Oregon moved up a spot and passed Notre Dame in the Bowl Championship Series standings, moving into third place behind leader Alabama and Kansas State.

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One down, one to go for Oregon.

The Ducks moved up a spot and passed Notre Dame in the Bowl Championship Series standings on Sunday, moving into third place behind Alabama and Kansas State.

Oregon is coming off its biggest victory of the season, winning 62-51 at USC on Saturday night. That result, combined with Notre Dame’s triple-overtime victory against a middling Pittsburgh team, helped nudge the Ducks by the Irish this week.

Alabama (.9957) is a solid No. 1 in both the polls and the BCS computer ratings this week. The Crimson Tide needs only to win out to reach the BCS National Championship Game for the third time in four seasons.

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Kansas State (.9318) is third in the polls and in the computers, but second overall.

The Ducks (.9166) are a solid second in both polls, but still fifth in the computers.

Oregon has a stronger schedule than Kansas State from this point forward, which many observers conclude makes the Ducks — if they keep winning — a strong bet to pass the Wildcats and earn a spot in the BCS title game on Jan. 7 in Miami Gardens, Fla.

The Ducks play at California on Saturday before finishing their regular season against two teams in the BCS top 15, Stanford and Oregon State. If they get to the Pac-12 title game, UCLA or USC would be the likely opponent. Both are in the BCS top 20.

Kansas State is at Texas Christian and Baylor the next two weeks, before finishing with Texas on Dec. 1. The Longhorns are 17th in the BCS standings.

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein has an undisclosed injury; his absence would be a major setback for the Wildcats.

Notre Dame (.9050) is in fourth place, with two opponents with a winning record left on its schedule.

Kentucky fires

coach Phillips

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Joker Phillips knew after Saturday’s embarrassing 40-0 home loss to Vanderbilt that keeping his job would be tough. The end came a day later.

Athletic director Mitch Barnhart announced Phillips’ firing Sunday in an open letter on the Wildcats’ website.

The letter stated Phillips would be let go, effective at the end of the season. But athletic-department spokesman DeWayne Peevy later said the coach’s status for the final two games has not been determined.

Phillips, 49, is 12-23 in three seasons at Kentucky.

BCS standings
Team (last week) Avg.
1. Alabama (1) .9957
2. Kansas St. (2) .9318
3. Oregon (4) .9166
4. Notre Dame (3) .9050
5. Georgia (6) .8171
6. Florida (7) .7863
7. Louisiana St. (5) .7054
8. South Carolina (8) .6206
9. Louisville (10) .6040
10. Florida St. (9) .5969
11. Oregon St. (11) .5965
12. Oklahoma (12) .5812
13. Clemson (13) .5772
14. Stanford (14) .5086
15. Texas A&M (16) .5060
16. Nebraska (20) .3976
17. Texas (23) .3593
18. UCLA (NR) .2533
19. USC (17) .1706
20. Louisiana Tech (25) .1584
21. Mississippi St. (15) .1453
22. Texas Tech (18) .1422
23. Rutgers (NR) .1214
24. Northwestern (NR) .0962
25. Toledo (NR) .0796
The BCS Average is calculated by averaging the percent totals of the Harris Interactive, USA Today coaches and computer polls.
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