The Dolphins go through so many coaches so quickly that it’s tough to keep track of who’s holding the clipboard in any given season. These days, that unlucky title belongs to Joe Philbin, who’s starting his third season as head coach, but may not be in Miami much longer.Since 2004, the Dolphins have had seven head coaches: Dave Wannstedt, Jim Bates, Nick Saban, Cam Cameron, Tony Sparano, Todd Bowles and Philbin, and none has lasted longer than four seasons. That’s double the number of coaches the team had in the first 34 years of the franchise.The Dolphins are, in fact, the biggest outlier in the league for the most head coaches even considering their winning percentage. A team with a .413 winning percentage should have had only 4.5 head coaches over the past 10 years, according to a regression I ran.Why is Miami such an outlier? It’s tough to say — Miami ownership was quick to fire some coaches (Cameron) but others have resigned (Saban and Wannstedt). It hasn’t helped that Miami’s been bad for so long. If the Vegas odds are to be believed, the Dolphins will not finish above .500 this season. That would probably mean the end of the Philbin era in Miami and bring in the eighth head coach since 2004.New York JetsExpected wins: 7.0Playoff probability: 25 percent (15 percent to win the AFC East)Super Bowl win probability: 1 percent This season, the Bills try to end a 14-season playoff drought, the longest in the league. That’s what happens when a team hasn’t had a winning record in a decade.To turn it around, the conventional wisdom holds, the team needs second-year quarterback E.J. Manuel to up his game. Last year, Manuel played in 10 games and had by most measures an average to somewhat below-average season. According to the adjusted net yards per attempt index, or ANY/A+,1ANY/A+ factors in interceptions, passing attempts, passing yards, sacks and touchdowns to create a broader passing index. Manuel ranked 26th of the 33 quarterbacks who started at least eight games last season.And while his 2013 campaign was just one season, it was in many ways emblematic of Buffalo’s longer-term woes. No team over the past 10 seasons has been as consistently bad when it drops back to pass as the Bills have been. Not one of the quarterbacks the Bills have trotted out for at least eight games since 2004 — Drew Bledsoe, Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kelly Holcomb and J.P. Losman — has had an ANY/A+ rating that ranked above 18th in the league.Over that stretch, every other team in the league has managed to have at least one above-average quarterback. Sometimes it seems like the Bills have had more viable bidders to buy the franchise than they’ve had quarterbacks to lead it. Five of the eight Jets victories last year were by a touchdown or less, and none was by greater than 13 points. That’s unusual — point differential tends to be fairly predictive of a team’s record. As in baseball, we can calculate a Pythagorean win total for each team that indicates how many games it should have won based off its point differential over the season.My colleague Neil Paine did so in 2013 and recently updated his work by controlling for a team’s strength of schedule. According to his formula, the Jets should have won only 5.3 games last year, 2.7 wins fewer than they actually picked up. That makes the Jets a clear outlier — one that twice exceeded the standard error of estimate. Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, teams outperformed their Pythagorean win total by as much as the Jets did last year only 32 times.Such unexpected performance in one season has been somewhat useful in helping to predict the next. For the aforementioned 32 teams that outperformed expectation, the median win total the next season was 3.0 wins lower than it was the prior season. That’s very close to the 3.2 fewer wins that the Pythagorean win total suggested these teams should have had in the prior year. Only one team of the 32 actually saw its win total increase from the prior year.The Jets can potentially take comfort in the performance of the 2013 Indianapolis Colts. The Colts were able to win 11 games in 2013, even though the 2012 Colts finished five wins better than their Pythagorean win total suggested. And like the 2013 Colts, the 2014 Jets will be starting a second-year quarterback, Geno Smith.I doubt, though, that many people would confuse Smith for Andrew Luck.Buffalo BillsExpected wins: 6.9Playoff probability: 24 percent (14 percent to win the AFC East)Super Bowl win probability: 1 percent FiveThirtyEight is running a series of eight NFL previews, one division at a time, to highlight the numbers that may influence each team’s season. America’s favorite weekly soap opera is about to begin; get prepped.New England PatriotsExpected wins (using implied power ratings from Las Vegas point spreads): 9.5Playoff probability: 62 percent (49 percent to win the AFC East)Super Bowl win probability: 7 percent As long as Tom Brady has been the Patriots’ starter, the Patriots have been the AFC East’s boss. Over the last decade, they have won the division every season except 2008, the one that saw Brady miss significant time because of injury. It’s tempting to note that correlation and call it a day, figuring that as Brady goes so go the Patriots. But it isn’t that simple. It’s the Patriots’ running game, too.If we exclude the Brady-less season of 2008, the Patriots’ median seasonal rank in rushing since 2004 is fourth. Only the Philadelphia Eagles have done as well in the rush in that period.You could argue that the Patriots have had such a strong rushing game because their excellent passing game helps set it up. But the numbers suggest their rushing game has outperformed expectation, even when taking into account a strong passing game.The median absolute difference between a team’s passing and rushing ranking since 2004 is six spots, indicating a good passing and rushing game do go hand in hand. But the Patriots’ median absolute difference for the nine years in which Brady was the primary quarterback is only two spots. That’s the lowest difference for all 32 NFL teams since 2004.A team can’t be as good for as long as the Patriots have been based on one player alone. The running game has been an important piece of the Patriots’ success, just as Brady has.Miami DolphinsExpected wins: 7.7Playoff probability: 35 percent (22 percent to win the AFC East)Super Bowl win probability: 2 percent
That’s pretty good, right? But while their offense deserves a lot of attention, don’t sleep on their defense, which ranks fifth in the NBA by giving up just 97 points per 100. The first time I saw my boss, Nate Silver, give a talk was at the 2014 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston. As usual, he was going on about numbers and statistics, but what stuck with me longest wasn’t quantitative. Pointing to the practice of relegation in European soccer leagues, he said European sports tend to be more capitalist by nature, while their American counterparts tend to be more socialist.“It’s kind of ironic,” Silver said. “American sports are socialist.”That may be true, but Stephen Curry is a pure basketball capitalist.Nate’s framework was right: With provisions like “salary caps,” “revenue sharing” and drafts that generally allot the best new talent to the worst teams, American leagues intentionally promote parity while suppressing the natural tendency for some clubs to dominate others. But Curry and his teammates are unapologetically destroying Adam Silver’s Bolshevist basketball state. The Golden State Warriors are 15-0. If they win Tuesday against the lowly Los Angeles Lakers, they will break the record for the hottest start in NBA history; no NBA team has won its first 16 games.How are they doing this?Well, the Warriors have by far the most efficient offense in the NBA, logging a massive 112 points per 100 possessions. They shoot well above league averages from every spot on the floor, especially in the areas beyond the arc. It’s as if at some point in the past few years, the Warriors solved contemporary basketball, at least perimeter basketball. They know that 3-pointers are the best way to rack up points on offense, so they developed talent and tactics to master that. But they have also employed defensive principles to prevent their opponents from doing so on the other end.As of today, they are the only team averaging at least 12 threes per game on offense; they are also the only team giving up fewer than six threes per game on defense. Remember when a team won games by controlling the paint? These Warriors win by controlling the edges of the scoring area. By scoring 37.5 points per game beyond the arc while allowing opponents just 17.7 from out there, Golden State isn’t just tweaking how we value court real estate, its best players are forcing us to rethink how we value personnel as well.It used to be that the most valuable guys in the NBA were interior giants who dominated the paint. Now the most valuable player in the NBA is a point guard with the sweetest stroke in the league.Curry leads the league in scoring, and if he wins a scoring title this season, he will be the most perimeter-oriented player to ever do so. As I wrote last season, he’s transforming the way we see point guards and 3-point shooters in the NBA. That may seem like hyperbole, but it’s not; between Curry’s volume, his efficiency and his quickness, it’s easy to argue that he is the best 3-point shooter the NBA has ever seen.So far this season, Curry has made 74 threes — the most in the NBA. Damian Lillard ranks second, with 45. To say that Curry is an outlier would be an insult to the word outlier. So far this season, 84 percent of NBA threes have come off assists. But for Curry, that number is just 62 percent, and his ability to get his own deadly looks beyond the arc is arguably his signature weapon as a scorer. For context, only one of Klay Thompson’s 33 threes has been unassisted this season. Everyone already knows that Curry is a savant beyond the arc; the most noteworthy improvement in his repertoire is his ability to get buckets in the paint. As a young player, Curry struggled in that area. Just three seasons ago, he was one of the league’s least-effective close-range scorers. Out of 168 players with at least 200 shots inside of 8 feet that season, Curry ranked a dismal 151st in field goal percentage. But those days are gone, and the new Curry is suddenly one of the league’s best volume scorers in the paint. So far this year, 27 players have made at least 50 field goals within 8 feet of the rim, but only two of those guys — Hassan Whiteside and DeAndre Jordan (both giants) — are converting those close-range shots as frequently as Curry, who has made a ridiculous 68 percent of his 83 tries inside of 8 feet this season.Curry is an emblem for his team at large. He’s a young, perimeter-oriented genius who is reforming how we think about dominance in the NBA and making the rest of the league look feckless while doing so. He’s already a champion, but, just like his team, he is still getting better. Curry and the Warriors are just getting started, and what a golden start it’s already been.CORRECTION (Nov. 24, 12:55 p.m.): A chart in an earlier version of this article incorrectly labeled the Warriors’ defensive proficiency for some shots. A color on the chart suggested the Warriors were at about the average league level in limiting opponents’ scoring from the left elbow and right baseline 3-pointer, but the data showed opponents are shooting above average from those zones.Read more: NBA Player Career Projections
Ohio State redshirt sophomore guard Sierra Calhoun drives the lane against a Wisconsin defender in the second half at the Schottenstein Center on Jan. 19. OSU won 70-61. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorOhio State (22-5, 12-1) stretched out its winning streak to eight straight, edging out the Iowa Hawkeyes (15-10, 6-6) 88-81 Sunday. The Buckeyes were led by junior guard Kelsey Mitchell and senior forward Shayla Cooper with 20 points apiece. Cooper also lead the team in rebounds (8) and assists (5).The first half was a fast paced shootout from both sides of the court. The Buckeyes came out in a full-court press in the first quarter, but the Hawkeyes were able to handle the ball. OSU had a tough time stopping Iowa’s shot attempts, as the Hawkeyes shot 48.6 percent at the end of the first half. OSU held their own shooting 48.5 percent and scoring extra points from the charity line, hitting five of their seven free throws. With leading scorer Mitchell off to a slow start with only four points at the half, other Buckeyes stepped up. Junior guard Sierra Calhoun hit four 3-pointers before the end of the half, scoring 14 points. She finished her game with 19 points.The half ended with the Buckeyes having the slight edge, 41-38. Calhoun gave credit to her teammates for her shooting well against Iowa. “Teammates did great job of finding me, coaches came up with a great gameplan and against their defense we executed well,” she said. Cooper jokingly added her words of encouragement to Calhoun prior to the opening tip.“Before the game started I told her, ‘When I pass you the ball you better shoot it, because I’m not passing it for no reason,’” Cooper said.Going into the third and fourth quarter, the game stayed at its’ same fast but even pace. The momentum officially swung in the favor of OSU with 3:45 minutes left of play. Iowa and OSU were tied at 72, when freshman guard Kierra Lewis hit a contested layup to put the Buckeyes up two. On the other side Iowa missed a layup, and Lewis capitalized on the fast break opportunity hitting another layup. Mitchell then scored three straight times, followed by a Cooper layup allowing the Buckeyes to go on 12-0 run. This run sealed the deal for the Buckeyes, allowing them to walk away with their 13th straight home win. OSU coach Kevin McGuff mentioned that the close game scenario could be looked at in a positive light. “For us to have to executive offensively in a tight situation is good for us,” he said. “For us to have to get stops and rebounds down the stretch is also something we need to be doing this time of year.”OSU also relied on their ability to shoot well at the line and good passing to pull through with the win. The Buckeyes scored 20 points from the free throw line and dished out 18 assists on the night.However, the Buckeyes missed their leading rebounder junior forward Stephanie Mavunga, as the second best rebounding team in the nation was out rebounded by Iowa 39-36. Mavunga could be out for the next few weeks, and McGuff mentioned that rebounding is something the team will have to collectively work on for the time being. “Steph is one of the best rebounders in college basketball, so we will have to make that up by committee, more than just one person,” he said. Iowa also had four players score double digits, and were led by senior guard Ally Disterhoft with 22 points, followed by sophomore forward Gustafson with 17.The Buckeyes will play next at Nebraska at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday.
The No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes men’s basketball team will launch its 2012-2013 season Nov. 9 at the Carrier Classic game against Marquette. The season opener, which will be played onboard the USS Yorktown in Charleston, S.C., will likely provide a rare experience for the Buckeyes. “It’s going to be dark, there’s definitely going to be some wind,” said junior point guard Aaron Craft. “It’s going to be fun though.” The Carrier Classic was inaugurated last year to honor America’s military. Proceeds are donated to charities such as the Wounded Warrior Project and tickets were made available for veterans and members of the armed forces. “It means a lot to our team to be invited to play in front of the military guys,” said junior forward Deshaun Thomas. “That’s what it’s all about. The stuff that they did for us, fighting over there. It’s just motivation to play for them and go out there and play our best.” To play its best, OSU will have to overcome more than just a Marquette team that Thomas called “physical,” but also an unfamiliar environment. “I mean, it’s going to be different,” said Thomas, who voiced concern about falling into the ocean while diving for a loose ball. “I’m going to try to stay away from the edge a little bit.” In all likelihood, Thomas and the Buckeyes shouldn’t worry about going overboard. Bleachers surround the basketball court and the ship is docked. Coach Thad Matta said that he thinks his team will be surprised with the environment onboard the USS Yorktown, indicating that it might not exactly meet their expectations. “I think that they’ll be shocked with what they see, the normalcy of it,” Matta said. One thing that the Buckeyes should account for in an outdoor game is wind, which could make shooting more difficult. In last year’s Carrier Classic, which saw North Carolina defeat Michigan State, 67-55, the Spartans struggled from the three-point range. MSU connected on 2-20 of their three-point attempts, while making a little more than 30 percent of their shots from the floor. Craft said that he isn’t worried about the wind, noting “anything that’s kind of out of the ordinary, or any type of adversity,” affects both teams. The junior also pointed out that the Buckeyes might have the perfect player for an outdoor game. “One thing I know is if someone can find a way to shoot the ball through the wind, it’s going to be my guy right here,” said Craft while pointing at a grinning Thomas. “He’ll find a way to put the ball in the basket.” Thomas agreed. “I can shoot through anything,” Thomas said. “You’re going to see some jumpers going in.”
A look at the box score can tell you a lot about how Aaron Craft helped carry Ohio State past Michigan State. It can tell you he had 21 points on 58 percent shooting; that 17 of those points came in a furious second-half comeback. It will tell you he connected on 7-of-8 free throws, some of which helped the Buckeyes’ secure a 68-60 win down the stretch. It’ll tell you his efforts willed OSU (20-7, 10-5 Big Ten) to its second win in nine tries against ranked opponents. The statline can tell you most of what you need to know about Craft’s performance Sunday. But it can’t show you everything. It can’t show you how Craft, known more for his defensive prowess, charged through seams before throwing his body toward the glass for layup after layup. It won’t show you how his six assists set up looks for the likes of sophomore forwards Sam Thompson and LaQuinton Ross. Statistically, it’s clear how Craft’s outing powered coach Thad Matta’s crew to the win. The facts and figures confirm why he’s important, why some pegged him as the player to be OSU’s second-most potent scorer behind junior forward Deshaun Thomas. But they don’t necessarily reflect just how much Craft could mean to Matta’s squad heading into the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments if he can come close to replicating Sunday’s performance. Sunday might have been an early omen with Michigan State coach Tom Izzo’s crew the first casualty. “He beat us every way you could beat us,” Izzo said after the game. “It was a joint effort. It wasn’t one guy who did not cover those ball screens very well.” Craft said OSU saw blemishes in the Michigan State veneer. “Michigan State is a big pressure team and they really thrive off of turnovers and things like that, so that’s who they are,” he said. “And that’s what you come into the game expecting. You can’t change too much to your identity, especially this late in the year. We just took advantage.” OSU did exactly that, turning the ball over nine times compared to the Spartans’ 14 miscues. For Craft’s part, he had just two turnovers. But Matta said Craft’s reads on the court were perhaps the game’s biggest key. “His teammates helped him to get much better spacing than we normally have,” he said. “He attacked the rim well and had a lot of shots going in.” Conversely, Thomas struggled to score throughout the contest – particularly in the first half where he had just two points. The Big Ten’s leading scorer, though, said he trusted Craft to get buckets. “I’m excited for him. Everybody always say, sometimes come to me, and criticize Craft’s offense. But, you know what, I have faith in his offense and I believe in him,” Thomas said. “And it’s good for him to come out and score and attack those guards and bigs like that. “A lot of people talked about, oh there’s only one player who can score. To me, in my eyes, everybody can score on this team.” It’s a concept that has plagued the Buckeyes all season. While players have often rotated the role as Thomas’ scoring sidekick, the need for consistent production outside of the Fort Wayne, Ind., native has eluded OSU. Against the Spartans, that problem didn’t exist thanks to Craft. “I don’t care who’s scoring, putting the ball in the bucket, as long we come out with more points,” Craft said. Perhaps most notably is the juxtaposition between the Buckeyes outing against the Spartans compared to the performance they put on against Wisconsin in a 22-point loss in Madison a week earlier. “This is big for this basketball team, we kind of picked ourselves up from a week ago,” Craft said. OSU will try to carry that momentum when it plays Northwestern Thursday in Evanston, Ill. Tip is set for 7 p.m.
Redshirt-junior guard Amy Scullion (right) looks for an open teammate during a game against Penn State Feb. 9 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 74-54.Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorOhio State women’s basketball redshirt-junior guard Amy Scullion is calling an end to her career on the court after the conclusion of the season.Scullion, who has started all but one game thus far this season, joined seniors centers Ashley Adams and Darryce Moore, forward Martina Ellerbe and redshirt-senior center Aleksandra Dobranic in the pregame Senior Day honors before taking the floor at the Schottenstein Center one final time in a win over Northwestern Sunday.Although she redshirted her first year in Columbus because of a torn ACL and thus has one remaining year of eligibility, Scullion made the decision to end her basketball career in order to attend medical school.“It was obviously a really tough decision,” Scullion said Feb. 18. “I think for my career and my goals, the best thing right now is for me to hang up my basketball shoes.”The decision was made after a conversation with her parents and with coach Kevin McGuff, who said he supports Scullion’s decision.“Obviously she is an extremely bright young woman with an amazing future ahead,” McGuff said Sunday. “I think it is a great decision. She will be very successful.”Scullion was recruited and signed by former OSU coach Jim Foster, who was fired after the 2012-13 season “without cause,” but Scullion had all positive things to say about McGuff and his current staff.“I really enjoy playing for coach McGuff and I think he is moving the program in a great direction,” Scullion said. “It is hard to not be a part of that (moving forward).”In her final home game, Scullion pulled down eight rebounds, and dished out a career-high three assists to go along with two points as the Buckeyes defeated the Wildcats, 71-62.Scullion is currently in the process of applying to medical schools and said that if she is accepted, she would like to stay at OSU.“I am still trying to get in here (OSU),” Scullion said. “Obviously I would love to stay here.”Scullion said she is also looking into the University of Colorado and Wake Forest University for medical school.Scullion and the Buckeyes are set to conclude their regular season with road games against Iowa Thursday and Minnesota Sunday before traveling to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Tournament.
Then-junior wide receiver Devin Smith (9) reaches to catch a pass with a defender on him during the Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State Dec. 7 at Lucas Oil Stadium. OSU lost, 34-24.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorOver the course of his three-year career at Ohio State, Braxton Miller has had huge success as the football team’s starting quarterback.But for every one of the 395 passes he has completed, there had to be someone on the receiving end.Although the Buckeyes are expected to be in a state of transition next season in most positions on the field, the receivers return as one of the more experienced groups of the team.Despite losing the team’s top wide receiver in Corey “Philly” Brown in 2013, the outlook for the receiving corps next season is bright.“I am very excited about our group,” wide receivers coach Zach Smith said Thursday. “We are getting there slowly. Right now there is a lot of competition and the culture is growing and they are really buying into what we are trying to build in the room.”OSU returns four of its top five players from 2013 in receiving yards, including senior wide receivers Devin Smith and Evan Spencer.But despite the experience returning to the Buckeyes, Zach Smith said nobody is safe into a starting position.“There is no spot guaranteed. There is no one that is a starter because there is a number of guys that are developing into a great X, Z, H whatever,” Zach Smith said. “We will see who it is, it’s just a matter of time and who comes every single day and who brings the effort and competes.”New faces that are fighting for playing time in the upcoming season for OSU are redshirt-junior Corey Smith, redshirt-sophomore Michael Thomas and redshirt-freshman Jalin Marshall — who is set to miss the remainder of spring after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Spencer has also missed time during spring practice as he rehabs from a leg injury suffered in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl Jan. 3.Sophomore running back Dontre Wilson and freshman H-back Curtis Samuel also provide options for Miller, as both are set to play the hybrid role in coach Urban Meyer’s offense.Zach Smith said a player he is really looking forward to watching develop, though, is freshman wide receiver Johnnie Dixon, a four-star recruit from West Palm Beach, Fla.“(Dixon) has been impressive. He is a lot like Dontre. He is a grown man for an 18-year-old. He comes in and handles his business,” Zach Smith said. “He handles his business outside of this facility, he handles his business in the classroom so I am excited about where he is going to be. Now, he is a typical freshman, he is still learning and still trying to figure everything out. He has the commitment to be great and he is doing everything we are asking him to do right now. That is usually a formula for success.”Devin Smith agreed with his position coach, adding that he wouldn’t be shocked if Marshall had a breakout year.“I think a lot of things that he has done so far, before he got hurt were some things that he didn’t do last year,” Devin Smith said. “And he has impressed coach Meyer a bit before he got hurt. I think he is one guy that could make some noise if he can keep it up.”One disadvantage the newer Buckeyes will have coming out of spring is the fact that they won’t get a chance to play with Miller.Before spring practice began, Miller underwent surgery on his throwing shoulder, likely ruling him out for most — if not all — of spring.Zach Smith said the older players won’t miss Miller too much though since they have already had three years with the quarterback.“A lot of these guys, like Devin and Evan Spencer, have been with Braxton for three years and it’s not a bad thing to develop the same rapport and chemistry with a guy that may be the backup because you don’t know when that guy is not the backup,” Zach Smith said. “At any time, he could be the guy in the game and you hope they have a report like we had with Kenny (Guiton) last year.”Although the players have had time with each other in the past, Devin Smith said Miller has not been as involved with the receivers so far this offseason.“He is not as much engaged with us as he is with the quarterbacks, helping with the young guys,” Devin Smith said. “He talks to us every now and then in the locker room and helping us with coverages. He is not as involved with us as he is the quarterbacks, but he does help.”Devin Smith is the team’s top returning receiver, leading the returning players in receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns from last season.But Zach Smith said he isn’t looking for him to be the “go-to” receiver for Miller next season. In fact he isn’t looking to anybody to take up that role.“My goal is to have every guy be a ‘go-to’ guy,” Zach Smith said. “There’s different ways to try and take a guy out of a game. Roll a coverage a certain way, and someone else may be that guy that we need to go to. It can never be an offense based on one or two guys. (We’ve) got to have four, five, six guys that can consistently perform to our standards, and that’s what we are trying to do.”The wide receivers will look to fill the shoes of Brown and make names for themselves Aug. 30 at noon, when OSU is scheduled to take on Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Ohio State junior center Michael Jordan (73) prepares to snap the ball to redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) in the first half of the game against Rutgers on Sept. 8. Ohio State won 52-3. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorMoving a veteran guard to center has been an Ohio State staple over the past three seasons.Pat Elflein did it in 2016, Billy Price followed in 2017 and now, junior Michael Jordan has done the same when he was announced as the team’s starting center before the 2018 season began.Elflein and Price found success in their final years, winning the Rimington Trophy for best center in the country in back-to-back seasons, both being selected in the NFL Draft as centers.Jordan has not found that same level of success.A first-team All-Big Ten member in 2017, Jordan has struggled adapting to the center role at points this season, as has the rest of the offensive line, which head coach Urban Meyer said was a group of the five best linemen he had, regardless of position.In Monday’s press conference, though, Meyer said it might not have been the best five players, but the five healthiest players, who started the season for Ohio State on the offensive line.“You’ve got to get your five best on the field. But when [Brandon] Bowen got hurt, that was an issue, and then obviously Brady Taylor had that injury,” Meyer said. “To get the best five on the line and playing, that’s what you have to do.”For Meyer, that best five were Jordan, senior right tackle Isaiah Prince, redshirt senior right guard Demetrius Knox, redshirt senior left guard Malcolm Pridgeon and sophomore left tackle Thayer Munford.He said the move of Jordan to center has created a need for adjustment through the first eight games this season.“At times outstanding, and other times it has not been great,” Meyer said. “He’s been playing pretty good. But there is a little bit of a ripple effect.”That effect has been an offensive line ranked in the bottom half in the NCAA in rush offense, rushing for 4.36 yards per carry on the season and fewer than 100 yards in the past two games.Before the loss to Purdue, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa said the change in quarterback styles from J.T. Barrett to redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins might be the cause of some of the adjustment problems.“You see what Dwayne is doing. He’s throwing more, J.T. was gonna run it more, handle it more, run it himself, so now they were concerned about J.T.,” Studrawa said. “Dwayne’s not a run threat. He’s a threat to throw it, so it’s much different for us and the things and the looks that we’re seeing and how they are trying to stop the pass game with certain blitzes, it opens up more [run-pass options] than it had before.”The defensive strategy for many opponents this season has been to stack the box, limiting Ohio State from getting the run game going. While this has had success slowing down both sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins and redshirt junior running back Mike Weber, Haskins has taken advantage, throwing for more than 400 yards in three straight games.Studrawa said the line has to make plays happen when the box isn’t stacked.“There’s times that it’s not stacked, but it goes back to what you said. They want to stop Mike and J.K. from gutting them and getting them worn out,” Studrawa said. “They’ll say, ‘Hey, you know what? Maybe they’re off in the throwing game or some of those things,’ but we have to do a great job when it’s not stacked — when the box is in our favor to run the football.”Meyer did not confirm the status of Taylor and Bowen for Saturday’s matchup against Nebraska. He said, “They’re both getting pretty close.”For now, a line that was said to have the “five best” players at once has shown difficulties adapting to a new player at center.Jordan will not have the Rimington-winning season that Price and Elflein did in their transition seasons, but he can make a difference in Ohio State’s run at a conference title.Whether he can effectively make that jump, Studrawa said, could depend on the offensive line’s ability to avoid slip-ups in key moments, an area that has plagued them all season.“There’s been times where it’s one breakdown, not the whole thing. It’s a guy breaking down in a critical time and not doing his job,” Studrawa said. “That’s the consistency that I’m talking about. That’s what bothers me. I want it to be more consistent.”
Ohio State sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson (34) lays the ball up in the first half of the game against Michigan State at the Big Ten tournament on Mar. 14 in Chicago. Ohio State lost 77-70. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor The Ohio State Men’s Basketball took on Michigan State in the third round of the Big Ten tournament on Mar. 15 at the United Center in Chicago. Ohio State lost 77-70. Photos by Casey Cascaldo
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 retired dentist’s yellow car was the cause of controversy for spoiling the view in BiburyCredit:SWNS Harmony has been restored to one of Britain’s most idyllic views after a pensioner got rid of his “eyesore” bright yellow car and replaced it with one in grey.Retired dentist Peter Maddox, 84, found himself at the centre of a furore when he parked his controversial Corsa outside his Cotswolds home. Mr Maddox has now replaced the car with another Corsa, but in a less vibrant grey colour, which blends into the background better.Mr Maddox, who moved to Bibury 15 years ago after his wife died, said: “It’s not as good as the yellow car, but it’s lovely to drive.”Hopefully I won’t have any trouble with it, although I never intended to cause a problem with the yellow one.” Photographers and tourists accused him of ruining the picture-postcard setting of medieval Arlington Row in Bibury, Gloucestershire, which is featured inside UK passports.Feelings ran so high that the car was written off by vandals who scrawled “Move” on the bonnet and caused £6,000 in damage. A vandal scrawled the word ‘move’ into Peter Maddox’s yellow CorsaCredit:SWNS Arlington Row was built in the 13th century and was a monastic wool store that was converted into weavers’ cottages in the 17th century.It is a major tourist attraction and the National Trust rents out one of the cottages for more than £900 per week during peak season.Mr Maddox’s problems began in 2015 when his Vauxhall Corsa became the subject of worldwide attention.In January, the car was vandalised, shocking villagers who described the crime as “disgusting”.
After the decision was made to proceed, Chloe became the first person in the world to be transferred between hospitals with her chest open while on a life-supporting extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine.With the 50cc total artificial heart successfully installed, doctors waited several weeks for the patient’s health to stabilise before transplanting a second donor heart.Parents Fabienne and Todd Narbonne are now campaigning to change the law on organ donation in England to an opt-out system, such as Wales adopted in 2015, where people must specifically refuse consent for their organs to be retrieved.Chloe said her experience had been “life-changing”.“I feel well, like my normal self, but not quite my normal self, not after what I’ve been through,” she told the Guardian.“I guess the artificial heart was my lifesaver.”Chloe was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy when she was four weeks old, a condition where the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood properly.At the age of 11 she had a stroke while waiting for a new heart, and was left close to death when her eventual transplant failed to work. Heart surgeon Andre Simon was forced to rebuild parts of her atrium, or upper chamber had been removed during the failed transplant.Mrs Narbonne said: “How they saved Chloe should be recognised for what it is: miracle.“Without the artificial heart she would be dead.” Without the artificial heart she would be deadFabienne Narbonne A 13-year-old girl has made history by becoming the first British child to receive an artificial heart.Chloe Narbonne, who was 12 at the time, had the device successfully installed during a nine-hour operation at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital after a transplant heart failed.At that point her parents and medical team had the choice of keeping the Worcester resident on life-support, maybe indefinitely, while waiting for a second transplant, or performing the “extremely risky” surgery. 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.
For decades traditional hymns such as Abide with Me and The Lord Is My Shepherd have been staples at British funerals. But their popularity is waning as more people opt instead for cheerier secular songs. A shift to more balanced ceremonies which involve celebration as well as mourning has driven an increase in pop songs and poems. Alison Crake, president of the National Association of Funeral Directors said that popular music was “certainly becoming more commonplace” at funerals. She said: “Funerals today are rapidly becoming as much a celebration of life as a farewell and are becoming increasingly personalised.” Research by insurer SunLife found that 45 per cent of ceremonies now do not include a hymn, and more than half of funeral directors have seen a decrease in religious services.Younger age groups are more likely to choose secular music, with just 12 per cent of those aged 50 to 54 choosing a hymn, compared to one in four over-65s.Sandra Millar, head of life events at the Church of England, said: “Perhaps people have a memory of a hymn that feels sad because they have previously sung it at a sad event. “Because people are also less used to singing nowadays they might also be more likely to have a recording.”The popularity of church funerals has declined because of the introduction of secular celebrants who can lead non-religious ceremonies. Just over one in three funerals now take place in the Church of England.Ms Millar suggested that this could be another reason behind the decline of hymns. There is no compulsion to have hymns at a church funeral but she said it was relatively rare to have a church ceremony with no hymns at all. Ceremonies which take place in crematoriums also tend to have limited time slots, reducing the time available to sing hymns. 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 research also found that 80 per cent of funeral directors have seen an increase in “celebration of life” services, which can include live bands, firework displays and balloon releases. But Ms Millar cautioned that mourners’ secular music choice was not always appropriate for church.”I sometimes say ‘maybe that would be more suitable for the reception'”, she said. “Sometimes when you listen to a song all the way through you realise that it has quite an odd message – you have to make sure it’s appropriate for the venue,” she said.
Had you begun to shoot I have no doubt that serious injury and death who have resulted and it is impossible for me to predict how many might have been hit.Judge Andrew Lockhart QC He told call-handlers he felt “white hot anger” and intended to harm “anyone” before adding: “I don’t know why I have it, I just had to get it out.”The boy pleaded guilty to possessing the shotgun and the cartridges with intent to endanger life in June and was sentenced today to a six year detention order. A teenage boy was “moments away” from carrying out a high school massacre after going to class with a shotgun, knife, balaclava and 200 rounds of ammunition, a court has heard.The “polite, model student” armed himself with the intent of carrying out “a shooting that would have taken a dreadful place in the history of truly wicked crimes” committed in Britain – but had a last minute “change of heart”, Warwick Justice Centre was told.The boy, who cannot be named, took the double-barrelled shotgun and 200 cartridges from his dad’s cabinet as well as a knife, balaclava and ear defenders.He then spent his first lesson with the firearm concealed in his trousers at Higham Lane School, in Nuneaton, Warwickshire before excusing himself from class and going to a side room. As he was putting on ear protectors in preparation of his massacre he suddenly saw sense and phoned 999. Upon hearing his fate, the boy’s mum burst into tears, while he sat emotionless in the glass-panelled dock.Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told the youngster: “You have lived a good life and it is plain to me that this event was outside the character that you have exhibited for your whole life.”You had led a good and productive life up until this point, being a model son and pupil.”You had been suffering social anxiety disorder and severe depression, and had often felt yourself to be angry or hopeless.”Very sadly you had not shared that with your parents or anyone else, which doubt contributed to the condition worsening.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A moment in time separates the pupils and staff of this school from being the subject of a terrible eventJudge Andrew Lockhart QC Prosecutor Nigel Stelling said: “In a report given to the court, the deputy head of the school said he was regarded as a polite, model student.”Up to the morning of June 13 neither his parents nor anyone at the school were aware of any significant difficulties.” He added: “Had you begun to shoot I have no doubt that serious injury and death who have resulted and it is impossible for me to predict how many might have been hit.”Once an incident of shooting begins it is impossible to predict how it will end.”The consequences of what might have occurred had you carried your plan into effect are too awful to contemplate.”The event was, on your own admissions made at the time, just moments away.”A moment in time separates the pupils and staff of this school from being the subject of a terrible event and a shooting that would have taken a dreadful place in the history of truly wicked crimes committed in this country.”
Scavenge through your local boot sale, check your grandma’s loft and clear out the garden shed because the hunt is on to find the missing watercolours of one of England’s most celebrated painters. The catalogue is set to be published in 2019 by The Hedingham Press. Ravilious, now one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century, is believed to have died after he went missing whilst flying with the RAF in a search-and-rescue… Although 250 pieces of his work are known, it is estimated that a further 40 have yet to be found, some of which could be worth up to £250,000. An appeal has been launched to find 40 watercolours by Eric Ravilious as archivists hope to create a complete catalogue raisonné.
Peregrine Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire, and his wife Amanda A special exhibition, called Chatsworth Renewed, will pay tribute to men like Mr Taylor, Mr Wright and Mr Walker, and the the craftsmanship that helped transforms raw materials into the jewel that is Chatsworth House today. The home’s Belvedere turrets and vast tracts of lead on the roof have also been repaired and restored, along with wood panelling, tapestries and flooring ahead of its re-opening on March 24.It was during this process that workmen discovered a plank in the South Sketch Gallery on which were carved, beneath layers of wallpaper, the names of three of the building’s original craftsmen, along with an account of the political battles of the day and their thoughts on the controversial Corn Laws, blamed by many for keeping the price of bread artificially high on behalf of the country’s landed gentry. One of the restored Mortlake Tapestries from the 1630s, based on Raphael’s cartoons of Acts of the Apostles On the plank Mr John Taylor of Over Hodder, Mr Thomas Wright of Beeley and S Walker of Pilsley, carved the words:“Chatsworth August 26th 1841. Parliament met on the 19th The Queen Victoria would not honour the Tories with her presence. The weather is very unfavourable for the harvest. Flour is 3/6 per stone. Joiner’s wages are 24s to 27 per week. Labourer’s wages 12s. Parliament was dissolved this summer on account of the Whigs bringing forward a measure to appeal the present system of the Corn Laws. The election is over. The Tories the majority. Trade is very dull. Many out of employ and starving.”They end with an impassioned cry:“This winter will be a severe one. So down with the Tory rascals.”Another joiner, writing on the same plank some 40 years later about the 8th Duke, who was at that time leader of the Liberal Party, says:“God bless the Duke of Devonshire, the most liberal nobleman in the kingdom – he is now in his 51st year. May he live for ever for the sake of poor people.”Adam Clarke and Luke Thomas, the joiners who discovered the plank, have added their own inscription. The current, 12th Duke of Devonshire said: “The level of forensic research, expertise and craftsmanship applied by so many people has been absolutely inspiring. It has always been a thrilling moment to see the house come into view as you drive across the park and now that view has been made even more magical. With the years of blackened grime now removed from the stone, it looks truly magnificent.” Visitors will be able to have a go at weaving, feel the materials used in the house, including stone, wood, metals and wool; and examine part of the network of pipes and conduits that run behind the walls and underneath the floors.The restoration programme has involved most of the leading British conservation studios over the past decade.Although damaged by pollution in the 19th and 20th centuries, the extremely rare 54sq m Mortlake Tapestries from the 1630s, based on Raphael’s cartoons of Acts of the Apostles, have undergone significant cleaning and repair and will be hung together in the State Drawing Room. 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. Visitors will be able to hear the stories of the skilled people involved in the project Credit:Simon Watkinson It is the epitome of the British stately home, built to house and entertain the Devonshire family and their aristocratic friends over the centuries.But hidden within Chatsworth House’s resplendent interiors is a series of poignant messages, carved into the woodwork by the very men who built her, protesting at the bitter hardships endured by them and their familiesThe radical messages were only discovered some 170 years on, as part of a thorough 10-year repair programme which has seen the 17th century building stripped back to its bare walls, before being painstakingly restored at a cost of £32m.Weather damage and industrial pollution over hundreds of years meant cleaning and replacingmuch of the exterior stonework, with new stone brought in from the reopened quarry that provided the materials for the building of the North Wing in the 1820s by the 6th Duke of Devonshire.
The NUS has become embroiled in a row after it abolished the women’s toilets at a trans conference. Its Trans Steering group account provoked outrage when it tweeted that the women’s toilets at the conference in Manchester had been turned into gender neutral facilities – while a men’s toilet was left unchanged. The annual Trans Students Conference, at a Holiday Inn in Manchester, ran for two days and ends today. According to the group the facilities include “a disabled toilet with a gender neutral sign, gender neutral toilets (formerly women’s toilets), another disabled toilet and men’s”. The pronouncement sparked debate online with critics saying that the change discriminated against women. Actress Jane Slavin, who has appeared in Lewis, Coronation Street and Casualty, said there were “few enough women’s toilets as it is”. “Even if you disregard the safe space we need more loos because of biology. We are half the human race,” she said.Producer and writer Tracy King said: “You made the women’s toilets gender neutral but not the men’s? I doubt that’s legal given your obligation to not give men something you don’t also provide for women.”The Trans Steering Group responded by saying: “We weren’t able to make all the toilets gender neutral due to some stipulations by the venue.” 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. It added: “We didn’t get to choose which toilets it happened to. We wanted to make both sets of gendered toilets gender neutral, but the venue did not allow it.” Delegates have debated topics including “transmisogyny and the gender recognition act” and “non-binary inclusivity”, as well as hearing presentations about drug use at university and handing out awards for campaigns and activism. A spokeswoman for the NUS said that since the Twitter account was not an official channel it was unable to provide comment. A spokeswoman for the hotel said that on the conference floor only the disabled toilets had been made gender-neutral. “For this conference we worked closely with the organisers and arranged for gender neutral toilet facilities to be provided.”The organisers did not have sole use of the meeting space – and given a number of other meetings going on, we have both gender specific and gender neutral facilities available.”We do our upmost to accommodate the needs of all our guests, and over the course of the conference we have provided an additional set of gender neutral toilets,” she said.
LAC Maddison was planning to use the small fee to buy an engagement ring for his girlfriend, Mary Pyle. An hour later he died in agony. It was 1953, and the 20-year-old had been tempted by an advert promising volunteers for tests at the government’s secretive chemical laboratory 15 shillings and an assurance no harm would come to them. His sudden… Drops of the nerve agent Sarin had been dripped onto his arm through two layers of cloth but had absorbed through his skin much faster than the scientists had expected. When Leading Aircraftman Ronald Maddison walked into the sealed gas chamber at Porton Down, his family believe he thought he was taking part in an experiment to cure the common cold.
ITV have cancelled a documentary about Fred and Rose West “for legal reasons” just hours before it was due to air.The programme was set to feature Sir Trevor McDonald bringing a new perspective on the brutal murders which horrified the nation.People at the heart of the shocking events in Gloucester were set to speak for the first time about the couple on Fred & Rose West The Real Story with Trevor McDonald.ITV pulled the show just hours before it was due to air, citing legal reasons for the change of schedule. It was replaced by an episode of Trevor McDonald’s Death Row.A spokeswoman for ITV said: “Broadcast has been postponed for legal reasons and the film will be scheduled for a later date.” The broadcaster would not give further details about the reasons for pulling the show, which was to suggest that Rose West was as violent as her murderous husband.Fred met Rose when she was 15 and he 27. The pair’s Gloucester home became the site of rape, murder and child abuse in a string of crimes to which Fred West confessed in 1994, before killing himself the following year. Tonight’s advertised documentary has been postponed for legal reasons and the film will be scheduled for a later date. Instead another chance to watch Death Row with Trevor McDonald.— ITV (@ITV) January 31, 2019 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.
But Mr Justice Mostyn ruled she cannot go beyond her husband’s will – which provided her with £435,000 in the first year after he died and now a regular monthly payout from the trust funds, amounting to around £240,000 a year (£20,000 a month).Mr Cowan set aside £1million to support his children, stepchildren and grandchildren, but made Mary Jane the ‘principle beneficiary’ of one of the funds for her lifetime.Her barrister, Penelope Reed QC, had argued that the tycoon did not make ‘reasonable provision’ for her from his estate, because she has been left ‘very little by way of assets in her own name’.Giving his ruling, Justice Mostyn said: “The argument of Miss Reed QC is that because Mary Jane does not have outright ownership of the assets and therefore absolute control of them, she is – as she put it – ‘at the mercy of the trustees’, who could cut her adrift with no access to money at all,’ he said.”I have to say that I completely disagree…”I have to make the…assessment as to whether the trustees will honour Michael’s wishes and ensure that every reasonable need of Mary Jane is met until her death.” 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 widow of a ‘genius’ black bin liner tycoon has lost a landmark court fight to gain total control of his £16million fortune, after a judge ruled her £20,000 a month income was ‘generous’.Michael Cowan, who died from a brain tumour aged 78 in April 2016, built up his wealth from humble beginnings – making his fortune by introducing the humble black bin-bag into British households as an everyday item – at one point selling 200 million a year.But In his final few months he married his lover of 25 years, Mary Jane Cowan, who became his second wife.Mr Cowan, who was ‘devoted to’ Mary Jane, left her with hundreds of thousands of pounds in ready cash and also used his will to set up a structure of ‘generous’ trust funds, ‘designed to meet her every reasonable need for the rest of her life’.But his 77-year-old widow was not happy with the arrangement and this week brought a groundbreaking bid to persuade the High Court to grant her ‘outright control’ of her late husband’s millions.Her case was effectively a bid to establish a right for wives to have direct control over their husbands’ riches after death, the High Court heard. Dismissing the widow’s claim, the judge added that if the trustees took the path of denying her money for her reasonable needs, they would be liable to be sued by her for breach of trust.Mr Cowan grew his successful plastics company, Hanmere Polythene Ltd, until he was a multimillionaire with a country estate in Hertfordshire, a pad in the Caribbean and homes in Santa Barbara, California, and London.His divorce from his first, Jacqueline, in 2001, hit the news when they fought in the Appeal Court over money. Jaqueline had been awarded a £3.1million slice of his then £12million fortune but this was upped to £4.4million.
A judge has allowed three criminals who seriously injured a man over an unpaid debt to walk free from court, saying their punishment had been waiting almost three years to have their case heard.Abul Azad, 49, Shahedul Bhuyia, 53, and Abul Hannan, 41, were convicted of causing grievous bodily harm to Azad’s former employee Abdul Basit in December 2016.Azad, who owns an Indian takeaway in Plymouth, travelled with his accomplices to Truro to recover a £1,000 debt from Basit, who used to work for him as a chef. During the confrontation they viciously attacked Basit, leaving him with a broken jaw.Judge Simon Carr, sitting at Truro Crown Court, said the offence was certainly serious enough to send the men to prison, but the “very real effect” of having a criminal charge “hanging over” them for two years and nine months was sufficient to teach them a lesson.He said the legal system in England and Wales was “beyond the point of collapse” and that the delay was a “disgrace”.”It’s that punishment that allows me to suspend what would have been immediate custodial sentences,” the judge said.”It’s evidence of a system having gone beyond the point of collapse that a straightforward case takes so long to go before a court.” 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. “He was then spat on again, punched and kicked before the three defendants left.” More than half of all magistrates courts in England and Wales have closed since 2010, making it very difficult for cases to be dealt with quickly and putting the system under increasing strain.Detective Sergeant Mark Jenkin, the officer in charge of the case, admitted outside court following the sentencing hearing that there were delays in getting cases to the Crown Prosecution Service and therefore delays in getting cases to court.Azad and Bhuyia, both of Wolseley Road, Plymouth, and Hannan, of Morshead Road, also in Plymouth, were each given a 15-month prison sentence suspended for two years.They must also carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.Prosecutor Hollie Gilbery previously told the court: “The victim is a man named Abdul Basit and in the early hours of December 16, 2016, three gentlemen, the three defendants, went into his room and assaulted him, leaving him with a broken jaw among other injuries.“Mr Basit is a chef and used to work for Mr Azad at his restaurant in Plymouth. Their professional relationship broke down and Mr Basit moved on.“Mr Azad said that Mr Basit took money from him, both stolen and borrowed.”The three defendants walked in and Mr Basit was spat on, told to hand over money and told if he didn’t he would be beaten up and his daughter who was living in Plymouth would be kidnapped.