About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Lucas Vazquez confident Real Madrid fans behind himby Carlos Volcano18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLucas Vazquez is confident Real Madrid fans are behind him.The midfielder has been jeered by the home support this season.”I have always felt the support of the Bernabeu during these five seasons,” Vazquez intimated in an interview with MARCA.”I always notice when the crowd shows me affection, I’m very happy with that.”We know that we’re at Real Madrid and that we are exposed to people’s opinions, you have to be calm.”
ESPN’s pre-season Football Power Index (FPI), defined as “a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season” has debuted. The rankings are compiled based off the results of 10,000 simulations. One of the categories you can rank teams in order of is remaining strength of schedule. Since the 2015 season hasn’t begun, the FPI strength of schedule rankings represent which teams have the toughest slates this year. Alabama tops the FPI strength of schedule rankings, and the top 20 is not surprisingly SEC-heavy. Twelve of the 20 programs are members of the SEC. ESPN SOS RankingThe full FPI rankings are available here.
SOUTH BEND, IN – OCTOBER 28: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reacts after a play in the fourth quarter against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Notre Dame Stadium on October 28, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly’s sideline shove of assistant strength coach David Grimes drew national attention over the weekend. Kelly said on Tuesday he “regretted” that the incident took place. Kelly’s hotheadedness and sideline demonstrations are well-documented, but ESPN SportsNation host Marcellus Wiley accused the veteran head coach of racism for his treatment of Grimes. Speaking on SportsNation yesterday, Wiley had the following to say: “This is racial. You know I don’t like to play the race card, but I’m going to go here on this one,” he said. “When you see a black coach getting emasculated basically, undermined on the sidelines, when he’s a coach with authority over those players, they’re going to say, ‘Huh, there are very few images and likenesses of a black player with the position of authority on the coaching staff.’ Very few. And when you see one treated like that, your imagination starts to take over and says ‘Brian Kelly, we tried to respect all of you guys on a level playing field, despite the fact that most of us on the field are black, but then most of you on the sidelines are white.’ But when you undermine one of the few figures that we can actually see a likeness, now that speaks volumes to those players…”Wiley’s co-hosts Michelle Beadle and Max Kellerman seemed to support his point. You can view all of their comments and the full video of the exchange below. We’ve seen Kelly scream at quarterbacks both white (Dayne Crist, Tommy Rees) and black (Everett Golson, DeShone Kizer) on the sideline in recent years. He’s berated officials as well. Was his behavior towards Grimes racially motivated? We’ll let you be the judge. [ MediaIte ]
James Franklin BunnyEaster Sunday is tomorrow, and Penn State head football coach James Franklin is hosting an event for children at his house. It features candy, possibly an egg hunt…and Franklin dressed up as the Easter Bunny.Yup, that’s correct. Franklin dressed up as the Easter Bunny and took down the pinata containing candy for all the party-goers. Instead of using a bat, he laid out and tackled the pinata. A 6’2″ and extremely competitive Easter bunny at @coachjfranklin‘s house? Yup, that checks out. pic.twitter.com/ISCItB4qgG— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) March 26, 2016Father, Coach, Friend, Loving Husband…Easter Bunny? @coachjfranklin #PSUnrivaled Happy Easter from Happy Valley pic.twitter.com/3iv9Y6Z02R— PJ Mullen (@psuPJ) March 26, 2016That’s an incredible sight. Not every day you see a Big Ten head coach in a furry costume tackling a pinata. [ Dr. Saturday ]
Twitter/@Mark__SnyderParamus Catholic has been very kind to the Michigan football program. The New Jersey football power produced Michigan star Jabrill Peppers, as well as Rashan Gary, the No. 1 player in the class of 2016 and top Michigan signee. Today, Harbaugh’s never-ending satellite camp tour makes a high-profile stop at the school, and he did not hesitate to make a ridiculous comparison.Harbaugh moving with the mic, said he feels like he did going into the Super Bowl pic.twitter.com/Gv4Y0s5Yra— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) June 8, 2016Harbaugh coached in Super Bowl XLVII, where his San Francisco 49ers lost to his brother’s Baltimore Ravens, so technically ‘he would know.’ Never stop selling, Harbaugh.As for #HarbaughJerseyWatch, after rocking an Archie Manning jersey in Mississippi this morning, Harbaugh went with Derek Jeter this evening. Pretty appropriate for the greater New York City area.As he promised, Harbaugh with Jeter jersey pic.twitter.com/1eqhImhYww— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) June 8, 2016We’re not sure about the Super Bowl comparison, but if Harbaugh makes inroads with another Peppers or Gary, it will have been a day well spent for Michigan football.MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:Predicting The Next 5 CFP Fields5 Reasons Jim Harbaugh Is Great For College FootballCollege Football’s 8 “Blue Bloods”
Coach Jim Foster usually attributed his team’s struggles during conference play to a lack of commitment to defense. Now, in the midst of an impressive 11-game winning streak and an upcoming game against top-seeded Tennessee in the Sweet 16, his team’s commitment to its play on the defensive end has been as key a factor as any. “I think we realize … how good we can be if we play (defense) really well, and then that opens up everything else,” guard Samantha Prahalis said after OSU’s second-round win against fifth-seeded Georgia Tech on Monday. Heading into that game, the Buckeyes were allowing opponents to shoot just 37.8 percent from the floor. During the rough patch of the season where the team lost nine of 15 games, its defense was allowing teams to shoot at a 44.7 percent clip in the losses. In contrast, OSU is shooting 45.6 percent from the field — good for 11th in the country. Its shooting numbers are thanks largely in part to Jantel Lavender, who accounted for 28.8 percent of her team’s field goal attempts while shooting 54.4 percent before Monday’s tournament win. The lowest point of the team’s season came Feb. 6, when the team suffered a 74-68 loss to conference foe Northwestern. It was the team’s ninth loss in 15 contests, and the psychological low point for Foster and his players. After that game, Foster mentioned how disappointed he was in his team’s lack of will, especially defensively. “We let them do what they wanted to do and needed to do, and we didn’t fight through it,” he said. “We aren’t a team that fights through adversity, and that’s how you win games. “Basketball is a game of stops. … In all of these games, there is a point where we just don’t get stops.” He went on to say that although his team was good offensively, it would not turn things around until it did a better job of guarding opponents. And now it has. During its current 11-game winning streak, OSU has clamped down defensively by only allowing opponents to shoot 36.8 percent — a nearly 8 percent decrease from its nine losses between Dec. 11 and Feb. 6. The team’s improved defense has allowed it to pick back up where it left off early in the season when it was ranked as high as No. 6 nationally. Accompanying the 11-game winning streak is a new type of self-confidence that was absent in conference play. “Our confidence level kind of boosted when we won our seventh game, eighth game, ninth, 10th,” Lavender said after her team’s first-round win against Central Florida on Saturday. “We know what we’re capable of doing. We realize who we are now, and everyone’s playing their role and they’re playing their role well.” The Buckeyes will play the Lady Volunteers, led by heralded coach Pat Summitt, in the Sweet 16 at noon Saturday in Dayton, Ohio. Tennessee shoots 47 percent from the floor, good for sixth in the country, and likely is the toughest team the Buckeyes have faced since squaring off against UConn, losing, 81-50, on Dec. 19 in the midst of the Huskies’ all-time record winning streak of 90.
Here are five pressing questions regarding No. 15-ranked Ohio State football (1-0) as it prepares for its Week 2 matchup against the Toledo Rockets (1-0), which opened its season with a 58-22 win against New Hampshire of the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision. 1. Four previously-suspended players return for the game against the Toledo. What role will these players have in the game? Ohio State coach Luke Fickell confirmed Tuesday that junior running back Jordan Hall, sophomore defensive back Corey Brown, junior defensive back Travis Howard and redshirt sophomore linebacker Jordan Whiting will be available for Saturday’s game. Expect each of the players to see game action, but don’t expect them to play a significant role in the contest. Not in the first half, anyway. For starters, OSU running backs coach Dick Tressel said Wednesday that sophomore Carlos Hyde will start Saturday’s game. Hyde rushed for 93 yards on 19 carries during the Buckeyes’ 42-0 win against Akron. Redshirt freshman Rod Smith also rushed for 74 yards on 18 carries with one touchdown. Considering all that, Hall might find himself as OSU’s No. 3 running back at the start of this weekend’s game. In attempting to earn his job back, Hall will also be competing with sophomore Jaamal Berry who, according to Tressel, is 100 percent recovered from a hamstring injury and will see an increased role as the weeks pass. Sophomore defensive back Dominic Clarke isn’t likely to relinquish the starting job to Howard, either. “(Clarke) competes everyday,” senior linebacker Andrew Sweat said. “I think he’s a great player. He got an opportunity on Saturday and took advantage of it.” The four previously-suspended players will take the field on Saturday, but it might not be early and it might not be for extended periods of time. Keep in mind that these players are returning from punishments, not injuries. They’ll have to earn their jobs back. 2. Who is Toledo and how do they compare with Akron? Both Toledo and Akron are members of the Mid-American Conference, but that’s about all they have in common. The Rockets are 10-time MAC champions and are expected to be at or near the top of the conference again in 2011. Toledo also returns 22 seniors and is looking to extend its streak of five consecutive seasons with a win against a team from an automatic BCS qualifier conference. Don’t expect this Rockets squad to be awed and intimidated by the sight of a sold-out Ohio Stadium either — members of this team have enjoyed road victories at Michigan in 2008 and at Purdue last season. 3. Which Toledo players could hurt OSU on Saturday? Let’s start with Rockets’ senior running back Adonis Thomas. Thomas rushed for 115 yards and one touchdown on just 15 carries last weekend against New Hampshire. There’s a tendency to roll your eyes when you hear that an FBS player put big numbers up against an FCS team, but he did what you’d expect a talented player to do against less-skilled players. Thomas also rushed for 1,098 yards in 2010 and earned second-team All-MAC honors. He is legitimate talent at running back that could burn the Buckeyes if they don’t give him his due respect. The most dynamic player on Toledo’s roster is junior Eric Page, a dual threat at both wide receiver and kick returner. Page, whose name is already littered throughout Toledo’s football record book, caught more than 1,100 yards in each of his first two seasons with the Rockets while also grabbing 16 touchdown receptions in his 26-game career. As a kick returner, Page has collected 1,389 yards, three touchdowns and averages 28.9 yards per return in his career. The Buckeyes could have their hands full with both Thomas and Page on Saturday. 4. Who is the most important OSU player or coach going into the Toledo game? Luke Fickell. Toledo is a talented team that travels well and, with a trip to play the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Life Stadium on the horizon for the Buckeyes, this weekend’s contest is a classic “look ahead” game. Fickell will need to keep OSU focused its present task — beating a Toledo team that it should beat. The Buckeyes are bigger, faster and stronger than the Rockets. The difference between a blowout win, a tight game or a loss will be how focused Fickell has his team. “We’re definitely nit-picking,” Fickell said at a Tuesday press conference. “We’re definitely going to make sure (our) guys know we’re never satisfied with where we are. We have to find ways to get better.” 5. Will Toledo be the first in-state opponent to beat OSU in 90 years? The Buckeyes’ last lost to an in-state opponent in 1921 when Oberlin College upended OSU, 7-6. Toledo will have a better chance of ending OSU’s unbeaten streak against in-state rivals than Akron did, but by game’s end, it won’t have accomplished the feat. Toledo has the athletes and the experience to make a game of it at the ‘Shoe this weekend, but do not expect an upset win. OSU is still too focused on proving its doubters wrong — one win against Akron won’t change that. Final prediction: Ohio State 49-10 Toledo
Freshman outside hitter Sean Ryan (10) attacking the ball against Loyola on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Credit: Kaycie Golic | For The LanternAfter splitting a home series with McKendree this past weekend, the Ohio State men’s volleyball team heads to Los Angeles having brought back a few key players in preparation for weekend matchups against No. 5 UCLA and No. 11 USC. The Buckeyes (6-12, 2-6 MIVA) enter the road trip having reinserted sophomore outside hitter Jake Hanes into the lineup. Hanes has accrued 47 kills in his first two matches since coming back from injuring his foot in the Jan. 26 match against Ball State. Also back for the Buckeyes are junior setter Andrew Hillman, who returned on Sunday from an injury he sustained in December during training, and sophomore outside hitter Martin Lallemand, who missed Sunday’s match against McKendree due to illness. Ohio State head coach Pete Hanson said trying to find consistency has been extremely difficult with a lineup that seems to change every weekend. “It’s been a real challenge, but I think the guys have handled it as well as they could,” Hanson said. “Not to let them off the hook and say, ‘Hey, it’s a real anomaly,’ but at the same point and time, we’ve also tried to tell them, ‘Hey, there aren’t many teams that are down three or four starters, let alone, sometimes just one starter,’ and that’s what we’ve had to deal with.” Among the starters still injured, junior outside hitter Reese Devilbiss is working through an undisclosed injury, while senior setter Sanil Thomas is working to return to the lineup after injuring his hand in late January. While the Buckeyes have struggled with consistency for much of this season, UCLA (14-4, 6-0 MPSF) has been drowning in it. The Bruins are on a four-match winning streak and their Jan. 19 loss to No. 1 Long Beach State is their only loss at home this season. Junior middle blocker Daenan Gyimah leads the Bruins offensively, totalling 234 points on 190 kills, 17 aces and 48 total blocks. Defensively, senior setter Micah Ma’a is a top contributor, providing 129 digs and 35 total blocks in support. On the other hand, USC (9-7, 3-3 MPSF) has had an up-and-down season thus far. After opening the year with a 7-4 record, three-straight losses to then-No. 9 Stanford, then-No. 8 BYU and then-No. 6 UCLA brought the Trojans even before winning their past two matches against Concordia and then-No. 4 Pepperdine. The Trojans are led by redshirt senior outside hitter Jack Wyett with 181 kills, adding 10 aces and 44 digs. Senior Ryan Moss leads the team defensively with 34 total blocks and 76 digs. Ohio State is hoping the offensive production from Hanes and Lallemand, with 180 kills and 137 kills, respectively, can power the Buckeyes to a couple of road victories. But to have success, they’ll have to get used to being set by Hillman, who has taken over as Ohio State’s full-time setter in the absence of Thomas. Despite the tough competition and the constant lineup changes, Hillman said the team will be ready to play this weekend. “We’re excited,” Hillman said. “We really have nothing to lose right now. We’re going to go out there and play as hard as we can.” Ohio State will face No. 5 UCLA at 8 p.m. Friday and No. 11 USC at 11 p.m. Saturday in Los Angeles.
AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso admits they will have to be back to their best ahead of Saturday’s game against FiorentinaThe Rossoneri haven’t won their last three games and were knocked out of the Europa League following a surprise 3-1 defeat to Olympiacos.Despite the struggles though, Milan remain in fourth-place in the Serie A and Gattuso hopes his players are ready to step up their efforts to consolidate a Champions League qualification spot.“The club wants to reach the Champions League, it will not be easy but we will do our best,” said Gattuso on the club website.“Now we are in fourth place though we have to do more, but I am calm. We have to make fewer mistakes.“We do not look for excuses, we have to keep working and improving. We lost some important points but our opponents also slowed down.Gasperini reveals why he rejected Inter Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Atalanta manager, Gian Piero Gasperini, has revealed why he rejected Internazionale Milan’s job proposal over the summer transfer window.“We have some strengths and weaknesses and we have to be careful. I enjoy training people with passion and flair in their eyes, who have the spirit of football within them, whether they are young or old”.Facing Milan at the San Siro are Fiorentina, who sit 10th in the standings and just five points behind.“Tomorrow we will play against a strong opponent, who can hurt us in attack. Fiorentina are a team with very good players technically, playing within 60-70 meters,” said Gattuso.“We will have to be good at imposing our game, not giving an inch on the pitch. I want to see a team that plays well and with vehemence: only in this way will we be able to win.“Bologna has taught us that making a sterile ball possession leads to nothing”The Milan-Fiorentina game will begin at 15:00 (CET).