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TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Big Ten ends in three-way tie

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

The Big Ten race won't officially be decided until Dec. 5 when the final BCS standings come out.

No. 5 Wisconsin, however, left little doubt which of the three teams that tied for first would be going to the Rose Bowl.

The Badgers, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 11 Michigan State all finished 11-1 and 7-1 in conference. The BCS standings will be used to break the tie. Wisconsin held the advantage coming into the weekend and its 70-23 victory against Northwestern should keep the Badgers ahead of their rivals.

Ohio State beat Michigan 37-7, the Buckeyes seventh straight victory in that heated rivalry.

Michigan State beat Penn State 28-22. The Spartans beat Wisconsin this season, but they also had the most lopsided loss of the three teams.

Wisconsin handed Ohio State its only defeat and the Buckeyes and Spartans did not play.

Also decided on Saturday was the ACC's Atlantic Division. Florida State earned that when Maryland beat North Carolina State 38-31.

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No. 4 TCU 66, New Mexico 17

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes before leaving with an elbow injury and TCU capped its second straight undefeated regular season with a second consecutive Mountain West championship.

The next stop for the BCS-busting Horned Frogs could very well be the Rose Bowl.

TCU (12-0, 8-0 Mountain West) has been jockeying with Boise State for a possible BCS appearance and got a major boost from Nevada, which knocked off the previously unbeaten Broncos on Friday night to clear the Frogs an easier path to Pasadena.

If form holds next week across the college football landscape, it could be a purple Rose Bowl.

Fullback Luke Shivers scored twice on short runs and reserve quarterback Casey Pachall passed for one TD and ran for another as TCU, as expected, dominated New Mexico (1-11, 1-7).

No. 5 Wisconsin 70, Northwestern 23

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Montee Ball rushed for 178 yards and four touchdowns and the Badgers earned a share of the Big Ten championship.

The Badgers (11-1, 7-1) made it four straight wins by 20 points or more -- and it wasn't even the most lopsided game in that stretch, because Wisconsin beat Indiana 83-20 on Nov. 13. It also was the third time this season the Badgers scored 70 points or more.

Scott Tolzien was 15 of 19 for 230 yards and four touchdowns, including a pair to wide receiver Nick Toon.

It was also a dominant game by standout defensive end J.J. Watt, who forced two fumbles, made a big hit that caused an interception and blocked an extra point try.

Venric Mark returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown for Northwestern (7-5, 3-5 Big Ten).

No. 12 Arkansas 31, No. 6 LSU 23

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Ryan Mallett threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns as Arkansas put itself in position to land the school's first BCS bid.

Mallett finished 13 of 23 passing and had touchdown passes of 85, 80 and 39 yards for the Razorbacks (10-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference), who won their sixth straight game and finished second in the SEC West.

The junior quarterback broke the school record for touchdown passes in the game, passing Clint Stoerner's 57. Mallett now has 60 touchdown passes in two seasons at Arkansas, and his 39-yarder to Joe Adams on fourth-and-3 in the fourth quarter put the Razorbacks up 28-20.

LSU (10-2, 6-2), which was outgained 464-294 by Arkansas, never led. Jordan Jefferson passed for 184 yards and ran for 34 for the Tigers.

The Razorbacks likely still need Auburn to win the SEC championship next week against South Carolina to reach the BCS, but losses by Alabama and Boise State on Friday helped its case. LSU's BCS hopes seem less than slim.

No. 7 Stanford 38, Oregon State 0

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Andrew Luck threw four touchdown passes to set a single-season school record and Stanford stated its case for a berth in the Bowl Championship Series.

Stepfan Taylor ran for 115 yards and a touchdown and Doug Baldwin caught two TD passes for the Cardinal (11-1, 8-1 Pac-10), who set a school record for wins with an emphatic close to the regular season.

Now Stanford needs to wait a week to learn its bowl fate, hoping for an at-large berth in the BCS with No. 1 Oregon having already wrapped up the Pac-10's automatic berth.

The Beavers (5-6, 4-4) need to beat the Ducks at home next Saturday to make it to a bowl game for a school-record fifth consecutive season. Ryan Katz threw three interceptions and lost a fumble as Oregon State failed in its first attempt to become bowl eligible.

No. 8 Ohio State 37, Michigan 7

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Jordan Hall broke the game open with an 85-yard kickoff return and the Buckeyes defense shut down Michigan's high-powered offense for their seventh straight win in the rivalry.

The Buckeyes (11-1, 7-1) picked up two celebration penalties after touchdowns but had a lot to celebrate: A share of a record-tying sixth Big Ten title and, most likely, a Bowl Championship Series bid.

Terrelle Pryor had two TD passes and Dan "Boom" Herron finished with 175 yards on 22 carries.

It was another stumble for Michigan (7-5, 3-5) under coach Rich Rodriguez, now 0-3 against the Buckeyes and just 15-21 overall with the Wolverines.

No. 14 Oklahoma 47, No. 10 Oklahoma State 41

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Landry Jones matched the school record with 468 yards passing and threw two long touchdown passes in a wild finish to the Bedlam game as Oklahoma forged a three-way tie atop the Big 12 South.

Jones threw an 86-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Kenney then answered Justin Gilbert's kickoff return score for Oklahoma State (10-2, 6-2 Big 12) with a 76-yarder to James Hanna 29 seconds later as the Sooners (10-2, 6-2) survived to likely earn a spot in the Big 12 title game.

The division will be decided based on who comes out ahead in the Bowl Championship Series standings on Sunday between the two in-state rivals and Texas A&M. Oklahoma State came in ninth, with Oklahoma 13th and A&M 17th.

Brandon Weeden had 257 yards passing with two touchdowns and three interceptions for Oklahoma State.

No. 11 Michigan State 28, Penn State 22

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Michigan State claimed at least a share of its first Big Ten title since 1990 after winning at blustery Beaver Stadium.

Edwin Baker ran for 118 yards and a touchdown, and Keshawn Martin's 35-yard reverse deep in Penn State territory set up another early score for Michigan State (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten).

Kirk Cousins threw for 152 yards and two touchdowns to B.J. Cunnigham, and the defense held off a fourth-quarter charge by penalty-prone Penn State (7-5, 4-4).

Penn State scored 19 fourth-quarter points, and had a chance for a comeback after Matt McGloin found Derek Moye for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 56 seconds left.

Michigan State recovered the ensuing onside kick to finally seal the win.

No. 15 Missouri 35, Kansas 7

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Blaine Gabbert directed scoring drives on the Tigers' first two possessions and later scored on a 1-yard run in the 119th edition of college football's second-oldest rivalry.

Missouri held its archrivals to 141 yards, the fewest they've allowed a conference opponent in the Big 12's 15 seasons.

De'Vion Moore scored two touchdowns for the Tigers (10-2, 6-2 Big 12), who drew 95 yards in penalties in the always-passionate border showdown but still dominated. No. 16 Nebraska's victory over Colorado on Friday had made it impossible for the Tigers to finish higher than second in the Big 12 North.

The Jayhawks (3-9, 1-7) ended a miserable season in Turner Gill's first year as head coach and have lost 16 of 19 after opening 2009 with five straight wins.

No. 13 Virginia Tech 37, Virginia 7

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Ryan Williams ran for two touchdowns and No. 13 Virginia Tech won its 10th consecutive game and seventh in a row over Virginia.

Tyrod Taylor threw for 176 yards ando sav99

a touchdown and became the career passing yardage leader for the Hokies (10-2, 8-0 ACC). Virginia Tech also became the first team to finish the regular season unbeaten in Atlantic Coast Conference play since Florida State in 2000.

The Hokies will meet either the Seminoles or North Carolina State in next weekend's ACC championship game in Charlotte, N.C. It will be Tech's fourth appearance in six years.

The game ended a difficult first season under coach Mike London for Virginia (4-8, 1-7). The Cavaliers lost their final four games and have now lost 13 straight games in November.

No. 18 South Carolina 29, Clemson 7

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -- Stephen Garcia threw for two touchdowns, Alshon Jeffery had his seventh 100-yard receiving game and South Carolina posted the third nine-win season in program history.

In a season of milestones, this was likely one of the sweetest for the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division winners, who beat the Tigers in consecutive games for the first time since 1968-70.

In 117 seasons of football, the Gamecocks (9-3) have only reached nine wins in 1984 and in 2001. And their passing game, led by Garcia and star wipeout Jeffery, gave Aruba's secondary something to worry about for next week's SEC championship.

Jeffery had four catches for 126 yards by halftime, including a 37-yard touchdown throw from Garcia.

Clemson (6-6) was held scoreless for the game's final 58 minutes.

Maryland 38, No. 21 North Carolina State 31

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Danny O'Brien threw for a career-high 417 yards and four touchdowns, all to Torrey Smith, and Maryland denied North Carolina State a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game.

Needing a victory to win the league's Atlantic Division, North Carolina State (8-4, 5-3) scored touchdowns on its first two possessions to take a 14-0 lead. But the Terrapins (8-4, 5-3) rallied behind O'Brien, whose deft throwing made up for a running game that finished with negative yardage.

North Carolina State ended up in a second-place tie with Maryland behind Florida State, which will face Virginia Tech in the championship game on Dec. 5.

No. 23 Utah 17, BYU 16

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Brandon Burton blocked a last-second field goal to lift Utah to a wild victory against BYU in their final game as Mountain West Conference rivals.

Mitch Payne had already kicked three field goals for BYU and was lined up for the game-winning 42-yarder. But Burton came up big for the Utes (10-2, 7-1), who likely are headed to the Las Vegas Bowl.

BYU (6-6, 5-2) at one point had a 13-0 lead. But the Utes came back behind sophomore quarterback Jordan Wynn, who had been benched to start the second half.

Reinserted after Terrance Cain tossed two interceptions in two third-quarter possessions, Wynn pulled Utah within 13-10 with a 37-yard touchdown pass to DeVonte Chrisopher with 13:46 to play. He then set Matt Asiata up for a 3-yard TD run with 4:24 remaining that gave Utah it's first lead.

Minnesota 27, No. 24 Iowa 24

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Duane Bennett's touchdown run with 4:31 left lifted Minnesota to its first victory against Iowa in four years.

DeLeon Eskridge had 95 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries for Minnesota (3-9, 2-6 Big Ten), which outmuscled Iowa on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

Freshman Marcus Coker carried 21 times for 90 yards for Iowa (7-5, 4-4), which closed the regular season with three straight losses of four points or fewer.

After the Gophers went ahead, Coker broke free, then started to brake near midfield where he was crushed by Troy Stoudermire, forcing the ball out and giving it to the Gophers at their 45. They drained the clock and celebrated by racing across the field to fetch the Floyd of Rosedale trophy, the bronze pig these border-state schools play for each fall.

No. 25 Mississippi State 31, Mississippi 23

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Chris Relf threw for a career-high 288 yards and three touchdowns as Mississippi State won the Egg Bowl.

The Bulldogs dominated for most of the game, with a 498-326 advantage in total yards. But Ole Miss nearly rallied from a 31-9 fourth quarter deficit, scoring two touchdowns to pull within 31-23 with 4:21 remaining. The Rebels' comeback ended when Jeremiah Masoli was sacked on fourth-and-24 with 59.4 seconds remaining.

MSU's LaDarius Perkins caught three passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. The freshman also rushed for 98 yards on 13 carries.

Mississippi State (8-4, 4-4 SEC) won for the first time in Oxford since 1998. Masoli led Ole Miss (4-8, 1-7) with 261 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception.