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Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o is a Heisman candidate.
It seems like the Notre Dame Fighting Irish fail to live up to their hype every year, but they may have finally turned a corner this season.
The No. 9 Fighting Irish have started the season 4-0 and despite a tough schedule, they look like they could make a real push up the polls.
The offense has only been so-so to this point, but the Notre Dame defense has looked absolutely fantastic.
Led by Heisman candidate Manti Te'o, the defense has surrendered under 300 total yards and just nine points per game. That gives the Irish a chance to win any week.
Again, Notre Dame's schedule is pretty daunting, and they have upcoming games against Stanford and on the road against Oklahoma and USC. But now that both Stanford and Oklahoma have taken a loss, Notre Dame no longer plays against undefeated teams.
A legitimate chance to run the table is in play for the Irish, a fact that head coach Brian Kelly is trying to downplay. He recently told reporters (per WNDU.com's Angelo Di Carlo):
We would refer to that as the noise, that's the noise out there. They need to focus on the process and the process for them is every day, the attention to detail—how they go to practice and how they prepare.
The fact remains that Notre Dame's defense, combined with their opponent's struggles, could put the Fighting Irish in a great position late in this season.