2012 Title Contender?

first_imgPhoto Attribution: US PresswireThe always-formidable Travis Haney wrote a lengthy piece on why OSU can/might/will/won’t win it all in 2012. You can read the full article here (and should if you have Insider), but here are some of the highlights if you don’t…Why they can win it all: Is there any shot the Cowboys could retool on the fly to surprise the revamped Big 12 in 2012? The odds seem low, but the Pokes’ recent consistency and efficiency under Mike Gundy makes them a candidate to be in the Big 12 and BCS title picture this season.I mean, I’m one of the biggest OSU homers around and even I think this might be a little much.It’s very difficult, sitting here in June, to project how Lunt will fare as a freshman starting quarterback in the Big 12. If he can run the offense anywhere near as efficiently as Weeden did, the Cowboys could catch the league off guard. Then again, a figure like Blackmon would certainly aid in Lunt’s early development.Which I think might as big of an (if not a bigger) issue than Weeden leaving.Even with Randle and Smith (and the talented Herschel Sims, until he was recently booted from the team), Monken has said the Cowboys will not deter from their plan to feature the pass and use the run to accentuate it. It will be interesting to see if OSU can replicate, or even get close to, its quick-strike numbers from 2011. The Pokes had 23 drives of a minute or less, one more than Baylor, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Their average touchdown drive was an expedient 1:46, 10 seconds faster than Kevin Sumlin’s Houston team and 12 seconds faster than Chip Kelly’s Oregon team.Oregon is the Oklahoma State of the pacific!So long as the turnover trend continues, the Cowboys will be fine. There’s reason to believe it will since the defense returns eight starters, including outstanding corners Brodrick Brown and Justin Gilbert and safety Daytawion Lowe.Why they won’t win it all:Still, it’s a freshman QB …Ever remember a freshman quarterback being named the starter in the spring, two months after he enrolled? It’s highly uncommon — and that’s because of the knowledge and aptitude required to play the position at a high level in a major conference.With that in mind, there’s always the possibility that Lunt will fall flat, even if he winds up being successful in the long run. It might be too much to ask, simply put. That might even rear its head before the season begins.We’ve had so many consecutive years of top-notch QB play that it’s almost unfathomable to grasp a…gasp…Case McCoy level of production from whoever holds the reins. On the flip side for the defense, there could be a law-of-averages concept at play with how many yards Oklahoma State allows. Some pundits and rival coaches wondered last season whether it would eventually catch up with the Cowboys.It didn’t, really, but it does seem as if they’re playing with a blowtorch when it comes to giving up chunks of the field; it’s just not something you typically see in championship teams.We’re just trying to driva a stake in the “defense wins championships” cliche. Oregon put it on life support it in 2010, it’s up to OSU, Washington State, West Virginia, somebody, anybody to end it.Even if the Cowboys are successful, maybe more than expected, this is already a crowded year in terms of Big 12 contenders. Oklahoma figures to have a slight edge as the league favorite going in, but no one would blink if, say, Texas, West Virginia or even TCU wound up winning the conference. In fact, OSU might be pegged in July as the sixth-best team in the league, behind Kansas State and the schools mentioned above.On paper, he’s right, this is a tough league. But tell me, which team puts that “oh crap, there’s no freaking way we’re winning tonight” fear in you? WVU? Maybe. OU? In Norman, I guess. There are some strong teams but absolutely no juggernaut.In some senses, with Lunt and the receivers, this is a rebuilding fall at OSU. But, in other ways — the backs, the defense — this is a fairly experienced team. It might be unrealistic to expect the Cowboys to be in the hunt for a Big 12 or national title, but some level of success — approaching 10 wins, perhaps — would go a long way in establishing and confirming Oklahoma State’s place in the program efficiency ratings moving forward.Translation: 2012 is going to be a blast.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

All Clear at Port of Durban in Storm Aftermath

first_imgzoom All navigable areas of the Port of Durban have now been declared safe for navigation, Transnet National Ports Authority said in its latest update following the mega-storm that ravaged the country on October 10.The announcement was made following the completion of Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) sounding surveys that found no obstacles in the navigation channels that might pose a danger to vessel traffic.The surveys employed TNPA Dredging Services division, divers and drones, TNPA said.“TNPA’s focus still remains on continuing with the implementation of the recovery operations and supporting terminal operators to restore normality,” the port authority added.The Port of Durban was forced to shut down operations to marine traffic as several vessels got grounded, including one containership that drifted into the mouth of the port, blocking its entrance.Yachts and boats in the small craft harbour and at the Point Yacht Club (PYC) also broke free from their moorings.Separately, South African terminal operator Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) declared Force Majeure at its terminal facilities in Richards Bay following the strong storm.TNT said that the decision was made due to the damage caused by extreme weather conditions which have impacted terminal operations.The Richards Bay terminal, handling bulk and break bulk cargo, is situated in KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal South African province, which has been declared a disaster area by Premier Willies Mchunu after the storm that devasted parts of the province.last_img read more

Trudeau serves up pancakes takes in rodeo on whirlwind Calgary Stampede visit

first_imgCALGARY – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says some of the people he met during his Calgary Stampede visit on Saturday lightheartedly mentioned a gaffe he made during a Canada Day speech, during which he skipped Alberta as he rattled off Canada’s provinces and territories.“I got a couple of people teasing me for it, but no one’s made a big deal of it. It’s sort of a gentle ribbing,” Trudeau told reporters on the second-last day of the 10-day western celebration.“I think everyone understands that mistakes happen every now and then and the fact that I keep coming back to Alberta regularly to connect with people, to work on issues that matter to Albertans is something that I know people appreciate very much.”It was earlier thought that Trudeau would miss the Stampede — a popular schmoozing event for politicians of all stripes — as it coincided with G20 meetings in Hamburg, Germany, and a U.S. governors’ meeting in Rhode Island.But Trudeau says he managed to rearrange his schedule for Saturday’s whirlwind visit.The day started off with a meeting with Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi at a downtown hotel.From there, he headed to two community breakfasts, where he held babies, took selfies and served up pancakes amongst big crowds.He then visited with Indigenous leaders at the Stampede’s Indian Village, where he spoke with community members inside a tipi and accepted gifts that included a blanket, a hand-made beaded medallion, sweetgrass and smudge box.He capped off the day with an appearance at the rodeo.The controversy over the Omar Khadr settlement followed Trudeau on his trip, with a man who lives across from one of the pancake breakfasts putting up a big sign on top of is garage that read: “Trudeau, why don’t you pay the widow Speer?” — referring to the wife of Sgt. Chris Speer, the U.S. soldier Khadr is accused of killing in Afghanistan 15 years ago.Khadr had filed a $20-million lawsuit against the government for violating his Charter rights, and has received an out-of-court settlement reportedly worth $10.5 million.Daxton Yont decided to put up the sign because he and others in the community feel the payout was out of line and unjustified.“We just thought we’d put it up to get a light message across. We didn’t want to be rude about it, didn’t want to do something extreme, but just a nice gentle message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,” said Yont.Khadr was sent to the notorious U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after being captured during a firefight with U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2002. He was 15 years old when he was wounded in a battle in which Speer was killed and fellow Delta Force soldier Layne Morris was blinded in one eye.Khadr, now 30, pleaded guilty to five war crimes before a widely condemned military commission at Guantanamo Bay in 2010. He said he agreed to the plea so he could get out of the American prison and return to Canada.In 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Canadian officials violated Khadr’s rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms during their interrogations.“It’s easy to understand why people are frustrated about this. I’m concerned about the money as well, which is, as I said, why we settled,” Trudeau told reporters Saturday.He reiterated that fighting Khadr’s lawsuit in court and losing could have cost $30 million to $40 million.“So we decided that it was the right thing to do, to settle, both because it was the fiscally responsible thing to do, but also because we recognize that when governments violate Canadians’ fundamental rights, there have to be consequences.”last_img read more

Bombardier signs second CS300 deal in as many weeks after Airbus backs

first_imgMONTREAL – Bombardier Inc. said its deal with Airbus has yet to ignite new sales discussions, but existing efforts have yielded results as the manufacturer announced back-to-back potential orders including one with Africa’s largest airline.Chief executive Alain Bellemare told an investor conference Tuesday that he fielded upbeat calls from some large airlines —including Airbus customers — hours after the deal was announced.“That’s the reason why I’m convinced that we are going to see much better sales moving forward,” he said at the Goldman Sachs Industrials Conference in Boston.Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) has signed its second potential C Series order in less than two weeks after EgyptAir Holding Co. announced plans to purchase up to 24 aircraft.The agreement announced at the Dubai Airshow includes 12 CS300 aircraft with purchase rights for an additional 12 aircraft.Bellemare acknowledged that the orders had nothing to do with Airbus even though the partnership gave customers added comfort that the European giant will put its full weight behind the C Series.“This is very good but it’s the work our team was doing with airline customers,” he told analysts. “It keeps on building the momentum up.”Bombardier said that based on the list price of the CS300, a firm order for 12 aircraft would be valued at about US$1.4 billion. That would double if the airline exercises the 12 purchase rights. However, airlines typically receive large discounts.“It would be difficult to wish for a better carrier to establish our presence in the region,” Colin Bole, Bombardier senior vice president commercial aerospace, said in a conference call with reporters from Dubai.“It’s a great template and it is something that will be followed extremely closely by the other carriers in the regions and the sub regions in the area.”The C Series has also been ordered by Iraqi Airways, Saudi Gulf and Gulf Air.The national airline of Egypt told reporters in Dubai that while it has been studying the C Series for a long time, Airbus’ involvement makes them feel better about the program, Bombardier commercial aircraft president Fred Cromer added on the conference call.EgyptAir chairman and CEO Safwat Musallam said the planes will help the airline to modernize its fleet and better serve destinations in the Middle East and Europe.Analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group says Airbus’ involvement will assuage fears that the C Series will be an “orphan” airplane because it will have the support of the European aerospace giant.“I would argue that the Airbus effect will be fairly profound,” he said in an interview.Aboulafia said the C Series is a great plane but Bombardier has had major financial issues.“That is no longer a problem. You remove that, you now have just a great jet that the people want.”The EgyptAir letter of intent and a deal for 31 planes plus options for 30 announced Nov. 2 with an undisclosed customer are expected to be firmed up by the end of the year. That would raise the number of firm C Series orders to more than 400.Bombardier said it remains confident that Boeing won’t be able to prove in its trade complaint that it has been damaged by the C Series since it doesn’t make a plane the size of the CS100 and wasn’t invited to bid on the Delta order.Nonetheless, Cromer said Bombardier is developing contingency plans if high tariffs continue to be applied on aircraft manufactured in Canada and delivered to the U.S.“We have opportunities to place some of those early Delta positions with other airlines,” he said.Cromer declined to say if the second assembly line in Alabama estimated by the company to be built at a cost of more than US$300 million would be affected by the maintenance of high U.S. duties.Bellemare added that Bombardier was never seeking to use the C Series to compete with Boeing or Airbus. Rather, its competitor for the 100- to 150-seat aircraft will remain Brazil’s Embraer.“There were two (competitors) yesterday and there will be two tomorrow,” he said.Bellemare added that Boeing has underestimated the response to its trade action, with support for Bombardier coming from companies and governments such as Canada and Britain.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Bombardier’s shares gained nearly 1.6 per cent at C$3.11 in afternoon trading.last_img read more

Survey suggests more Canadians plan to do holiday shopping online this year

first_imgA new survey suggests more Canadians are planning to do some or all of their holiday shopping online this year.A survey commissioned by FedEx Canada and released today found that 65 per cent of Canadians polled planned to shop online this year, while 55 per cent said they did so last year.Six per cent of those polled said they planned to shop online this holiday season for the first time.Participants in Ontario, Atlantic Canada and British Columbia were the most likely to shop online for the holidays, with 68 per cent of Ontario respondents and 67 per cent of the others saying they planned to avoid brick-and-mortar stores.Saskatchewan, Quebec and Alberta had the lowest percentage of respondents who said they intend to shop online, ranging from 58 to 62 per cent.The survey was conducted online from Oct. 5 to 7 and involved roughly 1,490 adult Canadians. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the populationlast_img read more

China accuses US of undermining UN antiterror body

first_imgBeijing: China on Thursday accused the US of undermining the authority of the UN anti-terrorism committee by “forcefully moving” a resolution in the UNSC to list Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, saying America’s move only “complicates” the issue. The US, supported by France and the UK, has moved a draft resolution in the UN Security Council to blacklist the Pakistan-based terror group’s chief, two weeks after China put a hold on a proposal to list Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Asked about the development, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing that Washington move only complicates the issue. “This is not in line with resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiations. This has reduced the authority of the Committee as a main anti-terrorism body of the UNSC and this is not conducive to the solidarity and only complicates the issue. “We urge the US to act cautiously and avoid forcefully moving forward this resolution draft,” Geng said.last_img read more

Sensex starts on a weak note Yes Bank recovers 4 pc

first_imgMumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex started on a weak note Thursday tracking negative cues from global equities after the US Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged. After falling over 100 points in early trade, the 30-share index recovered lost ground and was trading marginally lower at 39,006.33. The NSE Nifty too was trading 14.65 points down at 11,733.50. In the previous session on Tuesday, the BSE bourse closed with 0.09 per cent or 35.78 points loss at 39,031.55, while the NSE Nifty ended 0.06 per cent or 6.50 points lower at 11,748.15. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: Icra Top gainers in early session were Yes Bank, Bharti Airtel, Hero MotoCorp, Sun Pharma, RIL, M&M, PowerGrid, HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Auto, L&T, Coal India and Kotak Bank, rising up to 3.66 per cent. On the other hand, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, Infosys, Tata Steel, NTPC, TCS, HUL, Bajaj Finance, HCL Tech and ITC were among the top losers, shedding up to 1.94 per cent. According to traders, market sentiment was choppy as investors took weak cues from glaobe equities after the US Federal Reserve Wednesday decided to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged amid mixed signals about the direction of the US economy. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 days On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq ended in the red on Wednesday. Elsewhere in Asia, benchmark equity indices in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul were trading on a mixed note in early trade. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, were trading 0.28 per cent lower at USD 71.98 per barrel. On the currency front, the rupee was trading flat at 69.57 against the US dollar in early trade. Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought equity worth Rs 114.59 crore on Tuesday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased shares to the tune of Rs 730.02 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.last_img read more

Dotting the i Raekwon McMillan a field general of OSU defense

OSU junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan (5) encourages Buckeyes fans to make noise during the second half against Indiana on Oct. 8. The Buckeyes won 38-17. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorFew players have such a profound impact from the moment they walk on the field as junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan has had for Ohio State. The unquestioned leader at the helm of the “Silver Bullets,” OSU’s defensive nickname, McMillan has been named as a semifinalist for the Butkis Award, the top award for linebackers at the collegiate level.Playing middle linebacker is an already daunting task for any team, but at OSU it is a key to the success for the Buckeyes. On Saturday’s game against Northwestern, McMillan reacted to a play action fake pass, which ultimately led to a turnover.That relatively simple play might have seemed pedestrian to the outside eye, but the junior said otherwise to the media on Monday.“I had the B-gap,” McMillan said. “So if the quarterback would have handed the ball to the running back in that situation, I would have had to tackle the running back in that gap. But it’s a mesh point, so the quarterback pulled the ball when he saw me come up. He’s kind of reading me the whole play to see if I’m going to be in my zone.”McMillan said once he read the play, he reacted to Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson going back to pass and jumped in the way, causing the deflection that ended in an easy interception for redshirt freshman cornerback Damon Arnette.Before every play, there is anywhere from a few moments to 25 seconds for the ball to be snapped, although most college teams put an emphasis on getting the ball snapped quickly. For a player like McMillan, those few moments before the play begins are vital in his role as the man in the middle.About five seconds before the snap, McMillan is responsible for reading the offensive formation, among many other duties. To start, he has to get the call from co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell,  and relay that message to his unit and the defensive line in front of him to set them up in the proper stance. He also said from there, he is usually directing the strongside linebacker as well as the “backside safety.”“Once I’ve communicated to them, that’s when I go through the eyes, feet and body positioning with their line and see if I can get some keys on the play they’re going to run,” McMillan said. “Once I get that, then I’m in a different mode. It’s time to lock in, it’s time to go make the play.”That list of responsibilities could easily result in the occasional slip-up. McMillan received scrutiny during and following the Wisconsin game after Badgers’ wide receiver Jazz Peavy ripped-up the Buckeyes defense in the first half with an end-around.According to McMillan, he was just doing his job.“When Wisconsin was running the jet-sweep, and everybody was saying I was getting misreads, like I clearly had the A-gap,” McMillan said through a smile. If he were to bust off his trajectory and try to take out the sweep, he said he would not be doing his job. The commitment to staying true to his role and his assignment has caught the eye of his teammates.Junior defensive end Jalyn Holmes, who came in the 2014 recruiting class with McMillan, looks up to him as a friend and as a leader.“What do I do pre-snap?” he said when asked about his routine before a play. “Wait for Raekwon to tell me to do.”McMillan has earned 51 total tackles so far this season, which is technically a “down” year for the Georgia native. Last season he had 74 tackles through eight games, as well as a sack. With some outside criticism being thrown his way, it would be easy for him to start worrying about his level of play.Instead, McMillan plays it off with a grin and a joke.“If I ask y’all, I’m having the worst season in the world,” he said. read more

Ohio State lacrosse prepares for Showdown in the Shoe

“Win and you’re in.” It’s safe to say that phrase is lingering in the minds of players and coaches for the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team. With a win at the fifth annual “Showdown in the ‘Shoe” this coming Saturday, the team would punch its ticket to the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament. The Buckeyes will face-off against Air Force at 11 a.m. live on the Big Ten Network right before the OSU spring football game, for which about 60,000 presale tickets have already been distributed. The team isn’t nervous about playing in Ohio Stadium, coach Nick Myers said. Myers said it was a challenge last week against Michigan in their stadium, but overall the team is excited about another opportunity. “This is the fifth year I’ve been a part of this event, and it’s like no other in the game of lacrosse,” Myers said. “I think it really speaks to the commitment the university has made to get behind this game. A lot of fans are being exposed to what we feel like is a great game and it’s just huge for Midwest lacrosse.” If the Buckeyes win against Air Force Saturday, the team will make a strong stance for the No. 3 seed in ECAC tournament. With Loyola (Maryland) undefeated in the conference, the win would set up a possible back-to-back matchup with Fairfield University in the last matchup of the regular season, as well as the first-round game of the ECAC tournament for the Buckeyes. The winner of the ECAC tournament will get an automatic bid into the 2012 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse tournament. The ECAC tournament begins on May 2 in Denver. “We’re hungry,” Myers said. “I think we realize how close we are, we just feel like we still haven’t really played our best.” The team hit a rough spot in the middle of the season with a record of 1-5 in the month of March. Two big victories against Hobart College and Michigan in the past two weeks have opened the doors to the postseason for the Buckeyes. With only two games remaining in the season, senior midfielder Brock Sorensen said the team understands the situation they are in. “I think there has been more of a focus as the season has gone on,” Sorensen said. “Our defense has continued to play great for us and we know that is the backbone of our team. It’s just getting our offense to click and getting all 44 guys to chip in any way that they can.” Sorensen has recorded nine goals this season, the highest in his Buckeye career. The defense is ranked 10th in team defense in the NCAA, only allowing 7.75 goals a game. Redshirt senior defenseman Matt Kawamoto said stat resulted from a lot of hard work put in by his teammates this year. Everyone is buying into the game plan and everyone is just staying focused to that goal, Kawamoto said. Kawamoto was announced as a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior Class award on April 4. The winner will be announced during the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship weekend, which will be held May 26-28 in Boston. “To be put in the same category with those other ten guys, it’s a really huge honor,” Kawamoto said. read more

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