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National

  • Mountain West, C-USA plan football merger

    The Mountain West and Conference USA are planning to join forces to secure their future in the rapidly changing college football landscape.

    The two leagues expect to merge their football operations into one mega-conference that will probably have between 20 and 24 teams in it when it finally gets going in 2013.

    The name? They'll come up with one.

    Will Boise State and Air Force, among others, stay? They hope.

  • Wolf leads Brewers to big win

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — No more sleepless nights for Randy Wolf.
    The 35-year-old left-hander blames himself for Milwaukee’s division series against Arizona going the distance. He was more relieved than elated after his first career postseason win got the Brewers back to even in the NL championship series.
    He ensured that the pennant will be decided at Miller Park.
    “Just to be able to get another opportunity to pitch again was important,” Wolf said after outfoxing the St. Louis Cardinals for seven innings of a 4-2 victory in Game 4 Thursday night. “It’s kind of a weird word, but it’s redemption to go back out there.”

  • NBA cancels early-season games

    NEW YORK (AP) — Two weeks of NBA games are lost. Many more could be in jeopardy.
    There’s a “gulf” that separates owners and players, and they will have to close it quickly to avoid further damage to the schedule.
    Sticking to his deadline, Commissioner David Stern wiped out the first two weeks of the season — exactly 100 games — after more than seven hours of negotiations Monday failed to produce a new labor deal and preserve the Nov. 1 season openers.
    The cancellations mark the NBA’s first work stoppage since the 1998-99 season was reduced to 50 games.

  • Raiders facing uncertain future

    ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders will have to replace much more than an owner now following Al Davis’ death.
    He was the general manager who hand-picked many of the current members of the Raiders. He was the master technician whose football philosophies are still adhered to by the team more than three decades after he coached his last game. He was the iconic figure who turned his beloved franchise into a global brand whose silver-and-black colors are recognized around the world.
    Most of all, Davis was the driving force behind a franchise that won three Super Bowl titles and was one of the most successful in pro sports until falling on hard times the past decade.

  • Cruz hits grand slam in 11th, Texas beats Tigers

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nelson Cruz hit the first game-ending grand slam in postseason history, lifting the Texas Rangers over the Detroit Tigers 7-3 in 11 innings Monday for a 2-0 lead in the AL championship series.

    Cruz doubled early, then hit a tying home run in the seventh inning. His second homer of the game was a high drive to left field off Ryan Perry with nobody out in the 11th, and came after a misplay in the Detroit outfield loaded the bases.

    "It was amazing," Cruz said. "First two pitches, I was too aggressive. I hit the ball — foul ball, foul ball. So after that, I told myself just slow down and try to hit a fly ball to the outfield."

  • TCU accepts invitation to join Big 12

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — TCU accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 on Monday night, ignoring the conference's recent instability and seizing an opportunity to be a part of a league with natural geographic rivals.

    Chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. made the expected announcement in front a packed room of more than 200 people, and athletic director Chris Del Conte fought back tears as he recalled receiving the phone call from the Horned Frogs' new conference last week.

    "This is living proof that dreams do come true," he said.

  • Tigers knock off Yankees in ALDS

    NEW YORK (AP) — Now the Detroit Tigers can believe anything is possible.
    They beat the New York Yankees in Game 5. At Yankee Stadium. Escaping jam after jam.
    Now it’s on to Texas, and the AL championship series starting Saturday night.
    “It’s a tremendous feeling,” Doug Fister said after getting the 3-2 win Thursday. “You got to take this thing one step at a time and try to just soak it all in as we go.”
    Fister, not even with the Tigers until July 30, gutted through five mostly tricky innings to form an unlikely trio of stars.

  • Beltre’s 3 homers lift Rangers over Rays

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — This is what Adrian Beltre envisioned when he signed with Texas in the offseason. Balls jumping off his bat in October, the Rangers making another run for the pennant.
    Beltre hit three straight home runs and the defending AL champions advanced again, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 in Game 4 Tuesday to win their playoff matchup.
    Beltre put on a power show that few players in major league history have matched, helping Texas take the best-of-five series and ending the Rays’ remarkable run to the wild-card spot. The Rangers next play the Detroit Tigers-New York Yankees winner.

  • Tampa Bay keeps Colts winless

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Call it ugly. Call it sloppy. Call it anything you want.
    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t care. Close games, rallies, penalty-filled performances, as long as they end with celebrations, the Bucs will take them all.
    Josh Freeman threw for 287 yards and a touchdown, LeGarrette Blount ran for 127 yards and a score, and the Buccaneers rallied to beat the winless Indianapolis Colts 24-17 on Monday night.
    Freeman picked up the tough yards, Blount had the highlight play and the defense ended the night with four sacks. Together, they helped the Buccaneers win their third consecutive game.

  • The AP Top 25 College Football Scores

     

    No. 1 LSU (5-0) beat Kentucky 35-7. Next: vs. No. 12 Florida, Saturday.

    No. 2 Oklahoma (4-0) beat Ball State 62-6. Next: vs. No. 17 Texas at Dallas, Saturday.

    No. 3 Alabama (5-0) beat No. 12 Florida 38-10. Next: vs. Vanderbilt, Saturday.

    No. 4 Boise State (4-0) beat Nevada 30-10. Next: at Fresno State, Friday.

    No. 5 Oklahoma State (4-0) did not play. Next: vs. Kansas, Saturday.

    No. 6 Stanford (4-0) beat UCLA 45-19. Next: vs. Colorado, Saturday.

    No. 7 Wisconsin (5-0) beat No. 8 Nebraska 48-17. Next: vs. Indiana, Saturday, Oct. 15.

    No. 8 Nebraska (4-1) lost to No. 7 Wisconsin 48-17. Next: vs. Ohio State, Saturday.