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.

Friday, November 17

Quinn, Smith and Clooney -- You Decide

Are you shocked that George Clooney -- George Clooney!!! -- was named the sexiest man alive instead of Brady Quinn? Are you looking for payback?

Well, get a hold of yourself. There's football to be played and Quinn's Heisman Trophy prospects could very well be decided Saturday.

No, it doesn't have much to do with Notre Dame's game against Army. Quinn could lose the Heisman with a really bad game, but that won't happen. He'll play well, put up some good numbers and lead the Irish to a victory.

Quinn's chances likely rest with Troy Smith and the Ohio State-Michigan game.

Unless you've just returned after a long abduction by aliens -- so that's what happened to Regis Philbin lately -- you know that Ohio State and Michigan might well be playing for the national championship and that Smith is Quinn's biggest rival for the Heisman.

Their numbers are very similar, although Smith has the slight edge in completion percentage and quarterback rating. The fact his Buckeyes are No. 1 and 11-0 is the biggest plus.

Here's the deal, and I know something about the deal because I am a Heisman voter. If Smith plays well and leads Ohio State to a victory, it's over. He's the Heisman winner. Quinn, after all, had his Michigan chance and look what happened there.

If Smith plays OK and the Buckeyes win, Quinn has a chance. If he plays well and the Buckeyes lose, Quinn has a chance. If he struggles and Ohio State loses, Quinn moves into the driver's seat, with this big qualifier -- it will come down to his performance the next week at USC.

So if you're a Notre Dame fan, which means you're also a Quinn fan, you'd better be rooting for Michigan and the Wolverines sacking Smith about 10 times.

And as for that Clooney guy? How many football games has he won?


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