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Monday, November 12, 2012
Regis Philbin talks about Notre Dame

By Lynn Hoppes

Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin is Notre Dame's biggest fan and has circled the game against USC as the big one.
This morning, talk show legend Regis Philbin is wishing he were back on "Live! with Regis and Kelly."

When your Notre Dame football team is 10-0 and sniffing a shot at the national championship, the biggest fan wants a soapbox.

"Notre Dame is having a great season and I'm not there to shoot my mouth off with it! That bothers me!" said Philbin, who left the show a year ago. "I know I got looks from [producer Michael] Gelman and Kelly Ripa when I would bring up the Irish, but I can't believe this season!"

Notre Dame, which beat Boston College on Saturday and now is No. 3 in the BCS standings, has a matchup this weekend with Wake Forest, but it's the following week -- the last game of the season -- that is making Philbin nervous.

"The whole season is wrapped up in the USC game in Los Angeles," Philbin said. "I don't care how many games USC has won. This is the game they definitely want."

Philbin graduated from Notre Dame in 1953 with a degree in sociology and played on the school's tennis team. He has been a backer of the team ever since.

Philbin, 81, has been a talk show host for more than 50 years. His contract with "Live!" wasn't renewed last year, but he hasn't stopped working.

"A lot of people thought I retired. I never said I was retiring!" Philbin said. "I said I was just moving on. Why can't people understand that!"

This week, Philbin is hosting the 40th International Emmy Awards and he's still making appearances on "Hot in Cleveland" and the "Rachael Ray" show.

And he's still thinking about that USC game in two weeks.

"After 20 years of eating crow and watching this team go down, it's a big year for all of us," Philbin said. "I'm scared to death. I can't predict who will win. I've had my heart eatened out before. I just know the fans are thrilled like I am that we're here."