Pac-12 football championship game moving to Las Vegas

The Pac-12 announced Wednesday that the conference’s football championship game will leave the Bay Area for Las Vegas.

Starting in 2020, the title game will be played at the Raiders’ new stadium, a move the conference hopes will boost interest.

About half of the announced crowd of 35,134 showed up to Levi’s Stadium to watch Washington beat Utah in last year’s championship game, and thousands stayed for the Huskies’ trophy presented and booed Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.

“We’ve always envisioned taking this crown jewel event to other major markets around our footprint,” Scott said at Wednesday’s Pac-12 media day in Los Angeles about the two-year deal.

The final Pac-12 championship game in Santa Clara is Dec. 6, ending a six-year run.

— Rusty Simmons

• Scott said Fox and conference athletic directors are in talks about 9 a.m. Pacific time and 10 a.m. Mountain kickoffs for some games, to align with the key 12 p.m. Eastern time slot.

• Utah was selected as the favorite to win the Pac-12 in the annual preseason poll of media members.

Utah got 12 of 35 votes to win the Pac-12 for the first time since joining the conference in 2011. Oregon received 11 votes and defending champion Washington had 10.

Oregon edged Washington by one point to take the North Division, followed by Stanford and Washington State.

The Utes are the overwhelming choice in the South. USC picked up the other two first-place votes. Arizona State and UCLA tied for third.


Gooden arrested,

2nd time of late

Former New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden was arrested again in New Jersey on Monday night, this time on charges of driving while intoxicated.

Gooden was pulled over after driving the wrong way down a one-way road, Newark police said. It was the second time in two months that he has been arrested.

Gooden, 54, was charged with drug possession charges after two plastic baggies allegedly containing cocaine were found in his car during a traffic stop in Holmdel last month.

Obituary: Don Mossi, a left-handed pitcher who won 101 games in over a decade as a major-leaguer and was an All-Star for the Indians in 1957, died in Nampa, Idaho. He was 90.

NHL: The Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues hired Marc Savard, 43, as an assistant coach. He played 13 years in the NHL.

• The Calgary Flames and forward Sam Bennett avoided arbitration, agreeing to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $2.55 million.

WNBA: Kristi Toliver scored a season-high 32 points, Elena Delle Donne reached 3,500 career points and the visiting Washington Mystics beat the Minnesota Lynx 79-71. … Jasmine Thomas had 18 points and seven assists and the host Connecticut Sun beat the New York Liberty 70-63.

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