After loss, Alabama slips to No. 9 in AP football poll

Alabama coach Nick Saban signals to his team during Saturday’s loss to Auburn.
Alabama coach Nick Saban signals to his team during Saturday’s loss to Auburn.Vasha Hunt/FR171624 AP via AP

Alabama dropped to No. 9 in The Associated Press college football poll, snapping the Crimson Tide’s record streak of 68 appearances in the top five. The top four teams in the AP Top 25 were unchanged, with LSU at No. 1, followed by Ohio State, Clemson, and Georgia. Utah moved up to No. 5, followed by Oklahoma, Florida, and Baylor. The Crimson Tide lost to Auburn in a wild Iron Bowl on Saturday to give it two regular-season losses for the first time since 2010. The four-spot drop by Alabama broke a string of top-five appearances that began Nov. 8, 2015. Wisconsin moved up three spots to No. 10 after routing Minnesota. The Gophers dropped six spots to No. 15.

South Florida fires coach Strong

South Florida fired coach Charlie Strong after three seasons in which the Bulls won fewer games each year. USF made the move two days after finishing a 4-8 season with a blowout loss to rival Central Florida. That left Strong 21-16 overall but 4-14 since starting the 2018 season with seven straight victories. The former Texas and Louisville coach was hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart after the 2016 season . . . Mississippi fired football coach Matt Luke, three days after his third non-winning season ended with a loss to rival Mississippi State. Ole Miss finished this season 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference. He went 15-21 in his three seasons . . . UTSA fired football coach Frank Wilson after four seasons that produced a bowl appearance in year one and diminishing results afterward. Wilson went 19-29 at Texas-San Antonio, including 13-19 in Conference USA play. The Roadrunners completed a 4-8 season on Saturday with a loss to Louisiana Tech . . . Pat Sullivan, a former TCU and Samford head coach who won the 1971 Heisman Trophy as a quarterback at Auburn, has died. He was 69. Sullivan’s family released a statement saying he “died peacefully at home” Sunday morning, surrounded by relatives. Sullivan was a College Football Hall of Famer who played four seasons with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons . . . Boston College running back AJ Dillon will be presented with the Harry Agganis/Harold Zimman Award by the New England Football Writers for the second time. The award is presented to the most outstanding player in New England . . . Injured quarterback Feleipe Franks is leaving Florida to explore other options. Franks gruesomely dislocated and fractured his right ankle in a victory at Kentucky in September. He is expected to be sidelined for at least six months. The recovery time and the emergence of backup Kyle Trask made Franks’s chances of regaining the starting job in 2020 a long shot . . . Onyeka Okongwu had 27 points and 14 rebounds as Southern Cal defeated Harvard, 77-62, for third place at the Orlando (Fla.) Invitational. Noah Kirkwood had 12 points for Harvard (5-4) . . . Desure Buie made all nine of his free throw attempts and scored 21 points and Hofstra beat Holy Cross, 91-69, at the Boca Raton (Fla.) Beach Classic. Joe Pridgen and Marlon Hargis led Holy Cross (0-7) with 16 points apiece.


Blue Jackets’ Werenski out 4 weeks

Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski is expected to miss four weeks with a shoulder injury. The team said the 22-year-old Werenski was hurt in the first period of Saturday night’s 2-0 loss to the New York Islanders. Werenski has been bothered by shoulder problems in the past. Werenski leads all Columbus defensemen in scoring this season with six goals and 10 assists in 26 games . . . The Penguins will be without defenseman Brian Dumoulin for at least eight weeks after he underwent left ankle surgery. Dumoulin suffered the injury in Saturday night’s 5-2 loss to St. Louis.



Mayer edges Paris in men’s super-G

Olympic champion Matthias Mayer ended Dominik Pariss victory streak to win the first World Cup super-G of the Alpine ski season in Lake Louise, Alberta. Mayer raced down the sun-bathed Canadian course 0.40 seconds faster than Paris, who won the previous three super-G races last season, including taking gold at the world championships. Vincent Kriechmayr of Austria and Mauro Caviezel of Switzerland tied for third. Thomas Dressen followed his downhill win over Paris earlier in the weekend with a 10th place to complete his first race meeting after a one-year injury absence . . . Tucker West and Emily Sweeney both capped double-medal weekends for USA Luge in Lake Placid, N.Y., the final day of the World Cup stop on the Americans’ home track at Mount Van Hoevenberg. West won silver medals in both the men’s race and men’s sprint. Sweeney added a bronze in the women’s sprint to her women’s silver from Saturday, and Summer Britcher won a silver in the women’s sprint for the US.



Hamilton breezes to Abu Dhabi win

World champion Lewis Hamilton’s 11th victory of another dominant season proved so easy that the driver who finished way back in second place at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix joked that he should have eased up a bit. Hamilton’s 84th career win saw him finishing around 17 seconds clear of Max Verstappen. Hamilton is now just seven wins behind seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 . . . Pablo Larrazabal won the European Tour’s season-opening Alfred Dunhill Championship in Malelane, South Africa, after losing a three-shot overnight lead and then making three birdies on his last four holes for a dramatic one-stroke victory over Sweden’s Joel Sjöholm.