A dropped hold on a PAT. An errant kickoff out of bounds.
Two plays, they're all that kept a non-BCS team from crashing the BCS title game party for the first time.
But it wasn't to be. Pittsburgh's dropped PAT attempt allowed Cincinnati to escape with a 45-44 victory. Hours later, Texas squeezed by Nebraska with a 13-12 victory, in large part thanks to the kickoff that went out of bounds following the Huskers' go-ahead field goal.
So the BCS conferences can breathe a sigh of relief. Alabama will face Texas in Pasadena for the BCS national championship. TCU, Boise State and Big East's Cincinnati will be left to fight over the scraps.
For what it's worth, the Bearcats will edge the Horned Frogs for the third spot. And had Hunter Lawrence missed his 46-yard field goal as time expired, Cincinnati would've been the team in Pasadena.
Boise State, on the other hand, should be sending some roses to Mr. Lawrence. Texas' victory just about assured the Broncos' safe passage to their second BCS bowl appearance in four years.
The BCS bowl matchups:
BCS national championship game: Alabama vs. Texas
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Cincinnati
Fiesta Bowl: Iowa vs. Boise State
Orange Bowl: TCU vs. Georgia Tech
Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Ohio State
Projected Final BCS Standings: 1. Alabama (expected to score a perfect 1.000 in the BCS ratings), 2. Texas, 3. Cincinnati, 4. TCU, 5. Boise State, 6. Florida, 7. Oregon, 8. Ohio State, 9. Iowa, 10. Georgia Tech, 11. Penn State, 12. Virginia Tech, 13. LSU, 14. BYU, 15. Miami (Fla.).