Stanford moved up five positions in the Bowl Championship Series standings Sunday, one day after its 17-14 upset of top-ranked Oregon.

Thanks to a boost in the computer rankings, the Cardinal is No. 8 in the latest BCS. That's significant because it could open a path into the Rose Bowl if Stanford doesn't win the Pac-12 championship.

The top 14 teams in the final standings are eligible for at-large berths in the four major bowls. Stanford's current position provides a cushion in the event it loses to UCLA on Saturday (3:30 p.m., FOX) or in the Pac-12 title game Nov. 30.

If fifth-ranked Oregon were to win the conference and jump into the national championship game, the Rose Bowl could select Stanford as an at-large participant -- so long as it's in the top 14.

The Cardinal is No. 11 in the two human polls (Harris and Coaches) that make up two-thirds of the BCS standings. But its computer average is No. 5, thanks in part to having played five teams in the current BCS top 25: Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona and Washington.

Notre Dame is No. 1: The Fighting Irish are a victory away from playing for the BCS title. Alabama and Georgia each need two wins and could have to go through each other.

A day after Oregon and Kansas State lost to give up control of the BCS race, the Fighting Irish (.9973) moved into first place in the standings for the first time.


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Notre Dame (11-0), ranked No. 1 in both polls and by the computer ratings, needs only to beat slumping rival USC on Saturday in Los Angeles to earn its first trip to the BCS title game.

And the Fighting Irish won't have to face USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who has been ruled out of the game after suffering a sprained shoulder in the Trojans' loss to UCLA.

Max Wittek will make his first career start in place of Barkley.

Alabama (.9333) and Georgia (.8763) also have rivalry games Saturday. The Crimson Tide hosts Auburn and the Bulldogs play Georgia Tech at home.

If the favorites win, the Southeastern Conference championship game will be a national semifinal of sorts, with the winner advancing to the BCS title game.

Florida (10-1) is in fourth heading into a huge game at 10th-place Florida State. The Seminoles (10-1) also will have an ACC title game to play.

Oregon (10-1) dropped to fifth and Kansas State (10-1) was sixth.

Notre Dame and Alabama also are 1-2 in The Associated Press rankings.

Tennessee fires coach: Derek Dooley was fired as the Volunteers' coach a day after a 41-18 loss to Vanderbilt guaranteed Tennessee (4-7, 0-7 SEC) its third consecutive losing season. Dooley's teams were 15-21 and 4-19 in the SEC.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.