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Texas gets short trip, faces Oregon State in Alamo

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Texas gets short trip, faces Oregon State in Alamo

Texas will make a short postseason trip this year to face No. 15 Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl.

The Longhorns (8-4) will need only to zip down Interstate 35 to San Antonio for the Dec. 29 game. It will be Texas' first appearance in the bowl since 2006, when the Alamo Bowl enjoyed its second-best crowd and second-best television ratings in its 20-year history as the Longhorns beat Iowa 26-24.

``You're never sure where you get to go, and we're fortunate to get to go to a city that we love and appreciate but also that the parents of our players and the high school coaches can come and watch,'' coach Mack Brown said.

Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro said he expected it to be ``a home game.''

``I believe the place will be filled up. There are Texas fans all over the country, and since we are right here in Texas, I know the fans are going to be out and are going to be really excited,'' said running back Malcolm Brown, who's from San Antonio.

The bowl presents a little bit of home for some of the Oregon State contingent, too. Coach Mike Riley spent two years there coaching the San Antonio Riders of the World Football League.

``I personally love the city, have been back every year since I coached there back in the early '90s,'' Riley said. ``So, it's just personally a special, special treat for me and my family. All of our players will be truly excited about the chance to play.''

The two coaches also have a personal connection. They met when Riley was with the San Diego Chargers and went to pro days, and they've developed a friendship through Nike events and American Football Coaches Association committees.

Brown called Riley a ``great friend of mine.''

Separate from that, the state of Texas has been an important talent pipeline for Riley, providing ex-Beavers standouts James and Jacquizz Rodgers and current leading rusher Storm Woods, who is from Pflugerville, just outside Austin.

``We're excited to bring Storm back home, and we've got a couple other guys on our team from Texas. It'll be really fun for them,'' Riley said. ``We've done some recruiting down there.

``We actually got started back about six years ago with the Rodgers brothers ... They've really impacted not only our football but all of Oregon State. They kind of became rock stars in our world up here.''

The Beavers (9-3) will be playing in a bowl game for the first time in three years, but will do so without senior running back Jordan Jenkins. Riley said Jenkins broke his ankle in the season finale and won't play.

Texas could also be without a running back. Brown said Joe Bergeron's status is uncertain because of a shoulder injury.

``I think it's just great to be in a bowl game and have that extra time with your team,'' said Riley, who is 5-1 in bowl games. ``I always look at the game as a great reward for the season that you've just been through, and really a good chance to get ready and play.''

``It's a great, great bonus to be in a bowl game,'' he added.

Riley said he's not sure whether Sean Mannion or Cody Vaz will start. Both played as Oregon State set a school scoring record in a 77-3 rout of Nicholls State in its season finale Saturday.

``I don't think we'll decide for a while how we're going to go,'' Riley said.

Texas is coming off back-to-back losses, on Thanksgiving against TCU and Saturday at Fiesta Bowl-bound Kansas State. The Longhorns have won six of their last seven bowl games, including last season's Holiday Bowl.

``I think it worked out perfect for us today and the guys will be excited about it,'' Brown said. ``Unlike Mike, who won yesterday big, our guys lost. So, they'll be down a little bit for a while here, but they'll pick themselves up. This will be a real upper for them to get ready for the challenge of Oregon State.''

Both previous meetings were played in Austin and won by the Longhorns, 35-0 in 1980 and 61-16 in 1987.

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AP Sports Writer Anne M. Peterson contributed to this report from Portland, Ore.

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Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

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USA Today Sports

Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

The Ravens have reportedly agreed in principle to a new contract extension with head coach John Harbaugh, a move already being praised by national pundits everywhere. 

It was nearly a month ago that the Ravens announced Harbaugh would be returning as the team’s head coach in 2019, which was noteworthy considering his status as a potential lame duck head coach.

In the same release, the team announced they were working towards a contract extension with Harbaugh, whose current deal was set to expire next year.

Despite reports from national NFL insiders, including Jason La Canfora and Peter King, that Harbaugh might prefer to hit free agency as a highly sought-after head coach after the 2019 season, it appears the Ravens will keep him in Baltimore for the foreseeable future. 

This news comes on the heels of a busier-than-usual coaching carousel, with a quarter of the 32 NFL teams changing head coaches in the last month, including two AFC North rivals. Harbaugh almost certainly would have been the cream of the crop among coaching free agents no matter when he became available, so the Ravens were looking to lock him up long term.

After a tough November home loss to the Steelers that put the team at 4-5, Harbaugh was asked about his job security, and he remained steadfast and confident.

"I've never been someone who's worried about keeping a job," Harbaugh said. "It's always been, for me, [about] doing the job. I've got a bunch of great coaches and a bunch of great players that bust their tails every day to do the best job they can. I feel really good about the way this team has been coached for the last 11 years, and for the last number of weeks we've been in the season. So, there are no regrets. Never been any regrets here with me."

After that game, the Ravens rattled off six wins in seven games to make the playoffs, and many players credited Harbaugh with keeping the team together. It was prior to Week 16 when the front office announced Harbaugh would be returning no matter how the season ended, but the strong finish and AFC North title certainly made the decision easier.

A coach with a special teams background, Harbaugh is an anomaly in the current era of young, offensive-minded head coaches. He won Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, and holds a 104-72 career record in Baltimore.

The terms of the new deal have not yet been released, but it will be interesting how many years the team is committing to Harbaugh.

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Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

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Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

Bradley Beal, his agent Mark Bartlestein told Bleacher Report, would like to stay in Washington - even as he's a hot topic among front offices as the trade deadline approaches.

From Bleacher Report:

His agent, Mark Bartelstein, is not looking for a trade. "Brad wants to win, Bartelstein told B/R. "He wants to win at the highest level, and he wants to compete for championships. I think he's seeing progress, and he's going to do everything he can to lead this team. They got themselves into a huge hole, and he's going to do his best to get them out of it.

The Wizards are facing tough decisions when it comes to the future of the franchise as this season's trade deadline approaches. Beal, as NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig detailed this week, is among the most tradable assets they have, especially when it comes to their three major contracts. But owner Ted Leonsis took a firm stance against tanking while speaking to reporters in London, and Beal is integral to their playoff hopes with John Wall sidelined. 

This isn't the first time this season that Beal has denied wanting to be anywhere but DC. When drama swirled around the team earlier this season, Beal denied a report that he had requested a trade.

"That's nonsense," he said at the time. "I heard it earlier before the game and I was like, 'If it didn't come from the horse's mouth, it wasn't me.' I got this Washington jersey on and I come here and work everyday, you know, until otherwise. This is where I wanna be."

Earlier this season, it was reported that the Raptors were interested in Beal but couldn't afford what the Wizards were asking for him. According to the latest report on Beal from Bleacher Report, there are a number of teams who may still be interested. 

Again, from Bleacher Report:

There are so many teams in the mix trying to make that extra push that want Beal," a Western Conference executive told B/R.

But even if some fans are clamoring for a big trade at the deadline, the price tag for Beal - who had 26 points in the Wizards' comeback win over the Knicks this week - only seems to be rising. 

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