Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Alabama loss could open the BCS door for Notre Dame

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A somewhat mundane, mid-November Notre Dame-Boston College game got a jolt of energy Saturday evening as Texas A&M knocked off top-ranked Alabama, greatly increasing the Irish's chances of playing for a national championship.

Alabama's loss leaves three undefeated teams (not including ineligible Ohio State) vying for a spot in the BCS championship game. As of last week, Kansas State was No. 2 in the BCS, with Oregon at No. 3 and Notre Dame at No. 4. Assuming the Wildcats handle TCU and the Irish handle BC tonight, those three will be the top three when the BCS standings are unveiled on Sunday night.

The question is, who will be in the top two at the end? If all three win out, all three will have a case.

Oregon, which will almost certainly be No. 1 in both human polls tomorrow, has the clearest path. If the Ducks win out, they'll have beaten USC (on the road last week), Stanford (at home next week) and Oregon State (on the road Thanksgiving weekend). That strength-of-schedule boost should push them ahead of Kansas State and keep them ahead of the Irish.

But what of the Wildcats and the Irish? Kansas State -- which has wins over Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State -- closes with Baylor next week and Texas on Dec. 1 -- a week after the Irish finish the season at USC. So awin over the preseason No. 1 Trojans might not be enough to push Notre Dame ahead of KSU, as USC is a pedestrian 6-3 (and will have its hands full again next week against UCLA). But the Irish will point to wins over Oklahoma, Stanford and Michigan as evidence that it deserves the bid (and critics, of course, will understandably point to near-disasters at home against BYU and Pittsburgh).

As it stands now, Notre Dame is still the odd team out, with the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl all possible destinations. But Alabama's loss certainly makes a trip to the Jan. 7 BCS championship game in Miami a more realistic possibility. 

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Yea 3 or 4 non FBS teams real hard schedule. The ducks only had one or two big games this year. Easy schedule they don't deserve to go to the BCS championship.

Why would the coaches and writers compare ND/OK and ND/Miami to K-State's box scores for the same teams? Because it would force them to admit their anti-ND Catholic bias.

The computers have consistently ranked Notre Dame either 1 or 2 and ignoring a prepared OK held to 15 yards rushing to an unprepared turnover plagued slip-by-win is indefensible.

Oregon has a chance with its three remains games to jump their average computer ranking from sixth to perhaps even first but they currently don't belong in the 1 or 2 spot without massive voter bias. Their schedule to date simply doesn't justify it.

There's a ton of football to be played and each team has some serious challenges remaining but thankfully, given this very public bias (voter/computer discrepancy), the coaches and writers will be held publicly accountable.

Aussie, are you serious??? Oregon has a cupcake's no wonder they are the "highest scoring offense in the Country", they hardly play anyone with a good defense, or ANYONE for that matter. If Notre Dame played nobodies I'm sure they could run up the score and be #1 too. The whole entire ranking system is crap. GO IRISH, screw the Ducks!!!

Mate, don't forget . . . Notre Dame is God's team, and they have gold helmets.

Im an auusie and all I can say is Oregon should be no.1. They have had the hardest schedule in college football and after bama losing to a&m I believe they deserve no.1 in the bcs...

"... the preseason No. 1 Trojans..." Seriously? How is the preseason ranking of a 7-3 team, currently ranked #19 in the BCS, significant?

Golic Senior and Herbstreet claimed KSU would be odd man out if all three won out. But I agree with this analysis. ND has to hope OR or KSU loses in order to play for national championship.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Lazerus published on November 10, 2012 6:43 PM.

Nix shows his tough side in 'gutsy' effort vs. Pitt was the previous entry in this blog.

Halftime update: Golson leads Irish to 14-3 lead is the next entry in this blog.

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