COLUMN: Undefeated Fighting Irish not deserving of slot in BCS top 5
Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC. All of these schools can be considered “blue bloods,” football programs that consistently have achieved at the highest level on the field.
If this column had been written in 1990, Notre Dame also would have been on the list, most likely at the very top.
However, this is not 1990, and Notre Dame no longer deserves to consider itself a blue blood, a powerhouse or a national title contender.
Notre Dame’s last 20 years have been marked by the first 0-3 start in school history, a minor recruiting scandal, possibly the worst recruiting class in school history and a year with a school-record nine losses.
Football analysts have been quick to jump on the bandwagon of this year’s fifth-ranked Fighting Irish because of their 7-0 start. This record is a misleading one, however, as Notre Dame has struggled to dominate opponents in any facet of the game, save defense.
The Irish have a pedestrian offense at best. They rank a decidedly-mediocre 77th in points per game with 25.9. They are also a laughable 100th in passing yards per game, with 194 passing yards per game.
Not only do they not dominate stat-wise, but the Irish lso have had a hard time dominating in games.
Their best win of the season thus far was over 17th-ranked Stanford, a two-loss team that is vastly overrated because of its upset win against USC. This win came in overtime at Notre Dame’s home stadium; hardly a statement win.
Notre Dame’s second-best victory is a toss-up between a 20-3 win over Michigan State and a 13-6 win over Michigan. As the scorelines suggest, neither of these wins were particularly awe-inspiring, especially because Michigan is ranked 22nd and Michigan State is unranked.
Two of the Irish’s other victories are also wholly underwhelming. A 17-14 win over 4-4 BYU and a 20-17 win over 3-4 Purdue are certainly nothing to write home about.
With those five games accounted for, the only times Notre Dame has looked even remotely like a Top-5 team has been in routs of Miami and Navy, who are both having mediocre years.
All-in-all, Notre Dame just barely has squeaked by against some pretty bad competition. This is a team that is three or four different plays away from being 4-3 instead of 7-0, not a team that deserves to be in consideration for a national title.
Oklahoma should have no problem demolishing Notre Dame this weekend. The Sooners have proven they can play with any team in the nation, and the Fighting Irish have proven they can play with any 4-4 team in the nation. This is a matchup that will prove to everyone Notre Dame is vastly overrated.
The top-5 will look much more respectable without the farce that is Notre Dame occupying one of its spots.
Garret Holt is a journalism sophomore. You can follow him on Twitter at @GarrettHolt_.