Final BCS Rankings of 2012: Notre Dame and Alabama Finish On Top But Northern Illinois Steals The Show

The drama had seemingly been sucked out of the final weekend of the college football season until we figured out that a borderline non-AQ BCS buster was still possible. Still many were wary.

Official BCS Rankings
Rank Team
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2 Alabama Crimson Tide
3 Florida Gators
4 Oregon Ducks
5 Kansas State Wildcats
Scroll down for more

But then things started falling Northern Illinois’s way. After the Huskies grabbed the MAC championship from Kent State’s clutches in overtime, they sat at home and watched UCLA and Texas lose. Then they saw the thing that proved most key — Nebraska get crushed by Wisconsin.

Those things, combined with the requisite boost the Huskies got for beating previously No. 17 Kent State put the Huskies at No. 15 this week. And as we learned these last few days, that was the threshold. Finishing ahead of the Big East’s BCS representative, No. 21 Louisville, Northern Illinois is Orange Bowl bound, where the Huskies will take on Florida State.

Elsewhere the tension was somewhat minimal. As expected, undefeated Notre Dame is on its way to the BCS title game, where the Fighting Irish will find SEC champion Alabama waiting.

Conference champions Wisconsin, Stanford and Kansas State found themselves in their anchor bowls, joined by at-large Florida — the beneficiary an automatic rule including the top-ranked AQ non-champion — and at-large Oregon.

All part of the BCS’s now teenage plan to combine bowl affiliations and numbers to rank and distribute games during bowl season’s final week. Worked out pretty interestingly this year. We’ve got one more of these ahead of us. It’s been fun, now let’s enjoy bowl season.

Here are the final BCS rankings of 2012:

Final BCS Standings — December 2nd

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish .9978
2 Alabama Crimson Tide .9441
3 Florida Gators .8984
4 Oregon Ducks .8621
5 Kansas State Wildcats .8226
6 Stanford Cardinal .7683
7 Georgia Bulldogs .7583
8 LSU Tigers .7511
9 Texas A&M Aggies .6756
10 South Carolina Gamecocks .6604
11 Oklahoma Sooners .6502
12 Florida State Seminoles .5047
13 Oregon State Beavers .4716
14 Clemson Tigers .4693
15 Northern Illinois Huskies .3276
16 Nebraska Cornhuskers .3264

Some thoughts:

  • BCS Know How’s Projected BCS vs. Actual BCS Rankings
    • The glaring oversight is of course at No. 16, where NIU lands a key one spot above where they needed to be.
    • Many shared that omission, but shout out to Yesh Ginsberg, who stood out and correctly predicted that NIU would have a simple time qualifying for the BCS, which they did.

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