Dec. 1, 2000

It is time for the big party and the invitations are getting addressed.

On Sunday, bids to the exclusive bowl games will be handed out. Notre Dame wants an invitation to an exclusive one and rightfully so.

Like Irish head coach Bob Davie said, there isn’t a better story out there in college football than his team.

Heading into this season, many figured the Irish would not pick up their first win until the sixth game of the season in early October. Notre Dame finished the season 9-2 and if it were not for two pesky plays, the Irish would be undefeated. This season marks a 180-degree turnaround from last year’s 5-7 debacle.

Last year, Notre Dame finished the season with a loss to Stanford on the road. Davie’s squad did not even get to participate in a bowl game. If the Irish get to take part in this year’s BCS then it will mark the first bowl game for Davie.

This year’s turnaround earned Davie a semi-finalist spot for this year’s Coach-of-the-Year award. Davie and his squad are definitely one of the best emerging stories of this year’s college football season. The team not only started the season with one of the toughest schedules but also managed to endure losing its starting quarterback.

Teams spend four months scratching and clawing their way to get an invite. With each week that passes, the importance of the games mounted and Davie reiterated that notion after every game.

There is always a fight till the end for the final invitations. The Irish showed no signs of folding as the season progressed. They secured a spot in the running for the Fiesta or Sugar Bowl with the 38-21 win over USC.

There is no clear-cut factor in regards to who will get the final invitation. It is only fitting that the Coach and team, whom both withstood intense scrutiny and adversity, be rewarded with a prominent bowl game.

All Davie and his squad can do now is hope.