The BCS championship held a pregame moment of silence for victims of the weekend assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson.

The tribute came during ceremonies shortly before kickoff of the game between Oregon and Auburn on Monday night. Names of the six victims were read and Giffords was acknowledged before the moment of silence, which preceded a choir singing "God Bless America."

Giffords was shot in the head in an attack outside a grocery store that left six people dead and 14 wounded on Saturday.

Suspected shooter Jared Loughner, a 22-year-old loner, made his first court appearance earlier on Monday and could face the death penalty for the shooting spree that killed a 9-year-old girl and federal Judge John Roll among others.

Giffords is still in critical condition, but doctors have said they are optimistic about her recovery despite having a bullet go through the left side of her head.

The nation, led by President Barack Obama, observed a moment of silence Monday morning for the victims, reaching from the steps of the U.S. Capitol to the International Space Station, where Giffords' brother-in-law is the commanding officer.