In advance of the latest installment today, an entertaining trip down memory lane:
That’s because college football is also a sport of tradition—and no school has stronger traditions than Notre Dame. Every college football fan knows the Gipper and Rudy and Touchdown Jesus. Year after year, decade after decade, the Fighting Irish slap the same sign before playing in the same stadium and wearing uniforms that look the same as their predecessors’. The same song plays every time the Irish score a touchdown; the team sings a different song after each game ends. And there’s one other thing that perennially stays the same about Notre Dame: It’s good enough to get invited to prestigious postseason games, and bad enough to get utterly demolished every time.
On Friday, the Irish will appear in the College Football Playoff for the second time in the past three seasons. They were selected in spite of the fact that their last trip to the sport’s four-team championship invitational resulted in a 30-3 demolition at the hands of Clemson—and in spite of their 34-10 loss to Clemson just two weeks ago, the largest margin of defeat ever suffered by a team to receive a playoff invite. This Notre Dame team is the worst selection in the seven-year history of the playoff, considering that the recently demolished Irish were picked over a handful of undefeated teams. They are 20-point underdogs against Alabama, the largest spread in the history of the playoff—and the third-largest spread in the history of bowl games ever.
My favorite of these is the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, in which the refs spent most of the game trying to prop up the Irish like Weekend at Bernie’s and they still lost 41-9. Let’s also just say that the OSU -3 line was, ah, very interesting, although certainly nobody associated with this blog would ever violate Washington’s stringent anti-sports-gambling laws.