The Buckeyes rallied from a 17-0 hole against the Spartans, taking a 24-17 lead on quarterback Braxton Miller's 6-yard touchdown run with 5:36 to go in the third quarter. After Michigan State went ahead 27-24 on Connor Cook's 9-yard touchdown pass to Josiah Price with 11:41 left, the Buckeyes blocked a punt and drove into MSU territory. But the Spartans stuffed Miller on fourth-and-2 at the MSU 39, and Spartans tailback Jeremy Langford later scored on a 26-yard run to end OSU's long winning streak.
"You know it's going to haunt all of us, I imagine, for a little while," Meyer said. "But that's part of the game."
The Spartans earned their first trip since 1987 to the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio, where they'll play Pac-12 champion Stanford on New Year's Day. The No. 7 Cardinal blasted No. 11 Arizona State 38-14 in the Pac-12 championship game on Saturday to earn their second consecutive trip to Pasadena.
One other BCS bowl game also appears to be set. Thanks to No. 17 Oklahoma's 33-24 upset of No. 6 Oklahoma State in the Bedlam series game on Saturday, No. 9 Baylor won its first Big 12 championship. The Bears defeated No. 25 Texas 30-10 in the final game at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas, and will probably play American Athletic Conference champion Central Florida in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day.
The matchups for the Jan. 2 Allstate Sugar Bowl and Jan. 3 Discover Orange Bowl won't be revealed until Sunday night. The participating teams figure to be some sort of combination of No. 4 Alabama, No. 13 Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma. No. 12 Oregon might also be in the mix for a BCS at-large berth.
And now Auburn can keep dreaming, as unimaginable as it might have once been. It seems that if the Tigers needed world peace -- or infamous Crimson Tide fan Harvey Updyke to wave orange-and-blue pompoms and scream "War Damn Eagle" -- it was bound to happen in their unlikely charge to the BCS title game. It has been that kind of season for a team that finished 3-9 and didn't win an SEC game last year.
Now, the Tigers are one victory away from winning their second BCS national championship in four years -- and the SEC's eighth in a row. After 15 weeks of the regular season, it no longer matters if Auburn played a tougher schedule, or if Ohio State didn't play anyone of real consequence.
"We're the SEC champ," Malzahn said, after the Tigers blasted Missouri and before OSU lost to Michigan State. "I believe we won [the BCS national championship] the last seven years. We play the toughest schedule of any of the teams there, and we're playing our best football. A lot of teams aren't getting better each week. This team is."
So is Florida State, which beat its opponents by an average margin of 43.7 points this season. The Seminoles haven't trailed since the second quarter of a 48-34 victory at Boston College on Sept. 28. They'll attempt to win their first national championship since 1999.
Against Duke, FSU led 17-0 at the half and 38-0 after three quarters. Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston, who figures to become the second straight freshman to win the Heisman Trophy in New York next weekend, passed for 330 yards and accounted for four touchdowns.