So, Its GameDay!
I am bored of reading all about the game, I am ready for these two teams to get it on.
As I have said a number of times this week...this is a rivalry game so anything can happen but I just can't buy into all of the ND hype. How is a #25 ND tem who hasn't beat a ranked team this season and whose four wins against teams with losing records supposed make them the team to beat? I know Clausen looks better but he should after being in the system for over 2 years. The ND O line is giving him some protection but it is not like ND is playing top teams week in and week out.
I find it laughable that the some of the boneheads in the press want to use UW, a common opponent, as the measuring stick as to how this game could shake out. On the road vs. at home, USC missing its starting QB (even though he is a true freshman) and a gift wrapped call by those incompetent Pac-10 refs.
USC needs ND to be better to bring this rivalry back to greatness but it has to be legit not puffed up hype base on a hunch or a feeling. It can't be because of feel good, last second wins against D-1 bottom feeders.
I have found a few interesting quotes that I wanted to put out...
Notre Dame football fans are like the French: too blindly unaware or simply too proud to admit that their empires are ancient history, no longer relevant in a world that has long passed them by.
The Irish haven't won a national championship since the Gipper was in the White House, haven't won a major bowl since Bush 41, and generally haven't had clue this century.
Yeah...well I guess the "decided schematic advantage" isn't helping much.
We’re midway through year five of the Weis era and I’m still reading articles asking if Weis can lead Notre Dame "back to glory." That’s not good. If you have to ask whether a certain coach is the answer, he’s probably not. The fact that most ND fans are calling this the biggest game of the Weis era says something about Weis. Big games for Notre Dame should be #1 vs. #2 or a top ten match-up late in the season. Not games where ND is 11 point home dogs as the #25 ranked team in the nation.
The Irish seem to think that this is the year...
You could argue last year's 49-21 Hawaii Bowl win over Hawaii to cap a 7-6 season.
A victory against USC would be Notre Dame's first over a top-10 team since the Irish beat No. 5 Michigan, 17-10, in Weis' second game as coach.
A victory over USC would improve Weis' record to 5-10 against the top 25.
A loss to USC would . . . not be advisable.
It's hard to imagine a game in which the pendulum swings so dramatically for coach and program.
Victory pushes Notre Dame from No. 25 to somewhere near the top 10, with a 5-1 record and a schedule that leans favorably toward a major bowl game.
Defeat drops Notre Dame to 4-2 and crank-starts the calls for a search to find Weis' successor. The short list might start with Brian Kelly, the Cincinnati coach, who is on an Urban Meyer-like ascent to stardom.
Sounds like desperation!
Now couple the fact that ND barely registers in the polls with the fact that they are playing a team that’s ranked as high as #5 in the major polls. If you had all these facts but didn’t know the names of the schools would you give that this #25 team any kind of shot at beating #5? No, you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t think #25 would have any chance at all of beating #5. On its merits the game is hardly worth talking about.
But the media, largely fueled by the overexposure Notre Dame receives from NBC, discusses this game as if two very closely matched teams are involved. Let me be the first to break the news to the news… THIS GAME IS NOT GOING TO BE CLOSE! Yes, there are a lot of ND bandwaggoners out there but they aren’t watching your show because you pretend that ND’s any good (the exception is Lou Holtz who is senile and really believes ND is one of the elite football teams, Holtz should neither be seen nor heard on TV), your ratings will not suffer if you tell it like it is.Television analysts keep comparing the offenses of USC and ND. But I haven’t heard an honest evaluation all week. You can pit the two offenses against each other but the only logical conclusion is that ND will struggle to keep the score respectable. Sure, ND has scored lots of points this season and they beat the one team that USC lost to but that’s a very superficial analysis.
I guess heard Eddie George's crap too...
Brian, I watched the Notre Dame-Washington before the USC-Cal game and many colorful adjectives were tossed around to describe Notre Dame's defense by the sportswriters on hand. Some are not fit for a family blog, but suffice it to say none were good. What's wrong with the Irish defense and how can it stop the Trojans?
BB: Oh, boy. How much time do we have? Well, to begin with, if you compare Notre Dame's defensive line to USC's front four, it's an almost comical mismatch. Weis has not done a good job recruiting those positions, and it shows each week. The linebackers are decent but not overwhelming, and they've been blitzing a lot under Tenuta's aggressive scheme, which is leaving holes on the field. The defensive backfield was supposed to be one of the strengths, but the corners have not played well at all. Tackling, all across the board, has been a major problem.
If the USC O Line gives Barkley the time it could be an interesting day...
But the final straw for me occurred after Davis promoted ESPNChicago.com during the telecast. After the promotion, Holtz said, "I do things for ESPNChicago everyday on Notre Dame, completely impartial and unbiased."
For those of you who watch Holtz, I’ll let that sink in for a second.
Holtz loves Notre Dame, as he should. But as an analyst and journalist, he lets this get in the way of his reporting and too many times has he shown bias to Notre Dame. In fact, he picked them to go to the national championship game at the beginning of the season when most people didn’t even have them in the top 25.
Then, in his previews for this week’s USC-Notre Dame game, he spoke of the Irish as if they were the best team in the country. If I was visiting from Myanmar and had no idea about college football, I would think that Notre Dame is unbeatable, whereas in reality, it could very well be 1-4.
There was one comment in particular that Holtz made that almost made me throw a baseball at my TV.
"Of course, we don’t know how Matt Barkley is going to react in a hostile environment such as Notre Dame."
Excuse me? Barkley led the game-winning drive in front of one of the largest and most hostile crowds in the country in only his second start. He also went to Cal and threw two touchdown passes — all while the student section was throwing everything at him except a Zinedine Zidane head-butt. I’m pretty sure we all know how he’s going to react.
Here are some links...
Pac-10 Q&A: USC assistant Jethro Franklin - ESPN
Franklin gives them nothing...
I will have the game thread up later..