What is also pretty clear now that Notre Dame officially sits at No. 5 in the BCS standings released Sunday: The Irish will have space reserved in the top tier of college football's postseason if they do only what is expected of them, thanks to doing what few expected to date.
A top-eight finish in the final BCS standings guarantees the Irish a berth. A top-14 finish qualifies them for selection, and then the promise of television ratings and a relentless typhoon of tourist money serve as a de facto guarantee for an invite.
If Notre Dame wins only the games in which it is favored from here out, that equals 10 victories. And the chance of a 10-win Notre Dame team finishing outside the top 14 of the final BCS rankings this season?
In a word, says Jerry Palm: "Zero."
"They only have to be in the top 14," said Palm, the proprietor of CollegeBCS.com and BCS analyst for CBSSports.com. "And there aren't going to be many teams with 10-2 records or better. And none of them will be named Notre Dame