FRANCH.TEAMCOMP. ELOWON WS?RANK AMONG BEST TEAMS EVER –OAK1916Philadelphia Athletics14025 –TB2002Tampa Bay Devil Rays144296 –LAD1953Brooklyn Dodgers158640 –CHC1962Chicago Cubs144194 GRAPHIC: We calculated Elo ratings after every game in MLB history — more than 400,000 ratings in total. Explore every team’s history » –KC2005Kansas City Royals143771 –BOS1912Boston Red Sox1584✓46 –ATL1911Boston Rustlers14149 –MIN1904Washington Senators13871 The 1939 Yankees and 1906 Cubs are in a league of their own, more than 10 Elo points ahead of the other franchises. The Marlins have only been around since 1993, but it’s still sort of sad that their best team ever (World Series champions no less!) is just the 601st-best team ever. The Colorado Rockies, a franchise that was also born in 1993, are about as sad, but without the World Series rings. The San Diego Padres have had a much longer commitment to mediocrity; the franchise’s best team in its 47 seasons of existence comes in at No. 480. Fans of the Braves, Dodgers, Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox, Twins and Phillies may also be disappointed by their team’s position in this list. All seven franchises go back to 1903, but none of their teams in the last 113 seasons have come close to cracking the top 25.But great seasons aren’t the only way to be an exceptional baseball team. Here’s every MLB franchise’s worst squad ever: –PHI1942Philadelphia Phillies14004 After the Yankees dynasty declined, MLB’s best teams started to be a lot less good. The 1960s were understandably weak — with just two teams in the Elo top 100 — because MLB expanded by eight teams during this span. The 1980s don’t have the same excuse, and the decade’s best squad — the 1986 Mets — rates as only the 62nd-best team ever. The first six seasons of the 2010s were similarly middling; of the teams from those years, the 2011 Phillies rank the highest on the all-time list, at No. 76. –TEX2011Texas Rangers1568141 –COL2007Colorado Rockies1537596 –TOR2015Toronto Blue Jays1565161 –TOR1979Toronto Blue Jays141922 –ATL1998Atlanta Braves158642 –OAK1911Philadelphia Athletics1607✓7 –MIL1969Seattle Pilots1443✓103 –SEA2001Seattle Mariners159034 –CHW1917Chicago White Sox1579✓68 –PIT1953Pittsburgh Pirates141819 –KC1977Kansas City Royals1560213 –SF1905New York Giants1601✓13 –DET1935Detroit Tigers1585✓43 –MIA1993Florida Marlins1449✓146 –CHC1906Chicago Cubs16202 –COL1993Colorado Rockies1444✓105 –CLE1915Cleveland Indians1451156 –ARI2002Arizona Diamondbacks1564166 –HOU1998Houston Astros1572110 –STL1908St. Louis Cardinals143251 –MIN1933Washington Senators157774 –MIL1982Milwaukee Brewers1558246 –ARI2004Arizona Diamondbacks1449143 Every MLB franchise’s worst season, 1903-2015 * 1994 World Series was not played Although that Philadelphia team lost in the division series, it still rates as the best Phillies squad in history. Here’s every franchise’s best team ever: –NYM1986New York Mets1580✓62 FRANCH.TEAMCOMP. ELO1ST YEAR?RANK AMONG WORST TEAMS EVER –DET2003Detroit Tigers13972 –NYM1962New York Mets1398✓3 One hundred and 10 years ago, the Chicago Cubs ended the regular season with a 116-36 record. That .763 winning percentage is the best in modern baseball history by a comfortable margin, but the Cubs went on to drop the World Series to the White Sox in six games. Might they still be the greatest team in baseball history?We recently calculated historical Elo ratings for every team after every game as part of our Complete History Of MLB interactive graphic. (We’ve done the same for the NBA and NFL.) Elo ratings are one of our preferred metrics at FiveThirtyEight, because their simple inputs make them useful for comparing the relative strengths of teams across the entire history of a league. We can also use Elo to calculate season ratings for every MLB team since 1903, when the first modern World Series was played.1Our interactive goes back a little further, to 1871. The quality of 19th-century baseball teams was pretty uneven — meaning the top teams from that time would dominate historical rankings — so to focus on more recognizable franchises, this piece is looking only at seasons since 1903. We arrived at an overall season rating — what the table below calls “composite” Elo — by blending each team’s peak, average and final Elo for each season. This lets us take into account a team’s highest level of performance, its sustained performance throughout the season and, broadly, how well it did in the postseason.2Elo ratings are carried over from season to season, which means that most of a team’s rating at the start of a season is based on its previous season. This is useful when trying to estimate a team’s quality early on, but for assessing individual seasons, it unfairly dings teams that rose to greatness after a terrible year. For our season calculations, “average” and “peak” Elo calculations start at game 40.So who comes out on top? The 1906 Cubs have the highest peak Elo, but because of their World Series loss, they rate as the second-best team since 1903, behind the 1939 New York Yankees. We ranked all 2,374 team-seasons from 1903 to 2015 — you can explore them below: –CIN1934Cincinnati Reds143669 –PIT1909Pittsburgh Pirates1609✓4 Every MLB franchise’s best season, 1903-2015 –BAL1911St. Louis Browns141715 –NYY1908New York Highlanders1449136 –WSH1994Montreal Expos1561*208 –SD1969San Diego Padres1419✓23 –WSH1969Montreal Expos1421✓25 Our Elo ratings find that the league was a bit more top-heavy in its earlier decades. If you scan through the top of the list, you’ll notice that most of the best seasons since 1903 happened more than 50 years ago — in fact, 71 of the 100 best seasons fall before 1960. The New York Yankees’ insane dominance in the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s is responsible for a lot of this imbalance. Twenty-five of the 100 best seasons are Yankees seasons from those decades: –BOS1932Boston Red Sox141412 –LAA1969California Angels1464279 –LAD1905Brooklyn Superbas143146 –HOU2013Houston Astros142535 –SD1998San Diego Padres1543480 –SEA1978Seattle Mariners142940 –CLE1954Cleveland Indians159424 –CHW1932Chicago White Sox143561 –PHI2011Philadelphia Phillies157776 –STL1942St. Louis Cardinals1605✓8 –SF1985San Francisco Giants1461251 –TB2012Tampa Bay Rays1558237 –MIA2003Florida Marlins1537✓601 –CIN1976Cincinnati Reds1595✓23 –LAA2002Anaheim Angels1576✓81 –BAL1970Baltimore Orioles1600✓19 –TEX1973Texas Rangers143144 –NYY1939New York Yankees1623✓1 The 2003 Detroit Tigers lost 119 games, winning five of their last six to avoid the 120-loss modern record set by the 1962 Mets in their first season as a franchise. Elo isn’t fooled, though — the 2003 Tigers had a slightly worse run differential than the 1962 Mets and have a slightly lower rating here. The 1904 Washington Senators, now the Twins, were even more terrible according to Elo, going 38-113 (the equivalent of a 121-loss modern 162-game season). Angels fans probably don’t look back on the 91-loss 1969 season too fondly, but, compared with the other franchises’ lousiest seasons ever, it’s not a bad low point, ranking just 279th-worst.So what will come in 2016? The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds have had a rough start and could make a run at new Elo lows for their franchises. But the real team to watch is the Chicago Cubs, who have started the season at 24-6 with an incredible +102 run differential. It’s a hard pace to keep up, but if they do, the Cubs could make a run at becoming one of the greatest teams of all time.See the complete history of every MLB team.Check out our latest MLB predictions.
With the NBA playoffs right around the corner, teams like the New York Knicks are faced with an intriguing question right before the playoffs—the Heat or the Bulls?Neither alternative is encouraging for a team that will finish just a few games above .500.There was a slight possibility that the Knicks could finish 6th in the Eastern Conference Division and avoid those two powerhouses by playing the Indiana Pacers, but that hope was crushed when Orlando hung on for a close win against the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday.If the Knicks win against the Charlotte Bobcats, or the Philadelphia 76ers lose to the Detroit Pistons, New York will finish with the 7th seed and face off against the Miami Heat and the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. With an overall record of 46-19, the Heat swept the Knicks in their three regular season matchups.So should they hope to play the Bulls? Not really. Against the conference-leading Bulls, the Knicks also were swept during the season.Of late, the Knicks have been on an impressive roll, winning 16 of the last 20 games. Carmelo Anthony has been a big part of the Knicks’ momentum, averaging 22.6 points per game.“It doesn’t matter who we play, we just have to be prepared,” Anthony said.But he’s supposed to say that—it’s one of the game’s oldest clichés.Anthony does finally have his big man back—Amar’e Stoudemire, averaging 17.4 points and 7.9 rebounds, is back in the rotation. The Knicks also have shooting weapons Steve Novak and J.R. Smith coming off the bench, so maybe their plight isn’t so hopeless.If anyone should get credit for the Knick surge, perhaps it’s Coach Mike Woodson. Before Mike D’Antoni was replaced with Woodson as the head coach, it was certain that the Knicks weren’t going to the playoffs. Under D’Antoni, the Knicks’ record was 18-24. But the team seems to have a lot more energy and passion under Woodson, who has taken their overall record to 35-30.So it’s either the Heat or the Bulls for the team from the Big Apple. Either way, the odds are pointing to an early exit for Carmelo and Amar’e.
Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins arrived in the majors on August 10. By August 27, he had 11 home runs, including eight in nine days, and was already being declared the savior of the franchise. But we had seen this story unfold once already this summer. In late April, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger arrived in Chavez Ravine, where he started hitting dingers at a historic rate and basically never stopped.This isn’t supposed to happen in MLB. Call-ups from the minors often look overwhelmed and out of sorts when facing big league pitching for the first time — if not immediately, then at least at some point in their first month. But that’s not the case this season. Rookies are contending for MVP awards, young hitters across the league are mashing at a ridiculous rate and minor league prospects aren’t missing a beat when earning a first-time call-up.There’s evidence that this is not necessarily because today’s young hitters are just better than previous years’ crops, but rather because ballclubs are armed with new technologies, which is making them better at determining which players are ready for the majors and when.This skill is more important now than at any other time in the baseball calendar. Teams gained an additional 15 roster spots on Friday, which they often fill with players from the minors. About 20 percent of call-ups happen in September, and teams usually bring promising prospects up for a preview. That means we get a chance, if only for a brief moment, to see some of the best talent from each team’s farm system.Hitters called up for the first time1This category overlaps with rookies, but since rookie status is determined by service time, not all rookies are first-time call-ups. used to lag behind their more experienced colleagues. Each year from 2009 to 2014, the median batters in this group were typically below replacement level for the season. But since 2015, the same group has posted substantially higher WAR, in terms of both average and median, and these players now easily meet or (more often) exceed replacement level.Here’s a chart showing the average wins above replacement2Using Baseball Prospectus’s version of the stat. of first-time call-ups by year. The youngsters have built some of that value with the bat. From 2009 to 2014, first-time call-ups averaged a .218/.278/.336 slash line. An era of low offense didn’t help, but even compared to the league as whole, they were swinging poorly. Since 2015, first-time call-ups have improved to .234/.296/.363.But the slash lines can be a little misleading. When we look closer, it becomes clear that the post-2015 group of players derives some of its advantage from performing better in the first few months of their major league careers. It seems likely that recent batches of call-ups have been more ready to hit big league pitching when they first arrive, rather than scuffling for weeks as they adjust to higher pitch speeds and better pitcher control.It doesn’t appear to be a coincidence that this shift happened in 2015. The TrackMan system, which tracks crucial elements of hitting performance like exit velocity and launch angle, started to measure the minor leagues in 2010, but it wasn’t widely used across baseball until 2014 or 2015. Equipped with precise information about how each batted ball was hit, teams can now base their promotions and call-ups on more than just gut feel and minor league outcomes.This probably doesn’t affect star rookies much. After all, it doesn’t take a fancy tracking system to be able to see that someone like Mike Trout or Bryce Harper is pretty good at baseball and deserves a chance at the next level. Where TrackMan might be most useful is for telling who isn’t up to the challenge of major league baseball. While there are occasional exceptions, batters who can’t regularly muster exit velocities close to the MLB average will struggle to produce offensively. TrackMan offered a way for teams to screen those weaker hitters out. And just as expected, since 2014, the fraction of hitters with below-replacement-level value in their first year in the majors has dropped.The downside to TrackMan has been that players come in as mature products without the room for growth they once had. Before the advent of radar tracking, players showed a clear learning curve: Between their first 10 games in the majors and their 40th-50th, they gained an average of 92 points of OPS. Since 2015, that improvement has been much more muted, at only 47 points. The performance of the pre- and post-TrackMan era call-ups eventually converges, suggesting that much of the value that recent call-ups produce comes shortly after they join the majors.All that new information might have revolutionized how teams evaluate hitters, but it is much less useful for gauging pitchers. Hurlers don’t have as much control over how hard the ball is hit, or at what angle. Instead, the equivalent technology for pitchers is probably Pitchf/x, which was adopted in MLB in 2007 and measures such crucial characteristics as the velocity and break of pitches. Pitch tracking came into wide use in the minors in 2009, which coincides with a noticeable bump in rookie production. Young pitcher WAR totals have stayed relatively constant since then, so teams don’t seem to have built on whatever initial advantage Pitchf/x might have brought.Whether it’s baseball’s first scouting reports or the quantification of a batter’s swing, fresh data has frequently changed the balance of power between veterans and youngsters in the league. As the influx of technology at the major league level makes its way to the minors, the information gap between MLB and Triple-A will start to close. And as the risk that a call-up will flame out decreases, the league might soon be taken over by players in their early 20s making the job look easy.
NAMEFRANCHISEDATEPITCHER SCORERATING ADJ. Pedro MartinezBOS6/8/200078.0+108.6 Bob GibsonSTL5/25/196968.676.6 Jake ArrietaCHC67.857.2 Pitchers in the table above are listed only once, at their absolute peak. If we listed multiple peaks per player, Martinez, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens would occupy 18 of the top 20 spots.In addition to scores for each pitcher, we maintain a pitching score for every team — these are based on the game scores of every starting pitcher on that team. Each pitcher’s Elo adjustment is relative to his team’s pitching score; pitchers above the team average give the team a bonus when they start, and pitchers below the team average give the team a penalty. Note that in the table above, one pitcher may have a higher overall score than another pitcher but a smaller Elo adjustment; this generally means that his team had a better rotation or that he started more games and his game scores contributed more to the team’s overall average.These are the 2016 pitchers who give their team the biggest boost when they start: Gerrit ColePIT57.135.8 Frank TananaLAA6/24/197768.472.2 Jose FernandezMIA57.336.5 David PriceBOS57.928.6 This methodology article is for an old version of our MLB forecast. See how our latest MLB predictions work.During last year’s MLB playoffs, we introduced our baseball Elo ratings and used them to take a look at the best teams going into the playoffs and the World Series. Today we’re publishing two interactives using similar ratings: our 2016 MLB Predictions, which preview upcoming games and show the chances that each team will make the playoffs or win the World Series, and the Complete History Of MLB, which charts the successes and failures of every franchise throughout history.Thanks to Retrosheet, we’ve collected game results and box scores back to 1871 and used them to create an Elo-based rating system and predictive model for baseball that incorporates home-field advantage, margin of victory, travel, rest and — most importantly — starting pitchers. The ratings are also adjusted for park and era effects and account for the fact that favorites are more likely to win in the postseason than in the regular season.Elo is a simple but elegant system that can be tuned and customized endlessly to incorporate available data. In our baseball Elo system, each team has a rating (the average is about 1500), and after every game, the winning team gains some Elo points while the losing team loses the same number of points. The number of points exchanged is based on the chances our model gave each team to win the game and the margin of victory; a win by a big underdog results in a bigger exchange of Elo points than a win by a favorite, and the larger the margin of victory, the larger the exchange.Before every game, we also adjust each team’s rating based on whether it has home-field advantage, how far it’s traveled to the game, how many days of rest it’s had and which pitcher is slated to start.Home-field advantage is worth 24 Elo points in our model, and travel and rest adjustments are worth up to about 5 points each;1The travel adjustment is calculated as (-MILES_TRAVELED^(1/3))*0.31, and the rest adjustment is DAYS_REST*2.3. these three components are combined into the “Home field, travel and rest” section in the image above.2Here are some more of our baseball Elo parameters:The general K factor is 4, though it’s 6 for postseason games and also is adjusted based on margin of victory.Home-field advantage is worth 24 points.The difference in rating between two teams is multiplied by 4/3 for postseason games.Expected margins of victory are calculated with elo_diff^3*5.46554876e-08 + elo_diff^2*8.96073139e-06 + elo_diff*2.44895265e-03 + BASE (BASE is dependent on the year and stadium the game is played in but has an average of about 3.4).The actual margin of victory in each game is also adjusted for era/stadium effects and then flattened a bit with ((abs(margin_adj) + 1)^0.7)*1.41.Thus, the whole Elo shift is (outcome – winprob) * (adjusted_margin / expected_margin) * (6 if postseason else 4). Clayton KershawLAD66.0+63.5 J.R. RichardHOU4/30/198067.767.1 Jake ArrietaCHC10/7/201568.363.4 Bob FellerCLE8/4/194068.464.7 Sandy KoufaxLAD10/14/196568.164.4 Pete AlexanderPHI7/13/191567.764.7 Madison BumgarnerSF58.328.4 Johan SantanaMIN10/5/200467.666.9 Starting pitcher adjustments can have a substantial impact on pre-game team ratings and win probabilities. For example, in June of 2000, Pedro Martinez was worth about 109 Elo points to the Red Sox each time he started, which is the equivalent of a 15 percent boost to their chances of winning the game.3Starting pitcher adjustments give our model about a 1 percentage point improvement in the percentage of games correctly “called” and a corresponding improvement in mean squared error. This means Martinez was worth 109 points more than the average starting pitcher on his team (or even a bit more, since his starts were already incorporated into the team’s overall rating).To generate these pitcher adjustments, we’re using a version of Bill James’s game scores proposed by Tangotiger (and slightly modified by us) to isolate pitching performances. After each game, the starting pitcher’s game score is calculated as:47.4 + 1.5*outs + strikeouts – 2*walks – 2*hits – 3*runs – 4*homerunsWe maintain a running average of these game scores for each pitcher to produce his overall pitcher score.4Just like the margin of victory modifier, game scores are normalized for eras and stadiums so pitchers are directly comparable. They’re also adjusted to take the opposing team’s offensive strength into account. Here’s a list of the pitchers with the highest peak scores in history, the dates when they peaked and their corresponding Elo bonus:5A pitcher’s Elo bonus is calculated with 4.7*(pitcher_score – team_pitching_score). Tom SeaverNYM4/26/197267.372.8 All-time pitcher peaks, based on pitcher score Mike ScottHOU5/18/198766.961.4 Top 2016 pitchers by rating adjustment to their team Lefty GroveOAK6/13/193266.964.1 Pitcher scores include games through April 24Sources: Retrosheet, ESPN Since starting pitcher bonuses from the two teams are additive, they cancel each other out when two top pitchers face each other and can be quite large when a strong pitcher faces a weak pitcher. The biggest mismatch of all time according to our pitcher scores was a 137-point Elo swing back in 1997, when Randy Johnson (+87) faced Ricky Bones (-50).Our 2016 preseason team ratings are a blend of our 2015 end-of-season ratings (reverted to the mean by one-third) and four projection systems (PECOTA, ZiPS, Steamer and Davenport). Our preseason team pitcher scores use our 2015 end-of-season pitcher scores combined with projected starts from the same four projection systems.We use Monte Carlo simulations to play out the season thousands of times to see how often each team makes the playoffs or wins the World Series. As with our other forecasts, we run simulations “hot,” meaning that a team’s rating changes within each simulation based on simulated results, including the bonus for playoff wins. For games where a starting pitcher is not yet known, we assume a pitcher of average strength will play.Our Complete History Of MLB uses a slightly simplified Elo system that doesn’t take pitchers, travel or rest into account.6This means that the ratings in our Complete History interactive won’t always match the ratings in our 2016 MLB Predictions, but using separate rating systems gives us the flexibility to alter our forecast methodology from year to year but keep our Elo history interactives unchanged. Like the forecast, it will update after each game.It’s early, but the Cubs are looking pretty good. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season and hope you’ll follow along with us. Roger ClemensTOR7/28/199770.675.3 Chris SaleCHW60.032.3 The pitcher score is a running average of a pitcher’s individual game scoresSource: Retrosheet Curt SchillingARI4/7/200269.164.3 Ron GuidryNYY9/15/197866.962.4 Randy JohnsonARI5/16/200071.883.3 Greg MadduxATL7/19/199571.867.3 Dallas KeuchelHOU58.434.6 Dwight GoodenNYM5/6/198668.574.4 Zack GreinkeARI59.443.1 Kevin BrownSD10/8/199867.465.4 NAMETEAMSCORERATING ADJ. Dazzy VanceLAD5/5/192969.776.3 Kenta MaedaLAD60.738.5
For around the clock OSU sports updates, follow the Lantern Sports Twitter @lanternspts24_7 The Ohio State women’s basketball team opened its season this weekend with wins over Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green in the Preseason National Invitational Tournament.The No. 3 Buckeyes used the first half of both games to assert big leads and put the games away early.Led by junior center Jantel Lavender, OSU pushed a game that was tied at eight to a score of 27-8 with a 19-0 run.Missed shots and tough defense by OSU held the Eastern Illinois Panthers without a point for more than seven minutes. The Buckeyes pushed a 10-point lead at the half back into the 20s and won 91-68.Against Bowling Green, the Buckeyes used a three-headed attack in the first half to post a 27-point lead at the half. Lavender’s 18 points, along with freshman guard Tayler Hill’s 13 and sophomore guard Samantha Prahalis’ 12, left the Falcons in an insurmountable hole. OSU controlled the second half, with junior forward Sarah Shultze also scoring in double digits for the game with 15. OSU won, 91-72.Lavender recorded her 38th and 39th career double-doubles, finishing with 24 and 23 points in the contests. The Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year stressed that these first games gave OSU more things to improve.“We learned what we needed to work on. We did a lot of good things, but as a team, we still have things to work on,” Lavender said.She also gave credit to both teams, and said despite the lopsided outcomes, both played physical and should have successful seasons.Shultze posted 18 points in her first start on Friday, primarily in the second half. Her second-half play in both outings showed that the new starter is ready to contribute. Big games by players not named Lavender will only benefit OSU going forward.Prahalis was Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season. She started slow on Friday against Eastern Illinois but had a better day on Sunday against Bowling Green with 16 points and eight assists. Becoming more comfortable in her second year will make the Buckeye offense hard to stop.“I think I know where my teammates are on the floor better, and I know where they’re going to be,” Prahalis said about her progression. “I know where the shooters are going to be if I am driving on the wing, and I know where to put the ball to Jantel better. I just have a better feel of where to put the ball.”Coach Jim Foster expressed satisfaction in the fact that the Buckeyes were playing some winning programs early. Eastern Illinois was 24-9 last season, and Bowling Green has won its conference championship the last five seasons.“The difference between a lot of opening games and being in a tournament like the NIT is that you’re going to play better teams because they go out and try to get the best team they can get from a conference,” Foster said. “So from that point of view, we played a team who is used to winning, a team who is used to playing 40 minutes.”OSU will play the University of Alabama-Birmingham on Tuesday.
OSU junior guard Kelsey Mitchell looks to move he ball inside against No. 9 seed Northwestern on March 3 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. OSU won, 99-68. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorOhio State junior guard Kelsey Mitchell was named an Associated Press second team All-American on Monday, collecting the honor for the third straight year. Earlier in the season, Mitchell received the Big Tens Player of the Year for her second consecutive season. This season marks the third year which she has led the Buckeyes in scoring.The Cincinnati native is also the quickest player to score 2,000 points in the NCAA. Mitchell leads the Buckeyes in three-points made and is on-track to become the Buckeyes all-time leading scorer, trailing OSU’s leading scorer, Jantel Lavender, by only 265 points.OSU lost to Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 on Friday, ending its season.
Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) and redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber (25) wait for a snap in the second half of the Ohio State-Michigan State game on Nov. 11. Ohio State won 48-3. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorJust a few weeks ago, then-No. 6 Ohio State (8-2, 6-1 Big Ten) seemed in prime position to slide into one of the four College Football Playoff spots. It had the potential to finish the season with a single loss and a Big Ten championship. No team with that resume has been left out since the playoff was created.Then the Buckeyes played Iowa on Nov. 4, and everything changed. The Hawkeyes blindsided them, decimating Ohio State, 55-24. All playoff talk ended. The discussion turned to how the Buckeyes, a team loaded with a decorated quarterback and a talented corps of players featuring mostly former four-star and five-star recruits, could lose to an Iowa team that lost to Northwestern.But after taking down Michigan State 48-3 Saturday afternoon, the playoff optimism began to seep back into the minds of Ohio State fans. No two-loss team has ever made the playoff. Even last year, a two-loss Penn State — which had a similar resume to Ohio State’s this season — was left out.If the Buckeyes beat Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and defeat Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship, they would have a solid crop of victories.But head coach Urban Meyer is determined to quash all playoff discussion.“There will be zero conversation around here, especially when you guys talk to the players,” Meyer said. “There will be zero conversation about what happened before and what’s going to happen in the future. Zero.”Whether Ohio State’s players and coaches discuss the playoff does not matter. They are at the mercy of the teams ahead of them in the rankings. They need certain teams to lose to even have a chance at being chosen for a spot by the selection committee.If, for example, No. 1 Georgia, which lost to Auburn Saturday, defeats No. 2 Alabama in the SEC championship game, Miami or Clemson win the ACC championship game and Oklahoma wins the Big 12 championship, a two-loss Ohio State team would likely be left out even if it wins its final two regular-season games and the Big Ten title.Some Ohio State players, including sophomore defensive end Nick Bosa, have let their minds wander about what the season would look like had the team not lost twice, putting the fate of the playoff out of its control.“Yeah, I mean, I sometimes do that, but the older guys tell me to focus on what’s at hand and I know that’s the most important thing,” Bosa said after Saturday’s game. “So we’re focusing on obviously what’s in front of us right now.”For Ohio State, right now, the most important thing is to beat Illinois and Michigan and win the conference championship. Without winning those three games, playoff hopes — which, even now, seem somewhat far-fetched — would finally, mercifully dissipate.Prior to the Michigan State game, Ohio State had a team meeting and addressed the Big Ten standings, redshirt junior defensive end Sam Hubbard said. “It was mentioned that if we win this game, we’re two spots ahead in the Big Ten East and that was our focus,” Hubbard said after Saturday’s game. “We needed to win this game and our laser lights were on what we needed to do to win this game.”Now in the driver’s seat of the Big Ten East, the plan is simple: Beat Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, and beat them by as many points as possible. Style points matter to the selection committee, which picks the four best teams, not the four teams with the least losses.Sure, Ohio State needs help with higher-ranked teams losing. But in the meantime it can help itself by winning its final games — including the Big Ten championship — by large margins, just as it did down the stretch of the 2014 season, which ended with the Buckeyes sneaking into the playoff.Meyer might be determined to have zero conversation about the playoff, but it is a good problem to have — and one many people did not think would be happening after the Iowa loss.
Junior forward Sam McCormick (17) celebrates Eugene Fadyeyev’s (21) goal in the first period of game one during Ohio State’s hockey game vs. Michigan State on March 1. Ohio State won 5-1. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternAfter winning the Big Ten regular season and coming off a bye week in the first round, the Ohio State men’s hockey team is ready to play again as they prepare for the first Big Ten Tournament semifinals matchup against Penn State.Following a split series against Michigan State, the Buckeyes (20-9-5, 13-7-4 Big Ten) have seen their USCHO ranking increase from No. 7 up to No. 6. The Nittany Lions (21-14-2, 11-12-1 Big Ten) remain behind in the overall rankings at No. 17 but are ahead in their offensive rankings, topping the nation with 4.59 goals per game, .53 more than any team in the country.The Penn State offense has been its ace in the hole all season, having scored 170 goals this season compared to Ohio State’s 107, which ranks tied for No. 22 in the NCAA. This offense is led by sophomore forwards Alex Limoges and Evan Barratt who are ranked No. 2 and No. 8 respectively in points in the country. Together they have accumulated 90 points this season, with Limoges’ 22 goals leading the team.In the first round of the Big Ten tournament against Wisconsin, it was junior forward Liam Folkes who stepped up for the Nittany Lions. In the three-game series against the Badgers, Folkes scored three points in each game, finishing the series with three goals and six assists, good enough to earn the NCAA Second Star of the Week.Folkes is No. 3 on the team and tied for No. 12 in the NCAA with 41 points this season. Penn State also holds the No. 4 power play in the nation, having scored 32 power-play goals this year on a 26.23 percent success rate.While the Nittany Lions have proven their offense is their strength, they have also proven their defense to be their weak point. Penn State’s defense is one of the worst in the nation, allowing, 3.65 goals per game, good for the fourth-most goals allowed in the NCAA. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, are ranked No. 13 with 2.24 goals allowed per game and have the No. 2 goaltender in save percentage in the nation, sophomore Tommy Nappier.The teams have played four games so far this season, with Ohio State winning three and losing one, outscoring Penn State 18-11 through the season series.The semifinals match between top-seeded Ohio State and No. 4 seed Penn State will be hosted at the Schottenstein Center, and takes place at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The potential impact that prisons could have on reducing re-offending and community safety has been undermined by a lack of consistent political leadershipRachel O’Brien, report author Around 128,000 – or one in four – of these offenders committed a new offence within a year. Last year, former justice secretary Michael Gove described the failure to reduce re-offending rates as “horrifying”.Mr Gove’s successor Liz Truss is poised set out her plans for prison safety and reform in the coming weeks, amid mounting concern over a rising tide of violence behind bars.A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: “We are committed to rehabilitating offenders to reduce re-offending and create fewer victims.”We will set out full details of our plan for prison safety and reform in a White Paper in the coming weeks and are carrying out a comprehensive review of the probation system to improve outcomes for offenders and communities.” Liz Truss, the Justice Secretary, is poised set out her plans for prison reformCredit:Andrew Crowley for The Telegraph Suggested measures include a rehabilitation requirement for prisons and probation, which would be a legal duty and require services to track individual and institutional progress, as well as a return to frontline staffing levels seen in 2010.It also proposes that the National Offender Management Service should have a smaller, “arms-length” function, and the creation of local prison boards to oversee long-term strategies.Report author Rachel O’Brien, director of the RSA’s Future Prison project, said: “The potential impact that prisons could have on reducing re-offending and community safety has been undermined by a lack of consistent political leadership and clear purpose.”This has led to reactive policy, episodic change and an over-centralised system, which has disempowered the workforce and undermined public confidence.”Official figures show that from October 2013 to September 2014, around 496,000 adult and juvenile offenders were cautioned, received a non-custodial conviction at court or released from custody. Prison and probation services in England and Wales must be overhauled to drive down re-offending rates that cost the taxpayer billions of pounds, according to a report.Ministers were urged to push up staffing numbers and bring in legislation to establish a new rehabilitation “duty”.The potential impact that prisons could have on reducing re-offending has been undermined by “a lack of consistent political leadership”, according to a report published by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).It welcomed the Government’s commitment to prison reform and called for the Ministry of Justice to compile a national rehabilitation strategy running to 2020.
Her colleague Fazila Aswat hit Mair with her handbag and pleaded with Mrs Cox to think of her two young children and get up and run.Despite being too hurt to move away, Mrs Cox’s thwarted Mair’s initial attack as she shielded her head with her hands.Mair briefly walked away to reload the adapted sawn-off .22 rifle before returning to shoot and stab her again.Mr Kenny, who by coincidence shared his birthday with Mrs Cox, staggered back and “flopped” down on the steps of a sandwich shop. .@MrBrendanCox does Jo and their family proud every single day #lovelikeJo #moreincommon https://t.co/lWc4xh8R9Y— Ruth Smeeth MP (@RuthSmeeth) November 23, 2016 A knife that was presented in evidence during the trial of Thomas MairCredit:West Yorkshire Police Police do not believe that Mair, who rarely left his home town of Birstall, was behind the theft and forensic search of his home and garden also found no evidence that he had modified the weapon.Detectives are now urgently exploring the possibility that a far-Right sympathiser provided Mair with the weapon in the knowledge of what he was planning.The 53-year-old, who hid his Nazi obsession for decades, showed no emotion as he was taken down from the dock to begin his sentence. A jury took just over 90 minutes to convict him for what the MP’s husband described as “an act of terrorism… driven by hatred”.Mair, who shouted “Britain first” and had a stash of neo-Nazi material at his home, was tried under the terrorism protocol. Mair, who had a teaching qualification and a Kirklees college student card, was a frequent visitor to Birstall and Batley libraries.An investigation of his use of library computers exposed Mair’s interest in far right, anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi politics in Britain and abroad.Two days after the killing, Mair was brought before Westminster magistrates under the terrorism protocol. Jeremy Corbyn, right, is joined by the then Prime Minister David Cameron, left, to honour Jo Cox in JuneCredit:PA Right-wing documents and books in the home of Thomas MairCredit:West Yorkshire Police Mr Justice Wilkie said Mrs Cox’s death had been “both a personal tragedy” and a crime with “great public significance”.He said her “generosity of spirit (was) evident in the selfless concern she had for others, even when facing a violent death”.The judge told Mair that the loss he had caused her friends and family would be “unbearable”, and that she had demonstrated herself to be “a credit to herself, her community, and her country” through her work. When asked to confirm his name, the defendant, described by neighbours as a shy loner, said: “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”.He has refused to answer to the charges against him and not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf to murder, grievous bodily harm to Mr Kenny and possession of the gun and dagger. Mr Whittam went on to say it was fitting that the case had been held before another woman – whose statue holding the scales of justice adorns the Old Bailey.At the conclusion of the evidence, the scales were “weighted only one way”, he said.Mr Whittam said there was a “comprehensive” catalogue of evidence against Mair, including CCTV footage, the testimony of eyewitnesses, DNA and gunshot residue, ballistics and physical evidence.He told jurors: “The comprehensive nature of the evidence does not mean the defence case is bereft of points to make.”We submit to you that those points have no sufficient substance to cause any dent to the prosecution case.” Mair denied Mrs Cox’s murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon – a dagger.He also denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent to pensioner Mr Kenny when he tried to stop the attack on Mrs Cox. Mair was convicted on all counts. Jo Cox was murdered a week before Britain voted in June’s referendum on membership of the European UnionCredit: SWNS.com Thomas Mair, who is accused of the terror-related murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, entering Birstall libraryCredit:West Yorkshire Police/PA Reaction to Thomas Mair’s convictionBrendan Cox’s statement outside courtOutside court, Jo Cox’s widower Brendan delivered an emotional statement:”As a family, we will not respond to hatred with hatred. We will love like Jo did and know that, although she is dead, the ideas and values that she held so dear will live on.”And know that, although she is not with us, her energy and her love are hard-wired into our children for the rest of their lives.”Finally, we hope the country will also take something from this – that Jo’s death will have meaning.”That those in politics, the media and our own communities who seek to divide us will face an unassailable wall of British tolerance and the articulation of Jo’s belief that we hold more in common than that which divides us.”Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leaderJeremy Corbyn said the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox was “an attack on democracy, and has robbed the world of an ambassador of kindness and compassion”. The Labour Party leader said:”Jo Cox believed passionately that all people can achieve their full potential given the opportunity. Her murder was an attack on democracy, and has robbed the world of an ambassador of kindness and compassion.”Jo’s values were lived out in her last moments, when she bravely put the safety of her staff before her own. Jo is someone the Labour Party will forever be extremely proud of. The single biggest tribute we can pay to Jo and her life will be to confront those who wish to promote the hatred and division that led to her murder.”Jo was a loving mother and wife. I hope that the verdict has delivered some sense of justice to those grieving, particularly Jo’s family, who all of our thoughts are with at this time.” As she lay mortally wounded in the street, the MP for Batley and Spen tried to protect her aides by urging them to leave her and save themselves.During the trial Mrs Cox’s family were left in tears as her constituency caseworker Sandra Major described the MP’s selfless response as she came under attack from Mair.She told jurors: “He was making motions towards us with the knife and Jo was lying in the road and she shouted out ‘get away, get away you two. Let him hurt me. Don’t let him hurt you’.”Her account prompted Mr Cox to tweet: “This is who Jo was”. Defending Mair, Simon Russell Flint QC said the killing of Mrs Cox as she carried out her “public duties” had been “truly shocking and appalling”.He told the court: “She was brutally and callously murdered and there is no issue or dispute about that.”Mr Russell Flint said: “Mrs Cox’s death, you know, has touched many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people, some who knew her and knew her well – her parents, her sibling, her husband, her children, not forgetting her friends and her colleagues who will forever be scarred by what happened to her in the street of that small West Yorkshire town on that June afternoon and will forever mourn her passing.”Addressing the jury, he said: “It is you and you alone who have been charged with the responsibility of determining what are the true verdicts on each of the counts on the indictment.”He added: “You and you alone will determine whether Thomas Mair can return to his quiet and solitary existence or will be forever remembered as the man who assassinated Jo Cox.” Let’s remember Jo’s life not the manner of her death. Her legacy lives on. Please support her Foundation https://t.co/k0o79zcTfF— Lucy Powell MP (@LucyMPowell) November 23, 2016 Brendan Cox, husband of MP Jo Cox, is embraced by his mother-in-law Jean Leadbeater, as his sister-in-law Kim Leadbeater and father-in-law Gordon Leadbeater look on outside the Old BaileyCredit:NEIL HALL/Reuters Philip Hammond, the ChancellorChancellor Philip Hammond, speaking in the Commons, associated himself with Mr McDonnell’s remarks on Mrs Cox.He said: “(I) send my very deepest condolences to the family and her friends who will be suffering again today.”Detective Superintendent Nick WallenOutside court, Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen said: “It is still hard to comprehend the magnitude of what happened in the quiet market town of Birstall on a day in June. The murder of Jo Cox was a tragedy on so many levels.”Not only had it caused devastation to her family, the killing was the first of a female serving Member of Parliament, he said.He said: “Jo Cox championed the democracy and inclusivity of this country and for that she paid the ultimate price.”The officer paid tribute to those who came to the aid of Mrs Cox as well as the courage of the unarmed patrol officers who arrested the “cold-blooded killer” while he was still armed.He added: “Nothing can excuse the evil and horror his actions brought to the small town of Birstall on June 16 this year.”Sue Hemming, Crown Prosecution ServiceSue Hemming, head of special crime and counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Mair has offered no explanation for his actions but the prosecution was able to demonstrate that, motivated by hate, his pre-meditated crimes were nothing less than acts of terrorism designed to advance his twisted ideology.”The CPS worked closely with police from the outset of their thorough investigation to build a strong case. This included the evidence of a number of brave eyewitnesses, who are to be commended. A jury has now unanimously agreed on Mair’s guilt of all offences committed during this disturbing attack.”Our thoughts are with Jo Cox’s family, who attended the court hearing and have behaved with real strength and dignity throughout. The CPS will continue to work with criminal justice partners to combat those who seek to sow hatred and division by advancing extremist ideologies.”Jo Cox’s sister Kim LeadbeaterKim Leadbeater, Jo Cox’s sister, praised the “many acts of bravery” on the day of her murder as she vowed to continue the Labour MP’s legacy.Speaking outside the Old Bailey she thanked those who witnessed the attack on June 16 for their actions and for coming forward. Despite discarding some clothes, Mair was swiftly tracked down a mile away, still carrying his holdall containing the blood-splattered murder weapons.They included a reproduction of a Fairbairn-Sykes “fighting dagger”, a design first made in 1941 for British special forces and commando units, with a 17.4cm blade. The far-Right ‘terrorist’ who assassinated Labour MP Jo Cox may have had a sympathetic accomplice who provided him with the murder weapon, it has emerged.A major manhunt was underway on Wednesday night for the person who handed the 53-year-old loner the modified bolt-action rifle, which was stolen almost a year before the murder.Mair, who was obsessed with the Nazis and white supremacy, was told he will die in jail after a jury at the Old Bailey took just an hour and a half to find him guilty of the brutal and senseless murder of the mother of two in the run up to the EU referendum in June.During the trial it emerged that he had used a German-made .22 calibre bolt-action rifle which had been chopped down to just 12in in length so it could be used with one hand. The legally-held gun was stolen along with ammunition from a car in Keighley, West Yorkshire in August last year. Ms Leadbeater said: “Jo would have been extremely impressed although not at all surprised by the courage of her staff and constituents during this process and indeed on June 16.”There may have been one act of extreme cowardice on that day but there were many acts of bravery, particularly from Fazila and Sandra and Bernard Kenny. We think about them often.”Our focus now as a family is to look forward, we can begin to consider our own loss in our own way and in our own time.”We can and we will work through our pain and as a family we are stronger and more united than ever.”What can be difficult at times is thinking about the ripple effect of Jo’s murder and the many lives it has affected. However, it has always been my belief that whilst we can not always choose what happens to us, we can try to choose how we respond.”I for one will not be beaten by what has happened and I know I am not alone. It is the last thing my sister would want and it is not who I am.”I will channel my energy into ensuring Jo’s legacy continues and as a family we will respond with strength, love, positivity and enthusiasm.”Campaign group HOPE not hateNick Lowles, chief executive of campaign group HOPE not hate, said that seeing liberal politicians as a target is a “strong pillar” of thinking among UK neo-Nazis. He said:”Thomas Mair acted alone but he was inspired by over 30 years of reading Nazi propaganda. “In targeting a British MP, Mair was following a growing list of British Nazi terrorists who believe that they are at war with the system. This ideology, which sees the state – and in particular liberal politicians – as more of a target than minorities, became dominant among UK Nazis in the 1990s and remains a strong pillar of their thinking today.”While Thomas Mair pulled trigger, neo-Nazi propagandists must share some responsibility for fuelling and directing the hatred and violence inside him.”More needs to be done to tackle the growing threat of Britain’s far Right. While it might be numerically smaller than in the past, it is becoming more violent and dangerous.”And while the authorities will always prioritise targeting those individuals who could carry out terrorist attacks, it is also vital that they target the people who peddle the hatred that inspired the likes of Thomas Mair. This is something they have repeatedly failed to do.”Rev Paul Knight, vicar of BirstallThe vicar of Birstall, the Rev Paul Knight, said: “We’re relieved that it’s gone this far and that it’s wrapping up, really.”We want to concentrate on the good things that can come out of this.”Jo was so positive and changed so many lives. We want to make sure that’s the thing that’s remembered, not the guy that did it.”Speaking outside Birstall Library, Mr Knight said: “We’re getting back to a normality but we’ll never forget Jo. That’s what we promised.”He said: “Everybody always says that kind of thing doesn’t happen round here but it did. And we had deal with it and there was an incredible outpouring of grief.”Social media reaction from other MPs Emergency services at the scene of Jo Cox’s murder in Birstall, West YorkshireCredit:Ben Lack for The Telegraph By your actions you have betrayed the quintessence of our country – parliamentary democracyMr Justice Wilkie Thomas Mair in police custody after his arrestCredit:West Yorkshire Police/PA Thomas Mair, pictured in a police custody image, will serve a whole-life sentenceCredit:West Yorkshire Police/PA Two police constables tackled Mair to the ground and in the scuffle, he cut his head.Following his arrest, police uncovered a hoard of neo-Nazi literature at his council house in nearby Lowood Lane. The attack was captured on grainy CCTV and witnessed by 16 members of the public who travelled to the Old Bailey to give evidence.They described the popping noise of Mair’s gun and how he threatened to stab people if they got in his way.Afterwards, Mair walked away as if he had “not a care in the world”, the court heard. A gun that was presented in evidence during the trial of Thomas MairCredit:West Yorkshire Police Mr Justice Wilkie said: “In the true meaning of the word she was a patriot.”You affect to be a patriot. The words you uttered repeatedly when you killed her give lip service to that concept.”Those sentiments can be legitimate and can have resonance but in your mouth, allied to your actions, they are tainted and made toxic.” Despite having the “element of surprise”, Mair failed in his first attempt and came back to shoot and stab Mrs Cox again, the court heard.Mr Whittam said: “Perhaps he underestimated Jo Cox’s tenacity and courage.”He said that all the evidence “compellingly establishes Thomas Mair was her murderer”. How the Jo Cox murder trial unfoldedAt the conclusion of the prosecution case, Mair’s lawyer Simon Russell Flint, QC, called no evidence on behalf of the defendant, of Lowood Lane, Birstall.In his closing speech, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told jurors: “At 13.48 on the 16th of June in Market Street outside the public library in Birstall, the democratically-elected MP for Batley and Spen, Jo Cox, was murdered as she carried out her duties on behalf of her electorate.”Mr Whittam said her attack “brought out the best of the people who were with her” – the two members of staff and Birstall residents who came to her aid. In pride of place on a bookshelf was a golden Third Reich eagle ornament with a swastika emblazoned on the front. Jo Cox, the Labour MP and mother of two Credit:Jo Cox Foundation/PA Mair was also convicted of stabbing 77-year-old retired miner, Bernard Kenny, who tried to save the MP.In a statement, Mr Kenny described Mair’s actions as a “pure act of evil”.He said he would do the same thing again as it was “the right thing to do”, even though his actions were not enough to save Mrs Cox. The judge told Mair his inspiration was not from “love of country or your fellow citizens”, but was “an admiration of Nazism” and similar white supremacist ideas where “democracy and political persuasion are supplanted by violence”.He added: “Our parents’ generation made huge sacrifices to defeat those ideas and values in the Second World War. What you did, and your admiration for those views which informed your crime, betrays the sacrifices of that generation.”You are no patriot. By your actions you have betrayed the quintessence of our country, its adherence to parliamentary democracy.” Justice for Jo. Thoughts with all Jo’s family & friends & for the amazing woman we lost #moreincommon https://t.co/M0YeQkt4Ra— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) November 23, 2016 Jo’s sister Kim Leadbeater delivers a statement outside the Old BaileyCredit:NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox, speaks outside courtCredit:NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Home Secretary Amber RuddAmber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said she was determined that we challenge extremism in all its forms. She said:”Jo Cox was a committed and passionate politician, devoted to her two young children and her husband, and our thoughts are with her family today.”The shocking and senseless murder of Jo was an attack on all of us and the values we share of democracy and tolerance.”As Home Secretary I am determined that we challenge extremism in all its forms including the evil of far-Right extremism and the terrible damage it can cause to individuals, families and communities.”Jo knew that tackling hatred and division is not something that can be done by Government alone but only by working in partnership with local people and groups, getting involved and speaking up for the values that make us the country we are proud to be.”Jo’s life was brutally taken away. It falls on all of us to redouble our efforts to make sure the principles that she stood for live on.”John McDonnell, shadow chancellorJohn McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, used his opening remarks on the Autumn Statement in the Commons to pay tribute to the murdered MP.Speaking shortly after the verdict was delivered, he said: “This morning we’ve heard the verdict from the trial following the tragic murder of Jo Cox.”Jo Cox’s murder robbed this House of a fierce advocate for social justice and a passionate campaigner. Her killing was an attack on democracy itself. Our thoughts are with her family this morning.” A Nazi eagle found on Thomas Mair’s bookcase containing books about the Third ReichCredit:West Yorkshire Police Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Thomas Mair, pictured being arrested by police, after shooting and stabbing Jo Cox in JuneCredit:West Yorkshire Police/PA The Old Bailey heard how he collected a dossier on his 41-year-old Remain campaigning MP before launching his murderous attack.As the verdicts were read out, Jo Cox’s parents Jean and Gordon Leadbeater clasped their hands together and nodded. Mrs Cox’s family hugged and shook hands with prosecutor Richard Whittam QC and appeared tearful as they left court.Mrs Cox’s husband, Brendan Cox, told the Old Bailey he was not there for “retribution” and felt “nothing but pity for” Mair. He also described the far-Right killer as “cowardice personified”.In a statement he said: “The killing was, in my view, a political act and an act of terrorism. An act driven by hatred which has instead promoted an outpouring of love.” Show more But Mr Cox said it had been a “most incompetent and self-defeating” act, as it had led to communities pulling together and “allowed millions to hear a voice instead of silencing a voice”.After the verdicts were read out, Mair, who had refused to enter a plea and did not put forward a defence, said he wished to address the court, but the judge refused to give him permission.