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College football notebook: Alabama remains atop AP Top 25

Alabama running back Najee Harris scores a touchdown during the Crimson Tide’s 42-13 win over Auburn on Saturday. Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP

Alabama is the unanimous No. 1 again in The Associated Press college football poll as the top eight teams in the rankings held steady for the fourth week in a row.

The Crimson Tide got 62 first-place votes for the second consecutive week and are followed by No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Clemson.

Southeastern Conference teams Texas A&M and Florida are fifth and sixth, respectively. Unbeaten Cincinnati is seventh and undefeated BYU is eighth.

The changes in the poll came after that, with Miami inching up to No. 9 and Indiana returning to the top 10.

Oregon’s first loss of the season knocked the Ducks out of the top 10, dropping them 12 spots to No. 21.

VANDERBILT: The school fired coach Derek Mason after losing the first eight games of his seventh season, and offensive coordinator Todd Fitch will serve as the interim coach.

“While this was a difficult decision, but I know this change is necessary,” athletic director Candice Lee said in a statement. “We wish Derek and his entire family the best.”

Mason was hired in 2014 as Vanderbilt’s 28th coach, replacing James Franklin when he left for Penn State. Mason came to Vanderbilt after being associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Stanford. He became the first Vanderbilt coach since the 1920s to beat in-state rival Tennessee three straight seasons.

• Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller, the most famous walk-on in college football this season, isn’t ready to walk away from the sport.

After the soccer player-turned kicker became the first woman to play in a Power Five conference football game, Fuller said she wants to remain a member of the team.

“I’ll stay around as long as they want me, till they like, kick me off,” Fuller said Sunday. “So I’m here for the long run.”

Fuller stayed in the COVID-19 testing protocol and was attending meetings Sunday with Vanderbilt (0-8), a day after making history by kicking off to open the second half of a 41-0 loss to Missouri. Fuller executed a squib kick that traveled 30 yards before the ball was smothered by Missouri with no chance for a return.

UTEP: The school suspended football activities and called off another game after “multiple members” of the football team tested positive for COVID-19.

The Miners won’t play host to Southern Miss as scheduled Friday after scrapping this weekend’s game at Rice because of the positive tests.

It’s the third straight UTEP game to be called off, starting with UAB on Nov. 20 because of coronavirus issues in the UAB program. UTEP had moved the UAB game 300 miles east of El Paso to Midland, Texas, because of a significant increase of coronavirus cases in the far West Texas city.

“During our recent COVID testing, multiple members of our football team tested positive for the virus,” Athletic Director Jim Senter said. “We will make a determination on the remainder of the season once we have received the results of our next regularly scheduled test.”

UTEP hasn’t indicated plans to reschedule any of the three games, saying the only remaining scheduled regular-season game was Dec. 12 at home against North Texas.

The Miners last played Nov. 14 at UTSA, losing 52-21 for a third straight defeat that dropped them to 3-4.


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