Bruce Feldman posted his early list of this year’s top ten BCS title game contenders. Nope, the Dawgs don’t grace it. One big reason for that may be found in a recurring theme for many of the teams that do:
Florida: … UF’s non-conference slate is very manageable with the only top-50 caliber foe being FSU and that game is in Gainesville.
Texas: … The non-conference slate is cake.
Ole Miss: … They also have the luxury of playing the softest non-conference schedule in the country with two games against FCS teams, UAB and a Memphis team they beat every year. Better still, they get Alabama and LSU at home.
Boise State: … I think they have a legit shot to beat the Ducks again, especially since Oregon has to replace a lot of good players on D. After that, it’s all downhill to a perfect regular season, although going to Tulsa in mid-October won’t be so easy.
LSU: … Even though their out of conference schedule is pretty suspect, the Tigers’ SEC slate doesn’t fall too favorably: at Georgia; followed by a visit from Florida; later they have to go to Tuscaloosa and to Oxford.
And then there’s my favorite. You guessed it:
Notre Dame: … they will be facing one of the softest schedules of any team in the country, especially one that doesn’t need to worry about surviving a conference title game at the end of it all. Yes, ND has to face USC, but it’s in South Bend. After that, a late visit to Stanford is probably the next toughest game. ND also plays the two teams that were the worst BCS conference programs last year, Washington and Washington State.
Em-frikkin’-barrassing. Although not as embarrassing as what I expect to hear out of Weis’ mouth in response to the acclaim from the fan base and the media if the Irish go 10-2. The attention over which BCS game they go to will be embarrassing, as well. So will the inevitable blow out.
Speaking of which, if Florida’s coronation as a title game participant is an inescapable fact, please God, let Georgia play well enough to be the at-large team selected by the Sugar Bowl to face Notre Dame. I can’t think of too many better ways to celebrate New Year’s than to watch another Clausen get smacked around by the Red and Black. But then you guys know I’ve always been a sucker for tradition.