Texas vs. Alabama BCS National Championship Game Odds and Picks at Football Betting Section.
And let the complaining by TCU and Cincinnati – even Boise State – begin.
The Crimson Tide romped past Florida 32-13 and into the BCS title game on championship Saturday. The Longhorns locked up their spot with a last-second, tougher-than-expected 13-12 victory against Nebraska that left plenty of opportunity for debate about which is the second-best team in the country.
The regular season ends with five unbeatens in major college football, but only two can play for the national championship.
No one will argue about Alabama (13-0) playing in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 7. Some might take issue with Texas getting the nod over the Horned Frogs, Bearcats and Broncos.
The Crimson Tide booked its spot in the BCS national title game and all but eliminated any possibility of a rematch with Florida at the Rose Bowl in January.
Now all the Crimson Tide need is an opponent.
For that, all eyes turn to Texas.
Mark Ingram, Greg McElroy and the second-ranked Tide earned their first trip to the BCS final with a 32-13 victory against No. 1 Florida in SEC championship Saturday.Texas vs. Alabama Odds and Predictions at football betting section.
Alabama will play No. 3 Texas in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 7 if the Longhorns beat No. 21 Nebraska in the Big 12 title game late Saturday. If Texas loses, either TCU or Cincinnati is likely to face the Tide at the Rose Bowl.
Tim Tebow's last game for the Gators figures to be the Sugar Bowl, the traditional destination for the SEC champion.
But Alabama will take its 22nd SEC title to the West Coast. As the Tide players cleared out of their locker room at the Georgia Dome, a few like Julio Jones and Trent Richardson posed for pictures with the long-stemmed red roses that were handed out during the postgame party.
"We're happy about this championship right now but we still want to accomplish bigger things," Ingram said.
Earlier in the day, No. 5 Cincinnati kept its national championship hopes alive – at least for a few more hours.
The Bearcats (12-0) pulled off a stunning rally to beat Pittsburgh 45-44 and lock up the Big East title and a spot in the Bowl Championship Series.
At worst, Cincinnati and coach Brian Kelly can expect an invite to the Orange or Sugar Bowl. And if Colt McCoy and Texas were to stumble against the Cornhuskers, the Bearcats could vault into the national championship game.
Not long after the Bearcats wrapped up a thriller in the snow at Pittsburgh, the Gators and Crimson Tide kicked off the marquee game of the day in the Georgia Dome.
The Southeastern Conference championship, for the second year in a row, was a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown between Alabama and Florida.
Last year, Florida beat the Tide on the way to a national title. This year the Tide rolled, pulling away in the second half and dominating the Gators on both sides of the ball.
"Ever since last year, everything we did was to beat Florida," Ingram said. "Everything we did was to be better than Florida."
When it was over Tide fans chanted, the players bounced and Ingram and his teammates flaunted some conference pride, raising high the round SEC signs that had been scattered around the sidelines.
For the fourth straight season, the SEC will have a team in the national title game. The league has won the last three championships. The Tide will try to make it four straight, maybe in a second consecutive SEC-Big 12 championship matchup.
The real intrigue was at the Big 12 title game in Arlington, Texas. A Nebraska upset – Texas was a two-touchdown favorite – would make for a rare suspenseful selection Sunday for the BCS.
Would idle and No. 4 TCU (12-0), already a lock to be this season's BCS buster, become the first team from a non-automatic qualifying conference to reach the national title game?
The Bearcats' victory was bad news for the Horned Frogs, who could be in danger of being leapfrogged by Cincinnati when the final BCS standings come out Sunday.
TCU held a slim margin over Cincinnati in last week's BCS standings at football betting section..
"I think we got enough on our resume to play for the national title," Cincinnati receiver Mardy Gilyard said. "We just have one little wrinkle to iron out, and that's Nebraska taking care of Texas, we can argue the fact about strength of schedule with TCU, but it's up to the voters and the computers now."
Cincinnati made a spectacular – though far from flawless – case to play for a national title by coming from three touchdowns down to beat the Panthers, who were looking for their second BCS bid but will now have to settle for a spot in the Meineke Bowl.
Beating a ranked team on the road will do wonders for Cincinnati's computer rating, which was already higher than TCU. But will it sway enough voters in the Harris and coaches' polls?
There was a chance a Texas loss could have set up a rematch of the SEC title game for the national championship, if the Gators and Tide had played a close game.
Instead, Florida didn't score in the second half and Ingram put up three touchdowns to bolster his Heisman campaign.
While the Bearcats and Horned Frogs were rooting against Texas, Boise State needed to root for the Longhorns.
The Broncos, who beat New Mexico State 42-7 to complete an undefeated season, could get shut out of the BCS altogether if Nebraska plays its way in and Texas gets nudged into the at-large pool for the Orange, Fiesta and Sugar bowls.
The Rose Bowl game is already set, with Ohio State to play Oregon.
The winner of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game Saturday night between Georgia Tech and Clemson earns a spot in the Orange Bowl.