The Irish got precisely what anyone with a brain expected last night in their drubbing at the hands of the USC Trojans. Why anyone thought this game was a gateway to a title bid for ND is beyond us; they’ve played only two serious teams all season (USC and Michigan), and got their ass handed to them both times. (No, JoePa’s Lions don’t count — they’ve lost every serious game they played, and some besides.) The Irish have been overrated all year long, and fell a long way early after the Michigan game — yet somehow still started bubbling back towards the top on the strength of midseason wins over such powerhouses as Army, Navy, Air Force, and Stanford. Having 2 losses with ND’s schedule is no mean trick; you can even go undefeated if you play only creampuffs. That doesn’t mean you should be a top ten team. That the Irish are still rated 12 is insane; does anyone really believe that, say, Texas or Tennessee (tied for 17 in the AP) wouldn’t beat the snot out of them? For that matter, does anyone really believe that Wake (16) or Rutgers (13) could beat either UT?
At least the top 5 makes some sense. At the other end of the schedule difficulty scale from the likes of Boise and Notre Dame is the SEC’s LSU, who (as ESPN points out) have played 4 top 10 teams as away games and still escaped with only 2 losses (then-#3 Auburn, and then-#5 Florida). Can anyone else say that?
(Of course, this is just another post saying how fscked up the BCS thing is, and how much we really need a proper playoff system that would, if done properly, make clear what paper tigers ND and Boise are, and how good programs in tough conferences are by comparison.)