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MORNING BRIEFING

Lou Holtz's crystal ball appears to be cracked

Former Notre Dame coach says the Irish will face Florida in this season's national championship game.

August 24, 2009|Mark Medina

With the college football season less than two weeks away, ESPN analyst and former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz already has begun making predictions. Apparently, Charlie Weis' hot seat will cool considerably after this season. If Holtz is correct (unlikely), the Fighting Irish will face Florida in the Bowl Championship Series title game.

"I'm not saying they're the No. 2 team in the country," Holtz said on ESPN. "But if you look at the schedule and say who's going to end up 11-1 or 12-0, I don't think anyone has a better chance than the University of Notre Dame."

Even if the No. 23 Fighting Irish boast a schedule that features only one top 25 team (USC) and seven home games, Holtz's analysis on Notre Dame should be seen more as outright homerism than a ringing endorsement.

Consider his other predictions on Notre Dame: the Fighting Irish would win handily in the 2007 Sugar Bowl (they lost to Louisiana State, 41-14), they'd be a top 10 team in 2007 (they were 3-9) and they'd win 11 games in 2008 (they finished 6-6).

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Trivia time

When was the first year a batter was given a walk after four called balls?

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No place like home

After Quentin Richardson landed with the Miami Heat, his third team this off-season, he told Sports Illustrated's Steve Aschburner last week why he doesn't exactly mind picking up the frequent-flier miles.

Said Richardson: "I'm only going to rent anyway."

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Trivia answer

1889. "The Official Rules of Baseball Illustrated" notes that National League pitchers gave up 3,612 walks that season, 1,519 more than the previous year when a walk came after six balls.

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And finally

Brian Bennett of ESPN.com on there being no Big East Conference representation in both the preseason Associated Press and coaches' college football top 25 polls: "The shutout is complete."

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mark.medina@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesmedina

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