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Auto Racing

A pair of Sprint Cup crews shift before the Brickyard

INDIANAPOLIS – Two Sprint Cup Series teams are shaking up their crews ahead of the Brickyard 400 this weekend.

JTG Daugherty Racing said Tuesday that Bobby Hutchens is the new general manager for its one-car team and driver Bobby Labonte. He replaces Todd Berrier, who left for Furniture Row Racing to replace Pete Rondeau. Berrier will try to kick-start Regan Smith’s season as his new crew chief.

David Hyder will be interim crew chief for Labonte this weekend. The former Cup Series champion has one top-10 finish this season (Daytona) and is 23rd in the points standings.

Berrier worked as crew chief for 11 years at Richard Childress Racing before joining JTG Daugherty at the start of this season. Smith currently is 26th in the standings.

College Football

Pac-12 media likes USC and Oregon to win the North

LOS ANGELES – Southern California is eligible to win championships again, and the Pac-12 media expect the Trojans to reclaim their spot atop the league.

USC was picked to win the Pac-12 in the annual preseason poll, the league announced Tuesday. The Trojans were picked to win the South Division on 117 of the 123 ballots, while Oregon was picked to win the North Division.

Stanford was picked second in the North Division despite the departure of NFL No. 1 pick Andrew Luck, with Washington slotted third and California fourth. Washington State is fifth.

Utah was picked second behind the Trojans in the South Division, getting one first-place vote. UCLA was picked third.

27 out of 30 journalists pick Boise State to win the MWC

BOISE, Idaho – A preseason media poll is projecting Boise State as the overwhelming favorite to win the Mountain West Conference title.

Journalists who cover the league gave the Broncos 27 out of a possible 30 first-place votes. Overall, the Broncos earned 296 points in the poll released Tuesday. Nevada was second with 244 points. The media poll projects Fresno State to finish third, followed by Wyoming, San Diego State and Air Force.

This will be Boise State’s last season in the Mountain West before joining the Big East.

NHL

NHLPA inches closer to a CBA counterproposal

TORONTO – The NHL Players’ Association almost is ready to table its own vision for a new collective bargaining agreement.

As negotiations with the NHL resumed Tuesday, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr indicated the union was getting close to responding to the league’s initial proposal. The sides will continue talks in Toronto today and Thursday and are scheduled to get right back at it next week with sessions in New York on Monday and Tuesday.

Predators match Flyers’ offer to Weber for 14-year deal

PHILADELPHIA – The Nashville Predators matched the staggering offering sheet made by the Philadelphia Flyers for 26-year-old defenseman Shea Weber.

The Predators on Tuesday made sure they will keep their star defenseman when they decided to pay him $110 million over 14 years.

Nash gets his trade wish: Blue Jacket to Blueshirt

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The wait to land in a new city and with a new team is over for Rick Nash. Finally, after months of speculation, the high-scoring forward was dealt Monday, and the destination was not a surprise: He’s gone from Blue Jacket to Blueshirt.

Nash, 28, was traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the New York Rangers. The All-Star, who first went to Columbus management in January and asked to be dealt, heads to Manhattan in exchange for forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick in 2013.

Associated Press

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