"The national championship is in the backs of our minds," said sophomore Beno Bryant. "It's a dream season."
"I don't see our guys letting down the last two weeks [against UCLA and Washington State]," said coach Don James, coach of No. 7 Washington.
Washington (8-1) earned its first trip to the Rose Bowl in nine years by defeating No. 23 Arizona, 54-10, at Husky Stadium Saturday. The Huskies found out minutes after their victory that they were in the New Year's Day bowl because No. 22 Oregon beat UCLA, 28-24, giving Washington the Pacific-10 title.
"It's a great feeling to have it happen so early," James said.
Fans didn't find out that the Huskies had clinched their 11th Rose Bowl appearance until they left the stadium. To avoid the chance of an on-field melee, departing athletic director Mike Lude ordered that no scores from the UCLA-Oregon game be announced to the crowd of 70,111.
"We started our season with a goal of taking each game as 11 steps to the national championship," Jenkins said after the No. 6 Cougars' 56-35 victory over Texas Christian Saturday.
The Cougars (8-0) overcame an NCAA-record 690 passing yards and a five-touchdown performance by Vogler. The victory left Houston as the nation's only unbeaten, untied Division I team going into Saturday's game against Texas. The Cougars are on NCAA probation and ineligible to play in a bowl game.
Vogler took advantage of Houston's inexperienced secondary, which started one sophomore and two freshmen. Despite allowing record yardage, Jenkins was positive about the defensive effort.
"When you look at our defense, a lot of critics will point to the fact that we gave up a lot of yards and question how you can be a good defense and give up so many yards," Jenkins said. "But I look at the final result, and that is that we won the game."
* FLORIDA: The Gators said hello to first place in the Southeastern Conference, and Auburn said goodbye to the national championship.
"If a script could have been written, it couldn't have been written any better for me," Florida linebacker Jerry Odom said after the No. 15 Gators (7-1, 4-1) dominated the No. 4 Tigers, 48-7.
"It's a great feeling, because it will move us up a little bit in the polls and get us some respect," he added. "A whipping is what it was. I never dreamed that we could beat them this bad."
Auburn (6-1-1, 3-1-1) gained only 172 yards total offense against the league's top defense. Stan White completed 10 of 27 passes for 135 yards, and the Tigers were held to minus-14 yards rushing.
NCAA records established in Houston's 56-35 victory over Texas Christian Saturday night:
* Most combined team yards, game: 1,563 (Old record -- 1,436, Arizona State vs. Stanford, 1981).
* Most combined passing yards, game: 1,253 (Old record -- 1,092, Arizona State vs. Stanford, 1981).
* Most yards by a losing team: 736 (Old record -- 693, Stanford, vs. Arizona State, 1981).
* Most 400-yard passing games, season: 7, David Klingler (Old record -- 6, by Andre Ware, Houston, 1989; Jim McMahon, Brigham Young, 1980).
* Most yards gained passing by opposing players: 1,253 by Matt Vogler (690) and Klingler (563) (Old record -- 959 by Ty Detmer, Brigham Young  and Bill Musgrave, Oregon , 1989).
* Most yards passing in a game: 690, Vogler (Old record -- 631 by Scott Mitchell, Utah, vs. Air Force, 1988).
* Most total yards in a game: 696, Vogler (Old record -- 625, Mitchell, Utah, vs. Air Force, 1988).
* Most passing attempts, game: 79, Vogler (Old record -- 76, by Klingler, vs. Southern Methodist, 1990).