Gambling at every opportunity, LSU managed to hold on to its No. 1 ranking.
Florida's hopes of another national title appear to be over after a remarkable Saturday night in Death Valley.
The Tigers barely converted a pair of fourth-down runs before Jacob Hester powered over from the 2-yard line with 1:09 remaining, completing a stunning comeback that gave LSU a 28-24 victory over the No. 9 Gators.
Tim Tebow shredded the nation's top-ranked defense for three quarters, giving Florida a 24-14 lead with 15 minutes remaining. He threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another.
But LSU kept rolling the dice and coming up with winners. The Tigers scored two touchdowns on fourth-down plays and another after pulling off a fake field goal. Then, on the game's decisive drive, they finally hit the jackpot.
Hester bulled his way into the end zone for LSU's first lead of the game. When the Tigers knocked down Tebow's final long pass in the end zone, the record crowd of 92,910 let out its biggest roar of all.
The Tigers are still No. 1. And, with second-ranked Southern California losing, there's no doubt about it.
Coach Les Miles should head straight to one of those casinos on the Mississippi River after this one.
Backup quarterback Ryan Perilloux scored on a fourth-and-goal run from the 1 in the second quarter. Starting quarterback Matt Flynn pulled off a fake field goal that led to Keiland Williams' 4-yard TD run in the third quarter. And Flynn tossed a 4-yard scoring pass to Demetrius Byrd on fourth-and-goal with 10:15 remaining.
But the Tigers weren't done. Not by a longest of long shots.
First, with 7 minutes left and the ball on their side of midfield, LSU passed up a punt and went for it needing nearly 2 yards. Hester took the handoff and put his head down. The chains came on after he was tackled. First down by about the length of the football.
Then, with LSU facing fourth-and-1 at the Florida 6, Miles passed up a chip-shot field goal that might have forced overtime, apparently deciding that this was the night all the cards were going his way. Also, Colt David already had missed two attempts.
Hester got the ball again and dove forward. The chains came out again. Another first down with less than a yard to spare.
Finally, facing third-and-goal from just outside the 2, the Tigers did things the easy way. Hester took another handoff on virtually the same play that had worked twice before, falling into the end zone with his 23rd carry of the night.
Flynn leaped into the air and pumped his right fist. Touchdown, LSU.
Hester, who finished with 106 bruising yards, was shaken up on the winning score. But he finally got up and trotted off the field to another rousing ovation, the capper on another magical night at Tiger Stadium.
LSU improved to 30-2 at home over the last five years.
Tebow got the ball across midfield on the final possession. But his final, desperate heave was batted down in the back of the end zone.
Facing a defense that had two shutouts and was allowing less than 175 yards per game, Tebow passed for 158 yards and rushed for 75. But the Gators had two crucial turnovers in the second half, which allowed LSU to get back into the game after twice falling behind by 10 points.