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College football rankings: Georgia tops RJ Young’s top 25

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College football rankings: Georgia tops RJ Young’s top 25

By RJ Young

FOX Sports College Football Writer

Following an entertaining Week 1 in college football, the question I most want answered is this: Who is going to beat this Georgia team? 

On Saturday, the defending champs opened their season by throttling the Oregon Ducks, a team that’s not only ranked No. 11 in the AP top 25, but which is led by former Bulldogs defensive coordinator Dan Lanning. Not only that, the Dawgs made it look easy.

Perhaps 2022 won’t look that dissimilar from 2021 after all.

1. Georgia (1-0)

Defeated Oregon, 49-3

The Bulldogs took this moment to remind us all that they’re the defending national champs, notching the most lopsided win by one ranked opponent over another all weekend. While the focus for a Kirby Smart team is usually on the defense, quarterback Stetson Bennett was the star, completing 25 of 31 attempts for 368 passing yards and accounting for four total TDs before getting the hook late in the third quarter.

2. Alabama (1-0)

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Defeated Utah State, 55-0

Reigning Heisman winner Bryce Young recorded five TDs in the first half against the Mountain West champion Aggies, and Pete Golding’s defense gave up absolutely nothing. Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide might well be on course for another SEC and national title tilt against UGA.

3. Ohio State (1-0)

Defeated Notre Dame, 21-10

The Buckeyes showed tremendous heart coming back from a 10-7 halftime deficit to win at the Shoe against a top-10 Notre Dame. Without star wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba for most of the game, quarterback CJ Stroud formed a partnership with Emeka Egbuka that allowed the Buckeyes to move to 1-0.

No. 2 Ohio State outlasts No. 5 Notre Dame

No. 2 Ohio State outlasts No. 5 Notre Dame

RJ Young breaks down Ohio State’s 21-10 victory over Notre Dame. C.J. Stroud was huge for the Buckeyes, completing 24 of 34 passes for 223 yards.

4. Texas A&M (1-0)

Defeated FCS Sam Houston State, 31-0

The Aggies look like they’ll be keeping pace with Alabama in the SEC West with a 31-0 win against a Sam Houston State program in transition. After beating out quarterback Max Johnson for the starting job, Haynes King completed 20 of 31 attempts for 364 yards, with three TDs and two INTs.

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5. Notre Dame (0-1)

Lost to Ohio State, 21-10

I think Ohio State could end up playing in the College Football Playoff — if not the national title game — and Notre Dame had the Buckeyes on the ropes in the third quarter. The Irish gave up two TDs and were held scoreless in the second half, but covered the spread (17 points) and threatened the Buckeyes both offensively and defensively.

6. Michigan State (1-0)

Defeated Western Michigan, 35-13

With Kenneth Walker III in the NFL, Spartans coach Mel Tucker needed to find a new bell-cow back in the offseason. He found two. Wisconsin transfer Jalen Berger and Colorado transfer Jarek Broussard combined for 174 rushing yards on 26 carries.

7. Baylor (1-0)

Defeated FCS Albany, 69-10

Bears quarterback Blake Shapen remains scarily efficient. He hit 17 of 20 passes for 214 yards and a TD, while the Bear rushing attack gained 259 yards in their season-opener.

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8. Arkansas (1-0)

Defeated Cincinnati, 31-24

The Razorbacks earned their first Week 1 win against a ranked opponent since 1975. Quarterback KJ Jefferson posted 285 total yards and four TDs in the win.

9. Utah (0-1)

Lost to Florida, 29-26

The Utes came up just short in a game that was tight the whole way on the road against the second-best team in the SEC East. The Utes gave up 15 points in the fourth quarter after leading 19-14 to start the period.

Florida upsets No. 7 Utah

Florida upsets No. 7 Utah

RJ Young breaks down the Florida Gators’ upset victory over No. 7 Utah, discussing the all-around great performance by QB Anthony Richardson.

10. Clemson

The Tigers are a 22.5-point favorite against Georgia Tech in their season-opener on Labor Day.

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11. Oklahoma (1-0)

Defeated University of Texas El-Paso, 45-13

With Lincoln Riley at USC, many asked if Brent Venables could put together a staff that could score points. Not only did the Sooners put up 45 in Venables’ debut, they also did so without turning the ball over while limiting the Miners to just 316 total yards.

12. USC (1-0)

Defeated Rice, 66-14

The Riley era began with a lot of points on offense, and a defense that proved itself to be just as capable. Alex Grinch’s D took three INTs back for TDs against the Owls, including one by Alabama transfer and linebacker Shane Lee.

Quarterback Caleb Williams accounted for 317 total yards and two TDs in his debut at the Coliseum.

13. Oklahoma State (1-0)

Defeated Central Michigan, 58-44

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The Cowboys opened the season with 44 points in the first half against Central Michigan, but gave up 44 points to the Chippewas at home. Pokes defensive coordinator Derek Mason needs to shore up his unit’s tackling before the conference slate kicks off, or it could be a long season. 

14. Brigham Young (1-0)

Defeated South Florida, 50-21

BYU led 35-0 with 7:19 left in the second quarter. That’s who the Cougars have become, and it’s a reason to be wary if they’re on your team’s schedule this season.

15. Minnesota (1-0)

Defeated New Mexico State, 38-0

Mo Ibrahim stepped back onto the field for the first time since Week 1 of 2021 and picked up where he left off, notching his 10th consecutive 100-yard rushing performance. The Gophers can go.

16. Florida (1-0)

Defeated Utah, 29-26

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Led by quarterback Anthony Richardson, the Gators rushed for 283 yards against the Utes in Billy Napier’s debut as head coach — giving him his first win against a top-10 opponent as an SEC head coach.

17. Michigan (1-0)

Defeated Colorado State, 51-7

This was Michigan’s largest season-opening win since 2016. While the jury is still out on who the starting quarterback will be, Wolverines defensive coordinator Jesse Minter answered the question of who will fill the void left by EDGE players Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo with former five-star Eyabi Anoma and Mike Morris showing up in a big way on Saturday.

Anoma officially joined the team just three weeks before the season began and recorded his first sack as a Wolverine on Saturday. Meanwhile, Morris is so athletic at 6-foot-6, 292 pounds, that Minter had him in a stand-up, foot-nine-technique — an outside linebacker position — at times during the game.

Michigan, Oklahoma roll in Week 1

Michigan, Oklahoma roll in Week 1

RJ Young discusses Brent Venables winning in his Oklahoma Sooners’ debut, as well as Michigan’s Week 1 romp.

18. Iowa (1-0)

Defeated FCS South Dakota State, 7-3

Iowa has never suffered from an identity crisis, and its season-opener against the No. 3-ranked team in the FCS was no different. The Hawkeyes became the first team since at least 2000 to win 7-3 without scoring a TD — two safeties and a field goal is all Kirk Ferentz’s team needed.

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If you’re gonna beat Iowa this year, pack a lunch and bring a rock to fight with.

19. Mississippi (1-0)

Defeated Troy, 28-10

The Jaxson Dart era was a bit underwhelming with the USC transfer completing just 18 of 27 passes for 154 yards with one TD and an INT. However, Lane Kiffin will certainly take the win to open the weekend.

20. North Carolina State (1-0)

Defeated East Carolina, 21-20

After jumping out to a 21-7 lead at half, the Wolfpack narrowly held off a double-digit comeback attempt from ECU after kicker Owen Daffer missed a game-tying extra point and then a potential game-winning field goal. N.C. State coach Dave Doeren will hope this game is an aberration and not a sign of what’s to come.

The Wolfpack is 29-0 when leading by 14 or more since 2015.

21. Miami (1-0)

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Defeated FCS Bethune-Cookman, 70-13

The Hurricanes scored at least 14 points in every quarter — including 28 in the second — in their win. Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke completed 13 of 16 passes for 193 yards with two TDs before calling it a day.

22. Houston (1-0)

Defeated the University of Texas-San Antonio, 37-35 in 3OT

The Cougars scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Quarterback Clayton Tune finished with 257 total yards and four total TDs in the thriller.

23. Texas (1-0)

Defeated Louisiana-Monroe, 52-10

Quarterback Quinn Ewers’ debut featured him completing 16 of 24 passes for 225 yards with two TDs and one silly INT.

24. Wisconsin (1-0)

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Defeated Illinois State, 38-0

Braelon Allen is still a dude. He rushed for 148 yards with two TDs on just 14 carries.

25. Tennessee (1-0)

Defeated Ball State, 59-10

The Vols led 52-3 after three quarters. Quarterback Hendon Hooker completed 18 of 25 passes for 221 yards with two TDs.

RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast “The Number One College Football Show.” Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.


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Panthers outlast Hurricanes in 4th OT in 6th-longest game in NHL history

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Panthers outlast Hurricanes in 4th OT in 6th-longest game in NHL history

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers seemed determined to keep playing. And playing. And playing.

The teams opened their Eastern Conference final playoff series with Florida’s 3-2 victory in four overtimes early Friday, with the game ranking as the sixth-longest game in NHL history.

Matthew Tkachuk’s goal came at the 19:47 mark of the fourth OT to end this one, which marked the 15th four-overtime game in NHL history and the longest game in franchise history for each team.

The longest game in NHL history came on March 24, 1936, when the Detroit Red Wings beat the Montreal Maroons 1-0 in the sixth overtime on Mud Bruneteau’s goal at 116 minutes, 30 seconds of extra play.

Florida’s previous record for longest game was 104:31 in Game 4 of the 1996 Stanley Cup final against Colorado. Carolina’s previous record was 114:47 for Game 3 of the 2002 Stanley Cup final.

The only good news for the teams is they had an extended break before this series began. Carolina closed out New Jersey exactly a week earlier, while Florida eliminated Toronto a day later.

But this game ended roughly six hours after Thursday night’s puck drop, and the teams have a Game 2 in less than 48 hours.

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AP NHL playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Barcelona says probe found no evidence of corruption by club

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Barcelona says probe found no evidence of corruption by club

MADRID (AP) — The investigation ordered by Barcelona into its controversial payments for refereeing reports found no evidence of corruption by the club, president Joan Laporta said Monday.

Laporta reiterated that the club’s payments over several years to the company owned by the vice president of Spain’s refereeing committee were only for technical reports and not to influence referees. He said he believed there were no ethics breach and that Barcelona was the victim of a campaign to hurt its reputation.

“This is one of the most ferocious attacks in our history,” Laporta said. “I ask FC Barcelona supporters to be as united as ever in defense of our crest, our essence, and our ownership model. No campaign to discredit us will prevent us from continuing to be an organization of reference in the world of sports that is beloved and admired by millions of Catalans and by many more millions of people around the world.”

It was the first time Laporta spoke at a news conference to give explanations after it became public that the club paid 7.3 million euros ($8 million) from 2001-18 to the company of then committee vice president José María Enríquez Negreira. Prosecutors have accused Barcelona of alleged corruption in sports, fraudulent management, and falsification of mercantile documentation.

Barcelona opened the probe to look into the actions of all the different presidential administrations that made payments over the years, including Laporta’s first at the club. The investigation was conducted by an external company.

The club said the probe found that “no conducts of a criminal nature associated to sporting corruption have been identified, nor are there any grounds to investigate any form of criminal activity associated to bribery.” It added there was “official documentation on the invoices and payments” for the services of “scouting and advice regarding referees, which are common practices in the professional sports sector.”

“Consulting on technical-refereeing issues does not constitute any type of illegal act,” Laporta said. “Consulting, as is done by the big clubs, that was carried out transparently, with the corresponding invoices, at least in my first mandate as president.”

The probe found 629 technical refereeing reports and 43 CDs that the club received over 18 years for what Laporta called “market price.” More reports were likely lost over time, he said.

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“I reiterate with all my resolve, I am convinced that FC Barcelona has not committed any crime of sports-related corruption. I hope that sooner rather than later, it is fully exonerated,” he said. “Accusations must be proven. We live by the rule of law, which guarantees among its basic principles the presumption of innocence.”

He said that if there were any irregularities committed by Negreira, Barcelona would be a victim of them. He also said Negreira was not in a position to directly influence referees, and that it was Negreira’s son who actually produced the refereeing reports.

“I dare anyone to show an instance in which Barcelona was favored in a match because of these payments,” Laporta said. “We will allow the justice system to do its work and I’m sure that Barcelona will be cleared. I am fully convinced that FC Barcelona has never performed any act with the intention of altering the competition to gain an advantage.”

The Spanish league, Real Madrid and other clubs have been among those taking part in the legal proceedings against Barcelona. Laporta criticized league president Javier Tebas for making accusations against Barcelona, and also took a shot at rival Madrid.

“Everyone knows that Real Madrid is a club that is historically favored by refereeing mistakes,” he said.

Laporta said Barcelona has always been a club that takes pride in its values, and it would never want to win anything with outside help.

“Throughout its 123-year history, FC Barcelona has always been a model of fair play, both on and off the field,” he said. “If we have won for so many decades, it has undoubtedly been a result of effort, talent and knowledge.”

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Silicon Valley councilman indicted in 49ers report leak

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Silicon Valley councilman indicted in 49ers report leak

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Silicon Valley city councilman has been charged with perjury after he allegedly lied about leaking a grand jury report to the San Francisco 49ers last year that detailed a purportedly unethical relationship between the team and the city council, prosecutors said Friday.

Santa Clara City Councilmember Anthony Becker is accused of providing the secret report titled “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Santa Clara City Council” to the team’s former top spokesperson and a local media outlet in 2022, days ahead of its official release.

Becker then allegedly lied to the grand jury about the leak, prosecutors said, prompting the criminal charges.

The 49ers play in Levi’s Stadium in the city of Santa Clara, about 35 miles (56.33 kilometers) south of San Francisco. Santa Clara County is broadly considered home to Silicon Valley.

The city of Santa Clara owns the stadium and leases it to the team; fighting between the two groups has led to ethics complaints, legal disputes and years of bad blood.

Al Guido, the team’s president, and Larry MacNeil, the former CFO who worked extensively on the team’s stadium project, were named in the indictment as witnesses who spoke to the criminal grand jury for Becker’s indictment.

“The 49ers have cooperated fully with the District Attorney’s Office in their investigation, and will continue to do so,” team spokesperson Brian Brokaw said in a statement Friday. “However, because this is an ongoing legal matter, the organization is not able to make any further comment at this time.”

Prosecutors say the team has bankrolled Becker’s political career by spending $3.2 million through independent expenditure committees for his 2020 city council race, which he won, as well as his unsuccessful 2022 mayoral bid.

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The “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” report alleged that Becker and four other councilmembers regularly voted “in a manner that is favorable to the 49ers” and would routinely meet with the team’s lobbyists but not disclose what was discussed.

Becker faces a felony charge of perjury under oath, as well as a misdemeanor charge of willful failure to perform duty. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

Becker did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday, and it was not clear whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

“Councilmember Becker violated the public’s trust,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “That an elected official would commit perjury and lie under oath before the grand jury strikes at the very heart of our justice system and requires accountability.”

Representatives for the Santa Clara City Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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