Notre Dame mailblog

What's crackin'?

Mike from Turnersville, N.J., writes: Hey Matt, I just want to know one thing. How can there be no controversy this year in college football like ESPN states when Notre Dame won 3 games that were controversial. The Pittsburgh game should have been over, but the referee called Pass Interference on a 4th down play, that was the wrong call. The game should have been over and Notre Dame should have lost that game. Even the Stanford vs ND game was crooked, bc the guy for Stanford scored a TD to tie the game and the Referee didn't give him the TD. What are your thoughts about those calls? Doesn't those calls make Notre Dame a controversy to be in the National Championship?

Matt Fortuna: Mike, there is always controversy in college football. I think Notre Dame got a big break on both plays in the Pitt game, but what national title team hasn't received a couple of breaks along the way? As for the Stanford game, it was an early whistle on the Stepfan Taylor final play, but he was surrounded by Irish defenders, so to assume he would've scored is a stretch. And a score would have only set up an extra point in bad weather, which, if made, would have only extended the game, not won it. Two years ago Auburn won five games by three points or less. Last year Alabama got a chance at revenge in the title game against a team it lost to at home two months earlier -- over another one-loss team. Every eligible team has lost a game except for Notre Dame. The Irish are the most deserving No. 1 team right now.

Kevin from Mandan, N.D., writes: First, I am glad Notre Dame beat USC. Not a fan of Lane Kiffin. That brings me to my question. Why have I not heard someone in the media ask Kiffin why he did not kick a FG with over 3:00 left in the game, down 9 points(2 scores) on fourth down? Kick the FG, use your 2 timeouts and hope to get the ball back with a chance to win the game. When you fail on fourth down, game over. You lose. Horrible decision. Not a very smart coach.

Matt Fortuna: Kevin, I wasn't in Lane's postgame presser, but I'll say that if you have eight chances to score from inside the 10-yard line, you need to score a touchdown on one of them. Not taking anything away from Notre Dame's defense, but if you can't punch it in from as close as USC was, you don't deserve to win the game. The Trojans needed a touchdown eventually, and that was easily their best shot. Hats off to the Irish.

Dave from Yokosuka, Japan writes: As a member of the Uniformed Services currently stationed overseas, I really appreciate your dedication to bringing news to ESPN at all hours! Every chance I have, I check the blog and other spots for updates. Here's my question: What's the status of Lo Wood, Austin Collinsworth, and others who were injured before the beginning of the season? Any chance we might see them in the Big Game or will they look for medical waivers? Thanks a lot!

Matt Fortuna: Thank YOU, Dave. I believe Collinsworth has done some limited work with the team in practice, but we won't see either of those guys in a game until next season. Both have redshirt options available, so it wouldn't be worth burning it on one game, tempting as it may be for those two guys.

Cory from Hazleton, Pa., writes: now you can eat your words saying nd 8-4 having no shot at OU n SC. 12-0 baby bring on the SEC

Matt Fortuna: NOW I can? Pretty sure I (and 99.9 percent of America) have been eating them all season long. Jack Swarbrick himself said after the USC game that he thought the Irish would be a year away from a national title run.