“We need to learn from all the mistakes in the Tajikistan game and try to rectify them as much as possible. Individually, as well as collectively, we are all working hard on that. The most important thing is to keep calm and put your head down and work,” he said. “No one else is going to help you, which means we have to pick ourselves up and give a good account of ourselves against DPR Korea to churn out a positive result,” Chhetri said at the match-eve press conference. He said the team was “enjoying” the new style of play based on possession football introduced by head coach Igor Stimac. “The majority of our focus is on keeping the ball. There are a lot of movements and players asking for the ball. Of course, at times, we have to put safety first and we cannot be passing in defense all the time needlessly,” said the country’s most capped player. “Eventually, whether it works or not, only time will tell, but I can say that I am enjoying this style and all the players are enjoying as well. The more we are in sync with the coach, it is better for us and we will back him in all his plans for the team,” he added. Stimac had stated that the Intercontinental Cup was part of the preparation for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers that begin in September. With the team having faced Curacao and Thailand previously at the King’s Cup and now playing Tajikistan, DPR Korea, and Syria, Chhetri stated that playing such opposition will “make the team stronger”. “The level of opposition is really good. I don’t remember the last time we played five countries of this quality together. We might lose some and might win some but these are the games you want to target,” the captain said.”Unless you play these teams, you never know where you stand. We’ll certainly be stronger after these games and they are important if we want to go to the next level.” Chhetri also said these set of games is crucial for the coach to pick his set of first-choice players for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. “The two games in Thailand and three here have been really crucial. We are understanding what the coach wants from us exactly and this tournament is a progression where he is still looking for first 18-23 set of players,” he said. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates After 0-1 loss to Oman, India’s FIFA World Cup hopes almost over FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Super sub Seiminlen Doungel saves India Sunil Chhetri is irreplaceable, says Igor Stimac Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri Friday asked his team-mates to learn from mistakes they made during the previous match and try to rectify them in their must-win game against North Korea in the Intercontinental Cup here. Chhetri, who grabbed a brace in India’s 2-4 loss in the opening game against Tajikistan on July 7, said that the whole team was working hard to bounce back from the defeat and stressed on the importance of keeping calm.Related News
Russia’s two-time Olympic pole-vaulting champion Elena Isinbayeva has claimed that she will not give up training as long as there is any chance that she can take part in the Rio Olympics.In November 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accused Russia of violating anti-doping rules and recommended that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the sports governing body, eliminate all Russian athletes from participating in all contests under its aegis, including the Olympic Games. (RIO 2016 FULL COVERAGE)The IAAF followed the recommendation, voting to remove the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) from participation denting Isinbayeva’s hopes of participation.On July 21, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected an appeal from 68 Russian athletes and the Olympic Committee of Russia. Subsequently, the Russian national team was removed from participation in the Rio Olympics. (Also read: Rio 2016: IOC clears 29 Russian swimmers to compete in the Olympics)On Friday, Isinbayeva made a statement through her Twitter account, suggesting that the true motive for her elimination is her training in Russia.”WADA and IOC don’t have reservations about me,” she said.”IAAF also has no claims against me regarding the doping issue. I’m clean and honest here. My entire career speaks to that. The only obstacle that keeps me from competing at the Olympics is the fact that for the past two years I have been living and training in Russia.”Born in Volgograd, the athlete called the situation in which she has found herself “absurd,” as foreign athletes can train in their homelands, and as she would have to to “leave her country, family and coach” to receive permission to compete in the Olympics. (Also read: Russia calls Narsingh Yadav a cheat, wants him out of Rio Olympics)advertisementIsinbayeva also noted that Russian long-jumper athlete Daria Klishina can take part in the games in Rio, as “she has lived in America for three years.””There’s still no clarity on this issue, there are no answers. I don’t stop training, in hope that this injustice will end soon,” she wrote on her Instagram page, calling the media to help her “to dig down the truth and ask IAAF chief Sebastian Coe the reason,” for her removal from competition.”I don’t want to give up and accept such an unjust and snide decision on me by IAAF! If there’s still a chance to compete in Rio, I want to use it!”
Contenders for the top job at Real Madrid: Antonio Conte, Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino Antonio Conte will win trophy for Inter before Klopp for Liverpool — Surafel ðªð¹ (@Suracfcnews) May 31, 2019 “I’m certain that he’ll help us achieve our objective and fulfil our mission, which has always remained the same: to make this club one of the best in the world again.” Conte was the head coach of Juventus, Internazionale’s bitter rivals, when the Italian powerhouse won three consecutive Serie A titles from 2012-2014, including an unbeaten run in the 2011-2012 season, reports Xinhua news agency. Inter boss Antonio Conte makes a player better: Romelu Lukaku Former Italy national team head coach Antonio Conte will guide Inter Milan in the new season, the club announced on its official website on Friday. “I’m sure that Antonio Conte is one of the best coaches out there,” Inter President Steven Zhang said.Related News ð | OFFICIALAntonio Conte will be Inter’s new Coach!#WelcomeAntonio pic.twitter.com/kFk8tktl7z — Inter (@Inter_en) May 31, 2019 He was assigned as the Italy national team manager in 2014 and led the Azzurri to the quarterfinals of Euro 2016 before he decided to step down and return to club football. The Italian took over Chelsea in 2016 and guided the Blues to the Premier League title with a record 30 league victories but parted ways with the club after Chelsea missed the UEFA Champions League qualification in the 2017-2018 season. “A new chapter in my life is beginning, I’m really excited,” Conte said in a club statement. “I have chosen Inter because of the club it is, because of the project’s sound basis and how ambitious it is. Because of Inter’s history. I was struck by the club’s transparency and the desire to bring Inter back to where it belongs.” The 18-time Serie A champions last won the league title in the 2009-2010 season and finished fourth in the 2018-2019 to book a season in the Champions League next season. Here is how Twitter reacted to Antonio Conte’s signing: OFFICIAL: Antonio #Conte is the new Inter manager. Confirmed! â«ï¸ðµâð» #Inter #transfers #AntonioConte pic.twitter.com/N0ZC6n57ty — Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 31, 2019 Antonio Conte signs three year contract to become Inter Milan manager — Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) May 31, 2019 Antonio Conte was the first manager to win 30 Premier League games in a single season, the first manager to complete a league double vs Pep Guardiola & the first manager to beat José Mourinho in an English domestic cup final.If you’d forgotten how good he was, he’s back. ðµâ«ï¸ pic.twitter.com/ibmVaexrUX — Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 31, 2019 Antonio Conte wants Lukaku to join him at Inter Milan, Manchester United and Inter Milan just need to agree the fee now. — Óing ððℜð (@AbiodunFord) May 31, 2019 Catch up on all the latest IPL News and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates CL: Inter boss Antonio Conte hails ‘gentle giant’ Lukaku on eve of Dortmund clash
Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney could miss Sunday’s League Cup final against Southampton at Wembley after manager Jose Mourinho revealed that the striker was still struggling with a muscle injury.Rooney, United’s all-time top scorer, has not played since the start of February and missed Sunday’s FA Cup fifth-round win over Blackburn Rovers. (No one will beat Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United record, says Sir Alex Ferguson)”I don’t know,” Mourinho told reporters when asked if Rooney would be fit to face Southampton in the final.Mourinho also ruled Rooney and defender Phil Jones out of United’s Europa League last-32 match at St Etienne on Wednesday. United have a 3-0 lead from the first leg of the tie. (Wayne Rooney sets Manchester United scoring record; Manchester City, Tottenham draw)”Rooney is injured. Jones is injured. I don’t think they will recover,” the manager added. “Rooney and Jones haven’t trained with the team yet so I don’t think they will be there for Wednesday.”United, who have won the League Cup four times before, beat Hull City 2-0 at Old Trafford before losing 2-1 away in the semi-final to progress to the final with a 3-2 aggregate score. (Man United captain Rooney justifies benching)Southampton beat Liverpool 1-0 both home and away in the semis to book their first major Wembley final since losing to Nottingham Forest in the 1979 League Cup final.
Has an organization or university offered you an opportunity with a stipend? Whether it’s an internship or apprenticeship, a stipend is a set amount of money that helps offset living expenses. This fixed amount is financial support provided while you’re… Full Story,Truth is, there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to college: new friends, a new routine, (college parties!), and more independence. But along with all these perks, it’s also time to start thinking about your finances…. Full Story,A routing number is a unique number that identifies a specific banking institution. Each routing number is made up of nine digits. Routing numbers are sometimes referred to as an American Banker’s Association routing transit number or an ABA RTN…. Full Story,It’s stressful enough having a car loan over your head and staying on top of your monthly payments. But what if you have an upside-down car loan — in other words, the amount you owe on your set of wheels… Full Story,When you’re trying to get your financial house in order, it’s easy to get lost in the specifics. You might stress about how to adjust your budget, where to find some extra cash for the holidays or what funds to… Full Story,Shortly after graduating from New York University with a Master’s degree, Melanie Lockert turned to food stamps, as she worked her way out of $81,000 in student loans. “There were a lot of emotions around carrying that debt. It caused… Full Story,Traveling is one of the best things in life, and luckily, low funds don’t have to dash your dreams of enjoying an epic adventure. A wealth of destinations—both in the U.S. and abroad—are so affordable that even hardcore penny pinchers… Full Story,While we don’t yet have flying cars that collapse to the size of a suitcase, pneumatic tubes that transport us from room to room or machines that automatically bathe and clothe us in the morning, every day we’re getting closer… Full Story,Times have changed since Grams and Gramps were your age, looking to settle down and buy their first home. But today the house with the white picket fence—or that trendy loft in downtown—isn’t completely out of the question if you… Full Story,We recently hosted a Twitter chat as part of our #RealTalkSeries. And let’s just say, things definitely got real. Many of you joined us to discuss “taboo” and cringe-worthy money questions such as how to improve a bad credit score,… Full Story
Post navigation You’re finally ready to get out of the rental market and buy a home of your own. But how do you know how much house you can afford?Before you head out on your house-hunting adventure, you can easily do those affordability calculations yourself before you officially begin shopping for a mortgage.Here are the top factors lenders typically consider when determining how much house you can afford.Debt-to-income ratioOne of the first factors a lender will analyze is your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI.Lenders use this measurement to ensure that you’ll have enough income to cover both your new mortgage payment and any existing monthly debts such as credit card, auto loan and student loan payments.What is a good debt-to-income ratio? Generally most lenders want your debt-to-income ratio, including your anticipated new monthly mortgage payment, not to exceed 36 percent.The ratio is calculated by taking your total monthly debt load and dividing it by your monthly gross income.What does that mean in dollars and cents? Someone who earns $5,000 per month and carries $500 in monthly debt would have a DTI of 10 percent.This borrower generally could be approved for a maximum monthly mortgage payment of $1,300, including property taxes, homeowners insurance and private mortgage insurance.Someone making the same salary but carrying zero debt generally could be approved for a maximum monthly mortgage payment of $1,800.Credit considerationsThere are several key factors in securing a mortgage loan, and your credit is one of the most important elements.Your credit scores is based on your payment history, overall level of debt, length of credit history, types of credit and applications for new credit.If a traditional lender finds that your credit score falls within an undesirable range or includes unfavorable marks when they check your credit report, they might be leery of approving you for a loan.You may be able to obtain a loan, but you’ll likely pay a higher mortgage rate, which will ultimately result in a higher mortgage payment.Well before you apply for a home mortgage loan, pull your credit report to review where you stand, and research the requirements you need to meet with your desired lender.Understanding your personal credit profile and the lender’s expectations will help you understand the interest rates you likely qualify for and the terms your loan will likely be.Down payment requirementsWith the exception of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans and some special programs for first-time buyers, a home purchase requires that you have some cash on hand.How much? Anywhere from 3.5 percent of the sales price for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan to as much as 20 percent for a conventional loan.Expect to get a better interest rate if you’re able to make a down payment of at least 20 percent.Keep in mind that the down payment amount doesn’t include closing costs, which are fees related to the purchase of the home.Typically, buyers pay between 2 percent and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home in closing costs.The big pictureIf you have less-than-amazing credit, then you may want to consider waiting to purchase a home and making changes in your spending habits to improve your credit score.Many experts suggest before you even consider buying a home, you should be debt-free and have three to six months of expenses saved — in addition to your down payment and closing costs.“Being debt-free or close to it with some money in the bank is optimal,” said Tiffany Kjellander, owner and operations manager of Augusta, NJ-based EXIT Towne & Country Realty.She adds, “It can be tough to hear that it’s not the right time for you to look for a house, but the truth is that getting your financials in order and putting some money in the bank could keep you from losing your home if you get sick or lose your job down the road.”Further, Kjellander advises that potential homeowners think long term.The cost of homeownership extends beyond the monthly payment and includes routine maintenance and repairs, homeowners association dues and additional utilities that you might not have paid while renting.“Just because you’re approved to spend $3,000 per month on a house doesn’t mean you have to go that high,” she said. “Buying a home is a huge financial decision. No one should enter into it blindly.”“How Lenders Determine How Much House You Can Afford” was provided by Zillow.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related8 Ways to Navigate the Student Loan WatersJanuary 10, 2017In “Financial IQ”How to Know If You’re Ready To Buy a HouseJuly 19, 2018In “Housing Finances”How to Save for a HouseJune 10, 2019In “Housing Finances”
Did you know Giving USA reported that in 2018, Americans donated over $410 billion dollars?! It’s around this time of year especiailly that giving back becomes top of mind for many. Whether it’s for a particular occasion or we’re looking… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,Open enrollment season is here! We’re expecting to receive a big packet from human resources with all the options and benefits that our employers’ offer. While I won’t say that this is an exciting thing, we are eager to go over… Full Story,What are some of the biggest lessons you received about money growing up? For me, a few things stand out. We didn’t get too many formal lectures about money, but from time to time, I’d get a lesson sprinkled in here… Full Story,As the year winds down, you may find your spending picks up. With holidays approaching, families may be preparing for trips to see their loved ones or they’re buying gifts. However, if you haven’t been saving beforehand, it can mean… Full Story,While Raleigh is not exactly super close to the beach (we used to have a tiny apartment right across the street from the Chesapeake Bay when we were first married), it’s pretty easy to hop in our car and have… Full Story,How much money are you planning on spending this year during the holidays? For the average American family, it’s a good chunk of change. During the 2017 holiday season, Bank of America found that of those surveyed, they spent on… Full Story,It’s amazing how things change when you have kids. Before kids, weekend getaways and trips were fairly easy. When we needed to take a break, I remember we could look at the calendar and twenty minutes later, have a few… Full Story,How much does your family spend on food? If you’re like most, food is one of your top three expenses (the other two being housing and transportation). While it’s an essential expense for sure, but when digging around those receipts,… Full Story,If you’re a parent, helping your kids avoid or minimize college debt is a goal you’d like to help them tackle. Right now the average price for a public four-year college is $25,290 in-state ($40,940 out of state) while a… Full Story
Desert Trees Are Crucial for Addressing PovertyAround the world, drylands are home to about 2 billion people; 90 percent of them live in developing countries. These are some of the world’s poorest people, many of them small-scale farmers and herders who depend on the natural environment for their food security, livelihoods and sole source of income. For these communities, our “discovery” of these “new” trees using space-age technology just confirms what local people already knew – that trees exist across the drylands and are a vital resource for the people who make their homes there. A single tree in the desert can be a farmer’s source of energy, food and respite – shade from the hot desert sun.Unfortunately, much of the world’s dryland forests have already been lost to deforestation, overgrazing and desertification likely accelerated by climate change. When these trees are lost, their benefits disappear, too. People can no longer harvest them for firewood, livestock no longer have a shady resting place, and soil loses its vitality and blows away in the wind. As the land degrades, people are forced to move, creating refugees and fueling the already serious global migration crisis.However, there are clear opportunities to increase the protection and restoration of dryland forests. This can include planting new trees, protecting existing ones under threat, and allowing seeds and root systems to regenerate naturally by guarding them until they’re hardy enough to survive the teeth of foraging goats and cattle.There is already evidence of how forest restoration and improved land and water management has improved the livelihoods of communities around the world. In Niger, a farmer-managed natural regeneration movement—where farmers protected and managed naturally occurring trees and shrubs alongside agriculture—helped increase crop yields, produce food for livestock, improve household energy supply and increase incomes. In the mid-1980s, these farmers collectively restored roughly 5 million hectares—more than 19,000 square miles—of land with more than 200 million new trees. In Northern Ethiopia, now greener than at any point in the last 145 years, local communities organized to control livestock grazing and wood cutting on degraded plateaus and mountain slopes, allowing vegetation to regenerate. The landscape has been completely transformed, helping farmers increase crop production, secure water supplies and build resilience to drought. Similar success stories are emerging all around the world. New initiatives like the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) have started accelerating restoration by sharing best practices and providing access to restoration finance.Protecting Our New AmazonNow that we know where the trees in the world’s deserts and drylands are, we can better monitor and manage them. And by measuring the benefits that trees in drylands generate, we can encourage others to invest more in these overlooked, rural places. Governments should remove barriers to restoration, for example by making sure farmers have clear legal rights to their land and trees. Businesses can look for opportunities to invest in restoration projects. And we can all do more to support restoration efforts like the Greenbelt Movement, founded by Nobel Prize Winner Wangari Maathai. These efforts could unlock the ability of local communities in drylands to manage their own restoration, pulling themselves out of poverty and fighting climate change along the way.Let’s work together to make the world’s deserts and drylands just a little bit greener. Forest extent in drylands. Reprinted with permission from Bastin et al., Science 356:635 (2017)A Closer Look at the World’s Deserts and DrylandsYou might be surprised to learn that the world’s deserts and drylands are full of trees. Many of us think of these landscapes as an endless expanse of rolling sand dunes or open bushlands. In fact, drylands are a diverse set of landscapes that cover more than 40 percent of the world’s surface, from the plains south of the Sahara to the steppes of Central Asia and the savannahs of Latin America.Dryland forests can be sparse and difficult to monitor, which is likely why the trees weren’t previously discovered. We simply didn’t have the right techniques or adequate satellite power needed to zoom in on small patches of trees. These areas typically don’t receive a lot of attention in global discussions about the environment, but the discovery of these new forests could be hugely important for the people who call them home. This article was originally published in The Mark News.I recently joined a group of scientists in announcing a surprising discovery in Science magazine: There are vast forests in the world’s deserts and drylands—about 1.8 million square miles of them (467 million hectares), an area larger than the size of India!Researchers at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, WRI and several other organizations worked with local experts to examine hundreds of thousands of high-resolution satellite images on Google Earth, painstakingly counting individual trees and shrubs. In the end, we found the equivalent of another Amazon rainforest that we never knew existed.
Like a moth to a flame. Could there be a more perfect analogy for humans’ innate attraction to visuals? I think not. If you agree with me on this, then you can easily understand why visuals have become so important to online marketers’ content strategies, especially when you think about the increased emphasis social networks like Pinterest and Facebook are giving them.Just consider the facts. According to HubSpot’s own research, photos and images on Facebook generate 53% more Likes than the average post. Furthermore, Shareaholic recently reported that Pinterest is now the 4th largest traffic driver worldwide. These stats and more are highlighted in a new infographic from Socially Sorted, which features how the shift toward visual content in social media has developed, as well as six tips businesses can follow to leverage the power of visual content in social media. Check it out …(Click infographic to enlarge.) 8 Tweetable Stats1) 44% of users are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media. (Source: ROI Research) Tweet This Stat2) As of 2012, YouTube now streams 4 billion online videos every day. (Source: Reuters) Tweet This Stat3) In August 2012, Instagram (7,302,000) surpassed Twitter (6,868,000) for daily active mobile users, an 8.5-fold increase in 6 months. (Source: comScore) Tweet This Stat4) Photos and images on Facebook generate 53% more Likes than the average post. (Source: HubSpot) Tweet This Stat5) Pinterest is now the 4th largest traffic driver worldwide. (Source: Shareaholic) Tweet This Stat6) In just 8 months, online photo editor PicMonkey averages 1.6 million visits per day and 4.3 million images edited per day. (Source: PicMonkey) Tweet This Stat7) Over 80% of pins on Pinterest are repins. (Source: RJMetrics) Tweet This Stat8) Engagement from Instagram users is as much as 10 times greater than other platforms. (Source: CEO David Atkinson, SumAll.com) Tweet This StatReady to get moving with visual content? Check out this blog post to learn more about how to incorporate visual content into your various marketing channels. Originally published Dec 19, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social Media Topics:
Topics: Originally published May 8, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Buyer Personas Creating a buyer persona is easy — heck, you probably already have a picture in your head of your company’s ideal customer. But creating an accurate buyer persona is hard. And creating a few different buyer personas — which almost every business will need to do — and deciding which ones to prioritize is even harder.As one college professor liked to tell me, the best way to succeed is to anticipate your mistakes. This applies to everything from love to marketing (which happen to share some eerie similarities). With that in mind, here are some common mistakes to anticipate before you start to craft your buyer personas:Download Our Free Buyer Persona Guide + Templates 1) Relying on Anecdotal Evidence From Your TeamFor marketers, it’s incredibly easy to rely on your team for research when creating buyer personas. Ask the accounts team what current customers are saying, ask the sales team what they’re hearing from prospective customers, have the interns do some online research, and call it a day, right?Not so fast.For starters, your current customers aren’t always the best example of the person who would buy your product today; the pain points of yesteryear aren’t the pain points of 2014. And the pain points of current customers are different than those of someone who’s never worked with you before. While your accounts team should definitely be finding out as much as they can about your current customers’ challenges, that information shouldn’t necessarily be dictating your buyer personas.If you can convince them to work it into their conversations, have your sales reps ask potential buyers questions like, “How did you hear about us?” and “Out of curiosity, why did you choose us over X competitor?” The more information you have, the better, but remember that not all sales reps are likely to dig for the kind of in-depth insights that you need. Instead, you need to get out there and conduct intensive interviews.2) Asking the Wrong QuestionsSince creating a buyer persona is all about crafting an archetype of the types of people who would choose your product, it can be pretty easy to fall down a rabbit hole of irrelevant questions: Where did they go to school? How do they dress? Do they like yogurt? When I was a poor, young journalist moonlighting as a consultant in the ad world, I found this blog post by Adele Revella, author of The Buyer Persona Manifesto, extremely helpful. These are the five insights she suggests pursuing, and I wholeheartedly agree.Priority initiatives: What are the three to five problems or objects that your buyer persona dedicates time, budget, and political capital to?Success factors: What are the tangible or intangible metrics or rewards that the buyer associates with success, such as “grow revenue by X” or a promotion?Perceived barriers: What factors could prompt the buyer to question whether your company and its solution can help with achieving his or her success factors? This is when you begin to uncover unseen factors, such as competing interests, politics, or prior experiences with your company or a similar company.Buying process: What process does this persona follow in exploring and selecting a solution that can overcome the perceived barriers and achieve their success factors?Decision criteria: What aspects of each product will the buyer assess in evaluating the alternative solutions available? To be useful, the decision criteria should include insights both from buyers who chose a competitor and those who decide not to buy a solution at all.3) Only Talking to Recent BuyersPeople who just bought your product are definitely pleasant to talk to; they’re excited and happy and optimistic about your company. Plus, you probably have carte blanche to take them out for drinks. But the people who chose your competitor instead are arguably even more valuable. After all, they are recent buyers — it’s just that they just didn’t buy from you. And as a bonus, you can steal some great competitive insights from those conversations.You also don’t want to just talk to people at the bottom of the funnel. Prospects in the beginning or middle of their purchase journey are incredibly valuable to talk to, as well. After all, as a marketer, reaching top and middle funnel folks is the name of the game.4) Not Talking to Enough PeopleA good buyer persona interview requires a substantial, in-depth conversation, but convincing someone to sit down with you for 20-30 minutes isn’t always easy. That leads a lot of marketers to say “Screw it” and rely on a small sample size.Get a statistically significant amount of data by sweetening the pot. Gift cards work well.5) Letting Your Persona Photo Drive Your InsightsOnce you’ve started to craft your buyer personas, it’s definitely helpful to mine stock photo sites to put a face to a persona — it just helps keep your team on the same page. However, it’s also deceptively easy to start making things up about your buyer persona based off that stock photo; after all, good marketers are good storytellers, and it’s easy to start telling yourself stories about the face you’re staring at all day long.Before choosing a face for your buyer persona, be sure to really flesh out your persona in writing, and return to that text often throughout the process.6) Creating Too Many Buyer PersonasCreating dozens of buyer personas is another tempting fruit in the buyer persona garden; it just feels like you’re being more focused and specific! But usually, you simply don’t need a buyer persona for every potential job title or industry vertical. The distinguishing characteristics are quite often trivial at best and fictional at worst.Instead, group buyers based on the analysis you glean from your interviews; you’ll end up with a clear picture of the handful of people you can target to take your business to the next level.What common buyer persona mistakes do you think marketers should watch out for? Share them in the comments for the greater good! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published May 12, 2016 4:57:00 PM, updated August 02 2017 Email Marketing Campaigns Topics:
“Brands So Popular They Don’t Need to Advertise!” “10 Companies That Don’t Do Marketing!” You’ve seen the headlines, you’ve rolled your eyes, and you’ve probably still clicked through.But, let’s be honest, we all know there is no such thing as a brand that doesn’t advertise.And really, wouldn’t that take some of the fun out of it? We love being wooed by brands. And as marketers, we love figuring out how to woo our audiences. The thing that sets the brands on this list apart is simply how they allocate their marketing dollars.They defy the best practices that most marketers live by today, and it sets them apart and generates buzz because of its inherent uniqueness. So, here are 9 brands that don’t do traditional marketing and what you can learn from each of them.Receive a 12-month marketing plan in less than 10 minutes with the help of our free generator. 9 Brands That Don’t Do Traditional Marketing1) ZaraZara’s first retail fashion store opened in 1975 and, as of 2016, it boasted 2000 stores in 77 countries. They’ve built an empire based on their reputation as a company whose technology and automation allows them to analyze trends and consumer feedback to get fashion from the runway to the racks in a matter of days.Image via: HuffPostThey eschew traditional marketing tactics in a few ways. First, they target men, women, and children in highly populated cities. Second, they produce cheap, fashionable clothing, with a high attention to detail. And third, they only produce a limited number of each piece to create a sense of urgency among their consumers.They’ve also mastered the art of influencer marketing. The Duchess of Cambridge gave the brand a huge international boost when she wore a dress of theirs the day after her wedding to Prince William.The Takeaway for Your Brand?Target your product or service well, don’t be afraid to rely on word of mouth, and foster an influencer channel that is loyal to your brand. Today, you’ll find more traditional marketing channels available to Zara’s fans (think Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook). But the retailer built its empire with well-placed retail, on-trend offerings and some serious word-of-mouth.2) Krispy KremeI know what you’re thinking: “Of course doughnuts don’t need advertising!” Well, Krispy Kreme agrees with you. When asked how they measure ROI in digital, apps, and social, Dwayne Chambers, Chief Marketing Officer at Krispy Kreme said, “The brand was built on word of mouth and we have not been a big spender on traditional media … Everything [we] do with digital has to answer the question ‘how do we engage with our consumers as a brand.”Instead of investing in TV commercials, Chambers says they invest in their employees. “Everybody at the stores is a marketer,” he explains. Every Krispy Kreme employee attends training at Krispy Kreme University. Here, they are taught doughnut making, customer service, and … marketing!Image via: SavannahNowThey also invest in unique, highly visible locations, and always have a large window from the outside into the doughnut making. Another way to “eliminate the barriers between the brand and its customers and an invitation to step in and sample,” says Chambers.The Takeaway for Your Brand?What barriers can you eliminate between your brand and its customers? Start by educating your team on your brand values. It might sound silly to teach your marketers to be marketers, but many times we hone in on metrics instead of who our brand is and how it should be communicating.3) SrirachaThis spicy favorite has been making headlines for years. But the popular hot sauce brand has about 80 followers on Pinterest, and until 2014 they didn’t have a Facebook page or an updated website. Today, you’ll find the Huy Fong Foods brand on most digital media channels, but CEO David Tran insists, “I don’t advertise, because I can’t advertise.”He refuses to save money by importing cheaper chilis (all Sriracha chilis come from a family farm near Los Angeles, CA) or outsourcing production. And his strategy to focus on quality over cost-cutting seems to be working. Bon Appétit named Sriracha the “Ingredient of the Year,” and the company sells more than 20 million bottles of their sauce every year. Sriracha circulated their product amongst Asian chefs, before it caught on with the rest of the world. The brand also get huge boosts from internet influencers. The Oatmeal famously wrote a “love letter” to Sriracha, and the sauce has even spawned cookbooks from chefs like Randy Clemens. The Sriracha name can’t be trademarked because it’s a location in Thailand, and that means anyone can use the logo. Does Tran mind? Of course not. He considers it free advertising.Image via: HuffPostThe Takeaway for Your Brand?Take quality seriously and run with any free advertising you can get (within reason, of course). Also, get your brand in front of the right people early on. Sriracha first, ahem, caught fire with the chefs who knew pepper sauces best. Once they fell in love with the unwavering quality, they were happy to share the sauce with others.4) Trader Joe’sGoogle Trader Joe’s. Go on, do it. You’ll find their website and a Google+ page with one whole follower. That’s right. One of the most popular millennial brands has zero social media presence. What they do have is a business model that speaks to their people. And cookie butter. They have cookie butter.As Behance noted in a recent article, “The ‘Trader Joe’s difference’ is its remarkableness … The sum total of all that is not a branding illusion, but rather a distinctly remarkable Trader Joe’s experience of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that is unique from any other grocery retailer in the U.S. (and obviously in the world).”The one piece of marketing the food brand, owned by Aldi, does produce is The Fearless Flyer. The flyer is a print and online newsletter with a little quippy copy and a whole lot of discounts. It’s a staple for the brand, and the only promotional materials you’re likely to see from them.Image via: Trader Joe’sThe Takeaway for Your Brand?Yes, from the copious samples to the niche snacks you find yourself eating in bed at 11pm, Trader Joe’s has done an enviable job at branding themselves as an affordable, quality food chain.By purchasing directly from suppliers, kicking unpopular items to the curb faster, and foregoing traditional costs like marketing, they’re able to price their products in a range that is seriously affordable and seriously addicting. Don’t be afraid to eschew what’s expected in the marketing world, and take the road less fearlessly flown to create a truly one-of-a-kind customer experience.5) CostcoIn 2015, the United States (and much of the rest of the world) was still clawing its way out of the worst global depression since WWII. It was also the year that Costco became the second largest retail brand in the world. Today, it’s holding on to a respectable spot in the top 10, and they did it all without advertising.Image via: Colombus Business FirstCostco prides itself on not having an advertising strategy, which allows them to reinvest two percent of their annual budget back into the company every year. It also allows them to pay workers an average of $20 an hour, leading to industry-low turnover rates, low prices, and stocks that have nearly tripled in value, resulting in very happy investors.The Takeaway for Your Brand?Consider a membership over marketing if it’s right for your company. Costco’s membership simultaneously creates FOMO, while offering clear value and exclusivity. With a more than 90% renewal rate, it’s clear their business model is working.Are there ways you could create urgency for your customers to make a purchase? A membership provides you with a built in channel of qualified leads with which you can share exclusive discounts and offers, and expect a higher conversion rate in return. 6) Kiehl’sIs consumer experience the most effective form of marketing? That’s what cosmetic company Kiehl’s has long held as truth. “The key is to recognize that in terms of brand equity, all that really matters is that the customer develops a positive image,” says Dartmouth marketing professor Kevin Keller. “Experience or word of mouth is probably the best way to do that, he continues.”Image via: OgilvyKiehl’s created an unforgettable customer experience by offering extensive samples to customers, which gives way to lower-pressure sales. The skin- and hair-care company built a brand name for itself by offering a 100% money-back guarantee, staffing more than twice the industry average, and offering free consultations.This attention to detail is what has contributed to more than 150 years as a successful brand. The company even maintained its “no-advertising” style even after it was acquired by L’Oreal. A move that garnered them more — you guessed it — free advertising.The Takeaway for Your Brand?Today, Kiehl’s runs big-budget marketing campaigns like the rest of us. But it’s noteworthy that they were able to thrive for so long without one. While you may be tempted to go with that big “Send a 3D version of Your Face into Space” campaign idea, remember that it’s sometimes the attention to your customer’s experience that contributes to a legacy brand.7) SpanxSome of you may be thinking, “This is all great, but what if I just can’t afford to run advertising campaigns?” I hear you, and so does Spanx founder Sara Blakely. When Blakely started her undergarment brand, she didn’t run marketing spots because she couldn’t afford to. She also grew her billion-dollar brand without any help from outside investments or debt.Blakely told Forbes, “The power of women discovering the brand from other women was actually a better strategy. The aunt telling her niece; one woman to a college friend. There’s something about saying, ‘look, feel my back, no lines,’ that’s powerful.” Image via: Neiman MarcusThe Takeaway for Your Brand?Word of mouth is an admirable strategy, but sometimes it’s not enough to support your business. By combining word-of-mouth marketing with an influencer focus, Blakely and Goldman’s duel-punch strategy focused on developing their relationship with everyday users as well as celebrities. Do a gut check on your marketing or brand strategy to see if you’re paying less attention to one than the other, and try a more balanced approach for a bigger impact moving forward.8) LululemonOk, ok, I know that Lululemon just announced they were launching their first-ever advertising campaign. But let’s look back at a simpler time. In 2016, Lululemon reported that 90% of their business transactions take place at full price.That’s a huge percentage, and it shows that Lululemon has created high brand value for itself. But just how did they do it without advertising for the first nearly two decades? In CEO Laurent Potdevin’s own words, “People ask us ‘Why don’t you do more traditional marketing?’ And we say, ‘Why would we?’”Image via: HuffPostFor years, they relied on the word-of-mouth, grassroots efforts rooted in how much their customers loved their product. Those poster-themed, inspirational tote bags you still see everywhere, the (mostly) friendly staff, and the conversion of stores into hubs for classes and community events all contributed to the brand’s rapid growth and popularity. But with even faster expansion of the athleisure industry, Lululemon finally threw in the $38 towel and announced in March of 2017 that they would be devoting more resources to traditional marketing.The Takeaway for Your Brand?Don’t be afraid to pivot. Even the most successful marketing strategies can grow stale. Lululemon was smart to spot competition creeping in and be open to expanding upon their impressive community-driven efforts. Don’t wait until you’re too far behind to catch up. Stay on top of industry and niche growth, and pivot your marketing efforts accordingly — even if that pivot is creating a marketing strategy for the first time ever.9) GoProThis high-def camera company is another brand that dabbles in traditional marketing these days. But that’s not how they built their now-legendary social media following. Instead of the product, the end result is featured most prominently in GoPro’s videos. Their Instagram account is primarily user-generated content and boasts more than 12 million followers.But it’s their YouTube account that really sets this camera company apart. A steady stream of engaging, thrilling content has fostered a community of nearly 5 million subscribers. Those are people who find enough value in GoPro’s content that they subscribe to GoPro’s YouTube channel so that they never miss a post.The Takeaway for Your Brand?It’s easy to think your company can’t invest in video until you actually have budget to invest. Jump into marketing’s biggest trend by sourcing user generated content, or grab your iPhone to film your boss introducing your latest eBook. Video can be a powerful way to build your audience and bring interest to your marketing efforts. Don’t wait until tomorrow to set your marketing on fire.Is There Such Thing As Traditional Marketing Today?Think big, think small, but please, think outside the box. These brands all have a few things in common. They’ve honed in on a pertinent user pain point, need, or want, and met those needs with either superb quality or the right price. These brands have also let their product or service do a bit of the talking.We’re always told that we need to loosen our grip on life a bit (Just me? Ok, cool.), maybe these brands are a good reminder that it’s alright to loosen the grip on our marketing efforts a little too. Topics: Branding Originally published Jul 17, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated October 07 2019 Don’t forget to share this post!
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said he would not risk an unfit Lionel Messi in Friday’s La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao and continued to be non committal about Neymar re-joining the club from Paris St Germain.Barca’s all-time top scorer and captain Messi injured his calf in training before his side’s brief pre-season tour of the United States and has not yet returned to full training a day before his side visit Athletic.Videos emerged on Thursday of the Argentine getting up to speed in individual training sessions on sand but Valverde said there was no chance he would gamble with Messi’s fitness.”We never like to risk any players and much less someone like Leo,” Valverde told a news conference on Thursday.”He still hasn’t returned to training with the team and while we are happy with his progress, individual training is very different to playing a match. We are going to wait and see.”Barca have spent over 200 million euros on signings including Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann but continue to be linked with a second swoop for Neymar, two years after he left the Catalans for PSG for a world record 222 million euros ($246 million).Valverde refused to answer questions about the club’s interest in Neymar and lamented the fact that the Spanish transfer window does not shut before the season starts, as it does in England.”It’s inconvenient and it’s not logical. The normal thing would be that the team you start with is the same one that will compete for the whole season,” Valverde said.advertisement”Now we have two weeks until the transfer window shuts and you can’t breathe easily until then. I’m very happy with the squad I have at the moment but I don’t know what will happen next.””I am far removed from transfers and I’m focusing on the players I have for our first game,” he added.”Neymar belongs to PSG and we’ll see what happens but I can’t say anything more about him.”Barca’s game in Bilbao was only confirmed last Friday after a court case was settled between the league’s organising body and the Spanish football federation over scheduling games outside of the weekend.Valverde criticised the two bodies for their handling of the situation.”It seems incredible to me that the war over the match days and schedules was not solved before hand, the image of the league and federation has been damaged as a result,” he added.Also Read | Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo nominated for UEFA Player of the Year AwardAlso Read | Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi out of U.S. tour with calf strainAlso See
Four Indian boxers will hunt a quarter-final berth as the pre-quarter-final action begins on Tuesday at the AIBA Men’s World Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Leading the charge will be Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal (52 kg) as he seeks his first medal from the World Championships.The Asian champion, seeded second at this tournament, will hope to sail into the last-eight when he takes on Turkey’s Batuhan Citfci.In an attempt to reach the quarter-finals of the world event for the second consecutive edition, Asian Championships silver medallist Kavinder Singh Bisht (57 kg) will lock horns with Finland’s Arslan Khataev. The fifth seed had made a splash the last time when he knocked out two-time World Championships medallist Mohamed Flissi of Algeria on his way to the quarter-finals, and will hope to keep that run going this time.Also in contention for a spot in the last-eight stage will be Manish Kaushik (63 kg) and Sanjeet (91 kg). While Manish will face Mongolia’s fourth seed Chinzorig Baatarsukh, Sanjeet will take on Uzbekistan’s second seed Sanjar Tursunov, whom he had got the better of at the 2018 India Open.Meanwhile, on Monday, India’s Duryodhan Singh Negi (69 kg) bowed out of the championships as he lost to Jordan’s sixth seed Zeyad Eashash 1-4 in the second round.The former national champion was slow on the foot and a lack of aggression early on in the bout cost him dearly. He did try to recover some of the lost ground by injecting more power into his punches, as evident in the final round, but it was not enough as the Jordanian pugilist managed to edge him.advertisementIn the first round, Negi had to work hard to achieve a 4-1 victory over Armenia’s Koryun Astoyan in his maiden appearance at this prestigious event.The 33-year-old is the third Indian boxer to crash out of the championships following losses suffered by Brijesh Yadav (81kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg). While Brijesh went down to Malkan Bayram of Turkey 1-4, Ashish Kumar succumbed to China’s Tanglathian Tuohetaerbieke 2-3 in his opening bout.Also Read | World champion PV Sindhu looks to maintain dominance in China Open testAlso See:
Transfers Liverpool January transfer news LIVE: Suarez set for shock Liverpool return? Goal Last updated 1 year ago 20:04 1/6/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Transfers Liverpool Premier League Goal brings you all the latest news, rumours and deals related to the Reds as the January transfer window heats up Suarez in shock Liverpool return?Barcelona may be nearing a move for Philippe Coutinho, but Liverpool could use some of the funds from the Brazilian’s sale to make a move for Luis Suarez, according to Don Balon. The Reds are set to net around €160 million from Coutinho’s move to Barcelona, and could be tempted to turn around and spend some of those funds on their former striker. Though Suarez is happy at Barca, Coutinho’s arrival along with Ousmane Dembele’s return from injury and a potential summer move for Antoine Griezmann could push the Uruguayan out of the line-up. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Coutinho deal will be €120m fee + €40mBarcelona will sign Philippe Coutinho for a €120 million up-front fee in January with €40m of potential bonuses included in the deal with Liverpool, according to Sport.At least €10m will be easy clauses for Coutinho to meet at Camp Nou, while the other €30m depends on the Brazilian’s performances and Barcelona’s achievements.The €160m deal would make Coutinho the third-most expensive player of all-time behind Paris Saint-Germain pair Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.Liverpool line up Mahrez as Lemar contingencyLiverpool will turn to Riyad Mahrez if they can’t sign Thomas Lemar to replace Philippe Coutinho, according to The Independent .The Reds are bracing for Coutinho’s departure for Barcelona, and have identified Lemar as a top option to replace the Brazilian. Monaco turned down a £75m bid from Liverpool for Lemar in the summer and if the France international’s price is too high, the Reds will move for the Leicester City midfielder instead. Real Madrid set to bid for SalahMohamed Salah’s early-season success with Liverpool has led to interest from Real Madrid, OK Diario reports. Zinedine Zidane’s men have misfired offensively this season and are looking for solutions in front of goal, with the Egypt star touted as a possibility after an explosive beginning to life at Anfield.Madrid are aware that a deal during January will be complicated but are set to return in the summer.Coutinho to PAY to join BarcelonaPhilippe Coutinho is ready to pay €15m from his own pocket to allow his move from Liverpool to Barcelona to take place, Mundo Deportivo reports.The Brazil star has already turned down more lucrative bids from Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, but has his heart set on moving to Camp Nou.Liverpool have recently bumped the price of their star player up following a leaked Nike advert showing the 25-year-old as a Barca player – and Coutinho is ready to pay the difference himself.Liverpool target’s release clause to rise to €100mSporting Lisbon want to increase the release clause of Liverpool target Gelson Martins to €100 million, reports Record .Martins has been linked with a move to Liverpool as a potential replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who is edging nearer to a move to Barcelona .Winger Martins has enjoyed an impressive season for Sporting and club president Bruno de Carvalho is looking to raise his release clause from €60m to €100m.Can picks Juventus moveEmre Can will be moving from Liverpool to Juventus, but not until June, reports Gianluca Di Marzio .The midfielder will sign with the Italian side once he is permitted to, and it remains to be seen if the club will be willing to let him go in the winter window now that they know he’s chosen to leave. Klopp: Coutinho saga not a distractionJurgen Klopp does not think that the drama around Barcelona’s chase of Philippe Coutinho is a distraction for his side. Liverpool face a Merseyside derby in the FA Cup on Friday, but the German boss believes his players will not be focused on matters away from the pitch, despite news that Barcelona are nearing a record transfer for the Brazilian . Read the full story on Goal! Morata sends Coutinho warning to MadridReal Madrid have been warned of the threat a Barcelona deal for Philippe Coutinho would offer by none other than former Blancos’ striker Alvaro Morata, claims Diario Gol . According to the Spanish outlet, the former Madrid striker has sent a firm warning to his old club that the Brazilian would be a perfect fit for their rivals, and that Barcelona landing him would lead to improved performances for both Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi. The report claims that Morata’s first-hand experience against Coutinho has wowed him, and he fears a move to Barcelona will make the Catalans, who are already 11 points clear in La Liga, even more dominant.
Oklahoma State has a big weekend on hand with a number of big-time prospects making the trip to Stillwater to see the Pokes face No. 22 Texas for an early game matchup.Here’s a list of some of the prospects expected to be in attendance:Darrell Simpson – 2018 Justin Northwest offensive tackleSimpson is a five-star prospect with an incredible 6-7, 320-lbs frame. Oklahoma State offered last year and has been in the mix since, and he would be a game-changer for any team looking to bolster their offensive line. He has offers from all the top schools around here including Ohio State, and he could be a day-one starter.Spencer Sanders – 2018 Denton Ryan QBSanders is one of several QB’s expected to be on campus this weekend. The Denton Ryan standout is a four-star recruit with 13 offers including Texas A&M, South Carolina, Ole Miss and others.Casey Thompson – 2018 Southmoore QBThompson, the younger brother of former OU quarterback Kendal Thompson, is one of the highest rated recruits on campus this weekend. He already holds an offer from OSU, and could become the centerpiece of a recruiting class wherever he elects to go to school.Grant Gunnell – 2019 St. Pius QBGunnell is a 2019 QB who could be the top overall prospect in the 2019 class. With offers from Florida State, OSU, and several others.Brendon Evers – 2017 DT commit from BixbyEvers is one of several committed prospects who will be on campus today.Shamond Greenwood – 2017 WR commit from Lakeview CentennialGreenwood is one of the unheralded recruits of the 2017 class but he could be the next OSU great at wide receiver. He has the size at 6-foot-3 and the explosiveness to grow into a really productive Div. I prospect.Damion Daniels – 2018 DTDaniels is an elite defensive tackle recruit from Bishop Dunne and the younger brother of Darrion. To be honest, Damion is a longshot even though he holds an offer from OSU. He has already released a list of his top schools and included Texas, Colorado and Texas A&M among them, but OSU is on the outside looking in.Caden Sterns – 2018 DBSterns is another younger brother who will be on campus, the younger of Jordan Sterns. Caden is a receiver/defensive back who has an offer, and is still considering OSU. It’s a good opportunity for him to watch his brother show out and see a glimpse of his potential next school: He’s looking hard at both OSU and Texas.Thabo Mwaniki – 2017 DB commit from Denton GuyerMwaniki was one of several recent commits and another sleeper prospect from Denton Guyer. He’s a versatile athlete/safety/cornerback and will likely translate at cornerback at the next level.Owen Condon – 2018 OL (OKC)Condon doesn’t hold an offer from OSU, but he likely will soon. He’s a rising offensive line prospect from Bishop McGuinness in OKC.Marcus Hicks – 2019 DEHicks is a 2019 prospect from Kansas who is already an elite athlete who will play at defensive end at the next level, and already has the size and frame to potentially be one of the best in the country by the time he’s a senior.On my way to the OSU game today #GoPokes @TheOkiePokie pic.twitter.com/ASJtl5fZA9— Marcus Hicks (@harcus_micks) October 1, 2016 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.
I wanted to gauge everyone’s optimism on OSU winning the Big 12 in a different way this week: By gauging what record everyone thinks will win the Big 12. For the past five years, it has been 8-1 every year. Here’s a look at all five of those final standings. Like I noted last week, OSU has played on the final weekend of the season three times in the last five years to win the Big 12 title. That’s astonishing. Could this year be 2013 all over again where you lost a game you shouldn’t have on the road and still end up playing for all the conference marbles on December 3? Most of you think OSU could even lose another game and still have a chance.The issue for me here is I’m having a hard time coming up with two losses for OU. Their record is not great, but UH and Ohio State are great which is precisely why the 2-2 exists. They do have defensive issues, but who doesn’t? I’ve gone back and forth between 7-2 and 8-1 a lot, but I guess I’ll go with the majority here and say 7-2 which means OSU really could be playing again for the Big 12 title in the last game of the season.Your thoughts and comments below.Tuesday poll question … What will the conference record of the Big 12 winner be?— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) October 4, 2016Mark: I say 7-2. The conference stinks in relation to other conferences, but there is significant parity within the conference. It’s a shame to see the Big 12 devolve like it has, but it does make for some nail-biting football.Jerry: Possible 8-1, realistically 7-2. And hope not 6-3. My gut is if our O-line keeps improving with the defense putting in more time tweaking loose spots a little more. We can win out.Brad: I think OU is going to win the league at 8-1 (9-3). There defense may have issues but that offense is going to be a nightmare.Tre: I think OU will drop one to either Baylor or West Virginia. We can win out. I say we end up having another de facto championship Bedlam game. Good for both state schools and shows yet again the strength of the league is in the state of Oklahoma where it should be. 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.
Here at Pistols Firing, we use Slack to communicate back and forth. Sometimes this is constructive. Other times we riff for 20 minutes on Mike Gundy’s golf game. We’re going to try and do an informal roundtable every Wednesday about whatever is going on this week and post it here.It’s going to be pretty slangy and GIF-y and not meant to be anything serious. We’re just here to talk about OSU the way we all do in real life. If you need to brush up on any of the contributors, you can do so here.Kyle Porter (Publisher): Who has been the most surprisingly good player for OSU this season?Thomas Fleming (Xs and Os): Cole Walterscheid and Devante Averette. No one knew who Walterscheid was before this season and he has exploded onto the scene. And Averette was primarily a special teams guy but has really played well at LB.Carson Cunningham (Podcasting): Chris Lacy. He’s really making up for the loss of Ateman. Never heard him talk.Justin Southwell (Chief Uni Officer): I think it has to be Justice Hill. Our running game has improved from last year. We can chalk that up to a freshman running back. We expected the RBs to be better this year, but I wouldn’t have thought it was because of Hill. It’s surprising but even more exciting.Sam Aldrich (Head of Hoops): A second for Justice Hill. I can’t believe a true freshman 3-star has completely changed the running game. Where would our offense be without him?Porter: I’m going Matt Ammendola. OSU’s touchback percentage has risen from 23 percent to 30 percent and OSU already has more than half as many touchbacks this season as last. He’s three yards better than Benny G. on kickoffs this year which you know Gundy loves.Caleb Deck (Intern): I agree with Lacy, also Jhajuan Seales has surprised me. I mean, we’ve had high hopes for Seales in the past, but he has struggled to live up to it. He was a 2-star coming out of high school I believe and he showed flashes his freshman year but his off-field issues have hampered him and I have been down on his potential. He already has as many catches and TDs as his entire season last year and only 40 less yards, which he will probably surpass by halftime next game.Kyle Boone (Head of Recruiting): I like Justice Hill. I was riding the train 11 months ago. I had a feeling he was going to be a good player, but I really didn’t expect him to take over the No. 1 spot like he has. He’s by far OSU’s best option at tailback, and like Carson mentioned, he’s the elixir of the running game. It’s pretty amazing.Carson: Why did Gundy hold kick-off tryouts with Ammendola standing on the sideline? He’s been impressive. He must’ve heard him talk.Aldrich: He must have overslept his 8:30 org. chemistry class and word got around.Porter: Been there! We won’t do specific players for this next question, but what position has been surprisingly bad?Aldrich: Cornerbacks, no hesitation. Just abysmal.Fleming: Secondary. By far the worst in my opinion.Caleb: Definitely corners. Big plays have been killer and I don’t think that reflects on the safeties as heavily as it does on cornerbacks.Fleming: Safeties have been pretty good, but yeah corners are not very good. And they play off almost too often. Frequently Gave UT easy yards on curl attachments.Boone: The cornerbacks specifically. They’ve been undisciplined but also has a lot to do with the coverages they’ve been assigned. OSU provided more safety help last game which limited the big plays, somewhat. Still, the cornerbacks have been a little less productive than what we’ve come to expect.Porter: I have been mildly frustrated with the linebackers at times because it often feels like the middle of the field is wide open. However, that might be a scheme issue. It’s corners for me as well. OSU is No. 123 in the nation in long pass plays (30+ yards) given up. Only Florida State (!!!!!!) and Rice are worse.Boone: Caleb: Yeah, linebackers have confused me this year. It has seemed a bit porous at times but I think it’s scheme as opposed to talent. Each guy has been productive and impressive individually, just seems to be off as a whole .Southwell: I understand that the Big 12 is going to have good quarterbacks, and they’re going to score a lot of points. But I’d love to see the DBs challenge that more than what we’ve seen. It can be done.Porter: Lastly, who ends up with a better overall career between Joe Randle and Justice Hill?Boone: Porter: ?Southwell: Justice Hill is off to a great start. If he stays all four years, then it’s game over.Aldrich: 40 TDs for Randle his Soph/Junior years is pretty tough to beat. But if he stays all four years.. #JusticeForAllFleming: Yeah if he is a four-year guy he’ll leave as one of the best in recent memory. Plus with the backs they’re getting next year they’ll have one of the best RB position groups in the conference.Carson: *searches for gavel emoji* Randle only played three years but was incredibly productive. Long ways to go but Hill’s off to a fantastic start.Caleb: I love Hill but I think the amazing incoming talent could become an issue for his stat line. He may end up splitting time with Brown, Hubbard, King and who knows who else could be coming in that time (Kyle B. probably knows….). I definitely think he has the talent to do it, but he could end up sharing more than Randle had to.Carson: Randle was a really good receiver, too. Gundy said he had the best hands on the team as a freshman. Nearly 1,000 career receiving yards. Motion to call Justice “The Gavel.”Boone: Second. ✌️Porter: That’s pretty strong.Southwell: 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 photo might be even better.[USATSI]According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Brown is trying to nab the backup point guard role to Kyrie Irving along with Kay Felder, Jordan McRae and DeAndre Liggins. Apparently Brown is the least likely to make the team at this point as he is not even mentioned in this recent article about final roster spots for the Cavs.The Cavs deep thinkers, assuming J.R. Smith signs a new contract before the start of the regular season Oct. 25, see a four-man race between Jordan McRae, DeAndre Liggins, Dahntay Jones, and Toney Douglas for the 14th and 15th slots on the roster. Rookie Kay Felder, a backup point guard, is going to make the team, as is veteran James Jones. Markel Brown has joined the world champs this preseason to fill out a roster and hopefully somehow sneak onto the squad for the regular season. He made his presence known this week in a preseason game against the 76ers with this insane breakaway jam.Markel Brown with the SLAM! ✈️ #NBApreseason https://t.co/7tBTkfylqx— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 9, 2016 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.