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Irish open at No. 5 in 1st BCS standings

Notre Dame’s path to a BCS bowl is crystal clear, the Irish just have to keep doing what they have been doing after Saturday’s 20-13 overtime win over Stanford.

Notre Dame opened at No. 5 in the season’s first BCS standings Sunday, and as along as the Irish stay in the top eight in the final standings, they automatically earn a spot in a BCS bowl. Notre Dame can also be selected for a BCS bowl if it finishes the season in the top 14.

Alabama, Florida, Oregon and Kansas State were all in front of Notre Dame in the first poll. Florida was the highest ranked team by the computers, and Notre Dame was No. 2 in the computer rankings.

Irish coach Brian Kelly said during his Sunday afternoon teleconference that the team will take pride in being highly ranked in the BCS poll, but he also said the standings are not something he talks about with his players.

“We talk more in terms of being a championship program and let the rest take care of itself,” Kelly said. “It’s not something that we specifically talk about.

“We don’t have a tie-in (BCS bowl), obviously, from a conference standpoint. So if we’re talking about postseason, the only thing that we talk about is really the Bowl Championship Series. Championship football for us at Notre Dame, I think you can make the conclusion that it equals BCS.”

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