Notre Dame Football: Irish Are Lock to Reach BCS Title Game After Wild Week 12

Chris HummerAnalyst INovember 18, 2012

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 15:  Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reacts after beating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 20-3 at Spartan Stadium Stadium on September 15, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Oh what a wild Week 12, but it must have had a little to do with the luck of the Irish because Notre Dame is now a lock to reach the BCS title game.

Notre Dame needed help to get to the championship game, and it was delivered by the two schools that lost the most from last season’s NFL draft.

The Bears, without RG3, knocked out Kansas State, the No. 1 team in the country, by four touchdowns. Stanford, who is doing just fine without Andrew Luck, held down a potent Oregon offense to defeat the nation's No. 2 by a field goal in overtime.

These two upsets leave what was No. 3 Notre Dame as the sole undefeated team in the FBS and the new No. 1 team in the BCS rankings.

More importantly, though, the losses give the Irish the inside track to reach the national title game.

Now, all they need is one win at the LA Coliseum against a free-falling USC squad to reach it.

Expect them to do so with ease.

The Irish are rolling entering this game, and have everything to play for.

USC, on the other hand, is floundering. The Trojans have gone from preseason No. 1 to likely unranked after they fell to cross-town rival UCLA on Saturday.

Plus, USC's best player, quarterback Matt Barkley, suffered a shoulder injury on the game’s final play. He left the game with his arm in a sling and his status for the Notre Dame game is in question (via AOL Sporting News).

But, even with Barkley, the slow-starting, underachieving and poor finishing team that is USC wouldn't be able to beat Notre Dame. It doesn't have the toughness to do so.

The Trojans have failed to win any of their big contests this season, despite having superior talent in all of them. They're just not a tough fourth-quarter team, and that's an attribute that defines this Irish team more than anything.

Brian Kelly has molded the Irish into a hard-nosed, defensive squad that's grinded out a pair of overtime games and two other contests that were decided by three points.

Notre Dame gets it done when it counts and they will not lose to USC with everything on the line.

The Irish may not blow the Trojans out, but they will come away with the much-needed victory that will propel them to the championship game.

After all, they have all the luck, right?