New York, NY (Sports Network) - Notre Dame ended the regular season as the top-ranked college football team in the Associated Press poll for the first time since 1988.
The Fighting Irish beat USC last week and will play No. 2 Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7, 2013. Notre Dame will play for its first national title since 1988.
The Crimson Tide defeated Georgia by a 32-28 margin in the SEC Championship Game. Alabama will try to capture its second straight national title and third in four years.
Ohio State moved up one spot to the third spot. The Buckeyes are ineligible for the postseason in Urban Meyer's first year after the NCAA levied a one- year bowl ban as part of penalties stemming from Jim Tressel's tenure.
Florida is No. 4, Oregon is fifth and Georgia fell to sixth. Kansas State, Stanford, LSU and Texas A&M round out the top-10.
The second 10 consists of South Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida State, Clemson, Oregon State, Northern Illinois, UCLA, Utah State, Michigan and Boise State.
Northern Illinois jumped up three spots to No. 16 after beating Kent State for the Mid-American Conference title.
Northwestern, Louisville, Nebraska, San Jose State and Kent State are the last five teams ranked.