I am calling the upset. It is crazy, I know as the Fighting Irish are underdogs by nearly a touchdown.
Heck, the only reason bookies are calling the game that close is probably because of the drubbing TCU carried out last weekend. Still, I try to call one wild upset a week and have been having a decent amount of luck this season.
I thought South Carolina would knock off Alabama, mostly because USC had a bye week and they were hosting the Crimson Tide.
I also thought that Wisconsin would upset the Ohio State Buckeyes, but that is because Madison is a black hole of broken seasons for visiting teams.
To be fair, I called some upsets that never panned out, like Stanford over Oregon and Arkansas over Alabama. I also would have never guessed that Texas would knock off Nebraska or Arizona would take down Iowa.
I am picking Notre Dame for several reasons. First, the Fighting Irish are hosting Utah, so I give them a few points extra for that.
Second, Notre Dame needs this win badly. Coach Kelly himself has stated that the Fighting Irish need to get to a bowl game this season. If nothing else, they need the extra practice, and beating Utah would be a huge step towards reaching that goal.
Also, Utah doesn't have nearly as much on the line. A BCS bowl is out of the question after the loss to TCU, and due to the injustice labeled the BCS system, this good team will likely be relegated to some backwater bowl.
Third, Notre Dame is coming off a couple of tough letdowns. Having lost to Navy and Tulsa in consecutive weeks, this team must have some emotional yearning to pull off a big win and make a statement for the floundering program.
I believe that emotions play a big part of football, and they will push the Fighting Irish over the top this weekend.
Fourth, Notre Dame has been on a bye week, and given all of the reasons above, they will not have been taking this "vacation" lightly. Most likely this team has practiced and studied its tail off over the last few weeks and it will pay off big this Saturday.
Fifth, I have felt this whole season that Utah was a bit over-ranked. I never felt they were a top 10 team, and top 15 might be pushing it a bit also.
Don't get me wrong Utah fans, you're a good team, and this is supposed to be a rebuilding year for you. You came into the season unranked and have played admirably. But I would rank Utah as the 20th or so team in the country.
It will be a shootout, but Notre Dame will take the game 45-38.
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