30 DAYS UNTIL KICKOFF!
An all-SEC championship game, huh? That's fresh. I guess The Worldwide Leader would be thrilled beyond belief. Does the winner get to join the NFC South?
At any rate, LSU should provide Florida with stiffer competition than the Buckeyes actually did in 2006. If I remember correctly, Troy Smith's performance in that game was the worst in BCS history. Remember when ESPN was touting an Ohio State-Michigan title rematch? That would have been about the most boring game ever...
Game 1: No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes (14-0) VS. No. 4 LSU Tigers (12-2)
FedEx Orange Bowl
Dolphins Stadium - Miami Gardens, Fla.
Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006 - 4:30 PM EST
Wind: SE 9 MPH
Final Score: LSU 20, Ohio State 13
Player of the Game
Ohio State RB Antonio Pittman
MIAMI (AP) - After a two-year streak of a No. 1 seed finally winning it all like it's supposed to, the 2007 FBS Playoff returned to form.
No. 4 seed LSU (13-2) rose up to knock No. 1 seed Ohio State (14-1), which has also been ranked No. 1 in both polls for most of the season, off its perch in a 20-13 Orange Bowl victory. The win also gives the SEC its first representative in the title game since 2003, and only its third ever.
The two teams were fairly evenly matched, with Ohio State narrowly leading in first downs, 21-20, but LSU had a distinct rushing advantage in the game (257-151). Jacob Hester led the way for the Tigers with 13 carries for 110 yards, while JaMarcus Russell managed the game well, completing 13 of his 22 passes for 140 yards, a TD and an interception.
Antonio Pittman led the Buckeye rushing attack - actually, he pretty much was the entire attack - with 23 carries for 133 yards. Troy Smith was 21 of 34 for 198 yards and a TD.
This will be LSU's first championship appearance in the playoff era. It also will continue a pitiful streak for Ohio State, which has reached the Final Four three times but never won a title.
Nokia Sugar Bowl
Louisiana Superdome - New Orleans, La.
Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006 - 8 PM EST
Precipitation: none (dome)
Temperature: 70 (dome)
Wind: none (dome)
Final Score: Florida 21, Wake Forest 16
Player of the Game
Florida RB Mon Williams
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Double-digit seeds reaching the Final Four is nothing new. Maryland, Boise State, Kansas State and Louisville have all done it this decade, after all.
But the ride usually ends in the third round, and in that respect, Wake Forest (13-3) was no different ... although the Demon Deacons put up a tough fight in the process.
Florida (15-1) defeated Wake Forest 21-16 to win the Sugar Bowl and set up the FBS playoff's first-ever all-SEC matchup. Actually, it's the first one-conference matchup of any kind.
Florida won despite marginal performances from Chris Leak, who was just 13 of 23 for 156 yards, a TD and two interceptions, and its running backs, none of whom surpassed 100 yards in the game.
Credit the Florida defense with securing the win, despite Wake Forest star Micah Andrews' 20 carries for 136 yards. Riley Skinner was no more effective than Leak, going just 10 of 20 for 125 yards. If not for Sam Swank, who made all three of his FGs, Wake Forest might have been shut out.
Despite that, the Demon Deacons led entering the fourth quarter, but Leak found Dallas Baker from 12 yards out for a TD with less than 10 minutes remaining to put Florida ahead for good.
All helmet images are courtesy of The Helmet Project. Check it out - it's pretty cool.
All bowl logos are courtesy of sportslogos.net.
FBS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
#2 Florida vs. #4 LSU
University of Phoenix Stadium