Doug Martin scored the go-ahead touchdown with 7:21 remaining in the fourth quarter, as sixth-ranked Boise State held off a late charge by No. 3 TCU, to post a 17-10 victory in the Fiesta Bowl. Kellen Moore threw for 211 yards on 23-of-39 attempts for the Broncos, who became the second team in NCAA history to notch a 14-0 record, joining the 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes. Brandyn Thompson took home defensive MVP honors after picking off TCU quarterback Andy Dalton twice, returning one of the interceptions for a touchdown. Boise State made its second appearance in a BCS game, the first a triple-overtime thriller over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Boise State stunned the Sooners with a two- point conversion on a trick play. The Broncos went back to its bag of tricks in this contest, using a fake punt to keep the decisive drive alive. The Broncos avenged a loss to TCU in last season's Poinsetta Bowl and will now join either Alabama or Texas as the nation's only unbeaten programs. Dalton completed 25-of-44 passes for 272 yards and one touchdown, but threw three interceptions, the final one sealing the Horned Frogs' (12-1) fate in the dying seconds. The junior quarterback had thrown just five INTs this season.
The 76th annual Orange Bowl is set to be played Tuesday, as the 10th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes and the ninth-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets square off at Land Shark Stadium in Miami Gardens. The Yellow Jackets posted an 11-win campaign and captured their first outright ACC title since 1990, topping Clemson in the conference championship game, 39-34. The Yellow Jackets have not had much success in the postseason of late, losing their last four bowl games, including a 38-3 rout at the hands of LSU in last year's Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Hawkeyes were not as fortunate in their bid for a conference championship this year, as back-to-back losses to Northwestern and Ohio State in November prevented the Big Ten title and Rose Bowl bid from landing in Iowa City. Still, the team reeled off a 10-win campaign, winning nine straight to open the year and ending the regular season with a 12-0 shutout of Minnesota to place second in the Big Ten and earn the Orange Bowl bid.
Rich Brooks has decided to retire after seven years as Kentucky's head football coach. The Wildcats completed the 2009 season at 7-6 after a 21-13 loss to Clemson in the Music City Bowl, which marked Kentucky's fourth straight bowl appearance -- a feat never before accomplished at the school known for its basketball legacy. Brooks took over a program burdened by the effects of NCAA probation and completed his tenure with a record of 39-47, but the Wildcats were just 9-25 in his first three years before finishing with winning records in each of his last four. The school already has a coach ready to take over, as offensive coordinator Joker Phillips was named Brooks' successor two years ago.
One day after the close of the NFL regular season, the first coaching casualty was not an unexpected one as the Washington Redskins fired Jim Zorn. New Redskins general manager Bruce Allen made the decision Monday morning after the team completed a disastrous 4-12 season with a 23-20 loss to San Diego. The Redskins were 12-20 in two years under Zorn, who was initially hired as the club's offensive coordinator after Joe Gibbs retired following the 2007 season before being elevated to the head coaching position two weeks later. The 'Skins have apparently already found Zorn's replacement in former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan, who a Washington newspaper reported was in Washington, D.C. just on Monday afternoon. The paper said an official announcement of Shanahan's hiring could come as soon as Tuesday.
Joining Zorn on the unemployment line is the entire coaching staff of the Buffalo Bills, who were told by the team on Monday they are free to seek other opportunities of employment following another disappointing 6-10 season. The coaches will remain under contract, though their status going forward will be decided by the new Bills head coach, which has yet to be determined. Perry Fewell, who in an interim role led the team to a 3-4 record following the firing of Dick Jargon in November, remains a candidate for the top position.
Other coaches that could be on the hot seat include Cleveland's Eric Mangini, Tampa Bay's Raheem Morris, Oakland's Tom Cable and Jacksonville's Jack Del Rio.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco underwent an MRI exam Monday after he injured his knee before the team's regular season finale against the New York Jets. Ochocinco slipped during pregame warmups Sunday and soon after hobbled off the field. He did play during Cincinnati's 37-0 loss at the Meadowlands and didn't appear affected by the problem, but did not have a catch and saw his string of 120 games with a reception snapped. Though the results were not yet released, the Bengals said there was no structural damage to the knee, just a bruise. The AFC North champions will host the Jets on Saturday in an AFC wild card matchup. Ochocinco led the Bengals this season with 72 receptions for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns.
The New York Giants fired defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan on Monday. The move comes as the Giants slid to an 8-8 record this past season, including season-ending setbacks to Carolina and Minnesota which saw Big Blue allow a whopping 85 combined points. New York yielded 427 points during the regular season, third most in the NFC, ahead of only St. Louis (436) and Detroit (494). Sheridan had been linebackers coach for the Giants from 2005-08 before being promoted to the defensive coordinator slot prior to this season after Steve Spagnuolo left to become head coach of the St. Louis Rams.
Outfielder Jason Bay has passed his physical for the New York Mets and will be introduced by the team at a press conference on Tuesday. Last week it was reported that Bay and the Mets had reached an agreement on a four-year deal worth $66 million with a vesting option for a fifth season. Bay, who spent some time in the Mets' minor league system in 2002, hit .267 last season for the Red Sox, but set career-highs with 36 home runs and 119 RBI. The 31-year- old native of British Columbia had reportedly been seeking at least a five- year deal and was also being courted by the Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The Colorado Rockies agreed to terms with catcher Miguel Olivo on a one-year contract for the 2010 season with a club option for 2011. Olivo, 31, batted .249 with career-highs of 23 home runs and 65 RBI in 114 games in Kansas City last season, his second with the club. The eight-year veteran backstop has a career .243 average with 96 homers and 330 RBI in 754 games with the White Sox, Mariners, Padres, Marlins and Royals.
The Boston Red Sox and third baseman Adrian Beltre have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with a player option for the second year. A Boston newspaper is reporting that the deal will pay Beltre $9 million in 2010 and Beltre would have an option for 2011 worth $5 million. The deal is contingent on Beltre passing a physical. The two-time Gold Glove winner spent his past five seasons in Seattle and in 2009 he appeared in 111 games and batted .265 with eight home runs and 44 RBI. Over his 12-year career, with the first seven seasons being spent with the Dodgers, the 30-year old is a career .270 hitter with 250 homers and 906 RBI over 1,681 games.
Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas met with federal prosecutors at the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and detectives of the Metropolitan Police Department on Monday to discuss his possession of unloaded firearms at the Verizon Center. In a statement after the meeting, Arenas apologized for what he said was a "serious lapse in judgment" and that he never threatened anyone with the guns or pointed them at anyone. Arenas and Javaris Crittenton had allegedly pulled guns on each other over a gambling debt on Christmas Eve, the a New York newspaper reported last Friday. The paper cited league sources as saying Crittenton became angry when Arenas failed to pay a gambling debt, sparking the standoff. The Post said Arenas pulled his gun first and Crittenton followed in response. It was late on December 24 when the Wizards revealed that Arenas had stored firearms in a locked container in his locker. In its statement that night, the team said the weapons were "unloaded and without ammunition." Arenas stated on Monday he brought the guns to his locker at the Verizon Center because he didn't want them at home around his children.