NCAA

Ray's Top 25: Stanford returns, edges USC

549738.jpg

Ray's Top 25: Stanford returns, edges USC

Every week, our Senior Decider votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, which of course makes all other opinions both superfluous and valueless (hey, dont say you never get your moneys worth here).

So here, after Week Eight, is the world of college football, whether you like it or not. And if you dont, theres a new one next week you might like better.

RELATED: Ratto's Week Eight rankings

1 Alabama Just sucking the fun out of everything, every week. 2 Oregon And then there was one left of the 12, and the Ducks are it. 3 Kansas State Bill Snyder might be good at this until he's 115. 4 Notre Dame Stanford can say it got squeezed at the end. Oklahoma just got crushed. 5 Florida State Will have a very nice January. Just not the one they dreamed of. 6 Ohio State The Big 10 is down, very down, but the Buckeyes can't be responsible for everyone else. 7 Louisiana State Idle hands are the devil's workshop. See Mathieu, Tyrann. 8 Louisville When you never lose, eventually you hang around the thin-air types. 9 Georgia A very impressive win over a slightly overrated Florida bunch. 10 Clemson You don't have to like them. You have to beat them. And nobody does. 11 Florida Overrated at 2. Maybe underrated at 11. But these are treacherous times. 12 South Carolina Cut it a bit fine again, but ended up on the right side of the blade. 13 Oregon State Washington is a hard out in Seattle. But they're also very maddening. 14 Mississippi State No shame in losing to Alabama. You just lose a few brownie points. 15 Oklahoma When someone figures this team out, please alert the authorities. 16 Texas A&M I suppose getting Gene Chizik fired will make someone happy, though I can't see the joy. 17 Toledo Beating Buffalo is not your standard signature win. 18 Kent State Rutgers went as far as it could, but these are the freaking Gloden Flashes we speak of here. 19 Texas Tech Deserves to drop after performance against Kansas State, but we're running out of other candidates. 20 Rutgers Kent State will hurt for a good long time. 21 Boise State You don't have to like them. They have one loss. They always have one loss. 22 Stanford Washington State another closer-than-it-should-be shave. 23 Southern California Lane Kiffin is no longer winning friends and influencing alums. 24 Northern Illinois They may not get much higher than this, but they don't look like they'll go much lower, either. 25 Louisiana Tech The next Boise State in training, perhaps?

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

pitino-sad-ap.jpg
AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

cal-usc-ap.jpg
AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.