Seminoles preseason favorite in coaches’ poll

Defending national champion Florida State is ranked No. 1 in the preseason Amway football coaches’ poll.

Florida State received 1,543 overall points and earned 56 of a possible 62 first-place votes in the poll, which was released Thursday. Alabama was second despite no first-place votes. Rounding out the top five were Oklahoma, Oregon and Auburn with the first-ever playoff looming at the end of the season.

Ohio State was sixth, UCLA seventh, Michigan State eighth, South Carolina ninth and Baylor 10th.


PGA: Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, opening with a 2-under 68 on a soft, gentle day for scoring at Firestone that left him four shots behind Marc Leishman of Australia.

 Nick Watney made nine birdies in a bogey-free round in the Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada, to take a two-point lead in the modified Stableford event.


U.S. OPEN: Two-time major champion Li Na pulled out because of a knee injury she said has bothered her for several months.

The only tennis player from China to win a Grand Slam singles title also withdrew from hard-court tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati over the next two weeks.

CITI OPEN: Steve Johnson knocked off another seeded player in the Washington, D.C. tournament, beating ninth-seeded Ivo Karlovic 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7) to advance to the quarterfinals.

Johnson, the American ranked 68th, will face seventh-ranked and second-seeded Milos Raonic, the Canadian who beat Lleyton Hewitt, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3).


NHL: The Ottawa Senators signed goaltender Robin Lehner to a three-year contract extension.

Lehner played a career-high 36 games last season with a record of 12-15-6 with a 3.06 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage.

 The Pittsburgh Penguins and restricted free-agent center Nick Spaling agreed to a two-year contract worth $4.4 million.

The 25-year-old Spaling is coming off a career season in Nashville. He had 13 goals and 19 assists in 71 games.


NBA: The Denver Nuggets reached deals with first-round picks Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris.

The 7-foot Nurkic was the 16th overall pick. He averaged nearly 12 points and six rebounds for Cedevita Zagreb in the Adriatic League.

Harris was taken at No. 19. He averaged 16.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for Michigan State.

• Free-agent guard Jerryd Bayless signed with the Milwaukee Bucks after playing for Memphis and Boston last season, averaging 9.3 points in 72 games.


FCBL: Jake Osborne had three RBI with a third-inning homer and a ninth-inning single to lead the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide to a 9-5 win over the Seacoast Mavericks in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Tim Holmes got the win for the Tide.

Old Orchard is now 18-28. Seacoast stands at 21-25.

NECBL: Colin Lyman had four hits and three RBI to lead the Vermont Mountaineers to a 6-4 win over the host Mainers.

Sanford (22-17) is now four games behind the Mountaineers, who lead the Northern Division with a 27-14 record.

– From staff and news services