Following his good displays, especially in the CAF Champions League, Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa has been voted as the club’s Player of the Month.In winning the award, the 25-year-old has won himself a brand new Peugeot 309 GTI following some heroic performances in the CAF Champions League and MTN8 tournament.Meyiwa is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers on the continent after consistently impressing this year with the Bucs including a string of penalty saves in the CAF Champions league against TP Mazembe, Ahly, AC Leopards.Ghana’s safest pair of hands Fatau Dauda who, was signed by the South African side during the transfer season, will have to double up his efforts if he is to wrestle the position from the in-form Meyiwa.Meyiwa received his new Peugeot 309 GTI during the club’s training this morning.
Aliquippa (13-0) Head Coach Mike Zmijanac doesn’t keep track of career milestones. He admitted as much prior to the start of the WPIAL Championship Trophy presentation ceremony.The pleasant and unseasonably warm temperatures that gave the east coast a feeling of summer in late November might have caused some Washington (12-1) players to believe that they really had a chance to upset the Quips. ELUDES DEFENDER—Terry Swanson of Aliquippa eludes a Washington defender in the Quips 34-7 win, Swanson rushed for 206 yards. The WPIAL’s leading rusher junior Shai “Shy” McKenzie, entered the game with 2,689 yards and 42 touchdowns, but the Quips held him to only 33 yards on 18 carries. It was Aliquippa’s junior Terry Swanson who stole the show by rushing for 206 yards, including a 60 yards touchdown to lead the Quips to a 34-7 victory.The best–kept secret in football isn’t one anymore, other than perhaps if you see Swanson out of uniform.Swanson and Dravon Henry are the only set of teammates in the WPIAL to have rushed for more than 1,000 yards.Aliquippa won a record 15th WPIAL football championship. The Quips are a Class A school that plays up in classification to Class AA. The two best area teams are Aliquippa and Clairton. It would make for a dream matchup. Will they ever face one another?“We had a deal to play Clairton at the beginning of the 2012 season,” said defensive coach Greg Gill. “But, the WPIAL would not approve of the game. I hope someone can make that game happen and the Bears will find out what Aliquippa is all about.”
Hume Innkeepers defended its Men’s Open Soccer League title, edging Old Dogs 1-0 in the final at Lakeside Pitch.Aaron Sedlbauer scored the lone goal of the game and Mike Precious registered the shutout to lead the Innkeepers.Mallard’s Source for sports would like to salute the Innkeepers with Team of the Week honours. The team includes, Paul Anderson, Quinn Starr, Leif Zapf-Gilje, Fletcher Fitzgibbon, Keefery Joyce, Ryan Lewis, Mitch Melanson, Chris Richards, Greg Kinnear, Mike Parenteau, Kelvin Opiyo, Zeke Grimshaw, Aaron Sedlbauer, Mike Precious, Mike Balance and Kerry Dyck.
A Class I student of a government school in Chattisgarh’s capital was raped allegedly by three 10-year-old schoolmates, the police said on Friday. The incident took place on August 20 in a school located in the Khamtarai police station limits, an official said.“As per the girl, three boys, all aged 10, took her to a bathroom in the school. Two of them sexually assaulted her there while the third stood guard outside,” he said.The parents of the 6-year-old girl approached police on Thursday following which a rape and sexual assault case was registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Former Chelsea defender Chivers: Kids fighting tooth and nail for Lampardby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Chelsea defender Gary Chivers believes the club will give manager Frank Lampard time in charge of his young players.Chivers feels the Blues legend will be cut plenty of slack due to his cult-hero status in west London.He told brightonandhovealbion.com: “They’re definitely in a transitional stage, but they will be fighting tooth and nail for Frank Lampard. The kids that have come in, the likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, who have played at the likes of Derby and Aston Villa, have done brilliantly.“The fans will give Frank a lot of time because he was such a fantastic player and is a fantastic person. Appointing him is the best move Chelsea could’ve made because he loves the club, and knows the ins and outs of the club.“You can see that these players are playing for him. They’re a young side that are going to make mistakes, and Frank will too because this is only his second season as a manager, but the fans adore him and they will give him time.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Lampard still has confidence in Pulisicby Paul Vegas7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard has assured Christian Pulisic he’s in his plans.The Sun says he has been impressed with the former Borussia Dortmund winger’s natural ability – but frustrated with his matchday performances.Insiders revealed how Lampard and his staff have seen plenty of potential and are quite excited by his raw ability, but they have been slightly frustrated by the fact he has not yet showcased that in the Premier League.USA international Pulisic, 21, – who was signed in January but stayed in the Bundesliga until the summer – has featured in just seven matches for the Blues so far this term.And in another blow, he was hauled off in USA’s embarrassing 2-0 defeat to Canada during the international break – and started crying on the bench.In training, Pulisic has looked top notch.But he has not been able to transfer that on to the pitch, which has forced Lamps to leave him on the sidelines quite often.
Every year since his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama has shared his NCAA men’s college basketball tournament bracket with the public, and, for the last five years, predictions for the women’s tournament, too. As he’s chosen teams, many of them from swing states, he’s resisted the urge to play politics with his picks.Obama’s main bracket criterion: the number next to a team’s name. The lower a team’s seed, the more likely he is to overestimate its chances. The president has predicted a far smaller number of round-of-64 upsets than the tournaments have produced, and in the last seven tournaments he’s forecast just one men’s team with a seed below 9 to win more than one game.He also has a soft spot for certain states. The president loves teams from Connecticut, a reliably blue state, and Kentucky, a reliably red one.1Schools from those states get a bump of about 0.7 wins per year in his brackets, compared to the expected performance of their seed numbers. The effect is statistically significant (p<0.05). But that may just be a reflection of Obama’s preference for highly seeded teams: After controlling for seed, no state had a statistically significant effect on the president’s picks. He’s been pretty neutral on states where he’s lived, studied or had family ties, including Illinois, California, Kansas, Massachusetts and New York. (Hawaii hasn’t had a tournament team in the years of Obama’s brackets.)Other public figures have picked brackets, but Obama, a big basketball fan, is unusual in having entered so many of his bracket predictions into the public record2He usually has unveiled them on ESPN broadcasts. — enough to create a sample size bigger than some of the polls used to forecast his election and re-election, and to search for patterns in his picks.To assess Obama’s brackets, I compiled the number of wins he predicted for each tournament team in each season,3There are two groups of exceptions to this list.First, neither ESPN nor the White House was able to supply a copy of Obama’s 2010 women’s bracket, and the link from a Whitehouse.gov blog post about it points to a different ESPN.com bracket. I gathered as much information as I could from press accounts of his Final Four picks that year, plus whatever I could glean from this video clip of his ESPN interview, and excluded from all analyses the 21 women’s teams in the 2010 tournament for which I couldn’t figure out the president’s prediction.Second, I excluded from the analysis any teams that hadn’t yet lost in this year’s tournaments, since we don’t know their final win totals.Here are links to Obama’s 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 men’s brackets, and to his 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 women’s brackets. and compared that number to two benchmarks: How did his picks compare to what might be considered typical picks, and how did they compare to how teams actually performed?The first benchmark was the average number of games that teams with the same seed had won for each tournament, over a period from the first year the tournament expanded to 64 teams41985 for men, 1994 for women. through the year before he picked the bracket.5That calculation was based on data provided by ESPN Stats & Information. I counted only wins from the round of 64 on, since the brackets Obama entered didn’t require entrants to predict play-in games. I assigned each play-in team half its seed’s expected wins, since only half the play-in teams advance to the round of 64.Obama, incidentally, has never picked the play-in winners to win their next game (a questionable strategy), and generally hasn’t picked the outcome of the play-in games, either, though he did write on his 2009 bracket — incorrectly, as it turned out — that Alabama State would beat Morehead State and enter the round of 64 as a No. 16 seed.This measure models the sort of information used by a typical tournament forecaster (or as typical as one in the White House can be): How well have teams of that seed done before?The second benchmark for Obama’s picks was the one used to score brackets for accuracy: how many games the teams won. This is both less and more fair than the first benchmark — less fair because he couldn’t have known how the teams would do when he submitted his picks, and more fair because it credits him for insights beyond the seed numbers.After subtracting either number — expected wins or actual wins — from Obama’s predicted win total for each team, we’re left with two possible measures for his lean toward or away from that team. When Obama picked Louisville to make the final last year as a top seed, the first measure scored that as a big pro-Louisville preference, since the average No. 1 seed from 1985 to 2012 averaged 3.375 wins. But the second measure detected a presidential slant against Louisville, since the Cardinals won the title. Conversely, Obama looks like a Washington, D.C., outsider based on his picks for the capital’s teams: He expected fewer wins for them than their seeds would have suggested. But his picks proved optimistic when the teams underperformed their seeds by a big margin.I now had a set of over 700 teams, each one with two scores indicating whether Obama was hard or easy on each team. I then looked up each team’s home state and ran a series of linear regressions to find whether politics could be driving the president’s picks.My first test: Was Obama backing the states that were most supportive of him, or — for his first bracket — the prior Democratic presidential candidate, John Kerry in 2004? Or, instead, was he throwing some love to the states that were most supportive of Republican candidates, hoping to sway their hoops-mad voters into his camp?Neither, best I can tell. For each year, I took the most recent presidential election data6Election data from uselectionatlas.org. Since March precedes November, for Obama’s 2008 tournament picks, the most recent election was 2004; for 2012, it was 2008. and subtracted the percentage of votes going to the Republican from the percentage received by the Democrat, then normalized the results.7For each election year’s data, I subtracted from each state’s figure the average of every state’s figure. This data normalization put all states for each election year on the same playing field: how far they leaned Democratic or Republican relative to the average state in that year. I then ran two regressions against this score, one for each of my scores of Obama’s picks. And I found no relationship whatsoever.The story repeats for other political indicators that might have steered his picks: whether states were swing states,8I defined swing states as those with a gap of less than 5 percentage points in the previous presidential election between the vote shares of the Democratic and Republican candidates. and the probability that a single voter in that state — perhaps a fan of a team Obama could pick for the Final Four — could swing the presidential election.9Based on work by Columbia University statistician Andrew Gelman and FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver, using Silver’s 2008 presidential-election forecasts; Gelman provided me with a table of probabilities by state. For each possible factor, I ran the same pair of linear regressions.10Technically, I ran two pairs of linear regressions for the probability of one voter swinging the election: One using the raw probability, and one the logarithm of the probability, since the probabilities were minuscule and varied by orders of magnitude. And each time I found no clear relationship.11Six out of the eight coefficients were positive, which would suggest Obama was favoring Democratic states or electorally vital states, but none of the results was statistically significant.There was one highly statistically significant relationship: between Obama’s picks and a team’s seed number. For each improvement in seed of one — say, from 5 to 4 — Obama was likely to give the team a bump of about 3 percent of a win relative to its seed’s expected wins, and about 4 percent of a win more than the team actually won.12Seed was highly significant: p<10^-6. After controlling for seed, all the political factors still produced insignificant effects and half their coefficients were negative, suggesting any hint of a lean by Obama was more a product of seed number. And for each regression, p>0.4.Here’s another way of saying that: President Obama backs favorites to win even more than they have historically. And he’s remained consistently risk-averse, ranging from three to six upset picks in the round of 64 in his seven men’s tournament brackets. He’s never picked a team seeded below 13 to win a game, though six have over those years.13It’s probably imprudent to pick too many early upsets by big underdogs since their opponents are favorites not only to win but to go on to advance far in the tournament. But many fans do pick at least one. The millions of entrants to ESPN.com’s bracket challenge this year and last averaged about one pick per three brackets of a 14, 15 or 16 seed to reach the round of 32.Obama predicted wins for 32 teams seeded 10 and below, from the round of 64 on, for the seven men’s tournaments from 2008 to 2014.14 I didn’t count wins by 9 seeds over 8 seeds as upsets since those teams are so closely seeded. Yet 50 percent more teams have won at least one game. He was especially downbeat about the chances of teams seeded 12 or lower, predicting just eight wins for the group. Some 29 teams seeded that low have combined to win 38 games.Obama’s caution intensifies as he moves through the men’s bracket to later rounds. He’s picked just one team seeded 7 or worse to make the Sweet Sixteen in seven years of men’s bracket-picking.15North Carolina State, in 2012. Obama was right. Yet 27 teams with seeds that low made a Sweet Sixteen since 2008 — including two teams, Connecticut and Kentucky, that qualified for the Final Four on Sunday. Conversely, though nine No. 2 seeds have lost before the Sweet Sixteen, Obama has picked every one to make it that far.16He evidently considered choosing Clemson to upset No. 2 Oklahoma in 2009’s round of 32 but crossed out that pick and went with the chalk — correctly, as it turned out. Obama has backed no Elite Eight teams with seeds worse than 5, yet nine such teams have made it that far. And he’s picked no national semifinalist seeded worse than 4, yet seven Final Four teams have fit that category.When Obama has predicted a men’s upset, he has guessed well. By chance alone, you’d expect that 14 of the teams he picked seeded 10 or below to pull off at least one upset of a higher-seeded team would have done so.17That calculation is based on the actual rates of upsets for each seed number, and how many upsets he predicted. Yet 18 got at least one win — including all five of the 12 seeds he backed. Obama is on the verge of displaying a statistically significant forecast skill in the men’s brackets.180.1>P>0.05.In the women’s tournament, where favorites tend to dominate, Obama’s caution has been merited. He’s picked 12 teams seeded 10 or worse to pull off first-round upsets since 2011,19I excluded the incomplete 2010 Obama women’s bracket from this analysis, in case his picks for the omitted teams deviated sharply from his picks that we know. and 13 have. He’s shown no particular ability to identify upset victims, forecasting three correctly compared to an expected total of 2.4.Obama also seems to like certain teams more than others, though with just 12 of his brackets on record, no team has a sample size large enough to draw broader conclusions. His likes, relative to expected and actual performance, include Baylor, Kentucky, Louisville, Marquette, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Ohio State. By contrast, Obama is hard on Arizona, Gonzaga, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Texas and Xavier.20The effect for Baylor, Louisville and North Carolina is statistically significant (p<0.05) for his picks relative to the teams’ seed numbers; he typically gives those teams one more win than their seed suggests. The effect vanishes, though, for those schools when examining how they did relative to Obama’s picks. In other words, their results suggest he was mostly right when picking them to outperform their seed. The effect is also smaller and statistically insignificant after controlling for seeds, since those teams tend to have high seeds. Adding that control reveals that Obama has been hard on Washington State, to a statistically significant degree: Controlling for seed, Obama has under-picked the Cougars by an average of nearly two wins per tournament, relative to their seed. His view on some schools looks different depending on the measure: Obama seems like a Duke-backer based on the Blue Devils’ results, but his picks have been in line with their seed numbers.Separating his preferences for certain schools’ men’s and women’s teams is especially tough because of the sample-size problem. So it’s hard to say whether he likes Cal’s women’s teams but dislikes their male counterparts, or if that’s just a statistical fluke.Asked about the president’s picking strategy, the White House press office referred to his statements to ESPN when unveiling his brackets.21Here are video clips of Obama’s chats with ESPN’s Andy Katz about his 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 brackets. Obama usually talks about specific teams in those broadcasts, rather than a broader strategy. The country’s chief executive has a soft spot for team chiefs, mentioning more coaches than players in recent years. (He has high praise for Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and North Carolina’s Roy Williams; in 2012, he admitted, “I’m just a sucker for the Tar Heels.”) He likes point guards and teams with momentum. Last year, he mentioned his “Big 10 bias.”22Obama does back Big 10 teams beyond their seed to a statistically significant degree, but the effect isn’t significant after controlling for seed, since Big 10 teams usually are highly seeded. Because of all the conference realignment during Obama’s bracket-picking years of 2008 to 2014, I studied only the conference he mentioned liking and counted only Big 10 teams that were in the conference throughout the period. When Obama does mention a player, he is sometimes motivated by where the player comes from rather than where his school is. For example, he said he picked Duke to reach this year’s Elite Eight partly because Blue Devils star Jabari Parker comes from Chicago. And Obama is aware of his tendency to back favorites. He said this year, “I know these are not imaginative picks, but I think they’re the right ones.”It’s hard to argue with the president’s preference for favorites: Picking upsets incorrectly is more damaging than picking upsets correctly is valuable. And lately, it’s working for him. He picked the women’s champion correctly twice in four tries, got one of the surprising men’s Final Four teams right this year — No. 1 seed Florida — and is in the 74th percentile of ESPN’s bracket contest. However, he may regret taking the relatively daring step of backing a No. 4 seed, Michigan State, to win the title. It was his first time picking a men’s or women’s champion that wasn’t a No. 1 seed, and the Spartans’ elimination on Sunday left him without any chance of gaining further points next weekend. In presidential brackets, as in presidential politics, risk-taking sometimes backfires.
OSU coaches Tony Alford (left) and Zach Smith stand together before the Buckeyes game against Rutgers on Oct. 1. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorWhile appearing on Columbus area radio station 105.7 The Zone, former Ohio State wide receiver coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith said athletic director Gene Smith knew about the domestic abuse allegations made against him in 2015. Zach Smith said he found out about the allegation from October 2015 from Gene Smith. He was told, “to be on the next flight home” when he was on the road recruiting by Ohio State’s athletic director. Zach Smith said in the interview that Gene Smith found out about the allegations because he believes “the Powell Police Department contacted Ohio State” and not Urban Meyer specifically. He also said many people knew about the allegations that were brought to the police department and that Meyer’s statement during Big Ten Media Days was a reaction to the allegation that he was arrested in 2015, which he said never happened. On ESPN, Zach Smith said that if Meyer lost his job because of these allegations, “it would be dead wrong” and that he doesn’t know “what else Urban Meyer could have done.”Breaking silence for the first time since he was fired from Ohio State on July 23, Zach Smith said he never committed domestic abuse against his ex-wife Courtney Smith, calling the relationship “volatile” and “toxic.” In the interview with 105.7 The Zone, he said there were times where he would have to restrain her or “defensively move out of the situation.” Zach Smith also said there were times he would have to sleep at Ohio State’s football offices.Zach Smith said he does not think the situation involving him and his ex-wife Courtney should have led to him being fired from his position with the team. “I don’t think it was warranted,” Smith said in the radio interview. “The problem was it was going to be unfair for the players, the fans, the whole university, to go through the media uproar.”He said he still believes that nothing he did was illegal and, “it was behind closed doors between a husband and wife.” Meyer released a statement on Twitter saying that he knew about the 2015 allegations involving Zach Smith and that he took appropriate action at the time.When Zach Smith read Meyer’s statement on ESPN, he said “that’s who he is right there, it was just, accurate.”This story was updated at 6:33 p.m. to include quotes from Zach Smith’s ESPN interview.