UNDATED (AP) — The first College Football Playoff rankings of the season will be released Tuesday night. LSU, Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Penn State and more will be watching closely to see where they are slotted. Over the last five years, 11 of the 20 teams to appear in the top four in these initial rankings went on to reach the four-team playoff. There are four weeks left before championship weekend, when the playoff berths are awarded.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — When schools run afoul of the NCAA, they no longer blindly accept whatever punishment is meted out. They close ranks and hunker down, hire outside counsel and vow to fight the penalties, no matter how big or small. It’s a marked change from even 30 years ago, when schools would often accept whatever sanctions were handed down by the governing body. The biggest reason for the change? The increased stakes in big-time college sports.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s frontcourt concerns heading into the college basketball season are even greater than anticipated now that the NCAA has determined 7-foot Arizona State transfer Uros Plavsic can’t play for the Volunteers this year. The Plavsic ruling reduces Tennessee’s options as it attempts to sort out its frontcourt rotation following the departures of All-America forward Grant Williams and 105-game starter Kyle Alexander.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Nick Saban and Alabama are preparing for a football game against the No. 1 team. It’s usually the other way around, but now the second-ranked Crimson Tide is preparing to host No. 1 LSU on Saturday. Alabama is still nearly a touchdown favorite.
UNDATED (AP) — The college basketball season tips off with the top ranked teams squaring off. The Champions Classic features No. 1 Michigan State against No. 2 Kentucky followed by No. 3 Kansas taking on No. 4 Duke Tuesday night. The Jayhawks and Blue Devils meet in the first game in New York, with the Spartans and Wildcats next. The week also includes No. 5 Louisville, No. 9 North Carolina and No. 11 Virginia opening the season with Atlantic Coast Conference games to start the ACC’s first 20-game schedule.
NEW YORK (AP) — As soon as Sabrina Ionescu announced she was returning for her senior season at Oregon, the women’s college basketball landscape changed. The Oregon Ducks became the favorite to win the championship after falling in the Final Four last season to Baylor _ the eventual title winners.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU coach Ed Orgeron says pass-rushing outside linebacker Michael Divinity has left the football team for personal reasons. The announcement of Divinity’s departure comes just days before the No. 1 Tigers travel to second-ranked Alabama on Saturday in a clash of unbeaten teams with College Football Playoff implications.
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Lawrence Cager is emerging as No. 6 Georgia’s go-to receiver. It’s the long-awaited fulfillment of a football dream for Cager, who wanted to sign with the Bulldogs as a high school senior from Baltimore. Following four years at Miami, Cager is getting his chance as a graduate transfer.