Our second annual weekly explanation of why Notre Dame will win the BCS title this year and the University of Texas won't got off to a predictable start this weekend: The Irish manhandled a savage opponent while the Longhorns struggled mightily to eke out a win over a school we were surprised to learn still played football.
So it is no challenge to come up with five reasons this weekend showed ND and not UT will be champs this season:
We know UT likes to take on the East Texas Baptist Universities of the world, but Rice? Even JFK couldn't explain that one, from the UT perspective ("Because it is not haaahd at all" doesn't really inspire the troops). And even though they played it here, it was in essence a home game for the Longhorns, as their fans far outnumbered those of the Owls, and chardonnay sales at Reliant set records.
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2.Struggling against Rice?
Previously thought not possible, UT proved that an alleged Top Five team could struggle against the Owls, who were coming off a 2-10 season. Even worse, Rice had a bunch of starters returning. Sure, the Horns put up double-digits on the Owls, but were it not for a couple of bad breaks, there was an upset for the taking. You can't expect next week's opponent, Wyoming, to make the same mistakes, Longhorns. Oh, wait -- you can.
3. Purdue, on the other hand, is a beast Every college football fan is familiar with the storied history of the Purdue program, which features the world's largest drum and....and...and...Drew Brees!! The QB who is on the top of the NFL world played at Purdue, so obviously the Boilermakers are to be feared, and not simply because they know how to make boilers. Nevertheless, Notre Dame scheduled them, and the BCS voters will take notice.
4. Not struggling against Purdue
If Charlie Weis had been coaching this past weekend....well, we just refer you to this: "SHOCKING NEWS: Notre Dame Plays Football Game, Does Normal Things Fairly Well," an astute analysis of just how awesome and overpowering the Irish were against a legendary Purdue team.
5. ND plays Michigan this weekend; UT plays Wyoming
Michigan has the highest winning percentage in college football history. We haven't kept up much with the program lately, but we do know that their new-ish coach is Rich Rodriguez, a man who screams "integrity" and "winning." So they must be continuing their rich tradition, we assume. Wyoming, on the other hand, is a vast improvement in terms of being a second-game-of-the-season team for UT because it has no direction in its name. On the other hand, it's Wyoming, so they don't have many college students to go around.