BC-AP Sports Digest
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From Mack Brown to Neal Brown, college football’s coaching carousel keeps spinning. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated joins AP’s Ralph Russo to discuss the comings and goings of coaches. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast
PodcastOne Sports Now co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg discuss the latest doings in the NFL, the upcoming heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury and the college football season coming into sharper focus. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
FBC--T25-SEC CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
ATLANTA — When Alabama beat Georgia almost 10 months ago, a rematch seemed inevitable. Now it’s here, and at the same place. They meet Saturday with an SEC championship and College Football Playoff berth at stake. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — No. 17 Utah takes on No. 10 Washington in the Pac-12 title game with a spot in the Rose Bowl on the line. This is a big step for the Utes, who moved from the Mountain West Conference to the Pac-12 in 2011. By Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — Deontay Wilder has waited a decade for the shot at worldwide fame and fortune he is getting Saturday night at Staples Center. He faces Britain’s unbeaten Tyson Fury in the biggest heavyweight title fight in years. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 8 p.m.
NEW YORK — Cubs shortstop Addison Russell and Brewers second baseman Jonathan Schoop are among the players who could become free agents as the deadline approaches for teams to offer 2019 contracts to players on their 40-man rosters. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. Deadline 8 p.m. UPCOMING: 700 words by 10 p.m.
The NHL will soon have 32 teams if Seattle is approved as expected next week. By the league might not be stopping there: Quebec City and Houston are among those waiting and European expansion is possible down the road. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 750 words, photos.
Turn back the clock to September. What do you see if you root for the Colts, Texans, Seahawks? Losing, little hope. Now, Houston leads the AFC South, with Indianapolis in pursuit. Seattle has stamped itself an NFC wild-card contender and an opponent most teams want to avoid. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 950 words, photos. For weekend use.
FBC--T25-PAUL NEWBERRY-WHAT IF BAMA LOSES?
ATLANTA — If Alabama wins the SEC championship, the Tide is off to the College Football Playoff as the No. 1 seed and an overwhelming favorite to capture its sixth national title in a decade. But what if Alabama loses to No. 4 Georgia? That’s when things get very interesting. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 6 p.m.
FBN--TIM DAHLBERG-NEW FOOTBALL LEAGUE
LAS VEGAS — It wasn’t exactly the NFL draft, though it was held in the middle of Las Vegas glitz. The only positions open were at quarterback, but even they won’t get rich soon because they will paid the same base salary as everyone else in the new Alliance of American Football league. SENT: 750 words.
SOC--ON SOCCER-COPA LIBERTADORES
South America’s soccer leaders have thrown in the towel. They are incapable of staging their biggest annual game on their own continent. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
FBC--T25-BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
ARLINGTON, Texas — When Texas celebrated its win over Oklahoma in October the Longhorns knew they could see the three-time defending Big 12 champion again. On Saturday, in a rare Red River rematch, it’s the No. 5 Sooners vs. the No. 9 Longhorns in the Big 12 title game. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 800 words, photos.
FBN--BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
INDIANAPOLIS — No. 6 Ohio State puts its Big Ten title hopes — and its playoff chance — on the line Saturday when it faces No. 19 Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game. The Buckeyes are chasing their third conference crown in five years. By Michael Marot. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
FBC--T25-ACC CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Pittsburgh fullback George Aston has felt the slights throughout his career. So he’s not surprised few give the Panthers any chance to topple No. 2 Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game Saturday night. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 800 words, photos.
— FBC--FIVE THINGS TO KNOW FOR CHAMP WEEK — By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 600 words.
— FBC--T25-AAC CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW — By Fred Goodall. SENT: 800 words, photos.
— FBC--T25-MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW — By Tim Booth. SENT: 750 words, photos.
PITTSBURGH — Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt and older brother and Chargers fullback Derek Watt go at it Sunday night when Pittsburgh hosts Los Angeles. The game will also feature identical twins Mike Pouncey (Chargers) and Maurkice Pouncey (Steelers). By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 p.m.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says a win that ended New Orleans’ 10-game winning streak changes many things for his young Dallas team. Topping the list of rising expectations, at least for now: an NFC East title. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 650 words, photos.
Miami’s Jakeem Grant has been picked by a panel of AP football writers as the NFL’s top returner, with Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill ranking second. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. SENT: 650 words, photos.
— FBN--BROWNS-BIG GAME — By Tom Withers. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
NASSAU, Bahamas — Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay share the lead entering the second round of the Hero World Challenge. Tournament host Tiger Woods is eight shots behind in the 18-player field. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— GLF--AUSTRALIAN PGA — Defending champion Cameron Smith up by a stroke halfway through Australian PGA. SENT: 150 words, photos.
— GLF--MAURITIUS OPEN — Kurt Kitayama ahead by two shots after second round of European Tour event on Indian Ocean island. SENT: 170 words.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Thunder, winners of 13 of 16, play a Hawks team featuring former University of Oklahoma star Trae Young. Young is returning to his home state for the first time as a pro. Last-place Atlanta has lost eight of 10. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
— BKN--CURRY-SHOES — 9-year-old girl helps Stephen Curry fix online shoe access. SENT: 170 words, photos.
HKN--MAPLE LEAFS-BIG THREE
TORONTO — John Tavares has reaped the rewards of playing alongside Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner in his first season with the Maple Leafs. Getting to know Toronto’s talented 21-year-olds off the ice hasn’t hurt, either. “They’re both very different, but very driven,” Tavares says. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— HKN--FLYERS-HEXTALL — Ron Hextall “stunned” Flyers fired him as general manager. SENT: 450 words, photos.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Less than two years after a Big Ten opponent called Michigan a “white-collar” team, the No. 7 Wolverines have emphatically shed that label. By Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 p.m.
MIAMI — Mike Miller helped the Miami Heat hang two NBA championship banners. He gets to show them off on Saturday. Miller is a Memphis Tigers assistant now, and it will be a sentimental moment for him when his new team plays No. 20 Texas Tech in his former home arena. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— BKC--T25-WISCONSIN-IOWA — No. 22 Wisconsin at No. 14 Iowa. By Luke Meredith. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
SOC--COPA LIBERTADORES FINAL
MADRID— The Copa Libertadores final is coming to Madrid, home to a large Argentine population. The decision to play the twice-postponed game in the Spanish capital Dec. 9 sits well with fans of River Plate and Boca Juniors. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 550 words, photos.
— SOC--AFRICAN CUP-CAMEROON STRIPPED — Poor preparations, violence cost Cameroon right to host next year’s African Cup of Nations. SENT: 450 words.
— SOC--FIFA-OFFICIAL BANNED — FIFA bans former official for four years in bribery case. SENT: 140 words.
BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal goes for his third straight World Cup downhill victory at Beaver Creek. He will be challenged by Austria’s Max Franz, winner of the season-opening downhill, Norwegian teammate Kjetil Jansrud and Switzerland’s Beat Feuz. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Race started 12:45 p.m.
Lindsey Vonn can’t bring herself to say goodbye to ski racing without one final run at her favorite course. The winningest women’s World Cup racer says she plans to come back for one more series of speed races next season at Lake Louise, Alberta. By Pat Graham. SENT: 600 words, photos.
TOKYO — The IOC orders an inquiry into the amateur boxing federation, which elected an alleged heroin trafficker as president a month ago. The federation may not contact organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics during the investigation. By Stephen Wade and Graham Dunbar. SENT: 400 words, photos.
STANFORD, Calif. — Kevin Hambly, coach of the Stanford’s women’s volleyball team, is all about detail. His players kid him about it, and the combination seems to have worked out fine. The Cardinal are 28-1 and hold the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. They begin play Friday night. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 800 words, photos.
— BKL--SPARKS-AGLER RESIGNS — Brian Agler resigns as coach of WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. SENT: 300 words, photos. UPCOMING: 450 words, photos by 5 p.m.
— BBO--DRUG REPORT — Baseball’s independent program administrator issues annual drug report. By Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 400 words by 7 p.m.
— AARON HERNANDEZ — Jail phone logs suggest Aaron Hernandez hoped to resume football career. SENT: 160 words, photos.
— BIA--RUSSIAN DOPING — Two Russian Olympic champions face doping charges in biathlon. SENT: 140 words.
— SAI--AMERICA’S CUP CHALLENGERS — Defender Team New Zealand could face as many as 11 challengers in sailing’s America’s Cup in 2021. By Steve McMorran. SENT: 350 words.
— BKN--NBA CAPSULES
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
— BKC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
Friday Time Schedule (EST)
Chicago at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Cleveland at Boston, 7 p.m.
Utah at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Washington at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Memphis at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.
Atlanta at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
Houston at San Antonio, 8 p.m.
New Orleans at Miami, 8 p.m.
Orlando at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
Dallas at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
Denver at Portland, 10:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Washington, 7 p.m.
Anaheim at Carolina, 7:30 p.m.
Los Angeles at Calgary, 9 p.m.
St. Louis at Colorado, 9 p.m.
College Football (Top 25)
No. 10 Washington vs. No. 17 Utah, Pac-12 championship, at Santa Clara, Calif., 8 p.m.
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 9 Michigan State at Rutgers, 6 p.m.
No. 14 Iowa vs. No. 22 Wisconsin, 8 p.m.
No. 17 Texas vs. Radford, 7 p.m.
No. 21 Buffalo vs. Milwaukee at Belfast, Northern Ireland, 5:30 a.m.
No. 25 Mississippi State at Dayton, 7 p.m.