Weekend Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) — Alabama reclaimed No. 1 from Georgia in The Associated Press college football poll in one of the closest votes in the recent years, and six teams — including Kansas — made their season debut on Sunday.
The Crimson Tide received 25 first-place votes and 1,523 points in the AP Top 25, two points more than the Bulldogs. Georgia received 28 first-place votes to become the first team since Alabama in November 2019 to have the most first-place votes but not be No. 1.
The last time there was a two-point margin between Nos. 1 and 2 was Nov. 1, 2020, when Clemson was ahead of Alabama. There have been three other polls with a two-point margin at the top since 2007.
Ohio State remained third, but the Buckeyes also gained some ground on the top two, getting 10 first-place votes.
The Crimson Tide started the season at No. 1, but the defending national champion Bulldogs took the top spot away from their Southeastern Conference rivals after Week 2 when Alabama needed a late field goal to beat Texas.
No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Clemson and No. 6 Southern California all won and held their places this week, though the Wolverines and Tigers are now separated by just three points. No. 7 Oklahoma State, followed by Tennessee, Mississippi and Penn State, round out the top 10.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin fired head coach Paul Chryst after a 2-3 start to his eighth season leading the school where he played, in the city where he grew up. The surprising move comes a day after Wisconsin lost at home 34-10 to Illinois and former Badgers coach Bret Bielema.
Chryst was 67-26 since taking over as coach of the Badgers in 2015 after being hired away from Pittsburgh. Chryst had double-digit win seasons in four of his first five years at Wisconsin and had gone 15-10 since.
Chryst, the 56-year-old Madison native, has four years left on his contract. He was set to make $5.25 million this season.
Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard, another former Badgers player, was named interim coach. The 39-year-old former NFL defensive back has been part of Chryst’s staff for seven seasons and considered one of the top assistant coaches in the country.
The in-season coaching move was the fifth already this season, and second of the day. Earlier Sunday, Colorado fired Karl Dorrell after an 0-5 start in which the Buffaloes were blown out by more than 20 points in each game.
ATLANTA (AP) — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d’Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-3, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.
The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.
New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closed out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.
The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is lower in the standings than at any point this season.
NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge won’t break the American League home run record at Yankee Stadium, remaining at 61 as New York headed on the road for its final four regular-season games after a 3-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.
Judge struck out three times and walked once, disappointing a crowd of 44,332 that watched the Yankees regular-season home finale in rain for much of a chilly, blustery afternoon. New York finishes the regular season with four games at Texas, starting Monday night.
Trying to become the first Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012, Judge tops the AL with 130 RBIs. His batting average fell to .311, four points behind league leader Luis Arraez of Minnesota.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres are going back to the playoffs for the first time in a full season since 2006, a spot that they clinched during the seventh inning of a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
The Padres were batting when the Miami Marlins beat the Milwaukee Brewers in 12 innings. The sellout crowd of 41,407 at Petco Park stood and cheered the sealed wild-card spot. The Padres trailed 2-0 at the time but Kim Ha-seong homered a few minutes later.
The Padres had a chance to win in the ninth when they put two runners on with two outs against Liam Hendriks but pinch-hitter Jorge Alfaro, who has five walk-off plate appearances this year, grounded out.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Mason Crosby made a 31-yard field goal as time expired in overtime, and the Green Bay Packers topped the New England Patriots 27-24, spoiling rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe’s NFL debut.
Zappe, a fourth-round pick from Western Kentucky, played the majority of the game after Brian Hoyer left with a head injury. Hoyer made his first start since 2020 in place of Mac Jones, who injured his left ankle during last weekend’s 37-26 loss to Baltimore.
Hoyer led New England to Nick Folk’s 37-yard field goal on the game’s opening drive, but he got sacked by Rashan Gary on the team’s next series and departed.
Zappe and the Patriots (1-3) still played well enough to force overtime, but Aaron Rodgers bounced back from a dreadful first half to continue his recent home mastery of AFC teams. The Packers (3-1) are 18-1 in the last 19 home games Rodgers has started against AFC foes.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mackenzie Hughes made birdie on his third time playing the 18th hole, and it gave him a playoff victory over Sepp Straka in the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Hughes twice had to made tough par saves on the closing hole at the Country Club of Jackson, in regulation from 100 feet behind the green for a 3-under 69 to force a playoff and from a tough spot in a bunker to keep going. Straka narrowly missed his birdie putt on the second playoff hole from 18 feet on the fringe. Hughes hit his approach to 8 feet and made the winning putt.
The victory comes one week after the Presidents Cup, and Hughes was disappointed not to be included on the International team at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he lives. He wanted to use that as motivation, and it sure worked out that way. Hughes won for the second time on the PGA Tour, both in a playoff.
Garrick Higgo of South Africa had a 68 and finished third.
THE COLONY, Texas (AP) — Charley Hull put a little extra time into putting practice and it paid off for her in a big way when she ran off four birdies on the back nine for a 7-under 64 to win The Ascendant LPGA.
Hull won for the first time on the LPGA Tour in nearly six years, and the 26-year-old from England crossed the $1 million mark in season earnings. She loved the theater of the final hour at Old American Golf Club as much as soaking herself with champagne when she held on for a one-shot victory.
Xiyu Lin’s birdie putt to force a playoff lost speed and missed just to the left. It was her third runner-up finish this year, and second in the last month.
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Chase Elliott raced his way into the next round of the playoffs with a victory at Talladega Superspeedway in the first clean race yet of this year’s postseason.
Elliott was fifth on the final restart with two laps remaining and claimed control of the outside lane to stalk leader Ryan Blaney. The 2020 Cup champion surged ahead with a push from Erik Jones on the final lap, threw a block on Blaney’s attempt to reclaim the win and then beat Blaney to the finish line by .046 seconds.
Elliott is the first driver through five playoff races to automatically advance into the next round with a victory. The first four races were won by drivers not eligible for the championship in a chaotic start to the 10-race postseason.