OAKLAND — Late August is too early to scoreboard watch, right?After the A’s swept the Yankees in three games — clinching it Thursday night with a 5-3 victory — and took three-of-four from the Houston Astros, we’ll allow a quick peek.The Cleveland Indians, once in firm grasp of the American League wild card’s first spot, fell off the top two marks after losing its third game in a row. The Tampa Bay Rays, on a two-game win streak, sit in that second spot. And, yes, there the Athletics sit atop …
My recent post about banning fiberglass batt insulation (thanks for all the wonderful comments) was inspired by a couple of pre-drywall inspections on homes I am in the process of certifying under the EarthCraft House program. Recently I completed pre-drywall and final inspections on several LEED for Homes projects I am working on, and have participated in several meetings on an affordable LEED townhouse development that is just coming out of the ground. The level of building performance and compliance with program requirements in these projects varies widely. While all of the projects are generally far superior to average construction, most of them have problems that could have been avoided through a combination of better planning and tighter management.The goodIt seems to me that the level of contractor performance falls into one of three categories: high, moderate or low. Even the high-performance projects fall a little short in a few areas. The best projects are by contractors who are fully committed to sustainable building, working with architects who are similarly committed. During the pre-drywall inspection on one project, I identified some deficient window flashing, which the contractor quickly corrected, anxious to do the right thing. The final inspection on this same project identified a few minor problems, mostly related to duct leakage inside the building envelope, which, while not great, shouldn’t cause any major problems.The badThe contractors who fall into the moderate category are interested in green building, but they are still new to it. They have had some training but are still learning the intricacies of the subject, achieving some—but not very complete—success in the process. These homes were also not designed from the start to be green buildings, creating challenges for the builders in the field. I expect that with more experience and training—and hopefully better plans—these builders will rise to the challenge with future projects.The uglyWhile not common, I have certified and consulted on a few projects where the contractors just didn’t care enough to put in the effort to build a high-performance home, and resisted any efforts to upgrade their work, even when their clients were willing to pay for it. While this disappoints me, I have to let it go. I hope they will eventually upgrade their work or move on to another profession where they can’t do as much damage.The projects that really bothered me were the ones by contractors who should have known better. I work for several companies that are experienced green builders, recognized locally and nationally in publications and with awards for their work. Objectively, these projects are the most high-performance homes I see, but they have far too many minor defects and poor decisions for the level of experience of these builders. I believe that most of this is due to communication breakdowns between management and the field, something that I experienced frequently when I was still building and renovating.Are we on the Titanic?I have come to the conclusion that it is not easy for contractors to go green, particularly in our current, cutthroat building market. It is a real challenge to be competitive enough to stay in business, make a profit, and satisfy clients, while making substantial changes in work process to build better, green homes. New homes must compete on price with underpriced foreclosures and distressed sales, and few purchasers understand or are willing to pay for high-quality construction that everyone should be demanding.What will it take to improve the performance of all new and existing homes, and how long will it take us to get there? I was at a lecture by a corporate sustainability consultant recently, and during a discussion about how long it will take to get to universal sustainability, someone asked him the question “Do you sometimes feel like you are on the Titanic and just want to go to the bar?” While I enjoy what I do and generally feel hopeful, sometimes I just want to go to the bar.
Kolkata: A man was arrested with cash worth Rs 60 lakh from B B Ganguly Street on Monday. It is suspected that the money was being used for an illegal deal.According to sources, on Monday, sleuths of the detective department got a tip-off that a deal involving huge amount of money was about to be made around B B Ganguly Street. Based on the information, plain-clothed police personnel started patrolling the area. While keeping a vigil a police source identified one of the suspects. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe person was identified as Dinesh Lohia of Patipukur in Lake Town. He was detained on suspicion. Sleuths found Rs 60 lakh in his bag. When asked about the source of money he could not provide a satisfactory answer. Sharma was immediately arrested and taken to Lalbazar. The information about the seized money has been shared with the Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate for necessary actions on their part. During the past few days, Kolkata Police have seized huge amount of unaccounted money and arrested several persons. Sleuths suspect a section of people are trying use black money during the ensuing Lok Sabha Elections 2019 and for the same reason money is being circulated through hawala.
Raigarh: BJP president Amit Shah Thursday said Kashmir is an integral part of India and cannot be separated from the country till a single BJP worker is alive, irrespective of whether the party is in power or not. Addressing an election rally in Raigarh district headquarters in Chhattisgarh, he said when the Modi government is re-elected at the Centre, infiltrators will be identified across the country and deported. “Election is underway in Jammu and Kashmir and an ally of Congress, leader of National Conference Omar Abdullah had advocated for a prime minister in Kashmir. Do you think it’s possible that a country can have two PMs? I have been asking Rahul baba to clarify his stand on the (Abdullah’s) statement, but he is silent,” Shah said slamming Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. “Rahul baba listen carefully…Presently there is a government headed by Modi ji and it will be re-elected. But even if we are not in power, nobody can separate Kashmir from India till a single BJP worker is alive. Kashmir is an integral part of India and if anyone says that it will be isolated from the country, then people of the country will not tolerate it,” he added. Shah also accused the Congress and the National Conference of not being in favour of scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “Congress and National Conference don’t want to remove Article 370. But the BJP has promised in its poll manifesto that Article 370 will be scrapped,” he said. “Another issue is that of NRC (National Register for Citizen). Congress is saying do not bring NRC, but I want to urge you to again elect the Narendra Modi government at the Centre…infiltrators will be identified right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to Assam, and deported,” he said. Describing infiltrators as “termites”, he said they are a threat to the nation’s security. “Our commitment is to throw them out of the country,” the BJP chief added. Shah also alleged that the Congress and other opposition parties are unhappy with the success of the Indian Air Force’s strike on terrorist camps at Balakot in Pakistan in retaliation to the Pulwama terror attack. “The Modi government has done the biggest work to safeguard the borders of the country. When terrorists attacked in Pulwama and killed our 40 jawans, there was anger and disappointment in the country. But the Modi government is not like the ‘mauni baba’ (silent) Manmohan Singh government. Barely 13 days after the attack, air strikes were carried out targeting terror camps in Pakistan,” he said. “At a time when the whole nation rejoiced, there was grief in Pakistan. But there was also sadness in the office Rahul baba and company,” Shah claimed. “The guru of Rahul Gandhi, Sam Pitroda, says some kids have committed mistakes and dialogue should be held with them. Do you think talks should be held with those who killed our 40 jawans? Our policy is clear that reply of the bullets will be given with shells. We will not hold talks with terrorists. BJP has a zero tolerance policy against terrorists.” The Congress ruled the country for 55 years, but it did nothing for development of poor, Dalits, tribals, villages and cities of the country, he alleged. In the five years of the Modi government, work has been done for the development of 50 crore poor. Shah also slammed the Congress government in Chhattisgarh and said Ayushman Bharat scheme has been stopped in the state which was meant for welfare of poor people. He also targeted Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel for banning the CBI from investigating any fresh cases in the state without seeking the state’s consent. “Why was Bhupesh Baghel so afraid of the CBI that he banned it in the state immediatelyafter coming to power. What he has done?” he asked. The Congress had promised to provide unemployment allowance in the state, Shah said, adding, “Are you (people) getting it? No development work is taking place in the state. The law and order situation has collapsed.” Shah was campaigning for BJP candidate Gomtee Sai from Raigarh Lok Sabha constituency which will go to polls in the third phase on April 23.
Johnny ManzielTexas A&M20137593286.7 392005USC95.878.717.1 402014Oregon91.369.921.4 432006BYU90.064.525.5 352010Stanford91.976.415.5 Johnny ManzielTexas A&M20121,41045%91.3 Denard RobinsonMichigan20121,2665382.7 Cam NewtonAuburn20101,4733790.0 202005Penn State74.083.49.4 Matt JonesArkansas20046223081.7 Tim TebowFlorida20078953486.5 Dak PrescottMississippi St.20138293486.5 422015Alabama70.892.922.1 162012Oregon88.381.76.6 RANKSEASONTEAMOFFENSEDEFENSEGAP 82014Alabama84.982.52.4 282009TCU70.282.612.4 Greg Ward Jr.Houston20151,0343381.1 Chase ClementRice20086933778.8 Collin KleinKansas St.20129203783.1 QUARTERBACKTEAMSEASONRUSH YARDSSHARE OF TEAM RUSHINGQBR Denard RobinsonMichigan20101,7025579.9 322015Ohio State67.080.613.6 262008Texas89.077.611.4 362008Oklahoma95.379.216.1 Terrance BroadwayLA-Lafayette20127693175.0 42010Boise State87.886.90.9 92008USC89.486.62.8 Watson’s excellence under a heavy all-around workload puts him in rare company. He is one of 14 quarterbacks over the past 11 seasons (shown in the table below) to post a season QBR of 75 or higher while also rushing for at least 30 percent of his team’s total yards on the ground. The only quarterbacks to post better QBR numbers while running as much: Manziel (twice), Pat White and Newton. And Watson is a sophomore, meaning that — like Manziel — he could end up on this list again. 122008Florida91.486.45.0 Cody FajardoNevada20121,1213278.2 Pat WhiteWest Virginia20071,3353583.3 132007Kansas22.214.171.124 342011Alabama80.494.514.1 62007West Virginia78.577.60.9 222011Oklahoma State126.96.36.199 22015Oklahoma83.383.00.3 Tyler MurphyBoston College20141,1843680.2 Dak PrescottMississippi St.20155413281.3 112011Boise State82.477.54.9 412009Texas67.489.121.7 Deshaun WatsonClemson20158873186.6 32006USC79.079.60.6 152009Florida80.186.05.9 52012Alabama90.391.20.9 172010Ohio State80.087.07.0 EFFICIENCY 242013Baylor87.977.810.1 272014TCU75.888.012.2 312009Alabama77.389.912.6 382012Texas A&M91.374.616.7 Balance of elite college football teams, 2005-15 182005Texas92.085.07.0 192010Alabama87.779.18.6 252005Ohio State73.383.710.4 212012FSU74.383.89.5 Oklahoma: The balanced Sooners are favoritesOklahoma is our model’s favorite to win the College Football Playoff, with a 41 percent chance at the national championship. If the Sooners do take home the trophy, it will likely be due to a stellar effort on both offense and defense. This isn’t exactly a novel conceit — every team needs both units to play well to succeed at the highest levels — but it’s particularly true for Oklahoma, one of the most balanced teams in recent college football history.Overall, Oklahoma is very good, rating well in all the fashionable advanced metrics. The Sooners sit at No. 1 in ESPN’s Football Power Index, which FiveThirtyEight’s college football model uses for game predictions. Oklahoma is also the top team according to Football Perspective’s Simple Rating System. And according to our Elo ratings, the Sooners are the fifth-best squad.That’s all remarkable, in the usual ways a championship-level team is remarkable; what’s less common, though, is Oklahoma’s balance. The Sooners are the only team in the country to rate in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. On offense, quarterback Baker Mayfield leads a sharp passing attack, with heavy utilization of All-American receiver Sterling Shepard. Buttressing that efficiency through the air is an impressive running back duo of Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, who have combined for more than 2,000 yards this year. The Sooner defense, led by standout linebacker Eric Striker, can crimp offenses in several ways — it’s in the top 10 among all FBS teams in both sacks and interceptions.One way to look at team balance historically is to define it as the absolute gap between a team’s offensive and defensive efficiency ratings. Going back to the 2005 season among teams in the top four in overall efficiency, these Sooners are the second-most-balanced team of the decade. Only the 2013 Alabama squad had a smaller gap between its offense and defense. 332011LSU76.690.213.6 302014Ohio State87.574.912.6 Source: ESPN, TRUMEDIA Is Deshaun Watson the new Johnny Manziel? 292007USC71.183.512.4 Source: ESPN 72006Ohio State83.382.11.2 When Oklahoma faces Clemson on New Year’s Eve, its defense will have to confront a passing and rushing attack orchestrated by a quarterback with myriad skills — ranging from a dangerous deep passing ability to sharp scrambling instincts. Deshaun Watson is the rare QB who excels at being a one-man offense. 372013Oregon87.771.316.4 Clemson: Deshaun Watson is a one-man offenseUndefeated, No. 1-ranked Clemson enters the College Football Playoff with two major advantages: a top-notch defense and a star quarterback. The Tigers’ offensive attack is led by Deshaun Watson, a Heisman finalist and electric dual-threat quarterback in the vein of Johnny Manziel and Cam Newton. And like Manziel and Newton, Watson has carried his team into the national spotlight seemingly by himself.According to ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating (QBR), Watson is the third-highest-rated quarterback in the nation. (By adjusting for opponent strength, QBR aims to be a comprehensive measure of QB performance.) The only QBs to rate higher than Watson are Brandon Allen, of five-loss Arkansas, and Baylor’s Seth Russell, who suffered a season-ending injury after seven excellent games. Watson’s raw stats are also impressive: He has accumulated more than 3,500 yards and 30 passing touchdowns through the air, along with another 887 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and 11 rushing touchdowns on the ground.Overall, Watson is responsible for 66 percent of Clemon’s total offensive yards (passing and rushing combined). Considering how efficiently he has played (shown by QBR) and how much of the offensive burden he has shouldered, Watson’s season is quite the outlier. 232006LSU85.075.19.9 102013FSU93.589.24.3 12013Alabama85.785.90.2 142015Clemson81.387.15.8 Pat WhiteWest Virginia20061,2193190.5 Clemson and Oklahoma square off on New Year’s Eve in a matchup that pits the nation’s only remaining undefeated team (the Tigers) against the favorite according to FiveThirtyEight’s college football model (the Sooners). Both teams have a strong defense, but on offense they’re a contrast. Clemson has a one-man scoring machine in dual-threat quarterback Deshaun Watson. Oklahoma, on the other hand, is evenly balanced between a nifty passing attack and two strong running backs. In fact, the Sooners are one of the more balanced teams in recent college football history. 442007Florida93.149.843.3 Of course, offense and defense aren’t all there is to football. And on special teams, the Sooners aren’t quite so intimidating or balanced. Frankly, they’re bad. Oklahoma is ranked No. 93 of 128 FBS teams.At least broadly, it looks like Oklahoma is on to something here. The correlation between overall efficiency and the gap between offense and defense among all teams is strong and negative,1Specifically, it’s -0.195. meaning the less balanced a team is, the worse it performs. This isn’t an effect of talent imbalance among worse schools, either: Among the top 25 teams in overall efficiency in each season since 2005, the more efficient teams have been slightly more balanced as well, though the relationship is weaker here.If Oklahoma wins out and reconfirms FiveThirtyEight’s soothsaying abilities, it will likely go down as one of the least one-dimensional teams that college football has seen in quite some time. Perhaps this style doesn’t produce the same thrilling, back-and-forth games the best imbalanced squads play, like that ridiculous 2007 Gators season (Tim Tebow’s first as a full-time starter), but its effectiveness isn’t in doubt.Read more: Alabama’s Dominant Run Attack vs. A Lucky Michigan State Team
Senior safety Christian Bryant (2) is helped by the OSU medical staff during a game against Wisconsin Sept. 28 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 31-24.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorOne week after taking down a top-25 conference foe at Ohio Stadium, the Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0, 1-0) are set to face another ranked Big Ten opponent, this time on the road against No. 16 Northwestern (4-0).For a second consecutive weekend, the Buckeyes’ game will be televised in prime time on ABC’s Saturday Night Football, and ESPN’s College GameDay will be on site for the game in Evanston, Ill.OSU coach Urban Meyer tipped his hat to Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald when he spoke to the media after practice Wednesday. He said the Wildcat faithful has every reason to be excited for the matchup.“They should have hype, they’re undefeated and (have) got a very good team,” Meyer said. “It’s a big game for them, but I’ve got news: It’s a big game for us too.”OSU’s next test comes on the heels of losing starting senior safety Christian Bryant with a broken ankle in the team’s 31-24 victory against Wisconsin.Redshirt-senior safety C.J. Barnett said the pain of losing his teammate to injury was greater than the thrill of victory.“It was tough, honestly, I didn’t even enjoy the win. I mean, that’s the worst news, not being able to play with him,” Barnett said. “A lot of the guys from the team went to the hospital and visited him.”Meyer said redshirt-senior safety Corey “Pitt” Brown is expected to step up during Bryant’s absence.Barnett said there would be no setback in the play of the secondary because Brown is a “veteran that’s had game-time experience.”On the offensive side of the ball, junior quarterback Braxton Miller is expected to make his second straight start after missing almost three full games with a sprained left MCL.Meyer said his signal caller is “full-speed, ready to go.”Miller said he’s physically where he needs to be for Saturday, but that the previous game was hard on his body after not playing for several weeks.“After the game, I was really sore,” Miller said. “But, I just feel comfortable where I’m at.”Miller also said he hopes his time off the field didn’t cost him a shot at winning the Heisman Trophy. He said he believes he still has a chance to earn college football’s most prestigious award because, in his opinion, it’s all about how candidates play in the biggest games.Saturday’s prime-time showdown is a great stage for his team to get a big win for the injured Bryant, said junior linebacker Curtis Grant.“We love to stick together and go out on the road. I think that’s one of the best things about football, when you can go into someone else’s stadium and create havoc,” Grant said. “All we can do is go out and win this game for him.”OSU is scheduled to take on Northwestern at 8 p.m. Saturday at Ryan Field.
Then-sophomore defensive lineman Noah Spence (8) tackles Penn State then-freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg during a game at Ohio Stadium on Oct. 26. OSU won, 63-14.Credit: Lantern file photoThe Ohio State football program will likely head into its third game of the season with one of the team’s most dynamic defensive players back in the lineup.Junior defensive lineman Noah Spence is set to return to game action after missing the Buckeyes’ last three games because of a suspension handed out in January.Spence was originally suspended a full year by the NCAA for testing positive for ecstasy before his family appealed the suspension and it was reduced to three games. A second appeal was unsuccessful.Spence served his three-game suspension by sitting out the 2014 Orange Bowl and the first two games of the 2014 season against Navy and Virginia Tech.OSU coach Urban Meyer said he is excited for Spence to be back out on the field.“First of all, he is an exceptional player. I know myself and his family (are) anxious to see him play,” Meyer said during a Big Ten teleconference. “He has handled (his suspension) — he went down to the scout team and performed for the last two weeks. (He is) very selfless and we are anxious to get him going.”Neither Spence, nor the usual amount of OSU players, were made available for comment Monday following the Buckeyes’ loss to Virginia Tech. Just one player of the expected three spoke to the media after Meyer’s weekly press conference.Co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash said though he hadn’t coached Spence until the spring, he is eager to see what the junior can do.“Noah is a very talented player. Fits well in our scheme. Has a tremendous ability to get after the quarterback and I think it is going to help us a lot,” Ash said Monday.Because he was suspended, Spence spent most of his time during fall camp with the scout team. Ash said, however, Spence has still been involved with the first-team defense.“He has been in all of the defensive line meetings, so all through the course of training camp, he has worked a lot of scout team stuff going against our offense,” Ash said. “He has been out there practicing our stuff quite a bit.”Ash added that during the short time he coached Spence, he has seen the lineman take steps to become a better player throughout camp.“We saw a lot of strides in the spring from him. From the time we started to the time we ended spring practice, he really made a lot of improvement,” Ash said. “He has made improvement throughout training camp so far also and (we) are excited to see him get out there on game day.”Defensive line coach Larry Johnson said during OSU’s fall media day that he expects to play multiple linemen to keep players fresh.The addition of Spence into the lineup should help do that.“My goal is to have a group of nine to 10 guys we can shuffle in and out in no particular order,” Johnson said Aug. 10. “We have the talent to be able to do that. We just have to coach it up.”The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the Kent State Golden Flashes on Saturday at noon at Ohio Stadium.
Eintracht Frankfurt forward Sebastien Haller hopes his fine form this season will lead to a maiden call-up to the France squadThe 24-year-old has had a standout campaign in the Bundesliga with nine goals and eight assists in 17 appearances to help Frankfurt to sixth in the standings.Now Haller has his fingers crossed that France coach Didier Deschamps will take notice of his progress in Germany.Although he insists that failing to get a Les Bleus call-up will not affect his performances for Frankfurt this season.“If someday I’m nominated [for France], perfect. If not, then I’ll continue as usual,” Haller told Goal and DAZN.“I can only do my job, keep working, keep scoring. Everything else is out of my hands, because I’m not the coach. But I feel no pressure.”Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.The Frenchman also compared new Frankfurt manager Adolf Hütter to his predecessor Niko Kovac, who now coaches Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.“Niko likes to control everything,” Haller said.“He is a fighter who attaches great importance to the physique of his team. You can see that in every training and in every game.“It’s different with Adi. He is more relaxed than Niko. He speaks more with the players and prefers to make the difference with the ball instead of the physical fitness. Both are outstanding coaches who analyze their opponents very well.”Frankfurt are in the USA for the Florida Cup where they will take on Sao Paulo this Friday before wrapping things up on Sunday against Flamengo.
Sevilla boss Pablo Machin refuses to discount an Athletic Bilbao comeback tonight, despite their big advantage in their last-16 Copa del Rey tieIn last week’s first leg at the San Mames, Sevilla emerged with a 3-1 win in the first leg to put themselves in a commanding position for tonight’s return leg.In light of last Sunday’s 2-0 La Liga defeat to Athletic, however, Machin is remaining cautious as the two teams face off against each other for the third time in six days.“You always have to try and be a competitive team and go for the win in every match, even in cases like this one where the score is already in our favour,” said Machin on the club website.“The only way to compete well is to think we have to win the game. We lost in the league, we weren’t as good as we were in the cup, but we also have to give the opponent credit.La Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…“Athletic improved and in the league they were as clinical as we were on Thursday. I’m not unhappy with the performance, but I accept we were far from winning it.“We’ll look at and change some things so other players get into a good rhythm and show they’re ready to play.”Munir El Haddadi could make his first start for Sevilla after debuting last weekend in an 11-minute cameo.The second leg between Sevilla and Athletic will begin at 20:30 (CET) tonight.