Starting 11: Notre Dame is a fraud

Notre Dame is a BCS title fraud.

Anyone who watched the Irish win in three overtimes against a choking Pittsburgh team knows that the Irish would stand no shot against legitimate competition. In fact, anyone with half a brain who watched Texas A&M play this weekend, knows that the Aggies, who I presently have as the fifth best team in the SEC, would trounce the Irish on a neutral site field. I also think South Carolina would whip the Irish. After another week I'm even more convinced that Notre Dame would be no better than the 7th best team in the SEC this season. 

I think if Alabama played Notre Dame in the BCS title game, the Tide would win by double digits 100 times out of 100. 

Five of Notre Dame's nine wins have come by a single score or less. 

Remember when the Irish beat Purdue 20-17? A three-point home win over a team that's so bad it can't even win a single Big Ten game? I do. 

Remember that astounding three-point home win over 5-4 BYU? I do. 

And on Saturday, needing a Pitt kicker to shank a 33 yard field goal to win?

Notre Dame has two quality wins all season, an overtime win over Stanford that may not have actually been a win -- I think Stanford got in -- and a road win at Oklahoma, where Bob Stoops did what he did in every big game against an opponent not named Texas, choked. 

How much better is Texas A&M than Notre Dame? The Aggies could beat the Irish with Johnny Manziel playing in Scooby Doo costume.  

1. LSU against Alabama has become the South's Super Bowl.

Only the gameday environment for LSU-Bama is vastly superior to the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is corporate, a bunch of rich guys in sports coats and jeans. It's fun, but the game seems infinitely less important than the business deals surrounding the game. And there are no women. The Super Bowl is like 85% men and it's set in a city and no one really cares about who wins.

Meanwhile, LSU-Bama brings in hard core SEC fans from all over the country who just want to see an amazing football game. The women are all drop-dead gorgeous, and the party's are more fun and egalitarian 

I can't imagine a better gameday atmosphere for a football game than last year in Tuscaloosa and this year in Baton Rouge.

I'm not kidding about this, I'd rather have been at Bama-LSU this year than the Super Bowl.

In terms of fun, it's not even close.

Speaking of fun #cbsdrink was an outrageous success. Within ten minutes of the game starting we were already one of the top five national trends in the country. It's amazing how much the OKTC audience continues to grow.

Y'all make doing what I do an awful lot of fun.

2. The Derek Dooley comedy pyramid continues.

En route to giving up 721 yards of total offense to Troy, the most the Vols have ever allowed in the history of the football program!, Dooely provided us yet another golden sideline image, breaking his cane in frustration.

There are so many wonderful things about this image.

a. the Troy ball boy not even reacting. It's as if he expected this.

b. Dooley's high-water orange pants like an old man on the golf course.

c. the fact that you know Dooley really wants to hit Sal Sunseri with the cane.

d. I can't stop picturing old UT fans also slamming their canes in their homes while watching UT play. You know someone else was doing this too, right? Perhaps Vince Dooley?

In the last month Dooley may have locked up all three finalist positions in the sports photography category for 2012.

I mean, which of these photographs is better? How do you pick, it's like choosing a favorite child.

Or this.

Or this.

Every week I think Dooley can't create a more ridiculous and entertaining image, and then he does.

I've kind of fallen in love with Dooley.

Even though Kevin Sumlin has as many SEC wins, four, after just six games as Dooley does after 21.

And even though Dooley of the four SEC coaches that Dooley has beaten, three have been fired.

3. Oregon hung 62 on USC and Lane Kiffin.

Monte Kiffin's college tenure has turned into one long nightmare.

Kenjon Barner ran for 321 yards, which should be impossible to happen in a game against a top 25 opponent, and Oregon got revenge for last season's loss.

But here's the real question, what happens if USC goes 7-5? I mean, losses to UCLA and Notre Dame seem like they really might happen, right? (I actually think USC will beat Notre Dame, but we'll see.) Is Kiffin on the hot seat coming into next year?

4. Let's talk about Johnny Manziel.

Not about his Scooby Doo costume, but about his road performance at Mississippi State.

The guy is flat-out amazing and isn't getting enough national attention yet.

He goes 30 for 36 for 311 yards and rushes for 129 yards on the road?

He's now passed for over 2500 yards and rushed for 922.

Putting those numbers into context, Manziel has already rushed for more yards than Tebow did in his Heisman trophy year. With three games left, he's likely to throw for more yards as well.

Manziel will definitely pass for way more yards than Cam Newton did during his Heisman trophy year and will put up more total yards as well.

This means that Manziel is likely to put up more total yards than either Tim Tebow or Cam Newton did in their Heisman trophy seasons. Which means Manziel is on pace to have the greatest single season of any quarterback in SEC history.

As a freshman!

If anything, Manziel is incredibly underhyped. If he could go on the road and beat Alabama -- and I don't believe he'll do this, but if he did -- would he deserve the Heisman?

You can make a strong case for yes.

5. There is no confusion over who will play for the BCS title if there are three or four undefeated teams.

Each of the last two weeks I've said don't buy into the hyperbole about arguing who should play for the title. The networks have an incentive to make the BCS standings seem complicated. They aren't. If Alabama and Oregon win out they'll play for the national title. If Oregon or Alabama loses, then Kansas State will play for the national title.


If three of these undefeated teams lose then things get complicated.

Otherwise, it's all just noise.

6. How bad is it for the Tennessee Titans?

Allow me an interlude for a moment to discuss my NFL team, the one that is on pace to allow more points than any team in NFL history.

It's so bad that President Obama is making jokes at their expense. Interrupted by hecklers during his rally last night Obama replied, "These might have been some Tennessee Titans fans made about the Chicago Bears. My Bears are pretty good."

7. It's been 11 years since 9/11/01.

Yet people still cannot go through secruity at an airport without creating a huge hassle. If you are a grown adult traveling without a child, your failure to grasp basic airport rules is astounding.

Your belt has to come off and so do your shoes.

You've had eleven years to learn this!

This is not complicated.

Also, move to the end of the conveyer belt. If you don't move to the end as you put your object through security then no one else can do anything but stand and curse you, meaning that your own idiocy is infecting others. Yes, your stupidity is viral when it comes to airport lines. I'm not trying to pick on people over the age of 70 or those with children.

But if you don't fit either of these categories and you take longer than a minute to put your gear down and move ahead, I think you should be beaten with the x-ray wands as an example to everyone else.

Damn straight the lines would start moving faster then.

8. Vanderbilt could win eight games.


The Commodores haven't won eight games since 1982.

Remember all those people who wondered why I said James Franklin was the real deal? Crickets.

Now, I don't think Vandy will beat Ole Miss, UT, and Wake Forest, but I do think they'll win two of these games. Even if they only win one of the three games, this will be the first time in Vanderbilt football history that the Commodores have gone to bowl games in back-to-back seasons.

By the end of next season, James Franklin will be the hottest coaching name in the country.

9. Is this the year when Dan Mullen decides to jump ship on Mississippi State?

If he wins nine games, which he still has a good chance of doing, doesn't Mullen have to examine everything from a realistic perspective and acknowledge that he's taken the Bulldogs about as far as he can? State should beat Arkansas and has a good shot at beating Ole Miss. If he manages this it would equal the most wins in the regular season in Bulldog history.

But what's his ceiling at Mississippi State, which is historically the worst program in the SEC?

Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M are all much better jobs in the SEC West. Huge Freeze has Ole Miss competing at a much higher level.

How much better than 9-3 can he do at State? Especially since the 2012 schedule broke pretty much perfectly for him?

If Auburn or Tennessee showed interest in him, and I'm not saying they definitely would, don't you have to leave if you have the option?

In advance, please stop with the emails about how Dan Mullen will retire in Starkville. No fan base ever believes that their coach will leave because they've all told you how much they love (insert job here) and how (insert city here) is the best place possible to raise a family.  

10. LSU sticker passed out at Walk On's, the best sports bar in Baton Rouge.

11. Here's our weekly SEC power ranking.

At this point the determining factor between close teams is who would win on a neutral field. For instance, I know that Florida beat LSU in Gainesville, but I think LSU has improved since then, Florida has regressed. So I think if the game was played in a neutral site this weekend, LSU would win. I also think LSU would beat Georgia. Whether or not Texas A&M would beat Florida is a tougher call so for right now I've got A&M in fifth place.   

1. Alabama

2. LSU

3. Georgia

4. Florida 

5. Texas A&M

6. South Carolina

7. Mississippi State

8. Ole Miss

9. Vanderbilt

10. Mizzou

11. Tennessee 

12. Arkansas

13. Buttchugging  

14. Auburn 

15. Kentucky 

Written by
Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021. One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines. Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide. Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports. Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.