Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Notre Dame football.

Monday, November 6

Forget Nice -- Irish Need To Get Mean

Okay, it's time to analyze the latest BCS ratings and see what that means for Notre Dame.

First, the Irish have to play better. They've got Air Force and Army the next two weeks and that won't impress poll voters or computers. They have to win big. Yes, I know about the sportsmanship deal, but they need to win like 35-0 in both games to show the offense is still clicking and the defense can stop somebody on a consistent basis.

Then, they have to beat USC, which means they have to stop the pass, which means they have to stop the big play. The coaches know it, the players know it, heck, even the cheerleaders know it.

Will they do it? That is what will make these next few weeks so intriguing.

Notre Dame is ninth in the BCS standings. That's significant because only the top 8 receive an automatic BCS bid. You have to be in the top 12 for an at-large BCS bid, and that's where things get tricky.

First, if the Irish win out, they are in the BCS and will enjoy a really nice postseason. Not as nice as being in Tempe for the national title game, but after the Michigan debacle, you take what you can get.

If they lose to USC, but it's close, they'll be 10-2 and have a decent BCS shot. They have enough national clout (can you say lots of fans willing to travel to bowls and spend lots of money) to be on any bowl's wish list. Certainly BCS officials would give Notre Dame a long look.

If the Irish get crushed by USC, they'll be at the Gator or Cotton bowls. If they stumble against Air Force or Army, they'll be at the Gator or Cotton bowls in body. In spirit, they'll be right where the Pittsburgh Steelers are -- in misery.

But that won't happen. It's time for Notre Dame to play like a national championship contender, which means beating the heck out of people. The time to start is now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN! i understand army and air force are 2 of the service acadamies, but we need to blow them out. I'm goin down to the army game, and i want quinn to have a great last game in notre dame stadium.

November 07, 2006 10:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing will happen with the defense, until they start blitzing on a regular basis, and start going after the quarterback.

November 07, 2006 10:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little research never hurt anyone.

You have to be in the top 14 to be eligible for a BCS at-large. Top 12 was for the old BCS model (read: 4 games).

November 07, 2006 1:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being in the Top 8 does not guarantee a BCS berth. Only ND is guarateed a berth with a top 8 finish.

November 07, 2006 1:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ND has to be top 12 to be BCS at-large eligible, top 14 might be the new mthod, but ND must make top 12 to be at-large eligible, and top 8 makes them a shoe-in...lets see four big blow outs to end this season

November 07, 2006 4:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am still waiting to see the NASTY Football team Charlie Weis promised us in his first press conference.

November 07, 2006 10:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can't run the ball successfully (which is a mystery), can't cover average receivers (see Lanbert), play deeper as a safety (see Zibby), then USC will be a track meet and ND will lose yet another bowl. They haven't made the changes necessary be a legit big-time team this year. USC's touted frosh are playing meaningful minutes, ND' s are playing clean up. keep your hope up, but don't bet money on it.

November 08, 2006 2:17 AM


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