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Before BCS

Chris Bell | Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Before the BCS sits an opponent. To this opponent comes Notre Dame, who asks to gain entry into the BCS. But the opponent says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. Notre Dame thinks about it and then asks if they will be allowed to come in next year. “It is possible,” says the opponent, “but you must win.” The gate to the title stands open, as always, and the networks always air Notre Dame games, so they have the voters’ attention. When the opponent notices that, he laughs and says, “If it tempts you so much, try going inside in spite of my prohibition. But take note. I am the underdog that upsets often. But from week to week stand opponents each more powerful than the other. You also still play Navy.”

Notre Dame has not expected such difficulties — the BCS should always be accessible for them, they think, but as he now looks more closely at the opponent in his Nike Pro-Combat, at his conference TV contract and his on-field success, Notre Dame decides that it would be better to wait until they reach auto-bid status. The opponent gives them a spark of hope in football ability. There they sit for days and years. They make many attempts to qualify, and they wear the Big East out with bowl bids. The opponent often upsets Notre Dame’s ranking, questioning them about their relevance, but they are indifferent questions, the kind great men put, and at the end Notre Dame ends up ranked in the preseason.

Notre Dame, who rides on specialized BCS qualification standards, spends everything, no matter how valuable, to reach auto-bid status. The media takes it all but, as they do so, say, “I am taking this only so that you do not think you are mediocre.” During the many years Notre Dame observes the opponent almost continuously. They forget the other scheduled opponents, and this first one seems to them the only obstacle for winning another title. Alumni curse the unlucky circumstance, in the first years thoughtlessly and out loud. Later, as they grow old, they only write Viewpoints. They become childish and, since in the long years studying opponents they have also come to cheer for their success, so long as they lose to Notre Dame. Finally their schedule grows weak, and they do not know whether they are terrible or just not prepared. But they recognize now in the darkness an illumination which breaks inextinguishably out of the gateway to the BCS. Now they no longer have much time conference-less.

Before their death, a hero, Jack, calls upon his connections. He waves to Texas, since he can no longer sell a 7-4-1 package. Texas does not bend far, for they see their empire crumble before them. “Can two television contracts live in peace?” asks Texas. “We both are insatiable.” “Everyone strives for our brand names,” says Notre Dame, “so how is it that in these many years the SEC continues to dominate?” Texas sees that Notre Dame is already dying and, in order to reach their diminishing sense of hearing, they shout, “Let’s form a conference out of arrogance that, while profitable, will survive on history and not on athletic accomplishments.”

Chris Bell


off campus

Sept. 5