Notre Dame Football: How Goal Line Stand vs Stanford Impacted Entire BCS Picture

Jake Martin@JakeMartinSECCorrespondent IIINovember 18, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 13:  Members of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensve ready to play against the offense of the Standford Cardinal at Notre Dame Stadium on October 13, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Stanford 20-13 in overtime.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The BCS was turned on its axis last Saturday when No. 1 Kansas State and No. 2 Oregon were both upset, but the entire BCS dynamic had already changed on a goal line stand in South Bend on Oct. 13.

Notre Dame just took a 20-13 lead in overtime against Stanford, which would later knock off Oregon in overtime. With Stanford knocking on the door to tie the game and send it to a second overtime against the Irish, Manti Te'o and this Notre Dame defense held strong.

On 4th-and-goal, the Fighting Irish held their ground and denied Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor the end zone, or so it seemed. At first glance, it looked as though Taylor was stopped short, but after gazing at the replays, it's apparent that Taylor may have crossed the goal line before touching the ground.

Anticipation built. The review came. It was drama at its finest. The crowd hung on every word the referee told them, and when he made the announcement that the play stands, a roar echoed throughout the stadium.

Little did we all know that it would have such a longing impact. It's because of that controversial play that the national title picture looks the way it does. What happens if that play is reversed and Stanford goes on to win that game?

Could we be looking at another All-SEC national championship? Would Stanford be No. 2 in the country behind Alabama? Change that loss to a win against Notre Dame and Stanford has only one loss with wins against top teams such as the Irish, Oregon State and Oregon.

Thinking back on it, that play was a lot bigger than first perceived, right? That play didn't decide who won a ball game.

Nope, it decided which team would play for a national championship, and with college football as unpredictable as it is, it could have given us an Alabama/Florida matchup in the national championship game.

SEC haters will now look back on that play and breath a sigh of relief, while at this very same moment, Stanford fans have to be wondering "what if?"

Whether you agreed or disagreed with that goal line stand call a month and some odd days ago, you have to admit it that it's turned out better this way. If you don't have a horse in this race, you have to acknowledge that it's pretty cool to see Notre Dame undefeated and on the verge to play for a national championship.

Add in the fact that the SEC will be looking to defend its six-straight national championship titles, and this makes the BCS Championship Game must-see television. Seriously, imagine it.

The Fighting Irish, one of the most storied programs in college football history, taking on another traditional power house in Alabama. Of course, this is assuming Notre Dame gets past USC and Alabama beats Auburn and Georgia.

And if there's anything we as college football fans have learned throughout the years, it's don't count your chickens before they hatch.

But let's pretend Alabama and Notre Dame win out. Both teams play for the ultimate prize, while Stanford most likely plays in the Kraft Fight Hunger, according to Jerry Palm's latest predictions.

Not even a Rose Bowl in this team's future? That's a tough pill to swallow, considering this team had a chance to play for a national title. One play/one call altered Stanford's destiny, but the same play/call will most likely create the greatest buzz surrounding a championship game in years.

The storyline is perfect. It's as if God wanted it this way. Touchdown Jesus.