Alabama claims SEC title
No. 2 Alabama narrowly defeated then-No. 3 Georgia 32-28 on Saturday to win the Southeastern Conference title. As a result, the Crimson Tide have a chance to repeat as BCS champion on Jan. 7, 2013, when it faces No. 1 Notre Dame.
After a back-and-forth affair, the Crimson Tide (12-1) took the lead for good with three minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the game on a 45-yard touchdown pass by quarterback A.J. McCarron to Amari Cooper.
The Bulldogs (11-2) had a chance to take back the lead late in the game, but they ran out of time.
Georgia scored first on a 19-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Aaron Murray to Jay Rome with 13:59 remaining in the second quarter after the two teams were held scoreless in the first quarter.
Alabama answered with a 41-yard touchdown run by running back Eddie Lacey and a field goal to end the first half with a 10-7 lead.
The third quarter heated up with the Bulldogs scoring two touchdowns to take a 21-10 lead with 6:31 remaining in the quarter.
The Crimson Tide answered with a touchdown of its own when running back T.J. Yeldon scored from 10 yards out. Yeldon also added on a 2-point conversion, to bring Alabama back to within 21-18.
The final quarter commenced with the Crimson Tide scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run by Lacy to take the lead back from Georgia, 25-21. Two minutes later, the Bulldogs regained the lead on a 10-yard touchdown run by running back Todd Gurley.
As a result of their loss, the Bulldogs will face No.16 Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Stanford wins Pac-12
No. 8 Stanford defeated then-No. 16 UCLA 27-24 Friday night to claim the Pac-12 championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin on New Year’s Day.
The Cardinal (11-2) overcame a 24-17 deficit heading into the fourth quarter with a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kevin Hodges to Dre Terrell and a 36-yard field goal by kicker Jordan Williamson to clinch the Pac-12 title.
The Bruins (9-4) began the game with a 51-yard touchdown run by Johnathan Franklin. The two teams then traded a pair of touchdowns to close out the first quarter.
Stanford dominated the score sheet in the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run by Stepfan Taylor and a 37-yard field goal by kicker Jordan Williamson, to take a 17-14 lead into halftime.
UCLA did the same in the third period with a touchdown and field goal of its own to take a temporary 24-17 lead into the final quarter.
The Bears will head to the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl to face Baylor on Dec. 27.
Boise State wins share of MWC
No. 20 Boise State defeated Nevada 27-21 Saturday to earn a share of the Mountain West Conference championship.
The Broncos (10-2, 7-1) scored 17 straight points to take a commanding lead into halftime, but it wouldn’t last.
The Wolf Pack (7-5, 4-4) fought their way back in the second half with three touchdowns, but it was still not enough, as Boise State never trailed in the game.
Quarterback Joe Southwick led the way for the Broncos through the air with 199 yards and two touchdowns. Running back D.J. Harper tacked on 130 yards and a touchdown for Boise State.
The Broncos next opponent will be Washington on Dec. 22 in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. Nevada will take on Arizona in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15.
Kat Kent can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @MDC_Kent.