The 2017 college football season is forcing Christian Fauria to confront his bias and inner hatred for Notre Dame.
He doesn’t want to admit it, but he thinks the No. 3 Irish (8-1) are one of the best four teams in the country.
“I love Notre Dame – and I am a card-carrying, flag-waving hater of Notre Dame,” the CBS Sports Network college football analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I’ve hated them ever since I was a kid, so saying this really hurts me. I actually have them as No. 2.”
Indeed, Fauria’s top four includes Georgia, Notre Dame, Alabama, and Oklahoma – in that order.
“I think (Notre Dame is) one of the best teams in the country,” Fauria said. “Georgia beat them at home, and I have to put Georgia ahead of them just because of the head-to-head, but Georgia and Notre Dame are really similar to me.”
The one differentiator, at least for Fauria: quarterback play. Jake Fromm has been solid for Georgia, accounting for 18 touchdowns (15 pass, three rush) and four interceptions, but he isn’t as dynamic as Brandon Wimbush, who has 24 touchdowns (11 pass, 13 rush) and just two interceptions.
“I think Notre Dame has a better quarterback,” Fauria said. “I think if those teams played again at a neutral site – or wherever – I think Notre Dame would beat them.”
As Fauria explained, his hatred of Notre Dame stems from his youth. One of his rival high schools was Notre Dame, and he played at Colorado in the early-to-mid 1990s, when Notre Dame was still a national power year in and year out.
“Notre Dame’s always that team that no matter what was going on, no matter what happened, they always ended up winning and you kind of felt jealous because you felt like they got everything,” Fauria said. “And they’re always on national TV. It’s almost like they were spoiled. So there was a little jealousy that kind of existed with me.”