With three teams still remaining in the 2012 BCS title hunt, there are 119 FBS fanbases that no longer have a dog in the fight. And while it may be tough for some of you to choose a rooting interest for the national title game, I've got my mind made up.
I'm rooting for Notre Dame. And here's why.
Reason #1: It'd be anything but the SEC. The last non-SEC team to win a national title was Texas in January, 2006. The SEC has won eight of the fourteen BCS title games every played. I don't care if it is Notre Dame at this point. If the New York Yankees were playing an SEC team in the title game, I'd put on pinstripes.
Reason #2: Sharing is caring. Alabama just won the thing a year ago. They've gotten two since 2009. That's just selfish (says the guy wearing a 2012 World Champion San Francisco Giants t-shirt). Three titles in four years? Ick, no thank you. And yes, Georgia's last national title came in 1980, eight years before Notre Dame's 1988 championship. But the further we can bury a Lou Holtz national title in the record books, the better. Worcestershire.
Reason #3: It's important to occasionally feed the evil empire. There are many teams in sports that are the enemy, or the envy, of the rest of the league: the Cowboys, the Lakers, Celtics, or (lately) Heat, Duke basketball, the aforementioned Yankees, or Manchester United or Chelsea. They make your blood boil when they win, and they provide endless schadenfreude when they lose, especially in the playoffs. But those franchises and programs didn't get to their place in culture by losing. And as much as we hate to admit it, college football is more interesting with a relevant Notre Dame. This year, they've been actually been able to convincingly play the role of the underrated team who no one expected to get all the way here. Notre Dame football is supposed to be the bully, the juggernaut, and not the plucky upstart you don't expect. And while the thought of that damn leprechaun jigging around in his knickers and shiny vest makes you want to drink bleach and die, just know that it's supposed to. That's how sports works; the villain has to win every once in a while.
Reason #4: Because the thought of this year's national champion beating Purdue, Pittsburgh, BYU, and Boston College by a combined 24 points is just absurd, and therefore amuses me.
Reason #5: Manti Te'o. This has become a cliché on Addicted to Quack, but Manti Te'o really is a good kid, and not a punk. Much has been made about the string of personal tragedies he's had to endure, but his commitment to team, family, and community, and the genuine aura in which he carries himself have won me over. If for no other reason, root for Notre Dame because Manti Te'o is worth rooting for.
Reason #6: Georgia and Oregon scrapped a home-and-home for 2015 and 2016, and don't think for a second I believe that it was truly a "mutual agreement". I think Rob Mullens is just polite and accommodating.
Reason #7: I like whining, and Notre Dame winning would let me whine the most about how Oregon would've wiped the floor with the team that won it all. Because I think Oregon would beat Notre Dame on a neutral field, transitive property non-withstanding (ND>Stanford>Oregon).
So there you have it. That's my case for the Fighting Irish. Who will you be rooting for this January? Let us know in the comments!