COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Ducks fifth in final football poll

NEW ORLEANS — LSU finished No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the third time in school history, with Clemson No. 2 and Ohio State No. 3.

The Tigers (15-0) beat Clemson 42-25 in the national championship game Monday night and then received all 62 first-place votes from the media panel.

LSU was No. 1 for the final eight weeks of the season and set a record by beating seven teams ranked in the top-10 at the time of the game. The Tigers also won AP titles in 2007 and 1958.

Georgia, LSU's Southeastern Conference rival, was fourth and Pac-12 champion Oregon was fifth. Florida was sixth and Oklahoma, which made the playoff, was seventh.

Alabama finished eighth, giving the SEC four of the top 10. No. 9 Penn State and No. 10 Minnesota gave the Big Ten three teams in the top 10.

Cougars will hire Hawaii coach

Washington State is close to finalizing an agreement with Hawaii’s Nick Rolovich to take over as the Cougars' head football coach, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on Monday night on condition of anonymity because the hiring had not been announced by the school. The Athletic first reported that Rolovich is expected to take over the Washington State program after Mike Leach left for Mississippi State last week. The deal is expected to be for five years at $3 million per season.

Rolovich has been at Hawaii for four seasons and led the Rainbow Warriors to the Mountain West Conference West Division title this season. Hawaii went 10-5 overall, losing to Boise State in the Mountain West title game but rebounding to beat BYU in the Hawaii Bowl.

Rolovich has overseen a significant turnaround with the Warriors. When he took over at Hawaii in 2016, he inherited a program that had won 11 total games in its first four seasons in the Mountain West. He’s won at least seven games in three of his four seasons. The 10 wins this season were the most for the Warriors since 2010, when they won 10 games and were co-champs of the WAC with Nevada and Boise State.

Arizona State gives extension to Edwards

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State has extended football coach Herm Edwards' contract two years through the 2024 season.

The contract announced Monday must be approved by the Arizona Board of Regents. Terms of the deal are expected to be announced before the board meeting.

Edwards returned to coaching in 2018 to lead the Sun Devils after eight years as an ESPN analyst. He became an immediate fan favorite in Tempe with his engaging personality and community engagement.

Arizona State went 7-6 his first season and earned a trip to the Las Vegas Bowl. The Sun Devils went 8-5 in 2019 and beat Florida State in the Sun Bowl.

College Basketball

South Carolina women move up to No. 1

NEW YORK — South Carolina moved up three spots to No. 1 in The Associated Press women's college basketball poll after the top three teams from the previous week all lost.

It was a rough week for ranked teams, with 11 of them losing at least one game, including Nos. 1-3 falling in a four-day span. The last time the top three teams in the AP Top 25 lost within a span of seven days was during the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

It wasn't just the top teams that lost. Eight of the Top 25 programs were beaten by unranked teams, showing more parity in the sport than before. Only two teams — No. 9 North Carolina State and No. 16 Gonzaga — stayed in the same place.

Baylor jumped up four spots to No. 2 on Monday after beating then-No. 1 UConn. The Lady Bears, who received seven first-place votes from the 30-member national media panel, were followed by Stanford, UConn and Louisville. Oregon, UCLA, Oregon State, N.C. State and Mississippi State rounded out the top 10. Oregon was No. 2 and Oregon State No. 3 before both lost to Arizona State, which moved into the poll at No. 18. Arizona, which lost its last three games to UCLA, the Beavers and the Ducks, dropped three spots to No. 21. 

Baylor closes in on Gonzaga

Good luck finding any team in the country that notches a better pair of road wins in the same week than Baylor, which followed up a victory at Texas Tech by invading Allen Fieldhouse and thumping Kansas on its home floor.

As a result? The Bears leapfrogged the Jayhawks and Duke into the second spot in The Associated Press men's college basketball poll on Monday. They finished with 1,567 points in voting by 65 media members who regularly cover the game, just seven back of top-ranked Gonzaga — even though Baylor had 31 first-place votes and the Bulldogs had 30.

Great things, as a matter of fact. Baylor (13-1, 3-0 Big 12) hasn't lost since playing Washington in Alaska in its second game of the season. Along the way, the boys from Waco, Texas, have notched nonconference wins over ranked teams Villanova, Arizona and Butler along with league wins over the Red Raiders, the Jayhawks and Texas.

The Blue Devils fell to third in the AP poll, followed by unbeaten Auburn and Butler. The Jayhawks were next with another unbeaten, San Diego State, staying at No. 7. Oregon, Florida State and Kentucky rounded out the top 10.

The Associated Press

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