All of this is before even getting into the specific on-field flaws that might haunt the U.S.’s bid for a second straight World Cup victory.But that’s not to say the USWNT looks weak this time around. The Americans still have the best team in the tournament on paper, and it took every bit of France’s home-field edge to deny the U.S. the favorite status. They have plenty of stars from World Cups past, present and future. There’s a solid chance that they will win it all again. (I personally would love to attend another victory parade down the Canyon of Heroes this summer.) Still, it will be a tougher path than usual, thanks to a vicious combination of geography, the knockout bracket and the parity growing across women’s international soccer. And while that might mean heartbreak for the U.S. and its fans, it should also make for an exciting tournament over the next month.Check out our latest Women’s World Cup predictions. GermanyB4.20.794.2619511 Each team’s specific path through the tournament matters quite a bit as well. The USWNT wasn’t the highest-rated team in the field last time around, but it was our model’s overall favorite despite drawing the dreaded “group of death” for the initial stage of the tournament. This year, the Americans drew one of the easiest groups, at least in terms of bottom-feeders (Chile and Thailand), and the hosting French got stuck in the group of death. But thanks to the persistent presence of longtime nemesis Sweden, the U.S. won’t necessarily be guaranteed to win Group F — and even if it does, the winner of the group will face Group B’s runner-up (most likely either Spain or China, a couple of solid sides defensively) in the round of 16 and then very likely the winner of Group A in the quarterfinals. The most probable team to be waiting there? France.That’s why the Americans’ odds of making the semifinals are just 46 percent this year, compared with 65 percent back in 2015. That year, the USWNT went through Colombia (the team rated fifth-lowest by SPI in the field) in the round of 16 and then China (a middle-of-the-field team by SPI) in the quarterfinals before running into top-rated Germany in the semis. (As neither team was the host, SPI had that match relatively even, and the U.S. won 2-0.) This time, the Americans are more likely to face tougher teams earlier in the tournament — which also has the byproduct of giving those tougher opponents fewer chances to be upset before making their way into the U.S.’s path.And there’s the fact that this year’s field is deeper and more dangerous than perhaps any other in Women’s World Cup history. Among the soccer cognoscenti, there’s a distinct sense that the rest of the world is quickly catching up to the United States in terms of talent on the women’s side, where America has traditionally had a strong first-mover advantage. That’s borne out in the numbers, too: Our model thinks more teams have more of a chance this year than it did four years ago: TeamGroupOff.Def.OverallWin GroupMake KnockoutsWin WC EnglandD3.60.692.755>9910 SPI RatingsChance team will … USAF5.10.797.276>9918 Source: ESPN The favorites in the World Cup fieldTeams with a chance of at least 10 percent to win the 2019 Women’s World Cup, according to the FiveThirtyEight model When the 2019 Women’s World Cup kicks off Friday, the initial match will contain FiveThirtyEight’s pre-tournament championship favorite — and no, the U.S. women won’t be on the field.1The Americans don’t play their first game until June 11. So, yes: With a 20 percent probability of winning the World Cup in our model, France has the best odds of any team in the field this summer, not the United States.Our American readers might be wondering, what gives?2First we declare the Golden State Warriors to not be NBA Finals favorites, and now this? Why is the defending-champion (and world No. 1-ranked) USWNT not the best bet to take home its fourth World Cup in the eight-tournament history of the event? After all, the last time the Americans didn’t win (back in 2011), it was a major upset that required Japan to score a dramatic tying goal in the 117th minute and win on penalties. And U.S. head coach Jill Ellis calls this year’s roster “probably the most talented we’ve had going into a major tournament like this, in my opinion.”But France is playing at home this year, and our model has traditionally given a big boost to the host country in international soccer tournaments. In the past, our research has found that soccer’s home-field advantage is worth two to three times as much as in, say, the NFL. There is recent evidence that this advantage is on the decline, though, so France’s added boost is a bit smaller than what historical World Cup results suggest the host team should receive. But even so, that edge is enough to lift France, the world’s second-most talented team (according to our Soccer Power Index ratings), past the top-ranked Americans for the title of most-likely champs. FranceA4.10.695.371%97%20%
OSU redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller (5) runs with the ball during a game against Michigan State on Nov. 21 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorOhio State’s 17-14 loss at home to Michigan State on Saturday not only ended its nation-leading 23-game winning streak but also ended its three-week stint as the No. 3 team in the College Football Playoff rankings.On Tuesday, the CFP committee released its fourth of six sets of rankings, which featured the 10-1 Buckeyes dropping from the third spot to No. 8.Two Big Ten teams now sit in front of OSU in the rankings: the team that ruined its perfect record, Michigan State (No. 5), and undefeated Iowa (No. 4). Iowa has already clinched the Big Ten West Division and a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game. Michigan State can lock the East division up with a win over Penn State on Saturday, but if the Spartans get upset, the winner of the OSU vs. Michigan game will earn the trip to Indianapolis to face off with the Hawkeyes.The other undefeated team, Clemson, remained in the top spot for the fourth time in as many polls. One-loss Alabama stood strong in the No. 2 spot for the third straight week. Rounding out the top four with Iowa was No. 3 Oklahoma, which springboarded Notre Dame, Iowa and Oklahoma State from last week’s No. 7 ranking for one of the tentative playoff spots.After topping Wisconsin 13-7 on the road, No. 16 Northwestern knocked the Badgers out of the top 25 and trimmed the number of Big Ten schools appearing in the rankings to five.Two more sets of rankings are set to be announced: one on Dec. 1, followed by the final top 25 and bowl selections on Dec. 6, the day after conference championships conclude.The entire top 25 of the fourth set of CFP rankings can be found below: Clemson Alabama Oklahoma Iowa Michigan State Notre Dame Baylor Ohio State Stanford Michigan Oklahoma State Florida Florida State North Carolina Navy Northwestern Oregon Ole Miss TCU Washington State Mississippi State UCLA Utah ToledoTemple
Then-redshirt junior Chris Diaz prepares to hit the ball during a match against Oklahoma on March 6, 2015 in Columbus. OSU lost, 4-3.Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State men’s tennis team looks to keep tradition alive this weekend as it searches for its 11th straight Big Ten title.The No. 5 Buckeyes are currently riding a nine-game winning streak and a perfect home record into their final two regular season matchups against Northwestern and Illinois.Maintaining the decade-long streak to honor its predecessors is a major focus for the team.“We want to keep going something that has been started for us. When I came in, I didn’t really know about stuff like that because I’m international, and then we won it and I thought it was cool,” said senior Ralf Steinbach, a native of Germany. “Then I started to realize how important it is and how big it is, and I think it’s very important that we keep this streak and tradition alive.”For coach Ty Tucker, winning the title would be a culmination and symbol of the hard work put in throughout the season.“When you get to the end, you obviously want to be getting better, but you want something tangible to hold on to for your season,” Tucker said. “The opportunity to get a big trophy and some T-shirts and hats is a pretty cool thing.”Sunday’s match against Illinois will also serve as senior day for Steinbach and Chris Diaz. As they look toward graduation, the duo is proud to have been part of the OSU tennis program.“Being here for five years, I’ve definitely taken it for granted, but now that it’s coming to an end, it’s really hitting me what a privilege it has been to be a part of Ohio State, Ohio State athletics, the tennis team and that tradition,” Diaz said.A two-time All-Big Ten selection, Diaz said he is excited to have contributed to the team’s legacy.“I just want to be able to keep the tradition alive that has been paved before us from the other guys, so I just want to be part of that,” he said. “To just know that I was part of something bigger than myself.”According to Tucker, watching seniors reach their end of the time with the program can be emotional for both the coaches and players.“It’s been a good ride, the season’s been fun and you get sad when you get to the end,” Tucker said. “Not to sound a little bit corny, but each team is unique and it’s a lot of fun. These guys understand as they get to be juniors and seniors and it’s their last go around, they start to get a little bit sad as well.”While Sunday might mark the end of the regular season, the team still has a lot of tennis ahead of it.“We still have the Big Ten tournament and still have NCAA (championships). I don’t want to have the mindset like, ‘Oh, this is the end,’ and I stop competing. I want to compete until the end,” Steinbach said. “It’s been a quick four years, and it’s a sad moment, but at the same time you try to keep the momentum.”The current roster is one of the youngest that Diaz has experienced.“I’ve never really had a team like this with a lot of young guys where I’m the oldest,” he said. “It’s definitely a different feel, but I like it. It’s fun, it’s exciting to see what’s coming up for Ohio State and what they’re going to be able to bring to the table after this.”One of the players coming up for OSU is sophomore Mikael Torpegaard. The Denmark native was recently ranked as the No. 1 men’s player in the nation by the ITA.“It feels great, it’s been a goal for a while to try to reach that spot at No. 1,” Torpegaard said. “I’ve been No. 2 these last three weeks, and it’s definitely put a lot of pressure on me, and still does. It’s definitely great to finally reach it, and I’m going to work hard to try to maintain it.”Along with his personal achievements, Torpegaard also is focused on the success of the team.“I definitely am not happy either if I win my own match and the team loses or if the team wins and I lose my own match,” Torpegaard said. “It is an individual sport, but of course you’re out there representing Ohio State, so you want to do what is best for the team at all times.”Tucker approaches the current team with the same mindset as ones in the past.“They’re all just different faces, same sort of strategy, and they all compete hard,” Tucker said. “They’re obviously capable of winning a Big Ten championship, and they’re obviously capable of competing at a high level nationally.”Torpegaard agreed with his coach about the team’s capabilities.“It’s important to go in with a mindset of treating every match as if it’s the most important match of your life,” Torpegaard said. “Everybody just needs to bring their energy and work every day, and if everybody really wants to take it to the next level, I’m confident that we can.”The work ethic that Torpegaard spoke to is something that Steinbach hopes he leaves behind on all of the younger players.“I hope that I put some impact on the young guys that just came in, that they saw what it means to be a Buckeye. We as seniors can show them that it’s a lot of hard work, and you don’t play for yourself. You play for a team and you play for your school,” Steinbach said. “I hope I taught them that and showed them that it’s a lot of hard work.”The OSU men’s tennis team is scheduled to take the court at home Friday against Northwestern at 6 p.m. and Sunday against Illinois at noon.
OSU then-redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) during a game against Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Photo Credit: Lantern file photoFor the second straight season, the Ohio State football team has reached the Fiesta Bowl. Although the introduction of the College Football Playoff format in 2014 brought more prominence to the game played in the University of Phoenix Stadium, the Buckeyes have been appearing in the Fiesta Bowl since 1980.“One of the great bowl experiences I’ve ever been a part of I believe three other times,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said earlier this month. “It’s great to be here.”OSU (11-1) is ranked at No. 3 in the playoff, and has appeared in eight different Fiesta Bowls, while Clemson (12-1) has never made an appearance. With two teams that have a mutual respect for one another, and two squads that have incredible talent on both sides of the ball, the 45th edition of the Fiesta Bowl should be one for the ages.With playoff implications on the line, neither team will be willing to give an inch. The Buckeyes have been to the desert on multiple occasions, and have a 5-3 record throughout the program’s history.Here is a look back at the successes and failures of the Buckeyes in Glendale, Arizona.1980Penn State – 31Ohio State – 19With the 10th anniversary of the Fiesta Bowl came the second straight bowl appearance for the Buckeyes since Earle Bruce took over coaching duties in Columbus. Bruce, who had led the Buckeyes to a 11-1 season in his first year, earned a 9-2 mark to go to the Fiesta Bowl.After holding a 19-10 lead in the first half, running back Curt Warner from Penn State helped the Nittany Lions rack up 351 rush yards as a team, and slowly put the game away. Outscoring OSU 21-0 in the second half, Penn State earned its second Fiesta Bowl victory.1984Ohio State – 28Pittsburgh – 23Another 9-2 season for Bruce and the Buckeyes led them back to the Fiesta Bowl, this time against Pittsburgh. Led by quarterback Mike Tomczak and running back Keith Byars, both future NFL talents, the Buckeyes were able to bring home a 28-23 win.On the last drive of the game, Tomczak drove his team down the field in the final two-and-a-half minutes, tossing a 39-yard score in the closing moments for the win. The Buckeyes had picked up their first ever Fiesta Bowl win, and given Bruce his third straight bowl win with OSU.2003Ohio State – 31Miami (Fla.) – 24After being away for nearly 20 years, OSU returned to the Fiesta Bowl on the grandest stage of them all. OSU coach Jim Tressel, in just his second year at the helm, had led an underdog Buckeyes team to a perfect 13-0 record in the 2002 season. However, a Miami Hurricanes team stood in the way of the Buckeyes, with the likes of future NFL players Willis McGahee, Kellen Winslow Jr., Ken Dorsey, Andrew Johnson, Jonathan Vilma and the late Sean Taylor. Most felt OSU did not have a chance to even come close to winning.The Buckeyes forced five Hurricanes’ turnovers, and benefitted from four rushing touchdowns split evenly between running back Maurice Clarett and quarterback Craig Krenzel. An injury to McGahee slowed the Miami offensive attack, and OSU denied a late Dorsey pass in the endzone for the program’s seventh national championship.2004Ohio State – 34Kansas State – 28A year removed from a national championship win, the Buckeyes returned to the desert to square off against Kansas State. After falling to Wisconsin and Michigan, OSU was denied a second straight championship bid, but would have to put up quite a fight against a scrappy Wildcats team.Krenzel, eager to prove his worth as a potential NFL quarterback, struggled to find consistency throughout the year, throwing for just 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2003. However, in Arizona, Buckeyes fans were treated to a four touchdown performance by the eventual Chicago Bears draft pick.The Buckeyes were outgained on offense, and struggled to limit Kansas State quarterback Eli Roberson, even though OSU did not allow a passing touchdown. Roberson picked up a pair of scores on the ground, while Darren Sproles and Ayo Saba each had a rushing touchdown.OSU recovered an onside kick attempt and chewed the clock before stopping a late Roberson pass to earn the win and its second straight Fiesta Bowl win.2006Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith (10) buys some time and eludes Indiana’s Keith Burrus (97) in the second quarter of a football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006 at the Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won the contest, 44-3.Credit: Courtesy of MCTOhio State – 34Notre Dame – 20Two losses in the 2005 season before reaching the midway point of the year kept the Buckeyes from national championship contention. Even after dropping closely contested games to Texas and Penn State, OSU rebounded with three wins over top 25 opponents in six games. Led by veteran quarterback Troy Smith, the Buckeyes proved why OSU was a potential national champion in 2005 against Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. The Buckeyes kept Fighting Irish quarterback Brady Quinn from the endzone, and limited Notre Dame to just 62 total rushing yards on the day.Smith threw for 342 yards and a pair of scores, one of which went 56 yards to Ted Ginn Jr., who finished the day with 167 yards receiving. An impressive athlete with a plethora of skills, Ginn Jr. also ran in a score from 68 yards out.OSU running back Antonio Pittman added his own score on a 60-yard scamper to seal the deal for the Buckeyes with under two minutes to go in the game.2007Florida – 41Ohio State – 14Before he was coaching for the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer’s name was not a popular one in Columbus following the 2006 season. After OSU went a perfect 12-0 that year, the Buckeyes ran into a brick wall that was the Florida Gators in the 2007 national championship.Smith had a Heisman year at the helm of OSU’s offense, while James Laurinaitis was continuing the trend of beastly linebackers produced in Columbus. A seven point favorite coming into the contest, OSU had a quick 7-0 lead after Ginn Jr. returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.However, an injury to the Buckeyes’ top receiver and returner stagnated Tressel’s offense, resulting in just 82 total yards for OSU, An offense that failed to move the ball, mixed with a defense that forced zero turnovers and gave up 370 yards was a recipe for disaster in the desert.Florida quarterback Chris Leak throw for a score, while Deshawn Wynn and Percy Harvin each ran in for a score. Tim Tebow, and eventual Heisman Trophy winner under Meyer, ran for his own touchdown late and tossed a one-yard touchdown pass.OSU trailed 34-14 at halftime, and did not score in the second half.2010Texas – 24Ohio State – 21Future NFL quarterback Colt McCoy was at the helm for the Longhorns in 2009, and had led Texas to an outstanding season. However, an early season loss to No. 6 Texas Tech ruined McCoy and company’s chances of reaching a national championship.Texas, a preseason top 10 pick in the coaches poll, came into the 2010 Fiesta Bowl as a 10-point favorite.Terrelle Pryor, who earned the starting job earlier in the year, was a freshman phenom, expected to take OSU to great heights. But, against Texas, Pryor only gained 144 total yards, and scored just once on a gadget play that saw him catching his first of two career touchdown receptions.OSU fell 24-21 after McCoy connected with Quan Cosby with under a minute left, and the Buckeyes finished the year 10-3.2016Ohio State – 44Notre Dame – 28After an improbably national championship in 2014, OSU was looking for a repeat performance. However, after playing throughout the season in lackluster fashion for a team many coaches and fans felt was one of the best in the nation, the Buckeyes dropped their second to last game against the Michigan State Spartans. A 42-13 drubbing of Michigan in the following week was not enough to sway the playoff committee, and OSU found themselves in the Fiesta Bowl. Out for vengeance, the Buckeyes picked apart an overmatched Fighting Irish team.Ezekiel Elliott ran rampant over the Notre Dame defense, picking up four touchdowns on 149 yards rushing. Then-redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett picked up 211 yards and a score through the air, and the OSU defense grab two turnovers en route to a 44-28 victory.
Shelby Lum / Photo editorThere is little doubt that Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes will be squarely in the spotlight at Big Ten Media Days on Wednesday and Thursday. This is especially true on the heels of Monday’s announcement by OSU that four players, including starting senior running back Carlos Hyde and starting redshirt junior cornerback Bradley Roby, are facing suspensions and other disciplinary action following separate off-field incidents.Meyer is certainly going to be asked to address the Buckeyes’ recent off-field troubles, but that will not be the only topic of discussion for OSU. Meyer is also expected to face questions about one of his former players being charged with murder, OSU turning in Florida for alleged recruiting violations and about the Buckeyes’ chances of playing for a national championship.Joining Meyer at the annual media event in Chicago will be junior quarterback Braxton Miller, redshirt senior left tackle Jack Mewhort and senior safety Christian Bryant. Roby was originally scheduled to be among the players present, but is no longer attending the event after an arrest for misdemeanor battery in Bloomington, Ind. on Sunday.Coaches and three player representatives from each of the other 11 Big Ten football programs will also be present.Trouble for the BuckeyesHyde and Roby were expected to be among the key figures in a potential title run for the Buckeyes this season, but following separate off-field incidents last weekend, the status of both players is uncertain.OSU announced Monday that Hyde has been suspended from all football team activities pending the outcome of student code of conduct and criminal investigations. Hyde has been named as a “person of interest” in the reported assault of a woman at a Columbus bar Saturday, according to a Columbus Division of Police report.Roby has not yet been suspended by the Buckeyes, but could face additional discipline from the team “as more information becomes available,” according to an OSU athletics spokesman.Discipline for two incoming freshmen on the team was also announced on Monday. Defensive lineman Tim Gardner was sent home and removed from the team for the 2013 season after being charged with obstruction of official business in Columbus on Saturday. Tight end Marcus Baugh has been suspended from football team activities and the team’s Aug. 31 season opener versus Buffalo, following a July 14 arrest for underage possession of alcohol and possessing a fake identification.These are not the only incidents involving OSU football players this summer. Former linebacker David Perkins was arrested in Bowling Green May 25, a few days before OSU announced that Perkins would no longer be part of the football program.Meyer may not be ready at media days to provide more clarity on whether Hyde or Roby will be suspended for any games this season, but he will certainly be asked about it. Furthermore, he should face questions about how much he responsibility he takes for the off-field actions of his players.Are coaches responsible for their players’ off-field activity?Meyer has been oft-criticized in recent years for the number of former players he coached at Florida who have gotten into off-field trouble either during or since Meyer’s tenure with the Gators. With a recent string of off-field incidents from his Buckeyes, that criticism is not likely to subside anytime soon.Meyer has recently taken flak for the behavior of former Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was arrested and charged with the murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Mass. Hernandez was also involved in multiple off-field incidents during his three years as a Gator.Meyer has already addressed this criticism once, in a text message to the Gainesville Sun.“Our staff, myself and our families worked very hard to mentor and guide him,” Meyer told the Sun. “Relating or blaming these serious charges to Univ. of Florida, myself or our staff is wrong and irresponsible.”Wednesday will be Meyer’s first scheduled media appearance since Hernandez’s arrest, so he will almost certainly be asked about it again. The potential for Meyer to make comments on Hernandez, and furthermore his take on whether he handled Hernandez’s behavior properly while at Florida, will be among the most anticipated moments of Big Ten media days.Unsurprisingly, Florida coach Will Muschamp was asked at SEC Media Days about the responsibility of a coach for his players’ behavior.“You’re 100 percent responsible,” Muschamp said, according to the Florida Times-Union. “I can’t possibly know everything that happens every single night with our football team. But you also can’t stick your head in the sand and pretend everything is okay, either.”Meyer will likely be prompted to respond to Muschamp’s comments as well.OSU turned in recruiting violations by FloridaMeyer is also likely to be asked about a recent story, first reported by Fox Sports’ Clay Travis, that OSU reported Florida running backs coach Brian White for an alleged secondary violation. White was hired by Florida in 2009, and his first two years as a Gators assistant coach came during Meyer’s tenure as coach.There have been conflicting reports on Meyer’s knowledge of the situation. Meyer denied that he was involved in reporting the allegation in a text message to multiple media outlets. However, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reported that a source told him that “Urban was aware of it and he endorsed it.”“It is absolutely not true that I turned in the University of Florida,” Meyer said in the text message, according to the Gainesville Sun. “Weeks after, I learned our compliance guy (without any coach involvement) forwarded an article to the conference office. This is standard procedure. Once again, zero coach involvement.”’It is almost certain that Meyer will be asked again about these reports, especially after comments made about the allegations by Muschamp at SEC Media Days.“That’s really a dead issue with me,” Muschamp said. “In both situations, we were turned in by Ohio. We didn’t do anything wrong. The University of Florida didn’t do anything wrong. And so we appreciated our friends from Ohio making sure we’re compliant with NCAA rules. They certainly know a little bit about that subject.”High expectations for the BuckeyesComing off of a 12-0 season, OSU is considered to be among the favorites to play in the final BCS National Championship Game at the end of the season. Miller, Mewhort and Bryant are among the players who will lead that charge, and they will certainly be asked about their expectations for the season.For Miller, the expectations will be more than just winning a national championship. After being named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, the junior quarterback ranks among the favorites to win the 2013 Heisman Trophy.Miller will likely be asked about what he thinks his chances are of winning the Heisman, along with the team’s chances of winning the national championship. He should also be asked about how he has continue to develop as a passer and leader since last season.Mewhort was named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s best lineman. Bryant was named to watch lists for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s best defensive back, and the Nagurski Award, given to the nation’s best defensive players. Both players were second-team all-Big Ten selections last season.The Buckeyes did not face major expectations last year coming off of a losing season, but still went undefeated. This year, the Buckeyes will have to learn to play with the pressure of being a national championship favorite, and they will get their first taste of that pressure with the questions they will have to answer at media day.For the rest of the Big Ten, the goal will be to stop the Buckeyes from realizing those expectations. There should be no shortage of questions to representatives from other teams regarding Ohio State’s potential, especially for Michigan coach Brady Hoke and their players in attendance (quarterback Devin Gardner, safety Thomas Gordon, left tackle Taylor Lewan).State of the Big TenOutside of the Buckeyes, one of the most anticipated parts of media days will be Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany’s address to the media on the state of the conference.The Big Ten remains a 12-team conference consisting of Leaders and Legends divisions this year, but will expand to a 14-team conference with East and West divisions in 2014. Additionally, the Big Ten is slated to expand to a nine-game conference football schedule in 2016.Delany will likely address the conference’s new set of bowl agreements, which have been coming together over the course of the summer and are also set to begin in 2014.The Big Ten will remain aligned with the Rose Bowl as college football shifts to a playoff format in 2014, while they have also announced partnerships with the CapitalOne Bowl, Outback Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl and New Detroit Bowl. The Big Ten also announced a shared tie-in with the Atlantic Coast Conference between the Gator Bowl and Music City Bowl.Commissioner Delany is also likely to be asked about the newest developments in the Penn State sexual abuse scandal. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Penn State’s board of trustees has authorized approximately $60 million in payments from the university to victims of Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse during his time at State College.Another topic of discussion could focus on the lawsuit being brought against the NCAA by former college basketball player Ed O’Bannon, which is attempting to force the NCAA to pay revenues to players for their usage of their likenesses.Last week, the NCAA announced that they would not renew their video game partnership with EA Sports for “NCAA Football 14,” citing litigation costs. Additionally, two Minnesota players (tight end Moses Alipate and wide receiver Victor Keise) are among the first six active NCAA athletes to join the lawsuit as plaintiffs. Both Delany and Minnesota coach Jerry Kill are expected to face questions about the impact of having Golden Gophers athletes involved in the lawsuit.
Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell shoots a shot during the Buckeyes’ game against Washington on Nov. 19. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorThe No. 9 Ohio State women’s basketball team (7-1) trailed No. 14 Stanford (4-3) for the first 35 minutes, but recovered to defeat the Cardinal 94-82 in overtime and win the Play4Kay Showcase in Las Vegas Saturday night.Ohio State preseason All-American senior guard Kelsey Mitchell hit a jumper with eight second remaining to break the tie and give her team a 76-74 lead. But with four second remaining, forward Alanna Smith hit a layup to tie the game and send it into overtime.The Buckeyes dominated the extra period and held an 18-6 edge in overtime. They scored the final 13 points of the contest to clinch the victory.Mitchell set her season-high with 37 points on 8-of-22 shooting. She did most of her damage from the free-throw line, where she hit 19-of-20 shots. Mitchell scored 31 of her points in the second half and overtime.She only hit 2-of-7 3-pointers, highlighting an area of weakness for her team. Ohio State made 8-of-26 triples, while Stanford drilled 8-of-21 3s. The Buckeyes forced Stanford to commit 23 turnovers and picked up nine steals. Ohio State turned the ball over just nine times, though, and had eight assists.Guards Sierra Calhoun and Asia Doss each added 15 points for the Buckeyes. Calhoun went 4-for-9 from beyond the arc. Smith and guard Anna Wilson were the only players in double-figures for Stanford. Smith led the team with 33 points and Wilson added 21 points.Ohio State played a condensed rotation of just seven players despite playing its third game in as many days. Stanford played 10 players at least seven minutes. The Cardinal held a 27-5 edge in bench points.This was Ohio State’s second victory against Stanford of the season. The Buckeyes defeated the Cardinal 85-64 on Nov. 10 to kick off both teams’ respective seasons. In the matchup, redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga scored 23 points and pulled down a program-record 26 rebounds. She had 10 points and nine rebounds against Stanford on Saturday.Ohio State will be back in action against Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at 7 p.m. Thursday in Durham, North Carolina.
To find out more about Starlight, visit www.starlight.org.uk The Metropolitan Police have granted a wish for a young seriously ill boy to be a policeman for the day in London.On Saturday 22nd July, national charity Starlight Children’s Foundation granted seven-year-old Charlie Peebles’ wish to be a policeman with the help of the Metropolitan Police.When Charlie was six-months-old, he was diagnosed with a serious condition called hereditary spherocytosis. This means his red blood cells are oval shaped rather than round so his spleen thinks they’re foreign bodies and attacks them. A simple virus or infection, like an ear infection, can be very dangerous for Charlie and he needs blood transfusions to fight them.As well as hereditary spherocytosis, Charlie also has another genetic blood condition called Type 1 Von Willebrands disease. This is a bleeding disorder like haemophilia and Charlie needs medication to help his blood to clot.Ally, Charlie’s mum, said, “The weekend has been fantastic especially watching his face light up. It’s been amazing to see Charlie’s Starlight Wish granted because being a policeman is all he ever talks about and all he has ever talked about. Most children don’t get to have their dreams come true until they grow up so it’s amazing that Charlie’s have come true at this early stage.” 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.
Sergeant Liam O’Neil said: “It was decided to go with a destruction order as this felt like a proportionate way to manage the situation.”This will provide immediate safeguarding for the public, while avoiding a criminal case for the owners.”Letting the dog back was not an option. There were too many victims for this to be considered a safe option.” 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 police force is facing criticism over plans to put down a dog that bit four people after escaping from a garden in Storm Doris.Muppet and Phoebe escaped from a property in Duston, Northamptonshire, in February.Four people were bitten by the dogs and needed medical treatment, Northamptonshire Police say.Muppet was seized by police following the attacks and is set to be put down, while Phoebe was shot dead by firearms officers at the scene. However social media users have criticised the force’s decision to put the dog down, with one calling it “an appalling decision by the prosecuting team”.”I suspect the only reason it bit people was because it was terrified,” Cathy Baker added.Another wrote: “I assume that during a storm the dog was frightened to death. Poor dog. Looks like it needs a cuddle not a killing.”
The wolf was put on a lead and walked homeCredit:Steve Parsons/PA Wire The entrance to the UK Wolf Conservation Trust’s premises Credit:Steve Parsons/PA Wire “Officers have sight of the wolf and are working with staff from the sanctuary to detain it.”Members of the public may notice an increased presence in the area and are advised not to approach the wolf if they see it.”Sian Champkin, whose husband works at Elstree Independent Boys Preparatory School, in nearby Woolhampton, said its pupils were told not to go outside.”He phoned me to tell me about it because we have a child, a dog and a cat and not to go outside,” the 37-year-old said. “I was slightly shocked, nothing like this has ever happened before.” Around mid-morning yesterday teams searching for Torak caught sight of him in woodland. An hour later there were reports he was heading north, near the A34/M4 junction.Thames Valley issued a statement on the force’s Facebook page, saying: “Officers are currently in Beenham, West Berkshire. At around 8am today the force received a call from a member of the public reporting a wolf had escaped from a sanctuary in Picklepythe Lane. Ms Palmer and her staff assured people that Torak was an “easy-going wolf” and a “gentle giant”, but Thames Valley Police were taking no chances.People were warned not to approach the animal – whose favourite foods are pheasant, deer, meaty ice lollies and bananas – and armed officers were on stand-by prepared to shoot him if needed. Animal rights activists have been blamed for releasing a wolf into the wild, sparking a desperate search for the animal yesterday.Police sharpshooters were mobilised and residents urged to stay indoors – but in the end Torak the wolf allowed himself to be led back to captivity like a puppy.Indeed, during his brief taste of freedom the Alaskan timber wolf even sauntered through a field of sheep without harming any of them, despite warnings that he posed a danger to man and beast.Still, it did take nearly six hours for him to be tracked down and recaptured by police and staff from the sanctuary where he normally lives.Staff at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, in Beenham, Berkshire, discovered on Thursday morning that Torak’s cage may have been tampered with.The Trust’s founder, Teresa Palmer, said: “When I got to the front of the enclosure I found that the gate was open. I think somebody deliberately opened the gate. A lot of people don’t particularly believe in having animals in captivity.” Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire Eventually the hunting party caught up with Torak near the West Berkshire village of Curridge, eight miles from his sanctuary.Here Ms Palmer, 62, managed to coach him into a trailer, where he allowed himself to be put on a lead.”The fact he went through a field of sheep on his way shows he would never be a threat to the public,” said Ms Palmer. “Now he’s given up. He’s had his moment of freedom.” Locals implored police to use a tranquiliser gun rather than bullets to capture Torak, after another escaped wolf was shot dead last year after escaping its cage.Three-year-old Eurasian wolf Ember, who gave birth to five cubs earlier that year, was killed by a keeper after being discovered outsider her enclosure at Cotswold Safari Park. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.