Alabama makes it a 1-2 SEC punch with LSU on top
Louisiana State and Alabama are the top two teams in the country one month before their game in Tuscaloosa. The SEC West rivals held the first two spots in The Associated Press college football poll released Sunday as the second-ranked Crimson Tide jumped past No. 3 Oklahoma. Alabama's rise gives the Southeastern Conference the top two teams in the country for the 10th time in the last four seasons. And for the first time since 2000, the Nos. 1 and 2 teams reside in the same division. That season, Nebraska and Kansas State of the Big 12 North held the top two spots for one week.
The Tide beat Florida 38-10 on Saturday night in Gainesville, then received 12 first-place votes in the media rankings. LSU remained No. 1 for a second straight week, receiving 40 first-place votes and 1,473 points, after beating Kentucky 35-7. Alabama had 1,435 points. The Tigers play the Tide on Nov. 5 in a game that could decide the division — and much more. Oklahoma, which started the season No. 1 before slipping behind LSU last week, got seven first-place votes. Wisconsin also moved up after a big victory, jumping three spots to No. 4 after a 48-17 win against Nebraska.
Boise State, which had one first-place vote, slipped a spot to No. 5. Oklahoma was No. 1 in the USA Today coaches' poll, followed by LSU, Alabama, Stanford and Wisconsin.
The top eight in the AP poll were all undefeated, with No. 6 Oklahoma State followed by Stanford and Clemson. Oregon was ninth, and Arkansas was No. 10. Auburn jumped back into the Top 25, at No. 15, with a victory over South Carolina. The Gamecocks dropped from 10th to 18th in the poll.
Big East to 'aggressively pursue' teams
The presidents and chancellors of the 14 remaining Big East members and Texas Christian have authorized Commissioner John Marinatto to "aggressively pursue discussions" with certain schools interested in joining the league. The league released a statement after the meeting Sunday at Georgetown. The meeting had been scheduled before Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced last month they will leave the conference to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. The original purpose of the meeting was to discuss the conference's upcoming television rights negotiations, but the defections forced expansion onto the agenda. Navy, an independent, and Air Force, of the Mountain West Conference, are among the Big East's top targets for expansion. There has been speculation that Temple also could be invited back to the league after getting booted following the 2004 season. The Owls have found success in the Mid-American Conference in recent years. East Carolina has announced it has applied for membership in the Big East, and other Conference USA schools also could be considered, including Houston, Memphis and Central Florida.
Georgia LB suspended after DUI charge
Georgia linebacker Cornelius Washington was suspended Sunday for at least two games following his being charged with driving under the influence and speeding. Coach Mark Richt said athletics association policy states that athletes will be suspended for at least 20 percent of their competitions following DUI arrests.
"It will be at least that," Richt said.
Washington's suspension will begin with this week's game at Tennessee. He recorded two sacks and four tackles in Georgia's 24-10 victory Saturday over Mississippi State.
Hoey holds off countrymen in Dunhill
Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey edged countrymen Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell to win the Dunhill Links Championship by two shots on Sunday, continuing his country's recent success in world golf. Hoey, ranked No. 271, lost his three-shot overnight lead early in the final round but regrouped, birdieing three of the last four holes for a 4-under 68 at St. Andrews, Scotland. His 22-under total broke the tournament record, set by Lee Westwood eight years ago, by one shot. McIlroy's closing 65 gave him second place — two shots clear of McDowell (69) and Scotland's George Murray (67), who finished tied for third.
"They are major champions ... they have been my inspirations," said Hoey, who has struggled to fulfill his potential after winning the British Amateur title in 2001.
Na gets first title, Las Vegas record
Kevin Na won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, birdieing Nos. 15-17 to pull away for a two-stroke victory over Nick Watney. The 28-year-old Na closed with a 6-under 65 for a tournament-record 23-under 261 total at TPC Summlerin in the Fall Series opener. Watney, a two-time winner this year, shot a 67.
Tied for the lead with Watney entering the round, Na sealed the breakthrough victory with a 42-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th. Na and Watney both parred the par-4 18th.
"I'm just very excited about my first win," said Na, who started playing golf a year after his family moved to the United States from South Korea when he was 8. "It wasn't easy. Nick was coming right behind me. It looked like any time he was going to make a move, and I tried the best that I could to stay one step ahead of him. I think the putt on 17 basically sealed the deal for me."
Tiger out of the world's top 50
Tiger Woods is out of the top 50 in the world ranking for the first time in nearly 15 years. Woods, who hasn't won in nearly two years, was assured of dropping from the top 50 when Louis Oosthuizen finished in a three-way tie for fifth in the Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday. That ends a streak of 778 consecutive weeks inside the top 50, dating to when Woods was No. 61 on Oct. 13, 1996. Woods, who has not played since missing the cut at the PGA Championship, returns to competition this week at the Frys.com Open at CordeValle in northern California.
Soccer men fall with 33 ticks in OT
With 33 seconds remaining in overtime, Florida International's Roberto De Sousa scored the golden goal off a corner kick, to lift the host Panthers to a 1-0 win over Kentucky, taking advantage of a UK red card earlier in the game. Kentucky (7-5-1, 0-2-0 Conference USA), ranked 21st in the coaches' poll, dominated the game throughout despite playing with only 10 men after sophomore Brendan Murphy received a red card in the 78th minute. UK had a 13-7 advantage in shots and was up 6-3 with shots on goal to FIU's three. Six cards were issued, and 24 fouls were called.
Golf women rally to win from 5 back
The Kentucky women's golf team came from five strokes back in the final round to win the Bettie Lou Evans Fall Invitational at the University Club of Kentucky on Sunday. Junior Ashleigh Albrecht finished first overall, and senior Ashlee Rose finished tied for fourth.
Kentucky entered the third round five strokes behind the leader, Central Florida. After a third-round score of 15-over 303, the Wildcats finished with a 60-over-par 924, eight shots better than UCF.
The first-place finish is the best finish for the Cats since April 2009, when they won the Lady Mocs Intercollegiate.
■ The Kentucky volleyball team concluded a four-match road swing with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-16, 25-17) sweep at LSU Sunday. UK struck for 48 kills on a .385 hitting percentage in the win against the Southeastern Conference Western Division leaders.
Kentucky (14-3, 5-1 SEC) now returns home for three consecutive matches starting with Mississippi at 7 p.m. Friday.
The last word
Former Tates Creek kicker David Akers on kicking the game-winning PAT for the 49ers in their win over the Eagles Sunday:
"To hit the last extra point, it's like hitting a 50-yard field goal."