Archive for August, 2009

Irish Blogger Gathering… Domer Law Brings Judgement

August 31, 2009

Holy shit, and welcome back to the IBG. It’s a horrible name for a great bunch of bloggers who have come together to share thoughts and answer obscure and not-so-obscure questions about The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

Let’s get started…

This weeks Gathering is hosted by Domer Law. He was the first to answer the call that I put out to the other members, for some help to kick the season off. So, let’s get rolling…

1. My season preview included music video footage for each position group. What song or video do you feel typifies this year’s Notre Dame team heading into the season? Embed a youtube or other similar video if possible.

I’m not sure if I can express this enough. I truly believe that 2009 will be very much like the 2005 season. I usually don’t compare season from the past to what they are now- but I started the comparison with the 2004 and 2008 team last year, and it’s spilling into this year. I fully expect the 2009 team to be as explosive offensively as the 2005 squad, but what excites me even more, is the possibilities that the Irish have on defense. If the 2005 squad had the 2009 version (or even the 2008 version), they may have been undefeated in the regular season.

You get the point… right? So, I’ll kind of cheat here and give you this old, glorious clip.

2. Post a picture that to you portrays the attitude of this year’s team and discuss.

OK. So that’s 2 pictures, and it’s a little sappy- but this answers the question. I am jacked up, and you can see from the determination on the eyes of my daughter- she is too. Yesterday was “Flag Day” in the Subway Domer household. My wife baked me a football cake, and my daughter and I put out the ND flag. It flies from the first week of the season, until after the Blue & Gold game.

But what this picture really shows is family. That is what, by all accounts, this team has really turned itself into- a real family. They are all there for eachother- and for their coach. A lot of the key players were on the disastrous 2007 team, and a few more were on last years team that unraveled in the last half of the regular season. In a year that has lofty expectations for everyone involved in the program, they will need eachother to keep their edge and their focus as the season progresses. This is what family does for you.

3. What do you perceive as the team’s biggest weakness heading into the season?

The uncertainty of both the offensive and defensive lines. I’m not sure if you could call that a weakness, but it is what I see as a possible weakness, and that could kill us if things don’t work out the way we want them to.

The offensive line is getting moved around, and have a new starter at LT that was our original starter at LT in 2007 (not much praise for that year). How will this line play as a unit? This is the key to the entire offense.

The defensive line will depend upon a lot of unproven youth in their 2 deep rotation. If the youngsters can really contribute, than the entire defense will benefit. If the defensive line is limited to just 3 or 4 players, than we may see a lot of issues rushing the passer and stuffing the run.

Hogs. Gotta give it.

4. With the exception of the 1990s, Notre Dame has won a National Championship in every decade since the 1920s. What are the chances (a) that Notre Dame wins a championship this year, and (b) if not this year, when do you predict the next championship for the Irish?

This is a loaded question. But, I will answer it as honestly as I possibly can.

A. The chances are very good that ND GETS to the Title game- but if they have to play Florida (most likely opponent), Texas, or Oklahoma… I just see them getting crushed. I don’t see a title in 2009.

B. 2010. Mark it down. Every one comes back- and they finally take the title. (Isn’t life great?!)

5. Nevada runs the Pistol offense, Navy the Triple Option, and Michigan the Spread Option. Which offensive scheme do you think is the most difficult to prepare for, and why?

I have to go with the pistol. The “spread option” is so widely used anymore, that most teams see it at least 6 times a year. In Notre Dame’s case (and the only case that should matter), they see the triple option every year, so there is some familiarity to defending it, albeit for one game. The pistol is unique and is very effective in both the run and pass game. Tricky, tricky.

6. Is Colin Capaernick the best quarterback we’ll see this year? If not, who is?

He certainly has the stats to back that claim up, but… no. Who? I’m not really sure of the who, but it ain’t him. My money will be on either Barkley or Corps- whichever one is starting when we play them.

7. Prediction time. We have to get on the record before the season kicks off. Give me:

(1) Overall prediction for wins/losses. 11-1. We will beat U$C, but that one loss is going to sting, and I’m not sure who it is just yet. Probably MSU or PITT- but we BEAT $C THIS YEAR.
(2) Projected bowl game and result. I’m not sure which one- but a BCS bowl. What the hell… we beat Georgia Tech.
(3) Predicted final ranking. #5
(4) Best player on the team. Jimmy shows why he was the #1 recruit in 2007.
(5) Heisman trophy winner. Colt McCoy. Not because he will deserve it, but because everyone wants to give it to him right now.
(6) National Champion. Florida. We all know this to be true.
(7) Prediction for Nevada game, including score. IRISH 49-17.

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Bagpipe Monday… Back To Life

August 31, 2009


It’s finally here. Game week. If breaking the bowl streak against a mediocre Hawaii team did anything, it made all of us want the 2009 season to arrive as quickly as possible. 8 and a half months later- it’s time. It’s time for the Irish to take its rightful place among the top the standings. It’s time to pop holes in the Condoms, time to slay Spartans in our own home, and time to make outsiders hate us because we are good and not because we are a story. I am fucking JACKED.

So Bagpipe Monday is back to sound the path to War. Also, today is the day that an announcement is to be made by yours truly. Subway Domer is going to be going through a massive change within a month or so. I’m not going to go into too much detail right now, other than to say that the blog is ready for a big change and it is coming. I will clarify things more in a few weeks. This will be a very good thing for not just me- but for all of my fans and readers as well. So, I guess I am fucking JACKED for that too.

Here’s your bagpipes to kick this baby off. Enjoy. (Polls will return in a week).

And because I can’t get this tune out of my head- Here is a bonus clip:

Bye Week Update 8/27: Weis On Gray & Polian Kicks It

August 28, 2009
Weis sees gray in depth chart @ Rivals Video

And the winner is Nick Tausch @ Rivals Video

Subway Domer College Football Pick-Em: Week 1 Games

August 28, 2009

Alright playas, here are your games for week one. The underdog is on the left and the favorite is on the right. The underdog is blue and the favorite is red. Remember to include your school name in the e-mail with your picks. Picks need to be emailed to me by Thursday at 6 PM.

Nevada @ Notre Dame

South Carolina @ North Carolina State

Oregon @ Boise State

Navy @ Ohio State

Akron @ Penn State

San Jose State @ U$C

Georgia @ Oklahoma State

Missouri @ Illinois

Louisiana-Monroe @ Texas

BYU VS. Oklahoma

Virginia Tech VS. Alabama

Buffalo @ UTEP

Memphis VS. Ole’ Miss

Good Luck & GO IRISH!!!

Bye Week Update 8/27

August 27, 2009

Fall Camp Updates… It’s Actually The Bye Week

August 26, 2009

Weis Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore…

August 24, 2009
Weis excited to get started @ Rivals Video

Blogpoll Final Ballot- Preseason

August 24, 2009
Rank Team
1 Florida
2 Texas
3 Oklahoma
4 Oklahoma State
5 LSU
6 Southern Cal
7 Penn State
8 Georgia Tech
9 California
10 Oregon
11 Alabama
12 Ohio State
13 Georgia
14 Mississippi
15 Notre Dame
16 TCU
17 Boise State
18 Virginia Tech
19 Nebraska
20 Iowa
21 Brigham Young
22 Michigan State
23 Kansas
24 Oregon State
25 Florida State

Thanks to those who commented on the first ballot. I took those comments to heart and took a harder look at the teams- and you know what? I’m more confused than ever. Outside of the top 3, the rest of this ballot is a total crapshoot.

I did make one minor adjustment. I swapped spots with Cal and LSU. LSU might be a bit underrated, and as much as I think Cal could possibly win the Pac-10 this year- I can’t rank any Pac-10 school over the Trojans yet.

As far as Alabama and Ole Miss are concerned… I will keep them where they are for now. I can promise you that my ballot for each week, for the most part, will not be based on my previous week. I will move a few teams around every week, based on play against certain level of competition.

Wu Overview

August 22, 2009


The 36 Chambers have been opened and now we need only wait 2 weeks before they are unleashed on the enemy. I wanted to take a moment and give you an overview of the 36 Chambers and break it down a little bit. For reference purposes, here is the link to the list of 36 in 18 separate posts.

I will be referring back a few times to the 2008 list. I have to admit that I never finished the series in 2008. I only managed about 22 chambers. At any rate, I still have that list in my notes.

Before I get into the overview, let me take this moment to explain what this list is once again. I do not believe in depth charts as most see them. There is a wider number of players that impact a team, than what the starting 11 on each side of the ball offer. So for me to sit here and just list of the 22 gameday starters, would isolate quite a few players that will decide victories and losses for the Irish. This list is a tally of those 36 players that I believe will make the most impact on the season as whole. Why 36? It fits with the Wu-Tang theme that I love so much. It would have been A LOT easier to stop at around 30, because the last 6 players (not the last 6 I posted, but the last 6 on my personal list) were toss ups with other players. I ‘ll talk more about this in a moment.

Here are not just the list of players for 2009, but also for what was the 36 Chambers of 2008:

2008
  • 3 FRESHMAN: Michael Floyd, Brandon Newman, Ethan Johnson
  • 13 SOPHOMORES: Jimmy Clausen, Robert Hughes, Armando Allen, Duval Kamara, Mike Ragone, Golden Tate, Brandon Walker, Ian Williams, Kerry Neal, Brian Smith, Harrison Smith, Gary Gray, Emeka Nwankwo
  • 11 JUNIORS: James Aldridge, Chris Stewart, Sam Young, Eric Olsen, Dan Wenger, Will Yeatman, Eric Maust, Toryan Smith, Darrin Walls, Raeshon McNeil, Morrice Richardson
  • 6 SENIORS: David Grimes, Asaph Schwaap, Paul Duncan, Pat Kuntz, David Bruton, Kyle McCarthy
  • 3 5th YEARS: Justin Brown, Mo Crum, Terrail Lambert

As you can see, some of the players were dead on, some were reaches, and some were pure misses. I’d say only 24 of those players really made a noticeable impact for the team on the field. I underestimated a few of the freshman (namely Kyle Rudolph), overvalued a few of the upperclassmen ( Schwaap, Richardson), and had a few that either were not on the team or did not play due to injury (Walls, Yeatman, Ragone, etc.).

So that was what the list looked like for 2008. Let’s move on to the present.

2009

  • 2 FRESHMAN: Jordan Cowart, Manti Te’o
  • 10 SOPHOMORES: Trevor Robinson, Kyle Rudolph, Michael Floyd, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Hafis Williams, Brandon Newman, Darius Flemming, Robert Blanton, John Goodman, Ethan Johnson
  • 11 JUNIORS: Jimmy Clausen, Mike Ragone, Robert Hughes, Armando Allen, Golden Tate, Duval Kamara, Brandon Walker, Ian Williams, Kerry Neal, Brian Smith, Harrison Smith
  • 9 SENIORS: Dan Wenger, Chris Stewart, Eric Olsen, Sam Young, James Aldridge, Toryan Smith, Darrin Walls, Raeshon McNeil, Sergio Brown
  • 4 5th YEARS: Mike Anello, Scott Smith, Kyle McCarthy, Paul Duncan

Even with only two weeks away from the opening kickoff, I am already doubting a few of the players on this list. A couple of things do jump out at me though when I compare both of the years.

Obviously, the huge jump in shear numbers by the 2008 Fr. class to the 2009 class is one of those things. It went from 3 to 10. 4 of those players are unproven, however, with Goodman, KLM, Newman, and Hafis using a redshirt in 2008. This class could be vital to the production we see on the defensive line.

The 2009 Juniors saw almost no movement. They had 13 in the 2008 So. class and saw that number drop to 11. The two that dropped were Gary Gray who missed the spring, but could still prove to be important in the dime, and Emeka Nwankwo- who continues to have me puzzled. Nwankwo has all of the athletic tools and hardcore demeanor to be used either inside or out on the defensive line, but he just hasn’t put it all together for one reason or another.

The 2009 senior class had only a 2 player swing in the negative as well, but it involved more players in the process. Yes, i took the punter, Eric Maust out, because I want to see him at all in 2009. Just a wish. Added were my boy Sergio Brown, who should be an even bigger force in 2009 on his way to a top 5 pick in the NFL draft, and Mo Richardson is out as I feel he will never make much of an impact past the Michigan game.

The 5th year class is what it usually is. An unproven linebacker, a special teamer, an offensive lineman, and a safety. Mike Anello makes this class special with him being a former walk-on, now a special team demi-god with the ability to take over 3rd world countries in Africa and Central America.

As always, I am a little cautious about the freshman. I will only give 2 the distinction of Clan members right now with Te’o a certainty, and Cowart almost as such. There could be a few surprises (or maybe they won’t be surprises as some people will put the frosh in the mix right away), but I am comfortable with these two.

There are some that are MIA from the Clan. These guys were close, but for one reason or another- they didn’t make the cut. This isn’t to say that they won’t prove me wrong- but we will have to wait for The Subway Domer to eat crow. They are:

  • Gary Gray
  • Steve Filer
  • Shaq Evans
  • Deion Walker
  • Tyler Stockton

Thanks again for following the Wu Am I series. Remember, that come tomorrow begins what is essentially a bye week for the Irish. It’s almost here. And to celebrate, how about one last (might be a lie) Wu video for all those motherfucking haters. Word.

Fall Camp 8/21

August 21, 2009