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San Diego St considers Big East and Mountain West

San Diego St considers Big East and Mountain West

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) San Diego State is planning to attend the Big East's meetings on Friday, but the school has been talking to the Mountain West about possibly staying in that conference rather than switching leagues.

Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco said Tuesday he doesn't anticipate San Diego State will have a decision at the upcoming meeting in Dallas.

``Every indication is they want to stay,'' he said after attending a BCS commissioners meeting. ``Whether they will or not we still don't know. We're still talking.

``If I had to guess, it would shake out in a couple of weeks.''

San Diego State has committed to join the Big East as a football-only member in 2013. The school plans to have the rest of its sports compete in the Big West.

The Aztecs joined the Big East along with Boise State, when the rebuilding conference was attempting to put together a coast-to-coast football league. But the Broncos backed out last month after the most recent Big East defections and struck a deal to stay in the Mountain West. Now SDSU is looking into doing the same, but the MW has to decide if it wants the Aztecs back.

The Mountain West recently restructured its television deal with CBS Sports Network, which allowed the conference to cut a deal with Boise State that could allow the Broncos and their powerful football program to make more revenue than the rest of the schools in the league.

Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said conference leaders have been trying to get San Diego State up to speed on the new TV deal, while considering whether to go to 12 members or stick with 11.

``We're just trying to understand how the league is going to work,'' he said. ``Trying to understand what their wants, desires, concerns might be and then our board would get together and say, `Yeah, we can live with that,' or otherwise.''

Part of the Boise State deal with the Mountain West was an agreement that the conference would first consider San Diego State it if did look for another member. The agreement set an exclusive window for San Diego State that closes Jan. 31.

``The reason for that deadline is I took 10-team (football) schedule last week and tore it up,'' Thompson said. ``Before we go to the computer and ask it to create an 11-team schedule we ought to see if it's going to be a 12-team schedule.''

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are not happy with Caps' Lars Eller

The Toronto Maple Leafs are not happy with Caps' Lars Eller

On Saturday, the defending Stanley Cup champion Capitals faced off against one of the hottest young teams in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was viewed as a marquee matchup and it certainly lived up to its billing with both teams battling in a tight, well-played game.

In the end, Toronto walked away as the 4-2 victors in one of their better wins of the young season, but not everyone left that game impressed.

A team that already boasted super-star talent Auston Matthews added John Tavares in the offseason as a free agent giving the Maple Leafs a formidable one, two punch at center. For most of the game, the Caps were able to shut down that center tandem.

Lars Eller was asked after the game how the Caps were able to keep the Leafs’ big stars in check and he indicated that perhaps Tavares and Matthews were not as formidable a pair as they had been made out to be.

“We’re used to playing against [Sidney Crosby] and [Evgeni Malkin],” Eller said. “Everything kind of drops from there so it’s not that special. It’s a good team like a lot of others. They’ll probably be a playoff team, I think.”

Not surprisingly, that quote caught Toronto’s attention, especially forward Nazem Kadri.

Per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Kadri called Eller’s comments “bulletin board material.”

With 12 points in seven games, the Maple Leafs currently boast the top record in the league. Toronto is far from perfect, however, and their defense remains a major question mark in whether this team is a true Stanley Cup contender.

But as to whether or not they are a playoff team? That seems like a pretty safe bet.

The Caps and Maple Leafs will meet twice more this season on Jan. 23 and Feb. 21. Both games are in Toronto.  

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Need to Know: Tandler’s Take—Dramatic improvement to Redskins rushing defense

Need to Know: Tandler’s Take—Dramatic improvement to Redskins rushing defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 16, five days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.

Talking Points

A better 3-2

For the third straight year, the Redskins are 3-2 after five games. As you know, they did not make the playoffs after either of the last two seasons. But they are in better shape in the standings now than they were in 2016 or 2017. Last year they were in second place in the division, a game and a half behind the 5-1 Eagles. They were worse off two years ago as they were in third place behind the 3-1 Eagles and the Cowboys, who were 4-1. 

It’s still very early, but it’s better to be in first place nearly a third of the way into the season than it is to be in second or third place and being in a position where you have to chase one or two teams. 

Take it away

The Redskins had three takeaways against the Panthers—the fumble recovery on the punt, Josh Norman’s interception, and the fumble forced by Norman and recovered by Mason Foster. They did not give the ball away. The last time they got at least three takeaways without giving the ball up was on Christmas Eve, 2016 in Chicago. Perhaps not coincidentally, that is the last game in which Norman had an interception until Sunday. 

After being either even or in the positive in takeaway ratio in four of their five games this year, the Redskins are now tied for fourth in the NFL with a plus-four turnover margin. If they can stay on the even or plus side from week to week they will have a very good chance at being successful. 

Rushing D much improved

After finishing 32nd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed in 2017, the Redskins are currently sixth, giving up an average of 90.2 yards per game. The improvement has come even though they have faced premiere running backs David Johnson, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, and Christian McCaffrey. They have allowed no more than 104 yards on the ground in any of their five games. Last year's opponents ran for 127 yards or more 10 times. Their defense will be tested on Sunday against the Cowboys, who average 147 rushing yards per game on the ground, second in the NFL. 

Looking in the mirror

When the Redskins take a look at the Cowboys they might feel like they are watching themselves. Both teams run the ball well, although Ezekiel Elliott is more consistent than Adrian Peterson. Alex Smith has better passing stats than Dak Prescott but both teams are in the bottom third of the league in passing yards. The defenses on both teams are strong. Washington is sixth in yardage allowed per game and the Cowboys are fifth. 

And both teams have started off the season alternating wins and losses. Dallas started with a loss to the Panthers then beat the Giants, lost to the Seahawks, won over the Lions, suffered an OT loss to the Texans and then thumped the Jaguars. It will be an interesting match up on Sunday.

The agenda

Today: Off day, no media availability

Upcoming: Cowboys @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Giants 12; Redskins @ Eagles 48

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