If only to demonstrate my intellectual consistency upon this point, I exhumed the following posting, which originally appeared at my old weblog on October 15, 2005, just prior to the showdown in South Bend between the Fighting Irish and the Trojans:
I can't bring myself to do that.
First of all, I don't know that it would help the 'Dawgs, anyway, since I'm not convinced a once-beaten Notre Dame squad wouldn't get into the title game ahead of an undefeated S.E.C. team based on strength of schedule and the news media's love affair with the Fighting Irish. If the Golden Domers upend the Trojans in South Bend, they are apt to leapfrog a lot of unbeatens, settle into a spot in the top three, and stay there.
Secondly, and more importantly, I am focused on other things. With games remaining against Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech, as well as the possibility of an S.E.C. championship game against Alabama or a team good enough to have beaten Alabama, I am not counting the Bulldogs' chickens before they're hatched.
Georgia hasn't won anything yet and there is a lot of football left to be played. Talking about a national championship game berth after five games is like talking about a no-hitter after three and a third innings. It's simply too soon for that even to be a conversation.
As an aside, I would like to point out that what is referred to in baseball parlance as one-third of an inning is, in fact, one-sixth of an inning. An inning consists of six outs: three in the top of the inning and three in the bottom of the inning.
Also, a team with a 5-1 record isn't four games over .500, it's two games over .500, because two fewer victories would, by definition, also mean two more losses and, hence, a 3-3 record, which is about as .500 as you can get.
Also, George W. Bush isn't the 43rd president of the United States, he's the 39th president of the United States. John Tyler (1841-1845), Millard Fillmore (1850-1853), Andrew Johnson (1865-1869), and Chester Arthur (1881-1885) all were vice presidents who finished out the unexpired terms of presidents who died in office but never were elected to terms of their own. The Constitutional clause providing that "the Vice President shall become President" upon "the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation" was not adopted until the 25th Amendment was ratified in 1967, so Messrs. Tyler, Fillmore, Johnson, and Arthur were only vice presidents acting as president until the next election and they should not be counted as presidents. But I digress.
Since more than half of the Red and Black's games remain unplayed and the Eastern Division crown remains very much in doubt, our focus should be on this fact:
Notre Dame is evil and the Irish must be destroyed.
I hope Southern Cal leaves tire tracks on the Notre Dame secondary. I hope the Trojans win this game 223-0. I hope that an N.C.A.A. ban forces the Gold Domers to change their nickname to "the Cringing Irish." I hope it is revealed during the postgame press conference that Charlie Weis is really Rosie O'Donnell with an even more butch haircut. I hope Pete Carroll takes that ghastly monstrosity of a victory trophy and uses it to whack Rudy upside his helmet. I hope Mark May throws a bucket of water on Lou Holtz so we can watch him melt on "GameDay Final."
It's too early to be thinking about B.C.S. bowl berths. It's never too early to root against Notre Dame.
If nothing else, I hope that reassures Paragon SC of my good intentions after I recently took a Seattle columnist to task for defending the Pac-10 in a way that cast the West Coast conference in a most unfavorable light.