NCAA Football Independent FootballNotre Dame Fighting Irish

Top 10 Reasons Notre Dame Should Be in the National Title Hunt

1 of 11

Top 10 Reasons Notre Dame Should Be in the National Title Hunt

national title hunt
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The football gods have summoned me to work on a special assignment (bet you didn't think the heavens had deadlines, did you?) so this week I will exchange the timeless for the timely, at least as far as the Notre Dame picture show goes. In other words, I will return to Notre Dame's all-time great running backs next week, but the first week of November finds me writing about why the Fighting Irish should be seriously considered for their twelfth national title.

Of course, at least one of the reasons should be obvious, at least if you follow college football and not dance competitions or professional wrestling. And that is, no matter how pretty or popular you are, unless you have a stack of "W's" when the season winds down, we must say sayonara. And with four major (sorry, Louisville) not-on-probation (THE Ohio State University) teams still undefeated, unless you are in the SEC, you cannot even be considered with even one loss. Fortunately, with a little luck of the Irish last week, Notre Dame is still in that all-win category.

Then again, since it has cleared that most important hurdle, all things uniquely Notre Dame, either from 2012 or in the University's 125-year football history or both, should be considered. A few of the top BCS teams can compete with the Irish in interesting storylines; perhaps one other contender can claim a comparable football tradition, but none of them save Notre Dame truly have them both.

And then there's Notre Dame's secret weapon...

Hey ND fans! Follow this link to get to Tom's latest ND features. Follow him on Twitter and visit him on LinkedIn.

Subscribe to his feed and email him here. And for you diehard fans, check out Suffering Irish too.

2 of 11

#10 TV Ratings

tv ratings
Perhaps this is a little on the cynical side, but Notre Dame has produced the best college football ratings this season (and also in past years when they've performed well) so no network exec. would ever say no to the Irish.
3 of 11

#9 The Irish "Travel" Well

Notre Dame not only has a ton of stay-at-home fans, but every bowl welcomes the Fighting Irish, because they know that between its loyal alumni and subway alumni their stadium will be packed.
4 of 11

#8 Defense!

Although Notre Dame ranks number two in scoring defense behind Alabama, its bend-but-not-break strategy not only provides a contrast to offensive juggernaut Oregon, but combined with the just-enough Irish offense, almost guarantees an exciting game, as Notre Dame's five victories by a touchdown or less attest.
5 of 11

#7 Cool Coaching Storylines/Match-ups

Although Notre Dame coach, Brian Kelly, had been a head coach for a long time, and has even brought a team to a BCS bowl before, he has never seriously had a shot at a National Championship. Ditto with Kansas State's Bill Snyder, but with Snyder's age, you have the added storyline that this may be the two-time K-State coach's last chance. Meanwhile, the upstart against the old master; that is, Nick Saban and his three National Championships, is always intriguing, while Kelly vs. Kelly (Chip Kelly, Oregon's head coach) just sounds cool, like Mad Magazine's "Spy vs. Spy."

And there is always the "Notre Dame coaches who won the National Championship in their third season" storyline...
6 of 11

#6 Notre Dame "Noise"

notre dame noise
Whether it's on the radio, television, or in the blogosphere, the "love 'em or hate 'em" passion that Notre Dame generates would guarantee good (and probably heated) conversation leading up to the big game—and beyond.
7 of 11

#5 Manti Te'o (and Everett Golson)

manti te'o
Mike Carter, Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE
Te'o is not just the rare defensive Heisman trophy candidate, but the rare individual whose ability to play through personal loss has inspired friend and foe alike. And you have to admit it's a little unique that the focal point of both the Irish offense (Golson) and defense (Te'o) share the number five.
8 of 11

#4 Tradition

Rockne, Leahy, "the Gipper," The Four Horsemen, Montana, "Rudy," seven Heisman Trophy winners, eleven National Championships, "Fair Catch" Corby, "Touchdown Jesus"...I could go on, but you get the picture.
9 of 11

#3 Tough Schedule

Mathew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Unlike the other contenders, Notre Dame plays no cupcakes. At the time the schools met, Notre Dame played four teams inside the top twelve, and at this writing, only one of its opponents (Boston College) will not be going to a bowl, although Purdue is on the bubble.
10 of 11

#2 Undefeated!

Indeed, Notre Dame has survived some scares this season, but as previously mentioned, with even one loss, the Irish would not merit either consideration or conversation.
11 of 11

#1 Notre Dame—Translated means "Our Lady"

our lady
Photo by Michael Fernandes
The Irish's secret weapon, Our Lady, is both Notre Dame's No. 1 fan and the symbol for fans everywhere. She (like all true fans) neither plays nor coaches the Irish to victory, yet somehow influences the game's outcome.

Hey ND fans! Follow this link to get to Tom's latest ND features. Follow him on Twitter and visit him on LinkedIn.

Subscribe to his feed and email him here. And for you diehard fans, check out Suffering Irish too.