Southern California tops AP preseason football poll for first time in five years

Southern California is No. 1 in the AP Top 25 after two years of NCAA sanctions that kept the Trojans out of bowl games.

USC earned the top spot in the preseason college football poll for the seventh time and the first time in five seasons, edging No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 LSU.

The Tigers were poised to start the season No. 1, but Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu was dismissed from the team last week.

The Trojans received 25 of a possible 60 first-place votes from a media panel in a close vote. Defending national champion Alabama had 17 first-place votes and LSU got 16 first-place votes.

Oklahoma was fourth with a single first-place vote and Oregon was fifth. No. 8 Michigan also received a first-place vote.


LITTLE LEAGE WORLD SERIES: Curacao, Connecticut, Mexico and New Jersey relied on offense to win elimination games at South Williamsport, Pa.

Curacao used an eight-run first inning to beat Germany, 14-2.

Connecticut defeated Nebraska 12-0 behind a strong pitching performance from 13-year-old left-hander Matt Kubel. He struck out six.

Three pitchers combined on a perfect game for Mexico in its 12-0 win over Uganda.

Emil Matti had two home runs and four runs scored in New Jersey’s 10-4 win over Oregon.


NBA: NBA blocks leader Serge Ibaka agreed to a contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The deal is for four years and $48 million according to a report by Yahoo! Sports.


EFL: Anthony Comer’s three touchdown passes led the Bay State Bucs (3-3) to a 19-5 win over the Maine Sabers (2-5) in an Eastern League football game at Portland.

Lonnie Thomas scored on a blocked PAT and Steve Goodrich kicked a 30-yard field goal for the Sabers.


PGA: Sergio Garcia shot a 4-under 66 to take the lead at 14-under 196 after three rounds of the Wyndham Championship at Greensboro, N.C.

Tim Clark and Bud Cauley were a stroke back. Jason Dufner, Harris English and Carl Pettersson were 12 under.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Defending champion John Huston shot a 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Brad Faxon after the second round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open at En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott, N.Y.

LPGA: Japan’s Mika Miyazato shot a 4-under 68 to take a two-stroke lead with an 11-under 133 after the second round of the Safeway Classic at North Plains, Ore. South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu was second.


WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN: Venus Williams played through a bad back that forced her to get treatment as she fell to China’s Li Na, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.

On the men’s side, top-ranked Roger Federer beat Swiss countryman Stanislas Wawrinka to reach the final. He will play Novak Djokovic, who beat Juan Martin del Potro in the other semifinal.

— From staff and news services