THE MAIL

December 10, 2012

ANNUS MIRABILIS

I think theologians, Catholics and atheists alike would agree that Notre Dame's sudden rise from the dead in college football is no miracle at all. Instead, this unbeaten season has been a combination of good recruiting, good coaching and a little bit of luck.

Rev. Jeffrey Kaderabek, Orland Park, Ill.

LETTERS

Tim Layden's article (Modern Irish) was both honest and humanizing. The university has never claimed to be perfect. What matters most is its commitment to do better. Past missteps should not cause the school to have a dark cloud hanging over its head.

William Michael Bruno, Cheney, Wash.

The refusal of Notre Dame's president, Rev. John Jenkins, to meet with Lizzy Seeberg's family to discuss what allegedly happened to her at the hands of an Irish football player is yet another example of the unchecked power of college football. High graduation rates have become an excuse for turning a blind eye to corruption, and the well-being of the team seems to always trump common sense.

Andrew Kensley, Fort Collins, Colo.

In reading about Declan Sullivan's tragic death, I found it refreshing to hear that his parents did not sue Notre Dame. While it appears that the Sullivans could have had a strong case, they instead decided to forgive all those involved and accept that what happened was a tragic accident. Their restraint should be commended.

Fran Egan, West Chester, Pa.

Parts of your article about the Irish were a poor attempt to create a story where none exists. The deaths of Seeberg and Sullivan were indeed terrible. However, to attempt to draw a line between those tragic events and some moral decline at the university is disingenuous. In addition, an athletic training table for the football team hardly indicates that the Notre Dame players are unfairly coddled, as this is the norm at a lot of schools.

Chris Portman, Downers Grove, Ill.

Notre Dame's Year Three Phenomenon isn't about an undefeated season. It's about an Irish coach winning a national championship in his third year, a feat accomplished by Frank Leahy (1943), Ara Parseghian (1966), Dan Devine (1977) and Lou Holtz (1988).

Megan Daugherty, Medford, N.J.

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TWEET OF THE WEEK

"SO NOTRE DAME [FOOTBALL] AND INDIANA [BASKETBALL] ARE BOTH NO. 1 RIGHT NOW. WHAT TIME DOES THE COSBY SHOW COME ON?"

MARK ENNIS (@MENGUS22)

FEEDBACK

Which team do you think will win the BCS championship, Notre Dame or Alabama?

Dan Carey: Alabama will win 31--0. Notre Dame doesn't have the same caliber of players.

Jason Sisneros: 'Bama. Both teams have championship-quality defenses, but the Crimson Tide has a more potent offense.

Jose Gonzales: Notre Dame is going to win. The Irish may be overrated, but they are hungry for a national title.

Glen Quinn: The Irish are going to give it to 'Bama. ND's defense is going to stop the Tide from rolling.

Kerry King: The fat lady is already clearing her throat. She is preparing to sing, "Rammer Jammer, Yellow Hammer, give 'em hell, Alabama."

Kuhl Harris: 40--19 Crimson Tide. No way the Irish even make a game of it past the middle of the second quarter.

Nick Buckwalter: Notre Dame almost lost to Purdue (20--17), BYU (17--14), Pittsburgh (29--26, 3OT) and Stanford (20--13, OT) this season, so I'm going with Alabama.

CORRECTION

Because of a production error, this LEADING OFF photo from Baylor's 52--24 upset of No. 1 Kansas State was incorrectly colorized in the Nov. 26 issue. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED regrets the error.

PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONCOVER ILLUSTRATION BY SI IMAGING; DAVID E. KLUTHO (COVER); DAMIAN STROHMEYER (COVER BACKGROUND)FOR Nov. 26, 2012 PHOTOTWITTER.COM (TWEET) PHOTOMATTHEW EMMONS/US PRESSWIRE (BAYLOR) PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)