Tonight Notre Dame and LSU meet in the 2007 Sugar Bowl, the game marks the first time since 1998 that the two square off. Notre Dame won that last meeting, played in South Bend, 39-36. Here's to a game much like that one transpiring tonight, though I have a feeling LSU will demolish the Irish.
Back in July I wrote that I felt Notre Dame was the most overrated team heading into the season. As it turns out, I was correct and Notre Dame never sniffed the national championship. Though I'll admit their season didn't turn out nearly as poor as I thought it could.
I stated in the article I felt the Irish were going to struggle a bit and most likely finish with more than one loss. They did, losing to Michigan and USC and nearly lost at home to a fairly mediocre UCLA team. On the other hand, the Irish did get a solid win over Georgia Tech to open the season and rolled through most of their schedule, although one filled with weak opponents.
Notre Dame has lost 8 straight bowl games dating back to 1995 and as much as I would love for the Irish to win tonight, I just don't see this happening. Mostly because the Irish have folded in every tough game they've played in this year. Their biggest tests, on the road against Michigan and USC, turned out to be embarrassing losses for the Irish and I think it's safe to predict that the Sugar Bowl crowd will be rather partisan toward the Tigers.
LSU rolled through most of their season this year, picking up impressive wins against Tennessee and a 5th ranked Arkansas team on the road to end the season. For this, they've been rewarded with a #4 national ranking, which I actually think is a bit much, considering they also lost to Florida and Auburn. Though both games did come on the road and the Tigers were competitive against Auburn, though shut down offensively against the Gators.
It'll be an interesting game, but I think LSU's offense will be too powerful for the Irish and the Tigers defense should keep Brady Quinn in check. I look for this game to play out much like the '06 Fiesta Bowl did for the Irish, with the end result being a 9th straight bowl loss for Notre Dame. I'll admit though, I'm not 100% sold on Les Miles and I could see him making some coaching mistakes that cost the Tigers the game. However on talent alone, LSU wins.