Notre Dame fans asked for it, now they’ve got it
BY JOE COWLEY email@example.com November 18, 2012 7:24PM
Notre Dame running back Theo Riddick (6) and the rest of the Fighting Irish might not be rejoicing Jan. 7. | Michael Conroy~AP
Updated: December 20, 2012 6:27AM
Notre Dame fans are myopic. Then again, that really describes most college football fans.
Look at Ohio State’s fan base. Those people actually believe that if the Buckeyes — who are ineligible for postseason play because of NCAA sanctions — beat Michigan on Saturday, they not only will be the true Big Ten champions, but they somehow also will be some mythical national champion. Spin it how you want, but Ohio State’s season still will be marked with an asterisk, perfect record or not.
But Irish fans, more so than most, have extreme tunnel vision.
Yes, ‘‘Upset Saturday’’ gave Notre Dame an express lane to a spot in the BCS championship game if it can beat a disappointing USC team Saturday. What it also did, though, was open the door for the Southeastern Conference to have a ticket to the title game fall right back into its lap.
Alabama hosts Auburn and Georgia hosts Georgia Tech in rivalry games Saturday. Both should win, setting up an SEC championship game between the Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs in which the winner likely will play for the national title.
That means an SEC team likely will be playing in the BCS title game for the seventh consecutive season and will be going for a seventh BCS national championship in a row for the conference.
In other words, it would have worked out better for Notre Dame if only Oregon or only Kansas State had lost Saturday, not both. Come Jan. 7, there’s a good chance Irish eyes won’t be smiling.
† The Big Ten might be adding Maryland and Rutgers. What, Toledo and Bowling Green were busy?
† Would the Big Ten add a third division to go along with the Legends and Leaders? I can see it now: Maryland, Rutgers, Illinois and Indiana making up the Lackeys.
† Congratulations to Michigan coach Brady Hoke for going an entire season without understanding how to use Denard Robinson.
RB Montel Harris, Temple: Sure, it came against a shaky Army defense. But rushing for 351 yards and seven touchdowns is still a head-shaker.
LB Eric Kendricks, UCLA: The Bruins changed the climate in SoCal football with their victory against USC, and Kendricks was huge. He made eight tackles, forced a fumble and intercepted a pass.
13 Consecutive games in which Oregon had scored at least 42 points before its 17-14 overtime loss Saturday to Stanford.
Florida at Florida State, 2:30 p.m., Ch. 7: It has been way too long since Florida-Florida State meant something, but now it finally does again. That’s always good for college football.
Michigan at Ohio State, 11 a.m., Ch. 7: Buckeyes fans are poised to make up some mythical national title for themselves unless the Wolverines can pull off an upset in Columbus.
Notre Dame at USC,
7 p.m., Ch. 7: The Trojans are shrinking, USC quarterback Matt Barkley is out . . . it couldn’t set up any better for the Irish.