Okay, now it’s official.
The BCS championship will, as expected, be played between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama. The Irish secured their berth last week with a win over USC, and the Tide defeated Georgia in the SEC championship game Saturday night.
Florida finishes at No. 3 in the BCS standings and are guaranteed an automatic bid to a BCS game. Oregon comes in at No. 4 and Kansas State rounds out the top five. Stanford jumps up to No. 6 and Georgia drops down to No. 7. The SEC finishes out the BCS top 10 with LSU, Texas A&M and South Carolina.
Northern Illinois, as was reported earlier today, jumped up to No. 15 and will go to the Orange Bowl to face No. 12 Florida State. That means Oklahoma will not be going to the Sugar Bowl to face the Gators.
Below are the five BCS bowl games to be played this January:
BCS championship game: No.1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Alabama
Fiesta Bowl: No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 5 Kansas State
Orange Bowl: No. 12 Florida State vs. No. 15 Northern Illinois
Rose Bowl: No. 6 Stanford vs. Wisconsin
Sugar Bowl: No. 3 Florida vs. No. 21 Louisville
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah