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Notre Dame manages to stay perfect on the season

Notre Dame v Oklahoma Getty Images

Following Notre Dame’s road win at Oklahoma last week, we opined that “until this team shows they shouldn’t be taken seriously, they’ve earned the right to be.”

That still holds true. As long as Notre Dame keeps winning, they’ll be given respect — or, at least they should. The Irish almost blew it in a big way today against Pitt, but found a way to win once again. For three quarters, it looked like the Panthers were going to play BCS spoilers again — 2007 in Morgantown, anyone? — and derail Notre Dame’s undefeated season. Instead, Paul Chryst‘s team got inexplicably conservative and Notre Dame found some offensive rhythm. The result was 13 straight unanswered points and Notre Dame took Pitt into overtime tied at 20.

After some a pair of field goals in the first overtime, Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood fumbled in the end zone and Pitt missed its second field goal attempt. Irish QB Everett Golson then snuck in for a 1-yard touchdown to give No. 4 Notre Dame a 29-26 win. For another week, the Irish are still perfect despite playing anything but.

Now, Notre Dame can sit back and watch the other three undefeated BCS championship contenders play tonight in hopes that one or more of them will fall. Oregon is currently leading USC 34-17 in the second quarter and the Trojans haven’t been able to slow down the Ducks so far. USC, obviously, is a common opponent for both Oregon and Notre Dame (the Irish come to L.A. later this month), so how each game plays out will be interesting to watch.

But it ultimately comes down to the bodies of work, and Oregon has the strongest schedule in the final month of the season. The BCS computer averages currently like Notre Dame and Kansas State, but if Oregon keeps winning, its computer average should rise to match the love the Ducks are feeling from the voters.

K-State also has a common opponent with Notre Dame in Oklahoma. The Wildcats and the Irish were impressive in their respective wins in Norman this year.

Realistically, Notre Dame needs two undefeated teams to lose between now and the beginning of December. While a BCS championship between, say, Alabama and Notre Dame would get the highest TV ratings and be a dream match-up, the Irish just aren’t going to Miami without some help along the way.

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48 Responses to “Notre Dame manages to stay perfect on the season”
  1. manchestermiracle says: Nov 3, 2012 8:34 PM

    ND didn’t win that game, Pitt lost it. Not just an inexplicable blown FG attempt in the 2nd OT, but that horrible pass interference penalty on Pitt near the end of regulation. If not for good ol’ home cookin’ refereeing, that game is over with the Pitt DB knocking down that 4th and 4 pass. A hand on the back is pass interference? Only in South Bend when it’ll be in favor of the home team. “Luck of the Irish” must be code for “got the ref in our back pocket.”

  2. megatronspartan says: Nov 3, 2012 8:34 PM

    with help from the zebra’s and the pope’s influence

  3. polegojim says: Nov 3, 2012 8:34 PM

    Sporadic Irish… win at OK… struggle with Pitt???

    Kelly’s next mission – prepare his team to produce the same quality play no matter who is on the field.

    Nice resurrection though. Keep it up ND!

  4. elwaysmilehighdenver says: Nov 3, 2012 8:39 PM

    Officials in South Bend get a BIG BONU$
    with hometown call!!! Domers should be ashamed to accept this gift of a win.

  5. taintedlombardis says: Nov 3, 2012 8:39 PM

    Pass interference lol

  6. manchestermiracle says: Nov 3, 2012 8:42 PM

    When you’re taken to 3 OTs at home by a .500 team you might be a top 10 team, but you’re closer to #10 than #3.

  7. freemantowilliams says: Nov 3, 2012 8:44 PM

    ND will lose to USC trust me on this one guys.

  8. ndnut says: Nov 3, 2012 8:50 PM

    Meanwhile the refs took away a timeout from ND and gave Pitt an extra after not starting the clock from 1:15 after a Pitt injury. Bad calls both ways like any other game.

  9. jericoc says: Nov 3, 2012 8:50 PM

    The entire officiating crew “missed” a ND player’s spiking the ball on Pitt’s next-to-last drive in regulation. Of course, no one on Pitt’s typically clueless staff was even paying attention …

  10. norcalirish says: Nov 3, 2012 8:54 PM

    9-0.

  11. taintedlombardis says: Nov 3, 2012 8:59 PM

    Shouldn’t the headline read “Refs manage to keep Notre Dame perfect on the season.”

  12. megatronspartan says: Nov 3, 2012 9:00 PM

    don’t worry the dormers still have a slue of sub .500 teams and the Refs cant win every game for them

  13. megatronspartan says: Nov 3, 2012 9:02 PM

    *Domers

  14. kiopta1 says: Nov 3, 2012 9:08 PM

    Boy if only the Internet dispersed tissues for you cry babies. ND gave Pitt many chances to win but they didn’t and ND did.

  15. domerhomer says: Nov 3, 2012 9:12 PM

    A win is a win, Go Irish!!

  16. msstiller58 says: Nov 3, 2012 9:12 PM

    Even the most casual college football fan knows Notre Dame is independent and therefore use refs from the opponents conference. No home cooking there, haters.

  17. megatronspartan says: Nov 3, 2012 9:22 PM

    The Pope has deep pockets and the Catholics are in need of a revival in Sunday attendance……. you due the math

  18. truefootballinsight says: Nov 3, 2012 9:28 PM

    Can pollsters just write it as a L for ND for blatant case of the ref payroll case? The media loves em so much they’ll bump em up to no.1 for a win fighting adversity…

  19. msstiller58 says: Nov 3, 2012 9:28 PM

    That would be “do”, not “due”. Spartan grad?

  20. ndnut says: Nov 3, 2012 9:29 PM

    Sunday attendance would be helped by losses (more partying after wins than losses). Plus not every Catholic is an ND fan. Finally, a German Pope could care less about an American football game.

  21. jdio13 says: Nov 3, 2012 9:34 PM

    The pass interference call was a touchy call to say the least, but bad calls went both ways. Anyone seem to remember seeing Pitt defenders tackle Notre Dame players out of bounds? I sure do. There were AT LEAST three instances of that happening. Also, Notre Dame had to burn a timeout when the clock should have been stopped after Graham caught a pass and went out of bounds. Back to the pass interference though, it appeared to me that the defender had Eifert’s right arm hooked, basically making Eifert go up to catch it with one arm. That is the reason it was called, not the hand on his back. It was absolutely a touch call and Pitt played very well today, they should have won. It irks me though, seeing comments about the ref being biased for ND. Notre Dame is independent, thus not having their own officiating crew. I am sure this was a Big East or ACC officiating crew. Either way, I am proud to say I am an Irish fan and I could not be happier about how this season is going. They just need to take it one game at a time and finish the season with a big win over USC.

  22. manchestermiracle says: Nov 3, 2012 9:42 PM

    jd: If the Pitt defender knocked the ball away with his right hand how could he have been holding the receiver’s right arm? Nice try, but that penalty should never have been called. Fourth and 4, incomplete, Pitt takes over and runs the clock out.

  23. trentofgilead says: Nov 3, 2012 9:47 PM

    Good game to Pitt. They played hard and didn’t care for ND’s undefeated record. I’m happy for the win and hopefully, this was a wakeup call to the team. Every opponent they play needs to be taken seriously, top ranked or not. Hope to see more focus next week. Good luck to Pitt the rest of the way.

  24. trentofgilead says: Nov 3, 2012 9:56 PM

    @manchester

    Run the clock out? Wasn’t there almost 14 minutes left?

  25. jdio13 says: Nov 3, 2012 9:57 PM

    After looking at the reply, I was not correct in my initial summary of what happened. I am going to post a link here and I hope it works:

    http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/article/media_slots/photos/000/599/894/PittPi_original.gif?1351982454

    If you watch that, you can see that both players go up for the ball. The Pitt defender uses his left arm to keep Eifert from reaching up as high as he can. The defender ultimately pulled Eifert’s right hand away, and you will see that in the video. Believe me, I understand it is not a clear pass interference by any means, but after watching that reply, I believe the defender DID interfere with Eifert’s chance to catch the ball. Not asking anyone to agree with me, just my opinion.

  26. megatronspartan says: Nov 3, 2012 10:02 PM

    well it doesn’t really matter “IF” ND can get through the next couple games because they wouldn’t stand a chance against Bama or Oregon…….even with the pope, refs and new world order helping them ;-)

  27. pens5829 says: Nov 3, 2012 10:05 PM

    Plain and simple. ND sucks and doesn’t deserve a #3 ranking. Not even close.

    Took them 3 OT’s to beat Pitt that lost to Youngstown State. I’m a Pitt fan and I freely admit Pitt is BAD football team right now. What was sad about today’s game was ND needed another controversial call (NO it was NOT PI) to get an edge. Just like the Stanford game (Yes ND fans. That WAS a TD Stanford scored).

    Now officially on the I Hate The Irish band wagon!

  28. megatronspartan says: Nov 3, 2012 10:12 PM

    also at the end of the first half of the OK game the penalty with no flag that they took a TD off the board?? a little weird ……. just add it to list

  29. ndirishfan1 says: Nov 3, 2012 10:19 PM

    14 unanswered points.

    This Irish team reminds of Tressel’s Ohio State championship team. But I don’t see Alabama and Oregon losing so those two will be in the championship game.

  30. jdio13 says: Nov 3, 2012 10:20 PM

    @megatron

    There were two pretty clear holds on that run which is why a flag was thrown and the touchdown was called back. I’m not sure why the refs did not announce it, but they showed a couple replays and I believe the left tackle and tight end were both holding.

  31. megatronspartan says: Nov 3, 2012 10:24 PM

    @Jdio13 well I guess so…… but you could call holding on every single play in college and the pros! Better to be lucky/ND then to be good.

  32. jdio13 says: Nov 3, 2012 10:33 PM

    You are absolutely correct, you can call holding on almost every play. The difference is that the majority of the ones that are not called happen away from the play or have no direct impact on the play. In the case of that run, the back cut to the left and there were, not one, but two players holding on that side. That is two would be tacklers being held. I would say that is a direct impact on the play. Again, not trying to get people to agree with me as I am a Notre Dame fan and there probably is some bias on my end in my opinions, but I also feel like I am making some valid points. Like I said earlier, Pitt played a hell of a game, but Notre Dame never gave up and walked out witha a win. As a fan, that is enough to make me happy.

  33. domerhomer says: Nov 3, 2012 10:35 PM

    Sour grapes anyone ??

  34. twoody50 says: Nov 3, 2012 10:37 PM

    The zebras also missed a helmet to helmet on the Pitt QB. No matter Oregon jumps the golden domers this week and doesn’t look back., and K-state holds serve.

  35. twoody50 says: Nov 3, 2012 10:38 PM

    Lets see ND drop 62 on USC

  36. manchestermiracle says: Nov 3, 2012 11:35 PM

    trentofgilead:

    2:11 when ND scored the TD that set them up for the tying 2-point conversion.

  37. trentofgilead says: Nov 4, 2012 12:14 AM

    @manchester
    I’ll admit, my memory is a bit fuzzy as to when to the penalty in question occurred.. but according to ESPN(not saying they are correct) and my memory of the game, the play in question occurred at about 14 minutes according to ESPN ( http://espn.go.com/ncf/playbyplay?gameId=323080087&period=4) and I remember it being around 13-14 minutes left to play.

    The whole play-by-play is available at the link provided.

  38. normswifevera says: Nov 4, 2012 12:27 AM

    @twoody50: “Lets see ND drop 62 on USC”

    Cuts both ways. Anyone think ND’s D will allow 50+ points anytime soon?

  39. Slim Charles says: Nov 4, 2012 12:38 AM

    Looks to me like Notre Dame won. Lot of butthurt in this thread.

    How can an independent school use home refs? have some sense people.

    It was a bad call, but saying there was some nefarious reason behind it is retarded.

  40. jcarrillo7828 says: Nov 4, 2012 1:39 AM

    Somebody tell Mark May to quit crying and posting crybaby conspiracy sh*t here. Game is over we won. You could Monday morning crybaby all day long but when the game ended we won. You ought to be harassing your kicker . Get a life

  41. irishdodger says: Nov 4, 2012 1:06 AM

    This was a trap game & after all the ND haters like Mark May, Corso, Desmond & Herbstreit predicted an easy win, I knew the Irish were in trouble. Crying over a PI call is a silly. If NDs kicker doesn’t miss an easy 3-pt FG & an XP in regulation, the game never goes o OT. Let me be clear, ND is still a year away…this year has exceeded expectations. The D can’t win every game & the horrible Special Teams play almost cost them. For a team with a freshman QB, freshman WR on offense and a freshman RB starting at CB along with a converted WR starting at he other CB they’ve played well. Mix in a converted QB starting at LB (Spond) and a converted WR (Farley) starting at safety and you’ve got a team that is exceeding all expectations. EMBRACE THE HATE.

  42. onbucky96 says: Nov 4, 2012 4:00 AM

    How long before Coach Kelly goes Coach Woody and strikes a player? Dude, chill out. Its just football, not the Marine Corps.

  43. irishfan1973 says: Nov 4, 2012 11:29 AM

    Fire Mike Mayock from broadcasting ND games!!

  44. trentofgilead says: Nov 4, 2012 12:58 PM

    @irishfan1973

    Why? I think he’s done an outstanding job. He’s very knowledgeable and he isn’t partial to ND.

  45. irishdodger says: Nov 4, 2012 2:01 PM

    Mayock is one of the best analysts in both college & pro football. I would love to see Brad Nessler replace Bea Arthur…err…Tom Hammond as the Play-by-play man.

  46. koenig61 says: Nov 4, 2012 3:26 PM

    There were so many missed calls during the end of that game and most were in favor of the Irish. The PI of course. The helmet to the face of Pitt QB, the ND defender spiking the ball, and a ND defender slapping a Pitt offensive lineman in the face ask after a run play, (right in front of a ref). But having said all of that, all Pitt had to do was run to left hash mark to give the kicker a better angle on the 2nd overtime kick to win it.

    Here’s what ND faithful don’t understand why so many people hate them. Year in year out the rest of us are forced to watch them because of a sweet TV deal. Secondly no matter how bad they are their fans are in your face every year saying how great they are, and they somehow make it to a bowl game even with 6 losses. They remind me of the cowboys. Every year it’s “Americas Team” on TV week in and week out, their fans telling you how great they are, and yet year in and year out they suck. Eventually they have a decent year, and you would think they are tearing up the league by the way the media, NFL, CFL and their fans fawn over them

  47. bbeaman78 says: Nov 5, 2012 9:28 PM

    Thank god for refs! Again, have yet to see a game that Notre Dame has won without the refs helping.

    The touchdown by Stanford, the holding call at OU, the pass interference no-call and the Teo interception that hit the ground all in the same play at OU, the pass interference call against Pitt. Really?!??

    It takes a little luck and a few favorable calls, but this is ridiculous.

    Notre Dame shouldn’t be allowed to go to a BCS until. The join a conference. They will not finish undefeated. Not the ND dominance that I remember from the 80’s.

  48. pemory says: Nov 10, 2012 11:12 AM

    As my grandmother used to say…”dirty rotten cheatin’ Catholics!”

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