Can Alabama Afford To Lose

Last Saturday, the Mississippi State Bulldogs — ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll, the Coaches Poll and the College Football Playoff committee’s rankings — lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide 25-20. The loss ruined the Bulldogs’ quest for their first undefeated season since 1940, when they went 10-0-1.But under college football’s new playoff system, which will select four teams to contend for the national championship, a late-season loss by a No. 1 team isn’t as devastating as in years past. Mississippi State, for instance, fell only to No. 4 in the committee’s rankings after it lost to Alabama.It’s less clear whether the Bulldogs control their own destiny. They’ll have another chance to impress the committee when they travel to Oxford, Miss., on Nov. 29 to play No. 8 ranked Mississippi. But they probably won’t play in the SEC Championship and could be leapfrogged by a team (such as Baylor or TCU from the Big 12) that runs the table.The permutations can get intense. To forecast a team’s likelihood of making the playoff, you not only have to account for all plausible outcomes of upcoming football games but also how the set of humans who make up the selection committee might react to those different outcomes. We’re in the midst of investigating these questions and will have some results for you soon.But we’ll start, in this article, with a simple cut of the data: What’s happened, historically, to the ranking of No. 1 teams like Mississippi State when they lose? Could Alabama, the new No. 1, remain in the top four if it loses one of its remaining games?Because the playoff committee is new, we’ll be looking at the historical results from the Coaches Poll for guidance. (We figure the Coaches Poll might be a better proxy for the playoff committee than the AP poll since the committee leans heavily on athletic directors and former coaches.) Here are all the teams since 2002 to have lost a game while ranked No. 1 in the Coaches Poll:No. 1s that lost a regular-season game wound up anywhere from No. 4 to No. 10 after their defeats. That shouldn’t give much comfort to Alabama. Mississippi State’s case was unusual; most regular-season losses knock a No. 1 team out of the top four.What accounts for the different outcomes? Well, it’s complicated. The humans voting in the polls are a little forgiving if the loss comes against another ranked opponent. (No. 1s that lost to a ranked opponent fell to No. 6 on average, versus No. 8 for those that lost to unranked teams.) The margin of defeat may matter some as well. The No. 1s that lost regular-season games by the largest margin — Alabama and Ohio State on consecutive weekends in 2010 — fell to No. 8 and No. 10, respectively.Another factor is whether the year features a deep field of contenders. Part of Ohio State’s steep drop in 2010 may have been because there were an unusually high number of undefeated teams ranked just behind them at the time.Human voters have historically been more forgiving of losses in the conference championship: No. 1s to lose there have fallen to only No. 4 on average. That could be good news for Alabama. Still, this is a small sample with just three examples. Furthermore, the playoff committee claims it will put a particular emphasis on conference championship results.As I said, we’ll be making an effort to sort all this out. It will necessarily come with a lot of probabilities and approximations — this is the first year of the new system and we’re not expecting to identify hard-and-fast rules.There is one rule, however, that has almost always been true. It’s a simple one: A team can’t gain ground by losing.The chart, below, shows what happened to teams ranked throughout the top 25 in the Coaches Poll after they lost a game. (In the chart, read the vertical axis to find a team’s original ranking, then scan across to find the red line, which shows the team’s expected ranking after a loss. The dashed line represents what would happen if a team held its previous position.) Of the 1,133 ranked teams to lose since 2002, only 22 retained their original spot in the rankings. And even fewer — just five teams — improved their position in the poll.This may not be a surprising result, but it tells us something about how human voters react to college football outcomes. As I mentioned, the evidence suggests that voters pay some attention to margin of victory. A definitive win might get a little more credit than a narrow one.But what voters almost never do is reward a team because it loses by less than expected. Say, hypothetically, that No. 24 Gotham Tech travels to No. 3 Gotham State’s home stadium and loses on a last-minute field goal despite having been a 17-point underdog. Your esteem for Gotham Tech should probably improve: That’s a much better showing than you really had the right to expect. But a team’s standing in the polls has almost never improved after an outcome like this; the team has just been punished less. (In this respect, human voters seem to behave a lot like our version of NFL Elo ratings, which account for margin of victory but always prioritize a win over a loss by any margin.)Nor do teams seem to be demoted after narrower-than-expected wins. Take the non-hypothetical case of the 1995 Texas A&M Aggies. On Oct. 14 of that year, they won by just 3 points at home against the SMU Mustangs, an awful team that would go 1-10 that year. If there were ever a time to punish a team for a bad win, this was it. But the Aggies held their position at No. 22 in the polls.The next chart shows the data for ranked teams after wins since 2002. There are a few cases where a team lost ground in the Coaches Poll despite winning — but from what we can tell these were mostly cases where a team was leapfrogged by another that won in more impressive fashion. (That happened to Florida State earlier this year, for example.)There are some other interesting characteristics in these charts. After a loss, teams fall more positions in the poll if they are ranked lower to begin with. While No. 1-ranked teams fall five spots, on average, after a loss, teams ranked No. 15 fall eight positions. This may reflect the fact that teams are more closely bunched together toward the bottom of the Top 25 than toward the top, which is what you’d expect if team skill levels abided by a normal distribution.And a ranked team’s position falls more after a loss than it improves after a win. For example, when the No. 10 team wins a game, it improves only to No. 9, on average. But the same team falls to No. 17 after it loses.This is mainly a reflection of the fact that ranked teams are expected to win. A successful college football season is mostly a matter of running the gauntlet and avoiding upsets. The playoff system gives teams more slack, but not much. read more

RBC will refinance TCI UK Bail Out loan

first_img RBC Team off to Grand Turk with EZ Pay Related Items:royal bank of canada, uk tci bail out Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 06 Jan 2015 – Royal Bank of Canada, RBC is the bank the Government will go with to refinance that UK-backed bail-out loan of 2009. The Loan Refinancing Ordinance passed on December 17th and took effect the next day. The new law lays out the who, the how, the how much and the how long among other things of the bridge loan refinancing which will do away with the UK guaranteed loan of $170 million dollars. It is outlined in the ordinance that the loan with RBC cannot exceed $28 million dollars, must be repaid at the end of three and a half years, at a rate initially of 1.2% and that it will be repaid in fourteen equal installments of two million dollars every ninety days. It is explained that in order to keep that borrowing rate, the Turks and Caicos will have to maintain a BBB+ rating for at least the duration of the loan; if we lose ground there, it will cause a hike in the borrowing rate. This also means that if the TCI secures a better credit rating, then the rate of the loan will decrease. Included in that ordinance is that the TCI can repay the RBC Loan early without penalty and that the first payment would be due ninety days after disbursement of the money. Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Roll Out of EZ Pay in TCI today 16 Graduate from Save The Bays International YEA Leadership Training Programlast_img read more

A Response to Subcompact Publishing

first_imgSo why do so many of our digital magazines publish on the same schedule, with the same number of articles as their print counterparts? Using the same covers? Of course, they do because it’s easier to maintain identical schedules across mediums. To not design twice. To not test twice (or, at all).Unfortunately—from a medium-specific user experience point of view—it’s almost impossible to produce a digitally indigenous magazine beholden to those legacy constraints. Why? Not least because we use tablets and smartphones very differently than we use printed publications.The key here, for Mod, is the “indigenous magazine”—a product born exclusively for the mobile-digital platform, free of any print production and pricing frameworks. He goes on to highlight The Magazine, created by Marco Arment, as a perfect example of the digitally indigenous magazine. It’s short (four or five articles), it’s design is breezy and open, it’s file size is small, it’s cheap and easy to snack on.This all may be true, and there’s probably an audience for The Magazine and future brands just like it. But what’s wrong with publishing a tablet magazine that’s full of print magazine design and rich media content, that’s $4.99 for a single copy and might take all night to download to Apple’s Newsstand? Nothing, really, because there’s room in the market for the digitally indigenous magazine and the digital magazine that’s married, for good or bad, to its print namesake. I understand that with digital comes an expectation of disruption and re-invention. And not just an expectation, but actual disruption. But it’s also a world where all sorts of business models live and play.I don’t think Mod is necessarily saying all publishers need to drop their old-school, print-legacy-based digital magazines and start producing $2, 4-article, scrolling mini-apps. He does say though, that publishers are balking at producing products like these because they’re not based on a familiar model and they’re not likely to produce immediate and significant returns. Funnily enough, neither have the full-blown tablet magazines, for now. What will be interesting to see is how much the subcompact model informs or influences the sedan version of digital magazines—or simply rides next to it. An essay by Craig Mod has been making the rounds lately among media watchers. It’s a terrific read. Mod, a current independent writer and former Flipbook employee, touts what he’s calling the Subcompact Manifesto, which places a premium on a minimalist approach to digital publishing. His manifesto emerges out of one of the main criticisms ‘traditional’ publishers have received for their tablet magazines and apps: They’re unwieldy, hard to use, have too many bells and whistles and take up too much room. But most importantly, they’re tied to print production schedules, design and pricing. In other words, tablet editions are not exploiting the medium in the open, nimble, socially-forward way they could and/or should be.As Mod says: last_img read more

NY truck attack by IS lone wolf kills 8

first_imgAn investigator takes pictures with his phone near a pickup truck following an incident in New York. Photo: AFPA pickup driver killed eight people in New York on Tuesday, mowing down cyclists and pedestrians, before striking a school bus in what officials branded a “cowardly act of terror.”Eleven others were seriously injured in the broad daylight assault and first deadly terror-related attack in America’s financial and entertainment capital since the 11 September 2001 Al-Qaeda hijackings brought down the Twin Towers.President Donald Trump, who has curbed the number of migrants entering the United States, swiftly declared that the US “must not” allow Islamic State jihadists to “return, or enter, our country after defeating them” overseas.The truck driver struck just blocks from the 9/11 Memorial, on the West Side of Lower Manhattan, and close to schools and a park at 3:05pm (1905 GMT) as children and their parents geared up to celebrate Halloween.Trump decried him as “very sick” and a “deranged person.” Television networks identified the 29-year-old suspect as an Uzbek citizen living in Florida. He was shot by an officer in the abdomen and taken into custody.Police said he drove a rented Home Depot pickup down a bike and pedestrian lane, plowing into people on foot and bicycles before colliding with a school bus, injuring two adults and two children.The suspect stepped out of the vehicle, brandishing two apparent handguns, before being shot in the abdomen by a police officer, police said.A paintball gun and pellet gun were recovered at the scene, police said.“This was an act of terror and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.Police said eight people were killed, six of them men who died on the spot, and two others pronounced dead in hospital. Eleven other people were taken to hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries, officials said.Belgium said one of its nationals was among the victims.‘Horrible tragedy’It was the city’s first terror incident since a pipe bomb exploded in September 2016 in Chelsea, lightly wounding 31 people. An American of Afghan descent, Ahmad Khan Rahimi, was convicted of terrorism on 16 October in relation with the attack.Heavily armed police reinforcements were stepped up across the city of 8.5 million in the wake of that attack. Home to Wall Street, Broadway and one of the biggest tourist draws in the United States, it frequently goes on high alert.A planned Halloween parade will go ahead as planned, proving that the city would not bow to threats, officials said.Prime Minister Theresa May said she was appalled by the attack and that Britain stood with New York. “Together we will defeat the evil of terrorism,” she said.French President Emmanuel Macron also expressed solidarity. “Our fight for freedom unites us more than ever,” he tweeted.While details were preliminary and the investigation still underway, the mayor said the suspect appeared to have been a lone wolf and not part of a wider plot.US media said the suspect shouted “Allahu akbar” and police chief James O’Neill confirmed that he made a statement when he exited the vehicle.“If you just look at the MO of the attack, that’s consistent with what’s been going on. So that along with the statement has enabled us to label this a terrorist event,” he said.Television networks named him as Sayfullo Saipov, of Tampa, Florida. According to registry site WhitePages, a 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov has been living in Tampa since June 2011, and had other addresses registered in Ohio.He was listed as having had several traffic-related minor violations.In New York, police officers and ambulances swamped the area, in front of a park and next to a school as sirens wailed continuously and helicopters roared through the sky.Worried parents gathered outside a public elementary school that had closed, waiting to see if they could collect children who stayed after the end of the classes for extracurricular lessons and activities.‘Feel the pain’John Williams, 22, on his way to a park at the time, said he did not witness the shooting, but arrived 30 seconds afterward.“There was a smell of gunshots,” he told AFP. “There was a man lying on the ground. It looked as if he’d been shot.”State Governor Andrew Cuomo said the city was a “target” as an “international symbol of freedom and democracy.”“We’ve lived with this before, we’ve felt the pain before. We feel the pain today. But we go forward together,” he added.A witness who gave his name only as Frank told local television network NY1 that he saw a man running around an intersection, heard five to six gunshots and saw “about 100 cops” flood into the street.“When the cops shot him, everybody started running away and it got a little bit crazy right there. So when I tried to look again, the guy was already down,” the witness said.Tuesday’s attack came five months after a US Navy veteran plowed a car into pedestrians in Times Square, killing an 18-year-old woman from Michigan and injuring 22 other people on 18 May in what de Blasio said was not an act of terror.Previously, the most serious security breach in New York since Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani immigrant, plant a car bomb in Times Square on 1 May 2010.His explosive device failed to detonate and he was arrested shortly after boarding a flight to the Middle East. He pleaded guilty and said he was aiming to avenge deaths from US missiles fired from drones operating over Pakistan.He was sentenced to life behind bars.last_img read more