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College Football Notebook

Associated Press
The college football notebook …
ATLANTA ó Given little chance to knock off the nation’s top-ranked team, Georgia doesn’t have a lot to lose in the Southeastern Conference championship game.
Then again, No. 1 LSU probably doesn’t either.
In all likelihood, the Tigers have already put together a resume that’s impressive enough to get them to New Orleans for the BCS title game ó even if the 12th-ranked Bulldogs pull off a huge upset today.
Count Georgia coach Mark Richt among those who feels LSU (12-0, 8-0 SEC) deserves to play for the national championship, whether they win or lose to his team. He can certainly read a schedule, noting the Tigers have already beaten three teams among the top eight in The Associated Press poll ó No. 2 Alabama, No. 6 Arkansas and No. 8 Oregon ó as well as 22nd-ranked West Virginia.
Georgia (10-2, 7-1) might be the hottest team in the country outside of LSU. The Bulldogs have bounced back from an 0-2 start with their longest in-season winning streak since 1982, removing any doubt about Richt’s coaching future.
CONFERENCE USA
HOUSTON ó Case Keenum’s first Senior Day was nothing to celebrate.
Houston’s injured quarterback hobbled onto the Robertson Stadium turf on crutches last Nov. 13, with the season’s smallest crowd offering lukewarm, empathetic applause.
Keenum was resigned that this was how his college career would end, a season and final home game ruined by a freak injury to his right knee.
The NCAA, though, granted the school’s appeal to give Keenum one more chance to get it right and, boy, have he and the Cougars taken advantage.
No. 7 Houston (12-0, 8-0 Conference USA) has rolled through the regular season behind its record-setting quarterback and earned the right to host today’s league championship against No. 24 Southern Mississippi (10-2, 6-2).
WAGNER GETS $300,000
CULLOWHEE ó Western Carolina University is paying former football coach Dennis Wagner a $300,000 lump sum to leave the program immediately.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Friday that Wagner had two years left on a six-year deal that a school spokesman would have paid another $500,000.
Wagner resigned last month with one game remaining in his fourth season with the Catamounts.
The former Nebraska assistant left the month after Western Carolina fired his boss, athletic director Chip Smith. Wagner had an 8-36 record in four seasons. He posted 2-9 and 1-9 records his final two seasons in Cullowhee.
WASHINGTON STATE TICKETS
PULLMAN, Wash. ó The hiring of new football coach Mike Leach has certainly excited the fan base at Washington State.
Director of ticket sales Paul Finn says 450 season tickets have been sold since Leach was hired Wednesday, a big number for a normally quiet period.
Washington State sold just under 10,000 season tickets for last season.
Leach took Texas Tech to 10 bowl games in 10 seasons.
PENN STATE
STARKVILLE, Miss. ó Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen insists he hasn’t been approached by Penn State about its coaching vacancy.

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