Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Notre Dame Still Has a Shot, But a Long Shot

Despite two losses already this season, Notre Dame still has a chance for a shot at a BCS bowl at the end of the season and avert the fate of being the only school with more than three appearances to end up 0-for-BCS.

But whatever flickering hopes the Fighting Irish have will be instantly extinguished with a loss to USC in South Bend on Saturday. A win over a rudderless Trojans team under an interim coach is a must for Notre Dame to earn a shot at its fifth BCS bowl bid—and its first win.

As it is right now, a BCS bid is a tall order, made taller after losses by Oklahoma and Michigan last Saturday. Both teams were undefeated entering last weekend and were favored to win their games. But the Sooners were stunned by a Texas team seemingly playing out the string with a lame-duck coach and the Wolverines blew several opportunities to close out the game before losing in four overtimes at Penn State.

Those losses hurt Notre Dame in two ways: They affect the Irish's strength of schedule component in the BCS computer rankings and they also serve to keep them down in the polls as the voters are now less willing to "credit" the Irish for those losses.

This leaves Notre Dame (4-2) with no other option but to run the table and finish the season 10-2. With other conferences continuing their internecine warfare, the Irish can fly under the radar and finish the season with a flourish. They will be favored to win every one of their remaining games except the season finale at Stanford.


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