Monday, December 11News That Matters

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USC vs. Stanford part 2: Which team takes the rematch in the Pac-12 championship game?

USC vs. Stanford part 2: Which team takes the rematch in the Pac-12 championship game?

Sports
Pregame: Well hello there, fancy Stanford helmets. The stakes: It's 2015 all over again, as the USC Trojans and the Stanford Cardinal will collide in the 2017 Pac-12 Championship matchup. The Cardinal embarrassed their Southern California foes 41-22 in the game two years ago but will have a tougher time doing the same this year.USC (10-2 overall, 8-1 Pac-12) cruised past Stanford (9-3, 7-2), 42-24, in September, running for an astounding 307 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Sam Darnold threw only five incompletions. However, Stanford rebounded quickly from that game — winning eight of its next 10. Time: 8 p.m. ETLocation: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif. TV: ESPNStreaming: WatchESPNOdds: USC is favored by 4 points Back in 2015 USC and Stanford met in the Pac-12 Championship game
Beleaguered World Cup gets weak opener: Russia-Saudi Arabia

Beleaguered World Cup gets weak opener: Russia-Saudi Arabia

Sports
MOSCOW (AP) A World Cup shrouded in corruption controversies and struggling to attract sponsors could have the dreariest of starts on the field: a meeting of the lowest-ranked teams in the 32-team field. Host Russia and Saudi Arabia play June 14 at Moscow in an opener lacking global appeal, but things pick up the next day when 2010 champion Spain and defending European champion Portugal meet in Sochi. The Iberian neighbors were drawn into Group B at a Kremlin ceremony Friday. Morocco coach Herve Renard hoped to avoid the ”two ogres” but will face them along with Iran. ”It’s a complicated group,” Spain coach Julen Lopetegui said. ”It will be tough. Portugal is a great team. It is the defending European champion and has a squad filled with top players.” None more so than Cristiano Ronal
Jimbo Fisher leaving FSU to become head coach at Texas A&M

Jimbo Fisher leaving FSU to become head coach at Texas A&M

Sports
3:08 PM ETESPN news services Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher has resigned to take the head coaching job at Texas A&M, Florida State officials announced Friday.Fisher won't coach in the Seminoles' game against Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday. The team will be coached by associate head coach and defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins."Coach Fisher did an exceptional job as both an assistant coach at FSU and in the challenging role of successor to the legendary Bobby Bowden," Florida State president John Thrasher said in a statement. "I believe Texas A&M is getting one of the best coaches in college football."Fisher, 52, had hoped to wait to announce his decision until after Saturday's regular-season finale, which the Seminoles (5-6, 3-5 ACC) need to win to extend their strea...
The Latest: Russia has some homework to do before World Cup

The Latest: Russia has some homework to do before World Cup

Sports
Russian police officers patrol the Manezh Square at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. The Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will take place on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)(Photo: The Associated Press)MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the World Cup draw (all times local):___7:45 p.m.Russia will have some homework to do before facing Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay at the World Cup.Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov says "we've never played any of these teams and I've never seen them."Cherchesov says "the only thing we know is that (Liverpool forward Mohamed) Salah plays for Egypt ... and that (Edinson) Cavani and Luis (Suarez) play for Uruguay."Russia will face Saudi Arabia on June 14 in the opening game
AP source: Leach meets with Tennessee AD about coaching job

AP source: Leach meets with Tennessee AD about coaching job

Sports
Tennessee’s at times tumultuous coaching search now involves Washington State coach Mike Leach. Leach met with Tennessee athletic director John Currie on Thursday to discuss the Volunteers’ coaching vacancy, according to a person with direct knowledge of the meeting. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side intended to make the meeting public. The meeting was in Los Angeles, and Leach flew back to Pullman, Washington, when it was done. No deal was completed, the person said. In a text message to the AP early Friday, Leach said: ”Nothing to report. I will be in NY Sunday.” The College Football Hall of Fame banquet takes place in Manhattan next week and typically draws dozens of coaches and athletic administrators to the city, along with age
Redskins pretty much out of playoffs after loss to Cowboys

Redskins pretty much out of playoffs after loss to Cowboys

Sports
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) One thing the Washington Redskins almost certainly won’t have to worry about this year is a must-win game in the season finale to make the playoffs. The Redskins pretty much took themselves out of the postseason picture before the calendar even turned to December, which happened soon after their 38-14 loss Thursday night to the Dallas Cowboys still without suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott. ”Right now, it looks as if we are not going to make the playoffs,” tight end Vernon Davis said. ”So I think at this point, we just have to continue to keep competing, keep playing and keep playing for one another. … You can’t give up.” The Redskins (5-7), who had already been eliminated from NFC East contention, dropped behind Dallas (6-6) in the division standings. The C
Celtics ride Irving's 36 to 108-97 win over scrappy 76ers

Celtics ride Irving's 36 to 108-97 win over scrappy 76ers

Sports
Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum (0) congratulate each other as Philadelphia 76ers' JJ Redick walks off the court after the Celtics' 108-97 win in an NBA basketball game in Boston on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)(Photo: The Associated Press)BOSTON (AP) — Isaiah Thomas developed a reputation in Boston for big performances late in games. It's quickly becoming apparent that the Celtics probably have an even more potent scoring weapon in Kyrie Irving.The star guard scored 36 points and Boston held off the weary and short-handed Philadelphia 76ers 108-97 on Thursday night to improve the NBA's best record to 19-4.It was Irving's fifth game this season with 30 or more points. Al Horford added 21 points and eight rebounds, and Marcus Morris had 17 points as th
Cowboys' roster more than enough to make run at playoffs

Cowboys' roster more than enough to make run at playoffs

Sports
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys discovered something crucial at a time when they most needed a glimmer of hope. Even with their best offensive player suspended and their best defensive player sidelined by injury, this team still has the ability to impress. It's taken three games of ugliness -- and plenty of steadily building criticism -- for the Cowboys to prove that to themselves. The hard part now is sustaining that effort at a time when a playoff spot still lingers as a possibility.The Cowboys' 38-14 win over the Washington Redskins on Thursday night was the kind of butt-kicking Dallas had needed to inflict on somebody for well over a month. Dallas was riding a three-game losing streak coming into this contest. Its offense had turned into a running joke, one that stemmed from ...
Redskins Gameday: Cowboys run away with win against Washington

Redskins Gameday: Cowboys run away with win against Washington

Sports
Dak Prescott has two touchdown passes Thursday night. (Larry W. Smith/EPA)Jump to: Live stats | Injury report and inactives | Game analysis | Pregame readingGame analysisFinal: Cowboys 38, Redskins 14The Dallas Cowboys decisively defeated the turnover-prone Redskins to improve their record to 6-6 and pull ahead of Washington in the playoff race. Realistically, the loss likely ends any postseason hopes for Washington, now 5-7, who trail the Cowboys, Packers, Lions, Seahawks, Falcons and Panthers for the two NFC wild-card spots.McCoy in for CousinsKirk Cousins didn’t finish a dismal game in Dallas as Colt McCoy came on to quarterback the final drive for Washington. Cousins, one of the few Redskins starters who has not missed time this season, took a big shot on the pre
Michigan State handles Notre Dame for 18-point win in top-5 matchup

Michigan State handles Notre Dame for 18-point win in top-5 matchup

Sports
EAST LANSING - Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston found his shooting stroke in the Pacific Northwest over the weekend, where he set career-highs en route to an MVP performance at the Phil Knight Invitational. He brought that stroke home on Thursday, where he used it to slay a top five opponent as the Breslin Center crowd chanted his name.  No. 3 Michigan State beat No. 5 Notre Dame, 81-63, after seeing a 20-point first half lead shrink as small as seven points on Thursday night. Winston scored 17 points, including nine in the final seven minutes as he fended off Notre Dame's second-half charge. Joshua Langford added 17 of his own, including 12 in the first half, while Miles Bridges finished with 14.&...