Troy Smith outplayed Brady Quinn and Jim Tressel outfoxed Charlie Weis.
Smith threw touchdown passes of 56 and 85 years and fourth-ranked Ohio State beat No. 5 Notre Dame 34-20 Monday in the Fiesta Bowl.
It was eighth consecutive bowl loss for the Fighting Irish.
The Ohio State quarterback, the offensive MVP, completed 19 of 28 passes for a career-high 342 yards and ran for another 66 in 13 attempts.
The junior capped his performance with a pair of third-and-long completions on the Buckeyes' final scoring drive. Antonio Pittman, who rushed for 136 yards in 21 carries, broke free on a 60-yard touchdown run to seal the victory with 1:46 to play.
Quinn, a third-team all-American behind Matt Leinart and Vince Young of Texas, completed 29-of-45 for 286 yards but no touchdowns. Running back Darius Walker gained 90 yards in 16 attempts, with three touchdowns.
This was the first of four Bowl Championship Series games, which culminates with No. 1 USC facing No. 2 Texas in the Rose Bowl today.
No. 21 Wisconsin 24,
No. 7 Auburn 10
In Orlando, Florida, Brian Calhoun rushed for 213 yards, John Stocco passed for 301 and Brandon Williams had 173 yards receiving, lifting 21st-ranked Wisconsin over No. 7 Auburn in the Capital One Bowl.
It was a fitting farewell for coach Barry Alvarez, who led Wisconsin to eight bowl wins in 16 seasons. The Badgers (10-3) were 1-5 all-time in the postseason before his arrival and sent him off with his fourth 10-win season.
They were 10 1/2-point underdogs entering the game but dominated the Tigers (9-3) throughout, amassing 311 yards and a 17-0 lead in the first half.
Calhoun rushed 30 times and scored on a 33-yard run in the fourth quarter. Stocco was 15-of-27 with two touchdown passes, a 30-yarder to Williams and a 13-yarder to Owen Daniels.
Calhoun became only the second player in Division I history to post 1,500 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving in the same season. Pacific's Ryan Benjamin did it in 1991.
No. 11 West Virginia 38,
No. 8 Georgia 35
In Atlanta, Steve Slaton rushed for a record 204 yards and three touchdowns to lead the No. 11 Mountaineers to a 38-35 victory over eighth-ranked Georgia, which couldn't take advantage of the home-field edge in the first Sugar Bowl ever played outside of New Orleans.
West Virginia (11-1) stunned all those red-clad fans at the Georgia Dome by jumping to a 28-0 lead by the opening minute of the second quarter. The Bulldogs (10-3) rallied, twice closing within a field goal in the second half, but they couldn't finish one of the greatest comebacks in bowl history.
Slaton eclipsed the previous Sugar Bowl rushing record, a 202-yard performance by Pitt's Tony Dorsett in a national championship-clinching victory over Georgia in 1977.
No. 12 Virginia Tech 35,
No. 15 Louisville 24
At Jacksonville, Florida, Marcus Vick threw two touchdown passes and 12th-ranked Virginia Tech rallied to beat No. 15 Louisville 35-24 in the Gator Bowl.
Virginia Tech overcame numerous penalties, the absence of a key offensive lineman, and the ejection of defensive leader Jimmy Williams for bumping an official to rebound from a surprising loss to Florida State on the same field in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game a month ago.
The Hokies (11-2) scored on three consecutive possessions in the second half, turning a 17-10 deficit into a 28-24 lead. James Anderson sealed the victory when he intercepted Hunter Cantwell's pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown with 5:04 to play.