-- Coming into Saturday, Oregon and Kansas State had the inside track to college football's national championship and the Southeastern Conference's run of six straight BCS titles was in jeopardy.

Then No. 2 K-State got thumped 52-24 by unranked Baylor and top-ranked Oregon fell in overtime to No. 14 Stanford, 17-14.

Now the SEC is alive and well.

And how's this for a possible national title game: Alabama vs. Notre Dame.

A week after Alabama lost to Texas A&M, more upsets re-opened door for the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide, which shut out lower-division Western Carolina 49-0 on Saturday.

Georgia has a title shot, too. And so does Florida.

But the happiest of all about the Ducks and Wildcats going down had to be Notre Dame and its fans.

The Fighting Irish were third in the BCS standings and the AP Top 25, behind K-State and Oregon entering the weekend. Notre Dame was staring at what must have felt unthinkable for the storied program: Finishing unbeaten and not even getting a chance to play for the BCS championship.

The Irish took care of running their record to 11-0 with a 38-0 shutout at home against Wake Forest.

Then everything fell into place.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

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  • Devin Gardner, James Morris

    Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner (12) pulls away from Iowa linebacker James Morris (44) for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

  • James Wilder Jr, L.A. Goree, Kenneth Tate

    Florida State running back James Wilder, Jr., center, rushes past Maryland linebackers Kenneth Tate (6) and L.A. Goree (53) in the second half of an NCAA college football game in College Park, Md., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Florida State won 41-14. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • Darrell Hazell

    Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell gets doused by his players after they defeated Bowling Green 31-24 in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Bowling Green, Ohio. (AP Photo/J.D. Pooley)

  • Dominique Swope, Bacarri Rambo, Shawn Wiliams

    Georgia Southern fullback Dominique Swope (6) reaches for the goal line as Georgia's Bacarri Rambo (18) and Shawn Williams (36) defend in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 in Athens, Ga. Swope came up short of the end zone. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • Christian Powell, Travis Feeney, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Shaq Thompson

    Colorado running back Christian Powell, center, is stopped by Washington defenders, from rear left, Travis Feeney, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Shaq Thompson in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Boulder, Colo., on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Ray Polk, Bishop Sankey

    Washington tailback Bishop Sankey, right, is pulled down after a short gain by Colorado defensive back Ray Polk in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Boulder, Colo., on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Steve Clark, Susan Clark

    Steve and Susan Clark sit in the stands before an NCAA college football game between Southern California and UCLA, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif.(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Mike Gillislee, Jermaine Hough

    Florida running back Mike Gillislee (23) makes a move to get around Jacksonville State cornerback Jermaine Hough (2) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Onterio McCalebb

    Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb (23) walks into the end zone for a touchdown against Alabama A&M during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

  • D.J. Swearinger,

    South Carolina safety D.J. Swearinger (36) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wofford, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)

  • Eric Breitenstein,

    Wofford fullback Eric Breitenstein (7) scores a touchdown late in the first half of an NCAA college football game against South Carolina, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)

  • Tre Mason, Cedric Clayborn

    Auburn running back Tre Mason (21) carries the ball in for a touchdown past Alabama A&M defender Cedric Clayborn (18) during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

  • Mike Gillislee

    Florida running back Mike Gillislee (23) scores a touchdown on a 7-yard run against Jacksonville State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

  • Kain Colter, William Gholston, Max Bullough

    Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, bottom, is sacked in the end zone for a safety by Michigan State's William Gholston with help from Max Bullough (40) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

  • Tajh Boyd

    Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd greets the fans during the Tiger Walk before their NCAA college football game against North Carolina State, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

  • J.C. Coleman, Spenser Rositano

    Virginia Tech running back J.C. Coleman cuts back to get past Boston College's Spenser Rositano (47) during the first half of a NCAA football game at Alumni Stadium in Boston Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

  • Tyler Wilson

    Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson (8) throws a pass against Mississippi State in the second quarter of their NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

  • Colton Chapple, Dylan Drake

    Harvard quarterback Colton Chapple (19) tries to avoid a sack by Yale linebacker Dylan Drake (99) during the first half of their NCAA college football game in Cambridge, Mass., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

  • Towson running back Terrance West (28) runs during the second quarter of a NCAA college football game against New Hampshire at Cowell Stadium in Durham, N.H., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Josh Gibney)

  • Chase Rettig, Bruce Taylor, J.R. Collins

    Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig throws under pressure from Virginia Tech's Bruce Taylor (51) and J.R. Collins during the first half of a NCAA football game at Alumni Stadium in Boston Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

  • Tyler Russell, Chris Smith

    Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell (17) is sacked from behind by Arkansas defensive end Chris Smith in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

  • Towson receiver Erron Banks (16) is congratulated by teammate Dominique Booker after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter of a NCAA college football game against New Hampshire at Cowell Stadium in Durham, N.H., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Josh Gibney)

  • AJ McCarron, Christion Jones, DJ Fluker

    Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) hugs teammate Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones (22) after throwing him a 29 yard touchdown pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Western Carolina at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. At right is Alabama offensive lineman D.J. Fluker (76). (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • New Hampshire receiver Joey Orlando (84) makes a catch for a two-point conversion over Towson's Tye Smith (24) during the first quarter of a NCAA college football game at Cowell Stadium in Durham, N.H., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Josh Gibney)

  • Michael Johnson, C.J. Mosley, Vinnie Sunseri

    Western Carolina running back Michael Johnson (5) is stopped by Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) and defensive back Vinnie Sunseri (3) during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • New Hampshire quarterback Andy Vailas (14) uses a block by teammate Harold Spears (89) on Towson defensive end Frank Beltre (27) on his way to a 73-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of a NCAA college football game at Cowell Stadium in Durham, N.H., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Josh Gibney)

  • Mark Speir

    Western Carolina coach Mark Speir yells instructions to his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Towson defensive back Walt Dunston (35) takes down New Hampshire quarterback Sean Goldrich (5) after a short gain during the first quarter of a NCAA college football game at Cowell Stadium in Durham, N.H., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Josh Gibney)

  • Derek Russell

    Yale quarterback Derek Russell (13) passes the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

  • Troy Mitchell, Jesse Williams, C.J. Mosley

    Western Carolina quarterback Troy Mitchell (10) tries to break away from the tackle of Alabama defensive lineman Jesse Williams (54) and linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Cameron Truss, Paul Swan, Trayion Durham

    Bowling Green's Cameron Truss (8) and Paul Swan, right, tackle Kent State's Trayion Durham (34) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Bowling Green, Ohio. (AP Photo/J.D. Pooley)

  • Allen Robinson, Antonio Marshall

    Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson (8) catches a pass in front of Indiana cornerback Antonio Marshall (28) for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Gary Nova

    Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova passes against Cincinnati in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Trayion Durham, Spencer Keith

    Kent State's Trayion Durham (34) can not hang on to the handoff from Spencer Keith during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Bowling Green, , Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Bowling Green, Ohio. Kent State recovered the loose ball. (AP Photo/J.D. Pooley)

  • Allen Robinson, Antonio Marshall

    Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson (8) catches a pass in front of Indiana cornerback Antonio Marshall (28) for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Nick Saban

    Alabama coach Nick Saban reacts during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Western Carolina at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Saban was angered when one of his players committed a personal foul against Western Carolina's punter. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Brendon Kay, Jamil Merrell

    Cincinnati quarterback Brendon Kay (11) passes under pressure from Rutgers defensive lineman Jamil Merrell (92) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Gary Onuekwusi, Trent Steelman

    Army quarterback Trent Steelman (8) gestures as he scores a touchdown in front of Temple linebacker Gary Onuekwusi (36) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Fitzgerald Toussaint

    Michigan running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (28) gets carted off the field by paramedics after getting injured in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

  • Camerron Cheatham, Jeremy Deering

    Rutgers wide receiver Jeremy Deering is tackled by Cincinnati defensive back Camerron Cheatham (21) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Leon Green, Shaun Joplin, Luke Wollet

    Kent State's Leon Green (3) breaks up a pass intended for Bowling Green's Shaun Joplin while Kent's Luke Wollet (39) defends, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Bowling Green, Ohio. (AP Photo/J.D. Pooley)

  • Brendon Kay, Brandon Jones

    Cincinnati quarterback Brendon Kay (11) runs past Rutgers defensive back Brandon Jones in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Devin Gardner, Vincent Smith

    Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner (12) celebrates a touchdown with running back Vincent Smith (2) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

  • Cadets hold an American flag in honor of Military Appreciation Day during halftime of an NCAA college football game between Army and Temple at Michie Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Logan Ryan, Chris Moore

    Rutgers defensive back Logan Ryan (11) intercepts a pass intended for Cincinnati wide receiver Chris Moore (15) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Brady Hoke, Denard Robinson

    Michigan head coach Brady Hoke,right, greets quarterback Denard Robinson during a pre-game ceremony for seniors before an NCAA college football game against Iowa at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

  • George Winn

    Cincinnati running back George Winn (32) is stopped after a short gain against Rutgers during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • George Winn

    Cincinnati running back George Winn (32) is stopped after a short gain against Rutgers during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Anthon Samuel, Luke Wollet

    Bowling Green's Anthon Samuel (6) carries the ball past Kent State's Luke Wollet (39) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Bowling Green, Ohio. (AP Photo/J.D. Pooley)

  • Chad Abram, Levern Jacobs

    Maryland's Levern Jacobs, left, fumbles the ball after being hit by Florida State fullback Chad Abram on a kickoff return during the first half of an NCAA college football game in College Park, Md., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Florida State recovered the ball on the play. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • Eddie Lacy, Caleb Hawkins

    Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) scores on a 7 yard touchdown run as Western Carolina defensive lineman Caleb Hawkins (93) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)


Oregon (10-1), the highest scoring team in the country at 55 points per games, couldn't shake free of Stanford's tough defense. The Cardinal tied it late on a juggling TD catch that was called incomplete on the field and overturned to a catch by replay.

In OT, Oregon missed a field goal and Stanford made one. The Ducks were done.

"It hurts and as I told them, you'd like to have some words that would take the pain out of it, but there aren't," Ducks coach Chip Kelly said. "We'll feel bad for a little bit of time and we'll bounce back from it."

Kansas State's first loss of the season was far more decisive. Collin Klein and the Wildcats (10-1) lost 52-24 at Baylor, and there went Kansas State's BCS title hopes and Klein's status as Heisman Trophy front-runner. He was picked off three times.

It was the first time since Dec. 1, 2007, that the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the AP Top 25 lost on the same day. That year, Missouri and West Virginia were the upset victims, giving Ohio State and LSU a chance to play for the national title. The Tigers won the second of the SEC's six straight.

When the latest BCS standings and AP rankings come out Sunday Notre Dame almost certainly will be No. 1.

Alabama, fourth in the BCS last week, will most likely be in second place this week, followed by SEC rivals Georgia and Florida.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly won't need to go on television with Oprah Winfrey, as he said he would earlier this week, to plead his team's case for playing in the BCS title game. Just beat rival Southern California next week at the Los Angeles Coliseum and book the plane tickets to Miami, where the BCS national title game will be played Jan. 7.

USC, the preseason No. 1 team, lost again on Saturday, 38-28 to UCLA, to fall to 7-4. And Trojans star quarterback Matt Barkley was knocked out of Saturday's game by a hard hit. No word yet on whether he'll play next week, but if he doesn't Notre Dame's path gets even smoother.

As for the SEC, it's pretty simple.

Alabama (10-1) and Georgia (10-1) have already sealed up spots in the conference title game on Dec. 1, but both have games still to play.

The Tide plays hapless rival Auburn next week. The Bulldogs face Georgia Tech. If they both win, the SEC title game again becomes a de facto national semifinal, with the winner likely advancing to Miami, trying to extend win the league's seventh straight national crown.

Sprinkle in a Georgia Tech win and the Bulldogs beating Alabama in the SEC title game, and No. 7 Florida (10-1) could be the SEC's representative, though the Gators have to play at No. 10 Florida State (10-1).

The Seminoles aren't out of the race yet either, especially if USC shocks Notre Dame. Though if that happens, just about any team with only one loss will be making claim to be in the big game, even Oregon and Kansas State if they can win their conferences.

Or consider this.

USC beats Notre Dame, Florida beats Florida State, and either Georgia or Alabama finishes 12-1. Add it up and it could be an all-SEC championship game for the second straight year.

Or there could be split national championship. Undefeated Ohio State is No. 6 in the AP Top 25 but ineligible to win the BCS title because it is NCAA-banned from playing in a bowl game.

If all the other contenders falter, Ohio State could be the lone unbeaten left standing and lay claim to the AP title.

Sounds crazy, but after Saturday night, nothing seems far-fetched.

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AP Sports Writer Anne M. Peterson in Eugene, Ore., contributed.

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