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Three-time defending national champion North Dakota State is the top-ranked team in the Football Championship Subdivision preseason coaches' poll.....

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Three-time defending national champion North Dakota State is the top-ranked team in the Football Championship Subdivision preseason coaches' poll.
     The Bison enter their Aug. 30 season opener at Iowa State having won a school- and FCS-record 24 straight games. NDSU returns 10 starters from last year's team, though the squad will have a new quarterback and a new head coach.  Chris Klieman was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach when Craig Bohl left for Wyoming. Carson Wentz takes over at quarterback for All-American Brock Jensen, who graduated.
     The rest of the preseason poll top five is Eastern Washington, Southeast Louisiana, New Hampshire and Montana. Filling out the top 10 is Coastal Carolina, Towson, Jacksonville State, McNeese State and South Dakota State.

    Once again this year KHRT-AM 1320 will be the Minot area radio home for NDSU Football.


     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Former Williston State College hockey coach Seamus Gregory says seven former Tetons are following him to Northland College.  Gregory resigned from Williston State in early June to take the head coaching position at Northland, an NCAA Division III school in Wisconsin. Williston State competes in the National Junior College Athletic Association, where it has won back-to-back national championships.  Three other Tetons plan to play for Division III Southern Maine.


     MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings have signed veteran safety Chris Crocker to give new coach Mike Zimmer some insurance on the unproven back end of his defense.  Crocker signed on Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the 12-year veteran played seven seasons under Zimmer when he was the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati and Atlanta.
     It's the third straight summer that Zimmer has coaxed Crocker out of a planned retirement to play for him. Zimmer needs Crocker in Minnesota to try to help shore up the safety spot opposite standout Harrison Smith.  Robert Blanton appeared to have the inside track to the starting job, but he injured his hamstring and will miss several weeks. Jamarca Sanford and Mistral Raymond haven't stood out and Andrew Sendejo is just returning from injury.

     GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame and have his jersey retired next year. Favre says it'll be an honor to have his name placed among others such Bart Starr, Curly Lambeau, Ray Nitschke and Vince Lombardi. It's been six years since Favre left the Packers.

     UNDATED (AP) - The Baltimore Orioles won a battle of division leaders last night while gaining local bragging rights.  Caleb Joseph and Nick Markakis hit solo homers before the Birds scored three runs in the seventh and two in the eighth to beat the Nationals 7-3 in Washington. Ryan Flaherty doubled home the tying run in the seventh before Delmon Young and Adam Jones added RBI singles. Joseph capped the scoring with a two-run single for the Orioles, who took the season series 3-1 and stretched their lead in the AL East to four games over Toronto.  The Nationals top the NL East by three games over Atlanta.
     Elsewhere in the majors:
     - The L.A. Angels blanked the Dodgers 5-0 in the Freeway Series. Garrett Richards improved to 12-4 by outdueling Zack Greinke. Richards tossed a five-hitter, striking out nine for his first career shutout. Josh Hamilton hit his eighth homer. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols had RBI doubles in a four-run first inning.
     - Derek Norris singled up the middle with two outs and the bases loaded in the 10th inning against former Oakland closer Grant Balfour, and the Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Monday night. The AL West-leading A's remain one game ahead of the Los Angeles Angels.
     - Max Scherzer was unable to become the majors' first 14-game winner of the year, allowing two runs and nine hits in seven innings of Detroit's 2-1 loss to the Yankees in New York. Both runs off Scherzer came in the third inning as Jacoby Ellsbury lifted a sacrifice fly before Brian McCann's RBI single put the Yanks ahead 2-0.
     - The Giants picked up their fourth victory in five games by rallying from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to beat the Mets 4-3 in New York. Pablo Sandoval had the big hits, delivering a two-run double in the third inning and a tiebreaking, RBI double with two out in the ninth. Hunter Pence went 2-for-5 and finished the series with two doubles, two triples, two homers and seven RBIs, helping the Giants take three of four at Citi Field.
     - Corey Kluber pitched well in Cleveland's 7-1 romp over Cincinnati, holding the Reds to a run and six hits while striking out seven in 7 1/3 innings. Kluber led the Indians to their fourth straight win and improved to 12-6 with a 2.55 ERA. Lonnie Chisenhall hit a three-run homer and Yan Gomes added a two-run blast to help the Indians pull within 2  1/2 games of Toronto for the second AL wild-card berth.
     - The Chicago White Sox beat Texas 5-3 in a game called by rain after 6  1/2 innings. Jose Abreu snapped out of his two-game hitting streak by going 2-for-3 with a two-run single. Tyler Flowers hit a solo homer and the tiebreaking, two-run single as the White Sox handed the Rangers the 20th loss in their last 23 road games.

     UNDATED (AP) - The Washington Nationals have placed backup outfielder Nate McLouth on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. McLouth is hitting .179 with one homer and seven RBI's in 79 games, including 33 starts.  Washington filled the roster spot by recalling outfielder Steven Souza Jr. from Triple-A Syracuse. Souza is leading the International League with a .354 average and went 1-for-8 in a previous stint with the Nats this year.
     In other major league news:
     - Giants pitcher Matt Cain will have season-ending surgery next week to remove bone chips in his right elbow. The 29-year-old Cain hasn't pitched since July 9 after opening the season 2-7 with a 4.18 ERA.
     - Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka had a pain-free throwing session Monday, making 25 throws from 60 feet. It was his first action since being sidelined in early July with a small tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
     - Javier Baez will join the Chicago Cubs Tuesday in Colorado and could make his major league debut in the three-game series against the Rockies. The 21-year-old middle infielder hit .300 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs in his last 32 games for Triple-A Iowa.
     - The Mets have cut 40-year-old outfielder Bobby Abreu, who was hitless in his last 22 at-bats as a pinch-hitter. The Mets called up Kirk Nieuwenhuis from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace Abreu.

     UNDATED (AP) - The Cincinnati Bengals have made Andy Dalton one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league. Dalton has signed a six-year extension after passing for more than 3,000 yards in each of his three NHL seasons. Multiple reports say the contract is worth up to $115 million.  Dalton led the Bengals to an 11-5 record and AFC North title in 2013, setting career highs with 33 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions.
     Meanwhile, in the northern end of Ohio, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon returned to training camp and practiced Monday as his appeal hearing with the NFL took place for a second day in New York. Gordon ended his workout earlier than his teammates so he could participate in the hearing via teleconference with his legal team. They are fighting his potential one-year suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. The 23-year-old was suspended two games last season but still led the league in yards receiving despite playing in 14 games and with three quarterbacks.
     Also in the NFL:
     - New York Giants running back David Wilson will be forced to retire after just two NFL seasons because of a back injury. The Giants' first-round pick in the 2012 draft underwent fusion surgery to repair vertebrae and a herniated disk in his neck in January. Wilson caught a pass in practice last week and ran with his head down into the back of an offensive lineman, a hit that caused numbness in his hands and lower extremities.
     - New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has announced that Geno Smith will start over Michael Vick at quarterback in the team's preseason opener Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts. Smith is looking to retain the starting job in his second season after taking about 80 percent of the snaps with the first-team offense during training camp.
     - Prosecutors have agreed to drop charges against Denver Broncos safety T.J. Ward in exchange for community service. Ward previously pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault and disturbing the peace charges for allegedly throwing a glass mug at a female bartender at PT's All Nude Club in May.
     - The Jacksonville Jaguars have activated cornerback Alan Ball from the physically unable to perform list. He missed the first week of training camp with an ankle injury sustained during minicamp in June.

     UNDATED (AP) - The agent for Tiger Woods said in an email Monday that it's too early for doctors to decide whether the 14-time major champion can compete in the PGA Championship at Valhalla this week. Woods withdrew from the Bridgestone Invitational Sunday after jarring his surgically-repaired back while playing a shot on the par-5 second hole. The Bridgestone Invitational was only his third tournament since returning from a three-month absence following back surgery in March.
     Meanwhile, U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson says Woods' latest back injury "doesn't bode well right now" for him playing in the Ryder Cup. Watson told SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio he was watching the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational when Woods withdrew after hitting his tee shot on the ninth hole.
     Watson has said a healthy Woods would be a good addition to the team, and that he hopes the former World No. 1 can play in this week's PGA Championship.


   (Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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