Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Sports

Sooners, Hawkeyes jump in

Oklahoma moved into third and Iowa was fourth in the new College Football Playoff rankings as Notre Dame slipped to No. 6.

Clemson and Alabama remained the top two teams on Tuesday in the third-to-last committee rankings.

The Sooners (10-1) seem to be in solid shape with only one game left in their season. Oklahoma plays Saturday at Oklahoma State with a chance to win the Big 12. The Cowboys fell to 11th after losing to Baylor last week.

Notre Dame (10-1) also plays its last game of the season Saturday, a possible resume-builder on the road against Stanford, which is ninth in the rankings. Iowa (11-0) and No. 5 Michigan State (10-1) can set up a possible playoff play-in game in the Big Ten championship if both win this weekend.

USF: Mack on hunt

TAMPA — As USF looks to stay in the hunt for its first American Athletic Conference title on Thursday at UCF, sophomore tailback Marlon Mack is chasing his own history.

The Sarasota native is 203 yards shy of Andre Hall's single-season rushing record of 1,374, set in 2005.

Mack, who rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 65-27 rout of Cincinnati for his school-record seventh 100-yard game this season, said Hall's mark is a goal he shares with his offensive linemen.

"It would be great to break the record," Mack said Tuesday. "I've been here for a little minute now. I think it's time somebody takes it over."

The individual accomplishments are also more gratifying, Mack said, because the team is winning.

"We're winning more games with the individual records," he said. "The coaches have got to be proud of that, because we work hard for it. Even though it's a team game, we work hard for the extra yards and all that."

Also, coach Willie Taggart said one thing he's looking forward to the most about playing in a bowl game is the extra practice time, which will be beneficial for his younger players.

"As coaches, we're really excited about that," Taggart said. "…That's something that we haven't had the opportunity to take advantage of."

Hargreaves a finalist: Florida cornerback and Wharton High graduate Vernon Hargreaves was named one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back. He joins Duke safety Jeremy Cash and Iowa cornerback Desmond King. Finalists for several other awards were named including the Maxwell Award for national player of the year; the contenders for that one are Alabama running back Derrick Henry, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. Nine awards will be handed out Dec. 10 on ESPN.

Bowl contingency on hold: The NCAA football oversight committee will wait until next week to complete a plan for matching sub-.500 teams with bowls if there are not enough bowl-eligible squads to fill 41 games (there are 80 spots because the two College Football Playoff semifinal winners will play two bowls). Seventy-one teams have won at least six games and secured at least a .500 record, the minimum for a bowl.

Buffalo: Deputy director of athletics Allen Greene was promoted to athletic director, replacing Danny White, took the UCF AD job.

South Carolina: Junior wide receiver Pharoh Cooper will declare for the NFL draft after the season, his father Glen told the State newspaper.

USC: Running back Tre Madden, guard Viane Talamaivao and freshman defensive back Marvell Tell are expected to return from injury Saturday against No. 22 UCLA.

Times correspondent Jeff Odom contributed to this report.

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