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National briefs: SEC rules, with top 3 teams in football Top 25

November 21, 2011

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The latest AP college football poll gives a new meaning to the term all-SEC.

The Southeastern Conference is the second league to have the top three spots in ranking all to itself.

No. 1 LSU held the top spot for the ninth straight week in Sunday’s rankings, and after a weekend when three other top-five teams lost, Alabama moved up a spot to No. 2 and Arkansas jumped three places to No. 3.

The only other time in the 75-year history of the Associated Press rankings that the top three teams all came from the same conference was the final regular-season poll of 1971, when Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado from the Big Eight were 1-2-3.

And this time it’s not just one conference, but one division (the SEC West) holding down the top spots.

No. 4 Stanford from the Pac-12 is the first non-SEC team in the rankings and Oklahoma State dropped from No. 2 to No. 5 after its first loss of the season. The Cowboys lost 37-31 in double overtime at Iowa State on Friday night.

College Football

LSU, Alabama 1-2 in BCS

LSU-Alabama Round 2 is just a few victories away.

A weekend filled with upsets left the Southeastern Conference rivals in the top two spots in the BCS standings released Sunday.

And Arkansas is third, further increasing the possibility of an all-SEC BCS championship game Jan. 9 in New Orleans that would be a rematch of a regular-season game.

It’s the first time in the 14-year history of the BCS that the same conference had the top three teams in the standings.

If the Tigers can beat Arkansas on Saturday, then Georgia in the SEC title game Dec. 3, and the Crimson Tide beats Auburn on Saturday, it’s almost a lock that LSU-Alabama will play again, this time at the Superdome.

LSU beat Alabama 9-6 in overtime Nov. 6 in Tuscaloosa.

Arkansas backup TE dies

Fayetteville, Ark. — Arkansas’ football team was in mourning Sunday following the death of backup tight end Garrett Uekman.

The university said in a statement that Uekman was pronounced dead at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville on Sunday afternoon. The cause of death wasn’t immediately known, and police and university officials wouldn’t comment until all of Uekman’s family had been notified.

Miami says it won’t bowl

Coral Gables, Fla. — Miami is not going to a bowl this season.

The Hurricanes made the announcement on Sunday, one day after winning their sixth game of the season and theoretically becoming bowl-eligible. Miami says it has informed the NCAA of the decision.

The NCAA is still investigating Miami over claims that a former booster provided 72 players and recruits with extra benefits from 2002 through 2010.

Golf

Park wins LPGA Titleholders

Orlando, Fla. — South Korea’s Hee Young Park won the LPGA Tour’s season-ending Titleholders for her first tour victory, closing with a 2-under 70 on Sunday to hold off Paula Creamer and San Gal by two strokes.

Hockey

Crosby to return today

Pittsburgh — Sid the Kid is back.

Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby will make his season debut today against the New York Islanders, his first game in nearly a year since being sidelined with concussion-like symptoms.

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