5 ways to make your business a better candidate for financing

first_imgAccording to Business Insider, 82% of start-up businesses close down due to a lack of cash flow. Entrepreneurs who want to avoid being a part of that statistic need to have a plan in place for obtaining financing to ensure that they have enough capital to back their idea up. Even if your company is financially healthy, small businesses will typically need to seek additional funding to take advantage of growth opportunities, such as acquiring another business or expanding a product or service line. Bottom line, financing is always crucial. When it comes to small businesses, banks are more hesitant to lend to them because they typically haven’t been in business long enough to build a strong credit history and stable cash flow. Many entrepreneurs turn to alternative lenders and credit unions for help because they tend to be much more lenient when it comes to credit requirements. However, even with these lenders, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll be approved for a loan. Fortunately, if you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of business loan approval and make yourself a better candidate to score some great deals when applying for financing. Here are five ways to do it:Build Your Business’ Credit ScoreOne of the first things credit unions and other lenders will look at when evaluating a loan applicant, is the applicant’s credit score. Credit scores range from 350 to 850. The larger the number, the better your credit standing. If you want to qualify for loans with generous terms, a credit score of 670 and above is considered good. The best way to build your credit score is to pay your bills on time. This may seem like a no brainer, but when you’re juggling multiple payments a month on top of all your other day-to-day responsibilities as a business owner, it’s not uncommon for payments to slip through the cracks. The best way to avoid this is to set up an automated payment system to pay your vendors and suppliers. This will allow you to schedule your reoccurring payments so they are automatically made on the dates you set them for. You won’t even have to think about it, and it will prevent you from missing payments which can hurt your credit standing. Be Clear on How You’ll Use the MoneyWhen applying for financing, be sure to clearly state how you plan to use the money you’ll be borrowing. This includes the how but also the why. Why will this money help to benefit your business? Let’s say you’re seeking a loan to purchase a delivery vehicle. Explain to lenders why this vehicle will benefit the overall business operations and improve your bottom line. Painting a clear picture of how you’ll utilize the financial resource will help the lenders determine whether or not it’s a worthy reason to grant you the loan. If you’re giving them vague and generalized answers, your chances of approval will surely decline. Do Your HomeworkWhen it comes to applying for loans, it’s best to be proactive. If there’s a finance company you’re interested in approaching, learn what their criteria is to qualify for a business loan before you apply. See if they have a minimum credit score or annual revenue that they require. If your company doesn’t meet the criteria, you may have to post pone your application until it does, or find a different financing company. If you do meet the criteria, the next step is to make a list of the financing company’s requirements for documentation. It’s best to have all your paperwork finalized before you begin your application process so that when you apply, everything is as organized and streamlined as possible. In general, lenders require applicants to submit the following:Balance sheetsPersonal and business tax ReturnsValid IDsPersonal and business bank statementsBusiness licenseBusiness plan Articles of incorporationAsk around to see if the financing company you hope to work with asks for any other documents in addition to these general requirements as you’ll want to prepare those as well. For instance, a business lease or a copy of the collateral’s title. It’s essential to provide all requirements on time as it shows lenders that you’re prepared and responsible, which increases your chances of business loan approval. Be Ready to Offer Collateral or Personal GuaranteesOne of the sure-fire ways to dramatically improve your chances of business loan approval is to present collateral. Pledging assets can come in handy, especially if your business isn’t in good credit standing. This provides additional security for the lenders because it gives them something they can use to recover the money you owed if you default on payments. Furthermore, presenting collateral improves your chances of be approved for a loan with better terms and lower interest rates.The most common types of collateral businesses use include:EquipmentInvoicesInventoryPurchase OrdersReal estateIf you don’t have any collateral to present, some lenders may accept a personal guarantee. A personal guarantee is a legal promise that the individual applying for the loan will repay the loan credited to them using their own personal assets if their business cannot afford to do so. A personal guarantee is a good alternative to collateral. If you do go this route, the lenders will evaluate your credit history so you’ll need to have a good credit score (670 or higher). Apply EarlyLoans can take weeks to months to be approved, especially if you’re applying for an SBA loan. The loan facility has to conduct due diligence and examine your financial records before considering your loan application’s approval. Generally, the entire process takes anywhere from 30 to 60 days. If you’re planning on business expansion within the year, it’s better to start your loan application early. This way, you’ll have the resources you need by the time you’re ready to move forward with your plans. Final ThoughtsFinancing is a vital ingredient to the success of businesses. It’s worth noting that many start-ups have their loan applications denied the first time they apply. If his happens to you, don’t stop after one failed attempt. In fact, take that rejection as an opportunity to understand why you were denied so you can work to improve your odds for being approved in the future. Use the tips outlined in this article to make your business a better candidate the next time around. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dane Panes Dane Panes started freelance writing in 2017. Since then, she has covered topics relating to health, entrepreneurship, and marketing strategies. She now works as a full-time content writer for SMB … Web: https://www.smbcompass.com Detailslast_img read more

Coronavirus testing site coming to southern Palm Beach County by next week

first_imgA new coronavirus testing site will be coming to southern Palm Beach County by early next week, according to Boca Raton Councilman Andy Thomson.Thomson told WPTV NewsChannel 5 on Thursday that Palm Beach County’s second testing location will be at the South County Civic Center on Jog Road.People will be able to start making appointments on Monday, State Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton said.Palm Beach County currently has over 500 confirmed coronavirus cases and the most coronavirus deaths.Palm Beach County leads Florida in number of coronavirus deathslast_img read more

French challenge beckons England players

first_img Two teams will represent England Golf in the Vilmorin Cup at the French U21 ladies’ championship at St Cloud, from 2-6 April. Team A is India Clyburn of Lincolnshire, Alice Hewson of Hertfordshire and Inci Mehmet of Surrey. Team B is Sammie Giles of Cornwall, Sophie Lamb of Lancashire and Bethan Popel of Gloucestershire. The players will be joined by Gemma Clews of Cheshire for a match against France at St Cloud on the day before the championship, Wednesday, 1 April. The Vilmorin Cup is played alongside the two rounds of stroke play qualifying at the championship and the best two scores from each team count each day.   After 36 holes the leading 32 players go forward to the matchplay stages of the championship for the Esmond Trophy; and the next best 16 players aged under 18 contest the Cartier Trophy.   The players: India Clyburn, 18, (Woodhall Spa) won the 2014 England Golf Girls’ Order of Merit, sponsored by Ascot Golf, in her last season as a junior. Her individual successes included winning the English girls’ championship, the Scottish junior open, the girls’ title at the Daily Telegraph junior championship and the Royal Birkdale scratch trophy. She was in England’s winning teams at the girls’ and ladies’ Home Internationals – winning all six of her matches at the girls’ event. Sammie Giles, 20, (St Mellion) is the English women’s mid-amateur champion and the winner of the 2014 Liphook Scratch Cup. Last season she enjoyed consistently good form with a top ten finish at the St Rule Trophy and top 15s at the Helen Holm, the English amateur and the British stroke play. Alice Hewson, 17, (Berkhamsted) was a member of England’s winning team at the girls’ and ladies’ Home Internationals. She won the Critchley Salver at Sunningdale and the U18 prize at the St Rule Trophy where she also helped England win the Nations Cup and was fourth overall. She was sixth in the English girls’ championship and ninth in the English women’s amateur. This season she was a quarter finalist in the Spanish women’s amateur. Sophie Lamb, 17, (Clitheroe, Lancashire) successfully defended the girls’ title at the Fairhaven Trophies in 2014. She has been in England’s winning teams at the Girls’ Home Internationals for the last two years and has represented GB&I in the junior Vagliano Trophy. She reached the last 16 in this year’s Spanish women’s amateur. Inci Mehmet, 18, (Royal Mid Surrey, Image © Leaderboard Photography) was also a member of the team which won the girls’ Home Internationals for the seventh successive year. She was runner-up at the 2014 English women’s amateur championship and has amassed a series of other good results last season, including fourth place in the Portuguese championship, fifth in the Irish open stroke play and fourth in the Critchley Salver. She reached the matchplay stages of the 2015 Spanish women’s amateur. Bethan Popel, 19, (Long Ashton) was also in the winning team at the women’s Home Internationals and helped England win the Nations Cup at the St Rule Trophy. Her other good results last season included fifth place in the English amateur, seventh place in the women’s Welsh stroke play, 12th place in the Helen Holm Scottish stroke play and 11th in the Portuguese amateur. Gemma Clews, 20, (Delamere Forest) was in England’s winning team at the ladies’ Home Internationals and won two scratch events last season: the Pleasington Putter and the inaugural Delamere Comboy Trophy. She was also third in the Welsh open stroke play, sixth in the English amateur and 12th in the British stroke play. 13 Mar 2015 French challenge beckons England players last_img read more

Lawyer for FSU QB Critical of State Attorney

first_imgFlorida State quarterback Jameis Winston (5) smiles on the sidelines in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Syracuse on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State best Syracuse 59-3. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)by Kareem CopelandAssociated Press WriterTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The lawyer for Florida State’s Jameis Winston criticized State Attorney Willie Meggs Sunday for his public comments about the ongoing sexual assault investigation of the Seminoles’ quarterback and for how the prosecutor has handled the probe.Tim Jansen released a statement expressing concerns that Meggs has made “extrajudicial statements” about the investigation during media interviews. Jansen accused Meggs of addressing a confidential law enforcement investigation and inferring that witnesses have been affected by “attorneys and collusion.”Jansen added that ,”We respect the immense power Mr. Meggs has in his investigative process and pray that he will objectively analyze the facts as he finds them, refrain from further extrajudicial public comment, and take all necessary steps to ensure that this matter comes to a quick resolution.“We are confident that if those steps are taken, this cloud will be lifted and Mr. Winston will be full exonerated of any wrongdoing.”When contacted Sunday evening by The Associated Press Meggs said, “I’m not going to respond to him.”The state attorney did say prosecutors are still interested in speaking with Winston, but have not.“We will certainly ask to talk to him,” Meggs said. “We can’t make people talk to us. … We can’t make suspects talk.”Meggs told the AP Saturday he is concerned that media attention has focused primarily on Winston, 19, a Heisman Trophy contender for the second-ranked Seminoles.“We have a female victim here, too, and my job is to make sure that this victim or any victim of a crime has their rights protected,” Meggs said. “… Everything is now focused on Winston and what’s going to happen to him.”The alleged victim no longer lives in Florida and Meggs also would like to interview her.Tallahassee police on Wednesday released a heavily redacted two-page incident report that does not mention Winston by name, but says the incident took place between 1:30 and 2 a.m. last Dec. 7. It describes the suspect in the sexual assault case as being between 5-foot-9 and 5-11. Winston is listed by Florida State at 6-4.The incident was reported Dec. 7, 2012, and last week Jansen said he had given officials two affidavits from eye witnesses that “completely exonerate my client.” He believed the investigation was closed months ago..The investigation became public Wednesday after several news organizations made public records requests with the police department. The case wasn’t given to prosecutors until this week. .“I have not been focusing on that,” Meggs said when asked about the amount of time before he received the case. “I will deal with that at some later time. Right now the important thing is protecting the rights of this victim and that’s what we’re focusing on.“We’ll focus on placing blame once we get all the facts.”Florida State released a statement Wednesday saying the university was aware of an investigation and noted that “there is no change in Jameis Winston’s status.”He played Saturday and completed 19 of 21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns in Seminoles 59-3 victory to finish the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season undefeated. Florida State hosts Idaho this week, then takes on the Gators at Florida on Nov. 30 before the ACC title game on Dec. 7 in Charlotte, N.C.last_img read more

Steelers hoping Killer Bs strike before time runs out

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) passes in the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Fred Vuich) PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t talk like someone eyeing the finish line.If anything, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is doing what he can to push it further into the distance.The 36-year-old overhauled his diet in preparation for his 15th season and points to the lack of time spent in the trainer’s room during camp as proof the choices he’s made are working.Asked if he feels rejuvenated and Roethlisberger nods.“I really like where this team is,” the two-time Super Bowl winner said. “I think if you didn’t have a good feeling about this team it probably wouldn’t be as exciting, but I am excited about this group.”The feeling, however, could be fleeting. Eight months removed from a stunning home playoff loss to Jacksonville , the Steelers are well aware the missed opportunities in recent seasons are starting to pile up. While Pittsburgh has reached the postseason in each of the past four years, the Steelers have just three playoff victories to show for it. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown makes a catch in a drill during an NFL football practice, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) Le’Veon Bell, shown here in this New Pittsburgh Courier file photo from Brian Cook, rushed for nearly 180 yards Oct. 15 against the Chiefs in the Steelers’ 19-13 win.Though Pittsburgh is heavily favored to win a third consecutive AFC North title, the window that once seemed so wide open could be starting to close. All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell is likely playing his final season in black-and-gold after failing to come to terms on a new contract. The offensive line features three Pro Bowlers but also three starters in their 30s.While Roethlisberger downplays any additional sense of urgency — he’s been around long enough to know that any season that doesn’t end with a victory parade through downtown Pittsburgh in early February is considered a disappointment — he’s also well aware the standard coach Mike Tomlin mentions so frequently has not been met.“Winning games can lead to Super Bowl opportunities is always our ultimate goal,” he said. “There are 31 other teams doing the same, but that needs to be our singular focus.”A focus that was lacking at times in 2017 even as the Steelers rolled to a 13-3 record.There was the national anthem debacle in Chicago. The drama surrounding enigmatic wide receiver Martavis Bryant. The late season decision to cut linebacker James Harrison. The devastating spinal injury to budding star linebacker Ryan Shazier. Social media chatter of a rematch with New England in the AFC title game, chatter that looked foolish after the Jaguars beat the Steelers at Heinz Field for the second time in four months. The front office has done what it can to limit the distractions heading into 2018. Bryant was traded to Oakland. Harrison is retired. Longtime quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner takes over as offensive coordinator for Todd Haley. Shazier is walking again and serving as a de facto coach/scout as his body continues to recover.The message could not be clearer: the team that’s built to win now needs to win. Now.“Time is running out for everybody,” center Maurkice Pouncey said. “I know it’s all fun and games for everybody at the beginning but man it’s time to win. It’s been too long.”Other things to look for as Pittsburgh vies for a fifth consecutive playoff berth for only the third time in franchise history:REMODELED BACK END: The Steelers gave the secondary a massive overhaul after the Jaguars lit them up for 45 points in January, drafting safety Terrell Edmunds in the first round and signing veteran Morgan Burnett from Green Bay. The goal is to reduce the number of big plays allowed. Pittsburgh gave up 13 passes of more than 40 yards, tied for third-most in the league. Burnett’s sure tackling will help in the run game and Pittsburgh believes third-year safety Sean Davis’ athleticism will allow him to be an effective center fielder at free safety.FLIP FLOP: Pittsburgh exercised the fifth-year option on the contract of outside linebacker Bud Dupree in the offseason, a sign it believes the 2015 first-round pick’s best days are ahead of him despite uneven results in his first three years. The Steelers moved Dupree from the left side to the right side in the spring, confident he’ll be a more effective pass rusher attacking the quarterback’s blind side. Either way, Dupree understands he’s still in the “prove it” mode in his career and needs to become more consistent at a position that’s long been a focal point in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 defense.BELL’S BET: There may not be a player in the NFL with more at stake in 2018 than Bell. The 26-year-old believes he’s in a class by himself among running backs and wants to be paid accordingly. He’ll make $14.4 million this season playing under his one-year franchise tender, but thinks he’ll be even more valuable on the open market next spring. Bell shouldn’t lack for opportunities to show he’s worth a massive payday. He led the NFL in touches last season and Tomlin could opt to use him even more extensively knowing he’ll be out the door in the spring.TIGHT SPOT: The Steelers are still trying to find a legit heir to tight end Heath Miller, who quietly stepped away in the spring of 2016. While Jesse James has evolved into a solid complementary player, Vance McDonald is the closest thing to a complete package Pittsburgh has at a vital position. One problem: McDonald has struggled to stay on the field. He missed practically all of camp with a foot injury. The Steelers need him to be a factor in the passing game to help take some of the attention off Brown and second-year wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

News in brief: Terry and Dembele win awards, Musonda wanted by Zambia

first_imgJohn TerryThe Chelsea skipper received the outstanding contribution honour at the London Football Awards. Terry, whose next game will be his 700th appearance for the club, collected the award from former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson.Chelsea’s Willian was shortlisted for the Premier League player of the year, won by West Ham’s Dimitri Payet, while ex-Chelsea man Petr Cech was the London goalkeeper of the year.Moussa DembeleFulham’s 19-year-old forward won the Football League London Player of the Year, pipping team-mate Ross McCormack, Brentford’s Alan Judge and QPR’s Matt Phillips. He failed to win the Young Player of the Year award though, which went to Tottenham’s Dele Alli.BrentfordThe Deaf Sports Plus Project, run by the Bees’ Community Sports Trust, was among the runners-up in the Community Project of the Year category.Eni AlukoThe Chelsea Ladies striker was also honoured at the awards in Battersea, being named the London Women’s Player of the Year. The Blues’ Katie Chapman and Fran Kirby were among those nominated.Aluko was among those to win an awardChelsea LadiesAluko, Kirby, Gilly Flaherty and Karen Carney all featured for England as they were beaten 1-0 by world champions United States in their opening game of the SheBelieves Cup in Tampa.Team-mate Ji So-Yun played for South Korea in their 2-0 defeat by Australia at the Olympic Games qualifying tournament.Charly MusondaThe Chelsea midfielder has been invited to play for Zambia, the birthplace of his parents. The 19-year-old, currently on loan at Real Betis, has played for Belgium from Under-15 to Under-21 level, having been born and brought up in Brussels.However, his father was a Zambia international and the country’s coach George Lwandamina has asked the teenager to join up with the squad for a match against Congo Brazzaville this month.FulhamThe Under-21 game against Arsenal, originally scheduled for Friday 18 March, has been brought forward to Wednesday 9 March. It was due to be played at Craven Cottage but will now kick-off at 7pm at Motspur Park.Oliver SpragueThe Hendon left-back has been named on stand-by for England ‘C’, the non-League representative team, for a match with Ukraine on 22 March.The 22-year-old, who was on the books of both Chelsea and QPR as a youngster, joined the Greens in March 2014 from Northwood.Sir Bradley WigginsThe 35-year-old Olympic champion led the Great Britain team to silver in the team pursuit at the Track Cycling World Championships. They beat Italy to take on Australia in the gold medal match and held a slender lead going into the final 1,000m, but ended up finishing more than a second behind.Middlesex WomenSophia Dunkley, Alex Hartley and Fran Wilson have all been named in the England Women’s Academy squad that travels to Sri Lanka later this month. The trio are in a 15-strong party that will take on Australia Women’s Academy and Sri Lanka Women ‘A’ over six 50-over matches and two T20 games.HarlequinsBoss Conor O’Shea has made five changes to the Quins line-up for Saturday’s Premiership game at Sale Sharks. Tim Visser starts on the wing after returning from international duty, Matt Hopper comes in at centre, Dave Ward and Kyle Sinckler slot into the front row with Nick Easter back at number eight.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Ghosal, Dipika assure India of twin squash medals

first_imgSaurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal assured India of at least two more Asian Games medals after reaching the semi-finals of their respective singles events at the Yeorumul Squash Courts here Sunday.Ghosal entered the men’s singles semis with a 3-1 win over Pakistan’s Nasir Iqbal. The top seeded Ghosal won 11-6, 9-11, 11-2, 11-9 in the quarter-final which lasted 58 minutes.In the women’s singles, Pallikal prevailed 3-2 in a keenly-contested quarter-final against compatriot and doubles partner Joshna Chinappa. She won 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 15-17, 11-9 in an hour and 41 minutes.Ghosal, who is a two-time Asiad bronze medallist, next faces a tougher opponent in 2006 Asiad champion Ong Beng Hee of Malaysia, who defeated Hong Kong’s Au Chun Ming 3-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7) in the other quarter-final.The Indian started the game on a bright note against the 20-year-old Iqbal, winning the first game 11-6. But a few mistakes on Ghosal’s part allowed Iqbal to equalise 1-1 as the World No.16 Indian went down 9-11.However, an unflustered Ghosal brought all his experience to the fore and remained calm to get his rhythm back and won the next two games 11-2 and 11-9 to seal the tie in his favour.Later, World No.12 Dipika defeated her doubles partner Joshna Chinappa, with whom she won India’s maiden squash doubles gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, after dropping the opening game in a pulsating contest.Joshna took the lead with an 11-7 win in the first game but Pallikal bounced back to win the second and third games 11-9 and 11-8. Chinappa restored parity in the fourth, clinching the game 17-15 but Pallikal held her nerve to claim the final game 11-9 to shut the contest.advertisementlast_img read more

The Best Mens College Basketball Teams Just Arent Very Good This Year

If Michigan State were as strong as the average top-rated team, it would win this year’s tournament a shade less than 17 percent of the time, instead of little more than 10 percent. The same goes for Villanova, a likely No. 1 seed currently ranked second by Pomeroy; instead of being expected to win nearly 18 percent of the time, the Wildcats’ low rating limits them to odds below 12 percent. In fact, the collective tournament win probability for Pomeroy’s top 3 teams is about 14 percentage points lower than it would be in a typical season, simply because 2016 has so much parity — the best teams aren’t as good as top teams normally are.Because the NCAA Tournament is a zero-sum game, the rest of the field gains from this lack of top-heaviness. Although pretty much every team ranked No. 4 to No. 25 by Pomeroy benefits some (teams ranked below that don’t really have much of a chance either way), the biggest beneficiaries are positioned in the back half of the top 10 and into the teens: All of this means more teams will have more of a chance this year than in just about any other season in memory. Get ready for one Mad March. March Madness is always rough on favorites. In your typical men’s college basketball season, the statistical favorite goes into the NCAA tourney with only about a 20 percent to 25 percent probability of winning the championship. In other words, even the “best” team is three or four times more likely to lose early than it is to win it all. We can be vaguely confident that one of the top handful of teams will emerge from March’s wreckage unscathed, but that’s about it. Over the past seven seasons, the eventual champ was (on average) the tourney’s seventh- or eighth-most-likely winner beforehand, according to simulations using Ken Pomeroy’s ratings.And this year has the potential for a lot more anarchy than usual. Michigan State is the consensus top team according to a variety of predictive metrics, but that’s not unanimous — there are some solid indicators pointing to Villanova, North Carolina and surging Kansas as well.1The Jayhawks rank first in Jeff Sagarin’s ranking of recent team performance. And if the Spartans truly are the best, they’re one of the weakest top-ranked squads in recent memory. Since Pomeroy began tracking team ratings in the 2001-02 season, only one No. 1 team — the 2005-06 Duke Blue Devils — owned a lower pre-tournament power rating than Michigan State has now. Plus, Sparty might not even earn a No. 1 seed; only 11 of the 77 bracket prognosticators aggregated by Bracket Matrix see the team headlining a region in the NCAA Tournament.This isn’t meant to pick on the Spartans (sorry, Nate!), but it does illustrate that if even the nation’s strongest team has a number of factors limiting its championship odds, it’s going to be an unusually wide-open year for the tournament.To see exactly how much this year figures to depart from the norm, I plugged Pomeroy’s ratings into ESPN’s latest Bracketology projection, calculating each team’s odds of winning the tournament if Selection Sunday goes as Joe Lunardi predicts. Virginia checked in first with a 12 percent probability of winning — significantly lower than the 20 percent to 25 percent chance held by the typical pre-tourney favorite — followed by Villanova at 11.7 percent and Michigan State at 10.4 percent. I then re-simulated the bracket after assigning each team the typical strength connoted by its Pomeroy ranking — i.e., how much better would the top teams’ odds be if they were as strong as in an ordinary season? read more

3 takeaways from Urban Meyers spring practice press conference

OSU coach Urban Meyer during a game against Rutgers on Oct. 24 at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorIt might have lost an unprecedented amount of talent to the NFL draft, but the Ohio State football team has begun to look toward the future as it resumed spring practice this week after taking some time off for spring break.Much of the conversation with OSU coach Urban Meyer on Tuesday was a reflection on the future of the program as it looks to withstand the departure of 16 starting offensive and defensive starters to graduation or early entry into the draft.Here are three key takeaways from the coach’s press conference as the Buckeyes continue to work toward the April 16 spring game.Stability on offenseWhile the Buckeyes might be missing big names like Braxton Miller, running back Ezekiel Elliott and wide receiver Michael Thomas, there is still some returning talent, anchored by redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett and redshirt senior center Pat Elflein.Meyer emphasized the importance of their return, saying a team incorporating new players at those positions has no shot.“The fact that those two guys are back, we have a shot,” he said. “And I think we have a decent chance to be good on offense. And it’s mostly due to those two guys coming back.”Meyer also spoke highly of Barrett’s leadership, saying that he’s one of the best leaders the team has ever had.Joining Barrett and Elflein as the only other returning starter on offense is redshirt junior left guard Billy Price. Some players, such as redshirt junior tight end Marcus Baugh, got their feet wet as backups last season and are set to step in as starters. But other groups, such as wide receiver and the right side of the offensive line, have a lot of questions to be answered before the start of the 2016 season.New players, new pressureWith new faces being pushed into bigger roles, Meyer also spoke to the pressures that will be on those players expected to step up.“We try to put as much pressure on the players now because it’s not fair to put pressure on them in October,” Meyer said.However, he added that the coaching staff can prepare a player as best as it can, but sometimes the player simply cannot handle it once things step up.“There are a lot of great athletes who don’t respond to stress very well,” Meyer said.With only six returning starters, a lot of inexperienced guys will be turned to in an effort to make a name for themselves in the spring. Those names range from true-freshman early enrollees to players who have been on the team for several years, biding their time to step into the spotlight.Confidence at cornerDespite losing star cornerback Eli Apple to the NFL draft, Meyer expressed confidence in his defensive backfield in part because of cornerbacks Gareon Conley, Marshon Lattimore and Denzel Ward.Lattimore, a redshirt sophomore, struggled with a hamstring injury his first two years with the team. Meyer spoke highly of the Cleveland native.“Marshon has to stay healthy, he’s so talented,” Meyer said.Conley is one of the few returning starters for the team, starting all 13 games in 2015 as the No. 2 corner. The redshirt junior knows better than anyone about the importance of putting on a show in preseason practice sessions, as his performances this time a year ago helped cement his status as a starter for a defending national-champion team.Ward, who played in 11 games last season, made seven tackles, including two in the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame. The true sophomore is primed to compete with Lattimore for the starting cornerback spot opposite Conley.Meyer and the Buckeyes will continue their build-up toward OSU’s annual spring game, which is scheduled to kick off at 1:30 p.m. on April 16 at Ohio Stadium. read more

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