There they stand, the first-place Buccaneers and the first-place 49ers, ready to face off at Candlestick Park.
The folks at the Big 12 offices must have been smiling as they saw these results roll in:
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Pinch-hitter Ben Francisco and closer Ryan Madson made manager Charlie Manuel's moves look smart, and the Philadelphia Phillies held off the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 Tuesday for a 2-1 lead in their NL playoff series.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - This is what Adrian Beltre envisioned when he signed with Texas in the offseason. Balls jumping off his bat in October, the Rangers making another run for the pennant.
NEW YORK (AP) - The NBA canceled the remainder of the preseason Tuesday and will wipe out the first two weeks of the regular season if there is no labor agreement by Monday.
LAWRENCE (AP) - Kansas has seen this story line before: A top-ranked offense against its bottom-of-the-barrel defense.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Le'Ron McClain posted a bold tweet a little over a week ago after another tough loss to the San Diego Chargers had dropped the Chiefs to 0-3.
BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) - ESPN pulled Hank Williams Jr.'s classic intro song from its broadcast of Monday night's NFL game after the country singer famous for the line "Are you ready for some football?" used an analogy to Adolf Hitler in discussing President Barack Obama.
MANHATTAN - Kansas State was minutes from losing to Eastern Kentucky. A goal line stand from getting beat at Miami. And trailed most of the way against Baylor.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Back on the road in the playoffs, the Texas Rangers won again.
LSU and Alabama are the top two teams in the country one month before their game in Tuscaloosa.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Ryan Howard took a mighty cut, dropped his bat and admired the shot.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Yovani Gallardo could barely see the return tosses from catcher Jonathan Lucroy, losing them in the bright light filtering through the windows at Miller Park.
NEW YORK (AP) - No national anthem, all Yankees.
It's judgment day for the Big Ten.
MANHATTAN - Tyler Lockett is the third member of his family to play wide receiver for Bill Snyder at Kansas State, so the 74-year-old coach knows what the family lineage can bring to an offense.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Salvador Perez hit a scorching liner off the glove of third baseman Adrian Beltre for a single, allowing Jarrod Dyson to score the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and helping the Kansas City Royals beat the Texas Rangers 2-1 on Tuesday night.
LAWRENCE - Kansas coach Charlie Weis says his players would be disappointed if they didn't win "significantly more games" than a year ago, when they stumbled to a 3-9 finish.
There were the expected season-opening blowout victories for Big 12 teams.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Wes Welker is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy, according to published reports. ESPN reported the violation had to do with amphetamines.
HOUSTON - J.J. Watt couldn't sleep on Monday night after agreeing to a six-year contract extension with the Houston Texans.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - David Burnett had just landed in Atlanta on a business trip when his phone buzzed with a voice mail. On the recording, breaking with emotion, was the voice of Cairo Santos.