AP Poll Top 25, Week 15: Northern Illinois claims No. 16, awaits BCS fate

Dave Reginek

Northern Illinois lands at No. 16 in the AP Poll, which does not figure in the BCS formula. The Huskies need to finish in the top 16 to bust the BCS. Notre Dame finishes the year No. 1.

With the college football season complete, the eyes of the nation do not turn to the top of the final regular season Associated Press Top 25 poll, where the Notre Dame Fighting Irish finish the year as an unanimous No. 1, but instead to the middle, to find the Northern Illinois Huskies at No. 16.

That position, if replicated in tonight's final BCS standings of the season, would give the Huskies just enough to bust the BCS and knock Oklahoma out of a spot in a BCS bowl. The AP Poll does not count toward the BCS formula, which includes the Harris Interactive Poll, Coaches' Poll and the six computer rankings, but the AP Poll has long served as an indicator of what might be in store in the BCS rankings.

The MAC champion Huskies will try to crack the top 16 in the BCS, a position which would assure the Huskies of a BCS bid as a result of finishing ahead of the Big East's BCS representative this year, the Louisville Cardinals.

Elsewhere in the poll, the Alabama Crimson Tide close out the year at No. 2, followed by the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes and No. 4 Florida Gators. The No. 5 Oregon Ducks round out the top five.

Here's the entire AP Top 25:

Rank Team Votes
1 Notre Dame (60) 1,500
2 Alabama 1,424
3 Ohio State 1,302
4 Florida 1,279
5 Oregon 1,250
6 Georgia 1,213
7 Kansas State 1,129
8 Stanford 1,094
9 LSU 1,051
10 Texas A&M 1,025
11 South Carolina 907
12 Oklahoma 851
13 Florida State 789
14 Clemson 691
15 Oregon State 638
16 Northern Illinois 534
17 UCLA 440
18 Utah State 379
19 Michigan 306
20 Boise State 276
21 Northwestern 266
22 Louisville 248
23 Nebraska 227
24 San Jose State 157
25 Kent State 117
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