“It’s not a miracle. We just decided to go.” – Tom Hanks, “Apollo 13″
Fox – The Fighting Irish have ascended the FBS mountain and sit atop the top 25 for the first time since 1993 and the BCS rankings for the first time ever. They have done it with staunch defensive play and a solid running game and while it hasn’t always been pretty, they have played 11 games and won them all… There is a large portion of the college football world that for whatever reason, will never view the Irish as a legitimate No. 1 regardless of the mounting evidence that points to the contrary. There is one question I would like answered by those who see Brian Kelly’s squad as second-fiddle to teams like Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State and even Georgia. Where does your hatred for the Irish come from? Is it the fact that the program portrays itself as a “holier than thou” entity that can do no wrong? Or the fact, that we as a nation are force-fed Notre Dame football, with its television package with NBC and the media’s constant coverage of the program? I can almost buy either argument as to how someone winds up with a jaded view of the school or football program. That however, should not cloud the fact that Notre Dame is sitting at the apex of the college football world and deserves it.
Where does the hatred for the Irish come from? I got this. Believe me, as a guy who’s had a front row seat to the Patriots ascension from Obscurity to Greatness to The Most Resented Team in All of Pro Sports, I can tell you exactly where the hatred comes from. It’s simple jealousy. As we at the Stool have been saying for years with the Patriots, they hate us because they want to be us. Granted, the two aren’t completely analogous. Except for one season of the Charlie Weis era the Irish haven’t been good for a generation and the Patriots are in the hunt every single year. But there are similarities. Both programs pride themselves on winning the right way. By building around coachable, good-character guys instead of ignorant punks. And that approach is a breeding ground for jealousy and resentment. Do you think for one second some corrupt program like USC or Ohio St., who spend every day trying to stay one step ahead of the NCAA posse, want to lose to a team whose defensive linemen are carrying 3.8s in Chemical Engineering? Hell no. It makes everyone in all the football factory schools look even worse than they already do. And that’s why the Irish only got 56 out of 59 votes in the stupid USA Today poll even though they’re the only (relevant) undefeated team in the country. Just plain old jealousy born of a winning tradition with high standards of academic achievement. It’s no more complicated than that.
PS. The Irish being non-unanimous is the greatest reason ever for a playoff. I mean, what did the other 3 voters do? Vote Libertarian? Write in their daughter’s name like my brother did in the Presidential race a few years ago? It’s a disgrace they’re even allowed to vote. @JerryThornton1