Expand The College Football Playoff

Ohio State’s national college football championship might seem to vindicate the playoff selection committee, which chose the No. 4 Buckeyes over two teams with similar resumes, No. 5 Baylor and No. 6 TCU. But there probably weren’t a lot of people in Waco or Fort Worth, Texas, celebrating the Buckeyes’ Monday night win. Instead, Baylor and TCU fans have every right to think their teams deserved the same opportunity.1The argument is particularly strong for TCU, which, after being leapfrogged in an unprecedented way in the committee’s final standings, went on to crush Mississippi 42-3 in the Peach Bowl. In fact, the Horned Frogs entered Monday with nearly the same Football Power Index rating (23.6) that Ohio State had (23.8).It has sometimes been stated — I’ve said it myself — that a four-team playoff is inherently flawed when there are five major conferences. The truth is a little more complicated than that. Sometimes a “Power 5” conference champion won’t have much of a beef with having been excluded from the playoff. In 2012, for instance, Wisconsin was the BCS representative as the Big Ten champion despite just a 4-4 conference record (and an 8-5 record overall). It was a wacky case — Ohio State and Penn State finished ahead of the Badgers but were ineligible for postseason play — but it’s not so uncommon to have an “ugly duckling” major conference champion.But pretty much every other contingency complicates the committee’s job and adds to the list of teams it might consider:Sometimes there will be an undefeated team from a “minor” conference, like Boise State.Sometimes independent Notre Dame or BYU will be undefeated or will have one loss against a strong schedule.Sometimes a second team from a power conference will have a powerful argument for being among the top four nationally. In 2011, for example, Alabama ranked No. 2 and was chosen for the BCS title game; its only loss had come against No. 1 LSU.In other words, this year wasn’t an outlier: A four-team playoff is liable to produce similar controversies more often than not. It may not be the particular controversy we had this year. But there’s liable to be some type of controversy.This is usually the point at which someone asserts the problem is infinitely regressive. With four teams in the playoff, there will always be an argument over Nos. 4 and 5. With six teams, there might be the a debate over Nos. 6 and 7. Or with 68 teams, you’ll have a fight over Nos. 68 and 69.I don’t find this case entirely convincing; you’re going to hit the point of diminishing returns eventually. In 2012, I participated in a mock NCAA basketball selection committee for media members. When filling out the last few slots in the 68-team bracket, we were presented with some incredibly unappealing options: For example, a team that went 1-6 against top 50 opponents against another that had a losing record in conference play. Neither team had a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming national champion.What you don’t want to do is exclude teams that can make a credible case for being the best team in the country. It’s hard to put this philosophy into practice, of course. In a perfect world, you could permit a flexible number of teams into the playoff. One year, a team might be so far ahead of the pack that you’d be tempted to crown it national champion and cancel the playoff. The next year, the top group might run a dozen teams deep. Unfortunately, the NCAA and our corporate overlords ESPN aren’t likely to tolerate that sort of uncertainty when they need to set schedules months or years in advance.So, we need to settle on a particular number of teams. The most important objective is to avoid “false negatives” — that is, to keep from omitting teams like Baylor and TCU, whose resumes are hard to distinguish from the teams ranked first or second in the country. The next priority is to avoid “false positives,” like a three-loss team getting into the playoff when it doesn’t belong there. It might help to break the teams into tiers:The first tier consists of undefeated teams from major (“Power 5”) conferences.2In the chart after this first bullet point, we’ve treated Notre Dame as a major conference team.The second tier includes one-loss teams from major conferences, along with undefeated teams from minor conferences.The third tier consists of two-loss teams from “Power 5” conferences and one-loss teams from other conferences.The fourth tier includes everyone else.The former BCS system, with its national championship game, seemed to be based on the hope that there would be exactly two top-tier teams. Unfortunately that almost never worked out. Only four times in the 16 years of the BCS were there exactly two major-conference undefeateds. The years in which there were three such teams, like 2004, were especially controversial. The more common problem, however, is that there was often just one of these teams or none at all.So reaching into the second tier is a necessary evil if you’re going to have any type of playoff. That being the case, I’d argue that you’d rather not have to make extremely fine distinctions within the second tier. Perhaps you’re OK omitting some one-loss teams with gross deficiencies on their resumes (like those that both played poor schedules and failed to win their conference titles). But you’d rather not have to distinguish the Baylors of the world from the Ohio States.The problem with a four-team playoff is that it will often require the committee to make exactly those distinctions, splitting the second tier right down the middle. Let’s look at some historical data. In the chart below, I’ve listed the teams since 1998 as they were ranked in the final AP poll before bowl participants were chosen. (This serves as a good proxy for how the playoff selection committee might have ranked the teams.)3You could use the BCS standings or the Coaches Poll as the reference point instead; they would lead you to pretty much the same conclusions. The teams are color-coded based on which tier they belonged to.As you can see, these tiers do a reasonable job of reflecting how poll voters think about the teams. Sometimes the tiers get mixed up around the margins, but these are usually relatively obvious cases involving teams with especially strong or weak schedules.But you can also see the problem. In an average year, there are one or two first-tier teams and four or five second-tier teams. A four-team playoff will wind up splitting the second-tier teams right down the middle.What if you’re willing to omit one-loss teams that didn’t win their conference championships? In the chart, I’ve also indicated whether a team won its conference title. (I’ve listed just one champion per major conference — the team deemed as the conference champion by the BCS in the event of ties.4In 2014, the BCS was no longer active. I consider Baylor to have been the Big 12 champion over TCU by virtue of its head-to-head victory against them. There’s special handling for teams from the former Big East conference, which no longer exists for football.5Big East teams are classified based on the conference they belong to currently. If a former Big East team ranked higher than the top team from the conference it now belongs to, it is considered the champion of its current conference. For instance, Miami is classified as the 2002 ACC champion, because it ranked ahead of the actual ACC champion that year, Florida State.) This gets you closer, but you’ll still run out of space fairly often unless you’re also willing to kick out undefeated teams from minor conferences.Besides, it’s not clear that a conference championship ought to trump everything else. It’s great when, for example, the No. 3 and No. 5 teams in the country square off in their conference championship, making it serve as a de facto play-in game. But this rarely happens. Often, the two best teams in the conference are in the same division and won’t play for the conference title. Or there are cases like 2003, when Kansas State, which had two conference losses, beat undefeated Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game. Would Kansas State really deserve to make the playoff ahead of Oklahoma? AP voters didn’t think so. (They ranked Oklahoma No. 3 and Kansas State No. 8 the next week.)What if we expand the playoff to six teams instead?Now we’re able to accommodate the clear majority of the second tier. One-loss major conference champions will just about always make it. One-loss non-champions from major conferences will make it about 80 percent of the time. Undefeated teams from minor conferences still struggle a bit, but overall this seems to strike a good balance. As a major conference team with just one loss, you’ll make the playoff unless there’s a lot working against you. With two losses, you’ll won’t make it unless you have a lot working for you. There are still some tough decisions to be made, but the committee won’t have to cleave the second tier in half, as it often will under a four-team playoff.If you expand the playoff to eight teams, you’re able to accommodate almost all of the second tier. However, about 75 percent of the additional teams you’d add with the seventh and eighth slots are from the third tier instead. This may be too tolerant, placing too little pressure on teams to perform and schedule well in the regular season.An alternative would be to include eight teams, but with automatic bids for major conference champions. (Technically you could do this under a six-team playoff, too, but it might not be advisable.6It provides for too little flexibility. What happens when in addition to the five major conference champions, there’s an excellent Notre Dame team and an undefeated Boise State? And by placing so much emphasis on the conference championship game, this system would serve to make the rest of a team’s schedule all but irrelevant.) Presumably, teams from outside of the power conferences would object to this, but you could accommodate them by guaranteeing a sixth slot to the best independent or minor conference team. That would leave two at-large positions.I’ve run the numbers on how this would work out — and it seems like another good option. By definition, we’re now including every major conference champion. While you’d have the occasional fluke conference champ like the 2012 Wisconsin team, that might be an acceptable price for reducing the subjectivity in the process. Non-champion teams from major conferences would sometimes make the playoff but would have a lot of pressure to schedule well and perform well. The majority of one-loss teams from major conferences would make it, but they’d be at risk if they fail to win their conferences. And taking a second loss would knock a team out the vast majority of the time.No system is going to end the debates; people still argue about which teams ought to be No. 12 seeds in the NCAA hoops tourney so they can lose to Kentucky in the Sweet 16. But expanding the football playoff to six teams — or to eight teams with some automatic bids — would do a better job of rewarding the most deserving teams while preserving the importance of the regular season. It would help to ensure the most important decisions of the college football season happen on the field and not in a conference room. read more

Say Goodbye To The Old NBA Draft Lottery — But Probably Not

The new lottery will definitely change teams’ incentives in the right direction. It makes having a bottom-five record less valuable and improves the fortunes of teams in the rest of the lottery (particularly the Nos. 8 and 9 picks, which gain the most value under the new system). But it’s worth wondering if a change of about two-thirds of a win per season will really be enough to make a big dent in teams’ willingness to tank.In fairness, the effect appears larger when you consider the outsize potential of top picks to become stars. Using WORP as a guide, there was about a 34 percent chance of landing an All Star-level player2Defined as a player who produced at least 30 WORP in his first five NBA seasons. if a team had the worst record going into the 2018 lottery; those odds will fall to 27 percent under next year’s system. Seven percentage points doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but the NBA is so star-driven that any reduction in the probability of getting a franchise-altering player hurts. With the ability to get those kinds of players also increasing for teams who finish with, say, the league’s eighth-worst record, it should eventually help the anti-tanking effort by funneling more big stars to teams who don’t completely throw their seasons away.So congratulations, Phoenix: You’re the last team who’ll take advantage of the old odds to help grab a potential star. The league’s changes might not be extreme enough to fully discourage teams from engaging in Sixers-style tear downs, but they’re a start. And after the race to the bottom that played out down the stretch of the 2017-18 season, such changes are more than welcome.Check out our latest NBA predictions. As I wrote last year:Early in the draft, the curve is steep. The average No. 2 pick is worth only about 80 percent as many VORP in his first five seasons as the average No. 1, and players only get less valuable from there.This is part of why teams spend so much time and energy gunning for the worst record — and (until next year) the highest odds of picking No. 1. The chances of getting an impact player from the top pick are much better than at any other slot in the draft. But they’re not perfect; there’s a lot of luck involved in picking the player who’ll have the best career. Add in the extra randomness of getting the lottery balls to bounce your way, and the difference between the expected value of having the NBA’s worst record under the old system and next year’s new one is just 3.4 total wins over the first five years of a player’s career. When the pingpong balls came to a rest after Tuesday night’s NBA draft lottery, it was the end of an era for the league. Starting next season, the lottery’s distribution of odds based on team records will change — the first tweak to the system in 25 years. The jackpot-winning Phoenix Suns came out on top in this season’s historic tankfest, but from this moment on, the already-long odds of burning a franchise to the ground and building it back up will only get longer.At least, that’s the effect the league is hoping the new lottery rules will have. How much of a difference will the changes to the lottery system really make, though? And will it be enough to discourage teams from tanking?To work out some of the new math facing NBA teams, let’s turn to our draft-value chart, which measures the expected value over replacement player (VORP) that teams can expect out of a given draft pick in his first five pro seasons. (We’ll convert our chart from last summer to wins over replacement1Multiplying VORP by 2.7. to better position the differences in a real-world context.) read more

Exconvict arrested in connection to murder of East Village business owner

first_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A man who allegedly murdered the proprietor of an East Village flooring-materials store at the victim’s downtown business while wearing a Halloween-style old-lady mask is in custody, facing charges of murder and robbery. San Diego police reported Thursday.Kevin Eugene Cartwright, 51, allegedly killed 49-year-old Ghedeer “Tony” Radda of El Cajon, a married father of two young children, last week at Bottom Price Flooring in the 1000 block of G Street.Homicide detectives arrested Cartwright in El Cajon on Wednesday, Lt. Matt Dobbs said. It was unclear what led them to identify Cartwright as the suspected killer.A customer made an emergency call shortly after 3:30 p.m. Oct. 10 to report finding Radda dead in his store. The victim’s cause of death and details about the alleged robbery that apparently precipitated the killing have not been released.A surveillance camera at the victim’s downtown business captured images of the suspected murderer, who was accompanied by a woman wearing blue jeans, a dark-colored jacket and a purple wig. She remains unidentified and at large.Radda, who owned and operated his flooring business for 16 years, is survived by his wife and two daughters, ages 8 and 5, according to a GoFundMe.com page set up to assist his family.A statement on the donation website memorializes the victim as a “charming, soft-spoken man with a heart of gold.”“Ghedeer meant everything to his family,” the online tribute states. “Together, they have lost a husband, father, son, brother, cousin, uncle and nephew whom they loved immensely.”Cartwright was being held at San Diego Central Jail without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Friday afternoon.RELATED STORY: Business owner identified as victim in East Village homicide, suspects at large Ex-convict arrested in connection to murder of East Village business owner October 18, 2018 KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwittercenter_img Updated: 8:34 PM KUSI Newsroom, Posted: October 18, 2018last_img read more

Indian employees to see 108 salary hike in 2015

first_imgAccording to Towers Watson 2014-15 Asia-Pacific Salary Budget Planning Report, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam are set to lead the way with over 11 per cent overall salary increases while India is placed at the fourth position with an increase of 10.8 per cent. The report added that though salary across the regions are set to rise, a corresponding rise in inflation would mean that pay increases in ‘real terms’ would be eroded significantly in the coming year. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashChina is expected to see the highest salary increase — 5.2 per cent in real terms in the region, followed by Pakistan (4.5 per cent), Bangladesh (4.3 per cent), Vietnam (4.1 per cent) and Sri Lanka (3.8 per cent). India was ranked sixth with a corresponding real increase of 3.5 per cent. ‘We foresee an increased economic growth in Asia Pacific in 2015 in light of a declining unemployment rate and rising GDP in the region,’ Towers Watson Data Services practice leader, Asia Pacific Sambhav Rakyan said. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian tourists‘This, in turn, will lead to inflationary pressures that affect real salary increases. Indians will only see an effective salary increase that is one-third of the overall salary increase due to such pressures,’ Rakyan added.The report further noted that in 8 out of the 10 sectors surveyed, the pay raises for Executive Directors and Senior Management in India are expected to be higher than or equal to 2014 with the professional services sector particularly standing out at 4.5 per cent. In India all employees — from production workers to executive directors — are set to have higher pay raises than last year.last_img read more

Amid festive rush Kolkatans face harrowing time as cab crisis cripples city

first_imgKolkata: Several passengers and daily commuters in the city faced immense trouble while reaching their destinations on Tuesday, as some errant cab drivers forced them to get off and snatched the keys from the drivers to force them to go for strike.According to the accused drivers, they are protesting against the Ola and Uber authorities regarding several issues. Later, the West Bengal Online Cab Operators Guild (WBOCOG) intervened and service normalised from the afternoon. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeWBOCOG president Madan Mitra on Tuesday warned the drivers not to go for any strike. He also stated that the Ola and Uber authorities are doing injustice to the drivers and cab operators. On December 27, the guild authorities led by Mitra will meet Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari regarding the problem. It was on Monday when some online cab drivers went to Uber’s office in Salt Lake, where they were heckled. Later, the angry drivers decided to go for a strike till Wednesday. However, the guild requested the drivers not to go on strike. Mitra also got in touch with them and asked for the same. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording guild leaders, when the news of forceful strike reached them on Tuesday morning, they intervened and warned the strike supporters to restrain themselves, adding that strict action would be taken otherwise. Due to the issue, cabs at the Kolkata Airport were very low in number. General Secretary of the guild Indranil Banerjee stated that the situation has now been normalised. No effect of the strike will be there from Wednesday. On Tuesday Mitra said: “No strike of Ola and Uber will be tolerated. By taking the guild’s and my name, some miscreants tried to go for a strike forcibly by dragging out passengers from cabs and snatching the keys from the drivers. We are trying to locate them. We are going to sit with Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari regarding the problem on December 27. The Ola and Uber authorities are behaving like fascists.”last_img read more

Debunking Three Myths About Women in Tech

first_imgJuly 16, 2019 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 6 min read Women entrepreneurs face more obstacles than men who raise money for high technology startups from venture capitalists. In a recent report by All Raise and Pitchbook, data revealed that split across 482 teams, female founders raised a total of $2.88 billion last year. That’s 2.2 percent of the $130 billion total in venture capital money invested over the year. Unfortunately, the percentage has not increased from the previous year. As a result, there are fewer female founders. And there are even fewer female technical founders.Tracked over the past 28 years, the Digest of Education Statistics report on the percentage of women versus men in computer and information science degree enrollment, found that computer science majors have gone through boom and bust cycles among undergraduates. The report noted that the number of male and female students who were awarded degrees in the field went up and down at the same, and that general views of computer science are not gender-specific. In 1984, 37 percent of computer science majors were women, but by 2014 that number fell to 18 percent, according to the study. The researchers argued that one insight to gain from the data is that many women choose to not pursue computer science degrees because they believe stereotypes about the kinds of people who work in the field and don’t see themselves fitting in that framework.The more those stereotypes continue to spread, the fewer women are likely to enroll in computer science degrees. This, in turn, leads to fewer female founders in the space. and the perpetuation of myths about gender differences in the tech sector. But there are some accomplished technical female founders whose work is debunking those misconceptions. Medha Parlikar, the co-founder and CEO of venture-backed blockchain technology company CasperLabs, is one of those leaders.Parlikar began working in the tech industry in the early 1980s and has worked delivering production software at companies like Adobe, Omniture, Avalara, MP3.com and DivX. Her first formal involvement with Blockchain came in 2017 with the RChain project where she served as the tech manager, before co-founding CasperLabs in the fall of 2018. She has served as the CEO of CasperLabs since its inception.Parlikar shared what she has learned over the course of her career and debunked three myths that she believes hold women back from pursuing jobs in computer science. 1. Women are too risk-averse to build large scalable businesses.“This is definitely a myth,” said Parlikar. “Building a scalable business is a matter of acquiring and developing customers, finding a niche in the market, and failing and learning as a business. The qualities that a leader needs for this knows no gender.”  Unfortunately, in the entrepreneurship space, one extremely powerful and pervasive stereotype is that women are too risk-averse. This myth is predicated on the assumption that risk-taking is essential for a successful entrepreneur. The great business stories of our times are filled with examples of leadership risk-taking, yes. However, research across academia has coined the term “survivorship bias” to denote that too often in storytelling, we have a bias to tell the stories about gambles that paid off rather than tell the slow and steady story of the incremental approach to successful software products. Therefore, risk-taking may be considerably overvalued.2. The work environment is hostile to women.“There are startups that are tough on women, and this is unfortunate,” said Parlikar, who leads a tech team of over twenty developers and researchers. “Clearly, there is a level of professionalism and decency that is expected in a work environment.  When you have to take a stand and vigorously debate technical details with a room full of men, you have to dig deep and follow your truth. I had to learn to do that — to follow my truth — and it has made all the difference in the world for me. It wasn’t something that I was taught. It was something that I learned. I had the answers all along, I just needed to trust in myself.”3. Computer science isn’t feminine.There’s a common misconception in tech that women are expected to act and dress like men do to get ahead. A typical engineer outfit can consist of a startup branded T-shirt they got as free swag, jeans, sandals and a hoodie. Then there are the “bro-grammers,” a subtype of male programmers who embrace the bro culture by hanging out and drinking a cold beer after a coding sprint.And while representation of the women in science in the media still remains largely lacking, Parlikar cited computer science pioneer Margaret Hamilton, who coined the term software engineer and wrote code that was integral to NASA’s Apollo missions, as someone who greatly inspired her.”It was the advent of the personal computer that tipped the scales away from young girls entering computer science. I was very fortunate, my father made sure I was exposed to personal computers at a young age,” she recalled. “Computer Science has given me a wonderful career, that has given me the flexibility to work from home and be present for my kids. It’s a great career for women.”Personally, as a three-time venture-backed technical female founder of software companies with one exit under my belt, I’d like to add that, in my experience, being a woman can allow you to stand out from a group of men and help your voice to be heard when you speak up. I embrace wearing dresses, heels, lipstick and perfumes, and like to have fun with my feminine side. I’m a girl’s girl and I always have been. But when I’m in the coding den, finishing out on developer sprint, I’m not focused on the differences between myself and the men I work with. I show up as I am. I get work done. And I occasionally will enjoy a beer with the team after work. Computer science is a field that opens doors and provides great opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Don’t be afraid to take your seat at the table.  Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more