During his time at the helm of Notre Dame football, there was no fiercer, more persistent detractor of the Fighting Irish than Lou Holtz. Read that again: detractor. Nobody slow-played their team like Uncle Lou, consistently wringing his hands to the media about the problems he saw in practice and how Army could shock the world and easily beat his boys. It rarely came true, of course, and Notre Dame usually rolled to an easy victory all the same (which should tell you everything you need to know about coaches as a valid, useful source of knowledge).
So it’s ironic, then, that Holtz is now singing the Irish’s praises to a rather incredible length. Expectations are somewhat high for the Irish as Charlie Weis tries to rebuild the mess he made, but certainly nobody’s talking titles. Well, nobody but Holtz.
Here’s the link to Holtz’s prediction, which is hell to embed otherwise we’d let you watch right here at SbB. To Holtz’s credit, he knows exactly why the Irish would be contenders this season: the total joke of a schedule they’ve put together. Their toughest road game is against, like, Pitt. All it takes is an upset of USC and the ability to not choke against the rest of the creampuffs and fringe-bowlers in front of them, and the Irish can go 12-0.
Now granted, the Irish aren’t even sniffing the BCS if they lose one game. The computer rankings aren’t going to be kind when it comes time to grade their performance, seeing as how there’s about 20-30 teams in the country who can go undefeated against a borderline I-AA schedule. Florida, meanwhile, might easily make the title game with a loss on their record; hell, they’ve done it twice under Meyer already, including last year.
So then the real surprise isn’t that the Irish might walk through a Candy Land schedule en route to a title appearance, it’s that they haven’t done it already. The last big-time independent school in I-A football has more discretion as to the landscape of the school than most other schools, and there’s little but logistics that should stop them from putting together 12 easy wins.
Of course, they’ve also got yearly rivalries to fuflill, and there are few years in history where the group of Michigan, Boston College, and USC haven’t been formidable opponents. But Michigan is bound to suck yet again, and BC and USC have to travel to South Bend.
So we’ll see if Holtz is right or just plain crazy. Hell, the two aren’t mutually exclusive; even a broken watch is right twice a day.