Nov. 24 -- Notre Dame finishing No. 1 in regular season
For much of the past decade, Notre Dame had become one of the laughing stalks of college football. It was a historic program that seemed to have faded from relevance (losing nine out of their past 10 meetings with USC did not help). But then 2012 rolled around and the Fighting Irish were unstoppable. A key goal-line stand helped Notre Dame defeat Stanford in overtime. And when it came time to face the Trojans with a BCS Championship berth at stake, the Irish won. Next up: Alabama.