Those college football fans who say one loss doesn’t ruin a season certainly aren’t fans of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Fair or not, the 2011 season went up in smoke this past Saturday night for the Irish, who suffered a debilitating 31-17 setback to their hated arch rivals, the USC Trojans.
With the defeat, Notre Dame is now a meager and disappointing 4-3, certainly not the record fans envisioned when the season began. Fans had their eyes on a return to a prestigious BCS bowl.
Those dreams are officially dashed—at least this year.
But all hope is not lost, as a return trip to a major bowl will come sooner than many people think for the Irish.
Here are five reasons the Irish will return to a BCS bowl game in 2012.