Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Australia’s indigenous peoples have long spoken of birds of prey intentionally starting bushfires to flush out prey.In a new study, researchers have now compiled observations and anecdotes from scientific reports, firefighters and Aboriginal peoples to get a better understanding of how such bird-caused fires spread in Australia’s Northern Territory.Overall, most instances of fire-spreading by birds seem to be intentional, the authors say, but it is hard to say how common such fires are. Some birds in Australia use smoldering sticks to spread wildfires and flush out smaller birds, insects, frogs and other prey, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Ethnobiology.This fire-spreading behavior isn’t a new discovery, the authors of the study say. Australia’s indigenous peoples have long spoken of “firehawks” — a generic term for the black kite (Milvus migrans), whistling kite (Haliastur sphenurus) and brown falcon (Falco berigora) — intentionally spreading fires in the country’s tropical savannas. But much of the examples remain fragmented.So the researchers compiled observations and anecdotes from scientific reports, firefighters and Aboriginal peoples to get a better understanding of how such bird-caused fires spread in Australia’s Northern Territory. Some compelling examples came from the co-authors of the study.Co-author and former firefighter Dick Eussen, for instance, was fighting a blaze at the Ranger uranium mine near Kakadu, Northern Territory, in the 1980s when he was alerted to a new blaze on the unburned side of the road.“He drove over and put it out, noting a whistling kite flying about 20 meters [66 feet] in front of him with a smoking stick in its talons,” the authors write in the study. “It dropped the stick and smoke began to curl from the dry grass, starting a spot fire that had to be immediately extinguished. In all, he put out seven fires, all caused by the kites.”Whistling kites are common birds of prey in Australia. Photo by Athena Ferreira via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0). Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Birds Of Prey, Conservation, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Green, Raptors, Research, Savannas, wildfires, Wildlife Hawks hunting in and around a controlled brushfire, Mount Etna Caves National Park, Central Queensland. The birds are a mixture of black kites and whistling kites. Photo by Mark Marathon via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).Citation:Bonta, M. et al. (2018). Intentional Fire-Spreading by “Firehawk” Raptors in Northern Australia. Journal of Ethnobiology. 37(4):700-718. Nathan Ferguson, also a co-author and officer-in-charge of a fire station in the Barkly Tablelands, initially discounted reports of fire-spreading by birds. But after years of experience he “has learned to incorporate the possibility of avian fire-spreading as a variable in bushfire management,” the authors write. In 2016, for example, Ferguson observed a few kites “successfully seizing burning sticks in their beaks, sometimes switching them to their talons, transporting them over 50 meters [164 feet], dropping them, and, thus, igniting unburned grass.”The study also quotes experiences and observations of several indigenous peoples. In one such account, in Douglas Lockwood’s 1963 autobiography I, the Aboriginal, the indigenous Australian Waipuldanya says: “Not only the hawks used the ruse of deliberate grass fires as an aid to hunting. We often did so ourselves, especially towards the end of the long dry season when food was scarce and ten-feet [3-meter] tall speargrass, which burnt readily, was a natural haven for game. It is possible that our forefathers learnt this trick from the birds.”Overall, most instances of fire-spreading by birds seem to be deliberate, the authors write, and some other experts agree. By spreading fires to unburned areas, the birds force more prey to flee and become easy targets for their next meal.“There’s a purpose,” Robert Gosford, a co-author of the study, told the Washington Post. “There’s an intent to say, okay, there are several hundred of us there, we can all get a meal.”Although it is hard to say how common such bird-caused fires are, scientific acceptance of such fire-spreading would help in better planning of fire management and conservation efforts, the authors write.“Though Aboriginal rangers and others who deal with bushfires take into account the risks posed by raptors that cause controlled burns to jump across firebreaks, official skepticism about the reality of avian fire-spreading hampers effective planning for landscape management and restoration,” they add. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored
MOST READ PBA IMAGESANTIPOLO — Knowing NLEX coach Yeng Guiao very well, Magnolia lead guard Paul Lee expects nothing will come easy in Game 6 of their 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series.“It won’t be a walk in the park. So we’ll still work hard and fight in the game. We’ll prepare hard for them because we need to be ready for whatever they’re going to throw at us,” he said in Filipino.ADVERTISEMENT Unlike in Game 4, where Lee needed 11 shots to make it to 11 points and struggled against the pesky defense of the Road Warriors, he did a much better job in Game 5 in making his presence felt. He finished with 15 points, four assists, and three rebounds to help the Hotshots win, 87-78, and move on the cusp of advancing to their first championship series since the 2014 Governors’ Cup.But it wasn’t all him as Lee did not have to take the bulk of the load this time with forwards Aldrech Ramos and Ian Sangalang churning out solid performances.Lee warned his side against complacency as he expects a more rugged affair in Game 6 on Tuesday.“We need to have the same mentality as tonight where we started strong. Even earlier, NLEX was still able to recover so we just have to keep working hard because we can’t waste opportunities like this,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments Ravena hopes Alas can play in do-or-die Game 6 for NLEX .@M_Hotshots’ @lethalweapon03 expects another tough game vs NLEX as his team goes for the kill on Game 6. #PBA2018 pic.twitter.com/mgVxA84vGN— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) March 18, 2018FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims LATEST STORIES
This month’s finance column breaks down mortgage decisions, from switching to cash-back offers, with Pascal Curran, Letterkenny-based financial advisor and founder of advicefirst.ie.Lately, there is a lot of chatter about switching your mortgage to a different lender and the apparent benefits of switching providers, as well as these alluring lump-sum cash-back offers that lenders can provide – we can be bombarded by seemingly amazing options. It’s hard not to get excited by potential savings (yay!) – but, it’s important to take a closer look get down to the simple facts; is there real value to you?Let’s break it down… Switching – “Should we switch?!”Long answer short. Yes, but only if you are paying more than you should.That is, if your interest rate is higher than what is available from other providers. This is why it’s key to get advice though from someone who is not tied to any one lender, before switching your mortgage. You need a simplified and unbiased approach to figuring this out based on your own situation. Offers can sound AMAZING on paper – but help getting a broader picture is invaluable. You need to know exactly what is being offered, the pros and the cons. Is there a possibility your current provider could offer a better rate?! It’s good to check in with them, too. “So, you’re saying we should switch?!”No! Not in all casesWhilst the interest rate is a good starting point to consider whether to switch or not it is not the only factor to consider. If you are on a Tracker rate with your current provider, for instance, you need to consider the implications of switching, the new provider will not give you a tracker rate. Caution is needed here, and here is where the advice comes back into play. You are not just another number, it’s important not to allow your circumstances to be generalised; you’ve got to look at your own life and consider things, like; Your ageHow long your mortgage has to runYour plans for the property in questionSo, “should we switch”, if the emphasis is simply to save money, then yes.*Example:This is an actual case Advice First looked at recently (names have been changed)Bill & Mary, have a mortgage balance of €175,000 with 23 years to run, current interest rate is 3.15%, they are paying €892 monthly, there is a rate 2.3% available to them, the repayment would be €817 monthly, a saving of €75 monthly. It could be argued this would represent a saving of €20,700 over the remaining 23 years. If you enjoy overpaying for everyday items, then, you should not switch providers. Remember your mortgage is an everyday item. That is, you think about it almost every day!So, could we switch?!Now this is where it gets interesting. Not everybody that should switch will be able too. The process of switching mortgage providers is almost the same as applying for new mortgage (see our previous Donegal Daily column for help preparing to get yourself mortgage ready!) whilst, the terms and conditions of a new application are not exactly the same as a switcher application a lot of the lending criteria is the same.So, things like:Your ageYour employment or self-employmentYour incomeYour credit historyThe value of your property versus the outstanding balance of your mortgageNote: If the property in question is not your principle private residence than switching providers may not be an option. The best way to really figure out the answers to these burning questions is, to talk to someone who can help you to clearly figure out your options based on your situation; Give us a call on 074 910 3938A burning question: Would you be bothered….?!The hassle of it all.A question for you. We like to use this example to illustrate a point around this topic; “If you had a hole in your pocket and you were losing, let’s say, €55.23 per month out of this hole. Would stop using the pocket or get it mended or continue to use it and continue to lose money? We think not….Will you contently continue to lose money with your mortgage repaymentsWe at Advice First, suggest that a little hassle is worth enduring, if, savings can be made and importantly, it was the right decision after taking advice. The big question: Why continue to pay more than you need to?!The time to take action is now!We are happy to help you through the process, to make it easier.What about the cost of switching?A few lenders, not all, are offering “Cash Back”. This will help cover the initial outlay of moving to a new provider. Again, advice is needed as not all Cash Back offers are the same and not all offer long term value for money. We have a detailed blog on our site about the Cash back offers where we really break it down. Our advice – is to get advice to help you to:Educate yourself on whether switching is an option for you or not.Look at the pros & cons of switching or not switching Empower yourself with information about aspects like Cash Back offers – knowledge is power. Each month Pascal will provide financial advice on the most frequently asked topics – here on Donegal Daily and is looking forward to further breaking down the barriers around financial advice in his renowned experienced and jargon-free way! If you would like to book a no obligations consultation with Pascal, click here or simply call +353 74 910 39 38 to talk to us today.Follow us on Facebook & Instagram Advice First Financial Services Ltd trading as Advice First Financial is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. *example above is based on a mortgage of €175,000, term 23 years, rate variable 3.15%, switching to a 2-year fixed rate of 2.3%.Warning: If you do not keep up your repayments you may lose your homeWarning: You may have to pay charges if you pay off a fixed-rate loan early.Warning: The cost of your monthly repayments may increase.Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. Mortgage decisions made simple, with Pascal at Advice First was last modified: April 30th, 2019 by Pascal CurranShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:advice firstfinancial adviceMortgagePascal Curran
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest OMAHA (DTN) — Corn and soybean inspections were neutral to bearish while wheat inspections were neutral in the latest USDA export inspections report, according to DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman.Corn inspections totaled 25.7 million bushels for the week ended Thursday, June 13, below the 40.7 mb needed each week to reach USDA’s export estimate of 2.200 bb. Inspections for 2018-19 now total 1.608 billion bushels, down 4% from the previous year. The overall pace of corn inspections is neutral to bearish in 2018-19, Hultman said.Soybean inspections totaled 24.8 mb for the week ended Thursday, June 13, below the 30.5 mb needed weekly to reach USDA’s export estimate of 1.700 bb. Inspections for 2018-19 now total 1.31 bb, down 26% from the previous year. The overall pace of soybean inspections is neutral to bearish in 2018-19, Hultman said.Wheat inspections totaled 13.8 mb for the week ended Thursday, June 13, below the 17.4 mb needed weekly to reach USDA’s export estimate of 900 mb. Inspections for 2019-20 now total 29.3 mb, up slightly from the previous year. The overall pace of wheat inspections is neutral early in 2019-20, Hultman said.(AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 will be available for purchase today at 12pm via flash sale on Amazon India and Mi.com. Xiaomi launched the Redmi 4 this year in May. The phone comes in three storage variants- the one with 2GB RAM and 16GB memory costs Rs 6,999, the other with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage costs Rs 8,999 and lastly 4GB RAM and 64 GB memory is priced at Rs 10,999.Amazon India is offering up to 30GB additional Jio 4G data along with the 12-months free subscription to Hungama Music and 3-months free subscription to Hungama Play on the purchase of the phone. Further, the e-commerce giant is giving Rs 200 promotion credits on Kindle. There are also original Mi cases, Mi headphones, priced at Rs 349 and Rs 559 respectively on the site. Meanwhile, buyers shopping from Mi.com will find different offers with Redmi 4. The company is offering a 12-month’s free subscription to Hungama Music and 10 per cent SuperCash for MobiKwik users.Xioami Redmi 4 was first unveiled in China in February and in May it reached the Indian shores. The company has partnered with Amazon for its exclusive sale .Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi 4 review: Redmi 3S Prime HD remasterThe Redmi 4 is powered by the Snapdragon 435 SoC in India and runs MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The smartphone features a metal unibody design and gives a tough fight to phones like Yureka Black, Lenovo K6 Power and several of Xiaomi phones itself like the Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4A.The Redmi 4 sports a 5-inch HD 2.5D curved glass display with a resolution of 720×1280 pixels. As mentioned earlier, the phone is available in three storage variants- 2GB, 3GB and 4GB RAM. The memory is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card. The smartphone is backed by a 4100mAh battery.advertisementThe Redmi 4 sports a13MP rear camera with PDAF, f2.0 aperture and LED flash. On the front sits a 5MP camera with f2.2 aperture. The phone comes with infrared sensor and the connectivity options include 4G VoLTE support, Bluetooth v4.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS/ A-GPS, Micro-USB with OTG, and 3.5mm audio jack.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Fulham eyeing Leicester fullback Danny Simpsonby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFulham are eyeing Leicester City fullback Danny Simpson.The Mirror says Cottagers boss Claudio Ranieri wants a Leicester reunion with Simpson to help Fulham ‘s battle against relegation.Ranieri led Leicester to the title in 2016 and is desperately looking to strengthen his squad in the January window.Leicester full back Simpson, 32, could be available to loan this month.
Kuyt says Liverpool too strong for Man Utdby Paul Vegas11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool hero Dirk Kuyt says they’ll be too strong for Manchester United.Liverpool travel to United on Sunday to rekindle what is one of the fiercest rivalries in football. “If you look into the Liverpool side now, I think they have a lot of confidence, and they should have because they are a great team,” Feyenoord youth coach Kuyt said.“I think they can win there.“It’s a belief, and you always give everything for the shirt. Play as a team and never give up. That’s what we did at the time.“If you watch the Liverpool team now, they never give up, even in difficult times they’re winning games, they keep winning and hopefully they will do at Old Trafford as well.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
For every team in the College Football Playoff hunt, the path forward remains an arduous one, filled with peril at every turn. But some of those paths are at least relatively straightforward; others involve a bunch of different moving parts. Today, let’s take a look at what each significant playoff contender needs to go its way — keeping things vaguely within the realm of the likely — in order to get to at least 90 percent playoff odds in the eyes of our prediction model. In each case, we’ll try to get it there in as few results as possible,1It’s important to note that this is without regard to chronology. So for instance, winning the conference championship could be the simplest way a team gets to 90 percent playoff odds, but that team would also need to win some easy games beforehand to make the conference title game matter. Our approach would still consider a conference title game win to be the simplest path, because the high probability of getting to that game in a position to make the playoff is “baked in” to the conditional probabilities. (Yes, my head hurts, too.) which is easier said for some teams than others.ClemsonCurrent playoff chances: 87 percentPath to 90+ percent:Clemson wins the ACC championship (Week 14): +9 percentage pointsConditional playoff chances: 96 percentChance of happening: 85 percentAlabamaCurrent playoff chances: 76 percentPath to 90+ percent:Alabama beats Georgia in the SEC championship (Week 14): +23 percentage pointsConditional playoff chances: 99 percentChance of happening: 64 percentGeorgiaCurrent playoff chances: 39 percentPath to 90+ percent:Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC championship (Week 14): +52 percentage pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 36 percentThese three are pretty basic. The undefeated Tigers and Crimson Tide are both practically assured of making the playoff if they just win their respective conference title games — even if they don’t otherwise win out. There are a few scenarios in which the two teams could miss the playoff with losses in between now and championship Saturday, but our model says the Tigers would still have an 80 percent playoff shot even if they lose to, say, Boston College this weekend but win the ACC. Likewise, Bama would be at 92 percent if it loses the Iron Bowl against Auburn but still wins the SEC.Alabama and Clemson’s chances if they win all their remaining games except the conference championship are 45 and 44 percent, respectively. But for the one-loss Bulldogs, that number is 12 percent. So for all intents and purposes, they have no choice but to hand the Tide a huge upset defeat if they want to extend their national championship hopes. The good news, though, is that if we assume UGA plays to the model’s expectations in its other three games (against Auburn, UMass and Georgia Tech), the SEC title game is the big win-and-you’re-in matchup to circle on the Bulldog calendar. In other words, for all three teams, the simplest playoff road leads through the conference championship.Notre DameCurrent playoff chances: 58 percentPath to 90+ percent:Notre Dame beats Florida State in Week 11: +5 percentage pointsNotre Dame beats Syracuse in Week 12: +15 pointsNotre Dame beats USC in Week 13: +14 pointsConditional playoff chances: 92 percentChance of happening: 49 percentOklahomaCurrent playoff chances: 41 percentPath to 90+ percent:Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State in Week 11: +4 percentage pointsOklahoma beats Kansas in Week 12: +1 pointsOklahoma beats West Virginia in Week 13: +21 pointsOklahoma wins the Big 12 championship (Week 14): +24 pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 37 percentOhio StateCurrent playoff chances: 18 percentPath to 90+ percent:Ohio State beats Michigan State in Week 11: +12 percentage pointsOhio State beats Michigan in Week 13: +32 pointsOhio State wins the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +28 pointsConditional playoff chances: 90 percentChance of happening: 18 percentNotre Dame doesn’t have a conference and therefore doesn’t have a chance to pad its resume with another signature win, so it has no room for error. Luckily, the Irish’s remaining schedule is quite reasonable. Florida State is a shell of its former self, Syracuse is having a good season but not on the Irish’s level, and USC isn’t what it used to be either. And our model says an undefeated Notre Dame is essentially a playoff shoo-in. The only cause for concern might be the health of quarterback Ian Book, who will miss Saturday’s game against FSU with a rib injury. But the Irish are still 16½-point favorites over the Seminoles even with backup QB Brandon Wimbush at the helm.Oklahoma and Ohio State can basically control their own destinies as well — the model says both have playoff chances of greater than 91 percent if they just win out. An Irish loss could potentially help the Sooners and Buckeyes, too. Oklahoma has a greater than 90 percent playoff probability conditional on just three outcomes: beating West Virginia and winning the Big 12 while Notre Dame loses at least one game. And any Notre Dame loss would nudge OSU’s chances above the 90 percent threshold as well, provided the Buckeyes beat Michigan and win the Big Ten.MichiganCurrent playoff chances: 40 percentPath to 90+ percent:Syracuse beats Notre Dame in Week 12: +9 percentage pointsMichigan beats Ohio State in Week 13: +28 pointsMichigan wins the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +15 pointsConditional playoff chances: 92 percentChance of happening: 13 percentUnlike Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma, Michigan can’t get to 90 percent simply by winning its remaining games. (That maxes them out at 82 percent.) The Wolverines need help, then, most likely in the form of an Irish loss against Syracuse at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 17. Michigan has other potential paths — Boston College beating Clemson this weekend, for instance, would push UM’s odds to 88 percent if coupled with Wolverine wins over Ohio State and whomever they’d play for the Big Ten title. But watching some other team vicariously avenge Michigan’s early season loss in South Bend would be a fitting way for the Wolverines to stamp their ticket into the playoff.West VirginiaCurrent playoff chances: 12 percentPath to 90+ percent:West Virginia beats TCU in Week 11: +2 percentage pointsWest Virginia beats Oklahoma State in Week 12: +6 pointsWest Virginia beats Oklahoma in Week 13: +19 pointsWest Virginia wins the Big 12 championship (Week 14): +38 pointsMichigan loses the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +14 pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 2 percentWVU needs even more help than does Michigan. And in fact, it might need help from Michigan. Generally speaking, it needs whoever wins the Michigan-Ohio State game — which will torpedo the chances of one member of the one-loss club — to then proceed to lose in the Big Ten title game. (Our model gives West Virginia slightly higher odds under the configuration where Michigan beats OSU, then loses.) Either way, the one-loss Mountaineers need as many teams with a similar resume as possible to move aside. But West Virginia isn’t necessarily putting all its eggs in the Big Ten basket. It could also see its playoff odds soar into the high-80-percent range if Notre Dame loses one of its remaining games (while WVU wins out).Washington StateCurrent playoff chances: 13 percentPath to 90+ percent:Washington State beats Colorado in Week 11: +5 percentage pointsWashington State beats Arizona in Week 12: +3 pointsUSC beats Notre Dame in Week 13: +5 pointsWashington State wins the Pac-12 championship (Week 14): +48 pointsMichigan loses the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +17 pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 1 percentOne-loss Wazzu is in the same boat as West Virginia in terms of benefiting from a Michigan defeat in the Big Ten title game. (Assuming it wins its own remaining games — including the Pac-12 title, most preferably over Utah.) Washington State could get another boost if USC beats Notre Dame since both teams would then have one loss, against the Trojans in each case. It’s unclear how realistic this actually is (since our model doesn’t have a specific Notre Dame adjustment reflecting its tendency to, um, get the benefit of the doubt), but the Irish make the playoff only 18 percent of the time in the scenario laid out above, compared with the Cougars’ 91 percent mark.Central FloridaCurrent playoff chances: 4 percentPath to 90+ percent:¯\_(ツ)_/¯I’m kidding. But not really. This one is far more difficult to pin down than the others above, just because it’s so rare in our data for UCF to make the playoff (and the specifics of each scenario are rarer still). So I’ll just list some of the common outcomes in what few simulations give UCF a relatively large probability of making the playoff:UCF wins all four remaining games, including the American championship. (Duh.)Both Notre Dame and Washington State lose at least one remaining game, and at least one loses twice.Oklahoma and Michigan both fail to win their respective conference championships.Chance of happening: less than 1 in 2,000These probably aren’t the only scenarios under which UCF makes the playoff, but there just aren’t very many UCF-friendly combinations that come up in the simulations. Their 4 percent overall probability of making the playoff is more about adding up a bunch of fractional chances over the course of many simulations — where they’re not overly likely to make it in any given one, but there’s enough uncertainty that they could potentially get in.And that’s the important thing to remember when discussing UCF’s playoff chances: The selection committee has never taken an undefeated Group-of-Five conference team2Schools from the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference and the Sun Belt Conference. in four years of picking playoff squads, and similar undefeated candidates (UCF last year, Western Michigan two years ago) have been denied entry by the committee. So all of this is, by definition, theoretical. Our model bases its predictions on the way in which college football’s power structure has traditionally grouped teams into tiers and given priority to different types of resumes, which is why there are at least some universes where a team like UCF can get real consideration if all hell breaks loose elsewhere. But more likely, they’re getting stray points of probability from the fact that we still don’t always know how the committee will react to a team like the Knights.Of course, a cynic would say we do know — and the answer will always be “no.” But that’s part of what’s interesting about the playoff. There’s much we still don’t know when it comes to who will win upcoming games, and that’s one source of uncertainty built into our model. But we also can’t perfectly predict how the committee itself will react. All UCF and the rest of this year’s contenders can do is win the games in front of them and hope for the right combination to fall into place around them.Check out our latest college football predictions.
Ohio State head coach Geoff Carlston instructs members of the women’s volleyball team during a timeout in a match against No. 3 Penn State on Oct. 6. The Buckeyes lost 3-2. Credit: Rebecca Farage | Lantern ReporterOhio State split two home matches this weekend as it fell 3-2 to No. 3 Penn State Friday, but returned to the court the next day and picked up a 3-0 victory versus Rutgers.No. 3 Penn StateDespite losing 3-2 to Penn State, outside hitter Bia Franklin had a big night with 10 kills and nine digs, both career-highs for the sophomore. Setter Taylor Hughes also played a solid game with a match-high 50 assists, a total she had only matched just once previously this season.Penn State quickly jumped ahead in the first set with an 8-3 lead. Even after two timeouts, the Buckeyes could not match Penn State’s energy. The Nittany Lions delivered 18 kills with a .500 hitting percentage, leaving the Buckeyes behind and allowing Penn State to take the first set 25-13.The Buckeyes did not let the first set affect their performance as they stormed out to an 11-8 lead in the second set.The game grew more intense by the point as both teams fought back-and-forth for the second set with three lead changes. Outside hitter Luisa Schirmer was responsible for five kills and Hughes added 14 assists, leading the Buckeyes to win the set 25-23.The third set was just as competitive as the second, this time with 12 ties. Penn State middle blocker Haleigh Washington helped her team with seven kills on a .364 clip. Tensions were high as both teams played a close point-by-point set, ending in a 30-28 victory for the Buckeyes.The fourth set was quite a turnaround as the Buckeyes fell to a 13-6 deficit, forcing them to call a timeout. The Nittany Lions maintained their momentum and did not relinquish their lead. With 14 kills and 13 digs, Penn State took the set 25-9.The Nittany Lions carried their vibrant energy into the fifth set, leaving the Buckeyes to trail behind them 8-0. Although the Buckeyes attempted to catch up, Penn State took the set and the match with a decisive 15-7 victoryAlthough he sees room for improvement, Ohio State head coach Geoff Carlston thought his team played well against Penn State and recognized the tough moments the Buckeyes worked through.“In this conference and to go where we want to go, you have to be able to do it,” Carlston said. “If it’s a 2 1/2 hour match, you got to do it for 2 1/2 hours. It’s hard.”RutgersThe Buckeyes dominated Saturday night, bouncing back from their loss with a 3-0 sweep against Rutgers. Outside hitter Ashley Wenz was the star of the night with a career-high 18 kills.Wenz said she was not anticipating setting any records this weekend, but sees this as a success for the team as a whole, not just for herself.“I think it helps playing all the way around,” Wenz said. “We’re running the back row attack and it’s been working really well. We have a really nice rhythm with it right now, so that definitely helps.”Ohio State played a sound first set with 11 kills and 10 digs. Wenz put away four kills in the first set, and Rutgers had just a -.050 hitting percentage. The Buckeyes won the opening set 25-15.The second set went just as well for the Buckeyes as they were able to play strong offensively with 13 kills and posses a powerful defensive line with two blocks from middle blocker Madison Smeathers and Hughes. Ohio State claimed the set 25-12 to take a 2-0 lead in the match. The Buckeyes played no differently in the third set, leading with a 9-1 opening run before the Scarlet Knights called a timeout. Although Rutgers was able to pull within just a couple points, Ohio State maintained a steady pace and won the third set 26-24, taking the match.Wenz thought playing these two teams were completely different experiences, but was proud of her team’s progress despite the weekend split.“I think [Rutgers was] pretty scrappy on defense and [we were] able to make the smart shots that we needed to make to be able to put the ball down,” Wenz said.The team’s success Saturday has shown Carlston what the Buckeyes are capable of, but he is only focused on making the team the best they can be.“We made some strides in some areas this weekend, but we just need to come back and keep getting better on Monday,” Carlston said. “We just got to stay focused. We can be really good, but we need to keep challenging ourselves to get better.”The Buckeyes will hit the road again as they face Illinois at 8 p.m. Friday and Northwestern at 8 p.m. Saturday.
The former footballer says Pep Guardiola’s team has everything to be crowned champions once again of the English Premier LeagueSpeaking to the Premier League’s official website, and reported by The Sport Bible, legendary footballer Paul Scholes believes Manchester City will win again.According to the former player, Pep Guardiola’s club will be crowned kings of the 2018-2019 season.“I think Manchester City will win the Premier League again,” he told the EPL.Solskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“They won the league by a distance last year and they look just as good as ever when I saw them the other day. So I expect City to win the league.”“We don’t know what Chelsea are going to be like, we don’t know what Arsenal are going to be like with their new coaches,” he added.“But I’d go for City to win the league, Liverpool second, Manchester United third and I’ll go for Tottenham fourth.”