Despite putting up 663 yd offense and holding Stanford to a negative rushing total, ND made several costly mistakes and was actually losing this game with 1:46 to go. Almost all of these miscues were on special teams (basically 14 points given away), but Quinn threw two interceptions and the DBs got beat on a few deep balls. Nevertheless, when ND needed a score, the offense stormed down the field and put up 8 points to reclaim the lead, and the defense stood tough after giving up an 80 yard scoring drive on the previous series.
Now begins the whining by Oregon and others about how they (10-1 record) deserve to go to the BCS over ND (finish 9-2). The common argument for ND is that our fans travel well and the TV broadcast will get good ratings. While that is true, I would prefer that our team went to a big game because we deserve it, not because we’re popular. In terms of comparison to Oregon, I certainly feel that we’re worthy. ND had four games decided by 7 points or less (7 point wins at Michigan and Stanford, 3 point losses vs Mich. St. and USC) and demolished the others by an average of three touchdowns. Oregon was destroyed by USC (45-13), and squeeked by Arizona, Cal, Fresno St., and Washington St. They did take care of business against the rest of their cupcake schedule, but it’s not a convincing argument that they are a better team than ND. If Oregon wants to complain about a team that doesn’t belong in the BCS, talk to West Virginia.
One other note about Saturday’s contest: Stanford began destruction of the Stadium immediately after the game, and not a moment too soon. The only thing that separates that place from Waldwick High School’s field is the number of people it can hold.