For the second straight year, the world of college football was informed by the computers that the results on the field are not all that important.
By a razor-thin margin, Nebraska finished ahead of the Colorado Buffaloes in the No. 2 position of the Bowl Championship Series rankings Sunday -- giving the Cornhuskers a berth in the national title game against the unbeaten Miami Hurricanes.
Nebraska (10-1), which failed to gain a spot in its own conference's championship contest, will face Miami in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 3.
"Certainly when you don't have two clear-cut teams you're going to have controversy," said Nebraska coach Frank Solich. "We won 11 games with no one within 10 points of us. There were no failed extra points, no lucky bounces."
Miami finished atop the BCS rankings with a point total of 2.62. Nebraska was next at 7.23 with Colorado finishing third at 7.28. Oregon was fourth at 8.67, followed by Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois, Stanford and Maryland.
Nebraska finished ahead of Colorado in the BCS even though the Buffaloes smashed the Cornhuskers in their regular-season finale, 62-36. Colorado also was ranked third behind Miami and Oregon in both the media and coaches polls released Sunday while Nebraska was fourth in both.
In its final two games, Colorado beat teams that were ranked second in the country at the time of the contest -- Nebraska and Texas.
"We beat five ranked teams overall," Colorado coach Gary Barnett said. "Only Florida did as much."
Colorado lost its opening game of the season to Fresno State, a setback that came back to haunt the Buffaloes. Nevertheless, it was the Buffaloes' standing in the various computer rankings used by the BCS that made the biggest difference.
Of the 7.28 points in Colorado's final total, 4.50 came from the average of the eight computer rankings in the BCS system. Nebraska had an average computer ranking of 2.17. Four of the computer rankings had Colorado fifth while none had Nebraska lower than third. And yet when those two teams met, Colorado won by 26 points.
"We want to look at how the entire season appears," said John Swofford, coordinator of the BCS. "Sometimes when you get to the end of the season you want to take a look back."
The computers also chose Nebraska over Colorado despite the fact that another computer showed Colorado to have played a more difficult schedule than did the Cornhuskers. Oregon, meanwhile, suffered its lone loss seven weeks ago and came away with the Pac-10 title. The Ducks have just as big a complaint as Colorado.
It was a repeat of the BCS rankings from a year ago, when Florida State finished ahead of Miami in second place despite the fact Miami beat Florida State during the regular season.
After Florida State was overwhelmed by Oklahoma in the championship game, Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden said that, "maybe Miami should have been here playing instead of Florida State."
Colorado and Oregon will meet in the Fiesta Bowl. The other BCS bowl matchups will find Maryland taking on Florida in the Orange and Illinois playing LSU in the Sugar.
The upcoming Nebraska-Miami meeting will be their first since they faced each other in the Orange Bowl following the 1994 season, when the Cornhuskers claimed the national title with a 24-17 victory.
Nebraska appeared to have lost its hopes for a national championship when it was overwhelmed by Colorado. That left Oklahoma in position to reach the title game, but the Sooners were beaten by Oklahoma State.
Florida then inherited the No. 2 position behind Miami, only to fall victim to Tennessee. That put Texas in the driver's seat, but the Longhorns lost in the Big 12 championship game to Colorado.
All of that moved Tennessee into the second spot, but the Volunteers lost Saturday in the Southeastern Conference title contest to LSU.
With the BCS bowls selecting their teams, all the remaining open bowl berths were determined Sunday.
Tennessee (10-2), which was headed to the Rose Bowl had it won on Saturday, slipped all the way to the Citrus Bowl, where it will face Michigan in Orlando, Fla. on Jan. 1.
South Carolina (8-3) accepted a berth to the Outback Bowl, where it will meet Ohio State for the second straight year on Jan. 1. South Carolina won last year's game, 24-7.
Arkansas (7-4) will be the opponent for Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Like the Outback Bowl, the Cotton Bowl begins at 11 a.m. on New Year's Day.
Auburn (7-4) will head to Atlanta to play North Carolina in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve.
Georgia (8-3) will play Boston College in the Music City Bowl in Nashville on Dec. 28. Alabama (6-5) will close its first season under coach Dennis Franchione in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. against Iowa State on Dec. 27.