Greggs has topped British Baker’s Top 50 Bakery Retailers’ league table for the third year running, keeping closest rival Subway at bay.The 2009 list shows Greggs opened 50 shops last year, bringing its tally to 1,403 at the end of the year, and making it the biggest bakery retailer in the UK.Subway was the fastest- growing chain in the UK, opening 264 units over 2008. It is at number two on the latest list, with 1,284 franchise outlets at the close of 2008.Greggs’ new chief executive Ken McMeikan, who took over last July, commented: “It is a great honour on behalf of all the great people at Greggs, and its long-serving leaders Sir Michael Darrington and Ian Gregg, to receive this accolade. They have built an incredibly strong business since 1964, with incredible growth prospects. The challenges to see that business grow and accelerate its growth are very exciting and we have a great team in place to do that.” McMeikan also recently spoke of “significant opportunities” for new shop locations.The British Baker Top 50 includes all types of retailer of bakery products, modern and traditional, from craft bakers to café chains, ranked by number of units. The top 10 of 2009 includes Starbucks, Caffè Nero and Pret A Manger.Leigh-based Waterfields is a notable climber on the new list, with 49 stores, following its acquisition of 10-shop Liverpool-based John Pimblett & Sons in December. Patisserie Holdings, which owns the Druckers and Patisserie Valerie brands, also opened eight shops during the year, bringing its estate to 59 outlets.Missing from the new list is Welsh chain Ferrari’s Bakery, number 19 in 2007, which went into liquidation in November.Mike Holling, chairman of the National Association of Master Bakers said bakery retailers were facing the most challenging times in the industry that he had ever experienced. “The big question is, what will the high street look like in 2009, with Woolworths closing, and fashion houses going into administration?” he said. “We, as bakers, need supporting businesses on the high street.”
Rivalries never die.That seems to be especially true for former Oklahoma quarterback and current Cleveland Browns signal-caller Baker Mayfield, who once again is stirring up the pot with college rival Texas. Oklahoma may have got the last laugh with a win in the Big 12 championship game, but it seems Ehlinger will at least have the confidence knowing he can beat Oklahoma heading into 2019. It’s also worth noting Mayfield and Ehlinger have a history of talking smack. When Oklahoma tackle Orlando Brown turned in an abysmal combine performance ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft, prompting Ehlinger to make fun of him, Mayfield was quick to respond, saying, “He’s never beat Lake Travis, and he also hasn’t beat OU, so leave it at that.”All that to say: Clear your calendars on Oct. 12, when Texas and Oklahoma face off in the Red River Rivalry. The Longhorns are coming off a 10-4 season and Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia, prompting some high expectations for their 2019 campaign. They rank No. 6 in Sporting News’ preseason top 25 and are one of our four picks to make the College Football Playoff. Mayfield, when asked what he thinks of such expectations, was happy to shoot down such lofty goals.MORE: SN’s post-spring preseason top 25″They said the same thing when they beat Notre Dame a couple of years ago, and they won like three games after that,” Mayfield told reporters (via ESPN). “I’m sick of that crap.”Mayfield was especially vocal about Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who like Mayfield played high school football in Austin, Texas. Mayfield played at Lake Travis, while Ehlinger played at rival Westlake. “He couldn’t beat Lake Travis, so I don’t really care (about) his opinion on winning,” Mayfield said of Ehlinger. “Westlake is a great program, but the two best quarterbacks to come out of there are Drew Brees and Nick Foles. Sam can stay down there in Texas.”That will stir the pot,” Mayfield said. “He doesn’t like me, and I hope he knows I don’t like him either.”MORE: SN bowl projections, All-Americans and moreWhile it’s true Ehlinger never beat Lake Travis, he did manage to break through against Oklahoma in 2018, helping down the Sooners 48-45 in the Red River Rivalry on Oct. 6, 2018 with a 314-yard, two-touchdown performance through the air. He also scored three rushing touchdowns.