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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP: Top Sports

seattlepi.com: Top Sports Headlines from the AP





 



Oregon hires Willie Taggart as new head football coach

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 18:43:58 UT

Oregon hires Willie Taggart as new head football coach Oregon has hired Willie Taggart, who spent the last four seasons as head coach at South Florida, to take over as coach of the Ducks following the dismissal of Mark Helfrich.



Great rivalry game in KC for AFC West lead

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 18:29:28 UT

Great rivalry game in KC for AFC West lead Few games get the juices flowing more than a showdown for first place. Throw in one of sports' greatest rivalries, and the blood starts percolating. Going all the way back to the AFL, this is as good a rivalry as the NFL has, and when it has extra meaning — watch out. [...] the Chiefs have won four straight against the Raiders. "Week 1 we were saying it was the most important thing, and as you get down the line they get bigger and bigger," Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith says. The Raiders are 4-point underdogs at one of the toughest buildings to succeed in, particularly this chilly time of year. KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP: Wouldn't be shocked to see Texans fall entirely out of AFC South race. Ravens will make it close, but won't pull off upset. Lions making believers out of people. The Gus Bradley countdown continues, even against slumping Vikings. Seahawks are banged-up right now, but so are Packers. [...] that Bucs have caught them, Falcons get things right — this week, at least.



Stanford's Christian McCaffrey to leave school for NFL draft

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 18:24:04 UT

(AP) — Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft. McCaffrey announced his decision on Wednesday, saying he has done everything he could in college and now wants to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL. "Since I was 6 years old, I've wanted to play in the NFL," he wrote in an announcement on Stanford's website announcing his decision. McCaffrey was the runner-up last season for the Heisman Trophy when he broke Barry Sanders' NCAA record for all-purpose yards in a season with 3,864 yards.



FIFA president suggests 16 groups in 48-team World Cup

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 18:04:08 UT

Members of the FIFA Council received a recommendation from world soccer's governing body setting out five proposed formats for its showpiece event from 2026 — two 48-team team options, two 40-team options and sticking at 32. Ahead of a meeting of Asian soccer nations in Singapore this week, Infantino drew up a new configuration for a 48-team World Cup that FIFA hopes is easier to understand. The finalists would still play a total of seven games, limiting potential opposition from clubs who send their players on international duty. [...] only having three games in each group raises the possibility of teams being hard to separate on points, goals scored or goal difference.



Emmert: 'Pleased' to see Penn State football thriving again

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 17:59:43 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — NCAA President Mark Emmert says he is pleased to see how well Penn State's football team has bounced back from the sanctions the program received in 2012 after the Sandusky scandal. Emmert said NCAA sanctions are not meant to cripple a school's athletic program. — He declined to weigh in on whether the College Football Playoff selection committee made the right decision with the four teams it chose to compete for the national championship, but he did say he would prefer an eight-team playoff that would include automatic bids for the Power Five conference champions. — He said he would like to see the new NCAA football oversight committee better define the purpose of bowl games. "What do we, the membership of intercollegiate athletics, want bowl games to be?" Emmert said. — The NCAA pulled its championship events out of North Carolina in September because of a state law that limits anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people. — The NCAA is exploring the possibility of implementing rules and guidelines regarding the way schools handle sexual assault cases and allegations.



Clemson, Florida State dominate AP All-ACC team selections

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 17:37:03 UT

Clemson and Florida State dominated The Associated Press All-Atlantic Coast Conference football team. The ACC champion Tigers placed nine players on the first team while four Seminoles were unanimous picks — running back Dalvin Cook, offensive tackle Rod Johnson, defensive end DeMarcus Walker and cornerback Tarvarus McFadden. The other unanimous selections were Pittsburgh guard Dorian Johnson, Clemson receiver Mike Williams and Virginia linebacker Micah Kizer. A panel of 14 writers and broadcasters from the nine ACC states voted Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson the offensive player of the year and Walker the defensive player of the year. Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois and Syracuse receiver Amba Etta-Tawo shared newcomer of the year honors, and Virginia Tech's Justin Fuente is the coach of the year. Two players from Virginia — Kizer and safety Quin Blanding — joined Miami kicker Michael Badgley, Johnson and Cook as repeat first-team selections. The 2016 Associated Press All-ACC team, with players listed alphabetically with name, school, height, weight, class and hometown ("u-" denotes unanimous selections): FIRST TEAM [...] TEAM Julian Benbow, The Boston Globe; Rick Bozich, WDRB-TV-Louisville; Aaron Brenner; The Charleston Post and Courier; Andy Bitter, The Roanoke Times; Christy Cabrera Chirinos, The Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale; Andrew Carter, The News & Observer of Raleigh; Safid Deen, The Orlando Sentinel; Jerry DiPaola, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Joe Giglio, The News & Observer of Raleigh; Nate Mink, The Post-Standard of Syracuse; Daniel Shirley, Macon Telegraph; Bob Sutton, The Times-News of Burlington; David Teel, The Daily Press of Newport News; Steve Wiseman, The Herald-Sun of Durham.



AP source: Desmond, Rockies agree to $70M, 5-year contract

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 17:35:40 UT

With the new deal, he will wind up earning $95.5 million over those seven years. Because Desmond turned down the Rangers' $17.2 million qualifying offer last month, Texas receives an extra selection after the first round of June's amateur draft.



LeBron: No statement by not staying at Trump-branded hotel

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 17:33:32 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James said he wasn't trying to make a statement by not staying at a Donald Trump-branded hotel with the Cleveland Cavaliers, calling it a personal preference. James and some other players didn't stay with the team at the Trump SoHo in lower Manhattan before the Cavs' game against the New York Knicks on Wednesday night. James wouldn't talk about Knicks President Phil Jackson, who angered the All-Star forward last month by referring to his friends and business partners in an ESPN interview as a "posse."



Longtime A's announcer Bill King wins Hall's Frick Award

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 17:32:41 UT

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — Former Oakland Athletics announcer Bill King has won the Ford C. Frick Award presented by the Hall of Fame for excellence in broadcasting. King liked to punctuate big plays with his signature exclamation of "Holy Toledo!" He also was known for his handlebar mustache and beard, making his face as well as his voice familiar with fans.



IOC extends provisional measures against Russia

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 16:18:36 UT

[...] the IOC urges all Olympic winter sports federations to "freeze their preparations for major events in Russia," including world championships and World Cups and "to actively look for alternative organizers." Friday's report is expected to focus on evidence of organized Russian doping centered on the Sochi Games, including allegations that tainted samples of Russian athletes — including medalists — were swapped for clean ones through a concealed hole in the wall of the drug-testing lab. Once the investigations are complete, the IOC will "take all the appropriate measures and sanctions," including disqualification of athletes from the games and exclusion of implicated officials, entourage or government officials from the Olympics, the statement said.