No. 2 LSU danced, dodged and darted its way into the end zone Monday night, turning the BCS national championship game into a horrible replay for No. 1 Ohio State. It was over early, with Matt Flynn throwing four touchdown passes in a 38-24 win.
Playing at their home-away-from-home in the Big Easy, LSU (12-2) became the first two-loss team to play for the title. Shouts of ''SEC! SEC!'' bounced around the Superdome as the Tigers won their second BCS crown in five seasons. They are the first school to win a second title since BCS rankings began with the 1998 season.
And in a season of surprises, this was hardly an upset: Ohio State once again fell apart in college football's biggest game. A year after the Buckeyes were routed by Tim Tebow and Florida 41-14 in the Arizona desert, they barely did better.
Jacob Hester bulled for a short touchdown, Early Doucet wiggled loose for a touchdown and All-American Glenn Dorsey led a unit that outplayed the top-ranked defense in the nation. Ohio State (11-2) had little to celebrate after Chris ''Beanie'' Wells broke loose for a 65-yard TD run on the fourth play of the game.
Yet while LSU got to hoist the $30,000 crystal trophy, certainly many fans around the country were peering into their crystal balls, wondering if someone else was worthy of the title. Southern California, Georgia, West Virginia, Kansas and Missouri all put on impressive shows in bowl games, and will be among the favorites in 2008.
The final Associated Press poll was to be released early Tuesday.