Minerva Punjab owner Ranjt Bajaj Friday said he was contemplating “shutting” down his club as he could not find a venue to host the I-League side’s AFC Cup home match on May 1. Minerva is scheduled to play against Manang Marshyangdi Club of Nepal in a Group E match on May 1 and Bajaj claimed that the Odisha government has withdrawn its earlier permission to allow to use Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar under pressure from All India Football Federation. The AIFF, however, rejected the allegation, saying that it has nothing to do with the issue as the stadium is owned by the Odisha government. Bajaj said that the Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier given clearance to use the stadium for the match. “Yes, we are thinking of shutting the club. What is the point of playing in a country where the national federation is trying to sabotage the clubs. Even after getting permission from the Odisha Chief Minister Mr Naveen Patnaik, who has retweeted my old post, the AIFF denied us permission,” Bajaj told PTI. He claimed that the AIFF had refused to give the ground, citing renovation work ahead of next year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. “They say they will have to do some painting and other small work,” he added. In a series of tweets, Bajaj lashed out at the AIFF for getting the permission to use the stadium cancelled. “After being champions playing in the @AFCCup was our right @minervapunjabfc but came to know who that it’s AIFF &(FSDL)who has got our permission cancelled — ODISHA sports dept is saying talk to them – I am shattered that my own parent body is sabotaging our afc stadium,” Bajaj wrote. “Sadly it’s crystal clear that instead of trying to promote football in INDIA /AIFF Along with FSDL RELIANCE is trying to kill all football which they can’t own/this low blow of getting odsiha govt to cancel the stadium booking after @AFCCup has started Is shameful. “AIFF & FSDL RELIANCE Congratulations on a job well done – from everyone @minervapunjabfc & all clubs who have shut down because of you.” He appealed to the Odisha chief minister for his intervention and save his club from disqualification by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Reacting to Bajaj’s claims, an AIFF official said, “The stadium is not owned by the AIFF, it is the property of the Odisha government. So, we have nothing to do on this issue.” Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates
If you’re like me, the upcoming holiday season brings with it a mix of excitement and dread. While you might love the spirit of Christmas — holiday jingles, festive gatherings with those near and dear to you, the aroma of… Full Story,A few months ago, I was hanging out with a good friend at a bar. In between rounds of drinks and amid the din and bustle, she shamefully admitted that although she had nearly $20,000 of credit card debt, she… Full Story,When I was in college, I had a bit of a spending problem. I loved to buy new clothes, go out to eat and go to concerts. Even though I tried to budget, I always wound up overspending. The one… Full Story,If you’re in the market for a TV upgrade, retail price tags can be daunting. Here are some foolproof methods to shave down the cost – so you can enjoy the golden age of television in 4K, 65-inch, HDR-compatible splendor.Full Story,Your checking account is held at a bank or credit union that allows withdrawals, deposits, and payments. The money in a checking account is liquid—meaning you can retrieve it or spend it immediately. Many checking accounts are free and are… Full Story,Saving more money is one of those big goals that a lot of people have, but get stuck. I know this because we use to be right there too. The year would fly by and we were nowhere near our goal…. Full Story,Cutting the cord is easier than ever – unless you’re a sports fan. Even as the major sports organizations reluctantly shift away from an outdated broadcasting model, it’s still hard to catch all the action without a cable subscription. But… Full Story,Table of Contents Jobs to Keep You Teaching Jobs Online and On Apps Jobs to Get You Outside Miscellaneous Part-Time Work Additional Resources Being a teacher is one of the most essential jobs there is. Educators are the ones that… Full Story,Taking care of aging parents is an inevitable part of life, and it’s not always easy. We watch the people who raised us slowly slip away, and we want to do everything in our power to give them the best… Full Story,Managing your savings is a skill developed over time. As with all things, it’s always best to start small. What exactly is saving? A savings account and the act of saving are not quite the same. Saving — the verb… Full Story
Post navigation Eric Brandt is the Managing Director and Chief Claims Officer at Esurance. He has more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry as a claims leader for personal, commercial, specialty, and disability lines of business. Eric draws on his experience in claims leadership to write on a variety of auto and home insurance-related topics. To learn more about Esurance’s home insurance policies, visit their website. If you’re a first-time homeowner, congratulations! Welcome to a world without landlords, roommates, or security deposits. You found your perfect place and successfully navigated the mortgage paperwork (which should be an Olympic sport).Now that you’ve made a huge life purchase, it’s important to make sure that your investment is protected. Whether it’s preparing for unexpected repairs, severe weather, or accidents, make sure you’re ready to handle any curveballs that life may throw your way.Prepare for repairsIt’s never fun to think about “what if.” But if an appliance breaks or your roof leaks, it’s better to be prepared. Here are a few things you can do:Build repair costs into your budgetImagine this: it’s the middle of summer and your central air breaks. A new unit could cost you up to $7,000 — not exactly pocket change. Having money set aside for costly repairs can help protect you from financial stress. Experts recommend stashing away 1 to 2 percent of the purchase price of your home for these types of situations. For example, if your home was $300,000, you should budget $3,000 to $6,000 per year, or $250 to $500 per month.Make routine maintenance a priorityYou take your car into the shop for regular upkeep. Shouldn’t your home receive the same care? Routine maintenance allows your property to retain its value. Regularly replace your heat and air conditioning filters to keep systems running at peak performance. Safely check your roof at least twice a year for signs of damage. And while you’re up there, remember to sweep away any debris and clean your gutters too.Get familiar with your homeowners insurance policy You don’t need to memorize every sentence, but having a basic understanding of what’s covered will help you feel even more confident when something needs fixing.Prepare for severe weatherMother Nature is known for her powerful storms, yet a recent Esurance survey found that only 25 percent of respondents proactively prepare for potentially damaging weather events. Take these steps to ensure your home is ready:If a storm is expected in the next few days, get readyKeep an eye on the forecast and remember, storms can be dangerous. It doesn’t hurt to have an emergency kit on hand. Basic items include a flashlight, batteries, first-aid supplies, a can opener, a whistle, nonperishable food, and a hand-crank radio.If you have enough time, install special storm windows and trim any weak tree branches that could fall on your home. Clean out your rain gutters so they’re fully operational. Get familiar with your circuit breaker and water supply in case you need to shut off either one. Make sure you review an emergency plan with your family or household.If a storm is headed your way, act fastUse your best judgement depending on the type of weather and severity. Move any outdoor furniture or accessories into your garage. Relocate your belongings away from windows. Make sure a fire extinguisher is close at hand and evacuate if you need to. No matter what you’re dealing with, try to stay calm.After the storm, assess damageIn the aftermath of a storm, carefully assess any damage. While filing a claim can feel daunting — especially as a first-time homeowner — reliable insurers like Esurance are there to help make the process easier so you can get back to your life.Prepare for accidentsIt’s bound to happen — a big “oops.” But you can take efforts to help ensure you and your home are protected against life’s mishaps:Take fire safety seriouslyBetween 2011 and 2015, there were more than 350,000 house fires each year across the U.S. Burning candles, using fireplaces, and cooking at high heats can all lead to disaster if you’re not keeping a watchful eye. Make sure smoke alarms are fully operational. When burning candles, position them away from curtains, furniture, and other flammable materials. And never leave your kitchen unattended while cooking.Know your coveragesLet’s say your son’s friend falls off your swing set and breaks his arm. An innocent accident. But your home insurance may include something called family liability protection. Translation: if someone gets hurt on your property and you’re legally on the hook, your insurance can help protect you.Understanding when your homeowners insurance has your back can give you some much-needed peace of mind. Because you can’t predict if a dead tree branch will fall through your roof. Or if the mailperson will slip and fall on your sidewalk. Life happens. But by taking steps to make sure you’re prepared and understand the basics of your homeowners insurance policy, you’ll be ready for just about anything. *This blog post does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHere’s What Car Accidents Really Cost YouJanuary 15, 2019In “Financial Planning”How to Know If You’re Ready To Buy a HouseJuly 19, 2018In “Housing Finances”What You Need To Know About The Closing Cost Of A Home (Buying And Selling)August 15, 2019In “Housing Finances”
The Open Government Partnership (OGP), a unique coalition of governments and civil society organizations (CSOs) dedicated to making governments more open, accountable and responsive to citizens, is hosting its Global Summit in Mexico City this week. The OGP recognizes that governments are more likely to be effective and credible if they are open to public consultation and oversight.A key objective of the Summit is to support implementation of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to eradicate extreme poverty while growing economies and sustaining natural resources. It’s an apt theme—the OGP has already made major progress in making governments more open, and its own mission is squarely aligned with many of the targets set out in the SDGs. In fact, the OGP can be a powerful mechanism for deepening commitment to good governance in the context of sustainable development throughout the world.Achieving Impact and Deepening CommitmentsIn just four years since OGP’s launch, its membership has grown from eight to 66 countries, with hundreds of CSOs participating in the OGP process at the country level. Governments from these countries have made more than 2,500 commitments to open government and transparency—many of which have already been delivered. For example, in their first years as OGP members, five countries passed new or improved Freedom of Information legislation, four undertook reforms to improve transparency in public expenditures, two enacted political finance reforms and three developed new initiatives to strengthen corporate accountability.Several countries have also scaled up their commitments since submitting their first round of national action plans. For example, the UK took the OGP review mechanism’s recommendation on engaging in deeper consultations with civil society, while Brazil, South Africa and the United States all included ambitious new commitments in their updated action plans.And the progress continues. Several new countries in Africa and Asia have expressed interesting joining OGP at the Global Summit. Moreover, OGP is poised to ratify the inclusion of cities and subnational governments, which will open fresh opportunities for engagement and cross-learning on transparency and open government at the local level.OGP and the SDGsThe 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a tremendous opportunity to enhance the impact of the OGP by establishing a set of global priorities to help eradicate extreme poverty and shift all countries toward inclusive, sustainable development. Improving government transparency is a critical component of achieving many of the 17 newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals. The 2030 Agenda incorporates OGP principles of transparency, civic participation, accountable public institutions, and technological innovation in three ways:First, open government principles are explicitly addressed in Goal 16, which aims to “build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels,” and in other targets across other goals. These targets provide specific language on what governments and their citizens need to do to advance open government specifically and good governance more broadly. They are especially valuable for the connection between OGP and SDGs as they underline the importance of open, responsive government as an end in itself.Second, the principles of open government are embedded across numerous SDGs where transparency, public participation and accountable public institutions are instrumental to achieving a particular target. For example, goals related to income, poverty, water, education, energy and cities all include targets for the provision of public services and universal access to these services. Open government is often an essential element of high quality and universal service provision. Services from education to infrastructure, which are indispensable for poverty eradication, are strengthened by citizen input and oversight.Third, implementation of the 2030 Agenda rests on core OGP principles. The 2030 Agenda calls for follow-up and review processes that are “open, inclusive, participatory and transparent for all people and [that] will support the reporting by all relevant stakeholders.” At the national level, it calls on countries to conduct regular evaluations of progress against the goals and targets, and incorporate input from all stakeholders. By promoting more open, inclusive and participatory decision-making, OGP can help create the right enabling environment for successful implementation of the SDGs. More specifically, open data, which is closely related to the transparency objectives of the OGP, has been increasingly recognized as important for development.Moving OGP and the SDGs forwardThere are considerable complementary objectives between the OGP and the SDGs. The “Open Government for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” Declaration is a political statement made by OGP steering committee members. The Declaration affirms that the rule of law, principles of transparency and open government and citizen participation are important tools for effectively implementing the 2030 Agenda and achieving the SDGs.Specific OGP commitments and actions that are of direct relevance to the SDGs include: adopting relevant commitments in OGP national action plans, promoting transparency and citizen participation, and integrating open government into monitoring the Agenda. The OGP Declaration encourages integrating open government principles into the official indicators that will measure the Agenda’s progress.Why Is WRI Engaged in These Agendas?Open data, transparency and accountability lie at the heart of the WRI’s approach to achieving ambitious outcomes in climate, land, forests and water. Through this engagement, WRI aims to help OGP member countries strengthen their national commitments on climate and environment, engage cities and subnational governments in improving transparency, and build on the opportunities presented by new global agreements on development finance, climate change and sustainable development.The SDGs set out targets for the next 15 years that are nothing short of ambitious—ending extreme poverty, halving food waste, reining in runaway greenhouse gas emissions and much more. Achieving these goals is possible—and essential—but it will take concerted efforts at the local, national and international levels. Research organizations like WRI and global transparency initiatives like OGP will have a role in moving the goals forward. In fact, they’re critical to their success.
Today, companies are making big moves to power their operations with clean energy. To date, corporate buyers have purchased a global total of 19 GW of renewable energy, enough to power five million average American homes.But navigating the path to renewables is harder than it should be. 17 U.S. states still do not offer easy access to large-scale renewable energy and renewable energy buying is only just emerging as an option in international markets like China and Mexico.Buyers, energy suppliers and experts are coming together to overcome these challenges through the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), a collaboration of WRI with BSR, Rocky Mountain Institute and World Wildlife Fund.The 2017 REBA Summit last week in Santa Clara, California gathered more than 400 representatives from corporations, utilities and developers to discuss ways to accelerate renewable energy purchasing. Here are five trends that emerged.1. U.S. Buyers Are Ready for New Approaches to Big PurchasesIn the U.S., new options such as green tariffs and virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) have proven to be successful mechanisms to add renewable energy to the grid. 13 states now offer buyers green tariffs, where utility customers can source up to 100 percent of their electricity from renewable resources through a fixed rate. VPPAs allow buyers to purchase renewable energy outside their local grid – an attractive option for companies seeking flexibility in their renewable energy project locations.But green tariffs and VPPAs were not designed to address concerns for emerging buyers, like customers with smaller and more dispersed customer loads. Nor do these mechanisms address underlying issues for electricity markets, such as saturated regional grids and the management of existing generation. We will need tweaks and entirely new approaches to continue the corporate voluntary transition to clean energy.Author Letha Tawney leads a utility session at the 2017 REBA Summit. 2. U.S. Buyers Want to See Lower Electricity Prices on Their Power BillsWholesale power prices are at a historic low, driven by simple market economics: in many U.S. locations, energy supply exceeds demand.As long as wholesale prices are lower than the energy charges large customers see on their electricity bills, they will push for better access to that savings. This is fueling interest among very large buyers in exiting utilities and buying power directly on the market. The low wholesale prices also make it difficult to find a competitive VPPA. Finally, the falling wholesale price is pressuring utilities that already have an oversupply of generators and customer demand for new renewables that would add to the supply.3. U.S. Buyers Want a Deeper Conversation With Their UtilitiesThe proliferation of energy technology for efficiency, on-site generation, demand management and storage means customers large and small have more complicated choices to make in their energy buying strategy. These new technologies often have implications for the grid, as Microsoft and Black Hills Energy found in Wyoming. A more robust conversation with the utility is needed to make the most of those assets and how they interact with the falling cost of energy.Utilities attending the REBA Summit were eager for more extensive conversations around needs and opportunities. Addressing the concerns of public utility commissions charged with protecting all consumers and approving new utility products will be essential to realizing the potential.Over the next two years, WRI will lead a working group of utilities and customers to explore opportunities for utility-scale renewable energy products and their effective integration into the grid.4. Policy Questions Stall Progress in Emerging MarketsMany large buyers want better options for renewable energy purchasing in countries where they manufacture products or operate stores.China made progress this year by establishing a renewable energy certificates (RECs) market and companies are eager to collaborate with relevant government agencies to continue to improve the design of this program.India has ambitious national goals for solar and wind power, but policy varies dramatically state by state, and the buying process can be cumbersome. Adobe’s new deal to power its Bangalore office with solar power took over a year to complete. Many buyers are in a “wait and see” mode, hoping for clarity and a more mature market.Collaboration through large buyer groups like WRI and CII’s Green Power Market Development Group in India and the GECCO in China will be essential to address these concerns. WRI-led buyers groups in Mexico and Vietnam will work with industry associations, utilities and governments over the next year to overcome barriers.5. The Path to True Large-Scale Renewable Energy Remains UnclearAs REBA Summit closed, Facebook’s sustainability director, Bill Weihl, shared his ambition for the alliance to grow tenfold in the next three years. For the small group of non-profits that launched REBA in 2016, it’s a daunting but welcome challenge as we reach for our goal of 60 GW of new corporate renewable energy by 2025.To reach scale, we need more buyers. That means drawing more companies and offering better resources to inform their decisions. Large-scale public energy buyers like universities, hospitals and municipal agencies need to be brought into the fold as well. There was much discussion of renewable energy goals for corporate supply chains, which would reach commodity manufacturers that have not been as engaged.In all these cases, large buyer interest in purchasing renewable energy will grow when there is a clear and compelling value proposition: clean energy brings concrete benefits to the bottom line.WRI leads the REBA collaboration with BSR, Rocky Mountain Institute and World Wildlife Fund. Learn about all REBA initiatives at https://rebuyers.org/
Identify terms that would be good to create content around. For example, there is ample opportunity around the term how to make a unicorn costume. It has a global monthly search volume of 390, low competition, and the how-to phrase lends itself to informational, actionable content that is great for a blog. You should include this phrase in your URL, page title, H1 tags, and throughout your content, too.To convert those visitors, provide additional contextual content, videos, pictures, or offers. By moving these visitors through the funnel, you’ll see more conversions from this super qualified traffic and be able to monetize your long tail search efforts more effectively.How to Analyze & Improve Your Long Tail Search StrategyMeasure the amount of traffic you currently drive for long tail keywords. By establishing this from the beginning, you’ll be able to measure if you’re gaining traction for those keyword phrases month over month.Analyze how useful the long tail traffic is. If you end up in the top of the SERPs for a long tail keyword phrase but drive no traffic for it, it’s not a good place to spend your time. If you get traffic but low conversions, start testing your calls-to-action and landing pages. If, after A/B testing CTAs and landing pages, you’re still seeing no improvements, focus your efforts on more profitable keywords.Determine which keywords yield the most revenue. A customer was once a prospect, a prospect was once a lead, and a lead was once (maybe) a long tail searcher. Start tracking which long tail keywords drive the most future customers. Over time, you can even attribute customer acquisition costs and lifetime customer value metrics to this equation.Evaluate the success of content optimized with long tail keywords. Metrics to consider are bounce rate, time on page, social reach, and inbound links. If visitors leave a blog post about how to make a unicorn costume in 4 seconds, for example, one can infer that blog post is not useful for people searching that term.Piggyback on success by targeting similar terms. When you’ve identified long tail keyword phrases that drive traffic, conversions, and other positive site metrics, experiment with synonyms of those words. For example, if there’s success with the term unicorn costumes for kids, there is probably also opportunity with the term unicorn costumes for children.Identify holes and opportunities in your content. If you see people coming to your site from relevant search terms you hadn’t considered, there’s an opportunity to optimize your site for that group of searchers. For example, a costume retailer could capitalize on the search term Halloween safety tips for children even though the term doesn’t explicitly mention unicorn costumes (or any costumes, for that matter), while still remaining relevant to readers.Are you leveraging the SEO power of long-tail keywords in your marketing content?Image credit: Bruce Clay Australia, SEOmoz, Search Engine People Blog Long tail keywords help you stay agile. If you slip in the SERPs for a head term (if you’re one of the few ranking for it) it is a dramatic blow to your business with a rough road to recovery. If you diversify with long tail search terms, losing rankings on a few phrases won’t disrupt your business, and you can regain those listing positions quickly.Long tail search helps you rank for difficult terms. By including the head terms in your long tail keyword phrases, you’re also gaining traction on that difficult search term. You can also boost pages targeting competitive terms by linking to them from your high ranking pages targeting long tail variations of that head term.Long tail search is the most popular type of search. According to SEOmoz, long tail search comprises 70% of search traffic. As searchers become more confident in how Google returns results for their query, they’re free to be more specific with search queries instead of defaulting to a generic term and sifting through results to find what they’re looking for.How to Target Long Tail KeywordsYou may have advanced keyword analytics tools at your disposal, such as HubSpot’s Keyword Grader tool, that allow you to get more granular with your long tail search efforts. You can also get started by logging in to your Google Analytics account and identifying the terms that drive the most traffic to your site. If you have insight into which keywords lead to customers, focus on those first for higher monetization potential.Next, search for long tail variations of those terms using the ‘Suggest Keywords’ option in HubSpot’s Keyword Grader tool or by using Google’s Keyword Tool. For example, the starred terms below are long tail variations of the term unicorn costume that would be good to target. Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 17, 2011 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 If you’re having trouble finding good long tail keyword phrases in your keyword tool, jump over to Google.com, enter your head terms into the search box, and let Google Suggest recommend some long tail variations for you. Keyword Research When marketers and SEOs decide to target a highly competitive keyword, it could take months or even years to see meaningful movement in the SERPs. But the search landscape is shifting, and more searchers are typing in long tail search terms to find what they’re looking for in search engines. Not surprisingly, marketers and SEOs are responding by shifting their attention to long tail search optimization. If you haven’t started integrating long tail keywords into your keyword research strategy or you’re not sure it’s the right move for your site, here’s the what, why, and how of long tail search.What Are Long Tail Keywords?A long tail keyword is a very targeted search phrase that contains 3 or more words. It often contains a head term, which is a more generic search term 1 or 2 words in length. For example:Head term: unicornLong tail keywords: unicorn games online, unicorn costumes for kids, unicorn videos on youtubeWhy Target Long Tail Keywords?Better quality traffic and higher conversion rates. Long tail keywords are more specific, which means visitors that land on your website from a long tail search term are more qualified. Content targeting unicorn costumes for kids, for example, will receive more relevant traffic than content targeting unicorn costumes. And since the content on that page is more relevant to the searcher, a greater percentage of that traffic is likely to purchase the costume for their kid.Because long tail keywords are less competitive. Everyone looking for unicorn costumes for kids is looking for unicorn costumes; not everyong looking for unicorn costumes is looking for unicorn costume for kids. In other words, the more niche you get, the less competitive it is.
Landing Page Copy Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Whether writing blog posts, drafting lead nurturing emails, or shooting videos for their YouTube channel, successful inbound marketers are master content creators. But when you think about landing pages, most people jump to conversions. How often are people abandoning my form? Which treatment performed better? What’s the page’s bounce rate? How good all these metrics look, however, boils down to what you already do well: writing remarkable content.But writing effective landing page copy is a little different than writing, say, a blog post. There are some landing page copywriting nuances that, though seemingly minor, have a huge impact on conversions. So if you’re looking for the quickest way to create a great landing page, invest your time in creating copy that follows these landing page copywriting best practices.1) Use Action-Oriented LanguageJust as with your call-to-action copy, writing with action verbs is crucial to the success of your landing page copy. Landing pages are particularly susceptible to the blink test — the commonly accepted 3 seconds you have to orient visitors to a new page they click through to on your website. If within 3 seconds, a site visitor can’t glean what exactly they can do on that page, they click the back button. On a landing page, that means you could be losing new leads or reconverts, not just regular site traffic. And those are high stakes!But when you write with verbs, you’re giving stronger, more definitive instruction for visitors that helps them learn what they are supposed to do on that page — in other words, how they can pass the blink test. Consider the copy on this landing page from our ebook, Beyond the Facebook Business Page, for example:Notice those action-oriented phrases? They tell a reader exactly what they will be able to do once they download the ebook. Consider how much less impactful it would be if instead of “Drive traffic to your website from Facebook,” it read “Website traffic comes from Facebook.” The latter positions the web traffic as a result of something Facebook is doing, not something the reader will be able to do.2) Use Value-Oriented LanguageThe value is the “so what?” of your landing page copy. Use language to convince visitors that the time they’ll spend filling out your form is worth it for the offer they’ll receive. You can do this by working in a heading on every landing page you create similar to the one shown in this example.If you make it a rule to include a header that explains the benefit — “With this coupon, you will get” or “With this consultation, you will learn” — it will force you to pinpoint the real value of your offer to both yourself and your visitors.It’s also crucial to not just explain features, but also the benefits of those features. The three bullets called out in orange in the example above do this well. Let’s take the first bullet that is called out in orange, “Optimize your blog to rank high in search engine results.” The feature of the ebook that is being highlighted is the ability to learn how to optimize your blog. So what? Why would someone want to do that? Because it helps them rank higher in search results. The act of optimizing your blog alone isn’t what readers want to do — they want to do it so they can get higher search rankings. Your readers know this intrinsically already, but on a landing page, it’s your job to call that out loud and clear. Don’t make them think!3) Use Reader KeywordsWhat is a reader keyword? It’s a phrase I just made up to describe the keywords a reader — not a search engine, a reader — will look for while scanning your page to understand what the page is about. This is just as important for passing the aforementioned blink test as using action-oriented language. Readers will assume the page they clicked through to are related to the page and call-to-action from which they just came. Confirm that for them. For example, take a look at this call-to-action to get The State of Inbound Marketing in 2012 free webinar and report from a blog post about the report.When a reader clicks that CTA, they are going to expect to reach a landing page that uses similar keywords in prominent places on the page. Let’s take a look at the landing page that accompanies that call-to-action.Notice how the keywords used in the call-to-action align with those found on key parts of the landing page — the places a reader’s eye naturally scans to discern meaning when first arriving on a landing page. By using the phrase (or close variations) of The State of Inbound Marketing in 2012 in headlines, images, bolded copy, and hyperlinks, the reader can quickly be oriented when scanning through the landing page copy.4) Write Using the Second PersonThis is a simple best practice to remedy, but easily overlooked. Writing in the second person means instead of saying “I,” you speak in your readers’ terms by saying “You” and “Your.”Look for opportunities to use these pronouns to help forge a stronger connection between the reader and your offer. Doing this will also help you successfully demonstrate the value of your offer, because it helps readers visualize how they can use the offer and how it will impact their lives — not an abstract person.5) Go for Clarity Over CreativityYou’re on a timer. It’s set for 3 seconds. There’s no time for fluffy language.Think of the most direct way to say what you’re trying to say, without the use of jargon and literary flair that detracts from the meaning of your sentence. Once you’re done crafting the copy for your landing page, read over it, and cross out every single word, phrase, and sentence that is not absolutely necessary to clearly convey meaning.One way to concisely say what you mean is to make use of data. You know the saying, “A picture’s worth a thousand words”? Sometimes, so is a data point when you’re trying to convey the value behind a complicated concept. Let’s take a look at this snippet of landing page copy, for example:Instead of detailing the many reasons landing pages are important for all companies, this compelling MarketingSherpa data point helps hammer home why they are important in just one straightforward sentence. Regardless of whether you make use of data points in your landing page copywriting, be sure to re-read what you’ve written, and ask yourself whether your copy is as concise as it can be without impacting meaning.6) FormatGreat landing page copy has as much to do with word choice and sentence structure as it does with presentation. No matter how wonderful your copy, if it isn’t visually palatable for readers, they won’t consume the information and will click ‘back’ in their browser — to a less overwhelming spot on the interwebs. Let’s take a look at a well formatted landing page that uses visual cues to help readers more easily consume written information.The landing page copy is never longer than 5 lines, and it is all broken up with a headers of varying sizes, bold text, parentheticals, italics, and checkmarks (easily replaced with bullets, if you prefer) to make the content easier to consume. Visitors won’t read every word you put on the page. So put your most important points at the beginning of chunks of text, or formatted with bolds, bullets, or the other noted formatting devices to ensure what information your visitors should read gets its due attention.7) Proof for ConsistencyFinally, when you’ve written your amazing landing page copy, edited for brevity, and formatted for easy readability, go back with a fine-toothed comb to proofread your copy. This is a crucial last step, because you’re using your landing page copy to convince people to give away their personal information to you; visitors will be far less likely to do this if your landing page copy is riddled with errors. Look for accuracy in spelling, grammar, consistency, and facts. Here’s an example of what we looked at on our Google+ ebook page, for example.Aside from general spelling and grammatical proofing, on this page one should ask themself:Did I spell “eBook” the same way everywhere on this page? Did I use a lowercase “b” anywhere else on the landing page, for example?Did I consistently spell the social network “Google+”, not “Google Plus”?Is 90 million users an accurate data point?Is November 7th the accurate launch date?Did I consistently refer to “Google+ Circles” as a proper noun on this page?If your landing page copy looks cohesive and error-free, users will feel more comfortable trusting you with their personal information.As with all aspects of landing page optimization, you should always be testing. Following these landing page copywriting best practices will help you start with an effective landing page that, with A/B testing, just gets better and better as you learn what copy tweaks help increase your conversion rate.What components of your landing page copy do you find to be effective? Share your recommendations in the comments!Image credit: olarte.ollie Topics: Originally published Mar 6, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017
Human Resources Workplace culture and strong internal relationships are undeniably critical for your company’s long-term success. Focusing your efforts on cultivating good relationships between employers and employees can help your Human Resources department mitigate conflict, build trust between team members, and decrease turnover rates.At its core, employee relations is a branch of human resources that deals with policies regarding your employees’ relationships with their employers, and each other.For instance, an employee relations manager might create and implement policies regarding sexual harassment in the workplace, negotiate new contracts as employees move up in the ranks, and work with directors or employers to create benefits packages for individuals or departments.If you aren’t sure what employees relations is, or simply aren’t sure why it’s important, keep reading.Download a Free Guide and Template to Help You Create a Company Culture Code. What is Employee Relations?Riley Stefano, a Culture Content Creator at HubSpot, explains employee relations like this — “At its core, employee relations is about trust and transparency. But that doesn’t just happen overnight — you have to build it. And every department, team, manager, and leader is responsible for building and adding to that culture of trust and transparency. In People Operations, we strive to create remarkable experiences for employees throughout their time at HubSpot so that they can do their best work and help HubSpot grow better.”Stefano goes on to say, “To cultivate strong employee relations, we have to have empathy. We have to listen, share information, take feedback seriously, and adapt with our employees to maintain long-lasting and trustworthy relationships with all of our employees globally.”Essentially, employee relations is any effort or programming a company implements to ensure their employees are treated fairly, feel safe, and are happy in their work environment. Additionally, employee relations cannot be successful unless employees feel there is a level of transparency from management.At HubSpot, this includes utilizing HR Business Partners, and implementing culture programming and events to help build stronger relationships with HubSpot employees.However, employee relations programming might look different at your company. Perhaps your employee relations efforts include ensuring a good work-life balance for employees, or giving each employee stock in the company, so they are treated as stakeholders in the business.Alternatively, perhaps you hire an employee relations manager to provide guidance on new and existing contracts and policies, so that you can ensure each employee is treated fairly and feels safe in the workplace. Perhaps your employee relations manager can also gather employee feedback, and use it to create new benefits packages that incentivize and properly reward employees for their hard work.It’s critical you take the time and effort to ensure you’ve cultivated strong relationships between employers and employees. If your employees respect leadership, they’re more likely to work harder, communicate better, and feel more engaged at work. All of these things can motivate employees to go above-and-beyond in their roles. Ultimately, a company can’t be successful unless there’s a universal alignment of vision, goals, and purpose between employers and employees — and that alignment doesn’t happen naturally. It must be cultivated, in large part through strategic employee relations efforts. Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Jan 4, 2019 6:00:00 AM, updated January 04 2019 Topics:
The dressing room culture needs a complete overhaul and the revamp of cricket structure in the country will take some time, emphasised the newly-appointed Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq.Misbah, the most successful Pakistan Test captain, was also handed the role of chief selector.”As a coach, or a leader, what one wants is to have such a great team that they instantly dominate the match and put pressure on the opposition. But that is the ideal situation. In real life one has to strategies based on the kind of players available, I will be doing the same,” Misbah said.”Of course, the ultimate goal is to have a very strong team at the end but we have to begin with what we have. The revamping of the cricket structure will take some time,” Misbah added.The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed Misbah and former pacer Waqar Younis as bowling coach for a three-year period.The Board has also asked Misbah to work as coach during the coming edition of the Pakistan Super League and he will be paid the same salary what outgoing coach Mickey Arthur drew.”I want our cricketers to play intelligently, smartly and fearlessly. I am aware this will require a change in the dressing room culture but if we have to compete consistently at the highest level, we have to embrace these modern day requirements,” said Misbah, who is expected to be paid USD 18,000 per month.The selection committee will have six other members the head coaches of provincial cricket associations in the new domestic structure.advertisementThe six coaches are former Test players, Arshad Khan, Azam Khan, Ijaz Ahmed junior, Kabir Khan, Muhammad Wasim and Abdul Rehman who has not played international cricket but is one of the most successful coaches at domestic level and in PSL.Misbah felt this new system of selection would create a strong connection between the domestic and international cricket which has been missing for the past many years.The former test captain said he was aware that expectations would be high from new management but he was confident he could work well with some of the most talented and exciting cricketers in Pakistan.”If I was not ready for this challenge I would not have thrown my name in the ring for one of the most challenging and coveted roles in Pakistan cricket.”Misbah and Waqar have worked together in the past when the former was the Pakistan captain and the latter was the head coach.”I am excited to once again have someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Waqar Younis in my corner as a bowling coach. We have exciting young fast bowlers in our ranks and there is no better person than Waqar to transform them into modern day stars,” said Misbah.The Misbah-Waqar duo’s first test will be the upcoming One-day International and Twenty20 home series against Sri Lanka, which will be played from September 27 to October 9.Also Read | Misbah-ul-Haq named Pakistan head coach and chief selector, Waqar Younis appointed as bowling coachAlso see:
All-rounder Ben Stokes, who played a crucial role in England’s maiden World Cup win, has been voted Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) player of the year.Stokes, who was instrumental in England’s dramatic win over New Zealand in the World Cup final held in July, also made a remarkable unbeaten 135 to win the third Ashes Test against Australia at Headingley to keep the series alive. Holders Australia, however, went on to retain the Ashes as the series was drawn 2-2.”You take a lot of personal pride when you receive this award because it’s your peers that vote for you,” BBC Sport quoted him as saying.”What we have done as a team in 2019 is phenomenal. To win the World Cup and draw the Ashes has been a fantastic summer and something I am proud of personally and as a team,” he added.The 28-year-old edged past Ryan Higgins, Dominic Sibley and Simon Harmer and also became the sixth player to have bagged the Young Player of the Year award and the Player of the Year recognition.England spinner Sophie Ecclestone won the Women’s Player of the Summer for the second time while Tom Banton was awarded the Young Player of the Year. Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad were also named the ODI and Test player of the year respectively.Also Read | Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal break Gautam Gambhir-Virender Sehwag opening record vs South AfricaAlso see:
Mexico El Tri year in review: Lozano’s breakout, WCQ domination, summer struggles the story of 2017 Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon Last updated 1 year ago 10:14 1/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mexico World Cup Javier Hernández Goal reviews the highs and lows for the Mexican national team as a far more crucial year approaches for El Tri It was a strange year for international soccer. The year before a World Cup always seems a little insignificant. We’ll remember what happens in 2018 forever like we’ve done with the World Cups that have come before it.There was, however, a lot happening in 2017. For one, teams had to actually qualify for the 2018 showcase — something that nations like the United States, Netherlands, Chile, Italy and Ghana were reminded doesn’t happen automatically. Mexico waltzed to qualification but had its own struggles to deal with teams like Germany and Portugal in the Confederations Cup.Let’s look back on the year that was for El Tri — the good, the bad and the things we can’t quite categorize until we see the new year shakes out: Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player THE GOODMEXICO DOMINATES QUALIFICATIONWhat we said then: “It … has been an overwhelmingly positive qualification campaign from El Tri and (will) likely keep (Juan Carlos) Osorio free from the intense magnifying glass that is the Mexican press until the moment of truth arrives this summer.”In hindsight … El Tri fell just short of the best-ever Hexagonal with a defeat in San Pedro Sula on the final matchday. Even though they ended the cycle with one blemish, though, it still was a remarkable run for Mexico to dominate the group like it did.Believe it or not, it’s the first time Mexico won the Hex since 1998. That may be a long time to think back on, but you only need to remember four years ago when Mexico needed a miracle on the final day of qualification plus a playoff victory to confirm its spot in Brazil. This time around rather than being the final team to book its place, Mexico was among the first. It’s a credit to Osorio and will stand out as one of the highlights of the year.LOZANO BREAKS OUT IN EUROPEWhat we said then: “‘El Chucky’ scored two lovely goals Friday in a 3-3 draw with Belgium, continuing his incredible start to the 2017-18 campaign and solidifying his place as a bona fide star for El Tri.”In hindsight … Hirving Lozano hasn’t been exceptional only when wearing green in Europe this season. Yes, his game against Belgium and cameo in the subsequent friendly against Poland shored up his status as a player the national team can depend on. He’s been that as well for PSV. Often it takes players time to adapt to their new surroundings when they go to a new league, that’s even more true for a player leaving home to go to another continent for the first time.Those issues have not slowed Lozano. He has 11 goals in 16 matches, putting him tied atop the Eredivisie at the winter break. That has turned heads in some of Europe’s biggest leagues, and links to Arsenal and Liverpool sound less and less ludicrous. 2017 CLOSES WITH STRONG SHOWINGSWhat we said then: “While Belgium’s rapid attack and quick transitions required Mexico to hang with the Red Devils in an open game, Monday’s contest (against Poland) was much more closed … It was an intelligent game requiring more patience and tact than Friday’s goal-fest. Over the balance of the trip, Mexico showed it can play different styles and do so against top teams.”In hindsight … A friendly draw against Belgium and a win over Poland are Mexico’s most recent games. March will bring another pair of friendly matches but may not be a difficult as heading to Europe and taking on top-ten teams in their own stadiums. Poland specifically was missing a few of its top stars but so too was Mexico.The results gave El Tri something to hang their hat on at the World Cup draw. Sure, the competition will be stiff in Russia but Mexico already have proved it can play with two of Europe’s best teams. Now there’s something to point to as past success after qualification and something to build on in the first months of 2018.THE BADDEFENSIVE STRUGGLES SPELL CONFEDERATIONS CUP DISAPPOINTMENTWhat we said then: “This may be a difficult truth to swallow, but not wanting to hear something doesn’t make it not true. Mexico is not among the elite. It wouldn’t be among the elite if Miguel Herrera or Tuca Ferretti or Pep Guardiola or Marcelo Bielsa or you or I were the coach. Mexico is a very good team, the best in CONCACAF and able to get results like the 2-2 draw against European champion Portugal to open the tournament. It is not in the top echelon of teams, teams that win FIFA tournaments.”In hindsight … Mexico will have to prove itself to enter into that upper echelon. We went on to talk about processes, how advanced Germany’s is after years of investing in the same project and how Mexico continues to hit the reset button. Osorio made it through the rocky summer and now will have several months to make sure his team understands the ideas he wants to implement. The goal is to have a successful World Cup, not simply getting out of the group but making and surpassing the fifth game.To have any chance to do that, the defense will have to be a much better unit than it was at 2017’s Confederations Cup. Osorio often points to injuries to Carlos Salcedo and Diego Reyes derailing things in that tournament. Both players would’ve helped in the latter stages but neither is an obvious answer at right back and in that same tournament Oswaldo Alanis continually was exposed as a player who is not good enough for the top level — or definitely isn’t at left back at least. SUMMER STRUGGLES CONTINUE WITH GOLD CUP EXITWhat we said then: “Osorio stuck with his word and entered the quarterfinal match against Honduras with the same team he began the tournament with. El Tri only trailed once during their Gold Cup run, and that came in the 88th minute of their heartbreaking loss to the Reggae Boyz, after Kemar Lawrence hit a beautiful free kick past Jesus Corona.”In hindsight … I’m not sure anybody cared all that much about Mexico’s Gold Cup. It was an afterthought for most fans after the Confederations Cup, and while it gave Mexico’s depth players a chance to make a case for inclusion going forward, nobody in the Mexico setup seemed all that concerned either. The team lost Alan Pulido to an injury before the tournament and struggled to score with Elias Hernandez or Erick “Cubo” Torres leading the attack.This probably seemed worse at the time than it does now. The champion of that tournament (the United States) missed out on qualification for the World Cup while Mexico rolled on. Who cares about a summer stumble? The tournament also saw Edson Alvarez and Jesus Gallardo make strong pushes for inclusion on the roster that will head to Russia. Still, for a team that is so quick to boast of its dominance in the region, going out in the semifinals to a Jamaica that isn’t near its peak at this point in history was a failure.WAIT AND SEE DRAW GIVES EL TRI DIFFICULT ROADWhat we said then: “The group, with Sweden and South Korea in addition to Germany and Mexico, looks manageable. Mexico’s match against Sweden looks to be the fixture everything could hinge on with Germany likely to win the group … The round of 16 looks much different.”In hindsight … How the upcoming year will be judged on how the World Cup goes for El Tri. The chance Mexico meets Brazil in the round of 16 makes progression to the fifth game — something Mexico never has accomplished off home soil — look difficult. The group may not go to plan either.Either way, it’s too early to judge exactly what Mexico has been dealt in Group G and how we’ll look back at the path laid out in front of it at the World Cup.CORONA, LAYUN, REYES STRUGGLING FOR MINUTES AT PORTOWhat we said then: “Corona is one of the only Mexico players currently in good form with a European club who also has been able to translate those showings to the national team.”In hindsight … Jesus Corona’s return to the Mexico national team setup after missing the Confederations Cup seemed like a big deal. Osorio depended on few players like he did on Corona, who has scored more goals in the Osorio era than everyone but Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. Things are now less certain for Corona. Personal tragedy hit again with the loss of a child in November, something the federation and Corona decided they were forced to disclose after fans criticized him for again leaving the team. It must be an incredibly difficult thing to cope with for the 24-year-old, and it would be entirely understandable if he’s struggled to focus on soccer lately. Whatever the cause, Corona’s minutes at Porto have slipped as he’s been reduced largely to a substitute role.At least he’s playing. Miguel Layun isn’t making the Porto squad and desperately needs to make a move away from the Dragons to get playing time ahead of the World Cup. Diego Reyes has suddenly seen an uptick in playing time but had played fewer than 300 minutes heading into the final two months of the year. Osorio likely is encouraging those players to seek fresh air and come into the summer in a good rhythm.
Serie A ‘The pictures speak for themselves’ – Inzaghi fumes as VAR allows Cutrone ‘handball’ goal Joe Wright Last updated 1 year ago 09:14 1/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Serie A Lazio Milan Milan v Lazio Video review again incurred the Lazio manager’s wrath as his side slipped to a 2-1 loss to AC Milan Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi said it was “incredible” Patrick Cutrone’s goal was allowed to stand in his side’s 2-1 loss to AC Milan.The 20-year-old broke the deadlock at San Siro on Sunday as he glanced in Hakan Calhanoglu’s cross, although replays showed the ball went in off his arm and not his head.The goal was allowed to stand and Milan went on to claim a third Serie A victory in a row, with Giacomo Bonaventura’s header proving decisive after Adam Marusic had levelled the match. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Inzaghi complained in December that VAR had robbed Lazio of seven points due to controversial decisions in games against Inter, Fiorentina and Torino, and he was equally angry after the Cutrone incident.”It’s incredible. Honestly, I didn’t notice it [at the time]. They’ll have to explain this one to us, too,” he told Mediaset Premium.”They told me on the touchline and I asked Cutrone after the final whistle. He said it was deflected but it obviously wasn’t.”It’s a shame. Once again, we have to deal with this situation. The pictures speak for themselves. “I saw a very good performance in the second half and one that merited at least a point, but that’s football, you have to put the ball in the net. Milan did, and we didn’t.”
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. According to a report from Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman, UTSA is very interested in OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer.Hearing #UTSA has lots of interest in #OKState DC Glenn Spencer for its head coaching vacancy.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 13, 2016And the interest is mutual. Footballscoop.com reports that Spencer interviewed for the vacancy on Wednesday.An announcement on the newly named head coach could come as early as Friday.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The college football season (sort of) started last week in Australia, but it starts for real tomorrow night. I thought we should take one last look at what OSU’s odds are going into the games.To Win Big 12 (Bovada)Oklahoma: 4-5TCU: 5-1Oklahoma State: 13-2Texas: 13-2Baylor: 9-1West Virginia: 12-1Texas Tech: 20-1Kansas State: 40-1Iowa State: 100-1Kansas: 250-1What would Kansas have to be for you to bet $100 on it? A million? Ten million? Tech and WVU are probably the best bets here although OSU is a decent one as well. Baylor at 9-1 is tasty too. Basically anyone but OU.To Win National Title (Westgate Superbook)Alabama: 6-1Clemson: 7-1Florida State: 7-1Ohio State: 8-1Oklahoma: 12-1TCU: 30-1Oklahoma State: 80-1Texas: 100-1The interesting thing here is that OSU started the calendar year at 40-1 and dropped this much. I think 80-1 is a pretty good digit to bet on this year’s team. Certainly better than Texas at 100-1 with 100 different options at QB.To Win Heisman (Westgate Superbook)Deshaun Watson: 9-2Christian McCaffrey: 5-1Leonard Fournette: 6-1Baker Mayfield: 12-1Samaje Perine: 20-1Mason Rudolph: 50-1I’m with the ESPN guys that a Big 12 QB will be in NYC for the presentation. The question is just which one that will be. Rudolph at 50-1 might be a steal.Win Total (Westgate Superbook)Over 8: -130Under 8: +110So you have to bet $130 to win $100 if you take the over and you can bet $100 to win $110 if you take the under. Goodness, the over seems lock-y, doesn’t it? (I’m going to regret saying that aren’t I?) I’m drunk on orange Kool-Aid! Somebody bring me back!
ESPN’s football power index which measures team strength and “is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season” is really high on Oklahoma State. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The ESPN projection tool says OSU will finish second in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma (who ESPN has at No. 3), and projects the Cowboys to finish with *around* a 9.2-2.8 win-loss record, and an 18% chance to win the conference. Nationally, the FPI ranks OSU No. 8, notably ahead of Ohio State, Michigan, and USC. The index has the next ranked Big 12 team, TCU, ranked No. 29.The results of the FPI, according to ESPN’s website, is based on 10,000 different simulations that take into account results to date, remaining schedule, and how many point above or below average a team is.
There is still much to sort out when it comes to the college football postseason, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at some projections. I compiled the best from around the web and offered a few of my own at the end.ESPNAlamo vs. ColoradoSugar vs. TennesseeCBS SportsRussell Athletic vs. Virginia TechFox SportsAlamo vs. USCSports IllustratedRussell Athletic vs. Virginia TechWhat I ThinkAlamo vs. USCWhat I HopePlayoff vs. AlabamaThere is a lot going on here. First, I have no idea how OSU doesn’t at least make the Alamo Bowl. Even if you’re tied with WVU for second place in the Big 12, you beat them and you travel better to a place like San Antonio. And you haven’t been there in a while. Alamo seems like the floor to me right now.If you beat OU, you get the Sugar. If you lose, it’s probably San Antonio.I said Alamo against Utah a few weeks ago, but that’s looking more like USC because if everything plays out the way it should in the Pac-12, Washington will make the playoff, Colorado will play the Rose Bowl and USC will be the leftover team.*whispers* I don’t really want to play USC.There is a lot of football still left, though, and we will have a better idea of how this shapes up after the slate of games this weekend. Also, I thought these comments from Gary Patterson on Saturday after OSU throttled TCU were very interesting.“It’s a lot more than bowl eligible,” Patterson said of TCU needing to win one of its next two games. “You get per diem, you get bowl gifts, you stay at school for a month, you eat better. There’s a lot of things that go along with going to a bowl game. Going to a bowl game is about a way of life. It’s not just about going to a bowl game. It’s a way of life.”A way of life. Swag life. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
A former Baylor student who claims she was raped by two Baylor football players filed a federal lawsuit on Friday against the University alleging 31 Baylor football players committed 52 acts of rape — including five gang rapes — between 2011 and 2014, according to a report from the Dallas Morning News.Disturbingly, the report states that the University paid off one woman who said she was raped by giving her free tuition in exchange for her silence.The lawsuit, 26 pages in length filed against the Universty, goes into detail about a specific report of gang rape and even more detail about how football and rape became synonymous under Art Briles — the former Baylor coach who was fired earlier in 2016.The football program, which soared to new heights under Briles, was also said to have used sex to recruit football players. One of the policies being to “show ’em a good time.” Assistant coach Kendall Briles (son of Art) was said to have used the phrase: “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players” in the recruitment effort of a Dallas area high school athlete.You can read the Dallas Morning News story here and the full lawsuit here. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Real Madrid 4 Alaves 0: Ronaldo at the double as ‘BBC’ delight Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 01:15 25/2/2018 Getty Images Karim Benzema turned jeers into cheers as Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale starred on a fine outing for Real Madrid’s ‘BBC’ against Alaves. Cristiano Ronaldo passed up the chance to complete a hat-trick and allowed Karim Benzema to wrap up a 4-0 win over Alaves with a late penalty as Real Madrid’s ‘BBC’ reunited to fine effect.Ronaldo struck either side of Gareth Bale’s strike 28 seconds into the second half, while Benzema recovered from an abject start to the match by assisting Los Blancos’ first two goals.Having heard his team-mate jeered earlier in the contest, the Portugal international then selflessly let Benzema convert an 89th-minute penalty after Victor Laguardia brought down a marauding Bale. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp The result means Madrid have won five consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time this season and Zinedine Zidane will draw particular encouragement from his headline attacking stars operating so brilliantly in tandem.A fourth consecutive LaLiga victory was ultimately too much to ask for a resurgent Alaves, who showed plenty more of the their encouraging form under Abelardo before being outgunned, Galactico-style.100 – Real Madrid are the first Spanish team to score 100 goals in all competitions this season. Hammer. pic.twitter.com/TPF424Bvsx— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 24, 2018Alaves should have been behind in the 18th minute when Mateo Kovacic and Theo Hernandez orchestrated a lightning counter-attack, but the much-maligned Benzema lost his footing to skew wastefully wide and draw whistles from a section of the Madrid faithful.Benzema proved a more effective provider in the hosts’ next attack of note, skipping around Alexis and crossing for Bale to send a spectacular overhead kick just wide.The visitors grew into the game and Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas reacted sharply to thwart Alfonso Pedraza low down to his left.Bale failed to punish a poor clearance from Navas’ opposite number Fernando Pacheco at the other end, but Madrid led in the 44th minute.#RMLiga@Benzema @Cristiano pic.twitter.com/Tg0rsvahMR— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 24, 2018After collecting a cute backheel from Benzema, Ronaldo turned to produced an assured left-footed finish and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner gestured towards his team-mate during the celebrations, seemingly asking for the crowd to show some appreciation.Benzema did indeed receive some warm cheers when he cut inside to fizz a shot over in first-half stoppage time, an attempt that came after Madrid failed to clear a corner and Navas patted away an Alexis strike at his near post.Alexis was culpable in a nightmare start to the second half for Alaves, Benzema snapping the ball off his toes.The Frenchman had Ronaldo and Bale charging forwards to his right and left. He elected to pick out Bale, who vindicated the decision by clipping a low shot past Pacheco.28 – Bale has scored Real Madrid’s fastest goal in second halves (28 seconds) since March 2004, Raúl at San Mamés (19 secs.) Gunner. pic.twitter.com/9GFJkSoQch— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 24, 2018Madrid began slicing Alaves open at will and it was a surprise of sorts that it took until the 61st minute for goal number three to arrive. Bale swept a pass out to Lucas Vazquez on the right and Ronaldo timed his run perfectly to convert the Spain winger’s low cross for his 28th goal of the season.Lucas thrashed into the side-netting and was again denied the goal his efforts deserved 15 minutes from time, this time by the impressive Pacheco.Ronaldo’s no-look pass to Lucas was the sign of a man basking in a buoyant Bernabeu atmosphere and he judged the mood perfectly when he let Benzema arrow a spot-kick into the bottom-left corner and crown a redemptive outing.Madrid are now within four points of Atletico Madrid in second place, while Alaves have a 10-point buffer between themselves and the relegation zone in 16th. Key Opta Stats:- Karim Benzema provided two assists in a single LaLiga game for the first time since April 2016 against Getafe.- Benzema took his first LaLiga penalty as a Real Madrid player.- For the first time since November 20, 2010 (Sergio Ramos), a player different than Cristiano Ronaldo took a penalty for Real Madrid with the Portugal player still on the pitch.- Real Madrid’s ‘BBC’ all scored in the same game for the first time since April 2016.- Ronaldo (285) has surpassed Juanito (284) in LaLiga games played for Real Madrid .- Alaves were one of the LaLiga teams Cristiano Ronaldo had faced at Santiago Bernabeu failing to score a single goal. The remaining teams are now Leganes and Tenerife.- Madrid faced more shots on target (3) and their keeper made more saves (3) by half-time than in any other game at Santiago Bernabeu in LaLiga this season read more
Bayern München Bayern outline Neuer comeback plan and ease Thiago injury fears Peter Hanson 16:59 15/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Bongarts Bayern München Bundesliga Germany World Cup The Bundesliga leaders could welcome back their World Cup-winning goalkeeper in April, while a knock to a star midfielder is not considered serious Manuel Neuer’s injury nightmare is seemingly nearing an end, with Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes confident the goalkeeper will return to action in April.Germany’s number one has broken his foot three times in the past 12 months and made just three Bundesliga appearances this season before undergoing surgery in September.Neuer began the final stage of his rehabilitation in Thailand recently, though, and his gruelling fitness work appears to be paying dividends. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Heynckes was asked by ZDF if the 31-year-old will return in April and the veteran boss provided an upbeat response.”The prospects are positive, it’s looking good,” he said.Neuer’s return would be a boost for a Bayern side that are still in the hunt for a treble this season having progressed to the last eight of the Champions League with an 8-1 aggregate victory over Beskitas on Wednesday.Germany coach Joachim Low will also welcome the news, with Die Mannschaft set to begin the defence of their World Cup title against Mexico in June.Another of those who will be hoping to challenge for global honours in Russia this summer is Spain international Thiago Alcantara.The midfielder picked up a knock against Besiktas in midweek continental competition, but the problem is not thought to be serious.Thiago scored Bayern’s opening goal in a 3-1 victory over the Turkish champions that booked a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament.A man who has been restricted to just nine Bundesliga starts this season due to various injuries limped out of the action before half-time after appearing to take a blow to his foot.Heynckes, though, has confirmed that Thiago’s substitution was merely a precaution.”Thiago has signalled that he felt pain under the sole of his foot,” Heynckes said.”We have to wait for the investigations tomorrow, but I do not think it’s that serious.”Thiago himself indicated in a social media post the problem is not likely to rule him out of action for an extended period.”It was pleasure to see two of the best crowds at the same stadium,” he wrote on Twitter.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Shortly after T. Boone Pickens’ passing last week, a satirical website posted an article — which was shared like wildfire on social media — claiming that Pickens in his will set aside $30 for Mike Gundy to go to Sports Clips and get a haircut.The idea of the article was a disgrace in itself, but even more so because it was filled with fake quotes from Gundy and from the late Pickens.Unfortunately, though, one AP writer didn’t get the memo. On a conference call Monday morning, he asked Gundy about the satirical post, resulting in Mike Gundy rightfully lambasting him. Mike Gundy was asked if there was any truth to a ‘social media’ rumor that Boone Pickens left him a small sum of money to get a haircut. Gundy felt the question was disrespectful to Pickens and media in general and offered this: pic.twitter.com/if1fNU4GkJ— Tyler Palmateer (@Tpalmateer83) September 23, 2019Here’s the audio version of the question, which was apparently asked twice on the conference call, according to John Hoover. The first time it was asked, Gundy either ignored the question or experienced some sort of technical issue.WOW! MUST listen to @CoachGundy destroy @MarkRosner3 on today’s #Big12 Teleconference. Holy crap. Dead. 😂🤣 ☠️ pic.twitter.com/rzNZn9OwN9— Heartland College Sports (@Heartland_CS) September 23, 2019It’s pretty poor taste to even discuss Pickens’ will in such short aftermath of his passing, let alone intimate details (even on the off chance that the AP writer was trying to joke about it). The fact that this was so obviously fake and avoidable only makes this situation even more head-scratching. Good on Gundy to call it how it is, and cap it with a “you bet” at the end.