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.
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 SEC championship game will be a national semifinal of sorts, with the winner advancing to the BCS title game.
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