Ray's Top 25: Stanford takes big leap


Ray's Top 25: Stanford takes big leap

Every week, our Senior Decider votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, which of course makes all other opinions both superfluous and valueless.

RELATED: Stanford's standing improves in BCS chaos

1 OREGON Finally up a service break. Up next, thre meat of schedule -- Stanford and Oregon State 2 KANSAS STATE The odd one out if Notre Dame can flex its BCS muscle. Up next -- at Baylor 3 NOTRE DAME Hard on the eyes, easy on the resume. Up next -- Wake Forest, a schdudle strength problem 4 OHIO STATE If Urban Meyer enjoys hunting in January, the animals will flee in terror. Up next -- at Wisconsin 5 ALABAMA Well, ain't that a kick in the head? Up next -- Western Carolina 6 TEXAS A&M Say it slowly, Deshazor Everett . . . Deshazor Everett . . . Deshazor Everett. Up next -- Sam Houston State 7 GEORGIA Well, they won their half of the bracket. Next up -- Georgia Southern. And yes, the SEC is taking the week off 8 FLORIDA Louisnana Lafayette is a good team. Just not that good. Up next -- Jacksonville State 9 FLORIDA STATE I remember when winning at Virginia Tech was a big deal. Up next -- at Maryland 10 SOUTH CAROLINA Arkansas, feh. Up next -- Wofford. And when the SEC takes the week off, it takes the week off. 11 CLEMSON Dabo Swinney still wants to drown Steve Spurrier in a puddle. Up next -- North Carolina State 12 LOUISIANA STATE Mississippi State got the good LSU. Up next -- Mississippi, an actual SEC team. 13 STANFORD This may be a rental because . . . Up next, at Oregon 14 LOUISVILLE Syracuse? Really? Syracuse? Yes, Syracuse. Up next -- wailing and gnashing of teeth 15 OKLAHOMA Baylor got to linger longer than it should have. Up next -- at West Virginia 16 OREGON STATE Oh, well, another year, another not-Rose Bowl. Up next -- California 17 KENT STATE The one MAC survivor. Up next -- at Bowling Green 18 TEXAS Darrell Royal approved of the trick Wishbone play to start Saturday's game. Up next -- a round of whist 19 RUTGERS Disrespected our fighting men. Up next -- at Cincinnati 20 NORTHERN ILLINOIS An excellent bye week, in that they stayed out of the news. Up next -- Toledo on Wednesday 21 UCLA Gave Washington State a bit too much respect. Up next -- USC, a team they never respect 22 LOUISIANA TECH Allowed 55 to Texas State, so Sonny Dykes isn't all that happy. Up next -- Utah State in a big one 23 NEBRASKA Okay, okay, I give up. They can come back and play. Up next -- Minnesota 24 TOLEDO David Letterman sang tearfully after the Rockets' failure. Up next -- at Northern Illinois 25 CINCINNATI Two losses, but one of them came to Toledo. Up next -- Rutgers

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino


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


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.


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.


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


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

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.