Archive for October, 2007

Why Games At ND Are Better

October 30, 2007

Visitors do not have to endure this kind of BS. (Warning: Violence and lots of swearing)
I have no love for the Buckeyes, but the PSU students are cowards that will be dealt with the next time they are in Columbus. I live in Ohio dicks.

Fifth Year Scenario

October 30, 2007

Since Mo Crum decided to stay for a fifth year, a lot of talk around the message boards has been centered around the team next year and who should go and who should stay. Irish Glory did a very good piece on the 7 players that are eligible for a fifth year (Mo Crum, Terrail Lambert, Justin Brown, Junior Jabbie, Anthony Vernaglia, Darrin Bragg and Leo Ferrine). Well I’m here to lay out a few detail missing from some fans brains, along with some insight on how things might shape up.

If we have the scholarships available, Weis will ask the guys to stay a fifth year. Simple as that. He stated as much back in August when he handed out multiple scholarships to walk-on players. He thinks the numbers will start to be more in line starting next year. Translation: 85 scholarship players means 85 scholarship caliber players.

Back in July when Steve Filer committed to Notre Dame, the Irish had their full load of NCAA allotted scholarships accounted for 2008 and it would take away one spot for a potential fifth year guy. Since then ND has had 3 transfers (Jones, Reuland, and Carufel) and two commits (Gray and Floyd). This then means that ND is now sitting on its 85 and any recruit committing from here on after would eat up a spot for those fifth year players. As of right now, Weis would have a spot for all 7 players if ND didn’t receive another commit for the 2008 incoming class.

I believe there are only 6 potential commits for the Irish left that they have a legitimate chance at getting their pledge. Trevor Robinson (OL), Deion Walker (WR), Jonathon Baldwin (WR), Kenneth Page (OL), Gerrel Robinson (ATH/WR), and Chris Harper (ATH/WR/QB). Of these prospects I believe the Irish will land no more than 3 of them. Which ones? I don’t know, but for arguments sake, let’s say Trevor Robinson, Gerell Robinson, and Kenneth Page. This of course means that ND can only get 4 of the 7 potential fifth year players back. If that is the case, look for Ferrine and Bragg to definitely be out. The other guy is on Charlie’s list and it should be between Vernaglia and Jabbie. Their least need will be the next guy out. ND is loaded in numbers at LB and RB, so it could go either way.

Some of you are calling for just about all of the 7 guys that could potentially return, to be gone. This is as stupid as it gets. If they stay, they do nothing but good for the program. They take away 0 scholarships for the 2009 class and provide MUCH needed depth and leadership for what is still a young team. And another tidbit. Tom Lemming has mentioned that he sees up to 5 guys transferring at the end of the season. He has provided no proof as something like that is more of a gut feeling. However, if some guys do defect, any scholarships that they leave behind will be available to those guys that want to return for a fifth year. And if that is the case, Weis will want them to return. It’s a matter of numbers.

Saving The Program

October 25, 2007

So it has come to this. A 1-7 season with 4 games remaining. Certainly this is not the start most Irish fans had envisioned for this year. Even for those who were that pessimistic, I’m sure they wouldn’t of imagined that our offense would be on the brink of being labeled as the worst in 9 years at the division 1-A (I refuse to name it by its new title) level. Saving the season has been an anthem for the last 3-4 weeks, but that has been snuffed out by the likes of Purdue, USC, and Boston College. Saving the season would have meant a berth in a bowl game. Any bowl game would have sufficed, but now that is a distant memory less than a week after its final blow handed by the Trojans. What is the battle cry now? Easy. Save the program.

So now you’re thinking this may be a little melodramatic. And on the surface it may very well be, but at the root of the matter it is very much the reality. Notre Dame is a program that has lasted over a century. It has survived its share of bad seasons and its share of glory. The future of the program lies in what Charlie Weis and his players can accomplish in the next 4 games, on national signing day, spring ball, and in fall camp. Let me explain…

Over the next four games the Irish will be facing opponents that very well may be favored over Notre Dame, but are definitely beatable and could be handled in impressive fashion. The bye week could not of been in a better spot for the Irish this year. Navy runs a triple option and the extra time it takes to relearn how to defend this attack will be much needed. The Navy defense is horrible and if the offensive line can get going against the smallest defensive front the Irish have seen this year, they should FINALLY be able to move the ball up and down the field on the Midshipmen. Although the Irish have struggled this year defending the run, I believe with the proper coaching from Corwin Brown on defending against the option, ND can slow down the Middies and walk out he victors. So they beat Navy, now on to Air Force at home. Air Force is having a decent season and is already bowl eligible. ND has had problems in the past with mobile QB’s and Carney put up very good numbers last year versus ND. They are however a lot like Navy talent wise and if ND is physical enough, they could handle AFA with pounding the ball and playing stout defense. Duke is the final home game of the year and again, they will not have as much talent on the field as the Irish and depending upon the progress of the last two games, should win. Then comes Stanford. The Cardinal could be in a position to be bowl eligible with a win over the Irish. This sounds very familiar to 2005 when they needed a victory to go bowling and nearly got it, if it weren’t for a last minute drive by Quinn and Walker to put ND ahead for good. This is the team that beat USC so a win over ND would not come as a surprise to many. To put itself in good position in the off season ND must win at least 3 of these games. Four would be ideal and would give the program a head of steam going into spring ball. Also, if Weis has a worse season record than Ty did in 2003, it will make it quite uncomfortable for all involved.

National Signing Day. Right now the Irish have the #1 class for 2008 according to all major recruiting services. Not only have they landed top talent, but have filled huge needs at linebacker and on the defensive line. But as we saw last year, things can change quickly. To ensure that momentum from the four game winning streak, ND must keep all of its current verbals intact and pick up a few more, most notably guys such as Trevor Robinson, Ken Page, and Gerrell Robinson. This class has the potential to be the best (if it isn’t already) since Lou Holtz coached ND. Finish strong.

Spring Ball. No bowl game means a loss of practice time for a young team that desperately needs more. Spring practice becomes even more important next year as ND HAS to find its identity on both sides of the ball. This means that the Irish have to establish a clear depth chart for ALL of its positions and of course come out healthy. Weis has eluded to having a more physical spring that would also include the QBs being live game. Feast or famine. One thing is clear, constant improvement for the young players as ND will still be in need of them to step up and contribute meaningfully.

Fall camp. With what should be an established depth chart from the spring, this needs to be the time to let the players mold themselves into cohesive units with leadership emerging from its captains as well as its other starters. Compete ion every day for their spot and physical practices should help ND get prepared for the season to come. Staying healthy with full contact is a risk , but it can be very rewarding in the end.

Put all of these things together and ND should have a successful season next year. I’m not saying BCS bound, but going to a bowl game and WINNING, will set this program off into overdrive in 2009 and beyond. That’s saving the program. The program of Charlie Weis. If he fails, who will come and save it? Trust these words: more than likely, NO ONE. Remember all of those that spurned the job before Weis’ hire. He can save the program and is still trying to do so with a team that had issues still from Willingham. Should Notre Dame fall on its face for the rest of this year and put up another dismal year, we could be seeing a LONG trek back to the top despite having good talent. I feel that ND can and will continue to improve and make its way back to elite status, I have to believe it.

Originally Posted On Notre Dame Fans of New England Newsletter by Subway Domer.

My Name Is Jonas!

October 23, 2007

Jonas Gray is Irish. After decommitting from Nebraska just a short while ago, the Detroit running back made a new commitment to Charlie Weis after being courted by Corwin Brown (this guys recruiting skills are just sick).
The 5’10” 215 pound back is the 21st commit for Notre Dame for the 2008 incoming class. He turned down offers from Florida, Wisconsin, and of course MICHIGAN! This is becoming the BEST freshman class since the days of Holtz.
$crot wanted a “Todd” like player, and I think the Irish just got one. After watching his game film, one name came instantly to mind… Julius Jones. He has great speed and an extra gear that he uses to either explode through a hole or to pull away from defenders. This is definitely a fantastic pick up by the Irish.
Nebraska’s loss is certainly our gain. Jonas Gray may not be the only one to head to South Bend from the Cornhusker commitment list. Trevor Robinson (OT) and Will Compton (LB) are interested in the Irish as well. Robinson has already decommitted from Nebraska and Compton may still pick up a late offer from Notre Dame if he decides to decommit from the Cornhuskers as well. This is not a “Urban” legend. (If you didn’t understand that reference, I’m talking about poaching). While Robinson is a HUGE need, Compton would be icing on the cake for an already solid linebacker haul (if not the best in the country).
At any rate, Gray is a welcome addition for Notre Dame as it continues to improve on its depth at every position. Depth = Competition = Production.
Welcome to Notre Dame Jonas!!!

From the Mind of $crot

October 23, 2007

Well, another loss to a pretty good team. I taped the game to see if I could pinpoint what was going on. After breaking down the film, I have finally come to the conclusion that this season is a trainwreck. The Irish will finish with one victory and we’re going to have to hear about it….nuff said.

You might be wondering what this handsome gentleman to your left has to do with anything. He’s Notre Dame’s savior. We need more guys like Todd. Guys that will whoop your ass for spilling beer on their good jeans. Guys that will kick your ass, take your girlfriend and bone her right in front of you. These guys suiting up each week are soft. They don’t start pregame fights in the tunnel. How can you expect to intimidate people if you’re soft. The ghosts of the Four Horsemen don’t scare anyone anymore. Gone are guys like Zorich and Stonebreaker, whose names alone scare you. They are Todd guys.

With all due respect to the Subway Domer (becuase he allows me to write for him), I don’t want to know about anymore commitments unless they are bonafide “Todd Guys”. Over and out.

Pretty Boy Floyd

October 22, 2007

Finally. Irish Fans have been waiting on this day since offers went out last year. Notre Dame is still going full speed on the recruiting trail despite its lack of steam on the field. 5 star wide receiver, Michael Floyd, committed to the Irish over the weekend.

The Irish won out over Ohio State, Minnesota, Florida, and of course… Michigan, for the talented wideout from Minnesota.

This gives the Irish their 20th verbal commitment for the incoming 2008 class, and solidifies their number 1 ranking on both and recruiting services.

Back in July, I wrote a piece that discussed how important Floyd was to the future of this team as well as 3 others in Newman, Filer, and Flemming. Take the time to read it again… I’ll wait.

Along with John Goodman, this is already an excellent haul at WR for the Irish. Floyd has been their number one guy from the start at this position and it could get better with guys such as Walker, Baldwin, Harper, and Robinson in the mix as well. One more of those 3 would give the Irish the players at WR they were looking for from last year when they lost out to Greg Little and “Don’t call me Regis” Benn.

Other Recruiting Tidbits…

  • 3 other prospects ( Trevor Robinson, Kenneth Page, and Jonas Gray) had a visit with the Irish on Saturday.
  • Robinson and Gray are both Nebraska commits that are now wavering after seeing the sinking ship that is Cornhusker football.
  • Page has said that his visit was great and ND is rising fast on his list.

Headbutts And Groin Kicks… Post $C Rant

October 22, 2007
  • David Bruton. He is the Irish’s best special teams player and safety. When he was out of the game for a leg injury, you could tell the difference. Best gunner in the entire universe.
  • Micheal Floyd. Thanks bud. Your first headbutt.

Groin Kicks

  • Pete “The Poodle” Carroll. You are a dick. Challenging a reception in the final minutes for no reason, other than to be a dick. Transforming into a fortune teller and spouting off predictions of ND’s demise post-game (however true it might be), means you are a dick. And for just being a dick… means you are a dick.
  • NBC. Get the game over with. No one, outside of true fanatics, was watching this ass whooping after the 3rd quarter. Those ads mean shit. I hate you. And yet… I need you.
  • The whole damn Irish football team. I mean seriously, I didn’t want to vent, but after 5 concussions from beating my head against the wall I think I need to say something. 4 more games to get your shit together and make SOMETHING out of this season.
  • Charlie Weis. QUIT HANDING THE BALL OFF TO SCHWAAP!!! I can handle an anemic running game knowing that our line is playing soft, but even 1 carry to Asaph is 1 too many. Tell him to block someone first.
  • Subway Domer. Another week of piss poor performance by the Emperor of the Subway Alumni (disprove it) because, I’m not sure how much I have left in the tank. I’d promise better, but that might be a lie such as the one being told about ANY improvement on the offensive side of the ball. sigh

Headbutts And Groin Kicks… B.C. 2007

October 16, 2007
  • Brian Smith. This kid is going to be a good one. We have heard that line all week… and I like it. KABOSH!
  • Evan Sharpley. The kid comes in and good things happen. Take that 1 off of his jersey and he might remind you of another QB coming off of the bench. Well, at least a little bit.
  • Trevor Laws. He should receive a headbutt every hour on the hour for what he means to this team. KABOSH!
  • Robby Parris. Samardzija didn’t break out until his junior year. Robby is a sophomore and reminds a lot of people of Jeff. Personally, I think he looks like Bob.

Groin Kicks

  • Charlie Weis. I have a lot of reasons this week, but one will suffice. Does opening up an offense begin with the same lame swing passes and dive plays? I think not… swift kick to the junk.
  • Silva. Get a fucking haircut, hippie.
  • Fredo Fans. You suck. And your dialect is amusing to no one.
  • NBC. Seriously, does ND get that big of a check that you feel the need for 44 extra minutes of commercials?
  • Jaghjghjgdasofdski. Your reaction to one second remaining in the game was pathetic. Don’t worry big boy, the refs you brought were paid well and can not add 14 points to ND’s total with only a second remaining. Boston College is the right fit for you. Dick.
  • Those psychotic, fat pocketed, prick refs. Turk finally blocks a guy (the first all year) and he gets penalized for it. Made my day. One kick for each of your nuts. That’s a double nut smash.

From the Mind of $crot

October 15, 2007

October 15, 2007

God damn, another loss. My liver really can’t take much more. Did Evan Sharpley look like a man on a mission, or what? I couldn’t decide if it was him or Tony Romo out there. Evan played with the kind of urgency that you would expect of a junior fighting to win a QB job. I was very impressed the way he moved when the pocket collapsed. Jimmy “Cinder Block Feet” Claussen needs to really take notice. However, Sharpley was terrible throwing the deep ball. For ND to be successful the QB’s have to be able to get the ball down field to the speed burners and let them make something happen. Remember how Quinn would just get the ball near Samardzija or Stovall and let them go get it? That’s what this team needs.

One thing that no one is talking about is the quality teams ND is suiting up against each week. The total record of their seven opponents is 35-13. That’s not even including our next three opponents USC (5-1), Navy (4-2) and Air Force (5-2). The top two teams in the BCS are playing cupcakes. Ohio State’s seven wins have come against teams with a total record of 23-25. Three of those seven wins are against a 1-AA school and two MAC schools. Don’t even get me started on South Florida, whose opponent’s records total 22-16. The BCS is a joke.

Another guy transferred? No big deal, just weeding out the sissies.

Monday Morning Fact Slap

October 15, 2007

Well, it has been a few days and I’m still puking my guts out over Saturdays performance. The word tragic can not describe vividly enough the way this season has gone from the beginning. The worst part is, I’m not sure who to blame. There is someone to blame, right? Of course there is but it definitely isn’t one person.

But enough of all that. Here’s a little rundown on what is going on with the program, general comments, and generally a mild vent/rant. More will come about the B.C. game later.

  • Matt Carufel has decided to leave Notre Dame. Weis gave this statement:

    “I spoke via telephone with Matt Carufel Sunday evening, and he informed me he
    was going to leave the team and withdraw from the University of Notre Dame. I
    appreciate all Matt has done for Notre Dame and wish him nothing but the best.”

    Carufel is the 3rd player to transfer during this season following Demetrius Jones and Konrad Reuland out of South Bend. He is the 4th since the spring, when Zach Frazer decided to depart after becoming the 4th man in the quarterback race. Matt is deciding between Iowa and that dork Tim Brewster. All of the players that have left this season have been from the 2006 recruiting class. Chris Stewart tried as well… and Daddy sent him back to honor his COMMITMENT. The 2006 class was supposed to be the foundation of the future. But that is becoming as rocky as the season has been.

  • Sharpley must be the starter against USC and for the rest of the season. This is becoming obvious to anyone paying attention to Notre Dame Football this year. Evan has that “gunslinger ” mentality that this team desperately needs to compete. This is NOT a slam on Clausen. I think Jimmy will do very well at ND in the future, but the present is Evan. Sharpley should have started from game one this year. Jimmy still needs more time to develop as a college QB. He just doesn’t make the throws down field to keep a defense honest. Whether Jimmy is still having arm trouble or he just doesn’t want to make a mistake and is thinking too much in the pocket, it doesn’t really matter. Evan will take those chances because I think he feels that he has nothing too lose. The team responds, because they want that chance too.
  • The running game is atrocious. This fact alone may be the most puzzling outcome of what has happened so far this year. All of ND Nation believed we would be able to run the ball. The majority of us felt that with the departure of Darius Walker we would be able to open the floodgates with a stable of seemingly more than capable backs in Aldridge, Hughes, Allen, Thomas, and Jabbie. But there are definitive reasons for the lack of success running the football. 1) We have no real threat of throwing the ball downfield unless Golden Tate is running a fly route. Teams are jamming the line of scrimmage with bodies and plugging any holes quickly. 8 or 9 men in the box has not been uncommon for the opposing team to show. 2) The line is not physical. A truly sad fact. They are not pushing bodies around to make the necessary hole for the backs to run through. This looks like another finesse type of line as the last 2 years have been. 3) The loss of veteran wideouts on the outside is hurting the downfield blocking schemes. The younger guys must do a better job of locking on to their man and pest block them. Take a tape of 2005 and watch Mo Stovall. 4) I see no real burst from the backs at the line of scrimmage. I am not saying that there is no speed at the position, only that they all lack that ability to see that seam and WHOOP blow through that hole. I think Allen possesses this and Hughes and Aldridge can make up for a smaller amount with their power style, but no one is USING it.
  • The defense needs help. This help has to come from the offense. Giving short fields to an opposing offense is like giving crack to an addict… they’re going to smoke it. This has been the constant Achilles heel for the ND defense. While they play very well at times and the past two games have finally put good pressure on the quarterback… they still are not a great defense that can carry you through the season. The progress that Corwin Brown has made has been outstanding, but the yards ND allows on the ground has to be cut considerably more if the Irish want to beat these elite teams. A huge test is coming Saturday in USC and their 67 running backs.
  • Special teams are (insert cliche’). If you didn’t guess it, the term is: not so special. Aside from the freakish abilities of Trevor Laws to block field goals this area is VERY disappointing. Teams are kicking the ball to Zibby on punts, but he has no where to go. The few times that there has been a seam and gets a big return, I see a yellow rag lying on the ground. Kick returns are just as bad. I can only scream “BLOCK SOMEBODY!!!” so many time a game. Returners are getting gobbled up like M&Ms.

This review may seem a little negative and harsh, but it is certainly true. I have been pulling on silver linings all season long, but there comes a time when things that are so insanely obvious that they must be called out. There is a lot of hope for the future (and I will get to that this week) but the present fucking sucks!