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Irish Blogger Gathering: Beat Panthers Edition

Nov 1, 2012, 11:24 AM EDT


With four undefeated teams atop this week’s college football polls, many are beginning to wonder if we’re staring straight into the BCS-pocalypse that has long been feared. But let’s not forget, the chances of Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame all being undefeated a month from now is pretty slim.

So while we might be tempted to yell “Fight On” or “Geaux Tigers” this weekend, the only team we should focus on is the Blue & Gold, one game at a time (Saturday. Pittsburgh. 3:30 pm ET. NBC).

It’s only Week 10 on the college football calendar, but since we’re in the final stretch of presidential campaigning, today’s Irish Blogger Gathering took on a bit of an election theme (…and completely contradicts what I just said in the first two paragraphs of this post, about taking the season week by week). I traded questions with Subway Domer, asking him to make his argument for Notre Dame and Manti Te’o.

He fired back with a difficult challenge of his own – requesting that my responses be in haiku form. (Check out my answers here).

Make sure to also visit Her Loyal Sons and Inside The Irish for the rest of this week’s IBG.

And now…Subway Domer’s thoughts on the Fighting Irish:

There’s a lot of football left to be played, but this is our last IBG before Election Day. Coach Kelly said he won’t get involved with the BCS politicking, but it doesn’t mean us bloggers can’t. Should the Irish finish the season as one of three or four unbeaten teams, state your case for why they deserve one of the spots in the national championship game.

This is a very difficult task. If one would walk into this with an unbiased opinion, a very tough argument could be made for all three or four teams.

Notre Dame has played a very tough schedule that did not include ANY teams from the FCS. They won all their games. Notre Dame has one of the country’s best defenses. They have a Heisman Trophy candidate. Notre Dame could also possibly lay claim to a better group of victories at the end of the season, when compared to the other teams not named Alabama.


Jonas Gray runs for a 79-yard touchdown against Pittsburgh in 2011. (Photo by Lighthouse Imaging)

While we’re on the subject of elections…Pretend I’m a Heisman voter. Why should I choose Manti Te’o instead of Collin Klein?

The Heisman Trophy is supposed to go to the best college football player in the country each year, however that isn’t always the case. It can be this year. Basically: I’m not sure if Klein is the best player on the offensive side of the ball, but I’m positive that Te’o is the best player on defense, and once you start comparing Te’o to others in the country with his play and leadership both on and off the field… Manti Te’o is the best college football player in the country. Strike the pose!

Last time the Irish started 8-0, they won their eighth game in similar fashion – on the road, against a team that was ranked lower, but still a double-digit favorite. Then they came home against BC and…well, you probably know the rest. Notre Dame should be heavily favored in each of the next three games. What do they need to do to succeed in these “trap games”?

The best way? To not look at them as “trap” games. Much like the prevent defense, playing a game such as this has you “playing not to lose” instead of just winning the darn game. Notre Dame must approach each of these games with a sense of urgency and with a chip on their shoulder. After all, there are still a lot of voters that still don’t believe Notre Dame is one of the top two teams in the country. They are going to have to go out there and prove it.

I believe that can and will accomplish this feat. Pete Sampson of Irish Illustrated made the point that in 2002, the team had a sense of accomplishment after the Florida State game. A sense of complacency. He, nor I, are getting that vibe this season. In fact, it is Brian Kelly, his staff, and the captains that are leading the charge to “march on.” This team isn’t going to let down one stinking bit.

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