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, December 3

Intriguing Sugar Bowl Matchup

Okay, now we know Notre Dame is heading to New Orleans to face LSU in the Sugar Bowl. We know this matchup is full of intrigue, with the Irish mystique against the Tigers southern power (they won the national title in 2004). We know LSU will have a home field advantage given the relative short distance from the New Orleans Superdome to its campus in Baton Rouge, La.

Still, Notre Dame figured to play Florida in the Sugar Bowl until the Gators somehow jumped Michigan in the two human polls and wound up in the national title game against No. 1 Ohio State.

That leads to the obvious question -- both Irish coach Charlie Weis and LSU coach Les Miles voted on the coaches' poll. So who did they vote for?

"From my end," Weis said, "it was a fairly easy decision. Not to be disrespectful to Florida. I agree going 12-1 and winning the SEC is a high-end accolade. But it's only right to show respect to a team that beat you soundly at home, so I voted for Michigan."

Miles, a Michigan graduate and former long-time Wolverine assistant coach, had a different viewpoint.

"I felt the SEC winner with one loss might deserve the opportunity (to play in the national championship game)," he said. "I had to vote for what was right."

In his view, that was Florida.

Does that sound right to you? Do you care? If so, let us know and we'll tabulate and post the results.

In the meantime, consider this -- Notre Dame has lost eight straight bowl games, which ties a NCAA record. LSU has won seven of its last nine, and is 2-0 in BCS events. The Tigers are swift and athletic, and the Irish have not fared well against those kind of teams lately.

The odds favor LSU. But maybe this year, this year, the odds can even out.


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