Saturday, January 13, 2007

Any given Saturday

Now that three friends and colleagues in as many weeks have accused me of "hating" Notre Dame, I'd like to clarify:

I don't hate Notre Dame, they are one of the 50 best NCAA football teams. I don't hate any players, I just have issues with their fans, their organization, their loudmouthed alumni, and the guys who've only watched them on NBC. Notre Dame is NOT the best team in college football and they are not even a top ten team. Arguably, they are a top 25, but they are always ranked about 10 places higher than they should be because they have two very unique advantages any given Saturday:

-They don't play in a conference. Any given Saturday, players give just the little extra effort when playing conference rivals. Alabama plays just this much harder when they play Florida, Oregon plays just that much harder when playing USC, and even the pathetic Illini get off their asses when playing Ohio State. OK, Michigan and USC bring out their A game when playing the Irish, but a lot of the middling Division A teams don't have a special stake in the Irish games.
-They play the service academies every year, essentially getting three free wins. Now, Vanderbilt, Indiana, and Stanford provide the same service for the SEC, Big Ten, and PAC 10, but that's one game per year; and even they could probably beat Army, Navy and Air Force any given Saturday. So STFU about "strenght of schedule" while at the same time cashing in on three freebies per year because of tradition.

0-9 in bowl games is all you need to know about how ND fares against top ten teams.

I'll start rooting for them once they decide if they want to be on a level playing field and play Division 1-A, or be the Harlem Globertrotters of the NCAA.

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