Who's bruised, bloodied, and BCS Bowl-bound?
The college football regular season came to an end with a bang on Saturday, when some of the nation's most storied rivals met on playing fields across the country, from sunny Tallahassee to snowy Washington. Rabid fan bases were out for blood in games that boasted not only historical significance, but present day national title implications as well.
How did your team fare on Saturday against one of the programs you hate the most? Has your squad been left bruised and bloodied, licking their wounds in anticipation of a lesser bowl, or are your boys BCS-bound?
Washington State takes home the Apple Cup, 31-28, in overtime
The Cougars are by no means BCS-bound, or even bowl-bound at all for that matter.
However, a season full of disappointment and losses was washed away over 60 minutes (and change) of extremely well-played football, earning first year coach Mike Leach his very first Pac-12 win in beating a ranked and deeply hated rival.
Quarterback Jeff Tuel threw for 350 yards to lead the Cougars to 21-unanswered points in the fourth quarter and overtime.
After Andrew Furney kicked a 27-yarder in the first overtime, Washington State had earned its first conference win, finishing 3-9 and 1-8 in-conference, but with a big 'one'.
Ole Miss shocks the world to win the Egg Bowl, 41-24
2012 was a tale of two seasons for an improved Mississippi State squad, who jumped out to the program's best start since 1999. However, after opening the year with a pristine 7-0 mark, the Bulldogs would lose three of its next four games prior to limping into the Egg Bowl.
Ole Miss, on the other hand, desperately needed to upset their in-state rivals in their season finale to finish with six wins, thus earning bowl-eligibility. After closing the 2011 campaign with only two total, first year coach Hugh Freeze was a man on a mission in Saturday's 41-24 surprise of a blowout.
Vastly improved quarterback Bo Wallace absolutely carried the day, airing it out to the tune of 294 yards on only 15 completions and five touchdowns. Three scores went to Donte Moncrief, who finished out his regular season with seven receptions for 173 yards.
Now, of course, because of the efforts of Wallace and Moncrief, their season is not at all over.
Alabama stomps Auburn in the Iron Bowl, 49-0
The game's result comes as a surprise to pretty much no one, but the history Auburn made in its futility is. The halftime lead of 42-0 was the largest in the history of the rivalry, besting a 34-0 lead Auburn had held going into the break in 1957.
The largest win for either side came in an Alabama win, 55-0, back in 1948. Had coach Nick Saban not called off the dogs (read: Eddie Lacy, who blew up for 131 yards and two scores on only 18 carries) the now 0-8 in-conference Auburn Tigers would have easily been beaten by far more.
Poor form, Gene Chizik, poor form.
Georgia dominates Tech, 42-10, to take home the Governor's Cup
Georgia's defense sent a message to Alabama, whom the Bulldogs will meet in the SEC Championship game, in taking longstanding rival Georgia Tech to the woodshed, for the 11th time in 12 years.
A linebacker not named Jarvis Jones, however, did most of the damage. Bacarri Rambo was a monster all over the field, forcing not one but two fumbles and intercepting a pass on an errant throw by Tech's entirely inefficient freshman passer, Vad Lee. Alec Ogletree piled up 15 tackles, the highest total for any Georgia defender this season, and literally crushed the very soul of the Yellow Jackets, early and often, on Saturday.
Aaron Murray continued to make a case for himself to earn an invite to NYC as a Heisman finalist, surpassing the 3,000-passing yards mark for the third-straight season. He is the first quarterback in the history of the SEC to put up those types of numbers.
If he can air it out against Alabama, he will be leading his team to the BCS National Championship game, which is far more important than an individual award.
Sooners survive some serious Bedlam, 51-48, in overtime
After dominating at home for the better part of a decade, only losing three games in the comfy confines of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in coach Bob Stoops' 13-year tenure heading into 2012, the Sooners were taken down at home by both Kansas State and Notre Dame this season.
A hot Oklahoma State squad was hoping to hand their Bedlam rivals an unprecedented third home loss in the season finale, but after opening up a 14-3 lead after the first quarter, Sooners signal caller Landry Jones finally played big in one of the team's biggest games.
In what became a total offensive showcase for both teams, Jones shined brightest, tossing for 500 yards on the dot while completing 46 of an absolutely silly 71 pass attempts and three scores.
Jones has struggled at times in big games, but now the Big 12's career passing leader has a chance to earn a share of the conference title with a win next week over TCU and a Kansas State win over Texas.
Individually, Jones became the first player in the history of college football to throw for at least 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns in four straight seasons. Not bad, Mr. Jones, not bad at all.
Florida Gators dominate the fourth quarter to win the Sunshine State Rivalry, 37-26
Usually, the Gators and coach Will Muschamp have to make serious halftime adjustments in order to break out and dominate a second half in order to win.
Time and again in Florida's surprising run to a national top five ranking, that was the formula: Struggle in the first half, then ride an elite defense and stellar run game to a second-half beat down.
However, against fellow one-loss Florida State, things did not exactly go by the script. Quarterback Jeff Driskel had returned from a sprained ankle that had held him out against Jacksonville State the week prior, and the team went into the locker room up 13-3 at the half.
Unlike in previous wins all season long, it was the 'Noles who came out of the break firing on all cylinders, scoring 17 unanswered points in the third quarter to get the crowd in a Seminole Choppin' state of mind.
However, as it turns out, the Gators' winning script just needed a little longer to take effect, but when all was said and done, the Gators had scored 24 fourth-quarter points en route to the comeback victory to stay alive in the BCS National Championship game conversation.
The Battle of South Carolina goes to the Gamecocks, 27-17
Clemson was leading at the half, 14-10, but superstar defensive end Jadeveon Clowney made sure the Tigers were kept in check the rest of the way, and in the process both he and his coach set school records against their heated in-state rivals.
Clowney, a Bronko Nagurski Award finalist, set a school record with 13 sacks on the year, and quarterback Dylan Thompson filled in for injured Connor Shaw and threw for 310 yards.
Steve Spurrier wrapped up his eighth season at the helm of the 'Cocks with his 65th win, breaking a tie with Rex Enright for the most in the history of the program.
Another first was yet another 10-win season for South Carolina. The Gamecocks won 10 games in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history, and they did it against none other than their hated rivals.
In typical Spurrier fashion, the man was chatting up a storm after it was all over: "When we play Clemson, they don't seem to play very well." Got to love the Ol' Ball Coach.
Unless you're a Tigers fan, of course.
Oregon wins its fifth-straight Civil War, 48-24
Coming off its first loss of the season, the Oregon Ducks took out their frustrations against the surprisingly solid Beavers, and in front of the Oregon State faithful, no less.
This year's Civil War was supposed to one for the ages, with Oregon State actually winning a few games prior to the annual season finale, as opposed to recent years when State was ranked near the bottom of the Pac-12.
However, the Ducks made this one look just like all the others in blowing away their rivals with six rushing touchdowns on the day. De'Anthony Thomas rushed for 122 yards on 17 carries with three scores, Kenjon Barner took 28 attempts for 198 yards and two scores, and quarterback Marcus Mariota took a mere eight carries for 85 yards and yet another touchdown.
The Ducks may not have a chance at the BCS National Championship game, but don't tell that to Oregon State, who took a beating from one of the nation's elite squads.
Ohio State finishes off a perfect regular season by winning The Game, 26-21
After narrowly escaping Wisconsin in overtime a week ago, Ohio State once again needed some late-game heroics to finish the regular season at a perfect 12-0 for the first time since the 2002 national championship season.
While there will not be a BCS National Championship game for this postseason-banned team, Urban Meyer pulled off something special in his first season at the helm.
Meyer coaxed Heisman-caliber game play from his star quarterback, Braxton Miller, who threw for 189 yards and a score and rushed for another 57 against a solid Wolverines defense. Meyer, the former head man at Florida, rode a Florida native, Carlos Hyde, to the tune of a 26 attempt, 146-yard afternoon in the exciting win.
With the 2002 National Championship squad on hand, the 2012 Buckeyes put on a show that will not be soon forgotten in Columbus, Ohio.
Notre Dame finally breaks through against USC and the nation, 22-13
In the weekend's headlining game, with the eyes of an entire nation on them and with a century of history bearing down on the Fighting Irish, Notre Dame made good on a season of resurgence, taking down a desperate USC squad on the road, 22-13.
The win gave Note Dame the nation's only undefeated mark amongst bowl-eligible teams, thus sending coach Brian Kelly's squad to the BCS National Championship game in just his third year at the helm after accepting the position while at Cincinnati.
The team's two major offensive forces were Theo Riddick, who rushed for 146 yards and a score, and their kicker, Kyle Brindza, who booted five field goals to keep USC at bay even when the Irish's offense would stall.
The real star of the performance, as usual, was the Irish defense, who stood tall in the red zone time and again to preserve one of college football's most storied program's first perfect season since 1988.
After taking down the Trojans out in Hollywood, the next stop for these Midwesterners is Miami, and the BCS National Championship game.
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