College football roundup


Now what?

Just when postseason plans were settling into some kind of pattern, a Saturday of upsets turned college football’s bowl picture fuzzy.

There are a few things we know for sure:

No. 15 UCLA will play in the Rose Bowl. The Bruins clinched the Pac-10 host role with a 27-21 victory over Southern Cal. No. 12 Ohio State, shut out by No. 23 Michigan 28-0 on Saturday, or No. 10 Wisconsin, which beat Illinois 35-10, will represent the Big 10.

No. 2 Nebraska will play in the Orange Bowl. The Big Eight champion Cornhuskers had the good sense not to play on Saturday, when three of the top five teams lost. Next up for them is Oklahoma on Friday.

Because of NCAA sanctions, No. 3 Auburn will play in no bowl, even though the Tigers (11-0) completed a perfect season with a 22-14 victory over Alabama. Either the No. 17 Crimson Tide or No. 7 Florida, which defeated Vanderbilt 52-0, will represent the SEC in the Sugar Bowl.

Beyond that, little is clear.

No. 5 West Virginia and No. 11 Boston College clouded the picture with victories. The Mountaineers knocked off No. 9 Miami 17-14 and BC used a last-second 41-yard field goal by David Gordon to beat No. 4 Notre Dame 41-39. BC and West Virginia play Friday.

Florida State protected its own interests with a 62-3 battering of North Carolina State to regain the No. 1 spot in the rankings. The Seminoles face Florida on Saturday.

That leaves just three teams—Nebraska (10-0), West Virginia (10-0) and Auburn (11-0)—still undefeated.

In other games, it was No. 6 Tennessee 48, Kentucky 0; No. 8 Texas A&M 59, Texas Christian 3; No. 14 Penn State 43, Northwestern 21; No. 18 Colorado 21, Iowa State 16; No. 20 Kansas State 21, Oklahoma State 17; No. 21 Indiana 24, Purdue 17; No. 22 Virginia Tech 20, Virginia 17; and No. 24 Clemson 16, South Carolina 13.

Besides Nebraska, No. 13 North Carolina, No. 16 Oklahoma, No. 19 Arizona and No. 25 Michigan State were idle.

No. 1 Florida St. 62, North Carolina St. 3

In his final home game, Heisman Trophy favorite Charlie Ward threw for four TDs and ran for another. Ward’s Heisman credentials include completing 69 percent of his passes, throwing for 2,586 yards and 23 TD with two interceptions.

No. 3 Auburn 22, No. 17 Alabama 14

The Tigers wiped out a 14-5 third quarter deficit, rallying behind backup quarterback Patrick Nix, who came into the game on a fourth-and-15 at the Alabama 35 and threw a TD pass to Frank Sanders on his first play. James Bostic sealed the victory on a 70-yard TD run with 2:19 left.

No. 11 Boston Coll. 41, No. 4 Notre Dame 39

The Eagles led by three TDs in the fourth quarter, then surrendered the lead to a furious Notre Dame comeback before Gordon’s left-footed knuckleball kick won it. ‘‘You couldn’t ask for a better ending to a football game,’‘ Eagles coach Tom Coughlin said. You could if you were Notre Dame.

No. 5 West Virginia 17, No. 9 Miami 14

The Mountaineers stepped squarely into the national championship mix when Robert Walker scored on a 19-yard sweep with 6:08 left for the winning points. It was the first loss against a current Big East team for Miami since BC beat them on Doug Flutie’s desperation pass at the final gun in 1984.

No. 6 Tennessee 48, Kentucky 0

Charlie Garner rushed for 186 yards and Cory Fleming caught two touchdown passes as the Vols administered Kentucky’s worse shutout loss in 72 years. Tennessee has outscored its last three opponents 148-13.

No. 7 Florida 52, Vanderbilt 0

Florida earned its place in the SEC title game by playing almost flawlessly against Vandy, which had eight turnovers. ‘‘I think anyone would give us a chance (vs. FSU) because we are playing here in the Swamp,’‘ coach Steve Spurrier said. ‘‘We obviously play a lot better here.’‘

No. 8 Texas A&M 59, Texas Christian 3

The Aggies earned at least a tie for the SWC title with their their 21st straight conference win and 21st straight over TCU. Greg Hill scored two touchdowns, one on a 94-yard run, and Corey Pullig passed for two scores.

No. 10 Wisconsin 35, Illinois 10

The Badgers kept their Rose Bowl hopes alive. First, though, they must go to Tokyo in two weeks and beat Michigan State. ‘‘We’re not going to let this one slip away,’‘ promised quarterback Darrell Bevell, who threw three TD passes against Illinois.

No. 23 Michigan 28, No. 12 Ohio St. 0

Needing a win or tie to clinch the Rose Bowl berth, Ohio State got neither, shut out by Michigan. Their first shutout in 11 years ended a 16-game unbeaten streak and left coach John Cooper calling it ‘‘by far, the most embarrassing game I’ve been associated with in college football.’‘

No. 14 Penn St. 43, Northwestern 21

Mike Archie rushed for a career-high 173 yards and two touchdowns and Kerry Collins passed for 278 yards for the Nittany Lions, who came back after trailing 14-13.

No. 15 UCLA 27, So. California 21

Marvin Goodwin’s end-zone interception saved the victory and insured the Bruins’ first Rose Bowl berth in eight years. UCLA led 17-0 at halftime, but needed Goodwin’s interception with 50 seconds left to clinch the victory.

No. 18 Colorado 21, Iowa St. 16

alfback Lamont Warren’s 49-yard TD pass to Charles Johnson in the fourth quarter rallied the Buffaloes.

No. 20 Kansas St. 21, Oklahoma St. 17

With no timeouts left, Chad May directed an 80-yard drive in the final minute, capping it with a 2-yard TD pass to Brad Seib.

No. 21 Indiana 24, Purdue 17

Shane Thomas’ 10-yard fourth quarter TD run won it f the Hoosiers after Purdue rallied from a 17-7 deficit to tie the game.

No. 22 Va. Tech 20, Virginia 17

Virginia Tech put the finishing touches on another late-season collapse by Virginia, which lost four of its last six after a 5-0 start for the second straight year.

No. 24 Clemson 16, South Carolina 13

Nelson Welch’s third field goal, a 31-yarder with 11:53 remaining, gave Clemson its victory.