BC-AP Sports Digest
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The College Football Playoff race has been boring — the same four teams holding the top spots for three weeks. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, ESPN’s Heather Dinich joins the AP’s Ralph Russo to discuss how the playoff could make a few twists before selection Sunday on Dec. 2.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — No. 4 Michigan meets No. 10 Ohio State with the Big Ten East and a trip to the conference championship game going to the winner. The Wolverines are trying to end a six-game losing streak against the Buckeyes and keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game started noon.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No. 1 Alabama hosts Auburn in the Iron Bowl, trying to keep a perfect season alive going into the SEC championship game. The Tide wants to avenge a loss that kept it from a shot at the SEC title last season. Auburn can temper a disappointing season with a victory. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 3:30 p.m.
FBN--ON FOOTBALL-IT’S OVER
Sorry, Yogi. Maybe it is over before it’s over. Just look at most of the NFL division races. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 850 words, photos. First sent Nov. 23 for weekend use.
LOS ANGELES — No. 3 Notre Dame (11-0) likely can claim a spot in the College Football Playoff with a victory in this famed intersectional rivalry. The Trojans (5-6) are playing for bowl eligibility and perhaps coach Clay Helton’s job. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
CLEMSON, S.C. — No. 2 Clemson looks to complete a 12-0 regular season and win its fifth straight over rival South Carolina when the team’s meet at Death Valley. Clemson has wrapped up a spot in the ACC title game. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.
ATHENS, Ga. — With a showdown looming against top-ranked Alabama, No. 5 Georgia can’t afford to slip up when it closes the regular season against Georgia Tech. Both teams are riding four-game winning streaks, but the Bulldogs are a 17-point favorite. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game started noon.
FBC--T25-AP TOP 25 TAKEAWAYS
Can rivalry weekend bring an upset or two that could shake the playoff race? What coaches could be working their last games? By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 9 p.m.
— Other Key Games:
— FBC--T25-LSU-TEXAS A&M — By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7:30 p.m.
— FBC--T25-FLORIDA-FLORIDA STATE — By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game started noon.
— FBC--T25-UTAH STATE-BOISE STATE — By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 10:15 p.m.
— FBC--COLLEGE FOOTBALL TODAY— Highlights, top performances, stats. By John Marshall. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 10 p.m.
— FBC--T25-WASHINGTON-AIR RAIDED — Washington State’s air-raid offense grounded again by Washington. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 4 p.m.
FBN--NFL THIS WEEK
Enough of this. If the Eagles are going to make a respectable showing after their first Super Bowl title, it’s time to do so. They have lost three of four. They turn over the ball too often and can’t make big defensive stops. Next up are the Giants. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,650 words, photos. First sent for weekend use.
BKW--T25-NOTRE DAME-OREGON ST
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The No. 1 Notre Dame women, led by Arike Ogunbowale points and Jackie Young, plays No. 9 Oregon State for the Vancouver Showcase title. The defending national champs beat Drake 82-64 in the semifinals while Oregon State edged No. 13 South Carolina 70-68. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 10:30 p.m.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Kevin Durant and the Warriors play Sacramento in the second game of a back-to-back. The defending champs are coming off a victory over Portland that ended a four-game skid, its worst losing streak since early 2013. Golden State has lost its last two at home to the Kings. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8:30 p.m.
OKLAHOMA CITY — In a game between two of the best in the West, the Thunder face the Nuggets. Oklahoma City, the Northwest Division leader, has won eight of 10. Both teams are completing back-to-backs. On Friday night, the Thunder beat Charlotte, and Denver topped. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
LILLE, France — Defending champion France stays alive in the Davis Cup final against Croatia. Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert win in doubles to cut Croatia’s lead to 2-1 in the best-of-five series on indoor clay. Croatia is eyeing its first Davis Cup title since 2005. By Samuel Petrequin. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— TEN--DAVIS CUP-HAGGERTY — ITF president confident revised Davis Cup, new ATP Cup won’t clash on calendar. By Samuel Petrequin. SENT: 450 words, photos.
SOC--MLS-NEW YORK-ATLANTA UNITED
ATLANTA — The New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United the two best teams in the MLS this season — meet in a two-game, Eastern Conference semifinal that begins Sunday night before another expected crowd of more than 70,000 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 p.m.
— SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP —Manchester City, Liverpool win in Premier League’s return from international break. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 200 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m.
— SOC--COPA LIBERTADORES FINAL — Argentine rivals Boca Juniors, River Plate play second leg of Copa Libertadores final; teams drew 2-2 in first leg. By Luis Henao. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos. Game starts 4 p.m.
— SKI--WCUP-WOMEN’S GIANT SLALOM — Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel leads after first run of World Cup giant slalom in Killington, Vt. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: 300 words by 4 p.m.
— SKI--WCUP-MEN’S DOWNHILL — Season-opening men’s downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— FIG--INTERNATIONAUX DE FRANCE — Nathan Chen wins Grand Prix figure skating in France to lock up spot in final. SENT: 350 words, photos
— LUG--WORLD CUP — Olympic champ Natalie Geisenberger’s begins bid for seventh straight World Cup title with victory in Austria. SENT: 300 words.
— GLF--WORLD CUP — Belgium in front by five shots after three rounds at World Cup of Golf in Australia. By Dennis Passa. SENT: 450 words, photos.
— GLF--HONG KONG OPEN — Aaron Rai extends lead to six strokes after third round of European Tour season opener. SENT: 200 words.
— CAR--F1-ABU DHABI GP — Lewis Hamilton on pole at season-ending Formula One race. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 400 words, photos.
— CAR--F1-MERCEDES-LAUDA — Niki Lauda, recovering from lung transplant, hopes to return soon as Mercedes chairman. SENT: 180 words, photos.
— OLY--FUKUSHIMA-BACH — IOC president, Japan prime minister visit area devastated by 2011 earthquake, tsunami. SENT: 170 words, photos.
— HKN--OBIT-MCGEOUGH — Mick McGeough, NHL referee for 21 seasons, dies at 62. SENT: 150 words, photos.
— BKN--NBA CAPSULES
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
— FBC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
— BKC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
— BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
Saturday Time Schedule (EST)
Houston at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m.
New Orleans at Washington, 8 p.m.
Chicago at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Denver at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
Boston at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
San Antonio at Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m.
Sacramento at Golden State, 8:30 p.m.
Washington at N.Y. Rangers, 2 p.m.
Philadelphia at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Boston at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Buffalo at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Chicago at Florida, 7 p.m.
Carolina at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
Columbus at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Winnipeg at St. Louis, 7 p.m.
Dallas at Colorado, 9 p.m.
San Jose at Vegas, 10 p.m.
Vancouver at Los Angeles, 10 p.m.
College Football (Top 25)
No. 1 Alabama vs. Auburn, 3:30 p.m.
No. 2 Clemson vs. South Carolina, 7 p.m.
No. 3 Notre Dame at Southern California, 8 p.m.
No. 4 Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State, noon
No. 5 Georgia vs. Georgia Tech, noon
No. 8 LSU at Texas A&M, 7:30 p.m.
No. 13 Florida at Florida State, noon
No. 14 Utah State at No. 21 Boise State, 10:15 p.m.
No. 15 Penn State vs. Maryland, 3:30 p.m.
No. 17 Kentucky at Louisville, 7 p.m.
No. 18 Utah vs. BYU, 10 p.m.
No. 19 Syracuse at Boston College, noon
No. 20 Northwestern vs. Illinois, 3:30 p.m.
No. 24 Pittsburgh at Miami, 3:30 p.m.
No. 25 Iowa State vs. Kansas State, 7 p.m.
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 12 Kansas State vs. Lehigh, 4:30 p.m.
No. 13 Virginia Tech vs. Saint Francis (Pa.), 1 p.m.
No. 22 Buffalo vs. Marist, 2 p.m.
No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 9 Oregon State at Vancouver, British Columbia, 10:30 p.m.
No. 2 UConn vs. Purdue at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 7:30 p.m.
No. 3 Oregon at Saint Mary’s, 5 p.m.
No. 4 Baylor vs. Georgetown at Las Vegas, 10:30 p.m.
No. 5 Louisville vs. Hartford at Las Vegas, 3 p.m.
No. 6 Mississippi State vs. Jackson State, 3 p.m.
No. 7 Maryland vs. Georgia at Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, noon
No. 8 Stanford vs. American at Honolulu, 5 p.m.
No. 10 Texas vs. Michigan at Estero, Fla., 7:30 p.m.
No. 11 Tennessee vs. UAB at Bimini, Bahamas, 2 p.m.
No. 12 Iowa vs. Florida State at Bimini, Bahamas, 6:45 p.m.
No. 13 South Carolina vs. Drake at Vancouver, British Columbia, 8 p.m.
No. 14 Syracuse vs. No. 16 DePaul at Cancun, Mexico, 2:30 p.m.
No. 17 South Florida vs. UCLA at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 3 p.m.
No. 18 California at San Diego, 7 p.m.
No. 19 Arizona State vs. Southern Illinois at Las Vegas, 5:30 p.m.
No. 21 Missouri vs. Quinnipiac at Estero, Fla., 1:30 p.m.
No. 22 Marquette vs. Illinois-Chicago, 3 p.m.
No. 25 West Virginia vs. Eastern Kentucky at Bimini, Bahamas, 4:15 p.m.