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Oct. 8, 2012 at 5:15 PM
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Alabama No. 1 in week of poll shake-up

MCLEAN, Va., Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Alabama pulled to near unanimity as the No. 1-ranked team but a series of high-profile games Saturday caused a shake-up in the USA Today Coaches football poll.

Alabama (5-0) was idle last week but still picked up additional poll support. This week, 58 of the 59 coaches on the voting panel placed the Crimson Tide first; the other put Alabama second.

Oregon (6-0) got the other first-place vote and is again second in the poll.

Other than that, only No. 16 Louisville (5-0) is in the same position it was in last week. Five teams -- not counting Nebraska, which drops out of the rankings -- fall by five or more places. Eleven teams, including previously unranked Texas A&M, move up at least three spots in the rankings.

Those big gainers include No. 3 South Carolina (6-0), fourth-ranked West Virginia (5-0) and No. 5 Kansas State (5-0), which all move up three places.

Florida (5-0) goes from 11th to sixth while Notre Dame (5-0) is up three to No. 7. Louisiana State (5-1) falls five places to eighth but Southern California (4-1) improves three to No. 9 and Oklahoma (3-1) jumps from 14th to No. 10.

No. 11 Florida State (5-1) and 12th-ranked Georgia (5-1) after both plummet seven spots. Clemson (5-1) is voted No. 13 while Oregon State (4-0) is up three to 14th, Texas (4-1) falls six spots to 15th.

Louisville (5-0) is 16th, with Stanford (4-1) in at 17th, Mississippi State (5-0) goes up one to 18th and Rutgers (5-0) is at No. 19 and Cincinnati (4-0) is 20th.

Texas A&M (4-1) enters the poll at No. 21 and Boise State (4-1) is 22nd after a week at No. 25 but Texas Christian (4-1) drops 10 places to 23rd. No. 24 Louisiana Tech (5-0) and 25th-ranked Iowa State (4-1) weren't ranked a week ago.

In addition to Nebraska, Northwestern and Texas Tech fall from the Top 25 this week.

Key games this week include LSU playing host to South Carolina, which beat Georgia last week; Oklahoma and Texas playing their annual game in Dallas; and Stanford going to Notre Dame.


Temple's Kamal Johnson accused of assault

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- A Temple football player, Kamal Johnson, is accused of punching his girlfriend and holding her captive for more than 3 hours, police in Philadelphia said.

Johnson's girlfriend told police he came to her apartment Sept. 27 following an argument on the phone.

She said the 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive tackle punched her in the back and threw her to the floor before dragging her down a flight of stairs to his apartment elsewhere in the building where they both live. The woman said Johnson forced her into his bedroom and wouldn't let her leave, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

Johnson was charged with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and related offenses, the newspaper said.

A judge set bail at $25,000.

Temple Coach Steve Addazio declined to say whether Johnson would play this week for the 2-2 Owls. The team beat South Florida 37-28 Saturday.


Grace continues climb up golf rankings

VIRGINIA WATER, England, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Branden Grace continued a huge season on the European Tour with another win but the week's golf results left the men's world rankings Top 10 unchanged.

Grace won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for his fifth tournament title of 2012. He started the year No. 271 in the rankings and the latest victory boosted him another eight places to No. 37.

Ryan Moore won the PGA Tour's Shriners Hospital for Children Open and improves his ranking five spots to 39th in the world.

Rory McIlroy has a sizable lead atop the rankings. His ranking points average is 12.397, nearly 3 points better than No. 2-ranked Tiger Woods (9.474) while Luke Donald comes in third with 9.095.

Lee Westwood is fourth with an average of 6.984 but the rest of the Top 10 is bunched together.

Justin Rose (6.350) is fifth but just more than half a point better than No. 10 Jason Dufner (5.841). In between is Adam Scott (6.267) in sixth while Bubba Watson is No. 7 with an average of 6.117 while No. 8 Webb Simpson comes in at 5.974 and ninth-ranked Brandt Snedeker is ninth at 5.883.


Expert: Armstrong's blood had irregularity

BERKELEY, Calif., Oct. 8 (UPI) -- A blood-doping expert says evidence suggests Lance Armstrong used banned doping methods at the 2009 Tour de France.

Michael Ashenden, an Australian scientist who helped create a test for the blood-doping substance EPO, told the investigative journalism group California Watch an analysis, included in a court filing of blood samples drawn in 2009, suggests Armstrong was employing illegal methods to win the race.

California Watch is a part of the Center for Investigative Reporting, a non-profit organization based in Berkeley, Calif.

Armstrong, who won the Tour de France seven times finished third in the 2009 race.

Ashenden said, in an interview and follow-up email to California Watch, Armstrong's body produced fewer young red blood cells during the race than would be expected, a sign his system was adapting to the presence of a re-infused extra volume of blood, which is illegal in competitive cycling.

"Suppressed red blood-cell production is a classic signature associated with blood doping," Ashenden wrote.

The information came in what was called a "biological passport" of Armstrong's 2009 blood chemistry levels California Watch said.

Armstrong has adamantly denied doping.

"There is no in-between. Lance Armstrong has passed every test ever given to him, including every test administered during the 2009 Tour de France," his attorney, Mark Fabiani, said.

Ashenden's interpretation of the of blood data came from evidence introduced in a July lawsuit Armstrong filed in a failed attempt to block the United States Anti-Doping Agency from removing his Tour de France titles, California Watch said.

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