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Luck of the Irish? Maybe, maybe not _ but Notre Dame had help getting to BCS title game

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    FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2012, file photo, Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson dives into the end zone in front of Pittsburgh linebacker Joe Trebitz for a 2-point conversion to tie the game late in the fourth quarter against Pittsburgh in an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame defeated Pittsburgh 29-26 in triple overtime. No. 1 Notre Dame enjoyed its share of fortunate breaks on its way to the BCS title game scheduled for Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, with perhaps the bulk of those coming during a wild game at home against Pittsburgh. And without those breaks, Notre Dame would be out of the title chase. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2012, file photo, Pittsburgh kicker Kevin Harper (39) and holder Matt Yoklic react after Harper missed what would have been the game-winning field goal in the second overtime period against Notre Dame in an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind. No. 1 Notre Dame enjoyed its share of fortunate breaks on its way to the BCS title game scheduled for Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, with perhaps the bulk of those coming during a wild game at home against Pittsburgh. And without those breaks, Notre Dame would be out of the title chase. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File) (The Associated Press)

Had one kick been a few inches to the left, Notre Dame would not be in the BCS title game.

Nov. 3, 2012. The Fighting Irish trailed Pittsburgh 20-6 entering the fourth quarter before forcing overtime, then were on the cusp of being beaten at the end of the second extra session when Panthers kicker Kevin Harper lined up for a 33-yard field goal.

The snap was high, the kick sailed just past the right upright, and the Irish eventually won in the third OT.

Luck of the Irish? Yes, Notre Dame heard that line once or twice after that game, and made no apologies for it afterward. The Irish survived, finished the season with three more wins, and play Alabama for the national title on Monday night.