LSU locks up its title spot, Okla St makes it case

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The Ducks will face Wisconsin, which beat Michigan State 42-39 in a memorable first Big Ten championship game. The Badgers will be making their second straight trip to the Rose Bowl. The Ducks are in it for the second time in three seasons, with a national championship game trip in between.

Championship Saturday started with an upset.

Case Keenum and No. 7 Houston were pounded 49-28 by Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA championship game, a loss that will cost the Cougars a spot in the BCS and the millions of dollars that goes with it.

The high-scoring Cougars needed to complete their perfect regular season and win the league to become this year’s BCS buster, and the first team from C-USA to reach the BCS.

A BCS bid would have netted the league about $7 million dollars.

With Houston out of the picture, it TCU has a shot to go back to the BCS for a third consecutive season.

TCU, which beat lowly UNLV 56-9, would need to move into the top 16 in the final BCS standings on Sunday to earn an automatic bid, because the Big East’s conference champion _ West Virginia _ will most likely not jump ahead of the Horned Frogs.

TCU was No. 18 in last week’s BCS standings.

The Big East was first to resolve its title race Saturday. When Cincinnati beat Connecticut 35-27, it moved West Virginia into position to earn a BCS bid by winning a three-way tiebreaker between the Mountaineers, Cincinnati and Louisville.

The Mountaineers are likely heading to the Sugar or Orange bowl.

Houston’s drop in BCS standings could also affect how the at-large bids shakeout on Saturday.

Stanford seems like a lock for an at-large to the Fiesta Bowl, and speculation was that Michigan would receive an at-large bid to the Sugar. But the idle Wolverines need to move into the top 14 of the final standings. They were 16th coming into the final weekend.

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AP BCS Projections

BCS championship game _ LSU vs. Alabama

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