Southern California and Oklahoma finished atop the final Bowl Championship Series standings Sunday and will meet in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4 in a title game that might not produce a unanimous national champion. \nAuburn, which finished 12-0 just like the Trojans and Sooners, finished third in the BCS points system that relies on The Associated Press and coaches polls, plus computer ratings. So the Tigers will have to settle for a Sugar Bowl berth against Virginia Tech on Jan. 3. \nUSC finished with .9770 in the standings, and Oklahoma had .9681. Auburn, third much of the season, had .9331. Oklahoma's strong computer rankings kept the Sooners ahead of the Tigers in the BCS standings, while USC held on to first place thanks to its strong showing in the polls. \nLast season, USC was left out of the BCS title game, despite being No. 1 in both the AP and coaches polls at the end of the regular season. Instead, Oklahoma played LSU in the Sugar Bowl, even though the Sooners lost the Big 12 title game. \nWhen all the bowls were finished, LSU won the BCS championship, and USC was No. 1 in the final AP poll. \nUtah (11-0) officially became the first team from a non-BCS conference to receive a bid to one of the four US$14 million bowl games, earning a spot in the Fiesta Bowl against Big East representative Pittsburgh (8-3). \nThe Utes, from the Mountain West Conference, will play their last game under coach Urban Meyer on Jan. 1 in Tempe, Arizona. Meyer is headed to Florida. \nThe Trojans and Sooners went wire to wire atop both polls; it's the first time Nos. 1 and 2 stayed the same from the AP preseason Top 25 through the final regular season poll, though the Sooners shared second with Auburn for one week. \nSo Sunday's Orange Bowl announcement was not surprising. Auburn, Oklahoma and USC all finished their regular seasons with wins Saturday, making it extremely unlikely that there would be any change at the top of the BCS. \nTexas' move past Cal might have caught some people off guard, however. \nIt looked like the Bears controlled their BCS destiny a few weeks ago and simply needed to win out to reach the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1959. But Texas began gaining ground in the polls, especially with the coaches, as Longhorns coach Mack Brown lobbied for votes. \nTexas' first BCS bid also means the Rose Bowl won't have its traditional Big Ten vs. Pac-10 matchup.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on