Dec 2, 2012 11:05 PM by Bill Halter
(AP) - Notre Dame ends the regular season as the No. 1 team in the AP college football poll. It's the first time the Fighting Irish have done that since their national championship season in 1988.
Notre Dame finished up a perfect 12-0 regular season last week and will play Alabama in the BCS championship game in Miami on Jan. 7.
The one-loss Crimson Tide remains No. 2 after slipping past Georgia in Saturday's SEC championship game.
Undefeated Ohio State, which is banned from the postseason because of NCAA sanctions, moves up a spot to No. 3. Florida is No. 4, Oregon is fifth and Georgia falls to sixth.
The rest of the top 10 remains the same with Kansas State, Stanford, LSU and Texas A&M at seven through 10.
Northern Illinois out of the Mid-American Conference has busted the BCS, and is heading to the Orange Bowl to play ACC champion Florida State.
Northern Illinois actually finished ahead of two conference titlists, Big East winner Louisville and Big Ten champion Wisconsin, in the final BCS standings.
Dave Doeren will not coach the Huskies in the Orange Bowl. He was hired Saturday as the new coach at North Carolina State.
In other big bowl matchups:
- After missing out on the BCS, Big 12 co-champion Oklahoma will instead take on Johnny Football, freshman sensation Johnny Manziel, and former conference rival Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl.
- No. 4 Florida will meet No. 22 Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.
- No. 6 Georgia will play Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day.
- Oregon will meet Kansas State in another marquee matchup at the Fiesta Bowl.
- Wisconsin believes its third straight trip to the Rose Bowl could be the charm when it plays Stanford.
- Georgia Tech is heading back to the Sun Bowl for the second straight year and will face underachieving Southern California.
- The 17th-ranked UCLA Bruins and Baylor Bears will play each other for the first time when they meet in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 at Qualcomm Stadium.
- LSU will face Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
- Conference USA champion Tulsa will get another shot at Iowa State when the teams meet in the Liberty Bowl.
- Vanderbilt will only have to travel a few miles from campus for its bowl game, the Music City Bowl against N.C. State.
- Michigan State and Texas Christian will meet in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
- Fresno State says it has accepted an invitation to play SMU in the Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu on Christmas Eve.
- Central Florida's loss in the Conference USA championship game has the Knights staying close to home for the holidays against Ball State in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl.
- Minnesota will face Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston on Dec. 28.
- Oklahoma State and Purdue will finally play again - 15 years later in the Heart of Dallas Bowl played at the historic Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day.
- Texas will make a short postseason trip to face No. 15 Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl.
- Bowling Green has accepted an invitation to play San Jose State in the Military Bowl in the Nation's Capital.
- Louisiana-Monroe, playing in its first bowl game, will meet Ohio in the Independence Bowl.
- The Duke Blue Devils will make their first bowl appearance since 1994, taking on the Cincinnati Bearcats in the 11th annual Belk Bowl Dec. 27 in Charlotte.
- Rutgers and Virginia Tech will square off in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28.
- No. 11 South Carolina is headed to the Outback Bowl to face No. 19 Michigan.
- Syracuse is headed back to the Pinstripe Bowl for the second time in three years and will face former Big East foe West Virginia on Dec. 29 in Yankee Stadium.
- The Las Vegas Bowl will have a Northwest flavor with a matchup featuring No. 20 Boise State and Washington.
- It's hometown favorite San Diego State against BYU in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 20.
- Pittsburgh is making its third straight trip to the BBVA Compass Bowl, facing a resurgent Mississippi team.
- The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will play in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit on Dec. 26 against Central Michigan.
- Nevada faces Arizona in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15.
- And Northwestern and Mississippi State tangle in the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day.
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