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Sunday, November 18, 2012
Title-game opponent likely to come from SEC

By Matt Fortuna

BCS standings reaction: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC | Notre Dame

There was little mystery that Notre Dame would top the BCS standings during Sunday night's unveiling.

But now it is known that the Irish's potential title-game opponent -- pending a win Saturday at USC -- would most likely come from America's least favorite conference.

You can probably hear those S-E-C chants already.

Three SEC teams are right behind Notre Dame, led by No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia. Barring losses by either the Tide or Bulldogs this coming week, their SEC title matchup Dec. 1 would likely serve as a play-in contest for a BCS title game spot.

For the Irish, it simply comes down to handling that No. 1 label this weekend.

"I think our situation's a little bit different in that we're not carrying it very long," coach Brian Kelly said on "BCS Countdown." "Because it's a rivalry game, it's USC, our guys look forward to this game every year. It's the one that they circle on their calendar, so that's much more of our attention than being No. 1. And again, one game left for us. So all attention is on this one football game."