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A Buckeye Pans Notre Dame

Guest SirJohn

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Guest SirJohn

from the Beacon Journal



One fan's viewBCS officials still play favorites with Notre DameIrish again get a better bowl than they deserveBy Scot FagerstromLove them or hate them, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are always a lively topic of discussion.

Those who hate the Irish will point out that Notre Dame is the only program to benefit from an exclusive network television contract.

They will talk about the benefits Notre Dame enjoys by not playing in a conference. Schools with conference affiliations must share their bowl paydays. Notre Dame is not required to share.

Those who love the Irish will claim that it is harder to win at Notre Dame, because it has tougher entrance requirements and plays a brutal schedule year-in and year-out.

They will claim that Notre Dame has earned its status through its great football tradition.

Bowl executives, television executives and the BCS agree.

The BCS rules favor Notre Dame, allowing the Irish an automatic bid for finishing in the top six in the final BCS standings. Conference teams that don't win an automatic bid must finish in the top four.

The bowl and television executives have no beef with the inequities, because Notre Dame means money for them.

No team is followed with more passion -- both positive and negative -- than the Irish, and that is part of their appeal.

The bowl favoritism of Notre Dame, though to a lesser extent than in the past, continued this year, when the two-loss Irish ``earned'' an automatic BCS berth over a one-loss Oregon team that finished ahead of Notre Dame in the final BCS standings.

Want more proof? Take a look at Notre Dame's recent bowl record. Is it a coincidence that the Irish have lost their past seven bowl games or are they often awarded a better bowl than they have earned?

After the 1994 season, a 10-1 Colorado team was matched up with 6-4-1 and unranked Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. How does a 6-4-1 team end up playing in one of the top four bowls?

Because it is Notre Dame.

The result: Colorado, 41-24.

Only twice in those seven bowls did the Irish lose by fewer than 17 points.

The past three losses have been by 32, 22 and 17 points and came against traditional powerhouses Oregon State (twice) and N.C. State.

It is good for college football when Notre Dame is strong, and the Irish should stay strong now that Coach Charlie Weis can tell recruits to come to Notre Dame because when you play for the Irish, you don't have to be as good as the next guy.

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