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Irish 3rd in BCS, 4th in polls

Oct 29, 2012, 1:38 AM EDT

NDBCS_USP

After another signature victory, Notre Dame continues its slow climb to the top of college football. The Irish are No. 4 in both the AP Poll and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, behind Alabama, Oregon and Kansas State. The Irish moved up thanks to a loss by Florida, and have significantly cut the distance between them and the Wildcats as well.

More importantly, the Irish jumped to No. 3 in the BCS Standings, moving up from No. 5 and leaping Oregon, who is plagued by a soft non-conference schedule. Of the undefeated contenders, the Irish rank the lowest of the four teams in the polls, but are the computer darlings, tied with Kansas State for the highest non-human ranking. Notre Dame ranked first in two computer rankings, the Colley Matrix and the Massey rankings, coming in second in the rest of the polls, a reflection on the Irish schedule, which has certainly been criticized lately, but still holds challenging by the computers indexes.

With four title contenders undefeated, the debate will likely rage on over who the two most deserving teams are to play for BCS Championship. And while its certainly interesting debate fodder, it’s a little bit like deciding who the bad guy is with 30 minutes left in a whodunit. Each team (and their fan bases) can likely make a fairly persuasive case to be included in the top two, and just as easily each could stumble in the weeks ahead.

To his credit, when interviewed on ESPN Sunday night, Brian Kelly continued to say he wants no part in poll-watching.

“I think I’ll leave that up to the professionals,” Kelly joked on ESPN. “We’ll just work on practice and football. That’s a lot more comfortable for me.”

This is the high water mark for the Irish in the history of the BCS, matching the highest ranking for the Irish from 2002, the day after the Irish beat Florida State. This is the first time in the history of the BCS that Notre Dame has been in the top five for three consecutive weeks.

That kind of stat, along with the national title hype that is bound to surround Notre Dame simply turns up the pressure on routine football games, like the one Notre Dame is set to play against Pitt on Saturday. Yet as we’ve seen with Purdue and BYU, there is no easy win for the Irish, even if the gambling line opens up at 17.5 points, like it did this afternoon at the Wynn.

And through all of the hysteria, Kelly knows it’ll be doubly important for his team to continue with the concentration that got them this far, avoiding any of the “noise” that comes with being near the top of college football.

“It will continue to get louder and louder, but I think we’ve already addressed it and we’ll continue to address it,” Kelly said. “If they fall trap to that, they’ll lose. And I know this group does not want to lose any football games. They’ve adhered to all of the things that we’ve asked them to do. We will continue to do that. But I think it’s important that you have to mention it every week, and you have to keep talking about it or you’re going to fall victim to that.”

  1. aceinthehole12 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Irish for sure need Oregon to lose to USC. Handle business against Pitt-BC-Wake and then beat USC to finish number two. I wonder what would happen if LSU beat Bama though ? Happened last year and they still ended up in the title game. I don’t know either way I hate the BCS and I can’t wait til a *real* playoff system is in college football.

    Go Irish !

    • NotreDan - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:46 AM

      The other simpler scenario would be for kstate to lose while we win out. The problem with LSU beating Bama is that those 2 teams with 1 loss probably get ranked higher than an undefeated ND.

      • fatlikereflexes - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:23 AM

        I see Dan getting all the thumbs down but he is right. As much as you might hate them the SEC has won the last 6 National Championships with 4 different teams. Until someone knocks them off their roost they are going to be seen as the best conference. Especially after last year. Go Irish.

      • ndfaithful - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        That would be a HUGE debate. I think it would be possible, but unlikely that either LSU or Alabama with one loss would be ranked above undefeated K-State, Oregon, or ND teams.

      • joeschu - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        Look at the non-conference opponents of the teams not playing in the SEC’s specially formulated ESPN echo chamber…

        LSU: N. Texas, Washington, Idaho, Towson
        Alabama: Michigan, W. Kentucky, Florida Atlantic

        No no no no. Every single media outlet said the Irish would be fortunate to get 8 wins against this schedule. They can’t have it both ways. We can’t suffer the “jump” factor of being ranked lower in the pre-season beauty pageant while also being told that our schedule suddenly is easy. I know ESPN needs this to be true, but it doesn’t make it so.

        Alabama and LSU are playing an elimination game, just like the Irish are playing every Saturday for the rest of the season. Don’t let this sort of BS perpetuate itself.

      • joeschu - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:26 AM

        Oops… forgot the mighty & powerful Western Carolina in Alabama’s list of non echo chamber opponents.

      • nudeman - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        NotreDan
        Disagree. ND goes undefeated and those teams have a loss … no way they’re ranked higher. Keep in mind ND’s last win will have been against USC in the Colinauseum. A fairly impressive finish

      • aceinthehole12 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:34 PM

        Sad but true.

      • NotreDan - Oct 30, 2012 at 7:27 AM

        Nudeman, I hope you’re right bro. Maybe I’m just so desensitized by all the bullshit from all sides for so long.

    • bernhtp - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:47 AM

      I don’t think Oregon or K-State will lose, though Oregon will have more opportunity to do so. Despite their seeming invincibility, I think it more likely that Alabama will lose and I don’t believe that that there is a scenario where a once-beaten Alabama gets put over an unbeaten Notre Dame despite the SEC bias and anti-ND bigotry. ND may need to get some style points, especially with obvious offensive development, during the upcoming weeks.

      • joeschu - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:38 AM

        At that point, Alabama’s non conference schedule HAS to bite them in the ass.

  2. yaketyyacc - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    all the talk of playing for the National Championship is moot. how many teams have already been crowned, and have disapeared. there are four games left. each one has to be played one at a time.
    I believe USC will lose to Oregon, and will not embrace the “glass trophy”. but like the jilted boyfreind, if they cannot have the trophy, STOP Notre Dame from getting it, at all costs…. remember, the wounded animal is the most dangerous.
    Irish, listen to your coach: never mind the polls, they are not teams, but Pitt, BC, Wake Forest and USC are. THE IRISH ARE COMING!

    • drdannddad - Oct 29, 2012 at 7:04 AM

      Agreed! ND must focus on Pitt exclusively, take care of our business, and pay no attention to what other teams are doing. There is still a lot of football to be played, and ND can only hold up it’s end of the bargain. Focus will be critical these next several weeks.

    • 9irish - Oct 29, 2012 at 7:21 AM

      I agree with all of that. Don’t forget, Pitt and BC are not unfamiliar with beating ND on occasion. Wake Forest is a dark horse that would be remembered forever.
      USC, always a hell of a game, and they will be obsessed with derailing the train. BUT, if ND goes in there undefeated I think they will be so motivated, and still ticked about last year, that I think they will take care of business.

      Go Irish

    • joeschu - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Totally agree, but since no one (we know of) on this discussion is suiting up or assembling the gameplan for this weekend, we’re allowed to get ahead of “the process.” ;-)

      • 9irish - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:38 PM

        joe, oh hell yeah. That’s our job, as long as the coaches and players aren’t figuring out where to put the new Nat’l Championship banner in their den yet, we’ll be alright.

  3. phillyj - Oct 29, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    And Brent Musburger sits alone in a dimly lit room, sipping gin and muttering Elton John lyrics to himself.

    • NotreDan - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      Hahahahaha.

      Post of the year.

    • 9irish - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      Man, I kept wondering where in the hell he was going with that. He’s been around forever, so I can take him. It was interesting how he and Herbie had become enlightened by the end of the game. They were writing it off even before I was.

      • irish4006 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        Not Herbie. I think he has been very fair in his assessment of pretty much all the teams. He may be the only one out there really watching all the games, taking notes and analyzing. Even when he said unflattering things about ND, he seemed fair and pointed out things that also had the fans worried.

      • 9irish - Oct 30, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        4006, I buy that. Just generalizing. Musberger just goes dramatically goofy sometimes, for whoever is in the driver’s seat at the moment.
        Herbie is Ohio State all the way, but never lets it bleed thru. Very good at his job
        .
        I think the media is so influenced by each other sometimes, nobody wants to be the odd man out. I highly doubt that ALL of them thought the Irish were going to be stomped in that game, just kind of towed the line. (Except for Lou of course)

  4. 1historian - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    Well said, sir – well said.

  5. North of Denver - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    What was the name of that D-End that defected to South Florida? His loss was supposed to be a death knell …can’t remember. Also, wasn’t there a recruit that was supposed to come in to shore up our secondary? …just can’t remember his name either.

    Regardless of what happens the remainder of the season, these RKGs who stuck with the program are deserving of their ranking and any other accolades that may come along.

    • gtizzo - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:16 AM

      His name was “Wish I was in South Bend with a football team that is 8-0 and number 3 in the nation”!!!!

    • dmac4real - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      “Also, wasn’t there a recruit that was supposed to come in to shore up our secondary?”

      Yea—His name is KeiVarae Russell.

      That kid has been phenomenal and is getting little to no credit. He is everything we wanted Darby, or Shepard to be. (In fairness to Tee, he would still be here if he could, just academically couldnt qualify. Its kinda a shame that ND didnt telll him that before he came…best of luck to him.)

      • nudeman - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        I remember someone posting here before the first game something like “and at some point in the season, there will be a signature win, and a kid in South Florida will be watching from his couch, muttering WTF was I thinking?”

        One of my favorite posts here, ever. Only thing I’d add to it is

        “with 19 year old wife bitching at him for eating all the Cheetos in their $300/month apartment and newborn with a dirty diaper wailing in the background”

        Actually, I don’t think about him much anymore. As Hawk would say “He gone”

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:04 PM

        Nobody with any self respect quotes Hawk…C’mon Nude

  6. bernhtp - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    While Kelly will never admit it, he needs to finally work on getting some style points from the games in the next weeks. He also needs to use this competitive break as an opportunity to work on the passing game and special teams.

    • c4evr - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      May be too late for style points… this past game represents the most style points they could get this year and they optimized the opportunity. USC can be another one if they can somehow beat Oregon. We should all know where ND will land after this weekend’s showdowns for ‘Bama and the Ducks, provided they run the table.

      • bernhtp - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        The point is that we cannot afford Purdue/BYU-type performances. We need to thrash the next three teams, show more offensive development, and then beat USC.

  7. gtizzo - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    Pat Forde formerly of ESPN now with Rivals.com is calling Coach Brian Kelly “Big Game Brian”? Does the board agree? Thumbs up if you agree, thumbs down if you think it is premature.

    • c4evr - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      We’ll see in a month…

      • gtizzo - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:45 AM

        Kelly has beaten USC at home before…

      • c4evr - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        Unless he coached the SC receiver on how to drop a slippery pass, I don’t really think it qualifies as ‘beating’ SC at home.

      • ndirish86 - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        c4evr – OK, if you are going to take away USC’s key mistakes, to keep the comparison fair, let’s take away ND’s key mistakes too… taking away a gazillion ND turnovers, we win going away.

  8. bernhtp - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    As an alum, I always have an unbridled optimism about Notre Dame’s football season. However, deep inside there is always a dark reality developed from many years of having these hopes brutally dashed.

    This weekend exorcised my lingering demons of doubt. I’m an unreserved believer. This team is not only very good, but has a special character. They believe.

    Before the game, I had a long conversation with a player’s dad. He too had a few doubts a week ago, but told me that these were now erased and ND was going to win this game. He was convinced for all of the specific reasons that emerged during the game.

    Anyway, I have my wife working on accommodations for Miami in January.

    • shamrockos - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      I drank the kool aid after Saturday night.

      GO IRISH!

  9. crturner84 - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    Hopefully USC and LSU win this weekend. And the ND wins out. Go Irish!

  10. ndgoldandblue - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    While it’s conceivable for the Irish to have a letdown against either Pitt, BC, or Wake Forest, I don’t think there will be, and here’s why. Against Purdue, Michigan and even as recently as the first half of the BYU game, I don’t think the Irish knew who they were offensively. They were still trying to find themselves. Now, I think it’s perfectly clear that the Irish have found their offensive identity: a running football team.

    I think BK and company always thought that they could run the football well, but I’m not sure Kelly always trusted that the running game would be there to win the game for them. Now, they’re sure of it, and I think they really discovered that fact in the second half of the BYU game. This team’s strength is in running the football and controlling the clock. We have three (some might say four) great running backs and an offensive line that is suited more for run blocking (though they did a great job of pass blocking against Oklahoma). To respond to bern, I don’t think Kelly is going to try to work on the passing game a whole lot more in these upcoming three games because they don’t have to. I think he’ll just stick with what works (running the ball and controlling the clock while sprinkling in a few key passes here and there), and that should be enough to win by double digits. I don’t think any of the next three games will be Oregon-style blowouts, but I don’t expect any of them to scare us the way Purdue and BYU did.

    • papadec - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:58 PM

      I believe that Coach Kelly has brought this team along, as they needed to be brought along – introduced more offensive weapons (plays & players) as needed for that week’s opponent. While focusing on a given week’s game, he has been preparing for the key games later in the season. I have no doubt, this team will be ready for each of the remaining five games. Things seem to have been breaking in favor of the Irish, in games played by other teams. Magic? Destiny? Luck? It will be, what it will be, regarding the NC Bowl game. The Irish will need help from the humans who vote – the computers don’t have a bias or prejudiced vote.

  11. dutch31 - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    Exactly, LSU v Alabama is the game. If LSU can win, then an undefeated Notre Dame would almost certainly get in. A K St Oregon championship? Wouldn’t even sell out! Ratings??
    However, I’m going to enjoy the Pitt game and save the debate till next week. Go Irish!

  12. c4evr - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I would give half of my wife’s yearly salary to see a Notre Dame /Alabama championship game.

    • yogihilt - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      i might give my wife…

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        I agree yogihilt, I don’t even know your wife…but i’ll give away for an Irish/Bama NC game.

  13. sinister23 - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Unbiased…ND is not the third best team in the nation. The Ducks will blow out USC. ND is probably 5th…maybe 4th in the nation. I see Bama, Ducks, and K state above them for sure.

    • mdirish - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      ND would beat K State. ND know’s how to contain a running QB like you saw with Michigan and Navy and so some extent Purdue. Making K State throw the ball would work into ND’s favor.

    • notredameirish1980 - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      Sinister you are definitely drinking the kool aid. I remember not long ago how little you thought of the Irish. Now we are top 5 easy! Well done, sir.

    • irish4006 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      Bama and the ducks *may be* a lot better, I am not that high on K State. Outside of the big win at OU where OU helped them out a bit with turnovers, their resume is not all that great. They may be even with ND, their offense is better while our defense is believed to be second best in the country. I do believe, however, that if our offense continue to develop (or play like they did against OU), ND will be a much better team than K State.

      The problem with Alabama and Oregon is that they haven’t beaten anyone great yet, the jury should still be out on them. We will find out a lot more in the next couple of weeks.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      All of you must be seeing something different than i’m seeing. As far as I’m concerned, Oregon is #1 and the rest of the undefeateds (not you Louisville), ND, KState, Bama are on an even field.

      Oregon is the ONLY team that I would pick to be ND. With a Bama/ND matchup or a KState/ND matchup, I’m picking the Irish without a second to mull it over.

      I hate Oregon because I think the they have a team of paid athletes, but they have figured out a way to hide it better than most.

      However, while writing this comment, Oregon scored twice. Seriously, who will stop their offense?

      • papadec - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:02 AM

        NIKE.

  14. mdirish - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    As big as last weeks game was, this game against PITT will tell us how different this team is from teams of the past. I know they’re very different but this season has been compared to 2002 and you know how the hopes of that team ended. People always talk about how our opponents get up for ND and how we get the other teams best effort. ND has so much on the line that we should see ND’s best effort on Saturday.

  15. dapperdanirish - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Loving watching this team. Team game, team win. Disciplined, assignment football with 110% effort and heart…product of great guys with great coaching. Shout out to Keith…you are doing a wonderful job. Definitely enjoying the multiple articles per week and the hard work that goes into them. Thanks for the great coverage with great insight.

    Also, agreeing with Nude, props to sinister…definitely don’t mind different points of view, especially when they are reasonable and not just based on hate.

  16. simmel65 - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Someone is going to lose. Oregon, K-State and ND aren’t all going to go undefeated. And it could be ND just as much as anyone else. It is difficult to go undefeated, no mater who you are. Everyone, but ND, has a title match as well, so that is another tough game.

    If Alabama wins, then we know one team in and the rest are fighting to get in. ND just needs to take it “one game at a time” which is exactly what they are doing.

    Go IRISH and beat PITT!

    • dnice024 - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Agree with your post and the probability of not all these teams winning out, but I’m pretty sure the Big 12 (i.e., K-State) does not have a title game.

      • bernhtp - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        Right. The Big 12 has only 10 teams and no conference divisions/championship now. The Big 10 has 12 members. It should be illegal – NCAA sanctions, fines, and criminal penalties – for a conference name to contain a number or the word “Big.”

  17. yogihilt - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Can’t wait til Saturday.. to see what the rebound will be like, and it will give us a pretty good pic of the 3 weeks b4 USC

  18. dutch31 - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Since I’m here in NJ, in a State of Emergency, waiting for Sandy to land, let me Put this out there for thought

    How good is the Big 12??

    Well the best win that I saw out of conference was Texas beating Old Miss. K State beat Miami, you could argue that Miami was playing better when ND crushed them, had won 3 in a row including G Tech and NC St

    Here are the non conference opponents

    K STATE. (MIAMI MISSOURI ST. and. NORTH TEXAS
    OKLAHOMA. (UTEP , FLORIDA AM , ND
    TEXAS(OLD MISS, WYOMING, NEW MEXICO)
    W VIRGINIA. (MARSHALL, VIRGINIA, MARYLAND)
    TEXAS TECH. (NORTHWESTERN ST, TEXAS ST,
    NEW MEXICO)
    BAYLOR. (SMU, LOU MONROE, SAM HOUSTON ST)
    TCU. (GRAMBLING ST, VIRGINIA, SMU)
    IOWA ST. (TULSA, IOWA, W ILLINOIS)
    OK ST. (SAVANA ST, LOUISIANA LAFF , ARIZONA, (lost.
    In a blow out 59-38
    KANSAS. (SOUTH DAKOTA ST, RICE, N ILLINOIS)

    Well how good is the conference? How much credit should Kansas St be given for their wins? We know Oklahoma has top 5 talent, NDs win much more impressive, K st got a gift defensive TD, and the Bell Dozer fumbled at the 1 yard line going in. But that’s a quality road win non the less.
    So you decide, does K St really deserve to be ranked ahead of ND? I can look ahead a little because all I have to do against PITT is cheer not play! Go ND! Beat PItt!

  19. ndtod - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Just win out guys. I believe.

  20. packhawk04 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    ND just has to avoid alabama at all costs. They can beat everyone else. It would get ugly against bama.

    • danirish - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      If ND and Bama win out…bring them on

    • papadec - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:08 AM

      pack – if you can’t play & beat the best, you don’t deserve the Title of #1.

  21. danirish - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Ok, crazy idea! Train Hendrix to hold for field goals/extra points. If he doesn’t mess up Brindza’s rhythmn (I hear kickers are like that – LACES OUT!) imagine the possibilites of fake field goals, etc!

    Don’t look at me like that! Remember The Shark’s fake against Purdue?

    GO IRISH!

  22. fitz79 - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    When are “top” teams gonna learn from the Irish? Stop scheduling so many cream puffs and then act surprised when the BCS computer doesn’t offer you much respect. SEC teams, yes, they have a more difficult than average conference schedule. But that hardly seems to matter when you play 4 cup cakes for your non conference. For years now some have complained, why do the Irish have to play such a darn tough schedule? Well, now that Kelly has our program built back up again, you can see exactly why. When you play the best, and beat the best, no one can argue with you that you are the best! Who has ND added to their schedule the next few years? Oklahoma and Texas. Not Idaho and Montana. Who else opened their schedule this year with Navy and 3 Big 10 schools? I rest my case!

    • c4evr - Oct 30, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      Try looking at it this way. ND will be in much better position once the playoffs are in place by having a tougher schedule. Calk park schedule tough non- conference teams to let his team get a sampling of different styles. How much do cream puffs help SEC teams? And ask Arkansas -and almost Auburn – how crushing it is to lose to a Louisiana Monroe. It will soon be that a 13-6 and 17-14 victory over other conferences best teams will mean more than a 70-14 romp over a team not many people have heard of.

      • c4evr - Oct 30, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        ‘Calipari schedules tough games’. Geez, can someone please inform Siri who John Calipari is?!

  23. matymus - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Here’s how I see this whole scene playing out. In my mind, it’s fairly simple. If ‘Bama, Oregon, ND & KSU all go undefeated, it’s going to be ‘Bama & Oregon in the title game. ND will most likely end up playing against KSU in the BCS 3rd-place bowl. Before people start giving me a thumbs-down on this post, hear me out. Even though ‘Bama has had a softer non-conference schedule, they deserve the benefit of the doubt due to past performances. Oregon, though the Pac-12 hasn’t been known for having much teeth this year SHOULD get the benefit of the doubt due to being so dominant this year and also based on their overall body of work the past few years. I have a hard time seeing KSU getting to the title game even if they win out. Sure, they’ve had a couple solid years and are building street cred, but their conference is weak-mediocre.

    My beloved Irish have had what was believed (preseason) to be the toughest schedule in the country. It’s too bad most of our big-game opponents haven’t exactly held up their end of the bargain. If they had, would we be undefeated at 8-0 right now? Hard to say. After years of hype & paper tigers on the field, I believe Kelly has our team on a solid foundation…FINALLY!! However, it’s going to take time to build up the street cred…probably longer than many other teams simply because the Irish are the team people love to hate. If we’re able to get to a BCS game and win, that builds up great street cred going into next year. It’s going to take time.

    All that to say, if the current top 4 teams (‘Bama, Oregon, ND, KSU) all win out, my unbiased opinion is that ‘Bama & Oregon should play for the championship. I personally think that ‘Bama & Oregon are better than the Irish. NOT KSU, though. Now, if any of them lose between now & the end of the season, then my whole diatribe is now shot to hell anyway. Let’s take a step back and see where we’re at this year. In my mind, this is the best team ND has trotted out since ’93. While I’m extremely confident that this team will win out, even if we were to lose 1 game, we’d still be in a BCS bowl. While I love discussing the possibility of ND getting to the Championship game this year, I would still be thrilled if we were even to get to a BCS bowl game. Most picked us to be 7-5 or 8-4 this year.

    Now onto Pitt!!! GO IRISH!

    • fitz79 - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      Bama and Oregon are better than the Irish based upon what criteria? Oregon hasn’t played anyone, and Bama’s toughest games have yet to come. If the Irish continue to play like they did Saturday I wouldn’t be scared to take on any team in college football. You name em. It’s time us Irish fans start to believe again.

      • matymus - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:23 PM

        Well, I’m basing my opinions on the fact that Alabama is the defending National Champion, and so far this season, it appears that they’ve just picked up where they left off last season. Oregon appears to be more dominant this year than they did when they almost beat Auburn for the NC. As of right now, I think the Irish could definitely hang with anybody; however, I don’t know if we have the offensive firepower that would give me full confidence that we would beat Alabama or Oregon. Believe me, I would LOVE to be proved wrong. If proven wrong, then I will be the first to gladly come back on this board and admit it. This past weekend, while the Irish were being picked to lose by double digits to Oklahoma, I was actually proclaiming to my Irish-hating friends that they were going to come out of Norman with a ‘W.’ I absolutely knew they would find a way to win.

      • 9irish - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:45 PM

        Alabama’s championship was flawed because a team that had already beat them had to play them again. This weekend will be interesting…pissed off Cajuns.

    • papadec - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:20 AM

      maty – the problem with your premise of the four teams winning out, and Bama & Oregon getting the title game is based on their “past performances”. That’s like saying the Yankees should go to the World Series each year – because they’ve won it 27 times. (and I’m a Yankee fan). The NC game is supposed to be based on what you did THIS YEAR! Sounds to me like you have been drinking from the SEC punch bowl, along with the AP voters (and they aren’t even included in the BCS formula) – BUT, they do influence public opinion, along with the espn gang.

      • matymus - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        Papadec — I completely understand what you’re saying, and maybe after I’ve thought about it more, I may come to your conclusion. But the truth is, when it comes to BCS rankings & human polls, etc., perception is reality. If the poll voters were ONLY basing their poll votes on how a team has performed THIS season (without taking last season into account at all), I don’t think there’s any way that Alabama would be #1 based on the schedule they have played up to this point. The reality is that teams from the SEC (deserved or not) and usually the Oregon Ducks do get the benefit of the doubt based on past history. I’m not saying that it’s necessarily fair, but it’s the way it is. Personally, I’d love to throw the current top 4 teams into a playoff right now and see what happens. I think the SEC from top-to-bottom is the strongest conference in college football, but this has definitely been a down year for the conference overall. Aside from Alabama, all the other teams have shown that they can be beaten.

        I’m looking forward to the day that ND starts truly getting the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the overall perception of the program. The win over Oklahoma was a HUGE step in the right direction. I’m looking forward to when the Irish can become part of the Championship discussion EVERY year, not just this year. That will only happen over time if they stay consistent and play like they did this past Saturday night.

  24. footballleprechaun - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    OK let’s get down to reality Notre Dame will beat Pitt by 30 and by more if they wanted to with an Oregon-like offensive explosion causing everyone’s verbage on just who gets to the national championship game to take a different slant. Those BYU, BIG 10, and “teams-that-didnt-keep-their-end-of-the-bargain” absolutely hate Notre Dame and played their asses off in an attempt to beat us!!!! Looking back it made our team seem to struggle. The reality is we withstood their best efforts at the time!!! Further, the beatings we gave to all of them set them back mentally and crushed their confidence. Dont be surprised on January 7th as we play for the national championship¡!!!!! This team has a cohesive brotherhood among them that no other contender can boast!!!! NUFF SAID!!!!!!! Cheering in her name!!!! Goooooo IRISH!!!!!!

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