- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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The time has come, and the debating will soon ensue.
The three-day weekend is over, the offseason (yes, rumor has it that there is such a thing at Notre Dame) is in full swing and today we start one of the more popular series on the college football nation blogs: The countdown of the top 25 players from this past season.
It is much easier here, where we deal with just one team. The criteria is simple: Who produced the most for Notre Dame during the Irish's 12-1 campaign? Some good names were left out, as is the case when a team outperforms any and all preseason expectations, but we'll give it our best shot here, starting today with No. 25.
No. 25: Chris Brown, WR
Making the case: Brown's case is simple: He made the biggest play for Notre Dame's offense all season long. Tied at 13 with less than 10 minutes remaining in Norman, Okla., Brown caught a 50-yard bomb from Everett Golson on a beautifully executed play-action on second-and-2. Five plays later Golson rushed it himself for the go-ahead touchdown, the first of 17 straight points Notre Dame scored to close out the game and record its biggest win in 19 years, a 30-13 triumph over the then-No. 8 Sooners. Brown's first season in South Bend, Ind., featured just two total catches for 56 yards, but that Oklahoma grab — the first catch of his career — will resonate in Irish history for quite some time.
Preseason ranking: NR