T25-COLLEGE BKB POLL
Arizona moves to No. 1 in AP poll; Syracuse No. 2
Arizona has moved up one spot to No. 1 in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, the Wildcats' first top ranking since 2003.
Arizona (9-0) was a runaway choice at No. 1, receiving 63 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel Monday. The Wildcats were sixth in the preseason Top 25, and their climb has been highlighted by wins over San Diego State and Duke.
Syracuse, which got the other first-place votes, and Ohio State moved up two places to second and third, while Wisconsin jumped four spots to fourth. Michigan State, which had been No. 1 for three weeks, dropped to fifth after losing 79-65 at home to North Carolina.
Louisville was No. 6, followed by Oklahoma State, Duke, Connecticut and Villanova.
North Carolina moved back into the poll at No. 18 after a one-week absence. Colorado and Missouri are in the Top 25 for the first time this season. UCLA, Michigan and Dayton fell out of the rankings.
With big season, Abraham moving up sacks list
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Hold off on that rocking chair for John Abraham. The 35-year-old outside linebacker obviously isn't finished with his brilliant career yet.
Abraham had three sacks, one for a safety, in the Arizona Cardinals' 30-10 victory over St. Louis on Sunday. He has 11 for the season and moved ahead of Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O'Neal to ninth on the NFL career sacks list with 133.
Abraham was let go by the Atlanta Falcons after last season and came to Arizona supposedly as a part-time player, a pass rush specialist.
But when both starting outside linebackers - Sam Acho and Lorenzo Alexander - went down with season-ending injuries in Week 3 against New Orleans, Abraham found himself a full-time player again.
And he has excelled.
Cardinals' Mathieu to have season-ending surgery
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Tyrann Mathieu's terrific rookie NFL season has come to a premature end.
Arizona coach Bruce Arians has confirmed that Mathieu tore an ACL and sustained further damage in his left knee and will undergo surgery.
Mathieu, who earned the nickname "Honey Badger" in his days at LSU, was Arizona's starting safety and had been in on almost every defensive play for the Cardinals.
He was injured returning a free kick after John Abraham had tackled Kellen Clemens in the end zone in the third quarter of Arizona's 30-10 victory over St. Louis on Sunday.
Mathieu was buried in a pile of tacklers. He tried to jog off the field but his knee buckled and he collapsed. Mathieu blew a kiss to the crowd as he was carted off.
Gamble, timing helps No. 15 UCF reach 1st BCS bowl
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - UCF coach George O'Leary dubbed the Knights' football program a sleeping giant 10 years ago when he was hired.
Now as they prepare to play in a BCS bowl for the first time in school history against No. 6 Baylor in the Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl, he acknowledges that many dominoes had to fall just right for this dream season to take place.
Among those dominoes was the decision last year to appeal a one-year football postseason ban. The NCAA eventually threw out the penalty, but had it not the No. 15 Knights would be ineligible for the BCS berth this season.
It has left players and coaches appreciating the position they're in and primed to capitalize on the national attention it's getting.
Munchak pushing Titans to snap skid, win final 3
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Mike Munchak wants the Tennessee Titans to win their final three games and salvage an 8-8 season. The coach says keeping his job is a topic for discussion when the season ends.
That isn't stopping Munchak from arguing Tennessee is headed in the right direction even if it doesn't seem that way.
Munchak said Monday the Titans have lots of good, young players and should be fine if they settle their quarterback issue and a couple other areas.
The Titans (5-8) remain mathematically alive for a playoff berth. Their 3-1 start is a distant memory, and they lost for the seventh time in nine games falling 51-28 to Denver.
Tennessee hosts Arizona (8-5) on Sunday.
Chris Johnson says Munchak can't be blamed for players losing leads and games.
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