As they've done all season, Auburn and Oregon took care of business on the field Saturday, leaving nothing to the vaguries of voting or rankings systems and ensuring their spots in the BCS National Championship Game on January 10.
The 12-0 No. 1 Tigers punched their tickets to Glendale with a 56-17 rout over No. 18 South Carolina in the SEC Title game. Heisman front-runner Cam Newton powered Auburn's offensive attack, throwing for a career-best 335 yards while tossing four touchdowns and running for another two on the way to the victory.
No. 2 Oregon, which also finished a perfect 12-0, had a slightly tougher time with in-state rival Oregon State, but the Ducks were able to hold on for a 37-20 win in the Civil War. Star running back LaMichael James ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns as Oregon claimed the Pac 10 title and its first trip to the national title game.
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The game will feature two of the nation's highest-scoring teams, as both squads finished in the top 10 in points per game, averaging more than 40 points a contest.
As the match ups were announced, Fiesta Bowl president John Junker summed up the consensus around the game.
"It will be a night of fireworks in Glendale," he said.
The four other BCS contests offer an intriguing set of pairings. The nation's third undefeated team, the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs, will head to Pasadena to take on the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. That game could also be high scoring, with both teams finishing in the top five nationally in points per game. TCU won the MAC and grabbed one of the at-large BCS bids, while Wisconsin grabbed the Big 10's automatic birth by claiming the league's title, despite a three-way tie with Ohio State and Michigan State.
The No .6 Buckeyes were not shut out of the BCS party, as they grabbed another at-large bid and will take on the No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks from the SEC in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The game has two of college football's best quarterbacks, featuring dual-threat Terrelle Pryor from OSU and classic drop back signal caller, Ryan Mallett, for Arkansas.
The fourth at-large bid went to the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal, who rode the arm of star quarterback Andrew Luck into an Orange Bowl battle against the No. 13 Hokies of Virginia Tech, who beat Florida State 44-33 in the ACC Title game. Both teams are balanced on both sides of the ball, leading to what should be one of the most evenly matched contests of the bowl season.
The final game pairs the Connecticut Huskies against the No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl. The match up of the Big East and Big XII champs looks like a blowout on paper, but UConn ran off five straight victories after a 3-4 start and feature a strong running attack, led by the nation's second-ranked rusher, Jordan Todman. Oklahoma brings a typically strong team into the game, but the Sooners have been snake bitten when it comes to the BCS, where they're on a five-game losing streak, which includes three BCS National Championship games and two Fiesta Bowls.