The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

October 23, 2012

Offense is Fighting Irish’s burden no matter who has the ball

NORMAN — Notre Dame has the history. Of that, there is no doubt. And I’m not even sure it’s as meaningless as Bob Stoops wants to believe it is, for there is comfort in past success, no matter how long ago it occurred.

Yet, even that being the case, what happened in 1957, ‘61, ‘62, ‘66, ‘68 and ‘99 remains less important than what happened three days ago, when Oklahoma took care of Kansas 52-7 and Notre Dame squeaked by BYU 17-14.

Lately, it’s not uncommon for any college football discussion to remain incomplete until the talking heads have commiserated upon the Irish’s BCS possibilities.

You know, should Notre Dame go unbeaten, will it reach the promised land of the national championship game?

But when I hear it, I wonder if everybody is like me, wondering why a program that beat Purdue 20-17, Michigan 13-6, Stanford in overtime and BYU by a field goal is worth so much air.

If you’re going to peel the onion on that question, why not do it for Rutgers, Louisville and Ohio. They, too, haven’t done a whole lot the last 20 years and they, too, are unbeaten.

Part of it is those programs haven’t played anybody terrific, whether they’ve looked good winning or not. The other part of it is the Irish will always receive a free pass. They are like the Yankees, relevant even when they stink.

Everybody else must play themselves into the discussion. Only Notre Dame must play itself out.

About that, if you’re looking for a good reason why the Irish have no business winning Saturday night at Owen Field, and maybe no business staying on the field with the Sooners, simply familiarize yourself with each team’s offense.

The Irish are running and throwing the ball for almost 200 yards per outing and enter with a total offense number of 387.9 yards per outing.

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