One half of the BCS title picture is crystal clear heading into championship week for the first time in recent memory. Notre Dame has laid claim to a title game berth and are getting ready to begin preparation for the trip to Miami.
Notre Dame finds itself in a stalemate of sorts currently, with no football left to play before January.
The Irish can have 15 practices before the national title game, but that gives them a week less of practice compared to their future SEC opponent. While less practice and a long layoff seems like it would be a problem for the Irish, I think it helps this team.
There have been seven BCS title games that have hosted a conference title game winner and a non-title game playing team. The conference title game winners are 5-2 all-time, but how many of those wins were supposed to happen?
Answer: all of them.
History doesn’t favor layoffs in the title game, but that doesn't matter. No BCS title winner has won because they had an additional Top 25 game to finish the year. If anything, an extra game wears down a team and provides an additional 60 minutes for major injuries to come into play.
The SEC Championship will be played this coming weekend while Notre Dame will sit at home. Georgia and Alabama will have one more week of practice, but it isn’t as if they are preparing for the BCS title game already.
The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide have to focus on each other in a game that matches the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the country. There won’t be time for any BCS title talk this week.
Having to fight for a win against a Top Five team tends to draw a lot of focus for a football team.
For Notre Dame, the preparation can begin for the January showdown immediately.
Will the layoff matter for the Irish?
If I am Brian Kelly, this would be an excellent chance to get my team healthy and recharge their batteries. It would be a time for the players to be strongly encouraged to pick up film on their own time and study their future opponent.
Even though the Irish can’t have regular practices, the players can take this title run on their backs and study on their own.
This layoff will benefit the Irish. Even though it will have a week less of practice on the season, Notre Dame will be ready for the biggest stage in college football when the time comes.
If the Irish falter, it won’t be because of the layoff. If they must blame it on something, take a tip from Milli Vanilli and blame it on the rain.