Here is a look at some of the big sports stories making news today, Monday, Oct. 20.
A real SEC look to the poll
The SEC continues to dominate the new Associated Press Top-25 poll. Four of the top-five spots are SEC schools this week with all four schools coming from the western conference.
Mississippi State stayed No. 1 after a weekend off, followed by Florida State of the Atlantic Coast Conference. From there, it’s all SEC, with Mississippi third, Alabama fourth and Auburn fifth.
Thirty times since 2001, a conference has placed three teams in the top five of the AP Top 25. The SEC had done it 16 times since 2009.
Rounding out the Top-10 this week are Oregon, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Georgia and TCU.
Light Sunday card on ice
The New York Rangers have set a club record while earning their second straight win since a three-game skid.
Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash scored four seconds apart in the second period of the Rangers’ 4-0 shutout of San Jose. It set a team mark for the fastest two goals without one being an empty-netter.
Nash already has seven goals in six games this season.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 33 shots in his 51st career shutout, extending his team record.
Elsewhere on ice:
Anaheim picked up its fifth straight win as Sami Vatanen scored a pair of power-play goals in a 3-0 shutout of St. Louis. Frederik Andersen made 16 of his 28 saves in the final period to preserve his first career shutout.
Los Angeles has a four-game winning streak after Jonathan Quick made 40 saves and Tyler Toffoli had a goal and an assist in the Kings’ 2-1 triumph over Minnesota. Tanner Pearson’s goal put the Kings ahead 2-0 three minutes into the third period.
Calgary was a 4-1 winner at Winnipeg as Mason Raymond had a goal and two assists. Johnny Gaudreau and Dennis Wideman each had a goal and an assist to support Jonas Hiller’s 34-save effort.
A look at some of the big newsmakers from Sunday’s NFL action
DeMarco Murray ran for 128 yards and Tony Romo threw for three touchdowns in the Cowboys’ sixth straight win, 31-21 over the New York Giants. Murray became the first player in NFL history to have at least 100 yards in his first seven games of a season, breaking Jim Brown’s 56-year-old record. Murray also scored on a one-yard plunge that put the Cowboys ahead 28-14 in the final period. The Cowboys are 6-1 for the first time since their 12-1 start in 2007. Eli Manning had three touchdown passes for the Giants, who are 3-4 following back-to-back losses to division rivals.
The Rams used a heavy dose of trickery in a surprising 28-26 win over Seattle. Punter Johnny Hekker’s pass from the St. Louis 18 caught the Seattle Seahawks by surprise for the last of three big plays. Stedman Bailey had a 90-yard touchdown on a trick return that fooled the Seahawks into thinking another player was going to catch the punt. Benny Cunningham’s 75-yard kickoff return set up an early touchdown for the 2-4 Rams. The defending Super Bowl champs fell to 3-3 despite Russell Wilson, who rushed for 106 yards on seven carries and also passed for two touchdowns while going 23 for 36 for 313 yards.
Carson Palmer threw two touchdown passes in his return to Oakland and finished with 253 yards in Arizona’s 24-13 victory over the Raiders. Stepfan Taylor caught one touchdown and ran for another to help the Cardinals improve to 5-1, their best start since 1976. Andre Ellington gained 160 yards from scrimmage against the 0-6 Raiders. Oakland is off to its worst start since dropping their first 13 games in 1962, the year before late owner Al Davis joined the franchise.
Elvis Dumervi and Pernell McPhee each had two sacks and Baltimore’s defense didn’t allow a point over the first 3 1/2 quarters of a 29-7 win over Atlanta. Joe Flacco threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns, including a game-clinching, 39-yard TD pass to Torrey Smith with 1:46 left. Ryan lost a fumble and completed 29 of 44 passes for 228 yards as the Falcons sunk to 2-5 while the Ravens moved to 5-2.
Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes and the Green Bay Packers reached the end zone on their first three possessions on the way to a 38-17 romp over Carolina. Rodgers had 255 passing yards in just over three quarters, with Randall Cobb making six receptions for 121 yards and a TD. Jordy Nelson opened the scoring with a 59-yard scoring grab for the 5-2 Packers, who dropped the Panthers to 3-3-1.
Cincinnati is 0-2-1 since a 3-0 start after Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes and Ahmad Bradshaw scored two TDs in the Colts’ fifth straight win, 27-0 over the Bengals at Indianapolis. Luck finished 27 of 42 for 344 yards for the Colts, who rolled up 506 total yards and caused the Bengals to punt a team record-tying 11 times. The Bengals were shut out for the first time since the end of the 2009 season.
Kansas City is 3-3 after Cairo Santos kicked a 48-yard field goal with 21 seconds left to give the Chiefs a 23-20 triumph at San Diego. Alex Smith completed three straight passes for 53 yards on the winning drive, including a 29-yarder to Dwayne Bowe. Jamaal Charles scored once and gained 95 yards to give him 6,113 for his career, moving him to the top of Kansas City’s career list. Philip Rivers was 17 of 31 for 205 yards and two touchdowns for the 5-2 Chargers, who ended a five-game winning streak.
Keselowski wins at Talladega
Brad Keselowski pulled away in overtime at Talladega Superspeedway for one of the biggest wins of his career, giving him an automatic berth into the third round of NASCAR’s Chase for the championship.
Keselowski had to win at Talladega to stay alive in the Sprint Cup title hunt. It was the sixth win of the season for the 2012 Sprint Cup champion.
The Hendrick Motorsports trio of Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne all were eliminated from contention. Kyle Busch could not recover from an early wreck and also was eliminated from the Chase.
Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth also advanced.
Martin wins first career title
Ben Martin is the winner of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, finishing two shots ahead of Kevin Streelman.
Martin took the lead with an eagle on 16 and birdied the final hole for a 3-under-par 68 and a 20-under total. It’s his first PGA title after recording three third-place finishes last year. Martin was on the Web.com Tour in 2012 and 2013.
Streelman fired a 6-under 65 to move ahead of Russell Knox for second at 18-under.
Webb Simpson, Brooks Koepka and Jimmy Walker tied for fourth.
Haas wins in North Carolina
Jay Haas finished two shots in front of Joe Durant and Kirk Triplett to win the Champions Tour event in Conover, North Carolina. Haas shot a final round 5-under-66 to finish 17 shots under par. Both Durant and Triplett also closed out play with a 66. David Frost finished four shots off the winning pace of Haas.
A South Korean wins in South Korea
Kyu Jung Baek of South Korea has won a three-way playoff to claim the LPGA’s KEB-HanaBank Championship. Baek shot a final-round 67 to finish tied at 10-under 278 with Brittany Lincicome of the U.S. and compatriot In Gee Chun. She then won the first playoff hole.