Irish and Tide in control of their own fate
NEW YORK (AP) — Taking advantage of losses by Oregon and Kansas State, Notre Dame and Alabama sit 1-2 in the BCS standings as we approach the end of college football's regular season.
The unbeaten Fighting Irish need to beat Southern California on Saturday in Los Angeles to earn their first trip to the BCS title game. The Trojans will be without start quarterback Matt Barkley, who was injured late in Saturday's loss to UCLA that dropped USC out of the AP's Top 25.
Alabama and No. 3 Georgia also have rivalry games Saturday. The Crimson Tide hosts Auburn and the Bulldogs play Georgia Tech at home.
If the favorites win, the SEC championship game will be a national semifinal of sorts, with the winner advancing to the BCS title game.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-MIAMI-NCAA INVESTIGATION
The 'U' self-imposes again
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) —The University of Miami is self-imposing a postseason ban for the second straight year in response to a lengthy and ongoing NCAA investigation into the school's compliance practices.
School officials announced the decision shortly before the 6-5 Hurricanes took the field for their first practice for what now is their season-finale at Duke this weekend.
By self-imposing another ban, Miami is hoping to lessen the hit of any looming sanctions that could be handed down by the NCAA.
Miami's decision effectively ends the ACC's Coastal Division race; Georgia Tech will play Florida State for the ACC crown and an Orange Bowl berth.
NFL-WEEK 11 FINALE
Clash of division leaders in the City by the Bay
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tonight's NFL matchup is a good one, with NFC North leader Chicago on the road to face NFC West leader San Francisco.
With Jay Cutler ruled out due to a concussion, veteran Jason Campbell will quarterback the Bears. It'll be his 71st NFL start.
Alex Smith also suffered a concussion last week and hasn't been medically cleared to play by San Francisco's medical staff. If he can't go, second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick (KAP'-ur-nihk) will make his first NFL start.
Don't look for a high-scoring game. San Francisco leads the league in fewest points allowed, followed closely by Chicago.
The Bears enter the contest with a 7-2 record, just ahead of 7-3 Green Bay in the division race.
The 49ers' are 6-2-1 while second-place Seattle sits at 6-4.
Roy to miss more time
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An ominous sign for a player trying to come back from years of chronic knee issues. Minnesota Timberwolves guard Brandon Roy is having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee today.
Roy signed a two-year deal with Minnesota in the offseason after sitting out all of last year. He had injections in his knees over the summer that made them feel much better. But he missed a few days before the start of the regular season with knee soreness and only played five games before shutting down.
Grizzlies back on the prowl
UNDATED (AP) — The hottest team in the NBA returns to the court tonight in Memphis chasing a ninth straight win. The 8-1 Grizzlies will host a 4-6 Denver team that's lost three in a row.
And while we're on the topic of losing streaks, the 0-8 Washington Wizards will be chasing their first win of the season against visiting Indiana.
There's a good matchup in San Antonio, where the 8-2 Spurs await a 7-2 L.A. Clippers club that's won five straight.
Also this evening, Milwaukee puts a three-game winning streak on the line at Charlotte, Atlanta is home to Orlando, Golden State plays at Dallas and Utah entertains Houston.
Hoosiers on the road
UNDATED (AP) — Top-ranked Indiana is getting ready for its first real test of the young season. The Hoosiers' game against Georgia at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be their first against a team from a major conference. Indiana warmed up with easy home wins over Bryant, North Dakota State and Sam Houston State. Georgia lost to Youngstown State and Southern Mississippi after opening the season with a victory over Jacksonville.
No. 13 UCLA will take on Georgetown in the second semifinal of the Legends Classic. Tonight's winners will square off tomorrow night.
In other Top 25 hoops action, No. 7 Kansas and Washington State will play in a tournament in Kansas City, 11th-ranked North Carolina faces Mississippi State at the Maui Classic in Hawaii, No. 12 Arizona host Long Beach State, and 23rd-ranked Connecticut bumps up against New Mexico at the Paradise Jam on Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands.
Keselowski hoists trophy
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — Brad Keselowski finished 15th in the Sprint Cup finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and that was good enough to claim his first series championship. Roger Penske also collected his first owner's championship at stock car racing's highest level.
Keselowski finished the season 39 points ahead of Clint Bowyer and 40 up on five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson.
Four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag for his first victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway.