Ducks down to 5th in BCS, Notre Dame new No. 1

Ducks down to 5th in BCS, Notre Dame new No. 1 »Play Video
Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas, right, breaks into the open field ahead of Stanford defenders, from left,Shayne Skov, A. J. Tarpley and Chase Thomas during the first half of their NCAA college football game in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

NEW YORK (AP) — Notre Dame is a victory away from playing for the BCS title. Alabama and Georgia each need two, and could have to go through each other.

A day after Oregon and Kansas State lost to give up control of the BCS race, the Fighting Irish (.9973) moved into first place in the standings for the first time.

"Now we don't have to answer questions about style points or politics," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. "Now we have a chance to play for the national championship this week."

Notre Dame (11-0), ranked No. 1 in both polls and by the computer ratings, needs only to beat slumping rival Southern California on Saturday in Los Angeles to earn its first trip to the BCS title game.

Alabama (.9333) and Georgia (.8763) also have rivalry games Saturday. The Crimson Tide hosts Auburn and the Bulldogs play Georgia Tech at home.

If the favorites win, the Southeastern Conference championship game will be a national semifinal of sorts, with the winner advancing to the BCS title game.

If form does not hold, and there are more upsets such as the ones that took out Oregon and Kansas State on Saturday night, there are a handful of teams that could be in the mix.

Florida (10-1) is in fourth heading into a huge game at 10th-place Florida State. The Seminoles (10-1) also will have an ACC title game to play.

Oregon (10-1) dropped to fifth and Kansas State (10-1) was sixth.

Notre Dame, which last won a national championship in 1988, has lost nine of the last 10 against USC, the lone victory coming in 2010, Kelly's first season as coach.

But the Trojans have been a major disappointment this season, starting it No. 1 and dropping to 7-4 after losing Saturday to UCLA. There's also a chance quarterback Matt Barkley could miss the game. He was injured at the end of the UCLA game, but USC does not make injury information public so his status likely will be a mystery this week.

If Notre Dame loses, it could leave a muddle of one-loss teams vying for a spot in the BCS title game, even opening up the possibility of a second consecutive all-SEC national championship game.

  Harris USA Today Computer BCS
  Rk Pts Pct Rk Pts Pct Rk Pct Avg Pv
1. Notre Dame 1 2863 .9958 1 1469 .9959 1 1.0000 .9973 3
2. Alabama 2 2732 .9503 2 1386 .9397 3 .9100 .9333 4
3. Georgia 3 2573 .8950 3 1348 .9139 6 .8200 .8763 5
4. Florida 5 2242 .7798 6 1166 .7905 2 .9600 .8434 6
5. Oregon 4 2483 .8637 4 1227 .8319 7 .8000 .8318 2
6. Kansas St. 7 2161 .7517 8 1056 .7159 4 .8400 .7692 1
7. LSU 8 2077 .7224 7 1062 .7200 8 .7500 .7308 7
8. Stanford 11 1897 .6598 11 934 .6332 5 .8300 .7077 13
9. Texas A&M 10 1909 .6640 10 994 .6739 10 .6200 .6526 8
10. Florida St. 6 2231 .7760 5 1199 .8129 17 .3200 .6363 10
11. Clemson 9 1953 .6793 9 1029 .6976 15 .4400 .6056 11
12. South Carolina 12 1647 .5729 12 853 .5783 11 .6100 .5871 9
13. Oklahoma 13 1530 .5322 13 798 .5410 9 .6300 .5677 12
14. Nebraska 14 1275 .4435 14 654 .4434 12 .5500 .4790 14
15. Oregon St. 15 1202 .4181 17 563 .3817 12 .5500 .4499 16
16. Texas 17 1088 .3784 15 593 .4020 14 .4900 .4235 15
17. UCLA 16 1144 .3979 16 590 .4000 16 .3500 .3826 17
18. Rutgers 19 756 .2630 19 408 .2766 21 .1900 .2432 22
19. Michigan 20 575 .2000 20 289 .1959 19 .2800 .2253 21
20. Louisville 18 898 .3123 18 453 .3071 26 .0300 .2165 19
21. Oklahoma St. 22 425 .1478 21 258 .1749 18 .2900 .2042 24
22. Boise St. 21 426 .1482 22 243 .1647 30 .0000 .1043 NR
23. Kent St. 25 196 .0682 25 86 .0583 22 .1600 .0955 NR
24. Arizona 31 21 .0073 34 5 .0034 20 .2400 .0836 NR
25. Washington 30 53 .0184 28 36 .0244 23 .1500 .0643 25