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USC names Helton permanent coach

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) Clay Helton has twice taken charge of the Southern California football program in moments of crisis and steadied the Trojans with calm leadership.

Athletic director Pat Haden decided Helton has earned the chance to be much more than his backup plan.

USC hired Helton as its permanent coach on Monday, removing the interim tag five days before the Trojans face Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game.


Richt interested in another coaching job

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Mark Richt remains interested in another coaching job and said Monday he will listen "to anybody who has interest in me" as he prepares for his final game as Georgia's coach.

Georgia announced Sunday Richt will not return as coach in 2016.


UNC's defense preparing for Clemson

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) The defensive turnaround at North Carolina is one of the major reasons the No. 8 Tar Heels have their highest ranking in nearly two decades and reached the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

Still, that unit has had a few hiccups in recent weeks, and it hasn't faced an offense quite like the one it will see in Saturday's matchup with top-ranked Clemson.


QB Watson, RB Cook lead all-ACC team

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Florida State running back Dalvin Cook are the unanimous picks to the all-Atlantic Coast Conference team.

The Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association announced its all-league teams Monday, and Watson and Cook were first-team selections on all 50 ballots cast.


Texas QB Swoopes to start vs. Baylor

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas coach Charlie Strong says Tyrone Swoopes will start at quarterback against No. 12 Baylor as Jerrod Heard recovers from a concussion.

Strong says Heard will be evaluated during the week and could play if cleared by team doctors.


Missouri not interested in bowl at 5-7

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Missouri is not interested in accepting a bowl bid after finishing the regular season 5-7.

Athletic director Mack Rhoades said Monday that it was the school would not seek permission to play another game. Rhoades said the focus was on finding a successor to coach Gary Pinkel, who is stepping down while batting non-Hodgkin lymphoma.


Rutgers AD Hobbs starts search for coach

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Rutgers newly appointed athletic director Patrick Hobbs is determined to hire a football coach quickly.

A day into his new job after athletic director Julie Hermann was fired on Sunday along with football coach Kyle Flood, Hobbs was working on the significant hiring.


Broyles Award finalists announced

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) Offensive and defensive coordinators from top-ranked Clemson, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Oklahoma are among finalists for the Broyles Award, given annually to a top assistant coach in college football.

The Rotary Club of Little Rock on Monday announced five finalists; two previous winners are among the group.


3-win Fresno State fires OC Schramm

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) Fresno State has fired offensive coordinator Dave Schramm following a three-win season.

Coach Tim DeRuyter made the announcement Monday and said the search for a successor would begin immediately. DeRuyter said he is still evaluating the rest of the staff and other changes could be made.


At least 2 bowl bids for 5-7 teams

(AP) -- After a bad season on the field for Mike Riley's first Nebraska team, some good work in the classroom by the Huskers when Bo Pelini was coach will keep Big Red playing football this season.

Missouri, however, will pass on a chance to play in a bowl game with a 5-7 record.

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