After missing a chance to play for a national title, Alabama is headed to the Sugar Bowl to face unbeaten Utah.
The No. 4 Crimson Tide (12-1) was on top of the rankings until a 31-20 loss to Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday.
The defeat couldn't have come at a worse time, giving Alabama no chance to bounce back like other one-loss teams such as Florida and Oklahoma, which will meet in the BCS championship game.
Still, the Tide was one of the country's most compelling teams, bouncing back from a rocky period in coach Nick Saban's second season. Four years ago, No. 7 Utah (12-0) became the first non-BCS school to reach a major bowl since the format was created in 1998.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)