Warriors, struggling on the court, rated the decade’s top sports franchise

first_imgThe timing is curious, but the honor is a slam dunk.On Monday, the Sports Business Journal named the Golden State Warriors the sports Franchise of the Decade for their prowess on the court, their sell-out streak and the innovative Chase Center in San Francisco which opened to raves in September.“We are truly humbled to be recognized with this prestigious honor by the Sports Business Journal, especially when you consider the number of outstanding organizations across all sports,” Warriors …last_img read more

Isolating Image Channels to Work with Chroma and Luma in Premiere

first_imgMastering color correction means understanding the color channels that make a good image. Here’s how to isolate the chroma and luma channels in Premiere.I’ve covered noise reduction somewhat extensively over the past few months. In my article on manual noise reduction in Resolve, we took a look at the powerful results you can get from isolating the chroma and luma channels to apply noise reduction to each.Today, we’re going to learn how to isolate and work with image channels in Premiere — or any other similarly functional NLE. As with Resolve, there isn’t a plugin or button to quickly split your channels for you, so we’re going to do it manually.Before we start, what is the point of splitting the component channels?Each video clip is actually a blend of three distinct image channels. To put it simply, these component channels contain Luminance (or brightness and contrast) information, red color information, and blue color information. Baking these three channels into a single video stream enables much faster playback and simplicity of use.It is always good to know how to break down anything into its component parts, so without further ado, it’s time to split . . .Splitting Image ChannelsUnderexposed Donuts! The first step after you load your clip into a timeline is to duplicate the clip. In Premiere, the default quick keys for duplicating clips are alt+left click for windows and option+left click on mac.Separating LuminanceTo pull the chroma information out of our luma channel, all we need to do is navigate to the Basic Correction tab in the Lumetri color panel and slide the saturation to 0%.Separating Chroma ChannelsSeparating the chroma channels involves a few more steps. To start, duplicate your original (full-color) clip and place it above your luminance clip on the timeline. From here, navigate to the Curves tab in Lumetri and drag the top right point on all the curves (except for red) all the way to the bottom. Essentially, we’re cutting everything except for the red color in the shot.Duplicate the original clip once more, and place it on top of your red and luma clips. Now repeat the curves adjustments, but this time, isolate the blue channel.Now repeat the whole process once more for the green channel, placing it on top of everything.Technically, there isn’t a green color channel in the original clip, but I usually find the best results by including it. Test using or excluding it for your own clips.Now, go through each color layer and set its Opacity Blend mode to Lighten, but leave the opacity at 100%. (There are multiple blend modes and methods that will yield similar results, so experiment.)Your footage channels are now separated out by luminance and color, and you should finally have a normal-looking image again.Working with Split ChannelsNow, let’s look at a couple of things we can do to improve our donuts a little more.First, I’ll clean the timeline up a bit by nesting the three color channels. This is entirely optional, but I prefer previewing as few video layers as possible.One of the most useful reasons to separate luma from chroma is for sharpening your clip. Because the luma channel determines how we perceive sharpness, we can sharpen it individually from the color info, resulting in a clearer image without a lot of the nastiness that comes from sharpening footage in the color channels.But be careful not to go overboard — I’ve sharpened this clip by less than 20%.Cleaning up BlockinessOn the window to the left of the donut, we can see some severe artifacting caused by bringing the levels up on this shot. Let’s fix that.Select the chroma layer, and then head to the HSL/Secondary tab in Lumetri. Enable grey selection preview, and then find where the problematic blocking is by qualifying each channel.I’m fairly happy with my selection, so I’m just doing some basic tweaks to reduce its visibility.While we haven’t eliminated the blockiness entirely, we’ve pretty effectively covered it up. So let’s pull it out just a touch more.Chroma Channel Noise ReductionNow, we’ll apply Neat Video to the chroma layer and launch the plugin. I’ll do my best here to select this specific region of noise, despite Neat Video’s attempts to tell me that the region is too small. I usually shoot for 60% or greater selection quality, but here I was only able to get to about 45%, which should still work.Now move into the Noise Filter Settings to preview and tweak the results. With a bit of (uncharacteristic) luck, I think I’m good with the default filter settings. So, I’ll commit the changes and return to Premiere to ensure everything looks good there.I’ve tweaked the color on the results just a hair, and I think we’re looking great!Before.After.And that’s it! We have successfully split out our original footage into its component channels and brought the exposure to a much more appealing level while making the clip look even better than before.So try this method out if you’re having trouble salvaging your underexposed clips. There is so much more that you can do with your image channels separated — load up some clips, and see for yourself.Cover image via Simon Mayer.Looking for more articles on post-production? Check these out.Post-Production Tip: Quick and Dirty Noise Reduction Without a PluginHow to Get Better Color Grades Using Opacity Blend ModesImprove Your Masks with Hue, Saturation, and Luminance QualifiersPost-Production Tips: How to Save Corrupted FootageUnderstanding the Opacity Blend Modes in Adobe Premiere Prolast_img read more

San Miguel, Kia change imports

first_imgPH needs to ‘continue to get better’ as rest of Southeast Asia catches up Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. San Miguel wasn’t the lone team who has made moves midway this season-ending conference, with winless Kia also replacing Markeith Cummings with Geron Johnson.The 25-year-old Johnson is fresh from his stint in Lebanon with Louaize, where he averaged 24.19 points, 8.65 rebounds, 6.19 assists, 2.85 steals, and 1.04 blocks.The Picanto have yet to taste a victory in the season-ending conference despite Cummings’ best efforts, netting 26.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 steals in the seven games he played.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES ‘Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance PLAY LIST 01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance00:50Trending Articles02:46Makabayan bloc: Duterte suspension order on rice importation only a ‘media stunt’01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension He recently wrapped up his stint with BC Cactus Tbilisi in Georgia, where he averaged 11.89 points, 8.46 rebounds, 1.36 assists, 1.39 blocks, and 1.32 steals.Bridgeman will take over for McKines, who had a decent showing for the Beermen but could not help the team from losing two of their last three games, including 100-103 defeat to NLEX last Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We decided to take a different direction in consideration of our current team composition and health status. We welcome Mr. Bridgeman and hope that he could provide the things we need in order for us to be successful in this conference,” said San Miguel team manager Gee Abanilla in a text message to INQUIRER.net.McKines averaged 26.2 markers, 14.2 boards, 4.4 dimes, 1.4 blocks, and 1.2 steals in his five games for the Beermen. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Wendell McKines. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netAmid a subpar PBA Governors’ Cup showing so far, grand Slam-seeking San Miguel has changed its import, flying in Terik Bridgeman for Wendell McKines.The 6-foot-5 Bridgeman is a product of William Paterson University who went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Brownlee defends lack of timeout: We had good looks, just didn’t convert

first_imgView comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Justin Brownlee. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netJustin Brownlee felt that the Ginebra players were justified for not calling a timeout in the last 15 seconds of Game 4 on Friday.“I think we’re in the heat of the moment. We see we had the opportunity where we could score. I thought we had some good looks. We just didn’t knock them down,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Mercado suffers high-grade ankle sprain after chasedown blockcenter_img Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion MOST READ The Gin Kings had five chances to sue for time as coach Tim Cone and LA Tenorio desperately tried to get the attention of of the players on the floor to call a timeout.But with adrenaline running high, the players waved off the instruction and found a cutting Brownlee in the final seconds. However, the reinforcement’s potential game-tying shot fell way short as time expired, handing Meralco the 85-83 victory to even the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at two games each.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Of course, we’ve wanted to get a timeout and drop a designed play for that type of situation, but I think we got a couple of good looks but we just didn’t convert. They got some good looks as well, but they converted,” he said.With the best-of-seven series now a virtual best-of-three, Brownlee noted that from this point forward, it’s a matter of “who wants it more.” LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa “They’re a tough team and we’re a tough team, so every game is going to be a 50-50 game. Who wants it more will come out on top. The rest of the games will probably come down to the wire, so we got to finish the game strong,” he said.Brownlee also said that though playing in front of a mammoth crowd inside Philippine Arena will be quite an experience, the Gin Kings need to calm themselves down and play to their potential.“From what I’ve heard, it’s the biggest indoor arena in the world. I’ve never played in anything like that, so it’s definitely going to be exciting for me,” he said. “But we just got to look at it like a same game, go out there and play our best.”Game 5 is on Sunday at the massive Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHlast_img read more

SEA Games 7: Things to watch out for with PH women’s volleyball team

first_imgCelebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul The 24-year-old is still as potent as ever and is still a reliable point-getter when the going gets tough for the Filipinos.3. Everything Jaja doesCONTRIBUTED PHOTOWhile Valdez leads the team in scoring in the Asian tournament, Jaja Santiago provides the glorious highlights.Santiago has evolved from a towering middle blocker to a versatile hitter that can play from the three spots in front of the net.Santiago can still make those quick kills from the middle and she’s added a deadly running spike that, so far, has been a beauty.4. Kimmy’s sneaky attacksPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netKim Fajardo is arguably the best setter among her peers as she steered De La Salle to three UAAP titles during her stay.The wily playmaker, though, is not only renowned for her assists but also for her scoring prowess.She won’t put up gaudy scoring numbers like Valdez or Santiago but when called upon Fajardo is willing to do the dirty work.5. Jove’s veteran smarts LATEST STORIES View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony MOST READ Reyes was a visible figure in the Philippines’ campaign in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship, communicating with teammates every chance she gets.The captain has shown control and calm while dealing with her teammates, and she seems to have shrugged off any outside negativity regarding her appointment.2. Alyssa doing Alyssa thingsCONTRIBUTED PHOTOAnother point of controversy was Alyssa Valdez’ inclusion to the national team but just like Reyes, Valdez has shown why she deserves to be in the position she’s in.Valdez was the team’s best scorer in the AVC tournament averaging 14 points a game, and that’s enough to prove why she was chosen as the country’s outside hitter for the SEA Games.ADVERTISEMENT NBA investigating Lakers amid George tampering allegationcenter_img And without further ado, here is the list.1. Mika’s leadershipFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingCONTRIBUTED PHOTOMika Reyes’ appointment as the team’s skipper didn’t quite sit well with the fanbase of Philippine volleyball since the picturesque middle blocker hasn’t been a captain in recent memory.But so far, she has shown that she has the qualities of being a great leader. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOIf there’s one constant in Philippine volleyball, it has to be Jovelyn Gonzaga donning the Philippine tricolor.Gonzaga is just 25-years-old—for comparison Valdez is 24—but has represented the Philippines in every conceivable volleyball tournament since 2015.She’s captained the team that participated in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, played in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship, AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship, and just everything in between.Gonzaga is Philippine volleyball personified.6. Kianna breaking throughCONTRIBUTED PHOTOKim Kianna Dy was initially named as a reserve player of the national team but when Rachel Anne Daquis announced that she would be leaving the team months before the SEA Games the La Sallian was thrust into the main team.And in her first game as a national player, didn’t go the way she had imagined it.She was a nervous wreck when she came in as a substitute in the AVC tournament, but her shot at redemption came just two days after.After her disappointing showing against Hong Kong, Dy showed class as part of the first six that faced Kazakhstan.Dy showed flashes 0f brilliance as one of the better opposite hitters of the country and proved to head coach Francis Vicente that she deserves to be in the main team. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim CONTRIBUTED PHOTOThe 2017 Southeast Asian Games just got going and what better way to pump yourself up for the regional sports showcase than read about a list of seven things to watch out for in Kuala Lumpur.And this is not about the tourist attractions in the Malaysian capital. This is about the seven best things about the women’s volleyball team of the Philippines.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo 7. The little ones, Denden and DawnPhoto from asianvolleyball.netDenden Lazaro and Dawn Macandili definitely breathe defense.Both Lazaro and Macandili have been prime examples of what a Philippine libero should be.The two defensive aces practically own the ground game and clean up whatever mess their taller teammates couldn’t get to.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PARlast_img read more

50 million could watch Mayweather-McGregor in the US alone

first_imgEach pay-per-view sale means more money in the wallets of both fighters. Though estimates vary widely, Mayweather is expected to make some $200 million, while McGregor will likely pocket at least $100 million.Though ticket sales have been slow in Las Vegas — largely because of astronomical prices — the fight is shaping up as must-see TV at a price of $99.95. People are expected to buy the fight in record numbers, with many sharing the cost of the telecast with friends and family they invite over.Taffet said people will treat it much like a Super Bowl by getting together in larger numbers than usual.“I think this is first and foremost a television event,” said Taffet, who oversaw 190 pay-per-views in his career at HBO. “The success of this fight in the financial record books of history will be made on pay-per-view. And I believe it’s going to deliver.”Industry observers say it’s hard to judge how many homes will buy a pay-per-view until the day of the fight many times, as people often buy late. But the anecdotal evidence — primarily the chatter on social media — indicates a good likelihood of it smashing the 4.6 million record of pay-per-view sales set by the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.ADVERTISEMENT That’s largely because the matchup will likely cross over from being just a sporting event to a party night.“We have definitely seen massive general market interest in addition to the sports fan,” said Stephen Espinoza, who heads sports for Showtime, which will televise the fight. “These general market viewers are often not part of the audience for even the biggest combat sports event. So the ceiling is pretty high.”Espinoza said the very nature of the fight — a matchup between a UFC star who has never boxed as a pro against one of the greatest fighters of his time — will drive the pay-per-view sales.“We believe this is an unprecedented event, quite frankly no one knows what to expect,” he said. “The element of these two outspoken personalities in one unprecedented event is compelling.”An early indication of interest in the fight is the massive betting both in Nevada and in other places where it is legal. Bookmakers say it will be the biggest bet fight ever, with an overwhelming number of the early tickets on McGregor to pull an upset.Still, there are plenty of tickets left in the arena itself, where prices originally ranged from $2,500 in the upper sections to $10,000 at ringside. Ticket prices have been dropping in the resale market — with some available for less than $1,300 on Tuesday — and are expected to decline more in the days before the fight.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul UFC champ Jon Jones flagged for another failed doping test Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Gamescenter_img Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR “It’s a cultural event that crosses all demographics and all social and economic factors,” said Mark Taffet, who formerly ran pay-per-view for HBO. “People are getting together to have a great time and we surely need an excuse to have a great time.”Taffet said that while an average of 5-6 people normally watches a pay-per-view, he wouldn’t be surprised if the fight averages 10 people a household. If it sells 5 million pay-per-views as widely anticipated, the fight could be watched by nearly one in six Americans.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe fight will also be seen by millions more worldwide, with promoters claiming it will be available either online or on a TV screen to more than 1 billion homes in 200 different countries.“If you are in Manhattan or you are on a desert island somewhere, if you have Wi-Fi, you can buy this fight,” promoter Dana White said. LATEST STORIES MOST READ This July 13, 2017 photo shows Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Conor McGregor, of Ireland, facing each other for photos during a news conference at Barclays Center in New York. So far fans aren’t exactly storming the box office to buy tickets for Mayweather Jr.’s fight next month with McGregor. A check online Saturday, July 29, 2017 revealed hundreds _ even thousands _ of seats still available from Ticketmaster at the T-Mobile arena for the Aug. 26 fight. There are so many open seats that fans with enough room left on their credit cards can buy six tickets together in 162 different spots throughout the arena. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor’s improbable challenge of Floyd Mayweather Jr. could be seen by a staggering 50 million people in the United States as fans and the curious gather in small and large parties.The fight Saturday night threatens the pay-per-view revenue record set by Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao two years ago and could dwarf it in viewership as people use the event as a reason to have friends and family over for a little escapism and controlled violence.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View commentslast_img read more

INSIDE SPORT WORLD CUP FEATURE

first_imgTouch Football Australia has received a massive publicity boost with a feature story on Australia’s 2007 Federation of International Touch World Cup campaign being featured in the November Issue of Inside Sport, Australia’s most respected Sporting magazine.For more than 14 Years, the Inside Sport team has combined thoughtful, hard-hitting and in-depth feature writing with lighter, more irreverent and bite-sized sporting tidbits for every sporting palate. With a Circulation of 52,529 and a Readership of 155,000, the magazine has mass popularity and reach all over Australia, and this is a major coup for Touch Football.Aaron Scott, a journalist for “Inside Sport” magazine tracked the progress of the Australian World Cup Men’s, Women’s, and Mixed Open Teams for the first two days of the 22-24 September Training Camp held in Sydney at Cronulla’s Toyota Park.Aaron interviewed various players, coaches, and officials over Friday and Saturday and was amazed at the speed of the game and the talent and dexterity players possessed across a range of fitness and game play disciplines.Touch aficionados will appreciate the article’s portrayal of Touch Football as a viable sport in its’ own right in Australia and around the World.The essence of our game and the athleticism, skill level, and professionalism of our National Open players was encapsulated well.The article is featured on pages 30–31 of the November issue of Inside Sport – so go and get yourself a copy of Inside Sport and see our sport in all its’ glory!last_img read more

Broadway Star Deborah Cox To Perform Akons No Labels Anthem

first_imgDeborah Cox will perform the patriotic “No Labels Anthem,” written and produced by Akon, at No Labels’ Meeting to Make America Work! on January 14 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.No Labels is a grassroots movement of hundreds of thousands of Democrats, Republicans and independents committed to a new politics of problem solving.The Meeting to Make America Work! will feature Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-UT) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and an emerging group of congressional “problem solvers” talking with more than 1,300 citizens from across the country about how to build trust across the aisle. Newark Mayor Cory Booker will also be speaking at the event, along with many other notable business and political leaders.Cox, a multi-platinum selling and multi-talented entertainer, has conquered the R&B and pop charts, raking in six top-20 Billboard R&B singles, and an impressive 11 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart. Cox is currently starring on Broadway in a reimagined version of Frank Wildhorn ’s “Jekyll & Hyde” musical.Cox will be performing the No Labels Anthem at 12:30 p.m., eastern time.To find out how to purchase the No Labels Anthem, and to learn more, click here.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Competition in Big Ten womens volleyball difficult

The Ohio State women’s volleyball team celebrates a victory against Michigan Sept. 27 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-1.Credit: Mark Batke / Lantern photographerWhen it comes to women’s volleyball, the Big Ten rules the rankings.As of Monday, seven of the conference’s 12 teams are ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll, with three others in the conference receiving multiple votes. That means 10 of 12, or more than 83 percent of all Big Ten women’s volleyball teams are either ranked or close to it. The conference with the second-highest number of teams either ranked or receiving votes is the Pac-12, with seven.Currently leading the pack is No. 2 Penn State, while Minnesota, Nebraska, Michigan State and Wisconsin all sit in the top 15. Purdue and Michigan come in at 16th and 17th, respectively, and Ohio State, Illinois and Northwestern each received votes.Northwestern coach Keylor Chan, who has led the Wildcats to a 5-5 conference record, said rankings are thrown out the window when it comes to Big Ten play.“It’s just difficult,” he said. “Every weekend you have great teams coming in, you never have a break.”Chan added that his team prepares for each opponent the same, no matter its national standing.“We prepare for everyone,” he said. “You’re preparing for each team, I don’t think rankings tell you what a team is like.”Chan’s Wildcats have not yet been ranked this season, but they have topped multiple teams featured in the AVCA poll. Northwestern beat then-No. 20 Purdue Oct. 12 and on Oct. 16, the Wildcats beat then-No. 17 Ohio State. The Buckeyes, who have been ranked as high as No. 12 this season, currently sit outside of the top 25 after finding out just how tough the competition is.OSU is currently 2-8 in Big Ten play, which includes six consecutive losses. The Buckeyes opened their conference season with a 3-1 home victory over then-No. 10 Michigan Sept. 27, but have not topped a ranked opponent since then.Even taking into account the team’s recent struggles, OSU still received 43 votes in the most recent AVCA poll.So Buckeyes have already played seven matches against current teams in the top 25. They are scheduled to play six of their final 10 Big Ten matches against currently ranked opponents.Freshman defensive specialist Valeria León said the competition is high in the Big Ten and that she and her teammates always have to be on top of their game.“You know, Wisconsin can beat Nebraska and Nebraska can beat Penn State,” León said. “You never know, we have to play hard every game.”Despite a tough schedule, OSU coach Geoff Carlston said he is “proud to be part of the Big Ten.”“It’s fun to figure out the problems and try to figure out what we need to do,” he said.Freshman middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe said playing in such a tough conference creates stronger players.“Honestly, playing in the Big Ten, it’s the best volleyball conference,” she said. “I think you’re going to be the best player you can be by coming out of it.”Four members of the 14 players named to the 2012 AVCA Division I First-Team All-America squad came from Big Ten schools. Six players from the conference made the second-team, four made the third-team, including Mari Hole from OSU, and four more made the honorable mention list.Senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary said the level of play is never a burden.“I love playing in the Big Ten, it’s one of the reasons I chose Ohio State,” she said. “Every single game you’re playing a top 20 team. It’s awesome, it’s fun and it definitely prepares you for the tournament.”Carlston, his players and Chan all said they agreed that winning a Big Ten title is tougher than winning a national championship.“(To) win the Big Ten title, you have to be good for 10 weeks,” Chan said.As is often the case, the Buckeyes are scheduled to return to the court this weekend for two more ranked matches.OSU is set to travel to East Lansing, Mich., Friday for a match against No. 14 Michigan State, before heading to Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday for a date with No. 17 Michigan. read more