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Notre Dame is No. 1 (But the system is absolutely broken)

Nov 18, 2012, 1:35 AM EDT

Kansas St Baylor Football

As it tends to happen in November, college football threw its fans a curveball and toppled the country’s top two teams, all but flipping the world on its head with just one week to go in the regular season. A week after an impregnable Alabama team fell to Texas A&M, the top two teams in the country, Kansas State and Oregon, lost as well. Oregon’s loss was dramatic, an overtime defeat to a Stanford team that battled back from three turnovers to vanquish an opponent that’s owned the Cardinal. Kansas State’s loss felt more like Cinderella after midnight, with the Wildcats turning into a pumpkin right before our eyes, getting steamrolled by a 4-5 Baylor team with the worst defense in the country.

Think about that. Collin Klein and Kansas State, called the best player and team in the country by Sports Illustrated just days ago, got blown out by a Baylor Team that lost four straight to the murders row of West Virginia, TCU, Texas, and Iowa State.

The beneficiary of all of this is Notre Dame. Brian Kelly’s squad, fresh off their most impressive offensive performance of the season, now jumps to the No. 1 team in the country. For Domers everywhere, things couldn’t get much better. After a decade of futility, life is good. A week after looking like the odd man out, the Irish ascend to the top spot in the country, all by beating Wake Forest to a pulp. Now, the only team between the Irish and immortality, is USC.

That’s right, Lane Kiffin, a black hat if there every was one, is the last enemy that needs vanquishing. You couldn’t script a better movie if you were spotted John Wayne and the Wild West.

But that’s where this story should stop.

Make no mistake, Notre Dame absolutely deserves to be the No. 1 team in the country. But this system deserves to be thrown in the recycling bin, a relic of yesteryear that is so outdated you’d look better pulling out a fax machine to check your Twitter feed at the sports bar.

The pollsters and the computers that determine who plays for the national championship have been over-matched for years. But watching Kansas State, a team that was considered the most battle-tested in the country lose by four touchdowns to a sub-.500 team, is just another notch in the belt of those that have forever screamed that the pollsters don’t know anything. Bill Snyder’s team losing isn’t another example of the SI cover jinx. It’s a fraud revealed. It’s college football’s Darwinism thankfully doing what pollsters weren’t capable of.

It’s a shame that it took Art Briles squad (a team that spotted Kansas State and Collin Klein seven points with one of the worst interceptions of the season) beating the Wildcats to understand that K-State just isn’t that good. This is a team that cancelled its best game of the year. (Ironically, against Oregon, who also benefited from a cupcake schedule.) It’s a team that scheduled Missouri State and North Texas, only leading the Mean Green by a botched extra point in the third quarter before pulling away. It’s a team with a Heisman candidate with an arm that makes Tommy Rees’ look strong, a guy who would’ve absolutely won the most coveted award in college sports if he didn’t collapse against the worst defense in the country, even though just about anybody who was honest with themselves — or who has actually seen Klein play — knew he’s a non-roster invitee in the NFL at best.

That’s not to spare Oregon. The Ducks, who worked their way to the top of college football in spite of an untested quarterback, have played such luminaries as Arkansas State, Fresno State, and Tennessee Tech before embarking on their conference schedule. They looked like the best team in the country for eleven weeks, if only because everybody assumed Chip Kelly and the Ducks were the real McCoy. That turned out to be incorrect as well, with the Ducks being toppled by a Stanford team playing a redshirt freshman at quarterback in his third state who survived three turnovers. Once again, an Oregon quarterback, this time Marcus Mariota, fell back down to earth when they played a legit defense. Stop me if you’ve heard that one.

None of this spares Notre Dame. That the Irish are the “best” team in the country in spite of struggling to beat Purdue, BYU and Pittsburgh shows you the system we’re working with. Yet in today’s college football, the Irish deserve to be at the top of the heap not because of their stout defense or improving offense, but because of the things they didn’t do: Lose football games and schedule cupcakes.

With a playoff system coming into fruition in 2014, articles like these will hopefully never be written again. But because there’s a championship to be played in Miami, and again next season, it is worth committing this to public record, if only to get in front of history, who will surely judge the current system as the dumbest in sports history.

Picking the top two teams in the country is hard work. So let’s get this on the table: Neither the media nor the coaches can do this job. It’s just too hard. The college football world is too flat, and the game’s best programs have spread too far across the country, all unwilling to play each other when it’s easier to simply battle familiar opponents and wage a PR war instead.

With college football’s warloads even making the computers irrelevant (formulas that can’t factor in margin of victory are less effective than a calculator missing a button), it’s down to the game’s power brokers and voters to steer the ship. We’d be better off with pro wrestling refs.

College football is filled with bias. Coaches, voters, writers, ESPN GameDay hosts. We’ve all got it. We wouldn’t love the sport if we didn’t. But it’s taken over the conversation and it’s all got to stop.

When Alabama works its way back into the national title game with a victory over a 1-10 Western Carolina team that hasn’t sniffed a victory in the Southern conference, it’s all too obvious this sport needs a hard reset. And thankfully in 2014, that’s coming with a playoff.

So while pundits, fans and talking heads will undoubtedly debate Notre Dame’s worthiness atop college football world, consider this a pleasant reminder: It’s not the Irish’s fault. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

No team has earned the right to call themselves No. 1 more than Notre Dame. And if they beat USC next weekend, that’s all the more clear.

Don’t get me wrong, I love college football. But that doesn’t mean the system isn’t broken.

  1. loadofwashmother - Nov 18, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Number 1 in graduation rate is the most important line ! And then you know everything is done the good way
    You owe it to those kids to graduate them with the best degrees
    If the recruits can’t see this they don’t belong at ND !

  2. dgbk - Nov 18, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    urban meyer left florida because they will schedule easy games?? I have never heard that one before.

    Is boston college,wake forest, pitt,and purdue that much better then a fcs school? when was the last time those schools were serious contendors? Dont hurt your hands high fiving after that tough schedule.

    • tradertrik - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      @dgbk – well, the fallacy in your “argument” is that BC, Wake Forest, Pitt and Purdue are at least FBS teams. We’ve nothing to be ashamed of in our schedule. You’ll be fine though man, as I understand it, even God loves a dumbass.

    • newton981 - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      dgbk, I’ll google it for you. In the last decade…
      Wake Forest – slightly better than 0.500, 5 bowl games, one BCS bowl. They finished 10-3 and ranked in the top 20 in 2006.
      Boston College – their current coach, Spaziani, is destroying their program and just ended a decade long run of bowl games last year. Their best finish was when they had Matt Ryan and BJ Raji and were 10-3 and 11-3 in 06 and 07. They finished ranked in the top 25 many times.
      Pitt – they’ve had a 10 win season and 2 9 win seasons, 7 bowl games including one BCS game and had a player you may have heard of named Larry Fitzgerald.. Finished ranked in top 25 a few times
      Purdue – been to 6 bowl games, three 8 or 9 win seasons. lots of mediocrity since Drew Brees

      Are these great teams? Nope. But they are still respectable FBS opponents from power conferences who are capable of fielding competitive teams

      For comparison, Alabama just shut out Western Kentucky. W Kty just started FBS football 5 years ago. Plays in the sun belt conference. Never been to a bowl game. No players I’ve ever heard of.

    • gatordomer - Nov 18, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      dgbk:

      I think you may have misunderstodd what I said. Urban left Florida not because he was sick (unless there is an illness we can call Sabanphobia) and not because he couldn’t schedule three cupcakes every year (because the Gators still do that), but because he knew he couldn’t SCHEDULE AROUND Saban and the other top SEC schools. He ended up at Ohio State because it is an easier path to the NC than the SEC as Urabn can still schedule the FCS cupcakes (Miami of Ohio, UAB and Central Florida) plus play a much easier Conference schedule. That is based on the schedule. You haven’t heard that before because the ENTERTAINMENT and Sports monopoly is never going to challenge one of its own or the system that it created and benefits from.

      And yes there is a big difference: if you can’t see a major difference between BC, WF, Pitt and Purdue and the FCS, 13th grade programs that provide timely scrimmages for most teams, then maybe you should watch some of the games. Consider BC, Pitt, WF and Purdue compared to:

      Miami of Ohio, UAB and Central Florida (Ohio State)
      Arkansas State and Tennesse Tech (Oregon)
      Missouri State and North Texas (K-State)
      Western Kentucky, Fla Atlantic and West Carolina (Alabama)
      Bowling Green, LA. Lafayette, Jax State (Florida)
      Buffalo, Fla. Atlantic, and Georgia Southern (Georgia)
      Murray State and Savannah State (FSU)

      ND plays 12 real BCS teams each year and has 12 chances to lose if they don’t play their best (which no team can do every week); while most of the other teams play 9 or 10 BCS teams and have 2 or 3 fewer chances to lose. Its a rigged system because of scheduling and public relations/media hype.

      • nudeman - Nov 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        This is so true.

        ND has its games that are definite should-wins, but these teams that the SEC schedules are embarrassing. Some of these schools I’ve never even heard of. Western Carolina, Sam Houston and Wofford … who the hell are thses teams?

        By contrast, ND gets criticized for playing teams that might not be powerhouses but frequently play in Bowl games. Pitt, BC, Navy and Purdue.

        In any given year any or all of those could rise up and be solid. They’re FBS teams and all have decent football traditions.

        And frankly if they aren’t solid, it’s not ND’s fault.

      • nudeman - Nov 18, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        BTW … Western Carolina, Wofford and Sam Houston … that’s just YESTERDAY

      • buffalomike - Nov 18, 2012 at 8:32 PM

        I agree with K.A. regarding Collin Klein. I saw the Kansas State game last night and he was terrible. Every ESPN “highlight” of him I ever saw shows him running for a TD but never passing. He has the worst passing motion, maybe even worse than Tebow. What a joke.

        Newton981, you are correct about BC, Pitt, etc. When Notre Dame schedules these teams, you never know how that team will be 2-4 years in advance. Scheduling teams like the teams mentioned by gatordomer by the SEC and others, you know that they will never ever give the level of competition the teams like Alabama or Florida should have. They are true cupcake games.

        I would propose a different level of a won-loss record. Each team in the FBS would be given a rating D-1,1 if they are from a major BCS conference and a D-1,2 if they are from a non-BCS conference. Independents should be rated according to the level of teams they schedule. If a team like Alabama plays a D-1,2 team and beats them, it only counts for a half victory. A victory over an FCS school, does not count as a victory in your overall record. Then poll standings would be voted against your won-loss record. Imagine if Alabama’s record was 8.5-1 based on the three schools mentioned by gatordomer. Or FSU’s record being 8-1 because the two schools mentioned by gatordomer are FCS schools. This might keep SEC schools from scheduling schools like Ga. Southern or Worford if would affect their record in the poll standings.

    • runners00 - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      Yes. BC, Wake, Pitt and Purdue are much, much better programs than Western Carolina, Arkansas State, Troy, Louisiana-Lafayette. Just look at the results. How did Purdue do against a run-of-the-mill FCS school this year. Well, they beat Eastern Kentucky 48-6. They beat Eastern Michigan 54-16. You get the picture. Big time programs that play in the automatic qualifying conferences hire better coaches and generate more fans because they win. It’s not even close. What Florida (La-Lafayette), Georgia (Ga Southern) and Alabama are doing is buying another victory in the middle of the season

      What we’re doing is playing a national schedule. Sometimes that means we play a mediocre Boston College team or a Wake Forest team that is down this year, but one that can still beat the vast majority of FCS schools.

      • ctfivula - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:25 PM

        One of the best post’s regarding the cupcakes that all the other schools play. To think the fans of those schools call ND’s schedule weak. What a joke. Don’t forget that Florida team that is ranked in the top 5 needed a td on a punt block with 2 seconds to go or they were going to overtime with Louisiana-Lafayette. Just like the mighty LSU who had all they could do to get by that power house of a team Towson. The Irish lined up the #1 schedule in the country to start the year and they have won every game so far. It’s not there fault the teams didn’t do as well as they normally do against everyone else. But it is the LSU’s Florida’s and the Oregons of the world faults they schedule cupcakes to begin the year and those cupcakes end up being just that. In my opinion the most under rated team in the country is Stanford. No one wants to play them in a bowl game.

    • ndnumber1 - Nov 20, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      You don’t make any sense to me. The schools you listed, Wake,Pitt,Purdue etc, are all scheduled years before and if you would have done your homework these same schools all have played in BCS bowls prior and are FBS schools. YES those schools are that much better! It is people like you that while you may hate ND you give these arguments that simply state your hatred, but they lack any evidence in fact as to your supposed point. NOTRE DAME IS UNDEFEATED. this has been done against all FBS competition so far and for the entire year. These facts remain concrete no matter what you try to say to tear them down. And no other school in these conversations can say the same and that is all that need to be said. GO IRISH!

  3. muir6 - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Story should have stopped at N.D. Number 1 no need for shot at Rees or his soapbox stand

  4. nchdomer - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    There is a fallacy to the arguments that the current system makes the regular season in college football the most exciting of any sport. The only people who think that way are the national sports reporters on TV. In this system, a team is usually done with one loss unless you are one of the handfull of favorites that ESPN likes to push (LSU, Alabama, USC, Florida – to name a few). After the opening weekend, half of the teams are out of the race for the National Championship. Once you get 2 losses, the fans are going to games to enjoy the campus experience – and the local media begins its feature stories on players and the status of next year’s recruiting class. My point is that this system actually makes most of the college football season meaningless for the vast majority of fans. Michigan’s chance for the NC ended at ND in September. Yes, they continued to play for the Big Ten title and a good bowl game. However, the excitement in chasing a National Title ended before the season even started. The same happened to ND last year at Michigan. In reality, only ESPN benefits from this system because for them every weekend has a playoff game component to it. But for the rest of the country, every weekend eliminates another large percentage of teams chasing the title. That is why professional sports increase the number of teams eligible for the playoffs – to keep the fans of more than a handfull of teams engaged past the first quarter of the season.

    The winner of the Super Bowl usually has multiple losses – only one team ever went undefeated. But generally speaking, the Super Bowl winner is considered the best team because it won on the field and got better over the course of the season (isn’t that one of the reasons for a regular season?). I would prefer a college season that doesn’t eliminate 50-75% of the teams from the National Championship race by the official start of Autumn on September 22.

    • nudeman - Nov 18, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      nchdomer
      What you say is true (couple early losses ends your season prematurely) but isn’t that the case in almost ALL sports?

      The baseball equivalent of a couple early losses is being 22 games under .500 in June. The NFL equivalent is being 3-5 at the halfway point. I could go on, but you get the point.

      The system can’t possibly keep everyone in contention. If a school whines about this, I have two words of advice: Play better.

      Last point: I challenge you to come up with a year in recent memory when the two best FBS teams were NOT in the championship game. Who cares who finished 5th? Or 8th? Can you tell me who finished 3rd in the NL Central last year? Or 3rd in the Coaches Poll last year?

      Want to be part of the discussion at the end? Play better.

      ND did.

    • ctfivula - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      I have to disagree with you friend. You say it is not a season long playoff because after you lose one or two games you are done. Well that is exactly what a playoff is win and move on to the next round. Lose and go home. This is the exact reason why Most schools schedule cupcakes the first couple weeks. They know that they have to win to stay in the game. Also do you truly believe that any team with two loses no matter how they came about is worthy of being the National Champion? I for one do not. I don’t think the BCS is perfect but I also don’t think it is nearly as bad as everyone seems to think. I believe people look at it the wrong way. People start looking at it in week 9 or so and argue that it is totally wrong and it has the teams in the wrong spots. What people do not realize is the BCS is a week to week rating system with one third of the equation only taking into account the games played up to that point. The other two parts are from human voters who are thinking about what might happen down the road and what has happened in the past not to mention the personal gains they might make from voting one way or another. I happen to like the regular season and the post season just the way it is. I believe the 4 team playoff will not hurt the regular season.I think it is the perfect amount of teams in case there is a scenario of more than 2 unbeaten teams or one unbeaten and a couple of one loss teams. That being said be careful what you wish for because an 8 to 16 team playoff will be terrible for college football. The only people who will win in that scenario will be the people cashing in on the extra games. The fans will lose and so will the regular season of college football. I mean I don’t even barely watch college basketball until march because the games are almost completely meaning less until then.

  5. dutch31 - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    It was Western Carolina but You are right on point!

    Go Irish!

  6. awezer - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    There is no more deserving School/ Team than Notre Dame Right Now. As well as being the highest graduated with 99%, Manti Te’o, the Heisman Candidate, and Scholar Athlete. By no means does Notre Dame have a soft Schedule. Michigan State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Miami, and Stanford who just beat the Oregon Ducks in the same type of overtime that Notre Dame won against Stanford. Notre Dame plays schools with football tradition. I would like to see how Kansas State and Oregon would fare with a schedule of the same caliber.

    Anyone who trys to say otherwise is just bitter with their sour grapes.

  7. gmenfan1982 - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Teams like Purdue, Boston college, navy, Pitt are traditional rivalries for ND. These games get scheduled for several years at a time. No one is to know what these teams will be like at year 4 of the series schedule with a team. What we do know is that FBS teams fill their schedule with FCS teams the year before the season they play them.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Nov 18, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      I was reading and reading these comments wondering whether someone was going to make this excellent point. Thank you gmen (I hope that’s a reference to the NY Giants, as I follow them also…….their bye was the only bad part of this weekend). Anyway, it’s important to realize that we are locked in years in advance with the teams we play and take our chances every year that they will be good, bad or indifferent. In reality, how often do UM or USC field a team that truly sucks? Answer: Never. We play real teams yet the SEC teams fill in with these cupcake games after their conference schedules are set. Who said scrimmages with the 13th grade…..another excellent point. If we played some of these cupcakes, we could easily pad our schedule but that would diminish what our players have done to remain undefeated. There is no shame in our schedule. That argument doesn’t even begin to hold water.

  8. joewilliesshnoz - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    As the team that got waxed up and down the field by Pitt, good luck with the rest of the best .

    • miked8577 - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      This was the same Pitt team that destroyed VT earlier this season when they were highly ranked.

    • cartiernd - Nov 20, 2012 at 7:22 AM

      Back in the 70′s Tony Dorsett playing for PITT rushed for over 200 yards against ND. Ara was asked during an interview about the yardage…..his reply….”he” never crossed the goal line. Points do win games.

  9. crusty14 - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Granted ND had a tough go with Pitt, but eventually came through. I think saying they were waxed up and down the field is quite a stretch!

  10. ndfaithful - Nov 18, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Great article Keith! That’s insight and ideas that you don’t hear from the rest of the media. The system is so flawed and broken that it’s scary – and still fun to watch.

    I have one question though – how is the playoff actually going to fix it or make it any better?

    Doesn’t it take the top four teams based on mostly the same subjective crap that is used now? Look at the top 12 in the AP and let me know which team doesn’t have an argument to be #2, #3, or #4. It won’t be an argument about who’s 1 and 2 anymore when the playoff gets here. Won’t it be just a little bit worse? Because now you’ll have 8 or more teams with legitimate cases that they should be in the top four. Maybe I don’t understand the new playoff (Admittedly, I don’t.) But how does it fix anything?

    1 Notre Dame 11-0
    2 Alabama 10-1
    3 Georgia 10-1
    4 Ohio State 11-0
    5 Oregon 10-1
    6 Florida 10-1
    7 Kansas State 10-1
    8 LSU 9-2
    9 Texas A&M 9-2
    10 Florida State 10-1
    11 Stanford 9-2
    12 Clemson 10-1

    • nudeman - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      ndfaithful

      Exactly right … fixes nothing. You’d still rely on human or computer intervention to determine the top 4. And the next 2 or 3 or even 4 teams left out would all be bitching.

      Every year there is agreement that the teams who play in the top game are in fact the 2 best teams. That’s all that really matters and this system gets it right every year. Where’s the problem?

  11. idratherbeinsouthbend - Nov 18, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Consider this….

    The only truly FAIR way to determine a National Champion is to ensure that EVERY team has a road to the National Championship…EVERY TEAM. Given the current model and the future 4-team playoff model, there’s no guarantee that you can go undefeated and still play for the national championship.

    On the first day of each season, EVERY team should have the ability to win a NC. If you’re Louisville, or Ohio or Louisiana Tech or Notre Dame and you go undefeated, you still may not have an opportunity to play for the National championship.

    A 4 team playoff doesn’t guarantee that either. There are playoff models that exist showing that an 8-team playoff would give this opportunity, but i won’t make this post 500 words to explain any of them.

    There is one in particular that i like. It takes champs from conferences with a championship game and puts them with at-large bid teams…with the qualifier that any undefeated team qualifies for the playoff. I think it’s a 12 team playoff.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Nov 18, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      the idea is EVERY team controls their own destiny…you take care of business on the field and your NC dreams stay alive.

    • ctfivula - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      So all you have to do is leave your conference and schedule 12 cupcakes and your in? Just think you have 12 scrimmages to get ready for the real games in the playoffs. Sounds like a real fun regular season or should I call it a preseason, because that’s what it would be if any undefeated team was allowed in the playoffs. I don’t think the BCS is perfect but more often than not it gets it right.

  12. nchdomer - Nov 18, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    I think it is all a matter of degree. Certainly you cannot have all of the teams in contention throughout the season (which is not what I suggested). That is one extreme. But to have most teams out of contention before the end of September is the other extreme. If you have more than 2 or 4 teams winning the beauty contest at season’s end (as determined by biased coaches that give their ballots to SIDs), there is at least a chance that you will have a more representative group vying for the title and, consequently, a regular season that is more engaging for more teams and their fans. The 4 top seeds in the NCAA basketball tournament don’t always make the final four – which is an example as to why the games need to be played. Otherwise, let’s just go back to the old system of voting after all of the games are played to see who the voters perceive is the best team. In some respects, that system made all of the bowl games relevant since any school’s fans could figure a scenario where the right wins and losses in those games could lead to their team winning the title (e.g. ND in 1977).

    As regards the best 2 teams playing for the National Championship, I don’t agree that the BCS has gotten it right. Alabama and Oklahoma both lost their conference championship games, yet played for the NC. Two teams from the SEC playing for the title was not right. That was nothing but SEC bias from the media. This weekend showed us what we really would have had if Oregon and K-State played for the title, as was widely believed in the media to be the likely matchup. Both were vastly overrated. Oregon finally plays a team with a defense and the 70 point offense struggles to put up 2 touchdowns. K-State meets a “Pitt quality” team that drops 52 on it and Collin Klein goes back to obscurity in the Heisman race. No system is perfect but there is a reason why every sport has a playoff system with more than 2 teams. FBS, D2 and D3 all have playoffs, which work. One reason they work is there is a represenative sample of conference winners and at large teams that compete. Under the current FBS system, it is getting to the point where the season should just end with the SEC champion being crowned National Champion too.

    • cartiernd - Nov 20, 2012 at 7:45 AM

      I agree with your statements and it is a SEC NC game. They are not diverse in schedules. The SEC non-conference games are mostly high schools, but Alabama did impress me with Michigan.

      Notre Dame is an independent. They are their own conference that schedules teams from several conferences. It would be nice if they scheduled a couple of SEC teams and maybe that would end some of the discussion. Oh yeah, then there is the money ND generates with their own TV network and all games televised. Maybe ND should become a division within the SEC….The East…The West…and ND.

  13. goirishgo - Nov 18, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Outstanding article, Keith.

    I love the level of discourse too. Thanks for the (mostly) thought provoking posts. I admit I’m rethinking my position.

  14. irish2011 - Nov 18, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Can we just beat USC first then we can debate how flawed the BCS is!

  15. papadec - Nov 18, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    WOW!!!!!! Look what #1 did for this site – nobody bashing each other. Thank you everyone for many great posts – without bad mouthing another poster.

  16. nudeman - Nov 18, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    All I effing know is THIS

    ND is # 1

  17. sinister23 - Nov 18, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    As much as I would love to write a massive post…I’ll wait till after the NC. Congrats on the great season and #1 rank…but let’s get serious ND…I stand firm you guys are at best top 8 team. I’ll let you all trash talk this comment…but I won’t forget in JAN.

    • papadec - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:02 PM

      sin – looking forward to your January post – we’ll both need quite a bit of liquid to wash down the crow, or canary, we’ll be eating.

  18. irish4006 - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Who are you and what happened to KA?

    Keep it up!!! You make some very good points and I love the fact that you (rightfully) didn’t sugarcoat… Political correctness can wait.

    Go Irish!!!!!

  19. runners00 - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Thanks.

    The system is working, though, in this sense: the teams at the top (until this week) have played largely cupcake schedules. I mean, look at Alabama’s non-conference schedule:

    Michigan
    Western KY
    Florida Atlantic
    Western Carolina.

    Meanwhile, they play the SEC’s 8-team schedule, which means they don’t play Florida or South Carolina, two of that conference’s best teams this season. So, they play three FCS schools (including one with exactly one win) and a decent Michigan team, along with weak teams like Arkansas, Auburn, Missouri and both Mississippi schools. So, that is nine games where Alabama is superior than its opponent going into the game. There are three where Alabama’s far superior (i.e. where it can rest key players); three where Alabama’s much better but not quite “blowout better” (Michigan, which it did blow out; Arkansas and Missouri); and three where if a typical Alabama squad played the opponent ten times, they’d win eight or nine of those times (Auburn, Mississippi State and Ole Miss).

    The same holds true for Oregon and Kansas State and Florida, schools that are essentially purchasing victories by scheduling obviously inferior opponents. To be sure, a twelve-game (or thirteen-game) schedule is grueling. But ND has all FBS opponents on its schedule. Its weaker teams (BC, Wake and Pitt) still come from power conferences. And it scheduled big-time opponents in Oklahoma, Stanford, Michigan, and our long-feared rival, USC. Now, sure, the season could go up in flames in Los Angeles on Saturday evening. Absolutely. And it would be a shame to lose and be taken out of the championship game. So, we must win. But that is where the system blows. There is very little analysis these days and there is too much politicking. Nobody says that Alabama’s not deserving over Kansas State or Florida because Alabama played a very weak schedule. Everyone just assumes because, based on some already-existing bias, Alabama deserves a shot.

  20. twreck13 - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    All of you people just completely ignore that Pitt, a sub 500 team was a missed field goal from beating you…

    • miked8577 - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:48 PM

      they were at .500 when ND played them.

    • ndnumber1 - Nov 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      They MISSED the field goal. ALMOST DON’T COUNT! This is football quit your cryin girl. A WIN IS A WIN!

  21. buffalomike - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    In 1988, the last year of a Notre Dame National Championship, the Pitt QB dropped the ball before he crossed the goal line which would have won the game and ended Notre Dame’s chance for the N.C. After kicking the ball twice in the endzone, an N.D. player falls on the ball for a touchback. Nobody touch the QB when he dropped the ball. Call it devine intervention, but stuff happens. Pitt always plays Notre Dame tough. You bet Notre Dame got a break with the missed fieldgoal attempt. My hope, like in 1988, is that Notre Dame can continue their journey towards the N.C.

  22. cowartsh - Nov 20, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    blah blah blah. Bottom line. Notre Dame gets beat by sec champion. Book it

  23. ndnumber1 - Nov 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Yes the system is broken, and all of us who love CFB have known this for years. The pre-season rankings are in my opinion where the whole train comes off the rails. However, there has never been a true penalty for the “big name” teams who schedule obvious weak teams for scrimmage year in and out. This to is also a problem that until addressed could and WILL allow for these same teams to be around for this playoff system when it comes into effect in’14. The next issue is going to be the amount of teams that are going to be playing in this playoff. Do you really think a 4 team playoff is going to solve all these issues? Of course it won’t. So why not increase the size of the playoff allotment to say 12, I mean come on, anyone not in the top 12 at the end of the year is not within the range of controversy are they? This way head to head match-up’s will solve any we got left out scenario’s. At this point you win/advance lose/go home. Every game is important, Don’t schedule sissy’s. If you do schedule sissy’s shame on you and shame on our system for letting you! GO IRISH!

  24. rudy1823 - Dec 8, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    I’m sorry the jimmy football is a joke it’s nothing but an off award

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