NCAA

Saint Mary’s Gaels fall eight spots in latest AP Top 25 rankings

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USATSI

Saint Mary’s Gaels fall eight spots in latest AP Top 25 rankings

Villanova remained on top of The Associated Press college basketball poll on Monday while Southern Cal made its first appearance this season and Florida State returned to the rankings.

The Wildcats (10-0) received 56 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel to stay No. 1 for a second straight week.

The top 11 teams remained the same from last week, with UCLA (10-0) second with three first-place votes.

Florida dropped out from 21st after losing to Duke and Florida State. Iowa State, which was 25th, lost to Iowa last week and also dropped out of the rankings. The Cyclones had been ranked for 61 consecutive polls, the third-longest active streak behind Kansas (148) and Arizona (84).

Kansas was third followed by Baylor (8-0), which got the other six first-place votes, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Indiana, Creighton and Louisville.

West Virginia moved up three places to 12th and was followed by Virginia, Wisconsin, Purdue, South Carolina, Xavier, Butler, Arizona and Saint Mary's, which dropped eight spots to 20th after losing to Texas-Arlington.

The last five ranked teams were Notre Dame, Oregon, Florida State, Southern Cal and Cincinnati.

Florida State was tied for No. 25 in the Week 3 poll after a 4-0 start, then fell out the next week after a Thanksgiving Day loss to Temple. The Seminoles returned to this week's poll after beating then-No. 21 Florida on Sunday.

Southern Cal was ranked for two weeks last season.

There are three double-ranked games on Saturday. Kentucky and North Carolina play in Las Vegas while a doubleheader in Indianapolis features Indiana against Butler and Purdue facing Notre Dame.

Jim Harbaugh vows he'll remain Michigan coach, not plotting NFL return

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Jim Harbaugh vows he'll remain Michigan coach, not plotting NFL return

Jim Harbaugh is being proactive in addressing the rumors this year: No, he isn’t leaving Michigan to return to the NFL, he says.

"I can't be any more clear about this -- it's not true," the former 49ers coach told ESPN’s Adam Schefter this weekend. "I'm not going anywhere."

Harbaugh’s success in San Francisco -- a 44-19-1 record and a Super Bowl berth in four seasons (2011-14) -- leads some to speculate each year that an NFL return could be in the cards. Harbaugh hinted that chatter could be planted by others to hurt him in recruiting players to Michigan, where he's 38-13 in four seasons as coach.

"This is a choreographed message that comes up at this time every year before signing day," Harbaugh said. "It's people spreading messages to further their own personal agenda.”

Harbaugh played quarterback at Michigan in the mid-1980s. Schefter, the reporter, also is a Michigan alum.

FL teams that need an offensive-minded coach who can develop a young QB surely will inquire about Harbaugh’s availability, though. For example, should the Arizona Cardinals, who’ve struggled to a 3-9 record, decide one season with coach Steve Wilks is enough, they certainly could consider Harbaugh and the impact he’d have on rookie QB Josh Rosen.

That would mean seeing Harbaugh and his signature pleated khakis on the Levi’s Stadium sideline once per season. Not sure how 49ers fans would feel about that.

Heisman Trophy voting 2018: Why Kyler Murray won college football's top honor

Heisman Trophy voting 2018: Why Kyler Murray won college football's top honor

Everyone knew Kyler Murray was a great college football player. But his Big 12 Championship Game performance, along with Tua Tagovailoa's SEC title game struggles, showed he was the best college football player, thus worthy of the 2018 Heisman Trophy.

Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples shared a graphic that revealed Tagovailoa received the majority of Heisman votes made before and during the conference championship games, but Murray cleaned up after all was said and done.

It makes sense that the majority of Heisman voters who waited to cast their ballots picked Murray. The Oklahoma quarterback completed 25 of 34 passes for 379 yards and three touchdowns last week in a 39-27 win over Texas that pushed the Sooners into the College Football Playoff field.

Tagovailoa, meanwhile, struggled for Alabama, going 10-of-25 passing for 164 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions before leaving the SEC Championship Game against Georgia with an injury. Jalen Hurts relieved Tagovailoa and rallied the Crimson Tide to a 35-28 win that kept them in the CFP field.

Of course, the A's, who voted for Murray to play baseball by drafting him last summer, hope he sticks with his original plan. Or, at the minimum, pull a Bo Jackson and play both sports.