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The opponent: No. 9 Notre Dame (8-1) will meet Navy (1-7) on Saturday at Ravens Stadium in Baltimore (WISH-8, 12:10 p.m.). Notre Dame has beaten Navy 38 years in a row, the longest such streak in NCAA football history. The Irish are 29-1 against the service academies since 1986.

Going bowling: As many as six bowls remain possible for Notre Dame, including the Rose Bowl. If Ohio State qualifies for the Fiesta Bowl's national title game, the Rose likely would choose Notre Dame or Iowa for the spot opposite the Pac-10 champion. If the Irish fall out of the BCS top 12, they are not eligible for the Fiesta, Rose, Orange or Sugar bowls. Notre Dame could then be slotted in the Gator or insight.com bowls. A potential Florida State rematch is undesirable for the Orange Bowl, thus shifting Notre Dame to the Sugar.

Gang green: Tyrone Willingham said he weighed what the reaction might be to outfitting the Irish in green jerseys before the 14-7 loss to Boston College. "The color of the jerseys had nothing to do with us winning the football game or holding onto the football or any of those things," he said. The green jerseys were not to inspire the Irish, he said, but to symbolize unity between the team and green-clad fans.

No respect: Notre Dame dropped farther in the AP poll than the three other previously unbeaten teams that lost. Willingham is so indifferent to rankings that he wasn't sure where the Irish are this week. "If we do it on the field, people will eventually respect what you do," he said.

Noteworthy: The coach endorsed Pat Dillingham, who had an interception returned for a touchdown against Boston College, as the No. 2 QB. Freshman Chris Olsen remains No. 3. . . . RB Rashon Powers-Neal, who has missed three games because of injury, is close to returning to action.

-- David Woods
They got lucky today, Navy played a great game. Its amazing that anyone could think that ND should be in the title hunt.
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