Status quo favors Notre Dame, SEC

The top nine teams in the BCS standings were unchanged for the first time since 2010, but there’s still plenty to play for. Here are five BCS nuggets to tide you over until championship weekend.

1-- No. 1 Notre Dame will be the seventh team in the BCS Top-2 to not play on the final weekend of the regular season. Not surprisingly, the six previous schools all went on to play for the BCS championship.

Before Alabama last season, the previous five instances involved conferences without championship games. Ohio State in 2002 and 2006, Florida State in 1999 and 2000, and Virginia Tech in 1999 didn’t have to navigate conference championship games to win their league’s automatic bid.

2-- No. 2 Alabama is looking to continue a recent run of success for the top two BCS teams on championship weekend. In 2010 and 2011, the top two teams in the BCS entering the final weekend went on to play for the BCS championship.

That snapped a rough stretch from 2006 to 2009. Ohio State did not play on the final weekend in 2006, but five of the seven BCS Top-2 teams lost on championship weekend. And one of those wins, Alabama over Florida in 2009, involved the No. 2 team beating the No. 1 team.

Entered Final Weekend Outside Top 2
Played for BCS Title

3-- No. 3 Georgia is on the outside looking in, but the Bulldogs have good historical company.

Of the 28 previous teams to play for the BCS championship, eight entered the final weekend of the regular season outside the BCS Top-2. Half of the teams to move up did so after winning the SEC Championship Game.

4-- With the top nine in the BCS standings unchanged from last week, the action was lower in the rankings. Kent State jumped six spots to No. 17, the highest ranking for a team from the MAC since Ball State was No. 12 in November 2008.

The Golden Flashes are one spot away from earning a bid to a BCS bowl. If Kent State finishes in the Top 16 in the final BCS standings and ahead of at least one champion from a conference with an automatic BCS berth, it will earn an automatic berth in a BCS bowl game.

There are currently no Big East teams in the BCS rankings. The Golden Flashes play No. 21 Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship Game on Friday (ESPN, 7 ET).

5-- This might be the final season for WAC football, but the conference is going out with a bang. Utah State and San Jose State moved into the BCS Top 25 this week. It was the first appearance in the rankings in the history of both programs.

Ten different WAC schools have appeared in the BCS Standings since 1998, but only three of those schools are still in the conference.

With Louisiana Tech appearing in the rankings earlier in the year, this is just the second time that three WAC teams have reached the BCS Top 25 in the same season. Boise State, Hawaii and Nevada were all ranked in 2010 before leaving for the Mountain West Conference.