The last thing we ever want to be in this space is condescending, but when it comes to the Longhorns it's difficult to not chuckle ruefully and just say "Bless their little hearts."
They try so hard, playing ridiculously overmatched teams at home, and still think they have a shot at the BCS title. This week they played...let's see...Sam Houston?....LeTouneau?....Rice?
No, they played UTEP. Which, we are reliably informed, does indeed have a football program. Of sorts.
While UT continued to rack up victories against the JV teams of the nation, Notre Dame continued to show incredible character, guts, and Heisman Trophy highlight reels as they took on the country's toughest football programs.
5. ND took on an almost-undefeated Purdue team -- on the road -- and won. Purdue's storied program has produced such greats as Bob Griese and several astronauts, who probably went to some games while they were at the school. Despite this, ND won, at night, in West Lafayette. (Indiana, if you're unfamiliar with the school.)
Purdue, by the way, claims to have an even bigger drum in its marching band than UT, and if there is any scientifically agreed-upon way to measure a school's football prowess, it's the size of their drum.
4. Notre Dame was barely able to put 11 players on the field at a time. There are four key skill-position players on ND's offense, all of them All-America candidates. Of the four, two never played Saturday and one was hobbled only slightly less than Jon Voigt in Coming Home. In spite of this, Notre Dame was able to eke out a victory on the road against a team who once had Bob Griese as its quarterback.
3. Colt McCoy cannot stop throwing interceptions. Look, we know it's confusing -- UT? UTEP? There are only two tiny letters separating the two. It's easy for a QB to get confused. Sure, some might say "Just look for the players who drive Escalades and don't go to class," but when you've got only 17 seconds to stand around in the pocket and wait for someone to get open, you can't always do your due diligence.
2. Jimmy Clausen made Rudy look like a poseur. With no wheelchair handy, Irish QB Clausen dragged himself onto the field like the soon-to-be Darth Vader in the lava pit of whatever planet they were on at the end of Revenge of the Sith. Despite such a superhuman effort, he just could not perform, so ND coach Charlie Weis put in the backup and handed off for a dozen straight runs. Which resulted in a ton of yards and points, but Weis was not fooled. So he put Clausen back in.
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And, yeah, it didn't work at all for a while. Eventually, though, it resulted in a last-second scoring drive to win the game against a team that should have been defeated easily.
1. UT takes on Colorado this week. If there is a more terrible "big-time' team around, we've yet to hear of it. Notre Dame, on the other hand, takes on almost-undefeated Washington, a school that was recently home to the legendary coach Ty Willingham.
Look, Longhorns, we live here in Texas. We want to see you win as much as the next fellow, assuming "the next fellow" is a chardonnay-sipping arrogant fair-weather fan who occasionally raises his voice at Memorial Stadium. But we have to tell you -- you're just going to have to step it up if you want to overtake Notre Dame in the title chase.
We wish you the best of luck. More or less.