Alabama still atop Top 25, but Clemson closing in

Alabama’s big win over Mississippi didn’t keep Clemson from cutting into its lead in The Associated Press poll.

The defending national champion Tigers more than doubled their number of first-place votes after their 31-17 win over then-No. 12 Virginia Tech. Clemson lost ground a week ago after struggling against Boston College, but its performance against the Hokies took the Tigers from eight to 17 first-place votes.

The Tide went from 52 first-place votes last week to 44 despite their 66-3 rout of the Rebels.

The top four teams remained the same. Following Alabama and Clemson are Oklahoma and Penn State.

Southern Cal’s loss at Washington State made room for Georgia to take over at No. 5 after its 41-0 win over Tennessee.

Washington, Michigan, TCU, Wisconsin and Ohio State rounded out the top 10.

UTEP Coach Sean Kugler has resigned after a 0-5 start, the latest loss being Saturday’s 35-21 setback at Army.

Kugler leaves with an 18-36 record.

Jordan Chunn ran for 191 yards and a touchdown, Troy’s defense forced four turnovers and the surging Trojans upset No. 25 LSU 24-21 on Saturday night.

Troy snapped the Tigers’ streak of 49 straight home wins over non-league foes.


WORLD CUP: Jozy Altidore, DeAndre Yedlin and Geoff Cameron returned from injuries and are on the U.S. roster for crucial World Cup qualifiers against Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago.

With the Americans in danger of missing soccer’s top event for the first time since 1986, U.S. Coach Bruce Arena dropped Fabian Johnson because of a lack of fitness.

Arena brought in defender Michael Orozco and midfielders Benny Feilhaber and Juan Agudelo for Friday’s game against Panama at Orlando, Fla., and the qualifying finale four days later at Trinidad.


NHL: Dave Strader, the Dallas Stars play-by-play man and a national broadcaster on NBC sports, died Saturday at his Glens Falls, New York, home after battling bile duct cancer for over a year. He was 62.

Known affectionately as “The Voice,” Strader received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame this year. He also broadcasted for the Detroit Red Wings, Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers, and worked three Olympic Games.


FORMULA 1: Max Verstappen celebrated his birthday by winning the Malaysian Grand Prix in style while Lewis Hamilton finished second to extend his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel started the race from last but drove brilliantly to take fourth place behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.


LPGA: Canada’s Brooke Henderson won the weather-delayed New Zealand Women’s Open on Monday, finishing off a 3-under 69 for a five-stroke victory over China’s Jing Yan.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Paul Dunne held off a thrilling challenge from Rory McIlroy in the final round of the British Masters to claim his first European Tour title, finishing 20 under with a closing 61 to win by three strokes.


WNBA: Sylvia Fowles scored 22 points and the Minnesota Lynx beat the host Los Angeles Sparks 80-69 on Sunday night to force a decisive Game 5 in the WNBA Finals.

– News service report