Look, Irish fans, you're a passionate bunch. I know this from the comments and through Twitter. The passion is real, and the excitement surrounding your fourth-ranked team is palpable. You want your team to be back—like, all the way back. We're talking national title and a date with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Let's pump the brakes.
Let's all slow down and take a deep breath here. Not because I don't the think the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are deserving of a title shot. Personally, there is no game I'd rather see than Alabama and Notre Dame slugging it out in Miami. That's my kind of football.
That's a game that I'd DVR and watch time and again. Two defenses taking center stage. Talented defensive lines and linebackers fighting to stop the run game. Two of the nation's best offensive and defensive lines punching one another in the mouth for 60 minutes.
That's football to me.
Unfortunately, we don't live in the Michael Felder Universe. We live in the final days of the BCS era, and what we have to deal with are real numbers. What we have at our disposal is a system built upon a little "resume voting" plus computer algorithms with a dash of Sports Information Director votes, a sprig of actual game performance and team evaluation and a heaping mound of style points.
It's not pretty.
Team evaluation and game performance are what should matter most, but for most voters, who can't watch all the games, they use the same elements that the computers use when it comes to voting. Some aren't comfortable evaluating teams. Most just like to have numbers in their hands to make the decision for them.
So, with that in mind, it's time for Irish fans to root for losses and hold their water where the BCS Championship Game is concerned. Brian Kelly's team needs style points. Beating Pitt in three overtimes is far from the type of victory the Irish need if they are hoping to creep ahead of Kansas State and Oregon.
Four of the Irish's nine wins in 2012 have been quite convincing. Navy saw Notre Dame mash out an overmatched team in Ireland. The Michigan State matchup was not a huge score, but it was a game the Irish controlled wire to wire and won by 17 points. The Miami game was an impressive beating of an explosive team. Then, Oklahoma was the best win by the Irish and the most impressive win by far.
Four big point-total wins.
On the flip side, the Irish have five games that were a lot closer to coin flips than "style point"-earning wins. Now, I hate style points. If some moron needs "pretty wins" to make him feel better about a team, then he probably shouldn't be voting. Unfortunately, those morons do exist, and if Notre Dame wants to claw its way to the front, it needs more wins that appease said morons.
Crushing Boston College is a start. Especially with an interesting injury situation at Kansas State and Oregon taking on the lowly Cal Bears—there is an area of opportunity for the Irish this weekend.
To seize that opportunity, Kelly's team has to be focused going into Chestnut Hill, and it has to leave with a win that shows the simple folk that it's an all-around quality ballclub.
No, Notre Dame doesn't get to talk BCS Championship Game yet. The Irish need more "style points" to insert themselves into the conversation that is steered by Oregon's high-scoring offensive show and Kansas State's Heisman candidate-driven season.
Those of us who love the defense-first, "ugly" style are subjected to the whims of the style-driven masses, and for that reason, the Irish need a big win over Boston College to try to elbow their way in.