Sports

Erickson takes his 4th team to AP Top 25

NEW YORK -- No matter where Dennis Erickson goes, his teams usually end up in the Top 25.

Four games into his first season as Arizona State coach, Erickson has the Sun Devils unbeaten and in The Associated Press poll for the first time this season at No. 23.

Arizona State is the fourth school Erickson has guided into the rankings, along with Washington State, Miami and Oregon State. Only Lou Holtz, with five, has coached ranked teams at more schools. Holtz did it with North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina.

No. 1 Southern California and No. 2 LSU, as they have all season, head the Top 25.

USC received 43 first-place votes and 1,601 points. The Tigers got 22 first-place votes and 1,580 points. Both teams won convincingly at home Saturday. The Trojans routed Washington State 47-14 and the Tigers dominated South Carolina 28-16 on a rainy day in Baton Rouge, La.

No. 3 Oklahoma flip-flopped with No. 4 Florida after the Gators had a close call at Mississippi and the Sooner rang up their fourth blowout of the season.

Falling out of the rankings were Louisville, which was upset 38-35 by Syracuse, and Texas A&M, beaten 34-17 by Miami on Thursday.

No. 11 Oregon started the second 10 in the AP poll, followed by Boston College, Clemson, Kentucky and Georgia. At No. 14, Kentucky's ranking is its highest since it finished No. 6 in 1977.

South Carolina was No. 16 and Virginia Tech, South Florida, Hawaii and Missouri completed the top 20.

No. 21 Penn State dropped 11 spots after a 14-9 loss to Michigan and No. 22 Alabama fell six spots after losing 26-23 in overtime to Georgia. No. 25 Nebraska also dropped a spot after hanging on to beat Ball State 41-40 at home.

Appalachian State, the Championship Subdivision team that upset Michigan in the first week and prompted the AP to open poll voting to schools from all divisions, didn't appear on any ballots after its 17-game winning streak was snapped by Wofford. Appalachian State received votes in the previous two polls.

• Moments after North Carolina Central claimed victory over rival North Carolina A&T, the Eagle players decided on a celebration that would lead to a bench-clearing, helmet-swinging brawl.

The fight so enraged A&T athletics director DeLores "Dee" Todd that she said the two schools likely would take a "cooling-off period" from continuing the series.

The fight lasted several minutes and left dozens of players lying on the field. Police from both schools ran in after several minutes and broke up the fight using pepper spray. An NCCU player lay on the ground outside of the locker room vomiting after the fight as trainers worked feverishly to wash out his eyes.

One unidentified N.C. Central player was suspended for next week's game against Presbyterian, assistant athletics director Kyle Serba said Sunday. There were no arrests as of Sunday, Serba said, adding that no fans were involved in the incident.

• COLLEGE BASKETBALL -- Auburn guard Frank Tolbert was charged with third-degree criminal mischief after his arrest for an incident at a towing company lot, the Opelika-Auburn News reported.

Tolbert was arrested Friday after allegedly jumping a fence at United Auto Collision to get his SUV, which had been towed earlier in the week.

Police said Tolbert damaged a metal fence when he drove through it leaving the lot.

An Auburn spokesman said neither Tolbert nor coach Jeff Lebo would comment on the arrest.

Tolbert started 28 games last season, averaging 11.8 points and 4.8 rebounds.

• PRO TENNIS -- Fourth-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia won the WTA Tour's Sunfeast Open title, defeating Mariya Koryttseva of Ukraine 6-0, 6-2 in the fina.

World No. 35 Kirilenko faced no difficulty in outplaying an erratic rival to clinch her third WTA Tour singles title.

The 164th-ranked Koryttseva, a first-time singles finalist, was broken on three successive serves of the opening set, but started strongly in the second set to lead 2-0 after breaking Kirilenko in the first game.

• PRO BASKETBALL -- Former NBA All-Star Allan Houston has partnered with an Omaha community center that motivates children to become leaders.

Houston was in the city on Thursday and Friday sharing basketball tips and life lessons with children at Wesley House. It was the precursor to a father-son basketball retreat -- similar to the "Father Knows Best" event Houston's charity holds annually in New York -- being planned for next summer.

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