Notre Dame doesn’t need a special clause.
Fighting Irish football is back. It’s guaranteed to be ranked highly when the BCS rankings are released on Sunday night.
If Notre Dame finishes in the nation’s top eight, it would receive an automatic berth to a BCS bowl. As ridiculous as the rule is, at 6-0 and ranked No. 5 in the AP Top 25 and USA Today Poll, Notre Dame is perfectly capable of earning a BCS bowl berth without such help this season.
Expect the Fighting Irish to draw yet another No. 5 ranking, but they will have plenty of opportunities to rise in the BCS standings in the coming weeks.
Four of Notre Dame’s six remaining opponents are unranked. They aren’t borderline-ranked teams either. The combined record of BYU, Pittsburgh, Boston College and Wake Forest is 10-15.
That quartet of clubs should aid the Fighting Irish in their quest for an undefeated campaign. Their two greatest obstacles, No. 10 Oklahoma and No. 11 USC, will be challenging opponents, but the spoils of victory would include a notable point boost in the standings.
Notre Dame has already defeated three ranked teams this season in Michigan State, Michigan and Stanford. Adding another pair would give it an extremely impressive strength of schedule, something the Fighting Irish have been criticized for a lack of in the past.
By the time it takes on highly-touted pro prospects Landry Jones and Matt Barkley, any doubts surrounding Notre Dame’s schedule will have dissipated. And with the country’s second-best defense in points allowed leading the way, it has more than a fighter’s chance against the college football juggernauts.
For the first time in what seems like forever, a national championship is within reach for the Fighting Irish. If Everett Golson and the Notre Dame offense come even remotely close to matching Manti Te’o and the stop unit’s effort, a perfect regular season and a BCS title bid wouldn’t be shocking.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.