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by Bovada Sportsbook Staff
The numbers have been crunched and it's the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Alabama Crimson Tide who will battle on the college football betting lines in the BCS National Championship Game on January 7. Those two schools went a combined 24-1 this year and enter bowl season as the top teams in the BCS rankings as they get their shot at the title.
Fighting Irish, Tide atop the BCS
Notre Dame, which posted a perfect record of 12-0 (7-5 ATS) this year, heads into bowl season as the No. 1 team in the BCS rankings, where they're followed by No. 2 Alabama. The Crimson Tide went 12-1 (6-7 ATS) this season, including a 32-28 comeback victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game over the weekend that effectively put them into the national title matchup. Notre Dame and Alabama were also 1-2 in the AP Top 25.
Georgia's loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game dropped them from No. 3 all the way down to No. 7 in the final BCS rankings, putting them behind new-No. 3 Florida, No. 4 Oregon, No. 5 Kansas State, and No. 6 Stanford. No. 8 LSU, No. 9 Texas A&M, and No. 10 South Carolina round out the BCS Top 10. Florida State sits at No. 12 in the BCS rankings, with Northern Illinois at No. 15, and Louisville at No. 21 on that list heading into the bowls.
BCS bowl schedule set for January
So No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama will meet in the BCS National Championship Game on January 7 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, while this year's Rose Bowl matchup on January 1 in Pasadena will feature No. 6 Stanford taking on Wisconsin. The Cardinal (11-2 SU, 8-5 ATS) won the Pac-12 Championship Game over UCLA last week, while the Badgers beat Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship Game and head to the Rose Bowl despite not being in the Top 25 of the BCS. Wisconsin went just 8-5 SU and 6-7 ATS this season, and got into the Big Ten title game because Ohio State and Penn State were both ineligible.
The Orange Bowl on January 1 in Miami then has No. 12 Florida State (11-2 SU, 4-9 ATS) taking on No. 15 Northern Illinois (12-1 SU, 9-4 ATS), with the Seminoles the ACC champions and the Huskies the MAC champions this season. Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren won't be on the sidelines for his school at the Orange Bowl, as he left the program after they claimed the MAC title to take the coaching job at North Carolina State.
Sugar, Fiesta bowls round out slate
No. 3 Florida will be taking on No. 21 Louisville in the Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans on January 2, with the Gators (11-1 SU, 7-5 ATS) finishing behind Georgia in the SEC East Division standings but still managing to move ahead of them in the BCS rankings after the Bulldogs lost to the Tide on the weekend. The Cardinals (10-2 SU, 5-7 ATS) are this season's Big East champions thanks to their victory over Rutgers last Thursday night.
Finally, the BCS slate for this year is rounded out by No. 4 Oregon taking on No. 5 Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale on January 3. The Ducks (11-1 SU, 7-5 ATS) are an at-large school for the BCS after they finished behind Stanford in the Pac-12 North Division standings, while the Wildcats (11-1 SU, 10-2 ATS) won the Big 12 title this season thanks to their head-to-head victory against Oklahoma.