Notre Dame Football: What Saturday's Epic Clash Means for the Irish

Matthew GuintoContributor IIIOctober 26, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 20:  Manti T'eo #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates with Dan Fox #48 (L) and Matthias Farley #41 after intercepting a pass against of the BYU Cougars at Notre Dame Stadium on October 20, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Niotre Dame defeated BYU 17-14.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The undefeated and fifth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish will visit eighth-ranked Oklahoma in what should be a real competitive clash. It is a game with some pretty massive implications, and the Irish hope that their road to reclaiming glory will include a pit stop in the BCS Championship. 

Here is what a win will mean for the Irish and a few pieces of history that you may not know:


With a win...

The Irish will go 8-0 for the first time since 2002. It would also mark the 20th time that the program has gone undefeated through the first eight games of a season and would give the Irish their longest win streak since 2006 when they also strung together eight straight. 

In 2006, Notre Dame finished 10-3, a record that it hasn't been able to match since. With a win, the Irish will feel that this is their year. This would mark their 16th win in their last 19 games, which would suggest that they may have fully recovered from their 3-9 season in 2007. This would just be the crowning jewel, the marquis victory to solidify that they are "all in" for the BCS title. 

It is also the first time since 2006 that Notre Dame has faced a Top 10 side when ranked in the Top 10 themselves. Although that outing didn't turn out so well for the Fighting Irish—losing 44-24 at USC—they will be confident on this road trip. But even Top 10 showdowns with Oklahoma aren't anything new. In fact, of Notre Dame's nine all-time meetings with the Sooners, both sides were ranked in the Top 10 in four of them. 

If the Irish do leave Oklahoma with a victory, it will be the first time since 2004 in which they recorded two wins over Top 10 teams in the same season. And should the BCS rankings stay the same, all that will be left are a few unranked opponents in Pittsburgh, Boston College and Wake Forest before they wrap things up at ninth-ranked USC in November. 

Of course, if they beat the Sooners on Saturday, the Irish will be focused on an undefeated season and a trip to the BCS Championship. With a win, it would seem good to wager on them doing just that.

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