No. 3 Notre Dame stayed undefeated with an uncharacteristically easy victory at home and then had the rest of the night to watch as the teams in front of it in the national championship race lost.
The Fighting Irish hammered Wake Forest 38-0 on senior day in South Bend, Ind., on Saturday.
Then things got really good for the Irish — and Alabama, Georgia, Florida and maybe even Florida State.
No. 1 Oregon, second in the BCS standings, lost 17-14 at home in overtime to Stanford. Down in Texas, Baylor blasted No. 2 Kansas State, which was first in the BCS standings, 52-24 in Waco.
On Sunday, Notre Dame likely will be the No. 1 team in the nation. And Alabama, which lost last week to Texas A&M and shut out FCS doormat Western Carolina on Saturday, could very well be No. 2.
No. 14 STANFORD 17, No. 1 OREGON 14, OT
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Jordan Williamson hit a 37-yard field goal in overtime and Stanford upset Oregon, denying the Ducks a chance to clinch the Pac-12 North and derailing their straight shot at the BCS championship game.
If Stanford and Oregon finish with wins in their final games next weekend, both will finish with one conference loss, which means Stanford will win the head-to-head matchup and go to the Pac-12 championship game for a chance to play in the Rose Bowl.
Stanford (9-2, 7-1) will visit No. 1UCLA, which defeated No. 21 USC 32-29 earlier in the day to claim the Pac-12 South. Oregon (10-1, 7-1) will play rival Oregon State in the annual Civil War rivalry game in Corvallis.
The loss snapped a 13-game winning streak for the Ducks, which was longest current streak in the nation. It was Stanford’s fifth straight win.
BAYLOR 52, No. 2 KANSAS STATE 24
WACO, Texas (AP) — Glasco Martin ran for three touchdowns, Lache Seastrunk had 185 yards rushing with an 80-yard score and Baylor again upset the BCS picture with a late-season victory.
Collin Klein may be a Heisman Trophy front-runner no more after throwing three interceptions while being pressured and harassed all night by Baylor (5-5, 2-5). He threw for 286 yards, but had only 39 yards on 17 carries for Kansas State (10-1, 7-1 Big 12).
Nick Florence, the successor to Heisman winner Robert Griffin III threw both of his touchdowns in the first half when the Bears jumped out to a 28-7 lead.
On the same November weekend last season, Baylor upset then fifth-ranked Oklahoma after two teams ahead of the Sooners had already lost that day.
No. 3 NOTRE DAME 38, WAKE FOREST 0
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Everett Golson threw touchdown passes of 50, 34 and 2 yards, Cierre Wood scored on a 68-yard run and Notre Dame finished the season undefeated at home for the first time since 1998.
The Fighting Irish improved to 11-0 for the first time since 1989 and need to beat Southern California to finish a regular season undefeated for the first time since 1988, the last time they won a national championship. The Demon Deacons (5-6) fell to 1-33 all-time against top 5 teams, their lone win coming against No. 4 Tennessee in 1946.
The victory virtually assures the Irish of a berth in a BCS game. The Irish need to beat USC and likely need either No. 1 Oregon or No. 2 Kansas State to lose to reach the BCS title game.
No. 4 ALABAMA 49, WESTERN CAROLINA 0
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Eddie Lacy rushed for three first-half touchdowns and AJ McCarron set Alabama’s single-season record for passing TDs.
The Crimson Tide (10-1) rebounded from a loss to No. 9 Texas A&M by building a 42-0 halftime lead against the Catamounts (1-10), a Football Championship Subdivision team with two wins in as many seasons. It was Alabama’s third shutout of the season.
McCarron completed all six of his attempts for 133 yards and his 21st touchdown before exiting midway through the second quarter. Lacy ran for 99 yards on 10 carries with two 7-yard touchdowns and a 3-yarder. Neither played after halftime.
No. 5 GEORGIA 45, GEORGIA SOUTHERN 14
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Aaron Murray threw four touchdown passes and Todd Gurley became only the second true freshman in Georgia history to rush for 1,000 yards.
Georgia (10-1) reached 10 wins for the eighth time in Mark Richt’s dozen seasons as coach. Georgia Southern (8-3) had a shot at the halftime lead, only to get scuttled by a penalty, and Murray took control from there.
He completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Mitchell with just 4 seconds left in the half, sending Georgia to the locker room with a 17-7 lead. In the third quarter, Murray hooked up with Chris Conley on a pair of scoring passes, sandwiched around a 43-yarder to Tavarres King.Continued...