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COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK

Notes: In BCS, Notre Dame makes a big leap

Now Notre Dame is ahead of Oregon in the BCS standings.

Alonzo Adams/Associated Press

Now Notre Dame is ahead of Oregon in the BCS standings.

Now Notre Dame is ahead of Oregon in the BCS standings.

On Sunday, the Fighting Irish became the latest team to move past Oregon, taking third place behind Alabama and Kansas State. The Ducks remained fourth.

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Florida fell out of the top five with a 17-9 loss to Georgia, helping to set the field in the race for the BCS title game with a month to go in the regular season.

Alabama is locked in at No. 1, and if the Crimson Tide keep winning they will play for their third championship in four years. The Wildcats (.9400), Fighting Irish (.9147), and Ducks (.9136) need to remain unbeaten, and keep an eye on each other.

The computers ratings are still holding the Ducks back because their strength of schedule lags behind the other contenders.

The Ducks are second in the Harris poll and USA Today coaches’ poll, but ranked fifth by the computers ratings.

Kansas State is third in each poll and Notre Dame is fourth. But according to the computers, the Wildcats and Fighting Irish are tied for first.

Oregon’s upcoming schedule could help solve the Ducks’ problem. Oregon plays three opponents in the BCS top 25 (Southern Cal, Stanford, and Oregon State) in its last four games, starting with the Trojans in Los Angeles on Saturday. The Pac-12 title game, if the Ducks get there, should give Oregon another quality opponent.

Notre Dame, with four games left, faces only one more team with a winning record (USC). Kansas State has three winning teams in its four remaining opponents, though only No. 25 Texas is in the BCS top 25.

Alabama is an overwhelming No. 1 in the Harris poll and USA Today coaches’ polls, and comes in third behind Notre Dame and Kansas State in the computer ratings. The Tide’s BCS average is .9759.

Lattimore’s knee dislocated

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said running back Marcus Lattimore had his right knee dislocated against Tennessee and the injury is something he can come back from to play football again. Spurrier visited Lattimore on Sunday and said the junior had a good attitude about his condition. Spurrier said South Carolina team doctor Jeffrey Guy put Lattimore’s knee back in at the hospital. Guy said in a statement that Lattimore’s knee was hyperextended and resulted in injuries to several ligaments. Guy said there were no fractures, broken bones, or other injuries and Lattimore’s surgically repaired left knee was not affected. ‘‘Marcus has already begun the process of rehabilitation prior to surgery and to his eventual return to football,’’ the statement continued . . . Auburn coach Gene Chizik says freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace is ‘‘in strong consideration’’ to take the reins of a struggling offense. Wallace was one of the few bright spots in the Tigers’ 63-21 loss to No. 16 Texas A&M. Starter Clint Moseley sustained an ankle injury during the game and former starter Kiehl Frazier was sacked four times.

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