Lou Holtz sees Notre Dame as something much grander than a spoiler in the 1991 Orange Bowl. If
his Fighting Irish defeat No. 1 Colorado, Holtz said his team will deserve as much national championship consideration as the teams rated ahead of it.Holtz said his school would not "campaign or politic - that's not our nature" for the national title. But Holtz hotly questioned pollsters who position Miami ahead of Notre Dame and continue to recognize the No. 3 Hurricanes as potential national champs while discounting the No. 7 Irish.
"I don't know how we can't be national champions if we have the same record as Miami," Holtz snapped. "It's distorted . . . would somebody please explain it to me?
"We didn't win the national championship last year because we didn't beat Miami," he said, referring to a 12-1 record that placed the Irish second behind the Hurricanes.
This season, the Irish defeated Miami, 29-20. Both teams have lost twice.
Immediately behind Colorado is Georgia Tech (9-0-1). Also ahead of Notre Dame is Brigham Young (10-1), Texas (9-1) and Florida (9-1).
Miami concludes its regular season today against San Diego State.
Holtz said Notre Dame's schedule merits consideration for No. 1 - if Colorado is beaten. The Irish were 5-1 against nationally ranked teams, the Buffs 4-1-1.
Colorado coach Bill McCartney shares Holtz's No. 1 view. Should Colorado lose to the Irish, McCartney said, the national champ "shouldn't be Miami. It should be Notre Dame, or some other team."
Holtz also said he doesn't have "any intention of leaving Notre Dame," and that he believes Raghib "Rocket" Ismail will return in 1991. Speculation has linked Holtz with the NFL Minnesota Vikings. He wants rumor mongers to bet $100,000 on his future: "Then we would find who really knows something, who has the inside."
As for Ismail, "He tells me he plans on coming back to Notre Dame, and there's never been anything else in his mind."
If Ismail wins the Heisman Trophy and decides to turn pro, he would be the third consecutive Heisman winner to leave school early.