The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a lot to be proud of his season. Making the BCS National Championship game is, of course, what the top teams set out to do, but the fact that the Irish haven't made it to this place in 24 years makes it all the more special.
As noted by Matt Fortuna of ESPN Chicago, the Irish are well aware of what they've accomplished and what they've got ahead of them. Coach Brian Kelly said that it's not like any trip they've had before, and that being named to the title game is what every player and every coach dreams about throughout their college careers.
Receiver Robby Toma was also quoted, saying "I'm definitely a little nervous right now, but if you don't feel nerves, then something's wrong with you." He also went on to say that it's a huge game, and what players hope for before they ever even begin their college careers.
From a significance standpoint, the Irish are mentally prepared.