Analysis: Will a bigger College Football Playoff be better?
Expanding the College Football Playoff from four to 12 teams will fundamentally change the sport on the field and off — for better or worse. More regular-season games will have playoff implications, but the biggest games will no longer have winner-take-all tension. The new format will break up a conference caste system fortified by the four-team model, but it won’t stop the growing gap between haves...
Analysis: Will a bigger College Football Playoff be better?
Expanding the College Football Playoff from four to 12 teams will fundamentally change the sport on the field and off — for better or worse. More regular-season games will have playoff implications, but the biggest games will no longer have winner-take-all tension. The new format will break up a conference caste system fortified by the four-team model, but it won’t stop the growing gap between haves and have nots. More teams will play in the championship tournament. But a larger field probably won’t increase the number of teams that have a realistic chance of winning the whole thing. The CFP is getting bigger. Whether it’s getting better is a matter of personal preference.
AP Top 25 Takeaways: Georgia underrated? Pac-12 dumped again
Maybe Georgia was underrated. The defending national champions came into the season ranked No. 3 in the country and hardly overlooked behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Ohio State. But after losing 15 players to the NFL draft, including nearly half a defense, in the first round, it seemed fair to bake in a little bit of regression. The Bulldogs crushed No. 11 Oregon with stunning ease, unleashing a more dynamic offense and a defense that was just as salty as last season’s wrecking crew. Meanwhile, in the ACC, both No. 13 North Carolina State and North Carolina made thrilling escapes in road trips against in-state rivals.
NASCAR quartet of first-timers eager for playoff experience
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Austin Cindric knew since February he’d be in NASCAR’s playoffs and competing for a Cup Series title. The Daytona 500 winner has been thinking, planning and wondering what his initial playoff experience might be. He’s not alone. Chase Briscoe, Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez are also in the playoffs for the first time. There’s excitement for all of them, along with a bunch of uncertainty. The playoffs begin Sunday with the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
Verstappen milks applause from Orange Army after win at home
Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen made quick work of a safety car restart to win the Dutch Grand Prix in front of 100,000 adoring fans. That’s four straight wins for the first time in Verstappen’s F1 career. Verstappen’s 10th win this season matched his tally from last year. The Red Bull driver extended his championship lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to 109 points. With seven races left a second straight title looks increasingly likely. George Russell finished second for Mercedes ahead of Leclerc. Lewis Hamilton dropped to fourth. Verstappen appeared to be coasting to victory when a safety car came out on Lap 56 after the engine cut on Valtteri Bottas’ Alfa Romeo and threw the race wide open.
Remember the crisis? United beats Arsenal for 4th win in row
It wasn’t long ago that there was a crisis at Manchester United but that seems like a dim and distant memory now. United has won four straight games in the Premier League and the latest sign that United is well on the road to recovery came with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal on Sunday. That ended Arsenal’s 100% start to the season. Marcus Rashford scored two goals and there was also one on debut for Brazil winger Antony, who joined for $95 million from Ajax. United is only three points behind league leader Arsenal and two behind title favorite Manchester City. Leicester was embarrassed 5-2 by Brighton in the other game to pile the pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers.
Parker helps Sky beat Sun 76-72, take 2-1 series lead
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Candace Parker had 16 points and 11 rebounds while Kahleah Copper added 15 points and the Chicago Sky beat the Connecticut Sun 76-72 in Game 3 of the WNBA playoffs semifinals. The defending champion Sky lead the best-of-five series 2-1 and can advance to the finals with a win on Tuesday night. DeWanna Bonner scored 18 points to lead Connecticut.
Ruud advances to 1st Open quarterfinal | US Open updates
NEW YORK (AP) — Casper Ruud continued his run at the U.S. Open and his bid to become the first No. 1-ranked player out of Norway with a four-set win over Corentin Moutet. Ruud reached the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the first time in his career. He plays Matteo Berrettini in the quarterfinals. Ruud must reach the final for at least the opportunity to become the top-ranked player in men’s tennis. He currently is ranked No. 7 in the world.
Gaby Lopez birdies final 3 holes for 63 to win Dana Open
SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) — Gaby Lopez has won the Dana Open with a great finish at Highland Meadow. Lopez started the final round four shots behind and shot a 63. She finished with three straight birdies. Lopez finished one shot ahead of Megan Khang. The last group was never a factor. Lucy Li made only one birdie through 15 holes and shot 70. Lexi Thompson didn’t make a birdie until the final hole and shot 73. Caroline Masson began with a double bogey. The 19-year-old Li posted her second straight top 10. That gets her into the next LPGA event in Cincinnati.
Texas Rangers designate LHP Dallas Keuchel for assignment
BOSTON (AP) — The Texas Rangers designated left-hander Dallas Keuchel for assignment before Sunday’s series finale against the Boston Red Sox. The 34-year-old Keuchel was 0-2 with a 12.60 ERA in two starts for the Rangers, including taking the loss in Friday’s game when he allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings. He’s 2-9 with a 9.20 ERA in 14 combined starts with the White Sox, Arizona and Texas this season.
No. 2 Ohio State wears down No. 5 Notre Dame 21-10
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — C.J. Stroud threw two touchdown passes and Ohio State’s revamped defense gave its vaunted offense time to find its groove as the second-ranked Buckeyes beat No. 5 Notre Dame 21-10. The top-five matchup was a homecoming for first-year Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman, the former Buckeyes linebacker who has made a meteoric rise to lead the Fighting Irish at 36 years old. Freeman is now 0-2 as a head coach after losing a bowl game just weeks after being named Brian Kelly’s successor.