COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri needs replacements at quarterback and for the pass rush. After matching the school record with 12 wins capped by a Cotton Bowl triumph, nobody doubts coach Gary Pinkel is up for the task. The move to the SEC stopped looking like a mistake several months ago. Now, it’s a program to be reckoned with, even though there’ll be seven new starters on defense next fall and many of the top contributors on offense won’t be back, either.
UNDATED. (AP) — Arizona is No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll for the fifth straight week, but for the first time in that span there are changes in the Top 25. The Wildcats (15-0) were still a runaway No. 1, with Syracuse, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State remaining the next four teams. No. 25 Kansas State moved into the rankings for the first time this season.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — No. 18 Kansas is set to begin its pursuit of a 10th consecutive Big 12 title with a trip to Oklahoma tomorrow night. It’s the first stop in a five-game meat-grinder against teams that are a combined 60-8 this season, a stretch that could decide early on whether Kansas is a contender. After playing Oklahoma, the Jayhawks face No. 25 Kansas State, ninth-ranked Iowa State, No. 11 Oklahoma State and seventh-ranked Baylor — all at home but the Sooners and the Cyclones.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals added an outfield prospect to the 40-man roster, claiming 22-year-old Rafael Ortega on waivers from the Texas Rangers. The left-handed hitting Ortega, of Venezuela, was designated for assignment by Texas on Dec. 30. Ortega batted .228 for Double-A Tulsa last year with one home run, 10 RBIs and nine steals in 13 attempts before a season-ending leg injury in late June. The Cardinals have one spot remaining on the roster.