If you’ve watched ESPN during a college football season, you have surely seen a squirly old man making bold predictions and trying to talk up teams that you know will never amount to anything.
His name is Lou Holtz, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. His legendary coaching tenure got him there, mostly due to his time at Notre Dame keeping a program in its glory days even as the sport was changing rapidly in the 1990s.
As you know, the Fighting Irish haven’t exactly been able to keep up with the times, and have fallen apart to say the least. However, the program’s name and past have kept them in the discussion on sports shows, even though they have earned next to nothing in the seasons since head coach Charlie Weis took over.
But Holtz seems to think Notre Dame will be back, sooner rather than later. And he’s letting everyone know about it.
“I’m not saying they’re the No. 2 team in the country,” Holtz said on ESPN. “But if you look at the schedule and say who’s going to end up 11-1 or 12-0, I don’t think anyone has a better chance than the University of Notre Dame.”
Umm, ok Lou.
Nothing would pain me more than to see it become cool to be a Notre Dame fan again, so it is easy for me to discount this prediction. I won’t even mention the fact that this is the time of year every season when Holtz makes ridiculous predictions with regards to the Irish.
Ok, I will mention it, because it only helps to make my point. He said Notre Dame would win 10 games last season. They won seven. In college football, that isn’t even close.
So to say Notre Dame will win 12 games this year and play Florida for the national championship (his prediction, not mine) is just another ridiculous suggestion. The Irish are still a year behind Lou’s 10-win prediction, and I highly doubt they will even achieve that in 2009.
However, one point Holtz makes that I agree with is the fact that Notre Dame’s schedule is more than a joke. The Irish start the season ranked in the top-25, but they start very low on the polls (23 in the AP and USA Today polls). If you look at the 22 teams above them in both polls, you could probably say with conviction that any of those teams would win no fewer than 10 games with these clowns on the slate:
(#4) Southern California
But remember that this is Notre Dame, and they have not proven in past years that they will be playing at the same level as the other 24 ranked teams in the polls.
They will lose to the only ranked team on their schedule, USC. They will likely lose to Michigan State, Boston College, Pittsburgh, and maybe even Connecticut. You can’t assume many wins on this schedule, no matter how weak it looks.
So let’s say the stars align and Notre Dame really does win every game on their schedule. If you were a voter, would you seriously believe that Notre Dame is one of the two best teams in the nation?
Sorry, but I would never vote the Irish into the BCS Championship Game. Join a conference, or enjoy watching the title game from home.