Apologies for the late start chatting today. Here is my way of making it up to you.
Kevin from New York writes: I would love to see Notre Dame make a BCS bowl game, but how do you see Notre Dame standing up against some of the other dominant BCS schools?
Matt Fortuna: Kevin, I think LSU, Alabama and Oklahoma are in a league of their own right now. Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Stanford and Clemson aren't too far behind. I suppose we'll really get our answer Nov. 26 when the Irish go to Stanford, and I think at the moment that could be a very good game. I wouldn't want any part of the other three at the moment.
Adena from South Bend writes: I often hear Kirk Herbstreit talk about how Notre Dame has a lot of talent. Why don't they play a team like Alabama or LSU to prove they are indeed relevant again? Can you please blog about this? Thank You.
Matt Fortuna: Adena, they go to Oklahoma next year to face a Sooners team that, who knows, may just be defending its national title. They also go to Stanford this year and in recent years have played a national title contender in USC annually. Add in the fact that there are no true cupcakes and the scheduling quirks that come with being an independent, and it becomes a lot harder to schedule such big games, especially with so many annual rivalries to protect as well.
Jody Ruedisale from Lansing, Mich., writes: I feel Notre Dame should be ranked. I don't know what the coaches or the writers are thinking in the AP and the coaches poll. They are better in the teams ranked 20-15 and they beat a very Michigan State team soundly.
Matt Fortuna: Jody, I agree, it is weird to see the Irish not ranked after these past four wins. That MSU win is looking better and better each week, as well, and will especially look good if Sparty can somehow beat Wisconsin this week. No worries, however. If ND beats USC, it will be ranked.
Pete from Bergenfield, N.J., writes: Do you see Everett Golson getting some solid playing time in the near future? And when do you think if ever he will be the starting quarterback.
Matt Fortuna: Pete, Golson is all but a lock to redshirt this season with three other quarterbacks having already seen playing time. It is a long ways away to know whether he will ever start, and I, for one, have never seen a practice so I can't exactly tell you how he looks. I do know that it will be an open competition after this year and everything will be up for grabs.
James Clinton from Springfield, Va., writes: You always say that Notre Dame's defense isn't good and that ND isn't good, yet they are the only team to beat Michigan State, IN A BLOW-OUT, and man-handled Air Force. U are just being biased because of the first two games. And our offense, which is so bad apparently, has scored over 30 in 4 games. And we rank 28th in BCS, which is too low, yet somehow 7 spots lower than penn state. How does PSU, who plays NOBODY, rank above a team with what analysts call the "hardest first six games schedule?" Thanks
Matt Fortuna: James, appreciate the etiquette with the "thanks" at the end. And I don't think Penn State is better than Notre Dame, which I again ranked higher this week, though I do think the better record and the fact its only loss came to No. 2 Alabama certainly plays a role in most voters' minds. Now if you can find where I "always say that Notre Dame's defense isn't good," that "ND isn't good" and where I wrote that the offense is so bad, then I will gladly eat my own words. Also, a bias would imply I don't like Notre Dame, not that my judgment is clouded by the first two games. Those two games — two losses — are a part of Notre Dame football's 2011 team forever, and they will always show up in the record books. You can't always ignore that when talking about this team, however good it may end up being.