LSU will play Oklahoma and Ohio State will face defending national champion Clemson in the College Football Playoff.
The selection committee revealed the pairings Sunday for the national semifinals and the final four was no surprise. The only mystery involved which team would be the No. 1 seed. The 13-member committee went with Southeastern Conference champion LSU. The top-seeded Tigers (13-0) will head back to Atlanta for its playoff game to face the Big 12 champion Sooners (12-1) in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 28.
LSU used a convincing victory against Georgia at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday to move up to No. 1 Sunday. Ohio State had been No. 1 last week in the committee’s rankings, but the slipped to No. 2 after coming from behind against Wisconsin to win the Big Ten title on Saturday night.
The Buckeyes (13-0) will face third-seeded, Atlantic Coast Conference champion Clemson (13-0) in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, on Dec. 28. The national championship game is set for Jan. 13 in New Orleans.
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP)Lane Kiffin is headed to Ole Miss.
Kiffin and the Rebels made the announcement Saturday after Florida Atlantic defeated UAB in the Conference USA championship game, the Owls’ second league title in his three seasons.
”I am truly honored and humbled to join the Ole Miss family, and recognize this as a special opportunity to lead Rebel Football into the future,” Kiffin said.
The SEC is going to be Kiffin’s playground once again.
Kiffin went 26-13 in his three seasons at Florida Atlantic and is 61-34 in parts of eight seasons as a college head coach at Tennessee, USC and FAU.
Kiffin takes over an Ole Miss program that hasn’t produced a winning season since going 10-3 in 2015 and winning the Sugar Bowl, capping a string of four straight bowl appearances. The Rebels went 4-8 this season.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Penn State coach James Franklin has agreed to a new six-year contract with the school that runs through 2025, adding three years on to his previous deal.
Penn State’s Board of Trustees approve the contract Friday. Financial terms were not immediately released. According to USA Today’s coaching salary database, Franklin’s salary was $5.65 million in 2019.
Since taking over in 2014, Franklin is 55-23, including 40-11 and three double-digit victory seasons in the last four years. The Nittany Lions are 10-2 this season and in position to go to a major bowl.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri reached an agreement Sunday with Eliah Drinkwitz to take over the Tigers’ once-proud football program, a person with knowledge of the hiring told The Associated Press, making Appalachian State’s successful coach the second-youngest in a Power Five conference.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the contract was still being drawn up and the school had not made an announcement.
Tigers athletic director Jim Sterk said he wanted to move swiftly in hiring a replacement for Barry Odom, the former player and assistant coach who went 25-25 in four seasons leading the program. Odom was fired after the Tigers finished an underwhelming 6-6, which would have been good enough for a bowl berth had the school not been slapped with a postseason ban by the NCAA following an incident involving a rogue tutor.
Drinkwitz will inherit a program that also must deal with scholarship and recruiting restrictions as part of the fallout.
-By AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta.
NEW YORK (AP) – Arkansas has hired Georgia assistant Sam Pittman as its head coach, giving the longtime offensive line coach his first chance to lead a college program.
Pittman, an Oklahoma native, has been coaching at the FBS level since 1994 and he’s been in the Southeastern Conference, including a three-year stint at Arkansas, since 2012.
He has spent the last four years at Georgia, working for Kirby Smart.
Arkansas is coming off a 2-10 season that led to the firing of coach Chad Morris after less than two seasons. The Razorbacks have not reached a bowl game since 2016 and are on their fourth head coach in less than a decade.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Memphis has named Ryan Silverfield as the Tigers’ interim coach, and athletic director Laird Veatch will oversee the search to replace Mike Norvell after he was introduced as Florida State’s new coach.
Silverfield was Norvell’s deputy head coach and co-offensive coordinator in Memphis’ best season yet, and he will be a candidate to replace his former boss.
Veatch said Sunday during a 75-minute news conference that Memphis will move quickly to replace Norvell.
The current plan is for Silverfield to coach the No. 15 Tigers (12-1) in the Cotton Bowl against Penn State on Dec. 28.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) – Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes and the Baltimore Ravens became the AFC’s first team to clinch a playoff berth following a 24-17 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Baltimore extended its franchise-best winning streak to nine straight and improved to 11-2, its best record through 13 games in team history. With the win, the Ravens can also clinch the AFC North title should the Pittsburgh Steelers lose or tie in their game at Arizona later in the day.
What began as a defensive struggle eventually lived up to its billing in a matchup of two of the NFL’s up-and-coming quarterbacks.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Kansas City clinched the AFC West when Bashaud Breeland knocked away Tom Brady’s fourth-down pass attempt to Julian Edelman in the end zone Sunday.
The Chiefs survived a series of mistakes and questionable calls by the officials to hold off the New England Patriots 23-16 on Sunday.
Combined with Oakland’s loss to Tennessee, the Chiefs (9-4) took their division. And the loss ended the Patriots’ 21-game home win streak in the regular season and playoffs, which was tied for the longest in team history. It also was the third-longest string in NFL history.
New England (10-3) has lost two in a row.
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Marvin Miller, the union leader who revolutionized baseball by empowering players to negotiate multimillion-dollar contracts and to play for teams of their own choosing, was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Sunday along with former St. Louis Cardinals catcher Ted Simmons.
After falling short in his first seven times on veterans committee ballots, Miller received the required 75 percent support from this year’s 16-man modern committee.
Miller, who died at age 95 in 2012, led the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966-82, a time when players gained the right to free agency after six seasons of big league service, to salary arbitration and to grievance arbitration. He led the union through five work stoppages and was an adviser during three more after he retired.
Simmons, an eight-time All-Star during a 21-year big league career, was a switch-hitter who batted .285 with 248 homers and 1,389 RBIs for St. Louis (1968-80), Milwaukee (1981-85) and Atlanta (1986-88).
They will be inducted into Cooperstown during ceremonies on July 26 along with any players chosen next month by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America from a ballot headed by former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
SANTO DOMINGO (AP) – Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz made his first public appearance in the Dominican Republic on Sunday nearly six months after he was shot in what authorities called a case of mistaken identity.
The Dominican-born superstar was greeted by a standing ovation and raucous cheers when he entered the Quisqueya Stadium Juan Marichal for the Game of Legends, a charity exhibition and home run derby featuring Dominican major league players and retired stars.
”Praise God and long live the Dominican Republic,” Ortiz said to the thousands of fans in the country’s most important stadium.
He thanked his fans, fellow players and the press for its support after the shooting.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota Lynx coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve has signed a multiyear contract extension.
The Lynx made the announcement Friday but did not give specific terms.
Reeve has guided the Lynx to four WNBA championships in 10 seasons. She added general manager duties in 2017. Minnesota went 18-16 last season and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
The Lynx were without point guard Lindsay Whalen (retirement), Maya Moore (sabbatical), Rebekkah Brunson (injury) and Seimone Augustus (injury) last season. Minnesota restocked with the addition of guard Odyssey Sims, who led the team in scoring (14.5), and WNBA Rookie of the Year Napheesa Collier (13.1).
Reeve’s record is 231-109 with Minnesota and her winning percentage (.679) ranks first in league history.
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) – Henrik Stenson delivered the biggest shot on a back nine filled with them, a 5-wood within inches on the 15th hole for eagle that carried him to a 6-under 66 and a one-shot victory Saturday in the Hero World Challenge.
Tournament host Tiger Woods was among five players who had a chance to win on the back nine, four of them with at least a share of the lead at some point at Albany Golf Club.
Woods fell out with a chip that didn’t make it up the slope on the 14th hole, and he had to scramble for bogey. Justin Thomas had a pair of 12-foot birdie putts burn the edge. Defending champion Jon Rahm, in his final event before getting married in Spain, appeared to seize control with a birdie-eagle-birdie stretch to take the lead.
And then Stenson struck the decisive blow.
From 259 yards away on the par-5 15th hole, he hammered 5-wood and couldn’t see beyond a dune as it bounced onto the green, tracked toward the hole and settled about 8 inches away for a tap-in eagle.
That took him from one shot behind to one shot ahead, and he closed with three pars. Rahm had to settle for two pars to close out his 66.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Jason Langer made a 16-foot eagle putt on the first hole of a playoff Sunday to give father Bernard his fourth victory in the PNC Father Son Challenge.
The Langers closed with a second straight 12-under 60 to match Retief and Leo Goosen and Tom and Thomas Lehman atop the leaderboard in the scramble event for major champions at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando.
After the 62-year-old Bernhard hit the fairway on the par-5 18th, the 19-year-old Jason hit a 3-wood approach from 270 yards to set up the winning putt.
SYDNEY (AP) – Matt Jones made a testing four-foot par putt on the final hole to hold off Louis Oosthuizen and win his second Australian Open golf championship on Sunday by one stroke after a 2-under 69.
Jones, who is a member at the host Australian Golf Club and won his first national title there in 2015, had a 72-hole total of 15-under 269.
Oosthuizen, playing for the first time in Sydney, finished second after a 66. The South African eagled the 18th after hitting his second shot to 15 feet, making things interesting for Jones at the end.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – Anthony Joshua reclaimed his world heavyweight titles by producing a disciplined and smart display to beat Andy Ruiz Jr. on points in their rematch in the first title fight to be staged in the Middle East.
Joshua won a unanimous verdict Saturday, with two judges giving the fight to the Briton 119-110 and the other 119-109.
Ruiz knocked down Joshua four times on the way to a seventh-round upset win in New York in June but there was none of the drama in the rematch as Joshua controlled the fight with his movement and better timing of his punches.
Joshua won back the WBA, WBO and IBF belts.
TURIN, Italy (AP) – American figure skater Nathan Chen won the Grand Prix Finals for the third season in a row Saturday, beating Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu by a dominant 44-point margin.
Chen and Hanyu both landed five quadruple jumps in their free skates, a number that was almost unimaginable in skating even a few years ago, but Chen skated his program clean to score a total 335.20 points, while Hanyu made crucial errors.
The women’s competition too demonstrated the rapid athletic progress in skating, with two of the medalists landing quads, though winner Alena Kostornaia’s biggest jumps were triple axels. Olympic gold medalist Alina Zagitova didn’t even make the podium.
Kostornaia scored 247.59 for the gold after two triple axels. Second-place Anna Shcherbakova attempted three quads, though with some errors and scored 240.92.
The athlete committee of the World Anti Doping Agency is calling for Russia to be completely banned from the Olympics after the country ”made a mockery not only those who play by the rules, but those who create and safeguard them.”
The WADA executive committee meets Monday to decide whether to approve a recommendation that would ban the Russian flag from the next two Olympics but would allow some Russians to compete as neutrals if they can prove they weren’t affected by the doping.
This is the latest in a five-year-old saga.
NEW YORK (AP) – Maximum Security concluded a tumultuous season with a decisive victory Saturday in the $750,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.
Maximum Security was the first horse to be disqualified for interference in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby. That was one of only two defeats in an otherwise exceptional campaign.
The 3-year-old trained by Jason Servis and owned by Gary and Mary West went 6 for 8, including victories in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park and the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.
In the Cigar Mile, Maximum Security broke alertly from the gate for jockey Luis Saez to grab the early lead. They were quickly challenged by Spun to Run, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last month at Santa Anita.
The two horses raced as a team until Maximum Security pulled clear at the top of the stretch on his way to a 3 1-2 length victory. The time was 1:36.46.
WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) – The United States Military Academy at West Point removed a motto from a spirit flag used by the school’s football team because of its connection to hate groups.
The letters GFBD, which stand for ”God Forgives, Brothers Don’t,” were emblazoned on a skull and crossbones flag the academy says had been used since the mid-1990s to emphasize teamwork, loyalty and toughness.
The administration at the academy was made aware that the phrase also is associated with extremist groups. The change was made in early September after an internal investigation.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Former University of Iowa athletic director Bump Elliott has died, the university announced. He was 94.
Elliott died Saturday, according to a statement from his family that the university released on Sunday. The statement did not include a cause of death.
Elliott was a star halfback for Michigan, winning the Big Ten’s MVP award in 1947. Elliott became Michigan’s coach in 1959 and led the Wolverines for 10 seasons, a tenure that included a Rose Bowl win in 1964.
Elliott was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989.