Here's a brief look at the results of the Top 25 from this past weekend. The rankings used in this recap are the BCS standings entering the games.
SWEET AS SUGAR
#7 Auburn 43, #25 Georgia 38: Auburn's hopes for an SEC Championship are all but dashed, trailing 38-37 on fourth-and-long with 25 seconds to go from their own 27-yard line; however, Nick Marshall's long pass is tipped by a Bulldog defensive back right into receiver Ricardo Louis' hands for an amazing and improbable Tiger victory to keep them in the mix for the Sugar Bowl.
#12 Oklahoma State 38, #24 Texas 13: Clint Chelf (16-of-22, 197 yards, 2 TDs, 95 rushing yards, 2 more TDs) leads the Cowboys to a road blowout of Texas which prompts ESPN's Brad Edwards to project them as a Sugar Bowl participant as they prepare for Saturday's huge showdown with Baylor in Stillwater.
#17 UCF 39, Temple 36: The Knights register a wild comeback, scoring on a spectacular one-handed catch by J.J. Worton with 1:06 to go, then connecting on a 64-yard pass in the final seconds to set up a game-winning 23-yard field goal to remain a popular pick to play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
#20 Louisville 20, Houston 13: The Cardinals, the defending Sugar Bowl champions, improve to 9-1 on the year as Dominique Brown rushes for 137 yards and two scores, including a 3-yard fourth-quarter run to put Louisville on top for good.
MARKING THE MILESTONES
#8 Clemson 55, Georgia Tech 31: Tajh Boyd throws for 340 yards and four touchdowns to lift his career TD total to 97, surpassing Philip Rivers for the ACC record, as the Tigers roll to victory to remain in the hunt for a BCS at-large bid.
#10 South Carolina 19, Florida 14: The Gamecocks come from behind with four Elliott Fry field goals against a tough Gator defense as they post their school-record 16th straight home victory to remain in the mix for a BCS bid and an SEC Championship.
#18 Oklahoma 48, Iowa State 10: Head coach Bob Stoops registers his 157th win to tie Barry Switzer for most in Sooner history while keeping his team in the mix for the Big 12 Championship with a blowout win over the Cyclones.
Duke 48, #23 Miami 30: Coach David Cutcliffe's Blue Devils blow out Miami as quarterback Brandon Connette runs for four touchdowns and passes for another to reach a string of milestones for Duke including its first winning season since 1994 and its first consecutive wins over ranked opponents since 1989 when Steve Spurrier was coach; all of which could lead to another first - first ACC title.
HOPING FOR THE HEISMAN
#2 Florida State 59, Syracuse 3: Freshman Jameis Winston is near-perfect once again, completing 19-of-21 passes for 277 yards in a blowout win in which the Seminoles did not even have a third down until less than six minutes remained in the first half.
#15 Northern Illinois 48, Ball State 27: Jordan Lynch, a dark horse for the Heisman, passes for 345 yards and rushes for 123 yards while scoring four total touchdowns as the Huskies upend their top rival for the MAC title, much to the delight of their own mascot.
#5 Baylor 63, Texas Tech 34: The Red Raiders score on their first three drives and become the first team to hold a double-digit lead over the Bears this season; then Bryce Petty settles into a groove as he finishes with 335 passing yards and three touchdowns along with two rushing scores to help the Bears remain perfect on the year.
#6 Oregon 44, Utah 21: After suffering a tough loss to Stanford and an injured knee in his last outing, quarterback Marcus Mariota throws for 288 yards and three touchdowns as the Ducks cruise over the Utes to climb back into the Pac-12 North driver's seat thanks to the Stanford loss to USC.
RUNNING FOR ROSES
#3 Ohio State 60, Illinois 35: Carlos Hyde continues to make a case for himself as the top running back in the nation, rushing for 246 yards and four touchdowns as the Buckeyes dominate the Fighting Illini.
#13 UCLA 41, Washington 31: The Bruins, who are riddled by injuries at running back, turn to freshman linebacker Myles Jack to carry the ball for the second game and he responds with four rushing TDs, as UCLA can advance to the Pac-12 Championship game with wins over Arizona State and USC in its final two games.
#16 Michigan State 41, Nebraska 28: The Spartans, who have never beat Nebraska, clinch the victory when Jeremy Langford (151 rushing yards, 3 TDs) runs for a 37-yard score with 1:58 to go, as Michigan State takes advantage of five Husker turnovers to take over control of the Big Ten Legends Division.
#22 Wisconsin 51, Indiana 3: James White scores on a 93-yard run on the Badgers first play to set the tone in a game in which Wisconsin tallies 554 rushing yards, including 205 from White and 146 from Melvin Gordon, to keep its hopes alive for a possible Rose Bowl bid.
BUSINESS IS BOOMING
#1 Alabama 20, Mississippi State 7: Despite an uncharacteristically lethargic performance that included four turnovers, the Crimson Tide still post their 14th straight win as T.J. Yeldon runs for a career-best 160 yards to keep Alabama firmly atop the BCS Standings.
USC 20, #4 Stanford 17: Andre Heidari boots a 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds to play as the Trojans take advantage of three turnovers to shock the Cardinal to improve to 5-1 under interim head coach Ed Orgeron, who took over a reeling USC program when Lane Kiffen was fired.
#19 Arizona State 30, Oregon State 17: The Sun Devils remain in control of the Pac-12 South as they post their fifth straight victory behind Marion Grice's 118 rushing yards and two touchdowns and a defense that forces five turnovers, including a Robert Nelson interception that he returned 23 yards for a TD with 5:08 remaining.
UPDATED BOWL PREDICTIONS
Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 2, 2014
CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): Auburn vs. UCF (Auburn replaces South Carolina)
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach): Auburn vs. UCF (UCF replaces Fresno State)
ESPN.com (Brad Edwards): Auburn vs. Oklahoma State (Oklahoma State replaces Wisconsin)
College Football News: Missouri vs. Michigan State (Michigan State replaces Oregon)
SI.com (Stewart Mandel): Auburn vs. UCF (no change)
Orlando Sentinel (Matt Murschel): Auburn vs. UCF (no change)
Bleacher Report: Auburn vs. UCF (no change)
SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Auburn vs. UCF (no change)
Phil Steele: Auburn vs. UCF (no change)
USA Today (Erick Smith): Auburn vs. UCF (Auburn replaces South Carolina)
Sporting News (Bill Bender): Auburn vs. Fresno State (no change)
NFL.com (Mike Huguenin): Auburn vs. UCF (no change)
Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan): Auburn vs. UCF (no change)
Vote for Manning Stars
College football fans, be sure to "like" the official Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page (linked above) and vote each week for the Manning Award Player of the Week. The top quarterback performances from each week will be posted giving you the chance to vote for that you think was the best effort each week of the college football season.
Manning Award Stars of the Week
While 30 quarterbacks are on the Manning Award Watch List, every quarterback in the country remains eligible for the honor. Here's a look at some of this week's top quarterback performances:
Blake Bortles, UCF
(27-of-38, 404 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 89.0)
Bortles ties a wild game with a 30-yard touchdown pass with 1:06 to go, then secures "star" status by launching a 64-yard completion with 28 seconds to go to set up the winning field goal in a thrilling 39-36 AAC road win over Temple.
Tajh Boyd, Clemson
(20-of-26, 340 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 77.8)
Boyd sets the ACC career record for touchdown passes with 97 as he leads the Tigers to a 55-31 blowout victory over ACC-rival Georgia Tech.
Rakeem Cato, Marshall
(33-of-58, 456 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 78.3)
Cato registers a career-high in passing yards with his fifth 400-yard game as he leads the Thundering Herd to two touchdowns in the final 3:47 of a 45-34 comeback victory over Tulsa on the road.
Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
(16-of-22, 197 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 96.9)
Chelf also runs for 95 yards and two touchdowns in a key Big 12 road victory at nationally-ranked Texas, 38-13, the sixth straight win for the Cowboys.
Brendon Kay, Cincinnati
(24-of-38, 405 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 91.2)
Kat records the first 400-yard game of his career in a critical AAC road game as he keeps the Bearcats in the mix for the conference championship with a 52-17 win over Rutgers.
Sefo Liufau, Colorado
(23-of-36, 364 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 81.3)
Liufau, a freshman making his sixth career start, sets career-highs in yards and TD passes as he leads the Buffaloes to their first Pac-12 victory in over a year, 41-24, over California.
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
(26-of-32, 345 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 91.3)
Lynch also rushes for 123 yards and two touchdowns as he leads the Huskies to a critical victory over nine-win MAC rival Ball State, 48-27.
Bryce Petty, Baylor
(17-of-31, 335 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 79.2)
Petty also rushes for two touchdowns as the Bears overcome a double-digit deficit to blowout Texas Tech, 63-34, and remain undefeated on the year.
Top Upcoming Games
(current BCS rankings, all times Central)
#16 Northern Illinois at Toledo (Wednesday, 7 p.m., ESPN2): Every remaining game for the Huskies is critical as they need to win the MAC and climb past Fresno State to earn an automatic bid to the BCS - the Rockets could be a challenge as they are 7-3 overall and 5-1 in MAC play.
Rutgers at #18 UCF (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., ESPN): UCF survived a big-time scare at Temple this past weekend and now hosts a solid Rutgers team as they look to take another step towards wrapping up at automatic bid to the BCS.
#12 Texas A&M at #22 LSU (2:30 p.m., CBS): While both teams are out of the SEC West picture, it is still a critical game as the Aggies likely need to win out to have a shot at a BCS at-large bid.
#17 Arizona State at #14 UCLA (6 p.m., FOX): The Sun Devils will clinch the Pac-12 South Division with a win, while a loss opens the race to USC, as well as the Bruins.
#8 Missouri at #24 Ole Miss (6:45 p.m., ESPN): The Tigers need to win their last two games (also home against Texas A&M) to clinch the SEC East; one loss and South Carolina goes to the title game.
#4 Baylor at #10 Oklahoma State (7 p.m., ABC): The two hottest teams in the Big 12 meet in Stillwater, as the Cowboys, winners of six straight, try to hand the Bears their first loss of the season to take charge of the league race.
Each week the Allstate Sugar Bowl will make its YouTube Picks of the Week, including impressive off-field performances, great games, illuminating features and top highlights, including two spectacular catches in clutch situations: UCF receiver J.J. Worton's one-handed grab to tie the game with 1:06 to go and Ricardo Louis' catch of a tipped ball on a final play Hail Mary to lift Auburn to a thrilling victory.