The independent voice of Notre Dame Athletics

  • If the BCS Games Were Picked Today…

    by Mike Coffey

    …ND would be in the National Title Game. I don’t know about you, but that’s as deep as my interest goes on the subject given that parameter. If we’re in Miami Gardens, I really don’t care who’s tooling around in Tempe or Pasadena. It all goes on the pay-no-mind list.

    So instead, let’s engage in a thought experiment and predict what would happen if, God forbid, the Irish fall short next Saturday in Compton.

    Today, the three spots behind ND are taken by SEC schools (quelle surprise):

    1) Notre Dame
    2) Alabama
    3) Georgia
    4) Florida
    5) Oregon
    6) Kansas State

    If Kansas State can only fall to #6 after getting their doors blown off by a four-win Baylor squad with one of the worst defenses in the country, I feel pretty confident saying a one-loss ND will remain auto-eligible for the BCS in one of the top eight slots.

    So let’s look at the probabilities bowl-by-bowl in the event of an Irish loss:

    Rose Bowl: Zero percent. What was a decent chance last week got knocked down and out with Oregon’s loss to Stanford. A Stanford win over UCLA on Saturday gives them the division and a rematch with said Bruins for the Pac12 title. If Stanford loses, Oregon will host UCLA for that title. Either way, there will be an eligible Pac12 team to face the B1G representative, so the Rose will go that way.

    Fiesta Bowl: 50 percent. They’ll no longer lose a participant to the title game. However, they pick first among the at-large bowls, and they’ll be looking for a good opponent for Kansas State. The only way they would pass on ND is if Oklahoma is the BigXII champion, so if KSU takes down the Horns, here’s where ND will be if it isn’t Miami.

    Sugar Bowl: 50 percent. Two ways this can happen:

    1) Assuming the order stays the same, the Alabama/Georgia winner would face Florida for the National Title. Setting aside for a moment what bullshit that is, that means the Sugar Bowl will lose its SEC representative and not be able to select another SEC team to replace them because two SEC teams already will be playing in the title game. As long as Florida beats Florida State, there will be space in the Sugar for ND.

    2) As noted above, if Oklahoma is the BigXII champ (which would happen if Texas beats KSU and OU beats OSU and TCU), the Fiesta wouldn’t want a rematch and would pass on the Irish. Sugar picks after they do, and would jump at the chance for a matchup between ND and the SEC runner-up.

    Orange Bowl: Zero percent. There’s no scenario I can envision where the Sugar Bowl lets ND slip past them. No way, no how, no chance.

    21 Responses to “If the BCS Games Were Picked Today…”

    1. Just beat USC. That will take care of what needs to be taken care of.

    2. Mike,

      Have some faith in your team and embrace a chance to knock off a team from the conference that has dominated the BCS for the last six years instead of pandering to those who think they are overrated.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        Not sure what you’re talking about. If we assume ND will win on Saturday (which I believe they will), there’s no point in talking about it because the result is predetermined. There’s only uncertainty and opinion if the team loses on Saturday. As I said, it’s just a thought exercise.

    3. Mike
      Thanks for the insight. A one-loss ND after USC should be explored on where we could go from here bowl wise…very important. In BK’s 3rd year a 1 loss team in a major bowl victory would be a great step up with a WIN.

      I have said time and again on this forum that the Irish need to win the bowl game they are in to move forward. If this is the year for a NC run…Go Irish..beat USC…and grab the ring. But we can not as a program – moving forward afford to show the media a big time bowl loss again.

      My opinion is if we beat USC and move on..we have earned the right to say we are ready to take on whoever we play for the NC title. USC result should tell us …late in this season how well we are ready to move to a NC caliber opponent in the bowl.

      A USC win validates our team…not the lost games of the #1 and #2 teams this past weekend. Signature wins were MSU OK and Stanford. Can we get past the truly bad efforts of Purdue BYU and Pitt and say this is a team blessed with talent and breaks and the will to win?

      Last test is USC. Make it there and we can make it anywhere…sorry Sinatra…but the relevance is undefeated after that game – BK and the team have a month to game play anything and everything against the opposition for a NC title game…I must say to this point not a BK the bowl game at hand …a close loss for the NC game in year 3 is still very acceptable. A bowl drubbing is a very big step backward in my opinion. We do not need another .

      • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

        How can a win against a 5-5 Michigan State team be called a signature win? Only true autograph victories were Oklahoma and Stanford. The body of work is nevertheless extremely impressive. Now the 64 million dollar question … can we close. Baylor’s beatdown of K-State and Stanford’s ability to hold Oregon to two TDs exposed both teams as overrated, in K-State’s case, vastly so. But if the Irish don’t take care of bidness against a Gnarls Barkley-less Trojan squad, folks will say the same thing about us that they’re saying about K-State and the Wounded Ducks.

        • Bob Howsam Jr…

          MSU was not 5-5 back then. A very early season ND team went into the rival Sparty “hornets nest” in a typical night game at MSU with a national audience and dominated them. Look back at the stats and the play of the O and D and special teams.

          There were no early mistakes or MSU chances for game turning boffs on O like Miami or OK..remember the dropped balls for likely TD’s vs Hurricanes or bad OK snap over the head of big time QB in Norman? We did not need mistake “game changers” from our opponents on that night. Look at the stats of that game.

          20-3 W early on at MSU was in my book and in relation to this season – a pivitol and signature win. My 64 million dollar question…can we repeat such a dominant road win with all three phases of the game O and D and special teams on the road in such a hostile environment as USC and maybe the NC? If we can recapture that pounding to MSU…well it looks good to me.

          • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

            I see your point about the MSU game and you’re right based upon when the game was played. And I also agree the execution was there that night. My only point was that, based on Sparty’s record, the win doesn’t seem to rank with the Stanford and Oklahoma W’s.

            • Bob
              Got your point about MSU record in relation to Stanford and OK wins. We all want an NC win in Bk’s third year. Your point is well taken in Stanford (I was there) and OK wins. I point to the MSU game because it was a very real signature game with O and D and most importantly special teams dominating MSU at home…a game much lost in the past five years.

              I sat through Pitt and BYU and Purdue and was wondering how the hell we can be considered a national contender. Scary thing for me at this point is how specials teams have went to the wayside after the first 5 games.

              Stanford W at this point seems to be the #1 signature win …they may be the best team in the country after the win at Oregon..really. K State showed thier weakness and how it could be expoited by Baylor.

              If we beat ( and hopefully pound) USC this weekend – I like the chances of a month off to game plan. BK has the weapons to do it. This will be his shining moment in early year 3 at the helm or conversly a not so great bowl game setback. A blow out to the hands of Alabama or Georgia would be the worst thing we need for this program. A close loss in the NC game would be OK in the rebuilding of ND relevance.

    4. Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

      With Barkley in street clothes, the Irish should have no difficulty beating the Trojans, but that’s why they play the game, so this analysis is helpful. For my part, I’m sad the Ducks lost. I was psyched to see whether the Irish D could shut down the powerful Oregon O. I’m stoked we have a shot at the big dance, but somehow playing one-loss Bama or one-loss Georgia isn’t quite as exciting. I’m not complaining, … I’m just saying’.

      • I agree and wish the Ducks had won, but for a slightly different reason. I think an SEC matchup means a low scoring, defensive game. In turn, that means more emphasis on special teams. More specifically, it means an Irish foot will need to come in contact with the ball. I just can’t see how that can end well for them. But, I’m a pessimist.

    5. GettysburgIrish says:

      Focus on one thing at a time. Assume that the Irish will continute to take business one game at a time as they have done all season. If that is true, you have just inconvenienced a lot of electrons and wasted your readers time with this post. GO IRISH!!

      • Mike Coffey says:

        Then don’t read it.

      • Why should Coffey “focus on one thing at a time” here? He’s neither playing nor coaching the team.

        His column here is a well-thought out, enjoyable analysis of the colorful possibilities college football offers. Your suggestion that we “Assume that the Irish will continute [sic]” as they have thus far is fairly naive, given what happened to Oregon and KSU less than 48 hours ago.

        Your comment is the waste of electrons and time. And may God have mercy on your soul.

      • sevennationarmy says:

        How do you inconvenience electrons?

    6. I was at the Wake game and the atmosphere was truly electric. An all-out Irish Love Fest!


      Here Come The Irish!

      • Mike has been doing this type of column for a few weeks. It is merely an abstract discussion of what ifs given current information.

        While we play in “what if” land… I think one loss ND should be in the NC game, given that it is a close loss and not a Baylor sized thumping of K-State.

    7. Please heed these words from a COF – (Certified Old Fart)


      Bolb Howsam Jr. – “The Irish should have no difficulty in beating the Trojans.”

      May your glivett be separated from your framdoodle and cast into the krilnazipper for seven (terrible) minutes for even THINKING such a thing.

      This curse does not take effect until Tuesday, November 27. If necessary I will reappear and revoke it.

    8. James Bond says:

      It’s been far too long since we woke up being ranked #1. What a great feeling, especially with all the stuff we had to put up with, from Ty’s golfing career to CW’s ‘schematic advantage’. Let’s enjoy this now and even if it lasts only a few more days, I believe that BK has us moving to this position regularly in the future! Go Irish!

    9. I am sitting here listening to the Rudy soundtrack, with my ND polo shirt on…………22 years, life is good today

    10. The Irish have totally bought into BK’s coaching techniques. COncentrate on what you control and that has been the mantra for the past 11 weeks. Those who were trodden on early were ranked if I recall and ND knocked them back to reality. The Irish will take care of businerss in LA this coming Saturday and then will also put the whip cream on the cake in the BCS title game. The Irish have too many guns and tons of ammo. GO IRISH

      • Colonel

        Let me sleep and dream your comment is true. Whip Cream..cake..ND bliss – I hope to awake with sweet dreams and cake and a a cherry on top for the NC. I will not go back to anything representing reality at his point… thanks for the true vision of nirvana.