Bowls, Bowls, Bowls

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College football's annual bunch of bowls saw a thriller in Pasadena, a retirement party in Tampa, and the controversy neatly removed from the running for the national championship. The Arizona State Sun Devils (11-1) lost a shot at a perfect season and their first national title when Ohio State played spoiler with their Rose Bowl win. The Buckeyes' Joe Germaine threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide-open David Boston with 19 seconds left. Just 1:21 earlier, Jake Plummer had appeared to stage another heroic rally to victory. His 11-yard run capped a 58-yard march and put Arizona State ahead 17-14. "This is tough to take," Plummer said. "This was my last game as a Sun Devil. I wanted to go out and win it. But they just played great." In the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Gene Stallings capped his Alabama career with a fifth straight bowl win, 17-14 over No. 15 Michigan. Stallings was 70-16-1 in his seven seasons as the Crimson Tide's head coach, winning the national championship in 1992. After the win, Stallings was typically understated. "The thing about winning your last game," he said, "is that you don't have to apologize throughout the offseason." In other bowls: The Cougars rallied to beat No. 14 Kansas State 19-15 Wednesday in the Cotton Bowl at Dallas. No. 7 Penn State 38, No. 20 Texas 15 in the Fiesta Bowl at Tempe, Ariz.; No. 9 Tennessee 48, No. 11 Northwestern 28 in the Citrus Bowl at Orlando, Fla., and No. 12 North Carolina 20, No. 25 West Virginia 13 in the Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla. So the nation's number one figures to be crowned Thursday night in the Sugar Bowl, when top-ranked Florida State meets number three Florida in a rematch Nov. 30 meeting, which the undefeated Seminoles won, 24-21.