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Thursday, July 15, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Sports Briefing

BCS system to change

College football

New BCS formula: The leaders of the Bowl Championship Series will introduce a new formula today, one they hope will be less complex and more definitive and will decrease the controversy that has surrounded the championship game in three of the last four seasons.

The new formula is expected to include only results from The Associated Press poll, the coaches' poll and the computer rankings, while eliminating factors like bonus points for quality wins and strength of schedule.

The BCS was criticized last season when LSU and USC finished as co-champs, with LSU winning the BCS and USC winning the AP title.

The new formula will take effect this season. BCS officials also decided to add a fifth game to the mix, although that change won't take place until the 2006 season.

Tiller, Riley Shrine coaches: Purdue coach Joe Tiller and Oregon State coach Mike Riley will lead the all-star teams in the 80th East-West Shrine game in January.

NHL

Schedule released: The NHL released the 2004-05 schedule despite the prospect of a lockout that could wipe out some games or perhaps the season.

If the NHL and players' association resolve their differences and agree to a new collective-bargaining agreement, the league's 88th season will begin Oct. 13 when the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning play the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.

The NHL All-Star Game is Feb. 13 at Atlanta's Philips Arena.

For the first time, the league is scheduled to play 15 games in one night, March 26. The NHL went to 30 teams in 2000.

Canadiens re-sign top scorer: The Montreal Canadiens re-signed leading scorer Mike Ribeiro and forwards Niklas Sundstrom, Marcel Hossa and Steve Begin.

Ribeiro, 24, who signed a one-year, $1.55 million deal, led Montreal last season with 20 goals and 45 assists.

Gomez replaces Roenick for World Cup: Jeremy Roenick of the Philadelphia Flyers withdrew from the U.S. World Cup team because of unspecified health reasons and was replaced by Scott Gomez of the New Jersey Devils.

Tennis

Williams reaches Stanford quarterfinals: Top-seeded Venus Williams advanced to the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Lindsay Lee-Waters in Stanford, Calif.

Rusedski advances: Greg Rusedski advanced to the quarterfinals of the Mercedes-Benz Cup in Stuttgart, Germany.

Rusedski ran his winning streak to seven matches with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) victory over Karol Beck.

Top-seeded Rainer Schuettler lost to Radek Stepanek, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-2.

Soccer

Earthquakes 3, Timbers 0: In Portland, Ronnie Ekelund scored on a first-half penalty kick and Ramiro Corrales and Dwayne De Rosario had second-half goals to lead the San Jose Earthquakes over the Portland Timbers in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Paraguay, Costa Rica win: Paraguay beat world champion Brazil 2-1 to top its group and set up a quarterfinal against Uruguay at soccer's Copa America. Costa Rica claimed the last quarterfinal spot with an injury-time victory over Chile, 2-1.

D.C. United 1, Nottingham Forest 1: Freddy Adu, 14, scored on a penalty kick in a shootout that D.C. United won 4-3 after playing Nottingham Forest to a 1-1 tie.

Zagorakis released by AEK Athens: Theo Zagorakis, player of the tournament after his Greece team won Euro 2004 this month, was released by financially troubled AEK Athens.

WNBA

At Minnesota 66, Connecticut 63: Rookie Nicole Ohlde scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Minnesota.

A Lynx-record crowd of 16,227 cheered Connecticut rookie Lindsay Whalen — former University of Minnesota star — after every basket. Whalen led the Sun with a career-high 18 points.

At Fever 70, Comets 62: Kelly Miller scored 18 points and Stephanie White had 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds to lead Indiana.

Auto racing

"Fatback" finished: Joe Gibbs Racing said Michael "Fatback" McSwain is out as crew chief of the No. 18 Chevrolet driven by Bobby Labonte.

McSwain became Labonte's crew chief in December 2002. Labonte finished eighth in points last year, with two wins. After 18 races this season, he is sixth with no wins.

Seattle Times news services

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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