Sports News-August 18, 2014

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Nebraska will start 2014 with its lowest ranking in an Associated Press preseason college football poll since 2009.  The Huskers were listed at 22nd yesterday.  Defending national champion Florida State was ranked first with 57 first-place votes.  Nebraska was ranked 18th in the AP preseason poll a year ago. The Huskers won at least nine games for the sixth straight season under coach Bo Pelini reaching that mark with a 24-19 win against Georgia in the Gator Bowl but also lost at least four games for the 10th consecutive season.  FSU was followed by Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma, with the Crimson Tide, Ducks and Sooners each receiving one first-place vote.  This season marks the first year of four teams advancing to the College Football Playoff.

Junior defensive tackle Aaron Curry is planning to transfer from Nebraska to Oklahoma, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.  Curry started eight games for the Huskers in 2013, but has primarily been seeing snaps with the backups this fall camp with Maliek Collins and Vincent Valentine emerging as the top-unit guys.  A year ago, Curry had 26 tackles, including three for loss and two sacks.  While he was not present at Saturday's practice, no confirmation of a potential transfer has come from Nebraska's end.  The Huskers return to the practice field this afternoon after a day off.

Pole sitter Jeff Gordon picked up his third Sprint Cup win of the season by taking the Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.  He finished in front of Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano for his first victory at Michigan since 2001.  Tony Stewart skipped the event, in the wake of the accident last week that took the life of dirt track racer Kevin Ward Jr.

Jimmy Graham stopped short of saying he regrets his goalpost dunks from Friday night, which drew two penalty flags and led to a shouting match between the New Orleans Saints tight end and coach Sean Payton on the sideline.  But Graham insisted Sunday that he "would never do anything to hurt the team" in the regular season.  Both Payton and Graham spoke positively about a meeting the two had with each other over the weekend, though they didn't offer any specific details.  Payton chased down Graham after the second goalpost dunk last Friday, which led to a brief but emotional shouting match between the two.

Zion Spearman scored on shortstop Matt Adams' two-out throwing error to first base in the sixth inning to give Philadelphia a 7-6 victory over Pearland, Texas, last night in the Little League World Series.  Scott Bandura reached on a bunt leading off the sixth. Two outs later, Spearman tied it with a line-drive triple into the left-center gap.  Mo'ne Davis had a bloop RBI single in the first inning for Philadelphia (2-0) to became the sixth girl to get a hit in LLWS history.  On Friday in the team's opener, she threw a two-hitter and struck out eight in a 4-0 victory over Nashville, Tennessee.

The LeBron James recruiting machine has scored again.  A person familiar with the negotiations says veteran free agent forward Shawn Marion has agreed to a one-year, league-minimum contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The 36-year-old Marion is a four-time All-Star and gives the Cavs another veteran with postseason experience to complement James.  The team has previously signed shooters Mike Miller and James Jones, who won two NBA titles with James in Miami.

Local Schedule:  Las Vegas at Omaha Storm Chasers (Bsbl-7:05).

Local Scores:  Omaha Storm Chasers 4 Las Vegas 0 (Bsbl).

     INTERLEAGUE
    
      Final            Atlanta                  4    Oakland                3
    
    
          AMERICAN  LEAGUE
    
      Final            Baltimore              4    Cleveland            1
      Final            Seattle                  8    Detroit                1
      Final            Houston                  8    Boston                  1
      Final            N-Y  Yankees          4    Tampa  Bay            2
      Final            Kansas  City        12    Minnesota            6
      Final            Chi  White  Sox      7    Toronto                5
      Final            Texas                      3    L.A.  Angels        2
    
    
          NATIONAL  LEAGUE
    
      Final            Miami                    10    Arizona                3
      Final            Chi  Cubs                2    N-Y  Mets              1
      Final            St.  Louis              7    San  Diego            6
      Final            San  Francisco      5    Philadelphia      2
      Final            Colorado              10    Cincinnati          9    (first  game)
      Final            Colorado              10    Cincinnati          5    (second  game)
      Final            Milwaukee              7    L.A.  Dodgers      2
      Final            Washington            6    Pittsburgh          5,  11  Innings
    
    
          NATIONAL  FOOTBALL  LEAGUE  PRESEASON
    
      Final    Denver        34    San  Francisco      0
      Final    Carolina    28    Kansas  City        16
    
    
          WNBA  BASKETBALL
    
      Final    Connecticut      84    Atlanta      55
      Final    New  York            73    Indiana      61
      Final    San  Antonio      84    Chicago      72
      Final    Phoenix              78    Seattle      65

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