FSU rolls, OSU upset, Auburn heads to title game

The last steps to the BCS championship game summed up their

seasons.

For No. 1 Florida State, it was a breeze. For Auburn, it took

the unexpected.

The Seminoles will play the Tigers for the BCS title on Jan. 6

in Pasadena, Calif., after Auburn capped its remarkable turnaround

season with a wild victory over Missouri in the Southeastern

Conference title game, and then No. 2 Ohio State was upset by

Michigan State on Saturday night.

”We going to the SHIP? (hash)Pasadena Bound,” Auburn running

back Tre Mason posted on his Twitter account.

For Florida State, it was business as usual against No. 20 Duke.

Jameis Winston passed for 330 yards and accounted for four

touchdowns, and the Seminoles’ defense smothered the Blue Devils

45-7 in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship in

Charlotte.

Florida State (13-0) has won each of its games by at least 14

points.

”We’re not champs yet,” coach Jimbo Fisher yelled to his team

after it crushed Duke.

”We’re trying to do something so much bigger than this,”

Winston said.

Florida State will play for the national title for the first

time since the 2000 season, and Winston will likely have to stop in

New York to pick up the Heisman Trophy before heading to Southern

California. The Seminoles will be looking for their first BCS title

since 1999, and they’ll be trying to break the SEC’s seven-year

national championship streak before the BCS is replaced by a

four-team playoff next year.

”It’s not the SEC conference vs. the ACC conference,” Florida

State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner said. ”It’s Florida State vs.

Auburn.”

It looked as if the SEC did itself in last week, when Auburn

upset Alabama. Florida State moved to No. 1 in the BCS standings

and Ohio State to No. 2.

Auburn was No. 3, but the SEC was not about to just sit there

and hope for an upset.

The Buckeyes were the target for the SEC supporters, who have

insisted that their champion’s one-loss resume would be as good as

that of an unbeaten Buckeyes team because Auburn – or Missouri –

would have played a tougher schedule.

”I have nine words,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs was

quoted as saying by SI.com on Saturday night after the Tigers’

59-42 victory over Missouri. ”Strength of schedule. Strength of

schedule. Strength of schedule.”

Now, it doesn’t matter.

The Tigers have gone from worst in the SEC to first, and a

victory away from their second national title in four seasons.

In 2010, it was Gus Malzahn as offensive coordinator for coach

Gene Chizik, directing an offense led by junior college transfer

quarterback Cam Newton.

Now Malzahn is in his first season as head coach, and junior

college transfer quarterback Nick Marshall is directing a seemingly

unstoppable running game that gained 545 yards against No. 5

Missouri in Atlanta.

The Tigers (12-1) beat Georgia with the ”Prayer at

Jordan-Hare” and Alabama with the ”Kick Six.” On Saturday, maybe

that Auburn magic was passed on to Michigan State.

Ohio State (12-1) hadn’t lost in 24 games, not since Urban Meyer

took over as coach. Despite all the SEC’s lobbying, a victory

against the 10th-ranked Spartans in the Big Ten championship game

in Indianapolis would have likely been enough to hold off Auburn

and send the Buckeyes to the BCS title game for the first time

since 2007.

”You know it’s going to haunt all of us, I imagine, for a

little while,” Meyer said.

Ohio State fell behind by 17, rallied back to take a 24-17 lead,

then watched Michigan State score the last 17 points to win

34-24.

”Thanks for making the decision easy Michigan State,” Auburn

linebacker Kris Frost posted on Twitter. ”WAR DAMN EAGLE WE GOING

TO CALI.”

Michigan State, too. The Spartans are going to the Rose Bowl for

the first time since the 1987 season. Ohio State will probably have

to settle for the Orange Bowl.

The Big 12 and Pac-12 also settled BCS business Saturday.

No. 7 Stanford (11-2) is going to the Rose Bowl for the second

straight year, the first time that’s happened since 1970-71, after

winning the Pac-12 championship game at No. 11 Arizona State,

38-14.

No. 9 Baylor (11-1) won the Big 12 and locked up an automatic

bid to the Fiesta Bowl, with some help from Oklahoma. Before the

Bears beat Texas 30-10, the 18th-ranked Sooners upset No. 6

Oklahoma State 33-24 in Stillwater to keep the Cowboys from winning

the Big 12.

BCS projections:

Championship game: Florida State vs. Auburn.

Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs. Stanford.

Orange Bowl: Ohio State vs. Clemson.

Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Oklahoma.

Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. UCF.

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AP Sports Writers John Zenor in Montgomery, Ala., and AP Sports

Writer Mike Marot in Indianapolis contributed.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP