Austin American-Statesman - - YEAR IN SPORT - ALSO ...

Those in­suf­fer­able SEC foot­ball fans be­come even more em­pow­ered when Alabama beats LSU 21-0 in an all-SEC BCS ti­tle game. It’s the con­fer­ence’s sixth con­sec­u­tive na­tional cham­pi­onship and the sec­ond in three years for Nick Sa­ban’s Crim­son Tide, truly the dom­i­nant pro­gram in the sport. The game it­self is a stinker, with LSU in­ca­pable of mov­ing against Court­ney Up­shaw, Dont’a Hightower and Bama’s im­preg­nable de­fense. Tail­back Trent Richard­son scores the only touch­down.

■ Joe Paterno dies of lung can­cer, at age 85. It’s the end of a tragic story for a coach who won 409 games for Penn State but whose legacy will for­ever be tar­nished by the child sex-abuse scan­dal in­volv­ing his long­time as­sis­tant coach Jerry San­dusky.

■ The Tex­ans’ first play­off trip ends with an AFC semi­fi­nal loss to the Ravens in Baltimore. It’s third-string T.J. Yates, not Matt Schaub or Matt Leinart, quar­ter­back­ing Hous­ton.

■ No­vak Djokovic out­lasts Rafael Nadal to win the Aus­tralian Open men’s sin­gles ti­tle in 5 hours, 53 min­utes, the long­est Grand Slam fi­nal ever.

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