Harris Interactive Poll Week 14: Alabama gains support, but Notre Dame finishes the year on top

More to come, certainly.

Harris Interactive College Football Poll – December 2

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2866 .997
2 Alabama Crimson Tide 2765 .962
3 Oregon Ducks 2548 .886
4 Florida Gators 2480 .863
5 Georgia Bulldogs 2388 .831
6 Kansas State Wildcats 2332 .811
7 Stanford Cardinal 2142 .745
8 LSU Tigers 2128 .740
9 Texas A&M Aggies 1991 .693
10 South Carolina Gamecocks 1838 .639
11 Oklahoma Sooners 1745 .607
12 Florida State Seminoles 1655 .576
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BCS Computer Rankings Week Eight: Notre Dame, Florida End Season At Top of Computer Ranks

More to come.

Here are the rankings of the six BCS computers:

Six BCS Computer Standings – BCS Week Eight (December 2)

Rank Anderson Billingsley Colley Massey Sagarin Wolfe
1 Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame
2 Florida Alabama Florida Florida Florida Florida
3 Kansas St. Kansas St. Stanford Alabama Alabama Alabama
4 Alabama Oregon Alabama LSU Kansas St. Stanford
5 Stanford Stanford Kansas St. Stanford Oregon LSU
6 Oregon Florida Oregon Oregon Stanford Oregon

And the aggregate BCS computer rankings:

BCS Computer Rankings Aggregate – BCS Week Eight (December 2)

Rank Team Share of Vote
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 1.000
2 Florida Gators .960
3 Alabama Crimson Tide .910
4 Stanford Cardinal .850
4 Kansas State Wildcats .850
6 Oregon Ducks .810
7 LSU Tigers .760
8 Oklahoma Sooners .730
9 South Carolina Gamecocks .700
10 Texas A&M Aggies .630
11 Georgia Bulldogs .620
12 Oregon State Beavers .520

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.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week 14: Notre Dame finishes on top, Northern Illinois at No. 16

The tension is building.

Northern Illinois lands at No. 16 in the final regular season Coaches’ Poll, while key members of the BCS pack, UCLA (No. 19), Nebraska (No. 21) and Boise State (No. 15) pile around them.

Will it be enough? Stay tuned.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – December 2

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 1470 .997
2 Alabama Crimson Tide 1417 .961
3 Oregon Ducks 1313 .890
4 Florida Gators 1287 .872
5 Georgia Bulldogs 1216 .824
6 Kansas State Wildcats 1190 .807
7 LSU Tigers 1111 .753
8 Stanford Cardinal 1047 .710
9 Texas A&M Aggies 1039 .704
10 South Carolina Gamecocks 947 .642
11 Oklahoma Sooners 890 .603
12 Florida State Seminoles 853 .578

Projected BCS Standings: Quiet Across The Land As Notre Dame and Alabama Lead The Final BCS Rankings of 2012

The opportunity for chaos always stirs college football fans. And it looked like we were in store for some this year.

Projected Final BCS Rankings
Rank Team
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2 Alabama Crimson Tide
3 Florida Gators
4 Georgia Bulldogs
5 Oregon Ducks
Scroll down for more

Six top-flight SEC teams emerged early. Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Louisville and Florida State looked every bit the flag bearer for their conferences. Chaos was certainly coming.

Then it arrived in November in the form of unbeaten Alabama, Oregon and Kansas State suffering surprising first losses. But then all was quiet.

And when all was said and done in the 2012 college football season, it was pretty clear. Notre Dame, on the strength on an undefeated season, and Alabama, winners of the battle-testing SEC, will finish 1-2 in the final BCS standings and meet for the BCS title at the end of the expansive bowl season.

Championship weekend served as a clarifying moment for many of the thing college football fans thought we knew, but couldn’t guarantee. Alabama, Florida State, Stanford, Louisville, Wisconsin and Kansas State secured BCS bids in traditional fashion.

Florida, tomorrow’s No. 3 team will claim a bid as the top-ranked member of a AQ conference to not actually win that conference. Oregon, set to land at No. 5 with one overtime loss to Rose Bowl-bound Stanford, will almost certainly be snatched up by a BCS bowl right away. That’s nine.

Then that 10th and final bid.

Coming into the weekend it was all about the non-AQ and the chance at a BCS buster. But the hope will stop here. Not enough happened for the MAC champion Northern Illinois or MWC champion Boise State to make a BCS bowl bid. And so, for a second straight year, we will forgo the non-AQ storyline taker and have a set of BCS bowls with 10 AQ conference members.

The best shot the non-AQs had at a BCS bowl was Northern Illinois. And the Huskies will just miss out at No. 17. That’s the long and short of it.

We’ll be here to take you through the entire process tomorrow — human polls, computer rankings, bowl pairings and BCS rankings  Follow along @BCSKnowHow and right here to stay up to the second with projections, mathematical breakdowns of the computers, human polls and everything in between. We’ll put up a chat room for questions and general discussion, too.

Got all that? Hope so.

Here’s what the final BCS standings will likely look like when they are released tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN:

Projected BCS Standings – BCS Week Eight (December 2nd)

Rank Team
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2 Alabama Crimson Tide
3 Florida Gators
4 Georgia Bulldogs
5 Oregon Ducks
6 Kansas State Wildcats
7 Stanford Cardinal
8 LSU Tigers
9 Texas A&M Aggies
10 Oklahoma Sooners
11 South Carolina Gamecocks
12 Florida State Seminoles

Final Projected 2013 BCS Bowls — December 2nd

Once again we’ve come to the end of the college football season with questions to be answered about the BCS.

Final BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Notre Dame vs. Alabama
Rose Bowl Stanford vs. Wisconsin
Sugar Bowl Florida vs. Oklahoma
Orange Bowl Florida State vs. Louisville
Fiesta Bowl Oregon vs. Kansas State
Scroll down for more

While Saturday was incredibly clarifying when it came to many of the BCS spots, as it always is, there is drama to be played out in the polls, the computer and the selection committees on Sunday.

The non-AQ debate rages. Will Northern Illinois or Boise State crack the set of BCS bowls?

Either way, it’s been as fun as it always is. Let’s get ready for bowl season.

BCS National Championship Game: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (BCS No. 1) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS No. 2)

Comment: It played out just right this year for Notre Dame and Alabama to meet in what could be the biggest name pairing in the history of the BCS title game. Two programs, each with big accomplishments in 2012 — Notre Dame’s undefeated season, Alabama’s SEC title — will meet for the BCS crown at the end of another expansive bowl season. The Crimson Tide just did enough against Georgia in the SEC title game to claim this spot and set up every BCS executive’s dream matchup.

Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal (Pac-12 champion) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten champion)

Comment: Stanford did what it needed to do — beat UCLA twice in six days, including in the Pac-12 Championship Game — to make their way to the Rose Bowl as the Pac-12’s champion. Nebraska, on the other hand, did not do what it needed against Wisconsin, instead slipping to the Badgers when it mattered most, and giving Wisconsin a third straight bid to the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin’s Big Ten title comes in a year where they also recorded five losses, the most a BCS bowl bound team has ever had.

Sugar Bowl: Florida Gators (At-large selection) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (At-large selection)

Comment: Florida automatically qualifies for the BCS with its No. 3 final ranking, which they receive by just passing Georgia, who saw a chance at a national title shot slip away. Oklahoma, while unable to claim the Big 12’s BCS bid outright, instead makes their way to a BCS bowl on the strength of a season that came up just short of the top of the BCS. Losses to Kansas State and Notre Dame kept Oklahoma at bay, while a lone loss to Georgia kept Florida out of the SEC title game. But both find some sanctuary in the BCS anyways.

Orange Bowl: Florida State Seminoles (ACC champion) vs. Louisville Cardinals (Big East champion)

Comment: One played in a de facto conference championship game, the other in a real one. But when it mattered the most, Florida State and Louisville stepped up against Georgia Tech and Rutgers, respectively, and will meet in the Orange Bowl as representatives of their respective conferences. For Florida State, a team that was once a perennial BCS contender, the Orange Bowl is its first since 2006, while Louisville heads to the BCS for just the second time in school history.

Fiesta Bowl: Oregon Ducks (At-large selection) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (Big 12 champion)

Comment: Both must wonder what could have been. Two teams seemingly destined for the BCS title game fell one November night within minutes of each other. And with too little time to climb back into the title race, Oregon and Kansas State are relegated to the Fiesta Bowl for what should be an incredibly interesting matchup. Oregon was left at home watching Stanford and UCLA battle for a Rose Bowl bid, but will land softly at the Fiesta Bowl, while Kansas State’s Big 12 regular season title locked them into this bowl.