BC-TX--Texas Sports Digest 1 pm, TX
Good afternoon. Here’s a look at AP’s Texas sports coverage. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP Dallas bureau at 972-991-2100, or at 1-800-442-7189. Email email@example.com
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HOUSTON _ Baylor looks for its seventh win a year after winning just one game and Vanderbilt needs a victory to reach seven wins for the first time since going 9-4 in 2013 when the Bears and Commodores meet in the Texas Bowl. By Kristie Rieken. 700 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m.
FBC--CFP--COTTON BOWL-NOTRE DAME
ARLINGTON, Texas _ Being a first-timer in the College Football Playoff has put Notre Dame back in championship contention at the end of the season for the first time since 2012 _ and that lopsided loss to Alabama after a 12-0 regular season. This 12-0 Fighting Irish team isn’t bothered by what happened then, and is only focused on its semifinal playoff chance against No. 2 Clemson in the Cotton Bowl. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING. 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
CFP-COTTON BOWL-QB SWITCHES
DALLAS _ Clemson and Notre Dame weren’t even a month into this season when they made unexpected quarterback switches while undefeated with seniors who had won a lot of games. Neither of those senior starters was even injured, but the Tigers and Fighting Irish decided to make early changes. Both teams are still without a loss and now in the College Football Playoff. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 850 words, photos.
FBC-CFP-COTTON BOWL WILKINS
ARLINGTON, Texas _ Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins is a rare four-year college football star and the leader of the second-ranked Tigers. Wilkins is equally adept at keeping things light and making sure the Tigers don’t lose their edge. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. Upcoming: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
_ T25-CFP-SEMIFINALS-THE LATEST. With photos.
PHOENIX _ TCU swapped kickers after California called a timeout at the end of regulation — and missed. Faced with a similar decision in overtime, the Horned Frogs stuck with their original kicker. Jonathan Song delivered on his second-chance kick, ending a strange night in the desert. Song kicked a 27-yard field in overtime after being replaced at the end of regulation, lifting TCU to a 10-7 win in an interception-filled Cheez-It Bowl on Wednesday night. By John Marshall. SENT: 830 words, photos.
Tennessee and Auburn shared the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship last year and head into league competition as prime contenders for the title again. The No. 3 Volunteers (10-1) and 12th-ranked Tigers (10-2) are the SEC’s highest-ranked teams with league play starting Jan. 5. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 750 words, photos.
_ T25-ALAMO BOWL PREVIEW CAPSULE. SENT: 500 words.
FRISCO, Texas _ NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott is banking on playing at the Giants even though the Cowboys are locked into the fourth seed as NFC East champs. If he does, it won’t be because coach Jason Garrett wants to secure the rushing title for his star running back. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.
_ COWBOYS-GIANTS PREVIEW CAPSULE. SENT: 420 words.
_ JAGUARS-TEXANS PREVIEW CAPSULE. SENT: 500 words.
FBN--NFL THIS WEEK
In a wild and crazy season, the biggest remaining tumult is in the AFC South. Houston takes the division title by beating struggling Jacksonville. A Texans loss, however, gives the winner of the prime-time game between the Colts and Titans in Nashville the crown, dropping Houston into a wild card. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 1,700 words, photos by 6 p.m. For weekend use.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ The Nashville Predators, home after losing all four games on a road trip, host the Dallas Stars on Thursday night hoping to get at least a player or two back in the lineup from injury. By Jim Diamond. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.
HOUSTON _ James Harden and the first-place Houston Rockets look for their eighth win in nine games when they play the Boston Celtics. Harden scored 41 points on Christmas Day and has had 30 or more in seven consecutive games. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
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