Notre Dame Football: Power Ranking Irish's Ideal BCS Matchups

Randy ChambersAnalyst INovember 12, 2012

Notre Dame Football: Power Ranking Irish's Ideal BCS Matchups

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    We are inching closer to the BCS bowl selection process, but there are still so many possibilities that could take place. Nothing is set in stone just yet, and what you think may happen today, could all be turned upside down with just one week of games being played.

    We do know that Notre Dame is as good of a lock as you are going to get to participate in a BCS bowl for the first time since 2006.

    The question now is, like many other programs, exactly where are the Irish going to travel to play in January? Another important question has to do with which team Notre Dame will play, as there are still many to choose from.

    With more questions than answers at this point, let's take a look at some of the more ideal matchups for the Irish during the 2012 college football bowl season.

5. Kansas State

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    Bowl That Would Host: BCS National Championship Game

    How Matchup Could Take Place: Oregon ends up losing at some point in the year with matchups against possibly three ranked opponents (including the Pac-12 Championship Game). Notre Dame then wins out and finishes as a top-two team in the country.

    Why Irish Would Welcome This Meeting: Like many of the teams Notre Dame has played this season, Kansas State is a one-man show with quarterback Collin Klein running the offense. The Irish have done a terrific job of eliminating the guy that can hurt you the most and will likely be able to do the same against the Wildcats. 

    If these two teams were to meet, it would likely end up in a defensive battle and feature a low-scoring outcome. That is exactly what this Irish team prefers and it's how its played all season long, winning many close contests. Notre Dame would have to be favored due to the experience, even if the offense isn't up to par.

4. Florida

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    Bowl That Would Host: BCS Fiesta Bowl

    How Matchup Could Take Place: Kansas State reaches the national championship and Oklahoma loses one of its three remaining games, which includes a trip to Morgantown this weekend. The bowl would then have no other team to pick from the Big 12 and would be foolish to pass up on Notre Dame. Florida could then be taken as a highly respected SEC team with an at-large selection.

    Why Irish Would Welcome This Meeting: Have you seen the Florida Gators play lately? I know there are victories over Texas A&M, South Carolina and LSU in there, but the team nearly lost to Missouri and Louisiana-Lafayette recently. While many are criticizing the performance of the Irish against subpar teams, Florida hasn't exactly been lighting it up lately as well.

    The Gators are physical on both sides of the ball, but this is a game that would likely come down to the wire, favoring Notre Dame once again.

3. Nebraska

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    Bowl That Would Host: BCS Rose Bowl

    How Matchup Could Take Place: Nebraska wins the Big Ten, earning an automatic bid. Oregon then makes the national championship, but no other Pac-12 team is eligible with Stanford and others falling out of the Top 14. Notre Dame would then be selected to put the Irish in this game for the first time since 1924.

    Why Irish Would Welcome This Meeting: Besides it being a rare trip out west to play in "The Granddaddy of Them All," Notre Dame would get to play against one of the most one-dimensional offenses in the country. Although quarterback Taylor Martinez has improved somewhat as a passer, the Cornhuskers are still ranked 84th in the country in throwing the football, while they prefer to run the ball for over 260 yards a game.

    Notre Dame is currently sixth in the country in run defense and would make things difficult for this Nebraska offense all night long.

2. Oklahoma

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    Bowl That Would Host: BCS Fiesta Bowl

    How Matchup Could Take Place: The SEC champion makes its way into the national championship, which would then open up an at-large possibility for the Irish to have a rematch against the Sooners. Of course, Kansas State would be in the national championship, which would also mean the Oregon Ducks would have to lose as well. Probably the least likely, but it would result in a favorable matchup for Notre Dame.

    Why Irish Would Welcome This Meeting: They say beating a team twice in one year is one of the harder things to do in the game of football. But the way Notre Dame dominated the Sooners on both sides of the ball earlier this year, you can't help but think the Irish would find a way to be victorious again.

    The offensive line overpowered the Sooners' defensive front, Landry Jones couldn't get anything going and it was one of the few performances that the Irish looked like a true national championship contender. The fans may not enjoy seeing a contest that has already taken place, but if we are talking about ideal matchups, this would be one of them.

1. Wisconsin

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    Bowl That Would Host: BCS Rose Bowl

    How Matchup Could Take Place: Wisconsin wins the Big Ten, earning an automatic bid. Oregon then makes the national championship, but no other Pac-12 team is eligible, which opens things up for Notre Dame.

    Why Irish Would Welcome This Meeting: If you thought Nebraska relied on its running game a lot, Wisconsin has no passing game whatsoever, as running back Montee Ball is this offense's first, second and third option. The Badgers have only thrown for 1,668 yards as a team, which is a total less than that of 83 other quarterbacks in college football.

    If Ball does not run for over 100 yards and score a couple touchdowns, the Badgers put themselves in serious jeopardy to lose the football game. The problem is that Notre Dame has seen this before with Le'Veon Bell in Michigan State and Stepfan Taylor in Stanford.

    This matchup would certainly result in the first BCS bowl victory in Notre Dame history.