Six U.S. college football games were played New Year's Day as the postseason bowl schedule marches toward the championship game next Monday.
Eighth-ranked USC dominated a classic matchup between the PAC Ten and Big Ten conferences Monday, winning the Rose Bowl, 32-18 over third ranked Michigan in Pasadena, California. USC quarterback John David Booty passed for 391 yards and four touchdowns.
The ninth-ranked Boise State Broncos completed a perfect season by upsetting seventh-ranked Oklahoma in overtime, 43-42. The Sooners trailed most of the Fiesta Bowl near Phoenix, Arizona, but tied the game with a minute-and-a-half left, scoring a touchdown and two-point conversion. Oklahoma took the lead a half-minute later, returning a pass for a touchdown. But with just seven seconds left, Boise State tied the game on a fourth-down, 50-yard pass play. Oklahoma took the early overtime lead, but Boise State earned the one-point win with a touchdown and two-point conversion.
Earlier, venerable Penn State coach Joe Paterno earned his 22nd bowl victory as the unranked Nittany Lions defeated 17th ranked Tennessee, 20-10, in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida. Tony Hunt ran for 158 yards while Tony Davis scooped up a fumble and rumbled for an 88-yard touchdown as the 80-year-old Paterno watched from the press box as he continues to recover from a broken leg.
At the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, number-10 Auburn beat 22nd ranked Nebraska, 17-14. A third quarter field goal ended up being the game-winner for Auburn. Number six Wisconsin beat 12th ranked Arkansas by that same 17-14 score in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
Thirteenth-ranked West Virginia slipped past Georgia Tech, 38-35, in a rain-soaked game at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida.
The college season ends January 8 with the national championship game. Top ranked and undefeated Ohio State will face number two Florida for the title.