BCS projection: UCLA slated for No. 17 in final standings, just behind Northern Illinois

Thearon W. Henderson

The Bruins' close loss to the Stanford Cardinal in the Pac-12 title game shouldn't knock them out of the top 20 in the final BCS standings to come out on Sunday night.

With the regular season now complete, all that awaits are the final BCS standings which will be announced at 5:30 p.m. PT on ESPN on Sunday. But before then, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has put out his projections for those standings and has the UCLA Bruins ranked No. 17 after the Bruins lost a close game to the Stanford Cardinal in the Pac-12 championship game.

Palm has the Bruins barely trailing the No. 16 Northern Illinois Huskies and still as the fourth-best team in the Pac-12 behind the No. 4 Oregon Ducks, No. 7 Stanford and No. 14 Oregon St. Beavers.

According to Palm, the final top five in the BCS will be the No. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide, No. 3 Florida Gators, Oregon and the No. 5 Kansas St. Wildcats. If it shakes out like expected, the national championship game will feature two of the most storied programs in the country in Notre Dame and Alabama.

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