by Pete Byrne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
5:28 PM EST, November 20, 2012
NOTRE DAME - Notre Dame is sitting in the seat the every team in the nation envies right now. Ranked #1, late in season, in control of their own destiny.
Over the past 14 years, since the BCS as we know it began, twelve of the 14 teams who sat in the #1 spot with two weeks to go, have played for the national championship.
It's a good sign for Notre Dame as they prepare for USC. But not the only sign.
"Notre Dame has a unique tradition: On Grace Hall they have #1 illuminated at night. You'd have to be livin' in Elkhart to not see it, and our guys don't live in Elkhart", Brian Kelly said Tuesday.
"It's a lot better when that light's on, than when it's not on... But does it effect the way they come to work every day? No, it does not."
In his own words, Brian Kelly's task this week is the same as it's been all season long. Getting his team to focus on themselves, and not the chaos fluttering all around them.
Playing with the pressure of being number one, this late in the year, can take it's toll. Just ask Alabama and Kansas State.
But Brian Kelly feels that being at Notre Dame prepares a team for the pressures of number one, unlike any place in the country.
"We wear that (pressure) every game we play. So number one for us? USC will play their very best, because they're playing number one. I don't think kids change when they're number one. They go to work the same way, practice the same way. The other teams will play their very best, but we get that every week anyway. We get the absolute best from our opponents each and every week, so for us, it's business as usual."
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