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This Weekend Tests Who College Football Hates More: Lane Kiffin or Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 20: The leprechaun mascot of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish yells on the field during the game against the University of Southern California Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium October 20, 2007 in South Bend, Indiana. USC defeated Notre Dame 38-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Lisa HornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterNovember 20, 2012

Notre Dame vs. USC is for all the marbles.

Notre Dame, perhaps the most polarizing team in the country, is the No. 1 team. And the Fighting Irish are playing a team that has the most polarizing coach in college football: Lane Kiffin.

For fans who don't root for either of these teams—and there tens of millions of them—who do they root for?

It's akin to a 5-year-old child being forced to choose between creamed spinach and Brussels sprouts at the dinner table—you have to choose one.

And both make you gag.

Both teams have an arrogance about them, but let's face it—football programs with a winning history have a right to be arrogant. They earned it. Ask Alabama fans.

It's just so difficult to root for those teams because you're so sick of seeing them at the top. 

So sick of them being "overrated." So sick of Notre Dame's graduation stats being thrown in your face as an excuse for mediocre football. So sick of that lily-white visor on Lane Kiffin's head.

Kiffin hasn't endeared anyone in SEC country after his tumultuous one-and-done exit from Tennessee. With their team now searching for another head coach—Derek Dooley was dismissed earlier this week—Volunteers fans are still seething over Kiffin's defection to the greener pastures in Los Angeles.

USC is 7-4 and reeling after losing to UCLA 38-28 last week, and nothing would make Vols fans—and their SEC brethren—happier than to see USC's fall from grace take a nosedive by losing to Notre Dame. Right?

Wrong.

If USC beats Notre Dame, that would catapult another SEC team (Florida) into the BCS Championship game against Alabama, assuming the Tide beat Auburn this Saturday and Georgia the following week.

SEC fans should be rooting for Kiffin and Co. to beat the Irish, and that's a tough pill to swallow. But what about fans outside SEC country?

Rooting for Notre Dame?

The Fighting Irish are now back, and while bowl officials couldn't be more pleased about this latest turn of events, not every college football fan is happy about this. Notre Dame is that kid in the family who always gets special treatment because mom and dad love him more. 

The Irish have their own network contract. The Irish pick and choose who they want to play because their football program doesn't play in a conference. The Irish also have that really annoying leprechaun doing a jig behind their end zone.

He's almost as annoying as the USC marching band's mind-numbing, repetitious drum beating of "Tribute to Troy" every five minutes.  

Both teams annoy the hell out of college football fans, don't they?

Must you pick a team? Yes, you must. 

Pick USC, and we'll probably see another SEC vs. SEC BCS Championship game.

Pick Notre Dame, and the Irish's arrogance could go to DEFCON 1 if they—of all teams—end the SEC's 6-0 BCS Championship streak.

Brussels sprouts or creamed spinach.

Pick your poison. 

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