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LSU clears Hogs from BCS title picture (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061125/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/fbc_t25_lsu_arkansas"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061125/capt.960f851dd989430fbfbeef105fd72479.lsu_arkansas_football_ardj107.jpg?x=130&y=95&sig=Oh74yp8GJ1Jae8D.0x316Q--" align="left" height="95" width="130" alt="LSU wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (80) and defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois (90) carry the trophy known as 'The Boot' from the field after defeating Arkansas 31-26 in the college football game in Little Rock, Ark., Friday, Nov. 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Jeff Mitchell)" border="0" /></a>AP - JaMarcus Russell and LSU cleared another contender from the national title picture and just might have added one more big game to their already brutal road schedule &#151; this time in the BCS. The Tigers will gladly accept a trip like that, and after taking out No. 5 Arkansas, they feel they have a pretty good resume.</p><br clear="all"/>

No. 1 Gators win 17th straight, 101-68 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061125/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_wkentucky_florida"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061125/capt.02dd9dd7c1c4414a9aeb8e2223d37c57.florida_western_kentucky_basketball_nvmt124.jpg?x=88&y=130&sig=dffjJNQMEpMIWf6JCaPuLg--" align="left" height="130" width="88" alt="Florida's Corey Brewer puts up a shot as teammate Joakim Noah, left, and Western Kentucky's Raed Mostafa look on during their game at the Las Vegas Invitational basketball tournament, Friday, Nov. 24, 2006, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)" border="0" /></a>AP - A cross-country trip. A flu bug. An unbeaten opponent on an unfamiliar floor. None of it could slow down Corey Brewer, and his teammates followed his superb lead in another November masterpiece for top-ranked Florida.</p><br clear="all"/>

West preview? Mavs beat rival Spurs (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061125/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_mavericks_spurs"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061125/capt.3c29918b968b4435b74d069e2580f81f.mavericks_spurs_basketball_saa106.jpg?x=104&y=130&sig=un1hawlOXDOt4f9WG_saXw--" align="left" height="130" width="104" alt="Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki, of Germany, (41) reacts after making a free thrown during the final moments of the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio, Friday, Nov. 24, 2006. Dallas won 95-92; Nowitzki scored 31 points. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)" border="0" /></a>AP - It could very well have been a preview of this season's Western Conference finals. But for San Antonio, a 95-92 loss to Dallas on Friday night was more a repeat of last season's West semifinals, when the Spurs lost to the Mavericks at home in overtime in Game 7.</p><br clear="all"/>

Astros sign Carlos Lee, Woody Williams (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061125/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbn_astros_lee"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061124/capt.34928fca408741c79fb3e5aa0a163e0c.astros_signing_txdc101.jpg?x=89&y=130&sig=ASPFCKbgdNv8dhdYlRCYSg--" align="left" height="130" width="89" alt="Houston Astros outfielder Carlos Lee smiles after signing a six-year $100 million contract with his new club in Houston Friday, Nov. 14, 2006. (AP Photo/.Donna Carson)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Houston Astros, the NL's worst hitting team, signed outfielder Carlos Lee and right-hander Woody Williams on Friday, bolstering its offense and a pitching staff that could be without Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte.</p><br clear="all"/>

Cardiac Kids: Magic beat slumping Heat (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061125/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_magic_heat"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061125/capt.295b0795b7f346e3be3280c4f08d15f7.magic_heat_basketball_flla101.jpg?x=93&y=130&sig=UpLnisl0FC51oQc2KjTtPg--" align="left" height="130" width="93" alt="Orlando Magic?s Grant Hill (33) shoots around Miami Heat's Alonzo Mourning (33) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 24, 2006, in Miami. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)" border="0" /></a>AP - Close games are working out nicely for the Orlando Magic so far this season, and the slumping Miami Heat failed to disrupt that trend.</p><br clear="all"/>

Plummer's poor play may put him on bench (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061125/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_plummeting_plummer"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061124/capt.5a6096deada74f6a8c2409972a59405b.broncos_plummeting_plummer_football_ny151.jpg?x=124&y=130&sig=xOkXrW_EMpZo3EUf91l85Q--" align="left" height="130" width="124" alt="Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders in the second half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., in this Nov. 12, 2006 file photo. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)" border="0" /></a>AP - Jake Plummer's been looking over his shoulder since the Denver Broncos chose Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler with the 11th pick in the NFL draft back in April. He may not be craning his neck much longer.</p><br clear="all"/>

Suns hold on to beat Nets, 99-93 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061125/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_nets_suns"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061125/capt.bc43a35692064a68a7b9613c0e6bc894.nets_suns_basketball_pnu107.jpg?x=108&y=130&sig=DoVSE0699Ip9eevqZOIuDA--" align="left" height="130" width="108" alt="Phoenix Suns center Amare Stoudemire (1), shoots over new Jersey Nets center Nenad Krstic (12), of Serbia and Montenegro, after Stoudemire was fouled by Nets forward Bostjan Nachbar (7), rear left, as Nets guard Jason Kidd (5), looks on in the third quarter of a basketball game Friday, Nov. 24, 2006, in Phoenix.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)" border="0" /></a>AP - Amare Stoudemire rebounded from the second scoreless game of his NBA career with 25 points, 10 boards and seven blocked shots, and the Suns held on to beat the New Jersey Nets in Phoenix for the 13th consecutive time, 99-93 on Friday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Former pitcher Pat Dobson dies at 64 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061124/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbo_obit_dobson"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061124/capt.b1a5f47ef2bf4b25b657c744e0a3fdd3.obit_dobson_fx101.jpg?x=129&y=130&sig=Ilq3qAbtiD8R280mrZqNVw--" align="left" height="130" width="129" alt="In this file photo Baltimore Orioles pitcher Pat Dobson poses during spring training, on March 12, 1971 in Miami, Florida. Dobson, who was one of four 20-game winners on the Baltimore Orioles' pitching staff in 1971, has died. He was 64. (AP Photo)" border="0" /></a>AP - Pat Dobson was part of an illustrious pitching staff in Baltimore and a savvy scouting department with the San Francisco Giants, touching everyone from Earl Weaver to Brian Sabean along the way. Dobson, one of four starters to win 20 games for the Orioles in 1971, died suddenly Wednesday night in the San Diego area, the San Francisco Giants said Thursday. He was 64.</p><br clear="all"/>

France investigates soccer violence (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061124/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_france_soccer_racism"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061124/capt.f9dd6653d008497abf86cd183c63e42d.france_soccer_racism_par118.jpg?x=86&y=130&sig=6YIqqVmvP_T7.ISSRh04tQ--" align="left" height="130" width="86" alt="Two members of the technical and scientific police, rear, takes measurements and notes as police officers patrol, left,at a McDonald's restaurant that was vandalized near the site where a fan of Paris Saint-Germain soccer team was shot to death overnight, near the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Friday, Nov. 24, 2006. Violence broke out when Paris Saint-Germain fans ganged up on a Hapoel Tel Aviv supporter, culminating in a shooting death. The brawl Thursday night ended with a plainclothes police officer shooting into the crowd to protect the Hapoel fan, killing one person and injuring another. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)" border="0" /></a>AP - A plainclothes police officer who shot to death a Paris soccer fan as he and an Israeli club supporter were under attack by a gang of hoodlums likely acted in self-defense, the Paris prosecutor said Friday.</p><br clear="all"/>

Oilers beat Hawks to win 5th straight (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061125/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_blackhawks_oilers"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061125/capt.7fa7d5438475464795e0fa66329c2b32.blackhawks_oilers_hockey__edm107.jpg?x=114&y=130&sig=nIzBWyAuxoab7wnb874VNQ--" align="left" height="130" width="114" alt="Edmonton Oilers Ryan Smyth, right, watches the shot from teammate Marc-Andre Bergeron (not shown) enter the net of Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin during the third period of NHL hockey action in Edmonton on Friday, November 24, 2006. (AP Photo/John Ulan, CP)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Oilers got to the Blackhawks early, put things away late and overcame some second-period lethargy that threatened to let Chicago back into the game.</p><br clear="all"/>

Rush hour


Dolphins RB Brown has hand surgery (AP)
The Miami Dolphins' resurgence may have to continue without running back Ronnie Brown, at least in the short term. Brown had surgery Friday to stabilize a broken left hand. Other than saying the team's leading rusher -- who happens to be left-handed -- and No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 draft will be "evaluated on an ongoing basis," the Dolphins did not reveal any timetable for Brown's return.

Barber and Coughlin clear air again (AP)
For the second time in less than a year, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin had a sitdown with Tiki Barber after the veteran halfback criticized the coaching staff following a loss. While refusing to discuss what was said in their meeting, Coughlin said Friday that Barber's complaint that coaches abandoned the running game too early in a loss to Jacksonville should have been made to him directly...

Shanahan yet to name Broncos starting QB (AP)
Jake Plummer's been looking over his shoulder since the Denver Broncos chose Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler with the 11th pick in the NFL draft back in April. He may not be craning his neck much longer. A season-long slump that culminated with back-to-back losses to San Diego and Kansas City in a four-day span finally might have cost Plummer his starting job in Denver, where John Elway set the...

Packers' Favre practices, looks sharp (AP)
Brett Favre fired tight spirals in practice Friday and even joked around by playing a little defense against wide receiver Donald Driver. The play of the 37-year-old quarterback, listed as questionable with groin and a nerve injury in his right elbow, comforted the coaching staff. "That guy's a gamer," offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski said.

Another Seahawks Pro Bowler sidelined (AP)
The unusual continues for the head-shaking Seattle Seahawks. The latest rarity has center Robbie Tobeck in a Seattle-area hospital indefinitely with an abscess in his left hip -- just as fellow Pro Bowlers Shaun Alexander and Matt Hasselbeck are returning to the offense. "Only this year," coach Mike Holmgren said with a smirk following Friday's practice.

Vikings coach Childress demotes CB Smoot (AP)
The Minnesota Vikings have demoted cornerback Fred Smoot, who has struggled in recent weeks with a groin injury and the death of his half-brother. Coach Brad Childress said Friday that rookie Cedric Griffin has leapfrogged the veteran Smoot on the depth chart at right cornerback, though both will see plenty of action Sunday against Arizona.

Parcells still finding fault with Romo (AP)
Bill Parcells still isn't impressed with everything Tony Romo does. Even after Romo threw for 306 yards and matched a team record with five touchdowns to lead the Dallas Cowboys to their third straight victory, Parcells talked first about the scoring pass the NFL's top-rated quarterback missed Thanksgiving Day.

Vikings' Sharper fined for bumping ref (AP)
Minnesota Vikings free safety Darren Sharper was fined $15,000 on Friday for bumping into an official during last week's loss at Miami. A league spokesman said the fine was for "impermissable physical contact with a game official. Specifically while pursuing a pass play, he ran directly toward the game official and shoved him to the ground." The play happened during the third quarter of Sunday's...

Harrington wins in return to Detroit (AP)
Joey Harrington's face was splashed across the video boards while Billy Joel's "Piano Man" played -- a jab at the quarterback's piano playing. Harrington got the last laugh. He threw three touchdown passes Thursday to help the Miami Dolphins erase a 10-point deficit and roll to a 27-10 victory over the Detroit Lions, who drafted him third overall in 2002 and gave up on him earlier this year.

Bull market?
A poor start could force Chicago to package young talent and picks for a marquee post player. Someone like K.G.

Jazz down Lakers, run record to 12-1 (AP)
After some of the comebacks the Utah Jazz have had this season, seven points was nothing. The Jazz rallied again, outscoring the Los Angeles Lakers by 12 in the final quarter and winning 114-108 Friday night to improve to an NBA-best 12-1. Utah held Kobe Bryant to just two points in the final quarter and outrebounded the Lakers 16-4 in the fourth while winning its eighth straight.

Dirk's big fourth quarter lifts Mavs (AP)
It could very well have been a preview of this season's Western Conference finals. But for San Antonio, a 95-92 loss to Dallas on Friday night was more a repeat of last season's West semifinals, when the Spurs lost to the Mavericks at home in overtime in Game 7. "There was a reminder from (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) about Game 7 and that situation," said Tim Duncan, who scored 29 points.

Iverson's 46 help Sixers end skid (AP)
Allen Iverson can still find ways to amaze his teammates. Iverson scored a season-high 46 points in his return to the lineup and the Philadelphia 76ers led all the way in a 123-108 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. After missing two games earlier this week after surgery to remove an abscessed wisdom tooth, Iverson played 45 minutes, went 15-for-30 from the floor, made 16 of 17 free...

Nuggets score most points in 15 years (AP)
George Karl pushed and prodded his Nuggets to speed up the game. "We can push it faster," the Denver coach implored. The Nuggets were already leading the league in scoring, so how much faster could they go? Denver found another gear in a 140-129 win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night. It's the most points the Nuggets have scored since a 140-122 win over Sacramento on March 29, 1991.

Nash, Suns extend home mastery of Nets (AP)
Amare Stoudemire rebounded from the second scoreless game of his NBA career with 25 points, 10 boards and seven blocked shots, and the Suns held on to beat the New Jersey Nets in Phoenix for the 13th consecutive time, 99-93 on Friday night. Steve Nash added 26 points and 13 assists in the Suns' fifth victory in six games and the Nets' fourth consecutive loss.

Hill leads Magic over slumping Heat (AP)
Close games are working out nicely for the Orlando Magic so far this season, and the slumping Miami Heat failed to disrupt that trend. Grant Hill scored 24 points, Dwight Howard added 23 points and 12 rebounds, and the Magic held on to beat the Heat 107-104 on Friday night. Orlando (9-4) is 5-1 in games decided by five points or less, and is already halfway to matching its win total from all of...

Warriors G Davis out with rib injury (AP)
Golden State guard Baron Davis didn't make the trip to Denver for a game Friday night because of a strained muscle in his ribs. "He'll be out a couple of games for sure," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. Davis missed the Phoenix game on Monday night because of soreness, but tried to come back against Denver two nights later.

Surging Pistons win fifth straight (AP)
Flip Saunders' recent postgame pep talk to Carlos Delfino wasn't complicated. Keep playing with energy, the second-year Detroit Pistons coach told his reserve guard, and the playing time will take care of itself. And when given the chance Friday night, Delfino made the most of his opportunity, fueling a fourth-quarter scoring surge in a 104-95 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

O'Neal, Pacers down Cavaliers 97-87 (AP)
Jermaine O'Neal focused more on the Indiana Pacers' slow start Friday night than their furious finish. After falling behind by 16 points in the first half, the Pacers took control in the third quarter and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 97-87. "I don't understand why we can't get off to good starts," said O'Neal, who scored 29 points.

March of the Penguin


Souray lifts Habs over Sabres in OT (AP)
Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray didn't realize how close he cut it. All that mattered was that his shot went in before the final buzzer sounded. With a second to spare in overtime, Souray scored on a wrist shot from the left circle to lift the Canadiens to a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.

Flyers spoil Hitchcock's Columbus debut (AP)
Ken Hitchcock's debut as coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets ended the same way as his tenure with the Philadelphia Flyers: with a loss. Mike Richards scored his first goal of the season early in the third period Friday, helping the Flyers beat Columbus 3-2 and spoiling Hitchcock's first game with the Blue Jackets.

Stars D Boucher gets hat trick in win (AP)
Dallas Stars defenseman Philippe Boucher has a lot on his mind these days, but he was able to muster enough concentration to score three power-play goals. Boucher's hat trick led the Stars to a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night. On Saturday morning Boucher was scheduled to leave the team and visit his father, Jean-Claude, who is in a Quebec hospital battling pancreatic cancer.

Marchant helps Ducks beat Devils 4-2 (AP)
Scott Niedermayer had one of those out-of-body experiences -- playing his first game against the team he skated for in his first 12 NHL seasons. And when the Anaheim Ducks scored the go-ahead goal, he witnessed it from the penalty box. The Ducks were playing short-handed midway through the third period because of a hooking infraction against Niedermayer when Todd Marchant got the winner, then added...

Heatley powers Senators past Panthers (AP)
Dany Heatley had one of those nights when he felt as if he couldn't miss. He had three goals and Jason Spezza scored the winner to send the Ottawa Senators to their fourth straight win with a 6-4 victory over the Florida Panthers on Friday night. "Sometimes it's going in, no matter what you do, it goes in for you and sometimes it doesn't," Heatley said.

Sykora, Oilers rout Blackhawks 5-1 (AP)
The Oilers got to the Blackhawks early, put things away late and overcame some second-period lethargy that threatened to let Chicago back into the game. Petr Sykora had a goal and an assist to help Edmonton extend its winning streak to a season-high five games with a 5-1 victory over Chicago on Friday night.

DiPietro leads Isles by Crosby-less Pens (AP)
The stars shone brightly for the New York Islanders in front of their biggest crowd this season. Miroslav Satan had a goal and assist, and Rick DiPietro stopped 35 shots in the New York Islanders' 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday before 15,625 at Nassau Coliseum. "It helps to have a full house," DiPietro said.

Legace gives Blues road win over Wings (AP)
Goaltender Manny Legace teared up in his homecoming, but it was the Detroit Red Wings who probably felt like crying. Martin Rucinsky and Doug Weight scored in the shootout, and Legace, who played with Detroit for seven seasons, stopped Jason Williams on his attempt and Pavel Datsyuk hit the post, giving the St.

Leafs hand Capitals fifth straight loss (AP)
Any chance the Washington Capitals had of ending their four-game losing streak was gone in 60 seconds. The Toronto Maple Leafs scored three second-period goals in the span of a minute Friday night and cruised to a 7-1 victory over the skidding Capitals. The Maple Leafs led 2-1 before Bryan McCabe scored at 10:09 of the period with Toronto enjoying a two-man advantage.

Top stories of 2006
Jimmie Johnson demanded the biggest headlines, but there was far more to '06 than his first championship.

Johnson tells Letterman that penalty wasn't that bad (AP)
David Letterman's idea of cheating is apparently much more severe than Jimmie Johnson's. Johnson appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman," on Tuesday night, and the host grilled NASCAR's new champion about a penalty his team incurred before the season opening race. Johnson's crew chief, Chad Knaus, was fined $25,000 and suspended for four races for making an illegal modifications to...

2006 a time of change for NASCAR (AP)
Jimmie Johnson opened and closed the 2006 season on top, for very different reasons.

NASCAR's new champion lags in fan popularity (AP)
There's an Internet video of a family in its kitchen watching October's last-lap wreck at Talladega. When Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson crash on the final lap, the family flies into an expletive-laden rage against Johnson.

NASCAR owners has formula for winning championships. (AP)
Jack Roush has a unique knowledge of what it takes to win a NASCAR Nextel Cup championship.

Johnson caps dream season by winning Nextel Cup championship (AP)
Not long ago, Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus were considering a split.

Montoya gets "warm welcome" in his NASCAR Nextel Cup debut (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Johnson finally joins NASCAR's elite with first career Cup (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Kenseth and other contenders come up short (AP)
Matt Kenseth made the most of his fighting chance, coming up with the strong performance he'd been missing in the last few races of this Chase for the championship.

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