Heading into the final two games of their schedule, Notre Dame has a legitimate shot at earning an invitation to the Discover BCS National Championship Game, but it all depends on whether the Fighting Irish offense can improve against Wake Forest and USC.
Thus far, Notre Dame has remained undefeated due to their defense, which has been the nation's best through 10 games, allowing just over 11 points per game.
But that won't be enough.
That's because even the best defensive juggernauts, such as last year's edition of the Alabama Crimson Tide, still had enough offensive weapons to put points on the board when needed.
Now, with just a pair of games remaining for the Irish, Brian Kelly's team has to find ways to generate more offense, especially against the No. 19 Trojans.
In Notre Dame's season finale in Los Angeles against USC, the Fighting Irish will face a team with more than its fair share of offensive firepower, and though the defense is more than capable of containing Matt Barkley, Marquise Lee and Robert Woods, Everett Golson and the offense will need to be at their best to keep Notre Dame undefeated.
With nearly 1,200 yards in his last three games, Barkley is one of the nation's best at moving the chains. So unless Golson performs unexpectedly well, if the game turns into a shootout, Notre Dame won't be able to keep up with Lane Kiffin's offense.
Thus far, the Fighting Irish have managed to score by committee, but considering they're the No. 3 team in the country, ranking 79th in college football in terms of points scored is not going to held them go undefeated, nor is it good enough to get them into the BCS title game in Miami on January 7.
They have some underrated playmakers, such as the backfield tandem of Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood, but it all comes down to whether or not Golson can create enough offense.
The days of Kelly going with two quarterbacks must be gone, because at this point, a coach can't count on a revolving door at the most important offensive position to get the job done.
Heading into their final two games, Notre Dame has put themselves in a good position to gain ground on Oregon and Kansas State, but they'll have to be more effective offensively in order to get a chance to play for the BCS national title.
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