Cassini flew by Saturn’s moon Rhea March 2 at just 100 km. Dr. Paul Schenk, one of the planetary scientists, said on his blog Stereo Moons, “it should be axiomatic by now that the closer you look at a planetary object the more surprises you see.” Keep your eye on the ball. One surprise from 2008 Cassini scientists want to check more closely is evidence for a ring around Rhea (03/10/2008). Schenk, whose talents include generating 3-D flyovers of surfaces from image data, posted a “ringside seat” flyover of Rhea Feb. 25 on YouTube from the 2008 flyby. It has a striking characteristic that may provide more smoking-gun evidence for a ring: bluish patches along the equator. Schenk believes these are marks of impacts of low-orbiting ring particles on the surface. The discussion going on at Unmanned Spaceflight, a blog frequented by planetary scientists and knowledgeable amateurs, doubted that the streaks could be ancient, because they would have been erased by now. The images of Rhea arrived at the Imaging Team website the next day. Unmanned Spaceflight prosumers started stitching and processing the images immediately. It will take time to analyze the data from the radar, optical and remote sensing cameras, and particles-and-fields instruments. Gushin’ geysers; Enceladus is bustin’ out all over its tiger stripes. Space.com, Science Daily and National Geographic were among the news feeds highlighting amazing views of the plumes emanating from the small moon of Saturn (see Imaging Team gallery). The images, taken last Nov. 21, were released Feb. 23 with enhanced measurements of heat taken by the composite infrared spectrometer (CIRS). The photos show that the plumes vary with time. The jets can erupt along the whole lengths of the stripes. A new detailed map of one of the stripes “illustrates the link between the geologically youthful surface fractures and the anomalously warm temperatures that have been recorded in the south polar region.” Eleven more flybys of this moon are scheduled for the seven-year second extended mission. Titan continues to astonish planetary scientists. Two papers appeared in last month’s Icarus on this giant gas-shrouded moon. The one with the most extensive list of authors evaluated what is known about Titan’s geologic processes.1 “The paucity of impact craters implies that Titan’s surface is geologically young, having a crater retention age between 0.2 and 1 Gyr” (200,000 to 1 billion years), the paper claimed. But “There is also no evidence of impact craters superposing any cryovolcanic feature,” which implies the volcano candidates are “relatively young” also. The dunes and channels are among the youngest features on Titan. In conclusion, “The majority of Titan’s surface is young, that is, less than a billion years, even assuming that all the crateriform structures discussed are due to impact.” What would cause global resurfacing activity for 80% of the assumed lifetime of this moon was left unexplained. “It is not yet clear what the role of cryovolcanism has been on crater obliteration, as so far cryovolcanic processes are not seen to be as widespread as erosional processes.” The mountains appear the oldest, but are only relatively older – unmodified by dunes, channel erosion, and craters. “It is clear, however, that the patches of hummocky and mountainous terrain are scattered all over the surface and that nowhere do they appear uneroded or stratigraphically younger than another local terrain type.” And the volcanoes are young, too: “Cryovolcanism may be a relatively young process or possibly ongoing…,” the article said: “The large flow fields mapped so far do not show any evidence of fluvial erosion, perhaps implying that they are quite young.” To keep this big moon as old as the assumed age of the solar system (4.5 billion years), the authors had to suggest episodic activity. Despite the belief in long ages, “young” was a frequent word in this paper. The conclusion stated, “Titan’s surface is overall very young, given the small number of impact craters and the clear evidence of lacustrine, fluvial, and aeolian processes on the surface.” And Titan is still active: “It is likely that both aeolian deposition and fluvial activity are still ongoing.” In addition, “it is possible that some cryovolcanism may still be happening on the surface.” The paper made a passing reference to the methane–ethane problem (01/17/2002, 03/11/2005, 10/18/2006, 02/15/2008, 12/18/2008): “the observed lake inventory is inconsistent with photolysis throughout Titan’s history.” To keep the methane budget from being depleted over 4.5 billion years, they said it “seems likely” that there has been “episodic injection, by cryovolcanism, of methane from the interior” into the atmosphere, “Although there is no direct evidence of such events….”. The other Titan paper in Icarus investigated the longevity of methane in proposed eruptive events.2 Their model of outgassing “would be sufficient to maintain the presence of methane in Titan’s atmosphere” the paper claimed, but for far less than the amount of time needed: “for several tens of thousands of years after a large cryovolcanic event.” If Saturn were alone in having active moons, it might be considered an anomaly. But Jupiter has Io, the most volcanically active body in the solar system, and Europa, a smooth moon with lines and cracks that “remaining active or being periodically active as Europa’s decoupled icy shell rotates with respect to its interior,” according to Patterson and Head in Icarus.3 They noted that some of the cracks appear “relatively young” although they did not speculate on absolute ages of features. Then, two planets out from Saturn, there is Triton. Another Icarus paper said,4 “Triton is a spectacularly dynamic world” with a “geologically young surface” – despite being the coldest moon in the solar system. Observations over the last decade show seasonal variations in volatiles from ices in different geological regimes. That seems to be happening on Pluto, too. The BBC News reported observations of seasonal changes on the surface of this body, formerly called a planet but now looking more like Triton, Sedna and other Trans-Neptunian Objects. If volatile ices are moving about on these small worlds, some of it must be escaping to space. Maybe that’s why Space.com called Pluto “still a big mystery” 80 years after its discovery.1. Lopes et al, “Distribution and interplay of geologic processes on Titan from Cassini radar data,” Icarus, Volume 205, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 540-558.2. Choukroun, Grasset, Tobie and Sotin, “Stability of methane clathrate hydrates under pressure: Influence on outgassing processes of methane on Titan,” Icarus, Volume 205, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 581-593.3. Patterson and Head, “Segmented lineaments on Europa: Implications for the formation of ridge complexes and bright bands,” Icarus, Volume 205, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 528-539.4. Grundy, Young, Stansberry, Buie, Olken and Young, “Near-infrared spectral monitoring of Triton with IRTF/SpeX II: Spatial distribution and evolution of ices,” Icarus, Volume 205, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 594-604.If these bodies are not really as old as claimed, one would expect the old-age consensus to encounter frequent anomalies. Since the surprise density exceeds the prediction of consensus planetary science, it should lead rational planetologists to re-open the assumption of billions of years. 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Don’t look now, but the (17-8, 6-6) TCU Horned Frogs are looking like a tournament team for the first time since before Bill Clinton was impeached. Currently projecting as a 1o-seed, the Frogs are experiencing all the good feels after sweeping Texas recently for the first time since head coach Jamie Dixon was hitting game winners as a senior.Viewing InformationTime: 8:00 p.m.Location: Fort Worth, TexasTV: ESPNULine: TCU – 1Season TrendA solid resume that lacks signature wins but remains fairly unblemished as they’ve beat everyone they should have.Handed a season-high 18 point loss, the Frogs returned home dejected after trailing the vast majority of the game against the rival Baylor Bears on Saturday. The TCU offense was on life support, only scoring 17 points in the first half on only one assist. The biggest gap was on the boards where Baylor dominated, swiping 25 defensive boards and ruining second chance opportunities for the Frogs.Johnathan Motley dominated the TCU front court to the tune of 25 points on 12 of 15 shooting and Baylor’s spot-duty shooting guard King McClure had one of his best games of the year, hitting 3 of 4 from deep for 13 points. Baylor’s sleepy three point shooters hitting nearly 39 percent from deep bodes well for the Cowboy bombers on Wednesday night.The Last Time They PlayedSometimes you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time and Stillwater on January 23rd was just that for TCU. What turned out to be the second win in a five game streak, the Cowboys were putting everything together and picking up serious momentum that night. Jawun emerged from his slump like an angry bear out of hibernation, lighting up the Frogs for 27 points and assists. While TCU drew it close with ten minutes to go, the Pokes put their foot down per Coach Underwood:“The last 10 minutes of that ballgame is how you close out a game. (Shoot) 12 of 15 from the perimeter, you make your free throws and then no turnovers in the last eight and a half (minutes) or so.”TCU’s talent-rich front line was hit and miss, disappearing for stretches. The skilled 6’11” Slovakian had a phenomenal second half but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the Cowboy offense shooting 64.5 percent from the field after the break.To cap off the night, Dillard put the Frogs to bed with this beauty:Davon Dillard windmills the Horned Frogs. #okstate pic.twitter.com/A53pjIy5xg— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) January 24, 2017Three Things to Watch1. As Fisher Goes, They GoThe top-rated recruit in Horned Frog basketball history is freshman point guard Jaylen Fisher and he will be the swing vote if this TCU team is to go dancing. While his career-high 18 points wasn’t enough to keep TCU in the game against Baylor on Saturday, it usually is. When the freshman guard gets into double digits, the Frogs are 12-3 and he’s got a four game streak in double digits. Rationality says that the team’s two leading scorers (star big man Brodziansky and Texas A&M transfer Alex Robinson) need to get their numbers for the team to be successful, but it’s a prolific third banana that helps the TCU offense to get over the hump.2. Get after the BallQuoted after the Texas game in early February, head coach Jamie Dixon laid out a crucial point for the TCU offense:“Our guards are going to have some turnovers because we let them do a lot of things. We rely on them to create shots for a lot of guys. So we’re going to have to play through the mistakes. For the most part, we haven’t had them [the last two games].”So much of TCU’s offensive efficiency depends on the newbie guards not turning the ball over. A week ago, the Red Raiders were able to take the game into the final seconds by turning over the Frogs 21 times in Fort Worth.Highlights from tonight’s game at TCU, Red Raiders face No. 3 Kansas at 1 p.m. on Saturday #WreckEm #4to1 pic.twitter.com/Prrr6XO5TB— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) February 8, 20173. Double the Big GuyI won’t ask for anything for Christmas ever again if I don’t have to watch another big play keep-a-way from Dillard/McGriff/Hammonds again this year. Fortunately for the Pokes, Texas Tech last week exposed a vulnerability in junior forward Vlad Brodziansky’s offense: double him fast and he coughs it up on the pass.Now, the dude shoots quick so you’ve got to collapse quickly. But go ahead and forget about the TCU deep ball at 34 percent, it’s a much better shot than the 59.6 percent-shooting Brodziansky.Fun side note: of course we looked at but didn’t offer the skilled 6’11” big man at a Kansas junior college… you throw Brodziansky in a class with Evans and Dillard, you’ve got a potential all-timer.Statistical ComparisonOther NotesThe road Cowboys have taken their last three Big 12 road games, including an 82-75 victory at No. 7 West Virginia. In the Big 12, only Kansas (7-1) has more true road wins than the Cowboys (5-4).OSU was 2-3 against new TCU head coach Jamie Dixon in his time at Pitt. Most notable was when new OSU coach Travis Ford’s team was eliminated by the Panthers from the 2009 NCAA Tournament.Since TCU joined the Big 12, OSU is 7-2 against the Horned Frogs, and both losses came in the Cowboys’ last two trips to Fort Worth.The last team to make the NCAA Tournament field after falling in their first six conference games was the 1985-86 Maryland team led by Len Bias.Seven OSU players went to high school within an hour drive of TCU’s campus; Brandon Averette (Richardson), Jawun Evans (Dallas), Tavarius Shine (Irving), Cameron McGriff (Grand Prairie), Phil Forte (Flower Mound), Leyton Hammonds (North Richland Hills) and Jeffrey Carroll (Rowlett).Davon Dillard entered Big 12 play on Dec. 30 with a career total of 63 minutes played (39 this season). Over the last six games Dillard is averaging 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 56.3 percent shooting, including a 62.5 percent clip from 3-point. 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.
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. In the spirit of NFL Draft week, our big board series listing OSU’s top recruiting targets — which began Sunday with its targets at running back — continues today with a look at the quarterback position.Quarterback is arguably the most important position in a recruiting class and it is one OSU has had great success with. Outside of Keondre Wudtee, who committed on national signing day a year ago, OSU has landed and held early commitments in recent history under Michael Yurcich, other than Nick Starkel.Jelani Woods was an early pledge last season, and Spencer Sanders, ESPN’s top QB in Texas, was OSU’s first commitment of the 2018 class.Spencer Sanders is very, very good. He tore his ACL at the end of his junior season, but make no mistake, OSU is all in on him being the future signal caller in Stillwater. So OSU isn’t worried about the position for 2018 and can instead shift its focus to 2019. Here is who OSU is targeting along with two names to keep on the radar.Grant Gunnell — 6-foot-5 — Houston, TexasGunnell isn’t just a hot commodity in the region, he’s one of the most wanted gunslingers in America. Rated as the No. 2 quarterback in the 2019 class nationally, Gunnell is a pro-style quarterback who can sit back and dissect defenses from the pocket with a similar style of Mason Rudolph.Gunnell has visited Stillwater on numerous occasions, and runs a similar style offense at St. Piux X — a wide open spread offense — that OSU runs. He’s target No. 1 for Mike Yurcich, who has been one of the best quarterback recruiters over the last few years. Bo Nix — 6-foot-1.5 — Pinson, AlabamaThe very first thing that pops to you about Nix has nothing to do with his production, but rather his pedigree. Nix is the son of former Auburn quarterback Patrick Nix, who is highly regarded in Alabama circles. To that end, Nix is a heavy Auburn lean. And because Auburn has had him on the radar for so long, they were one of the first to jump in on him in his recruitment.Nix, unlike Gunnell, is a dual-threat option who is equally as productive with his arm as his legs. As a sophomore in 2016-17, Nix not only started for the varsity team. He racked up 1,737 yards through the air and 17 touchdowns with a 55.2 percent completion percentage, according to MaxPreps. He also averaged 10 yards per carry on his way to a 1,300 yard rushing season, adding 20 touchdowns on the ground.There’s a reason Auburn, Florida State, Oklahoma, LSU, Alabama and Georgia, among others, have already extended offers. He’s a top-150 recruit for a reason, and could fit OSU’s offense well with his versatile skill set. Grant Tisdale — 6-foot-1 — Allen, TexasWithout question, OSU’s big board is in order listed above. If Gunnell facetimed Gundy (which he’s done a time or two) and said he was ready to commit, OSU would be rejoicing with arms wide open.#GoPokes pic.twitter.com/nyPKJQHCPT— Grant Gunnell (@grantgunnell7) March 29, 2017But another Grant, whose last name is Tisdale, could be a name worth watching. The 6-foot-1 dual-threat prospect quarterbacks the Texas powerhouse Allen Eagles, and although he’s been somewhat of a late riser on the recruiting trail he could be a major prospect in the future. He has garnered offers from SMU, Texas Tech, Mississippi State and Indiana State to this point. And because he slings the rock for Allen, he’s a lock to get more attention in his upcoming junior season.Tisdale has already made a visit to Stillwater and, despite not receiving an offer (in part because of OSU’s standing offers to Gunnell and Nix, whose recruitment is still open), the opportunity for an offer isn’t out of the question in the future. He fits the profile of a dual-threat quarterback with good mechanics who could fit OSU’s system, comparable to Keondre Wudtee and Spencer Sanders.
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. James Washington had 71 catches for 1,380 yards last season which puts him at nearly 3,000 for his career. That’s good for 4th on the all-time OSU receiving list. He trails Hart Lee Dykes and Justin Blackmon by about 600 yards and Rashaun Woods by 1,500.Today’s poll question: Will he catch Rashaun?It’s an interesting proposition. On one hand, it’s pretty easy to see Washington improving upon last season’s numbers. On the other, it’s easy to see his receptions and yards get swiped by a litany of OSU wideouts including Marcell Ateman and Tyron Johnson.Tuesday poll question: James Washington has 2,923 career receiving yards. Will he catch #okstate record holder Rashaun Woods at 4,414?— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) May 23, 2017As always, your comments will be included in the poll result tomorrow.
We’re just over three months away from the most wonderful time of the year. Nope, not that one. The real one. College football will be here before we know it. So let’s take a look at some of the newcomers who will strive to make their mark in Stillwater this fall. It’s hard to say exactly how (or how much) a freshman will play but we feel pretty confident in the ability of these rookies to make an impact.Chuba HubbardOne of the biggest questions remaining for Mike Gundy and his staff is how they will fill out the running back depth chart. The first spot belongs to Justice Hill. After him it may resemble 2016’s opening depth chart — more “or’s” than a row boat. But unlike last season, the list will be full of freshmen instead of seniors. Between the two incoming freshmen and the two coming off of redshirt years, Chuba Hubbard looks to have the best shot to at immediate playing time.Hubbard describes himself as “versatile” and a “playmaker.”“You know everyone talks about my speed,” Hubbard told PFB “but in my senior season, I worked more on key things to prepare for Oklahoma State, like switching the ball, running harder, hands, etc.”According to Hubbard, he plans on coming in at 205 pounds and feels he could be a three-down back if needed. That would be great for the Cowboys who will be looking for a change-of-pace back to replace the size of Chris Carson.Of course, pace is the operative word when describing Hubbard. You’ve heard people throw around the term “world-class speed.” It actually applies to this three-time national track champion in Canada. Hubbard will also be running track at Oklahoma State like another elite speedster the Cowboys lured as a two-sport athlete, Tyreek Hill.Dillon StonerOkay, he’s not exactly a newcomer. But the chances of Dillon Stoner seeing the field are pretty high and I think he’s got to be on the list of freshmen difference makers.Last fall, Stoner made a big enough impression on the coaching staff to forego his redshirt and see early reps — even within a stacked receiving corps. Unfortunately, he suffered a lower leg injury which limited him to just four games.Although there has been no official word yet, we can assume Dillon Stoner has been granted a medical hardship waiver. The team’s spring media guide lists Stoner as a redshirt freshman.In those four games he had five catches for a total of 27 yards. Not exactly eye-popping, but get him some real reps and I think Cowboy fans will like what they see. The buzz from the practice field is that he’s has beyond-his-years receiving skills. His athleticism speaks for itself. In high school, Stoner played wide receiver, defensive back, punter and returned kicks for a team that won four state titles.Mike Gundy even trusted the young receiver enough to let him attempt passes in two of his four games — including an overshadow TD toss to James Washington against Central Michigan. That’s got to count for something. Tylan WallaceOklahoma State’s highest ranked receiver prospect since Dez Bryant finally gets to suit up in orange. Even with the plethora of talent in the room, don’t be surprised to see Wallace on the field in 2017. Mike Gundy has shown that he’s not afraid to pull the trigger if he thinks a freshman is ready to play, even with a stacked depth chart ahead of him. See: Dillon Stoner.And if his signing day press conference was any indication, it appears Gundy envisions big things from the jewel of his 2017 class.“And then you have Tylan, who is a fast Josh Stewart,” said Gundy. “Josh Stewart was tremendous in a phone booth, but when he opened it up he was 4.65, 4.7. I think that Tylan has the same quick twitch as him, but he’s going to run under 4.5. That’s what you get with him.”Wallace’s production speaks for itself. His career receiving yard total lands inside the top 15 wide receivers in Texas high school football history. He’s an ESPN 300 prospect and 247Sports’ No. 16 wide receiver in the class. He’s got 4.5 speed and is a smooth route-runner with great ball skills.Wallace should turn out to be a stud and could be a game changer. I expect Mike and Mike will find a way to get the ball in his hands. Here’s how Thomas Fleming thinks it might work. 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.
Putting a bow on Gundy’s extension was a big win for Holder in the court of public opinion. Whether or not he ever gets the baseball stadium built, this will boost his legacy. At least he avoided another coaching scar by keeping the school’s most successful football coach in program history a happy man. 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. Mike Gundy’s unsigned contract sat on his desk and gathered dust. It was the elephant in the room and could have led to a disaster for super-fundraiser Mike Holder’s legacy at his alma mater. After Gundy flirted with Baylor, speculation ramped up. When the Cowboys’ all-time leader in wins finally broke the silence on negotiations, he minced few words. He wanted more money for his assistant coaches and a higher budget for recruiting and improvements for the football program. And now he’s got it.As reported by Mark Cooper of the Tulsa World, Oklahoma State is bumping football assistant salaries to a total of just over $3.6 million for the 2017 season.AdChoices广告Here’s a breakdown of some of the highlights of the new pay rates.Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich received a pay increase from $500,000 to $600,000.Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer received a $75,000 raise to $675,000.Defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements received a pay increase of $35,348 to $400,000Offensive line coach Josh Henson received starting salary of $400,000Wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn received pay increase of $35,000 to $360,000Cornerbacks coach Tim Duffie received pay increase of $16,967 to $356,314Safeties coach Dan Hammerschmidt received pay increase of $50,000 to $325,000Tight ends coach Jason McEndoo received pay increase of $50,000 to $275,000Running backs coach John Wozniak received starting salary of $250,000 [Tulsa World]
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 Big 12 has gone through a shake up over this offseason. Bell cows Oklahoma and Texas both have new CEOs for the first time in 70 years. A couple of teams look to take a step forward and a couple more may sink to the bottom.So, let’s look at take a look at the realistic expectations for each program. We’re only taking regular season records into account (not the Big 12 title game) and looking at them in alphabetical order.BaylorBest: 6-6, middle of the Big 12, Cactus BowlWorst: 4-8, bottom of the Big 12AdChoices广告Comments: Baylor may be the toughest team in the league to peg. It’s one of three teams with a new head coach in 2017, but unlike Texas and OU, the Bears are looking at a big rebuild. There is still some talent left on the roster, including ten returning starters from last year. But how quickly can Matt Rhule implement his new system, and how will that match up with some of the offenses he’ll face in the Big 12? Not to be underestimated, Baylor is undergoing a complete culture change, as well. This is a different team than the one Art Briles had, and I think expecting much better than 6-6 may be unreasonable.Iowa StateBest: 7-5, middle of the Big 12, Heart of Dallas BowlWorst: 3-9, bottom of the Big 12Comments: Can Iowa State take a step forward in Matt Campbell’s second year? There are some things to like about the Cyclones. They return plenty of skill players like Allen Lazard, David Montgomery and Mike Warren and Jacob Park has gone through his first spring as the No. 1 QB. The biggest question comes at the offensive line where they lose four starters from maybe their best position group last year. Former quarterback Joel Lanning has been moved to linebacker but they’ll need more help than that for a defense that finished ahead of only Texas Tech in points per drive allowed in 2016.KansasBest: 4-8, bottom of the Big 12, but improvingWorst: 0-12, last placeComments: Despite the obvious punchline, David Beaty has shown improvement over his 2-22 first two seasons. The Jayhawks were at least disruptive on defense last season and return several leaders on that side of the ball. The question is whether or not they have an offense that can at least give the defense a break. A 4-8 record is optimistic, but I see a couple other Big 12 teams falling off as well. Kansas’ non-conference is not a gimme with Central Michigan coming to town. No comment.Kansas StateBest: 10-2, Big 12 title, Sugar BowlWorst: 7-5, middle of the Big 12, Cactus BowlComments: I’m not sure what to think about this team. I can understand why some are picking K-State as a dark horse Big 12 pick and I could also see them finishing fourth to fifth in the league. They do welcome Oklahoma, TCU and West Virginia to Manhattan, and they have an established, returning QB which normally makes for a tough Bill Snyder-coached team.OklahomaBest: 12-0, Big 12 title, CFP berthWorst: 8-4, middle of the Big 12, AutoZone Liberty BowlComments: Oklahoma probably should be the Big 12 favorite based on history and the talent on their roster. But the Sooners lost their winningest head coach and Baker Mayfield’s three best weapons — by far. An improved defense will go a long way in securing another conference title and possible College Football Playoff berth, as well as a Bear Bryant Award for Lincoln Riley in his first year.Oklahoma StateBest: 12-0. Big 12 title, CFP berthWorst: 9-3, 2nd place in the Big 12, Camping World BowlComments: The orange Kool-Aid is flowing like a mullet in September. We could see the best Gundy-led team since a trip up in Ames kept them from a National Championship game in 2011. How good is Oklahoma? What effect does the change in schedule — or the changing of the visor — make on Bedlam? How much better is this defense? A 9-3 record would be a disappointment. The ceiling is the roof.TCUBest: 7-5, middle of the Big 12, Cactus BowlWorst: 4-8, bottom half of the Big 12Comments: TCU has a ton of questions heading into the fall. Can Kenny Hill salvage a career as a starting QB? How much does the offense miss Doug Meacham? Their defense has a chance to be good again, but it had that chance last year and got embarrassed a few times down the stretch.TexasBest: 9-3, 3rd in the Big 12, AdvoCare V100 Texas BowlWorst: 5-7, middle of the Big 12Comments: Is Texas back? No. It’s July. But new front man Tom Herman brings with him plenty of, uh charisma, and his coaching chops are well-documented. He inherits some decent talent from Charlie Strong. Is he the right fit? How long does a rebuild take? Does he have a quarterback? Time will tell.Texas TechBest: 6-6, middle of the Big 12, Heart of Dallas BowlWorst: 2-10, bottom of the Big 12Comments: My 6-6 ceiling may be generous. The Red Raiders lose Pat Mahomes to the NFL Draft as well as receivers Jakeem Grant to graduation, Jonathan Giles and Tony Brown to transfer. We like to look at their offense as a plug-and-play system but it’s hard to not expect at least a step back in production without Mahomes. And their defense has an uphill battle — with no clear path — to mediocrity. Mahomes’ arm and legs kept them in games last season. Tech may be historically bad in 2017.West VirginiaBest: 10-2, 2nd place in the Big 12, Valero Alamo BowlWorst: 7-5, middle of the Big 12, Cactus BowlComments: West Virginia, like Baylor, is hard to peg. On one hand, they add what appears to be a talented passer in Florida transfer Will Grier. On the other, they lose key pieces on both sides of the ball, including seven offensive linemen. This could be a huge year for Dana Holgorsen. He’s off the hot seat after churning out his first 10-win season a year ago, but drop back down into the middle of the pack and the groaning will return. If he can pilot the Mountaineers to a 9- or 10-win season, he sets himself up nicely moving forward.
The Gillard Government is today launching two initiatives to tackle the gender divide in sporting organisations and support a new generation of female sport leaders.Minister for Sport Mark Arbib and Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis said the Women in Sport Leadership Register, would allow women to apply online to be considered for board or leadership positions in Australian sporting organisations.“It is important that we get more women into senior roles in the sporting community, including senior administrative roles and representation on boards where women make a valuable contribution,” Senator Arbib said.“The register is a free service and is specifically tailored to the sports industry, so it will meet the needs of both the individuals and the sporting organisations.”The Australian Government also opened applications for the 2011-12 Sport Leadership Grants and Scholarships for Women program – an initiative of the Australian Sports Commission and the Office for Women that provides education and development opportunities for women with leadership potential.“These initiatives highlight the Government’s commitment to bolstering the involvement of women in sport at all levels outlined in the new direction for sport: Australian Sport: the Pathway to Success,” Senator Arbib said.“The Government strongly supports women who are ambitious about their future in sport, whether their ambitions lie in being elite coaches, administrators or managers of sporting organisations.”Ms Ellis said the grants and scholarships provided a tangible way for women to obtain the skills and attributes required to succeed in sport leadership roles.“The Sport Leadership Grants and Scholarships for Women program has supported more than 16,000 women since its inception in 2002 with a total funding allocation of $3.3 million,” Ms Ellis said.“Women in senior sports management positions are eligible for scholarships of up to $10,000 a year for three years, individuals are eligible for one-off grants of up to $5,000 and organisations are eligible for grants of up to $10,000.”Women have a key role to play in the development of sport in Australia – as participants, volunteers, athletes and sports leaders as coaches and administrators. And yet we still see women facing barriers to participating in sport across their lifetime.”Our Government is committed to boosting the profile of women in sport and giving them the skills and qualifications they need to play leadership roles both on and off the field.”For more information on the 2011-12 Sport Leadership Grants and Scholarships for Women, or the Women in Sport Leadership Register visit www.ausport.gov.au/women .
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea striker Abraham: Ajax clash massive, massiveby Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea striker Tammy Abraham has declared their Champions League clash with Ajax as “massive, massive”.Abraham insists they’re capable of winning in Amsterdam.He said, “We know it’s a massive game for us. “Massive, massive. Ajax are like us, they have a lot of young players who like to keep the ball and play good football. Off the ball as well they like to win it back quickly.”We know it’s not going to be easy, but I believe in myself and my team that we can hopefully get a result there.”We got ourselves back on track in Lille. It’s not an easy place to go to, we dug deep and got that win. Who says we can’t do the same at Ajax?”