I-A College Football
                 === FSU to play Auburn in BCS title game ===
 Irving,  TX (SportsNetwork.com)  - It was as  wild a month to finish a college
 football season in recent memory.
 In the final year of the BCS, it was only fitting.
 In  a mad sprint to the finish, the SEC's chances to win an eighth consecutive
 national  title are  still alive,  as No.  2 Auburn  will play  top-ranked and
 undefeated Florida State in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 6.
 On  the outside looking  in two weeks ago, Ohio State finally got the break it
 needed  entering  Saturday's conference championship games. Following a heart-
 stopping  win against arch-rival Michigan, the Buckeyes' team bus reacted with
 joy on the ride back to Columbus when Chris Davis returned a missed field goal
 100  yards for  a  touchdown  as Auburn  stunned  two-time defending  champion
 Alabama, 34-28, in the 78th Iron Bowl.
 After  the "Prayer  at Jordan-Hare" and the Davis "Kick Six" led to improbable
 victories  in  back-to-back weeks, Auburn  didn't need a miracle Saturday, but
 the Tigers needed help from Michigan State.
 They got it.
 The  Spartans  were a thorn  in the Buckeyes' side  as they ended Ohio State's
 national title hopes and its 24-game winning streak in the Big Ten title game.
 Now Auburn, which improved its win total from last year by nine under new head
 coach Gus Malzahn, is celebrating.
 "Our  goal was  real  simple, just  improve  each  game. We  felt  like if  we
 did  that we'd have a chance to be a pretty good team at the end of the year,"
 Malzahn said. "We look up and we're playing for the National Championship, and
 it's really something,"
 In  order to win their second title in four years, the Tigers will need to get
 past  Jameis Winston and  a Florida State squad which won each of its games by
 at least 14 points.
 The  freshman  phenom  and  Heisman  favorite  Winston,  who  was  cleared  of
 allegations he sexually assaulted a woman last year on Thursday, set a pair of
 individual  FBS  freshman marks with 38  TD passes and 3,820 yards through the
 "He  did  an unbelievable  job of dealing  with the adversity  which he had to
 deal with," FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said of Winston.
 The  Seminoles (13-0) had a .9957 average, leading the Harris Interactive, USA
 Today  and aggregate  computer rankings,  while Auburn  (12-1, .9638)  vaulted
 into  the  second spot for  the first time all  season following its 59-42 win
 over Missouri in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday afternoon.
 FSU routed Duke 45-7 in the ACC title tilt. The Seminoles will play for it all
 for  the  first time  since 2000 and  are seeking their  first BCS title since
 The  final BCS  title  game will  be  played  at the  Rose  Bowl in  Pasadena,
 California.  Next  year will mark  the first  of the College Football Playoff,
 which will consist of the top four teams.
 Ohio  State fell to seventh in the BCS standings following its defeat and will
 clash  with No. 12 Clemson in the Orange Bowl. The Buckeyes will play in their
 record 10th BCS bowl.
 The  Rose  Bowl will  consist of  its usual  clash between  Big Ten and Pac-12
 champions  as No. 4  Michigan State will play No. 5 Stanford. The Spartans and
 their   top-ranked  defense  are  making  their  first  Rose  Bowl  appearance
 since  1987. The  Cardinal, meanwhile,  will be  in a  BCS Bowl  for a  fourth
 straight year.
 Alabama  finished No. 3  in the BCS and will face No. 11 Oklahoma in the Sugar
 Bowl.  The  Sooners upset intrastate rival  Oklahoma State on Saturday to move
 into  a  BCS bowl.  The game  will be  a preview  of the  bowl's future as the
 first edition  of the new  Sugar Bowl between the champions of the SEC and Big
 12  is  slated for  next season.  If the SEC  or the  Big 12 champion advances
 to  the national  semifinals, each  conference  would then  send another  team
 to  New Orleans.
 The  final  BCS game, the  Fiesta Bowl,  will feature No.  6 and Big 12 winner
 Baylor and AAC champion and No. 15 UCF.
 No.  8  Missouri and No. 9  South Carolina were the two highest-ranked schools
 left out of the BCS. Only the top two teams from each conference are permitted
 to go to BCS bowls. Auburn and Alabama are representing the SEC.
 No.  10 Oregon, which had played in four straight BCS bowl games, was left out
 of the BCS picture.
 Mountain  West Conference champion Fresno State (No. 20) was the highest rated
 school from outside the five automatic-qualifying conferences.
 12/09 00:41:50 ET

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