September 12, 2005

Notre Dame #10 in AP poll!: Notre Dame knocked off #23 Pitt and #3 Michigan on the road. Has Charlie Weis finally woken up the sleeping beast in Irish football?

posted by mcstan13 to football at 08:30 AM - 48 comments

I have been watching Notre Dame football for alot of years and it has been a long time since I have seen all three facets of the team working as well as they are now. Against Pitt, the defense struggled and the special teams was OK, but the offense was phenomenal. Against Michigan, the offense sputtered, but the defense and special teams stepped up and made big plays. Plus, Charlie Weis is forcing his team to keep a level head and continues to correct problems even though they are hitting on all cylinders. It is early, but I think that Weis has the Irish back on the road to the top. Only time will tell...

posted by mcstan13 at 08:34 AM on September 12

I dunno. I got all excited with Willingham's early success, so I'm cautiously . . . well, I'm just cautious. I find it difficult to believe the Irish are the tenth-best college football team. I like Brady Quinn, but I don't think he's good enough yet. After two games, I'd say it's an open questions whether ND is that good or Pitt and Michigan are that bad.

posted by yerfatma at 08:57 AM on September 12

ND has looked like they made a turnaround but I hope the top 10 ranking came from beating Michigan, cause beating Pitt seems like no big feat . Pitt lost to Ohio and didn't even score an offensive TD, thats PITT-iful.

posted by evil empire at 09:06 AM on September 12

yerfatma, I agree with the statement about Willingham, but again, the proof is in the pudding. This year's team does not appear to be as one dimensional as Willingham's teams. Weis has put as much effort in to defense and special teams as he has in the offense. He has brought in the best personnel to get the job done and the kids are responding. I think the biggest difference between Weis and Willingham though is that Weis is never satisfied. He is always expecting better and that is what is going to keep the Irish moving forward.

posted by mcstan13 at 09:15 AM on September 12

You beat Michigan in Ann Arbor in a National Game...

posted by hardrock2005 at 09:39 AM on September 12

I can't believe Notre Dame won those games. Can someone who watched them explain it without resorting to Irish triumphalism?

posted by rcade at 09:47 AM on September 12

Pitt sucked. I only saw the first half of the Michigan game, so it's hard to say. The Michigan QB (think he's a sophmore) looked over-matched. Quinn completed enough passes to win and managed the game. He's like Tom Brady with half the completion percentage. And then Cucuhlain wiped the scourge of Angles and Saxons from the face of God's good, green Earth.

posted by yerfatma at 09:55 AM on September 12

Charlie Weiss....

posted by hardrock2005 at 09:55 AM on September 12

Both Pitt and Michigan were pretty damned overrated, but still, ND certainly deserves some respect for winning those games. Top ten respect though? I don't know about that. Is NBC still the Notre Dame Broadcasting Company? If so, we'll have plenty of looks at them this year to see if they are for real.

posted by NoMich at 10:10 AM on September 12

This does show, with Weis at the wheel, the Irish can beat anyone. Bring USC into town, the don't want any right now either.

posted by playball9 at 10:29 AM on September 12

Is NBC still the Notre Dame Broadcasting Company? I fear it is so. My only hope is they'll use Notre Dame to get next year's NFL coverage together, e.g., high-def broadcasts and decent announcers. Actually, NBC's Notre Dame announcers aren't bad. This does show, with Weis at the wheel, the Irish can beat anyone. Bring on Ian Paisely!

posted by yerfatma at 10:50 AM on September 12

Stupid typo.

posted by yerfatma at 10:50 AM on September 12

Without resorting to Irish triumphalism? I'm sorry, I'm afraid I can't do that.

posted by mick at 11:10 AM on September 12

Honestly, I could care less about what Notre Dame has done and how much better they are. They play a few teams and then pad the schedule with teams that they should beat to top off a winning schedule. Are they fixed I don't care. What is broken is the Div 1 system of doing exactly Notre Dame is doing. Every team... llittle to no exception does the same thing. Notre Dame what is the schedule the rest of the year and should they be playing the teams they have on their schedule. NO! They should be forced to join a conference (NOT THE BIG EAST) shez. A real Conference. The Big 10 has 11 teams ok plug them in there. Cut down Div. 1 teams and say play each other damn it. Don't wait until the end of the season to decide the national championship! Texas at Ohio State this weekend now there is something that counted! Notre Dame will dissappear into the obscure when conference play starts playing no one. Until USC if it is on the schedule (likely) gear towards that and say we are a great team when it comes to that game. My point? Get rid of half the Div 1 and tell teams we will penalize you if you don't play other teams and start making a difference by padding the schedule. My point is made easily...... Did anyone have the thought that Boise State had a change to beat Georgia even though they were Div 1. NO! It was a come down here and be paid to die gracefully ranked in the top 25 to make us look good! You get money we get to say we play a Top 25 team that wasn't in Athens. Instead, Georgia could have played USC instead or another Top 25 team that should have been Top 25. Cut down the Div. 1 teams and play ball...... ok Notre Dame beat Michigan can they take Ohio St and Iowa or the rest of the Big 10 and meaningful three or four games leading up to that. My hat goes off to Texas and Ohio State what they did counts. Now other teams follow suit and decide the national championship for real!

posted by Rob at 11:11 AM on September 12

My Noter Dame Prayer: Dear God, Please let Noter Dame be undefeated when they play USC. Amen.

posted by Turbo at 11:17 AM on September 12

Sorry, Notre

posted by Turbo at 11:18 AM on September 12

Excellent coaching DOES make a difference, especially in college football. Bringing the team-type attitude and a winning reputation from New England to Notre Dame is something that team has been missing for some time. Willingham seemed to be a solid guy, but nothing tops the credibility and instills belief into college players like a handful of Super Bowl rings. That's the same intangibles I don't see Wanstadt ever bringing to Pitt. His reputation involves getting blown out of big, must-win games.

posted by dyams at 11:20 AM on September 12

Concerning Ty Willingham, I think he's a great coach and I'm a die-hard Husky fan going back to the Don James days, but I remember that in his first year at ND that that team had more balls bounce their way over consecutive games than I've ever seen - as can be seen by their 3 takeaways on 3 straight plays against Florida State: Everybody was talking about how good their defense was and then USC ran up 44 points on them in the final game of the regular season to expose the defense as not as great as everybody thought. ND would go on to be embarrassed in the Gator Bowl by NC State, but that game was quickly excused because of the way Willingham had "revived" the ND football program. We all saw how long that resurrection lasted. I know 2 games isn't enough to make any real conclusions, but based on how ND has won those two games, it makes me believe that Weis has a better chance of making ND national championship contenders than what Willingham was able to do. That said, I just want to say again that I fully support Willingham at U-Dub and hope that he can go on to great things there.

posted by chamo at 11:32 AM on September 12

The Irish WILL BE undefeated when they play USC, as will USC... oh, and the Irish win too... 27-20. Seriously

posted by playball9 at 11:39 AM on September 12

Rob, I'm an unabashed Notre Dame backer, so maybe I'm biased, but I think ND is the last team you can complain about padding their schedule over the past decade or so. They've played tough schedules almost every year regardless of how good the ND team was. My Noter Dame Prayer . . . Sorry, Notre If it's any consolation, that's the proper spelling here in New England.

posted by yerfatma at 11:49 AM on September 12

Rob, are you freaking kidding me. Notre Dame has the toughest schedule in ALL of Div. I. If you don't believe me look at their strength of schedule number, it is the highest. They played, then #23 Pitt and, then #3 Michigan, and you say they are "padding the rest of their schedule." They still have to play, #12 Purdue, #5 Tennessee and #1 USC. This means that Notre Dame will have to go through "at least" 5 top 25 teams this season, including the National Champions. I think that you need to spew your hatred somewhere else and at least get your facts straight

posted by mcstan13 at 11:59 AM on September 12

Thank you mcstan, I was getting the same facts together... this schedule sure as hell isn't was I would call 'padded'

posted by playball9 at 12:44 PM on September 12

Notre Dame will play 3 big ten teams this year, along with USC, Tennessee, Pitt (which they won), and they will play Navy which is always a big game between the two of them. That is not that easy of a schedule if you ask me. I would like to see them in a conference, but who am I, I don't pay their bills. Hey if they can WIN with a schedule like that they should be playing for a national championship at the end of the year, and I am not even a Notre Dame fan, that is a tough schedule!

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:45 PM on September 12

I doubt any team in D-1 football would turn down Notre Dame's situation. They're one of the few schools (maybe the only) that can carry a TV deal by themselves. Why should they share those revenues with 10+ other lesser draws?

posted by yerfatma at 01:07 PM on September 12

There are two main reasons why Notre Dame does not join a conference for football. 1. They get to pick their own schedule. This is wonderful for them because everyone wants to play them (whether Notre Dame is winning or losing, they put fans in the stands) and Notre Dame can always be assured a very strong schedule. 2. Any money made by Notre Dame (TV rights, bowl games money) stays at Notre Dame. Why would they join a conference, so their strength of schedule can drop and they can lose money. They are the smartest team in D-I for staying out of conference. Notre Dame is one of the only teams that does not have to worry about the strength of their conference, if a team on their schedule starts to suck, they just drop them the next year.

posted by mcstan13 at 01:15 PM on September 12

*cough*Cuchulainn*cough* bless his warped heart.

posted by BobbyC at 01:57 PM on September 12

Notre Dame will be in a conference within a decade. The draw of national TV exposure is not enough to get the top players to attend that school, when they can get all the TV time they'd ever want *and* play a big-time conference schedule.

posted by rcade at 02:12 PM on September 12

*cough*Cuchulainn*cough* This suggests an accepted spelling for an oral legened related by bog monsters. As opposed to my mother, who was related to bog monsters. Just saving you all the trouble. Notre Dame will be in a conference within a decade. The draw of national TV exposure is not enough to get the top players to attend that school My ass up Spring Street. Notre Dame's recruiting problems are related to academic requirements, something conference membership doesn't affect.

posted by yerfatma at 02:18 PM on September 12

Besides, we all see how well joining a conference has worked out for Penn State's football program. I don't think you can blame their steep decline entirely on JoPa.

posted by NoMich at 02:41 PM on September 12

Mich's all world tailback didnt play the second half. QB fumbled the snap on a QB sneak. D was weak last year, so losing starters from that squad isnt going to make this one better. I hope they can even score 20 against USC. They are playing with more fire than I can ever remember seeing in them. Still too early to tell if they are good this year. They havent played against a team with a lot of speed, Mich's problem is they are way too slow on D.

posted by Drallig9399 at 03:18 PM on September 12

when they can get all the TV time they'd ever want *and* play a big-time conference schedule. I think it's the total opposite. They're nationally televised on NBC every week (name another team that is) and stand out precisely because they don't play in a big-time conference.

posted by jmd82 at 03:29 PM on September 12

I just hope Notre Dame has a winning record at the end of the season so Oregon State can play them again. Notre Dame can not play against a Pac 10 team and win. Except for maybe Washington.

posted by meat head at 03:46 PM on September 12


posted by HOE.O.K. at 04:10 PM on September 12

Notre Dame can not play against a Pac 10 team and win. In the past 5 years. Whopee.

posted by yerfatma at 04:21 PM on September 12

Mich's all world tailback didnt play the second half. Thats because he got hurt in the first.

posted by jojomfd1 at 07:21 PM on September 12

They're nationally televised on NBC every week (name another team that is) ... True, but the Irish haven't won a national championship in 17 years. The games have lost four million viewers since 1993, the last time they were serious contenders. I don't see how being on national TV every week is a good sell compared to schools like USC, Oklahoma, and Florida, which are on national TV 3-6 times a year and in conference championship games, and regulars in BCS bowls.

posted by rcade at 09:06 PM on September 12

The reason why NBC wants to continue to contract with Notre Dame is because of the millions of other fans that DO watch the games. USC, Oklahoma, Florida are great in recent years, but if they start to lose no one will care. Notre can have the worst season in 50 years and still draw more viewers than USC on their best day. That is why NBC loves them so much. Plus, 75% of the kids that you listed on those GREAT schools don't have the grades or the test scores to qualify to play for Notre Dame so give me a break.

posted by mcstan13 at 09:24 PM on September 12

thats my point they didnt stop Hart, he couldnt play.

posted by Drallig9399 at 08:15 AM on September 13

What do you mean? Looks to me as if they stopped him pretty well, right off the bat.

posted by jojomfd1 at 08:52 AM on September 13

They're nationally televised on NBC every week (name another team that is) ... Only their home games are televised on NBC.

posted by bperk at 09:09 AM on September 13

This suggests an accepted spelling for an oral legened related by bog monsters. As opposed to my mother, who was related to bog monsters My ass up Spring Street. Where in the hell do you come up with this shit!!!! It's like having dennis Leary in here!! LOL, It's great!

posted by jojomfd1 at 09:27 AM on September 13

"My ass up Spring Street" was stolen from a childhood friend from South Hadley, MA (where they used State Street). I adjusted it to Newport, RI. Spring Street being one of the more problematic one-way streets in Newport, it was already in my family's vernacular for people who could not compromise.

posted by yerfatma at 09:53 AM on September 13

This week's prediction: Michigan State: 28 Nortre Dame: 17

posted by mayerkyl at 10:01 AM on September 13

Thats a bold one there May, but the Big Ten sure could use a big win right now!!

posted by jojomfd1 at 01:04 PM on September 13

i havent been this excited since the preimer of rudy!go irish go!

posted by InamedmykidBRETT at 05:34 PM on September 13

You were excited for the Rudy premeir? What did you think of "Operation Dumbo Drop?"

posted by mayerkyl at 09:05 AM on September 15

Kind of a let-down.

posted by yerfatma at 10:06 AM on September 15


posted by mayerkyl at 11:31 AM on September 15

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