Oregon and Auburn clinched spots in the national college football title game on Saturday, while the other undefeated team in the country, Texas Christian University, looked headed to the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
and in the Southeastern Conference championship to secure spots in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) title game on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Arizona.
No. 3 TCU watched it all from home but got no help and got left out - the way some team does almost every year in a sport that refuses to adopt a playoff.
The title game pairing will become official Sunday night when the BCS awards spots in the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta Bowls along with the national championship game. Going into Saturday, the top two teams were flipped in the BCS standings, with Auburn at No. 1 and Oregon ranked No. 2.
"It hasn't really set in yet," said Auburn coach Gene Chizik, who has a month-plus to prepare for stopping the nation's top-scoring offense in the title game. "I know that's where we're going."
Oregon is seeking the first national title in program history. Behind running back LaMichael James, the Ducks average more than 50 points per game.
"The one thing I think, and now I hope, is that we're not known for our uniforms, we're known for the players inside the uniforms and that's what makes this thing special," Ducks coach Chip Kelly said.
Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, who threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns Saturday, and James, who ran for 134 yards and two scores, are also among the favorites to win the Heisman trophy next Saturday.
In other games with postseason implications:
- No. 10 Oklahoma rallied from 17 points down to edge No. 13 Nebraska 23-20 in the Big 12 championship, earning a spot in the Fiesta Bowl, set for Jan. 1 at the same stadium where Oregon and Auburn will meet.
- Tyrod Taylor threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as No. 12 Virginia Tech beat No. 20 Florida State 44-33 in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game, securing a berth in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3.
- Unranked Connecticut got by South Florida, 19-16, on Dave Teggart's 52-yard field goal with 17 seconds left to win a share of the Big East title and the league's BCS slot. The Huskies made the BCS despite having a four-loss season.
Stanford, Arkansas and Ohio State, all idle Saturday, are among the top choices for at-large spots in postseason bowl games.