Irish preparing for Florida State

<P>The Florida State game will be a tale of two seasons. One team struggling with two difficult losses. The other on a magic carpet ride hoping they don't run out of magic. On paper, most would suggest that Florida State has the better athletes so they should win this game. The Irish will refuse to accept that evaluation and they will be on a mission to prove those predictors wrong. </P>

When you break down this game, you must take a look inside the game. The athleticism of your players will help you win games but it's not the only factor in the outcome or final verdict. The mental aspect of this game is where I believe you will find the deciding factors. This game will come down to who wants to win more.

This Notre Dame team reminds me a lot of Oklahoma a few years ago. A new coach, a new attitude, great defense and a struggling offense. Nobody took that Oklahoma team seriously, even when they were awarded their slot in the BCS National Championship game. Everyone, including me, didn't give Oklahoma a chance to play with Florida State or win that game. What we didn't know was that Oklahoma knew they would win that game. I am quite sure they knew it and that is why they won. That Oklahoma team believed in themselves and you can do anything when you believe in yourself.

The psychology of this game will be fun to watch. Florida State entered this season after finishing last season 8-4. That is not a typical Florida State season. They have already lost to Louisville and suffered a crushing defeat against Miami. It will be interesting to see if Coach Bowden can pick this team up and make them believe again. Will the "here we go again" mentality take over if they find themselves in a difficult situation? How much Florida State wants this game will be the difference in winning and losing.

The psychology of Notre Dame is also interesting. Nobody in the country, including most Notre Dame fans, expected this team to be 7-0 heading into this game. They are currently ranked #3 in the BCS standings and if they win the rest of their games, they could have the chance to play for the National Championship. They have been told they are not that good. They have been told they are not that athletic. They have been told their offense can't score. They have been picked to lose every game by almost all those "experts" that pick these games. Here they are 7-0 and I am going to bet they don't believe anything that is said about them. They are 7-0 because they know they can win these types of games. How will Notre Dame react if they face a difficult situation against what many suggest is a team with better athletes? Will doubt start to surface?

This game will come down to who wants to win this game more. Turnovers will effect the game but this is purely a desire game and who can overcome their mistakes and make plays when they need it most. I look forward to another exciting game with Florida State.

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