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 EST:
– ATLANTA – Alabama has done this over and over again. In Saturday’s Peach Bowl, the Tide faces a Washington team that hasn’t been part of the national championship mix for more than two decades.
– SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Since joining Ohio State, Urban Meyer has lost five times in 66 games, including once in a bowl – to Clemson and coach Dabo Swinney. They go at it again Saturday in the Fiesta Bowl.
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– LAS VEGAS – Ronda Rousey returns to the cage and aims to reclaim her UFC bantamweight title when she takes on Brazilian champion Amanda Nunes. Rousey hasn’t fought in 13 months since her only defeat.
– AP’s year-end sports package: In 2016, sports misery changed addresses and long droughts ended – from Chicago to Cleveland to England, where 5,000-to-1 shot Leicester City won the Premier League.
– MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Jabrill Peppers and No. 6 Michigan (10-2) take on Dalvin Cook and No. 10 Florida State (9-3) in the Orange Bowl. Game starts 8 p.m.
– Other Friday bowls: Liberty (Georgia-TCU, noon); Sun Bowl (North Carolina-Stanford, 2 p.m.); Music City (Tennessee-Nebraska, 3:30 p.m.); Arizona (Air Force-South Alabama, 5:30 p.m.).
– CLEVELAND – LeBron James turned 32 on Friday and says it’s been the best year of his life. He’s playing for a championship team and drawing deep satisfaction from his family and growing business empire.
– The decision by Raiders owner Mark Davis to stick with general manager Reggie McKenzie is paying off. Oakland is 12-3 and on the way to the playoffs.
– ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Matthew Stafford has given the Detroit Lions a chance to win the NFC North with his poise late in games. They might need one more clutch performance from him to outlast Green Bay.
– EUGENE, Ore. – No. 21 Oregon, coming off a big upset of No. 2 UCLA, plays No. 22 Southern California in a Pac-12 game. Game starts 10 p.m.
– COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Geno Auriemma didn’t expect his UConn women’s team to be undefeated as 2016 comes to a close. Not with what it lost to graduation and the difficult schedule he put together.
– PERTH, Australia – Roger Federer says his ”mindset is for the long term,” and he hopes to play at least another three or four years. He has not played since July but returns next week at the Hopman Cup.
– SANTA CATERINA VALFURVA, Italy – Slowed by injuries, Ted Ligety is finding a new way to win – sponsoring some of his biggest rivals with the ski helmet and accessory company he founded.
– MILAN – Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent says the Real Madrid star has been offered ”more than 100 million” euros a season to play in the Chinese Super League. But Ronaldo isn’t going anywhere.