Thanksgiving weekend has often been a time of turmoil for the BCS standings, but not so this year. Much of it went according to form, and Notre Dame, already No. 1 in the BCS standings, cinched a spot in the national-title game Jan. 7.
The Irish will play the winner of the SEC title game between Georgia and Alabama next week. Fittingly, perhaps, USC had a botched series at the goal-line in the last few minutes, managing the clock poorly and ultimately failing to get into the end zone to give itself a chance to cut into a 22-13 deficit that became the final score.
Left disappointed is Florida (No. 4 in the BCS), which had a big second half to topple Florida State, 37-26. The Gators would likely have crept into the national-title game if USC had been able to upset Notre Dame, which would have created another all-SEC final, but it wasn’t to be. Also coming up empty was Oregon, No. 5 last week in the BCS, which thumped Oregon State 48-24, but needed wins by Florida State and USC and got neither.
The Ducks are left out of the Pac-12 title game next week, too, because Stanford bounced UCLA 35-17. The Cardinal and Ducks tied for the Pac-12 North title, but because of Stanford’s upset over Oregon last week, the Cardinal wins the head-to-head tiebreaker and gets to host the Friday-night matchup with the Bruins — six days after they played this one.
Oregon is thought to have a good shot at the Fiesta Bowl, giving the Pac-12 two BCS teams.