Now that Notre Dame is a national title contender, everyone in Chicago has to pretend it's a "Chicago team" although it's 100 miles away and half of us assume South Bend is south of the city, not east.
Notre Dame football elicits two distinct responses from sports fans: You love 'em for their tradition or you hate 'em for their stupid gold helmets that have actual 23.9-karat gold. The next few weeks will provide plenty of entertainment for both camps.
Because USC starting quarterback Matt Barkley is out for this weekend's game, the Irish need only to make sure their buses take the northbound ramp off the 105 to the 110 and they'll play in the BCS championship game Jan. 7. Book it.
If you're a true-blue-and-gold supporter, go absolutely flippin' nuts this weekend. Party like it's 1988. Shake that Jeweled Shillelagh all over! (Google it; it's a non-sexual thing. So far.) Enjoy the revelry while you can, Domers, because it ain't gonna be pretty against Alabama, Georgia or even Florida in that title game.
If you're a certified Notre Hater, just bide your time. Let your newly shamrocked, bandwagon-riding friend go nuts. Use the opportunity to bet them uncomfortably large sums of money on the BCS title game, even though their opponent won't be set until the following weekend. Be sure to get their rants on YouTube, too. Their tears will taste sweeter than Scott Tenorman's after the inevitable 27-3 blowout from whatever team comes out of the Esseesee Foobaw Cawnferents.
I'm a recent SEC convert. I fought it for years, believing Big Ten teams could "play better defense," or that Big 12 teams "run the ball better" or that Pac-12 teams are underrated due to "East Coast bias." It just ain't so, Rest of America. The top end of the SEC is bigger, faster, stronger and better. And Touchdown Jesus himself couldn't help the Irish win the BCS championship.
Actual Jesus, however, would help Notre Dame cover the spread.
Alex Quigley is a RedEye special contributor.
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