November 22, 1993. That was the last time the Notre Dame Irish were ranked No. 1 in the country, but that’s all about to change as the top two teams in the country have gone down, leaving the Irish the last team standing among Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame.
There was some speculation that Kansas State could lose, and the more superstitious crowd will point to Collin Klein’s appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the reason for the loss. But no one could have anticipated the 54-24 thumping that Baylor gave them, and with Oregon’s overtime loss to No. 13 Stanford, we have ourselves an old fashion BCS shake up — one that will, unless the football Gods are truly not Catholic, have Notre Dame at No. 1 for the first time in almost 20 years.
Up until tonight, Notre Dame’s only real shot at a title appearance was if someone somehow toppled Oregon, who had two ranked opponents left on their schedule. But the Irish and Brian Kelly got a dream come true scenario when both the top teams in the country fell, meaning all the Irish have to do is beat a UCS Trojans team thats down in the dumps (and likely without Matt Barkley).
But now the question goes from will Notre Dame get a title shot to who will they have that title shot against.
The luckiest team in the NCAA right now call Alabama their home. After getting upset last week, the Crimson Tide have seen their title hopes likely resurrected in the matter of a week. Alabama fell just three spots in the BCS rankings after their loss to Texas A&M, but they’ll not jump up to No. 2 or at the very least No. 3 in the BCS.
Georgia, Florida and LSU will all move up and now get potential shots at a title as well. At the very least, the massive upsets have secured, for the time being, BCS bowl appearances for some teams that thought they’d have to get a prayer answered to fell this kind of security.
Well, prayers answered.
But we still have a few games left to play, and although all Notre Dame needs to do is win one more game to all but secure their title shot, after this Saturday it’s obvious that nothing is guaranteed.