Some good news for the Akron football program -- targeted by critics for low attendance during current budget cutting that saw the baseball program axed and more than 200 jobs eliminated.
The preseason MAC football poll of reporters covering the conference. Akron is picked for a second place tie with Ohio University behind Bowling Green in the East Division, while Toledo was picked to win the West. The season starts September 5th with the Zips on the road at Oklahoma.
- - -
(MAC/University of Akron) he Akron Zips have been tabbed to finish tied for second in the East Division of the Mid-American Conference by members of the MAC media, the league announced on Wednesday prior to its annual Football Media Day at Ford Field.
Akron earned 118 points, including two first-place votes. Two-time defending East champion Bowling Green was picked first, followed by Akron and Ohio, and Massachusetts.
In the West Division, Toledo was selected first, just one point ahead of Western Michigan. Five-time division champion Northern Illinois was third.
The Rockets were also predicted to win the 2015 MAC Championship Game.
The Zips, under the guidance of fourth-year head coach Terry Bowden, open the 2015 season at Oklahoma on Saturday, Sept. 5. The Zips' home opener with Pittsburgh is slated for Saturday, Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. at InfoCision Stadium - Summa Field.
2015 MAC FOOTBALL PRESEASON POLL
Team (First Place Votes) Points
1. Bowling Green (18) 160
T2. Akron (2) 118
Ohio (1) 118
4. Massachusetts (3) 113
5. Buffalo 70
6. Miami 47
7. Kent State 46
1. Toledo (11) 121
2. Western Michigan (8) 120
3. Northern Illinois (4) 113
4. Ball State 66
5. Central Michigan (1) 56
6. Eastern Michigan 28
2015 Marathon MAC Championship Game Winner: Toledo (9); Western Michigan (8); Northern Illinois (6); Central Michigan (1).
(WGC Bridgestone Invitational) Rory McIlroy and Chris Kirk have informed tournament officials that they will not be playing next week's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, August 5-9, due to injury. Several of the game's top players, however, will highlight an exciting field, including Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Zach Johnson, who have all recorded thrilling victories over the last three weeks and are heading to Firestone Country Club with plenty of momentum for the final World Golf Championships of the 2014-15 season.
"Unfortunately, I will not be defending my World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational title," said McIlroy, who is still recovering from an ankle injury suffered in early July. "Best of luck to all the competitors, and I look forward to returning to Firestone in 2016."
McIlroy, the tournament's defending champion, will miss the Bridgestone Invitational for the first time since 2009. In his six previous appearances, he has four top-10 finishes, including his win last year.
Four-time PGA TOUR winner Kirk broke his right hand prior to The Open Championship while playing with his children and has yet to recover fully.
Spieth has moved to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking thanks to four PGA TOUR victories, including two major championship wins this season, and victories at the Hero World Challenge and the Emirates Australian Open to end 2014. Spieth's 2014-15 PGA TOUR campaign continues to be one of the best in TOUR history with 12 top-10 finishes, eight in the top three. With a victory at the Bridgestone Invitational, Spieth could take over the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking at the same event in which McIlroy become No. 1 in the world with a victory last year.
Spieth's incredible season means and equally incredible lead in the FedExCup standings with 3,763 points – nearly doubling his closest competitor in Bubba Watson (2,043 points). Spieth's FedExCup performance is so dominant that if Watson won the next three events, he would remain in second place behind the 22-year-old.
Day, whose wife Ellie is from Northeast Ohio, will come to Akron following his fourth PGA TOUR victory at the RBC Canadian Open. Playing in the second to the last group, Day drained a birdie putt from 21 feet 10 inches on No. 18 to come from two shots behind third-round leader David Hearn for his RBC Canadian Open victory. Day is in search of his second career World Golf Championships victory, having won the 2014 Cadillac Match Play. Day will be teeing it up at the Bridgestone Invitational for the fifth time in his career. His career-best finish at the event came in 2011 with a T4.
With the win, Day moved from No. 16 in the FedExCup standings to No. 4 with only five events before the Playoffs. The win also moved Day to No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Day (27), McIlroy (26) and Spieth (22) represent three of the top-four players in the world.
Now that the top 50 in the OWGR have qualified, below is a list of the 78 players who are now officially eligible to play. Players can either win at the Quicken Loans National this week or move into the top 50 in the OWGR as of Monday, August 3, to finalize the field. Players have until 5 p.m. ET on Friday, July 31, to officially commit to the Bridgestone Invitational.
An, Byeong Hun 2015 BMW PGA Championship
Bae, Sang-Moon 2014 Frys.com Open
Bjorn, Thomas 2014 Ryder Cup
Bowditch, Steven 2015 AT&T Byron Nelson
Bradley, Keegan 2014 Ryder Cup
Casey, Paul 2014 KLM Open
*Cullen, Nick 2014 BetEasy Masters
Day, Jason 2015 RBC Canadian Open, 2015 Farmers Insurance Open
Dodt, Andrew 2015 True Thailand Classic
Donaldson, Jamie 2014 Ryder Cup
Dubuisson, Victor 2014 Ryder Cup
Every, Matt 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational
Fowler, Rickie 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, 2015 THE PLAYERS Championship, 2014 Ryder Cup
Furyk, Jim 2015 RBC Heritage, 2014 Ryder Cup
Gallacher, Stephen 2014 Ryder Cup
Garcia, Sergio 2014 Ryder Cup
Gomez, Fabian 2015 FedEx St. Jude Classic
Grace, Branden 2015 Dimension Data Pro-Am*, 2015 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters
Haas, Bill 2015 Humana Challenge
Hahn, James 2015 Northern Trust Open
Harrington, Padraig 2015 Honda Classic
Henley, Russell Top 50 OWGR
Hoffman, Charley Top 50 OWGR
Holmes, J.B. 2015 Shell Houston Open
Horschel, Billy 2014 TOUR Championship, 2014 BMW Championship
Ilonen, Mikko 2014 Volvo World Match Play
Jaidee, Thongchai Top 50 OWGR
Johnson, Dustin 2015 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship
Johnson, Zach 2015 The Open Championship, 2014 Ryder Cup
Kaymer, Martin 2014 Ryder Cup
Kirk, Chris 2015 Crowne Plaza Invitational, 2014 Deutsche Bank Championship, 2014 Ryder Cup
Kisner, Kevin Top 50 OWGR
Kjeldsen, Soren 2015 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
Koepka, Brooks 2015 Waste Management Phonix Open, 2014 Turkish Airlines Open
Kuchar, Matt 2014 Ryder Cup
Lahiri, Anirban 2015 Maybank Malaysian Open
Larrazabal, Pablo 2015 BMW International Open
Lee, Danny 2015 Greenbrier Classic
Leishman, Marc Top 50 OWGR
*Liang, Wen-chong 2015 JGT Championship
Lingmerth, David 2015 the Memorial Tournament
Lipsky, David 2014 Omega European Masters
Lowry, Shane Top 50 OWGR
Luiten, Joost 2014 ISPS Handa Wales Open
Mahan, Hunter 2014 The Barclays, 2014 Ryder Cup
Martin, Ben 2014 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Matsuyama, Hideki Top 50 OWGR
McDowell, Graeme 2014 Ryder Cup
McIlroy, Rory 2015 Wells Fargo Championship, 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play, 2015 Omega Dubai Desert, 2014 PGA Championship, 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, 2014 Ryder Cup
Mickelson, Phil 2014 Ryder Cup
Molinari, Francesco Top 50 OWGR
Moore, Ryan 2014 CIMB Classic
Na, Kevin Top 50 OWGR
Noren, Alexander 2015 Nordea Masters
*Oda, Koumei 2014 Bridgestone Open
Palmer, Ryan Top 50 OWGR
Oosthuizen, Louis Top 50 OWGR
Poulter, Ian 2014 Ryder Cup
Reed, Patrick 2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions, 2014 Ryder Cup
Rose, Justin 2015 Zurich Classic, 2014 Ryder Cup
Scott, Adam Top 50 OWGR
Schwartzel, Charl Top 50 OWGR
Siem, Marcel 2014 BMW Masters
Simpson, Webb 2014 Ryder Cup
Snedeker, Brandt 2015 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Spieth, Jordan 2015 John Deere Classic, 2015 U.S. Open, 2015 Masters, 2015 Valspar Championship, 2014 Emirates Australian Open, 2014 Ryder Cup
Stal, Gary 2015 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship
Stenson, Henrik 2014 DP World Tour Championship, 2014 Ryder Cup
Streb, Robert 2014 The McGladrey Classic
Todd, Brendon Top 50 OWGR
Villegas, Camilo 2014 Wyndham Championship
Walker, Jimmy 2015 Valero Texas Open, 2015 Sony Open, 2014 Ryder Cup
Watson, Bubba 2015 Travelers Championship, 2014 WGC-HSBC Champions, 2014 Ryder Cup
Westwood, Lee 2014 Thailand Golf Championship*, 2014 Ryder Cup
Wiesberger, Bernd 2015 Alstom Open de France
Willett, Danny 2015 Omega European Masters, 2014 Nedbank Golf Challenge
Wilson, Oliver 2014 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Woodland, Gary Top 50 OWGR
*won event designated by the International Federation of PGA Tours as a qualifying event for the tournament.
A second day of layoffs at the University of Akron have hit other full departments.
Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that all staffers at UA's Multicultural Center and the UA Press have been released.
That comes after the staff of E.J. Thomas Hall was laid off on Monday.
213 positions are affected over all, with 161 employees in filled positions losing their jobs.
The University of Akron is trying to close a 60-million dollar budget gap, and administrators also eliminated the university's baseball program.
On the Web: Northeast Ohio Media Group, www.cleveland.com
As the Cleveland Browns start their 2015 training camp on Thursday, the team says all free tickets to public practices have been snapped up.
The free tickets for 11 public practices were collected over a week ago, according to a team news release.
The 60,000 free tickets to the Orange & Brown Scrimmage at Ohio Stadium in Columbus were taken the same day the public was allowed to register.
(Cleveland Browns, news release) The 2015 Cleveland Browns Training Camp kicks off Thursday with the first of 11 free public practices at the team's facility in Berea.
Browns fans collected all free tickets available to the 11 open sessions by July 22, more than one week prior to the team's first training camp practice on Thursday. The Dawg Pound also cleared the registration capacity of 60,000 free tickets for the Orange & Brown Scrimmage at Ohio Stadium on Monday, June 22, the first day they became available to the public following an exclusive season ticket member pre-registration from June 16-19.
Fans who have registered to attend camp are encouraged to visit www.ClevelandBrowns.com and the Browns Mobile App for daily updates, including weather notifications lists and additional information for each practice.
When arriving with their ticket, fans can enter the Browns training facility through the Beech Street entrance, with gates opening one hour before each session starts. Browns membership services representatives will also be available to all visitors inside and outside the complex to assist fans.
Parking is available on the campus of Baldwin-Wallace University, near the intersection of Beech Street and Bagley Road.
Not including Family Day, the Browns' 13 open training camp practices in 2014 set the third-highest combined attendance since 2005 with a total of 43,740 fans who represented 40 states, plus Washington, D.C. Attendance for 12 of those sessions eclipsed 3,000, while only 11 practices surpassed that mark from 2005-2013.
When the Browns host their intrasquad scrimmage on Ohio State University's campus, it will mark the second time in as many years that the team's highest-attended training camp event has extended outside of Cleveland, allowing fans from across the state to experience live Browns competition. Last year's Family Day attracted 20,673 fans to InfoCision Stadium in Akron, marking back-to-back years the event's attendance surpassed 20,000.
Cleveland Browns Training Camp is presented by Northeast Ohio Ford Dealers and in association with University Hospitals and Discount Drug Mart.
It's win or go home this weekend - literally - for Tiger Woods.
Tiger has quite a history of success at Firestone Country Club, where the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational will be held again next week.
But he won't be able to participate here in Akron unless he wins the Quicken Loans National this weekend in Virginia.
"Well, it's kind of funny I won there (at Firestone) a couple of years ago, and I think I won there eight times," Woods told a press conference before the Virginia tournament. "Unfortunately, I can't get an invite there unless I win."
Tiger says if he doesn't win this weekend's tournament, he won't take part in another tournament next week in Reno, Nevada...he'll just go home and get ready for the PGA Championship, which takes place a week later.
Caramel popcorn made by Akron's KellBran Candies is being recalled over milk allergies.
A recall notice posted by the FDA says the product had an undetected milk product - butter - found by an Ohio Department of Agriculture inspection. The packaging doesn't indicate milk in the ingredients.
Those who have milk allergies or sensitivity could be at risk. No illness or reactions have yet been reported.
The eight ounce KellBran Caramel Popcorn packages have expiration dates of 11/30/2015 and 12/31/2015 on the back of the packages.
More information can be found at WAKR.net.
(FDA/KellBran Candies, news release) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 27, 2015 – Akron, Ohio – KellBran Candies of Akron, Ohio is recalling KellBran Caramel Popcorn, because it contains undeclared milk product. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk, run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.
Caramel Popcorn was distributed in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Kentucky, New Jersey, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, through various retail specialty grocery stores.
The product is packaged in 8 oz. bags with expiration dates of 11/30/2015 and 12/31/2015 located on the back of the package. The UPC number 0 96637 50153 9, with Lot Codes 181317 4 for the 11/30/2015 packages, 211830 6 for the 12/31/2015 packages are also located on the back of the package.
No illnesses or reactions have been reported to date.
During an inspection by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, it was discovered that product containing a milk product (butter) was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the presence of milk in the ingredients.
Consumers with questions or concerns may contact the company direct at 330-628-3900 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. EST.
Akron police are learning more about the so-called "mob and rob" at a Circle K gas station in Akron over the weekend where 50-70 kids allegedly raided the store after attending a nearby party.
Deputy Chief Kenneth Ball said they're looking through surveillance video to try to identify the kids involved.
"The night of the incident, uniformed officers did stop at least six of the juveniles and we have them identified, but we're still investigating as to what extent they're participation was," said Ball.
Ball said the kids who were stopped by the officers that night were between the ages of 13 and 16.
"What would motivate them to act this particularly way, that's anybody's guess because it doesn't make sense to people thinking logically and correctly."
The kids were out about an hour past curfew.
Over 38-hundred Ohio Edison customers are without power in West Akron this afternoon, and if you're one of them, you can blame a tree.
FirstEnergy says a tree fell on power lines, causing a widespread power outage in West Akron and the Wallhaven area.
Numerous traffic lights along West Market Street went out.
Ohio Edison says it's working to fix the wires downed by the tree.
The power company tells WAKR.net that hope to have the power restored as soon as possible.
Monday's University of Akron Board of Trustees meeting was packed with those who wanted to weigh in on budget cuts.
The fact that none of them were able to provide input was frustrating to UA Director of Orchestral Studies Dr. Guy Victor Bordo, who attended the meeting.
"It was a pretty frustrating experience to observe," Bordo tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol. "There didn't appear to be any discussion, and there certainly wasn't any opportunity for anyone who came there, to comment."
Bardo says he feels for those who are losing their jobs in the cutback.
"Basically, what's going to happen is, a lot of people will be losing their jobs that didn't create the problem," Bardo says.
He's worried about the impact on E.J. Thomas Hall, which won't see any UA-supported events that aren't rented out or paid for by outside money.
Bardo points out that E.J. Thomas Hall sees around 400,000 visitors a year, where InfoCision Stadium sees just a few thousand a game.
Akron police say they're looking for a man who allegedly stabbed a man in the head Friday evening.
Police said Jauvaughn Penn, 28, of Akron was visiting the mother of his child on Hillwood Drive when he got into an argument with another man.
Penn told police he was stabbed by Clifford Wilson, 28, with the last known address on Narragansett Drive in Tallmadge.
Paramedics treated Penn at the police station, but he refused further treatment.