10 Teams That Could Be 2013's Version of Notre Dame

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10 Teams That Could Be 2013's Version of Notre Dame
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Notre Dame's rise to the top of the college football food chain was swift and unexpected by all but the most diehard Irish fans.

But here we are at the end of the 2012 season with the Irish ranked No.1 in the current BCS rankings, and they are primed to face off against Alabama in the BCS title game.

So who has a shot at pulling a Notre Dame in 2013?

The 10 teams on this list sure do.

Not all of them will be as unexpected as the Irish were this season, but all of them are dark-horse national title candidates or have the talent to dominate on defense and become one of the nation's most effective defensive units.

All other potential resemblances aside, there is no team on this list that will have a leprechaun as a mascot in 2013, although it certainly couldn't hurt.

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