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First Down: Top underplayed stories of the week

- The Washington Times - Friday, December 4, 2009

THE BEST OF THE WEEKEND IN SPORTS

SEC championship game

It's Alabama against Florida for a berth in the BCS title game, where the winner likely will face Texas.

Big 12 championship game

Texas has run the table, but Nebraska could ruin the Longhorns' chances at a BCS title berth.

Titans at Colts

Indianapolis has yet to lose, but it best not overlook Tennessee, which started 0-6 but is back in the playoff hunt after reeling off five straight wins.

TWT FIVE UNDERPLAYED SPORTS STORIES OF THE WEEK

1. Serena's punishment - With all the controversy surrounding Tiger Woods this week, we hardly heard about the $82,500 fine and two years of probation handed to Serena Williams for her verbal accosting of a line judge at the U.S. Open.

2. Bobby Bowden's retirement - One of the winningest coaches in college football history is stepping down. Few coaches have meant more to a program, but coverage of his unceremonial ouster at Florida State was lacking.

3. Mark Mangino's behavior - Former Kansas defensive lineman Cory Kipp said the Jayhawks coach made him crawl across hot Astroturf, scalding his hands in the process. Few mainstream news organizations picked up the story before Mangino resigned Thursday night.

4. Tim Donaghy releases his book - When you're a referee-turned-felon, it's hard to get any attention, especially when David Stern would love everyone to look the other way.

5. Amelie Mauresmo retires - Sure, it's not like the retirement of Steffi Graf. But the two-time Grand Slam winner and former world No. 1 deserved more than a footnote.

HE SAID WHAT?

"I haven't at all conceded 2010. I expect to be competitive in 2010. I've already been with a franchise that went from worst to first [the 1991 Braves], so I know it's doable."

- Nationals president Stan Kasten