For the final Saturday of 2012 we will bring you the important scores and highlights in this Championship Week edition of Saturday Scoreboard.
Wisconsin 70, Nebraska 31. Wisconsin got things rolling downhill quickly and never relented in a 39-point beatdown of heavily favored Nebraska. The Badgers opened the game with a four-play, 75-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead 1:59 into the game and led 14-0 one play later after Marcus Cromartie returned a Taylor Martinez interception 29 yards for a score. The Huskers would pull within 14-10 behind one of the crazier touchdown runs you will ever see (see below), but then Wisconsin put its foot on the gas and never relented. Bret Bielema's team ripped off four straight touchdowns to take a 42-10 lead at the half and then scored three more times in the third quarter to lead 63-17 through three quarters. In all, Wisconsin ran 50 times for 539 yards and eight touchdowns on the day. Wisconsin only needed to throw 10 times, but when they did, they found eight completions for 101 yards and a score. Wisconsin finishes the regular season at a hard-luck 8-5 and will play in the Rose Bowl for a school-record third straight year.
Kansas State 42, Texas 24. Bill Snyder and co. wrapped up a well-deserved Big 12 championship and locked in a trip to the Fiesta Bowl to likely face off with Oregon. The Texas defense stymied the Wildcats' offense through the entirety of the first half, only surrendering a one-yard Collin Klein plunge after a near pick-six by Nigel Malone as Texas led 10-7 at the break. Kansas State has played its best after halftime this year, and that trend continued tonight as Klein led touchdown marches on five of Kansas State's six possessions in the second half. Texas, on the other hand, opened the second half with a seven-play, 90-yard touchdown drive but ended its next three drives with a punt, missed field goal and an interception. By the time Case McCoy found Malcolm Brown for a nine-yard touchdown pass there were just 55 ticks left on the clock and Kansas State owned a 35-7 second half edge.
Florida State 21, Georgia Tech 15. Florida State appeared to be rolling when James Wilder, Jr. scored from one-yard out to put the Seminoles up 21-3 with 4:56 to play in the second quarter. But Georgia Tech figured things out on defense, chipped away slowly at Florida State's lead and before anyone realized it, the Yellow Jackets were driving to take the lead with two minutes to play. Paul Johnson's offense isn't built for two minute drills and it showed tonight as Georgia Tech needed eight plays to move 22 yards before Tevin Washington was intercepted by Karlos Williams at the 45-yard line to put a cap on Florida State's ACC championship. In the same week he accepted the head coaching job at Kentucky, Mark Stoops devised a scheme that allowed the Seminoles to hold Georgia Tech to 183 rushing yards, 140 yards under their season average. The 11-2 Seminoles will now prepare for the Orange Bowl and their likely opponent, future ACC rival Louisville.
Alabama 32, Georgia 28. The contest for Game of the Year in 2012 is over and we have a hands down winner. After a would-be game-winning interception by Vinnie Sunseri was called back by review with 45 seconds left, Aaron Murray led the Dogs on a late drive that fell four yards short of the goal line. Alabama was four yards better than Georgia, and now will meet Notre Dame in Miami for the BCS National Championship. Running backs ruled the day as Georgia's Todd Gurley ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns but was bested by Alabama's duo of Eddie Lacy (181 yards, two touchdowns) and T.J. Yeldon (153 yards, one touchdown).
Boise State 27, Nevada 21. On their way out of the conference, Boise State beats Nevada to claim a share of the Mountain West title along with San Diego State and Fresno State. The Broncos led 17-0 at the half and 24-7 after three quarters, allowing them to survive a late rally by Nevada. The win moves Boise State to 10-2 on the year, Chris Petersen's seventh double-digit win campaign in seven seasons.
Arkansas State 45, Middle Tennessee 0. Rick Stockstill and Middle Tennessee arrived in Jonesboro with a chance to take the Sun Belt title away from the defending league champions. Gus Malzahn and Arkansas State would have none of it. The Red Wolves jumped on the Blue Raiders early, jumping out to a 21-0 lead through one quarter. Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin threw for 238 yards and three touchdowns, and the team pounded out 274 more yards and three scores on the ground.
West Virginia 59, Kansas 10. This season didn't go the way Holgo and co. hoped, but his team did finish strong in beating Iowa State and Kansas to head into bowl season. Geno Smith threw for 407 yards and three touchdowns, and the dynamic duo of Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey produced their customary damage to the Kansas defense. Austin 12 times for 77 yards and a touchdown while also catching four balls for 110 yards, and Bailey led the Mountaineers with 11 grabs for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Bailey finishes the regular season with a ridiculous 23 touchdown catches.
Baylor 41, Oklahoma State 34. The Bears and Cowboys may have fallen short of the 87 over-under but still managed to put on a good show. Baylor quarterback Nick Florence threw for 295 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another 71 yards and a score, but the difference for the Bears was once again transfer running back Lache Seastrunk. Seastrunk carried 16 times for 179 yards and one manly touchdown. After accumulating 29 carries through the Bears' first seven games, Seastrunk rushed 86 times for 694 yards (8.1 ypc) and six touchdowns in Baylor's 4-1 finish. For the second straight game linebacker Eddie Lackey returned an interception for a touchdown, this time taking Clint Chelf's pick 26 yards to give Baylor a 10-3 lead that the Bears never relinquished.
Tulsa 33, Central Florida 27 (overtime). In a game decided by wild special teams plays, Tulsa made two more than Central Florida to win its first Conference USA championship since 2005. Each squad blocked an extra point, but Tulsa's punt return touchdown from Trey Watts on a play where UCF players appeared to think the ball was dead, but Watts scooped the ball up ran 54 yards for a score. The return knotted the game at 27-27, and UCF blocked the ensuing extra point to keep the score tied. Tulsa blocked Shawn Moffitt's 38-yard field goal try on the first possession of overtime, and Chris Singleton powered in from the one-yard line on the next possession to give Tulsa the win.
Oklahoma 24, TCU 17. Oklahoma kept its Big 12 championship hopes alive by the skin of its teeth as TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin's fourth-down pass went through the hands of wide receiver Josh Boyce inside the end zone with 25 seconds to go. Michael Hunnicutt could have put the game away with three minutes to left but his 42-yard field goal try was swept away by a gusting Fort Worth wind. That wasn't the only eventful field goal try of the day, as Jaden Oberkrom's 32-yard try with 13:33 to go was controversially ruled no good. The key score came when Landry Jones led a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive capped by a 24-yard scoring strike with 53 seconds before halftime to put Oklahoma up 14-7 at the break. The score was Oklahoma's sixth inside the final minute of the first half through 12 games. Oklahoma will now turn its eyes to tonight's Texas-Kansas State game as a Longhorns win would give the Sooners an outright Big 12 title.