SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It's been just shy of six years since Notre Dame has been ranked as high as No. 5 in the BCS standings. On Sunday, the BCS revealed Notre Dame as a top five team, the first time that's been the case since the week of Nov. 19, 2006.
For everyone outside of the football program, that's a nice bragging point. For those in it, not so much.
"I really don't care, I'm sorry," coach Brian Kelly sighed when asked about his team's BCS ranking. "I know all of our fans care a lot about that stuff and that's great. I love seeing Notre Dame out there and having stories about Notre Dame. That's why we came here. But I really don't give it any thought as to positionally whether that's a better post position for us than, you know, any other. Sorry."
Kelly explained Notre Dame never set the goal of making the BCS championship or a BCS bowl, spurning the big picture for week-to-week objectives. Notre Dame hasn't appeared in a BCS bowl since January of 2007, and has never won the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta or Rose Bowl in the BCS era.
"We don't have a list of goals that says, hey, we want to go to the Sugar Bowl, we want to go to the Fiesta Bowl, we want to win the National Championship," Kelly said. "We don't have any of those goals. They are not written down, you won't see them anywhere, they are not in our locker room.
"All you'll really hear us talk about are the goals as it relates to playing the game, and if you hit these goals, you've got a great chance to win and then how do you get there and so that's how we deal with it on a daytoday basis."
Where, exactly, does Hendrix stand?
If Everett Golson winds up not being cleared for Saturday's game -- judging by Kelly's comments, that's a longshot -- Tommy Rees would, presumably, get the start. But on Notre Dame's depth chart, the No. 2 quarterback is listed as "Andrew Hendrix OR Tommy Rees," just as it has been since Rees' suspension ended after the first week. Kelly said Rees and Hendrix will have about a 60-40 split in the percentage of practice reps with Golson out Tuesday, and that he could use both in case Golson can't play Saturday.
"What we are going to get three quarterbacks ready and at what level they are, it will determine, but we already know what Tommy is capable of doing," Kelly said. "We know he just needs to clean up on some of the finer detail things. Andrew has not got a ton of work, and you know, if Everett can't go till Thursday, then maybe we have to bring it down a little bit. But we have to make sure that you have to defend a running quarterback that can run, that's going to be part of the game plan."
That last line indicates if Rees did have to start a game, Hendrix could be used to keep the zone read, or any other quarterback rushing play, in the playbook. But he hasn't played since Notre Dame's opener, which also stands as the only game in which Rees wasn't available this year.
When asked if there was a situation in which Hendrix would play over Rees, though, Kelly repeated what he said before.
"No, I haven't thought of -- I'm going to have three quarterbacks ready to play on Saturday," Kelly said.