The College Football Playoff’s ambitions for expansion stalled Monday, when the sport’s leading power brokers proved unable to agree on a plan almost seven months after some of them publicly proposed a 12-team format. The playoff, which currently features four teams each season, could still grow in the coming years and inject hundreds of millions of dollars a year more into the richest conferences in college sports. But the addition of games as soon as the 2024 season is increasingly unlikely after months of turmoil, with the negotiations complicated at different moments by disputes over potential compositions of the playoff field, fears of protracted seasons, and mistrust that flowed from a surprise round of conference membership shuffles. Three days of meetings in Indianapolis, where the playoff’s 11-person management committee convened before Monday night’s national championship game between top-ranked Alabama and No. 3 Georgia, ended hours before the game without the unanimity required to make significant changes to the playoff.
Rashaan Salaam, Andrew Luck, Kevin Faulk lead College HOF class
Late Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam of Colorado and two-time Heisman runner-up Andrew Luck of Stanford headline a list of 21 former players and coaches in this year’s College Football Hall of Fame class. The National Football Foundation announced the new inductees. The ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 6. Joining Salaam and Luck are LSU (and former Patriots) running back Kevin Faulk, Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington,Georgia defensive back Champ Bailey, Alabama center Sylvester Croom, Illinois defensive tackle Moe Gardner, Illinois State linebacker Boomer Grigsby, Michigan defensive tackle Mark Messner, Alcorn State center Dennis Thomas and Nebraska offensive lineman Zach Wiegert, Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree, Ohio State safety Mike Doss, Oregon State receiver Mike Hass, Florida State linebacker Marvin Jones, Oklahoma State running back Terry Miller, and Oklahoma defensive back Roy Williams. Three coaches — John Luckhardt of Washington & Jefferson (Pennsylvania), Billy Jack Murphy of Memphis, and Gary Pinkel, who coached at Toledo and Missouri — also will be honoredin December. Salaam starred at Colorado and won college football’s most prestigious award in 1994 after rushing for a school-record 2,055 yards and 24 touchdowns. He played six NFL seasons and finished with 1,625 yards and 13 scores. He died Dec. 5, 2016, in what was ruled a suicide. He was 42.
South Carolina women remain No. 1
South Carolina beat two more ranked opponents to strengthen its grip on the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll. The Gamecocks topped then-No. 13 LSU and No. 21 Kentucky this past week to raise their record to 8-0 against Top 25 teams this season. South Carolina remained the No. 1 team , garnering 26 of the 30 first-place votes from a national media panel. Stanford and Louisville were the next two teams in the poll. he Cardinals received the other four No. 1 votes. N.C. State moved up to fourth while Tennessee was fifth. It’s the Lady Vols’ highest ranking since Nov. 23, 2015. Indiana remained sixth while Arizona fell three spots to seventh after suffering its first loss of the season to Southern California on Sunday. Maryland, Iowa State and UConn rounded out the top 10.
Baylor men keep grip on top spot
Reigning national champion Baylor isn’t showing any sign of loosening its grip on No. 1. The Bears remained the unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll for the fourth time in five weeks. That came after Baylor (15-0) beat Oklahoma and TCU last week to push its winning streak to 21 games dating to last year’s title run in the Indianapolis bubble. That streak is the third longest in the Big 12′s 26-year history, trailing Baylor’s 23-game run in 2019-20 and Kansas’ 22-game stretch in 1996-97. The Bears enter this week as the only team in the top 10 of KenPom’s adjusted efficiency rankings for both offense (120.6 points per 100 possessions) and defense (89.6). No. 2 Gonzaga and No. 3 UCLA each climbed two spots after losses by Duke and Purdue, while Auburn and Southern California were new additions to the top five … Javante McCoy had 25 points as Boston University easily defeated American 79-53 . Sukhmail Mathon had 19 points for Boston University (11-6, 2-2 Patriot League) and Walter Whyte added 17 points … Marques Wilson had 17 points off the bench to lift Lehigh to a 77-69 win over Holy Cross. Gerrale Gates had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Crusaders (3-13, 1-3).
NHLPA fighting Evander Kane’s contract termination
The NHL Players’ Association has filed a grievance against the San Jose Sharks for terminating the remainder of Evander Kane’s contract, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press. The grievance, contending the Sharks did not have sufficient grounds to make the move, was filed Sunday night, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the matter is now in the league’s hands. The Sharks placed Kane on unconditional waivers on Saturday, saying the forward violated COVID-19 protocols while with the AHL Barracuda. Kane went unclaimed over the 24-hour period, putting the Sharks in position to terminate the remainder of the player’s contract. The move will cost Kane about $22.9 million from the seven-year, $49 million deal he signed in May 2018. Kane is now a free agent and open to sign with any team, while awaiting the start of the grievance process … Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin could make his season debut on Tuesday night when the Penguins face the Anaheim Ducks. Coach Mike Sullivan said Monday that he anticipates the four-time All-Star and 2012 Hart Trophy winner will be a “game-time” decision as Pittsburgh continues its West Coast swing. The 35-year-old Malkin hasn’t played since undergoing right knee surgery in June.Malkin has been skating with his teammates for several weeks and was cleared to start taking contact recently. He was a full participant in practice on Monday and worked with the top power-play unit and centered the second line between Jeff Carter and Kasperi Kapanen.
Pistons acquire Bol Bol via trade
The Denver Nuggets finalized a deal with Detroit that will send big man Bol Bol to the Pistons. In exchange, the Nuggets received guard Rodney McGruder along with a 2022 second-round pick via Brooklyn. The 7-foot-2 Bol is the son of the late Manute Bol, who played 10 years in the NBA … Robert “Bob” Falkenburg, who saved three championship points en route to winning the 1948 Wimbledon men’s singles final at age 22 and brought fast food to Brazil during his post-tennis entrepreneurial career, has died. He was 95 … Midfielder Gio Reyna and forward Tim Weah remain uncertain for the United States’ next three World Cup soccer qualifiers, which start Jan. 27 with a match against El Salvador at Columbus, Ohio … The Connecticut College men’s ice hockey team was dealt a 3-2 overtime loss by Bowdoin at Dayton Arena in its first game played in over a month.