USC’s game in South Bend against Notre Dame is definitely on the back burner of the national spotlight in 2013, but the importance of the game for both programs is of the highest order. That’s easy to say as it is the only game each team plays this week, of course, but it’s really about more than that.
USC is trying to secure a coaching icon to take this team forward. Maybe that coach is already leading the team, Ed Orgeron. USC quarterback Cody Kessler said this about his newest head coach after the USC win against Arizona; “All of us would go to war and put our lives on the line for this man any day of the week”.
Chances are that USC will still look for a bigger name in the coaching candidacy, but if Orgeron wins this game and is highly competitive the rest of the way in the Pac-12, he may force the Trojans to hire him long term. At the very least he could put his name out for a head coaching job somewhere else. But it’s more about his team, who is still 4-2 (1-2 Pac-12) and could still be a factor in the South with a late run.
Notre Dame on the other hand is also 4-2 and after a win against #22 ASU last week is looking to drive their way back into BCS contention. Regardless of USC’s standing, they are always a good measuring stick for the Irish’ chances. The remaining schedule sets up nicely for the ND, they’ll get a chance to quietly get to 8-2 before a couple difficult games to end the season where they could make a statement. Those games are against BYU and Stanford.