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No. 3 USC makes statement with 44-24 win (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061126/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/fbc_t25_notre_dame_usc"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061126/capt.58ded2e8299840c19156ed0a510203ce.notre_dame_usc_football_lac117.jpg?x=80&y=130&sig=KAnl_1kJaB3sktN8A2LR6w--" align="left" height="130" width="80" alt="Southern California's Dwayne Jarrett, left, and John David Booty celebrate after Booty threw a touchdown pass to Jarrett against Notre Dame during the second half of football in Los Angeles on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006. USC won 44-24. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)" border="0" /></a>AP - Too much speed, too much defense, and too much Dwayne Jarrett. With all that, Southern California didn't need last-second heroics to beat Notre Dame this year. John David Booty passed for 265 yards and three touchdowns to Jarrett as USC overpowered the sixth-ranked Fighting Irish 44-24 Saturday night and likely leapfrogged Michigan in the race for the national championship.</p><br clear="all"/>

No. 10 Kansas holds off No. 1 Florida (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061126/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_florida_kansas"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061126/capt.017bb6d7eedc435b8d777e802c2a0726.florida_kansas_basketball_nvmt123.jpg?x=130&y=88&sig=yJRsxxKoRUTSs0pvTnSxWg--" align="left" height="88" width="130" alt="Kansas' Julian Wright dunks the ball as Florida's Jonathan Mitchell, left, and Chris Richard look on during their game at the Las Vegas Invitational basketball tournament, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)" border="0" /></a>AP - Kansas sure grew up in a hurry. Just 10 days after losing to Oral Roberts &#151; and 24 hours after struggling to beat Ball State &#151; the youthful Jayhawks had the poise and precision to knock off the defending national champions.</p><br clear="all"/>

Warriors hand Jazz second loss, 91-78 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061126/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_jazz_warriors"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061126/capt.513ad9e7991f4651b7166241dfe8c9cd.jazz_warriors_basketball_cagn103.jpg?x=130&y=129&sig=7R7mZrGYGmJyTG7AEdQpMA--" align="left" height="129" width="130" alt="Golden State Warriors' Troy Murphy drives toward the basket as Utah Jazz's Carlos Boozer guards during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/George Nikitin)" border="0" /></a>AP - Matt Barnes said the Utah Jazz weren't ready for what the Golden State Warriors had for them defensively. The NBA's best team probably wasn't ready for Barnes, either. Making just his second start of the season in place of ailing Mickael Pietrus, Barnes scored a career-high 24 points, including 17 in the third quarter, to lead Golden State to a 91-78 victory on Saturday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

No. 12 Boise State wraps up trip to BCS (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061126/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/fbc_t25_boise_st__nevada"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061126/capt.b36220234e6545e6bdc62a59bb42f71d.boise_st_nevada_football_nvca103.jpg?x=91&y=130&sig=qyGHtNh26TvtURmG2aq0Og--" align="left" height="130" width="91" alt="Boise State running back Ian Johnson runs up the middle for a touchdown against Nevada during a football game Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006, in Reno, Nev. Boise State won 38-7. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)" border="0" /></a>AP - It's not official yet, but all those orange-clad fans flowing onto the Mackay Stadium turf told the story: Boise State is BCS bound.</p><br clear="all"/>

West Va. stunned by South Florida 24-19 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061126/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/fbc_t25_south_florida_wvirginia"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061125/capt.b4a7cccae80f42638cba5b415a10ac27.south_florida_west_virginia_football_wvjg104.jpg?x=86&y=130&sig=o6ToCmKj_1FMx.1l8exCIA--" align="left" height="130" width="86" alt="West Virginia's, from left, Jarrett Brown, Pat White and Steve Slaton sit dejected on the bench late in the second half during a 24-19 upset loss to South Florida Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006 in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)" border="0" /></a>AP - Scratch unstoppable from the ways to describe Steve Slaton, Pat White and West Virginia's running game. South Florida saw to that on Saturday.</p><br clear="all"/>

GOLDBERG: Mediocrity reigns atop NFL (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_on_football_mediocre_winners"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061122/capt.fd7170bd3c564dfd83916c10f3e5739c.bears_patriots_football_masr105.jpg?x=107&y=130&sig=eI35AggSLv72I4NX3tTjhw--" align="left" height="130" width="107" alt="New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, smiles during a football team practice in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006, as fellow quarterbacks Matt Cassel, center, and Vinny Testaverde (14) look on. The Patriots are to play the Chicago Bears in Foxborough, Sunday. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)" border="0" /></a>AP - Lovie Smith is delighted his Chicago Bears won the first two games of their three-game Northeast road trip. He should be, because those wins just about locked up home-field advantage in the NFC.</p><br clear="all"/>

Martin leads Kings in rout of Blazers (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061126/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_trail_blazers_kings"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061126/capt.9fddcde458944b0c81091fd84670959b.trail_blazers_kings_basketball_camx101.jpg?x=102&y=130&sig=O6hkryw4qawjaskJF4Zu_A--" align="left" height="130" width="102" alt="Portland Trail Blazers guard Jarrett Jack, left, looks to shoot above Sacramento Kings guard Mike Bibby, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006. (AP Photo/Max Whittaker)" border="0" /></a>AP - Kevin Martin is getting more attention from opposing defenses even though All-Stars Ron Artest and Brad Miller are back in the Sacramento Kings' lineup. A third-year player enjoying a breakout season, Martin scored 27 points to lead the Kings to a 105-85 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.</p><br clear="all"/>

D-Backs, Brewers strike 6-player deal (AP)
AP - The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired left-hander Doug Davis from Milwaukee on Saturday in a six-player deal that sent catcher Johnny Estrada to the Brewers.

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"/>

Power plays put Kings over Flames, 3-1 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061126/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_flames_kings"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061126/capt.f28e4969e0bb4ee0b539d94a0fbbaf45.flames_kings_hockey_cajh104.jpg?x=130&y=93&sig=E71pS10ttATnDxmpozQNCw--" align="left" height="93" width="130" alt="Calgary Flames' Kristian Huselius, of Sweden, bottom center, is tripped up by Los Angeles Kings' Anze Kopitar, left, of Slovenia, during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Los Angeles Kings hope their latest victory is a sign of good things to come. Alexander Frolov got the go-ahead goal in the second period, and Michael Cammalleri and rookie Anze Kopitar cashed in on power plays for the Kings in a 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Rush hour

Dolphins RB Brown listed as week-to-week (AP)
Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis following surgery on his broken left hand. Brown, injured Thursday during the third quarter of the Dolphins 27-10 win at Detroit, had surgery Friday. "It may be several weeks before he gets back, but we don't know that, nobody knows that," Dolphins coach Nick Saban said.

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.

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 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.

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...

Bills say McGahee a game-time decision (AP)
Bills coach Dick Jauron was "guardedly optimistic" Willis McGahee will play against Jacksonville this weekend after the running back took part in his first practice in full pads Thursday. It was McGahee's second straight day of practice after breaking three ribs in a 24-10 win against Green Bay on Nov.

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

Howard's quick start helps Mavs win (AP)
Josh Howard got his team off to a fast start, and the Dallas Mavericks coasted the rest of the way. Howard scored 11 of his 15 points in the first quarter, and Dirk Nowitzki had 28 points and nine rebounds to help the Mavericks stretch their winning streak to nine games with an 85-73 victory over the short-handed New Orleans Hornets on Saturday night.

Barnes, Warriors end Jazz's win streak (AP)
Matt Barnes said the Utah Jazz weren't ready for what the Golden State Warriors had for them defensively. The NBA's best team probably wasn't ready for Barnes, either. Making just his second start of the season in place of ailing Mickael Pietrus, Barnes scored a career-high 24 points, including 17 in the third quarter, to lead Golden State to a 91-78 victory on Saturday night.

Billups, Pistons win sixth straight (AP)
The Detroit Pistons are an offensive juggernaut? Racing out on fast breaks? Trading possessions with the high-scoring Washington Wizards? Believe it. With Chauncey Billups guiding his team, Pistons coach Flip Saunders feels comfortable with any type of tempo. Billups scored 29 points, including Detroit's final nine at the foul line, and the Pistons set all sorts of season highs, beating the Wizards...

Wade shoots, passes Heat to victory (AP)
Injuries have allowed Dwyane Wade to show another facet of his game: He's a great passer. Wade scored 35 points, 13 in the fourth quarter, and added 12 assists Saturday night as the Miami Heat beat the Charlotte Bobcats 102-93. Wade, forced to play a lot at point guard with Jason Williams and Gary Payton nursing injuries, has 27 assists in two games.

Arroyo, Howard lead Magic past Hawks (AP)
Even with the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Orlando Magic see plenty of room for improvement. Carlos Arroyo scored 15 points, Dwight Howard added 11 points and 11 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic coasted to a 98-79 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. "We did a good job tonight, but it was nothing special," said guard Keyon Dooling, who helped the Magic bench outscore...

Rookie Foye rallies Wolves by Clippers (AP)
The minutes have been somewhat hard to come by for Randy Foye early in his rookie season. The lottery pick from Villanova patiently waited for Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey to do what his college coach did so often -- give him the ball and turn him loose. He finally got his chance on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, and boy did he make the most of it.

Deng, Bulls end six-game losing streak (AP)
A 23-point lead wasn't enough for Chicago coach Scott Skiles -- and it almost wasn't for the Bulls, either. Skiles was ejected in the opening minute of the third quarter Saturday night, but the Bulls held on to beat the New York Knicks 106-95 to stop a six-game losing streak. "I didn't anticipate getting tossed out of the game or anything," Skiles said.

Knicks' Frye to miss 3-to-6 weeks (AP)
Knicks forward Channing Frye will miss three to six weeks after spraining his left ankle during the second quarter of New York's 106-95 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. The first-round pick in last year's NBA draft attempted to block P.J Brown's shot and landed on the back of Brown's shoe with 9:41 left in the first half.

Ilgauskas, Cavaliers top 76ers 108-95 (AP)
The Cavaliers finally located their missing 7-foot-3 center. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, mostly forgotten in Cleveland's offense, scored a season-high 18 points with 15 rebounds, and LeBron James had 25 points and 11 assists in a 108-95 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night. Ilgauskas came in averaging nine points per game -- six below his career average -- and the center hasn't been as...

March of the Penguin

Sharks top Devils for fifth straight win (AP)
Joe Thornton jumped on the ice during a brief moment of miscommunication on San Jose's bench. Then he jumped on a turnover and turned it into a crucial goal. Thornton picked off an errant pass and scored midway through the third period, lifting the Sharks to a 2-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.

Blue Jackets give Hitchcock first win (AP)
Whatever Ken Hitchcock is selling, the Columbus Blue Jackets seem to be buying it. Sergei Fedorov had two goals and two assists to lead the Blue Jackets past the Minnesota Wild 5-3 Saturday night, ending an eight-game losing skid and handing Hitchcock his first win as coach. "I am pleasantly surprised how quickly the players bought it," said Hitchcock, 408-249-100 in stints with the Dallas Stars...

Backup G Mason leads Predators by Wings (AP)
The defense is providing much of the offense for the Nashville Predators this season. The youth of the defensive unit, led by Kimmo Timonen, the only player on the unit with more than two years of NHL experience, prompted concerns about their ability. While some of those concerns have been realized, there is no question that they can score.

Straka lifts Rangers past Penguins in OT (AP)
Martin Straka's tenacious defense led to some timely offense. Straka followed up a strong backchecking effort that prevented a breakaway, scoring with 2.2 seconds left in overtime to lift the New York Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night. "It was a great effort by Marty," Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said.

Sundin returns, but Bruins top Leafs 3-1 (AP)
The Toronto Maple Leafs thought they'd have an easier game coming off a rout over Washington and with Mats Sundin back in the lineup. But Petr Tenkrat, Marc Savard and Brad Boyes scored for Boston, Tim Thomas made 27 saves, and the Bruins held on for a 3-1 victory over Toronto on Saturday night. Sundin returned to the lineup and scored a power-play goal in the third period, but the Maple Leafs...

Thrashers' Lehtonen blanks Panthers (AP)
One night after failing to hold the lead with seconds left in regulation, Kari Lehtonen made sure to avoid a similar fate. "I didn't want the same thing to happen twice," he said. "You know ... seconds left, and it's 6-on-3. I kind of felt the same way as last night." Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 16th goal, and Lehtonen stopped 37 shots to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 1-0 victory over the Florida...

Wolski's big night gets Avs by Canucks (AP)
All it took was a one-game benching to motivate Wojtek Wolski and make Colorado Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville happy with the results after keeping the rookie left winger off the ice. "Consider the message received," Quenneville said. "I saw better overall play from him and it extended to his line." Wolski had a goal and three assists and Colorado Avalanche's third line produced three goals in a...

Gagne powers Flyers past Canadiens (AP)
Simon Gagne made the trip from Quebec City worthwhile for his personal cheering section of some 25 friends and family. The Philadelphia left winger had two goals and an assist, and the Flyers scored three second-period goals in a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. Gagne, a native of the Quebec City suburb of Ste-Foy, set up Mike Knuble's go-ahead goal 15:43 into the second...

Blake, DiPietro power Isles past Caps (AP)
Chris Simon interrupted Jason Blake's postgame interview by drilling his teammate with a handful of ice cubes. The way the New York Islanders forward is going, that might be the only thing that cools him off. Blake netted two goals, and Rick DiPietro made 33 saves, lifting the surging Islanders to a 4-1 victory over the slumping Washington Capitals on Saturday night.

A glimpse backwards (and forwards)
Another year of hits and misses only increases speculation about what teams will be up to in 2007.

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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