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The SEC West could be all but decided Saturday.Seems like a strong statement, but with three games involving ranked teams it is possible for the leader of the division to exit this weekend with essentially a two-game lead on all the closest contenders with three games to play.The leader will be determined in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when the top-ranked Crimson Tide (7-0, 4-0) faces No. 6 Texas A&M (6-0, 4-0). The winner will be the only undefeated team left in the Southeastern Conference and the loser will need the winner to lose twice to have a chance to win the West. Not impossible, but any plan that involves Alabama losing two of its last three SEC games seems like a bad plan.Elsewhere in the SEC West, No. 23 Mississippi (3-3, 1-2) is at No. 25 LSU (4-2, 2-1) and No. 17 Arkansas (1-2, 5-2) travels to No. 21 Auburn (4-2, 2-1). If the two Tigers take a second conference loss, the winner of A&M-Alabama will be in total command -- and there will still be more than a week until Halloween.The picks:THURSDAY NIGHT LIGHTSBYU (plus 7) at No. 14 Boise StateResume game for the Broncos as they eye a New Years Six bowl bid ... BOISE STATE 28-23.SETTLING THE SEC WESTNo. 6 Texas A&M (plus 18+) at No. 1 AlabamaAggies QB Trevor Knight already has led a team to victory against the Tide. That team was Oklahoma. Nick Sabans teams are excellent at revenge ... ALABAMA 35-20.No. 17 Arkansas (plus 10) at No. 21 AuburnFor the Tigers, who have already lost to Texas A&M, it would be better for Alabama to win the showdown in Tuscaloosa. So Roll Tide, Auburn fans ... AUBURN 28-20.No. 23 Mississippi (plus 5+) at No. 25 LSUThe Tigers still have to play A&M and Alabama. Get through this and their SEC titles hopes are very much alive ... OLE MISS 31-28, UPSET SPECIAL.COUNTDOWN TO THE GAMENo. 2 Ohio State (plus 20) at Penn StateThe Nittany Lions are hoping to have two or three linebackers return from injury ... OHIO STATE 45-21.Illinois (plus 35+) at No. 3 MichiganThe Illini should definitely be tougher than Rutgers for the Wolverines. Not necessarily tough ... MICHIGAN 48-10.UPSET ALERTSNorth Carolina State (plus 20) at No. 7 LouisvilleThe Wolfpack could not close the deal against Clemson; maybe better luck against Lamar Jackson? ... LOUISVILLE 35-17.No. 10 Wisconsin (minus 3) at IowaDespite the losses to Ohio State and Michigan, the Badgers can grab control of the Big Ten West in the next two weeks against the Hawkeyes and Nebraska ... WISCONSIN 20-14.TCU (plus 5+) at No. 12 West VirginiaThe Horned Frogs have won 12 of their last 13 coming off an open date ... WEST VIRGINA 28-24.No. 19 Utah (Off) at UCLAThe Bruins are again uncertain of the status of QB Josh Rosen (lower body/throwing shoulder); UCLA is trying to avoid being 1-4 in the Pac-12 for the first time since 2009 ... UTAH 21-17.CONFERENCE CALLSOregon State (plus 36+) at No. 5 WashingtonThe Beavers lost QB Darell Garretson (ankle) for the rest of the season ... WASHINGTON 48-7.Purdue (plus 24) at No. 8 NebraskaThe Boilermakers first game since coach Darrell Hazell was fired ... NEBRASKA 45-10, BEST BET.No. 11 Houston (minus 21) at SMUThe Cougars have won the last three meetings by an average of 39-12 ... HOUSTON 39-12.No. 16 Oklahoma (minus 13+) at Texas TechSooners RB Samaje Perine (hamstring) will miss a few weeks, which means more Joe Mixon for Oklahoma. Thats OK, but the Sooners are thin behind Mixon with only one more scholarship running back ... OKLAHOMA 45-35.Eastern Michigan (plus 23+) at No. 20 Western MichiganEMU won three straight against WMU from 2011-13; the last two seasons the Broncos have won both meetings and outscored the Eagles 109-35 ... WESTERN MICHIGAN 48-20.No. 22 North Carolina (minus 8) at VirginiaThe Cavaliers have scored more than 30 points each of their last three games ... NORTH CAROLINA 38-34.Memphis (minus 2) at No. 24 NavyThe Tigers have not missed a beat under new coach Mike Norvell ... MEMPHIS 31-24.TWITTER REQUESTSTexas (plus 3) at Kansas State -(at)BelkBroCoach Bill Snyder and the Wildcats are 8-4 against the Longhorns as members of the Big 12, so maybe a tougher conference is not the best route for Texas ... TEXAS 28-24.Miami (plus 5) at Virginia Tech, Thursday night -- (at)DABomination4The Hurricanes would be pretty much out of the ACC Coastal race if they lose a third straight game ... MIAMI 24-21.Oregon (plus 3) at California, Friday night -- (at)dpsmith5791The Ducks have lost four straight and if they are going to have any realistic chance to get to six victories and bowl eligibility, this is a must-win ... OREGON 48-45.Michigan State (minus 2+) at Maryland -- (at)vincefrilliciThe Spartans have lost four straight and if they are going to have any realistic chance to get to six victories and bowl eligibility, this is a must-win ... MICHIGAN STATE 28-21.USF (minus 6+) at Temple, Friday night -- (at)BillyBoSoxFWFFirst-place on the line in the American Athletic Conference East ... USF 31-21.---Record: Last week 14-7 straight; 9-11-1 vs. points.Season: 103-36; 65-69-3.Upset specials: 2-5.Best bets: 1-6.---Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP Cheap Richard Sherman Jersey . Manuel was offered a position the day he was fired. He accepted earlier this week and the team made the announcement Friday. 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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Like some ghost from the past, the memory of a stinging loss in the Olympic gold-medal volleyball game more than three decades ago returned just in time to save Brazils night. Without it, chances are good that both Alison Cerruti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt would have wound up on a hardwood floor instead of a sand court.Their three-set semifinal win Tuesday over the Dutch pair of Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen advanced the Brazilians into yet another gold medal final and helped soothe their countrymens nerves after Brazils top-seeded womens pair was upset in an earlier semifinal by Germany.Alisons nickname is Mammoth and its easy to see why. He stands 6-foot-8 and takes up enough space to play power forward in the NBA. Schimdts uncle, Oscar, is the greatest basketball player in Brazils history and one of the most decorated international stars of all time. He could shoot without conscience, and even if he thought defense was the interval between his last shot and the next one, he could carry a team and the hopes of an entire nation on his back, including those of his nephew.Oscar is my idol, Bruno said.The long and winding road that brought both Alison and Bruno Schmidt to the beach begins with a volleyball game that was played at the 1984 Los Angeles Games before either of them was born.In the 1980s, basketball and volleyball were like this, five-time Olympic Brazilian volleyball great Emanuel Rego explained, holding both hands palms down at his chest. Maybe basketball was a little bigger because of Oscar. ...Then came the game. It was much talked about. It changed the balance, Emanuel said, turning his right palm up, like that.That game was played at the 1984 Summer Games, pitting traditional indoor volleyball powers Brazil and the United States for gold. The two had traded trophies in international competitions with only the occasional interloper sneaking in between them. After two tight sets, the Americans cruised to a 15-2 win in the third.Soon after, beach volleyball became all the rage. Having begun in Southern California in the 1920s, it took off, according to legend, when it was played at a nudist colony outside Paris a decade later. In the years that Alison and Schmidt grew up, volleyball in the sand was just hitting its stride on both continents. Once again, the United States and Brazil locked horns.Alison, who was born in 1985, wanted to play futbol, which Brazilians like to say is more a religion than sport. When the last spot in a league he wanted to join was taken, he woundd up in one of the volleyball programs launched across the country to return Brazil to what the sporting public here viewed as its rightful place at the top.dddddddddddd.I have to thank my mother, Alison said through an interpreter. That made me a great player.Schmidt was a promising basketball talent until he was 12. But he got tired of always being Oscar Schmidts nephew, always being compared, said Luis Felipe Schmidt, Brunos father, Oscars younger brother, and a member of Brazils military teams for years.I was in the Navy and in 2004, we moved to Vittoria, where there was a big center for beach volleyball, he continued. It was fun, and not so much pressure. ... You get a ball and go to the beach, there was always a game. I used to be Brunos teammate until he became too good.Asked how uncle Oscar responded to news that his nephew was choosing volleyball, Luis shook his head.We never had a real discussion, he said. We are a basketball family, after all. But we are also a sporting family. It also helped that his uncle Tadeu (Luis youngest brother) was a good player and supporter of Brunos volleyball playing.Beach volleyball became a medal sport at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Since then, Brazils mens and womens team have won gold twice and 11 medals overall. The numbers for the United States are six and 9, respectively. The German men won gold in 2012, representative of a push by European teams like the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, as well as emerging Asian power China, to shoehorn themselves between Brazil and the United States.The Brazilians wont give ground easily, if at all. At the end of their tough three-set win over the Dutch pair, Alison fell flat on his face and lay spread-eagle in the sand for nearly a minute before rising to shake hands and hug Bruno and then their opponents.Outside the arena, Luis Schmidt accepted congratulations from several generations of Brazilian greats -- first from Emanuel, then from Bernardo Rajzman and finally a handful of officials from the national volleyball federation. He recalled the days when young Bruno left his basketball at home and sauntered down to the beach in bare feet with a volleyball stuck under his arm.Unbelievable, Luis said finally. Totally unbelievable to see him reach the position he is in today.---Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at)ap.org and Twitter.com/JimLitke. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '