Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 12:16 PM
And we'll be quick to sing their praises whether it's Heisman Trophy hopeful (or frontrunner?) LB Manti Te'o (11 tackles and one key ricochet interception) or maybe QB Everett Golson who threw for 177 yards and didn't commit a single turnover in a most hostile setting (hey, coach Brian Kelly, this kid did a lot more than just "manage" your team's offense in this shocking win).
The truth of the matter is that prime-time win in Norman was your prototypical team effort and - dare we say - maybe the best single game plan any visiting team has had in a college football game this 2012 season.
Now, the $64,000 question that already was being bantered about late in last night's game by ABC/ESPN broadcasters Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit is was that "W" enough to propel the now 8-and-oh Fighting Irish into the #2 spot in this week's BCS Standings?
The always insightful Herbstreit seemed to believe that Kansas State - a rollicking 55-24 winner against Texas Tech on Saturday behind Heisman Trophy fav QB Collin Klein (see 233 yards passing with 83 yards rushing and four TDs in all split between the ground and the air) - will be positioned behind No. 1 Alabama in the next set of BCS Standings due out Sunday night but a real strong case could be made for the ND Irish who now have beaten the likes of Michigan State, Michigan, Miami, Stanford, BYU and Oklahoma ... now who said that's "not beating anyone"!
Gut feel is Notre Dame's twin-figure win will be enough to jettison the South Bend gang slightly ahead of K-State and how juicy will those water cooler debates be the next few weeks as to who should be playing one another in the next BCS Championship Game.
Heck, we warned you weeks ago this could happen and let's not forget #4 Oregon who could wins by year's end against USC, Stanford and Oregon State (all straight ahead on the Ducks' agenda) as the Eugene folks believe that would be a strong enough case to get their guys into the title tilt.
Let the BCS fun officially begin!
THE NFL WEEK 8 SUNDAY NIGHT PREVIEW
NEW ORLEANS (2-4) at DENVER (3-3) - 8:25 p.m. ET, NBC
Get the idea that the TV networks are in love with putting Denver QB Peyton Manning in prime time whenever they can?
Manning's making his fourth under-the-lights appearance this year and tough to get any better drama than his last TV outing when the Broncos roared back from down 24-zip to beat San Diego 35-24 in a MNF game prior to last weekend's bye and now the theme Manning's been spreading is to get off to a better start and than hold down the fort:
No doubt that the visiting Saints - who staggered to a 14-0 hole last weekend before roaring back in a 35-28 win at Tampa Bay - will be counting on that QB Drew Brees-to-WR Marques Colston combo to make hay here but the real X-factor will be the pressure (or lack thereof) the defense puts on Manning here.
The Saints rank 30th in the league in both rush defense and pass defense and now interim boss Joe Vitt - who's back here after serving a six-game BountyGate-related suspension - must have his front seven harangue Manning and so corner blitzes, line stunts, you name it will be part of the gig here or else the guy the networks love to show in prime time will pile up more H.O.F. numbers.
Spread Notes - New Orleans has split its six pointspread verdicts this season including wins the past three games in a row while Denver's also 3-3 ATS (against the spread) this year and the Broncos are a collective 7-12-1 vig-wise at home since the start of 2010.