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Jimmy Clausen has a ‘Catholics vs. Cousins’ BCS Championship shirt (Picture)

Catholics-vs-Cousins-Notre-Dame-Alabama-shirt

Jimmy Clausen is already prepared to watch his alma mater Notre Dame take on Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game next month. He has his shirt picked out and everything.

On Monday, Clausen tweeted a photo of the classy shirt you see above, which described the big game as a battle between the “Catholics” and the “Cousins.” If you don’t understand the reference, you’re probably not old enough to be reading even our family-friendly blog. Apparently the shirt offended enough people, because Clausen later pulled the tweet and sent the following apology:

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Notre Dame lights up ‘#1′ sign for football for first time since 1993 (Picture)

Lighting up the eight-foot tall “No. 1″ sign above Grace Hall on the Notre Dame campus is one of many traditions at a school that arguably has more than any other in the nation. Anytime a Fighting Irish athletic team is the top-ranked team in the nation, the sign is lit. On Sunday, the light was lit to recognize Notre Dame’s football team for the first time since 1993.

As WNDU (who posted the picture of the sign on Twitter) pointed out, this is the first time Notre Dame has been ranked No. 1 in the BCS era. The sign has not been lit since 2010, when Notre Dame’s women’s soccer team won the national championship.

Notre Dame’s path to the BCS National Championship game became a bit easier on Sunday when USC announced that Matt Barkley has been ruled out of next weekend’s game with a shoulder injury. If the Irish take care of business, they could very well end up facing Alabama in what would be a dream matchup for television ratings.

Chest bump to Dr. Saturday

Brian Kelly says he’ll go on Oprah to campaign for Notre Dame if he has to

Notre Dame is one of three undefeated teams remaining in college football at the moment, but that is not enough to allow the Fighting Irish to control their own destiny. The other two undefeated teams, Kansas State and Oregon, are currently ahead of Notre Dame in the BCS standings. Should all three teams win out, the most likely scenario is that Oregon and Kansas State would play in the BCS National Championship Game.

At the moment, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly insists his team is simply focused on winning and not worrying about the BCS rankings. But if the season comes to a close and the Irish still have no losses, Kelly said he will spring into campaigning mode.

“I’m just not good enough to be able to do both,” Kelly said on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, via CoachingSearch.com. “I’m challenged enough on a day-to-day basis to keep my guys focused on Wake Forest. The rest of the stuff, let’s see how Notre Dame does. Let’s take Wake Forest, see what happens there, and then USC. Then, if we get to the point after USC that we’re undefeated, I’ll go on Oprah if I have to. Maybe I’ll come back on Sirius.

“But for right now, quite honestly, I’m just going to worry about winning football games.”

Notre Dame’s two remaining games are at home against Wake Forest and at USC. Kansas State plays Baylor on the road before hosting Texas, and Oregon faces Stanford at home before closing out the season on the road against Oregon State. Of the three teams, Notre Dame has the easiest remaining schedule. That being said, all three teams have their hands full.

My guess is the BCS standings work themselves out. The three remaining undefeated teams face a total of four nationally-ranked opponents before the conclusion of the regular season. I’d be surprised if an upset didn’t occur in one of those games. If not, Oprah had better open up some air time for Kelly to brag about his No. 3-ranked Fighting Irish.

Stanford-Notre Dame ends on controversial replay ruling (Video)

Notre Dame beat Stanford 20-13 on Saturday after the referees reviewed a 4th and goal play in overtime and ruled that Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor was short of the goal line.

The Cardinal handed the ball to Taylor, who had 28 carries for 102 yards, on their final play of the game. After initially appearing to be stuffed in the backfield, Taylor kept moving and wiggled his way toward the goal line. He waded his way over the pile of bodies and appeared to reach the ball over the goal line before being down. The referees said he did not score.

Mike Pereira, the former Vice President of Officiating for the National Football League and current rules analyst for FOX Sports, believes Taylor scored on the play.

“We have looked at ND/STA last play from every angle & feel that it is a TD,” he tweeted. “Progress was not ruled & runner was not down. Ball broke plain.

“The fact that the whistle may or may not have been blown is irrelevant. The play is reviewed and when the whistle blew has no bearing,” Pereira added.

Stanford fell to 4-2 after the loss while Notre Dame improved to 6-0.

Was it a bad call or not? I certainly think so. The Cardinal should have been attempting an extra point to tie the game.

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Notre Dame helmets for the Miami game were two-sided and ugly (Picture)

Notre Dame’s unique uniforms for the Oct. 6 game against Miami were unveiled in August, and at the time we called them hideous. After seeing them worn on the field, our reaction was no different.

These two-sided helmets looked fine if you were looking at the gold side, but the blue side with the leprechaun ruins it all. Not only are the helmets asymmetrical, but they’re also uneven; the blue side only covers the left third of the helmet, not half of it.

Even their gold shamrock helmets were slightly better.

Thanks to @CJZero for the excellent photo work.

Notre Dame commentator Allen Pinkett: Team needs more criminals in order to win

Throughout the late 1980s and early 90s, Notre Dame was a perennial NCAA football powerhouse. Since then, not so much. The Fighting Irish have mixed in a few successful seasons over the past 20 years but have been unable to maintain their status as one of the best teams in the country. They have not won more than seven games in a season since 2006, but current commentator and former Notre Dame player Allen Pinkett has an idea for how the team can return to prominence.

“I’ve always felt like, to have a successful team, you gotta have a few bad citizens on the team,” Pinkett said during an interview with The McNeil and Spiegel Show on 670 The Score. “You look at the teams that have won in the past. They always have a couple of criminals.

“I mean, that’s how Ohio State used to win all the time. They would have two or three guys that were criminals. That just adds to the chemistry of the team.”

Back in 2004, Paul Hornung said Notre Dame needed to lower its academic standards. Now they need more criminals? I guess the first thing we should mention is that Notre Dame has had problems with the law like many other schools in the country. A player was arrested just last season for a DUI, and the team went 8-5. So maybe it’s not that simple.

Perhaps Pinkett is trying to say that criminals are tougher? Or maybe he was just trying to take a shot at other programs? I’m just trying to figure out where he could have possibly been going with this argument, but I don’t see how having players in handcuffs “adds to the chemistry” in a college football locker room. Pinkett is a two-time All-American, so he must know more than we do.

Thanks to Deadspin for transcribing the quotes

Notre Dame’s uniforms for the Miami game are hideous (Pictures)

Notre Dame is a program with one of the richest traditions in college football. They’ve been playing football in South Bend since 1887, and they’ve been doing things a certain way since then.

The Fighting Irish are all about jerseys that don’t have last names on the back, plain gold helmets with no designs, and simple uniforms with minimal color schemes. Until now.

It appears as if during the race to make the most gaudy uniforms possible — a field in which Nike and Under Armour have been leading the way — adidas didn’t want to be left out. So they created the “Shamrock Series” that Notre Dame will wear for its October game against Miami. Here are more photos of the uniforms:

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