Alabama loss not a focus for Notre Dame
Posted: 11/12/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Rachel Terlep
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Notre Dame running back George Atkinson III runs past Boston College linebacker Tim Joy during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Boston on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson looks for an opening around Boston College Eagles defensive end Mehdi Abdesmad during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Boston on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Notre Dame's Manti Te'o gives the thumbs up to a teammate prior to their NCAA college football game against the Boston College in Boston Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
No. 1 Alabama had just fallen to No. 15 Texas A&M, removing one crucial roadblock in Notre Dame’s path in the BCS national title race.
The Notre Dame head coach barely had time to register the score. He certainly wasn’t going to tell his team, which was preparing for its own contest against Boston College.
“Absolutely not, we did not talk about it,” Kelly said of Alabama’s loss.
The Irish head coach didn’t even mention the final score in the minutes after Notre Dame beat Boston College 21-6, which moved the Irish to 10-0. Instead, he focused more on short-term goals, an approach he has taken all season.
“We talked about what we have to do to get a win next week against Wake Forest,” Kelly said of his team’s post-game lockerroom talk.
With the power of smartphones, televisions and social media, Notre Dame players didn’t need to wait for their coaches to talk about it. Many of them knew Alabama lost — or at least was losing — before their own game started.
Cornerback Bennett Jackson said a few players had game updates popping up on their phone, but knowing the Crimson Tide were toppled from the top of college football didn’t change the way he prepared for Boston College.
“We had our minds focused on what we had to get done,” Jackson said. “The week of preparation, you’re so focused on the job at task that you can’t come out and be happy that another team lost when we have a game to compete in.”
Quarterback Everett Golson had a similar approach.
He watched part of the Texas A&M-Alabama game on TV, but he turned it off before sealed the victory. After all, Golson had his own game to worry about.
“I kinda turned it off to get ready for this game because that’s all I could really control,” Golson said.
With Alabama and Louisville both losing their first games today, Notre Dame stands with Oregon and Kansas State as the only remaining unbeaten teams in the FBS.
Notre Dame will likely advance no further than third in the BCS rankings after the number are compiled later today, but remains poised to slip in one of the two title spots if Oregon falls to No. 14 Stanford or Kansas State is upset by Baylor next week.
But the Irish will let the analysts, the media pundits and the computers do the calculating.
They still have two regular season games to worry about.
“It’s only as real as Wake Forest,” Manti Te’o said of his team’s title chances. “Any team can lose at any time, and we don’t want to be that team.”