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DemocratandChronicle .com Monday,October19,2015 Page9D COLLEGE FOOTBALL College football; t imes p.m. Eastern 1. Ohio State (7-0) Points: 1,547 (45 ﬁrst-place votes). Previous ranking: 1. This week: Saturday at Rutgers (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, 8). Last week: Beat Penn State 38-10. 2. Baylor (6-0) Points: 1,488 (12). Previous ranking: 2. This week: Saturday vs. Iowa State (ESPN, noon). Last week: Beat West Virginia 62-38. 3. TCU (7 -0) Points: 1,417 (4). Previous ranking: 3. Next game: Oct. 29 v s. West Virginia. Last week: Beat Iowa State 45-21. 4. Michigan State (7 -0) Points: 1,334. Previous ranking: 4. This week: Saturday vs. Indiana (ABC/ESPN2, 3:30). Last week: Beat then- No.14 Michigan 27-23. 5. LSU (6-0) Points: 1,324 (1). Previous r anking: 5. This week: Satur- d ay vs. Western Kentucky (ESPNU, 7). Last week: Beat then-No. 11 Florida 35-28. 6. Clemson (6-0) Points: 1,271. Previous ranking: 6. This week: Saturday at Miami (Fla.) (ABC, noon). Last week: Beat Boston College 34-17. 7. Utah (6-0) Points: 1,258 (1). Previous ranking: 7. This week: Saturday at Southern California (Fox, 7:30). Last week: Beat Arizona State 34-18. 8. Alabama (6-1) Points: 1,123. Previous ranking: 9. This week: Saturday vs. Tennessee (CBS, 3:30). Last week: Beat then-No. 10 Texas A&M 41-23. 9. Florida State (6-0) Points: 1,111. Previous ranking: 8. This week: Saturday at Georgia Tech. Last week: Beat Louisville 41-21. 10. Notre Dame (6-1) Points: 924. Previous ranking: 13. Next game: Oct. 31 at T emple. Last week: Beat Southe rn California 41-31. 11. Stanford (5-1) Points: 898. Previous ranking: 16. This week: Saturday vs. Washington (ESPN, 10:30). Last week: Beat then-No. 18 UCLA 5 6-35. 12. Oklahoma State (6-0) Points: 839. Previous ranking: 15. This week: Saturday vs. Kansas. Last week: Idle. 13. Iowa (7-0) Points: 833. Previous ranking: 17. Next game: Oct. 31 vs. Maryland. Last week: Beat then- No. 21 Northwestern 40-10. 14. Florida (6-1) Points: 751. Previous ranking: 11. Next game: Oct. 31 vs. Georgia in Jacksonville (CBS, 3:30). Last week: Lost to No. 5 LSU 35-28. 15. Oklahoma (5-1) Points: 665. Previous ranking: 19. This week: Saturday vs. Texas Tech (ABC/ESPN2, 3:30). Last week: Beat Kansas State 55-0. 16. T ex as A&M (5-1) Points: 623. Previous rank- i ng: 10. This week: Saturday at N o. 23 Mississippi (ESPN, 7). Last week: Lost to then-No. 9 A labama 41-23. 17. (tie) Memphis (6-0) Points: 544. Previous ranking: 22. This week: Friday at T ulsa (ESPN, 8). Last week: Beat then-No. 12 Mississippi 37-24. 17. ( tie ) Michigan (5-2) Points: 544. Previous ranking: 14. Next game: Oct. 31 at Minnesota. Last week: Lost to No. 4 Michigan State 27-23. 19. California (5-1) Points: 370. Previous ranking: 23. This week: Thursday at UCLA (ESPN, 9). Last week: Idle. 20. Toledo (6-0) Points: 322. Previous ranking: 25. This week: Saturday at Massachusetts. Last week: Beat E astern Michigan 63-20. 21. Duke (5-1) Points: 305. Previous ranking: 24. This week: Saturday at Virginia Tech (ESPNU, 3:30). Last week: Idle. 22. Houston (6-0) Points: 289. Previous rank- i ng: Not ranked. This week: Satu rday at Central Florida (ESPNews, noon). Last week: B eat Tulane 42-7. 23. Mississippi (5-2) Points: 201. Previous ranking: 12. This week: Saturday vs. N o. 16 Texas A&M (ESPN, 7). Last week: Lost to then-No. 22 Memphis 37-24. 24. Temple (6-0) Points: 163. Previous ranking: Not ranked. This week: Thursday at East Carolina (ESPN2, 7). Last week: Beat Central Florida 30-16. 25. Georgia (5-2) Points: 95. Previous ranking: Not ranked. Next game: Oct.31 vs. No. 14 Florida in Jacksonville (CBS, 3:30). Last week: Beat Missouri 9-6. Dropped out: No. 18 UCLA (4-2), No. 20 Boise State (5-2), No. 21 North- w estern (5-2). Others receiving votes: Mississippi State (5-2) 38; Wisconsin (5-2) 37; Pittsburgh (5-1) 32; North Carolina (5-1) 30; UCLA (4-2) 30; Texas Tech (5-2) 14; Brigham Young (5-2) 9; Navy (4-1) 9; Illinois (4-2) 5; Oregon (4-3) 5; Utah State (4-2) 5; Washington State (4-2) 5; Western Kentucky (6-1) 5; Northwestern (5-2) 4; Marshall (6-1) 3; Arizona (5-2) 2; Boise State (5-2) 2; Bowling Green (5-2) 1. The Amway board of coaches is made up of 64 coaches at Bowl Subdivision schools. All are mem- b ers of the American Football Coaches Association. SOUTHBEND , IND . The only two constants during the last half- decade of Southern California football are chaos and Clay Helton, with the whims of the former again responsible for thrusting t he latter into duties far above his p ay grade. Helton was brought to USC by o ne ex-coach, Lane Ki n, and t hen retained by another, Steve S arkisian; he has been the interim coach — this fall marking h is second turn in the temporary p osition after leading the Trojans through a bowl win in 2013 — and himself served under another interim coach, Ed Orgeron. Helton was there when the NCAA levied sanctions, when the Trojans opened atop The Associated Press poll but ﬁnished unranked, when Ki n was ﬁred in aparking lot, when Orgeron was carried o the ﬁeld in victory, when Josh Shaw jumped two stories, when Sarkisian was placed on leave and when Sarki- s ian was ﬁred. Amid turmoil and made-for- TV drama, Helton has been a source of relative stability. And he has been there for the Trojans, who are returning the favor. “We deﬁnitely want to keep him here,” senior running back Tre Madden said. “We’ve talked to the young guys, and they love him. We all love him. We want to keep him here. That’s what we’re playing for, the future.” Said senior defensive tackle Antwaun Woods, “I’ve been with him for ﬁve years, and he really cares about us as a team. He’s a g reat man. We’re just motivated t o play for him.” It wasn’t too long ago that USC p layed for national champions hips. Now the Trojans play for i nterim coaches. For the second time in three y ears, the Trojans will dedicate t hemselves — and dedicate the remainder of this season — to making a favored assistant coach the full-time caretaker for one of college football’s elite programs. Such is recent existence at USC, where conﬁdence remains in surplus despite a clear lack of results. “We’re an excellent team,” junior safety Su’a Cravens said. “We can beat anybody in the country, hands down.” USC spent the second half of t he 2013 season pushing for Orgeron, winning six of eight games to end the regular season and publicly praising its interim coach. Yet even as the Trojans racked up wins under Orgeron, it was obvious they were tilting at windmills; athletics director Pat Haden had no interest in making Orgeron’s promotion permanent, though he did take time to call the longtime USC assistant “one of the greatest Trojans of them all” when announcing Sarkisian’s hiring. “He’s proud to be our coach,” Cravens said of Helton. “You see t he guy that’s been here through- o ut everything and he tells you he’s proud of you, that makes us w ant to play for him. “ So the way we felt for (Orger on), we feel the same for Coach Helton. I feel bad in my stomach t hat we couldn’t get this win for h im, because he deserved it.” USC lost 41-31 Saturday night at then-No. 13 Notre Dame. The odds of Helton succeeding Sarkisian beyond this season are similarly remote. He lacks ties to the program’s recent glory days, bonds that lifted young, largely unproven coaches in Ki n and Sarkisian onto the throne left vacated by Pete Carroll. At least Kif- ﬁn and Sarkisian had experience in a similar position; USC hasn’t hired a ﬁrst-time head coach s ince Ted Tollner in 1983. Helton lacks ﬂash and name recognition, two prerequisites — absurdly so — of any contender for USC’s opening. He also carries the stigma of being present for the Trojans’ recent malaise. Yet Helton can’t be solely blamed for the following: The Trojans are 3-3 for the ﬁrst time since 2001, Carroll’s debut, and beyond irrelevant in the national conversation. After the loss at Notre Dame, the spotlight will shine on USC by virtue of match- ups against Utah and California, two conference rivals with Play- o hopes intact — leaving the T rojans in an unexpected role as s poilers, not favorites. Players spoke of battling for t he Pac-12 South Division title, b ut that’s a statement in itself of t he program’s diminishing standards. A middle-ground shade of g ray isn’t supposed to exist in U SC’s color palette; this has been an all-or-nothing, championship- or-bust program since Carroll led its renaissance more than a decade ago. Well, USC has to play for something; it might as well be for its interim coach. “We love Coach Helton,” Cravens said. “He’s going to be a great head coach, whether it’s at the University of Southern California next year or somewhere else.” MATT CASHORE, USA TODAY SPORTS Southern California receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster celebrates a TD with interim head coach Clay Helton during Saturday’s loss. AT SOUTHERN CAL, I NTERIM HAS BACKERS Players think H elton is right m an for job Paul Myerberg @PaulMyerberg USA TODAY Sports KANSASCITY , KAN . Joey Logano won a battle with Matt Kenseth on Sunday in the closing laps of the Hollywood Casino 400, pushing Kenseth into a slide and driving on to victory at Kansas Speedway. With four laps to go, Kenseth and Logano were racing for the lead. As they approached slower lapped tra c, Kenseth tried to block Logano. But Logano’s car tapped Kenseth’s in the left rear, sending Kenseth into a slide and bringing out a caution ﬂag. Logano stayed in front the rest of the way, holding o Denny Hamlin, who started next to him on the front row for the green- white-checkered ﬁnish. Logano won the previous week at Charlotte Motor Speedway to earn a spot in the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. “ It’s just good hard racing,” Log ano said. “He raced me hard, so I r aced him hard back. ... The fact t hat we’re the only team that can relax now (as Talladega Super- speedway looms next weekend) is g oing to pay big dividends going into Martinsville. To make a lot of these guys nervous going into Talladega is part of the strategy.” Pit woes: Two Chase contenders were penalized after late-race pit stops. Kevin Harvick was hit with a stop-and-go penalty after his car carried a gas can out of its pit. During the same sequence, Martin Truex Jr. served a pass- through penalty after his team allowed a tire to roll away from its pit during his stop. Bowyer whacks wall: A blown tire on lap 171 sent Clint Bowyer hard into the wall. His car lifted o the ground, and the hood popped up. Bowyer, unhurt, was running 16th at the time. Junior’s tired: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s championship hopes took a hit on lap 165 when he was forced to the pits because of a loose wheel. He lost a lap. C hip’s ahoy: Team owner C hip Ganassi went on Twitter during the race to o er an apolo- g y for his organization’s poor per- f ormance. “I apologize to our f ans,” he posted. “But not giving up!!!” Kyle Larson and Jamie M cMurray drive the Ganassi cars. NASCAR Logano bumps Kenseth for win Mike Hembree @mikehembree Special for USA TODAY Sports TODD WARSHAW,GETTY IMAGES Matt Kenseth, left, spins Sunday at Kansas Speedway after contact from Joey Logano, right.