At 5-0 for the first time since 2002, and with wins over rivals Michigan, Michigan State and Miami already in the bank, the Notre Dame hype machine is on full-blast.
The words BCS and even national championship are being not-so-quietly whispered around South Bend for the first time in years, as the Irish prepare for another huge challenge this weekend against No. 17 Stanford.
But for those who feel the team could become a victim of its own hype, head coach Brian Kelly says not so fast. His team isn't worrying about where it stands in relation to the BCS.
"It's not brought up at all," Kelly said at his Tuesday press conference in reference to his team's BCS chances.
"All we can focus on is what we can control on a day-to-day basis."
The first BCS standings of the season are set to be released on Sunday. By then the outcome of the Notre Dame-Stanford game will be known and will in large measure determine where the Irish rank.
A win would virtually guarantee the Irish a spot amongst the prized Top Five, which are automatic qualifiers, while a loss would diminish but likely not destroy their chances.
Stanford comes into Notre Dame Stadium with a 4-1 record and an impressive victory over preseason No. 1 USC. The Cardinal have won the last three meetings between the teams, including last season's 28-14 victory at Stanford Stadium.
Gone from that team, however, was this year's No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, starting quarterback Andrew Luck, who torched the Irish for four touchdown passes.
The media will be out in full force come the weekend, with ESPN setting up shop with all of its major programs. Mike and Mike in the Morning, featuring Notre Dame alum Mike Golic, will broadcast from Notre Dame on Friday.
More significantly, ESPN's flagship college football program College GameDay will also broadcast live on Saturday morning from South Bend.
Coach Kelly for one understands that even without Luck, this Stanford team is tough and well-coached and his team will need to stay focused despite all the pregame hype surrounding the contest.
"Just stay focused on what we can handle and what we need to handle, and we'll be fine."
It's an important message. The Irish have been impressive thus far, but if they buy too far into their own hype, they could have their dreams shattered on Saturday against a very good team.
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