Notre Dame vs. Boston College: Why Irish Can't Afford Another Close Game

Randy ChambersAnalyst INovember 10, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 03: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish talks to coaches on the headphones during a game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Notre Dame Stadium on November 3, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Pittsburgh 29-26 in triple overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

If you are an Irish fan that hasn't already had a heart attack, you are probably hoping that tonight's game against Boston College ends in a blowout.

You are tired of sitting on the edge of your seat; your heart is pounding, as you can't stand any more overtime contests and games that end in the final minutes.

Truthfully, neither can the Irish if they know what is good for them.

Notre Dame needed a last-second drive against Purdue, an overtime game against Stanford, and recently three overtimes against Pittsburgh. This season has been full of games that have gone down to the wire. The Irish have needed every bit of luck from those leprechauns that it could get this year.

This team could easily have a pair of losses if the college football gods weren't on their side each and every week.

Tonight's game against the Eagles should result in wide-margin victory for Notre Dame, something Irish fans haven't seen much of this year. But if the game does come down to the final seconds, even if Notre Dame is on the winning side, it could cost the program when trying to make a national championship case.

Alabama, a team currently ahead of Notre Dame, has had absolutely no problem with its schedule. In fact, the only game that was decided by one possession on the Crimson Tide’s schedule happened to be against the No. 5 team in the country at the time.

Kansas State has looked terrific on both sides of the ball, breezing right through the schedule with victories over four ranked teams. While there was a minor scare against a feisty Iowa State team, the Wildcats have knocked off three of those four ranked opponents by at least two scores.

Then of course, Oregon, who happens to be the flashiest team in the country. The Ducks have scored at least 50 points in six games this year and haven’t had a close contest all season long. Even with the game against USC last week that was decided by 11 points, it didn't appear to be as close as the score indicated.

Notre Dame has played well all season long, but unlike the teams ahead in the BCS rankings, the Irish aren't scaring anybody. While Alabama, Kansas State and Oregon are imposing its will on other teams, Notre Dame is limping across the finish line, often ending games in controversy or having the ball bounce their way at the right moment.

What makes things even more bizarre with this team is that the Irish haven't had issues with ranked opponents. They took care of Michigan State fairly easily, made sure Michigan could get nothing going on offense, and controlled Oklahoma. But a three-point victory over BYU and needing extra time to beat Pittsburgh isn't very convincing to the pollsters or the BCS.

Everybody knows how great the defense is and how well this team has improved from last season. But in order to jump any of the three teams ahead of them, the Irish must start dominating the teams it is supposed to and show the college football world that Notre Dame should be in the national championship conversation.

Brian Kelly and company can start tonight with a lopsided victory over the 2-7 Boston College Eagles.