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NCAAF

Notre Dame clinches spot in National Championship

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish remain on top of the Associated Press college football rankings following a victory on Saturday against the USC Trojans. The Irish completed the season 12-0 and secured a berth in the BCS National Championship game with their win this weekend.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is no stranger to playing in an NCAA national championship. Kelly won two NCAA Division II championships (2002-2003) while he was head coach at Grand Valley State in Michigan.

Defensively, senior linebacker Manti Te’o leads the Irish with 101 tackles, and is a candidate for the Heisman Trophy.

Auburn’s Chizik fired after after four years

After coaching at Auburn University for four seasons and leading them to a BCS National Championship win, Gene Chizik was fired on Sunday as head coach of the Tigers. Chizik went 14-0 in 2010 with the talent of quarterback Cam Newton and averaged 41.2 points per game in the powerful SEC conference. 

Following Newton’s departure, the team collapsed and compiled a mediocre 8-5 record in 2011 and continued its free fall to 3-9 this season.

The call to fire Chizik came after a shutout in the season finale against in-state rival Alabama. The Crimson Tide defeated the Tigers 49-0, the worst loss for Auburn in that series since 1948.

NFL

Steelers’ Roethlisberger likely to return next week 

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may be close to returning from rib and shoulder injuries that he incurred earlier this season.

Roethlisberger’s injury has left the quarterback job to Byron Leftwich, who has a completion percentage of 47.2 percent in the two games he has played this season. The Steelers so far have been 1-2 without Roethlisberger, losing to the Baltimore Ravens by a field goal and to the Cleveland Browns by 6 points. 

The team’s sole win without the veteran starter came against the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime, which was the same game in which he was injured.

Sources at ESPN.com say that Roethlisberger is likely to return on Sunday in the Steelers’ rematch against the Baltimore Ravens.

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