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MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2006
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BCS gets Florida, Ohio State for No. 1

By Ralph D. Russo
Associated Press Writer

Florida beat Michigan on Sunday in the only game that mattered.

The Gators, who lobbied hard for this victory, were picked to play No. 1 Ohio State for college football’s national championship, ending any chance for the Wolverines to get the rematch they so desired and thought they deserved.

But Florida got in by a whisker — just a hundredth of a point in the Bowl Championship Series standings.

The Gators had a BCS average of .944, and the Wolverines were just behind at .934. The teams were tied in the computer ratings, but Florida had a 38-point lead in the Harris poll and a 26-point advantage in the coaches’ poll.

All these factors were sure to set off renewed calls to scrap the BCS and go to a playoff. Count Florida coach Urban Meyer as supporter of that plan.

“We’re beyond the fact of do we need a playoff,” he said. “It’s now, ‘Can we get one?’ ”

Of course, Southern California could have made it simpler by beating UCLA on Saturday. Instead, the second-ranked Trojans were upset 13-9, dropping in the standings and clearing the way for Florida (12-1) or Michigan (11-1).

The Gators leapfrogged idle Michigan by winning the Southeastern Conference Championship Game 38-28 over Arkansas.

“It’s well deserved, and I’m proud of it,” Meyer said of the Gators’ selection.

The championship game is Jan. 8 in Glendale, Ariz.

Michigan’s consolation prize is a Rose Bowl bid to play USC (10-2), a classic Big Ten vs. Pac-10 matchup of teams left to wonder what could have been.

“I don’t think they (Florida) would have moved ahead of us if USC would have won the game,” said Michigan coach Lloyd Carr.

In other bowls:

  • Big 12 champion Oklahoma will meet unbeaten Boise State in the Fiesta on Jan. 1.
  • Big East champion Louisville will play ACC champion Wake Forest in the Orange on Jan. 2.
  • LSU will take Florida’s spot in the Sugar and play Notre Dame on Jan. 3.
  • When the Wolverines ended their regular season with a 42-39 loss to the Buckeyes two weeks ago, they talked about getting another swing at their Big Ten rivals.

    While Michigan was left to wait and hope, the other contenders still had regular-season games to play.

    As Florida padded its resume, second-year coach Meyer became very vocal about getting a chance to play Ohio State, especially when it appeared the Gators would be left out.

    He called for a playoff and suggested the BCS should be imploded if the SEC champion again was left out of the championship game — the way undefeated Auburn was in 2004.

    In the end, he said he didn’t think voicing his opinions about the BCS helped push his team into the title game.

    “It’s an imperfect system,” Meyer said Sunday. “If you want a true national championship, the only way to do it is on the field.

    Carr agreed: “I hope one day we have a system where all the issues are decided on the field.”

    2006-07 bowl schedule

    Dec. 19: Poinsettia Bowl at San Diego, TCU vs. Northern Illinois, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

    Dec. 21: Las Vegas Bowl, BYU vs. Oregon, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

    Dec. 22: New Orleans Bowl, Troy vs. Rice, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

    Dec. 23: PapaJohn’s Bowl at Birmingham South Florida vs. East Carolina, noon (ESPN2)

    Dec. 23: New Mexico Bowl at Albuquerque, New Mexico vs. San Jose State, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

    Dec. 23: Armed Forces Bowl at Fort Worth, Texas, Tulsa vs. Utah, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

    Dec. 24: Hawaii Bowl at Honolulu, Arizona State vs. Hawaii, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

    Dec. 26: Motor City Bowl at Detroit, Central Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)

    Dec. 27: Emerald Bowl at San Francisco, Florida State vs. UCLA, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

    Dec. 28: Independence Bowl at Shreveport, La., Oklahoma State vs. Alabama, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

    Dec. 28: Holiday Bowl at San Diego, California vs. Texas A&M, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

    Dec. 28: Texas Bowl at Houston, Rutgers vs. Kansas State, 7 p.m. (NFL Network)

    Dec. 29: Music City Bowl at Nashville, Tenn., Clemson vs. Kentucky, noon (ESPN)

    Dec. 29: Sun Bowl at El Paso, Missouri vs. Oregon State, 1 p.m. (WHNT-19)

    Dec. 29: Liberty Bowl at Memphis, Tenn., South Carolina vs. Houston, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

    Dec. 29: Insight Bowl at Tempe, Ariz., Minnesota vs. Texas Tech, 6:30 p.m. (NFL Network)

    Dec. 29: Champ Sports Bowl at Orlando, Fla., Maryland vs. Purdue, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

    Dec. 30: Meineke Bowl at Charlotte, N.C., Navy vs. Boston College, noon (ESPN)

    Dec. 30: Alamo Bowl at San Antonio, Iowa vs. Texas, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

    Dec. 30: Chick-fil-A Bowl at Atlanta, Virginia Tech vs. Georgia, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

    Dec. 31: MPC Computers Bowl at Boise, Idaho, Nevada vs. Miami, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)

    Jan. 1: Outback Bowl at Tampa, Fla., Penn State vs. Tennessee, 10 a.m. (ESPN)

    Jan. 1: Cotton Bowl at Dallas, Auburn vs. Nebraska, 10:30 a.m. (WZDX-54)

    Jan. 1: Capital One Bowl at Orlando, Fla., Wisconsin vs. Arkansas, noon (WAAY-31)

    Jan. 1: Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla., Georgia Tech vs. West Virginia, noon (WHNT-19)

    Jan. 1: Rose Bowl at Pasadena, Calif., Southern Cal vs. Michigan, 4 p.m. (WAAY-31)

    Jan. 1: Fiesta Bowl at Glendale, Ariz., Boise State vs. Oklahoma, 7:30 p.m. (WZDX-54)

    Jan. 2: Orange Bowl at Miami, Wake Forest vs. Louisville, 7 p.m. (WZDX-54)

    Jan. 3: Sugar Bowl at New Orleans, LSU vs. Notre Dame, 7 p.m. (WZDX-54)

    Jan. 6: International Bowl at Toronto, Cincinnati vs. Western Michigan, 11 a.m. (ESPN2)

    Jan. 7: GMAC Bowl at Mobile, Southern Mississippi vs. Ohio, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

    Jan. 8: BCS National Championship at Glendale, Ariz., Ohio State vs. Florida, 7 p.m. (WZDX-54)

    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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