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Ground game: The Irish have run for more than 200 yards each of the last three games as they try to take the pressure off developing QB Everett Golson.

Department of defense. Te’o gets the press but the line led by DE Stephon Tuitt and NG Louis Nix III is a big reason the Irish have allowed only two rushing touchdowns, fewest in the nation.

Accomplishments: Strength of schedule: 16th. Average margin of victory: 15 ppg.

Commander-in-chief: Brian Kelly. Former aspiring politician from Massachusetts has been known to flip-flop when it comes to quarterbacks.

Campaign slogan: Play like a champion.


This could work itself out if two of the candidates were to lose in the next four weeks. However, if all four remain undefeated, it will be up to the voters in the Harris and coaches’ polls to find the imperfections in those perfect records.

If that scenario plays out, Alabama is a lock to play for its third national title in four seasons. The Crimson Tide has the most talented roster in the country, the best coach and would be the champions of the Southeastern Conference, which has produced the last six champions.

The question then is: Which team plays Alabama?

Make no mistake, all would be deserving, and there is no definitive correct answer.

By the time the season is over, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame all will likely have played somewhat comparable schedules. The Ducks just started their toughest stretch.

Notre Dame gets eliminated because the Irish have played so many close games, some against middling opposition such as Purdue, BYU and Pittsburgh.

So it comes down to Oregon or Kansas State, an almost impossible choice. The BCS metrics favor the Wildcats right now, but suggest the Ducks will make up the ground they need down the stretch.

Taking into account that the events of the next four weeks could sway this opinion, Oregon would be the choice to face Alabama on Jan. 7 in Miami in the BCS title game if all four candidates remain unbeaten.

Any chance we can move up the start date of that four-team playoff?

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