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Notre Dame's most painful loss

Notre Dame's illustrious history is full of joyous victories -- and also painful losses. Defeats hurt more when you always expect to win, so picking out the most gut-wrenching loss in program history was no easy task.

But here's what I pick for the foundation in Notre Dame's House of Pain:

Boston College 41, Notre Dame 39, 1993: Yes, it's fairly recent in the annals of Irish history, but this one had all the trappings of a loss that stings for decades. Notre Dame had toppled No. 1 Florida State the week before to ascend to the top of the polls. Perhaps the team was still congratulating itself as it fell behind Boston College 38-17. But then the Irish made a furious fourth-quarter rally to take a 39-38 lead with 1:09 left (and don't most painful losses involve a late rally that is then trumped?). The Eagles returned serve and drove into field goal range for Dave Gordon, who kicked a 41-yard game-winner as time expired.

What makes the loss even worse is that Florida State won the national title that could have belonged to the Irish. And what makes the pain linger is that Notre Dame hasn't come close to challenging for a championship since.