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"If you want style points, look at our defense, look at the schedule that we played: 10 FBS teams," Kelly said. "We'll just keep working on one at a time and let other people figure out where that puts us."
The odd thing about Notre Dame's BCS position is that it belies the perception among many college football fans that the Irish are media darlings and consistently overrated.
The Notre Dame brand isn't going to help the Fighting Irish in this race, and neither will the voters, no matter how much Kelly campaigns.
"Notre Dame is not going to jump (Oregon and Kansas State) without their help," Palm said. "They're way too far behind in the polls. The voters are not on board with Notre Dame."
Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2004, the best result ever by a freshman.
Before that, Georgia's Herschel Walker had the best showing for a freshman in the Heisman voting, with a third-place finish in 1980.
Johnny Manziel isn't a true freshman like those two great running backs, he's a redshirt freshman. But his scintillating performance in Texas A&M's 29-24 upset of Alabama on Saturday has given him a legitimate chance to make Heisman history.
Manziel has been putting up Heisman-worthy numbers all season. He's second in the nation in total offense at 379 yards per game and has accounted for 33 touchdowns.
But he was less-than-spectacular in losses to Florida and LSU, A&M's two best opponents before Saturday.
Now that he has a big win on his resume, Manziel has a clear path to be a Heisman finalist and earn a trip to New York for the presentation in December.
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein is still the Heisman front-runner, but Johnny Football is closing fast.
No. 1 Oregon could be starting its third-string free safety against No. 14 Stanford after Avery Patterson, who replaced John Boyett, went down with what looked like a serious knee injury on Saturday. The Ducks also played much of their game against Cal without their five best defensive lineman because of injuries.
Now that the Big East has gained a path to automatic entry to the new postseason system, which goes into effect in 2014, the next task for the conference will be convincing BYU to join.
The winner of the ACC Coastal Division could finish the regular season 6-6 overall.
"We talked very frankly about it. He told me he had not made a decision, if we go 6-6, despite what all the reports are. Either the sources are wrong or Dave wasn't being forthright with me, and I have no reason to think Dave's not being forthright with me. He's an honest man. He's always been honest with me. I've appreciated how he's handled everything about this." -- Tennessee coach Derek Dooley saying Monday that his future with the Volunteers has not been determined by athletic director Dave Hart.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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