Mission Possible: Irish in Drivers Seat for National Title Shot
Is this a dream? Am I really seeing this incredible story unfold like it is? That is what I’ve been asking myself over the last few hours as my Victory hangover has subsided. No, this isn’t a dream and yes, I am really seeing the Irish write the script to their own BCS Title Movie. Over the last few weeks many College Football pundits have told us why Notre Dame isn’t title worthy. Why the once “toughest” schedule looks relatively easy. It would’ve been easy for all of them to be able to look into our TV sets this week and say to us “I knew Notre Dame was overrated” but unfortunately for them the Irish don’t care what you think!
As we head down the back stretch of this college football season the blue and gold sit among the elite of the game. Both in the polls and the ever important BCS computer rankings. The Irish have continued to improve week after week. The defense last night used the bend but don’t break mentality. They did give up a lot of yards through the air, as Landry Jones tossed for 356 yards. But most of those yards came between the 20′s and once the Sooners were inside the red-zone that is where their drives went to die! An offense that was coming in averaging 45 points a game, close to 200 rushing yards a game, and striking fear into opposing defenses. Then you look at what ND did to Oklahoma on Saturday night and you should realize this is an elite defensive unit! Led by Heisman Trophy front runner Manti Te’o held Oklahoma to 1 touchdown and 2 FG’s, stifled the running game to just 15 yards on 24 carries. If you were wondering that breaks down to .6 yards per carry. I’m not a math genius but that’s pretty good. The Irish front seven didn’t dominate like they had before by living in the Sooner backfield, but the Irish front seven tackled everything that moved Saturday night. The Oklahoma receivers did have a nice day but they didn’t have any breath taking TD’s or long runs. The Irish defense is fantastic at tackling, they always seem to be in the right position, they break you down and fly to the ball and smack you right in the chest. It’s a beautiful sight to see if you’re a football fan. The Irish defensive unit is led in the booth by Bob Diaco and to be honest if he’s not a D1 head coach within the next 3 years I’ll be shocked. Just look at what he’s done in a short three years with the Domers.
The man who stole the show last night was Everett Golson, the kid was 13/25 for 177 yards. He didn’t throw for 400 and 4 TD’s but he didn’t turn it over and he looked every bit the guy Brian Kelly has said he is all season. The pass that sold me on EG was on 2nd and 2 after the Sooners had just tied the game. Golson unleashed a beauty of a deep ball to Chris Brown (not that Chris Brown). Brown is a kid the Irish have tried to get in the game plan for weeks and he showed up big time on that drive. Then to cap off his coming out party he ran in a TD to put the Irish up for good in Norman. All in all Everett Golson looks to have nailed down the starting job in South Bend, and the D dominates week after week.
So in the next 4 weeks the Irish have lesser teams in their way with battles with Pitt, Boston College (always scary, remember 1993!), Wake Forest, and then USC on Thanksgiving weekend. For the first time since that 1993 team beat Florida State the Irish are a legit title contender and if they run the table from here on out it’s going to be hard for anyone to keep them from Miami and the National Title Game. Alabama is amazing, Oregon is stupid athletic, Kansas State is solid and has Optimus Klein, and Notre Dame has something 2 of the 3 don’t have- HISTORY! Is it fair that if ND is there with Oregon or K State they get in because they are ND? No it’s not fair but…..I Don’t CARE!!!!! If ND is in the discussion for the title game they will get there. I’m not saying crazy things can’t happen but I’d be stunned if they don’t handle the next three teams and then battle USC for a shot at a title.
If I’m really dreaming and this season is a figment of my imagination, please do me a favor and don’t wake me up till Tuesday, January 8th. That is the day after the National Title game and if this is a dream, it’s going to be a happy one! National Championship Style!!