This last weekend the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame had an impressive win on the road at #8 Oklahoma. Especially since Oklahoma was coming off of a huge win against Kansas scoring 52 points, and Notre Dame held the Sooners to a measly 13 points. However, this shouldn’t be too surprising for the Sooners because the Irish defense is making a habit of shutting down potent offenses that have come off of huge wins in the previous week. Examples include a 57 point differentiation with Michigan and 41 points with Miami and Stanford.
The rib-breaking Irish defense has helped propel Notre Dame to #3 in the AP polls, and this is the highest the Irish have been ranked since 2002. Notre Dame has survived a rugged schedule so far that has included Michigan State, Michigan, Miami (FL), Stanford, and, most recently, Oklahoma. Now, I have heard the critcisms against the Irish having finally delivered in a big game in ages, and before Notre Dame is overhyped remember that teams like Alabama and Oregon have delivered annually. However, despite some analyst’s opinions, I believe that Notre Dame is the real deal, and if they can remain unbeaten you will see the Irish in the national championship game.
Some would disagree with my analysis, especially Brad Edwards of ESPN who has made the claim that Notre Dame has the lowest chance of the four unbeaten BCS teams to get into the national title game according to the BCS formula. BCS formula aside, what Mr. Edwards and other analysts don’t realize is that the national championship game is a lot like American Idol. It is the producers that make the decision on who plays in the game, and I can guarantee that Notre Dame will be in the title game if they go undefeated.
The Irish have a revenue advantage for the networks that exceeds every other BCS team because they have such a cult following, and it would be in the networks’ best interest if Notre Dame is in the BCS title game. This is because Irish fans travel well, but the media revenue would skyrocket with Notre Dame’s nationwide fanbase tuning in to the game.
The remainder of Notre Dame’s schedule is relatively easier than their first 8 games, with the only real challenge being a game at USC. I believe that we will see an undefeated Irish team come December, and the nation better be prepared to see a matchup against the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide in the BCS National Championship game. GO IRISH!!!!!