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.

Sunday, November 19

Notre Dame's National Title Push

Once again Notre Dame lost for winning. This time Arkansas passed the Irish in the coaches’ poll. They are now sixth in both polls, which might be worrisome, except for the fact they stayed fifth in the BCS rankings, with only USC left.

Of course, that’s a very big USC, and that helps. The Trojans’ win over California ensured Saturday’s showdown in Los Angeles will rank just behind the Ohio State-Michigan thriller for national impact, although people bracing for Florida-Arkansas in the SEC title game might disagree.

To heck with them.

Anyway, to move past three other teams to reach the national title game opposite Ohio State, Notre Dame not only has to beat USC, but win impressively. Even then, that might not be enough to pass a Michigan team that drubbed the Irish in South Bend two months ago.

In fact, it won’t be enough, but why take away hope now. Enjoy the week. Enjoy the hype. And if you get to enjoy the USC game aftermath (a tough task considering the Trojans have won 32 straight home games, 54 of 57 overall, with coach Pete Carroll 19-0 in November), well, don’t sweat the rest of it. After all, the Rose or Sugar bowls are a nice consolation prize.

Who knows? If there’s an Ohio State-Michigan II, there might also be a USC-Notre Dame II.


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