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Notre Dame Takes Over Top Spot in BCS Standings

Sunday, November 18, 2012

College football continues to give thrills as the top two teams in the nation both suffered their first losses of the season to lift undefeated Notre Dame to the No. 1 ranking in the latest BCS Standings. The Fighting Irish, who are No. 1 for the first time in the BCS-era and No. 1 in the AP Poll for the first time since 1993, shut out Wake Forest to become the final undefeated bowl-eligible team. Meanwhile, the No. 2 and No. 3 teams are Alabama and Georgia, respectively - the two teams that will be battling for the SEC Championship on Dec. 1 in Atlanta. The top two teams in the final BCS Standings, to be released on Sunday, Dec. 2, will meet in the BCS National Championship game in Miami on Jan. 7.

"Who would have ever expected both No. 1 and No. 2 to be upset on the same day?" asked BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock. "We've had three different No. 1 teams in the past three weeks. While some dreams have been shattered, other new hopes of a national championship have been ignited. Yesterday was another banner day for the greatest regular season in all of sports. And even more fun is ahead."

November 18, 2012 BCS Standings

  1. Notre Dame (11-0) - Last Week: 3
  2. Alabama (10-1) - 4
  3. Georgia (10-1) - 5
  4. Florida (10-1) - 6
  5. Oregon (10-1) - 2
  6. Kansas State (10-1) - 1
  7. LSU (9-2) - 7
  8. Stanford (9-2) - 13
  9. Texas A&M (9-2) - 8
  10. Florida State (10-1) - 10
  11. Clemson (10-1) - 11
  12. South Carolina (9-2) - 9
  13. Oklahoma (8-2) - 12
  14. Nebraska (9-2) - 14
  15. Oregon State (8-2) - 16
  16. Texas (8-2) - 15
  17. UCLA (9-2) - 17
  18. Rutgers (9-1) - 22
  19. Michigan (8-3) - 21
  20. Louisville (9-1) - 19
  21. Oklahoma State (7-3) - 24
  22. Boise State (9-2) - NR
  23. Kent State (10-1) - NR
  24. Arizona (7-4) - NR
  25. Washington (7-4) - 25

The SEC continues to dominate the top of the standings as the league has five teams in the top nine and six in the top 12. Just behind Alabama and Georgia is one-loss Florida at No. 4, while LSU checks in at No. 7 and Texas A&M at No. 8. South Carolina drops from No. 9 to No. 12.

Kansas State, which lost to unranked Baylor, drops five spots to No. 6, just behind fifth-ranked Oregon, which also lost, but in overtime to ranked Stanford, which jumped from No. 13 to No. 8 in this week's standings. Florida State and Clemson, both 10-1 teams from the ACC, are ranked No. 10 and No. 11, respectively. Florida State will represent the Atlantic Division in the Dec. 1 ACC Championship Game because of its victory over Clemson earlier this year.

Oklahoma, which posted a tight victory over West Virginia dropped one spot to No. 13, which is critical as the Sooners need to remain in the top 14 to be eligible for a BCS at-large bid.

The SEC and the Pac-12 each have six ranked teams, followed by the Big 12 with four ranked teams. The ACC, the Big Ten and the Big East each have two ranked teams while No. 22 Boise State represents the Mountain West and No. 23 Kent State represents the Mid-American Conference. To earn an automatic slot in a BCS game, Boise or Kent State would have to win their conference and reach the top 14, or be in the top 16 and ahead of the highest-ranked team from an automatic-qualifying conference.

The key game coming up this weekend is the now top-ranked Fighting Irish, which will look to avoid becoming the third straight No. 1 team to lose when they travel to Los Angeles to face USC, which may be playing without star quarterback Matt Barkley.

In addition, a string of critical rivalry games for the SEC could have major impact on the standings. No. 2 Alabama will be the heavy favorite as it hosts struggling Auburn in the annual Iron Bowl, though the Tigers could salvage their season with an upset. No. 3 Georgia may have its hands full with a heated-up Georgia Tech squad which has won three straight. At No. 4, Florida is hoping to move into position to play in the BCS National Championship game as well, however, the Gators have to take on 10th-ranked Florida State in Tallahassee to remain in the picture. The seventh-ranked LSU Tigers would like to move up in the rankings with a convincing victory over Arkansas, while ninth-ranked Texas A&M hosts fellow SEC-newcomer Missouri as it hopes to remain in the BCS Bowl bid mix. Finally, No. 12 South Carolina, after struggling with Wofford on Saturday, has to face another in-state rival, this time going on the road to face the much more formidable 11th-ranked Clemson Tigers.

On the West Coast, No. 5 Oregon needs a win to have a chance at making the Pac-12 title game - and the Ducks have to face No. 15 Oregon State in their own annual "Civil War," this time on the Beavers' campus in Corvallis. For the Ducks to make the title game, they will not only need a win, but also a loss for Stanford as the Cardinal takes on No. 17 UCLA at the Rose Bowl.

Two other games of interest are Ohio State hosting No. 19 Michigan and No. 13 Oklahoma hosting No. 21 Oklahoma State. The Buckeyes join Notre Dame as the only undefeated teams in the country, however, Ohio State is ineligible for postseason play and has to resort to capping its perfect season with a win over the archrival Wolverines. Oklahoma, meanwhile, needs a win over its own archrival in the annual Bedlam game against the Cowboys, to remain in the mix for a BCS at-large bid.


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