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Texas Stuns USC to Win National Title (AP)
Texas quarterback Vince Young rushes for the game-winning touchdown against Southern California as Texas meets Southern California in the Rose Bowl, the national championship college football game in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2006. Texas won the game 41-38.  (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)AP - Vince Young and Texas are second no more to Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and Southern California. With the national championship down to a final play, fourth down and 5 yards to go, Young scrambled untouched for an 8-yard touchdown with 19 seconds left and the No. 2 Longhorns stunned the top-ranked Trojans 41-38 in the Rose Bowl on Wednesday night.


Hewitt Is Upset at Adelaide International (AP)
AP - Top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt was knocked out of the Adelaide International Thursday after his 6-3, 0-6, 7-5 second-round loss to Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Texas Grabs No. 1 Ranking in the End (AP)
University of Texas players Matthew Hofer (29), Matthew McCoy (13) and Rodrique Wright (90) celebrate around Southern California's Ryan Kalil (67) after Texas' 41-38 win over USC  in the Rose Bowl, the national championship college football game, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2006, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)AP - All season long, the No. 1 ranking belonged to Southern California — before Texas swiped it away at the end. The Longhorns finished first, a unanimous choice, in The Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 1969 after beating the Trojans 41-38 in the Rose Bowl on Wednesday night.


Venus Williams Has Undiagnosed Injury (AP)
Venus Williams of the U.S. returns the ball during the quarter final match against Sania Mirza of India at the Champions challenge tennis exhibition tournament in Hong Kong Thursday, Jan.5, 2006. Venus Williams suffered an undiagnosed injury at an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong ahead of the Australian Open, but still managed a straight-set win. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)AP - Venus Williams sustained an undiagnosed injury at an exhibition tournament Thursday, but still managed to win in straight sets.


Texas' Young Is Magnificent Lone Star (AP)
Texas quarterback Vince Young reacts after making a 9-yard touchdown late in the game against Southern California during the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl, the national championship college football game, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2006, in Pasadena, Calif. Texas won 41-38. Texas' Matt Nordgren (7) applauds him. (AP Photo/Kim D. Johnson)AP - Finally, Texas' lone star shined brighter than all the glitter and glamour Southern California could muster. Vince Young, back in the Rose Bowl and at his best, lifted the Longhorns to a 41-38 Rose Bowl victory over top-ranked Southern California on Wednesday with his 8-yard touchdown run on fourth down with 19 seconds left.


Smith, Bruschi Tie for NFL Comeback Award (AP)
New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi shares a laugh with teammates prior to their game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. in a Sunday, Oct. 30, 2005 photo. Tedy Bruschi didn't get a chance to tackle Steve Smith when the Patriots played the Panthers in September. By midseason, he'd made a remarkable comeback from a stroke and was starting for New England. His return was as impressive as Smith's achievement of returning from a knee injury that cost the Carolina receiver nearly all of the 2004 season. On Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006, they shared The Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year award.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne, file)AP - Tedy Bruschi didn't get a chance to tackle Steve Smith when the Patriots played the Panthers in September. By midseason, he'd made a remarkable comeback from a stroke and was starting for New England. Bruschi's return was as impressive as Smith's achievement of returning from a broken left leg that cost the Carolina receiver nearly all of the 2004 season. On Thursday, they shared The Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year award.


Broken finger sidelines Cav's Hughes (Reuters)
Cleveland Cavaliers Larry Hughes goes up for two points during an NBA game in Cleveland, Ohio November 30, 2005. Hughes has broken his right middle finger and will miss approximately eight weeks of play, the club said in a statement. (Ron Kuntz/Reuters)Reuters - Cleveland Cavaliers' guard Larry Hughes has broken his right middle finger and will miss approximately eight weeks of play, the club said in a statement.


Rangers, Padres Complete Six-Player Trade (AP)
AP - The Rangers completed their six-player trade Wednesday with the San Diego Padres to acquire right-hander Adam Eaton, another piece of Texas' completely overhauled starting rotation.

Trinidad Team Wants World Cup Funds (AP)
AP - Trinidad's soccer federation asked the government Wednesday for nearly $9 million to prepare the Soca Warriors for the country's first World Cup.

Hockey Today (AP)
AP - Philadelphia at N.Y. Rangers (7 p.m. EST). The slumping Rangers host the Flyers, who have at least one point in each of their last 12 road games.

Here comes the sun
SEATTLE – With the Seahawks' Super Bowl hopes aglow, Mike Holmgren no longer has clouds over his head.

Smith, Bruschi share Comeback award (AP)
Tedy Bruschi didn't get a chance to tackle Steve Smith when the Patriots played the Panthers in September. By midseason, he'd made a remarkable comeback from a stroke and was starting for New England. Bruschi's return was as impressive as Smith's achievement of returning from a broken left leg that cost the Carolina receiver nearly all of the 2004 season.

Chiefs in talks to hire Jets' Edwards (AP)
Herman Edwards is close to becoming the next Chiefs coach. Kansas City and the Jets discussed a compensation package for Edwards on Wednesday, a person close to the situation said. Another person familiar with the negotiations said the talks were almost completed. Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.

Bills fire Donahoe, may bring back Levy (AP)
The last time Ralph Wilson turned to Marv Levy for help, the Buffalo Bills were a perennial loser headed toward missing the playoffs for a fifth straight season. Some 20 years later, the Wilson-owned Bills are down on their luck again, and guess who might be coming back? That's right, Levy, the Hall of Fame coach -- only this time as general manager.

Three boat-party Vikes plead not guilty (AP)
Minnesota Vikings Daunte Culpepper, Bryant McKinnie and Fred Smoot have pleaded not guilty to charges related to the team's bawdy boating party. A court clerk told The Associated Press on Wednesday that an attorney for Smoot entered a plea Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court and that pleas for Culpepper and McKinnie were entered late last month.

Swann announces run for Pa. governor (AP)
Former Steelers star Lynn Swann, who declared his candidacy for Pennsylvania governor, says he is confident he will win the state GOP committee's endorsement. However, if the committee endorses one of his three competitors next month, Swann said Wednesday he may contest the party's candidate in the May 16 primary.

'Cadillac' wins Offensive Rookie award (AP)
Lofty goals and plenty of self-confidence barely prepared Carnell Williams for all the success he's had in his first NFL season. The sleek, fast and powerful running back nicknamed "Cadillac" not only burst onto the scene in record-breaking fashion but helped transform the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from also-ran to NFC South champions.

Merriman wins Defensive Rookie award (AP)
Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb and Priest Holmes were among the NFL players who found out the hard way why Shawne Merriman is nicknamed "Lights Out." The San Diego Chargers' outside linebacker counted Manning and McNabb among his sack victims, and knocked Holmes out for the season with a clean hit en route to winning The Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year award Wednesday.

Big Ben more prepared this time around (AP)
Maybe his sore thumb is feeling better. Maybe he's not burdened by the overwhelming pressure he felt a season ago as the first unbeaten rookie quarterback to lead a team into the NFL playoffs. Whatever the reason, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger flashed a rarely seen side of himself as he began practicing Wednesday for Sunday's playoff game in Cincinnati: Gentle Ben.

Jags' holdovers return to glory (AP)
They were part of the franchise's most lopsided victory and its toughest loss. They persevered through a coaching change and several gut-wrenching personnel decisions. They endured four losing seasons and barely missed the playoffs. Tight end Kyle Brady, safety Donovin Darius, receiver Jimmy Smith and running back Fred Taylor have dealt with numerous highs and lows during the past seven seasons with...

Why Weiss had to go
No defense plus an inferior roster equaled Bob Weiss' dismissal as Sonics head coach.

Hill a winner in Sonics' coaching debut (AP)
Their star player was in the locker room having his eye examined, and the opponent was rallying. Just when it seemed things were coming apart, the Seattle SuperSonics hung on for a 101-97 victory over the Chicago Bulls to make Bob Hill's debut as head coach a success. Rashard Lewis scored 21 points, Luke Ridnour hit two free throws with three seconds and a Seattle team that has struggled through a...

James ends Cavaliers' woes in Milwaukee (AP)
LeBron James had another great scoring night, but it was his leadership with the game on the line that sealed the victory. James scored 17 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter and added 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his sixth career triple double, to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 91-84 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

Spurs rout Trail Blazers (AP)
The San Antonio Spurs went into their game against Portland with the aim of keeping Zach Randolph from doing too much offensive damage against them. They achieved that goal and then some. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker each scored 18 points and the Spurs' big men held Randolph, Portland's top scorer at 18.5 ppg, to five points on 1-for-14 shooting as San Antonio beat the Trail Blazers 106-75 on...

Mason, Hornets top Heat (AP)
Even after six straight wins against his longtime mentor, Byron Scott still doesn't think he has Pat Riley figured out. Desmond Mason scored 24 points and Scott's New Orleans Hornets overcame Dwyane Wade's second career triple-double for a 107-92 win against Riley's Miami Heat on Wednesday night. It was the sixth time in a row Scott has prevailed in a matchup against Riley, his coach from 1983-90...

Pierce carries Celtics past Bobcats (AP)
The Boston Celtics had to have a great shooting night to overcome their sloppy play and beat the Charlotte Bobcats. Paul Pierce had 31 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds and Ricky Davis added 23 points to help the Boston Celtics beat the Charlotte Bobcats 109-106 on Wednesday night. Boston shot 57 percent from the field to win for just the second time in six games following a 1-4 road trip.

Suns make quick work of road-weary 76ers (AP)
Phoenix is not a good place for a worn-out team to play. The road-weary Philadelphia 76ers found that out in a 105-85 loss to the fast-paced Suns on Wednesday night. Steve Nash made 11-of-15 shots and scored 24 points, then sat out the fourth for the Suns, who won for the fifth time in six games. Reserves James Jones and Eddie House scored 19 and 18 points, respectively.

Iverson wants to play in 2008 Olympics (AP)
Allen Iverson wants to be a part of the U.S. basketball team for the 2006 world championships and 2008 Olympics, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said. Colangelo met with Iverson on Wednesday before the Philadelphia 76ers played the Phoenix Suns. "He wants to win a gold medal," said Colangelo, the chairman and CEO of the Suns.

Cavaliers G Hughes out 6-8 weeks (AP)
Cleveland guard Larry Hughes will miss the next six to eight weeks with a broken finger. Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry said that one or two screws would be inserted in the joint area of Hughes' right middle finger to close the fracture. The surgery will be done in Cleveland later this week. "We've done tests on the injury all year," Ferry said.

Boykins, Anthony lead Nuggets (AP)
For once, the Denver Nuggets weren't the ones lamenting their injury-riddled lineup or dealing with fourth-quarter fatigue. "It was good to have an easy one," Nuggets coach George Karl said after Earl Boykins and Carmelo Anthony each scored 23 points in Denver's 106-86 rout of the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.

Power rankings
An explosive week returns Ottawa to the top spot in the year-end Yahoo! Sports NHL Power Rankings.

Senators shut down Ovechkin, Caps (AP)
Chris Phillips was eager to get on the scoreboard, and his timing was just right for the Ottawa Senators. With Ottawa's leading scorer sidelined, Phillips scored his first goal of the season in the first period, sparking the Senators' 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night. "It's huge," Phillips said.

Stillman's goals lift 'Canes to 4-3 win (AP)
Overshadowed a bit this season by linemate Eric Staal, Cory Stillman is doing his best to change that. Not that it matters to him. "Our line, when we play together and play well, we produce points and help our team win," Stillman said. "When our team's winning, obviously everybody's going to have points." The veteran left wing had two goals and two assists to run his point streak to nine games, and...

Late goals spark Stars past Canucks (AP)
For about 52 minutes, Dallas couldn't get anything past Vancouver Canucks goalie Alex Auld. Then Steve Ott's pinball goal triggered a Stars rally. Ott, Jason Arnott and Mike Modano scored in the third period, and the Stars came back for a 3-1 victory over the slumping Canucks on Wednesday night. Vancouver carried a 1-0 lead into the third behind the goaltending of Auld, who finished with 34 saves,...

Preds beat Blues to end four-game skid (AP)
A quick goalie change helped the Nashville Predators end a four-game losing streak. Tomas Vokoun restored stability after backup Chris Mason allowed goals on St. Louis' first two shots, and Vernon Fiddler had the first two-goal game of his career in Nashville's 4-3 victory over the Blues on Wednesday night.

Parrish's OT goal ends Islanders' slide (AP)
Wade Dubielewicz's second NHL win might have been more memorable than his first. The rookie made three saves in the final 2:24 of regulation and overtime -- the only action he saw -- and became a winner Wednesday night when Mark Parrish scored to give New York a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers that snapped the Islanders' five-game losing streak.

Both goalies hurt in Panthers-Isles game (AP)
Neither starting goalie made it to the end of the New York Islanders' 4-3 overtime victory against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night. Panthers backup Jamie McLennan gave regular starter Roberto Luongo a rare night off, but that lasted only one period as he left with a right shoulder injury following a collision in the crease with New York's Shawn Bates and Florida teammate Olli Jokinen.

Devils place Mogilny on waivers (AP)
Alexander Mogilny was placed on waivers by the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday, a day after the return of Patrik Elias. Elias was back in the lineup Tuesday night against Florida after missing several months with hepatitis. With Mogilny on the bench, Elias took his place and assisted on one of Brian Gionta's two goals in the 3-0 victory.

Crosby scores twice, Pens beat Canadiens (AP)
Sidney Crosby waited until the end of his first game in Montreal to savor playing and starring in the home of his once-beloved Canadiens. Crosby scored on Pittsburgh's first shot and finished with two goals Tuesday night, leading the Penguins to a 6-4 victory over Montreal, the team the 18-year-old star rooted for as a youngster.

Prospal lifts Lightning in OT (AP)
Vaclav Prospal gave John Grahame all the help he needed. Prospal jammed the puck past Henrik Lundqvist at 3:47 of overtime, and Grahame made 36 saves for his second shutout of the season in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. "It's huge," Grahame said. "It was just a great team effort.

Offseason capsules: T. Labonte, R. Gordon, Hamilton Jr.
Yahoo! Sports breaks down the '06 Cup field as the season-opening Daytona 500 approaches.

Frenchman Magnaldi wins sixth stage of Dakar Rally (AP)
Frenchman Thierry Magnaldi won the sixth stage of the Dakar Rally as the cars crossed from Morocco into this desert nation Thursday. Magnaldi, driving a Schles-Ford-Raid, won the 275-mile stage that began in Tan-Tan, Morocco, in 3 hours, 22 minutes, 54 seconds. Jean-Louis Schlesser, also of France, was 2 minutes, 55 seconds behind.

Bill Elliott to race in Daytona 500 (SportsTicker)
MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) - Bill Elliott was a long-time Ford driver who closed his career with Dodge. Now he will try a Chevrolet in the 2006 Daytona 500.

Elliott to enter Daytona 500 (AP)
Two-time Daytona 500 champion Bill Elliott will enter the race this year in a car fielded by MB2 Motorsports.

NASCAR drivers in a unique challenge -- piloting a bobsled (AP)
When NASCAR ace Ken Schrader was a kid, his father decided to make him a race car driver. Nearly a half-century later, Schrader will be in a bobsled to raise money for the Olympic-bound U.S. men's and women's teams. Schrader's father took an old truck axle, imbedded it vertically in concrete and strung a cable to little Kenny's go-kart.

Auto Racing 2005: Stewart grows up amid youth movement (SportsTicker)
MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) - In a season where youth was not only served it was showcased, Tony Stewart topped the auto racing headlines by simply growing up.

NASCAR to restructure regional tours in 2007 (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - NASCAR announced Wednesday that it will restructure its regional touring series divisions beginning in 2007.

Legge completes Champ Car test (AP)
Katherine Legge spent two days this week testing a Champ Car to see if she's ready to become the first female driver in the open-wheel series. The 25-year-old Legge ran a total of 238 laps for PKV Racing on the road course in Sebring, Fla. It was just the second time in a Champ car for the British racer, who ran 70 laps at Sebring in a test for Rocketsports Racing on Dec.

Kyle Busch to run full season in NASCAR Busch Series in 2006 (SportsTicker)
CONCORD, North Carolina (Ticker) - Despite making a splash in his first season on NASCAR's premier series, Kyle Busch has some unfinished business in the Busch Series.

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