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Monday, October 10, 2011
Looking at bowl projections

By Matt Fortuna

With Notre Dame's season halfway over and BCS rankings coming out in less than a week, it's time to look at where the Fighting Irish could be headed for the holidays.

Our Mark Schlabach and Brad Edwards both have the Irish playing in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando. And both have them playing Virginia Tech.

That would be a great get for a bowl that regularly pits the Big East and ACC — arguably the two worst automatic qualifying conferences — against each other, but the folks near Disney World better hope an Irish loss is on the horizon.

Notre Dame has overcome an 0-2 start to win four straight before its bye. It likely won't be an underdog until its finale at Stanford, which itself could be playing for big stakes — possible even the biggest if the Cardinal are 11-0 going into it.

There's little doubt that a win in Palo Alto, Calif., would leave a strong last impression on bowl executives, and winning that one, plus the five before it, is likely the only way Notre Dame will find itself in a BCS bowl.

But considering the Irish remain unranked and likely need to go 6-for-6 in the second half of the season to make a BCS bowl, I wouldn't think about booking any travel plans just yet.