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NCAAF: Upsets put Notre Dame and Alabama on top

The NCAA football regular season is winding down and conference championships are just around the corner, followed by the onslaught of bowl games starting in mid December. Last week’s upsets of the top two teams in the nation have thrown the BCS rankings into a tailspin.

Kansas State entered last weekend ranked no. 1 in the nation in the BCS but was ripped by the Baylor Bears 52-24. Second ranked Oregon lost to the Sanford Cardinal 17-14 in overtime to open the door for Notre Dame, Alabama and a host of other schools including the SEC’s other teams this season the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators.

At the start of this week, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame took over the no. 1 spot in the BCS ranking from last week’s no. 3 spot. They are now the last team that is eligible to play in the championship game that is still undefeated. The Fighting Irish make the third different team in three weeks to hold the no. 1 spot.

This week will decide whether Notre Dame gets to play for the national championship. The Fighting Irish end their regular season against longtime rival USC in Los Angeles. With a win, the Irish secure themselves a trip to the title game on January 7.

Sliding back into contention and into second place behind Notre Dame was the Crimson Tide of Alabama. Trailing the Crimson Tide are fellow SEC teams Georgia at no. 3 and the Gators of Florida at no. 4. Dropping all the way to no. 5 was Oregon following its first defeat of this season and Kansas State paid a big price by being destroyed by Baylor and fell all the way to no. 6.

In five of six computers, the Florida Gators are the second ranked team despite being listed as low as fifth in one poll and sixth in another. Oregon’s average on the different computers is seventh and the Wildcats of Kansas State are fourth.

The highest ranked team with two losses in the top 10 is LSU at no. 7. Stanford, after its upset defeat of Oregon on Saturday moved up from no. 13 to no. 8 this week. Texas A&M, the fifth team from the SEC in the nation’s top 10 is ranked no. 9, while the Florida State Seminoles, losers of just one game at 10-1 round out the top 10 at no. 10.

The BCS computers give no respect to the football teams from the ACC as the Seminoles are only ranked n0. 17 and the Tigers of Clemson no. 15.

This weekend features rivalry matchups besides just the Notre Dame – USC clash. Both the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs face rivals, as Alabama hosts SEC rival Auburn and Georgia hosts Georgia Tech.

If the two favorites, Alabama and Georgia win, the Championship game in the SEC will be a national semifinal game, with the game’s winner advancing to the season ending BCS title game.

Notre Dame has not won the national championship since 1988 and is 1-9 against Southern California in their past 10 games head to head. The last game the Irish won was in 2010.

However, the Trojans have disappointed many this season. USC started the season as the no. 1 ranked team in the nation and now has a record of just 7-4 after suffering a loss to UCLA on Saturday. In the game against Notre Dame, the Trojans will have to play without Matt Barkley their star quarterback who sprained a shoulder at the end of Saturday’s loss to UCLA.

If the Trojans beat the Fighting Irish it will muddle up an already muddled puddle as a number of teams with just one loss will be vying for a title game spot. It could even open up the possibility of a second straight all SEC title game.


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