the Wolverines get ready to take on the Spartans this weekend, now 10 years later, one cannot help but wonder if the Michigan program, and the Big Ten conference, will ever be able to recover from the ranks of mediocrity.
Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff upset on the sideline during the Big Ten tournament semifinal game against Purdue. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorINDIANAPOLIS — Top seeded Ohio State lost in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament semifinals to No. 5 Purdue 71-60, ending their 12 game winning streak. The Buckeyes were lost without leading scorer, junior guard Kelsey Mitchell, taking over the game. The Boilermakers held the Big Ten Player of the Year to only nine points on 3 for 22 shooting and 1 for 12 from deep. Senior forward Shayla Cooper ended her last Big Ten tournament career recording a double-double and leading the team with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists.“I thought we played hard, we just didn’t play well,” said OSU coach Kevin McGuff.Purdue was led by Ashley Morrissette with 24 points, three rebounds, and seven assists. She was followed by freshman Dominique Oden with 20 points and hit half of her shots from the field and all of her shots from the charity stripe. The first quarter was a back-and-forth battle between the Boilermakers and Buckeyes. OSU hit 52.6 percent from the field in the first quarter, but Purdue held its own, shooting 41.7 percent and going 8 for 8 at the charity stripe. With the buzzer at the first, OSU only held a two-point lead, 22-20.OSU was unable to find their touch in the second quarter. The Boilermakers went to a 2-3 zone and took away the Buckeyes range, rotating out on the Buckeyes quickly as OSU went 0 for 6 from 3-point range.“We didn’t hit many shots,” McGuff said. “Part of that had to do with their defense. They’re were really effective.”Purdue slowed down Mitchell, forcing her to take ill-advised shots and limiting her to just 2 for 12 from the field in the half. Purdue also dominated the boards throughout the first half, out rebounding OSU 25-17. Purdue lead OSU 36-31 at half.Purdue opened the second half with two quick scores from Oden and Morrissette, giving the Boilermakers their first double-digit lead. OSU started to make some shots and cut the lead back to single digits near the end of the third, but the Boilermakers fought back with more contributions from Oden and Morrissette. The quarter ended with Purdue maintaining their double-digit lead 55-42.Throughout the final quarter of play the Buckeyes played with urgency, but were unable to find their way as Mitchell continued to struggle, hitting only one shot in the second half. Ultimately, OSU never found their shot and Purdue capitalized off of the Buckeyes off-night.“(Morrissette’s) a player,” Cooper said. “She’s a great player, but we had to dig in a little more on the defensive side.”The Buckeyes will continue their tournament play into the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, which begins in less than two weeks. The NCAA Women’s Basketball selection show will reveal the fate of OSU on March 13 at 7 p.m.Nicholas McWilliams contributed quotes from Indianapolis.