Heisman Winner Marcus Mariota Says He's Going To The NFL

Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota has declared his eligibility for the NFL draft. The Ducks quarterback announced on Oregon's website on Wednesday that he would forgo his senior season. The school said he filed paperwork on Wednesday, a day before the NFL deadline. Mariota was the humble leader of Oregon's high-flying offense. The 13-2 Ducks defeated Florida State in the Rose Bowl in college football's first playoffs, but fell 42-20 to Ohio State in Monday night's national championship game. Mariota won every major award he qualified for, starting with the Heisman Trophy, as well as AP Player of the Year and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. He set a conference record for most touchdowns in a single season with 58. (AP) – January 15, 2015

Oregon DE Arik Armstead Declares For NFL Draft

Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead has declared his eligibility for the NFL draft. The school's website announced that Armstead filed paperwork to make in official Tuesday. The 6-foot-8, 290-pound junior said in a statement that he's ready to test himself at the next level. Armstead started all 13 games he appeared in this season for the Ducks, and was second on the team with 5 ½ tackles for loss. In Monday's national championship loss to Ohio State, he had a career-high nine tackles and recovered a fumble by Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones that led to a third-quarter field goal. Armstead is the first Oregon player with eligibility left to declare for the draft, scheduled to start April 30. Other Oregon players who were considering leaving early for the pros include quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back Byron Marshall. EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – January 15, 2015

Jordan's Double-Double Helps Clippers Beat Blazers, 100-94

Jamal Crawford scored 25 points, DeAndre Jordan had 17 points and 18 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Portland 100-94 on Wednesday night. Crawford scored the go-ahead basket on a 3-pointer with 3:55 remaining as the Clippers (26-13) came back from a six-point deficit. It was Los Angeles' second win over Portland (30-9) this season and ended the Trail Blazers' four-game winning streak. Chris Paul had 23 points and 10 assists and Blake Griffin scored 18 points for the Clippers. LaMarcus Aldridge had 37 points and 12 rebounds for Portland. Aldridge, who missed his season high by two points, went 14 of 28 from the floor. Damian Lillard had 15 points, while Chris Kaman had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers. PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – January 15, 2015

Packers Prep For Hawks

sherman 25Seattle's Richard Sherman may have more to do this time against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers didn't throw in the standout cornerback's direction when the teams met in the season opener in September, a 36-16 win for the Seahawks. The game plan for the rematch on Sunday in the NFC title game is still in flux. Still, the offense seems better equipped this time to face Sherman and Seattle's swarming defense.

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New Playoff Draws Larger TV Audience For Title Game

The new College Football Playoff succeeded in drawing a larger television audience to the championship game. Ohio State's 42-20 victory over Oregon on Monday averaged nearly 33.4 million viewers on ESPN. The network said Tuesday that's up 31 percent from the almost 25.6 million for Florida State's win over Auburn last year in the final title game of the BCS era. The biggest audience for the four championships that had aired on ESPN was 27.3 million for the 2011 matchup between Auburn and Oregon. The 18.2 rating Monday was the second-highest for a title game, behind the massive 21.7 for the 2006 classic between Texas and Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl. The two semifinals had already drawn more viewers than any of the four championships on ESPN, making for the largest audiences in cable TV history before Monday's game. Ratings represent the percentage of homes with TVs tuned to a program. ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – January 14, 2015