The 2012 college football season climaxes tonight in Miami with a clash of titans and a nagging dilemma.
For a nation suffering from unrelenting SEC Fatigue, the only possible cure is opening the door to a potential return of Notre Dame Fatigue.
Notre Dame Fatigue was thought to have been eradicated for at least two decades. It was, however, once a virulent affliction.
All those national championships (8, 11, 13 or 21 depending on the reference source). All those Heisman Trophies (an undisputed and unprecedented seven).
All those sidewalk alumni from Coney Island to Alcatraz Island. All those movies (Knute and the Gipper, Rudy).
It used to be you couldn't turn around in the fall without getting Notre Dame crammed down your throat. It helped having the Notre Dame Broadcasting Company, otherwise known as NBC.
But there hasn't been a Heisman since 1987 or a title since 1988. Notre Dame became just another team, like Minnesota or Clemson.
Since Lou Holtz left South Bend 16 years ago, Touchdown Jesus has gazed down from the wall of the Hesburgh Library upon some lean times. Neither Bob Davie, Ty Willingham nor Charlie Weis could wake up the echoes. Forget titles, Notre Dame didn't win a bowl game from 1993 until 2008.
Now, after a pair of 8-5 seasons, Brian Kelly has the Irish 12-0 and on the brink of returning to the summit.
All he has to do is beat Nick Saban and Alabama. Good luck with that.
The Crimson Tide is a solid favorite to claim the school's third title in four years. If that happens, SEC Fatigue will be superseded by Alabama Fatigue.
An Alabama win would be seven BCS championships in a row and eight in 10 years for the SEC. Last month, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M became the SEC's fourth Heisman Trophy winner in six years.
College football lovers from Syracuse to Seattle yearn to see the SEC siege lifted. Unlike last year when Alabama humiliated LSU in the title game, tonight there is at least a chance.
And in our neck of the woods, folks are spared the devil's bargain of choosing between historic nemesis Alabama and the team that was picked No. 1 in the preseason polls.
Lane Kiffin and Southern Cal were last seen slinking off into the chilly El Paso night.
So here is your choice :
Accept SEC Fatigue — and Alabama Fatigue — and live with it.
Or, cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame and hope it's a temporary outbreak.