Manti Te'o

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LOS ANGELES -- Through Notre Dame's 12-0 run, Manti Te'o's been more than the team's defensive leader on the field; more than a Heisman candidate; more than one of the team'

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LOS ANGELES -- Braxston Cave let out a primal scream, pointing to the legions of delirious Notre Dame fans crowding the front rows of the stands at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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LOS ANGELES -- Notre Dame no longer needed anyone ahead of them to lose. All they had to do was win, and an early January trip to Miami was in their grasp.

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LOS ANGELES -- Three months ago, Notre Dame was on the outside looking in. Nobody projected them to make a BCS bowl, let alone challenge for a national championship.

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Manti Te'o, already a finalist for four postseason awards, will add another ceremony to his December tour.

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