Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Then Irving was in the spotlight again as the centerpiece of a league-shaking trade that sent him to the rival Boston Celtics in exchange for a package that included Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder.Now detached from the partnership he created with LeBron James, Irving enters the 2017-18 season as one jewel of the Celtics’ offseason overhaul, along with Gordon Hayward, who signed as a free agent.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutOnly four players remain from Boston’s roster from a year ago, when it outfought Cleveland for the East’s top seed, only to fall to the Cavs in five games in the Eastern Conference finals.Along with Al Horford, the Celtics have a brand new “Big Three” as they continue their pursuit of the Cavs. While Irving maintains his departure from Cleveland wasn’t about James, he now has exactly what he says he wanted: the leadership role in building a championship team. LATEST STORIES Still, he downplayed the idea that this season is more important than any other during his six-year career.“Every moment in my life is pretty important,” Irving said. “I wouldn’t say that it’s the most important. I would say it’s probably the most interesting.”Here are some things to watch for with the Celtics this season:EARLY REMATCHOne of the byproducts of the deal that brought in Irving was that president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had to part with Thomas, who had become not only a two-time All-Star, but the team’s emotional leader as well.A hip injury he suffered in the playoffs won’t allow Thomas to be on the floor when his new Cavaliers team hosts the Celtics in both team’s season opener on Oct. 17.But it will make for an interesting on-court reunion for Irving and James.REUNITEDADVERTISEMENT When Hayward entered free agency, Boston was thought to be high on the list to land him because of his previous association with coach Brad Stevens.Stevens was Hayward’s college coach at Butler, and the pair came within a missed last-second shot by Hayward of winning a national championship.While Hayward said the ultimate decision to leave Utah for Boston was basketball-driven, he said the connection he had with Stevens was a factor.“I always had a dream to play in the NBA, but he was the first person to tell me that I could get there some day,” Hayward said.After growing into a first-time All-Star with the Jazz, he now will have the chance to play a key role again in a “position-less” system that promises to utilize Hayward’s skills as a scorer and passer.TRIMMER SMARTGuard Marcus Smart will look a little different on the court this season after shedding 20 pounds in theoffseason.He said he struggled with back pain during the latter part of last season at 240 pounds and made it a priority to change his diet and slim down.One thing that won’t change, Smart said, is how he plays the game. His physique has changed, along with many of the players around him. But the goals are the same, even has he prepares to take on a new role as one the Celtics’ veterans. Smart, Horford, Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown are the only returning players from last year’s roster.“Marcus is a critical part of our team,” Stevens said. “I think ultimately we want our identity to be a team that gets better every day. And I think his mindset, his competitive spirit, his toughness, his will — all of those things make teams better.” Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving, left, and Gordon Hayward look on from the bench during the first quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Boston, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)BOSTON — Kyrie Irving turned the NBA world upside down multiple times this summer.It happened the first time after news leaked out that he had asked the Cleveland Cavaliers front office to trade him from the team he helped lead to a championship in 2016.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments UP ends slump, sends UST reeling to eighth straight loss Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Aston Villa boss Smith confident Grealish will find formby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa manager Dean Smith has backed Jack Grealish to find some form.The midfielder and Villa captain has struggled to play at his highest level so far this season.”There will be more to come from Jack. He wants to get better. You end up sometimes dragging him off the training ground because he wants to get better. It’s a massive plus in his favour,” he said.”Jack’s a football person. He will train all day and go and find a room somewhere and fall asleep. Then he’ll wake up and go and do a gym session, that’s how he is.”He’s that sort of character – I’m surprised his girlfriend is still with him! He’ll go back home and he’ll be watching football as well. He’s a football nut.”Jack and John McGinn were probably our most influential players last season and to expect them to be as influential in the Premier League is asking a little bit too much straightaway. But they are getting better and better, that’s for sure.”What we want Jack to do is to be running at opposition players and hurting them like he did against Crystal Palace.”
Inter Milan striker Alexis Sanchez cuts ties with Man Utd palsby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAlexis Sanchez has cut ties with his former Manchester United teammates.Sanchez has had a promising start to life at Inter Milan, where he’s on-loan, scoring twice on Saturday however he was sent off shortly after in their win over Sampdoria. Insiders at Manchester United have revealed Alexis Sanchez’s role in the changing room was rather minimal, and that is reflected with his lack of activity in the WhatsApp group.The source told The Sun: “It’s as if he was never here.”New Roma signing Chris Smalling is however said to be involved in the chat, while he is out on loan in Italy. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say AC Milan director of sport Massara: No need to temper ambitionsby Carlos Volcano5 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan director of sport Ricky Massara insists there’s no need to temper ambitions.Massara was speaking before their draw with Lecce.“The objective is to improve. “We want to be ambitious, as we are Milan, but there are many strong teams and we don’t feel that we are below them,” Massara told Sky Sport Italia.“There is a very long road ahead and our ambition is to be competitive for a Champions League place.”
The Ministry of Education, is strategically repositioning the Jamaican Foundation for Life-Long Learning as the central agency for adult education in the country.Portfolio Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites gave this indication during a reception at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston on Wednesday, September 11, to formally introduce the new Executive Director of the foundation, Merris Murray.“Its role is going to be far more comprehensive than has been conceived in the past and it needs to occupy a place of prominence in the minds of all of our people who must turn to the foundation for expanding their education at any time of their lives,” he stated.Rev. Thwaites said that of particular focus is that some 140,000 youth are unemployed partially because they are not sufficiently educated; and are not certified to occupy jobs that are available or will become available.He noted that equipping people with levels of literacy and numeracy to enable them to seize opportunities for further education or to become productive citizens is paramount to the national development agenda.“Advancing education at whatever level and stage of life, is in fact the most important investment that one can make in one’s individual future and national success,” Mr. Thwaites said.He noted that the JFLL’s flagship programme – the High School Diploma Equivalent, will give many people who did not complete their secondary education the opportunity to do so.“This is a platform from which beneficiaries can re-launch their career goals. Jamaica has to offer its citizens second chances, in order for all of us to succeed,” he said.Rev. Thwaites said the JFLL will need to collaborate with various agencies, in and outside of the education sector to effectively carry out its mandate. “It is anticipated that the delivery of the High School Diploma Equivalent Programme will be done in collaboration with agencies such as the HEART Trust NTA and the Jamaica Library Service whose island wide network computer facilities are most appropriate,” he said.Congratulating the new Executive Director on her appointment, Rev. Thwaites said “her wide experience in the education sector as well as her involvement in small business facilitation makes her most suitable for this appointment.”The JFLL began as JAMAL Foundation in 1973.It operates 29 Adult Education Centres (AEC) with 100 volunteer AECs across Jamaica, and partners with other agencies and programmes to change lives by offering educational opportunities for all persons of all ages. Story Highlights Of particular focus are the 140,000 unemployed youth Its role is going to be far more comprehensive than has been conceived in the past Equipping people with levels of literacy and numeracy to enable them to seize opportunities for further education
zoom Canada-based ferry owner and operator BC Ferries will send its newest vessel, Salish Orca, to conduct a series of sea trials as part of operational training and to verify the interface with docks at the company’s terminals.Over the next month, Salish Orca, the first of the company’s three liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered Salish Class newbuildings, will conduct dock trials at ports in the Southern Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, Departure Bay, Duke Point, Horseshoe Bay and Swartz Bay.The tests are a part of the vessel’s commissioning process scheduled to start on February 10 at Long Harbour, Salt Spring Island.As part of BC Ferries’ commissioning process for any new class of vessel, ships conduct dock trials at a variety of locations for potential future deployment purposes, corporate planning and contingency scenarios.“Passengers will be able to have a sneak peak of the ship from shore over the next four weeks, and we look forward to welcoming the public on board when we host official open houses,” Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Strategic Planning and Customer Engagement, said.Salish Orca will enter service on the Powell River – Comox route in the spring, replacing the Queen of Burnaby.Salish Orca’s sister ships, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven, are expected to arrive in British Columbia this spring and will start service in the Southern Gulf Islands later this year, according to BC Ferries.
TORONTO – Jim Cuddy shared the stage with fellow Canadian music star Gord Downie several times over their long careers, but it was a performance last February that was perhaps the most poignant.Cuddy and his band Blue Rodeo were performing at Toronto’s Massey Hall with opening act the Sadies when they invited Downie onstage at the last minute to perform the hit “Lost Together” as an encore.It had been nearly a year since Downie announced his diagnosis with an incurable form of brain cancer, but the singer-songwriter had shown herculean strength with a series of musical projects, a cross-country tour, and passionate advocacy on behalf of Indigenous Peoples. He was suffering from memory loss and didn’t know the lyrics to “Lost Together” but he seemed undaunted and full of life onstage.Cuddy never thought it would end up being Downie’s last public performance. He died Tuesday night at age 53.“I knew that he had a terminal illness but I guess I just thought Gord would be the one to at least stretch the limit,” an emotional Cuddy said during a phone interview.“I just didn’t realize the end was so near.”The encore performance, which is posted on YouTube, came on a night when there were three “iconic Gords” in the audience, said Cuddy. The others were actor Gordon Pinsent and musician Gordon Lightfoot.Travis Good of the Sadies invited Downie onstage and he obliged, wearing the outfit that became one of his signature looks in the final chapter of his life — a Canadian tuxedo of sorts with a tuque, jean jacket, hoodie and jeans.Holding a piece of paper with the lyrics to “Lost Together,” Downie sang along with the musicians for a bit before crumpling up the cheat sheet and taking in the audience.“He was standing beside me for a while and he was talking to me and he was just saying the most complimentary and loving things,” said Cuddy.“It was so sweet and I just said, ‘No, I’ll guide you, don’t worry. I know you don’t know the song.’”As it turned out, Cuddy forgot to guide him. But Downie charged on, improvising and even doing a little air guitar.“Gord was present and he knew what was going on,” said Cuddy. “He didn’t really know the song and he participated in this way that only an incredibly innate and gifted performer could.“He just suddenly walked to the mic during the piano solo and started to do this beautiful incantation and we were all stunned by how powerful it was.“It was very valiant to be up there.”After the show they had a “general celebration,” said Cuddy, noting fans were thrilled to see Downie there.“I think we were quite aware that it was a historic night,” said Cuddy. “Not that it was the end of anything but that it was a gathering of very close friends that had made their way in music and it was very beautiful.”Cuddy considered Downie a friend and felt they shared a special connection in the music scene. Both Blue Rodeo and the Hip had parallel success, becoming stars in Canada but not south of the border.“I have always used Gord as an example of why Canadian music is unique,” said Toronto-based Cuddy.“People always ask bands like the Hip, ourselves, ‘Why are you popular in Canada and not popular in the States?’ And I realized, because we’re different.”Downie was “incredibly important” to the Canadian music scene, Cuddy said, noting “he was an extremely good singer” who gave a unique expression to songs including “Ahead by a Century” and “Courage.”He was also “super funny,” he said, pointing to a showcase the two bands did along with the Eagles in Newfoundland.The Eagles were slated to perform last, after the Hip, and their manager Irving Azoff “was at the side of the stage gesturing to Gord to shorten his set.”“I was at the side of the stage just totally offended, like, ‘What are you doing?’” said Cuddy. “And Gord was laughing and laughing, spinning around, doing his show. It was just an amazing show.“Afterwards I said to him, ‘Didn’t that piss you off?’ He said, ‘I never thought in my life I’d have Irving Azoff telling me to shorten my set. It was awesome.’“I thought, ‘That’s so Gord, to see the humour in a messed up situation.’”
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Women made up just 18 per cent of all the directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers who worked on the top 250 American films released last year, according to a new study.The 20th annual “Celluloid Ceiling” study on the behind-the-camera employment of women was released Monday by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. The results show virtually no change in the last 20 years for women in Hollywood. In 1998, the same calculation of behind-the-scenes jobs for women was 17 per cent.The study found that in last year’s top 250 films, 25 per cent of producers were women, 11 per cent of directors were women and just 4 per cent of cinematographers were women.“The film industry has utterly failed to address the continuing underemployment of women behind the scenes,” said Martha M. Lauzen, the study’s author. “This negligence has produced a toxic culture that supported the recent sexual harassment scandals and truncates so many women’s careers.”Last week, a study published by the University of Southern California Annenberg found that among the top 100 films at the box office, the percentage of female directors rose from 4.2 per cent in 2016 to 7.3 per cent in 2017. But that number was still less than the 8 per cent in 2008.As they have in the past, the studies give statistical evidence to the widespread alarm about gender equality in Hollywood. More than 300 women in entertainment recently formed the initiative Time’s Up to push for equal female representation among executives and to help sexual harassment victims defend themselves.
ATHENS, Greece — A powerful bomb exploded outside private Greek television station Skai, causing extensive damage but no injuries.Police said the blast occurred at 2:35 a.m. Monday outside the broadcaster’s headquarters in a coastal area near Athens after telephoned warnings prompted authorities to evacuate the building.There was no immediate claim of responsibility.Armed far-left and anarchist organizations have attacked news media outlets in the past.The Associated Press
GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Grande Prairie RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating 33-year-old Patrick Decque.According to the RCMP, Decque was last seen in Grande Prairie on May 22, 2019.Decque is described as: CaucasianBlack hairBrown eyes6’0” / 230 lbsLast seen wearing a grey suitThere is a concern for Decque’s well-being.If you have any information regarding Decque’s whereabouts, you are being asked to contact the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5701 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has welcomed his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s greetings on the eve of its National Day, saying time has come to begin a “comprehensive dialogue” between the two countries to address and resolve all issues, including the “central issue” of Kashmir. According to official sources in New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi sent a letter to Khan, greeting people of Pakistan on the eve of its National Day and highlighting the importance of a terror-free South Asia. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Modi, in his message, said it was time for the people of the sub-continent to work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive and prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence, they said. Khan, in a tweet, welcomed Modi’s message and said the time has come to begin a comprehensive dialogue between the two countries to address and resolve all issues, including Kashmir. “I welcome PM Modi’s message to our people. As we celebrate Pakistan Day I believe it is time to begin a comprehensive dialogue with India to address & resolve all issues, esp the central issue of Kashmir, & forge a new relationship based on peace & prosperity for all our people,” Khan tweeted on Friday. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday India has made it clear to Pakistan that cross-border terror attacks and talks cannot go hand in hand. India last year called off a planned meeting of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York after blaming Pakistan-based entities for killing of three special police officers in Kashmir. Earlier, Khan also tweeted Modi’s message. “Received msg from PM Modi: ‘I extend my greetings & best wishes to the people of Pakistan on the National Day of Pakistan. It is time that ppl of Sub-continent work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive & prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence’,” Khan said. Modi’s message to Khan came in the midst of severe strain in ties between the two nuclear-armed neighbours following the Pulwama attack and the subsequent air strikes by India on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot. Significantly, India Friday boycotted a reception at the Pakistan High Commission here to mark Pakistan’s National Day, objecting to invites extended to several separatist leaders from Jammu and Kashmir for the event. The official sources in New Delhi said the prime minister sends a customary message on National Days to other heads of state and government and added that his message to Khan highlighted the importance of a terror-free South Asia. Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group JeM killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district in February 14. India launched a counter-terror operation in Balakot. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured its pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1. Every year on March 23, Pakistan celebrates its National Day commemorating the Lahore Resolution passed on March 23, 1940 and the adoption of the first constitution of Pakistan on March 23, 1956.
Casablanca- According to Al-Akhbar, The PJD opposes the generalization of the French Baccalaureate in public education.The party has delegated the mission of blockading this project initiated by the ministry of National Education to the National Union of Moroccan Workers, its union ally. The latter has described the initiative proposed by Rachid Belmokhtar’s department as “a grave violation of the national sovereignty” and “a humiliation of the Arabic language”.The generalization of the French Baccalaureate was concluded in the framework of a partnership agreement between France and Morocco during the visit of the French minister of National Education, Vencent Peillon, to Rabat last February. The PJD was the first to react against the initiative and the parliamentary caucus has not gone beyond discussing the constitutionality of the convention. The PJD seems very concerned by this measure.According to Al-Akhbar, the generalization project will be challenged by all sorts of things, alluding to the debate of introducing the teaching of Darija into primary education. Such decision will only contribute to discrimination among students, and would weaken the Moroccan Baccalaureate especially because the French language is no longer the language of science, the same source added.The politicization of the issue of the language of education has crippled the Moroccan educational system since Mohamed El Fassi’s Arabization and has deprived the related debates of utility and practicality.“Education is of paramount importance and should be dealt with as such, as the future of Morocco strongly hinges upon it,” a teacher of physics told MWN.“We hope that today’s reform efforts will stress the quality of education rather than promoting the ideologies of certain parties or classes,” he added.
Casablanca- The police services at the Mohammed V airport arrested, on Saturday, a sub-Saharan national carrying 14.280 kg of cocaine. The drug was hidden in the suitcase of the trafficker who was coming from a Latin American country, chief of the airport’s judiciary police Abdelhadi Siba told the press. The attempt of smuggling hard drug into Morocco was foiled thanks to the vigilance of law enforcement officers who scanned the suitcase and discovered the illegal substance, he added.
Brazil, the World Cup host and the clear favorite (in our view), will start off the tournament Thursday with a match against Croatia. Soon after, 30 other countries will take to the pitch with varying prospects of achieving their World Cup dreams. See the FiveThirtyEight World Cup predictions for more on that.But first: a brief tour of World Cup history. We wanted to answer a few basic questions: How often do favorites win? How often do host nations win? Is the spread of soccer talent throughout the world becoming more top-heavy or more even?The 20 charts below provide some answers. They rank each team that entered the World Cup based on its Elo ratings before the tournament.These Elo ratings, which were adopted from a system developed for chess, have relatively little meaning in an absolute sense. We could say, for example, that Italy has an Elo rating of 1879 — but it’s not clear what you’d do with that.The Elo system is set up such that the average team has a rating of 1500. There are more than 200 countries that field national soccer teams, however, so being average (as Cape Verde or Trinidad and Tobago are, according to Elo) won’t normally get a team into the World Cup field, much less win it the trophy.So instead we’ve compared each team’s rating with that of the 32nd-best team in the world, according to Elo (whether or not team No. 32 qualified for the World Cup), at the time the World Cup began.1We only collected Elo ratings data on the teams that qualified for the World Cup. Sometimes, the team ranked No. 32 in the world was not among them. Therefore, we extrapolated the rating for the No. 32 team by looking at others ranked close to that threshold — for example, by taking the average of the Nos. 30 and 34 teams’ Elo ratings if both teams qualified. The 32nd-best team has gotten quite a bit better over the years, having gone from an Elo rating of 1540 in 1930, to one of 1707 this year. (The 32nd-best team in the world is currently Costa Rica, according to Elo.) Of course, the field has also expanded — from 13 teams in 1930 to 32 in World Cups played since 1998.The charts include one other important adjustment: We’ve given a 100-point bonus, in accordance with the Elo system’s recommended value, to the host nation.2This adjustment may be too conservative, especially for the earlier years of the competition.The 1930 World Cup, the first on our tour, was one where the home-nation adjustment makes a difference. Held in Uruguay, it was composed mostly of teams from the Americas; few European nations were willing to make the journey. Argentina and Uruguay were the two best teams in the field by some margin, with Argentina just slightly ahead in the Elo ratings. But Uruguay’s home-nation status was enough to make it the favorite. The two met in the finals in Montevideo, with Uruguay winning 4-2. More surprising: The United States and Yugoslavia won their groups and advanced to the semifinal, ahead of the higher-rated Brazil and Paraguay.Italy played host to the 1934 World Cup. Several South American teams, including Uruguay, declined to participate, as did the countries of the United Kingdom. Overall, however, the field was deeper and had more parity than four years earlier. Italy, Argentina and Austria would essentially have been co-favorites before the tournament began, with Italy slightly ahead on the basis of the home-country effect. Indeed, Italy won.Italy was also the favorite in the 1938 World Cup, which was played in France under the cloud of creeping European fascism. Italy was a clear favorite because Argentina, No. 2 in the Elo ratings at the time and disappointed that Europe had hosted two World Cups in a row, refused to participate. Italy won, keeping the streak alive for Elo favorites.But when the World Cup returned in 1950 after a 12-year hiatus because of World War II and its aftermath, there was a surprise in store. Brazil hosted the tournament and, with its home-country boost, would have been the slight favorite per Elo. But it was a deep field — with England participating for the first time, and strong entrants from Italy, Sweden and several other countries (although Argentina again declined to enter). Uruguay, just the ninth-best team in the field, according to Elo, prevailed in a famous upset.We’ll accelerate our pace a bit now that we’ve gotten the hang of this. The 1954 World Cup, held in Switzerland, featured another famous upset in the final, with West Germany defeating heavily favored Hungary in the so-called Miracle of Bern.The 1958 World Cup featured a deep and competitive field. Hungary or Argentina would probably have been the favorite, but Brazil and England were not far behind them. Brazil won for the first time.This touched off Brazil’s golden era, helmed by its star Pelé. The team entered the 1962 World Cup in Chile as the favorite, and it won — marking the last time a team has won two consecutive World Cups.By 1966, Brazil’s Elo rating had slipped closer to the rest of the world. Among a deep group of contenders, England would have been the Elo favorite because of its host-nation status. And just this once, England won.The 1970 World Cup, held in Mexico, featured one of the deepest fields ever. England was nominally the favorite again, according to Elo, but five other countries were within 100 points of it — including the eventual winner, Brazil.The 1974 World Cup, by contrast, had a relatively clear favorite. West Germany and Brazil were the best teams in the world by some margin, but West Germany, led by Franz Beckenbauer and having built momentum by winning the 1972 European Championships, played host to the tournament and won.The 1978 World Cup, held in and won by Argentina, is one of the least fondly remembered. Argentina was ruled by a military junta, which had come to power in 1976 after the overthrow of Isabel Perón. That World Cup has also long been associated with accusations of match-fixing. Was Argentina’s home-country advantage, for whatever reason, larger than usual? It’s hard to say; Argentina was a good team on its football merits, and the customary 100-point home-country boost would have put it in a group of front-runners that included West Germany, the Netherlands and Brazil.Spain hosted the World Cup in 1982; West Germany and Brazil would have been the favorites, according to Elo. Instead, it was Italy — just the 12th-best team in the field — that won.The 1986 World Cup initiated an era of relative parity. It would have been hard to pick a favorite: 14 teams, including the host, Mexico, were stacked within 140 Elo points of one another, and they weren’t that far ahead of some of the also-rans. Argentina won, not uncontroversially, on Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal.The 1990 World Cup also featured a fairly flat distribution of talent, although the host, Italy, would have been the nominal favorite on the basis of the home-country advantage. West Germany won instead after a low-scoring and poorly played World Cup.The World Cup returned to the Americas in 1994, when it was held in the United States. This was perhaps the first time that the host nation had no real chance of winning; the U.S. was rated as just the 18th-best team, despite its home-country boost. Much like the 1986 tournament, there was a large group of good-but-not-great teams atop the field. The Brazilian team, led by Romário and Bebeto, won in Pasadena, California, after Roberto Baggio’s penalty kick sailed over the crossbar.The 1998 World Cup featured co-favorites, according to Elo: France and Brazil were tied in Elo entering the tournament (after giving France its 100-point home-country bonus). Those two teams met in the final, and France won 3-0.The 2002 World Cup, co-hosted by Japan and South Korea, was one of the oddest tournaments. France was the best team entering the tournament, according to Elo, but it went winless in the group stage. The final featured some customary names — Brazil and Germany, with Brazil winning — but neither the Brazilian or German teams were especially strong by the Elo ratings. Turkey took third place despite being just the 23rd-best team in the field.The 2006 World Cup also featured a great deal of parity, with at least 10 plausible winners, including the host, Germany. It was Italy who prevailed over France on penalties in a final remembered for Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt.The past two World Cups, however, have seen a reversal in the trend of greater equality among footballing nations. Brazil and Spain entered the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as the front-runners, with Brazil just two points ahead of Spain in Elo entering the tournament. In the final, Spain defeated the Netherlands, ranked third in the world per Elo.That brings us back, finally, to this year’s tournament. Here are the Elo ratings, and then a few closing observations.Brazil is the best team in the world, according to Elo, as it is in our Soccer Power Index. There have been several other times when a home country was close enough to the top in Elo that it would have been the favorite after accounting for its home-country bonus. However, this is the first time the No. 1-ranked Elo team also played host.That gives Brazil a significant edge on the rest of the field. In fact, the 506-point gap between Brazil (accounting for its home-country bonus) and the 32nd-best team in the world (Costa Rica) is the largest ever in the World Cup. The 127-point gap between Brazil and the second-best team, Spain, is the second-largest after Italy in 1938.That’s not to say Spain, Argentina and Germany are poor teams. Spain’s Elo rating — 379 points ahead of the No. 32 team — would have made it the favorite in any World Cup played from 1986 through 2010. Argentina and Germany are strong enough that they would have been the favorites in a number of recent World Cups as well. Any of them would be a worthy champion, but they’ll have to get by Brazil.
Clemson 9-013667%67%17% Ohio State 9-032544%57%15% Oklahoma St. 9-01441337%23%5% Memphis 8-11331453%<1%<1% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings as of Nov. 3. But back to football substance. I mentioned before how lots of teams, even if they don’t technically control their own destiny,7No team controls its own destiny, technically, since there are no guaranteed bids in the playoff. are favored to make the playoff if they win the rest of their games. Now that the model is (hopefully) doing a better job of mimicking the emphasis that human voters place on wins and losses, we can be more precise about that. Specifically, the model estimates that 14 teams have a 50 percent or greater likelihood of making the playoff conditional on winning out.The model figures that Michigan State, for instance, has an 86 percent chance of making the playoff if it wins out. Even the lowliest one-loss major conference team, North Carolina, which wasn’t ranked by the committee last week, is about even-money to make the playoff if it wins out. And undefeated Iowa (91 percent) and Oklahoma State (97 percent) are all but assured of making the playoff if they finish the year without a loss, even if the committee doesn’t have them in the top four tonight. Baylor 8-067234%32%12% Notre Dame 8-1569—30%7% Iowa 9-09132927%18%2% Texas A&M 6-3194923<1%<1%<1% And here’s a new summary table showing the playoff picture heading into tonight, when the playoff committee will release its new rankings at 7 p.m. Undefeated Baylor has moved slightly ahead of one-loss Notre Dame in our forecast, but otherwise the top six are unchanged. LSU 7-129814%15%4% Oklahoma 8-11514119%17%7% Last season’s first-ever College Football Playoff might have miscalibrated everyone’s sense of what it takes to make it to the final four. Six power conference champions or co-champions1Thanks to a dubious decision by the Big 12. — Alabama, Baylor, Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon and TCU — were undefeated or had one loss against reasonably good schedules. There’s plenty of room to critique how the committee went about leaving Baylor and TCU out, but there was no one inherently correct way to slot six fairly equally matched teams into four playoff positions.But a field as crowded and qualified as last year’s was atypical. Most of the time there are a couple of teams that are weak links: a three-loss conference champion here, a one-loss team that played an incredibly weak schedule there. A mess like last year’s isn’t impossible, obviously. But usually the knot will untangle itself through conference championships, rivalry games and upsets that knock teams out late in the season.So don’t despair, Michigan State fans. (Of which I’m one.) Yeah, you probably lost on a bad call last weekend. But you’re still highly likely to make the playoff if your team wins all of its remaining games, in which case you’ll have defeated Ohio State and (probably) Iowa in the Big Ten championship. Pretty much every one-loss team from a power conference is more likely than not to make the playoff if it wins out.And an undefeated power conference team like Oklahoma State shouldn’t fret, even if it is currently outside the committee’s top four. Some of the teams ranked in front of it are almost certain to lose — and even if they don’t, there’s a good chance Oklahoma State will leapfrog some one-loss teams if it keeps winning.Our subjective perceptions of the playoff picture aren’t the only thing that may be miscalibrated, though. The same could be said about the FiveThirtyEight College Football Playoff model. At least, that’s the conclusion we came to when we were conducting research for this article. Although the model seems to give basically reasonable answers, a couple of things left us scratching our heads when we examined it more deeply.For instance, it posited a conspicuously large gap between Iowa’s chance of winning the Big Ten championship (27 percent) and making the playoff (8 percent). Iowa is undefeated, and while it’s possible they could win the Big Ten with one loss or more, the internal calculations in the model also implied that they’d have only about a 55 percent chance of making the playoff even if they ran their record to 13-0. One can see why a computer might come to that conclusion — Iowa has played a pretty bad schedule, and its margin of victory hasn’t been impressive — but human beings are going to vote an undefeated Big Ten champion into the playoff unless almost everything else2For instance, incredibly strong contenders from the other power conferences. is working against them.Readers had some questions for us too. Why was USC, which already has three losses, given any realistic chance by the model (granted, it was just 4 percent) of making the playoff? And why was one-loss Alabama’s chance of making the playoff so much higher than its SEC championship chances? There are some good reasons for that one,3In particular, if both Alabama and Mississippi had won out, Alabama would have lost the tiebreaker in the SEC West and missed the SEC championship game. The model inferred, correctly I think, that a one-loss Alabama team probably would still have made the playoff (perhaps along with a second SEC team) under those circumstances. This became a moot point when Mississippi was spectacularly upset by Arkansas. but even accounting for those, the gap seemed to be too wide and the model seemed to be too optimistic about Alabama still making the playoff if it endured a second loss.The theme here is that human beings pay a lot of attention to wins and losses — more than our computer seemed to be doing. An undefeated power conference team is going to get in except under rare circumstances. Two-loss power conference teams have historically finished in the AP top four more often than you might think, but it’s still a hard road. And a three-loss team making the playoff? Almost impossible unless there’s total carnage everywhere else.Since the whole point of our model is to mimic human intuition, reader feedback made us think it had some blind spots. So we re-examined the historical data4Since the playoff selection committee is only one year old, this also includes the behavior of the coaches’ poll since 2002. and concluded that our model should be placing more weight on plain-vanilla wins and losses. Or at least, it should be doing so for power conference teams (and for Notre Dame); minor conference teams historically haven’t been treated that kindly by either poll voters or the committee. Even if the committee currently ranks a one-loss team ahead of an undefeated team, or a two-loss team ahead of a one-loss team, it may re-examine the case in future weeks, and the team with fewer losses will often get the benefit of the doubt. (For a more technical explanation of how this is implemented in the model, see the footnotes.5One change we introduced earlier to the model is that it reverts the projected committee standings each week toward a team’s Elo rating. Elo ratings are a fairly simple method that often correspond pretty well with human judgment in ranking sports teams. But there’s an even simpler method: a rating based solely on a team’s win-loss record and whether it plays in a power conference. The new version of the model reverts a team’s ranking based on a combination of its Elo rating and its win-loss record, instead of its Elo rating alone.)This relatively simple change has little impact for most teams, but it does affect a couple of the cases that had bothered us (and some of our loyal readers). Iowa’s chances of making the playoff are now 18 percent instead of 8 percent. Alabama’s are 42 percent instead of 54 percent. USC’s are 1 percent6USC has a decent chance of winning the Pac-12 championship, but it would take a perfect storm of circumstances to get them into the playoff even if they did. instead of 4 percent. Here’s how everyone’s odds were affected by the change: USC 6-3—19719%1%<1% UCLA 7-22321186%3%<1% RankingProbability of … Utah 8-112112122%12%2% Temple 8-122283943%<1%<1% Mississippi St. 7-22016153%3%<1% Florida State 7-21624170%<1%<1% Navy 7-1—155419%<1%<1% Stanford 8-11151152%26%5% Wisconsin 8-2—17243%<1%<1% TCU 8-1812310%11%4% Florida 8-110101438%19%3% Michigan 7-217201613%6%1% Houston 9-025223633%2%<1% Northwestern 7-2212961<1%<1%<1% Alabama 8-141435%42%12% Toledo 7-12440539%<1%<1% North Carolina 8-1—182030%5%<1% Michigan St. 8-1782212%10%1% Mississippi 7-31826109%<1%<1% So the tough part for teams like Michigan State isn’t sweating the committee’s decision if it wins the Big Ten; it’s getting to that point in the first place. With Ohio State and Iowa still in the way; the Spartans have only an 11 percent chance of running the table.
CHICAGO–In what was perhaps the most surprising outcome of the first day of the Big Ten tournament, No. 10 seed Nebraska upset the No. 7 seed, Purdue. After beating the Boilermakers, 57-55, Thursday evening, the Huskers will take on No. 2 seed Ohio State Friday at 6:30 p.m. Let’s take a closer look at OSU’s opponent in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten tournament at the United Center in Chicago. Record: 15-17, 5-13 Big Ten Against OSU in the regular season: 0-2 The Buckeyes swept Nebraska in the regular season. OSU, led by junior forward Deshaun Thomas’ 22 points, handled the Cornhuskers, 70-44, on Jan. 2 in Columbus in the first conference game of the year. Junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. poured in 17 points while sophomore center Amir Williams took care of the paint on the defensive end with four blocks. The Buckeyes’ 26-point margin of victory is tied for the largest of their conference season with a Feb. 20 blowout of Minnesota. The Buckeyes came out of the gates in their second outing against Nebraska of the season on Feb. 2 similarly to the way they had in their first meeting. OSU jumped out to a 11-point lead in Lincoln, Neb.-sparked by the outside shooting of Thomas and sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross-but Nebraska rallied. The Huskers cut the deficit to nine points by halftime and to five with 2:40 remaining in the second half due to a 15-5 run. OSU tightened up its perimeter defense, and escaped the Devaney Center with a 63-56 victory. Matchup to watch: OSU junior guard Aaron Craft vs. Nebraska junior guard Ray Gallegos. In two games against OSU in the regular season, the sharp-shooting Gallegos was bottled up by the Buckeyes’ floor leader. Craft held Gallegos to a combined 8-for-32 from the field, well below his near-37 percent shooting percentage. If Nebraska is going to upset the Buckeyes Friday night, Gallegos will have to be much better than his regular season showing against OSU’s premier defender. Gallegos, who averages 12.8 points on the season, had a cold shooting night in the Huskers win against Purdue, scoring nine points on 11 shots. Nebraska coach Tim Miles on the upcoming game: “Our guys will be ready to go. I think they will be locked in and their hearts are fresher than their legs, but I think that’s going to be all right,” Miles said after the game Thursday. “We’ll just play a low possession game and see what happens.”
Jose Mourinho has reportedly named Atletico Madrid’s Sime Vrsaljko as a potential recruit for Manchester United this summer, claims The Daily MirrorThe Portuguese coach is keen to bolster his full-back options for the summer and is believed to be close to signing left-back Alex Sandro from Juventus.Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin had been a consideration as a long-term replacement for Antonio Valencia, but Mourinho’s interest in the Spanish right-back has now cooled.Instead, he is now preparing a £35m bid for the versatile Vrsaljko from Atletico.Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…Since joining from Sassuolo two years ago, the Croatian has struggled for to gain regular playing time under Diego Simeone after struggling to adapt in his first season.While Vrsaljko’s performances have improved, he has only managed to start 19 league games for Atletico this season.However, the 26-year-old has contributed four assists for the capital club and was chosen ahead of regular right-back Juanfran for last week’s Europa League final.
AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso has confirmed that he intends to retain both Andre Silva and Nikola Kalinic for next seasonSilva joined the Rossoneri last summer from FC Porto in a €38m deal, but had only found the back of the net 10 times in his 40 appearances.Prior to joining Milan, the 22-year-old had scored 21 goals in 44 matches for Porto.Meanwhile, Kalinic completed a €25m move to Milan but he has appeared to be a mere shadow of the player he was during his time at Fiorentina and the Croatia international only scored six goals all season.Serie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….But, despite a lacklustre season from both of them, Gattuso intends to keep the pair at the San Siro.“Kalinic and Andre Silva? I hope that they will improve, Andre Silva has scored. All of you keep talking about an exit for them but we will hold onto them both, tightly,” said Gattuso, via Calcio Mercato.
Danny Cadamarteri’s youth team has recruited 10 teenagers who will start their two-year scholarships as part of the Burnley Under-18 squad.Cadamarteri has been looking to strengthen his youth team and bringing this 10 teenagers into the Turf Moor ranks is dream come true.Among the 10 new recruits, four of them already spent at least two years within the Clarets’ Academy set-up with a constant play for the Under-16s last season and the youth team.Mitchell George, Matthew O’Neill, Rhys Fenlon, Jon Conley have all progressed from within the Academy before joining up with the youth team.Part of them are: Harry Allen, Jaydon Major, Matty Rain, Kane Patterson, Udoka Chima and Edon Pruti and Joe Conn-Clarke.Academy Manager Jonathan Pepper said Lancashiretelegraph:Match Preview: Burnley vs Liverpool Boro Tanchev – August 30, 2019 Premier League leaders Liverpool travel to Burnley for the Matchday 4 of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.“We are really looking forward to the new intake of scholars coming in next season.“We have a large number of exciting attacking players to add to our existing group, as well as a whole new defensive line and goalkeeper to bolster the squad.“There will be a lot of competition for places for the U18s next season.”He added: “Nicky Law, in the recruitment department, has worked tremendously hard to bring in a number of players from outside to add to the players who have progressed through our own Academy.“The rise in the profile of the club, the elite training facilities and the growing reputation of the Academy has helped us recruit players from the top clubs in the country, as well as giving opportunities for players from lower levels the chance to develop.“I am looking forward to seeing the players integrate and develop as a group, and hopefully we will see individuals progressing onto the U23 Development Squad at some stage over the course of their scholarship”