All That Glitters Is Not Gold?
Posted by IrishCalves   
Saturday, 22 October 2011

Hype: Excessive publicity and the ensuing commotion.

Did I rip this straight off of the first credible definition found from a Google search? Yeah, I did. Based on everything else that is been said leading up to the eighty-second meeting of Notre Dame and USC, that seems to be the gold standard of thoughtfulness and insight behind this game.

It is all too easy to say things on the internet, in front of a camera, or to a microphone that are half thought out and dripping with unnecessary drama. By the same token, it is just as easy as it is to become consumed by the pomp and circumstance being poured into tonight's match up.

Newly christened gold helmets now with added sparkle!

Brian Kelly's winks and nudges towards the inevitability of alternate uniforms.

Notre Dame's first night game since the death of the beeper.

Kelly camping out in Bristol, Connecticut a week in advance of game day.

Speculation on grass height. That's right, you heard me.

Chuck Martin playing Pied Piper to dozens of elite high school prospects, with their own form of sparkles next to their names as well.

Kiffin calling this game Notre Dame's Super Bowl, and being honored to be a part of our history tongue, meet cheek.

You see, thats just what they want you to think about. If the powers that be throw enough nostalgic, flashy, enticing, exciting, and emotional words and images at their fan bases, the waters are muddied and replaced with this ambiguous, ominous feeling of What if? Kiffin vowing to never lose to Notre Dame again. This highlight reel of USC posterising the Irish for a decade. That Ronald Johnson's drop heard 'round the world. This Robert Hughes pushing the pile into the end zone. That Youtube; ATTACK!

You know what none of those things will impact?

Tonight's final score.

The fact remains that none of these factors being discussed address the reality of what we will see transpire Saturday night between the lines. The swag of ND's jerseys will not make Cierre Wood run any harder. Kiffin's personal feelings about it's significance to Notre Dame's histrionics will not make Nick Perry any more physical at the point of attack. Kiffin, media, and others alike want you to think that those things matter. They want you to soak it in and become consumed by all things unimportant. They want you to watch the birdie.

Once the sediments of sentiment settle in, and the muddied waters become clear again, all you have left to see is a reflection of you and your opponent. That is all this game really is. You vs. Them.

Its Notre Dame. Its Southern Cal. Lets get down to it.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 22 October 2011 )
Posted by Donjuan   
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 August 2011 )
Count On This Two
Posted by 2Lakes   
Saturday, 23 April 2011

We can expect great things from our secondary or in recruiting or both. Coach Martin is arguably the most accomplished and talented Assistant on the staff.

Last year we witnessed his handiwork in the transformation of our secondary from a frightening liability to a source of strength for our defense. Now, we have Coach Martin plus Coach Kerry Cooks working with a small group of corners and safeties. Coach Kelly is investing a lot of capital on the development of about eight players, or else he is freeing up more time for Coach Martin to hit the recruiting trail. Or both. Given the recent tweet where a recruit quoted Coach Martin as saying he was going after the fab five of defensive backs, and knowing how vital it is for us to develop young guys like Jackson, Wood, and Collinsworth; I vote for both.

There are signs of that coaching move already paying dividends. During the Blue Gold Game, we didnt see much action from the DBs, but what we saw was pretty good. The veterans and the new guys were holding their own. Recruiting is full steam ahead: exhibit A Ronald Darby and Tee Shepard.

Bottom line: our go-to position coach/chief recruiter will be better positioned to strengthen our secondary and bring in blue chip players. Our defensive backfield will be tough next year; and our February recruiting haul will exceed even our heightened expectations. Count on it.

We will beat Navy. They lost the perfect option quarterback with the graduation (and, I assume, deployment) of Midshipman Ricky Dobbs. Greg Jones, the best Navy receiver in the era of the option, is also gone. Part of me wonders if Jones was that good, or was it that Dobbs arm combined with his effectiveness as a runner made Jones that good. Either way, they are gone. Furthermore, as tough as Dobbs was, most of Navys games were still close enough that the backups rarely played. Even when they were winning handily, it appears that Coach Niumatalolo was too nervous to put in the reserves. Case in point: in the game against Notre Dame, the quarterback who appears to be the heir apparent, Kriss Proctor, neither threw a pass nor gained a yard rushing despite the fact that they were beating us 35-10 in the fourth quarter. Throughout his career, Proctor did get some playing time as a backup and even started a couple of games, but not against quality opponents. His performance to this point gives no indication that he will be as good as Dobbs or that Navy can replace Jones.

The last few years have been a fluke, and the Irish were obviously suffering the ill effects of having lost two out of three games to the Midshipmen combined with a poor showing early in the season. Navy was very beatable even last year. Look at how they did against some other weak teams: losing to Duke (3-9) and eking out victories against AA Georgia Southern, Wake Forrest (3-9), SMU (7-7) and Central Michigan (3-9). Proctor started and won the Central Michigan game; but if he and Navy were playing against Coach Kellys 2006 team (or even Butch Jones 2009 squad), they lose. Now Coach Kelly is firmly entrenched at Notre Dame, with much better talent than he had at Central Michigan, and Navy will not beat him or the Irish.

Bottom line: Notre Dame will be much better than last year and Navy will not be as good. Four Navy wins in five years after forty-three losses in a row? Not going to happen. Not against this Notre Dame team and this coaching staff. Count on it.

We will handily beat the teams we should and pull out some close games against quality opponents. Kelly-coached teams have demonstrated an ability to put weaker teams away. At Cincinnati, in his second and third years, the Bearcats won tens games by twenty or more points against opponents like Marshall, Syracuse, Rutgers, and Louisville. In addition, they won some close ones against Rutgers, West Virginia, Hawaii, Connecticut, and Pittsburgh. They also beat Illinois by thirteen and Oregon State by ten. True, those quality teams were not great teams; but relative to Cincinnatis average level of success and talent, they would roughly equate to our best teams.

No one can predict with certainty which teams will have banner years or be uncharacteristically bad; but we can make an educated guess about the teams we should beat and those that should be close games. Our weaker opponents appear to be: South Florida, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Air Force, and Wake Forrest. We should expect close games against: Michigan State, USC, Navy, and Stanford. That leaves USF, Michigan, Maryland, and Boston College: teams which have proven unpredictable because they have been inconsistent, are trending downward, and/or have new coaches.

Bottom line: we have our share of both good and bad teams on next years schedule; and Coach Kelly knows how to both whoop the bad teams and win the close games against the good ones. We will have the luxury of watching our younger players develop during junk minutes in games we put away; and we will win more than our share of exciting nail biters against good teams. Count on it.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 24 April 2011 )
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Results 66 - 78 of 372

What Do You Think?

Who are you looking forward to seeing ND play the most this season?
© 2013 Notre Dame Football - Privacy Policy