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Alabama tabbed as preseason SEC favorite

(AP Photo/John Amis)

ATLANTA (AP) Reigning national champion Alabama has been picked to win the Southeastern Conference championship in a preseason media poll.

Alabama was selected by 193 of the 284 voters this week at SEC media days. Georgia, last year's SEC champion which lost to Alabama in the national championship game, was second with 69 votes.

Auburn received 14 votes. South Carolina, the choice of four voters, and Florida, with two, were the only other teams named on more than one ballot.


Baylor calls claims by ex-AD 'baseless'

WACO, Texas (AP) Baylor says its former athletic director made "factually baseless assertions" in a court deposition when he claimed regents tried to steer blame for the school's sexual assault scandal to the football team.

The Waco Tribune reported Friday former Baylor AD Ian McCaw in June gave a 400-page deposition in a Title IX lawsuit against the university. McCaw, football coach Art Briles and university President Ken Starr all left Baylor in 2016 after the school hired a law firm to investigate how sexual assault claims, some against football players, were handled.


Jury selected in former Vols' rape trial

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) A jury has been selected in the rape trial of former Tennessee football players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams, clearing the way for opening statements to take place Monday.

The list of 15 potential jurors - three will be randomly chosen as alternates before deliberation - includes nine women, six men and no African-Americans. Johnson and Williams are both black. The woman who says they raped her is white.


NCAA to study legalized betting effects

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The NCAA plans to study how the expansion of legalized betting could affect college athletics and member schools.

The NCAA announced Thursday it will create a working group of "subject matter experts" to assess areas such as officiating, NCAA rules, federal and state laws, and the use of integrity services. NCAA leadership has already called for federal regulation on sports betting. NCAA rules prohibit sports wagering by athletes and athletic department employees.


Clemson DC Venables gets new $11.6M deal

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Clemson has made a second major statement this year about how much it wants to hold onto defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

After upping his salary to $2 million a year in February, the school extended the deal to five seasons through 2022 and added retention bonuses that make the package worth $11.6 million.


Swinney unsure of Clemson starting QB

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Latest on the Atlantic Coast Conference's preseason media days (all times local):

3:50 p.m.


Swofford: 'Respect the science' on CTE

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Latest on the Atlantic Coast Conference's preseason media days (all times local):

11:20 a.m.


Saban tree looms large at SEC Media Day

ATLANTA (AP) There is no escaping Nick Saban's influence on the Southeastern Conference. His coaching tree was represented on each of the four days of the SEC's media gathering.

South Carolina's Will Muschamp, who was Saban's defensive coordinator when LSU won the 2003 national championship, took the stage on Thursday. It was no surprise he was asked to talk about Saban.


Hope springs eternal, except for Vandy

ATLANTA (AP) It's the season of hope in college football.

Then there's Vanderbilt.


Clemson's Atlantic chasers get new looks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Clemson looks ready for another year as the Atlantic Coast Conference favorite in a division that has long been the league's center of power.

It's the teams behind the three-time defending ACC champion Tigers in the Atlantic Division that are sporting a different look.

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