CLARIFICATION (Aug. 4, 5:33 p.m.): The chart in this post shows only sports included in the 2016 Olympic Games, not those that will be added in 2020 or those that were played in previous games but discontinued. We’re on the ground in Rio covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. Check out all our coverage here.RIO DE JANEIRO — Earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee announced the addition of five sports to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo — baseball, softball, karate, skateboarding, climbing and surfing. Surfing’s Tyler Wright was beyond stoked, but others were less enthused about the IOC’s attempts at “bringing the Games to young people.”But concern trolling over the fidelity of the Olympics’ roster of sports overlooks just how capricious the traditional selection process has been. The 2016 games in Rio already feature a record 42 sport disciplines — rugby and golf are the newcomers this year — that make up more than 300 events. Both rugby and golf were part of the the 1900 Olympics in Paris — the second modern summer games — but by 1908 golf was out and rugby followed shortly thereafter. Other sports like basketball and boxing were added in subsequent years, but by the 1988 games in Seoul, South Korea, far more obscure sports like synchronized swimming, taekwondo and rhythmic gymnastics were on the Olympic docket, decades before golf and rugby would return.Each Olympic cycle the executive board of the International Olympic Committee votes to add sports that have petitioned to be included based on criteria like “TV ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy and global participation and popularity,” according to ESPN. This can be an unscientific thing, as was made clear in 2013, when the board voted to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympics and then reversed that decision and reinstated it just a few months later.Taken altogether, the weird blips in Olympic history become even more apparent — like the absence of soccer in 1932, or the decades-long tennis hiatus from 1928 to 1964. Below, a look at all of the sports that will be played in 2016 as they’ve come and gone throughout modern Olympics history.1We used the categories of sports based on the results from the 2012 London Olympics, and included golf and rugby for 2016. A few categories of sports changed in 2012, however. Individual equestrian events are now all listed under “Equestrian” and individual wrestling events (Freestyle vs. Greco-Roman) are also now both listed under “Wrestling.” We removed two sports that debuted at the summer Olympics, ice hockey and figure skating, but are now winter sports.
Venus Williams returns to Britain’s Johanna Konta during her Wimbledon women’s singles semifinal victory that sent the American to the 16th Grand Slam final of her career.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)LONDON — All these years later, Wimbledon still brings out the best in Venus Williams.With her latest display of gutsy serving and big hitting, Williams beat Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday to reach her ninth title match at the All England Club and first since 2009.At 37, Williams is the oldest Wimbledon finalist since Martina Navratilova was the 1994 runner-up at that age.Williams also stopped Konta’s bid to become the first woman from Britain in 40 years to win the country’s Grand Slam tournament.“I couldn’t have asked for more, but I’ll ask for a little more. One more win would be amazing,” Williams said. “It won’t be a given, but I’m going to give it my all.”She will be seeking her sixth Wimbledon championship and eighth Grand Slam singles trophy overall. Her most recent came in 2008, when she defeated her younger sister, Serena, for the title at the All England Club. A year later, she lost the final to Serena.In the time since, Williams revealed that she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, which can sap energy and cause joint pain. As time went on, there were questions about whether she might retire, especially after a half-dozen first-round losses at major tournaments. But she kept on going, and lately has returned to winning.Her resurgence began in earnest at Wimbledon a year ago, when she made it to the semifinals. Then, at the Australian Open in January, Williams reached the final, where she lost to — yes, you guessed it — her sister. Serena is off the tour for the rest of this year because she is pregnant.“I missed her so much before this match. And I was like, ‘I just wish she was here.’ And I was like, ‘I wish she could do this for me,’” Williams said with a laugh. “And I was like, ‘No, this time you have to do it for yourself.’ So here we are.”On Saturday, the 10th-seeded American will participate in her second Grand Slam final of the season, and 16th of her career, this time against 14th-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain.“She knows how to play, especially Wimbledon finals,” Muguruza, the 2015 Wimbledon runner-up and 2016 French Open champion, said about Williams. “It’s going to be, like, a historic final again.”Muguruza overwhelmed 87th-ranked Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-1, 6-1 in the earlier semifinal.Williams arrived in England a few weeks after being involved in a two-car accident in Florida; not long afterward, a passenger in the other vehicle died. At her initial news conference at Wimbledon, a tearful Williams briefly left the room to compose herself after being asked about the crash.She has tried, coach David Witt said, to “just focus on the tennis.”In the semifinals, it was Konta who had the first chance to nose ahead, a point from serving from the opening set when it was 4-all and Williams was serving down 15-40.Williams erased the first break point with a backhand winner down the line, and the second with a 106 mph (171 kph) second serve that went right at Konta’s body. It was a risky strategy, going for so much pace on a second serve, but it worked. That opened a run in which Williams won 12 of 13 points.“She looks to dictate from the very first ball,” Konta said. “When she puts herself in a position to do that, she plays with a lot of depth, a lot of speed, and you don’t get much of a chance to get your, I guess, grip into the points.”Williams wouldn’t face another break point and, later, produced another impressive second serve — in the second set, at 103 mph (166 kph), it went right at Konta, who jumped out of the way.Konta played quite well, especially early, and finished with more winners, 20 to 19, each greeted by roars from the Centre Court spectators.“They could have really been even more boisterous. I thought the crowd was so fair. And I know that they love Jo, and she gave it her all today,” Williams said. “It’s a lot of pressure. It’s a lot of pressure. I thought she handled it well. I think my experience just helped a lot.”This was her 10th semifinal in 20 Wimbledon appearances; Konta had never been past the second round at the grass-court tournament before this year.In the other semifinal, Muguruza won 15 of the first 20 points en route to a 5-0 lead. Even though Rybarikova entered having won 18 of her past 19 grass-court matches, mostly at lower-level tournaments, she suddenly looked a lot more like someone whose career record at Wimbledon before last week was 2-9.“Not my best day,” Rybarikova said. “But she didn’t give me much chance to do something.”Muguruza won the point on 19 of 25 trips to the net and had a 22-8 edge in winners.That earned the 23-year-old Muguruza a berth in her third career Grand Slam final, second at the All England Club. She lost to Serena Williams with the title on the line at Wimbledon in 2015, then beat her at Roland Garros last year.“I’ll have to ask Serena for some pointers,” Venus Williams said. “Serena’s always in my corner. And usually it’s her in these finals, so I’m trying my best to represent ‘Williams’ as best as I can.”
All newsletters neil:This kind of lays the blame for slow free agency at the feet of tanking:The Rising Storm That Froze Baseball’s Hot Stove MarketI wonder, though, how much more teams really are tanking now than in the past. We could compare Fangraphs’ preseason forecasted wins this year to forecasts from the past and see where the distribution is differentPredictions NBA Oh, and don’t forgetJason Kelce is a madman We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆 Join the squad. Subscribe Things That Caught My EyeTeams to watch in PyeongchangTomorrow the Olympic Games kicks off in Pyeongchang, South Korea. For the U.S., we’re going to see a number of winter Olympic staples — Lindsey Vonn is back at it again — but there are a few newcomers to watch. Nathan Chen of Salt Lake City won the last two U.S. titles in figure skating and is poised to be a serious competitor this year. And the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team is hot off a pay raise fight and is the favorite to win gold. [The Atlantic]Five weeks in, a barrier gets smashedKim “Geguri” Se-yeon, a South Korean Overwatch off-tank, will be the first woman to sign with a professional Overwatch team as the Shanghai Dragons try to shake up their line up. The Dragons are in dire need of a pace reset, as they’re currently at the bottom of the esports league and are winless five weeks into the inaugural season. [ESPN]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?OWL first round playoffs this SaturdayThe first round of the Overwatch League comes to an end this Saturday, with the 7-1 New York and London teams definitely in the playoff and several other teams — including the Houston Outlaws, Los Angeles Valiant, Seoul Dynasty — in the hunt today and tomorrow for that last spot. Houston has a major tiebreaker advantage over Seoul and Los Angeles, but is a game back and still has to face two imposing rivals. Once the favorites, Seoul has been in a tailspin recently and was blanked by Los Angeles Wednesday. [ESPN, ESPN]Drafted a winThe Philadelphia Eagles have the sixth highest weighted draft value on their roster of all Super Bowl champions since 1993. They had the most impact players who were drafted high than any team since the Ravens in 2000, with six of the nine starters on the offensive and defensive lines taken in the first two rounds. [FiveThirtyEight]NHL not represented in OlympicsGiven the league’s decision to not allow players to participate in the Olympic Games, who on earth is actually playing hockey in Pyeongchang? Old timers, it turns out, with plenty of former NHL players suiting up to represent their countries. Canada leads when it comes to aggregate NHL experience, with its team having played a cumulative 5,444 games in the league. [FiveThirtyEight]Niners nail down JimmyJimmy Garoppolo signed a five year $137.5 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers, $90 million of which is guaranteed in the first three years, and instantly making a player who has seven NFL starts one of the league’s best paid players. [ESPN]Big Number3 tradesThe Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off three explosive trades in the final hours ahead of the NBA trade deadline, first trading Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye to the Lakers, then trading Dwayne Wade to Miami, then trading Iman Shumpert to Sacramento and Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to Utah in a three team deal. [ESPN]Leaks from Slack: See more NBA predictions
Royals56.5110.391.6101 How would MLB’s worst (and most average) do in Triple-A?Wins per 162 games by league for the Orioles, Royals and Phillies using Out of the Park Developments to simulate Class AAA results for each team Phillies83.2123.3133.8128.5 Wins per 162 games in… Orioles46.892.7102.197.4 TeamReal-Life MLBInt’l LgPCLAAA Combd. Which winning percentage is “correct”? There are a few reasons to think Out of the Park’s findings are more realistic.3And no, they didn’t pay us to say that. Although many of Baltimore’s players rate at or slightly below the replacement level by WAR, that performance is by definition equivalent to the top level of talent found in the minors. Remember, even a completely replacement-level MLB team would rank among the upper echelon of AAA. Plus, many Orioles are also suffering horrendously down years. Out of the 38 veterans who have logged time for Baltimore this season, 29 are producing WAR below their established level from the previous three seasons. With slightly improved luck, against greatly reduced competition, even the Chris Davises of the world could expect better results. So, similar to a college football team trying to beat an NFL team, baseball’s best farm clubs would probably lose their share of games against the worst the majors has to offer.But while studying the depths of the Orioles’ and Royals’ badness in the context of minor league teams is fun in itself, studying MLB’s bottom feeders is also useful for understanding how they fit into — and represent — some of the game’s larger trends.Baltimore wasn’t necessarily attempting to be terrible to begin the season like the tanking efforts of teams like the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs earlier this decade. But the Orioles were awful near the deadline and got even worse when they finally elected to rebuild, trading away many of their best players (such as Manny Machado, Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop and Brad Brach). The Orioles were 32-75 through July and have picked up the losing pace with their depleted lineup, going 11-32 since the start of August and reaching 100 losses on Sept. 7.The Orioles at least have the excuse of having to play 38 games against the Yankees and Red Sox. The Royals, meanwhile, are in the woeful AL Central, a grouping of teams that might be the worst division ever. The Royals rank last in the American League in pitching WAR (4.0), and only the Orioles (5.22) have a poorer ERA than Kansas City’s 5.05. Of the 18 Royals pitchers to log at least 20 innings, 10 are at or below replacement level.The lineup isn’t much better. The Baltimore Orioles really struggled in the season’s second half, going 17-26 in the International League. Fortunately for Baltimore, they still managed to hold off the Charlotte Knights and Gwinnett Stripers by a comfortable margin in the South Division. Advancing to the postseason, the Orioles rallied to capture the league title with series wins over the Rochester Red Wings and Toledo Mud He — wait, what?That scenario is a hypothetical minor league season simulated by Out of the Park Developments at the request of FiveThirtyEight. In reality, the Orioles are actually a major league team that resides in the American League East, where they were a staggering 60 games behind the division-leading Boston Red Sox entering play Tuesday. The modern record for most games back of a division (or, before divisions, league) leader was set in 1906 by the Boston Beaneaters, who finished 66.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs.Our forecast calls for Baltimore to lose 115 games, which would be tied for the fourth-most losses in a season since 1901. The AL record for games lost in a season is 119 by the infamously bad 2003 Detroit Tigers, while the 1962 New York Mets — an expansion club — hold the modern major league record for losses in a season (120). Both of those numbers are achievable for Baltimore this season. And the Orioles aren’t alone: The Kansas City Royals are also remarkably terrible, projected to lose 105 games. If the Royals and Orioles each lose at least 105 games, they would be the first teams to do so in the same season since 2002.After unloading many of their assets at the trade deadline, Baltimore and Kansas City are struggling so mightily against real MLB teams that we were curious to see how they would stack up if they were relegated to Triple-A. At what point does the designation between a major and minor league team start to blur? And what are the implications of that blurring for the broader world of Major League Baseball?To help answer the first question, we started with a minor league equivalency (MLE) calculator, which converts MLB statistics to their corresponding Triple-A numbers. The MLEs were not bullish on Baltimore’s chances in Triple-A: Assuming there is an 18 percent bump in wins above replacement1Using a mix of FanGraphs’ and Baseball-Reference.com’s versions of the metric. when moving down from the majors to the minors,2Which we arrived at by reverse-engineering the MLE calculator’s 15 percent penalty in on-base plus slugging for moving from Class AAA to the majors. the Orioles were still projected to have just a .446 winning percentage in Triple-A. And the Royals? Their 2018 performance translates to a .489 winning percentage in Triple-A. For comparison’s sake, the Philadelphia Phillies are the most average team in baseball this season according to WAR. Their major league performance translates to a .585 winning percentage in Triple-A.According to Out of the Park’s game engine, though, the Orioles and Royals would at least hold their own against minor league competition. In the aforementioned simulation, Baltimore went 79-59 (a .572 winning percentage) in the International League; a separate sim had the Orioles finishing 87-51 (.630) in the Pacific Coast League (another AAA league). Combined, those records would be good for 97 wins over the standard 162-game schedule.(The Royals played at a 101-win pace against their AAA opponents in the simulations, while the Phillies projected for a 129-win pace.) Sources: Out of the Park Baseball, Baseball-Reference.com How did K.C. and Baltimore get here? Most damaging are their relative struggles to draft and develop quality players and prospects, and little help is on the immediate horizon as the Orioles and Royals ranked 25th and 26th in a composite ranking of midseason prospects.Although Baltimore regularly exceeded expectations in the 2010s under manager Buck Showalter and general manager Dan Duquette, the team now faces a long and difficult rebuild with a thin farm system and in a tough division.“We’re the worst team in the business, but we’re not unlike Kansas City, who had a good run,” Duquette said. “You go through a winning cycle. You don’t draft up high. Your players get older. There is a lot of stress on your resources to replace your players.“Our situation in Baltimore was we put an inordinate amount of resources into the major league to try and sustain the competitive window. That was a decision by the ownership. Along the way, we didn’t invest in the infrastructure required to sustain it, and by that I mean the international [free agent] recruiting, the analytics, the technology, the front office personnel. The ownership group made a conscious choice to invest money into the major league team to extend the competitiveness of the team a bit longer.”One of the biggest takeaways from the Orioles’ and Royals’ struggles is that the gap between the haves — the super teams — and have-nots might be growing. From 2010 to 2016, an average of 4.9 teams per season had scoring differentials or 100 runs or greater. Eight teams accomplished the feat last year, and eight teams are projected to do so again this season.Conversely, seven teams are expected to post negative differentials of 100 runs or more this year after six reached the mark in 2016 and 2017. Over the past decade, three teams have a run differential of -200 or worse, including the DisAstros of 2012 (-211) and 2013 (-238) and the San Diego Padres of 2017 (-212). There will likely be three such teams this season in the Orioles, Marlins and Royals. By run differential between the first- and last-ranking teams, the Orioles are 3.34 runs worse per game than the Astros, which is the second greatest margin in any season since 1954.Part of this is by design. The Cubs and Astros tanked specifically to acquire premium draft picks and clear payroll, following the NBA’s worst-to-first model. The fact that those two teams won the past two World Series will only strengthen belief in this philosophy. The Royals arguably employed the strategy, too — perhaps inadvertently — to form a core that took the club to the 2014 and 2015 World Series, winning the 2015 title. Two key members of those Royals teams, Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain, left as free agents last winter.Duquette has been a major league GM since the early 1990s. Does he believe rebuilding strategies have become more extreme?“I think one of the things that is different now … is players over 30 now are way less productive than they were in the 1990s and 2000s,” Duquette said. Older players have indeed become less productive and account for fewer seasons being played since performance-enhancing drug testing began in 2004.“Those are generally some of the players that would be available to make an impact on your major league team. … It’s always been a young’s man game [but] with those [older] players not being available on the market, I think teams, in general, are placing a higher value on the prospects they have, and younger players.”As long as relegation to the minor leagues isn’t a part of baseball, tanking is a logical approach to acquiring premium young talent. But it won’t always work — and it might not be in the game’s overall interest.In the American League, the Indians and Red Sox have already clinched playoff berths, and the Indians have clinched the A.L. Central. The Red Sox and Astros have 99 percent chances of capturing their divisions, while the Yankees and Athletics have 99 percent chances of winning the league’s wild cards. So midway through September, there are no AL playoff races — and that is likely playing some role in declining ticket sales.MLB attendance is down 4.28 percent (2.88 million) from last season’s pace through Sept. 17. A number of factors are at play, including cold early season weather, improving in-home TV/streaming experience and changes to the secondary ticket market. But American League attendance, and its fewer games of interest, is down more (5.97 percent decline and loss of 1.83 million fans) than attendance in the National League (2.99 percent decrease and 1.06 million fans).The Orioles have suffered the fifth-largest attendance drop in the majors to date (-405,652 fans) while the Royals are third (-523,317).“If you lose over a 100 games, that’s extreme,” Duquette said. “It’s hard on your club, and it’s hard on the fan base to continue to maintain enthusiasm.”While rebuilding has always been part of baseball, the depths of such retooling projects are becoming more extreme in nature. They’re so extreme that the gap between the worst major league teams and minor league play might be closing.Check out our latest MLB predictions.CORRECTION (Sept. 20, 2018, 11:30 a.m.): A previous version of this article repeated an error made by betting company regarding the modern record for how far back a team finished in the standings. The betting line said the record was 65.5 games in 1909. The record was actually set by the Boston Beaneaters in 1906 at 66.5 games.
Sophomore defenseman Tommy Parran attacks the net versus Robert Morris on Nov. 4 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Lantern Photo EditorThe Ohio State men’s hockey team (11-4-4) found the back of the net four times in the first period en route to a 6-1 blowout victory over visiting Arizona State (7-17-1). Senior forward and captain Nick Schilkey netted two goals for the Buckeyes, while sophomore forward Miguel Fidler, junior forward Kevin Miller, senior forward David Gust and freshman forward Ronnie Hein all added a goal a piece.The win marks the third in its last five games for OSU, who now own a 4-3-1 record at the Schottenstein Center this season.“Anytime you can go out there and score six goals, you’re doing something right,” coach Steve Rohlik said. “I was real happy with our start. It’s nice to go out there and kind of play downhill right away.”Gust opened the scoring for OSU just five minutes into the first period for his 12th of the year, with assists from junior forward Luke Stork and freshman forward Tanner Laczynski. Two minutes later, the Buckeyes capitalized on a 5-on-3 advantage as sophomore forward Mason Jobst and redshirt junior defenseman Matt Joyaux found Schilkey, who buried his 16th of the year on the power play to double the Buckeye lead.The Buckeyes, who were ranked second in the nation for first-period goals coming into the matchup, are now 12-2-2 when scoring first this season. Fidler and Miller added goals before the horn, and the Buckeyes entered the first intermission with a comfortable 4-0 lead.The key statistic of the night for the Scarlet & Grey was its success on power plays, racking up three goals on five attempts. Rohlik said that his guys were in position to score on these opportunities, and that winning the fight on the man-advantage proved to be crucial once again.“It’s nice to win the special teams battle,” Rohlik said. “Most times when you win the special teams war, you win the game — and tonight we came out on top of that.”Senior goalie Christian Frey quietly notched 35 saves on the night between the pipes for OSU. However, the Sun Devils’ got on the board with 11:32 left in the second period when freshman defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk powered a blueline slapshot past Frey on the Arizona State power play.Despite that, Rohlik praised the play of his goalie in the game, and said that he is a vital piece to the success of this team.“He’s our best player. He makes everyone look a lot better when he’s making those saves,” Rohlik said. “When you give up that many uneven rushes, and that many chances, it’s nice to have a guy back there that’s in the zone. But we don’t need to put him on the spot like that like we did tonight.”With 4:09 left in the second, Gust centered a pass to Schilkey, and the captain wristed a one-timer past substitute goalie Joey Daccord to extend the Buckeye lead on the power play with his second of the night. It was his 17th of the season and fourth in his last two games.Even on shots heading into the third and final period, ASU had opportunities to get back into the game, but OSU cushioned its lead. Hein added his name to the score sheet with 3:07 left in the period. Sophomore forward Freddy Gerard and freshman defenseman Gordi Meyer recorded assists on the goal.Schilkey had the chance to record his second hat trick of the season on a shot in the third period, but saw his opportunity denied by the crossbar. The senior said that although he didn’t his third goal of the game, the result is what is truly important.“I had plenty of chances (to get a third goal), but any time you score two goals, it’s good — and to put six up there as a team was great,” Schilkey said.With another matchup with the Sun Devils on tap for Saturday, Gust said that he anticipates Arizona State will bring more physicality to the second game right out of the gate.“They’re a big physical team, so I think they’re going to bring that (toughness) for a full 60 (minutes) tomorrow,” he said.Puck drop from the Schottenstein Center for the second clash of this series is set for 2 p.m.
Penn State football fans had more to be happy about than the Nittany Lions’ 20-14 win Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Less than two weeks ago, the PSU community was rocked by the revelation that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing children by Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly. A sizeable contingent of Nittany Lions fans attended a game away from Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., Saturday and said their trip to the ‘Shoe was made more pleasant by the respect and good behavior that was shown to them by Buckeye Nation. In connection with the charges levied against Sandusky, PSU’s president for finance and business Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley were also charged with perjury and failure to report child abuse. Former university President Graham Spanier resigned in the wake of the charges being made public and former Nittany Lions’ coach Joe Paterno, NCAA Division I’s all-time wins leader and the head coach of PSU football for 46 years, was fired. It has been a tumultuous time for PSU students and fans, including Cristen Mohn, 20, of Steelton, Pa., a third-year PSU student in nursing. Mohn said the last two weeks have been hard for Nittany Lions fans, describing the experience as “unreal.” “It was just kind of like shock a little bit,” said Mohn, who is currently dating fellow Steelton native and PSU junior defensive lineman Jordan Hill. “It’s just depressing. It’s gloomy. It’s just not the same knowing that all this is going on.” Mohn also said that Buckeyes fans she encountered around Columbus were welcoming and supportive of the PSU community. “We haven’t had any bad experiences,” Mohn said. “Everyone is saying ‘Thank you for coming.’ Some people were saying to us, ‘Penn State is still great school.’ Everybody that we’ve run into has been awesome.” NCAA president Mark Emmert announced Friday that the NCAA would investigate “Penn State’s exercise of institutional control over its intercollegiate athletics programs,” according to multiple reports. Nittany Lions fan Matt Curtis, 22, of Philipsburg, Pa., said that he expects harsh penalties to be administered to PSU football. “As a university, you hope (PSU) can put everything together. It’s an institutional problem and there’s no reason to punish the players on the field,” Curtis said. “And they probably had to be done with Paterno. He deserved to be fired if he did turn the other cheek, if that’s the case.” Like Mohn, Curtis said that he too was welcomed to campus on Saturday, and that some OSU fans even engaged him with popular PSU football chants. “Everyone’s been unbelievable,” Curtis said. “Every time we walk by, somebody’s yelling, ‘We are,’ or ‘Welcome.’ I’m not going to lie, I’ve heard some horror stories from Ohio Stadium, but, so far, the fans have been awesome.” Dave Stock, 25, of Pittsburgh, Pa., graduated from PSU with a telecommunications degree in 2008. Stock said that it has been painful for him to watch the situation in State College unfold. “As a fan, it’s frustrating. We had an aura of ‘success with honor’ — that was (Paterno’s) mantra,” Stock said. “On the road, (PSU fans) would be looked at a little differently.” Stock couldn’t deny that he received a surprisingly warm welcome upon arriving in Columbus. “It’s been absolutely great, so far,” he said. “It’s been very classy. I have nothing but good things to say, and I never thought I would say that about Ohio State fans.”
After surviving their closest game of the season, a 42-41 victory against Michigan (7-5, 3-5), the Ohio State Buckeyes moved up one spot to No. 2 in the most recent BCS rankings. The Buckeyes are behind only No. 1 Florida State (12-0, 8-0) in the rankings.If the Buckeyes (12-0, 8-0) can hold onto a top two ranking in the final BCS Standings, released next Sunday, they will earn a spot in the BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl Jan. 6.OSU rose after then-No. 4 Auburn (11-1, 7-1) took down undefeated and then-No. 1 Alabama (11-1, 7-1), 34-28, Saturday.The Buckeyes are .027 points ahead of No. 3 Auburn in the standings.The Tigers are on OSU’s heels with one game remaining for each team next week. The Buckeyes are just 25 and 66 points ahead of Auburn in the USA TODAY and Harris Polls respectively.Auburn pulled off one of the most thrilling victories in college football history after Tigers senior cornerback Chris Davis returned an Alabama missed field goal 100 yards for a touchdown with no time left on the clock.Next Saturday the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on No. 10 Michigan State (11-1, 7-1) in the Big Ten Championship in Lucas Oil Stadium at 8 p.m.The Tigers are set to finish their season earlier in the day against No. 5 Missouri (11-1, 7-1) at 4 p.m. in the SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome.
Then-redshirt-sophomore running back Bri’onte Dunn (25) carries the ball during the 2014 OSU Spring Game on April 12, 2014, at Ohio Stadium.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo EditorWhen it comes to the Ohio State offense, the bulk of discussion since the Buckeyes’ national title win in the College Football Playoff has centered around the quarterback competition.But when OSU takes the Ohio Stadium field on Saturday for its annual Spring Game, redshirt-senior Braxton Miller and redshirt-sophomore J.T. Barrett will both be sidelined while they recover from shoulder and ankle injuries, respectively. Of the signal callers with a chance to start, only redshirt-junior Cardale Jones will be fully available, and OSU fans already got a taste of what he can do during the Buckeyes’ three postseason games last year.Jones will likely play the whole game, but more can be learned from watching the five players on offense listed below than from focusing on the known players like Jones and other returning starters.1. Redshirt-junior running back Bri’onte DunnJunior Ezekiel Elliott, the Buckeyes’ undisputed starting running back, is nursing an injury of his own, and likely won’t be involved on Saturday.Normally that would leave sophomore Curtis Samuel to take the keys in the OSU backfield, but at least two running backs will be featured prominently and Samuel will likely be playing H-back. So with Elliott’s primary backup catching passes from the slot, Dunn will have a chance to prove what he can do after seeing limited playing time early in his collegiate career.Dunn made his mark on special teams last year after redshirting as a sophomore and playing minimally as a true freshman. Now he’s getting first-team reps in practice, and could earn a sizeable chunk of playing time with a big day at the ‘Shoe.2. Redshirt-freshman quarterback Stephen CollierJones will be the focus, but the opposite side will be quarterbacked by Collier.He redshirted last year after being named the Southwest Georgia State Player of the Year in high school, but seems to be the odd man out when it comes to potential playing time. Collier is currently behind Jones, Miller and Barrett, and was a less-heralded recruit than Torrance Gibson and Joe Burrow, who are set to join the Buckeyes this fall.If he proves himself as a legitimate threat on Saturday, Collier still won’t be in this year’s race for playing time. But he could establish himself as a dependable backup down the line, or prove his worth as a potential starter should he decide to transfer.3. Redshirt-senior offensive lineman Chase FarrisThe OSU offensive line returns four starters from 2014, and Farris has already all but locked up the right tackle position for 2015.The former defensive lineman played a bit last year, but is approaching his first full season as a starter in his last year with the Buckeyes. He’ll have something to prove with a few younger players behind him in the pecking order who could challenge him for that spot later in the year.With the other four starters already established, look for Farris to make a statement as a dominant force in Saturday’s exhibition.4. Tie: Redshirt-freshmen wide receivers Terry McLaurin and Parris CampbellOSU wide receivers coach Zach Smith has already said McLaurin and Campbell aren’t quite ready to be contributors on offense, but the Spring Game could be a chance to showcase their talents.Both were four-star recruits coming out of high school, according to ESPN, and have a full year of practice with the Buckeyes under their belt. With Evan Spencer and Devin Smith both gone, OSU needs depth at receiver, and might give this young duo a look if one of them stands out.5. Redshirt-junior running back Warren BallLike Dunn, Ball hasn’t had a ton of impact as a Buckeye. A three-star recruit who came to OSU as a hometown prospect, Ball has totaled just 31 carries for 161 yards in his collegiate career. Now he’s buried behind Elliott, Samuel, Dunn and possibly incoming freshman Mike Weber on the depth chart, and shouldn’t expect an increase in playing time this year.This spring might be his last-ditch chance to make an impact as a Buckeye, or, like Collier, he could use a big day on Saturday to springboard a transfer to a smaller program.
“Britain’s Border Force is not equipped to quickly, accurately and securely monitor passengers in and out of Britain,” the report warns.Border officials aim to check 99 per cent of inbound “high risk” flights, for example where passenger lists have not been submitted in advance and the identities of those on board are unknown. Its security systems are out of date, overstretched and failing to cover all passengers adequately. It’s astonishing that potentially thousands of high-risk flights are not being checked properly by the Border ForceSam Bowman, executive director of Adam Smith Institute “In both these respects the Border Force is not succeeding. Its security systems are out of date, overstretched and failing to cover all passengers adequately. It’s astonishing that potentially thousands of high-risk flights are not being checked properly by the Border Force.”The Telegraph earlier this year launched a new Border Security campaign and published an open letter from top anti-terror policemen and experts calling for a review of protections at the border.Ed West, co author of the paper, said: “Brexit is unlikely to mean a reduction in immigration. Visitor numbers are only likely to increase as Asia’s middle class grows, and it’s vital that we not only successfully attract visitors and investors from around the world but that the public can trust the system in place to protect us.”The Home Office rejected the study’s calculations as “inaccurate and highly misleading”.A spokeswoman said Border Force officers carried out “detailed risk assessments and our officers physically meet any flight considered to be high risk.”In addition, we work with domestic and international partners to gather intelligence and target suspicious activity in the skies and seas.” Queues at Heathrow for border controlsCredit:Rex More than 4,000 “high risk” flights are being missed by Border Force officials each year, a new study estimates, raising fears crime gangs, drug traffickers and even terrorists could be using lax security to enter the country.The UK’s Border Force is in disarray after years of neglect, while the rising number of passengers has stretched the organisation to breaking point, the Adam Smith Institute warns.While passenger numbers through Britain’s ports and airports have risen by a fifth this decade and are expected to rise by another 43 per cent by 2030, funding for border checks has been slashed, the think tank says. But the report found some days up to 7.5 per cent of such flights, or the equivalent of as many as 4,197 a year, are not met by agents or checked on databases.The report said known terrorists like Islamic State’s Siddhartha Dhar had been able to leave Britain through smaller ports, airports and Eurotunnel, where security is known to be less strict.Sam Bowman, executive director of the institute, said: “A successful Border Force needs to do two things: keep people out of the country who should not be allowed in, and do so without causing unnecessary disruption to other passengers. 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.
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 Tory councillor who was summoned to court over failure to pay his own council tax bill has claimed he deliberately did it to “test” the system. Alan Preest, who represents Lydney, Gloucestershire, on three different local authorities, alleged his failure to pay his tax bill last August was due to a “glitch” in his bank account automatic payment system while he was on holiday. He claimed that he then decided to “test out” the system to see what happens to people who miss an instalment.Mr Preest, who is entitled to a £10,000 a year allowance as a Gloucestershire county councillor and another £4,500 for representing Lydney North on the Forest of Dean district council, said he settled his bill after receiving a court summons, but it cost him an extra £55 because he had defaulted.”I tested it out. Did it to see how they treat people who miss an instalment,” he said.Mr Preest lives in Bream and has an annual council tax bill of £1,208.95 for 2016/2017. I tested it out. Did it to see how they treat people who miss an instalmentCllr Preest Cllr. Preest failed to pay his council tax because he wanted to “test the system”Credit:SWNS He questioned the system and suggested there should be a little more leniency when it comes to those who have only missed one payment. “I can understand it if you miss payments three, four or five times but to miss just one and get a summons?” he said.”I’ve got nothing to hide, but I think a little leniency should be given to more vulnerable people and those who have a change in circumstances.”Mr Preest was a Tory councillor until 2008, when he was cautioned for stealing from a local shop. He served as an independent before joining UKIP, becoming the first candidate from the party to be elected in Gloucestershire.He rejoined the Conservatives after the EU referendum last June.