For a couple of weeks now I’ve had a blog all written in my head. It was going to be about an undefeated Notre Dame team being being denied the chance to play for the National Championship. I’ve been practicing my righteous indignation and preparing myself for the unfairness of it all and rehearsing my outrage. But it presumed that all the teams ahead of them would run the table as well so I sort of sat on it. And then… the last two Saturdays happened. It turns out I was stocking up on supplies for a Frankenstorm that went out to sea. The Irish are No. 1. The only undefeated team in the country (you don’t count, Ohio St.).
It’s been almost 20 years since the last time they were No. 1, so you’ll have to forgive Irish fans if we’re a little rusty on how this is supposed to go. I’d forgotten how when Notre Dame is on top everyone tries to act like it doesn’t count somehow. The schools in the power conferences are saying they should be punished for not playing a conference championship. The haters talk their typical horseshit about soft schedules. The anti-Irish jihadists claim they’ll get blown out of the stadium by Pick One: Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State. So Bama and Oregon lose at home and KSU gets annihilated by Baylor.
The Irish meanwhile have played 10 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. Going into yesterday they’d played the 25th toughest schedule in terms of opponents’ winning percentage, as opposed to 41st by KSU and 59th by Oregon. They faced 6 teams that scored 40+ points the week before facing the Irish and held them to a combined 55 points. They’ve played more Top 25 teams than anyone in the country and beaten them all. You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. And now assuming they take care of business at USC next week, the haters and deniers have to come to grips with the fact that they can’t keep Notre Dame out of the title game.