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BOULDER, CO – SEPTEMBER 29: The Bruins flag flies as the UCLA Bruins score a touchdown against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on September 29, 2012 in Boulder, Colorado. UCLA defeated Colorado 42-14. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)Update: An interesting development from the Roquan Smith commitment:BREAKING: Despite announcing his commitment to #UCLA, 4* LB Roquan Smith tells me he has not reached final decision, has not signed LOI.— Jake Reuse (@ReuseRecruiting) February 4, 2015Earlier: UCLA may wind up being the winners of this year’s National Signing Day. Jim Mora’s program has already had a big day, landing top-rated recruits like Soso Jamabo over Texas and Chris Clark over Michigan, and now they’ve plucked a top five outside linebacker out of Georgia’s back yard. Roquan Smith was down to Georgia, Michigan, Texas A&M, and UCLA during his ceremony today. After having signs for the Wolverines and Aggies flipped over to indicate that the schools were out, Smith put on UCLA gloves under the table to reveal his commitment.Some UCLA fans may be concerned about the program’s ability to compete at the top of the Pac-12 without Brett Hundley, but Mora is proving that the Bruins should not be a flash in the pan. [@BoltonSports]
The Elders are delighted to announce that former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has accepted their invitation to join the group.Ban served two full terms as Secretary-General from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2016, succeeding Kofi Annan who is the current Chair of The Elders.During his time in office, Ban helped spearhead the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and worked intensively to secure the Paris Agreement on climate change in December 2015. He also successfully pressed for the creation of UN Women as part of his wider advocacy for equality for girls and women.Prior to his election as UN Secretary-General, Ban served as South Korea’s foreign minister from 2004-2006 after three decades in the diplomatic service.Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders, said:“I am delighted to welcome Ban to our group. As a new member of The Elders from East Asia, he will bring a unique and valuable perspective based on his record of global leadership and understanding of geopolitics. His commitment to peace, equality and development will be a huge asset to The Elders as we enter our second decade of work together.”Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former Prime Minister of Norway, added:“Ban Ki-moon was a champion for climate action, sustainable development and gender equality throughout his time at the UN. I look forward to working with him now as an Elder, and to defend the multilateral system that is essential for delivering further progress.”Ban Ki-moon said:“It is an honour and a privilege to join this august group, whose work I have admired for many years. It is a particular pleasure to stand alongside my predecessor at the UN, Kofi Annan. The Elders and the United Nations share the same values of justice, solidarity and a determination to fight for peace and human rights. I eagerly await the task ahead in this new chapter of my career.”
During this NFL preseason, the media spotlight has shined brightest on the quarterback competition in Cleveland between incumbent Brian Hoyer and rookie Johnny Manziel. Although Browns coach Mike Pettine officially named Hoyer his starter Wednesday (a decision coming, not coincidentally, after Manziel made an obscene gesture toward the Washington Redskins’ bench during the Browns’ 24-23 loss Monday night), the attention paid to the rivalry — and to Manziel in general — has reached crazy levels.But why?Why are we acting like the Super Bowl is riding on the outcome of Hoyer vs. Manziel? This is, after all, a team Vegas has winning the fourth-fewest games in football. Manziel is a rookie whose bona fides are far from established; Hoyer has four career starts to his name and has been a significantly below-average passer when he has played over the past two seasons.Montana vs. Young this ain’t.But preseason quarterback controversies have long captivated football fans. Who could forget J.T. O’Sullivan and Alex Smith dueling in San Francisco for the 49ers job in 2008? Or Jon Kitna’s struggle with Gus Frerotte in 2002? Or even the Browns’ own 2003 skirmish between Kelly Holcomb and Tim Couch?If you’re sensing a trend, it’s that August QB controversies usually involve a pair of equally dismal options. And, no matter who wins, he tends to produce pretty uninspiring results come the regular season.Going back to 2000, I used LexisNexis to search news reports for variations of phrases such as “quarterback competition” or “QB controversy” during the summer months, when NFL teams open up training camp and play preseason games (aka prime time for hyped-up QB rivalries). I came across 88 cases of the media discussing a competition for an NFL starting quarterback role, from Kordell Stewart vs. Kent Graham (2000 Pittsburgh Steelers) to Terrelle Pryor vs. Matt Flynn (2013 Oakland Raiders).And indeed, teams featuring preseason QB competitions tended to be mediocre-to-bad clubs. Since 2000, they averaged a shade under seven wins during the subsequent regular season, with an average adjusted net yards per attempt index, or ANY/A+, of 92.3 (100 represents the overall NFL average, and the replacement level is somewhere between 90 and 91). Among those who ended up getting at least 100 attempts during the regular season, only 22 percent of the quarterbacks involved in these controversies were average or better by ANY/A+. As a rule, teams are dealing with pretty bad passers in these situations, no matter who “wins” the competition.What’s more, it doesn’t seem to matter which quarterback a coach picks as his No. 1 coming out of the preseason. Limiting our data to the 40 cases in which both of the combatants had at least 100 pass attempts (to give ourselves a reasonable sample upon which to judge the preseason decision), teams picked the QB with the higher eventual ANY/A+ only 51.3 percent of the time. And in fact, statistically, there was no significant difference in performance between the preseason-quarterback-competition winners and losers.This suggests that picking the right horse in a preseason QB derby practically comes down to a coin flip.Now, a potential concern in the methodology outlined above is that we could have biased our results toward evenness because of the playing-time criteria. (Barring injury, the odds are low that a clear-cut quarterback competition winner would end up sharing regular-season snaps with his backup.) But we can check our results against a control group of teams with a similar distribution of passing attempts (but no reported QB controversy). In the controversy group above, the average difference between the opening-day starter and his backup was -2.0 ANY/A+; in the non-controversy group, the difference was +3.2 ANY/A+.That’s not quite a statistically significant difference (p=0.08), but it’s close. So the biasing effect could still be masking the true difference between the groups. But to some extent, it does suggest the underappreciated (yet obvious) truth about QB controversies: There isn’t going to be much difference in performance, no matter which option a team goes with as its starter.And, as a corollary, it means we’ve probably spent entirely too much time worrying about which of two generally equivalent, below-average quarterbacks will get a chance to start for a bad team.
OSU then-junior defenseman Cara Zubko (2) passes the puck during a game against Minnesota on Nov. 15 at the OSU Ice Rink. OSU lost, 5-3. Credit: Ed Momot / For The LanternFrom the Schottenstein Center, its temporary home rink for the weekend where it practiced in advance of its weekend series against Minnesota State, the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team is confident that it can get back on track after dropping four straight contests.Despite being outscored 33-4 during its losing streak, the team is remains sure that it is headed in the right direction.“We continue to work to improve in areas that we want to get better, but also emphasizing all the things that went well,” coach Jenny Potter said. “Sometimes people look at the box score and don’t see what really happened.”Getting betterPotter stressed trusting the developmental process her team is on all season as an indicator of their success, and that doesn’t always mean to look at the final score, even though she still expects to win games.“Saturday was a challenge for our team, but I think the way I’m working them, they’re tired, that’s not an excuse, they’ve got to find a way to compete and not give up,” Potter said.The Minnesota State team coming to Columbus this weekend presents something of a different challenge. Under first-year coach John Harrington, the Mavericks are 2-4, losers of three straight. But OSU does not want to stop to catch its breath after four straight losses.“We don’t know where we stand against these teams, and we want to look at every game as if we’re playing against a No. 1 team no matter who it is,” junior forward Claudia Kepler said.Kepler, who scored twice against Minnesota last weekend, is also adamant that the squad has only made positive strides in recent weeks.“We’re buying into the process. We understand that in order to get stronger we have to get weaker and we’re breaking ourselves down, but now we’re starting to build ourselves up,” Kepler said.If the Buckeyes want to find where they stand in comparison to their conference opponents, this weekend represents as good as starting point as any. The first order of business is solving the problem of the middle frame. Against Minnesota, OSU allowed 10 second-period goals.“I think Saturday was a little deflating after the second period. I thought they were right in that game for sure, but again they’re feeling their legs a little more, and Saturday that second period was a challenge, and you know what, with any challenge you’re going to find your character and figure out what you want to be,” Potter said.Overcoming fatiguePotter said she believes her skaters are the most fatigued they will be at any point this season right now, but that does not stand as an excuse not playing well for an entire game or weekend. “Staying mentally focused for three periods,” Potter said. “The conditioning part, and what I’m doing with them, right now they’re in the beaten-down stage. So, every week after this they’re going to continually get better and get into better shape.”Potter’s skaters are not looking for additional rest before another potentially exhausting series. To the contrary, they are working even harder in search of wins.“We’ve set aside time before practice this week to get out there early to work on our shots and stickhandling,” senior defender Cara Zubko said. “It’s the little things that are going to make a big difference.”OSU believes that attention to detail will translate into success starting this weekend.Kepler described her goal last Friday as “playing until the end,” and that more of that type of effort is necessary for her squad to be successful.“It would build our confidence to get some of those grinder, put-in goals early,” Kepler said. “Then we’ll go from there.”Potter, who said she believes that the scores of games are not representative of her team’s effort, echoed that sentiment.“I think that they came out there and played an unbelievable first game, they gave it everything they had,” Potter said. “I told them, ‘you guys are a good enough team, you’re good enough to compete, if you want a couple of wins you have to go get them.’”OSU is set to drop the puck against Minnesota State at the Schottenstein Center at 6:07 p.m. on Friday and 1:07 p.m. on Saturday.
It happened before his second season in the NBA. The cartilage around Clark Kellogg’s knee began to wear away, leading to the first of three surgeries in four years. In August 1987, Kellogg announced he was retiring from the NBA. His career lasted five years, the last two shortened by knee injuries. At the promising age of 26, his dream was ending, a career vanishing in the wind. “I was disheartened and disappointed at the time that my basketball-playing days were over,” Kellogg said in an interview with The Lantern. Kellogg’s wife Rosy had to witness her husband go through one knee surgery after another. Then she watched as her husband lost a career. “It was difficult because it was something that he truly loved,” Rosy said. Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela once wrote, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” Kellogg’s uncompromising knees forced him to fall, but he refused to stay down for long. Kellogg was born and raised in Cleveland by his father, Clark, and his mother, Mattie. His father was a police officer, and his mom worked part-time at a local hospital. Although he played a number of sports as a child, Kellogg determined his favorite at a young age. “I loved all sports, but I really kind of locked into hoops when I was about 11,” Kellogg said. “And that became my real passion, that’s what I enjoyed doing more than anything else.” After growing up in a predominantly black neighborhood, Kellogg was advised by his elementary school principal to attend St. Joe’s (now known as Villa Angela-St. Joseph), an “all-white high school.” While it was challenging at times, he is grateful for the guidance he received at the school. “It was good because it broadened my horizons,” Kellogg said. “It prepared me for college and in many ways prepared me for the life I’m enjoying right now.” Special K, as he was nicknamed in high school, was a highly touted recruit coming out of St. Joe’s. During his final high school game in 1979, he dropped an Ohio high school tournament-record 51 points on Columbus East. The record still stands 31 years later. With his high school career coming to a close, Kellogg had to make an important choice: Which college would he be playing for by the end of the year? “I really wanted to stay fairly close to Cleveland. I wanted my parents to be able to come to my games,” Kellogg said. “It came down to Ohio State and Michigan. And then Ohio — the whole state — kind of recruited me. People are really passionate and rabid about the Ohio State athletic teams in particular, so being recruited by the whole state was hard to turn down.” Kellogg played for three years at OSU, averaging a double-double with 14.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Yet, his most significant moment in college happened away from the basketball court. “We met at a concert when Clark was a freshman at Ohio State in 1979 and we’ve been married for 27 years this past July,” Rosy said. After what was considered a disappointing year for the team by the Buckeye faithful, Kellogg left after his junior year to pursue his dream of playing professional basketball. He was selected eighth overall by the Indiana Pacers in the 1982 NBA Draft. In his rookie year, Kellogg again averaged a double-double, scoring 20.1 points and hauling in 10.6 rebounds per game. He was named to the All-Rookie team and finished second in the Rookie of the Year race. After a knee operation and two more years of solid basketball, Kellogg had a second knee operation. He played in only 19 games in his fourth season and would play in only four more before his career came to an abrupt end. With his playing days in the past, Clark began a new career as a basketball commentator. He broadcast Pacers games on the radio and did the same for Cleveland State University games on its television network. A few years later, while providing analysis for Atlantic Ten regional games, Dick Vitale put him on ESPN’s radar. “He had covered me as a player and knew I was doing some broadcasting, so he recommended me to the network,” Kellogg said. While working for ESPN, Kellogg was blinded by another unimaginable loss. His mother passed away in 1994 because complications that arose during surgery. In the face of adversity for a second time, he beat it back with a broom. In 1997, he left ESPN and joined CBS as a full-time studio/game analyst. But not before settling some unfinished business. When Kellogg left OSU in 1982, he was 44 hours away from obtaining a degree. In 1996, he graduated from OSU. He likes to joke that he was on the “circuitous 17-year plan.” In 2008, Kellogg was named the lead college basketball analyst for CBS Sports, replacing Billy Packer. “He has a really good handle on what takes place on the court and he uses terminology that really grabs the viewer,” said Harold Bryant, executive producer and vice president of production for CBS Sports. “We discussed (promoting him) and we felt like he had earned the spot.” Being the leading college basketball analyst for a major television network would satisfy most, but Kellogg continues to take advantage of other opportunities. In July 2010, the Indiana Pacers named Kellogg vice president of player relations. Kellogg’s new role on the team is to be a mentor of sorts to the players on the Pacers roster, nine of which are 26 years old or younger. “Because I’ve been on the court, I can speak about some areas of basketball development to our guys personally,” Kellogg said. “But primarily it’s a position of … guiding our guys with programs and services so that they can be champions on and off the court.” Kellogg’s responsibilities don’t end there. He’s also one of the play-by-play announcers for the NBA 2K video game franchise. In June 2010, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland announced that Kellogg was being appointed to OSU’s Board of Trustees. Before the appointment, he served for five years on the board of directors for the Alumni Association. “It’s an exciting honor. I try to stay engaged in the university since I’m here in Columbus,” Kellogg said. “I try to keep abreast of all OSU athletics. I’m Scarlet and Gray through and through.” In April, CBS organized a game of horse between Kellogg and President Barack Obama. When the president beat him five letters to three, some viewers thought Kellogg threw the game. “I didn’t actually throw it,” Kellogg said. “I was up pretty comfortably, the president was struggling and I was knocking down everything.” “So I created a situation where I wouldn’t close things out as quickly as I possibly could have,” Kellogg said. “When I did that, he found his legs and momentum and beat me to the finish line.” Kellogg went on to show some respect for our nation’s leader, all the while revealing a stinging truth. “He’s got a pretty nice-looking shot,” Kellogg said. “And he also doesn’t lack in the trash-talking department either.” Kellogg resides in Westerville with his wife and three children, a daughter and two sons, both of whom play basketball at Ohio University. Lloyd Brewton, one of Clark’s local golfing buddies, had only positive things to say about the man who routinely “takes his money” on the golf course. “He’s the kind of guy who, if he says he’s going to do something, he’s going to do it,” Brewton said. “Clark is a man who is bounded by his faith and bounded by his commitment to friendship.” His wife, realizing that she could sound biased given that they’re married, was also quick to dole out the praise. “He’s honest, caring, loyal and a good listener,” Rosy said. “I feel like he’s a gentle giant.” At 6-feet-7-inches, referring to Kellogg as a giant isn’t too far off base. Perhaps it’s only fitting that his career trajectory continues to grow.
The Buckeyes line up to sing “Carmen Ohio” after the game against TCU on Sept. 15. Ohio State won 40-28. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorGoing into the 2018 season, junior wide receiver Austin Mack was pegged by many as the next “go-to guy” in the Ohio State offense. With the amount of short-yardage receivers that serviced the type of offense former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett ran, including redshirt senior receiver Parris Campbell and redshirt junior K.J. Hill, Mack, with his vertical ability, seemed to compliment the new player behind center, redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Through the first two games of the season, Haskins and Mack met that expectation. He was targeted nine times, bringing in eight catches for 89 yards against Oregon State and Rutgers, respectively. That same expectation seemed like it was going to continue during the first drive of Saturday night’s game against TCU. Mack brought in two targets for 64 yards, adding a 48-yard reception to bring Ohio State into the red zone for the first time against the Horned Frogs. Then, something happened. Haskins looked back to what had been his most reliable receiver up to that point in the end zone, a 3-yard slant route across the middle of the field. With an open opportunity, Haskins fired, throwing the ball to a receiver who was known for his hands. The ball hit Mack in his gloves and bounced into the turf. Possibly viewed a a fluke for a receiver known as having one of the surest hands in the receiver room, Haskins targeted Mack again on a 2nd-and-16 in the first drive of the second quarter. Another target, another drop. This happened two more times. Mack, who had brought in eight of nine targets in his first two games, recorded four drops in nine targets against TCU. As an older player in the wide receiver room and one of the team captains for the Ohio State offense, Campbell took it upon himself to be there for Mack, to make sure he was still there mentally despite his lack of success. “All of the guys, we were just telling him that at the end of the day, you just have to let it go,” Campbell said. “We need every single person on the team. We knew it was going to be a four-quarter fight and at the end of the day, we needed to clear his head and I think he moved on from that.” But Haskins knows who Mack is as a receiver. With a close relationship off the field as his roommate, the redshirt sophomore quarterback said he was going to continue to target Mack, continue to trust his receiver even through the trouble. “There are going to be plays you mess up. I’m going to keep coming to you though, throwing you the ball,” Haskins said. “It was hard for him having those drops like that in key moments for that game, but he kept pushing. I relied on him in the big moments and he came through for me.”Acting head coach and offensive coordinator Ryan Day thought the same thing, saying Mack is usually a “reliable guy” with his hands. Even without the success he is expected to have, Day said Mack is not the kind of player that the Ohio State offense can give up on. “When you go into a fight, sometimes you are going to be hit and when you get hit, you can’t flinch,” Day said. “We didn’t flinch, you know, we kept putting Austin back in there and then he dropped one and he came back in and he made a catch and then he made another catch.” Mack finished the day with four catches on nine targets for 84 yards, the most yards he has recorded in a single game since Oct. 28 when he had 90 yards on six catches against Penn State. Day said he knows who Mack is as a receiver: a vertical deep threat who compliments his quarterback very nicely in the passing game. One misstep in that does not change Day’s overall view of him. “We believe in our guys, we know what we see every day in practice,” Day said. “We trust that some days, you know, guys are going to put one in the ground and we don’t like that, but we believe in our guys and when things don’t go well, we have to stick together.”