Former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday for driving and crashing in a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown, in December 2012.He faces up to 20 years in prison. He could also get probation, as did North Texas teen, Ethan Couch, who received probation for intoxication manslaughter after a wreck that left four people dead a few weeks ago.Brent was led from the courtroom in handcuffs after the jury returned its decision following nine hours of deliberation over two days. Among those sitting with Brent’s sobbing family was Stacey Jackson, Brown’s mother. Jackson left the courtroom with Brent’s family and did not answer questions. She said in previous interviews that she’s forgiven Brent and could testify in support of a lighter sentence for him when that phase of the trial begins Thursday.Attorneys from both sides remain under a gag order that prevented them from commenting after the proceedings.“We understand the very serious nature of this situation and express our concerns for all of the families and individuals that have been affected by the tragedy of Jerry Brown’s death,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement.Prosecutors say Brent, a defensive tackle, was drunk when he crashed his Mercedes on a suburban Dallas highway in December 2012, killing Brown, a linebacker on the Cowboys practice squad who had also been Brent’s teammate at the University of Illinois. Officers who arrived on scene saw Brent trying to pull Brown’s body from the wreckage.Police say Brent’s blood alcohol level was tested shortly after the crash at 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit for drivers in Texas. Prosecutors last week argued that the burly, 320-pound defensive tackle had as many as 17 drinks the night of the crash.Brent’s attorneys argued the blood tests used by police were faulty and that Brent couldn’t have had nearly that much to drink. Attorney George Milner said his client was “guilty of being stupid behind the wheel of a car,” not drinking beforehand.Jurors saw video of Brent appearing to hold bottles of Champagne in each hand and credit-card receipts that showed Brent had purchased three bottles. They also saw police camera footage of Brent losing his balance during field sobriety tests and occasionally stumbling over his words while talking to officers. read more

6Matt Leinart2005USCTexas3651120342 4Marcus Mariota2014OregonOhio State33321390367 1983Miami (FL)31-30, Orange BowlNebraska25.9 Total adjusted yards adds a player’s passing and rushing yards, plus 20-yard bonuses for passing and rushing TDs and a 45-yard penalty for interceptions.Source: College Football at Sports-Reference.com 2000Oklahoma13-2, Orange BowlFlorida State35.8 2000Oklahoma+26.0+5.7+17.1 2Vince Young2005TexasUSC267002003527 1981Clemson22-15, Orange BowlNebraska34.0 SEASONCHAMPIONBOWL RESULTBOWL OPPONENTPREGAME ELO WIN PROBABILITY 9Tim Tebow2008FloridaOklahoma231221090290 2014Ohio State42-20, CFP ChampionshipOregon40.1 That’s not to say the 13-1 Tigers didn’t appear to stand a chance against the 14-0 Crimson Tide; Clemson finished the season with history’s 18th-best peak rating. But the Tigers’ task was still daunting, particularly when the third quarter ended and they were still trailing by 10 points. During Nick Saban’s tenure at Alabama, the Tide were 97-0 when leading by double digits going into the final quarter of a game.That’s when Watson began to dominate the vaunted Alabama defense, which had previously been lauded as among the greatest in college football history. In the fourth, Watson completed 12 of 18 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns, adding 22 more yards on the ground. He led Clemson to the most points (21) and third-most total yardage (152) any team put up against Alabama in a fourth quarter this season, capping off the victory with a 2-yard touchdown to Hunter Renfrow that put Clemson up with 1 second left on the clock.That quarter helped Watson secure the best individual performance by a QB on the championship stage since the 2000 season.22000 is earliest season for which Sports-Reference.com’s Play Index has game-by-game player stats. At least, that’s according to total adjusted yards, which takes a player’s total offense (passing plus rushing yards) and adds a bonus of 20 yards for every passing or rushing touchdown and subtracts a penalty of 45 yards for every interception. By that measure, Watson’s performance on Monday surpassed even Vince Young’s incredible feats in the 2006 Rose Bowl: Best QB performances in a championship bowl, 2000-16 2011Alabama+30.4+21.1+13.2 2010Auburn22-19, BCS ChampionshipOregon41.9 2016Clemson+30.4+20.4+6.4 1992Alabama+26.5+17.9+20.8 2002Ohio State31-24, Fiesta BowlMiami (FL)22.2% 8Jameis Winston2013Florida StateAuburn23720260303 2009Alabama+29.3+13.3+14.2 ELO RATING 2012Alabama+31.9+26.7+12.6 1992Alabama34-13, Sugar BowlMiami (FL)30.5 2016Clemson35-31, CFP ChampionshipAlabama32.9 In an era dominated by the Alabamas and Ohio States of the world, Clemson’s victory proved that with the right coach — and a special talent like Watson under center — a school can still rise from the middle of college football’s pack and become a champion. 2015Alabama+32.8+29.1+13.9 1999Florida State+29.4+26.0+18.1 2003LSU+24.7+12.1+7.2 5A.J. McCarron2012AlabamaNotre Dame2644090353 PASSINGRUSHING 2007LSU+23.4+22.2+7.5 2001Miami (FL)+29.6+16.9+18.2 Five-year Elo rating averages include the championship season and the four previous seasons. Historical averages are 20-year averages starting from 24 years before the championship season and going though five years before that season.Source: College Football at Sports-Reference.com 7Cam Newton2010AuburnOregon26521640324 2014Ohio State+31.5+19.1+16.9 1994Nebraska+27.6+18.7+22.5 1998Tennessee+26.9+22.7+10.9 2003USC+28.4+14.1+13.3 By beating Alabama 35-31 in Monday night’s instant classic of a College Football Playoff Championship, Clemson and its quarterback, Deshaun Watson, pulled off a number of incredible feats.For starters, the Tigers became the fifth-greatest upset champions since 1975,1In 1974, Associated Press champion Oklahoma didn’t play in a bowl game. Every champ since has finished their season in a bowl. beating a Crimson Tide squad that, at its peak, was ranked as the best team in modern college history by FiveThirtyEight’s Elo power ratings: And, unlike most recent champions, the Tigers were not longstanding members of college football royalty. Clemson won the national title in 1981, but it also spent most of the 1990s and 2000s as a decent-but-not-great program. It wasn’t until coach Dabo Swinney’s third or fourth full season at the helm that the Tigers became a permanent presence among the nation’s top 10 teams.To demonstrate the team’s rapid rise, let’s look at its last 25 seasons. Going back to the dawn of the Bowl Coalition era in 1992, no champion has had a lower average end-of-season Elo rating in the 20 seasons leading up to the five seasons before its title3So, for Clemson, this would be the 20 seasons between 1992 and 2011, which preceded the five seasons from 2012 to 2016. than Clemson. Meaning, the Tigers didn’t have the advantage of a longstanding lofty pedigree; they just got very good very quickly: SEASONNATIONAL CHAMPIONCHAMPIONSHIP SEASON5-YEAR AVG.HISTORICAL AVG. PLAYERSEASONSCHOOLOPPONENTYDSTDINTYDSTDTOTAL ADJ. YARDS 2006Florida+24.3+14.1+19.0 1997Nebraska+31.3+28.1+20.5 2004USC+31.8+19.0+12.4 Clemson didn’t come from a championship pedigree 2005Texas+28.6+21.9+8.4 2005Texas41-38, Rose BowlUSC39.8 2013Florida State+27.3+17.9+21.0 1Deshaun Watson2016ClemsonAlabama42030431543 2006Florida41-14, BCS ChampionshipOhio State28.6 Source: College Football at Sports-Reference.com 1997Michigan+27.2+18.9+19.1 2002Ohio State+22.1+13.5+14.4 1996Florida+31.0+23.9+11.1 1995Nebraska+33.9+23.3+21.8 2008Florida+31.9+19.6+18.6 1993Florida State+29.8+28.1+9.9 2010Auburn+23.4+10.7+12.7 3Deshaun Watson2015ClemsonAlabama40541730513 10Nick Marshall2013AuburnFlorida State21721451277 Biggest college football championship upsets, 1975-2016 read more

WESTERN CONF. TEAMRECORDWIN %EASTERN CONF. TEAMRECORDWIN % Conference48-5447.1Conference54-4852.9 Spurs5-455.676ers5-455.6 Timberwolves2-340.0Wizards4-450.0 Trail Blazers2-340.0Pacers4-450.0 Suns3-442.9Magic4-450.0 INTERCONFERENCEINTERCONFERENCE Source: Basketball-Reference.com Warriors7-277.8Pistons5-183.3 The East is better than the West (for now)Records from games between teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences in the 2017-18 season Thunder5-183.3%Celtics5-0100.0% Nuggets6-366.7Bucks4-266.7 Grizzlies0-40.0Nets3-633.3 Mavericks2-340.0Hornets3-350.0 Jazz2-528.6Heat3-442.9 Lakers3-537.5Cavaliers2-250.0 Kings1-712.5Hawks2-340.0 Rockets6-275.0Raptors6-366.7 For most of this millennium, the West has ruled the NBA with zero debate, boasting a long list of superstar players, including Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, to name just a few. Meanwhile, in the East, there has been LeBron James — and 14 teams that each year served essentially as LeBron James cannon fodder. The NBA’s lopsided conference balance seemed to grow even more drastic this summer, when we saw a migration of top NBA talent from the East to the West. As we detailed at the time, 22 of the league’s 30 best players started the 2017-18 season out West — the largest such number for one conference since the 1970s — after the likes of Jimmy Butler, Paul George and Paul Millsap were all either traded to or signed with Western teams.But about a month into the season, something odd is happening: The East is flipping the script.When the Celtics beat Golden State on Thursday, they cemented themselves (not LeBron’s Cavaliers — who have been mediocre so far) as the hottest team in the NBA right now.1The Celtics beat Atlanta on Sunday for their 15th straight win. And Boston isn’t the only Eastern Conference team off to a good start this season. So far, the East has a 54-48 record against the West in interconference games — a stunning development after an offseason spent fretting about how the West would dominate to an unprecedented degree.Conference disparity has long been an NBA talking point — in the 2015 playoffs, the No. 8 seed in the West would have been the No. 6 seed in the East, and just a year earlier, the West’s eighth seed had a better record than the East’s third seed. It’s an issue that was a hot topic around the league before the most recent exodus — and one that commissioner Adam Silver has publicly stated will continue to be looked at. Since 1999, there’s been only one season (2008-09) in which teams in the East have finished with a winning percentage above .500 against teams in the West. The player inequality of this offseason appeared to only pile on to the league’s growing problem.But as Silver and his team were mulling possible solutions, the league started playing games — and somehow the East began to hold its own (and then some). Through the opening month of the season, the East has won 53 percent of its games against the West, talent exodus be damned. And it’s not as if the best in the East has just been beating up on the worst in the West: According to our Elo model, Eastern Conference underdogs are 31-30 in cross-conference games so far this season — about 12 games better than the Elo ratings said they “should” be. Pelicans4-357.1Knicks4-266.7 Clippers0-50.0Bulls0-60.0 This isn’t by any means enough of a sample size to conclude that the conference imbalance is over, but you can already say that the East has far exceeded any preseason predictions. Before the season, Elo predicted that certain teams at the top of the East would have enough talent to jostle with the top teams in the West — and sure enough, Boston and Toronto have stood out so far. But others — we’re looking at you, Cleveland — haven’t. Instead, it’s been the likes of the Pistons, the Knicks and the Sixers, whose win totals FiveThirtyEight projected to be in the lower half of the league, that have beaten our projections most and outperformed their counterparts in the West. The dregs of the East simply aren’t the pushovers we’re used to them being in recent seasons.A wild start to the season may have helped as well. So far in 2017-18, Elo favorites have won only 60 percent of their games, which — if it holds up — would shatter the 2001-02 season’s mark (64 percent) for the lowest winning percentage by favorites since the 1976 ABA-NBA merger. This topsy-turvy NBA season has been ripe for conference balance to be flipped on its head.Either way, there’s plenty of basketball left to be played — and reason to think things will even out before season’s end. First and foremost, the talent disparity favoring the West hasn’t really gone anywhere; even though some East players are performing above expectations, all the players who departed the East for the West should start asserting themselves eventually. Another sign the balance may tip back into the West’s favor: The West is still outscoring the East by an average of 0.3 points per game in cross-conference games, despite its sub-.500 record. And we’ve been here before — at this stage of the 2015-16 season, the East was also above water, and it ended up getting humbled over the rest of the schedule.So the East still may not actually be better than the West. But it will only need to finish the season at a .492 clip (roughly 40 wins in an 82-game season) to end with a .500 record against its counterpart. Given all the factors working against it going into the year, that might be the single most astonishing thing that happens during the entire 2017-18 NBA season.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

The Ohio state baseball team celebrates the team’s Big Ten championship victory. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsAfter clinching an automatic bid into the NCAA College Baseball tournament, the Ohio State Buckeyes have been placed as the No. 2 seed in the Louisville regional, hosted by No. 2 national seed Louisville Cardinals. For the Buckeyes, this has been a truly spectacular season, fueled by steady contributions from both sides of the plate as they finished with a Big Ten-best record of 43-18-1. On the year, OSU ranked second in the Big Ten in runs scored with 362. The team’s offense was driven largely by their strong power numbers, where they ranked first in the Big Ten and tied for 28th in the country with 56 home runs. Another strength was the speed on the basepaths, where they ranked second in the Big Ten and tied for 18th in the country in stolen bases with 98 successful swipes.But it wasn’t just the bats that worked for the Buckeyes. The pitching staff for the Scarlet and Gray also contributed in a major way to the success of the team. OSU pitchers posted a 3.02 ERA on the season, good for second best in the Big Ten and 11th in the nation; a 1.20 WHIP, best in the Big Ten and 12th in the nation; and a miniscule 2.40 BB/9 rate, second best in the Big Ten and fifth best among all NCAA teams.In the first matchup of their regional, the Buckeyes will take on Wright State University, champions of the Horizon League. The Raiders have put together a strong season, posting a 44-15 record overall. They currently sit 36th overall with a 3.47 ERA and tenth overall with a 1.20 WHIP. Though WSU ranks 22nd overall in runs scored (424 on the season), they have few explosive aspects to their offense. The Raiders currently rank 95th in batting average (.283) and tied for 55th in home runs (46). Their offense has largely been sparked by a NCAA 20th best-91 stolen bases.That game begins on Friday, June 3 at 6 p.m. E.T.The winner of the Louisville regional will play the winner of the Vanderbilt regional in the Super Regional round. read more

The Ohio State women’s tennis team travels to Ann Arbor, Mich. on Friday to take on DePaul University after receiving its third-straight NCAA tournament bid.Posting a 19-9 record on the year, the No. 34 Buckeyes were rewarded for their season by receiving one of the tournament’s 33 at-large bids on Tuesday.Coach Chuck Merzbacher was pleased with his team’s season and said the selection didn’t come as a surprise.“We had one of the toughest schedules that we have ever had,” Merzbacher said. “We had 19 wins and I think we were rewarded for playing that tough schedule.”Coming off a strong performance in the Big East tournament, which ended with a loss in the finals, the No. 30 DePaul Blue Demons will be making their first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament.Despite DePaul’s lack of tournament experience, unanimous All-Big Ten selection Kirsten Flower believes the two teams are equally matched.“I think we match up very well. Obviously they are a great team, but so are we,” Flower said. “We had a good showing at the Big Ten tournament and I think this is just a great opportunity for us.”The Buckeyes and Blue Demons will hit the courts at the University of Michigan on Friday afternoon for the chance to advance to a second-round match with either Michigan or Illinois-Chicago on Saturday.Although OSU is happy with its berth in the tournament, Merzbacher maintains that the goal of his program is to advance.Flower reiterated her coach’s sentiment and said she believes that this team has what it takes to do just that.“We have really good depth all up and down the line,” Flower said. “We can play, so if everyone shows up, we have a great chance of doing well and our goal is set for Georgia.”If the Buckeyes are able to advance past this weekend, the team would travel to Georgia for the Sweet 16. However, both Merzbacher and Flower insist they must take it one match at a time.“We have to focus on the first match because it is really the only one that matters,” Flower said. “It’s a one-and-done tournament — you lose and you’re out, so you have to focus on the first match.”Nearly two weeks removed from its last match, Flower still has great confidence in her team.“We’re tired of practicing,” she said. “We all want to play and I think we’re ready.” read more

When Thad Matta spoke into the microphone his voice crackled, often breaking off into a cough. His cheeks were flushed with a slight red hue and the lights from the postgame press conference glistened off of his saturated face. His team had just earned its first legitimizing win of the season – a 56-53 triumph over a Michigan team that was on the precipice of its first No. 1 ranking in 21 years. And Matta’s presence represented the stress that the rest of the sold-out Schottenstein Center felt as it witnessed the home team’s 21-point lead wilt away into a tie game with six minutes to play. Must-wins don’t exist for college basketball teams in mid-January, but the Buckeyes’ matchup against Michigan was as close as it gets. OSU had lost each of its last three games against ranked opponents – a blown lead down the stretch in the always-hostile Cameron Indoor against Duke, a Sahara Desert-esque shooting drought against Kansas and a dud of a performance against Illinois that turned into the worst program loss in more than three years. Three returning starters from a Final Four team the previous year merited OSU a lofty No. 4 preseason ranking, but ever since the Buckeyes had been methodically cascading down the rankings and giving rise to doubts in not just the psyche of the fans, but surely in their own minds as well that maybe this team wasn’t as good as its predecessors. So when Michigan rolled into town with a No. 2 overall ranking, a heralded freshman class and two returning stars in junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and sophomore guard Trey Burke, OSU all but needed a win to prove to itself that OSU can compete in the hypercompetetive Big Ten and the NCAA Tournament at year’s end. OSU played like a desperate team in the game’s opening minutes, pressuring Michigan into uncharacteristic mistakes and building a 29-8 lead. The Buckeyes blew that lead, regained a six-point advantage and almost saw that one disappear too when Columbus-native Burke’s three that would have given his team a one-point lead rattled out. “I don’t know how, but I’m not going to give it back, that’s for sure,” Matta said after the game. Michigan wanted the win too, obviously. But they didn’t need it. Burke had a little extra incentive, playing against the team that never offered him a scholarship despite growing up a nine iron away from campus. But he was the only one who had anything extra to play for. (And don’t kid yourself, the Michigan-OSU rivalry is nowhere near what it is in football.) For the rest of the Wolverines, this was the first major road test for a young team. Important yes, but a victory was not instrumental for the team’s long-term success. Michigan coach John Beilein, despite his team climbing a mountain of a 21-point deficit only to lose in the end, did not look or sound like a disappointed coach. On the contrary, he was calm and encouraged. “This is terrific for us,” he said. “Every coach will tell you that. When is the last team that didn’t lose? The teams that really prosper from it are the teams that get better from it. We did not play a top-20 team on the road. “We had five freshmen play almost double-digit minutes, they didn’t have a freshman see the floor.” It would have been great for Michigan to get the win, but the Wolverines – playing on the road – have vastly different goals than the Buckeyes, who have a single freshman on their roster, at this point in the season. So don’t catapult OSU back into the “elite teams” category just yet. This Buckeye team is good. They proved that if their backs are against the wall they can beat any team in the country. But what happens when the other team is desperate for victory just as much as OSU, like say in March? That remains to be seen. read more

Then-sophomore pitcher Ryan Riga throws a pitch during a game against Oregon May 11 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU lost, 3-1.Courtesy of OSU Athletics Then-sophomore pitcher Greg Greve (32) fires a pitch during a game against Minnesota April 8, 2012, at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won, 4-1.Courtesy of OSU AthleticsDespite an influx of youth on the Ohio State baseball team, leadership is a likely necessity if the Buckeyes have dreams to be considered among the nation’s best. Although the team is less than three weeks into its regular season, the leaders on the pitching staff have already begun to emerge.Senior captain Greg Greve, and junior Ryan Riga have established themselves as the starting 1-2 punch for the Buckeyes on the mound. They make up a small portion of the pitching staff with collegiate experience, though.“It puts expectations on our roles. We have to show the young guys the ropes,” Greve said.A corps of talented freshmen and sophomores outweigh the upperclassmen in numbers, but coach Greg Beals said he is confident going into weekend trips knowing he is sending Greve and Riga out to start games.“I consider them bookends,” Beals said. “You got Greve going out first (on the weekend), Riga going out second … so our young guys are bookended a little bit.”Beals said he does not have a problem with sending any of the freshmen out to throw big innings, but Greve’s and Riga’s performances thus far have yet to warrant that.Neither were regular starters last year, but both have starting experience. Greve, a right-hander, started 20 games combined during his freshman and sophomore campaigns before moving to the bullpen last year, where he lowered his ERA to a career-best 3.65. Riga, a left-hander, began his collegiate career at Wabash Valley College, where he went 9-3 as a freshman and posted a 2.77 ERA. He improved as a sophomore during his first season with the Buckeyes in 2013, getting his ERA down to 2.14 in 29 relief appearances.With none of the starting rotation returning this season, both pitchers knew it would be their time to step up.“Last year the (pitching) staff set the tone for the team,” Riga said. “We’re trying to do the same to accomplish our goals and make it to the national tournament.”Greve started on opening day for the Buckeyes against reigning Big East Tournament Champion Connecticut. In the weeks leading up to that first game, he had no idea he would be the day one starter for the team, but embraced the role.Things looked shaky to start, with the Huskies earning two runs off him to begin the first inning.“Opening day showed that I was excited and nervous,” Greve said. “After the first inning, I went into the dugout and took some deep breaths and talked to my teammates to just help me relax.”Getting calmed down by his teammates appeared to pay dividends, as he subsequently pitched five strong innings, allowing only two baserunners and retiring 11 batters in a row at one point. The Buckeye offense tallied eight runs to earn him the win.Riga started against Auburn in the second game of the season and pitched for six innings, giving up only four hits while not allowing any runs. His effort against the Tigers earned him the honor of being named a Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the week. He said the award wasn’t important, though.“It doesn’t mean much to me,” Riga said. “I’m just trying to leave games with a lead and help the team win as many games as I can.”The second weekend of play didn’t see Greve and Riga, but Greve said he was glad the team could generate enough offense to win even if the starters struggled.“It’s a great feeling knowing our offense can come back and get runs even if we have a bad day,” Greve said. “Our job is to go out and keep it close for them.”As the freshmen and sophomore relievers continue to develop, Beals said he knows Greve and Riga can provide them with someone to look up to and follow.“They have the right leadership to prepare the (young) guys to be successful,” Beals said.The Buckeyes (5-2) have set the tone early, just as they had hoped to do, Riga said.“We had a big emphasis on the beginning of the year,” Riga said. “We focused on getting a good start and are happy with how it’s been.”Riga and Greve know there is much more to be done, though, and that the team has to keep winning to achieve their main goal.“We want to represent Ohio State in the national tournament,” Greve said. “We have worked our butts off for this all winter. All I want to do is help the team win.”The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Pittsburgh Friday in the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. read more

Tracy Sprinkle is no longer a member of the Ohio State football team, an OSU spokesman confirmed to The Lantern Monday afternoon.Sprinkle was arrested in Lorain County early Saturday morning and charged with rioting, failure to disperse, possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia following a bar fight. According to the spokesman, Sprinkle’s status with the team will be re-evaluated at the end of the legal process.Sprinkle, who was set to be a defensive lineman for the Buckeyes, plead not guilty to all charges Monday morning, according to multiple reports.Sprinkle, who had yet to see the field in his time in Columbus, was a 2012 Associated Press first team All-Ohio selection out of Elyria High School. He enrolled early at OSU, joining the team in January of 2013.During his senior year of high school, Sprinkle recorded 103 tackles, including 19 sacks and 30 total tackles for loss. He was also the first defensive player since former OSU linebacker Matt Wilhelm to win the Lorain County Golden Helmet award, which goes to the best player in the county. Wilhelm won the award in 1999. read more

Ohio State redshirt senior Billy Price gives his thoughts on battle for right guard at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago on July 24. Credit: Jacob Myers | Managing EditorChicago — A month away from the season opener, the Ohio State football team still has several question marks at key positions.Chief among those open spots is right guard.“It’s wide open as we speak, and obviously right guard is as critical a position as there is, so it’s going to be a big battle this training camp,” coach Urban Meyer said in his opening remarks at Big Ten Media Days.Meyer listed seven names who are going to be battling for that spot: redshirt juniors Malcolm Pridgeon and Demetrius Knox, redshirt sophomores Matt Burrell and Brandon Bowen and freshmen Wyatt Davis, Thayer Munford and Josh Myers. “There’s positives and negatives to having seven guys, but how do you get those guys reps and no one has really stepped up and taken it,” Meyer said. “It’s going to be a street fight, especially the first 10 days because you can’t have seven guys competing for that spot … That’s going to be No. 1 on the hit list as we start practice.”The player they are replacing — redshirt senior center Billy Price — believes that even though they are young players, they cannot be counted out just yet, citing now-sophomore Michael Jordan as an example of a young player who came into his true freshman season and won a starting job on the offensive line.“Josh Myers, Thayer Munford and Wyatt Davis, all three of them have ability. They all each bring something to the table that I haven’t seen before, I haven’t seen in a while,” Price said. “(Jordan) came to work last year, he got the position and that’s why he was playing … Perspective to those guys happening, if you show up, you tighten your shoes and you go to work, the position is yours.”Price knows what it takes to step up and take on the starting role as right guard. And so as a senior captain and former right guard himself, he has taken time in between practicing his new role as center to coach several of the younger players as they battle to be Price’s right-hand man on the offensive line.“It’s my job as an older guy to take a young guy underneath and say, ‘Hey, let’s go play some ball,’” Price said. “I’ve had those conversations. Thayer Munford, Wyatt, Josh Myers in particular just being with the freshmen class to just saying, ‘Hey, I need you guys. We need you guys. You’ve got to develop. We need everybody within that room to have their role running, let’s go play some ball.’”One of the freshmen that has stood out to Price so far this year has been Myers. Nicknamed “Tommy” by some of the players for being a “country boy,” Myers has already started to build chemistry with the team and become familiar with the players and rigors of working with the team since he enrolled in January, which Price said has given the freshman an edge.“Josh went through an offseason and he’s continued to develop there as things have continued,” Price said. “I think that because he had those four extra months and he went through a spring, that name is mentioned in (at right guard). And I think that if he continues to develop, if he goes and puts in all out there 100 percent at camp time, it will raise an eyebrow to coach Meyer.”Another player whose name is frequently linked to the starting right guard position is Burrell, who started with the first-team offense during the spring game. Burrell redshirted his true freshman season in 2015 and emerged as an early front-runner for the starting left guard spot in 2016. However, he lost the position battle to Jordan, and was demoted to a backup role.Losing out the job last season to a true freshman, Burrell could have let the loss get to him and cost him further on down the road. But instead, Price said, he has battled through the loss and gained confidence along the way.“You build confidence as a young man too, and I think for Burrell’s case, he’s built a lot of confidence as well as a lot of the other seven that you mentioned,” Price said. “There’s a lot of things that are starting to click for him as he is the favorite from what you’ve said.”And while Price did not voice his own opinion on whom he deems to be the favorite, he acknowledged that Burrell has been considered the likely starter by some out there.“I think from what coach Meyer has said, an article that had been presented, that yes I think (Burrell) is the favorite according to sources,” Price said. “That is not saying that I said that he’s the favorite or that I think he’s the favorite, I just know if I play next to him, we’re going to be okay.” read more

first_imgAn artist’s impression of the newly discovered Proxima b planet which orbits our nearest star Credit:ESO/M. Kornmesser Hundreds of exoplanets have been discovered in recent years which could harbour life, but this is the closest to our solar system.The planet is more than 25 trillion miles away, a distance that would take around 30,000 years to reach with current technology.  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. An artist's impression of the newly discovered Proxima b planet which orbits our nearest star  Co-author Dr John Barnes, from the Open University, said: “Once we had established that the wobble wasn’t caused by star spots, we knew that that there must be a planet orbiting within a zone where water could exist, which is really exciting.”If further research concludes that the conditions of its atmosphere are suitable to support life, this is arguably one of the most important scientific discoveries we will ever make.”The research was published in the journal Nature. An infographic compares the orbit of the planet around Proxima Centauri (Proxima b) with the same region of the Solar System  An infographic compares the orbit of the planet around Proxima Centauri (Proxima b) with the same region of the Solar System  Shifts in the star’s light spectrum showed that at times the star was approaching Earth at around human walking pace – about 3mph – and at other times receding at the same speed.From this data the scientists were able to infer the presence of a planet around 1.3 times more massive than the Earth.Because red dwarfs can mislead planet hunters by giving false signals linked to “star spots” – the equivalent of sun spots – the scientists had to be sure of their findings.Initial hints of a planet were observed in March 2000 and it took another 16 years before sufficient evidence was available to justify announcing the discovery to the world. However its proximity its sun means it is blasted by powerful ultraviolet rays and X-rays so any life that evolved on its surface would have to have evolved to withstand the punishing radiation.Nevertheless, the prospect of finding life on Proxima b has excited scientists.Dr Guillem Anglada-Escude, from Queen Mary University of London, who led an international team of about 30 astronomers, said: “Succeeding in the search for the nearest terrestrial planet beyond the solar system has been an experience of a lifetime, and has drawn on the dedication and passion of a number of international researchers.”We hope these findings inspire future generations to keep looking beyond the stars. The search for life on Proxima b comes next.” It is invisible to the naked eye from Earth and outshone by the bright glow of Alpha Centauri, but our closest star is holding an intriguing secret, scientists have discovered.  Proxima Centauri, which lies in our nearest star system, is orbited by a rocky planet that is so similar to Earth that it could harbour life.The planet, dubbed ‘Proxima b’ is only four light years away, just next door in astronomical terms, and sits in a position known as the Goldilocks Zone, where the temperature is mild enough for water to remain liquid.center_img A view of the southern skies over the ESO 3.6-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile with images of the stars Proxima Centauri (lower-right) and the double star Alpha Centauri AB (lower-left) from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Credit:Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO/ESA/NASA/M. Zamani “It is the closest possible exoplanet to us and may be the closest to support life outside the solar system.“It is intriguing to think that the simple ingredients – water, carbon dioxide, and rock – that are needed for the formation of biochemical cycles that we call life, could all be present and interacting on the planet’s surface.“It is a great place to start looking for life outside the Solar System and it is a very exciting discovery.”Proxima b is only 4.4 million miles (7.5 million km) from its star, five per cent of the distance between the Earth and the Sun, and takes just 11.2 days to complete one orbit.But because Proxima Centauri is a dim red dwarf star radiating much less heat than the Sun, the planet still occupies the habitable zone. Proxima Centauri is part of a triple system of stars in the constellation of Centaurus. It is the faintest of the three, which also include a much brighter pair of stars known as Alpha Centauri A and B.From Earth, the system appears as a single bright star – the third brightest visible in the night sky.Astronomers made the discovery studying Proxima Centauri using a special instrument on the 3.6-metre telescope operated by the European Southern Observatory at La Silla in Chile’s Atacama desert.The High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher was able to measure the tiny “wobble” in the star’s position caused by its interaction with the planet’s gravity. A view of the southern skies over the ESO 3.6-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile with images of the stars Proxima Centauri (lower-right) and the double star Alpha Centauri AB (lower-left) from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.  However, the planet is close enough to give scientists confidence that they can develop a space craft that would be able to reach it within the scale of a human life time and they believe robotic probes could be sent to Proxima b in years to come. Much further in the future the planet may even be colonised by space travellers from Earth, assuming conditions on the surface are survivable.Professor Stephen Hawking is currently devising a small spacecraft to travel to the Alpha Centauri star system in which Proxima Centauri resides in just 20 years. It would use a 100-gigawatt beam of light to reach speeds of 100 million miles an hour.Dr Mikko Tuomi, from the University of Hertfordshire, who was part of the discovery team,  said: “According to the findings the planet has a rocky surface and is only a fraction more massive than the Earth. Proxima b orbits the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri which is 4.3 light years away from Earth Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser It is a great place to start looking for life outside the Solar System and it is a very exciting discoveryDr Mikko Tuomi, University of Hertfordshire An artist's impression of proxima b in spacelast_img read more