Oct 24

Sounds like Georgia State and Georgia Southern have a rivalry

Can two teams in the South truly have a rivalry if they’ve never played football against each other? It depends upon who you ask. Fans of Georgia State & Georgia Southern, who will meet for the first time in football on Saturday at the Georgia Dome, have used social media to espouse their dislike for each other, an always significant part of a rivalry. “I think relevancy to a rivalry exists in other sports,” said Georgia State graduate Ben Moore, the editor of Panthertalk.com, a site devoted to discussing the school’s teams. “Football will stoke the fire even more. It will make it that much hotter.” The coaches of the two teams weren’t as certain. “We’ve never played,” Georgia State coach Trent Miles said. “It has a chance to develop into one. You are both in the same state, share the same initials. There is an opportunity for it to be a rivalry.” Georgia Southern’s Willie Fritz seemed sure, then unsure. …

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Oct 24

Tale of the tape: Alabama vs. Tennessee

October, 23, 2014 Oct 23 12:00 PM ET <!– commence free preview text –> The Alabama at Tennessee game on Saturday night will feature two teams who appear to be on very different paths. For Alabama, the No. 4-ranked team in the country, it’s near the top both on the field & in recruiting. For Tennessee, the Volunteers are 0-3 in the SEC & 3-4 overall. At first glance it looks like this could be a blowout; after all the SEC West has had its way with the SEC East this year — & it still might be — yet Tennessee’s focus isn’t necessarily approximately making the college football playoff this year yet rather competing & building for the future. Under second-year head coach Butch Jones, Tennessee is taking its lumps, yet with a top-five recruiting class last year & working on another top-five class this year — the Vols are heading in the right direction. There is a new energy around the Tennessee program & it all starts with recruiting. <!– end inline 1 –>With 21 commits, including 17 ranked in the ESPN 300, Alabama is on pace for its fourth consecutive recruiting title. Tennessee, meanwhile, has 26 commitments, including eight ranked in the ESPN 300 & is hoping to bring in players who fill immediate needs & others who can add depth in key areas. The Vols lead the nation in true freshmen who have played with over 20 & several freshmen including Jalen Hurd, Todd Kelly Jr. …

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Oct 24

How the North Carolina Senate race became ground zero for what’s wrong with 2014

<!– google_ad_section_start –> RALEIGH, N.C. — “This is ground zero in America,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told a crowd of volunteers here at a rally for U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis. Suburban moms in cardigans & dozens of North Carolina State frat boys applauded vigorously for Priebus’ digs at national Democrats & praise for Tillis, the speaker of the state House. Their cheers for the chairman’s call to oust Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were rivaled in length only by the line for free barbecue after the speech. “At the end of the day, we do this job because we believe in our own God-given freedoms. We believe in the Constitution,” Priebus continued, voice raised. “It’s up to us to save this country!” It’s not rare for a party leader to cast an election in the sort of hyperbolic terms Priebus used last weekend. But with less than two weeks left until the midterm elections, it’s clear the Tar Heel State has indeed emerged as a ground zero — though not in the way the GOP chairman meant. The highly competitive Senate race in North Carolina is the multimillion-dollar epicenter of the negative campaigning that’s come to characterize Election 2014 as the parties fight win tight races nationwide. …

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Oct 24

CNN Poll: Georgia Senate race statistical tie

STORY HIGHLIGHTS Democrat Michelle Nunn has a small 47%-44% edge over Republican David Perdue. That’s according to a new CNN/ORC International survey If Nunn wins, she’d be the first Democrat elected statewide in more than a decade The gubernatorial race between Gov. Nathan Deal & Democrat Jason Carter is moreover close (CNN) — Democrat Michelle Nunn has a slight 47%-44% edge over Republican David Perdue in the Georgia race for an open Senate seat, according to a new CNN/ORC International survey released Friday. The three-point margin falls within the poll’s sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points, meaning the two candidates are statistically tied less than two weeks before Election Day. Internal campaign memo leaks Businessman beats politician in key race DSCC sees signs of hope in Grimes If neither candidate garners 50% of the vote, the race heads to a January runoff. Poll: Georgia Senate race statistically tied Democrats are throwing a lot of money in Georgia, as the party hopes to thwart what’s widely expected to be a strong year for Senate Republicans & their quest to take control of the Senate. The GOP needs to win a net six seats to win the majority. Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford is pulling 5% of the vote in Georgia, keeping Nunn & Perdue from reaching the 50% threshold. A Libertarian candidate is moreover peeling off votes in Georgia’s contested gubernatorial race between Republican incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal & Democratic challenger, Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter. …

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Oct 24

Hagan and Tillis in a battle of ‘extremes’ in NC

<!– google_ad_section_start –> RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Senate race boils down to a battle of extremes. At least that’s how Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan & Republican challenger Thom Tillis want voters to see it.<!– –>Running against President Barack Obama as much as he is against Hagan, Tillis calls the president’s health care law an “unworkable mess,” blasts American foreign policy as muddled & weak, & bemoans a $17 trillion-plus national debt.”Kay Hagan’s gone to Washington & voted with President Obama 96 percent of the time,” Tillis, 54, says, urging voters to make Hagan answer for “the failures of this administration.”But Hagan, 61, has put Tillis on the defensive with a barrage of attacks on his record as House speaker in North Carolina’s legislature. She casts the businessman-turned-politician as architect of an untenable rightward march on everything from education funding & labor laws to abortion, ballot access & Medicaid expansion.”North Carolina needs a common-sense voice,” Hagan said in the candidates’ final debate, summing up her pitch that she’s a moderate who better reflects the state than a Republican who “cut education” & “turned away health care for 500,000 North Carolinians” by not expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.Hagan & Tillis reflect national trends of a midterm election cycle that will determine control of the Senate for the final two years of Obama’s presidency. Republicans, who need six more seats for a Senate majority, want to “nationalize” elections by saddling Democrats with the president’s 41 percent approval rating. Democrats want to make races more approximately personalities of candidates while framing issues in local context. View gallery FILE – In this Oct. 16, 2014, file photo, North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis listens during … Yet the Hagan-Tillis matchup stands out because North Carolina’s divided political makeup makes it difficult to know whose strategy will prevail.The uncertainty has drawn massive infusions of outside money, driving the campaign’s total cost above $60 million yet failing to significantly alter months of polling that suggests a narrow Hagan lead yet shows both nominees well below 50 percent. Libertarian Sean Haugh polls in single digits — potentially enough to deny Tillis victory if Haugh pulls conservative votes — with a small share remaining undecided. …

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Oct 24

North Carolina voters left to decide who’s really the ‘extreme’ Senate candidate

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s Senate race boils down to a battle of extremes. At least that’s how Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan & Republican challenger Thom Tillis want voters to see it. Running against President Barack Obama as much as he is against Hagan, Tillis calls the president’s health care law an “unworkable mess,” blasts American foreign policy as muddled & weak, & bemoans a $17 trillion-plus national debt. “Kay Hagan’s gone to Washington & voted with President Obama 96 percent of the time,” Tillis, 54, says, urging voters to make Hagan answer for “the failures of this administration.” But Hagan, 61, has put Tillis on the defensive with a barrage of attacks on his record as House speaker in North Carolina’s legislature. She casts the businessman-turned-politician as architect of an untenable rightward march on everything from education funding & labor laws to abortion, ballot access & Medicaid expansion. “North Carolina needs a common-sense voice,” Hagan said in the candidates’ final debate, summing up her pitch that she’s a moderate who better reflects the state than a Republican who “cut education” & “turned away health care for 500,000 North Carolinians” by not expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Hagan & Tillis reflect national trends of a midterm election cycle that will determine control of the Senate for the final two years of Obama’s presidency. Republicans, who need six more seats for a Senate majority, want to “nationalize” elections by saddling Democrats with the president’s 41 percent approval rating. …

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Oct 24

Jeb Bush campaigns with Haley in South Carolina

<!– google_ad_section_start –> LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Gov. Nikki Haley received campaign assist Thursday from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, an old friend she said played a huge part in winning the job in 2010.<!– –>For Haley, it was a rare campaign appearance, as she has spent much of this year concentrating on her official duties instead of hitting the trail. It was Bush’s first official trip to South Carolina since 2012. The state is critical in the 2016 presidential race because it is the first primary in the South.Bush gently chastised reporters for asking him approximately his plans for 2016, saying the midterm elections aren’t even here yet.”I’m a huge fan of your governor. I want to assist her,” said Bush, whose comments at Hudson’s Barbecue were mostly approximately making sure Republicans did everything they could to take control of the Senate from Democrats.Haley is facing Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in a rematch of the 2010 race. Recent polls have given her a double-digit lead.Haley said she can’t thank Bush enough for his assist after she decided to run for governor in 2009. She was an unknown state House member facing several better-known candidates. …

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Oct 24

Alcoa sells stake in South Carolina smelter

Alcoa is selling its stake in a South Carolina aluminum smelter to Century Aluminum Co. for $67.5 million. New York-based Alcoa said in a statement that while Mt. Holly is a strong facility, it doesn’t match its portfolio goals. Chicago-based Century Aluminum said Thursday that buying Alcoa’s 50.3-percent stake makes it the full owner of the smelter. The Mt. Holly smelter is located in Goose Creek, South Carolina & has capacity to produce 229,000 metric tons of aluminum annually. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014. Shares of Alcoa Inc. rose 12 cents to close at $16.24 & fell a penny in extended trading. …

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Oct 24

Tennessee Begins Fresh Start

The University of Tennessee men’s basketball team is facing odds already before their first regular-season game. Last year, the Vols made a Sweet 16 run under then-head coach Cuonzo Martin with three players averaging over 20 points a game during the Tournament. After the Vols fell short to Michigan, Martin announced he would be leaving the program to become the head coach at California. Along with Martin, top players Jarnell Stokes & Jordan McRae entered the NBA Draft. With the Tennessee administration in a scramble, they recruited Southern Miss head coach, Donnie Tyndall. Tyndall has a long coaching history dating back to 1994 where he began at Iowa Central CC as assistant coach. He’s known for coaching at Morehead State & making the NCAA Tournament four years in a row alongside now-NBA player Kenneth Faried. In 2012, Tyndall left Morehead State for Southern Miss where he stayed until 2014. In his 2012-13 the Southern Miss squad was the youngest in country & led to a 27-10 record & a trip to the NIT quarterfinals. [embedded content] With only four players returning, young newcomers & a brand new coaching staff, Tyndall looks to make history again. …

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