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National

  • Oklahoma is nation's top team

    NEW YORK (AP) — Being voted preseason No. 1 is a tradition at Oklahoma, and this season is no different.
    The Sooners will start out top-ranked in The Associated Press college football poll for the 10th time, more than any program in the country.
    The defending Big 12 champions received 36 of 60 first-place votes and 1,464 points in the Top 25 released Saturday.
    Auburn, last season’s national champion, will start the season No. 23, one spot behind where it began in 2010.
    If the rankings are any indication, the national title race could be a scramble.
    No. 2 Alabama, one of a record eight Southeastern Conference teams in the preseason poll, wasn’t far behind OU, receiving 17 first-place votes and 1,439 points.

  • Hurricanes facing big allegations

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Hurricanes’ entire football team took the practice field Wednesday amid mounting allegations by a former booster and convicted Ponzi schemer who claimed he treated players with sex parties, nightclub outings, cars and other gifts.
    Nevin Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports he provided extra benefits to 72 football players and other athletes at Miami from 2002 to 2010. His claims involve several current players, but coach Al Golden said it was too soon to take disciplinary action.
    The Hurricanes open their season Sept. 5 against Maryland.

  • 'God Bless America,' baseball eased the pain of terror attacks

    NEW YORK (AP) — Six days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Major League Baseball returned to the field with a new ritual. During the seventh-inning stretch, a moment typically reserved for “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” another song played at parks around the country: “God Bless America.”
    Everybody sang along, that night and for weeks afterward.
    In a riveting World Series that year between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Yankees, one of the most enduring memories came during Game 3 in New York, when 56,000 people at Yankee Stadium joined in a melancholy rendition of the tune as a tattered flag recovered at the World Trade Center site fluttered on a pole above the center field scoreboard.

  • Denver, Dallas face off

    Following the long spring and summer lockout, the National Football League will be back in action tonight.
    The first preseason games of 2011 will start this evening, including the Denver Broncos and the Dallas Cowboys, who will meet tonight at Cowboys Stadium. Game time is 6:30 p.m. MDT.
    Other games set for tonight include Jacksonville at New England (5:30 p.m.), Baltimore at Philadelphia (5:30 p.m.), Seattle at San Diego (6 p.m.) and Arizona at Oakland (8 p.m.). Seattle at San Diego will be televised on ESPN while Denver at Dallas will be broadcast on KASY channel 50.
    The 2011 season opener is scheduled for Sept. 8. It pits the last two Super Bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers.

  • Real Madrid signs a 7-year-old prodigy

    MADRID (AP) — He has a contract with one of soccer’s biggest clubs and the same long, floppy hair and nickname Leo of his idol, Lionel Messi.
    It may take awhile, however, before Leonel Angel Coira can match the wondrous Messi: He is 7 years old.
    Real Madrid said Monday it signed the Argentine prodigy to its youth academy after seeing him in tryouts. He will start training with Madrid’s youth team in September.
    Coira hopes to follow the path set by Messi, a countryman who joined Barcelona from the Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys as a teenager and has gone on to win the World Player of the Year award two times.

  • Optimism fades in NBA lockout meetings

    NEW YORK (AP) — David Stern returned to the bargaining table Monday and said "nothing" gave him reason for encouragement.

    And for that, the NBA Commissioner pointed the blame in one place.

    "I don't feel optimistic about the players' willingness to engage in a serious way," Stern said.

    So the first meeting to include leadership from owners and players since the lockout began exactly a month ago produced nothing new — except blame.

  • Eagles land biggest free agent prize--video extra

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — With one big move after another over two wild days, the Philadelphia Eagles became strong favorites to reach the Super Bowl.

    Trading Kevin Kolb was expected. Signing Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin was no surprise. Even getting two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Vince Young to back up Michael Vick hardly turned heads.

    But the stunner came when the defending NFC East champions swooped in from nowhere and landed Nnamdi Asomugha, the biggest prize on the NFL's free-agent market.

    The two-time All-Pro cornerback was seemingly headed elsewhere — the New York Jets courted him aggressively — before the Eagles quietly moved in and signed him to a $60 million, five-year deal on Friday.

  • McNabb, others move on busy day for NFL

    Donovan McNabb’s time in Washington is over after only a year.
    The Minnesota Vikings acquired the veteran quarterback from the Redskins on Wednesday night in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick.
    The deal gives the Vikings a six-time Pro Bowler who will play until first-round draft choice Christian Ponder is ready to take over. The deal also includes a conditional sixth-round pick in 2013.
    Ponder tweeted that he welcomes McNabb to the team and looks forward to learning from him. But he also says he still plans on fighting for the starting job in Week 1.
    McNabb will have to restructure the five-year, $78 million deal he signed with the Redskins because the Vikings don’t have enough room to fit him in their salary cap.

  • NFL players, owners reach deal

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Let’s talk Peyton Manning touchdown passes, not antitrust lawsuits.
    Finally, 4½ months after the NFL’s first work stoppage in 24 years, Commissioner Roger Goodell could say the words fans awaited: “Football’s back.”
    With a frenzy.
    Goodell and NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith both used that phrase Monday while announcing their agreement on a 10-year deal to end the lockout that began in March.
    Players could report to team facilities today for physicals, meetings and to pick up playbooks. Training camps begin on Wednesday for 10 teams, with the other 22 starting workouts throughout the rest of the week.

  • Players vote to OK deal to end NFL lockout

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Now it can be said with certainty: Get ready for some football!

    NFL players voted to OK a final deal Monday, days after the owners approved a tentative agreement, and the sides finally managed to put an end to the 4½-month lockout, the longest work stoppage in league history.

    "This is a long time coming, and football's back," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "and that's the great news for everybody."