The Sweep

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Barack Obama thinks Utah has a legit championship claim.
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Jay Christensen produces The Wiz Of Odds.

John Harwood, CNBC: President Elect Barack Obama, on which team should be national champion: "I think Utah has a pretty good claim. They're undefeated. And Florida and Oklahoma both are well ... (unintelligible). I think USC, which had a great Rose Bowl, beat Penn State pretty badly. They've got a pretty good claim to being number one. Florida and Oklahoma, I think, both have a claim. Texas, at this point, has got to feel like, 'Well, we did OK, too.' I think -- I think a football playoff system makes sense. I've spoken about this quite a bit, and I think if you look at knowledgeable sports fans, they agree with me. But, you know, I've got to pick and choose my battles. I probably am going to be spending more time focusing on creating three more -- three million more jobs."

Bill James, Slate: The statistical analyst takes a stand against the Bowl Championship Series. "This isn't a national championship -- it's a big-money waltz. The only role that the computer rankings play in this is that they're there to take the fall when the system doesn't work -- and it doesn't work most of the time."

Ralph D. Russo, Associated Press: BCS coordinator John Swofford said his organization complies with the law and is ready to fend off any legal challenges.

Bryan Burwell, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The BCS title game is nothing more than a glorified exhibition game that sadly, doesn't settle a darned thing.

Ileana Morales, Miami Herald: One sports merchandising firm stands to make $200,000 in sales if Florida wins the BCS title game.

Tommy Hicks, Mobile Press-Register: A survey of 21 reporters who cover college football on everything from the BCS title game to the biggest surprise of the bowl season.

Jim Young, ACC Sports Journal: A look at potential candidates to replace the fired Jeff Jagodzinski at Boston College.

Scott Wolf, Los Angeles Daily News: USC denied former receiver Vidal Hazelton permission the right to speak to any Pac-10 conference teams or Notre Dame as he searches for a new college.

Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Mike Crabtree’s cousin and mentor said the Texas Tech receiver still hasn’t decided whether to come back to the team or leave early for the NFL draft. But it doesn’t help the Red Raiders’ interests that Mike Leach hasn’t signed the contract extension he was offered a month ago.

Tampa Tribune: South Florida and Florida State have announced a home-and-home series that will begin in Tallahassee in 2009. The Bulls will host the Seminoles in 2012.

Bryan Mullen, Tennessean: Tennessee, which is coming off a 5-7 season that resulted in Phillip Fulmer's departure, will not raise ticket prices for 2009.

Jeff Metcalfe, Arizona Republic: The path to a winning season in 2009 for Arizona State just got easier.

Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune: Notre Dame has fired defensive line coach Jappy Oliver.

Iliana Limón, Orlando Sentinel: A proposed increase in student fees at Central Florida would mean the athletic department would receive an additional $870,000.

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