Aug 28, 2009, 12:00 PM EDT
You’ll have to cut me some slack, this blog wasn’t around when Lou Holtz made waves with his prediction for the BCS National Championship game.
In case you were under a rock (or in web-development chaos all week as well), here’s what you missed:
“I personally believe, if you ask me, ‘Who’s going to play in the national championship game?’ I’d say it’s going to be Florida and the University of Notre Dame,” Holtz said. “Now before anybody jumps up and down, let me explain this to you. They return 11 starters on offense, they return all three running backs, the two best wide receivers, and they have a great defense coming back.
“Not that they’re going to be the No. 2 team in the country,” Holtz continued. “But if you look at the schedule and say who’s going to end up 11-1 or 12-0, I don’t think anyone has a better chance than the University of Notre Dame.”
Now, ESPN’s other elder statesman, Beano Cook, goes on the record saying the exact same thing:
“It is now time, as I do in the last Wednesday of every month to pick the two teams to play for the national title. I didn’t do one in ’98, but I’ve had one team in every year since ’99, except the 2006 season… When you pick the two teams for the national title, you might be picking the two teams you think are the best or you might be picking the two teams that will play for the national title. I’m picking Florida and Notre Dame. I think Florida is one of the best teams in the country, but I don’t think Notre Dame is.
“Personally, I think the two best teams are Florida and Texas. But I think Notre Dame wins 11 or 12. They might have to win 12 to make it. If Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Notre Dame have one loss, Notre Dame has no shot.”
I’m not going to go through the list of people who had problems with Beano’s opinion, but it’s nearly as lengthy as the people ripping on Lou for his championship match-up as well.
Here’s the point of all this:
Hearing these predictions makes the tension for the season even more unbearable. Most fans that follow the Irish are incredibly gun shy after the last two seasons. Hearing Lou drink the Kool-Aid isn’t enough to get most of us to jump on the bandwagon, but hearing Beano, who still hasn’t lived down his Ron Powlus two Heismans prediction, put Notre Dame into the national championship game, makes you start wondering “what if.”
What if ND beats USC that Saturday in October?
What if the Irish put up big numbers against teams like Michigan, Michigan State, and BC?
What if the Irish walk into November undefeated?
Can you imagine the pure bedlam that will be taking place in Palo Alto over Thanksgiving weekend if the Irish are undefeated and control their own destiny?
Right now, it’s just easier to say “me neither,” and rip into Lou and Beano for being two grumpy old men.