We're a little late getting up this week's analysis of why Notre Dame is destined to win the BCS, but that's only because we have such a cornucopia of reasons to choose from we found it difficult to limit it to our standard five.
But five it shall be. We are, after all, traditionalists.
So why should Longhorn fans be despondent while Irish fans rejoice? Let's count the ways.
1. Notre Dame is adopting the LSU two-loss system of winning the BCS. Louisiana, of course, is one of the most Catholic states in America. Notre Dame, is -- well, it's Notre Dame. Enduring two losses before gaining the final triumph is a deeply Catholic thing, the result of millenia of guilt and self-doubt. It's also an Irish thing. Outsiders wouldn't understand.
2. UT struggled against a team that had two losses, and whose only wins came against schools no one has heard of. Was Oklahoma even ranked in the Top 20? If so, how? The Sooners also lost their Heisman-winning QB on the second series of the Texas game, and UT still barely escaped with a win. So, to sum up: Playing a crippled version of a low-ranked team, UT had to resort to field goals to eke out an extremely sloppy win. The voters were not impressed.
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2. Colt McCoy continues to be a turnover machine. Interceptions, sure: We've come to expect no less from McCoy, whether he's playing Oklahoma or UL-Monroe (Motto: "Guess What The 'L' Stands For!!"). Now he's added the fumble to his repertoire. Is there no method of harming his team that McCoy can't master? From The New York Times report on the game:
"But McCoy was intercepted three plays later inside the Oklahoma 10, and he made a saving tackle at the Sooners' 30 to prevent Oklahoma cornerback Brian Jackson from returning it for a touchdown....It was probably McCoy's best play of the game." Yes, it probably was.
3. Notre Dame, a 10-point underdog to one of the most-storied football programs in the nation -- almost-undefeated USC -- came within one second of winning. If the refs had only been able to figure out a way to once again add one more second to the game, it would have been a done deal. So, essentially, the Irish were screwed by the refs.
4. Jimmy Clausen continued his unstoppable march to the Heisman. If wide receiver Duval Kumara hadn't slipped on the last play, it would have been a Montana-like legendary comeback. As it is, Clausen will just have to win out to get the Heisman, which should be exceedingly easy given ND's dominance of almost every team it's played this year, more or less.
5. Feel that Boise State heat, UT. It's coming. UT could only manage a Number Three ranking in the first official BCS poll, released this week. This is terrible, awful news for the Longhorns. Space prevents us from laying out the complicated mathematical formulae, not to mention the complex combination of wins and losses to come, that make UT's decision to try to go undefeated laughable when compared to Notre Dame's clever two-loss strategy. You'll just have to take our word for it right now. But remember: Late-season losses are killer.