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AP Top 25: La.-Lafayette Leads 10 New Teams in Rankings | Sports News

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By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer

Sun Belt rivals Louisiana-Lafayette and Appalachian State were among 10 new teams ranked Sunday in first regular-season Associated Press college football poll, which was stripped of the teams not yet scheduled to play a fall season.

There was no change at the very top: Preseason No. 1 Clemson received 60 of 61 first place-votes this week.

After all Division I teams were eligible to be voted on for the preseason Top 25, the panel of 61 voters was permitted to consider only the 60% of Football Bowl Subdivision teams scheduled to play in the fall now that the season has started.

That meant preseason No. 2 Ohio State, No. 7 Penn State and No. 9 Oregon, along with six other Big Ten and Pac-12 teams, dropped out of the rankings. The Big Ten, Pac-12, Mid-American Conference and Mountain West have delayed their seasons due to concerns about playing amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the Big Ten is taking some steps toward a possible mid-October start.

With those teams gone, Alabama moved up to No. 2. Oklahoma is No. 3, followed by No. 4 Georgia and No. 5 Florida. Defending champion LSU, with one first-place vote, is No. 6.

The Sun Belt Conference has two teams ranked for the first time since the conference began sponsoring football in 2001, with Louisiana-Lafayette at No. 19 and Appalachian State at No. 23, tied with Kentucky.

The Ragin’ Cajuns pulled off maybe the biggest upset of the weekend, winning at Iowa State 31-14 on Saturday. The Cyclones had been ranked No. 23 and are the one team currently scheduled to play to fall out of the rankings after being in the preseason Top 25.

Louisiana-Lafayette was last ranked in 1943.

The rest of the newcomers to the Top 25:

— No. 16 Memphis has the highest ranking of those teams entering the poll. Not surprising. The Tigers were first among the others receiving votes in the preseason poll and opened the season by beating Arkansas State last week. That same Arkansas State then turned around and upset Kansas State on the road Saturday. The Tigers might have to sit on that ranking for a little while. Players being sidelined by positive COVID-19 tests and related quarantines forced the postponement of Memphis’ game Friday against Houston.

— No. 17 Miami also garnered some support in the preseason. The Hurricanes join on the strength of a 31-14 victory Thursday against Conference USA contender UAB.

— No. 18 Louisville beat Western Kentucky 35-21 to open its season and is ranked for the first time since 2017.

— No. 20 Virginia Tech has already had two games postponed. The Hokies were supposed to open their season Saturday against North Carolina State, but the Wolfpack’s preparation for the season was delayed by a COVID-19 outbreak. Now Virginia Tech is dealing with coronavirus issues of its own and its game next week against Virginia has been postponed.

— No. 21 BYU opened the season on Labor Day, beating Navy 55-3. But the Cougars’ next game has been postponed because of positive COVID-19 cases among the players.

— No. 22 Army has opened the season with two victories by a combined score of 79-7.

— No. 23 Kentucky is scheduled to start the season Sept. 26, along with the rest of the SEC.

— No. 25 Pitt opened the season by beating Austin Peay 55-0 in a game that was shortened in the second half. With the Panthers up 42-0 halftime, the teams agreed to play 10-minute quarters.

SEC — 8 (Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 15, 23t).

ACC — 7 (Nos. 1, 7, 12, 17, 18, 20, 25).

Big 12 — 3 (Nos. 3, 9, 11).

American — 3 (Nos. 13, 14, 16).

Sun Belt — 2 (Nos. 19, 23t).

Independents — 2. (Nos. 21, 22).

Just one as the SEC still sits idle. BYU at Army would have qualified but for the postponement.

No. 17 Miami at No. 18 Louisville. Two of teams that benefited from solid openers against C-USA teams. Louisville’s Micale Cunningham and Miami’s D’Eriq King make for an exciting quarterback matchup.

Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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Clemson QB Lawrence: ‘I Have the Option’ to Leave or Stay | Sports News

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By PETE IACOBELLI, AP Sports Writer

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is leaving the door open about his football future despite previously saying he planned on heading to the NFL following this his junior season.

Lawrence, the 6-foot-6 passer with the flowing hair, is considered the likely consensus No. 1 pick in next spring’s NFL draft.

But on Tuesday, Lawrence said he hasn’t ruled out returning to Clemson for another year instead of going pro.

“My mindset has been that I’m going to move on,” Lawrence said. “But who knows? There’s a lot of things that could happen.”

At the forefront could be which NFL team is in line to draft Lawrence. Right now, that’s the offensively challenged New York Jets, who are 0-7 and the league’s only winless team.

Lawrence, from Cartersville, Georgia, has a 31-1 record as a starting college quarterback and has the top-ranked Tigers (6-0) in line for a sixth consecutive ACC title and trip to the College Football Playoff.

Lawrence is scheduled to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in December.

Lawrence believes there’s a plan for him, “no matter where I go, whether that’s across the country or whether it’s close to home, whether I stay another year, we’ll work it out,” he said.

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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Lando Norris apologises for ‘stupid’ comments about F1 rivals

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“I’m not that kind of person, so know I should apologise to them but also everyone reading/listening. Sorry.”

Last Updated: 27/10/20 11:55am

Lando Norris has issued an apology over recent comments in interviews he admits were “stupid and careless” and that did not show “the respect I should have to certain people”.

Although the McLaren driver did not refer to which specific comments he was referring, they are likely to have been ones about Lance Stroll and Lewis Hamilton made after Sunday’s Portuguese GP.

A frustrated Norris was heavily critical of Stroll in the immediate aftermath of the race about the lap-17 collision between the two drivers, which earned his Racing Point rival a five-second time penalty from stewards. He claimed that Stroll “doesn’t learn from anything he does”.

In another interview, Norris also seemed to play down Hamilton’s achievement of winning a record 92 races by saying that while he was happy for his countryman “he’s in a car which should win every race, basically. He has to beat one or two other drivers, that’s it”.

But in an apology issued on Twitter on Tuesday, Norris wrote: “I’ve been stupid and careless with some things I’ve said lately in media and interviews, and haven’t shown the respect I should have to certain people.

“I’m not that kind of person, so know I should apologise to them but also everyone reading/listening. Sorry.”

1:41
Lanco Stroll went wheel-to-wheel with Lando Norris over seventh place, the two made contact during the Portuguese GP.

Lanco Stroll went wheel-to-wheel with Lando Norris over seventh place, the two made contact during the Portuguese GP.

Norris finished outside the points at Portimao after being forced to pit for repairs after the Turn-One clash with Stroll amid a fight for seventh place, having run as high as four in the early stages after both McLarens made storming starts.

The 20-year-old, who was forced out of the previous race when running well at the Nurburgring due to power unit problems, is on a run of three grands prix without points and lost ground in the multi-driver fight for fourth in the championship.



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Can I celebrate Halloween during the pandemic? | NanaimoNewsNOW

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“There are lots of creative ways to approach this and make this year memorable,” said Dr. Colleen S. Kraft, who specializes in infectious diseases at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

If you’re venturing out, experts say to keep a 6-foot distance from others and sanitize hands regularly as you normally would.

Protective face coverings — plastic costume masks don’t count — should also be a part of every Halloween get-up, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some cities have discouraged or even banned door-to-door trick-or-treating. In places where it’s allowed, there are ways to make it safer.

Various devices such as plastic grabbers can help you hand out candy without any physical contact, says Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Marking 6-foot spacing on sidewalks and driveways with duct tape or chalk can also discourage people from gathering at the front door.

Those with any COVID-19 symptoms, known exposures to the virus or pending tests results should stay home, according to the CDC. And experts say to avoid indoor parties and haunted houses since a lack of ventilation could make it easier for the virus to spread.

As Michigan health officials put it: “The only thing scary about Halloween should be the costumes.”

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The AP is answering your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them at: FactCheck@AP.org.

Read previous Viral Questions:

What do we know about superspreader events in the pandemic?

Does the coronavirus spread easily among children?

What are the rules on masks in schools?

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