Following its BCS championship-sealing win over USC on Saturday night, Notre Dame is not surprisingly atop both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches’ polls. However, whereas the Irish was the unanimous No. 1 team according to the media, the coaches feel a little bit differently.
Notre Dame received 56 of 59 first-place votes in the latest coaches’ poll with No. 2 Alabama receiving two first-place votes and No. 3 Georgia gaining one. Oregon and Florida, both coming off season-ending victories, came in at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively. LSU, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Stanford and South Carolina round out the USA Today top 10.
Oklahoma moves up two spots to No. 11 after beating Oklahoma State and Florida State drops seven spots to No. 12 after losing to Florida. The Seminoles will need to beat Georgia Tech next weekend to secure a BCS bowl berth as it doesn’t appear the ACC will be getting any at-large spots. Same with Nebraska at No. 13. The Cornhuskers will have a rematch against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship.
Clemson drops five spots to No. 14 after losing to South Carolina and Boise State (???????) comes in at No. 15. This is where things get interesting. Seven BCS bowl spots will be secured (six AQ winners plus Notre Dame) and one would imagine Oregon and an SEC team (Florida, perhaps?) will be selected for at-large spots. That leaves one at-large spot available for a potential non-AQ team. Boise State, provided they beat Nevada next week, Northern Illinois (No. 18) and Kent State (No. 19) are all possible candidates to grab that last spot if they finish in the top 16 of the BCS rankings (the Big East’s champion will almost certainly finish lower in the BCS standings).
Not bad considering the non-AQ pool looked to be bone dry as of a couple weeks ago.
Northwestern, Utah State, Louisville, Michigan and Rutgers round out the top 25. Dropping out was Oklahoma State and Mississippi State.