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AP college football poll: Michigan rises to No. 2; Oklahoma State up to 5th

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AP college football poll: Michigan rises to No. 2; Oklahoma State up to 5th

Michigan jumped to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll on Sunday and Oklahoma State joined the top five for the first time since 2015.

Georgia was a unanimous No. 1 in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank for the eighth consecutive week. For the fourth straight week, there is a different No. 2 team behind the Bulldogs.

Michigan has its highest ranking since it peaked at No 2. in 2016. The Wolverines moved up four spots after emphatically beating Ohio State on Saturday to break an eight-game losing streak in the rivalry.

Cincinnati moved up to No. 3, flip-flopping with Alabama at No. 4. The Crimson Tide slipped after beating Auburn in overtime.

Oklahoma State moved up two spots after beating Oklahoma for the first time since 2014. The Sooners fell three places to No. 13.

Notre Dame dropped a spot to No. 6 and Ohio State tumbled five spots to No. 7 a week after it peaked at second last week.

The week before the Buckeyes were No. 2, Alabama held that spot. The Tide had replaced Cincinnati the week before.

Mississippi, Baylor and Oregon rounded out the top 10.

POLL POINTS

The longest streak of weeks as unanimous No. 1 was Alabama’s run of nine in 2018.

There are two more polls left this season, after next week’s championship games and then after the College Football Playoff national title is decided on Jan. 10.

If Georgia can beat Alabama in the Southeastern Conference title game next weekend and make a run through the playoff, it could break Alabama’s record.

But something to keep in mind for the Bulldogs: Alabama’s run of unanimous No. 1 rankings ended in a national championship game loss to Clemson and the Crimson Tide finished No. 2.

IN

— No. 22 Clemson (9-3) is back in the Top 25 after falling out after the last weekend of September. The Tigers have climbed back, winning seven of their final eight games.

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Dear Abby: Sister’s tall tales get growth spurt after head injury

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Dear Abby: Can’t budge lonely, needy friend from the phone

Dear Abby: My sister and I have a close but complicated relationship. She has always embellished stories about me when she’s talking to others, and most of the time they portray me in a bad light. I usually ignore them when they get back to me, because I choose to pick my battles with her.

In the past when I confronted her, she has blown up at me, accused me of being the liar and stopped speaking to me for long periods of time. I value our relationship too much to let it be permanent, so I’m the one who always breaks the ice and tries to resolve things. She has never taken the first step to make amends.

Recently she suffered a traumatic brain injury and, although she’s doing well, her “embellishments” have become worse. They have reached the point that other people are questioning me and my motives. I have not confronted her about it since her brain injury because I’m unsure if her behavior has worsened due to her health issues. Some of her personality traits have become amplified since the injury, and I don’t know if this is another one.

I don’t want to hurt our relationship if this is something that cannot be resolved because of her injury. Should I confront her, or remain quiet and maintain our relationship?

— Complicated in the West

Dear Complicated: If confronting your obviously troubled sibling would fix the situation, I’d advise you to do it. But her pattern is to blow up at you, accuse you of lying, not speak to you and not change her ways. WHY you would want a “close relationship” with someone like this is mystifying, because the closer you are to her, the more ammunition she has to slander you.

My advice is to distance yourself, and if you hear that she has been telling more lies about you, to give the person a sad smile and say, “You know, my poor sister has had a traumatic brain injury.” Period.

Dear Abby: I’m a 60-year-old man with an information technology background. I have recently been offered paid commercial driver’s license training, which entails a good year of coast-to-coast driving. This pays a lot of money, but my mother is dead set against it, probably because it will mean less time to spend with her. My brother lives two hours away and visits her perhaps monthly, whereas I visit twice a week.

I have little desire to continue in IT, but I’m not ready to call it quits. I’m getting a lot of pushback here, including unrealistic suggestions for local employment. How can I manage these conflicting pressures?

— Choices in Pennsylvania

Dear Choices: If the only thing keeping you from broadening your work experience by getting that commercial driver’s license is your mother’s objection because you won’t be able to visit her twice a week — and her health is good — it’s time to decide what would make more sense for your future.

Because her suggestions for local employment are unrealistic, this may be the time to start planning for your long-term financial future. Long-haul trucking may be your most realistic option at this point. Talk to your mother before you make your final decision, to make sure she has an adequate support system in place.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com.

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49ers top Packers 13-10 with Robbie Gould’s field goal on final play

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49ers top Packers 13-10 with Robbie Gould’s field goal on final play

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Robbie Gould continued his playoff perfection and moved the San Francisco 49ers one step away from their second Super Bowl appearance in three seasons with a 45-yard field goal as time expired for a 13-10 upset of Green Bay on Saturday night.

On a field littered with snow flurries, Gould’s kick knocked off the top-seeded Packers and possibly ended Aaron Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay. Gould has made all 20 of his career playoff field-goal attempts.

“I always trust Robbie. He’s as good as gold, man,” Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. “He always is.”

The 49ers (12-7) continued their postseason hex on Rodgers and advanced to an NFC championship game matchup Jan. 30 at either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14-4) or Los Angeles Rams (13-5). Those teams play Sunday in Tampa.

San Francisco’s win, coupled with the Cincinnati Bengals’ 19-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans earlier in the day, marked the first time both No. 1 seeds lost in the divisional round in the same season since 2010. Green Bay won at Atlanta and the New York Jets won at New England that season.

“It’s dangerous, man. When a team gets hot, it’s dangerous,” Garoppolo added. “So we’ve just got to keep this thing going, focus on next week now, and keep this thing rolling.”

Rodgers went 19 of 25 for 221 yards and dropped to 0-4 in career playoff matchups against the 49ers. San Francisco beat the Packers 37-20 in the NFC championship game two seasons ago before losing 31-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

The Packers (13-5) earned the NFC’s top seed for a second straight season but again failed to reach the big game as the 49ers rallied by scoring 10 unanswered points in the final five minutes.

San Francisco tied the game with 4:41 left thanks to a breakdown by Green Bay’s special teams, the Packers’ biggest weakness all season.

Jordan Willis’ outstretched left hand blocked a punt by Corey Bojorquez, who was kicking from the front of his end zone. Talanoa Hufanga picked up the ball at the 6-yard line and ran it in to make it 10-10.

After the Packers went three-and-out, the 49ers got the ball back at their 29 with 3:20 left and drove into field-goal range. Deebo Samuel delivered a 9-yard run on third-and-8 from the Green Bay 38, and the 49ers ran down the clock to set up Gould.

A.J. Dillon’s 6-yard touchdown run capped a 69-yard drive on the game’s opening possession that put the Packers ahead 7-0. Green Bay’s offense didn’t do much of anything after that.

Green Bay’s special teams fared even worse.

Well before that blocked punt, San Francisco’s Jimmie Ward blocked a 39-yard field-goal attempt from Mason Crosby on the final play of the first half, preventing the Packers from extending their lead to 10-0. The Packers also allowed Samuel to return the second-half kickoff 45 yards, setting up the 49ers’ first field goal.

San Francisco 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo throws during the first half of an NFC divisional playoff NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

San Francisco won by overcoming a brutal start from its offense. The 49ers had minus-10 yards in their first four series, three of which included third-down sacks. It was the first time the 49ers had opened a game with four straight three-and-outs since a 27-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 27, 2009.

San Francisco didn’t get a single first down or pass completion until Garoppolo connected with George Kittle on a 15-yard gain with less than 6 ½ minutes left in the second quarter. Garoppolo was just 9 of 17 for 105 yards with an interception, but the 49ers still managed to win.

“It took everything,” Garoppolo said. “We knew it was going to. I mean, it was just offense, defense, special teams – everybody stepping up and doing their part. Wouldn’t have it any other way.”

TUNDRA

The temperature at kickoff was 14 degrees with a wind chill of zero, making it the fifth-coldest playoff game in Lambeau Field history. The second half was played amid snow flurries.

INJURIES

The Packers were without OT David Bakhtiari, a 2020 All-Pro selection. Bakhtiari played 27 snaps in the Packers’ regular-season finale, which marked his first game since tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament on Dec. 31, 2000.

Billy Turner, playing for the first time since suffering his own knee injury on Dec. 12, started in Bakhtiari’s place.

49ers running back Jeff Wilson left with an ankle injury after the opening kickoff. Packers safety Darnell Savage (back) and running back A.J. Dillon (chest) left in the third quarter.

NEXT UP

The 49ers will be at either Tampa or the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game on Jan. 30.

The Packers’ season is over. Will Rodgers be back with the Pack?

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Men’s hockey: Gophers fall to Michigan, settle for weekend split

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Men’s hockey: Gophers’ five-goal rally sweeps away Michigan State

In 2002 and again in 2003, the Minnesota Gophers had to get past Michigan to win their two most recent NCAA hockey titles. On a night when those championship teams from two decades ago were honored, it became clear that the road to the 2022 national crown could mean another date with the Wolverines down the road.

On Saturday, the modern version of the Wolverines rallied from an early deficit for a decisive 4-1 win over the Gophers at Mariucci Arena to hold onto a share of first place in the Big Ten standings.

An early goal by Bryce Brodzinski gave the Gophers a lead, but the Wolverines stormed back and earned a split of the weekend series.

Justen Close had 15 saves for Minnesota (14-10-0, 9-5-0 Big Ten) which is six points back of co-leaders Michigan and Ohio State, but had two games in hand on both the Wolverines and Buckeyes.

“We kind of thought in the first couple periods we were taking it to them,” said Gophers forward Blake McLaughlin, who assisted on their only goal, and took their only penalty. “I think coach put it best in the locker room. He said they had four chances, and their top guys buried on their four chances. Other than that, we didn’t give them much.”

Trailing 1-0, the Wolverines (19-7-1, 10-6-0) got goals 62 seconds apart from Brendan Brisson and Matty Berniers to take a lead they would not relinquish. The Gophers mounted rush after rush, only to be repeatedly thwarted by Michigan goalie Erik Portillo, who had 39 saves in the win.

Michael Pastujov added a second-period goal for the Wolverines, who have now won five of their last six contests.

“We made three mistakes tonight. They scored on them. Portillo was awful good, and we played a heck of a game,” Gophers coach Bob Motzko said. “We made three poor decisions coming back, and that was it.”

Sammy Walker briefly appeared to make it 3-2 in the third period, but officials immediately called no-goal, as Walker had batted the puck with his hand. A short time later, Michigan defenseman Nick Blankenburg made it 4-1.

“We have game-changers. You can see that, and when you give them any opportunity, they’re going to make you pay for it,” said Michigan coach Mel Pearson, who praised the Gophers. “The first 10 minutes they were really good.”

The 2002 Gophers beat Michigan in the Frozen Four semifinal in St. Paul, then won an overtime game with Maine for the NCAA title. They repeated the next year, beating Michigan in overtime in the semifinal in Buffalo, N.Y., then routing New Hampshire in the title game. Current Gophers coach Motzko was an assistant to Don Lucia on both teams.

Asked if, like those teams, these Gophers might be headed for a national tournament meeting with Michigan, Motzko was optimistic.

“Let’s hope so,” he said.

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