Brian Kelly was talking about working on red zone offense during these next six weeks when he caught himself looking ahead.
"I do want to say this," the Notre Dame coach said after Saturday's win at USC, "there's still a process in place for this. We're all talking about the national championship. I'm sure my guys are going to be tweeting about being in South Beach. But there is still a process that we need to respect that needs to fulfill itself as well."
That process will culminate with Sunday's announcement that the No. 1 Irish are Miami-bound, likely to face the winner of Saturday's SEC title game between Alabama and Georgia.
"Is that who we play?" asked Manti Te'o afterward.
Yes, barring anything drastically unforeseen.
An announcement will come during Sunday night's BCS Selection Show, set for 8:30 p.m. ET, with a conference call featuring both participating coaches 30 minutes later.
Whether Kelly is joined by Nick Saban or Mark Richt is of little consequence to Irish players, but they will be keeping an eye on their future opponent this Saturday in Atlanta if for no other reason than because it's a Saturday off.
"I think I'll watch it just because it's football," quarterback Everett Golson said. "But whoever we're playing, we can only control what we do on the field. It's going to come down to how good we are."