Category Archives: Uncategorized











JIM GROBE / Head Coach – Wake Forest

FRANK BEAMER / Head Coach – Virginia Tech

TOM O'BRIEN / Head Coach – NC State

JIMBO FISHER / Head Coach – Florida State

DABO SWINNEY / Head Coach – Clemson



BOBBY CURLINGS / Head Coach – New Bern Bears


ADAM THOMPSON / New Bern Sun Journal Sports Editor


JORDAN HONEYCUTT / New Bern Sun Journal Sports Writer




POP LIFE with April Daughety

Episode #2 August 2, 2012 ( Olympics Edition )


Episode #1 July 19, 2012











JIM GROBE / Head Coach – Wake Forest

FRANK BEAMER / Head Coach – Virginia Tech

TOM O’BRIEN / Head Coach – NC State

JIMBO FISHER / Head Coach – Florida State






ADAM THOMPSON / New Bern Sun Journal Sports Editor

JORDAN HONEYCUTT / New Bern Sun Journal Sports Writer


POP LIFE with April Daughety

Episode #2 August 2, 2012 ( Olympics Edition )

Episode #1 July 19, 2012

THE DRIVE 2012 Preseason NCAA Football Top 25

USA Today Coaches’ Poll
1 LSU (18) 0-0 1403 2
2 Alabama (20) 0-0 1399 1
3 USC (19) 0-0 1388 NR
4 Oklahoma 0-0 1276 15
5 Oregon 0-0 1258 4
6 Georgia 0-0 1061 20
7 Florida State 0-0 1055 23
8 Michigan 0-0 1023 9
9 South Carolina 0-0 981 8
10 Arkansas 0-0 948 5
11 West Virginia 0-0 833 18
12 Wisconsin 0-0 743 11
13 Michigan State 0-0 717 10
14 Clemson 0-0 598 22
15 Texas 0-0 549 NR
16 Nebraska 0-0 501 24
17 TCU 0-0 499 13
18 Stanford 0-0 497 7
19 Oklahoma State 0-0 476 3
20 Virginia Tech 0-0 461 17
21 Kansas State 0-0 398 16
22 Boise State 0-0 271 6
23 Florida 0-0 250 NR
24 Notre Dame 0-0 166 NR
25 Auburn 0-0 66 NR

LSU picked up 18 first-place votes in the first USA Today coaches’ poll — two fewer than Alabama — but the Tigers edged the Crimson Tide for the top spot in the preseason rankings.


LSU picked up 1,403 points in voting of the nation’s coaches, edging defending national champion Alabama with 1,399.  


It is the second time since 1998 that teams that met in the previous season’s title game are the top two teams in the preseason poll.


Oklahoma, with one first-place vote, is fourth in the preseason poll, followed by Oregon, Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, South Carolina and Arkansas.


The SEC, which has won the past six BCS Championship Games, has five of the nation’s top 10 teams and seven teams in the preseason poll. The Big 12 also has seven teams, but only one in the top 10. Its two newcomers — West Virginia and TCU — are both ranked, however. The Mountaineers are 11th and the Horned Frogs are 17th.


The Big 10, Pac-12 and ACC have three each.

Boise State is 22nd and Notre Dame 24th in the initial rankings.

The Big East was shut out for the second straight year.

THE DRIVE NFL – Browns Sell For $1 Billion


Randy Lerner has reached a deal to sell the Cleveland Browns to truck-stop magnate Jimmy Haslam.

The deal is worth more than $1 billion, league sources said.



“This is a very exciting time for my family and me,” Haslam said through the team in a statement Thursday announcing the agreement between the sides.

“To own such a storied franchise as the Cleveland Browns, with its rich tradition and history, is a dream come true. We are committed to keeping the team in Cleveland and seeing it get back to the elite of the NFL — something all Browns fans want and deserve.”

Paperwork between the two sides was completed Thursday morning.

NFL ownership is expected to approve Haslam’s purchase at its October meeting. Commissioner Roger Goodell could expedite the process by calling a special meeting, although that is considered unlikely.

The NFL helped bring Haslam to Lerner so that a sale could be completed smoothly, efficiently and with a high probability of success. Haslam had informed the league how much he wanted to buy a team, and Lerner — who is more interested in his soccer team (Aston Villa in England) — was interested in selling the Browns.

The Browns have been owned by the Lerner family since 1999, when the franchise was reborn after the original club moved to Baltimore. The late Al Lerner, Randy’s father, purchased the inactive franchise from the NFL in 1998 for $530 million.

Randy Lerner, 50, inherited the Browns in 2002 following his father’s death.

Some fans have been unhappy with Randy Lerner, long criticizing him as a disengaged owner of a club that has made the playoffs just once since it was recreated.

Haslam has been a minority investor in the Pittsburgh Steelers and in a 2010 profile told the team’s website that he had been a Dallas Cowboys and then an Indianapolis Colts fan. But with the Pittsburgh investment, Haslam said he had become “1,000 percent a Steelers fan.” The Steelers, of course, are the Browns’ chief rivals.


Asked if he was surprised by the deal, Browns president Mike Holmgren said: “On one hand, the surprising part was the time of the year. But in this business, I gave up being surprised a long time ago.”

Haslam has begun to make plans with the Rooney family to sell the portion of the Steelers that he owns. By the time his purchase of the Browns becomes official, he no longer is expected to own the percentage of the Steelers that he controls.



As for Haslam possibly moving the franchise, Holmgren emphatically said, “The Cleveland Browns aren’t going anywhere.”

But the current staff might be if the Browns don’t do better than the 4-12 record of 2011, Pat Shurmur’s first season as coach. New owners usually bring in their own management team, although Shurmur has impressed many people around the league.

“I have no fear about any of that because I trust my coaches, I trust the players and I’ve watched the work they’ve done based on the conversation of this last week,” Shurmur said Thursday. “I think we’re moving full steam ahead. That doesn’t bother me one bit at this point at this point. My concern is getting this team ready to play and our players understand that message and they are doing a good job.”

Holmgren would not address his future with the Browns.

“Honestly, my focus is to have guys here concentrating on football, making it business as usual,” he said. “The what ifs and hypotheticals, I have to stay away from.”

The Browns were valued at $977 million last year by Forbes magazine, 20th in the NFL.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

THE DRIVE 8-2-12 Jets Debut Tebow in the Wildcat



CORTLAND, N.Y. — Moments before the Tim Tebow-led offense lined up Thursday in a goal-line drill, Rex Ryan walked over to the defense and did something he’d never done on a football field.


The New York Jets‘ coach announced that the quarterback, usually off-limits to would-be tacklers, was “live.” Tebow heard that and smiled — and proceeded to run for a touchdown. And another.


The Wildcat has arrived.


In the sixth practice of training camp, the Jets provided the first glimpse of how they plan to use Tebow this season. In four goal-line plays, Tebow ran for two touchdowns and threw for another, capping the sequence with a two-yard run out of the Wildcat formation.


It was the signature moment in what Ryan called Tebow’s “best day of camp.” It was the most physical practice, with an emphasis on goal-line and short-yardage situations — ideal for Tebow’s run-oriented, improvisational style at quarterback.


“We saw a little bit of what he can do, what he brings to the table,” Ryan said. “When we start doing more Wildcat things, we’ll all be excited Tim is here.”


It was a feel-good moment, but it also raised a potentially awkward issue. If Tebow comes in to run the Wildcat at the goal line, it probably means starting quarterback Mark Sanchez is coming out.


Sanchez was peppered with questions about it, claiming he wouldn’t mind if he’s removed at the end of a long drive.


“Doesn’t matter, we have to win,” he said. “It’s fine with me … It’s bigger than what one person on this team wants. We’re in the business of winning and we have to be selfless, myself included.”


When the Jets traded for Tebow, they announced he’d be used in the Wildcat. Until Thursday, they hadn’t provided any specifics of the plan.


But on the fourth play of the goal-line drill, Tebow, working with the second-team offense, lined up in the shotgun formation. He took a direct snap and faked a handoff to Joe McKnight, who was in motion from left to right. Tebow tucked the ball and ran a power play over the left side of the line, barreling easily into the end zone.


The crowd roared, knowing it had just witnessed the unveiling of Tebow.


“If that’s something they want me to do, I’d be more than happy to do it and try to do it to the best of my ability — and, hopefully, do a pretty good job at it,” Tebow said.


The Jets believe he can be a weapon in the red zone. A year ago, they led the league in red-zone efficiency and they also scored touchdowns on 80 percent of their goal-to-go situations, tied for the league lead.


But Ryan believes Tebow, a rock-solid 250 pounds, adds a different dimension to the offense.


“I can see us doing some of that because I know how difficult it is to stop,” he said. “We’re going to do whatever we can to score, if that means putting Tim in or if it means leaving Mark in.”


Sanchez said Tebow gives them a matchup advantage at the goal line, saying if Tebow is one-on-one with a defender, “My money’s on Tim.”


In practice, the quarterback wears a red jersey, meaning no one touches him. Ryan changed the rules for Tebow.


“When he said it was live, that made me smile,” said Tebow, who was used in a similar role as a freshman at Florida.


On the first play, he scored — untouched — on a bootleg. On the second play, it was a play-action rollout and he hit Josh Baker for a touchdown. On the fourth play, they ran the Wildcat, confusing the defense for a split second with McKnight in motion.


“It looks like there’s more gadgets and gizmos, but it’s just a power play,” Tebow said. “With the shifts and motions, you can stretch a defense horizontally. They think, ‘We have to play speed sweep.’ Joe is a great threat. I give a token fake and get inside.”


Ironically, Sanchez was productive last season at the goal line, scoring six rushing touchdowns.


“Let’s not forget, Mark is a heck of an athlete as well,” Ryan said. “The only difference is, Mark is going to slide. Tim is going to lower his shoulder and run over the safety.”

THE DRIVE 8-1-12 Jim Grobe

 With a terribly inexperienced offensive line, a thin receiving corps and an undersized defense, it is difficult to see how Wake Forest will make a serious run at a fifth bowl in seven years. But this is a Jim Grobe team, so assume they’ll do it anyway.

 Wake Forest hired then-Ohio coach Jim Grobe following the 2000 season, the Demon Deacons had been to just three bowls since 1950. Wake had won three or fewer games in a season nine times in 12 years. Bill Dooley had taken the Demon Deacons to the Independence Bowl (and a No. 25 ranking) in 1992, and Jim Caldwell had gone 7-5 with an Aloha Classic win in 1999. But in the other 10 seasons between 1989 and 2000, the Deacs had gone just 27-82-2.

In the 11 years since Wake Forest hired Grobe, the Demon Deacons have gone 68-67 with five bowl appearances and an ACC title in 2006. After two tough seasons in 2009-10 (combined record: 8-16), Wake returned to a bowl in 2011, riding an upset of Florida State to six wins and the Music City Bowl.


THE DRIVE 8-1-12 Frank Beamer

 Since Virginia Tech moved to the ACC in 2004, Frank Beamer’s program has established an almost disturbing level of consistency. In each of the last eight seasons, the Hokies have won either 10 or 11 games. In seven of eight they have lost either three or four games (they went 11-2 in 2005). They have finished each season ranked between seventh and 21st in the country by the AP. Without fail, they are good every year, but they are rarely truly great.

The last two seasons, however, have been characterized by missed opportunities. The Hokies still won the ACC title in 2010 and made the ACC title game again in 2011, but they went 0-4 versus Top 15 teams and twice got blown out of the water (No. 5 Stanford beat them by 28 in 2010, No. 13 Clemson by 20 in Blacksburg in 2011). That wasn’t always the case — from 2002 to ’09, Tech went 12-8 versus Top 15 opponents — but it certainly hurts in the ongoing perceptions battle.