Do The Buckeyes Automatically Go To The College Football Playoffs 5 Major Conference Teams Win Championships to Earn Coveted Spots in the BCS Bowl Games

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5 Major Conference Teams Win Championships to Earn Coveted Spots in the BCS Bowl Games

The nation’s five best major conference teams squared off in Week 14 of college football to earn coveted spots in BCS bowl games. The best include Alabama, Texas, Cincinnati, Oregon and Georgia Tech.

In the nation’s most important game before the bowl season, Alabama’s Crimson Tide (13-0) avenged last year’s loss to the Florida Gators (12-1) by easily defeating Florida, 32-13, to win the SEC Championship and the right to compete for the national tournament.

The Gators, who won the national title last year, were embarrassed as they led the nation in scoring defense (9.83 ppg) and total defense (233.08 ypg). Alabama, which boasted the nation’s second-best scoring defense (10.83 ppg) and third-best total defense (233.92 ypg), proved superior.

Florida just couldn’t handle the Tide’s star, Mark Ingram, who rushed for 113 yards and 3 touchdowns. Alabama’s Greg McElroy threw for 239 yards and earned the Most Valuable Player award.

Alabama last won a national title in 1992. Florida won the national title in 2006 and 2008, and is trying to win 3 titles in 4 years.

Texas (13-0) needed a 46-yard field goal from Hunter Lawrence as Nebraska (9-4) held off a monstrous defensive effort to win the Big 12 championship 13-12 and the right to play Alabama on Jan. 7 for the national title.

The Cornhuskers’ stout defense came up big in nearly pulling off a huge upset. Few fans realized how good the Husker defense was. Nebraska was third in the nation in scoring defense (11.08 ppg) and 11th in total defense (291.42 ypg), and trust me, Texas found out why.

Longhorn QB Colt McCoy Rearn lost the game for Texas by catching a last-minute pass and holding the ball long before throwing it. The officials ruled that the ball hit the ground with 1 second left and 1 second left on the clock, allowing Lawrence to make his dramatic, game-winning field goal. Nebraska’s defense sacked McCoy 9 times, which doesn’t say much for the Longhorns’ offensive line defense.

Texas was denied a shot at the national title game by Oklahoma last year, although the Longhorns defeated the Sooners in a regular season game. Many fans thought Texas should have played Florida for the title last year; Now they will.

The Cincinnati Bearcats (12-0), down 21 points to clinch the Big East championship, needed Tony Pike’s 29-yard scoring pass to Armon Binns with 33 seconds left to complete a narrow 45-44 victory over Pittsburgh (9-3), and in the Sugar Bowl. Right to face Florida.

Pittsburgh’s Dion Lewis rushed for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns and the Panthers led Cincinnati 31-10 earlier in the game, but it wasn’t enough to stop the nation’s 5th best scoring offense. Cincinnati averaged 39+ points going into the contest, and coach Brian Kelly’s quick-strike spread offense exposed Pittsburgh’s lack of defense.

Kelly, who went 10-3 in his first year in Cincinnati, went 11-3 last year and is now 12-0 in the Sugar Bowl. He was recently hired by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who canned Charlie Weis after 5 years and a 35-27 record.

In the biggest game in Oregon football history, Oregon (10-2) defeated Oregon State (8-4), 37-33, when Ducks running back LaMichael James ran 52 yards to give Oregon a 1:34-33 lead. 20 left in the 3rd quarter. James would finish with 166 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns.

The stakes were high as this year’s Civil War was all about winning the Pac-10 Championship and a matchup with Ohio State (10-2) in the Rose Bowl. Ohio State previously won the Big Ten Championship by defeating Iowa.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-2) needed Jonathan Dwyer’s 15-yard run to hold off Clemson (8-5), 39-34, to win the Atlantic Coast Championship and clinch a berth in the Orange. Bowling vs. Iowa (10-2).

Houston’s luck ran out against East Carolina (9-4) as the Pirates defeated the Cougars 38-32 to capture the Mid-Major Conference USA title. The title was East Carolina’s second in a row and proved once again that defense, not offense, often wins titles.

Houston has the nation’s top scoring offense (44+ ppg) but its hog-slop defense ranks 110th out of 120 major college teams. East Carolina ranks 31st in scoring defense (21+ ppg) and 68th in total defense; At least the Panthers had a defense, and used it to win another C-USA title.

The 5th BCS game—the Fiesta Bowl—will feature two undefeated mid-major teams—Texas Christian (12-0), the Mountain West Conference champion, and Boise State (13-0), the Western Athletic Conference champion. It’s the first time two teams without automatic bids from the 6 major conferences have faced off in a prestigious BCS game.

Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley

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