WACO, Texas (AP) — It’ll be a second straight Saturday night in Texas for the Kansas State football players, but their thoughts are far beyond the Lone Star state. The 10-0 Wildcats will likely play for the national title if they can win their last two games, starting against Baylor. The Bears’ quarterback Robert Griffin III won the Heisman last year, and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein could follow this year.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — It’ll be Syracuse vs. Missouri for major stakes – bowl eligibility. Both teams bring 5-5 records into Columbia tonight. The Tigers will be trying to clinch an eighth straight postseason experience — and their first in the Southeastern Conference. Syracuse is coming off a big win against 11th-ranked Louisville.
CHICAGO (AP) — Hall of Famer Mike Ditka has had a minor stroke, according to an ESPN producer. Seth Markman posted on Twitter that the former Chicago Bears coach and player fell ill Friday and will not appear on the network’s NFL shows this weekend. Markman wrote that Ditka “wanted everyone to know he’s ok.” He told the Chicago Tribune he was feeling “good right now and it’s not a big deal.” He was playing cards at a suburban country club Friday when he noticed his hands “weren’t working quite right,” and he then started having difficulty speaking.
UNDATED (AP) — Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s concussion is keeping him out of the Monday’s game against the 49ers in San Francisco. Cutler took seven snaps late in the first half of Sunday’s loss to Houston after taking what the Bears say was a helmet-to-helmet hit by Tim Dobbins of the Texans, who has been fined $30,000 by the league. Jason Campbell will take Cutler’s place against the 49ers. He’s made 70 starts in his career with the Redskins and Raiders
Elsewhere around the NFL:
— San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh returned to work a day after having a minor procedure for an irregular heartbeat. The reigning NFL Coach of the Year, who turns 49 on Dec. 23, was away from the team yesterday for his procedure at Stanford Hospital.
— Eagles quarterback Michael Vick will miss Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins due to the effects of a concussion. Rookie Nick Foles, who replaced Vick during the 38-23 loss to Dallas on Sunday, and who practiced with the first team all week, will get his first NFL start in a battle of 3-6 teams fighting to save their seasons.
— Browns starting cornerback Joe Haden missed his second day of practice with an oblique injury and could be sidelined for Sunday’s game in Dallas. Cleveland’s top coverage defender got hurt during Wednesday’s workout.
— Injured Dallas running back DeMarco Murray is unlikely to return from a four-game absence Sunday against Cleveland. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett says Murray is doing more each day in recovering from a sprained right foot but is doubtful.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — Joey Logano won the pole for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday. Championship contenders Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson were not far behind. Keselowski will start third in the 400-mile race and takes a 20-point lead into the finale over five-time champion Johnson.
Keselowski only needs to finish 15th or better, or 16th or better if he leads at least one lap, and 17th or better if he leads the most laps, to win a first Cup championship for himself and team owner Roger Penske. Johnson will start 10th.