With three games remaining on their schedule, the 9-0 Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been perfect en route to their consensus No. 4 ranking. Being an independent raises questions about their ability to play with the best in the country, however. Despite this, one former SEC coach believes the Irish are good enough to play in college football's toughest conference.
Speaking to CSN Chicago, Former Ole Miss and Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt believes in Brian Kelly's team:
"if you just look at their team, I feel like they've got a very good defensive team, a very good offensive team, special teams they don't beat themselves, they're physical -- all those things."
With six teams in the BCS top-15, it's easy to see why the SEC continues to hold the cream of the crop. The backbone of the conference? Strong defense, power running games and reliable (but not always stellar) quarterback play. Two weeks ago, Notre Dame's defense had its biggest test of the season -- a surging Oklahoma team with a future NFL quarterback at the helm; the result was a choking defense that held the Sooners to 13 points.
Conventional wisdom has many believing that if Notre Dame ran into Alabama in the national title game, it would be a sobering experience for the Irish, yet Nutt thinks they'd put up a fight:
"You got 30 days to get ready, I think you don't know. You just don't know," Nutt explained. "Anybody can beat anybody on any given day. You look at Boise State several years ago, one of the funnest games I've ever seen. Boise State got ready for Oklahoma and they beat them. Absolutely, it could happen."
With just three games remaining, all of which Notre Dame is favored to win, we may just see if David can take on Goliath.