National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Settlement reached in Moore-Bertuzzi lawsuit

TORONTO (AP) A settlement has been reached in Steve Moore's lawsuit against NHL forward Todd Bertuzzi, more than 10 years after the bloody, on-ice attack ended Moore's career.

Geoff Adair, a lawyer for Bertuzzi, confirmed the case was "settled in its totality" but said Tuesday the terms are confidential. The multimillion-dollar lawsuit had been set for trial Sept. 8.

"We are pleased that the resolution of this matter allows the parties to turn the page and look to the future," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email.

On March 8, 2004, Bertuzzi, then playing for the Vancouver Canucks, hit Moore from behind. The Colorado Avalanche rookie crashed face first to the ice, leaving him with a concussion and fractured vertebrae.

The Canucks released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying a settlement was reached and that they planned no further comment on the matter.

Moore alleges the Canucks had put a bounty on him following his check that injured their captain, Markus Naslund. Bertuzzi pleaded guilty to criminal assault causing bodily harm. He was sentenced in December 2004 to one year of probation and 80 hours of community service.

There has been years of legal wrangling since. The civil case was filed in Ontario court in 2006 but was slowed by delays.

Moore, now 35, never fully recovered from his injuries and was unable to keep playing. In March, a day before the 10th anniversary of the play, he told The Canadian Press he still has headaches and low energy.

"I lost my entire career in my rookie year," he said. "I think any player put in that situation would do the same thing. I can't recover anything else. I can't recover my career, the experience of living out my dream from the time I was 2 1/2 years old of playing in the NHL."

It all started on Feb. 16, 2004, when Moore flattened Naslund with an open-ice hit that left Vancouver's scoring star with a concussion. The play drew no punishment from the NHL.

Major retaliation was expected. Vancouver's Brad May was quoted as saying there was a "bounty" on Moore. But when the teams next met on March 3, with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in the house, there were no incidents.

Not so on March 8, a 9-2 Colorado victory. Moore squared off in a fight against Matt Cooke in the first period, and it appeared that was the end of it. But things got nasty in the third period.

Moore was challenged again. He turned away. Bertuzzi skated up behind him, tugging on his jersey, then punched him from behind and fell on top of him as others piled on. Moore lay motionless on the ice in a pool of blood before being removed on a stretcher and taken to the hospital.

Bertuzzi was suspended for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, which cost him about $502,000. He didn't play during the 2004-05 lockout season but was reinstated for the 2005-06 season. He has since continued his career, most recently with Detroit.

Cowboys worth more than $3 billion, tops in NFL

NEW YORK (AP) The Dallas Cowboys are the first U.S. sports franchise to top $3 billion in value.

For the eighth straight year, the Cowboys are worth the most of all 32 NFL franchises, according to Forbes. They're valued at $3.2 billion; only Real Madrid at $3.4 billion is worth more among global franchises.

Dallas posted the NFL's highest revenue, $560 million, and operating income, $246 million. That was far ahead of second-place New England, worth $2.6 billion and with $428 million in revenues, $147 million in operating income.

But the Patriots had the biggest increase since last year, up 44 percent in value. Dallas was up 39 percent.

The average NFL franchise value for 2014 is $1.43 billion, the highest in the 17 years the business magazine has tracked professional football. That shows a 23 percent increase, the largest in one year since 1999.

Forbes determines team values using equity plus net debt figures, and accounts for each team's current stadium situation, with adjustments for pending new stadiums and renovations to existing ones.

Washington ($2.4 billion) is third in value, increasing 41 percent since the last rankings, and the New York Giants ($2.1 billion) are fourth.

For the 2013 season, the average NFL team generated record revenue of $299 million and operating income of $53 million. Each franchise received a record $170 million of national revenue, mainly from league broadcasting and licensing fees.

At the bottom are Buffalo, worth $935 million and currently for sale after owner Ralph Wilson's death, and St. Louis at $930 million. But every team increased in worth, the lowest rise being Arizona at 4 percent.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

www.forbes.com

Serena Williams seeded No. 1 at US Open; Halep 2nd

NEW YORK (AP) Top-ranked Serena Williams is seeded No. 1 as she seeks her third straight U.S. Open title.

The U.S. Tennis Association followed this week's WTA rankings in announcing the seedings Wednesday.

French Open runner-up Simona Halep is seeded second after reaching a career-best ranking this month. She has never advanced past the fourth round at the U.S. Open.

Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova is seeded No. 3 with third-ranked Li Na out because of a knee injury. Agnieszka Radwanska moves up to No. 4.

Five-time major champ Maria Sharapova is seeded fifth, meaning there's a chance she could face Williams in the quarterfinals. The runner-up the last two years, Victoria Azarenka, is seeded 16th after an injury-plagued season.

Venus Williams is seeded 19th.

The draw is Thursday, and the tournament starts Monday.

Former NFL LB Tim Shaw says he has ALS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Former NFL linebacker Tim Shaw has announced that he has ALS.

In a 25-second video posted Tuesday on the Tennessee Titans' web site, the 30-year-old Shaw reveals he was recently diagnosed with ALS and pours a bucket of ice water on his head as part of the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money and awareness to battle the disease.

Shaw then challenges "the Tennessee Titans organization, James Franklin and the Penn State football team and my Clarenceville community" to do the same.

"I'm here today to stand up and fight with all of you against this disease," Shaw says in the video.

Before entering the NFL, Shaw played at Penn State and Clarenceville High School in Livonia, Michigan. He started 32 games at Penn State, where he played running back, middle linebacker, outside linebacker and defensive end.

Shaw was drafted in the fifth round by the Carolina Panthers in 2007. He spent his NFL career with the Panthers (2007), Jacksonville Jaguars (2008), Chicago Bears (2009) and Titans (2010-12). He played in 80 career games.

The Titans named Shaw a special teams captain in 2011 and 2012.

After getting cut by the Titans before the 2013 season, Shaw announced his retirement from football earlier this year.

Browns not ready to name starting quarterback

CLEVELAND (AP) This summer saga, packed with drama, celebrity and clumsiness, isn't quite over for the Browns.

Hoyer vs. Manziel marches on.

Cleveland first-year coach Mike Pettine still hasn't chosen his Week 1 starting quarterback, and that's not his fault. Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel haven't convinced him - or anyone, really - that they deserve the job.

Pettine had been expected to announce during a teleconference on Tuesday whether Hoyer, the inexperienced veteran and hometown hero coming back from knee surgery, or Manziel, the hyped rookie and former Heisman Trophy winner, would start the Sept. 7 opener at Pittsburgh.

But the decision has been delayed and it could carry through Cleveland's third preseason game on Saturday.

Pettine said Cleveland's coaching staff will meet Wednesday night and could then choose a starter. Maybe.

"We're not in position to make it at this point in time," Pettine said of an announcement many Browns fans have been anxiously awaiting for months. "We'll decide later if we're ready to name a starter. We could have one named, and I'm not ruling that out. That's something we're going to discuss. And if we do have to wait until after the next game, so be it.

"We're going to weigh everybody's opinion. I'm very clearly on record: I would like to make a decision, and that's still very much a possibility."

Pettine reiterated that "all options are on the table," meaning he could name Hoyer or Manziel or push a decision back until after the Browns host the St. Louis Rams in their third exhibition.

Pettine's choice grew much tougher after Hoyer and Manziel both played poorly in a 24-23 exhibition loss at Washington on Monday night.

Hoyer started and missed wide-open receivers and appeared to be buckling under the pressure of not being able to put an end to his competition with Manziel.

Hoyer finished 2 of 6 for 16 yards, hardly the numbers he needed to solidify starting.

"It was embarrassing," Hoyer said.

Manziel's most memorable moment may have been when he made an obscene gesture toward the Redskins' sideline, an act Pettine called "extremely disappointing" and will likely result in a fine from the NFL. When he was only using his right hand to throw, Manziel completed 7 of 16 passes for 65 yards one touchdown, which came against Washington's backups.

Pettine said the quarterbacks weren't the only ones who had unsatisfactory games.

"There were a lot of guys that had some plays they'd want to take back," he said. "I just think it was overall inconsistency on the offense. It's hard for a quarterback to look good when the guys around them aren't playing well."

As for Manziel getting caught on national TV flashing his middle finger at the Redskins, Pettine said that behavior - as well as the 21-year-old's other offseason conduct - will be factored into the decision on a starter.

"We'll take into account all things quarterbacks A to Z," Pettine said. "So it's body of work, it's everything from the time they set foot in the building back in the spring up until today."

Manziel said he was taunted by Redskins players and he responded not realizing the world was watching. Following the game, Manziel acknowledged "I should've been smarter."

Pettine has preached to his players about staying poised and Manziel didn't show any in responding to the trash talk he was hearing from Washington's defenders and bench.

"We talk about `Play like a Brown,"' Pettine said. "We want our guys to act like a Brown and we want this to be a first-class organization. We have hundreds, thousands of kids come to our training camp practices and look up to our players and that type of behavior is unacceptable.

"It's something that's part of football that you have to maintain your poise and your composure, especially at that position and he should know better than anyone that all eyes are on him. I know it's something that will be addressed by the league and will be addressed internally."

Pettine, maybe more than anyone, wants the QB competition - and ceaseless discussion - to end. But he won't stop it until he's certain he's chosen the right quarterback to lead the Browns into Heinz Field in a few weeks. He knows the longer it goes, the harder it will be for Cleveland's struggling offense to build momentum.

"We want to get the decision right so that might be the risk-reward with it," he said. "If we want to make sure that we are diligent with it and do the right thing, then I don't want to rush it and make it for the sake of making it. Then, you're risking the chemistry and the cohesion if you have the wrong guy there.

"There is a decent amount of time left still until Pittsburgh. These were under ideal circumstances that we could name this week, and again, I'm not ruling that out."

Ohio State: Injured QB Miller done for the season

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Ohio State star quarterback Braxton Miller will miss the 2014 season, dealing a severe blow to the fifth-ranked Buckeyes' national title hopes.

Ohio State confirmed late Tuesday afternoon that Miller reinjured his throwing shoulder and will need surgery. The two-time Big Ten player of the year left practice in pain Monday after making a short throw.

"My goal is to come back from this injury stronger and better than ever," Miller said in a statement.

It's a huge blow to a team considered to be one of the best in the Big Ten and the country, one which already has several major holes to fill on offense.

"My thoughts and prayers are with Braxton and his family," Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said. "This is an unfortunate injury to a young man who means so much to this program."

The senior and three-year starter partially tore the labrum in his right shoulder in a loss to Clemson at the Orange Bowl. He had surgery, did not face contact in spring practice and was held out of several practices this month due to soreness.

Redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett is Miller's top backup and will likely be the starter in the Aug. 30 opener against Navy in Baltimore.

Miller said he was on schedule to graduate with a degree in Communications in December and that he also wanted to attend graduate school, "and then return to lead the Buckeyes next season."

Miller's options would include taking a medical redshirt and returning to Ohio State for one more season in 2015, or rehabbing the injury and making himself available for the NFL draft in the spring. He toyed with the idea of turning pro last spring but decided against it because of the shoulder surgery might hurt him with pro teams.

With a schedule that includes games at defending Big Ten champion Michigan State on Nov. 8, at Penn State on Oct. 25 and a Sept. 6 date at home against Virginia Tech, the Buckeyes are suddenly confronted by a lot of question marks.

Miller's injury in Monday's practice, first reported by The Columbus Dispatch, came on a routine, unrushed rollout pass. Miller reportedly left the field after screaming in pain but was upbeat later while getting his shoulder iced. He had his arm in a sling on Monday night.

Miller is one of the Big Ten's most decorated quarterbacks, and the falloff in experience compared to his backups is huge.

He has thrown 666 passes in his glittering three-year career, starting as a freshman. Barrett has never played in a game, and sophomore Cardale Jones threw his only two collegiate passes during a 56-0 rout of Purdue.

Miller has also run for 32 touchdowns and passed for 52, putting him in reach of many of Ohio State's career records at his position.

Barrett was an acclaimed four-star recruit out of Wichita Falls, Texas, who watched with Jones last year as Miller took most of the snaps in the Buckeyes' 12-2 season. When Miller was hurt for most of the San Diego State, California and Florida A&M games with a sprained knee, senior Kenny Guiton had big games while leading Ohio State to victories.

The Buckeyes are also replacing four of their five starting offensive linemen, their leading receiver (Corey Brown) and 1,500-yard rusher Carlos Hyde from last year's 11-2 team.

Barrett completed 17 of 33 passes for 151 yards with no interceptions and no touchdowns in Ohio State's annual spring intrasquad scrimmage. Because of Miller's problems with his shoulder, Barrett has gotten a lot of practice time with the Buckeyes' first-team offense in the spring and in recent weeks.

Miller hurt originally hurt his shoulder on the first possession against Clemson in the Orange Bowl, but played the rest of the way in the 40-35 loss. Soon after the injury was discovered, he had surgery in February.

Ohio State said at the time that Miller had "minor, outpatient surgery." But he has had problems with the shoulder since.

Still, he has repeatedly said he would be ready to go in the opener, and did so again between practices on Monday. His workload had been reduced to avoid any ongoing soreness in the arm.

At the Buckeyes' media day, Miller said his arm felt good and he was able to throw as much as he liked.

The injury is perhaps the most crippling at Ohio State since tailback Keith Byars was second to Doug Flutie in the Heisman Trophy race in 1985 but then missed almost all of the following season with a broken bone in his foot.

Djokovic, Federer seeded 1-2 at U.S. Open

NEW YORK -- Top-ranked Novak Djokovic is seeded No. 1 for the U.S. Open, and five-time champion Roger Federer is No. 2, meaning they could meet only in the final.

Djokovic beat Federer for the title at Wimbledon last month.

The U.S. Tennis Association followed this week's ATP rankings in announcing the seedings Tuesday.

Federer moved up one spot from his No. 3 ranking because 2013 champion Rafael Nadal withdrew from the year's last Grand Slam tournament with an injured right wrist. The 33-year-old Federer is seeded at the U.S. Open for the 14th consecutive year, tied with Ivan Lendl for the longest streak, trailing only Jimmy Connors' record of 18.

Federer won the hard-court tournament every year from 2004-08, part of his record 17 Grand Slam titles.

Djokovic has played in the last four finals at Flushing Meadows, winning the title in 2011. He lost to Nadal in 2010 and last year, and to Andy Murray in 2012.

Murray is seeded eighth this year. Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka is No. 3, followed by David Ferrer, Milos Raonic, Tomas Berdych and Grigor Dimitrov.

The women's seedings will be announced Wednesday, and the draw is Thursday.

The tournament starts Monday.

Rookie Report: QBs make it tough on coaches

For the second straight week, the first four quarterbacks selected in May’s draft attempted to push the veteran incumbent out of the starter’s role.

Blake Bortles began the weekend with a bang, while Teddy Bridgewater rebounded nicely from a scatter-brained first effort. Derek Carr looked, well, better than Matt Schaub, while Johnny Manziel, the player with the clearest road to a starting job failed to impress on multiple levels.

Here’s where the Browns, Jaguars, Vikings and Raiders sit after two preseason games.

Browns

Coach Mike Pettine has said all offseason that he planned to pick a starting quarterback before Cleveland’s third preseason game. When asked Monday night about his timeline, Pettine said “all options are on the table.”

It would be hard for Pettine or offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to find any answers mired in Monday’s quarterback quagmire. Neither Manziel nor Hoyer did anything to win the job, with each seemingly saying to the other, “No, you take it,” throughout the first half.

The highlight of Manziel’s night came when he was caught flipping the bird to the Washington sideline after an incompletion late in the third quarter, a moment that lit the hot-take world of Twitter on fire – even though it's largely irrelevant when it comes to his ability to play quarterback.

Manziel was far less headline-worthy with the ball in his hands. Although he finished with better numbers than Hoyer, they were due entirely to extra reps in the second half against Washington’s second- and third-string defense. He was mostly overwhelmed by Washington’s pressure and his play regressed after an uneven, but exciting effort the previous week against Detroit. Thanks to sloppy footwork and hesitation in the pocket, Manziel consistently missed open receivers, particularly throwing behind targets on slants. The two best throws Manziel made both came on a drive that started on his own 1-yard line. After Ben Tate picked up a yard on first down, Manziel remained calm operating in his own end zone, side-stepping pressure and checking the ball down to tight end MarQueis Gray. Seven plays later, the Browns got Manziel out of the pocket on a naked boot to the right, where he hit Andrew Hawkins for an easy 12-yard gain. They weren’t the highlight-reel plays, but they were the kinds of simple throws the Browns will have to rely on if Manziel ends up starting this season.

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The fact that the Browns still don’t know their starting quarterback after Manziel’s effort mostly followed Hoyer’s performance speaks to the level of the veteran’s play. On the first drive of the game, Hoyer gave little hope to fans (or viewers) after a sack, a false start and a throw behind Jordan Cameron put the Browns in 3rd and 21 at their own nine yard line. It was his first of three three-and-outs in four series as Hoyer completed just two passes on the night for an average of 2.7 yards per completion. Although hardly a grizzled vet, Hoyer has enough NFL experience (six seasons) to not be intimidated by the moment, yet he appeared completely overwhelmed and looked nothing like the bright light he appeared to be at times during three appearances last season. His throws were consistently behind receivers and one practically rolled to Hawkins' feet.

Both quarterbacks were done in by the Browns’ short-sighted idea to alternate them every two series Monday. The positions other than quarterback never appeared in sync with either Manziel or Hoyer and the offense didn’t find any semblance of a rhythm until Manziel’s 16-play, 68-yard touchdown midway through the second half. It was a move driven by Pettine’s insistence on picking a starter by the team’s Week 3 game and it led him to make a decision that fit his personal timeline instead of the one best for the team.  Hopeful of installing a starter in time to give the quarterback nearly a full game with the first team, Pettine is now stuck choosing between a rookie who’s not ready and a veteran who hasn’t done anything under this staff to earn the job – at least according to their guidelines.

If the starting quarterback is truly based on game reps, there’s no way Pettine can pick between Manziel or Hoyer without at least one more game. The only deadline now is the season opener against the Steelers on September 7 -- unless Pettine plans to alternate series again.

Jaguars

If there’s been a star born this preseason, it’s Blake Bortles. The UCF product has taken the NFL by storm while playing backup to starter Chad Henne, who has actually played well himself – more on that in a minute.

Bortles entered the NFL as a project who needed at least some time behind a more-experienced passer before taking the reins himself. After chipping away at that logic in his first preseason start, Bortles blew it to hell Thursday night against Chicago. With Twitter playing Flava Flav to Bortles’ Chuck D, Bortles looked extremely comfortable in Jacksonville’s no-huddle scheme and was unafraid of what pressure the Bears managed to generate. My favorite Bortles moment came early in the second quarter.

As soon as Bortles steps to the line, he recognizes that Chicago loaded up to stop the run, putting eight men in the box and leaving single coverage on the outside with a safety high. Bortles audibled out of the play and moved back into the shotgun. When the ball was snapped, he checked his first read to the right, which was blanketed. He then looked off the deep safety before dropping a picture-perfect ball over the shoulder of receiver Kerry Taylor.

It was a perfect example of Bortles being able to diagnose a defense at the line of scrimmage and challenging the defense down the field.

Unfortunately for the Bortles fan club – myself included – the Jaguars are insistent on Henne as the starting quarterback. In his second year in Jedd Fisch’s no-huddle scheme, Henne looks as good as he has since entering the league in 2008. Still just 29 years old, Henne has the big arm that was his biggest attribute coming out of Michigan and could feasibly lead the Jaguars to a respectable season with more talent around him. The problem, though, is that most of the roster surrounding Henne on offense is closer to Bortles’ age and is in no way ready to win more than four to five games this season, despite playing in the weak AFC South.

That doesn’t mean the Jaguars are going to change their view on the non-competition. Coach Gus Bradley said that Bortles will get to play a quarter with the first-string offense against the Lions on Friday, but that has likely more to do with wanting to give Bortles competitive reps in the third preseason game, which is mostly devoted to the first teamers. Barring an injury to Henne, there’s no chance Bortles starts Week 1, even though it’s the better option long term.

Vikings

Similar to the Jaguars, the Vikings have an age vs. youth dilemma. Matt Cassel is the current leader in the QB clubhouse after another strong performance Saturday against the Cardinals. Cassel is an adequate holdover for a team unsure of its rookie QB and can make all the throws necessary in offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s west coast system. As an added bonus, Cassel has a strong rapport with tight end Kyle Rudolph, who has slimmed down and figures to be a big part of Minnesota’s passing game regardless of the quarterback. Despite some high praise for Bridgewater in spring OTAs and minicamps, Cassel had clearly been the better immediate option through most of training camp and through the first preseason game against the Raiders -- until Teddy Bridgewater threw a bit of ice water onto the Cassel fire Saturday night.

With the opening-night jitters no longer an issue, Bridgewater displayed the skills that made him the top quarterback prospect in the country last season at Louisville. He was calm under pressure and succeeded in, as Rotoworld’s Josh Norris puts it, winning from the pocket. He made several excellent adjustments and moved to avoid the pressure before resetting his feet and delivering a strike to an open receiver. Playing mostly against twos and threes, Bridgewater stood tall, read the defense and made decisive throws instead of hesitating and taking a hit like he had the week before. The best throw Bridgewater made was also the last. After orchestrating an impressive one-minute (and seven second) drill against an overly-aggressive Cardinals defense, Bridgewater had the Vikings on the the Cardinals' 2-yard line with 22 seconds left and the Vikings down four points -- a field goal will do them no good. Look at what Bridgewater sees when he come to the line of scrimmage.

Just before the snap, Bridgewater is able to see that he's facing a seven-man rush with six in to block -- one rusher will be coming free. He also knows that he'll have single coverage to his right.

When the ball is snapped, the linebacker directly in front of Bridgewater shoots the gap, but, unlike last week, he never hesitates in the face of pressure. He stares down a seven-man rush, knowing he could get drilled, and delivers a perfect fade pass for a touchdown.

Most impressive to me was where Bridgewater places the ball here. On his first drive, Bridgewater had made a similar throw, but the pass fell incomplete after he throw it to the inside shoulder, allowing the cornerback to knock it down. This time, Bridgewater placed the ball so that only the receiver could make a play on it. Yes, it was against the last-string defense, but it was still a sign of a rookie quarterback not backing down against pressure and learning from a mistake in a key moment in the game.

The difference between the Vikings and Jaguars is that unlike Henne, Cassel has yet to officially be named the starter. Bridgewater’s performance Saturday night wasn’t enough to unseat the favorite – and it shouldn’t be given how well Cassel is playing – but it was a strong step in the right direction. Right now, it looks like Cassel’s job to lose, with Bridgewater likely entering the picture before Halloween.

Raiders

Matt Schaub isn’t an NFL quarterback anymore – definitely not a starting one. We already knew this by the end of the 2013 season, but it’s been confirmed through two preseason games. Schaub no longer trusts whatever arm he has left and refuses to throw the ball further than 15 yards downfield. Multiple times Friday night against the Lions, Schaub had the opportunity to test a shaky Detroit secondary but hesitated and either ended up taking a hit, throwing the ball away or dumping it off for a nominal gain. The times when Schaub did attempt a pass, the ball fluttered, especially on passes across his body or outside the numbers. It’s OK when Peyton Manning’s passes flutter because Manning is more accurate and timely than Schaub, who hesitated on far too many throws behind a leaky offensive live.

Playing mostly against backups, Derek Carr was still clearly better than Schaub. His throws outside the numbers were crisper than his veteran counterpart’s and he looked more at ease in an NFL pocket. That said, Carr’s footwork is still sloppy and he throws off his back foot far too much, especially when under duress. He also took too many hits, one of which concussed the rookie and forced him to exit the game in the fourth quarter.

Carr’s best throw of the night was a perfect example of both his positives and his faults. With 2:56 left in the third quarter, Carr took a seven-step drop, looked off his first read to the left before quickly shifting his eyes right and lofting one to a wide-open Greg Little 38 yards down the field. The ball was slightly underthrown, which caused Little to tumble while adjusting to make the catch. But take a look at Carr's body position and footwork before the throw.

Carr's weight is completely on his back leg and even though he's under pressure, he has enough room to step into the throw. Instead, Carr doesn't transfer his weight forward and throws off his back foot, 40-plus yards down the field. It's an incredible display of Carr's arm strength and it's impressive that the ball nearly landed on target. However, if the ball is out in front, Little walks into the end zone. (Disclosure: Carr ended up throwing a TD pass a few plays later, so I know I'm nit-picking to a degree, but I just wanted to use this as an example of things that can hold him back at other times.)

None of this is to say Carr is ready to start. He’s not, but he’s a better option than the utterly-predictable Schaub, who limits what the Raiders can do on offense. With Schaub in the game, defenses will crowd the line of scrimmage, stop the run and dare Schaub to beat them over the top. Carr at least provides energy and makes one aspect of the Raiders offense dynamic. Of course, coach Dennis Allen doesn’t seem to understand this, which is why he’ll probably be the first coach looking for work this season.

Corey Griffin is an editor and writer for NBCSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyGriffinNBC.

Cardinals DT Dockett tears ACL, out for season

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, one of the most durable players in the NFL over the past decade, tore the ACL in his right knee during practice Monday and will undergo season-ending surgery.

The team said the extent of the injury was revealed in an MRI.

The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Dockett has missed only two games in 10 NFL seasons. He has started 156 of the 158 games in which he appeared.

Dockett was hurt in an 11-on-11 drill. He limped away but had to be helped onto a cart. Dockett lay on his back as he was carted off the field.

"Thank you all for your support and get well wishes. I really do appreciate it," he said in a tweet Monday night. "This will be a tough road to recovery but I been through worse."

Before the extent of the injury was known, defensive tackle Calais Campbell talked about the importance of Dockett to a defense that was ranked sixth in the league last season.

"He's a great player, a guy we count on day in and day out to be a leader and take us where we want to go," Campbell said.

Dockett, Campbell and nose tackle Dan Williams formed a formidable defensive front that helped the Cardinals rank first against the run.

Two of Dockett's teammates on Arizona's 2009 Super Bowl team were quick to tweet their support.

"I literally been sick to my stomach for the past couple hours thinking about (Dockett), one of my closest friends," Chicago safety Adrian Wilson said. "Speedy recovery my friend."

New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle wrote "everyone plz say a prayer for one of my best friends and wish strength and a speedy recovery plz. No injury will keep him down."

Dockett is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time team captain.

"I played against him for three of those years when I was in Seattle," Cardinals tight end John Carlson said. "He's a beast."

Dockett has spent his entire career with Arizona. He and Larry Fitzgerald are the longest-tenured players on the squad. Both were drafted by the Cardinals in 2004 - Fitzgerald in the first round out of Pittsburgh, Dockett in the third round out of Florida State.

Dockett played in his first 104 games before a shoulder sidelined him for one contest in 2010. He missed another game in 2012 with a hamstring injury.

The knee injury is another blow to the already-depleted middle of Arizona's defense.

Inside linebackers Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington, the heart of the unit a year ago, are gone. Dansby signed a free-agent contract with Cleveland. Washington is suspended for the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Arizona could, at least, get a bit of good news later this week when safety Tyrann Mathieu is taken off the physically unable to perform list. He is coming back from surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL.

"Praying for my brother," Mathieu said in a tweet.

The vocal, emotional Dockett had talked about the optimism of the coming season, saying that anything short of the playoffs would be a big disappointment. The Cardinals were 10-6 last year, in Bruce Arians' first season as head coach, but failed to make the playoffs.

The injury will further test the skills of defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

Frostee Rucker moved into Dockett's spot with the first unit for the remainder of Monday's practice. Rucker, an eight-year NFL veteran, appeared in all 16 games for Arizona last season, one as a starter. He started all 16 games for Cleveland in 2012.

Others who could play the position are third-round draft pick Kareem Martin out of North Carolina and fifth-round draft pick Ed Stinson out of Alabama.

The team also might look at the free-agent market and could pick up someone when other teams make late cuts.

NOTES: Jay Feely, in danger of losing his kicking job, said he knows he is competing not only for a spot on the Arizona roster but for a place on other teams should he be cut. Rookie K Chandler Catanzaro is challenging Feely. Arians said the two might split duties Sunday night against Cincinnati. ... QB Ryan Lindley was "up and down" in his performance against the Bengals, Arians said. He is competing with rookie Logan Thomas for the No. 3 quarterback job. Thomas was 11 of 12 for 113 yards against Houston in the preseason opener.

Manziel struggles, flips bird in Browns' loss to Redskins

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer didn't make Mike Pettine's decision any easier. Good luck picking a starting quarterback after this mess, Coach.

Manziel struggled to hit open receivers and added another gesture to his repertoire - a middle finger apparently aimed at the Washington Redskins' bench - while Hoyer completed only two passes in five series. Neither the hot-shot rookie nor the nondescript sixth-year veteran looked ready to claim a No. 1 NFL gig, failing to live up to the big-time setting of a final audition in the Cleveland Browns' 24-23 Monday night loss to the Washington Redskins.

Pettine has said he plans to announce his regular season starter Tuesday. His choices are Manziel, the No. 22 overall pick in the draft who completed 7 of 16 passes for 65 yards and an touchdown, and Hoyer, who was 2 for 6 for 16 yards.

And those stats were padded by series against the Redskins' backups. In the first quarter - when Washington's starters were in the game - Manziel was 2 for 7 for 29 yards, while Hoyer was 0 for 2. Manziel was even mocked by Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo, who raised both hands and performed the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner's "money" gesture after a sack by teammate Ryan Kerrigan.

Manziel appeared to have a message of his own for the Redskins. He raised the middle finger of his right hand as he jogged away from the Washington sideline after a play late in the third quarter.

To be fair, the first two passes by Hoyer could be classified as drops by his receivers, but he also failed to move the team when an interception gave the Browns the ball at Washington's 15 in the second quarter. After a running play and two incompletions, including a pass high and through the hands of Andrew Hawkins in the end zone, Cleveland had to settle for a field goal.

Looking for a hint as to which way Pettine is leaning? It's worth noting that Hoyer started for the second consecutive game and played mostly with the first-team offense, while Manziel was sent out with the backups to play in the second half. Manziel took advantage by leading a 16-play, 68-yard drive capped by an 8-yard pass to Dion Lewis for Cleveland's first touchdown.

In a sloppy game that included 21 penalties and five turnovers, anyone using a nickname like "Johnny Football" at times seemed like an insult to the sport. The Browns were particularly susceptible to the NFL's new emphasis on hindering receivers: Cleveland's defense was whistled five times for holding or illegal contact in the first quarter alone, including twice on one play.

The Redskins don't have a quarterback competition, but their former Heisman winner - Robert Griffin III - also needs some work to get to regular season form. He finished 6 for 8 for 112 yards, including an unwise off-balance throw that was picked off by Joe Haden. RG3's three drives ended with a fumbled pitch by Alfred Morris, the interception, and a goal-line stuff by the Browns defense when Morris was unable to punch it on four runs from first-and-goal from the 3.

The designed runs are being marginalized under new Redskins coach Jay Gruden, but Griffin was nevertheless hit hard several times as he scrambled four times for 24 yards.

At least the game had an exciting ending. Connor Shaw hit Emmanuel Ogbuehi on a 45-yard Hail Mary at time expired. The Browns' 2-point conversion attempt failed.

Report: Ohio State QB Miller reinjures shoulder

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) With just over two weeks remaining before its season opener, it appears No. 5 Ohio State has already sustained a devastating loss.

Two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year, quarterback Braxton Miller, considered among the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy, reportedly reinjured his throwing shoulder in practice on Monday.

Ohio State officials declined to confirm Miller was hurt or speak to the severity of the injury, first reported by The Columbus Dispatch.

Miller, a senior, had missed all of spring practice after what was termed "minor, outpatient surgery" on his right shoulder. When workouts resumed in August, he had been held out of a scrimmage and a few practices after experiencing some soreness in the shoulder. But he proclaimed last week and again on Monday that he was healthy and ready to go.

Head coach Urban Meyer said last week that the soreness was an expected result of Miller's throwing in practice.

"I anticipated this," Meyer said. "I've dealt with guys with arm issues before, and we're being very cautious. He could have practiced (in one of the workouts in which he didn't play) but we're in it for the long haul. So he's right on schedule."

Speaking briefly with reporters after Monday's first practice of a two-a-day session, Miller said he was feeling fine and would be in good shape for the season opener on Aug. 30 against Navy in Baltimore.

At the Buckeyes' media day last week, Miller said his arm felt good and he was able to throw as much as he liked.

"After my rehab, I was throwing to guys at least four days out of the week," he said. "Our timing and our situation-wise, when I get back in there it'll be like I never left."

If Miller is unable to play in the Buckeyes' opener, redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett would likely get the start, backed by sophomore Cardale Jones.

But the falloff in experience would be precipitous.

Miller has thrown 666 passes in his glittering three-year career. Barrett has never played in a game, and Jones has thrown only two passes.

Barrett, a 6-foot-1, 225-pounder out of Wichita Falls, Texas, was an acclaimed recruit who watched along with Jones last year as Miller took most of the snaps in the Buckeyes' 12-2 season. When Miller was hurt for most of the San Diego State, California and Florida A&M games with a sprained knee, senior Kenny Guiton had big games while leading Ohio State to victories.

But now Guiton has graduated, and the Buckeyes might have to adapt on the fly to a new signal-caller.

Making that even more difficult is that Ohio State is without four of its five starting offensive linemen, its leading receiver (Corey Brown) and 1,500-yard rusher Carlos Hyde from last year's team.

Oklahoma RB Mixon suspended for season

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma has suspended freshman running back Joe Mixon for the season after he pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault.

Mixon, one of the nation's top recruits and a potential starter, is accused of knocking a woman unconscious with a punch and breaking several bones in her face last month.

A release from the school Monday said university President David Boren accepted the recommendation of athletic director Joe Castiglione and coach Bob Stoops to suspend Mixon. He will be excluded from all team activities and removed from the team roster.

After Monday's practice, Stoops chose not to talk about Mixon.

"That's not something I'm going to delve into right now, because it leads to further questions in that regard, and I'm going to talk about the guys that are eligible to play right now," Stoops said.

The school said with appropriate conditions, Mixon will be permitted to continue as a student, eligible for financial aid.

"As the university has demonstrated in the past, we are committed to winning the right way," the school said in the release. "As an example to others, OU sets the highest possible standards for its student athletes, coaches and staff."

According to a probable cause affidavit released by the Cleveland County District Attorney's office, the alleged victim told police Mixon directed a homosexual slur at her friend and there was an argument. The affidavit said that according to surveillance video, the woman then pushed Mixon and Mixon lunged at her. The woman then slapped Mixon in the face, and he reacted by punching her in the face. She fell onto a table, then to the ground, and Mixon then left the scene. The woman suffered a fractured jaw, broken cheek bone, fractured sinus and `fractured orbit' near her left eye.

Mixon's lawyer, Kevin Finlay, said in a statement last week that he felt the woman should have been charged with assault and battery. He was disappointed that Mixon was charged with the misdemeanor.

"As we have maintained from the beginning, it is our belief that Joe reacted instinctively after being racially slurred and physically assaulted by a highly intoxicated young woman and her male friend," Finlay said. "We strongly disagree with the series of events as portrayed by Norman PD. Justice knows no gender bias, and we do not believe that Joe's actions were criminal in nature."

Stoops wouldn't say why he suggested the one-year ban.

"I'm not going to address the timetable," he said. "It is what it is. We made a decision here today that was announced and that's all I'm going to say about it. I can't say anything else in regard to it."

The decision is important for a team that opens the season ranked No. 4 and has national championship aspirations. The team lost its top two rushers from last season. The coaches say Keith Ford and Alex Ross have been the top two in camp so far, but they combined for just 26 carries last season. Freshman Samaje Perine also is in the picture.

"A lot of those guys are gonna need to play for us," quarterback Trevor Knight said. "Samaje Perine's been a hammer in there, just pounding the football, doing a really good job. Keith Ford's been doing a great job. Alex Ross has been doing a great job and Daniel Brooks and David Smith - they're getting in there and making plays."

Co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said he doesn't expect the running back competition to be decided before the season starts.

"Ultimately, on game day, we're going to find out who the guy is," he said. "Hopefully, somebody gets the hot hand and we can ride him that way."

Gronk in contact drills for 1st time since surgery

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Go ahead and hit Rob Gronkowski on his right knee. See if he cares.

The tough tight end is anxious to get into a game and take his chances less than eight months after surgery.

"If I'm ready to get out there, I'm ready to get out there," the Patriots' star said Monday after his first contact drills in training camp. "It's just like any other part of the body getting hit now. So once I get rolling like that, it'll just be like another day getting hit."

Playing in New England's third preseason game Friday night against the Carolina Panthers seems unlikely.

Playing in the regular-season opener Sept. 7 against the Miami Dolphins? That's still his goal, although the coaches and training staff will have the final say.

"I just love playing the game of football," Gronkowski said. "So whenever they let me have a chance, I definitely want to play."

The contact was light, but it was encouraging after his last two seasons were filled with injuries.

He missed the first six games last year recovering from forearm and back surgeries. In his seventh game back, the ACL and MCL in his right knee were torn on Dec. 8 on a hit by Cleveland safety TJ Ward, now with Denver.

Gronkowski underwent surgery on Jan. 9, was cleared to participate in non-contact drills when training camp opened and spent time running routes and catching passes from Tom Brady without defenders. He recently started doing that against cornerback Darrelle Revis.

That was a necessary step before getting into team drills.

"It's huge," Gronkowski said. "It's always good to do everything I was doing leading up to it, so when I went out there today I felt like I was prepared."

Monday's drills were just another step in his progression to playing without restrictions.

"It wasn't like full (contact) or anything," Gronkowski said. "It was just little routes and stuff, but (I'm) feeling good, progressed a lot out there doing routes versus the defense."

He did that in 11-on-11 drills for the first time and expects to step up his activities Tuesday.

Now come more repetitions and some blocking as he takes more small steps toward being the major part of the Patriots offense that he was when healthy.

"It's going well so far, no setbacks or anything," Gronkowski said, "just having a blast competing back out there and having fun catching some balls and making some plays."

The Patriots had just one healthy tight end for Friday night's 42-35 preseason win over the Philadelphia Eagles, converted tackle Steve Maneri. And he signed with the team just five days earlier.

Michael Hoomanawanui, the No. 2 tight end, has been out for much of training camp. He had a brace on his left knee on Monday and didn't participate in team drills. Another tight end, D.J. Williams, is out with a left leg injury.

So on Monday the Patriots re-signed tight end Justin Jones, a rookie free agent from East Carolina, just eight days after cutting him and released long snapper Tyler Ott, a rookie free agent from Harvard.

"You obviously want to be out there whenever you can so that's the passion I have and will always have to this game and for this position," Hoomanawanui said. "To watch other guys go out there and take all those reps, you want to be out there and helping this team."

That also drives Gronkowski.

"You want to be out there together helping each other out," he said. "Maneri did a great job for just being here for a couple of days and going in and playing. He did a great job on assignments and he did a great job blocking."

Gronkowski seems much further ahead in his rehabilitation than he was last summer but wouldn't compare the two comebacks.

"We're not allowed to do that. We're not allowed to compare," he said with his usual smile. "That was a good question, though. Better answer."

The best answer for the Patriots would be for him to be productive in the opener. Before camp, Gronkowski said his goal was to play in all 16 regular-season games.

"Yeah," he said. "I'm still operating off the same plan."

Newton, Stewart lead Panthers past Chiefs, 28-16

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Cam Newton made a successful return following ankle surgery, Jonathan Stewart ran for two touchdowns and the Carolina Panthers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 28-16 on Sunday night.

Newton completed 4 of 9 passes for 65 yards and led a pair of touchdown drives in the preseason game before exiting late in the second quarter with Carolina (1-1) up 14-6.

Stewart ran for 26 yards on four carries and made a strong case to be the Panthers' goal-line back - if not their primary ball carrier - with scoring runs of 3 and 2 yards.

Carolina's first three possessions netted a yard and no first downs. Newton compounded the problem by overthrowing Kelvin Benjamin on a deep ball after the rookie receiver got behind the secondary.

But Stewart replaced DeAngelo Williams and immediately gave the Panthers a boost with a 17-yard carry around left end. The Panthers found their rhythm after that, driving 66 and 50 yards for touchdowns on their next two possessions.

"We had a slow start tonight, which is unacceptable," Newton said. "We have to stay on schedule and not waste opportunities like the shot to Benji. Kansas City's a good football team and we didn't match their intensity early, but it was good to put a few drives together and score some points."

Kansas City's Alex Smith finished 14 of 22 for 127 yards.

The Chiefs (1-1) moved the ball well early on without star running back Jamaal Charles, but were forced to settle for a pair of field goals - one of them a 54-yarder by Ryan Succup.

Kansas City's search for a reliable No. 2 receiver continues.

Dwayne Bowe, who will miss the first game of the regular season because of an NFL-imposed suspension, had five catches for 62 yards but none of the Chiefs' other wide receivers stood out.

Rookie quarterback Aaron Murray's first NFL pass was for a 43-yard touchdown strike to tight end Travis Kelce, but he later threw an interception leading to a Carolina touchdown.

Newton had to shake off some early rust.

He missed on five of his first six passes and was sacked for a 13-yard loss, leading to three straight three-and-outs to start the game. He didn't run the ball at all because coach Ron Rivera didn't want to chance him reinjuring his left ankle.

Carolina benefited from a 32-yard pass interference penalty on Chiefs cornerback Ron Parker that set up Stewart's first TD - a run in which the 5-foot-10, 235-pounder bounced off a defender and bowled his way into the end zone.

Newton connected on a 24-yard pass to Benjamin over the middle on Carolina's next series leading to Stewart's second score.

It was an encouraging return to the field for Stewart, a former first-round draft pick who has missed 17 games the past two seasons with foot and ankle injuries. Stewart has been limited to 516 yards rushing and one touchdown the past two seasons after rushing for 3,500 yards and 26 TDs during his first four seasons in Carolina.

"It's been a while since I've touched the end zone," said Stewart, who sat out the first preseason game because of a hamstring injury. "It's the preseason so it's good to get my feet wet and get back into the groove."

The Panthers had a chance to extend their lead before halftime, but Benjamin lost his cool and head-butted Chiefs defensive back Chris Owens. That cost the Panthers 15 yards and took them out of field goal range.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Inbee Park wins LPGA Championship

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) Inbee Park successfully defended her title in the LPGA Championship, beating Brittany Lincicome with a par on the first hole of a playoff Sunday to end the United States' major streak at three.

On the playoff hole on Monroe Golf Club's par-4 18th, Park hit her second into the rough behind the hole. Lincicome hit her approach to the left fringe, nearly identical to her position on the final hole of regulation when she made a bogey to fall in the playoff.

Lincicome chipped 6 feet past the hole and failed to convert for bogey. Park, the winner last year at Locust Hill in a playoff with Catriona Matthew, chipped to 3 feet and calmly sank her par putt for the victory.

Park finished with a 2-under 70 to match Lincicome at 11-under 276. Lincicome had a 71.

The South Korean player won her fifth major title and fourth in the last two seasons

Seventeen-year-old rookie Lydia Ko of New Zealand, seeking to become the youngest major winner in LPGA history, shot a 70 to finish third at 8 under.

Pole-sitter Power wins at Milwaukee Mile

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) Pole-sitter Will Power fended off Juan Pablo Montoya to win Sunday at the Milwaukee Mile, giving a huge boost to Team Penske's chances for the IndyCar season title.

The 33-year-old Australian added to the slim lead he had in the standings over teammate Helio Castroneves. A Penske driver has finished second each of the previous four seasons and five of the last six.

Power raced to his third victory of the season, and his first on an oval. He has said his top priority is to win a title for Penske.

Montoya, another Penske driver, finished second. Tony Kanaan was third.

Power's victory ended Ryan Hunter-Reay's two-year winning streak at the Mile. Hunter-Reay won the Indianapolis 500, but his championship hopes took a hit after exiting following 168 laps with mechanical problems.

Hunter-Reay was third in the standings entering the race. His day had started on a high note after signing a three-year extension with Andretti Autosport to stay in the No. 28 car.

The day belonged to Power, who was in familiar territory after also having led the standings with three races to go in 2012 and 2010. Power crashed in the finale both years.

Once again, Power is in control going into this season's final two races in California- next week at Sonoma and the following week in Fontana.

Plus, he proved doubters wrong who said he couldn't win on ovals.

"Yes! I love winning on ovals! I love winning on ovals!" he yelled on his radio after taking the checkered flag.

Power led by 2 seconds late before Montoya was able to shave about a half-second from the lead around lap 238.

Soon, Power and Montoya were the only two cars on the lead lap, with traffic ahead. It could have provided Montoya with a prime opportunity to get by.

Instead, Power started pulling away again and won by 2.7 seconds.

"We asked him today to drive on an oval like he would on a road course," team president Tim Cindric said about the fuel strategy Power used Sunday.

Gordon races to first win at Michigan since 2001

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) Jeff Gordon raced to his third NASCAR Sprint Cup victory of the year, holding off Kevin Harvick on Sunday for his first win at Michigan International Speedway since 2001.

Gordon broke the track qualifying record Friday when he took the pole at 206.558 mph. He followed that up with his third Cup victory at MIS.

After a series of cautions, Gordon came off the final restart well and led with 16 laps remaining. He fought off a challenge from Joey Logano and maintained a comfortable margin over Harvick, winning by 1.4 seconds in his No. 24 Chevrolet.

Harvick was second, followed by Logano, Paul Menard and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Gordon completed a sweep at MIS for Hendrick Motorsports. Jimmie Johnson won the June race on the two-mile oval.

BALLOT BREAKDOWN: FSU No. 1 in AP preseason poll

The Associated Press preseason Top 25 is out. Take a look at how the ballots break down, and find out what to watch for when the college football season begins this month:

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`NOLES NATION DOMINATION

Finish No. 1. Start No. 1. Even Bobby Bowden's best Florida State teams never did that.

Jimbo Fisher's Seminoles will. Jameis Winston and the defending national champions are preseason No. 1 for the sixth time.

In two of the previous five seasons Florida State started No. 1, the `Noles went on to finish No. 1, including a wire-to-wire title in 1999. But they never did start the following year top-ranked.

OK, the 2000 Seminoles were preseason No. 2, and after Bowden, the Hall of Fame coach whom Fisher replaced, won his first national championship in 1993, Florida State started 1995 ranked No. 3.

Fisher's Seminoles have a long way to go to compare to Florida State's unprecedented run of national championship contention, a string of 14 straight seasons during which the `Noles finished the season ranked in the top five of the AP rankings.

Still, make no mistake: Florida State 2.0 is built to last.

"We're the second-winningest team in the country the last four years, the winningest team the last two years and have had the most NFL players," Fisher said. "We've recruited well, too. Recruited a lot of great young players we've been able to mentor and develop as we go, so we're very comfortable with the guys who are replacing the guys that left."

The Seminoles were an overwhelming choice as No. 1, receiving 57 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel. No. 2 Alabama, No. 2 Oregon and No. 4 Oklahoma got one first-place vote each.

Ohio State is No. 5 and Auburn, which lost the final BCS national championship game to the Seminoles 34-31, is No. 6.

Last season was a good reminder that preseason rankings can look pretty silly by the end of the season. Four teams that finished in final top 10 last season (No. 2 Auburn, No. 3 Michigan State, No. 5 Missouri and No. 10 UCF) were unranked to start the season. Throw in No. 13 Baylor, No. 20 Arizona State and No. 23 Duke, and seven of the teams that either won or played for the championship in the six conferences with BCS automatic-qualifying status began 2013 unranked.

The Bowl Championship Series is gone now, replaced by the College Football Playoff. The top four teams will be placed into national semifinals to be played on New Year's Day and advance to the championship game about a week and half later.

Expect surprises, though coming up with a scenario in which Florida State is not part of college football's first final four is difficult.

Winston will make a run at his second Heisman behind an offensive line that returns four starters. There's turnover at receiver and running back but still plenty left of four- and five-star talent left behind.

Same goes on defense, where sophomore safety Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Mario Edwards step into leadership roles.

Florida State is the hunted again. Fisher wants them to still act like hunters.

"We better have that attitude. It's got to be your attitude every year," said Fisher, starting his fifth season as Florida State coach. "We call it an attitude of domination. You can never be satisfied."

Florida State starts its season with a rebuilding Oklahoma State team at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which, coincidentally, is also the site of the first College Football Playoff national championship game.

CONFERENCE CALL

Do not think for a second that the end of the Southeastern Conference's streak of national championships means the SEC is slipping.

The SEC begins the 2014 season with eight ranked teams, matching its own record for most teams from one conference in the preseason poll, set in 2011.

After Alabama and Auburn, South Carolina is No. 9, Georgia is 12, LSU is 13, Mississippi is 18, Texas A&M is 21 and Missouri is 24.

The Pac-12, which gave the SEC a good run as the nation's best conference last year, has six ranked teams - No. 7 UCLA, No. 11 Stanford, No. 15 Southern California, No. 19 Arizona State and No. 25 Washington - the most ever for the league in the preseason.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

- No. 7 UCLA has its best preseason ranking since 1998, when the Bruins were also seventh.

- No. 8 Michigan State has its best preseason ranking since 1967, when the Spartans were No. 3.

- No. 10 Baylor is ranked in the preseason for the first time since 1986 and has its best preseason rankings since 1957, when the Bears were No. 7.

- No. 25 Washington, with new coach Chris Petersen, formerly of Boise State, is making its first preseason appearance since 2003.

START TO FINISH

Since the AP preseason poll debuted in 1950, Florida State in '99 and Southern California in 2004 are the only teams to start and end the season No. 1 in the AP poll. Eight other preseason No. 1s have also won the national championship.

STREAKS

- Ohio State has been ranked in 26 straight preseason polls, the nation's longest current streak.

- Alabama has been ranked in the top five in six straight preseason polls, the nation's longest current streak.

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Full poll listing can be found at http://collegefootball.ap.org/poll

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter/ralphDrussoAP

Rose hears cheers as US beats Brazil 95-78

CHICAGO (AP) The roars for Derrick Rose started with the pregame introductions and did not fade until the final buzzer.

The Chicago Bulls superstar was back on his court, back in his element.

Rose showed some of his old explosiveness, fellow Chicago product Anthony Davis scored 20 points, and the U.S. beat Brazil 95-78 on Saturday night in a tuneup for the World Cup of Basketball.

With deafening cheers rocking the arena, Rose looked like an MVP at times even if he only had seven points. He also seemed happy to defer to his teammates in his first appearance at the United Center since his latest season-ending knee injury.

"I think everybody's excited," Rose said. "It was cool. At the same time, I can't get big-headed about it or anything like that. I've just got to keep poised."

What he needs to be is the player he was - or close to it -before the knee injuries started to pile up. A torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and a torn meniscus in his right knee two of the past three seasons derailed a rocketing rise from the city's South Side to the No. 1 pick in the draft and stardom with his hometown team.

The Bulls are counting on Rose to lead them back to contention in the Eastern Conference after they added some key pieces, including Pau Gasol.

"For Derrick, there are so many positives for this," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, a U.S. assistant. "He shakes the rust off. He has a tremendous amount of pride. It's something that he wants to do and believes that he should do. I think this will be great preparation for the season."

Davis, who like Rose grew up on Chicago's South Side, dominated down the stretch, and the U.S. pulled away after Brazil kept it close for three quarters.

With a five-point lead going into the fourth, the U.S. went on a 14-2 run to break open a 68-63 game.

Klay Thompson nailed a 3-pointer to start it, and Davis took over.

He hit two free throws and blocked a shot by Larry Taylor, leading to a three-point play for James Harden.

Davis then threw down an alley-oop dunk to make it a 15-point game, and after Leandro Barbosa scored for Brazil, he nailed a jumper. Harden (18 points) finished the run with two free throws, making it 82-65.

Tiago Splitter scored 16 for Brazil.

Fans started chanting, "We want Rose!" with their favorite player watching from the sideline as the U.S. pulled away. They got their wish when he checked back in with 5:20 left and let out yet another loud roar, although coach Mike Krzyzewski insisted he wasn't catering to the crowd.

That's how it was all night for Rose.

Fans showed up in Bulls No. 1 jerseys - he's No. 6 for the U.S. They gave him a deafening ovation and chanted "MVP! MVP!" during the introductions and went wild again as he grabbed the microphone for a heartfelt address to the crowd before the opening tip. He referenced the violence in Chicago and said this game was "huge for the city."

The U.S. might not have as much star power as it has in the past, particularly with MVP Kevin Durant and others withdrawing and Paul George suffering a gruesome leg injury. Even so, the U.S. was looking good with a 29-15 lead through the first quarter.

Rose really didn't go hard to the rim until early in the second, when he beat Raul Neto with a crossover and got fouled. He made 1 of 2 free throws as the crowd chanted "MVP! MVP!" Moments later, he blew a wide-open tomahawk dunk, sending a groan through the arena, and he also headed to the locker room with a cut near his left eye with about 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.

Brazil, meanwhile got within 35-33 on a basket by Splitter with 4:27 left. But the U.S. led 45-37 at the half after Rose raced up the court for a floater at the buzzer to the crowd's delight after two free throws by Nene.

Rose had them roaring again when he beat Neto and switched to his left hand in midair on a drive with just over 3:30 left in the third, making it 64-53.

"Playing against this competition, I was just trying to get my wind back," Rose said. "I am going hard at practice and pushing myself every day."

Kelly: No change needed in how Notre Dame recruits

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly on Saturday dismissed talk that he needs to do a better job of recruiting players who are better students to avoid the academic problems that have plagued the football program for the past 15 months.

"I think we've brought in the right young men," he said. "I think we have to continue to do a better job educating them. We have to do a better job of providing the resources."

The news conference was the first time Kelly talked to the media since the university announced a day earlier that starting cornerback KeiVarae Russell, leading returning receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams and backup linebacker Kendall Moore were being withheld from practices and games until the university completes an investigation into whether papers and homework they turned in were completed by others.

Kelly said none one involved in the investigation has asked to talk to him or his staff. He cautioned against assuming the players are guilty, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Kelly said it's his job as head coach to create an environment where players know they can't cut corners.

"If you let your players do whatever they want and they feel like they're not accountable, then I don't think you should be a head coach," he said. "I think if you create an environment and you lay out the expectations of your program and their not met, then they should be held accountable."

"Look, this is never a one-sided issue. We have to internally look at providing our student-athletes all of the resources necessary that, if in fact if they took shortcuts, that they don't. We have to look hard at that," he said.

Players know the high standards of Notre Dame, Kelly said, adding that his rules of conduct for players are posted in the locker room: "Treat women with respect, don't cheat, don't lie and don't steal."

Kelly said he doesn't have any more information about the investigation than what the university announced at the news conference Friday, saying as a coach he will be "on the outside looking in." He said his reaction to the news was "shock and disappointment."

But Kelly said he's proud that Notre Dame has high standards, saying it's one of the reason he accepted the job.

"We don't look the other way," he said.

The players were informed Friday about the investigation and Kelly said he hasn't talked with them since.

The Irish, who open the season against Rice on Aug. 30, have faced other academic problems. Starting quarterback Everett Golson missed last season because of academic impropriety and Daniels sat out the spring semester. Kelly described them as "good kids who made bad decisions."

If the players aren't allowed to return this season as a result of the investigation, it will be difficult to overcome, Kelly said.

"As players, you don't replace KeiVarae Russell. He's one of the best corners we've had here in some time. But we'll find a way," he said. "You don't replace a guy like that."

Replacing Daniels also will be a challenge, but Kelly said the Irish have depth at receiver.

"We're going to have to count on other players to step up and do the job for us," he said.

Kelly said he's not worried about Notre Dame possibly having to vacate some past victories, including possibly from the 2012 season when the Irish went 12-1 and their lone loss was to Alabama in the national title game. He said it wouldn't change his view of that season.

"I've never really counted my victories," he said. "It's not something I really spend much time thinking about."

It's been a tumultuous time at Notre Dame since Kelly arrived following the 2009 season, with a student manager killed when the scissor lift he was on toppled in high winds in 2010, several high-profile players being arrested and the academic troubles. Kelly was asked whether those issues reflected on his leadership.

"This isn't the time to have a debate on what my leadership or lack thereof is. My focus is on my football team and getting this team ready. There's a time and place for that. People have their opinions and certainly they're entitled to them. I'm going to focus on this football team and getting it ready for two weeks for Rice."

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