Jacoby Brissett was buried in the New England franchise behind Tom Brady when he was traded to the Colts. When Andrew Luck failed to recover from his shoulder surgery, no quarterback in the Colts system was able to step up and do the job.Brian Schottenheimer, the offensive coordinator of the Colts, found a willing & capable body in Brissett. Jacoby reminds me of the Bengals back-up quarterback, McCarron. They are very good but not good enough to beat out the starter. However, when injuries occur, they step in and do the job.With the uncertainty of Luck’s future, Jacoby Brissett may just be the new leader of the Colts. Time will tell.
Based on this year’s admissions numbers, earning a spot at USC was harder this year than ever before.Of the 35,730 applicants, 8,500 were admitted for the fall semester for a total acceptance rate of 23.8 percent, according to Tim Brunold, USC’s director of undergraduate admissions. Last year, 24.1 percent of applicants were admitted.Based on its acceptance rate, Brunold said USC remains among the 40 most selective universities in the country and among the eight most selective schools in California.“Getting into USC makes me proud of what I’ve done and everything I’ve accomplished,” said Vivian Yan, an admitted student from Orange County, Calif. “I know you can’t measure success by where someone’s gotten in, but it makes me feel like I’ve done something worthwhile.”This year’s class is also slightly stronger than last year’s, with an average SAT score more than 20 points higher than last year’s.“It’s very strong,” Brunold said. “There’s been an enormous increase in quality in both SAT scores and GPA. It’s at the highest it’s ever been.”The quality of students can be seen not only in their GPAs and SAT scores but also in more qualitative factors, Brunold said.“They have more rigorous coursework, more activities, [and] higher quality of writing on essays,” he said. “It’s not an exaggeration to say this year’s class is the strongest we’ve ever put together. The overall quality of the pool is what stands out in my mind.”In addition to the 8,500 fall admits, about 1,000 students have also been admitted for the spring semester and are currently on a waitlist to see if they can start attending USC in the fall. These announcements will be made at the end of May.Brunold said the school expects to enroll about 300 freshmen in the spring.“I can’t believe I’m in,” said Allison Selick, a spring admit from New Jersey. “I’ve wanted this for a really long time. Everyone fits into a certain school, and I know USC is a dream school for a lot of people, so I just feel really fortunate.”There was also an increase in ethnic diversity of admitted students.About 20 percent of the freshman class identified themselves as African American, Latino, Native American or Pacific Islanders, Brunold said. Last year, this number was closer to 18.9 percent.This year, USC also admitted more international students; 12 percent of the admitted students for the fall 2010 semester are international students, compared to about 10.5 percent last year.Some statistics stayed about the same. About 47 percent of admits were male and the remainder were female for both the 2009 and 2010 fall semesters, Brunold said.Additionally, about 10 percent of the admitted students both years were first-generation college-goers.Brunold said about 20 percent of the admitted class received some kind of merit-based scholarship, ranging from the full trustee scholarship to scholarships granting a few thousand dollars per year.Between 60 and 65 percent of the incoming class will receive need-based financial aid.Overall, Brunold said, admissions was tougher this year than ever before.“As the overall quality of students increases and admission decreases, we’re going to notice a lot more students are disappointed,” Brunold said.The 8,500 admitted students have until May 1 to decide whether they will attend.
2017 was a huge year for esports with immense progress made across the board, from sponsorships and investments to mammoth-prize money and increased mainstream coverage. The foundations have been firmly laid for continued growth throughout 2018. With that in mind, here are our New Year’s resolutions for esports going in to the New Year.Improve professionalism in a youth-dominated marketA lack of professionalism has been a long-standing issue in esports – often a problem when granting young people anonymity on the internet. However, following the steps taken in recent years to evolve esports into a viable and respectable industry, it is about time this issue is tackled head on.There were plenty of examples of poor professional conduct in 2017 alone. We saw; players cheating in online tournaments, being intoxicated at major events, and even stage hosts being disrespectful to competitors. Not only does this show esports in a poor light to newcomers, it also gives the wrong idea as to the kind of conduct that is deemed acceptable in an industry that many already have negative preconceived notions of, as well as disappointing existing fans.There is, of course, the recent swatting case that took place in Kansas which saw an innocent man lose his life over a $2 Call of Duty wager match. The case made international news and again reflects poorly on the esports community. The industry most definitely doesn’t need added stigma in the mainstream press.Going in to 2018, we must seek to develop a more professional image. Players should start being held to the same standard of top sporting personalities, especially as the two continue to converge.Garner more mainstream media coverageSamsung Galaxy versus SK Telecom T1 at the 2016 World Championship – Finals at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California, USA on 29 October 2016. Credit Riot GamesAlongside the industry growth, esports has started to have more of an impact on the mainstream over the last year. We’ve seen the UK’s largest national newspaper, the Daily Mail, hire their first full-time esports journalists. BBC Three provided weekly coverage for the Gfinity Elite Series and U.S. television channel TBS broadcast multiple ELEAGUE events, including titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Injustice 2.This is a solid start, but there remains plenty of room for growth in this area. With the way esports is going, mainstream media outlets would be foolish to ignore it much longer and the extra exposure would only further endorse esports and enhance its appeal to some of the major sponsors and investors considering getting involved.That being said, many outlets have tried to create content around esports and not had much success. GQ recently published an article subtly scoffing at esports and professional gamers, as well as the BBC ending a solid piece of coverage with questionable remarks about the players they had just interviewed. That said, coverage has generally improved in recent years, exemplified by the work being done by BBC Three, TBS and Daily Mail.With NBA teams such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors making their moves into esports, as well as investments from the likes of Jennifer Lopez and major American sports entrepreneur Stan Kroenke, it makes sense that esports will continue to converge with the mainstream but it requires a unified effort to further legitimise esports to those on the outside.Improved communications between organisations and mediaThis links very closely with the previous point, but is just as important in itself. Often, teams make major decisions, such as agreements with notable sponsors, but lack PR representation to share the news. This, in turn, weakens the reach and value of any commercial deals or announcements. Having representative agencies or in-house PR staff to create and share press releases with the relevant outlets could have huge benefits in introducing teams or players to a wider audience.Some of the larger organisations are now doing this, and so this may be something that comes as a result of a general development in stability for teams across the board. Regardless, it should certainly be high up on the agenda of any organisation who wishes to make a real splash in esports in the long term.Better esports education from a UK perspectiveSchoolchildren learning about esports Credit: British Esports AssociationAs esports continues to grow, so too does the number of people wanting to get involved in an industry that seems very selective from the outside. In 2017, we saw steps being made towards providing a better education of esports to people from a variety of backgrounds. Staffordshire University introduced their esports degree, set to start this year, and the University of Leicester partnered with ESL UK to “provide students with valuable insights into esports business”.Further down the scale, the British Esports Association ran a fantastic scheme, bringing an esports after-school club to Maida Vale library, for local schoolchildren between the ages of 10-13. Here, children could try their hand at playing Rocket League as well as casting, and were able to listen to talks from British Esports Association volunteers. More recently there has been good work done by the team over at XIII Esports, again with a focus on grassroots in the UK.The UK continues to lag behind in many major esports titles and education is imperative to break the perceived social stigma around esports and video games. In areas where esports education is more prevalent, such as South Korea and Scandinavia, esports has become highly respected and understood on a wider scale.It cannot be stated quite how far esports has come in the last year alone, but should the aforementioned be fulfilled, the sky really is the limit. Some of the biggest names and brands in the world have invested in esports and should we make smart decisions, esports will continue to flourish.