Many college football prognosticators have given Notre Dame a chance at earning a BCS bid despite falling to No. 10 in the BCS standings after their 44-13 loss to Southern California on Saturday night. They mention that Notre Dame is too tempting because of the automatic money that would come from the Irish's inclusion.
But adding to the bowl and network coffers isn't necessarily a guarantee.
"There is a perception that Notre Dame brings more money to the event," media consultant and former CBS Sports president Neal Pilson said. "But aside from the variable of ticket sales, having some impact on ratings doesn't immediately translate into increased advertising dollars for (BCS network partner) ABC and might not even translate down the road."
While the fan base behind Notre Dame might result in higher television ratings, advertisers could argue -- as they might contend when the Yankees aren't playing in the World Series -- that an increase can't be justified.
Pilson says the perceived ratings and monetary return on Notre Dame might not be worth the credibility hit should a bowl ditch a more qualified opponent and the game turn into a blowout.
Notre Dame's 41-9 loss to Oregon State in the Fiesta Bowl two years ago was the second worst loss in BCS history, one point behind Florida's 56-23 drubbing of Maryland in last year's Orange Bowl matchup.
"The impact of Notre Dame on the overall ratings of the BCS -- being that they could play in only one of four games -- will be marginal at best," Pilson said. "That means it's certainly not a slam dunk since BCS bowls have to weigh against possible credibility issues if people can make the argument that Notre Dame is only playing in the game because of its name and reputation."
-- Darren Rovell