STATE COLLEGE, PA – NOVEMBER 21: James Franklin head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions congratulates Jim Harbaugh head coach of the Michigan Wolverines after the game at Beaver Stadium on November 21, 2015 in State College, Pennsylvania. The Wolverines won 28-16. (Photo by Evan Habeeb/Getty Images)There’s over six months remaining until the 2019 college football season kicks off, but predictions are already ramping up. Plenty of change has come to the Big Ten Conference, which could seriously alter the balance of power.On Thursday, ESPN released its early preseason rankings via the Football Power Index (FPI). With the advanced metric, we got a quick preview of the Big Ten as well – and the results are interesting to say the least.Per ESPN’s FPI, Michigan is slated to be the top team in the conference, coming in at No. 5. But the Buckeyes might be a little bit peeved at who comes ranked next in the conference.The second-highest rated team is not the Ohio State Buckeyes, but the Penn State Nittany Lions.Penn State was ranked No. 12, while Ohio State was ranked No. 13.The two factors that appear to have played the biggest role in putting Penn State ahead of Ohio State is the Nittany Lions’ apparent superiority in the offensive, defensive, and special teams rankings.The next two Big Ten teams in ESPN’s top 25 are the Michigan State Spartans at No. 14 and the Wisconsin Badgers at No. 23.The Spartans actually have the third-ranked defense in college football, but the team’s 55th-ranked offense appears to have hurt their score.
Noting that 65 per cent of countries emerging from war in Africa slipped back into conflict, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Carol Bellamy said transition must be about acting quickly and effectively to build and consolidate peace by laying the foundation for addressing the causes of the conflict.Ms. Bellamy, who moderated the panel, said the challenges of transitions were complex and meeting them required more than humanitarian relief and development efforts, but a coherent strategy for creating stability and peace.The main elements characterizing such transitional situations were the emergence of an administration, the restoration of civil authority, overall stabilization, increased security and access, as well as increased hope for the end of conflict, said Ameerah Haq, of the Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Recovery in the UN Development Programme (UNDP).Repatriation, reintegration, rehabilitation and reconstruction (4Rs) are the cornerstone to the sustainable peaceful co-existence and return of those displace by conflict, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ruud Lubbers stated.Echoing the need for approaches that promote long lasting peace, Ross Mountain of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said in situations of transition, UN Country Teams must focus their priorities around goals such as normalizing the situation to enable full participation of the local population in the development process and identifying factors that could result in a conflict relapse.Focusing on the situation in Angola, Eric de Mul, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the country, said the move from a situation of emergency to one of development made life much more difficult in many ways. Many more partners got involved and structural problems – which could not be tackled within the context of prior humanitarian programmes – emerged making it evident that coordination only worked when it represented added value to its participants.Jacques Forster, Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said transition periods should be understood as intermediate periods, where conflict had ended or was in remission. ICRC policy regarding assistance programmes was guided by the importance of adopting a participatory approach, strengthening local capacities, improving systems and addressing the psychological suffering of victims, among other factors, he added.Panellists also noted the need to focus more attention on natural disasters.Concluding the panel presentation, ECOSOC Vice-President Valery Kuchinsky reaffirmed that the UN was indispensable in implementing a transition from relief to development.