Brian Kelly's usual Tuesday press conference was delayed about 15 minutes, as the Notre Dame coach explained he was out "exercising my right to vote."
Those are the only politics in which Kelly will involve himself.
Kelly's Irish are 9-0, but sit two spots out of the BCS championship game picture at No. 4. There certainly is a chance Notre Dame wins out at 12-0 but is shut out of the title game, so long as some combination of Alabama, Oregon and Kansas State win out.
In 2009, Kelly faced the same uphill climb while with Cincinnati, which finished the year 12-0 and was ranked No. 3, earning a Sugar Bowl berth. When it was ruled time didn't run out on Colt McCoy's pass out of bounds, and Texas followed with a game-winning field goal against Nebraska in the Big 12 championship, Cincinnati's title hopes were shot despite an undefeated record.
"I knew we couldn't control the ultimate goal," Kelly said. "We couldn't control it in Cincinnati. The way the BCS is set up right now, if you have more than two undefeated teams you can't control it."
So Kelly won't be out stumping for his team against Alabama, Oregon and K-State (it doesn't hurt, either, that those three teams have done plenty to show they're better than Notre Dame). The mantra, then, remains the same: Notre Dame can only control what they do, and that's win. It doesn't matter by how much or who it's against at this point, because Notre Dame can't control what the opposition of those three teams will do.
It's like in the NCAA tournament: survive and advance. Only if Notre Dame survives, they may not advance to the national championship.
"It doesn't help. If it helped, you know me, I could talk all day," Kelly said of BCS politicking. "If it really helped I would be on the stump for it, but it doesn't do anything. The only thing that does is winning football games, so I try spend all my time and energy focused on how we can get another win and getting to 10. That's really where we're at right now: How do we get to 10?"
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though, with that being the playoff structure that'll be implemented in 2014. If that were in place this year, the Irish would likely be staring down a matchup with Alabama for the chance to move on to the title game.
"In two years when you have four teams that can play, yeah, (then) you can control things a little bit more," Kelly said. "You may be talking more about your teams. But you can't now. Maybe in two years you'll find me talking a lot more about it."