With no playoff in place, college football almost always comes up with a wacky way to end the season. It came up with a doozy on Sunday.

Nebraska will play undefeated Miami in the Rose Bowl for the national championship on Jan. 3, thanks to an amazing series of upsets during the past two weeks that lifted the Huskers (11-1) in the final Bowl Championship Series standings.

Not even a last-game 62-36 loss to Colorado could keep Nebraska out of the BCS' title game.

Miami (11-0) finished first in the final standings, and the Huskers beat out the Buffaloes for second place by a scant five hundredths of a point. Oregon was fourth.

"We think the formula is fair," BCS chairman John Swofford said. "Controversy doesn't affect credibility."

Don't tell that to Oregon coach Mike Bellotti, whose Ducks (10-1) will play the Buffaloes (10-2) in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1

"I liken the BCS to a bad disease, like cancer," the usually mild-mannered Bellotti said. "Not to take anything away from Nebraska or Colorado — they're great football teams — but one has two losses and the other didn't win its conference championship. We're No. 2 in both polls, but those things don't have a lot of merit, obviously."

Colorado coach Gary Barnett thought the BCS system worked: "It just didn't work in our favor."

"This sort of takes a little luster off my support for the BCS. . . . How you're playing at this point — seems to me that should be thought of," he said.

Added Florida coach Steve Spurrier: "As we all know, college football is not the most fair thing without a playoff system."

Thanks to LSU's 31-20 upset of Tennessee in Saturday night's Southeastern Conference title game, Nebraska found itself packing for Pasadena in what turned into a glorious weekend for the HuskerNation. On Saturday night, quarterback Eric Crouch won the Heisman Trophy.

In the final BCS standings, Miami had 2.62 points, Nebraska 7.23 points, Colorado 7.28 and Oregon was fourth with 8.67 points.

Nebraska was No. 4 in the AP media poll and the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll on Sunday, but held a sizable edge over No. 2 Oregon and No. 3 Colorado in the computer portion of the BCS formula.

"Colorado and Oregon are great teams," Nebraska coach Frank Solich said. "Anytime you don't have two clear-cut, undefeated teams, you're going to have controversy."