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Who will play Notre Dame in the BCS title game?

November 29, 2012|By Houston Mitchell

Who is going to play Notre Dame in the BCS title game was just one of the many topics covered in Thursday's Google+ Hangout with Times national college football writer Chris Dufresne, UCLA writer Chris Foster and USC writer Gary Klein.

The consensus? Alabama.

Will Notre Dame be routed, no matter who they play, as many predict?

Not so fast, Dufresne said, pointing out Notre Dame's defense is too good for anyone to rout them.

Or, as Dufresne wrote earlier this week,

"Picking winners and losers in this sport is tougher because the playing field is so absurdly uneven you have to compare apples to Orange Bowls. The thin space separating victory and abject failure is roughly Kansas Coach Charlie Weis' vertical leap.

"Notre Dame is in this season's national title game because it won five games by seven points or fewer and survived two overtime games and a couple of questionable calls. At 12-0, though, no team deserves it more to be playing for the Bowl Championship Series title.

"Only in this sport can Notre Dame be five ball bounces from the 7-5 record some people say should get USC Coach Lane Kiffin fired.

"Georgia is 11-1 and one victory against Alabama from playing for the national title. The Bulldogs have played a schedule Southeastern Conference fans would have laughed at if it had been played by Boise State.

"Some of this is Georgia's fault, some of it is not. It was not the school's decision to be playing Alabama this weekend for the first time since 2008 — it was a quirk of the SEC's scattershot draw. Georgia was actually supposed to play Alabama this regular season but got to sub out the Crimson Tide for Missouri after the Tigers and Texas A&M joined the SEC. Georgia is also not to blame for the incredibly unbalanced SEC scheduling format that allowed the Bulldogs to also avoid Louisiana State and Texas A&M.

"However, Georgia can be criticized for its nonconference schedule of Buffalo, Florida Atlantic and Georgia Southern (from the Football Championship Subdivision) to go with the annual Georgia Tech rivalry game.

"Fun was had at USC's expense when this week's AP poll revealed the Trojans to be ranked No. 6 in their own seven-team state, yet you could just as easily imagine USC and Georgia swapping records if they swapped schedules."

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