Monday, November 26, 2012

Irish Eyes Are Smiling at a Possible National Championship

Notre Dame's 22-13 victory over rival USC Saturday gave the Irish the jeweled shillelagh trophy as well as a berth in the BCS national championship game in Miami on January 7.

Despite not having starting quarterback Matt Barkley, the Trojans gave a decent effort behind a solid first career start from redshirt freshman Max Wittek.

The Irish were led by Theo Riddick who rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown to pace an Irish offense otherwise consisting of five Kyle Brindza field goals.

It was a big test passed for a Notre Dame team that has been tested primarily by its own shortcomings.

The much vaunted schedule strength has been simply good with the only real highlights being impressive road wins against USC and Oklahoma and a nice home win against Stanford.

The good thing for Irish fans is they don't have to worry about any of that now.

Now, they simply wait for the SEC to sort itself out to find an opponent for the biggest ND game in two decades.

My gut tells me that it will be Alabama facing the Irish. Despite tripping up against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, Alabama is still the most ruthlessly efficient team in the country.

Of course that's all simply conjecture.

I'll wait until things officially unfold next weekend to start analyzing a match up, which will give me plenty to fill the outrageous time left until the national championship is formally settled.

It will be 43 days since the Irish have played football when they tee it up in Miami and 36 days for their SEC opponent [I originally had these numbers wrong because apparently I can't count].

Lots and lots of dead air in other words.

I'll begin filling it by adding that sometime in the second quarter Saturday, I decided that Everett Golson is probably my favorite college football player currently.

People love to talk about Manti Te'o—and rightfully so—but the Notre Dame defense is good enough that without him, they would still be a top ten unit.

Without Golson, the Irish might have only won seven or eight games.

Aside from the fact his athleticism brings an element of unpredictability that defenses can't do much about, Everett has grown as a passer. He throws a nice, accurate, catchable ball and he rarely panics in the pocket.

I also love the way he whips his passes. In other words, his throwing motion is delightful and generates great power.

I'm not sure how he'll fare against a defense like Alabama's or Georgia's, but it sure will be exciting.

So once again, enjoy yourselves Irish fans. Toast the victories and now you can start imagining what it will be like to redecorate in South Bend.

For once though don't use gold, go for crystal.

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