The college football season is nearing an end as we exit the regular-season schedule and move towards conference championships and bowl games.
It has been a wild and unpredictable season. We've witnessed powerhouse teams come crashing down, while underdog competitors have fought on and climbed the boards one game at a time.
But of all the surprises and twists, the most shocking is Notre Dame clinching a spot in the BCS title game.
The Irish, despite a tidal wave of preseason criticism that labeled them as irrelevant has-beens, were able to disregard the doubt and work their way to the top. And regardless of personal opinions and loyalties, no one can argue that they haven't earned it.
Who should be the second-ranked team in college football?
Despite constant doubt, the Irish were able to rack up one win at a time until their finale against USC. The unranked Trojans had nothing to lose, but they were still incapable of handing the Irish a loss.
Now that Notre Dame has cemented its perfect record, it will likely face either Georgia or Alabama in the national championship.
As for the remainder of the NCAA, plenty of middle-of-the-pack teams suffered losses during rivalry week, which makes this week a particularly interesting week for BCS rankings.
Notre Dame is king for now, but here's where the remaining teams could rank after the official standings are released Sunday night.
Projected BCS Rankings
1. Notre Dame (12-0)
Notre Dame remains the only top dog with a perfect record. We'll see them in the national championship.
2. Alabama (11-1)
Alabama suffered the Texas A&M loss, but few doubt that they're still the best team in college football. They'll have a chance to prove that against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
3. Georgia (11-1)
The Georgia Bulldogs have won six straight and feel people are too quick to crown Alabama as the best team in the SEC.
4. Florida (11-1)
Florida had a phenomenal year, but the loss to SEC rival Georgia has haunted them. The national title is out of the question, but a high-level bowl game is in their future.
5. Oregon (11-1)
Oregon fell against upset-artist Stanford and lost out on their championship hopes. Still, they have the best offense in the NCAA.
6. Kansas State (11-1)
Kansas State was a juggernaut until last week's loss to unranked Baylor. That inexplicable event lost them the No. 1 spot and spoiled the year for them. Now, fans will only remember what could have been.
7. Texas A&M (10-2)
Texas A&M is the best two-loss school in the county, and Johnny "Football" Manziel deserves the Heisman Trophy.
8. LSU (10-2)
A victory over Alabama would have drastically altered their fortunes for the better, but now they'll have to settle for a decent bowl game.
9. Stanford (10-2)
Stanford has knocked off some high-ranking opponents, including USC and Oregon, but their questionable loss to Washington has kept them out of the Top Five.
10. South Carolina (10-2)
South Carolina was the cream of the crop until back-to-back losses to LSU and Florida. They should secure a Top 10 finish, but they fell short of their potential.
11. Oklahoma (9-2)
12. Nebraska (10-2)
13. Florida State (10-2)
14. Clemson (10-2)
15. Oregon State (8-3)
16. UCLA (9-3)
17. Boise State (9-2)
18. Kent State (11-1)
19. Michigan (8-4)
20. Northwestern (9-3)
21. Utah State (10-2)
22. Northern Illinois
24. Oklahoma State
25. San Jose State