It’s the Mayans. That’s the only explanation I have for Notre Dame being No. 1 for the first time in the BCS era, as the Irish are also on track to play in their first national championship since 1988. As for Alabama, well, of course it found its way back into the title game. Of course.
Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State (Big 12 No. 1) vs. Clemson (BCS at-large)
Despite losing to Baylor, Kansas State bounces back against Texas and wins the outright Big 12 title. Clemson receives an at-large bid after taking down South Carolina.
Sugar Bowl: Georgia (SEC No. 1) vs. Oklahoma (BCS at-large)
The Dawgs lose to Alabama in the SEC title game, but replace the Tide as the No. 1 team from the conference in the Sugar Bowl. Even with two losses, Oklahoma is still BCS qualified and will try to win its fourth straight bowl.
Orange Bowl: Florida State (ACC No. 1) vs. Rutgers (Big East No. 1)
Florida State breezes through Georgia Tech and reaches Miami for the first time since 2005. Rutgers gets in after beating Louisville in the regular-season finale.
Rose Bowl: Nebraska (Big Ten No. 1) vs. Oregon (Pac-12 No. 1)
With Ohio State ineligible, the Huskers glide through the Big Ten title game and beat Wisconsin handily. But they’ll have their hands full with Oregon, which still believes it’s worthy of a national title bid.
GoDaddy.com: Northern Illinois (MAC No. 1) vs. LA-Lafayette (Sun Belt No. 2)
BBVA Compass: Ole Miss (SEC No. 8/9*) vs. Western Kentucky (Big East No. 5*)
Cotton: Texas (Big 12 No. 2) vs. LSU (SEC No. 3/4)
Heart of Dallas: San Jose State (Big Ten No. 7*) vs. LA-Monroe (Big 12 No. 8*)
Outback: Northwestern (Big Ten No. 3) vs. Texas A&M (SEC No. 3/4)
Gator: Wisconsin (Big Ten No. 4) vs. Mississippi State (SEC No. 6)
Capital One: Michigan (Big Ten No. 2) vs. Florida (SEC No. 2)
Sun: Virginia Tech (ACC No. 4) vs. Washington (Pac-12 No. 4)
Music City: Toledo (ACC No. 6*) vs. Vanderbilt (SEC No. 7/8)
Liberty: Tulsa (C-USA No. 1) vs. Bowling Green (SEC No. 8/9*)
Chick-fil-A: Georgia Tech (ACC No. 2) vs. South Carolina (SEC No. 5)
Pinstripe: TCU (Big 12 No. 7) vs. Syracuse (Big East No. 4)
Kraft Fight Hunger: Arizona (Pac-12 No. 6) vs. Navy (Navy)
Buffalo Wild Wings: Texas Tech (Big 12 No. 4) vs. Michigan State (Big Ten No. 5)
Armed Forces: Troy (C-USA No. 5*) vs. Air Force (MWC No. 4)
Alamo: Oklahoma State (Big 12 No. 3) vs. Stanford (Pac-12 No. 2)
Russell Athletic: Louisville (Big East No. 2) vs. North Carolina State (ACC No. 3)
Meineke Car Care: Iowa State (Big 12 No. 6) vs. Purdue (Big Ten No. 6)
Independence: Middle Tennessee (SEC No. 10*) vs. Louisiana Tech (ACC No. 7*)
Military: UTSA (ACC No. 8*) vs. Ohio (Army*)
Holiday: UCLA (Pac-12 No. 3) vs. West Virginia (Big 12 No. 5)
Belk: Cincinnati (Big East No. 3) vs. Duke (ACC No. 5)
Little Caesars: Kent State (MAC No. 2) vs. Arizona State (Big Ten No. 8*)
Hawaii: San Diego State (MWC No. 3) vs. Marshall (C-USA No. 4)
New Orleans: Arkansas State (Sun Belt No. 1) vs. Rice (C-USA No. 3)
Las Vegas: Boise State (MWC No. 1) vs. Oregon State (Pac-12 No. 5)
Beef O'Brady's: Central Michigan (Big East No. 6*) vs. East Carolina (C-USA No. 2)
Poinsettia: Fresno State (MWC No. 2) vs. BYU (BYU).
New Mexico: Nevada (MWC No. 5) vs. USC (Pac-12 No. 7)
Famous Idaho Potato: Ball State (MAC No. 3) vs. Utah State (WAC No. 1)
*Replacement team for conference that can't fill bids.