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Irish Ranked Number 3 as of now...

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Guest bfabes05

1 -- Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2)

Key returnees: QB Troy Smith, WR Ted Ginn Jr., RB Antonio Pittman, DT Quinn Pitcock


Spring star: LB Ross Homan. The true freshman turned heads, drawing comparisons to a young A.J. Hawk.


Lowdown: The offense, which in addition to Smith, Ginn and Pittman welcomed top-rated high school RB Chris Wells during the spring, should be nothing short of powerful. The question is how quickly the Buckeyes' nine new defensive starters -- most of them highly touted, but untested -- jell.


2 -- Texas Longhorns (13-0)

Key returnees: RB Jamaal Charles, T Justin Blalock, DT Frank Okam, S Michael Griffin


Spring star: TE Jermichael Finley. The pass-catching redshirt freshman could be a more athletic version of departed star David Thomas.


Lowdown: Replacing QB Vince Young with a pair of freshmen, Colt McCoy and Jevan Snead, might seem like a recipe for disaster, but the 'Horns are so loaded at the skill positions and on defense that it's been apparent they'll still be able to win without the quarterbacks running for 200 yards.


3 -- Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-3)

Key returnees: QB Brady Quinn, WR Jeff Samardzija, RB Darius Waker, S Tom Zbikowski :D

Spring star: QB Jimmy Clausen (H.S. junior). The prep star's much-anticipated announcement on Saturday that he was committing to the Irish upstaged ND's spring game.


Lowdown: With four veteran starters on the line to go with Quinn and the skill guys, coach Charlie Weis' offense, 10th in the country last season, figures to be even more potent. Nine starters return on defense, but the key will be developing a better pass rush and more consistent cornerbacks.


4 -- West Virginia Mountaineers (11-1)

Key returnees: QB Pat White, RB Steve Slaton, C Dan Mozes, LB Kevin McClee


Spring star: DB Quinton Andrews. The hard-hitting redshirt freshman is pushing for a starting spot in WVU's 3-3-5 stack.


Lowdown: The Mountaineers spent the spring cultivating a more productive passing game to go with the already powerful running combo of Slaton and White. The defense, which played a valuable but unsung role last season, will need several youngsters to step up in the secondary.


5 -- LSU Tigers (11-2)

Key returnees: QB JaMarcus Russell, WR Dwayne Bowe, FS LaRon Landry, LB Ali Highsmith


Spring star: DT Glenn Dorsey. LSU coach Les Miles says Dorsey is just as talented as departed stars Kyle Williams and Claude Wroten.


Lowdown: With Russell sitting out spring, backups Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux made their push for playing time. The Tigers shouldn't have a problem reloading on defense, but running back (Alley Broussard and Justin Vincent are both coming off torn ACLs) and offensive line remain question marks.


6 -- Oklahoma Sooners (8-4)

Key returnees: RB Adrian Peterson, LB Rufus Alexander, DE Carl Thibodeaux, DE C.J. Ah You


Spring star: CB Reggie Smith. The heralded sophomore, who moved from safety to corner, has the looks of a big-time playmaker.


Lowdown: With eight returning starters, the Sooners will likely trot out their best defense in several years, and a healthy Peterson is obviously a major luxury. The season will turn on how well the young offensive line can protect QB Rhett Bomar, who himself needs to develop.


7 -- USC Trojans (12-1)

Key returnees: WR Dwayne Jarrett, WR Steve Smith, C Ryan Kalil, DE Lawrence Jackson


Spring star: FB Ryan Powdrell. Pressed into tailback duties because of injuries, the 260-pounder showed surprising running ability.


Lowdown: The offense will remain a mystery until the fall, when QB John David Booty returns from back surgery and several freshmen arrive to replenish the depleted backfield. The Trojans' front seven should be strong, particularly at linebacker, but the secondary could be a weakness again.


8 -- California Golden Bears (8-4)

Key returnees: RB Marshawn Lynch, RB Justin Forsett, WR DeSean Jackson, CB Daymeion Hughes


Spring star: LB Worrell Williams. The athletic sophomore was a standout in practices and will likely earn a starting spot.


Lowdown: New offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar installed components of the spread offense, a scary thought considering Cal's plethora of weapons. The only question is which quarterback, Nate Longshore or Joe Ayoob, will run it. The defense, extremely young last year, should be improved.


9 -- Michigan Wolverines (7-5)

Key returnees: QB Chad Henne, WR Mario Manningham, RB Mike Hart, LB LaMarr Woodley


Spring star: LB Shawn Crable. With an impressive spring, the junior is on his way to bumping one of UM's returning starters.


Lowdown: With new coordinators on both offense (Mike DeBord, coordinator for the 1997 title team) and defense (Ron English), the Wolverines figure to be less predictable than past seasons. Much of the O-line and backfield have slimmed down in hopes of becoming a quicker running team.


10 -- Auburn Tigers (9-3)

Key returnees: RB Kenny Irons, QB Brandon Cox, DE Marquies Gunn, LB Will Herring


Spring star: LB Tray Blackmon. The hard-hitting redshirt freshman won the starting weakside linebacker job.


Lowdown: New defensive coordinator Will Muschamp (Nick Saban's former aide) spent much of spring tinkering with his personnel, including moving productive safety Herring to linebacker. Irons gives the Tigers a powerful runner, but some new receivers will need to emerge.



I think this is a perfect ranking for us not only now, but for next year as well, I think we could be put anywhere from 2 to 5, no higher and no lower :D

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Guest bfabes05

I forgot to put where this was from, its a Stewart Mandel write and I thought it was pretty accurate for the most part, I dont know about Texas being so high and USC being so low, but otherwise he made some good points

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Guest Irish4life

I agree about texas, those freshman qb's wont be able to handle the pressure and there gonna lose like 1-2 close games this season.

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Guest eyesofbevo

This year there isn't really a true #1, but instead 10 teams challenging for the top.

#1 Texas #2 LSU, #3 W. Virgina, #4 Auburn, #5 OSU.....#8 Notre Dame


As a Texas fan I think they should be #1 until proven otherwise, but that is just me.


ND fans will take issue with this, but I don't agree with Herbie that ND should just be handed the #1 ranking.

At least wait until they beat a top 25 team, which Weis has failed to do so far.

Again, I'm sure ND fans will take issue, but I don't think its fair to just hand ND the #1 ranking just because "they're ND". Other teams with intact starting rosters actually showed they can play on the big stage.



Do any Irish fans worry that last season was a false positive?

- Weis didn't beat any top 25 teams

- the schedule included 7 teams with sub .500 records.

- a loss at home to a sub .500 team

- the two worst Tenn/Mich teams of the last 15 years (see Tenn losing to Vandy)

- a solid beating by OSU to finish the season

- a nailbiter against Stanford (the distiguished honor of being the only D1 to lose to a D1aa school last season)


You have to admit, the schedule was very kind to Weis his first year.

I'm struggling to find a reason why Weis's first season was so much better than Willinghams.



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Welcome eyesofbevo, truly. About time had another teams poster. I hope you stay around. We have other Texans in here that are ND fans, Webmaster Ryan is a Texan. :)


I personally don't agree nor even want ND to be ranked #1. Just whaht's that worth before a game is played? But if your on rankings you overlook when we played Pittsburgh they ere in the top 25 at # 25 we were, #40 something.


The rest? We did play some top 25 teams and they slid out of the top 25 some did end up with subpar records, Tenn for one. We gave #1 USC a whale of game, losing at last moments by what? 3. Notre Dame is not responsible for where other teams on our schedule are ranked. At the start of the season almost all media said we would be lucky to win 5 or 6 with our tough schedule


I congratulate Texas on beating USC and winning the National Championship. Maybe we will meet down road? :)

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Guest gallup21

we played a lot of pre season top 25 teams so i think into the season the schedule looked challenging, and michigan wasnt horrible last year, they beat psu even if it was in the last second and they almost beat osu also, so they may not have won any big games, but i always consider michigan a threat

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welcome bevo. a few quick points, Michigan ( the same team that took Texas to the wire in Rose Bowl) was ranked #3 at the time...after a loss they fell apart. MSU was playing lights out at the time, then fell apart. Alot of times teams crumble when they lose, instead of getting back up for the next one. I agree, Texas has some talent, but the core is gone..so I don't agree w/ the argument that they should be #1, in that light SC should be #2 (even w/out it's backfield). Although the schedule ended up being weak at the end of the year, it was the #1 toughest going into the season. Weis has no control over how our opponents do.

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Guest bfabes05

Ok first off, I dont think you need to be going by what a team is ranked at the end of the year...Pitt ranked 25 when we played them first game of the year, Michigan at the Big House was ranked #3! Michigan State #12, Purdue #22, took USC the #1 team at the time all they wanted, and pretty much beat them. How are you aruging that they didnt beat any ranked teams, you dont go by what a team is ranked at the end of the year, you go by what they are ranked when you play them.


It is not ND's fault that the teams fell completely apart after we beat them...i was so sick of people complaining about ND's schedule during the year...our two losses during the season were losses against at the time one of the hottest teams in the country in Michigan State, in which we came back from 21 down to force OT and then USC in which we all know what happened there. They beat everyone they should of and for the most part besides Stanford but a great amount, we destoryed Pitt, Purdue, BYU, Navy, Syracuse, and Tennesse was handled pretty well too.


A total of 6 points, ND was a top 10 team all year and they should of been...Why would you go by a ranking at the end of the year, when we already played them at their best, especially in Pitt, Michigan, and Purdue, those are victories over ranked teams, period

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Guest eyesofbevo

All good points and a good discusion all around.

I'll come clean and admit I'm a college football-holic and have been since my teens. I watch a ridiculous amount of CF and my wife thinks I need "help". I guess everyone has their thing and pigskin is mine.

Living in Chicago I've seen quite a few ND games.


First, I don't agree with the "post-modernist" argument of "it's what they look like to me at the time".

You should measure a team's season when its all settled and final rankings come out, not by what prognosticators say, who watch 5 minutes of football and then pencil in Boston College with a top 10 ranking.

You are essentially saying that its not whats done on the field, but the perception of others that matters more (my flailing attempt to relate post-modern theory with college football).


Anyway, I think Notre Dame will have a great team. The offense is high octane and will put up points. But I couldn't help notice that against tOSU and Stanford that the success of the team rests on that offense clicking on all cylinders. If one or two guys was having an off day, then it was trouble for the Irish.

The defense has a ways to go, but the special teams and even the offense needs some more athletes. The talent gap between OSU and ND was shocking and you could see it on Weis's face.

I'm sure you guys are tired of hearing that ND needs faster players, because Weis is addressing it through recruits.


I guess I just need to see a more balanced team to believe they can go the distance this year.


ND will still go to a BCS. I'd like to see them play Florida or W. Virginia in a shootout.

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:) Oh Chicago? OK. Neither would I mind that's not up to me or even you who we end up with that's the BCS. Regular games? Jeees, made 6-7 years in advance who can tell is still a power?


I'm not a footballaholic just a Notre Dame footballalholic. :lol: I couldn't tell you who Texas coach name is, learned the QB and here in Kentcky I saw Texas one time vs USC. (Seemed as sloppy as our Stanford game you mentioned) :)


But Willingham vs Weis and we stll are paying Ty $2,000,000 bucks this year. When not on the golf course in recruiting he couldn't find his rubber duck in his own bathtub. Please don't say our stars were ty's. Brady was a crummy 51% passer before Weis entered. (Got a Lemon make Lemonaid) 4th 5th Heisemen runner up now top Heismen to come.


Mike Haywood our current coach and OC, sat down with the current Head Coach of Texas who won the NC, about where he could go to move up the Coach ladder. The Texas Head Coach advised Notre Dame and Charlie Weis and sent a reccomendation for Mike. Tht tells me he could have stayed picked up a Texas NC ring but chose bigger things.

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Guest bfabes05

As I see it this year, ND was a good team last year, and I am not just saying that as a Notre Dame fan, but yes there defense was really lacking...I know speed was a factor but like Weis has been saying the whole spring is it was more mis-communication than anything, and when your secondary is lost on a play bad things are going to happen, especially a high powered fast one like Ohio State.


The offense will be the best in the country this year if they are injury free, there is not a doubt in my mind. Brady Quinn is the best QB in the nation, Samardzija is a top 3 receiver around with Calvin Johnson, Ted Ginn, and Dwayne Jarret.


You mentioned earlier you didnt see the difference between this past year with Weis and Willinghams first year...heres the difference...

Tyrone's first year: No offensive Touchdowns the first 5 games, the two loses in the regular season were to Boston College by 7 and then USC by 28! Not to mention the complete embarssment in the Gator Bowl then after against NC STATE.

Charlie's first year: Offense explodes into one of the best in the country, Brady Quinn a heisman candidate, Samardzija before this year no touchdowns breaks the single season record for receiving touchdowns, two loses in the regular season by a total of 6 points, one in OT and the other well we know what happened with USC. Blew out pretty much everyone besides Stanford and Michigan, Tenneseee was close in the second half but then blew open in the 4th quarter. Bowl game, completely out talented and out played but guess what they were still down by only 7 with 5 minutes remaining.


Now if you dont see the difference now, then i dont know what your looking at, Weis is taking Notre Dame to the level they need to be. Willingham couldnt recruit, couldnt coach, couldnt really do anything. I liked Willingham, but I tell you what I knew he had to be fired after the third year, after a record low 15 signees for his last recruiting class.


Charlie Weis is a top 3 coach in the nation if not the best, and is making Notre Dame one of the best programs in the nation in the process. He made a undertalented team go 9-3 in his first year with a bad Dline and an even worse secondary. Now the team has a year under its belt, including the defense, and the recruits are piling in cough cough JIMMY CLAUSEN. Point is, they were good last year and they will be great this year and they will contend for a national title, the schedule will be tough, but i wouldnt want any other guy in the nation coaching for the Irish, period.

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Guest eyesofbevo
Mike Haywood our current coach and OC, sat down with the current Head Coach of Texas who won the NC, about where he could go to move up the Coach ladder. The Texas Head Coach advised Notre Dame and Charlie Weis and sent a reccomendation for Mike. Tht tells me he could have stayed picked up a Texas NC ring but chose bigger things


I hate to break the news, but Haywood leaving Texas had nothing to do with bigger things. He wanted to coach for his alma mater and was replaceable. In fact the guy they have now is infinetly more suited.

Lets be frank about Haywood. He's around to recruit inner city/southern kids. He can't coach and had been demoted from special teams at Texas and told to go elsewhere at LSU. Weis calls all the plays/game plans -- and Haywood's title is window dressing to make Haywood feel important.

I was excited when they first hired him at UT, but his results with special teams and the running game were subpar, at best.

This isn't just a knee jerk reaction or getting defensive, but the truth is that 10 years from now Haywood will more or less be doing the same thing.


Samardzija is a top 3 receiver around with Calvin Johnson, Ted Ginn, and Dwayne Jarret.

You had me until the Ginn thing. Tedd Ginn is a glorified track star. He can't catch, run routes or take a hit. He'll leave OSU the same player that arrived on campus.


I hear the offensive stats bit about Ty vs. Weis all the time.

So lets flip the debate. Could Weis succeed and put up those stats with the players Willingham was left with after Davies?

Didn't Willingham basically have to reinvent the wheel in South Bend and bring the forward pass/west coast offense to a QB that was brought in to run more option plays?

Do you really think Weis could run his offense with Carylyle Holiday, receivers that mostly block, O -lineman not used to pass protecting, etc?

Willingham wasn't a great recruiter, but the table was set for Weis. He didn't have the growing pains that Ty went through.

Comparing TY's offense to Weis is apples to oranges considering the roster handicap for Willingham.

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Guest bfabes05

What is the obsession with Willingham, are you seriously saying that hes a better coach than Weis here or what, Willingham lost his job the second and third year of his coaching career, when ND would be absoulutly destroyed by the teams they would play....I remember the only ND game ive ever turned off becuz I could not watch anymore, when they were whipped by FSU


Do you seriously think that Willingham should still be coaching at ND, or that hes better than Weis, I really dont see the obsession here. All he did with talent in the past is completely WASTE it, look at Samardzija, Quinn, Maurice Stovall, the whole offense period. I dont care about the west coast offense, he was told that wasnt going to work in the first place and it didnt. Every player has steped up to the plate now that Weis is on board.


Here is a few more facts, Reggie Bush verbally committed to ND, left for USC under WILLINGHAM, Brady Quinn was not even recruited untill Quinn showed an interest in the University when he attended during a visit with Chinedum Ndukwe, this happened again UNDER WILLINGHAM. The guy could not recruit nor coach at Notre Dame, and he was fired for that reason and that reason only.

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Guest eyesofbevo

I'm not saying Willingham is a better coach.

But the notion that he was a trainwreck and Weis is the messiah is little premature.


Lets wait and see if Weis can beat a top 25 team.

I'm only saying that Willingham should be given a little more credit for taking over a program and having to install revolutionary changes.


Weis is reaping the benefits of some the train tracks Willingham put down.

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I think your out in left field over Mike Haywood. :) He eventually WANTS to be an HC. I term him one coach to stay after the 3 year, steal your coaches offers. Your quite correct Mike is Offensive Co in name only after his promotion by Weis. He does not yet 'know enough" to be officially an OC. As he says "I am hip to hip with Coach Weis" learning the Weis ropes.


Coach Weis has said "I am calling the plays." (period end of discussion, means also Mike is listening and learning. Coach also alluded to someday handling the play calling over to another (OC) and just being HC. With a yes or no I am sure. If you notice JoePa who evin I favored as Coach of the Year (He deserved it if for no other reason then a Last Hurrah) Never wears a head set and even lets the others run things


So? If he was 'hired by Texas to recruit inner city kids.' Weis found a hidden diamond of a future Offensive Co and HC material.


Weis has been OC in NFL. He's OC now, we need to develop an OC. To do otherwise is to be one dumb jerk of a HC. Indeed why would Weis look around at all the unemployed OC's without jobs and invite one in to buck his own OC mentality. This is a learning experience for Coach Haywood. Coach Carlie Weis school of future HC's. :lol:

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Bevo, I think you are way off on your observations of Weis. Unlike Mack Brown, who can sit back and wait for in-state kids to sign, Weis has ND's national presence back, something Ty wasn't able to do. Weis has already beaten ranked teams, so I don't know why you keep bringing that up. Nobody thought ND had much of a chance going into the season last year, not the team, not the fans, no one. To come out w/ the same athletes (who were considered sub-par for ND by popular opinion) and advance to a BCS game, it's truly a credit to Coach. Every team has sloppy outings, SC had plenty last year...but if you chose to focus on the State and Stanford game, that's you....maybe the Irish are taking some steam from your Horns.

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It's OK Scotty opnions are opinions.


But in defense of Mike Haywood, if you read a past Presser. He stated humbly "I am just a sponge" soaking up the Weis play calling. I'd call him heir apparent at this point. :)


Charlies developing players AND coaches. As you can discern the NFL loves Coach Weis. If I can recall (cough) the only thing the NFL wanted from Ty was stay away. :lol:


At the time he was designated as OC (promotion) It struck me as remarkable and if not amazing for one to say I am a sponge, just absorbing. Right then I said that's a real ND coach. No ego.

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Guest bfabes05

Yeah again with ND not beating ranked teams I dont see the argument here, what a team is ranked when you play them is the only thing that matters in my mind, it is the definition of "beating a ranked team" Defeated at the time #23 or 25 Pittsburgh, Beat Michigan at Michigan who was ranked at the time #3, beat Purdue who was ranked #22.


This team was predicted to start out 1-5 or 0-6, they went 4-2, one loss in OT in which they came from 21 down to force overtime and the other to the at the time number 1 team in the country and supposively the most unstopable force in college football, in which my mind they basically beat USC. How can you sit there and not just realize how much credit Weis deserves, its simply amazing what hes doing right now, look at the recruiting most of all bevo...#5 class last year and this upcoming year it might be #1...Hes taken and undertalented team and made them respectable in college football.


Now the guys have a year under their belt and have some talent at key positions to make a title run, if you dont wanna believe me or listen to what im saying, than all i can say is wait till September, when I guess ND will be doing YET AGAIN, what they always do, silencing their critics cough cough MARK MAY, period.

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Guest Kgreene2343

I can't really join because I wasn't around for the Willingham era. I will only say apples and oranges are really close, and the correct terminology would be footballic, as it isn't alcoholoholic.

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