Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Colleges

Florida Gators leap to No. 4 in AP poll; Florida State Seminoles No. 12

Florida leaped into the national title picture by going from No. 10 to No. 4 in the Associated Press college football poll Sunday, and FSU fell nine spots to No. 12 after its upset loss at N.C. State.

The Gators (5-0, 4-0 SEC) say their highest ranking since Sept. 4, 2010, doesn't mean much and that they will focus on one game at a time. But can they really not look past this week's game at Vanderbilt to an Oct. 20 home showdown with South Carolina that could determine the SEC East champion?

The Gamecocks (6-0, 4-0) jumped to No. 3 after their third straight win over Georgia.

"Have we ever been that high before? How about '84?" coach Steve Spurrier asked Sunday. South Carolina reached No. 2 late in the 1984 season.

"Well, we've still got a ways to go," Spurrier added, knowing the Gamecocks visit LSU on Saturday. "I would say we probably have the toughest schedule of those other teams (national title contenders).''

While it's clear the Gators are much improved from last season, coach Will Muschamp cautioned after Saturday's victory over LSU that a long season remains and the Gators can't start thinking they're all the way back — regardless of their ranking.

"I think we've improved,'' Muschamp said. "I think we've taken some steps forward, I'm not going to sit there and doubt that. But there are so many more things to accomplish as we move forward this season.

"When you continue to climb the mountain, the steps get a little more treacherous. And we've got to understand that. We have to understand we've got a lot of things we need to clean up.''

The players, admittedly thrilled with the progress, vowed to stay focused and unfazed by outside surroundings.

"We're playing for the coaches, we're playing for the players to the left and right of us,'' junior center Jonotthan Harrison said. "You cut out all the other stuff — the distractions."

"We're taking it game by game,'' senior safety Josh Evans said. "A lot of people look down on us and don't think we're quite there yet. But hopefully this is a good spot and a good position we're in now. We opened up a lot of eyes to show we're on the rise."

murray's house egged: Georgia linebacker Christian Robinson said after Saturday's loss at South Carolina the house he shares with quarterback and former Plant High standout Aaron Murray was egged and toilet-papered. He posted on his Twitter account: "Came to a house that was egged and rolled. Seems that people turn on you when you're not perfect. Thought we were in this together." Coach Mark Richt said every quarterback he has coached since he was an assistant at FSU has had to have unlisted telephone numbers "because you know there's going to be somebody to call and say something foolish after the emotion of a game. Unfortunately, it's part of it."

Illinois: Cornerback Terry Hawthorne, taken off the field in an ambulance after colliding with Wisconsin fullback Derek Watt, had a negative CT scan and will be okay.

Late Saturday

OREGON 52, WASHINGTON 21: Marcus Mariota threw for 198 yards and four touchdowns, including two to tight end Colt Lyerla, for the host Ducks. Oregon won its ninth straight overall dating to last season, as well as its ninth straight in the series against the Huskies.

CAL 43, UCLA 17: Zach Maynard matched his career high with four touchdown passes and the host Bears took advantage of six turnovers.

Times staff writer Antonya English contributed to this report.

Comments
Louisville must vacate 2013 basketball title, NCAA denies appeal

Louisville must vacate 2013 basketball title, NCAA denies appeal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville must vacate its 2013 men’s basketball title following an NCAA appeals panel’s decision to uphold sanctions against the men’s program in the sex scandal case. The Cardinals will have to vacate 123 victories including the c...
Published: 02/20/18
Center Molly Franson’s value to UT is easily quantifiable

Center Molly Franson’s value to UT is easily quantifiable

TAMPA — Coaches often point to "intangibles" — the subtle positive qualities that usually don’t show up in the boxscore — when praising their key players.But University of Tampa women’s basketball coach Tom Jessee has a different definition when desc...
Published: 02/13/18
FSU holds off rally in hard-fought win over Louisville

FSU holds off rally in hard-fought win over Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Terance Mann couldn’t mope over two missed free throws that could have sealed Florida State’s victory. There was still work to do on the other end to make sure Louisville didn’t take advantage. The junior guard quickly redeemed hims...
Updated one month ago
No. 23 Florida clobbered at home by Alabama

No. 23 Florida clobbered at home by Alabama

GAINESVILLE — Mike White hung his head.Florida’s coach scuffed his shoes against the hardwood, screamed into his hands and watched as his team let Saturday’s game slip away.With Alabama on a seven-point run 11 minutes into the second half, the Gators...
Updated one month ago

USF Bulls fall to Memphis

TAMPA — From its two-point home loss against UCF to its victory at Tulane, USF recently had provided its fan base encouragement in spurts. Similarly, its interior defense against Memphis on Wednesday night also came and went.With 6-foot-3 Tigers guar...
Updated one month ago
Florida’s shooting goes cold in road loss to Georgia

Florida’s shooting goes cold in road loss to Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. — The repeated misses were bad for No. 23 Florida. The failure to rebound them made the offensive struggles even more painful. Yante Maten scored 20 and Georgia recovered after blowing a halftime lead to beat the Gators 72-60 on Tuesday n...
Updated one month ago

Florida State beats Miami in OT despite 17 Hurricanes 3-pointers

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton and Miami’s Jim Larranaga both have at least 33 years of college basketball coaching experience under their belts.Both might have experienced a first during their matchup Saturday.FSU and Miami needed a ...
Updated one month ago
Chris Chiozza scores 20 as No. 20 Florida routs Baylor

Chris Chiozza scores 20 as No. 20 Florida routs Baylor

GAINESVILLE — Florida point guard Chris Chiozza was feeling it, so he went with the flow.A pass-first point guard by nature, Chiozza decided to stay aggressive as a scorer and see what happened.The Gators were glad he did.Chiozza finished the 20th-ra...
Updated one month ago
Pro Bowl to honor UCF for undefeated season

Pro Bowl to honor UCF for undefeated season

ORLANDO — The NFL plans to recognize UCF’s 13-0 season during today’s Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium.Players have been invited to walk out on the field for a celebration after the first quarter."When we thought about UCF and the amazing season the...
Updated one month ago
Michigan State athletic director retires in wake of scathing ESPN report

Michigan State athletic director retires in wake of scathing ESPN report

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis announced his retirement Friday, the day an explosive ESPN story detailing a number of allegations of sexual assault and violent attacks on women occurred with Spartan athletes.Hollis...
Updated one month ago