BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Friday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EDT:
– CHICAGO – Party on, Chicago. The Cubs celebrate their first division title since they also won the NL Central in 2008. They clinched when St. Louis lost at San Francisco late Thursday night, but they plan to toast the crown after Friday's game against Milwaukee. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.
– CANTON, Ohio – The inclusion of former NFL safety and convicted rapist Darren Sharper on this year's list of Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees has created a national outcry. SENT: 300 words. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos.
– STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Penn State supporters and former players begin a two-day salute to mark the late Joe Paterno's first game, an anniversary that comes with controversy because of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m. Updates from 7 p.m. event with former players.
– RALEIGH, N.C. – Now that North Carolina has lost its NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference championship events for this year, some other states face potential challenges in the organization's fight for discrimination-free environments. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
– SONOMA, Calif. – Team Penske has yet another shot at the IndyCar championship – the title that seems to slip away more times than the organization can lock one up. But this time, it's a given: Either Simon Pagenaud of Will Power will win the championship for Penske in Sunday's season finale. UPCOMING. 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.
– JOLIET, Ill. – Asked what drivers worry him as he seeks a second straight Sprint Cup title, Kyle Busch named Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. Both belong to smaller teams that get engines from major ones, and it's starting to bug the big boys. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
– LAUSANNE, Switzerland – President Vladimir Putin says that while Russia disapproves of the hack of medical files of Olympic athletes, their findings should attract public attention. SENT: 200 words.
– ARLINGTON, Texas – Canelo Alvarez gears up for his fight against Liam Smith while battling accusations that he's ducking Gennady Golovkin. The fight is Saturday night at the $1.2 billion home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.
– NORMAN, Okla. – No. 14 Oklahoma hosts No. 3 Ohio State in a game that could have major playoff implications. OSU's J.T. Barrett and OU's Baker Mayfield square off in duel of Heisman contenders. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos.
– OXFORD, Miss. – Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze says beating Alabama isn't just about having a great plan or possessing physical talent. The coach said players have to believe they can win the game. And when it comes to that, the Rebels should be just fine considering they've won two straight over the Tide. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos.
– LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska coach Mike Riley didn't expect to see Oregon again once he left Oregon State. But he will Saturday, and he welcomes the challenge to measure his Cornhuskers' progress against the No. 22 Ducks. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.
– LOUISVILLE, Ky. – No. 10 Louisville knows a lot is at stake when it hosts No. 2 Florida State in Saturday's ACC showdown. The winner has a chance to seize early control of the Atlantic Division, and the Cardinals hope to boost their championship prospects. UPCOMING. 700 words, photos.
– The Minnesota Vikings are getting settled in their new home, with the first regular-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday night against rival Green Bay, and they're expecting the $1.1 billion translucent building to be a significant advantage for them with 66,000 roaring fans packing the place all fall. The roof is expected to amplify the crowd noise just as much as the old Metrodome, if not more. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 2 p.m.
– Heading into the second full week of the fantasy football season, it's important to not overreact too much to the opening games. One full slate is not enough to establish pure trends yet. Here's what to watch and plan for in Week 2. SENT: 900 words, photos.
– PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Bernhard Langer, Vijay Singh and Tom Watson open play in the PGA Tour Champions' Nature Valley First Tee Open. UPCOMING: 400 words by 11 p.m.
– EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France – South Koreans In Gee Chun and Sung Hyun Park share the lead entering the second round of the Evian Championship. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.