NCF Nation: Irish-Sooners-102712

NORMAN, Okla. -- Notre Dame's style of football is as fashionable as a crew cut, as stylish as an Oldsmobile. And if those references seem out of date, that's because it has been some time since the Fighting Irish have been relevant this late in the college football season. Relevant, as in crystal-football relevant.

That's right, boys and girls: This is what the fuss is all about. All of you who have wondered for the past decade, when Fighting Irish became a synonym for 7-6, why so much attention is paid to the guys with golden helmets, buckle your seat belts.

After the way that No. 5 Notre Dame came into Memorial Stadium and dismantled No. 8 Oklahoma, 30-13, the Fighting Irish are back, and they will bring to the BCS everything that BCS haters love to hate.

When Notre Dame is in the national championship discussion, the college football world spins a little faster. For the next five weeks, the attention that will be directed toward the Irish will be easy to understand -- and hard to digest.

Notre Dame, like the New York Yankees, evokes strong emotions. Unlike the Yankees, however, the Irish are now in a beauty pageant. (And, unlike the Yankees, the Irish can hit. But that's another story.) On its best days, the BCS selects the teams that play for the national championship by the use of -- let's use a 21st-century word -- crowdsourcing.

For Ivan Maisel's full column, click here.

Sooners battered by tough, sound Irish

October, 28, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- After Notre Dame sacked Landry Jones on the game's final play, the Oklahoma offensive line looked like a bowling ball had rolled through it. Left tackle Lane Johnson crumbled when he tried to stand up. Right tackle Tyrus Thompson keeled over to his knees. And moments before, tailback Damien Williams had limped his way to the locker room.

In Norman once again, football tough and sound prevailed over finesse and style as the Fighting Irish slugged their way to a resounding 30-13 victory to knock the Sooners permanently from the national title picture.

"We played hard, we played with energy, we played with toughness," said Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard. "But when it comes down to it, they controlled the line of scrimmage.

"Things are not going to go your way when that happens."

Click here to read the full story at SoonerNation.

Video: Notre Dame's Kapron Lewis-Moore

October, 28, 2012

Ivan Maisel talks with Notre Dame defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore following the Irish’s win over Oklahoma.

Video: Notre Dame-Oklahoma wrap

October, 28, 2012

Travis Haney wraps up Notre Dame’s win over Oklahoma.

Fifth-ranked Notre Dame sent a message to the rest of college football with a 30-13 win over No. 8 Oklahoma at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. Here's a closer look at what happened and what it means for both teams.

How the game was won: In the trenches. Notre Dame shut down OU’s run game while rushing for 215 yards of its own. The Fighting Irish offensive and defensive lines manhandled the Sooners as Notre Dame improved to 8-0.

The game was over when: Irish kicker Kyle Brindza hit a 46-yard field goal to give Notre Dame a 23-13 lead with 3:22 remaining. The Irish tacked on a late touchdown to win by 17 points.

Turning point: After OU tied the game at 13 midway through the fourth quarter, the Irish stormed back on their next possession, sparked by a 50-yard reception from Chris Brown. It was a remarkable response to the Sooners. Everett Golson’s 1-yard touchdown run capped the drive and secured the win.

Stat of the game: 0.6. That’s the yards-per-carry average for Oklahoma. The Irish run defense was highly regarded when they arrived in Norman. And they didn’t disappoint, holding OU to 15 yards on 24 carries.

Player of the game: Manti Te’o. The Notre Dame linebacker was all over the field for the Irish. He sealed the victory with his fourth-quarter interception and finished the game with 11 tackles, one sack and one interception. He played like a Heisman candidate, leaving his mark on the game with his aggression and hustle.

Unsung hero of the game: Golson. The redshirt freshman quarterback showed exceptional maturity and savvy. He made plays when they were there, tossed the ball out of bounds when they weren't. He finished 13-of-25 for 177 yards with zero turnovers and added 11 rushes for 64 yards and one touchdown. He didn't play like a first-year player.

What Notre Dame learned: Brian Kelly’s rebuilding job appears to be nearing completion. Programs are built on wins like this. With a road win against the Sooners, Kelly’s team made its case earn a spot in the BCS title game. And, at the very least, Irish fans must be thrilled with the progress of Kelly’s program during his third season in South Bend.

What Oklahoma learned: Winning home games against top-25 opponents isn’t as easy as it seemed under Bob Stoops. After heading into the season undefeated against top-25 teams at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium under Stoops, the Sooners suffered their second loss to a Top-25 opponent this year. No. 3 Kansas State knocked off the Sooners on Sept. 22.

What it means: The Irish are for real. Notre Dame is making a strong case to rise to No. 2 in the BCS standings. With wins over Stanford, Michigan, Michigan State and OU, the Irish have a solid résumé and can make a case for a spot in the BCS title game.

Video: Notre Dame-Oklahoma preview

October, 27, 2012

Can Notre Dame improve its hopes of playing for a national title? Will Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops continue his success at home against ranked foes? Ivan Maisel and Travis Haney discuss Saturday night's showdown.