BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
January 5, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Saturday. A full Sports Digest will be sent about 3 p.m. All times EST:

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Six days after losing to the Minnesota Vikings in the regular-season finale, the Green Bay Packers get a rematch in the NFC wild card. The stakes are much, much higher this time, with the winner moving on and the loser going home.

HOUSTON - Houston and Cincinnati meet in a rematch of last year's wild-card playoff game that the Texans won 31-10. Houston looks to bounce back after losing three of its last four, and the Bengals, who have won three straight, aim for their first playoff win since 1991.

MIAMI - Days after team leaders held a players-only meeting, Alabama coach Nick Saban says the Crimson Tide's performance in Monday's BCS championship will show a lot about whether his players have put aside the ``clutter'' that comes with their success.

STORRS, Conn. - The top-ranked Connecticut women open their Big East season against No. 5 Notre Dame. The Irish have had the Huskies' number lately, beating them in the Final Four the past two seasons.

CLEVELAND - The Browns are expected to meet for a second day with Oregon's Chip Kelly about their coaching vacancy. The sides met extensively in Arizona on Friday but did not complete a deal to bring the offensive innovator to Cleveland. The Browns remain the favorites to sign Kelly, who does not have any NFL coaching experience.

KAPALUA, Hawaii - The PGA Tour tries again to start its season at windy Kapalua with 36 holes planned. The first round was erased because of high wind.

ARLINGTON, Texas - For anybody who wondered how Texas A&M would do in the SEC, the Aggies and their Heisman Trophy-winning freshman quarterback provided a pretty emphatic answer. They won 11 games, including a Cotton Bowl victory over a former Big 12 rival that had mostly dominated them.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The BBVA Compass Bowl is a matchup of first-year coaches. Mississippi's Hugh Freeze and Pittsburgh's Paul Chryst are trying to put a successful finish on 6-6 regular seasons. Pitt is making its third straight appearance in the bowl.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois hosts Ohio State in a meeting of top-15 Big Ten teams that appear headed in opposite directions. The No. 8 Buckeyes (11-2) are coming off a 26-point win over Nebraska. No. 11 Illinois (13-2) has lost two of its last three, including an upset to Purdue.

FRISCO, Texas - North Dakota State goes for a second straight FCS title in a rematch with Sam Houston State, which will try to become the fifth straight first-time champion. It's the fourth rematch since the FCS playoffs began in 1978.