There’s been a lot said about Notre Dames inability to produce “style points” to help them in the BCS; but what are style points, really? You see K-State and Oregon putting up 40+, blowing everyone out and yes, that looks good but not every great team wins that way. The Irish win in style every weekend, just not how everyone else does. The Irish have proven they can win however they need to. We had a bit of a grunge look before the Miami game but after holding the Canes big passing offense to just 3pts in a 41-3 thrashing; the Irish looked like a prom queen. After Miami, Notre Dame had a couple more grinding wins against Stanford and BYU before their coming out party in Norman. Then there was last weekend against Pitt in which the Irish showed a style they haven’t in 20yrs; the resolve to never give up and find a way to win. When you hear people speak of the greatest athletes or teams, they all shared similar traits and none more valuable than being able to win when not at their best.
It seems as though no matter whom the Irish beat or how they beat them, the national pundits will find more reasons why Notre Dame can’t win out or make the national title game. A couple weeks ago it was “they don’t have the firepower to beat Oklahoma”, after the Irish won, it was “are they consistent enough offensively to produce the style points needed in the BCS?” and now this week, Notre Dame will have to blowout everyone before USC to have a title shot. The 2012 Irish will not blow your mind offensively, nor will they win many games by 20 or 30pts; it’s just not who they are. This squad the unity, belief in each other, the will to win and never give up to get the job done against anyone. Out of the 3 teams battling for 2nd place, it’s the Irish that have shown the ability to look adversity in the eye, continue to attack and come out of top. Their style may not be as pretty to look at as Oregon or K-State, however, it has revealed the character that is the framework of any championship team. Until Kansas State or Oregon have their backs against the wall in the 4th quarter or OT as the Crimson Tide and Fighting Irish have and can prove they have the character and unity to come back and fight for a victory; I will take Notre Dames blue collar, hard hat, lunch pail style any day of the week. There are plenty of teams that look great on the outside but it’s the character that shows the true foundation of that style or identity that people see from afar. So while the Irish may not be flashy or have dominant scoreboard victories, they have a versatile and tenacious swagger about them that gives the Irish a fighting chance against any of the top undefeated teams in the country. This team may not be the prettiest girl at the dance but at the end of the day, that doesn’t matter. Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder as is “style” on the gridiron if you’re an Irish fan.