Archive for the ‘Schedule’ Category

Pencil Them In

June 5, 2009


In a recent Subway Domer survey, I asked 20 questions about the program to help me brainstorm and post a few thoughts/ideas/manifestos… whatever you want to call it- about the program. (Alright- 19. 1 was to see if anybody was still paying attention to the site). So here is the first post to kind of really deal with those results.

The Schedule…

Generally, The Subway Domer does not comment on the schedule very much. There are a few things in life that you can’t control, and when it comes to college football there are many, many things that we can’t control, so I choose to not bitch about the slate that much. But it is still a very important part of the college football landscape… so a post about it every couple years or so won’t hurt.

Notre Dame’s schedule takes a lot of heat every year for their schedule and the opponents on that schedule. Whether it’s fans of the Fighting Irish, or its detractors- the schedule stirs up a lot of heated debate on both sides of the aisle, and even a few fistfights in the same aisle. I’m not here to to vilify the schedule or defend it- rather, explain what it is, what it isn’t and what it could be in this new era of the 7-4-1 system.

I’ll do this by examining the 2009 & 2010 season’s schedule and incorporating your thoughts from the recent survey. In that survey, Miami Fla. and Alabama were overwhelming winners when I asked what two teams should be on the schedule if the Michigan State and Purdue games were on an every other year rotation and if we got rid of a PAC 10 team. So let’s get started…

2009 ( Current)

  • Nevada
  • @ Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • @ Purdue
  • Washington
  • U$C
  • Boston College
  • Washington State (@ San Antonio)
  • Navy
  • @ PITT
  • UConn
  • @ Stanford

2009 is the first year that the 7-4-1 scheduling model takes effect. For a team and a fanbase that is in desperate need of reaching a BCS bowl, the schedule looks like the cure. It has 7 bowl teams from 2008, but only two of those teams won their respective bowl games (U$C & UConn).

It breaks down like this:

  • 4) Pac 10 teams
  • 3) Big 10 teams
  • 2) Big East teams
  • 1) ACC team
  • 1) Independent team
  • 1) WAC team

The schedule is very indicative of what Notre Dame really is in 2009. A national school that recruits nationally- but well groomed for a serious BCS run. What this schedule doesn’t have is what may be of the most importance: 1) No SEC schools 2) No Big 12 schools 3) No 1-AA schools.
As much as Notre Dame likes to recruit the south (particularly Florida and Georgia), it doesn’t get to showcase itself to southerns very often anymore.

The same goes for the state of Texas. The game in San Antonio is a nice way to help recruiting in a state that Notre Dame would love to start taking more recruits from, but the game lacks a BIG 12- or even opponent from Texas with the the awful, awful Cougars of Washington State slated as the opponent.

The schedule does have an often overlooked (media) bright side that keeps the Fighting Irish respectable… no 1-AA schools. In an age of getting “the sure money win” Notre Dame has not resorted to filling its slots with those schools that have NOTHING to do with 1-A football. Yes, some of those 1-AA schools are significantly better than some schools in the lower third of 1-A- but they are still in a completely different division with a different title. Should MLB start scheduling AAA teams, or the NFL start scheduling teams in the CFL? That’s what this is- except the games actually count towards the BCS formula.

Now on to what you want to see in the schedule based on the parameters of the survey question:

2009 (Adjusted)

  • Nevada
  • @ Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • @ Alabama
  • Washington (@ San Antonio)
  • U$C
  • Boston College
  • Miami Fla.
  • Navy
  • @ PITT
  • UConn
  • @ Stanford

The schedule breaks down like this:

  • 3) Pac 10 teams
  • 2) Big East teams
  • 2) ACC teams
  • 2) Big 10 teams
  • 1) SEC team
  • 1) WAC team
  • 1) Independent team

That schedule is significantly harder with 9 bowl teams from 2008, although the collective bowl record is a very poor 2-7. Two of those teams were in BCS games with U$C winning another Rose Bowl and Alabama losing to Utah in the Sugar Bowl.

What’s still missing from the schedule is a BIG 12 opponent. Texas came in 3rd in the voting and if I was feeling saucy, I guess I could slide them into the neutral site game, but would 3 teams that made it to BCS bowls be suicide? Yes. It would.

I originally had planned to make the Miami game the neutral site game and have it played in Tampa, but even in this fantasy world, Miami would never play a neutral site game one year and then play at ND the next and vice versa.

The schedule is even more wide spread across the country and fiscally and historically makes sense. I personally have a problem with the idea of rotating the Purdue and Michigan State games, but it was an idea that was brought up by the A.D., so it serves merit in this fantasy situation.

I should note that I really like the Nevada game. Nevada will contend for the WAC title versus Boise St. this year, and it will have one of the best quarterbacks on the schedule (real or fantasy). One more thing about Nevada… I already consider The Mountain West a better conference than the Big East, but if we could add Nevada and Boise State to MWC- top to bottom it would pull ahead of the Pac 10. No, I am not crazy, but I do digress.

2010 (Current)

  • Purdue
  • Michigan
  • @ Michigan State
  • Stanford
  • @ Boston College
  • PITT
  • Army (Chicago / Soldier Field)
  • @ Navy (Baltimore)
  • Utah
  • @ U$C
  • TBD
  • TBD

A monkey wrench is already being thrown into the new 7-4-1 format. There are only 5 home games scheduled so far and and there will only be 3 true road games with the Army and Navy games being played on neutral fields.

The schedule breaks down like this:

  • 3) Big 10 teams
  • 2) Pac 10 teams
  • 2) Independent teams
  • 1) ACC team
  • 1) Big East team
  • 1) Mountain West team

At least there is a significant drop in Pac 10 teams with the Washington series ending and no Washington St. There is still no SEC teams or Big 12 teams on the schedule. The addition of Army as the “neutral site” game won’t help with those who criticize Notre Dame’s schedule as Navy is still on there (and will be forever).

Let’s take a look at the adjustments:

2010 (Adjusted)

  • Alabama
  • Purdue
  • Michigan
  • @ Miami Fla.
  • Stanford
  • @ Boston College
  • PITT
  • Army (Chicago / Soldier Field)
  • @ Navy (Baltimore)
  • Utah
  • Cincinnati
  • @ U$C

The schedule breaks down like this:

  • 2) Big 10 teams
  • 2) Pac 10 teams
  • 2) ACC teams
  • 2) Big East teams
  • 2) Independent teams
  • 1) Mountain West team
  • 1) SEC team

I know what you’re thinking. Why Cincinnati? It received the least amount of votes in the survey. But, to keep with the theme of evening out of the conferences and the need for a home game, it made the most sense out of the rest of the list. I have heard rumors of playing Houston in 2010 and even Oklahoma- but this is just a fantasy look, so we’ll just go with it.

Once again there are no BIG 12 teams and I have also heard a desire to play Baylor, but I guess we will just have to wait and see what Swarbrick has in mind.

Conclusion:

We may never again get what we want from the schedule. It was an amazing time from the Era of Ara to the end of the Holtz years. The schedule that the Fighting Irish faced in that time period was normally on par with being one of the tougher schedules in the country. The schedule in the present times is telling of the administrations burning desire for another National Title- they are obsessed, as we all are, about winning another title.

Like I said before, I normally don’t comment too much about the schedule as it is too frustrating and fruitless to do so in my opinion. However, once the Irish start winning the big games (U$C- cough, cough) and BCS bowls or even the effing Gator Bowl- the schedule will continue to be the target of criticism on both sides of the aisle.

This post was just a fantasy take on what the schedule could be with the parameters that I set forth in a survey question. It is not perfect and is open for debate. My only hope, is that Notre Dame will start scheduling another big game every year without drowning itself. Until then, we should just cliche’ the thing and take it one game at a time and cheer 110% and let the chips fall as they may and…

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Please God, Let This Happen…

March 18, 2009

Could Miami of Florida and Notre Dame really start playing each other again?

After a nearly two-decade break, Notre Dame athletic director Jack
Swarbrick said the Fighting Irish is ”very interested” in playing Miami again
in football, and the interest is mutual.

UM’s Kirby Hocutt initiated talks with Swarbrick, who became Notre Dame’s
athletic director in July. No dates are set, but talks will resume in April,
Swarbrick said by phone Monday.

NBC’s Notre Dame contract includes seven Irish home games and one
prime-time neutral site game annually through 2015. ”You could do that,”
Swarbrick said of the neutral site game, “plus do one home and home.”

UM and Notre Dame played annually (1971-1985 and 1987-1990) before the
Irish discontinued the series. A Notre Dame student printed ”Catholics vs.
Convicts” T-shirts before the epic 1988 game in South Bend, Ind., which Notre
Dame won 31-30. UM won five of the past seven meetings and hostilities rose
during and after Miami’s 58-7 win in 1985, when the Canes were accused of
running up the score.

Playing Miami is appealing, Swarbrick said, because “they are two great
academic institutions. We’re eager to play schools that share our values.
There’s a lot of great history around the games.”

You can only hope that this could get worked out. Frank at UHND just posted a few videos yesterday of the ND and Miami War.

Here We Go Again…

February 17, 2008

I’m not too big on the whole schedule talk. NDNation.com can corner that market. I do agree with a lot of the backlash out there concerning Notre Dame’s schedule, but I am playing more of a “wait and see” approach. It is a little less of a pain in the ass if you just take it one year at a time. According to the Mayans, we won’t see past 2012 anyways.

I did see this today and it struck me as, not odd, but only fitting for the media.

STORRS, Conn. — Connecticut coach Randy
Edsall wants to see another football school join the Big East Conference.
The league has just eight teams playing football. Each season, some schools
play four conference home games and some get only three.
UConn plays
West Virginia, Cincinnati
and
Pittsburgh
at home next season.
“It would be just so much more viable and more
equitable to everybody in the conference if we all had four home games each
year,” Edsall said Thursday. “So that’s why it’s our hope as football coaches,
to get to where we have at least another team in the league.”
Edsall
declined to say what schools he believes might make good candidates for Big East
football.
Central Florida, Memphis, East Carolina and others have been mentioned in the past as possible fits.
Notre Dame is already a
Big East member in other sports, but not football, where it has its own
television contract and does not have to share its revenues.
League
commissioner Michael Tranghese has said if the Irish would like to talk about
becoming a football member, he’d certainly take the phone call. But otherwise,
the league is not pursuing expansion, spokesman John Paquette said Thursday.
UConn is negotiating with Notre Dame for a football series. According to an
internal memo from Notre Dame that found its way to the Internet last week, the
schools plan a 10-game series starting in 2009, with five games in South Bend,
Ind., three at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. and two at the Meadowlands in
New Jersey.
Edsall would not say whether he favors such a series, which
would not include a home game in Connecticut.
“If we get a signed contract
and things, I’ll be happy to discuss it,” Edsall said. “I don’t want to be
saying anything until the ink would be dry on the contract. Because if I say
something, I could screw the whole thing up and nobody might sign it.”
Connecticut will play
Virginia, Baylor and Hofstra in nonconference home games next season. The Huskies have just two open
nonconference dates in the next few years, one in 2010 and one 2012, Edsall
said.
The school is talking to a lot of other programs about future games,
and Edsall said he has his own wish list.
“Ideally, as I’ve mentioned, I’d
like to play Army, I’d like to play BC each year, and then a MAC school, a
I-AA,” he said. “Then you have another one that you can get, a top team from a
BCS or however you think your schedule is going to work out.”
Copyright 2008
by The Associated Press


Edsall would look at our future schedules and run away. But more importantly, the media and other BCS schools can not help themselves when it comes to questioning Notre Dame’s Independent status. THE IRISH ARE NOT GOING TO JOIN THE BIG EAST…EVER!!! So get over it and recognize. Even Webbie thinks so…