About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Man Utd hero Ince blasts De Gea for Newcastle interview: Would Schmeichel say that?by Freddie Taylor18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United hero Paul Ince has blasted David De Gea for his post-match interview after Sunday’s loss to Newcastle United.The Spaniard was at a loss for words when speaking to reporters after the 1-0 defeat at St. James’ Park.”I watched David de Gea’s post-match interview and I was at a loss,” Ince said to PaddyPower.”He’s meant to be one of the leaders. If that was Peter Schmeichel standing there, there’s no chance you’d have seen that interview. Rather than him addressing and recognising where the team were going wrong, it just felt like ‘I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.'”This is one of the top players, the leaders at Man United, who has just signed a five-year contract. And he looks like he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on.”If you’re a United fan listening to your goalkeeper, one of the main leaders in the team, and that’s the interview you hear you’d be right to [think it was a disgrace]. I’d be looking thinking, ‘he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on – I bet he’s regretting signing that contract.'”
The entertainment industry has once again joined together to lend support to the MDA Show of Strength Telethon, benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association.The 49th broadcast of the television fundraising event will air in primetime on ABC, Sunday, Aug. 31 (9 p.m. ET /PT, 8 p.m. CT/MT).Delivering one-of-a-kind performances of their new, hit or classic songs are Grammy winners Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes, plus Aloe Blacc, American Authors, Bret Michaels, Fall Out Boy, Jason Derulo, Matt Nathanson, R5 and Sara Evans.The long-standing Labor Day weekend tradition combines performances and celebrity presenters to engage viewers with powerful “stories of strength” and moving calls-to-action to help families affected by muscle diseases.Celebrity presenters on the telethon include Alyssa Milano, Brad Paisley, Chip Esten, Chris Powell, Jann Carl, Jordin Sparks, Josh Groban, Ke$ha, Kevin Frazier, Laila Ali, Ludacris, Nancy O’Dell, Pete Wentz, ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser, Susan Lucci, Terry Fator, Tom Bergeron and Victor Ortiz.“MDA’s telethon gives us a chance to celebrate the compassionate support of our celebrity friends, sponsors and individuals in communities across the country who give generously to help save and improve lives of those fighting muscle disease,” said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks. “With clinical trials of potential new therapies underway, this is a time of hope and progress for the children and adults we serve. We urge families and friends to gather together on Aug. 31 to watch, whether via broadcast or online, and see the fantastic performers and inspiring stories of those who are fighting muscle disease with grace and courage.”Next week, telethon premiere parties will take place in communities in every state in the nation to rally MDA families, sponsors and volunteers, as well as to engage new supporters. Public service and promotional campaigns to help promote the show have already started to air.While the telethon has consistently enjoyed robust support from some of the biggest celebrities in show business, MDA says the real stars on the broadcast are the individuals and families served by MDA, including five families who will share their stories and give the public a glimpse of what it means to live with a muscle disease during the 2014 broadcast.MDA supporters are encouraged to visit mda.org/showofstrength to enhance their telethon viewing experience. On Sunday, Aug. 31, the site will have an online telethon tote board keeping track of all donations associated with the televised fundraiser, including those made by national sponsors, direct marketing donors and through calls, texts and online donations made during the broadcast.New this year, site visitors can submit their favorite MDA memories by sharing favorite stories and remembrances of how MDA and its telethon have touched their lives throughout the decades and years. The campaign is being tracked by the hashtag #MDAmemories and is being shared on MDA’s Instagram page and on mda.org.Additionally, visitors also can check out and share exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the telethon with celebrities and MDA families and sign on to be a “Muscle Maker” for $11 a month. MDA social channels include Facebook at facebook.com/MDANational, Twitter at twitter.com/MDAnews, Google+ at mda.org/plus, Instagram at instagram/mda_usa and Pinterest at pinterest/mdanational.
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel about making progress on climate change and combating protectionism when they meet at the G7 next month in Quebec.Both are hot button topics with President Donald Trump, who will be making his Canadian debut at the June 8-9 gathering in Quebec’s Charlevoix region.Merkel is the G7’s longest-serving leader and has clashed with Trump in the past, including at his first summit last year in Italy.Trump’s trip to Canada is generating concerns among diplomats and analysts that Trudeau could wind up hosting a summit that could fracture the G7 into a so-called six-plus-one configuration with the U.S. as an outlier.A top European Union official who will be at the table with Trump and Trudeau next month has blasted the U.S. president over his recent decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement.“With friends like that, who needs enemies?” EU Council President Donald Tusk said in Bulgaria on Wednesday.The EU is a full member of the G7 which means Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will join Trudeau, Trump and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan at the leaders’ summit.Trudeau and Merkel also spoke about the need to make “meaningful investments” on educating girls and women in crisis settings, a topic that the prime minister is being pushed to champion by leading aid agencies and anti-poverty groups.The two leaders spoke Tuesday while the prime minister was in Edmonton, but his office released an account of the call on Wednesday.Trudeau has tried to find common ground with Trump on gender equality, which is an overarching theme for the prime minister’s chairmanship of the G7.Also on Wednesday, a Canada-U.S. women-in-business group created by Trudeau and Trump released its fourth set of recommendations.The group is trying to remove barriers to female entrepreneurs, and its latest report makes $1.4 billion in new financing from the Business Development Bank of Canada available to women entrepreneurs.— with files from the Associated Press
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Officials with the BC Wildfire Service say that while fire crews got some cooler temperatures over the past few days, the heavy smoke covering the province is causing complications for those battling the flames from the air.Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds with the Prince George Fire Centre said that some of the helicopters and air tankers that have been employed against the wildfires burning in the Vanderhoof area have been forced to stay on the ground due to a lack of visibility.She said that the thick, heavy smoke has reduced visibility to less than one nautical mile in places, meaning aerial firefighting aircraft can’t fly since they operate under visual flight rules. Reynolds said that there are currently no wildfires of note burning in Northeast B.C., though there are currently 545 fires burning across the province.She said that wildfire crews are continuing to fight several major wildfires that have caused residents of 2,400 properties to be forced from their homes and left thousands more on evacuation alert.An interactive map of all current active fires burning in B.C. can be found here: https://governmentofbc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=ef6f11c8c36b42c29e103f65dbcd7538The following is the latest information on some of the major fires around the province:Shovel Lake (R11498)Last updated: Monday, August 20, 2018 at 12:01 PMLocation: approx. 6km north of the community of Fraser Lake• See approximate location of this wildfire on an interactive map• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note. Discovered: Friday, July 27, 2018Size: 84,793.7 hectaresCause: Under InvestigationResources• 253 firefighters• 8 helicopters• 52 heavy equipmentIn addition, 37 support personnel, 8 helicopters and 17 structural protection staff are shared amongst all fires comprising this complex and are utilized according to areas of highest risk � life and property being the number one priority. Status: ActiveThe Shovel Lake fire remains active, and has currently been mapped at 84,793.7 hectares using high level infra-red scans.Today on the south of the fire, ground crews are working to mop up sections of the fire on the southern perimeter where the successful burn-off occurred by Stern Lake several days ago, and will continue to push guard in on the southern flank of the fire along the PNG pipeline path.The east side of the fire was active yesterday and crossed over the Settlement Road, moving through some heavy timber and into a field, moving under the burn scar from last year. Heavy equipment and crews worked to tie this back in to the perimeter yesterday and will continue with these efforts today as fire activity has continued in this area. Crews are conducting minor burn-off operations to fortify the containment lines on the southeast corner as operable conditions allow. The fire has not moved closer to Fort St. James on the east or north sides, and heavy equipment continues to build guard starting at the Sutherland FSR and links to Dog Creek Trail, with the containment line on the southern perimeter running north of the PNG pipeline and Stella Rd. This continuous guard veers northward to wrap up the eastern side of the fire, crossing Barlow FSR and extending northward utilizing the Bud Rd.As visibility allowed, water skimming aircraft worked on the Hannay Road guard on the west and northwest sides of the fire to assist equipment and crews on the ground yesterday. Aircraft will be used today to support ground crews’ continued efforts if the smoky conditions allow, but the smoke is very thick over the fire this morning.Structural firefighters and structural protection specialists continue to work on the Stella Road, Nadleh Whut�en, and Settlement Road areas to protect structures and ensure sprinkler systems are properly in place. Structural protection crews will demobilize equipment off of properties that are no longer at risk. Night crews were assigned to active sections of the fire last night to keep communities and structures safe.While the BC Wildfire Service appreciates the support from the local communities, we are unable to accept or facilitate donations at the Fraser Lake fire camp. Instead, please consider donating to groups supporting wildfire evacuees in affected areas.While the BC Wildfire Service appreciates the support from the local communities, we are unable to accept or facilitate donations at the Fraser Lake fire camp. Instead, please consider donating to groups supporting wildfire evacuees in affected areas. Nadina Lake (R21721)Last updated: Sunday, August 19, 2018 at 11:18 AMLocation: 63km southwest of Burns Lake• See approximate location of this wildfire on an interactive map• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.Discovered: Tuesday, July 31, 2018Size: 72,172.0 hectares (estimated)Cause: LightningResources• 47 firefighters• 66 heavy equipmentIn addition,there are 352 persons assigned to this fire including: 17 helicopters, and 142 pieces of heavy equipment are shared amongst all fires that comprise the Babine complex and will be utilized according to areas of highest risk � life and property being the number one priority.There are now a total of 25 fire trucks and tenders with 78 crew people from various parts of the province working on structural protection.Status: ActiveCrews will attempt to open up the Owen East Road and prepare for planned ignitions. On the west flank of Nadina Lake crews were challenged by a series of cutblocks. On the northeast, visibility is still challenging. Crews have defendable lines built on the northwest flank. A guard is being planned from Old Issac Trail to Moose Pit, keeping it on top of the ridge towards Verdun as a result of activity August 19, 2018.Crews will continue to mop up any burned control lines, continue to bunch trees along roadways to remove any danger trees and establish guard. The planning and construction of contingency guard is ongoing.A planned ignition near Owen lake is being planned for today: only if conditions are optimalAlkali Lake (R91947)Last updated: Monday, August 20, 2018 at 10:44 AMLocation: 5 km northwest of Telegragh Creek• See approximate location of this wildfire on an interactive map• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.Discovered: Wednesday, August 01, 2018Size: 39,000.0 hectares (estimated)Cause: LightningResources• 92 firefighters• 11 helicopters• 19 heavy equipmentA total of 125 personnel including a night shift are working on and in support of this fire. Today, 19 pieces of heavy equipment, including 4 water tenders, as well as 11 helicopters are supporting firefighting efforts. An Incident Management Team is stationed at Dease Lake. We are working closely with the Tahltan First Nation and several community members are engaged in fire suppression activities.Status: Active• 11% containedNortherly winds during the afternoon will be light and smoke will again accumulate in the Telegraph Creek and Glenora areas. Fire behaviour will likely increase in the afternoon particularly where there is less smoke and the sun�s heat can penetrate.Crews will again be checking structure protection, reinforcing guards and clearing danger trees. Crews and air support will continue work to minimize further impact to the communities of Telegraph Creek and Glenora. Tahltan First Nation staff and a number of contractors are working hard with heavy equipment to build and maintain guard. Structure protection specialists continue to install equipment on properties in the area and are relocating equipment from some areas where it is no longer required to new locations. Work has been completed on hand guard around properties on the south side of the Stikine opposite Telegraph Creek. Structural protection is in place in this area. BC Hydro crews have been working to clear up damaged line and replace poles. Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure have equipment in the area today to grade the road to ensure the safety of crews travelling into and out the fire ground.An accurate line scan of the fire boundary is due to be undertaken.Island Lake Wildfire (R11921)Last updated: Monday, August 20, 2018 at 12:07 PMLocation: Adjacent to Island Lake, S of Francois Lake• See approximate location of this wildfire on an interactive map• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.Discovered: Wednesday, August 01, 2018Size: 17,291.0 hectaresCause: LightningResources• 64 firefighters• 8 helicopters• 11 heavy equipmentIn addition, 45 support personnel, 8 helicopters and 17 Structural Protection Specialists are *shared* between the Shovel Lake Wildfire and Island Lake Wildfire. Air support and Structure Protection is utilized according to areas of highest risk.Status: ActiveThe Island Lake fire remains active, but visibility is very poor over the fire. There was a 120 hectare excursion to the south of Anzus Lake running southeast towards Borel Lake, and crews are working to address this. No structural values are threatened. Crews continue to monitor for and extinguish any spot fires.Ground crews and heavy equipment are continuing to work off the 238 Road to build a fuel free containment line. Hand ignitions were conducted yesterday evening to support the development of safety zones between Borel Lake and Anzus Lake.Heavy equipment are working night shifts to build guard while fire activity is minimal. Today, crews will continue their work to tie the fire into the former Binta Fire burn scar from 2010. Crews are continuing to build guard on the southeast flank and the 238 Road and are monitoring for values in need of structural protection in the area and on the lakeshore.The weather is anticipated to be warm and dry today, with winds alternating from the east and the north up to 15 km/hr.While the BC Wildfire Service appreciates the support from the local communities, we are unable to accept or facilitate donations at the Fraser Lake fire camp. Instead please consider donating to groups supporting wildfire evacuees in affected areas.Verdun Mountain (R11796)Last updated: Sunday, August 19, 2018 at 11:18 AMLocation: 10 km southwest of Grassy Plains• See approximate location of this wildfire on an interactive map• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.Discovered: Tuesday, July 31, 2018Size: 14,711.0 hectares (estimated)Cause: LightningResources• 105 firefighters• 37 heavy equipmentIn addition,there are 352 persons assigned to this fire including: 17 helicopters, and 142 pieces of heavy equipment are shared amongst all fires that comprise the Babine complex and will be utilized according to areas of highest riskStatus: ActiveThe southeast flank is burning into an old burn scar. On the west flank, the fire is adjacent to the Keefe Landing Road but continues to hold there. Planning is in place to burn along this line as conditions allow to solidify the line.Behind Takysie two heavy helicopters were used to bucket along a guard. On the southwest corner the fire is backing slowly down towards a guard along the south. Crews complted guard from Takysie Lake to Tatalaska Lake, then from the north end of Tatalaska to Francoise Lake.Meachen Creek (N11886)Last updated: Monday, August 20, 2018 at 9:49 AMLocation: Kianuko Provincial Park and Meachen Creek drainage, approx. 10 km southwest of St. Mary Lake• See approximate location of this wildfire on an interactive map• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.Discovered: Wednesday, August 01, 2018Size: 6,996.0 hectaresCause: LightningResources• 21 firefighters• 3 helicopters• 6 heavy equipmentA 22 person Incident Management Team from Ontario assumed command of this fire as of last night.Status: ActiveThe safety of the residents of the St. Mary Valley and the safety of our crews remains the first priority for the BC Wildfire Service.Yesterday retardant line was laid up the ridge along Meachen Creek. A planned ignition was then conducted from this retardant line to the northeast corner of the fire to tie into a predetermined boundary line. Activities were supported by a type 1 crew doing hand ignitions to solidify the area.Today type 1 crews will be patrolling and wet lining the area along Meachen Creek to ensure there is no encroachment. Depending on visibility, another planned ignition with retardant line may be conducted to have the fire burn cleanly to a predetermined boundary line in Fiddler Creek.Heavy equipment continues to work in the area east of the fire and south of St-Mary�s FSR as a contingency line if the fire were to encroach eastward.Values protection equipment will be installed on all structures west of St-Mary�s Lake by noon today. The Structure Protection Unit will then be assessing the properties to the east of St-Mary�s Lake.The IMT is waiting for better visibility to use helicopters to establish a new perimeter. Although the smoky conditions are limiting operations, the smoke is also moderating fire behaviour. The smoke is raising relative humidity and lowering temperatures, thus making the fire less active. The Incident Management Team is concerned that once these conditions dissipate, more extreme fire behaviour will once again be observed.
CALGARY, A.B. – Pembina Pipelines has confirmed they will spend $1.6 billion on capital projects in 2019 on previously announced projects.Of that, almost 53 percent or $900 million will be spent in the pipelines division. The 2019 capital budget for the Pipelines Division includes spending associated with the Phase VI and Phase VII expansions of the Peace Pipeline System, both of which are currently underway and anticipated to be in-service in the second half of 2019 and the first half of 2021, respectively.Funds will also be spent on the completion of NEBC Montney Infrastructure and the Wapiti Condensate Lateral both of which are expected to be in-service in the second half of 2019. Additional capital will be spent relating to previously known and anticipated final cleanup costs along the Peace Pipeline right-of-way, as well as communication and SCADA infrastructure upgrades.The company will also invest $210 on the development of Duvernay II & III which includes gas processing, condensate stabilization and related infrastructure under the previously announced 20-year infrastructure development and service agreement with Chevron Canada Limited. Duvernay II & III are expected to be in service in mid to late 2019 and mid to late 2020, respectively.Additional spending will be directed towards progressing the Prince Rupert LPG Export Terminal, the Empress Expansion and the recently announced Hythe Developments project.
Arsha (WB): A BJP activist’s son was found hanging from a tree on Thursday morning in Arsha block of Purulia district, police said. Sishupal Singh (22), the son of a BJP activist and local panchayat committee member, was missing since Wednesday, Purulia Superintendent of Police (SP) Akash Magharia said. “A missing complaint was filed by Singh’s family members Wednesday evening. He was spotted hanging from a tree on the outskirts of Senabona village around 9am by the locals, who then reported the matter to the police station,” he said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja It’s a case of “unnatural death” and the body has been sent for post mortem, the SP said, adding that an investigation has been initiated into the matter. Last June, Dulal Kumar, a member of the saffron party, was also found hanging from a power transmission tower in Purulia district’s Dava village. The state CID started an investigation into Dulal’s death, following a huge protest by the BJP. Soon after, Joy Biswas was replaced by Magharia as the district superintendent of police.
Kolkata: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has urged Rahul Gandhi to explain whether he is keen on fighting the BJP or the Left as he feels that the Congress chief’s decision to contest from Left stronghold-Wayanad has sent out a different message. Hinting that Gandhi’s decision won’t prevent the two parties from coming together after election, he spoke about 2004 when the CPI(M)-led Left Front had extended outside support to the Congress-led UPA. He said out of the 61 Left MPs, 57 had won by defeating the Congress. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “In all the 20 seats of Kerala, the contest is between the Congress-led UDF and Left-led LDF, whether its Rahul Gandhi or XYZ candidate. We are saying today that defeating the BJP is necessary to save India today,” Yechury told PTI in an interview. “Now what does Rahul Gandhi want to do is up to him. What is the message he is giving by contesting against the Left in Kerala unlike his mother or grandmother who had contested against the BJP from Karnataka. He should tell the country whether he is keen on fighting BJP or the Left. He should clarify this,” he said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Indira Gandhi had contested from Chikmagalur in October 1978 and Sonia Gandhi from Bellary in 1999 in Karnataka. Fighting against the BJP is one thing, fighting against the Left sends out a different message, he said. Yechury said if Gandhi was keen on sending a message of united India by contesting from a southern state he could have contested from Tamil Nadu or Karnataka. He was commenting on Gandhi’s recent speech where he had said that the reason behind contesting from Kerala was to give a message that “India is not just one idea but millions of different viewpoints”. Asked whether Gandhi contesting from Kerala would act as a roadblock for the CPI(M) in supporting the Congress in a post-poll scenario, Yechury said, “Roadblock for what? If Rahul Gandhi is not there then there will be some other Congress candidate.” “We are fighting Congress politically in Kerala and we will fight it,” he said, noting that in 2004 when Left supported UPA-1, out of the 61 seats, the Left had won 57 by defeating the Congress. Yechury exuded confidence that a secular democratic government would come to power post elections and said the these polls will be the most crucial since Independence as the outcome will determine whether the country will remain a secular, democratic republic, as enshrined in the Constitution. “The BJP, which is an arm of the RSS, has a game plan to convert India into Hindu Rashtra. They have undermined every democratic institutions of the country. We will never allow this to happen and that is why it is crucial to defeat this government,” he said. Asked whether the CPI(M) will be a part of the proposed secular government or will it limit its role up to providing outside support, Yechury said it will decided post polls. “According to our party programme, the question of participating or not participating in government will be decided on the basis of the concrete situation that emerges at such a time, by our central committee. This decision will be taken at that time,” he said. Criticising the BJP for its effort to polarise the elections on the basis of religion and nationalism, Yechury referred to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent comment that he would like the BJP to win and said the statement had only made it clear “who is pro-Indian and pro-Pakistani”. “The BJP has been branding opposition and those who have questioned them as Pakistani. But after Imran Khan’s statement we know who Pakistan actually wants as PM. Pakistan wants Modi to win and India wants Modi to lose,” he said. In an interview to foreign journalists, Khan said he believed there was a better chance of peace talks with India and settling the Kashmir issue if the BJP wins the general elections. The 66-year-old communist leader slammed BJP president Amit Shah for terming infiltrators “termites” and said it is one of the “most obnoxious and offensive comments” and wondered why the Election commission is yet to take cognisance of it. He said it was clearly a case of hate speech and violation of the Model Code of Conduct. “I really cannot understand why the EC is yet to take notice of it,” Yechury said. On the issue of failure of the seat-sharing deal with the Congress in West Bengal, Yechury said the grand old party should answer why it decided to go alone. “The CPI(M) was sincere in its commitment to ensure maximum polarisation of anti-BJP and anti-TMC votes in Bengal. We unilaterally announced that there should be no mutual contest in six seats. But the Congress on the basis of its own wisdom announced candidates, so it is for them to answer,” he said. Yechury said that as far as the people of Bengal were concerned, the most sincere efforts for defeating the TMC and the BJP were being made by the CPI(M) and Left. With the BJP emerging as the main contender of the ruling Trinamool Congress, the CPI(M) in Bengal is fighting a tough battle to retain its political ground. In the 2014 parliamentary election, the Trinamool Congress won 34 seats in Bengal, the Congress four and the Left and the BJP two each.
NEW DELHI: Among the candidates contesting for Lok Sabha polls in Delhi, three dont have college degrees– two are BJP candidates Gautam Gambhir and Hans Raj Hans while third is Congress candidate Mahabal Mishra who has a Pre-University Certifiacte (PUC).While AAP candidate from North-West (Reserved) Parliamenatry Constituency Gugan Singh is class 8 pass.The May 12 Lok Sabha polls in the national capital will involve a contest between Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party, the Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party which won all the seven seats in 2014. Five of them are re-contesting this year. Former cricketer Gambhir, in his nomination affidavit, has said that his “degree (was) not completed”. The 37-year-old is contesting in East Delhi against the AAP’s Atishi, 37, who holds a Master of Science (2006) degree from Oxford University. The Congress has named 50-year-old Arvinder Singh Lovely, a B.A. Political Science graduate from Delhi University. Hans Raj Hans, a matric pass (1978), is contesting from the North West Delhi seat. He will face the AAP’s Class 8 pass 70-year-old Gugan Singh. The Congress has named 53-year-old M.Sc. holder Rajesh Lilothia from the seat. For the West Delhi seat, the Congress has named 65-year-old Mahabal Mishra, with a pre-university certificate (Intermediate course) from Bihar. Mishra will face 41-year-old Parvesh Sahib Singh, a MBA holder, and the AAP’s 47-year-old Balbir Singh Jakhar, with a L.L.B degree. In the remaining four seats, the fight is between degree holders. In the Chandini Chowk parliamentary seat, BJP’s 64-year-old sitting MP Harsh Vardhan — a medical graduate from Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College, Kanpur, and a Master of Surgery in Otorhinolaryngology (1983) — is contesting against the AAP’s 52-year-old Pankaj Gupta, a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics (1987) from Allahabad. The Congress has fielded 74-year-old J.P. Agarwal, holding a degree in Bachelor of Arts (1960) from Delhi University’s Hansraj College. North East Delhi will see a contest between three master degree holders. AAP’s 38-year-old Dilip Pandey, holding a Master of Computer Application degree (2005) from Bhopal, is facing three-time Delhi Chief Minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit. The 81-year-old completed her post graduation in history from Delhi University in 1959.
The field for the inaugural College Football Playoff (CFP) was finally set Sunday, but — in true college football style — it wasn’t without controversy. The 12-person CFP selection committee chose Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State, arguably snubbing Big 12 co-champions Baylor and (especially) TCU.The last four teams standing are exceptional. The Ducks, Crimson Tide and Buckeyes rank Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, in ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). And although the Seminoles have been unconvincing throughout the season, it would have been difficult to justify leaving the undefeated, defending national champion out of the playoff — No. 10 FPI ranking be damned. So, the committee may well have made the best decision it could have, according to its mandate to select the nation’s four best teams.But by ranking TCU third (ahead of both Florida State and Ohio State) the week before the conference championships, the committee also set itself up to violate the precedent of how college football rankings have always worked. That’s why, even after previous No. 5 Ohio State rolled over No. 13 Wisconsin 59-0, the FiveThirtyEight College Football Playoff model — which is based on a historical analysis of Coaches Poll voters’ tendencies — saw little chance that TCU would drop from third place to fifth or lower in the committee’s final rankings.Using the traditional media polls as a guide, that was a reasonable assumption. Since the advent of the Bowl Coalition in 1992, only four times (in 214 opportunities) did the third-ranked team in the AP poll drop below fourth place the week after it won a game over an FBS opponent. All four of those teams (Florida State in Week 1 of the 2002 season, Ohio State in Week 3 of 2003, Tennessee in Week 1 of 2005 and Ohio State in Week 2 of 2008) posted victory margins that underwhelmed their pregame FPI expectations. By contrast, TCU beat its pregame expectations by 19 points in thrashing Iowa State. (And it bears repeating that none of those cases took place any later than the third week of a season, when you would expect voters to still be sorting out the order of teams.)And yet TCU did drop in the committee’s rankings — from third place to sixth, below Florida State, Ohio State and even Baylor (whom the committee had controversially slotted beneath TCU in every previous edition of its rankings, seemingly ignoring the Bears’ head-to-head victory over the Horned Frogs on Oct. 11). It was a stunning fall that, for better or worse, seemed to contradict the way college football teams traditionally move in the rankings.TCU’s exclusion also broke with tradition from another standpoint. Using poll data since 1992, I ran a logistic regression attempting to predict whether a team would finish the regular season in the AP’s top four based on various “résumé” statistics provided by ESPN’s Stats and Info Group. The factors that emerged as significant were a team’s winning percentage (modified slightly by Laplace’s Rule of Succession), its average points-per-game margin, its strength of schedule (according to the average FBS team’s expected winning percentage against its schedule using FPI), and whether it won its conference or not.This year, those criteria would have yielded the following probabilities of making the top four (assuming the committee would follow the pollsters’ traditional logic):(Note: Baylor and TCU were co-champions of the Big 12; for the purposes of the regression, they were each treated the same as a team that was sole champion of its conference.)It’s not outside the realm of plausibility that historical voters would exclude TCU and include Ohio State on the basis of their résumés alone (this method shows there was a 16 percent chance that would happen). In fact, the real AP poll dropped TCU from fourth to sixth, with two teams (Baylor and Ohio State) hurdling the Horned Frogs.It is, however, another way to underscore that the playoff committee may be rethinking the way college football teams have been ranked at the end of the season. As FiveThirtyEight’s editor in chief, Nate Silver, wrote in his final assessment of the committee’s selection, the sport’s old algorithm rarely entailed a top-to-bottom reassessment of the field this late in the year (voters usually just made slight adjustments to teams’ rankings after losses or big wins; otherwise the current rankings were basically enslaved to the previous rankings). The committee’s final rankings, on the other hand, suggest it sorted the teams from scratch after the conference championships, with no allegiance to its previous choices.That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But, like the existence of a playoff in the first place, it’s a new thing.