A little late – and the Bowl dance cards are all filled out but here it is nonetheless. We’ll have coverage of the majors as we hit the end of the year. But for now, we wrap up the final non-Bowl week of the 2008 NCAA College Football season.
#4 Florida 31, #1 Alabama 20
In a hard fought and see-sawing match, Gator quarterback Tim Tebow threw a trio of touchdown passes and secured a spot for Florida in the National Championship game. It was a slugfest the whole way and both teams earned every yard. But in the end, Tebow showed why he’s on the cusp of another Heisman Trophy with a gutsy, poised performance.
#2 Oklahoma 62, #20 Missouri 21
The Sooners romped all over the Tigers as they locked down their spot in the BCS Championship game and won the Big 12 in the process. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford put in another example of why, like Tebow, he is in the thick of the Heisman race, throwing for 384 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Sooners rolled the opposition, totaling 627 yards.
#5 USC 28, UCLA 7
USC only dropped one game, and an early one at that. But a weak Pac-10 conference prevented them from making up any real ground and a final game against an entirely overmatched UCLA team didn’t help matters. USC had little troubl with their crosstown rivals – Mark Sanchez threw for 269 yards, two touchdowns and an INT, while Joe McKnight led the ground attack with 99 yards and a 12 yard touchdown run. They will meet Penn State in the Rose Bowl, the fourth time in a row they have headed to the game. They also won their seventh consecutive BCS bid, completed their seventh straight 11-win season and and won their seventh Pac-10 Championship in a row.
#12 Ball State 24, Buffalo 42
Ball State just couldn’t hang onto the ball last Friday, as they fell to unranked Buffalo and losing the MAC Championship. Five turnovers spelled doom for the Cardinals, all of which in some way shape or form came from quarterback Nate Davis. Buffalo scored after each of the fumbles and those turnovers overshadowed Davis’ otherwise solid stats (351 yards and a touchdown). The Bulls ended Ball State’s perfect season and became Bowl eligible for the first time since they joined the majors in 1999. The school had previously been invited to the Tangerine Bowl in 1958 but turned it down since their African-American players would not have been allowed to play. That team will travel to Toronto for the International Bowl with the current team.
#13 Cincinnati 29, Hawaii 24
The Bearcats had to surge late to overcome an upset in Hawaii, rallying with 19 points in the 4th quarter in a hard-fought battle in Aloha Stadium.
#25 Virginia Tech 30, #17 Boston College 12
Virginia Tech was able to turn turnovers into points and that was all the difference as they beat the Eagles, won the ACC Championship and locked themselves into an Orange Bowl appearence. BC has beaten the Hokies twice in the last two regular seasons but VT has now won it’s second ACC title in a row (a first in the ACC) and their third in the five years they have been in the conference.
#23 Pittsburgh 34, UCONN 10
The Pitt Panthers are headed to the Sun Bowl o nthe strength of their first 9 win season since 1982. Running back LeSean McCoy turned in another good performance with 95 yards and a touchdown.