Texas Christian's Joseph Turner dove into the end zone for the winning touchdown, and LaDainian Tomlinson went nuts on the sideline.
It was a good night to be a Horned Frog, current and past.
Turner's 17-yard run midway through the fourth quarter gave the No. 11 Horned Frogs their first lead of the night, which they preserved for a 17-16 victory over No. 9 and previously undefeated Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego.
Boise State (12-1) was trying to finish 13-0 for the second time in three seasons. Ian Johnson scored two touchdowns for Boise State, including a 58th of his career in the fourth quarter to break Marshall Faulk's Western Athletic Conference record for rushing TDs.
TCU (11-2) was also led by Aaron Brown who scored on a 16-yard run in the second quarter, and Ross Evans, who kicked a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter.
* Alabama head coach Nick Saban was named Associated Press Coach of the Year.
Saban led a team with only nine scholarship seniors to a 12-1 record and a Sugar Bowl date against Utah for only its second Bowl Championship Series berth.
In voting by college football writers, he drew 32 of a possible 62 votes. He outdistanced Texas Tech's Mike Leach (nine), Utah's Kyle Whittingham (six), Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson (five), Penn State's Joe Paterno (three) and Ball State's Brady Hoke (two). Five coaches got one vote apiece.
* Fresh off its first bowl win in 10 years, Arizona plans to extend coach Mike Stoops' contract by 3 years, through 2013. Details of the deal have yet to be worked out. It is subject to the approval of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The Wildcats went 8-5 and defeated No. 17 BYU, 31-21, in the Las Vegas Bowl.
* Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Haywood was hired as the football coach at Miami University in Ohio, which went 2-10 this season. He replaces Shane Montgomery, who resigned last month. Haywood becomes the sixth black coach among the 119 Bowl Subdivision schools.