‘excellent’ after surgery
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama’s team surgeon said Tua Tagovailoa’s prognosis was “excellent” after the quarterback underwent surgery to repair a dislocated hip, although there is no timeline for Tagovailoa’s recovery.
Dr. Lyle Cain said Tagovailoa is expected to recover fully after Monday’s surgery in Houston — probably the best possible news the QB could have received about the devastating season-ending injury, which has cast a cloud over his football future.
If Tagovailoa does decide to enter the draft, it’s unclear how the injury will affect how teams evaluate him.
Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t publicly speculating on Tagovailoa’s prospects. But Saban pointed out that New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley also dislocated a hip in the national championship game to end the 2011 season.
Tagovailoa passed for 7,442 yards and a school-record 87 touchdowns in less than two full seasons as Alabama’s starter.
Duke men back
at No. 1 in poll
Duke is back at No. 1, moving up a spot following a pair of victories last week.
The Blue Devils can thank Evansville for the jump.
Duke moved to No. 1 for the first time this season, receiving 52 first-place votes from a 65-member media panel in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll released Monday.
The Blue Devils climbed a spot after unranked Evansville pulled off the season’s biggest surprise so far by knocking off previous No. 1 Kentucky.
Duke is ranked No. 1 for the 143rd week, extending its own record, and has the top spot in the AP poll for the 20th season under coach Mike Krzyzewski, also a record.
Duke (4-0) crushed Central Arkansas 105-54 last Tuesday and beat Georgia State 74-63 on Friday behind Tre Jones’ career-high 31 points.
No. 2 Louisville received eight first-place votes, and No. 3 Michigan State, the preseason No. 1, had four.
Kansas and North Carolina rounded out the top five, with No. 7 Virginia receiving the final first-place vote, one spot behind Maryland.
Kentucky was the overwhelming pick at No. 1 last week, receiving all but one first-place vote after knocking off previous No. 1 Michigan State in its opener.
The Wildcats dropped to No. 9 this week with the 67-64 loss to Evansville in Lexington.
Ohio State had the biggest jump in this week’s poll, followed by No. 14 Arizona’s five-spot climb.
Auburn moved up three places from No. 22.
Notre Dame run in
Top 25 is now over
NEW YORK — Notre Dame’s 12-year run in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll is over.
The Fighting Irish fell out of the AP Top 25 on Monday for the first time since the end of the 2006-07 season, stopping a streak of 234 consecutive weeks being ranked. It was the third longest active streak behind Connecticut’s (492) and Baylor’s (302).
While the Irish dropped out of the rankings, Oregon remained No. 1. The Ducks received 27 of the 29 first-place votes.
Baylor was second, receiving the other two first-place votes, followed by Stanford, Connecticut and South Carolina. The Gamecocks moved up one spot, switching places with No. 6 Texas A&M. Oregon State, Louisville, Maryland and Mississippi State round out the top 10.
Muffet McGraw’s team lost at home to Tennessee and Michigan State this week, marking the first time since 2008 that Notre Dame dropped two consecutive games in South Bend, Indiana.
Todd wins in Mexico
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) — Two tournaments, two victories.
They didn’t make Brendon Todd forget about the dark years, when he had the full yips so bad he didn’t know where the ball was going and made only two cuts in 35 events he played over three years.
They just made him appreciate how good it feels to be back.
Todd returned Monday morning and quickly holed an 18-foot birdie putt for a one-shot lead, then closed with two nervy pars for a 3-under 68 to win the Mayakoba Golf Classic for his second straight PGA Tour victory. He won the inaugural Bermuda Championship two weeks ago.
Todd earned a trip back to the Masters for the first time in five years, and his second victory moves him atop the FedEx Cup standings with one tournament remaining at home in Sea Island before the PGA Tour takes a short winter break.
Todd was tied with Vaughn Taylor when they were among 12 players who had to return to El Camaleon to finish the tournament, which didn’t start until Friday because of heavy rain along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
Jeter headlines HOF ballot
NEW YORK — Derek Jeter is among 18 newcomers on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot. He is likely to be an overwhelming choice to join former New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera in Cooperstown after the reliever last year became the first unanimous pick by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Jeter, a 14-time All-Star shortstop and five-time World Series champion, hit .310 with 3,465 hits in 20 seasons and was the 1996 AL Rookie of the Year. He has been CEO of the Miami Marlins the past two seasons.
Other newcomers announced Monday by the BBWAA include Cliff Lee, Josh Beckett, Jason Giambi, Paul Konerko, Rafael Furcal, Bobby Abreu and Alfonso Soriano.
Holdovers include Curt Schilling, who received 60.9% last year, Roger Clemens (59.5%), Barry Bonds (59.1%) and Larry Walker (54.6%). Schilling rose from 51.2% in 2018. Walker, on the ballot for his 10th and final time this year, increased from 34.1% in 2018.
Smart apologizes for language
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia coach Kirby Smart apologized Monday for using an expletive after his team’s victory over Auburn, which sent the No. 4 Bulldogs to the Southeastern Conference championship game for the third year in a row.
Smart began his weekly news conference by saying he was disappointed in himself for his choice of words in the wake of a 21-14 victory over the Tigers.
The comment came when Smart was asked by a reporter what he told his players after they clinched another SEC East title. He replied, “I told them, ‘How ‘bout them (expletive) Dogs,’ that’s what I told them.”
“I would like to apologize for something I said after the game Saturday night,” Smart said. “That's not indicative of who I want to be or what I stand for, and you know you messed up when you get home to your wife and ... you won the game, but she's more upset at something you said.”
Georgia (9-1) can get back to the playoff by winning its next three games, including a likely matchup with No. 1 LSU for the conference championship.