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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Michigan football coach Brady Hoke has announced the signing of Virginia high school quarterback Wilton Speight and six other players as early enrollees. Hoke says they'll start attending class Wednesday at the Ann Arbor school. The 6-foot-6-inch, 230-pound Speight is from Richmond, Va., and attended The Collegiate School. The other players are wide receiver Freddy Canteen and defensive back Brandon Watson of Elkton, Md.; offensive tackle Mason Cole of Tarpon Springs, Fla.; linebacker Michael Ferns of St. Clairsville, Ohio; wide receiver Drake Harris of Grand Rapids; and defensive tackle Bryan Mone of Salt Lake City.

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Florida State is No. 1 in the final Associated Press college football poll, ending the Southeastern Conference's record streak of national championships. The Seminoles received all 60 first-place votes from the media panel after beating Auburn 34-31 in the BCS championship game on Monday night in the Rose Bowl. Florida State's third AP national title ties it for ninth-most with rival Florida and Texas. The Tigers (12-2) finished second in their extraordinary turnaround season, but for the first time since Texas in 2005, the Southeastern Conference is not on top of the final rankings. Michigan State was third, followed by South Carolina and Missouri. Oklahoma finished sixth and Alabama was No. 7. So the SEC will have to settle for having four teams in the top seven.

Arizona is No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll for the fifth straight week, but for the first time in that span there are changes in the Top 25. The Wildcats (15-0) were still a runaway No. 1, with Syracuse, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State remaining the next four teams. Arizona received 60 first-place votes from the national media panel, while Syracuse (14-0) got the other five. Wichita State was sixth, followed by Baylor, Villanova, Iowa State and Florida. Duke, which lost at Notre Dame, dropped to No. 16, the first time the Blue Devils are out of the Top 10 since December 2007. No. 23 Illinois and No. 25 Kansas State moved into the rankings for the first time this season replacing Connecticut, which had been 17th, and North Carolina, which was 19th.

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Lions have been officially looking for a coach for a week. The candidates to replace Jim Schwartz include: San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. A person with knowledge of the process tells The Associated Press that the Lions asked for permission to interview Gruden. The person - who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because the team hasn't made information about the search public - says Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington also asked to speak with Gruden. The Lions interviewed Caldwell last week and have expressed in Whisenhunt to replace Schwartz, who was 29-51 in five years.

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man has sued the National Football League, accusing it of pricing average football fans out of the Super Bowl. Josh Finkelman, of New Brunswick, says the NFL only made 1 percent of all tickets available to the public for purchase at face value. He says that means most fans must buy their tickets on the secondary market, where they can command thousands of dollars. Finkelman's lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in Newark. It claims the NFL is violating the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Lawyer Bruce Nagel says the lawsuit is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. The NFL says it is reviewing the suit. It notes that three-quarters of the game's tickets are given to teams, which sell them at face value to fans who win lotteries.

Tuesday, 07 January 2014 11:33

Amid cold, MSU students get early game entry

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State University plans to open the doors to its students an hour early for the Spartans men's basketball game because of the extreme cold weather. No. 5 Michigan State hosts No. 3 Ohio State on Tuesday night at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. The game starts at 9 p.m. and doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for Michigan State students, who won't be permitted to arrive early and camp out or stand in line waiting for doors to the arena to open. Doors are scheduled to open for the public at 7:30 p.m. Fans are asked to carpool, since parking is reduced by piles of snow. Michigan State canceled classes Monday due to the weather. It planned to reopen midday Tuesday, but pushed that back to 5 p.m.

Monday, 06 January 2014 11:07

Niners, Chargers advance

UNDATED (AP) - A couple of California teams proved they can adapt very well to cold-weather conditions. The San Francisco 49ers used a last-second field goal at Green Bay to advance to the NFL's division playoffs, while the San Diego Chargers played shutout ball in the second half of their game at Cincinnati.
 
     Phil Dawson drilled a 33-yard kick to give the 49ers a 23-20 win over the Packers in Green Bay. Colin Kaepernick (KAP'-ur-nik) kept the winning drive alive by escaping a blitz on third-and-8 and scrambling for an 11-yard gain to the 27 with 1:13 left. Dawson nailed the winning kick five plays later.
 
     The Niners lost three-point leads twice in the fourth quarter before advancing to the NFC divisional playoffs at Carolina next Sunday. John Kuhn's one-yard touchdown run put the Packers ahead 17-13 with 12:06 remaining, but San Francisco quickly answered back with Kaepernick's 28-yard TD pass to Vernon Davis just 1:35 later. Kaepernick later engineered the winning drive following Mason Crosby's game-tying field goal with 5:06 to play.
 
     Kaepernick was all over the field, rushing seven times for a team-high 98 yards and completing 16 of his 30 passes for 227 yards. The Packers also had trouble covering Michael Crabtree, who had eight receptions for 125 yards.
 
     Aaron Rodgers was 17 of 26 for 177 yards and a first-half touchdown. Rodgers wasn't intercepted, but he was sacked four times.
 
     The other NFC divisional playoff game will have the Seattle Seahawks hosting New Orleans next Saturday. The Saints advanced by beating Philadelphia 26-24 on Shayne Graham's field goal.
 
     The AFC divisional playoffs are set, and the San Diego Chargers will be in Denver to take on the Broncos next Sunday.
 
     The Chargers advanced by outscoring the Bengals 20-0 in the second half of a 27-10 victory at Cincinnati. The Bengals led 10-7 until Philip Rivers hit Ladarius Green for a four-yard touchdown with 6:36 left in the third quarter. Nick Novak followed with a pair of field goals, and Ronnie Brown put the game out of reach by running 58 yards for a touchdown with 2:17 to play.
 
     Rivers was 12 of 16 for 128 yards and no interceptions.
 
     Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton finished with 334 passing yards but committed three turnovers in the second half, including a pair of interceptions.
 
     The other AFC divisional game will have the New England Patriots hosting Indianapolis next Saturday.
 
     And so much for home-field advantage or halftime leads. Three of the four home teams lost this weekend, and the Indianapolis Colts needed to storm back from a 28-point deficit to beat the visiting Kansas City Chiefs. The 49ers were the only team to win after carrying a lead into the second half.
 

Monday, 06 January 2014 11:06

Michigan routs Northwestern 74-51

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Nik Stauskas scored 18 points and Glenn Robinson III added 12 to lead Michigan to a 74-51 victory over Northwestern on Sunday. The Wolverines (10-4, 2-0) have won six straight over the Wildcats, and this victory wasn't much different than Michigan's two routs last season. Northwestern (7-8, 0-2) trailed by only seven at the half but couldn't keep up. Jordan Morgan had eight points and eight rebounds for the Wolverines, who played without star big man Mitch McGary, who is out with a back problem. Morgan and Jon Horford have been filling in down low, and they provided more than enough muscle against Northwestern. Horford had seven points and eight rebounds. Drew Crawford led the Wildcats with 17 points, but scored only four of them in the second half.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Jon Leuer matched a career-high with 23 points, Zach Randolph had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies dominated the second half to beat the Detroit Pistons 112-84 on Sunday afternoon. Memphis had six players in double figures, including 15 from former Piston Tayshaun Prince. Greg Monroe led Detroit with 19 points, while Andre Drummond added 15 points and 14 rebounds. The Pistons lost their fourth straight and fifth in a row at home. They are now 4-10 after a 10-10 start to the season. The Grizzlies continued to alternate wins and losses, going 3-2 in their last five without back-to-back victories or defeats.

DETROIT (AP) - U.S. officials say Homeland Security agents seized about 6,100 pieces of counterfeit hockey merchandise and other sportswear valued at more than $723,000 during a three-month initiative leading up to NHL Winter Classic events. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday that jerseys, hats, T-shirts and other items worth more than $32,500 were seized in the Detroit area. "Operation Team Player" targets counterfeit sports merchandise from all major sports leagues. Most items seized were fake NHL merchandise. The National Hockey League's Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs was played Wednesday before 100,000 fans at the outdoor Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. Homeland Security agent Marlon Miller says makers use "inferior materials" for look-alikes that don't benefit the teams, players or the associations with trademarked sports gear.