FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: National title implications

When Notre Dame travels to Syracuse Saturday for a 1 p.m. game with the Orangemen, there will be national title implications.

No, Syracuse (5-6, 2-5 Big East) and Notre Dame (5-6) aren't anywhere near the top of the Bowl Championship Series standings, and, likely, neither team will get into any bowl game. But the outcome will have impact on LSU and USC, who are vying for the No. 2 BCS bid behind No. 1 Oklahoma in the BCS.

The Trojans beat the Irish, 45-14 Oct. 18. Should the Irish beat the Orangemen, it would help the Trojans' strength of schedule. If the Orangemen top the Irish, it would help LSU by weakening USC's strength of schedule.

No. 3 LSU will play its final game against Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game. Meanwhile, No. 2 USC will play Oregon State. USC leads LSU by 1.53 points in the BCS rankings.

Notre Dame still brings excitement

Never mind that Notre Dame is 5-6. The Irish are still the most famous football team in college athletics, and that's enough to excite redshirt-freshman linebacker Kelvin Smith and sophomore tight end Joe Kowalewski.

"Who doesn't dream about playing Notre Dame in college?" Kowalewski said. "It's like playing the Yankees in baseball. You dream about this."

"It's going to be a sold out crowd. I'm just going to get amped up. Notre Dame is coming to town. It doesn't matter what their record is. It's Notre Dame. That is what you come here to do, play teams like that."

Smith beamed like a child in front of a candy story, unable to hide his excitement when talking about Notre Dame.

"You look at movies like "Rudy" and things like that," Smith said. "You wouldn't think that you would be playing them so soon in your college career. I can't wait to see them on Saturday."

Anderson in record books

Quarterback R.J. Anderson needs just three completions to set the single-season record for completions in one season. Marvin Graves holds the record, completing 171 passes in 1993. Anderson set the Syracuse record for passes thrown in one season, with 283 through 11 games. He broke Graves' record of 280, set in 1993.

Notes and Quotes: Damien Rhodes (ankle) and Jameel Dumas (knee) will not play Saturday. Dumas has not played since the season opener against North Carolina, while Rhodes hasn't seen action since Virginia Tech. … Receiver Johnnie Morant has caught a pass in 28 consecutive games, a streak that started against East Carolina in 2001. It is the second longest steak in Syracuse history. Scott Schwedes (1983-86) holds the record with 40. … "You know how Catholics pass that basket around? They really pat you on the back. But the people around here have always been great." – Coach Paul Pasqualoni when asked how friends, family and strangers have approached Pasqualoni in what could be Syracuse's second straight losing season.

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