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2 hours ago

Lowly Vancouver Canucks hire Bruce Boudreau to replace Travis Green as coach amid major management shake-up

The Vancouver Canucks fired coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning on Sunday, the team announced, signaling a wave of change throughout the struggling franchise. With the team stuck in last place in the Pacific Division, Bruce Boudreau was hired to replace Green. Boudreau is the Canucks' 20th coach. Also fired were assistant GM John Weisbrod and assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner.  "First, I want to sincerely thank Jim, John, Travis and Nolan for their passion and dedication to the organization and our community," Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini said in a statement. "We are grateful for everything they have done for the Canucks during their tenure, and we wish them nothing but success in the future. "These are difficult decisions, but we believed we would have a competitive group this year. As a result, I'm extremely disappointed in how the team has performed so far. I'm making these changes because we want to build a team that competes for...
2 hours ago
3 hours ago

Lowly Vancouver Canucks hire Bruce Boudreau to replace Travis Green as coach amid major management shakeup

The Vancouver Canucks fired coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning on Sunday, the team announced, signaling a wave of change throughout the struggling franchise. With the team stuck in last place, Bruce Boudreau was hired to replace Green as the Canucks' 20th coach. Also fired were assistant GM John Weisbrod and assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner.  "First, I want to sincerely thank Jim, John, Travis and Nolan for their passion and dedication to the organization and our community," Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini said in a statement. "We are grateful for everything they have done for the Canucks during their tenure, and we wish them nothing but success in the future. "These are difficult decisions, but we believed we would have a competitive group this year. As a result, I'm extremely disappointed in how the team has performed so far. I'm making these changes because we want to build a team that competes for championships and it's time for new...
3 hours ago
3 hours ago

Gervonta Davis injures hand but retains secondary WBA title with tough decision win vs. Isaac Cruz

LOS ANGELES -- Gervonta Davis shot to stardom with the support of Floyd Mayweather and a bundle of explosive knockouts. "Tank" had Mayweather, his promoter and mentor, watching from ringside, but the fight-ending shot never materialized. In fact, Isaac Cruz, a major underdog from Mexico, never appeared to be in any danger at all. Davis (26-0, 24 KOs) didn't deliver the kind of spectacular performance fans were expecting, but he retained his secondary WBA lightweight title with a tougher-than-expected unanimous decision victory over Cruz on Sunday before an announced attendance of 15,580 at Staples Center. Two judges scored it 115-113 with a third tally of 116-112 for the Baltimore native. This was the first time Davis was extended the 12-round distance. The 27-year-old's only other decision victory: a six-rounder in 2014, his ninth pro fight. "I hurt my hand so I couldn't get him out of there," said Davis, a southpaw who barely threw a left hand over the final two rounds. "He's a...
3 hours ago
4 hours ago

Gervonta Davis injures hand but retains WBA 'regular' lightweight title with decision win vs. Isaac Cruz

LOS ANGELES -- Gervonta Davis shot to stardom with the support of Floyd Mayweather and a bundle of explosive knockouts. "Tank" had his promoter and mentor watching from ringside, but the fight-ending shot never materialized. In fact, Isaac Cruz, a major underdog from Mexico, never appeared to be in any danger at all. Davis didn't deliver the kind of spectacular performance fans were expecting, but he remained undefeated with a tougher-than-expected unanimous decision victory over Cruz on Sunday before an announced attendance of 15,580 at Staples Center. Two judges scored it 115-113 with a third tally of 116-112 for the Baltimore native, who retained his WBA "regular" lightweight title.  "I hurt my hand so I couldn't get him out of there," said Davis, a southpaw who barley threw a left hand over the final two rounds. "I was throwing down and I hit him on top of the head; I messed it up."
4 hours ago
4 hours ago

Gervonta Davis injures hand but retains boxing title with unanimous decision win vs. Isaac Cruz

LOS ANGELES -- Gervonta Davis shot to stardom with the support of Floyd Mayweather and a bundle of explosive knockouts. "Tank" had his promoter and mentor watching from ringside, but the fight-ending shot never materialized. In fact, Isaac Cruz, a major underdog from Mexico, never appeared to be in any danger at all. Davis didn't deliver the kind of spectacular performance fans were expecting, but he remained undefeated with a tougher-than-expected unanimous decision victory over Cruz on Sunday before an announced attendance of 15,580 at Staples Center. Two judges scored it 115-113 with a third tally of 116-112 for the Baltimore native, who retained his WBA "regular" lightweight title.  "I hurt my hand so I couldn't get him out of there," said Davis, a southpaw who barley threw a left hand over the final two rounds. "I was throwing down and I hit him on top of the head; I messed it up."
4 hours ago
4 hours ago

Lowly Vancouver Canucks hire Bruce Boudreau to replace Travis Green as coach, source says, amid major management shakeup

The Vancouver Canucks fired coach Travis Green on Sunday, a source told ESPN's Greg Wyshynski, signaling a wave of change throughout the struggling franchise. With the team stuck in last place, Bruce Boudreau was hired to replace Green as the Canucks' 20th coach. Later Sunday night, multiple outlets in Canada reported that Canucks general manager Jim Benning was also fired, a day after a disheartening home loss in which fans voiced their displeasure with "Fire Benning" chants. Green was promoted to Vancouver's bench on April 26, 2017, after coaching the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Utica Comets. Despite an impressive run in the NHL playoff bubble of 2020, he was dismissed after 289 games, finishing with a 125-132-32 record. Vancouver made the postseason only once in Green's tenure, during the coronavirus pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season, but that run was promising. The Canucks advanced to the second round in Edmonton that summer, eventually...
4 hours ago
December 06

Gervonta Davis injures hand but retains title with unanimous decision win vs. Isaac Cruz

LOS ANGELES -- Gervonta Davis shot to stardom with the support of Floyd Mayweather and a bundle of explosive knockouts. "Tank" had his promoter and mentor watching from ringside, but the fight-ending shot never materialized. In fact, Isaac Cruz, a major underdog from Mexico, never appeared to be in any danger at all. Davis didn't deliver the kind of spectacular performance fans were expecting, but he remained undefeated with a tougher-than-expected unanimous decision victory over Cruz on Sunday before an announced attendance of 15,580 at Staples Center. Two judges scored it 115-113 with a third tally of 116-112 for the Baltimore native, who retained his WBA "regular" lightweight title.  "I hurt my hand so I couldn't get him out of there," said Davis, a southpaw who barley threw a left hand over the final two rounds. "I was throwing down and I hit him on top of the head; I messed it up."
December 06
December 05

Oklahoma hires Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as Sooners' new football coach

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is Oklahoma's new head football coach, the university announced. A deal was finalized Sunday night after OU athletic director Joe Castiglione flew to the Clemson, South Carolina, area to meet with Venables, who had emerged as the Sooners' top target. Venables flew back with the Oklahoma contingent Sunday night and will be formally introduced Monday morning. "This is an incredibly special opportunity," Venables said in a statement released by Oklahoma, calling the Sooners "one of the winningest and most tradition-rich programs in college football history." "There's no question we are equipped to compete at the very highest level and attract the best players from across the country. The OU logo has never been stronger." Venables, one of the top defensive minds in the college game, has been a major part of Clemson's championship run under Dabo Swinney and has a long history at Oklahoma. He was on the Sooners' staff from 1999 to...
December 05
December 05

Lowly Vancouver Canucks hire Bruce Boudreau to replace Travis Green as coach, source says

The Vancouver Canucks fired coach Travis Green on Sunday, a source told ESPN's Greg Wyshynski, confirming an earlier report. With the team stuck in last place, Bruce Boudreau has been hired to replace Green as the Canucks' 20th coach. Green was promoted to Vancouver's bench on April 26, 2017, after coaching the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Utica Comets. Despite an impressive run in the NHL playoff bubble of 2020, he was dismissed after 289 games, finishing with a 125-132-32 record. Vancouver made the postseason only once in Green's tenure, during the coronavirus pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season, but that run was promising. The Canucks advanced to the second round in Edmonton that summer, eventually falling to the Vegas Golden Knights. This season has been abysmal for Vancouver, and Green is the first casualty. The Canucks are 8-15-2, the second-worst record in the Western Conference. Last month, Green deflected questions about being on...
December 05
December 05

Oklahoma announces Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as Sooners' new football coach

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is Oklahoma's new head football coach, the university announced. A deal was finalized Sunday night after OU athletic director Joe Castiglione flew to the Clemson area to meet with Venables, who had emerged as the Sooners' top target. Venables flew back with the Oklahoma contingent Sunday night and will be formally introduced Monday morning. "This is an incredibly special opportunity," Venables said in a statement released by Oklahoma, calling the Sooners "one of the winningest and most tradition-rich programs in college football history." "There's no question we are equipped to compete at the very highest level and attract the best players from across the country. The OU logo has never been stronger." Venables, one of the top defensive minds in the college game, has been a major part of Clemson's championship run under Dabo Swinney and has a long history at Oklahoma. He was on the Sooners' staff from 1999 to 2011, as...
December 05
December 05

Ravens' John Harbaugh on decision to go for 2 instead of game-tying PAT in loss to Steelers: 'We were pretty much out of corners'

PITTSBURGH --  Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said injuries affected his decision to go for a potential game-winning 2-point conversion Sunday against the  Pittsburgh Steelers, instead of settling for a tying point-after kick. With 12 seconds remaining in regulation,  Lamar Jackson's pass on the 2-point conversion went off the outstretched left hand of tight end Mark Andrews as the Ravens fell to the Steelers 20-19.  Asked why he went for two instead of the PAT to force overtime, Harbaugh said: "[We're] trying to win the game right there. We were pretty much out of corners at that point in time. It was an opportunity to try to win the game right there." Ravens Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey grabbed his left shoulder when trying to tackle Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson on Pittsburgh's go-ahead, 5-yard TD with 1:48 to play. The Ravens fear Humphrey suffered a season-ending injury on the play, a source told...
December 05
December 05

Washington's Logan Thomas feared to have suffered torn ACL, MCL in win over Las Vegas Raiders, source says

LAS VEGAS -- The Washington Football Team's four-game win streak was muted by more bad injury news: Tight end Logan Thomas' season could be over. A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Sunday night that the team fears that Thomas suffered a torn ACL and MCL late in its 17-15 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Thomas will undergo more tests Monday after Washington returns home. Losing Thomas would be a big blow to Washington, which is now 6-6 and two games behind first-place Dallas in the NFC East. The WFT currently holds the sixth playoff spot in the NFC with five games remaining. Thomas was hurt with 10 minutes remaining in the game when he pulled to the left side and was hit low in the left knee by Las Vegas defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. Thomas left on his own power. Washington coach Ron Rivera said in his postgame news conference that he did not see the play. Thomas has been Washington's top red zone target and its most productive tight...
December 05
December 05

Oklahoma finalizes deal with Brent Venables to be Sooners' football coach

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is Oklahoma's new head football coach, the university announced. A deal was finalized Sunday night after OU athletic director Joe Castiglione flew to the Clemson area to meet with Venables, who had emerged as the Sooners' top target. Venables flew back with the Oklahoma contingent Sunday night and will be formally introduced Monday. "This is an incredibly special opportunity," Venables said in a statement released by Oklahoma, calling the Sooners "one of the winningest and most tradition-rich programs in college football history." "There's no question we are equipped to compete at the very highest level and attract the best players from across the country. The OU logo has never been stronger." Venables, one of the top defensive minds in the college game, has been a major part of Clemson's championship run under Dabo Swinney and has a long history at Oklahoma. He was on the Sooners' staff from 1999 to 2011, as co-defensive...
December 05
December 05

Last-place Vancouver Canucks make coaching change, hire Bruce Boudreau to replace Travis Green, source says

The Vancouver Canucks fired coach Travis Green on Sunday, a source told ESPN's Greg Wyshynski Sunday night, confirming an earlier report. With the team stuck in last place, Bruce Boudreau has been hired to replace Green as the Canucks' 20th coach. Green was promoted to Vancouver's bench on April 26, 2017, after coaching the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Utica Comets. Despite an impressive run in the NHL playoff bubble of 2020, he was dismissed after 289 games, finishing with a 125-132-32 record. Vancouver made the postseason only once in Green's tenure, during the coronavirus pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season, but that run was promising. The Canucks advanced to the second round in Edmonton that summer, eventually falling to the Vegas Golden Knights. This season has been abysmal for Vancouver, and Green is the first casualty. The Canucks are 8-15-2, the second-worst record in the Western Conference. Last month, Green deflected questions about...
December 05
December 05

Oklahoma finalizes deal with Brent Venables to be Sooners' football coach, sources say

Oklahoma has finalized a deal with Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables to be the Sooners' next football coach, sources told ESPN on Sunday. Venables has been a major part of Clemson's championship run under Dabo Swinney and has a long history at Oklahoma. He was on the Sooners' staff from 1999 to 2011, serving as co-defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2011. While at Clemson, Venables was the Broyles Award winner in 2016 as the top assistant coach in college football. He had turned down multiple head-coaching opportunities in recent years to stay at Clemson. Venables, whose defenses at Clemson have consistently ranked near the top nationally in most statistical categories, is the highest-paid assistant coach in college football. He received a contract extension prior to this season that took him to $2.5 million annually. That was after turning down the Auburn head-coaching job a few months earlier. Sources...
December 05
December 05

Oklahoma finalizes deal with Brent Venables to be Sooners' head football coach, sources say

Oklahoma has finalized a deal with Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables to be the Sooners' next head football coach, sources told ESPN on Sunday. Venables has been a major part of Clemson's championship run under Dabo Swinney and has a long history at Oklahoma. He was on the Sooners' staff from 1999 to 2011, serving as co-defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2011. While at Clemson, Venables was the Broyles Award winner in 2016 as the top assistant coach in college football. He had turned down multiple head-coaching opportunities in recent years to stay at Clemson. Venables, whose defenses at Clemson have consistently ranked near the top nationally in most statistical categories, is the highest-paid assistant coach in college football. He received a contract extension prior to this season that took him to $2.5 million annually. That was after turning down the Auburn head-coaching job a few months earlier. Sources...
December 05
December 05

Buck O'Neil joins Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso, others in being elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Buck O'Neil, a champion of Black ballplayers during a monumental, eight-decade career on and off the field, joined Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso and three others in being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. Former Minnesota Twins teammates Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat also were chosen along with Bud Fowler by a pair of veterans committees. Oliva and Kaat, both 83 years old, are the only living new members. Longtime slugger Dick Allen, who died last December, fell one vote shy of election. The six newcomers will be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York, on July 24, 2022, along with any new members elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. First-time candidates David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez join Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling on the ballot, with voting results on Jan. 25. Passed over in previous Hall elections, the new members reflect a diversity of accomplishments. This was the first time O'Neil, Minoso and Fowler had a chance to make the...
December 05
December 05

Buck O'Neil joins Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso, others in being elected to baseball's Hall of Fame

Buck O'Neil, a champion of Black ballplayers during a monumental, eight-decade career on and off the field, joined Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso and three others in being elected to the baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. Former Minnesota Twins teammates Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat, a longtime television analyst after his playing days, also were chosen along with Bud Fowler by a pair of veterans committees. Oliva and Kaat are the only living new members. Dick Allen, who died last December, fell one vote shy of election. Kaat pitched 25 seasons with a host of teams, including the Phillies, Yankees and Cardinals, winning 283 games. He served as an analyst for the Yankees before moving on to the MLB Network. The 16-member Early Days and Golden Days committees met separately in Orlando, Florida. The election announcement was originally scheduled to coincide with the big league winter meetings, which were nixed because of the MLB lockout. The six newcomers will be enshrined in...
December 05
December 05

Detroit Lions dedicate first win of season to Oxford community after Tuesday's deadly high school shooting

DETROIT -- Gazing from the sideline of Ford Field, Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell rested his hands on his knees, slightly slouched over in anticipation of the game's final play. As quarterback Jared Goff found rookie receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown on a walk-off touchdown pass for a 29-27 upset win over the Minnesota Vikings that gave the Lions their first win this season, Campbell yelled, leaping in the air with joy as Goff rushed over to him for a big hug. After experiencing that emotional high of victory for the first time this season, Campbell didn't lose sight of the bigger picture. "This game ball goes to the whole Oxford community and all those who were affected," Campbell said, referencing the shooting Tuesday at nearby Oxford High School that left four teenagers dead and several others with injuries. "And that being said, man, I just ... I want us to not forget these names: Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, Justin Shilling, Tate Myre, Phoebe...
December 05
December 05

New York Giants QB Mike Glennon concussed in loss to Miami Dolphins

New York Giants quarterback Mike Glennon suffered a concussion in his team's 20-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. It is unknown when it actually occurred. Glennon was evaluated for the concussion after the game, which he finished, spiking the ball before a field goal attempt on the Giants' final offensive play. Glennon started in place of Daniel Jones, who was inactive because of a neck strain. Jones is not yet cleared for contact. It remains unknown if or when he will be able to return, even though he was on the field Sunday running through an extensive pregame workout. Jones was believed to have hurt his neck on the second play in last week's win over the Philadelphia Eagles. He also finished that game. Jones is expected to meet with doctors again on Monday morning. "All of our players will have that day-after-game checkup with all the doctors," coach Joe Judge said. "Daniel will be no different than that. I'll check with the doctors...
December 05
December 05

Gardner Minshew starts in place of injured Jalen Hurts, lifts Philadelphia Eagles past New York Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Gardner Minshew sure knows how to make an entrance. With Jalen Hurts sidelined with an ankle injury, Minshew impressed in his first start for the Philadelphia Eagles, going 20-of-25 for 242 yards with two touchdowns to power the Eagles over the New York Jets 33-18. The offense scored on each of its first seven drives under Minshew, who posted a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating in the first half while matching Donovan McNabb for highest first-half completion rate (93.3%) by an Eagles quarterback since 1991. "It felt so good, man. It's the best time I've had since Week 1 of last year. There's nothing like that feeling," Minshew said. "Glad to do it with this group of guys. They made it easy for me." Minshew has a thing for debuts. He completed 88% of his throws in his first pro start in 2019 for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his first start of 2020, he went 19-of-20 for a 95% completion rate. His performance...
December 05
December 05

Detroit Lions get first win of season with walk-off TD to beat Minnesota Vikings

DETROIT -- Inside Ford Field on Sunday, Detroit Lions fans experienced something that hadn't happened there in over a full calendar year: a win. First-year Lions coach Dan Campbell will no longer have to field questions about a winless season, as Detroit upset Minnesota 29-27 for its first regular-season win since Dec. 6, 2020, behind a walk-off touchdown catch by rookie wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown from Jared Goff as time expired. It also marked the Lions' first victory at home since Nov. 15, 2020. Even without their dynamic running back D'Andre Swift (shoulder), the Lions were playing inspired football on the heels of the shooting Tuesday at Oxford High School, where four teenagers were killed by a fellow student. The school is located a little more than 30 miles outside of Detroit. The Lions honored the victims with a moment of silence ahead of the kickoff, while also wearing T-shirts and helmet decals as a tribute. "Those guys are on our...
December 05
December 05

UConn women's basketball star Paige Bueckers leaves win over Notre Dame with knee injury

The No. 2 UConn women's basketball team beat rival Notre Dame 73-54 on Sunday in Storrs, but the win might have come with a hefty price tag. Reigning national player of the year Paige Bueckers suffered a left knee injury in the waning moments of Sunday's victory. She will get an MRI in the coming days. With under a minute left in the game, the sophomore star collapsed to the floor in obvious pain and had to be carried to the bench by two teammates. "You immediately put yourself in that kid's shoes," Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said. "That's the part that really hits you in the pit of your stomach. Initial report is that she might have hyperextended it, but I think the first thing that goes through your mind is the worst thing." Bueckers led the Huskies in scoring with 22 points on the day. She also added four rebounds, four assists and five steals. Until she was injured, Bueckers had played every minute of the game. When asked why she was still on the floor even with...
December 05
December 05

UConn star Paige Bueckers leaves win over Notre Dame with left knee injury

No. 2 UConn beat rival Notre Dame 73-54 on Sunday afternoon, but the win might have come with a hefty price tag. Reigning national player of the year Paige Bueckers suffered a left knee injury in the waning moments of Sunday's victory. She will get an MRI in the coming days. With under a minute left in the game, the sophomore star collapsed onto the floor in obvious pain and had to be carried to the bench by two teammates. "You immediately put yourself in that kids shoes," Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said. "That's the part that really hits you in the pit of your stomach. Initial report is that she might have hyperextended it, but I think the first thing that goes through your mind is the worst thing." Bueckers led the Huskies in scoring with 22 points on the day. She also added four rebounds and four assists and five steals. Until she was injured, Bueckers had played every minute of the game. When asked why she was still on the floor even with Connecticut having a large lead,...
December 05
December 05

Hamilton beats Verstappen despite collision at wildly controversial Saudi GP

Lewis Hamilton won a crazy, twice-halted Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday to go level on points with Red Bull rival Max Verstappen and set up a winner-takes-all title showdown. On a chaotic night in Jeddah, the first race in the Gulf kingdom took almost as many twists and turns as an already astonishing and enthralling rollercoaster season -- and also left a bitter aftertaste. There were crashes and collisions, safety cars, red flags, and claims of dirty driving after seven-times world champion Hamilton hit the back of Verstappen's suddenly slowing car on the super-fast Corniche street circuit. Extraordinary, at times angry, radio exchanges between the race director Michael Masi and the top two teams filled the airwaves. With a bonus point for fastest lap, Hamilton moved alongside Verstappen at the top of the standings with 369.5 points after 21 races. Verstappen, who finished second with Valtteri Bottas third for Mercedes, leads 9-8 on wins, however -- meaning...
December 05
December 05

Notre Dame, Oklahoma State to meet in Fiesta Bowl; Ohio State faces Utah in Rose Bowl

Notre Dame and Oklahoma State both had visions of making the College Football Playoff, but instead the two teams will face each other in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day. The fifth-ranked Fighting Irish and new head coach Marcus Freeman were left on the outside looking in at the CFP playoff, while the Cowboys' attempt to barge into the semifinals came up just short with a Big 12 title game defeat. It was Baylor that buried Oklahoma State's title chances. Now the Bears will look to close out their season with an Allstate Sugar Bowl win against Ole Miss. The Rebels finished third in the SEC behind CFP entrants Alabama and Georgia. Ohio State, which saw its CFP plans fall apart in a snowy loss to rival Michigan two weeks ago, will instead head to the Rose Bowl. Waiting for the Buckeyes in Pasadena will be Utah, which won its first Pac-12 championship since joining the conference in 2011. On Dec. 30, ...
December 05
December 05

Alabama, Michigan, Georgia, Cincinnati reach College Football Playoff

GRAPEVINE, Texas -- Two SEC teams and the first Group of 5 team in the history of the College Football Playoff will play for the national title, as the CFP selection committee revealed No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Cincinnati as its top four teams Sunday on Selection Day. Alabama will face Cincinnati in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, and Michigan will face Georgia in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 31. The winners will play Jan. 10 in the national championship game in Indianapolis. Both semifinal games and the national title game will air on ESPN. It was a relatively drama-free weekend, as the committee's top four remained the same, just reshuffled, following the conference title games Saturday. Alabama's dominant performance in its 41-24 win over Georgia in the SEC championship game catapulted the one-loss Crimson Tide to the top spot.  "Not only did Alabama beat Georgia, but the way they beat them -- they...
December 05
December 05

Miami, Mario Cristobal discussing Hurricanes' coaching job, sources say

Miami is in extensive discussions with Oregon's Mario Cristobal to make him the next Hurricanes football coach, sources told ESPN on Sunday. Cristobal, a Miami native and a former Hurricanes offensive lineman and assistant, also has a lucrative contract offer from Oregon to remain Ducks coach. Miami has not fired coach Manny Diaz, who continues to recruit for the school along with his assistants. Oregon assistants are also out recruiting Sunday and have not been informed about Cristobal's decision, sources said. Cristobal on Sunday appeared on a videoconference call with Oklahoma interim coach Bob Stoops to announce the teams' matchup in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Neither coach took questions from the media. Cristobal, wearing an Oregon shirt, said his team looks forward to playing in the game. The call ended with Stoops wishing Cristobal luck on the recruiting trail. Miami is set to make major investments in its program and wants to build around Cristobal and a new...
December 05
December 05

Miami, Mario Cristobal discussing Hurricanes' coaching job, sources say

Miami is in extensive discussions with Oregon's Mario Cristobal to make him the next Hurricanes football coach, sources told ESPN on Sunday. Cristobal, a Miami native and former Hurricanes offensive lineman and assistant, also has a lucrative contract offer from Oregon to remain Ducks coach. Miami has not fired coach Manny Diaz, who continues to recruit for the school along with his assistants. Oregon assistants are also out recruiting Sunday and have not been informed about Cristobal's decision, sources said. Miami is set to make major investments in its program and wants to build around Cristobal and a new athletic director. The school is targeting Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich with a multimillion-dollar contract, but other candidates remain involved and the search is ongoing. A source close to the athletic director search told ESPN earlier Sunday that a hire had not been made. Radakovich earned a business degree from Miami and began his athletic...
December 05
December 05

Carolina Panthers fire offensive coordinator Joe Brady with team sitting at 5-7

The Carolina Panthers have fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady with five games left in their season, the team announced Sunday. Panthers coach Matt Rhule said in a statement that he met with Brady on Sunday morning and "informed him that I have decided to make a change." "I'm very grateful to him for his time and effort in helping us get established over this past year and a half," Rhule said. Senior offensive assistant Jeff Nixon will take over the offensive coordinator duties with the rest of the offensive coaching staff for the remainder of the season. The Panthers, who are on their bye this week, are ranked 28th in the NFL with 308.7 yards per game and 23rd in scoring at 19.7 points each game. In October, Rhule said he was sticking with Brady but wanted him to commit more to the running game. Brady, however, never committed to the running game to the level Rhule preferred (at least 30 attempts per game).  The Panthers started the season 3-0 but are currently 5-7....
December 05
December 05

Carolina Panthers fire offensive coordinator Joe Brady with team sitting at 5-7 on season

The Carolina Panthers have fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady with five games left in their season, the team announced Sunday. Panthers coach Matt Rhule said in a statement that he met with Brady on Sunday morning and "informed him that I have decided to make a change." "I'm very grateful to him for his time and effort in helping us get established over this past year and a half," Rhule said. Senior offensive assistant Jeff Nixon will take over the offensive coordinator duties with the rest of the offensive coaching staff for the remainder of the season. In October, Rhule said he was sticking with Brady but wanted him to commit more to the running game.  The Panthers started the season 3-0 but are currently 5-7. Star running back Christian McCaffrey is out for the season with an ankle injury while the team has started three different quarterbacks. Sam Darnold is currently on injured reserve with a shoulder injury and Cam Newton is now starting...
December 05
December 05

Philadelphia Eagles start Gardner Minshew at QB vs. New York Jets with Jalen Hurts ailing

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Gardner Minshew started at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday's game against the New York Jets in place of the injured Jalen Hurts. Hurts was inactive for the game. Minshew threw just one incomplete pass in the first half Sunday, completing 14 of 15 pass attempts for 188 yards and two touchdowns -- both to tight end Dallas Goedert. The Eagles led the Jets 24-18 at halftime. Hurts sprained his left ankle in the second half against the New York Giants when he was stepped on. He finished the game but was limping noticeably at times. Earlier this week, Hurts declared that he would be "ready to go" for the Jets game. "You guys obviously know I'm dealing with a little something, but it's business as usual," he said. Minshew, however, got the lion's share of snaps during practice Thursday and Friday. Hurts is expected to remain the Eagles' starter regardless of how Minshew plays, sources said. He...
December 05
December 05

Sources: Oklahoma set to finalize deal to hire Clemson DC Brent Venables as football coach

Oklahoma officials are scheduled to arrive in Clemson, South Carolina, later Sunday afternoon to finalize a deal with Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables to become the Sooners' next football coach, sources told ESPN. Venables has been a major part of Clemson's championship run under Dabo Swinney and has a long history at Oklahoma. He was on the Sooners' staff from 1999 to 2011, serving as co-defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2011. While at Clemson, Venables was the Broyles Award winner in 2016 as the top assistant coach in college football. He has turned down multiple head-coaching opportunities in recent years to stay at Clemson. Venables, whose defenses at Clemson have consistently ranked near the top nationally in most statistical categories, is the highest-paid assistant coach in college football. He received a contract extension prior to this season that took him to $2.5 million annually. That's after turning down...
December 05
December 05

Sources: Houston Texans LB Zach Cunningham inactive for disciplinary reasons

HOUSTON -- Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham will not play against the Indianapolis Colts for disciplinary reasons, sources told ESPN. The starting linebacker is inactive for continually being late, sources said. He is missing playing time for the second time this season for violating team rules. In Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns, Cunningham was benched for the first quarter for recurring tardiness. Last Sunday, safety Justin Reid was inactive for violating team rules. "We have rules, and when the rules are broken ... it doesn't matter who it is," Texans coach David Culley said Nov. 28. Cunningham, a second-round pick in 2017, signed a four-year, $58 million contract extension in 2020. The linebacker has 67 tackles and one forced fumble this season.
December 05
December 05

Philadelphia Eagles to start Gardner Minshew at QB vs. New York Jets with Jalen Hurts ailing

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Gardner Minshew will get the start at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday's game against the New York Jets in place of the injured Jalen Hurts. Hurts will be inactive for the game. Hurts sprained his left ankle in the second half against the New York Giants when he was stepped on. He finished the game but was limping noticeably at times. Earlier this week, Hurts declared that he would be "ready to go" for the Jets game. "You guys obviously know I'm dealing with a little something, but it's business as usual," he said. Minshew, however, got the lion's share of snaps during practice Thursday and Friday. Hurts is expected to remain the Eagles' starter regardless of how Minshew plays, sources said. He has completed 60.1% of his passes through 12 games for 2,435 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions while racking up 695 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Hurts is coming off arguably his...
December 05
December 05

Source: Philadelphia Eagles to start Gardner Minshew at QB vs. New York Jets with Jalen Hurts ailing

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Gardner Minshew will get the start at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday's game against the New York Jets in place of the injured Jalen Hurts, according to a league source. Hurts will be inactive for the game, the source said. Hurts sprained his ankle in the second half against the New York Giants when he was stepped on. He finished the game but was limping noticeably at times. Earlier this week, Hurts declared that he would be "ready to go" for the Jets game. "You guys obviously know I'm dealing with a little something, but it's business as usual," he said. Minshew, however, got the lions' share of snaps during practice on Thursday and Friday. Hurts is expected to remain the Eagles starter regardless of how Minshew plays, per sources. He has completed 60.1% of his passes through 12 games for 2,435 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions while racking up 695 yards and eight touchdowns on...
December 05
December 05

Sources: Oklahoma looks to finalize deal to hire Clemson DC Brent Venables as football coach

Oklahoma has targeted veteran Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as the Sooners' next head football coach, and the two sides hope to have a deal finalized as early as Sunday, sources told ESPN. Venables has been a major part of Clemson's championship run under Dabo Swinney and has a long history at Oklahoma. He was on the Sooners' staff from 1999 to 2011, serving as co-defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2011. While at Clemson, Venables was the Broyles Award winner in 2016 as the top assistant coach in college football. He has turned down multiple head-coaching opportunities in recent years to stay at Clemson. Venables, whose defenses at Clemson have consistently ranked near the top nationally in most statistical categories, is the highest-paid assistant coach in college football. He received a contract extension prior to this season that took him to $2.5 million annually. That's after turning down the Auburn...
December 05
December 05

Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins to play for Arizona Cardinals vs. Chicago Bears

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, listed as questionable because of his lingering ankle injury, will start Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, listed as questionable because of a hamstring issue, will also play. However, the veteran could be used more sparingly than usual due to his injury and potential weather conditions, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. In the week leading up to the Bears game, Kingsbury and the Cardinals took their familiar cautious approach to Murray's status, considering his high left ankle sprain. On Friday, Kingsbury said his quarterback's status would be a game-time decision, in part because of strategy and in part because last year's tailspin in the final nine games of the season is still fresh in his memory. Murray was "better this week," Kingsbury said, adding he is hopeful that the quarterback will feel good and "be ready to roll." Murray hasn't played since spraining his ankle...
December 05
December 05

DeMar DeRozan, short-handed Chicago Bulls hand Brooklyn Nets 'bad, tough loss'

NEW YORK -- With DeMar DeRozan drawing James Harden and Kevin Durant with him on a drive into the paint, Lonzo Ball was all alone on the right wing as he launched a 3, crouched in anticipation and then turned toward courtside to the fans behind him after drilling a late dagger against the Brooklyn Nets. Down four rotation players due to health and injuries, the Chicago Bulls continued their surprising start to the season by erasing an 11-point third-quarter deficit to give the Nets a stinging 111-107 loss at Barclays Center on Saturday night. The Bulls (16-8) have won three straight games and leave New York having beaten the Knicks at Madison Square Garden and the Nets at Barclays Center on this road trip. This is the second time that the Bulls outplayed the preseason favorite to win the Eastern Conference in the fourth quarter to hand the Nets a bitter loss, clinching the season series between the teams.   "You...
December 05
December 05

Sources -- Oklahoma looks to finalize deal to hire Clemson DC Brent Venables as football coach

Oklahoma has targeted veteran Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as the Sooners' next head football coach, and the two sides hope to have a deal finalized as early as Sunday, sources told ESPN. Venables has been a major part of Clemson's championship run under Dabo Swinney and has a long history at Oklahoma. He was on the Sooners' staff from 1999 to 2011, serving as co-defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2011. While at Clemson, Venables was the Broyles Award winner in 2016 as the top assistant coach in college football. He has turned down multiple head-coaching opportunities in recent years to stay at Clemson. If a deal is reached with Venables at Oklahoma, sources told ESPN that Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby would be his top choice as offensive coordinator. Lebby, a semifinalist for the Broyles Award each of the past two seasons, spent four years as a student assistant at Oklahoma after signing to...
December 05
December 05

Sources: Oklahoma looks to finalize deal to make Clemson DC Brent Venables OU's new head football coach

Oklahoma has targeted veteran Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as the Sooners' next head football coach, and the two sides hope to have a deal finalized as early as Sunday, sources told ESPN. Venables has been a major part of Clemson's championship run under Dabo Swinney and has a long history at Oklahoma. He was on the Sooners' staff from 1999 to 2011, serving as co-defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and defensive coordinator from 2004 to '11. While at Clemson, Venables was the Broyles Award winner in 2016 as the top assistant coach in college football. He has turned down multiple head-coaching opportunities in recent years to stay at Clemson. If a deal is reached with Venables at Oklahoma, sources told ESPN that Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby would be his top choice as offensive coordinator. Lebby, a semifinalist for the Broyles Award each of the past two seasons, spent four years as a student assistant at Oklahoma after signing to...
December 05
December 05

Michigan's Cade McNamara on Big Ten title: 'We wanted to win for Coach Harbaugh'

In Lucas Oil Stadium, where Jim Harbaugh's name is displayed on the ring of honor and his picture is on the walls in the press box for what he accomplished with the  Indianapolis Colts, Harbaugh won his first Big Ten championship as Michigan's head coach. The 42-3 win over Iowa on Saturday was the first Big Ten title for the Wolverines since 2004, and it came after a 2020 season when Michigan went 2-4 and criticism could be found in every corner.  Harbaugh has praised his team as a group that he loves and went as far as saying there is no team he loves more. He said he loves how it stuck together and how this group embodies a mantra etched into the walls of Schembechler Hall. "To walk past the sign we all walk by -- 'Those who stay will be champions' -- to make that valid and that true," Harbaugh said. "For guys to live on, really, in Schembechler Hall forever. I mean, [ Aidan Hutchinson's] picture is going to be up there on the...
December 05
December 05

DeMar DeRozan, shorthanded Chicago Bulls hand Brooklyn Nets 'bad, tough loss'

NEW YORK -- With DeMar DeRozan drawing James Harden and Kevin Durant with him on a drive into the paint, Lonzo Ball was all alone on the right wing as he launched a 3, crouched in anticipation and then turned toward courtside to the fans behind him after drilling a late dagger against the Brooklyn Nets. Down four rotation players due to health and injuries, the Chicago Bulls continued their surprising start to the season by erasing an 11-point third-quarter deficit to give the Nets a stinging 111-107 loss at Barclays Center on Saturday night. The Bulls (16-8) have won three straight games and leave New York having beaten the Knicks at Madison Square Garden and the Nets at Barclays Center on this road trip. This is also the second time this season that the Bulls outplayed the preseason favorite to win the Eastern Conference in the fourth quarter to hand the Nets a bitter loss, clinching the season series between the two teams.   ...
December 05
December 05

Devin Haney defeats Joseph Diaz Jr. by unanimous decision to retain WBC lightweight title

LAS VEGAS -- Faced with his stiffest competition yet, Devin Haney came of age with the best performance of his career. Haney, 23, retained his WBC lightweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Joseph Diaz Jr. on Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Haney won over the judges (117-111, 116-112, 117-111) with superior activity, a sharp jab and clean punching. Most of all, Haney dictated the pace. He consistently beat Diaz to the punch, and when Haney was pressed onto the ropes, he usually pivoted out of danger and onto the attack. But Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) didn't cruise to victory after he jumped out to a commanding lead. He was forced to overcome some challenging moments, particularly in the final round after Diaz (32-2-1, 15 KOs) connected on a bundle of overhand lefts that he loaded up on. Many of those shots met their mark, but Haney stood his ground. He was able to fire off a left to the body followed by a right hand to the head that kept Diaz at bay. The result was...
December 05
December 05

Sources: NFL asking teams for more vaccination information after Antonio Brown, Mike Edwards suspensions

In an effort to avoid further suspensions like the ones handed down to Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown and defensive back Mike Edwards, NFL officials spent the past week calling multiple teams to inquire whether players who had gotten COVID-19 had been vaccinated on site at the team's training facility or off site at another location, league sources told ESPN on Saturday. League officials want further information on this in order to ascertain whether any other players have misrepresented their vaccination status, sources said. Teams have been leery about players using fake vaccination cards and have warned some of them about the severity of such an offense. While there do not appear to be any active investigations over fake vaccination cards, the league wants to make sure no other players attempt to game the system. Even Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians called for the league to take further and stronger action. "There's a lot more to the...
December 05
December 05

Devin Haney defeats Joseph Diaz by unanimous decision to retain WBC lightweight title

LAS VEGAS -- Faced with his stiffest competition yet, Devin Haney came of age with the best performance of his career. Haney, 23, retained his WBC lightweight title with a unanimous-decision victory over Joseph Diaz Jr. on Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena, but the challenger made him earn it following a slow start. One judge scored the fight 116-112, while the two other judges each scored it 117-111. Haney jumped out to a commanding lead on the strength of a sharp jab, cleaning punching and surprising activity. But even when Diaz finally fought his way into the bout in Round 4, Haney was ready and willing to exchange on the inside. Diaz found a home for his overhand left during the remainder of the bout, but particularly in Rounds 9 and 12. Plenty of those sweeping lefts landed flush, but Haney never wavered. Instead, he always returned fire and connected with stinging straight right hands and uppercuts that scored. "He said he was going to bring the dog out of me and that's...
December 05
December 05

Arizona Cardinals expect Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins to play vs. Chicago Bears, sources say

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, listed as questionable for Sunday due to his lingering ankle injury, is expected to start vs. the Chicago Bears, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, also listed as questionable due to a hamstring issue, is likely to play vs. the Bears, as well. But the veteran could be used more sparingly than usual due to his injury and potential weather conditions, a source told Schefter. In the week leading up to the Bears game, coach Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals took their familiar cautious approach to Murray's status, considering his high left ankle sprain. On Friday, Kingsbury said his quarterback's status would be a game-time decision, in part because of strategy, and in part because the memory of last year's tailspin in the final nine games of the season is still fresh in his memory. Murray was "better this week," Kingsbury said, adding he's hopeful that Murray will feel good...
December 05
December 04

No. 16 Alabama men's basketball makes most of long trip to Seattle, upsets No. 3 Gonzaga

When Nate Oats said yes to the idea of  Alabama making the trip to the Pacific Northwest and playing a glorified home game against  Gonzaga, he knew it would be an early test of where the Crimson Tide stood. Alabama's coach also knew his team could end up being a tough opponent for what was supposed to be a showcase event for Gonzaga. "With the way we play, we can be dangerous at times with how many 3s that we shoot, and they knew that," Oats said. "We hit a few tonight, and that helped a little bit." Jaden Shackelford scored 20 of his 28 points in the first half, Jahvon Quinerly and JD Davison both hit key 3-pointers, and No. 16 Alabama held off Gonzaga's big second-half rally for a 91-82 win over the third-ranked Bulldogs on Saturday night. The Crimson Tide (7-1) made 10 of their 13 3-pointers in the first half, led by Shackelford's sharp shooting from deep. Alabama led by 16 at halftime and withstood every charge the Bulldogs made in the...
December 04
December 04

Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart hopes loss to Alabama 'reinvigorates our energy'

ATLANTA -- If earning high praise from the media or being an underdog by the oddsmakers is rat poison for the  Alabama Crimson Tide, then playing the Crimson Tide must be strychnine for the  Georgia Bulldogs. After cruising to a 12-0 record and sitting atop the College Football Playoff selection committee's rankings since the beginning of November, the Bulldogs suddenly looked like the second-best team in their league after a 41-24 loss to the Crimson Tide in Saturday's SEC championship game. It was Georgia's seventh straight loss to Alabama, including four at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in either the SEC championship game or CFP national championship. Georgia coach Kirby Smart fell to 0-4 against his former mentor, Alabama's Nick Saban. It was an all-too-familiar outcome for Georgia fans against the Crimson Tide. "It didn't do any damage," Smart said. "What it did was reinvigorate our energy. It re-centers you, right? Their greatest thing is when [the Tide]...
December 04
December 04

Sources: Alabama Crimson Tide officials believe WR John Metchie tore ACL

ATLANTA -- Alabama receiver John Metchie III is expected to miss the College Football Playoff after suffering what Tide officials believe to be a torn ACL in his left knee in Saturday's 41-24 victory against Georgia in the SEC championship game, sources told ESPN. Metchie missed the second half after injuring his leg on quarterback Bryce Young's 14-yard scramble with 56 seconds left in the first half. He was injured on a noncontact play while running a pass route and clutched his left knee when he fell to the turf. He walked off the field under his own power.   "John Metchie is probably going to be out now, and we have a couple other guys that may be injured," Tide coach Nick Saban said. "It creates a lot of opportunity for a lot of other players. Hopefully, we'll be able to get them to step up." Metchie had eight catches for 97 yards with one touchdown in the first half. He led the team with 90 catches and was second in receiving yards (1,045) to go...
December 04

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