Thanks to those who stopped by today's Notre Dame chat. Big turnout, as to be expected when previewing the national title game. As always, a complete transcript can be found here.
On to the highlights:
Charlie (Marlton, N.J.): Regardless of what happens in the title game, things are looking up for next year. Given that Diaco is returning (what it appears to be, anyway) and that we are losing a few key players on O & D, what are the chances we're able to reload and make it back into the title game like Bama did this year?
Matt Fortuna (2:01 PM): Charlie, things are definitely looking up, though I'm not ready to say this team is national title-game bound again just yet. The Irish should be a legitimate preseason top-10 and BCS-bowl team again, but getting to where they are this year is incredibly difficult. Just look at how Bama managed to drop three games in 2010 while defending its first crown under Saban.
Nate (Seattle): If Notre Dame beats The Tide after giving the Heisman to one of the QB's. Do you think the voters will feel like they made a mistake??
Matt Fortuna (2:17 PM): Not unless Manti Te'o has a Vince Young-like title game performance, which is pretty difficult for a linebacker to do.
Bryan (Louisville, Ky.): Good work Matt. How do you see the ND front seven matching up against a very good Alabama offensive line? Is this the key to the National Championship?
Matt Fortuna (2:37 PM): Thanks Bryan. I think this is the key to the title game. ND's front-seven has been great all year; Bama's line has been nearly invincible. Football at its purest element, something I can't wait to see. AJ McCarron is not all that mobile, so how he reacts if pressured for the first time will be interesting to see.
Joel (Elysburg, Pa.): More likely: Teo' wins Heisman or ND wins National Championship?
Matt Fortuna (2:48 PM): Good question. I'll say the latter considering it hinges on a lot more factors than the minds of 900-plus voters.