In the news:
No. 2 Oregon faces No. 6 Stanford with much on the line again
Oregon, Stanford meet again for Pac-12 supremacy
The matchup between Oregon and Stanford the past three seasons has been billed as the biggest game of the year on the West Coast, a de facto Pac-12 title game and national semifinal.
What it also has been is a spoiler.
In each of the past three years, the loser was handed its only regular-season defeat and would’ve surely played in the BCS championship game otherwise. The winner went on to claim the Pac-12 title.
The stakes are just as high this season. The stage is even bigger. When No. 2 Oregon (8-0, 5-0) visits sixth-ranked Stanford (7-1, 5-1) in prime time Thursday night (6 p.m., ESPN), one team will announce itself as the best in the West and the other will watch its championship dreams wither away again.
Even the so-called smart kids are rearranging their schedules for this one.
“The people that I’ve seen around campus, they’ve all said, ‘I’m not going to class on Thursday at all. I’m getting ready for this tailgate,’ ” Stanford safety Ed Reynolds said. “The campus is excited. They realize what this game means to this campus and this school, and I’m expecting a nice little rowdy crowd.”
Also, Stanford will retire John Elway’s iconic No. 7 jersey at halftime. He will join Jim Plunkett (No. 16) and Ernie Nevers (No. 1) as the only players whose jerseys have been enshrined by the program.
UConn says ex-coach knew of sexual-assault complaint
Former Connecticut football coach Paul Pasqualoni said he was never told that one of his players had been accused of sexually assaulting a woman on campus.
UConn Police Chief Barbara O’Connor said the school notified the athletic department of the incident in June.
Rosemary Richi, a junior, says she was raped by a football player in September 2011, and is one of four women who last week sued the university in federal court, alleging the school violated their rights by failing to properly respond to their accusations.
San Diego’s Renteria set to become Cubs’ manager
The Chicago Cubs are set to hire San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria as their manager, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the hiring has not been announced. The team was expected to make it official on Thursday.
The move ends a long search that began with the last-place Cubs targeting New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, only to be denied a shot when he decided to stay put.
Instead, the Cubs are hoping Renteria can help develop their young players and lead them to their first championship since 1908. He replaces Dale Sveum, who was fired after two seasons.
The Cubs went 66-96 this season and finished at the bottom of the NL Central.
Ortiz gets sixth Silver Slugger
World Series MVP David Ortiz has won his sixth Silver Slugger award as the top designated hitter in voting by major-league managers and coaches.
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera and Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer each were selected for the fifth time.
Silver Slugger awards are given to the top offensive player at each position.
Rays, DeJesus agree to deal
Outfielder David DeJesus has agreed to a $10.5 million, two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The deal announced Wednesday calls for a $250,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.25 million next season and $5 million in 2015. The Rays have a $5 million option for 2016 with a $1 million buyout.
• Omar Cummings scored in the 104th minute to help the Houston Dynamo advance to the MLS Eastern Conference finals with a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls.
The Dynamo moved on with an aggregate score of 4-3.
Bradley Wright-Phillips scored in the 23rd minute to give New York a 1-0 lead before Brad Davis tied it for Houston in the 36th minute.
In the other Eastern Conference semifinal, Claudio Bieler scored in the 23rd minute of overtime, capping Sporting Kansas City’s 3-1 win over the New England Revolution and giving Sporting K.C. the series victory.
Defenders Aurelien Collin and Seth Sinovic also scored for Sporting Kansas City, which will open the conference finals against Houston on Saturday.
• Ryan Riess, a 23-year-old poker pro from Michigan, won the World Series of Poker main event late Tuesday in Las Vegas, claiming the $8.4 million title after pushing past Jay Farber, his last opponent in a brief, dramatic match.
The world’s newest poker champion started hustling his friends in basement games when he was a kid.
Riess also vowed to get a tattoo of the two cards that brought him victory, but after the confetti burst onto the ESPN stage at the Rio hotel-casino, he began reconsidering that pledge.
The gangly, strawberry-blond poker pro says he started playing $10 home games at 14, after seeing amateur Chris Moneymaker win the main event.
Since graduating from college last December, the Michigan native has been on a mission to become the world’s best poker player. He now says he’s achieved that goal.
• Lionel Messi had a pair of goals that ended a rare three-game scoreless streak, and Barcelona beat AC Milan 3-1 to clinch a berth in the second round of the Champions League.
• Rafael Nadal secured the year-end No. 1 ranking for the third time in his career with a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6) victory over Stanislas Wawrinka at the World Tour Finals in London.
• Police say Colorado Rockies co-owner Charlie Monfort had an alcohol concentration level more than three times the legal limit when he was pulled over for speeding. The Greeley Tribune reports that Monfort submitted to a breath test and recorded a breath-alcohol concentration level of 0.284.
Times staff and news services