BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Tuesday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EST:
– In movies, sequels aren’t always as good. The same applies to sports. So wish Alabama and Clemson plenty of luck as they go into the College Football Playoff championship game – because they’ve got a classic to try to recreate in Tampa, Florida, on Monday night.
– MONTGOMERY, Ala. – New Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will only have a week to implement a game plan for the national championship game against Clemson.
– MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Lane Kiffin says he could have remained as Alabama’s offensive coordinator through the national championship game if he had wanted and that he has a ”great” relationship with Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.
– ALAMEDA, Calif. – While much of the focus is on the high draft picks and big free agents in Oakland, several players who entered the NFL as undrafted free agents will play a key role for the Raiders in the playoffs.
– KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Andy Reid has called Dave Toub the best special teams coach in the NFL. His work in Kansas City this year has done nothing to disprove it. But the downside to it? Toub could soon be a head coach somewhere, leaving Reid looking for a replacement.
– RENTON, Wash. – Cliff Avril has experienced the lows of a 0-16 season in Detroit and the highs of a Super Bowl title in Seattle. Coming off the best regular season of his career, Avril’s past and present clash this week with the Seahawks hosting the Lions in the NFC playoffs.
– Features on other playoff-bound NFL teams and wrapups on teams whose seasons are done.
– CINCINNATI – Bengals cornerback Adam ”Pacman” Jones is jailed on assault, disorderly conduct and other charges, including that he spit on a nurse after being arrested in Cincinnati’s downtown entertainment district. Jones denies the charges.
– RALEIGH, N.C. – It didn’t take long for races in both the Big Ten and Atlantic Coast Conference to offer some unexpected outcomes. Now each league has a pair of matchups between ranked members to highlight the week ahead in the AP Top 25.
– BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – After seeing its home-court winning streak snapped last week and dealing with a second straight loss over the weekend, No. 25 Indiana will try to get its season back on track when it hosts No. 13 Wisconsin. Game starts 7 p.m.
– COLUMBUS – The Blue Jackets go for their 16th win in a row when they play host to the Edmonton Oilers. The longest winning streak in league history is 17, held by the 1992-’93 Penguins. Game starts 7 p.m.
– KAPALUA, Hawaii – Jason Day picked up a golf club twice in the last three months. The world’s No. 1 player hasn’t been seen since he withdrew in the second round of the Tour Championship. He starts out a new year on Maui, and can only hope it’s a healthy one.
– KAPALUA, Hawaii – A new year starts with an old topic, with a twist. Instead of wondering when Tiger Woods will play, the question now is how will he play?
– DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – An 18-hole golf course in Dubai bearing Donald Trump’s name exemplifies the questions surrounding his international business interests. The course will open in February in the United Arab Emirates, but concerns about security, financial agreements and other matters have yet to be answered by the incoming 45th American president.
– BRISBANE, Australia – Rafael Nadal wins his debut match at the Brisbane International, wasting no time in a 6-3, 6-3 win over 2012 finalist Alexandr Dolgopolov.
– ZAGREB, Croatia – Mikaela Shiffrin’s seven-race winning streak in women’s World Cup slaloms comes to an end, leaving the American one short of the record for most consecutive victories in the discipline.