BCS Coaches Poll, Week 15: Northern Illinois, Boise State could crash

Dave Reginek

Northern Illinois, Boise State finish in the top 16.

The undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish officially ended the season as the top-ranked team in the nation Sunday when the final USA Today Coaches' Poll was released.

The 12-0 Irish collected 56 of the 59 first-place votes for the third consecutive week, while the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide collected the final three first-place votes. Alabama (12-1) is projected to meet Notre Dame in BCS National Championship, Jan. 7, in Miami, FL.

On Saturday, Alabama defeated the Georgia Bulldogs, 32-28, in the SEC Championship. The loss dropped the Bulldogs (11-2) two spots in the rankings to No. 5.

The Oregon Ducks (11-1) and Florida Gators (11-1) were slotted No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

The biggest break in the Coaches Poll was the Boise St. Broncos (10-2) being ranked ahead of the Northern Illinois Huskies (12-1).

The Broncos, ranked 15th, and Huskies, 16th, are both looking to qualify for a BCS bowl berth. To do so, both need to finish in the top 16 in Sunday's final BCS standings -- the final Coaches' Poll rankings count for one third of the BCS standings - and be ranked higher than the other.

If neither finish in the top 16 then the Oklahoma Sooners will earn the BCS berth.

Knock out of this week's Coaches Poll was Kent State and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Badgers (No. 23) became the first school with five losses to finish in the top 25 since 1991. San Jose St. (No. 24) also finished in the top 25 in the final release.

Below is the complete final rankings.

Rank Team Record Points First Place Votes Previous Rank
1
Notre Dame
12-0 1470 56 1
2
Alabama
12-1 1417 3 2
3
Oregon
11-1 1313 0 4
4
Florida
11-1 1287 0 5
5
Georgia
11-2 1216 0 3
6
Kansas St.
11-1 1190 0 7
7
LSU
10-2 1111 0 6
8
Stanford
11-2 1047 0 9
9
Texas A&M
10-2 1039 0 8
10
South Carolina
10-2 947 0 10
11
Oklahoma
10-2 890 0 11
12
Florida St.
11-2 853 0 12
13
Clemson
10-2 769 0 14
14
Oregon St.
9-3 663 0 17
15
Boise St.
10-2 569 0 15
16
Northern Illinois
12-1 495 0 18
17
Northwestern
9-3 444 0 20
18
Louisville
10-2 409 0 23
19
UCLA
9-4 408 0 16
20
Utah State
10-2 334 0 22
21
Nebraska
10-3 328 0 13
22
Michigan
8-4 278 0 24
23
Wisconsin
8-5 115 0 NR
24
San Jose St.
10-2 110 0 NR
25
Texas
8-4 97 0 21
X
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