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Notre Dame No. 1 in BCS standings

Notre Dame the No. 1 team in the country? Believe it. Thanks to huge upsets by Stanford and Baylor, the Fighting Irish sit atop the BCS standings and are in control of their own destiny. If Notre Dame can win at USC next Saturday night, the Fighting Irish are assured a spot in the BCS national championship game.

Notre Dame is No. 1 in the latest BCS standings, followed by Alabama and Georgia. Florida and Oregon complete the top five. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is more than pleased his team will be in the mix for the national championship, which has eluded South Bend for over 25 years.

“It’s like being selected for the playoffs,” Kelly said in an interview on Notre Dame’s athletic website when asked what he felt like when Oregon and Kansas State lost.

“Now you know you’re in if you take care of business and you’ve got to win each week. I think it’s more about just the feeling that you’re included now in the race for the championship,” the coach added.

Kelly caught a little heat last week when he said he voted the Fighting Irish No. 1. The Associated Press agreed with Kelly’s assessment this week as Notre Dame was named the unanimous No. 1 team in that poll.

“I told our team that I felt like they were the best team in the country because I knew more about our team than the other two,” said Kelly. “Now we’ve been given this opportunity. We’ve got to make the best out of it by beating USC.”

As for who will be Notre Dame’s opponent in the title game, it’s anyone’s guess. Alabama still needs to beat Auburn and if that happens, the Crimson Tide must win in the SEC championship game.

Georgia and Florida are third and fourth, but both will need Notre Dame to lose to USC. Georgia could elevate itself if it beats Georgia Tech in its final regular season game and then Alabama in the SEC title game. Florida needs to win at Florida State on Saturday and a Georgia loss to Georgia Tech to get into the SEC title game.

Oregon, despite its mind-boggling 17-14 overtime home loss to Stanford, is still in the mix, but will need a ton of help. The Ducks have to win at Oregon State and will need a Stanford loss to qualify for the PAC-12 title game. Anything short of that and the Ducks are out of the national title picture. Stanford plays at UCLA next week, which won’t be a cakewalk.

Kansas State’s defense (and its pride) took a beating in Saturday night’s 52-24 loss to Baylor. But a win against Texas on Saturday, December 1 will assure the Wildcats of a spot in a BCS bowl and not much else. Too many teams have to lose for Kansas State to get into the national title picture.

BCS STANDINGS

1. Notre Dame (11-0) .9973

2. Alabama(10-1) .9333

3. Georgia(10-1) .8763

4. Florida(10-1) .8434

5. Oregon(10-1) .8318

6. KansasState(10-1) .7692

7. LSU (9-2) .7308

8. Stanford (9-2) .7077

9. TexasA&M (9-2) .6526

10. FloridaState(10-1) .6363

11. Clemson (10-1) .6056

12. South Carolina(9-2) .5871

13. Oklahoma(8-2) .5677

14. Nebraska(9-2) .4790

15. OregonState(8-2) .4499

16. Texas(8-2) .4235

17. UCLA (9-2) .3826

18. Rutgers(9-1) .2432

19. Michigan(8-3) .2253

20. Louisville(9-1) .2165

21. OklahomaState(7-3) .2042

22. BoiseState(9-2) .1043

23. KentState(10-1) .0955

24. Arizona(7-4) .0836

25. Washington(7-4) .0643

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