Irish poised for bigger things

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- This is how you become relevant again:

You win when you shouldn't.

You win in overtime and do it with a goal-line stand.

You win when your starting quarterback gets knocked out of the game.

You win when you fumble five times, losing three of them, and commit nine penalties.

You win when you trail at halftime and again late in the fourth quarter.

You win in the rain.

"I'm so excited," Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix said. "I'm ready to call my momma."

The seventh-ranked Fighting Irish remain undefeated and in the middle of the BCS championship conversation because they won the kind of game they used to lose. Their 20-13 win against Stanford was as pretty as Saturday's weather here -- dreary, overcast and rainy -- but artistry is sometimes overrated.

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