- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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What was a foregone conclusion became official early Sunday afternoon: Notre Dame is the nation's new No. 1 team.The Irish are the unanimous No. 1 in the Associated Press poll and gained 56 of 59 first-place votes in the USA Today Coaches' poll.
Alabama received two first-place votes and Georgia received the other.
Alabama is No. 2 in the AP poll as well, marking the first time the Irish and the Tide have been ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in that poll since a two-week stretch in 1967.
Notre Dame has not been the AP No. 1 since 1993.
The official BCS standings will not be released until 8:30 p.m. Sunday night, but it is clear that the formula is simple for the Irish: Win Saturday at USC, punch a ticket to the Jan. 7 BCS title game in Miami.
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2dEdward Aschoff and Alex Scarborough
3dDan Murphy and Mitch Sherman