In Columbia, S.C. – Deshaun Watson isn’t giving up on the Tigers’ step-by-step approach, not when it’s worked so well. Watson had another big day, running for three touchdowns and passing for a fourth as the No. 1 Tigers (12-0) capped a perfect regular season and held off the rival Gamecocks (3-9).
In Auburn, Ala. – Adam Griffith created another indelible Iron Bowl memory, this one for a flawless performance. Griffith emerged as an Iron Bowl hero for the Tide (11-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) two years after his last play attempt touched off the Tigers’ winning Kick Six play. Griffith kicked five field goals to help propel the Crimson Tide to the SEC West title with a win over the rival Tigers (6-6, 2-6). Running back Derrick Henry rushed for 271 yards and a touchdown for Alabama.
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In Stanford – Kevin Hogan put quite a capper on his Stanford career on senior day. He threw four touchdown passes and drove the Cardinal (10-2) to the winning 45-yard field goal by Conrad Ukropina on the last play to top the Fighting Irish (10-2) in a playoff elimination game. Stanford needs to beat USC in the Pacific-12 Conference championship game next week at Levi’s Stadium, and then get help in the other title games to make the four-team playoff.
In Stillwater, Okla. – Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score and the Sooners beat the Cowboys in their ‘Bedlam’ game to take the Big 12 Conference title and likely a spot in the College Football Playoff. Mayfield was knocked out of the previous game with a concussion, but he was fearless against the Cowboys (10-2, 7-2), rushing for 77 yards and a touchdown. The Sooners (11-1, 8-1) gained 524 yards, including 344 on the ground, to claim their third win over a ranked opponent in three weeks.
In East Lansing, Mich. – Connor Cook and the Spartans (11-1, 7-1) rolled into the Big Ten title game with their most emphatic win of the season. Cook threw three touchdown passes in his return from a shoulder injury, and Michigan State clinched a division title with a rout of the Nittany Lions (7-5, 4-4). Michigan State will play unbeaten Iowa for the conference title next weekend, with the winner in good position to advance to college football’s playoff.
In Ann Arbor, Mich. – Ezekiel Elliott ran through, around and past the Wolverines’ defense a week after running his mouth. Elliott had 214 rushing yards and two touchdowns for the Buckeyes (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten), who beat Michigan (9-3, 6-2) for the 11th time in 12 meetings. His performance came one game after he was held to 12 carries for 33 yards rushing against Michigan State, then publicly criticized the team’s play calling and declared he will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
In Gainesville, Fla. – Dalvin Cook ran for 183 yards and two touchdowns, Roberto Aguayo kicked two long field goals and the Seminoles upended the Gators. Florida State (10-2) won its third consecutive game at Florida Field – the first time that’s happened in the storied rivalry – and ended any chance the Gators (10-2) had of making the College Football Playoff in which it was ranked 12th.
Compiled by Jeff Caraska from The Associated Press