National Sports Briefs: Duke gets a vote in poll
DURHAM ó Duke has received a vote in one of the national polls ó and it isn’t even the preseason anymore.
The Blue Devils were voted 25th on one ballot in the coaches’ poll released Sunday.
That nod of respect comes a day after first-year coach David Cutcliffe’s team won its second straight game, improved to 3-1 and snapped a 25-game ACC losing streak by routing Virginia 31-3.
Cutcliffe joked that the vote’s significance depends on whose ballot it was because “it may be Coach (Steve) Spurrier again.”
Spurrier annually puts the Blue Devils at No. 25 on his preseason ballot as a token thank-you for giving him his first college head coaching job. Ironically, he didn’t do it this year because he was asked to preserve the poll’s integrity.
– Oklahoma, where the No. 1 ranking rests again.
The Sooners sit atop the AP Top 25 after the first upset-filled weekend of the season gave the media poll a powerful shake. Alabama was both a mover and a shaker, as the Crimson Tide rose to No. 2 after a 41-30 pounding of Georgia.
Previously top-ranked Southern California lost at Oregon State to set the tone for a weekend that brought back memories of the topsy-turvy 2007 season. On Saturday, two more top-five teams fell. Florida was stunned at home by Mississippi, 31-30. Overall, nine ranked teams lost, six to unranked foes.
Oklahoma is No. 1 for the 96th time in the history of the AP poll, breaking a tie with Notre Dame for the most ever.
No. 21 Oklahoma State is ranked for the first time since 2004.
Wake Forest fell to No. 25 while Clemson and East Carolina fell out of the poll.
ATLANTA ó Too far behind to do anything about the FedEx Cup, Camilo Villegas put together a stirring rally Sunday that was good enough to win the Tour Championship in a playoff over Sergio Garcia for his second straight victory.
Villegas overcame a five-shot deficit by making six birdies over his last 11 holes for a 4-under 66, then beat Garcia with a par in the playoff on the 233-yard 18th.
– PRATTVILLE, Ala. ó Lorena Ochoa won the Navistar LPGA Classic on Sunday for her seventh victory of the year and first since May, beating Candie Kung with a 2-foot par putt on the second hole of a playoff.
– CARY ó Argentina’s Eduardo Romero won the SAS Championship for his third Champions Tour victory in five starts, closing with a 6-under 66 for a three-stroke victory over Tom Kite.
RALEIGH ó Michael Leighton stopped 21 shots and the Carolina Hurricanes won for the first time in four preseason games with a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
Leighton, who’s expected to be Carolina’s No. 2 goalie, made nine saves in the third period. He has stopped 36 of 37 shots in two preseason outings.
– NEW YORK ó Petr Nedved’s bid to come back to the NHL after a year playing in Europe ended when the New York Rangers released the 36-year-old forward from his tryout.
Nedved tied for the team lead with two goals and three points in three preseason games this week.
– ATLANTA ó The Atlanta Thrashers acquired defenseman Mathieu Schneider from Anaheim for defenseman Ken Klee and forwards Brad Larsen and Chad Painchaud.
NORMAN, Okla. ó Former Oklahoma basketball star Wayman Tisdale says he’s doing well after surgery last month to amputate part of his right leg.
Tisdale appeared in a video message at halftime of the Sooners’ football game against TCU on Saturday night, telling fans he’s at peace following the operation.
Tisdale, a three-time All-American in the 1980s, is Oklahoma’s all-time leading scorer. He played 12 seasons in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns.
He had surgery in August after cancer was discovered last year.
– PITTSBURGH ó Pittsburgh basketball coach Jamie Dixon’s contract was extended three seasons through the 2015-16 season Thursday, a deal that came two years following his last extension.
MILLINGTON, Tenn. ó Tony Schumacher increased his Top Fuel points lead after many Countdown contenders fell early Sunday in the O’Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals.