5 August 2011 Within five hours of its launch, South Africa’s new high-speed rail service between Pretoria and Johannesburg had attracted more than 7 000 commuters. The figure was considered groundbreaking for a public train established to reduce traffic between the province’s two economic hubs. After a few delays, the important city-to-city route was finally opened on 2 August. The first train, which left Hatfield in Pretoria at 5.26am for the Johannesburg suburb of Rosebank, ferried hundreds of commuters to work. According to Gautrain management, the train had accommodated 2 000 passengers by 7.00am, and just two hours later had added another 5 000 to that number. Gauteng Transport and Roads MEC Ismail Vadi was one of the first passengers. “Within 37 minutes from Hatfield we were in Rosebank,” he said, referring to a trip that could take up to two hours or more in peak traffic. Vadi added that he found the much-anticipated ride to be “smooth, fast, comfortable and safe”. At its maximum allowed speed of 160km per hour, it’s the fastest mode of transport in South Africa beside air travel. Commuter Mphengoa Phoko started using the train on its launch day. She used to drive daily from Pretoria to her workplace in Johannesburg, but said she will ride the Gautrain from now on. “It’s convenient and less stressful,” Phoko said, responding to a question from her seat. “After a long day at work I won’t have to concentrate on driving.” The Gautrain route between Sandton and OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, which was launched just before the 2010 Fifa World Cup, has already ferried approximately three-million commuters in little more than a year. The Pretoria-Johannesburg route is expected to surpass that figure before the end of 2011, as it attracts thousands of people who commute to work daily. “Gautrain is the future for public transport in South Africa,” said transport minister S’bu Ndebele, hinting that in future the government may look at introducing such high-speed trains elsewhere. The much shorter route between Rosebank and the Johannesburg CBD is expected to go live later in 2011 after completion of outstanding work, bringing on board thousands of new passengers. Gautrain offers a reliable alternative for motorists who were previously not comfortable with the country’s public transport. “Leave your car at home; you can use it over weekend,” Ndebele said.Years of hard work The Gauteng provincial government, then led by former premier Mbhazima Shilowa, launched plans for a rapid rail system in 2004. “We travelled the length and breadth of the world, looking for technology,” recalled MEC Qedani Mahlangu. She said they inspected train stations in densely populated areas like London and Paris, and also visited countries like Spain and Switzerland to gain insight into rapid rail systems. The Bombela Consortium, which comprises international groups Bombardier and Bouygues Travaux Publics, as well as South African civil contractor Murray & Roberts and the Strategic Partners Group, became a private sector partner to Gauteng’s provincial government in 2005. Gautrain CEO Jack van der Merwe told journalists the government’s resolution to complete the project was commendable. “You can’t tackle a project like this without political support, you’ve got to have it,” he said. Up to 8 000 people worked on Gautrain during its construction phase. Mahlangu said the consortium also recruited South Africans who had left the country.Focus on infrastructure Now that Gautrain construction is almost complete, the government can focus on other public rail projects. It is to spend R30.2-billion (US$4.5-billion) over the next three years to improve services of the Metrorail trains, which transport millions of South Africans staying in townships around Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces daily. Ndebele said the government’s plan to upgrade metro trains too is so that “you don’t have a Gautrain that’s comfortable and fast, but have a Metrorail that’s pedestrian”. Another critical project is the Moloto Rail Corridor in Mpumalanga province, which would see Metrorail trains transporting thousands of Mpumalanga residents who work in Pretoria. Ndebele’s department is still conducting feasibility studies on the much-needed project, which was first mooted by former president Thabo Mbeki some years ago. The government spends millions of rands each year on subsidies for private company buses for Moloto commuters. “Already we’re paying. We have to ask if that is the most effective way of using taxpayers’ money,” Ndebele said. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.
Normal life in Kashmir was affected on Saturday due to a strike called by separatists to mark the sixth death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged on this day in 2013.Shops and other business establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads due to the shutdown called by the separatists, officials said.Separatists Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), consisting of both factions of Hurriyat Conference and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), called for a shutdown to press for their demand that Afzal Guru’s mortal remains be returned for burial in Kashmir.Authorities have placed Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and several other separatist leaders under house arrest to prevent them from holding any protest marches, the officials said. Security personnel have been deployed in strength at vulnerable places across the valley for maintaining law and order, they said.Afzal Guru was hanged and buried inside New Delhi’s Tihar jail on February 9, 2013.
Bringing some relief to the parched Marathwada region, eight sluice gates of the Jayakwadi dam have been opened to discharge water thanks to heavy rain in north Maharashtra.The current discharge of around 4,500 cusecs from the dam has been prompted due to incessant showers in Nashik district and other parts of north Maharashtra, causing the Godavari river to swell and fill up the dams there. The release of water from these upstream dams has in turn led to the accumulation of more than 2 lakh cusecs in Jayakwadi’s Nath Sagar reservoir.Authorities said the discharge from Jayakwadi was prompted after the dam filled up to 92% of its live storage capacity. At the same time last year, the dam had barely 28% of its live storage capacity.While Nashik and Nandurbar in the north and Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur and Pune in western Maharashtra have been reeling under the onslaught of excess rain, the eight districts of Marathwada continue to remain arid despite two months of the monsoon season drawing to a close.Jayakwadi dam is the chief water source for industries in Marathwada, mainly in Aurangabad. The water discharge is expected to benefit areas in at least four districts in the region — Aurangabad, Beed, Jalna and Parbhani — and help resolve the water situation in talukas near the Godavari river bank.This is the first time in two years that the dam’s storage capacity has exceeded 90%.Till Thursday, authorities were releasing 1,200 cusecs of water from the Paithan left bank canal, 900 cusecs from the right bank canal, and 1,589 cusecs from the hydropower project towards the Apegaon and Hiradpuri barrages.The eight districts of Marathwada have collectively received over 75% of the average rainfall till now, with the region as a whole facing a rainfall deficit of more than 20%. Acute potable water scarcity still prevails in several villages, which continue to be supplied by tankers.
E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses LATEST STORIES View comments WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Playing like their campaigns were on the line, Arellano and Perpetual Help hacked out thrilling overtime victories over higher-ranked foes last Thursday to muddle up the Final Four race of NCAA Season 93 at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Caron Butler remains close to the game even after a year out of the NBA MOST READ Nicholls finished with only five points but his triple could just be the shot that might save the Chiefs’ season after they improved their record to 4-6 in a tie for seventh spot with the Altas.“It’s a special skill, making that shot,” Codiñera said of Nicholls.Kent Salado also made an impact with 17 points, seven assists and three rebounds for Arellano, which put to waste JRU gunner Tey Teodoro’s 30-point explosion.The Altas looked like a rejuvenated crew as they rolled past the Knights in the extra period. Quiet for majority of the first round, Dagangon came alive with 21 points to match teammate Prince Eze’s output. Eze, the MVP race leader, also grabbed 19 rebounds.Perpetual also got solid games from GJ Ylagan, AJ Coronel and Kieth Pido, who combined for 37 points. But it was Dagangon who made the biggest shots, hitting two straight baskets for an 82-77 advantage.Coronel and Eze sealed the win with free throws after the Knights came within 82-85 with 25 seconds left.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Getting a timely explosion from Gab Dagangon, the Altas turned back the Letran Knights, 88-82, in overtime to move within a game off the Top Four.Not to be outdone, the Chiefs also played with a sense of urgency to overcome the Jose Rizal Heavy Bombers, 115-109, in double overtime.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 shutoutZach Nicholls nailed a desperation trey to send the game into a second overtime before Allen Enriquez, Kraniel Victoria and Archie Concepcion finished off the fading Bombers, who remained in third spot despite falling to 6-4.“I guess it was the stops that made it,” said coach Jerry Codiñera. “Other than that prayer shot of Zach, we were really down. But we were able to regroup and we got energy from our bench.” Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC NCAA Season 93 Preview: Perpetual Help Altas PLAY LIST 03:32NCAA Season 93 Preview: Perpetual Help Altas03:06‘Pamana’: Mausoleum caretaker cherishes humble work for family02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9301:37Protesters 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 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “The team just showed a lot of heart,” said Perpetual coach Jimwell Gican. “We knew we still have a chance of making the Final Four.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea No2 Zola: Ampadu has very important future hereby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea No2 Gianfranco Zola admits they’re delighted with the progress of Ethan Ampadu.Ahead of facing FA Cup opponents Nottingham Forest today, Zola discussed the teen.Ampadu committed his future to Stamford Bridge in September with a new five-year deal and assistant manager Zola stated he is highly rated at the club.The Blues legend said: “Ampadu is… when we spoke about Ampadu, me and a lot of staff, everybody shares the same opinion: he’s going to become an important player for this club.”He has intelligence, he has attitude. He has all the, in my opinion, qualities to become a top player. As a staff we value him a lot and when there is an opportunity he will get time.”
Anderson Packers–19491562 ELOEQUIVALENT RECORDTEAM DESCRIPTION Baltimore Bullets–19471419 Fort Wayne PistonsDetroit Pistons19481495 120015-67Historically awful 150041-41Average Sheboygan Red Skins–19491405 There are just a few NBA-specific parameters to set, which we’ll describe below.The K-factorElo’s K-factor determines how quickly the rating reacts to new game results. It should be set so as to efficiently account for new data but not overreact to it. (In a more technical sense, the goal is to minimize autocorrelation.) If K is set too high, the ratings will jump around too much; if it’s set too low, Elo will take too long to recognize important changes in team quality.We found the optimal K for the NBA to be 20. This is higher than we expected; it’s in the same range as the K used for NFL and international soccer Elo ratings even though the NBA plays far more games than those sports. It’s much higher than the optimal K for baseball. It implies that you ought to give relatively high weight to an NBA team’s recent performance.One way to interpret this is that NBA data is subject to relatively little randomness. This makes it different from sports like baseball and hockey, whose game-by-game results are pretty noisy; in those sports, your default assumption should be that a winning or losing streak is mostly luck. That isn’t so true for basketball. Streaks may reflect true, if perhaps temporary, changes in team quality. When the Atlanta Hawks went on a 19-game winning streak this season, for instance, they were undoubtedly getting a little lucky, but they were probably tougher to beat than at other points in the season.There are still some cases in which Elo seems too slow to catch up to reality, like when Michael Jordan left the Bulls or LeBron James left the Cavs. But remember: Elo is only looking at game scores and not the composition of the roster. If that’s all the information you have, setting Elo to react more quickly to these cases would make it overreact to others. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Elo rating never dipped below 1508 this year despite its 3-12 start, for instance, and that proved to be prudent since the team went 42-25 the rest of the way and ended the year with an Elo rating of 1583.Home-Court AdvantageHome-court advantage is set as equivalent to 100 Elo rating points. One hundred Elo points is equivalent to about 3.5 NBA points,1As for our NFL Elo ratings, it’s possible to translate NBA Elo ratings into point spreads. Here’s the formula: Take the difference of the two teams’ Elo ratings, add 100 points for the home team and then divide by 28. That gives you a projected margin of victory for the game. For instance, in Game 1 of the 2013-14 NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs had a 92-point Elo advantage over the Miami Heat, as well as home court, for an overall advantage of 192 Elo points. Dividing that by 28 would make San Antonio roughly 7-point favorites in the game. so that’s like saying the home team would be favored by 3 or 4 points if the teams were otherwise evenly matched.In practice, the magnitude of home-court advantage has waxed and waned over the NBA’s history. Home teams won by an average of 5.8 points in the 1987-88 regular season, for instance, but by just 2.4 points in the past season. And some teams (especially those like Denver and Utah that play at high altitudes) have historically had slightly larger home-court advantages.Still, the spirit of the Elo system is to keep things simple. We experimented with a dynamic home-court advantage rating that changes over time, but we found that it made almost no difference to the overall ratings, partly because each NBA team plays about half its games at home and half on the road. So we’re using the constant 100-point home-court advantage instead.Margin of VictoryElo strikes a nice balance between ratings systems that account for margin of victory and those that don’t. While teams always gain Elo points after wins and lose Elo points after losses, they gain or lose more with larger margins of victory.This works by assigning a multiplier to each game based on the final score and dividing it by a team’s projected margin of victory conditional upon having won the game. For instance, the Warriors’ 4-point margin over the Rockets in Game 1 of this year’s Western Conference finals was lower than Elo would expect for a Warriors win. So the Warriors gain Elo points, but not as many as if they’d won by a larger margin. The formula accounts for diminishing returns; going from a 5-point win to a 10-point win matters more than going from a 25-point win to a 30-point win. For the exact formula, see the footnotes.2The margin of victory multiplier is calculated as follows.Take a team’s margin of victory, add 3 points and then take the result to the power of 0.8.Divide the result by the following formula: 7.5+.006*(elo_diff), where elo_diff represents the Elo rating difference between the teams, accounting for home-court advantage. Elo_diff should be negative in games won by the underdog.For instance, in Game 1 of the Warriors-Rockets series, the Warriors entered the game with a an Elo rating 118 points higher than the Rockets’ and had home-court advantage, for an elo_diff of +218. They wound up winning the game by 4 points. Thus, their margin of victory multiplier is calculated as follows:What if the Rockets had won by 4 points instead? Since they were underdogs, they’d get a larger multiplier:While this formula may seem clunky, it accounts for the fact that favorites tend to win games by larger margins than they lose them. Failing to correct for this will introduce autocorrelation into the system and make the ratings less stable. See here for further discussion.Year-to-Year Carry-OverInstead of resetting each team’s rating when a new season begins, Elo carries over a portion of a team’s rating from one season to the next. In our NFL Elo ratings, teams retain two-thirds of their rating from the end of the previous season. In our NBA ratings, by contrast, they keep three-quarters of it. The higher fraction reflects the fact that NBA teams are more consistent from year to year than NFL squads.For example, the Miami Heat ended the 2012-13 NBA season with an Elo rating of 1754. The team’s Elo rating for the start of the 2013-14 season is calculated as follows:(.75 * 1754) + (.25 * 1505) = 1692Detail-oriented readers may see something that seems amiss here. Each team’s Elo rating is reverted to the mean, and — as we’ve said — the long-term mean Elo rating is 1500. So why does a slightly different number, 1505, appear in the formula?Expansion, Contraction and MergersThe reason has to do with the way we handle expansion teams. In principle, the implementation of this is pretty simple. Each franchise begins with an Elo rating of 1300 in its inaugural professional season. The reason we revert to a mean of 1505 rather than 1500 is that there are liable to be a couple of relatively recent expansion teams in the league at any given time. Giving established teams a rating very slightly higher than 1500 counteracts the expansion teams and keeps the league average Elo close to 1500 over the long run.But the league average Elo rating will be slightly different from 1500 in any given season, depending on how recently the league has expanded. It was 1504.5 during the 2014-15 NBA season, for instance, slightly higher than the long-term average because the NBA hasn’t expanded much recently.The league average tended to fluctuate more in the early years of the NBA because of constant expansion, contraction and mergers with other leagues. (We’ve learned way more than we wanted to know about the early history of American professional basketball, like that you could have once watched a game between teams named the Indianapolis Kautskys and the Akron Firestone Non-Skids.) The league average reached a peak of 1534.5 in 1954-55 after a number of losing teams had disbanded. By contrast, it was just 1440.5 in the 1970-71 season after the NBA expanded rapidly.There’s one other tricky part. We said a team begins with a rating of 1300 in its first professional season. That doesn’t mean its first NBA season. Instead, teams get credit for their performance in predecessor leagues that merged with the NBA:The Basketball Association of America (BAA), which began play in 1946-47, is usually considered the official predecessor of the NBA. So we track all BAA teams’ Elo ratings explicitly, starting them at 1300 in 1946-47.We also track American Basketball Association (ABA) Elo ratings explicitly — yes, that includes The Floridians! — starting them at a rating of 1300 in the ABA’s inaugural season of 1967-68. The year-end adjustment takes care of the rest, allowing the ABA’s performance to gradually improve over time. The four ABA teams that joined the NBA in 1976-77 simply carry over their ratings from ABA. Because these teams — the Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and New York Nets — had been among the more successful ABA franchises, Elo ratings imply that the merger with the ABA did not weaken the NBA much. The four ABA imports averaged a respectable 40-42 record in their first three NBA seasons, in fact.The National Basketball League (NBL) was a competing professional basketball league that began play in 1937-38 and included colorfully named franchises like the Non-Skids. It merged into the BAA in advance of the 1949-50 season, at which point the combined league was renamed the NBA. In fact, most of the better franchises in the early days of the NBA originated in the NBL rather than the BAA, including the Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals and Fort Wayne Pistons. While we could not track down game-by-game results for the NBL, we inferred Elo ratings for NBL teams based on the season standings and playoff results, and these ratings carry over when teams enter the NBA. For instance, the Syracuse Nationals (now the Philadelphia 76ers) begin with a rating of 1458 in their first NBA season in 1949-50.Finally, one early NBA team, the Baltimore Bullets, originated in a third early league, the American Basketball League (ABL). Confusingly, that original version of the Baltimore Bullets bears no relationship with the team that would later play as the Baltimore Bullets from 1963 to 1973 (and which is now known as the Washington Wizards). However, Elo gives the original Baltimore Bullets credit for the seasons they played in the ABL.3Since data on the ABL is very hard to come by, the Bullets’ initial rating is simply calculated by starting them with a rating of 1300 and then reverting them toward the mean of 1505 for each season they played in that league. You can find the starting Elo ratings for the Bullets and NBL teams below: 180067-15All-time great 130022-60LOL 140031-51In the lottery Rochester RoyalsSacramento Kings19481535 Minneapolis LakersLos Angeles Lakers19481527 Waterloo Hawks–19491382 Tri-Cities BlackhawksAtlanta Hawks19491430 Teams retain their prior Elo ratings when they change cities or nicknames. This includes the teams now known as the New Orleans Pelicans and Charlotte Hornets. The NBA, in a bit of revisionist history, considers the current Charlotte Hornets (who were known as the Charlotte Bobcats until this season) to “own” the statistics of the team that played as the Charlotte Hornets from 1988-89 through 2001-02, before they moved to New Orleans. We instead link those Hornets seasons with the New Orleans Hornets, who are now the New Orleans Pelicans. Denver Nuggets–19491295 Syracuse NationalsPhiladelphia 76ers19491458 160051-31Playoff bound Hopefully if you’re reading this, you’ve had a chance to explore our new interactive graphic, “The Complete History Of The NBA,” which tracks each NBA and ABA franchise’s performance through every game of its history.So now for the exciting part: 2,000 words about autocorrelation and the Akron Firestone Non-Skids.Actually, this won’t be too bad because Elo is a pretty simple formula. The guts of the system are the same as we used for the NFL and which other researchers have applied to competitions ranging from chess to soccer. For those new to Elo, here are its essential features:The ratings depend only on the final score of each game and where it was played (home-court advantage). They include both regular-season and playoff games. The principal source for game-by-game scores is Basketball-Reference.com.Teams always gain Elo points after winning games and lose ground after losing them. They gain more points for upset wins and for winning by wider margins.The system is zero-sum. When the Denver Nuggets gained 30 Elo points by upsetting the No. 1 seed Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the 1994 NBA playoffs, the Sonics lost 30 points.Ratings are established on a game-by-game rather than a season-by-season basis. So you can see changes in a team’s “form” over the course of the year: The Toronto Raptors had a much higher rating early in the 2014-15 season than at the end of it, while the reverse has been true for the Cleveland Cavaliers.The long-term average Elo rating is 1500, although it can vary slightly in any particular year based on how recently the league has expanded (more about that below). More than 90 percent of team ratings are between 1300 (pretty awful) and 1700 (really good), but historically great or truly execrable teams can fall outside that range: Indianapolis Jets–19481366 170060-22Title contender NBL/ABL TEAMCURRENT FRANCHISEFIRST YEAR IN NBA/BAASTARTING ELO
Former Charlotte head coach Alan Major, right, hired by Ohio State. Courtesy: TNSAfter three seasons of not meeting expectations, it appears Ohio State coach Thad Matta is bringing back another member of his staff that brought him some of his best teams.Alan Major is returning to Matta’s staff for the 2016 season, but this time in a new role. The team said he will serve the role of director of recruiting and player development.Major has spent plenty of time working under Matta. He was an assistant coach to Matta at Xavier University from 2001 to 2004 and went on to OSU to coach under Matta again. From 2004 to 2010, Major helped to recruit and develop big men. He left after the 2010 season to serve as the head coach of UNC-Charlotte for five seasons where he accumulated a career record of 67-70 before leaving the team due to health issues during the 2014-2015 season.Prior to his time with Matta, Major served as an assistant coach at Cal Lutheran from 1992-95, Pacific from 1995-98, Southern Illinois from 1998-99 and Pacific again from 1999-2000.“Alan has many skills and talents above and beyond those he’s utilized as a coach over the years,” Matta said in an email. “I want him to help us develop a complete and well-rounded student-athlete. Alan is the perfect fit for this position.”Major is no stranger to developing players. In his vast college basketball career spanning 23 years serving as either assistant coach or head coach, he has coached such players as former OSU first round NBA selections Greg Oden, Mike Conley and Evan Turner as well as former Xavier star and first rounder David West and Pacific No. 1 overall selection Michael Olowokandi. Nearly everywhere he has gone, Major has found success. While Major worked with Matta both at Xavier and OSU, he contributed to a 234-77 record in his nine years. He reached the NCAA a total of seven times, once at Xavier reaching the Final Four (2004) and once going as far as the national championship game (2007). In 2008, the pair won the National Invitation Tournament title.Along with Major, OSU announced that former manager and graduate assistant Kyle Davis has been promoted to the video coordinator position vacated after Jake Diebler left for an assistant coaching job at Vanderbilt.Davis served as recruiting coordinator for the summer until Major was hired. As a graduate assistant in 2015-16, Davis helped the coaching staff with coordinating recruiting visits and preparing nearly all video footage used for game preparation. This is his first coaching job.
Six years ago, the Ohio State Buckeyes were at the end of arguably their most disappointing season under coach Jim Tressel. Heading into the last week of the regular season, the Buckeyes were 6-4 and looking ahead to what would be the first non-January bowl game of the Tressel era. Then one game changed the outlook of not only the entire season, but also the entire OSU football program. On Nov. 20, 2004, the Buckeyes stunned the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines in Ohio Stadium behind 391 yards of total offense from quarterback Troy Smith. In one game, the Buckeyes went from a disappointing team that lacked an identity to a team with a quarterback of the future who provided them with just that. It was also the start of a streak of domination in the rivalry for the Buckeyes, who have won six straight contests against the Wolverines, outscoring them 181-101 in that stretch. Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez is hopeful that a win Saturday against the Buckeyes will provide a similar reversal of fortunes for the Wolverines. “It’d mean an awful lot, certainly for our fans and for our university, but more importantly for our seniors and our players because they haven’t had the chance to win that,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve got to perform better and get some wins to make us feel better and make our fans feel better.” In his first two seasons as Michigan’s coach, Rodriguez’s teams have lost 42-7 and 21-10 to the Buckeyes. This year’s Wolverine team is the most formidable — at least offensively — that Rodriguez will bring into “The Game.” Unlike Rodriguez’s first two seasons, Michigan’s offensive personnel now fit its spread scheme. The Wolverines have found success behind dual-threat quarterback Denard Robinson, an early-season Heisman candidate who fell out of contention because of injuries and a three-game losing streak in the middle of the season. Robinson has rushed for 1,538 yards and 14 touchdowns and has thrown for 2,229 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, leading the Wolverines to a 7-4 record that will land them in their first bowl game under Rodriguez. Tressel said Robinson’s ability to both run and throw the ball makes him difficult to prepare for. “It’s impossible to simulate him because there’s no one like him,” Tressel said. “It’s a tremendous challenge because it gives you all of the problems that a Wildcat offense gives you with a great running back back there. But along with it, it has all of the passing problems.” Robinson has played a critical role in Michigan’s offense, which is ranked 10th in the nation in rushing, with 257.4 yards per game, and 15th in the nation in points scored, with 36.8 points per game. Michigan’s defense has failed to find the same success that its offense has, as it is ranked 99th in the country in scoring, giving up 33.5 points per game. Despite the statistics, Robinson said he hasn’t lost confidence in his team’s defense. “I think our defense is one of the best defenses in the nation,” Robinson said. “I don’t care what nobody say. We play against them every day, and they help us get better.” Tressel agreed that the statistics don’t necessarily tell the tale of the Michigan defense. “They’ve given up too many big plays, but the thing I love about them is I see them flying around and I see a lot of young guys who aren’t young anymore,” Tressel said. The longest streak in the rivalry thus far came from 1901-1909, when the Wolverines got the better of the Buckeyes for nine straight years. A win on Saturday would move OSU two games away from matching that streak. “There’s been pressure every year. It’s something that comes with it,” OSU wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said. “Nobody wants to be the team that breaks the streak.” With a share of the Big Ten title and a potential sixth straight trip to a BCS bowl game still within grasp, the Buckeyes have more than just pride to play for. OSU defensive end Cameron Heyward said the Buckeyes understand the high stakes. “A lot. A share of the Big Ten title and our biggest rival,” Heyward said. “Michigan is always going to play their best against us. We wouldn’t have it any other way to go out against a quality opponent. It’ll be a rough one, but we’re ready for it.” Regardless of bowl game implications, the Buckeyes remain focused on extending their winning streak over the Wolverines to a lucky No. 7. “The Ohio State-Michigan game is the focus,” Tressel said. “There are tons of by-products for everybody, but the single most one everyone knows that’s ever coached or played at Ohio State is that you’re defined by your Ohio State-Michigan games.”
Tyler Moeller still remembers No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan’s 2006 battle in Ohio Stadium. He said he never imagined his college memories would be the last of his football career. “I just can’t forget my freshman year – the excitement of winning the game and everyone storming the field and taking the grass of the field because we were going to turf the next year,” Moeller said. “Thousands of people holding up big chunks of grass over their head like they just conquered the world.” The possibility of an NFL career for the former OSU safety and linebacker was taken from him after he was allegedly attacked at a bar while with his family in St. Petersburg, Fla., on July 26, 2009. He suffered a fractured skull and a serious brain injury. “It was hard for Tyler. He is so high-strung, so if he wasn’t out there playing, he didn’t feel like he was a part of the team. So really it was as much as us trying to get Tyler back just to be around his friends,” OSU defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell told The Lantern. “By nature, if he’s not playing, he doesn’t feel comfortable. I think that was most difficult.” Moeller returned for the 2010 season, but his troubles did not end there. Moeller suffered a pectoral injury five games into the 2010 season after already missing nearly two seasons. Fickell said Moeller was physically behind but mentally ready to start playing again. “I think that was the biggest thing, to see if he really, truly was back, because sometimes when you’re not being yourself, coming off of injuries of different sorts, you’re vulnerable to more injuries because you’re not playing like you normally do, puts you in almost more harm,” Fickell said. Moeller came back during the 2011 season for the Buckeyes and accumulated a total of 44 tackles and one interception. After the season, Moeller began training for the NFL Draft, but he ultimately accepted a medical sales position with VWR International, a chemical and laboratory supplier headquartered in Radnor, Pa., four weeks into the process. “It was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make because one, so many injuries, first with the head injury then the chest, my body physically was just a wreck. It’s still a wreck now,” Moeller said. “I feel fine now, but I don’t want that to affect me in 10 or 20 years and have it come back to haunt me.” Dr. Paul Gubanich is a team physician for OSU Sports Medicine and an assistant clinical professor of internal medicine at OSU. Gubanich previously worked with professional football players as a member of the Cleveland Browns’ medical staff from 2004-2010. Gubanich cited head injuries that players receive during their careers as a continuing issue throughout their retirement. “Right now, people are having issues down the road, consequences decades later,” Gubanich said. “There is evidence with athletes who have three or more concussions are likely to become depressed or suffer other cognitive problems. And there are retired NFL players that are looking at mental health diseases after playing.” Moeller said many wanted him to continue playing, but he knew it wasn’t what was best for his body. “It was junior year of high school, I knew I wanted to play for a big-time college, ” Moeller said. “In college, I wanted to do whatever I could do to get to the next level.” Moeller said that he is enjoying his life after OSU football. “Everything’s so convenient out here,” Moeller said. “I have a Whole Foods about 200 feet away from me, so everything is just so close.” Fickell said one of the hardest things for players is realizing when it’s time to move on, but seeing Moeller develop other interests while finishing his OSU career was the transformation he needed. “That’s the one thing you miss when you see guys transition from football to whatever you want to call the real world – moving on and changing what they have a passion for,” Fickell said. “Sometimes, guys are still holding on to the game of football – you saw Tyler transform and hopefully he’ll be successful because he is such a passionate person.”
Jupp Heynckes is likely to quit Bayern Munich at the end of the ongoing season and the club has to look for a possible replacement – and Ottmar Hitzfeld believes that Niko Kovac or Lucie Favre would be the right choices.Niko Kovac used to play for Bayern Munich and he is current coach of Eintracht Frankfurt – to be added, he also coached Croatia national team in the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Lucien Favre managed to lead Nice successfully to the European cups the previous season from the Ligue 1.The former Bayern Munich coach spoke about possible replacements of Heynckes, according to Sports Keeda:“The expectations with Croatia were huge. Kovac showed great games with the team at the  World Cup,” Hitzfeld told Sport Bild.Report: Bayern are held by Leipzig George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Bayern Munich was held to another draw, this time by RB Leipzig.Bayern Munich finds themselves in the unfamiliar position of sitting third in the…“Frankfurt are now playing beyond their means, next year [possibly even in] Europe. He was also a Bayern player, he knows how the club works. And he is a strong personality who has a clear mindset and open and honest communication.“Every player is equally important to him. He can motivate and excite the team.“Lucien Favre has already done a good job at German clubs and can play good, offensive football. He is also one who can carry a team, a meticulous coach. Basically, he could work for both [Dortmund and Bayern].”