Weekend Sports In Brief
Ohio State remained No. 1 in The Associated Press college football Top 25 and tied a poll record despite lagging support from the voters.
Meanwhile, No. 2 TCU and No. 3 Baylor edged forward, No. 4 Michigan State slipped and No. 5 Utah and No. 6 Clemson took big jumps.
After four top-10 teams lost on Saturday, the rankings were rattled and five teams received first-place votes. The Buckeyes received 38 first-place votes, their fewest this season after beginning as the first unanimous preseason No. 1. TCU has five first-place votes, Baylor received 10, Utah has seven and No. 9 Texas A&M has one.
Ohio State was the only team in the top 16 to have the same ranking this week as last.
The Buckeyes held off Indiana 34-27 on Saturday and have now been top-ranked 101 times, matching Oklahoma for the most in the 79-year history of the media poll.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The Los Angeles Angels hired longtime Yankees executive Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Sunday night.
The 40-year-old Eppler replaces interim GM Bill Stoneman, who took over after Jerry Dipoto quit his job at midseason following his latest disagreement with Mike Scioscia, the longest-serving manager in baseball.
Eppler has long been considered a prime candidate to run his own team, and the Angels are giving him the chance. He was a finalist for the same job in 2011 when Angels owner Arte Moreno hired Dipoto.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Pat Murphy is out as interim manager of the San Diego Padres.
San Diego made the announcement Sunday after losing to the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers 6-3 in its final game this season.
Murphy took over in mid-June after Bud Black was fired. San Diego was 42-53 under Murphy and finished fourth in the division at 74-88 – 23 games behind the Dodgers. Murphy had been guiding the Padres’ Triple-A team in El Paso when he was promoted.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Louisville coach Rick Pitino has apparently said all he plans to say for now about the troubling allegations outlined in a book by an escort that has led to a sex scandal looming over his men’s basketball program.
Pitino was mum about the allegations on Saturday, but questions continue to swirl after the online release of Katrina Powell’s book, ”Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen.” The 104-page book was published by an affiliate of the Indianapolis Business Journal and is scheduled for release Oct. 12, though the publisher said it could be sooner.
Kate Snedeker, a spokeswoman for IBJ Book Publishing LLC, said that Powell is not doing interviews.
DOVER, Del. (AP) – Kevin Harvick dominated a race he had to win to advance to the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs, while six-time champion Jimmie Johnson was eliminated from the field.
Harvick led 354 laps Sunday at Dover International Speedway and earned the third automatic berth in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field. Harvick was mired in 15th in the standings and had to win to keep his title defense alive.
Johnson entered fifth in the standings and, with 10 career wins at Dover, seemed a lock to advance. His No. 48 Chevrolet was forced off the track for 36 laps with a torn rear axle seal and he plummeted in the standings.
Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer also were eliminated as the Chase field was sliced from 16 to 12. Dale Earnhardt Jr. tied with McMurray in points and earned the final spot on a tiebreaker.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo made a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday to win the Web.com Tour Finals-ending Web.Com Tour Championship.
The 23-year-old Grillo beat Chez Reavie by a stroke in the last of the four events that replaced PGA Tour qualifying school, finishing with a 1-under 69 for a 14-under 266 total on TPC Sawgrass’ Dye’s Valley Course. Reavie had a chance to force a playoff, but missed a 15-foot birdie putt. He shot a 68.
The series featured the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings and non-members such as Grillo who earned enough money to have placed in the top 200 had they been eligible. The top 25 players on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list earned PGA Tour cards. They were competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players were competing for 25 cards based on series earnings.
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) – Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, closing with a 1-under 71 for a two-stroke victory.
Olesen had a double bogey on the second hole and a bogey on the third but recovered to finish at 18-under 270. He has three European Tour titles.
American Brooks Koepka and Chris Stroud tied for second. Koepka had a 67, and Stroud shot 68.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Briann January had 19 points and six assists and the Indiana Fever stole home-court advantage in the WNBA Finals with a 75-69 victory over the Minnesota Lynx in Game 1 on Sunday.
Marissa Coleman added 16 points and the Fever hit all 16 of their free throws in a rematch of the 2012 finals. Indiana won Game 1 of that series as well en route to the franchise’s only championship.
Maya Moore had 27 points and 12 rebounds and Sylvia Fowles add 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Lynx. But Minnesota missed eight free throws and turned the ball over 15 times to drop the opener.
Game 2 in the best-of-five series is Tuesday night in Minneapolis.