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USC takes on Notre Dame, Nation watches with baited breath

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11 - 0 Notre Dame comes to the Coliseum. Let's dial up the mindless optimism!

Last games of the season - time for a shout-out to Morgan Breslin
Last games of the season - time for a shout-out to Morgan Breslin
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

Well, here we are, the end of a season full of unfinished business. USC hosts a Notre Dame team that is 11 - 0, riding a dominant defense and a steadily improving offense to what they hope will be a berth in the national championship game.

In the meantime, fans of Oregon and Alabama - and those just generally terrified of the possibility of Notre Dame winning a national championship - are pulling for USC to upset Notre Dame.

On paper, the chances don't look that good. USC hasn't done well against highly ranked teams this year, has been racking up penalties like they were discounted heavily in a Black Friday sale, coughs up the ball regularly, and stumbles at inopportune moments on offense and defense. And we have Max Wittek making his first start, with an offensive line that goes into the matador scheme too often for comfort.

The expert predictions reflect all of the above, with most predicting that Notre Dame will win - even those who acknowledge that there might be some fight left in the Trojans are couching it as "well, Marqise Lee is the best WR and hey, this is college football after all." Notre Dame enthusiasts think their team can even shut down Lee, Robert Woods, and Nelson Agholor, and keep SC under 2 touchdowns.

We didn't even get the home-field courtesy / contrarian pick from Less Corso on College Gameday, who is 19 - 0 for picking the result of games USC is playing.

The way I see it, we've got 'em right where we want 'em. Expectations are low. If we lose, that's what everyone expected. If we win, hilarity ensues. This team can do it - will they? Beats me, I've given up trying to guess, but I'll be watching and hoping. Either way it won't be dull.

This is the open thread: have at it.

FIGHT ON! BEAT THE IRISH!