Notre Dame falls in BCS standings


Notre Dame falls in BCS standings

From Comcast SportsNetOne down, one to go for Oregon.The Ducks moved up a spot and passed Notre Dame in the BCS standings on Sunday, moving into third place behind Alabama and Kansas State.Oregon is coming off its biggest victory of the season, winning 62-51 at Southern California on Saturday night. That result, combined with Notre Dame's overtime victory against a middling Pittsburgh team, helped nudge the Ducks by the Irish this week.Alabama (.9957) is a rock solid No. 1 in both the polls and the BCS computer ratings this week. The Tide needs only to win out to reach the BCS title game for the third time in four seasons.Kansas State (.9318) is third in the polls and in the computers, but second overall.The Ducks (.9166) are a solid No. 2 in both polls, but still fifth in the computers.But the Ducks have a stronger schedule than Kansas State from this point forward, making Oregon a strong bet to pass the Wildcats if it keeps winning and earn a spot in the BCS title game in Miami on Jan. 7.The Ducks play at California on Saturday before finishing their regular season against two teams in the BCS top 15, Stanford and Oregon State. If they get to the Pac-12 title game, UCLA or USC would be the likely opponent. Both are in the BCS top 20.Kansas State is at TCU and Baylor the next two weeks, before finishing with Texas on Dec. 1. The Longhorns are 17th in the BCS standings.Notre Dame (.9050) is in fourth place with only two opponents with a winning record left on its schedule. The Fighting Irish are at Boston College on Saturday, then come home to face Wake Forest before a finale at USC.Behind the Irish in the standings are four Southeastern Conference teams -- Georgia, Florida, LSU, South Carolina.

Celtics-Bulls preview: C's quickly turn page to new-look Bulls


Celtics-Bulls preview: C's quickly turn page to new-look Bulls

BOSTON – Change is an inevitable when it comes to NBA rosters.

Just as the Boston Celtics significantly altered the outlook many had for them this season by signing Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract, they face a Chicago Bulls team tonight that has also undergone significant change.

The Bulls traded away one favorite son (Derrick Rose) and went about adding another in Dwyane Wade.

In addition to Wade, Chicago also signed former Celtic All-Star Rajon Rondo to join a team headlined by All-Star guard Jimmy Butler.

As easy as it could have been to worry about the struggles they had in disposing of the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, the Celtics knew they had to immediately turn the page and shift their focus towards a Chicago Bulls team that’s looking to start its season with a quality win over the Celtics.

“They’re a good team. They have great players over there,” said Jae Crowder. “They’re trying to figure it out. They’re going to be very excited to play of course. We have to take care of business, play the way we want to play and impose our will even more.”

One of the keys to knocking off the Bulls will be to get better play from their second unit.

Boston’s backups were outscored 58-40 but more significant than that was their inability to hold off the late-charging Nets which forced head coach Brad Stevens to bring his starters back on to the floor with about two minutes to play.

Among the reasons contributing to the bench’s ineffective play on Wednesday was the fact that Marcus Smart (left ankle sprain) was out.

Remember, Smart has been with the second unit for all of training camp minus the second half of their 121-96 preseason loss to the New York Knicks.

Crowder believes not having Smart, who will be out for another week or so, was indeed a factor in the second unit’s struggles.

“They trying to figure it out on the fly,” Crowder said. “With a few days of practice and probably one tough day of practice without him. It’s tough but they’re figuring it out. There’s no other way to figure it out but in a game. They’ll figure it out as soon as possible.”