Update on the latest sports



Power 5 league title matchups taking shape

UNDATED (AP) — Top-ranked Georgia is the only Power Five team to have clinched a spot in its conference championship game. More tickets to title games should be punched this weekend.

Second-ranked Alabama can move a step closer toward claiming another SEC West Division crown when it hosts No. 25 Arkansas. Alabama is in the driver’s seat for another Western Division championship with a one-game lead over No. 10 Mississippi and holding the tiebreaker after beating the Rebels last month. The Razorbacks have won three in a row and aim to halt a 14-game losing streak against the Crimson Tide.

The Big Ten East race is coming down to the wire the last two weeks of the season and the results also could shake up the College Football Playoff picture. No. 7 Michigan State takes on No. 4 Ohio State in Columbus. The winner will stay in the race for the Big Ten East and the College Football Playoff. The loser likely will be left outside looking in. The Buckeyes and their high-powered offense have won eight straight since being upset by Oregon in Week 2. The Spartans have already beaten Michigan, so can win the division if they take down 19 1/2-point favorite Ohio State and then beat Penn State.

There will be plenty at stake when No. 24 Utah hosts fourth-ranked Oregon Saturday night. Both the Ducks and the Utes have a shot at wrapping up their side of the Pac-12 divisions. The teams remain on course to meet again in the league’s title game on Dec. 3. A win by the Ducks also keeps them in the hunt for a spot in the College Football Playoff. A victory by the Utes would make Kyle Whittingham the winningest coach in team history. He would move past Ike Armstrong.


Steelers Roethlisberger comes off COVID-19 list, will start

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will start against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night after being removed from the COVID-19 list.

The team made the move on Saturday, a week after Roethlisberger went onto the list after testing positive for the coronavirus. The team said Roethlisberger passed the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols and will travel separately to Los Angeles later Saturday afternoon.

Roethlisberger sat out last week’s 16-16 tie with Detroit after being symptomatic for the coronavirus and then testing positive. He participated virtually with the Steelers during the week and was in frequent contact with offensive coordinator Matt Canada and quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan.

This is the second time Roethlisberger will start after being placed in the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol. He went into the protocol last November after being labeled a close contact. He didn’t practice during the week but played during a 36-10 win over Cincinnati, throwing for 333 yards and four touchdowns.


Vlhova beats Shiffrin in 1st slalom of World Cup season

LEVI, Finland (AP) — Petra Vlhova held on to her first-run lead to beat Mikaela Shiffrin and win the first World Cup slalom of the season.

The Slovakian overall champion initially lost a few hundredths from her slim lead of .11 but accelerated near the end of her final run to win by .31 as the pair continued their dominance in the annual event in Finnish Lapland.

No skier other than Vlhova or Shiffrin has won the traditional season-opening slalom since then-overall champion Tina Maze triumphed in 2014. Shiffrin and Vlhova have now each won it four times.

Lena Dürr of Germany finished third.


US wins 2 monobob medals, Friedrich rolls in 2-man race

IGLS, Austria (AP) — The U.S. has won its first two medals of the World Cup sliding season by claiming gold and silver in women’s monobob. Elana Meyers Taylor and Kaillie Humphries were first and second for the U.S. Germany’s Laura Nolte was third.

In the two-man race, Francesco Friedrich of Germany started the Olympic season with yet another win. Friedrich has finished no worse than second in any of his last 33 World Cup two-man races, winning gold 26 times and silver in the other seven. Codie Bascue drove to fifth place for the U.S.


Lewis Hamilton wins pole for inaugural Qatar Grand Prix

LOSAIL, Qatar (AP) — Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have qualified 1-2 for the inaugural Qatar (KUH’-tur) Grand Prix, setting up a showdown between the Formula One championship contenders at the very start of Sunday’s race.

Hamilton won the 102nd pole of his career and fourth of the season, beating Verstappen by 0.455 seconds Saturday. The seven-time champion said after he’d been battling a stomachache since arriving in Qatar.

Hamilton trails Verstappen by 14 points in the championship fight with three races remaining.

Categories: National Sports