Yesterday, here at Your Best 11, we talked about Oregon deserving a title, not because of their résumé but due to their on-field performance. In that article we hit on Notre Dame pumping their résumé, because as it stands right now, Notre Dame has the best on-paper numbers.
Yet, as we enter the last few weeks of the season the Irish sit at No. 3, even with their first-place résumé. The cause for that is simple: less-than-inspiring performances against opponents that the voters don't respect.
We mentioned the increasingly disgusting "style points" as Notre Dame entered their game against Boston College. Now, with Alabama going down, there should be an opening, but Brian Kelly's team just cannot gain traction with voters. Even as history tells us that you need to play great defense to win a BCS championship, voters, both coaches and Harris, continue to ignore the Irish.
A large part of it is they are drunk on offense. Stumbling, fall-down drunk on dynamism and huge points. After last year's BCS championship game the thirst for points, offense and avoiding "SEC Style" football is strong within the masses. Notre Dame does not scratch that itch for most people.
However, it must be noted that Notre Dame also has not helped themselves. Struggling to put teams like Pitt, BYU and Purdue away while the teams ranked ahead of them score at will is not a good thing. While I look at football and see a defense that can stop anyone in the nation and an offense that is going to pound its way to victory, most people see "this is boring" or "I don't like this as much" football.
Never mind that Kansas State struggled to beat an Oklahoma team that Notre Dame dismantled. Never mind that Oregon gave up 51 points to USC. All folks recall is seeing the Irish need extra time to beat a Pitt team that lost to Youngstown State. All voters see is Oregon State's box score against BYU, while Notre Dame had to sweat it out against the Cougars.
The computers respect the hell out of what Notre Dame has done, the Irish are tops in the computer rankings, ahead of Oregon and Kansas State. The Irish's problems come in the human polls, where they cannot get over the hump. That's a perception issue and it stems from close games against less-than-stellar teams.