Holtz predicts 11-1 for Irish with no mention of USC
It’s no secret that Lou Holtz has resentment towards USC. Anyone that’s ever listened to him analyze college football games for ESPN knows that his crystal ball shows every opponent upsetting the Trojans, while also painting a picture of the Notre Dame football program being a thing of dominance. He incites the cheers and approval of the Irish faithful, solidifying a bond between a former coach and his former program. And with each word spoken, it’s evident that the USC/Notre Dame football rivalry still rages in his heart.
Speaking at a Texas fundraising event, Dr. Lou predicted that the Fighting Irish will finish 11-1 this season, which isn’t nearly as bold as years past, if you look at the diluted Notre Dame schedule. He doesn’t name the lone team that will defeat the Domers, though I would think it would be USC. But Southern Cal isn’t given a mention…anywhere. Even as he breaks down the landscape, projecting the possible participants in the National Championship game, he never touches on USC, and in fact, ignores the entire Pac 10.
“I think Florida is going to be in a class by themselves,” Holtz said. “Their top 22 on defense alone return. They got Tim Tebow, who is probably as great a leader as there is in college football. They also have almost all their offensive team coming back. “Oklahoma should be good with Sam Bradford. I think Texas is going to be good with Colt McCoy. I think Penn State will be the best in the Big Ten and Ohio State No. 2. I think Iowa will be No. 3. I don’t think there will be anybody in the Big East that will challenge, and I don’t think there’ll be anybody in the ACC that will challenge for the national championship. I do believe the winner of Texas and Oklahoma and Florida will play for the championship.”—Journal Gazette
Was the Pac 10 and USC an accidental omission? I doubt it. How often does the USC fan forget Notre Dame? Four Pac 10 programs appear on the 2009 Irish football schedule, representing the most of any conference. If you’re talking about the upcoming season, with results and any shot at a national championship, based on that schedule, the exclusion of USC and the Pac 10 is far from accidental. It’s the purposeful disregard of a rival and its league.
But hidden deep in that green heart of his, I still think he has the Trojans beating the Irish in October. Who would be the alternate pick?