As much fun as this 6-0 run has been in South Bend, the Irish may be steaming toward an undefeated season that still falls short of the national title game. Yes, Notre Dame could get screwed out of the BCS title game, even if they run the table.
Being an Independent in the game of college football is becoming less and less appealing for teams like Notre Dame. The Irish have their own television deal with NBC, but that alone will not sustain a program that is starving for national titles.
The Irish recently announced a tie to the ACC in the coming years, but they are still not going to be a full member in football. It makes no sense to keep the distance at this point, and here are the five reasons why.
Believe it, Notre Dame, there is a chance that an undefeated run could fall short of the title game.
The LSU Tigers are the first team that comes to mind when the chat about a one-loss SEC team landing in the national title begins. LSU has lost one football game so far this season, but the Bayou Bengals control their own destiny with games remaining against Alabama and Mississippi State that will challenge a one-loss run.
This LSU team has what it takes to become a really good football team. The Tigers found a gem in running back Jeremy Hill this past Saturday, as he rushed for over 100 yards against a very good South Carolina defense.
There is an opportunity for this team possibly to win out and then win the SEC title, vaulting them into the national title game against an undefeated Oregon.
There is a chance that Notre Dame could face this scenario. All the more reason the Irish need to join the ACC outright. Do that and Notre Dame is an automatic qualifier with a conference resume sitting behind it.
Oregon is a team from the Pac-12 that the Notre Dame faithful need to begin watching. The goal for Oregon is obviously to finish the season undefeated, but some tough contests lay ahead.
As long as Oregon can stay a one-loss team and win the Pac-12 championship, they will be a BCS contender.
There is a huge drop in the rankings percentage from No. 4 to No. 5, giving Oregon another edge in the event of a loss. Oregon is a .8993 and Notre Dame is a .8774.
The Irish are a good program, but could you argue that a one-loss Oregon team was worse? Most people would say that a one-loss Oregon should go to the national title game over an undefeated Notre Dame.
I would contend that the only way that a Pac-12 one-loss team should jump Notre Dame is if it is Oregon in the regular season. A loss late would not keep them over the Irish, but if they fall to Arizona State in Tempe, they could still overcome the loss.
The ACC has been downright terrible this season outside of Florida State. The Seminoles looked sluggish again this past Saturday, but winning an ACC title may be a big jolt in the arm if some key teams in the Top 10 lose.
The way that college football has been running so far this season, it would not be surprising to see Florida State make the climb after some key losses that could come.
The ACC has not been very good, but a team like Florida State has still been very explosive offensively. They would be a fun matchup in a title game and may pull more clout than an undefeated Notre Dame with a conference title on their belt.
Sometimes just starting the season higher in the rankings pays off. That is the story behind Kansas State's current No. 4 ranking. The Wildcats do play in the Big 12 and will face a tough stretch to finish the season, but right now they edge out an undefeated Notre Dame.
Kansas State has a great group offensively that is led by Collin Klein and a strong defense that is signature Bill Snyder football. Kansas State just has to keep on winning and the Wildcats will ruin the Irish faithfuls' day.
This Kansas State team is a much more complete football team. They have experience at nearly every position and are very efficient on both sides of the football.
Look for Klein to lead this guys to an undefeated season and a shot at the national title over Notre Dame.
Alabama made the point a year ago that you didn’t have to win a conference title to get to the BCS national title game. Can that be the same for Notre Dame?
It doesn’t appear that way. The teams that are looking to finish the season ahead of Notre Dame all have an extra week of competition with a conference title game. That hurts the Irish.
Even if it looks like this season is setting up to be special for Notre Dame, they have to tread lightly with expectations. There are a number of teams ahead of them that have to lose, and Notre Dame has some strong opponents left on the schedule.
Undefeated isn’t guaranteed, but it may not matter with all of the talented teams that surround the Irish in the Top 10.