Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 4 hrs ago
A rule limiting Sprint Cup drivers in NASCAR’s No. 2 and No. 3 series is official.
NASCAR said Wednesday that Cup drivers with five years full-time experience in the series will be limited to 10 Xfinity races and seven Camping World Truck Series races a season starting in 2017. Cup drivers are also barred from competing in the Chase races in each series.
It’s a compromise that allows sponsors the opportunity to sponsor Cup drivers at a discount in the Xfinity and Truck Series while also turning the championship focus to the drivers who compete in the series full time.
When NASCAR instituted eight-race Chase formats in the Xfinity and Truck Series before the 2016 season, it said Cup drivers were barred from competing in the winner-take-all finales at Homestead-Miami Speedway. That ban is still in place.
Cup drivers are also now prevented from competing in the four Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash races. Those races — Bristol, Richmond, Dover and Indianapolis — are given more importance on the Xfinity Series schedule with extra cash given to the highest-finishing Xfinity Series driver. Xfinity regular Erik Jones won two of those races in 2016 while Cup drivers won two.
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Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday 18 hrs ago
Navy quarterback Tago Smith’s college football career is over.
Smith suffered a torn right ACL in the team’s season-opener vs. Fordham. Since the injury occurred so early in the season, he could have applied for a medical redshirt with the NCAA and played in 2017 if it was approved.
He didn’t even get to the medical redshirt process. According to the Annapolis Capital-Gazette, he was denied a fifth year by the superintendent of the school.
“This is a four-year academic institution and midshipmen are expected to graduate in that period of time unless the superintendent determines there is a significant reason why they cannot do so,” McKinney said. “Vice Admiral Carter looked at this particular situation and decided that is not the case with Midshipmen Smith.”
Smith, who backed up record-setting quarterback Keenan Reynolds in 2015, is set to graduate in May and athletic director Chet Gladchuk said the school doesn’t have any rules allowing athletes extra time for their sports. Had Smith been approved by the school, he then could have appealed to the NCAA.
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Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday 21 hrs ago
Stanford is making a quarterback change before Saturday’s game against Arizona.
Coach David Shaw said Tuesday that Keller Chryst would get the start under center. Ryan Burns, who won the job before the season, had started every game so far in 2016 for the Cardinal.
Shaw noted, however, that the offense as a whole has struggled.
“It would be really easy if it were just the quarterback,” Shaw said via the San Jose Mercury News.
Shaw said, "As of right now, Keller's just going to play." No plans to rotate Burns into game
— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) October 25, 2016
Burns is 95-152 passing for 1,058 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions through seven games this season. Chryst, who replaced Burns for a spell during the second half of the Cardinal’s blowout loss to Washington State, is 7-18 passing for 63 yards and an interception.
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Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday 22 hrs ago
Connecticut coach Bob Diaco is taking the route of all publicity is good publicity regarding his team’s “rivalry” with Central Florida.
By now you may know that UCFleft the rivalry trophy on the field in Storrs on Saturday after beating the Huskies. Diaco said it was “disappointing” the Knights didn’t want to have anything to do with the trophy, but decided to view the positives of his brainchild during his Tuesday press conference.
“The idea worked,” Diaco said. “I pose this challenge: What matchup, even including the championship game, has been more widely covered than the Conflict? What matchup? Bring it to my attention, I’m very interested. So an obscure game that would have been meaningless otherwise and had no energy at all for two teams that really never played each other became a national conversation. That’s a bad thing? It definitely filled some papers.”
Diaco owned the Conflict’s creation Tuesday, but said that he didn’t create the rivalry “unilaterally.” He said he had pitched the idea of trophy games at an AAC spring meeting.
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Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday 1 day ago
ESPN has reportedly given the Big 12 some additional cash in exchange for the removal of a potentially costly clause in the network’s contract with the league.
According to Sports Business Daily (article behind a paywall), ESPN paid the league an extra $10 million over the remaining eight years of its contract. In exchange for the payment, the Big 12 reportedly removed language in its contract with ESPN that would mandate the network pay the conference more if it expands to 12 or more teams.
ESPN will pay Big 12 $10m total over remainder of agreement to remove pro rata clause. Fox will not increase pay – will keep its pro rata.
— Kristi Dosh (@SportsBizMiss) October 25, 2016
SBD first reported this summer that Fox and ESPN were reluctant to the league’s ideas of potential expansion because of the wording of the contracts it had with the league. The Big 12 was set to make more money from television if it added teams.
At Big 12 basketball media day, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby declined to comment on the report.
Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 1 day ago
Welcome to Power Rankings. As always, Power Rankings are far from a scientific formula. In fact, it’s the perfect blend of analytics and bias against your favorite driver. Direct all your complaints to us at email@example.com and we’ll try to have some fun.
1. Kevin Harvick (LW: 1): Harvick stays at No. 1 this week because of his incredibly smart decision to get off the gas when Denny Hamlin sliced in front of him in the tri-oval on the final lap. Harvick had every right to keep his foot on the gas pedal and potentially send Hamlin spinning off his bumper. But that decision could’ve had catastrophic consequences in the form of a massive wreck.
And it would have been the second-straight time a Talladega Chase race ended with a crash off Harvick’s bumper. Thankfully we’re not going through that again. But his apparent punch of Kurt Busch after the race is weird. And if it was really a punch, it’s the third-straight year that Harvick has been in a physical Chase altercation.
It’s hard for a car to stay near the front of the field with a broken engine.
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Advocating for a penalty for the three Joe Gibbs Racing cars at Talladega? Stop. It’s baseless and a waste of your time.
NASCAR vice president Steve O’Donnell said Monday there would be no penalties for Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth. The three teammates finished 28th-30th on Sunday and advanced to the third round of the Chase by doing so. There was no need for the three to try to finish in the top 15 after engine failures to the cars of Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. earlier in the race.
“I’d say they do not fall into (the 100% rule),” O’Donnell said Monday during his weekly appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio’s The Morning Drive . “The spirit of that rule is really to prevent somebody from intentionally allowing anther teammate to do something that would not be in the spirit of the rules of the race.
Don't hate the player… Hate the game.
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• Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. are tied for the Sprint Cup Series lead in wins. Each has four victories in 2016. Yet Keselowski and Truex aren’t among the eight drivers advancing to the third round of the Chase after their misfortune at Talladega.
Both Keselowski and Truex had engine failures Sunday. Truex’s came first. Then Keselowski’s happened after he had previously had trash on the grille of his car.
In a NASCAR that likes to tout the importance of winning, their absence from the final rounds of the Chase may seem glaring. Especially since it’s the first time in the three years of the current Chase format that a driver at least tied for the most wins in the series through 32 races has missed out on the Chase’s final two rounds.
But that’s what happens in this Chase format. With three races in a round, one bad finish can ruin your championship if you don’t get a win in the round’s other two races. Truex was 13th and 11th over the last two weeks. Another top-15 would have meant easy advancement. Instead, Truex finished 40th.
• How about Brian Scott? His highest finish of the season was 12th entering Sunday’s race. He finished second.
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Maybe Talladega was the “lay up” race of the third round?
Joe Gibbs Racing’s four cars represent half of the eight drivers advancing to the third round of the Chase. And three of those JGR drivers played a survive and advance strategy to perfection Sunday.
Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth entered Sunday’s race with hefty points advantages over ninth place. Kenseth was up 29 points on ninth, Busch 27 and Edwards 24. With one point being awarded per position, each of the three knew that it would take a big points swing to get knocked out of the Chase.
The easiest way to be a part of a big points swing at Talladega? Get involved in a crash. So the three teammates ran behind the main pack of cars for the entirety of the day. Kenseth finished 28th, Edwards was 29th and Busch was 30th.
The strategy to run at the back for most of the race at Talladega isn’t uncommon. Every race features at least a handful of drivers content to ride in the back for 400 of the first 500 miles to avoid any possible pileups. Then, as the laps wind down, it’s time to move to the front.
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Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday 2 days ago
Ohio State’s biggest rival took advantage of the Buckeyes’ loss in the post-Week 8 AP poll.
Michigan moved up a spot to No. 2 following its win over Illinois on Saturday. Ohio State was No. 2 last week but OSU lost to Penn State. The Buckeyes fell to No. 6.
No. 1 Alabama once again got all but one of the first-place votes in the poll. The Tide beat then-No. 6 Texas A&M 33-14 on Saturday. The Aggies fell three spots to No. 9.
Clemson moved to No. 3 while Washington is at No. 4. Louisville rounds out the top five.
Penn State jumped into the top 25 at No. 24 thanks to the win over Ohio State.
Here’s how the entire poll looks. Ohio State remains ahead of undefeated Power Five teams Nebraska, Baylor and West Virginia.
1. Alabama 2. Michigan 3. Clemson 4. Washington 5. Louisville 6. Ohio State 7. Nebraska 8. Baylor 9. Texas A&M 10. West Virginia 11. Wisconsin 12. Florida State 13. Boise State 14. Florida 15. Auburn 16. Oklahoma 17. Utah 18. Tennessee 19. LSU 20. Western Michigan 21. North Carolina 22. Navy 23. Colorado 24. Penn State 25. Virginia Tech