With all of this heated debate about Notre Dame's unlikely chances at playing for the National Title if there are at least 3 unbeaten teams, I started wondering about where the Irish would land and who they would play. Honestly, I have been so focused on the BCS Championship, that I haven't thought much about "Plan B."
Needless to say, I have some help here in the form of ESPN and their "experts." Let's take a look at how they have been projecting Notre Dame's bowl chances throughout the season...
|WEEK||MARK SCHLABACH||BRAD EDWARDS|
|Preseason||Pinstripe / Cincinatti||Russell Athletic / Clemson|
|Week 1||Pinstripe / UConn||Little Ceasar's / Ohio|
|Week 2||Pinstripe / S. Florida||Fight Hunger / AZ St.|
|Week 3||Fiesta / West Virginia||Fiesta / Texas|
|Week 4||Fiesta / West Virginia||Fiesta / Texas|
|Week 5||Fiesta / Kansas State||Fiesta / Texas|
|Week 6||Fiesta / West Virginia||Fiesta / West Virginia|
|Week 7||Fiesta / Kansas State||Fiesta / Kansas State|
|Week 8||Fiesta / Oklahoma||Fiesta / Kansas State|
|Week 9||Fiesta / Kansas State||Fiesta / Kansas State|
|Week 10||Fiesta / Kansas State||Fiesta / Kansas State|
Obviously, it is looking more and more like the Irish will return to the Fiesta Bowl if they do not end up in the BCS title game. The comical thing for me has been where the Irish were, in these "experts" eyes prior to the Michigan State game. Shit, the BCS guru, Brad Edwards must not know jack and shit since he had ND in the Russell Athletic Bowl (formerly known as Champs Bowl) since ND would not be eligible there for a few more years.
At least Schlabach had the Pinstripe Bowl all the way until the Fiesta pick (as the Pinstripe is one of the few destinations for ND and their horrible bowl situation this year). Edwards couldn't make up his mind about what shit bowl was worthy of the Irish until post Sparty.
In the end, I think we can safely say that Notre Dame will end up in the Fiesta Bowl if not the National title game. However, if the Fiesta Bowl invites Oklahoma if Kansas State is in the title game, THAN WE SHOULD JUST FUCKING BOYCOTT THE THING. It would make zero sense to have a rematch and would do NOTHING for Notre Dame's future in 2013, which is what all these bowl games are really about.
Think about it. If Notre dame would have beat Florida State in the Champs Bowl, they would have most likely started the season ranked AT LEAST in the top 15, and we wouldn't even need this conversation right now.
I am not sure that if we had won our Bowl last year things would be very different. Regarding the NCG, Alabama and Oregon are the front runners as long as they stay undefeated, and this would not have changed with us being ranked in the preseason, since they would still be ranked higher than us (in said pre-season).
As I understand it, the Sugar and Rose would pick first to replace their conference ties (assuming Bama and Oregon are 1 and 2 and in that order otherwise it flips). The belief has been that the Sugar will pick the SEC runner-up (LSU or Georgia) and the Rose will pick the PAC 12 runner-up assuming they are in the Top 14. It is possible they won't be (OSU and Stanford are on the bubble, and USC is currently ineligble for the BCS). That could have us heading to the Rose Bowl with a match-up against the Hoosiers (not likely but possible) more likely the Cornhuskers. After that, I think Fiesta has the next pick this year, and thus we land there playing KSU with the auto bid from the Big 12. I don't think the bowls will set up rematches if it can be avoided.