- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles16 hrs ago
Is Brad Keselowski setting up to go two-for-two at New Hampshire in 2014?
The 2012 Sprint Cup champion and winner of the first race of the 2014 Chase at Chicago on Sunday won the pole Friday at New Hampshire, site of the second race of the Chase.
In July, Keselowski led 138 laps and won at New Hampshire. Because of that win earlier in the year, six-time champion Jimmie Johnson called Keselowski's team the team to beat before Friday's qualifying session.
“Yeah, I would expect him to be in a similar position for two reasons," Johnson said. "One, he had so much more pace than the rest of the field here in the spring race that it’s hard to believe that everybody could cover that gap and get back to him. And then when we went to Richmond, which wasn’t too long ago as a short track and they had that form there, too. So, I’d definitely say those guys are tough to handle.”
Keselowski won at Richmond, the last race before the Chase. Johnson turned out to be prophetic for Friday. Will be prophetic for Sunday?
Jamie McMurray qualified second, three-hundredths of a second behind Keselowski. Kevin Harvick qualified third, while Denny Hamlin was fourth and Kyle Busch was fifth.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday17 hrs ago
Were you one of the (un)fortunate people who waited in line for an iPhone 6 on Friday? If you were in Palo Alto, Calif., you would have had the opportunity to see Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Cook is a noted Auburn alum and so someone decided the best way to get Cook's attention would be to shout "Roll Tide." And sure enough, Cook heard it and immediately responded with a "War Eagle." We're thinking that "Roll Tide" would have been much more effective had Auburn lost to Kansas State Thursday night. Instead, the Tigers won 20-14.
In December, Cook got a lifetime achievement award from Auburn and used his speech to take the opportunity to troll Alabama about Chris Davis' kick return with a second on the clock in the 2013 Iron Bowl.
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- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday19 hrs ago
Unless you're a big Florida State fan, you're probably unfamiliar with Florida State QB Sean Maguire who is making his first career start Saturday night in place of the suspended Jameis Winston.
If you remember Maguire's name, it's probably from last November and December. With the uncertainty that surrounded Jameis Winston at the time of the investigation into sexual assault accusations against him, Maguire, who was FSU's third-string QB at the beginning of the year, would have started the ACC Championship Game for the Seminoles if Winston was unable to play.
WInston played in the game after Florida state attorney Willie Meggs didn't press charges against him citing a lack of evidence in the case. Maguire had become WInston's primary backup in early November after Jacob Coker had knee surgery. Coker transferred after the season and is now at Alabama.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday20 hrs ago
A winning week!
After two disastrous weeks to start the year, we got on the positive side of the ledger with a 6-4 week three to bring our season record to a wonderful 8-22. All we have to do is go 9-1 the next two weeks to get over .500 through week 6. OK, yeah, that's impossible. Continue to fade these picks if you'd like, though we're set to make it two positive weeks in a row.
Iowa at Pitt (-7), Noon ET: The confidence in Pitt is not what it once was after the ugly win over Florida International. But doesn't the win over Boston College look better too? There's always the chance the Panthers could Pitt and with Paul Chryst's commitment to the running game, this won't be the prettiest of football games. But I have much more confidence in Pitt than I do in Iowa at this point.
Brad Keselowski: 'It kind of feels a little bit like a cop-out' that Stewart case sent to grand juryNick Bromberg at From The Marbles21 hrs ago
Brad Keselowski was asked about the continued legal proceedings surrounding the death of Kevin Ward Jr. on August 9 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park during his media availabilty on Friday.
Ward was hit by Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart after he exited his car to confront Stewart's car on the track. The Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Department investigation into Ward's death wrapped before the Chase for the Sprint Cup began and on Tuesday, the Ontario County District Attorney sent the case to a grand jury.
During its investigation, Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said officials had obtained a second video of the incident. Shortly after it happened, a video of the incident was posted to YouTube. Details of the second video are unknown.
Save for statements made during the early stages, the OCSD's investigation was largely done out of the public eye.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday23 hrs ago
Kansas State felt Auburn had figured out its offensive signals.
KSU coach Bill Snyder told ESPN's Samantha Ponder at halftime of the Wildcats' loss to Auburn Thursday night that "They're getting our signals" and that the Wildcats changed some at halftime.
After the game, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn denied Snyder's claim that the Tigers knew KSU's signals.
It's not the first time that this accusation has been leveled against Auburn. You may remember that during the BCS Championship Game, Florida State put towels over its offensive signal-givers after the Seminoles felt Auburn had its signals.
Auburn assistant coach Dameyune Craig was a former assistant for Florida State, and the Noles felt that Craig had their signals. In the first half of the BCS Championship, Auburn jumped out to a 21-3 lead before losing 34-31.
With Jameis Winston out for the first half Saturday night because of a suspension, Clemson has a big opportunity to jump out to a first-half lead.
Winston was suspended by Florida State for the first 30 minutes because of a lewd remark he yelled at the FSU student union on Tuesday. If FSU struggles in his absence with QB Sean Maguire and Clemson wins, there will undoubtedly be wondering if the Noles would have won with Winston playing the entire game.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney doesn't care about that.
“Georgia beat us. Did we put an asterisk by that?," Swinney said Wednesday after practice (via TigerNet.com.) "We didn’t have three senior starters,” Swinney said outside of the indoor practice facility. “You don’t think Corey Crawford, David Beasley and Garry Peters could’ve made difference? How about Sam Cooper? Do we put an asterisk by that Georgia win? Three guys from Georgia that game that were important too and I didn’t have to sit them that game. Heck, no. They beat us. Period. There’s no asterisk by that. Give me a break."
Texas A&M will have a second new field to replace its first new field.
The turf at Kyle Field was replaced before the season began. But almost five inches of rain fell on the field in a 24-hour period before the Aggies' game against Rice in week three. The rain meant the playing surface was coming up in large chunks at times and A&M staff members would run out on the field between plays and replace the divots.
Because the divoting was so severe, the Bryan-College Station Eagle reports there will be a different grass surface installed at Kyle Field before Texas A&M's next home game on October 11 against Ole Miss.
“After the game, the chancellor asked the staff and the Kyle Field redevelopment committee to look at options,” Steve Moore, A&M System vice chancellor of marketing and communications said. “He wanted to know how to provide the best competitive playing surface we could going to forward and that’s what led to this process and the decisions that have been made.”
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles1 day ago
Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or @NickBromberg.We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy.
Y'all were quiet this week. Did Brad Keselowski's pass bore you or something? Here it is again just because it was a rare moment.
Spoiler alert, I'm afraid the chances of this happening throughout the next nine races are slim-to-none, but I'm not going to complain in the slightest if I am wrong.
Wednesday, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Stanley and DeWalt would sponsor Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth respectively. It means that Richard Petty Motorsports is going to be down a sponsor for 2015, but given that there's a driver change a the No. 9, it's not terribly surprising. It'll be interesting to see how much sponsorship is tied to RPM's impending driver search.
Let's get to our topics this week. And the onus is on y'all to break out some good questions next week.
The saga of the cross decals on Arkansas State's helmets is hopefully over.
If you're not familiar with it, we'll get you up to speed. The coaching staff and players at Arkansas State designed a memorial decal in the shape of a cross for DT Markel Owens and team manager Barry Weyer Jr. Owens was killed in an attempted robbery in January and Weyer was killed in a car accident in June.
The stickers, which had the initials of both Owens and Weyer on them, were worn on the back of Arkansas State's helmets for the first two games of the season. However, they were removed after the university received a complaint and its legal counsel felt the crosses would be unconstitutional because of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.