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.
Kliff Kingsbury makes sure his Texas Tech players know that their entire season is still ahead of them.
ATLANTA - Gerrit Cole retired the final 17 hitters he faced, and the surging Pittsburgh Pirates clinched a spot in the playoffs with a 3-2 win over the free-falling Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
DETROIT - Miguel Cabrera's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Detroit Tigers to a key 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The sense of relief at One Arrowhead Drive was palpable.
CLEVELAND - Danny Duffy pitched six shutout innings for his first win in more than a month as the Kansas City Royals moved closer to the top of the AL Central and kept some distance over Cleveland in the wild-card race, beating the Indians 2-0 on Monday night.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti refuted a report suggesting he and other team officials tried to persuade the NFL to be lenient on Ray Rice after the running back was arrested in February for knocking out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City elevator.
LAWRENCE - After a shaky start by Montell Cozart a week ago, Kansas coach Charlie Weis decided to throw a bunch of short passes early in Saturday's game to give his young quarterback some confidence.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - James "Big Game" Shields came up just short in the Kansas City Royals' biggest game of the season.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Blake Sims threw for 445 yards, the second-best passing performance in Alabama history, and the third-ranked Crimson Tide overcame a sloppy performance to beat Florida 42-21 on Saturday.
NEW YORK - Procter & Gamble is canceling an on-field breast cancer awareness promotion it had been planning with the National Football League, the latest sponsor to respond to the NFL's growing problems.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Jamaal Charles practiced in a limited capacity Friday for the second straight day, raising hopes that the Chiefs' Pro Bowl running back will be available for Sunday's game in Miami.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Slogging through the rubble of that Super Bowl landslide, John Elway blew up his defense.
Nick Marshall threw two touchdown passes, Auburn forced three turnovers and the fifth-ranked Tigers held on to beat mistake-prone No. 20 Kansas State 20-14 on Thursday night.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Lorenzo Cain hit a three-run homer, Nori Aoki kept up his tear at the plate and the Kansas City Royals roughed up Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale in a 6-2 victory Wednesday night that kept the pressure on Detroit in the AL Central.
Some victories can be a sign that a program that has hit hard times could be heading for better days.