Sunday, December 3
Updated: August 1, 7:42 PM ET
No. 2 Miami left out of Orange Bowl

Florida State always seems to be in the mix no matter what system college football uses to decide a national champion.

For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the No. 3 Seminoles (11-1) will play for a national title -- this time against No. 1 Oklahoma (12-0) in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3.

The Bowl Championship Series' system of rating teams using polls, computers, schedule strength and losses, placed the Seminoles second behind the Sooners in its final standings released Sunday.

The matchup creates the possibility of split national champions. The AP media poll and the coaches' poll have Oklahoma and Miami ranked 1-2. If Florida State beats Oklahoma and Miami beats Florida in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, there's a chance for co-champions.

The AP poll's sports writers and broadcasters vote independently of the BCS, but the coaches' poll crowns the Orange Bowl winner as its champion.

"If that happens, then that will be what it is," BCS coordinator John Swofford said. "The BCS doesn't eliminate that possibility. We've known that all along. It does minimize the chances for it happening."

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden understands his team could share a national title with the Hurricanes, who beat the Seminoles 27-24 on Oct. 7. Still, he says the BCS formula proves his team deserves to play in Miami.

"Everything was run through the computer," Bowden said. "We had nothing to do with it. The facts were fed in during the season and it came out ranking us second. We will accept that.

"It's No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the BCS and if we were to beat Oklahoma, then I think we should be No. 1 in the nation in the BCS. But that probably won't happen in the AP unless Florida beats Miami."

Miami coach Butch Davis said his team did its best to reach the BCS title game, being played in its own backyard.

"Regardless of how it turned out, it can't take anything away from our great season," Davis said. "We had some great games, against Florida State and then Virginia Tech. We've won nine in a row and did everything we think we could have."

Florida State (11-1) is trying to become just the seventh school to win back-to-back national titles and the first since Nebraska in 1994-95.

Oklahoma, the nation's only major unbeaten team after its 27-24 win over Kansas State in the Big 12 title game Saturday night, is gunning for its sixth national title and first since 1985.

The teams last met in the Orange Bowl in 1981, with the Sooners winning 18-17.

The remaining BCS bowls were filled Sunday, along with most other bowl matchups.

In one of the more intriguing games, Miami (10-1) and Florida (10-2) renew a heated rivalry that ended in 1987. The Big East champion Hurricanes and SEC champion Gators are scheduled to play again in 2002.

Because Florida State beat Florida 30-7, Miami may need to win by a similar or greater margin to have a chance at a co-national title.

In the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, it's No. 5 Oregon State (10-1) vs. No. 10 Notre Dame (9-2), putting both schools in a BCS game for the first time, and leaving No. 6 Virginia Tech (10-1) with a Gator Bowl date against No. 16 Clemson (9-2).

The Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 has been set for weeks -- it's No. 4 Washington (10-1) vs. No. 14 Purdue (8-3).

Each team playing in a BCS game receives $13.5 million, but only Notre Dame, an independent, keeps all the money. The other teams split the payout with conference members.

Last year, the BCS matched unbeatens Florida State against Virginia Tech, which were ranked 1-2 in both polls, in the Sugar Bowl. The Seminoles won their second national title with a 46-29 win.

In the 1998 season, Florida State lost to Tennessee in the Fiesta Bowl -- the BCS' first title game -- and the 'Noles were beaten by Florida in the Sugar Bowl after the '96 season. Florida State won its first national title in 1993.

In the final BCS standings, Oklahoma had 3.30 points, Florida State 5.37 and Miami 5.69. The clinching category for the Seminoles was computer rankings, where the Seminoles had a 1.28-point edge over the Hurricanes.

The BCS standings were set up to determine the top two teams, with the three other bowls in the series choosing from the remaining qualified schools. Six major conferences received automatic bids, and Oregon State and Notre Dame received at-large selections.

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