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Bowl game projections 2012: Irish to face Alabama, Northern Illinois likely headed to Orange Bowl

Notre Dame is expected to face Nick Saban's Crimson Tide for the BCS title, while Northern Illinois aims to make history with an Orange Bowl trip.


After a thrilling championship week in college football, the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish are now projected to square off with the SEC-champion Alabama Crimson Tide next month for the BCS national championship, according to SB Nation's latest bowl predictions.

The Crimson Tide appear to hold a slight edge over both Kansas State and Oregon for the right to take on Brian Kelly's Irish, following an extremely hard-fought victory over Georgia in Saturday's SEC title game. Due to its strong strength-of-schedule numbers from playing in the SEC, Alabama remains the frontrunner to finish at No. 2 in the BCS computers.

Fresh off a double overtime MAC championship victory over Kent State, the Northern Illinois Huskies and star quarterback Jordan Lynch are also currently projected in a BCS bowl. The Huskies rank No. 16 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll after a promising 12-1 campaign, and are slotted to face the Florida State Seminoles on New Year's Day in the Orange Bowl at the moment.

Here are SB Nation's latest BCS bowl projections:

Team Date Matchup

BCS National Championship (Miami) Notre Dame Alabama 1/7/2013 BCS 1 vs. BCS 2

Fiesta (Glendale, AZ) Kansas State Oregon 1/3/2013 Big 12 1 vs. At-large 1

Sugar (New Orleans) Florida Louisville 1/2/2013 SEC 1 vs. At-large 2

Orange (Miami) Florida State NIU 1/1/2013 ACC 1 vs. At-large 3

Rose (Pasadena) Stanford Wisconsin 1/1/2013 Pac-12 1 vs. Big Ten 1