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Stetson Bennett has a new world of doubters to disprove. After winning a second consecutive national championship at Georgia, the 25-year-old quarterback is now facing questions about his NFL draft qualifications. Bennett (5-11, 190) is seen as undersized and lacking elite arm strength —the same questions he faced when he walked on at Georgia in 2017. After leaving for junior college and returning to win back-to-back titles, including Monday night's 65-7 rout of Texas Christian University, Bennett is being excluded from the list of top quarterback prospects in the April NFL draft.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — When Georgia cornerback Javon Bullard left Texas Christian University wide receiver Derius Davis all alone for a 60-yard catch in the first quarter, it seemed as if the Bulldogs’ secondary was in for another long night. Instead, led by Bullard’s standout performance that earned him defensive most valuable player honors, the defensive backs for Georgia smothered quarterback Max Duggan, wide receiver Quentin Johnston and the Horned Frog's high-octane passing game on Monday night.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Georgia was No. 1 in the final Associated Press Top 25 college football poll, becoming the 12th back-to-back national champion in the history of the rankings after routing Texas Christian University on Monday night. The Horned Frogs were No. 2, their best final rankings since the 2010 season. Michigan was No. 3, followed by Ohio State and Alabama. Georgia received all 63 first-place votes in the poll.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Stetson Bennett flashed a wry grin as he walked off the field, stopping to hug coach Kirby Smart as the crowd roared. It was all standing ovations and sideline snacks in the fourth quarter of college football’s most lopsided title game.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Texas Christian University's dream run turned into a nightmare Monday night. All of the strengths that helped carry Texas Christian to the College Football Playoff championship game were quickly taken away by Georgia in a 65-7 loss in Inglewood, Calif. Quarterback Max Duggan was under pressure most of the night, the defense was unable to keep the Bulldogs out of the end zone in the first half and three first-half turnovers contributed to Georgia opening a 38-7 lead at halftime.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Bills safety Damar Hamlin said he returned to Buffalo on Monday “with a lot of love on my heart” to continue his recovery in a hospital there, a week after going into cardiac arrest and having to be resuscitated on the field during a game in Cincinnati. Hamlin was discharged from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in the morning and flown to western New York. He was listed in stable condition at Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute. “I can confirm that he is doing well. And this is the beginning of the next stage of his recovery,” said Dr. William Knight, one of his doctors in Cincinnati.

ATLANTA (AP) — Arthur Smith saw a glimpse of the Atlanta Falcons' future, with an offense featuring rookies Desmond Ridder, Tyler Allgeier and Drake London. That vision gave Smith, the Falcons' second-year coach, confidence that this year's 7-10 finish provides far more hope than his debut season, when Atlanta finished with the same record. “It's a much different year,” Smith said after Sunday's 30-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees announced his retirement on Monday, one day after completing his second season with the team. Pees, 73, is ending a 50-year career in football. He previously coached 16 years in the National Football League, including a combined 12 seasons as the defensive coordinator at Tennessee (2018-19), Baltimore (2012-17) and New England (2006-09).

ATLANTA (AP) — Greg Beadles was named Atlanta Falcons president Monday as part of several changes in team owner Arthur Blank's family business management team. Longtime Falcons executive Rich McKay, who was hired by Blank as general manager in 2004 and was named team president in 2011, has been named CEO of the Falcons and Blank's Sports and Entertainment portfolio, which also includes the MLS' Atlanta United and Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The NFL's Week 18 saved its best drama for the final game of the weekend. The Detroit Lions — eliminated from playoff contention earlier Sunday when the Seahawks beat the Rams — pushed past their disappointment and played the role of a spoiler, rallying to beat Green Bay 20-16 on Sunday night. The win denied quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers a spot in the postseason. Instead of Green Bay, it's the Seahawks who will be the No. 7 seed in the NFC. They'll travel to face division rival San Francisco in next weekend's wild-card round.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Trae Young scored 30 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Clippers 112-108 on Sunday night, sending reeling Los Angeles to its season-worst sixth-straight loss. De’Andre Hunter added 20 points for the Hawks, who blew a 17-point, first-half lead before rallying from 11 points down in the fourth to pull out the win. “We just got to keep building on it. We can't take no steps back,” Hunter said.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Georgia coach Kirby Smart was part of college football's greatest dynasty as an assistant for Nick Saban at Alabama and now is on the verge of launching his own. After going through the Crimson Tide last season to win Georgia's first national title in 41 years, Smart's top-ranked Bulldogs are back in the College Football Playoff championship game Monday night against No. 3 Texas Christian University (13-1).

ATLANTA (AP) — Desmond Ridder had almost a full season to plan how he would celebrate his first touchdown pass. After finally throwing the long-awaited TD in the final game of the regular season, Ridder forgot all those plans. Luckily, veteran running back Cordarrelle Patterson had Ridder's back and remembered to grab the ball for the Atlanta Falcons rookie. Ridder's first two touchdown passes powered the Falcons to a 30-17 win over the playoff-bound Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday after Tom Brady added to his imposing list of records.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Nyheim Hines ignited an emotionally charged atmosphere celebrating injured Bills safety Damar Hamlin by returning two kickoffs for touchdowns, and Buffalo clinched the AFC’s second playoff seed with a 35-23 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday. The loss, coupled with Miami beating the New York Jets, eliminated the Patriots (8-9) from the playoffs for the second time in three years, and just the fourth time in 23 seasons during Bill Belichick’s coaching tenure.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Sonny Dykes needed only about five minutes with Joe Gillespie to know that he wanted the defensive coordinator who wields an atypical 3-3-5 base scheme on his staff at Texas Christian University. While utilizing the unorthodox lineup with three linemen, three linebackers and five defensive backs, the Horned Frogs have played fast and free all the way to the national championship game in Dykes' first season as their head coach.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is breathing on his own and able to talk after having his breathing tube removed, his agent said Friday — the latest step in his remarkable recovery in the four days since going into cardiac arrest and being resuscitated on the field during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin even joined the Bills' team meeting on Friday morning via videoconference, and told them “love you boys.”

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has begun to communicate in writing with his family and others who have been at his bedside since he went into cardiac arrest three days ago — and his first question was, “Did we win?” his doctors said Thursday. “The answer is yes, Damar, you won. You’ve won the game of life." Dr. Timothy Pritts told reporters in a conference call from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Hamlin was rushed after collapsing and being resuscitated on the field during the Bills' game against the Bengals on Monday night.

The NFL said Thursday it will not resume the Bills-Bengals game that was suspended Monday night after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the field. The league said some of the factors in coming to its decision included that “not playing the Buffalo-Cincinnati game to its conclusion will have no effect on which clubs qualify for the postseason. No club would qualify for the postseason and no club will be eliminated based on the outcome of this game.”

STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Andrei Savrasov scored 18 points as Georgia Southern beat Marshall 81-76 on Thursday night. Savrasov also had three steals for the Eagles (10-6). Jalen Finch added 17 points while going 7 of 12 and 2 of 4 from the free throw line, and he also had eight assists. Tai Strickland shot 5 of 7 from the field and 2 for 5 from the line to finish with 13 points.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jose Placer buried a 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining and finished with 32 points to send North Florida to an 89-86 victory over Kennesaw State on Thursday night. Placer had a big night from beyond the arc for the Ospreys (7-8, 2-1 Atlantic Sun Conference), as he connected on 10 of his 15 3-point attempts. Jarius Hicklen add 16 points, while Carter Hendricksen scored 10.

MONROE, La. (AP) — Tyreke Locure had 25 points in University of Louisiana-Monroe's 66-58 victory over Georgia State on Thursday night. Locure had six rebounds for the Warhawks (7-9). Jamari Blackmon scored 14 points while going 6 of 17 (2 for 8 from distance) and added four steals. Thomas Howell recorded 13 points and finished 6 of 11 from the field.

The Masters expanded its reach to elite amateurs on Thursday when it offered a special invitation to NCAA champion Gordon Sargent, the first time in more than 20 years an amateur received such an invitation. Augusta National also awarded a special invitation to Kazuki Higa, who won four times on the Japan Golf Tour and captured the money list last year.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has shown what physicians treating him are calling “remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours,” the team announced Thursday, three days after the player went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field. “While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact,” the Bills said in a statement. “His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress.”

KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — This exclusive field of champions might be the most anticipated event of the year. And it's nowhere near the Pacific shores along Kapalua. The Masters Club is the formal name of the annual dinner Tuesday night at Augusta National during the Masters in April, and the guest list is restricted to Masters champions and Chairman Fred Ridley.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — De’Andre Hunter and John Collins each scored 22 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Sacramento Kings 120-117 on Wednesday night to end a four-game slide. “Feels great,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “That’s what we have been talking about. We have to close out games and make plays down the stretch.” Collins also grabbed 12 rebounds as Atlanta bounced back after losing 143-141 in double overtime at Golden State on Monday night. Trae Young and Dejounte Murray each scored 21 points.

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