Utah AG drops plans to sue BCS, cites playoff plan

Utah AG drops plans to sue BCS, cites playoff plan

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said he's dropping his plans to sue the Bowl Championship Series because of the organization's recent decision to move to a playoff system.

Shurtleff announced last year that he was seeking antitrust law firms to join a potential federal lawsuit aimed at disbanding the BCS.

But Shurtleff told KTVX-TV on Friday that he believes the lawsuit threat helped prompt the decision to go to a four-team playoff format in 2014.

``We do think what we were doing led to their changes, and at the end of the day that's what we wanted them to do,'' he said. ``We wanted them to make the changes.''

A committee of university presidents approved the four-team playoff in June.

The BCS was established in 1998 to run the top tier of college football's postseason and to set up a No. 1 vs. No. 2 national title game.

Critics contend it has unfairly given some schools preferential access to the title game and other premier bowls - along with the money that comes with it. Under the BCS, the champions of six conferences have automatic bids to play in top-tier bowl games; the other five conferences don't.

When Shurtleff took up the cause several years ago, Utah was a member of a conference without an automatic bid to a BCS bowl. The school has since joined the Pac-12, a BCS member.

Schools such as Utah and Boise State have lost out on millions of dollars over the years because the system has kept smaller conferences at a competitive and financial disadvantage, Shurtleff has said.

Shurtleff, a Republican who leaves office at the end of the year, said attorneys in his office plan to monitor the new playoff system.

``We're very suspicious that a selection committee picking four teams is still going to be an antitrust problem, but we don't know for sure,'' he told the Deseret News.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings


3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

Not much separated the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. A late 2-on-0 goal for Brett Connolly proved to be the difference.

Here's why the Caps ultimately walked away with the 1-0 win.

A first period goalie interference call

Andreas Athanasiou thought he had given the Red Wings a first period lead, but Barry Trotz challenged the call for goalie interference. The review showed that Tyler Bertuzzi clipped Philipp Grubauer in the head with an elbow right before the shot went in. Given how long it took the Caps to get going in this game, it is fair to say an early deficit would have been hard to overcome.


Killing off a full two-minute 5-on-3

Two man advantages are hard to kill. Killing off a full two-minutes at 5-on-3, that's a tall task. With the game still scoreless in the second period, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller were both assessed penalties giving Detroit two-full minutes at 5-on-3. The Red Wings managed four shots on goal, but Washington was able to successfully kill off the penalty and keep the game scoreless.

Philipp Grubauer

There were few players who had strong efforts on Tuesday, but Grubauer was phenomenal. Even when the game felt sleepy in the first two periods, Detroit still managed 28 shots on goal, all of which were turned aside by the German netminder. When Washington finally took the lead in the third, the Red Wings woke up and began pushing the offense, but Grubauer was in the zone at that point and could not be beaten. His best save came in the third period when he stared down a breakaway from Athanasiou and extended the pad to deny the shot.


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Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings


Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings

It wasn’t pretty but the Caps eventually got what they needed in Detroit: two points.  

After a sleepy first 40 minutes, Brett Connolly scored midway through the third period and then Philipp Grubauer made sure it stood up at Little Caesars Arena, where Washington eked out a 1-0 victory Thursday over the scuffling Red Wings.


Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Philipp Grubauer, Capitals

For much of the game, Grubi was left to fend for himself. Good thing for the Caps he was up to the task. The German netminder, who has been one of the NHL’s top goaltenders since Thanksgiving, turned aside 39 shots, including three stops on a pivotal 5-on-3 penalty kill in the second period.

2-Brett Connolly, Capitals

The Caps didn’t get many Grade-A opportunities vs. Jimmy Howard. But Connolly buried one of the few they got…on a 2-on-0, set up by Jakub Vrana in the third period.

Connolly’s goal was his 15th of the season in his 63rd game, equaling the career-high he set a year ago in 66 contests. Vrana, meantime, has three goals and five assists since getting scratched 12 games ago.

3-Lars Eller, Capitals

Eller didn’t record a point, but he was all over the puck in Motown. The veteran center finished with a game-high six shots on net. He also had a key backcheck against Darren Helm, on a shorthanded breakaway, in the first period.

Eller was good in the dot, too, winning eight of 12 faceoffs.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.