On Saturday, No. 5 Notre Dame will rest its BCS hopes on a game against No. 8 Oklahoma. Normally, when a team is "resting its hopes," on something, it's referring to them being in a place of potential elimination, which is odd, given that the Fighting Irish are undefeated, with a 7-0 record thus far.
But as noted by the Chicago Tribune, the Irish trail other teams in the nation ... teams that also happen to be 7-0. In fact, this is the last marquee matchup on the Notre Dame schedule. If they lose, they're obviously out of talks for the National Championship, but if they win, they could be right back.
Unfortunately, a win doesn't guarantee anything. As the piece notes, there are teams ahead of Notre Dame, and it might take a loss from them to actually get the Irish into talks. Voters would either need to see that, or they'd need to change their opinion on Notre Dame. As it stands, the best thing the Irish can do on Saturday is to go out and win big. If they absolutely demolish Oklahoma as opposed to simply beat them, then it might help their case.