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College football rankings: Notre Dame secures top BCS ranking; Alabama-Georgia SEC title game to settle Irish's opponent

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will have several weeks to plan for the BCS title game after clinching a spot on Saturday with a victory over USC

Jeff Gross

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished the 2012 regular season at 12-0 following Saturday's 22-13 victory over the USC Trojans and secured a spot in the BCS title game on Jan. 7 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. Already No. 1 in the BCS rankings, there is nothing that could drop them out of that spot on Sunday and in one week when the final standings come out.

Related: BCS rankings projections, Week 14

The remaining question for the title game is which SEC team will make an appearance against the Irish. No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia determine the other half of the national title game on Dec. 1 in the SEC title game. Either way, for a seventh year in a row the SEC will have a shot at winning the national championship (6-for-6 in the previous games).

The No. 22 Boise St. Broncos will likely also benefit from this weekend's action. While the Broncos sat idle this weekend, the seven teams immediately in front of them (Nos. 15-21) picked up losses. An at-large BCS bowl berth is still in play for the Broncos if they finish in the top 16 when next week's standings come out. Of course, they do have a Dec. 1 showdown with Nevada that needs to be taken care of first. Nevada spoiled the Broncos' BCS chances two years ago.

No. 23 Kent State, out of the Mid-American Conference, is also in the same position as Boise State. They are 11-1 and will play 11-1 Northern Illinois on Friday for the MAC championship. A victory in that game for the Golden Flashes would likely move them past Boise State. The same might possibly be true for Northern Illinois, though they are currently outside of the BCS top 25.

ESPN will release the BCS rankings at 6:30 p.m. MT.

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