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A very brief look at Notre Dame

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Even though Notre Dame has been a shell of its former self over the past few years I still get amped up for this game.

This past weekend ND played Army at Yankee Stadium. Earlier in the week I decided to take the family into NYC on Saturday for lunch and a little shopping.

I decided not to wear my USC gear and I always do, opting instead to dress a little warmer because the wind can whip up pretty bad...I toitally forgot about ND playing at Yankee Stadium. As soon as we got near Rockerfeller Center to park the car I regretted my decision....

They were everywhere!

Everywhere I turned there were Domers and I mean everywhere, dressed in all sorts of weird outfits. My wife saw the look on my face and and chuckled, she knew I lost an opportunity to get a few licks in.

I forgot about Oregon St. I wanted to play these guys right then and there!

This game gets me fired up!

I love this program...always have. I always try to be rational and look at things as clearly as a fan can, but when it comes to ND I lose all rationality. It comes with the territory, if you love 'SC you hate ND, there is no other choice and living in the NYC area only magnifies it because the whole damn area is infested with Domers.

This game and the game against the clowns from across town matter more to me than any of the others.

This game has some implications for USC. Winning keeps them on track to finish with the same record as last season, providing they beat UCLA next week.

Losing?

Well, lets not go there.

Regardless, the game has lost a lot of its luster...

There was a time, just a few years ago, that this game carried national-title implications. In both 2005 and 2006, the teams entered the game ranked in the top 10. For the first time in nine seasons, neither team is ranked.

That is simply appaling...

All teams have a down period. We know why 'SC is down right now but the Irish being down like they have been the past few years is something to marvel, especially with the easy schedule they have played the past few years. It really hasn't been as fun as it could have been the past few years with Charlie Weis' alleged decisive schematic advantage.

Yes, I love to pound these guys into oblivion, but it tastes so much sweeter when both teams are on their A game and we rip their hearts out...2005 comes to mind.

ND has seen a bit of a resurgence this season under new head coach Brian Kelly but lets be careful here the schedule they have lined up isn't exactly indicative of them being world beaters. Kelly come in with an impressive record but if you look carefully he has some issues as well.

Both USC and Notre Dame will be starting their back up QB's on Saturday (I highly doubt that Barkley will even suit up).

It’s likely that both teams will be playing with backup quarterbacks Saturday at the Coliseum (5 p.m. on ABC). Notre Dame’s Dayne Cristwas lost for the season with a knee injury early in the Tulsa game and USC’s Matt Barkley is questionable after sustaining a high ankle sprain Saturday against Oregon State. Notre Dame is going with freshman Tommy Rees for the fourth straight game while the Trojans will use fifth-year senior Mitch Mustain if Barkley can’t play.

Saxon goes onto say that he thinks the game will be a little more competitive after the recent results for both teams.

Maybe, but I put more stock in Mitch Mustain, a senior, than I do a freshman, Tommy Rees. Mustain has some experience under his belt and knows the USC offense. Rees is a freshman has some nice games but he is still finding his way. I wouldn't get too excited over beating Army at Yankee Stadium...that was a "home" game for the Domers.

Here is a little more on Rees...

The true freshman Rees won his first start and though his stats weren’t that great, he played a very impressive game. He was very poised throughout and came up with some big plays. He only completed 13 of 20 passes for 129 yards but he also threw three touchdown passes and more important did not turn the ball over.

OK, those are some nice stats but that game was at home against a way overrated Utah. The Coliseum on the road is a different story.

I hope to look at the ND defense later on this week.

Notre Dame has looked like 'SC at times this season with some intriguing wins and some ugly losses. But because this game means so much to both programs, even if it is virtually irrelevant nationally right now, anything can happen so I take nothing for granted.

Trust Me...I am wearing my USC gear ALL week!!

FIGHT ON!