Tuesday, November 26, 2013
BCS Is Not Mathematically Dead, But........
Believe it or not, Notre Dame is still not mathematically eliminated from the BCS. It will take a victory over Stanford and a lot of help. Plus, the voters never seem to be on the side of the Irish and tend to point out Notre Dame's failures rather than their successes. I will break my TV next time I hear a commentator say, "I don't know how Michigan State lost to Notre Dame." It never even enters their mind that maybe Notre Dame is a pretty damn good team. But enough about that, let's explore just how Notre Dame can still pull off a trip to the BCS.
They are currently ranked #25 and need to be at least #15 in the final poll to be eligible. That means we have two weeks to climb 10 spots. we are off that last weekend, but that can actually be a good thing.
Just ahead of Notre Dame is Duke. They play North Carolina this week and if they win as expected, they will play Florida State in the ACC Championship in which the Seminoles will likely make them sorry they were ever born. So passing Duke should not be a problem.
Ahead of Duke is USC and UCLA. The best value that has to the Irish is that they both play each other this week. This will be an interesting game to watch and much of the focus will be on whether or not Ed Orgeron will get the job as Head Coach on a permanent basis. Since taking over he has only lost once but it was to Notre Dame which is a big loss to them. He can get some redemption with a win over their other big rival, but a loss will make it hard for Pat Haden to ignore the fact that Jack Del Rio is out there. Expect this to be one of the best games in this rivalry in a long time. The good thing is that one of them will lose.
Ahead of these two LA rivals is Texas A & M led by Johnny Football. They play Missouri this week who with a win will advance to the SEC title game. I expect the Tigers to take care of business. So passing the Aggies seems to be very realistic.
The next team at #20 is Louisville who has the week off before ending the year against Cincinnati. I think Coach Kelly's old team is underrated and has a real chance in this one. The game is in Cincinnati.
Ahead of Louisville is Central Florida and it might be hard to pass them because they have two games left against two teams that tackle like wimps. But SMU is always tough with that Run and Shoot offense so maybe they can pull off an upset. This one may take an act of God.
Next up is Oklahoma who has struggled since their win over Notre Dame. They have one game left against in state rival Oklahoma State who is currently #7. The Cowboys will win the Big 12 with a win which will make it even tougher for the Sooners. That is good for the Irish.
#17 is LSU who has one game left against Arkansas who has only 3 wins all year. Ouch, this one will be tough.
Next up is Fresno State who plays San Jose State before playing either Utah State or Boise in the Mountain West Championship. I don't see them losing this weekend but there is potential in the title game.
At #15 which is where the Irish need to be is Wisconsin. They have one game left this weekend and it is against Penn State. The Nittany Lions are a tough team but I am not sure they match up with the Badgers and this will be their Senior Day. This one will be tough.
Just ahead of Wisconsin is Northern Illinois who won't lose today against Western Michigan, but the MAC Title games are always exciting and either Bowling Green or Buffalo will give the Huskies all they can handle.
Another game of interest to Notre Dame is the Big 10 Title game with Michigan State and Ohio State. This can be good either way. If the Spartans pull off the upset, our victory over them looks even better. But if the Buckeyes win, Michigan State will potentially fall far enough.
Oregon seems to have lost a lot of momentum and a loss to Oregon State would help. Also, Arizona State plays an emerging Arizona team this week, but I kind of want the Sun Devils to win because it makes our win over them look better.
Of course Notre Dame can help it themselves with a win over Stanford who is #8 but will fall many places with a loss to the Irish. Of course, Stanford will play Arizona State the following week in which one of them has to lose.
The thing that does hurt us though is that our losses are bad ones. Neither Michigan nor Oklahoma lived up to expectations and Pitt is well Pitt. So there are a lot of things that do need to happen in the Irish's favor and it will be tough. So the best thing Notre Dame can do is have a great week of practice, play the game of their life against Stanford, and let the rest take care of itself.