Sunday, November 18, 2012

College Football Just Imploded and Notre Dame is the New No. 1

There's little doubt that college football's final weeks of the regular season tend to be chaotic, but this weekend was absolutely nuts.

For the first time since December 2007, the top two teams in the BCS standings lost Saturday vaulting the Irish to the top spot and opening the floodgates for challengers—so long as they're from the SEC.

This scenario seemed unthinkable just a week ago when Kansas State moved atop the rankings with the vaunted Oregon offense nipping at the Wildcats' heels.

Now, the national championship dreams of those teams are shattered and the Golden Dome is shining a little brighter with the Irish once again ranked No. 1.

You can debate the merits of this team all you like. Notre Dame might not be the best team in the country, but thus far, they've earned the opportunity to prove it in the BCS title game.

Undeniable is the fact that ND is 11-0 and every other eligible team (how's that taste Buckeyes?) has lost at least once now.

Brian and I briefly discussed this kind of experience a couple weeks ago. We weren't really sure what would happen down the stretch, but we agreed that if you can finish the undefeated it's a special season regardless of what the stupid polls tell us.

I liken the Irish experience this year to my youthful days in Blacksburg during the Hokies' magical run to the national championship game in 1999.

No one really expected that to happen.

Tech was relying on a mobile redshirt-freshman quarterback, a stout defense filled with NFL talent and a whole lot of luck. Frank Beamer just hoped things would come together.

Along the road there were some close calls and furious comebacks and despite preseason predictions, Tech found itself in the BCS national championship game.

Sound familiar?

Now, as I told Brian during his late night post game call Saturday, don't go getting drunk and excited and order tickets to Miami just yet.

There's nothing more worrisome than a wounded team as talented the USC Trojans, especially in a big rivalry game.

USC has had plenty of troubles recently, and the biggest may be the potentially separated throwing shoulder of quarterback Matt Barkley.

Despite that and the fact that I—along with most people—don't think too highly of Lane Kiffen's coaching abilities, this will be a very difficult game.

USC coach Lane Kiffen practices his ND post game press conference responses. 

Even worrying about USC is looking too far into the future. Enjoy the moment Irish fans. Realize what this season has been so far and don't focus too much on the possibilities.

As the Hokie nation is painfully aware, seasons like these don't happen too often. They are special things to be savored and remembered for years to come.

The game next week will be just like the season. Tense moments with potential heartbreak that  can quickly turn to jubilation.

Just remember, you're No. 1 and no one can take that away.

Well, except maybe the Trojans.

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