New York — TCU’s best chance to catch Oregon and Auburn in the BCS standings came and went, and the Horned Frogs are still chasing the top two.
TCU closed the gap on the first-place Ducks and second-place Tigers and widened its advantage on fourth-place Boise State on Sunday, a day after a resounding 47-7 victory at previously unbeaten Utah.
“The bottom line is that they put themselves on a different plateau,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said of his team after the victory over Utah. “They have to finish the season, and we can only control what we can control. But I thought they made a statement. Everybody else in the country, when they go into someone else’s house in a big game, they usually end up getting beat.”
The Horned Frogs’ BCS average is .9259 after coming in third in both the Harris and coaches’ polls and second in the computer ratings. Oregon (.9638) is first in both polls and third in the computers. Auburn (.9611) is second in the polls and first in the computers.
LSU moved up to fifth overall after beating Alabama 24-21.
Auburn moves to No. 2 in AP poll
New York — TCU’s impressive victory over the weekend not only lifted the Horned Frogs to No. 3 in the Associated Press poll, it caused Auburn to move up behind top-ranked Oregon and Boise State to fall two spots to No. 4.
Oregon received 49 first-place votes and 1,484 points, only three points less than last week. Auburn received the exact amount of first-place votes (two) and points as last week.
Yankees call Lee’s agent
New York — The Yankees called Cliff Lee’s agent Sunday on the first day of the free-agent negotiating period to say they will be back in touch with an offer for the top pitcher on the market, a baseball official familiar with the conversation told the Associated Press.
Texas hopes to re-sign the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner, who led the Rangers to their first World Series after he was acquired from Seattle in July. The Yankees have made signing Lee the top priority among free agents.
Source: Tigers sign SS Peralta
Detroit — Jhonny Peralta is staying with the Detroit Tigers.
The shortstop has agreed to an $11.25 million, two-year contract, a person familiar with the contract said Sunday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn’t been announced.
Cook defends title
San Francisco —John Cook successfully defended his title in the Champions Tour’s season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship on Sunday at Harding Park, while Bernhard Langer took his first season points title.
Molinari overcomes Westwood
Shanghai — Francesco Molinari outlasted Lee Westwood in a spirited duel Sunday in the HSBC Champions for a one-shot victory to capture his first World Golf Championship and continue a memorable year for Italy.
Shin secures second LPGA victory
Shima, Japan — Top-ranked Jiyai Shin won the Mizuno Classic on Sunday for her second LPGA Tour victory of the season and eighth overall, closing with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke victory over Yani Tseng.
Italy claims Fed Cup over U.S.
San Diego — Flavia Pennetta routed 18-year-old CoCo Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-2 on Sunday to give Italy its second straight Fed Cup final victory over the United States. Pennetta’s victory in the fourth singles match gave the Italians a 3-1 decision in the best-of-five finale.
Federer bests Djokovic
Basel, Switzerland — Roger Federer reclaimed his hometown title from Novak Djokovic, beating the defending champion 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in the Swiss Indoors final Sunday.
Ferrer tops Granollers at Valencia
Valencia, Spain — David Ferrer beat Marcel Granollers 7-5, 6-3 to win the Valencia Open on Sunday, virtually assuring himself of a spot in the season-ending ATP Tour finals.
Ethiopian wins NYC Marathon
New York — The 16th mile of the New York City Marathon was the last step of Haile Gebrselassie’s storied career.
The world-record holder announced his retirement after dropping out of the race on a day that featured the rise of a new Ethiopian star. Countryman Gebre Gebremariam won the men’s title in his marathon debut.