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Games such as OU-Notre Dame are good for college football

OU-Notre Dame arrives just when all of college football needs it, too, after the week that was.
by Berry Tramel Published: September 22, 2013

Oklahoma-Notre Dame week arrives, right on schedule for the Sooners. It's time we found just what kind of ball team OU has. We'll know by sundown Saturday.

But OU-Notre Dame arrives just when all of college football needs it, too, after the week that was.

The fourth week of 2013 was defined by a lack of marquee matchups — Stanford-Arizona State was the primo game. But such scheduling disappointments happen. What stained Saturday were the continued immorality plays.

Like in Columbus, where Ohio State led Florida A&M 55-0 at halftime, en route to a 76-0 victory.

Like in Miami Gardens, where Miami beat Savannah State 77-7 in a game shortened to 12 fourth-quarter minutes by mutual consent of the coaches.

This is no specific indictment of the Buckeyes and Hurricanes. Heck, we know all about FAMU and Savannah State. Last September, OU beat Florida A&M 69-13 and OSU famously beat the Savannahs 84-0.

College football is in a bad way to be sanctioning such games. ESPN shows the highlights like they were some kind of legitimate competition. Networks televise the farcical affairs.

There's no such absurdity in South Bend, this or most any other Saturday. Notre Dame doesn't schedule I-AA opponents. The Irish go only so far down the food chain. Navy, Tulsa, Nevada. That's about it. Teams that still can beat you on a given Saturday.

Both the Sooners and the Fighting Irish seek to play games that exhalt the sport. Notre Dame is just one in a long line of series the Sooners have scheduled against fellow traditional powers. Florida State, Miami, Oregon, Alabama in recent years, Tennessee, Ohio State, LSU and Nebraska in future years.

And this game is for more than show. Just like last year, Notre Dame avails the Sooners a chance at a national statement. Victory over the Irish a year ago would have put OU back in the national title hunt. Victory over the Irish on Saturday will do the same.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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