A Chance to Win

The Irish became bowl eligible on Saturday with their 41-21 victory over Tennessee on Saturday, and many feel Notre Dame has a great shot to land a BCS berth if they can finish their season strong with wins in their three remaining games against Navy, Syracuse and Stanford. While the BCS isn't something new to the Irish, a real chance to win a BCS game is.

The buzz this week on media talk shows, ESPN, and internet message boards was all about Charlie Weis' new 10-year contract. Did the Irish jump too soon by locking up Weis?

Saturday's game might've given some insight on what went into this decision.

The Volunteers tied the game, 21-21, late in the third quarter and all momentum was riding high on the Tennessee sideline. Did the Irish panic? Did the Irish fold? Did the Irish flinch? No.

The Irish responded like they have all season. True, Notre Dame hasn't won every game this season. True, they let a lead slip through their hands at the end of the USC game, but the real reason Irish fans love Charlie Weis is because they believe in Charlie Weis--just as his team does.

The Irish nation believes Weis will have the answers when push comes to shove, and just as important, they believe Weis will always have them in position to win the game, any game, as he has all season.

That's the difference between Weis and the previous coaching staffs in my opinion. Weis gives Notre Dame a chance to win these big games. I don't think many Irish fans felt that way the previous eight to 10 years.

Does anyone believe we'll see a late season meltdown we've grown accustomed to over the years? Any 30-point losses on the horizon? Another embarrassment in a BCS game?

Notre Dame hasn't won a bowl game since their 24-21 victory over Texas A&M in the 1994 Cotton Bowl. Since that game, Notre Dame has been outscored in bowls, 241-123, losing by an average of 17 points in those games.

If the Irish win the remaining three games on the schedule and end up in the BCS, who are you afraid to play? Are you afraid for your beloved Irish to face Miami? Ohio State? Alabama? Dare I say Texas or USC (not going to happen)? But that's my point.

In previous BCS games the Irish didn't belong—that was proven on the field. But this Irish team does belong, and Irish fans aren't afraid to play anyone. And even more exciting is the fact that many teams are going to be afraid to play Notre Dame.

So let them ask why Notre Dame jumped in bed with Weis. We all know why. And so will they soon enough.

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