- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here is what we take away from Notre Dame's 28-21 loss at Pittsburgh on Saturday:
1. Bye-bye BCS. People cans top working out the BCS scenarios. The Irish suffered a third and brutal loss, with two games left in the regular season. It is too early to put into perspective what kind of season this is/was for Notre Dame, but we can safely say that it won't be going to a major bowl game for the second straight season. Destinations could be New York, Detroit or perhaps San Diego for the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, which now has an available spot after Army lost Saturday to Western Kentucky to fall to 3-7.
2. Close-game magic disappears. Notre Dame entered Saturday having won 10 straight games decided by seven points or fewer. That streak has come to an end with a loss in which the Irish turned the ball over three times and could not make the big plays late to stave off the upset. The Irish get a week off for another bye week and must re-group, as the physicality BYU and Stanford will bring in the final two weeks scream tight games all over them.
3. Targeting call rears ugly head. Notre Dame fell victim to the targeting ejection rule for the second time this year, as Ben Councell was ejected late in the Oklahoma game, and Stephon Tuitt got tossed after a hit on Tom Savage on Saturday. The call will be debated endlessly, but the Irish are lucky it happened in the first half and that Tuitt will be available for the full game against BYU in two weeks. And the future first-round draft pick might just be the highest-profile player in the country to get tossed for the new rule, which surely will be discussed more this offseason.
15dPaula Lavigne and Nicole Noren