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USC picked to win Pac-12, Washington 2nd

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES (AP) Southern California is the preseason pick to win the Pac-12 in a poll of football media, and defending champion Washington is favored to win the North Division.

The conference announced the results Wednesday before its preseason media availabilities in Hollywood.

USC got 28 of 52 overall first-place votes, topping the Huskies' 22. Both schools were clear favorites in their respective divisions, getting 49 of the 52 votes for the top spot.


Charity founded by Freeze mulls future

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) A charity founded by former Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze is taking a break from fundraising and will reconsider its future after the coach resigned amid what the school called a "pattern of personal misconduct."

The Freeze Foundation's stated mission is to "express God's love by improving the quality of life for orphans and needy children."


Public outcry over Hokies' Vick plans

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Public opposition is growing against the planned induction of former football star Michael Vick into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

The Roanoke Times reported Tuesday that two online petitions at had received more than 90,000 combined signatures against the September induction. The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine has also announced its opposition.


W. Michigan, Toledo ready for MAC race

CANTON, Ohio (AP) Western Michigan wants to show it's not a one-hit wonder. But Mid-American Conference West rival Toledo, with one of the nation's best quarterbacks, seems to have all the right pieces to grab the spotlight back from the Broncos.

The planets finally aligned for long-suffering Western Michigan in 2016. Embracing indefatigable coach P.J. Fleck's "row the boat" mantra, the Broncos finished 13-1 and won the MAC for the first time since 1988 and only the second time in history. Their MAC West title broke Northern Illinois' string of six appearances in the conference championship game.


Pac-12: Shorter halftimes, fewer TV TOs

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Pac-12 will shorten halftime and reduce the number of commercial breaks during its non-conference schedule this season as part of a trial program to reduce the length of its football games.

Halftime will be 15 minutes long, cut down from the usual 20-minute break. The number of commercial breaks will be reduced and they will be shorter in length, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said Wednesday.


MAC wants to cut game time by 5 minutes

CANTON, Ohio (AP) The Mid-American Conference wants shorter football games.

The average game in the conference is 3 hours and 25 minutes, a minute longer than the national NCAA average. MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said Wednesday the aim this season is for games to come in at an average of 3:20.


Rule ending 2-a-days has teams adjusting

The two-a-day football practices that coaches once used to toughen up their teams and cram for the start of the season are going the way of tear-away jerseys and the wishbone formation.

As part of its efforts to increase safety, the NCAA approved a plan this year that prevents teams from holding multiple practices with contact in a single day.

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