National Sports Briefs
Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 30, 2011
NEW YORK — Clemson and Kansas State tumbled in The Associated Press college football poll after losing for the first time this season, and the top five teams in the rankings held their ground heading into the showdown between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama.
Clemson slipped five spots after losing 31-17 at Georgia Tech and Kansas fell seven spots to No. 17 after getting thumped 58-17 by Oklahoma.
LSU received 47 first-place votes from the media panel, Alabama had 10 and No. 5 Boise State had one.
No. 3 Oklahoma State and No. 4 Stanford held on to their spots after victories, while the Broncos were idle.
Georgia Tech’s upset pushed the Yellow Jackets back into the rankings at No. 22 and Auburn jumped back in at No. 25.
SHANGHAI — U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy won $2 million in the Shanghai Masters on Sunday, beating Anthony Kim with a par on the first hole of a playoff.
McIlroy holed a 2-foot putt for the victory after Kim missed a 3-footer.
• SOTOGRANDE, Spain — Sergio Garcia won the Andalucia Masters, giving the Spaniard his second straight European Tour victory.
COWHER: NO CONTACT
NEW YORK — Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher says he has not been approached by anyone for a coaching position.
Cowher, who won the 2006 Super Bowl as Steelers coach and now works for CBS, says any reports he is in line for a coaching job is “all speculation” and he does not plan on coaching next year.
He says he has “not been contacted directly or indirectly by any football team or any organization” and wants to put “all the speculation to rest.”
Adding he is “flattered” by the talk, Cowher says he plans to be back with CBS in 2012.
Several recent reports linked Cowher with the Dolphins job should Tony Sparano be fired. Miami is 0-6.
FIELD OF DREAMS
DYERSVILLE, Iowa — The sprawling eastern Iowa cornfields made famous by the movie “Field of Dreams” are being sold to a company that will preserve the site’s baseball legacy, the owners announced Sunday.
Don and Becky Lansing said they have accepted an offer from Mike and Denise Stillman and their company, Go the Distance Baseball LLC, which will develop the site near Dyersville as a baseball and softball complex. A purchase price was not disclosed.
The land has been in Don Lansing’s family since 1906. The couple put the property up for sale at $5.4 million in May 2010. The parcel includes the two-bedroom house, baseball diamond, six other buildings and 193 acres — mostly cornfields — from the movie.
The film, released in 1989, was based on the book “Shoeless Joe” and starred Kevin Costner. The site has been a popular tourist destination ever since.
VIENNA — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rallied from a set and a break down to beat Juan Martin Del Potro 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 Sunday in the final of the Erste Bank Open, claiming his second title of the season and seventh overall. The top-seeded Tsonga will officially move past Mardy Fish to No. 7 in the 2011 points list today.
NEW YORK — Game 7 of the World Series between St. Louis and Texas averaged 25.4 million viewers to make it the most-watched ballgame since 2004.
Before that series, in which the Red Sox won their first title in 86 years in four games, the high mark was another Game 7 — the 2002 World Series between San Francisco and the Los Angeles Angels.
The Cardinals’ Game 7 win on Friday bumped the overall Series rating to 10.0, 19 percent higher than last season’s series between the Giants and the Rangers.
It also was the highest rated and most watched Friday night telecast on any network since the 2010 Winter Olympics.
LAS VEGAS — Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was killed in the opening laps of the Oct. 16 season finale at Las Vegas. It was IndyCar’s first visit to the track since 2000.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard has said he’ll make no decisions on a return to Las Vegas until after the investigation into the 15-car accident that killed Wheldon.
BIG 12 EXPANSION
The Big 12 welcomed West Virginia from the Big East and bid goodbye to Missouri before the Tigers even had a chance to finalize their move to the SEC.
Now that the poaching of the Big East seems to be over, the beleaguered league is not backing down. It has been busy courting six schools and says it was braced for the latest loss.