It's been a fun nine weeks, watching the slow, tortuous slide into mediocrity of the Longhorn football program, even as its deluded fans continue to fantasize about a BCS title, completely unaware that Notre Dame is breathing down their back ready to take that title away.
It turns out we read the Mayan calendar all wrong, but luckily we saw 2012 over the weekend and the whole thing was explained to us in a highly scientific, thoroughly researched fashion.
So here are five reasons why ND will win the BCS title next year and UT won't:
1. A new coach. UT continues to stick with the Mack Brown model, which has resulted in just a single, desultory championship in 12 years. That kind of lack of success may sit well with Longhorn fans who aren't used to excellence, but a record like that will get you fired at Notre Dame. As Charlie Weis will find out. (Minus the whole "championship" part, of course.)
2. For the first time in eons, football fans will be able to get through a weekend without hearing about how Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley are roommates. While this will be a great, great relief to America -- paired with the knowledge that we will never again have to see Shipley doing his Dan Fogelberg-ish guitar stylings -- it will also mean UT will be breaking in a new quarterback. Helllooooo, Holiday Bowl.
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3. ND's new coach will not be from the Bill Parcells coaching tree. Don't get us wrong -- as a Giant fan, Parcells will always be fine in our book. But the people skills that tend to come from learning at Parcells' knee didn't exactly rub people the right way at ND. Every college football coach is a raving egomaniac, of course, but some hide it better than others. The end of the Parcells/Belicheck Era under the dome will also mean no more endless draws and screens when everyone in the world knows you're about to do a draw or a screen, no more throwing it on 4th and goal from the 2, no more going for it period on 4th and 6 from your own 35.
4. Notre Dame's new QB is named Crist. Look, the God of Headline Writers did not send a kid named Dayne Crist to be Notre Dame's quarterback if He didn't intend for a "wake up the echoes" season. Yes, there's a competing theory that Crist must suck first, so that the comeback season can offer many "Crist Is Risen" opportunities, but ND took care of that by having Crist tear up his ACL during meaningless minutes in their only real romp this year. Always thinking ahear -- that's the ND way. (Except when it comes to picking coaches, of course.)
5, The cupboard is not bare at ND. Football programs don't really have cupboards, but Sportswriting 101 mandates usage of the phrase. Give Weis credit -- he showed ND could recruit nationally with the best of them, as long as you don't include defensive linemen, who tend to go to schools with more laid-back views of academics. The cupboard is never bare at UT, of course (see academics, laid-back view of), but we're expecting big things at Notre Dame next year.
Which we did this year, too, of course, but we blame it all on not being able to read the Mayan calendar properly.