Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Mississippi State remained the top four teams in the College Football Playoff rankings heading into a weekend when just about all the contenders are facing challenging rivals.
TCU was fifth, Ohio State was sixth and Baylor seventh. The only team in the top eight to change was UCLA, which slipped into the eighth spot.
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Ohio State defensive end Noah Spence was declared permanently ineligible after his appeal of a suspension for failing a drug test was denied by the Big Ten.
BOSTON (AP) – Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez spent the last two seasons as NL West rivals. Now they’re teammates, signing with the Red Sox as free agents for a combined $183 million to try to boost Boston out of the AL East cellar.
Sandoval finalized a five-year, $95 million contract that will add him to a lineup with Ramirez and David Ortiz. He called them ”The Three Amigos.”
About five hours later, the Red Sox confirmed a four-year, $88 million deal with Ramirez. He’s a former Boston prospect who spent the last nine years with the Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers.
CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago White Sox and first baseman Adam LaRoche agreed to a two-year, $25 million contract.
LaRoche is likely to see most of his time at designated hitter because AL Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu is entrenched at first base. LaRoche hit .259 with 26 homers and 92 RBIs in 140 games this year for NL East champion Washington.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Rangers ace Yu Darvish was cleared to start his offseason throwing program.
Darvish, who missed the last seven weeks of the season because of inflammation in his right elbow, had an MRI and was examined by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. Texas said Darvish is already going through his normal offseason training program and expects to start throwing in early December.
Lionel Messi added the Champions League career scoring record to the La Liga mark he set last weekend, getting his 28th Barcelona hat trick in a 4-0 win at APOEL Nicosia.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – The Denver Broncos switched kickers again, waiving first-year pro Brandon McManus and signing Connor Barth, who hasn’t kicked in an NFL game since 2012.
Barth, 28, won a competition with 38-year-old Jay Feely at the Broncos complex in suburban Denver.
The Broncos were in the market for a new kicker after McManus clanked a 33-yard field goal off the right upright in Denver’s 39-36 win over Miami on Sunday.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – A judge allowed the Washington Redskins to move ahead with a lawsuit seeking to overturn a cancellation of the team’s trademark.
The team sued in August after a federal panel, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, ruled that the Redskins trademark should be cancelled because it may be disparaging to Native Americans.
The legal challenge over the team name has been winding through the legal system since 1992.
BOSTON (AP) – A judge agreed to delay the trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in the 2012 slaying of two Boston men after his lawyer said Hernandez’s defense team is busy trying to prepare for his trial in a 2013 killing.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman are back on the U.S. women’s national gymnastics team, a major step as the two Olympic champions point toward a return to the 2016 Rio Games.
The move means Douglas, the reigning Olympic all-around champion, and Raisman, a gold medalist on floor exercise, will be available to participate in international events starting in 2015.
They were vital parts of the ”Fierce Five” that lifted the U.S. to its second Olympic team title in London two years ago.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – The International Olympic Committee corrected the standings of the 1964 Winter Olympics pairs competition to show the American sibling team of Vivian Joseph and Ronald Joseph as the bronze medalists.
In addition, two silver medals were listed for the event by the IOC.
In 1966, the IOC awarded the Josephs the bronze after declaring the West German pair Marika Kilius and Hans-Jurgen Baumler had violated their amateur status by signing a professional contract. With the West Germans stripped of their silver medal, all but the gold medalists moved up one placement.
But the IOC reinstated Kilius-Baumler in 1987. On Tuesday, it finally listed the Germans as silver medalists along with Canada’s Debbi Wilkes and Guy Revell. The Americans were shown with the bronze.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota sophomore guard Daquein McNeil was jailed without bail after his arrest on a felony domestic assault charge involving his girlfriend.
McNeil, who was suspended from all team activities pending the investigation, was booked Monday, according to jail records. The Hennepin County attorney’s office had until Wednesday to charge him, spokesman Chuck Laszewski said.
Eleven of the world’s leading cycling teams united to form Velon, a business venture they hope will rejuvenate the sport in the wake of doping scandals, haphazard management and questions about its integrity.
While the organization does not include all the World Tour teams, it encompasses the majority of them. Among them are U.S.-based BMC Racing and Garmin Sharp, British heavyweight Team Sky and powerhouses Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Orica-GreenEDGE and Team Giant-Shimano.