December 5, 2009 // Notre Dame Football

Irish Forego Bowl Opportunity

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There will be no bowl game for the Irish this season, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick announced on Friday, citing the “unique circumstances surrounding the program” following the coaching change.  The announcement was not surprising to those following the program since the announcement of Charlie Weis’ departure.

The decision to forego the bowl opportunity is not without precedent for the Irish.  After Lou Holtz’ departure following the 1996 season, the 8-3 Irish also passed on bowl opportunities.  Also, between the 1925 Rose Bowl and the 1970 Cotton Bowl, the Irish did not participate in bowl games.

Several factors contributed to the decision.  Given that Charlie Weis also served as the Offensive Coordinator, the Irish staff is currently left without an established signal caller.

Additionally, the timing for the two realistic bowl opportunities available to the 6-6 Irish was not ideal.  The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl is December 26, close to finals for the student-athletes.  The other opportunity – the January 6 GMAC Bowl – seems much too far in the future for a team with such uncertainty among both the coaching staff and key players.

Not to be overlooked, the bowl payouts for such middling bowl games would likely cost the program more than they received.

Of course, the unstated factors which may have influenced the decision are the likely opponent for the Irish and the prolonging of the discussion regarding the recent underachievement.

Collectively, these factors overwhelmed any influence by the players to participate in the bowl season.

By skipping a bowl game this season, the Irish will miss the valuable practice time to develop the program’s younger players.  This practice time can be invaluable to player development, as evidenced by the leap forward last year’s Irish squad achieved leading to the impressive 49-21 victory over Hawaii.  Instead, the players will begin the off-season strength and conditioning regimen.

Positives can come from the decision.  This allows the Irish administration to focus on the coaching search.  If the new coach is identified quickly, the program can turn the page and focus on the future.  For the Irish assistant coaches, their focus can now be largely devoted to recruiting, for which they have already done an impressive job given the circumstances.  And, for the players, hopefully the lost bowl opportunity serves as further motivation in the off-season efforts.

Comments to this Article

  • C-Dog commented on December 5th, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Good decision. Some blogging boneheads will complain, but for there are too many bowls anyway. It’s gotten way out of hand. And no doubt a 6-6 team in search of new head coach. Uncertain about the staff and OH YEAH, FINALS coming up, might not want the distraction.

    Taking the high road will cause some flack, but actually sports blogging out there in the general public is all about anger and being pissed off at something. I applaud these guys for this.

    Also, Weis just had a classy press conference today. Who ever takes this team can thank Charlie for bouilding it up

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  • Evan commented on December 5th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    I for one am disappointed…… I hope I can see jimmy and golden back in Irish silks next year.

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  • sdouglas commented on December 6th, 2009 at 12:14 am

    6-6 teams shouldn’t go to bowls anyway.

    This is a non-issue.

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  • Irisheye62 commented on December 6th, 2009 at 2:18 am

    I have mixed emotions about no bowl game this season.
    Last year, a 6-6 team went to Hawaii and did very well.
    However, I do NOT believe that a Christian University should have played on the Eve of the Celebration of the Nativity. I didn’t believe in it then, I don’t believe that ND should do it now. I am glad that the Irish won–but Christmas Eve should have our sights on higher things-particulary for a University which is Christian in name. No doubt that some may mock or criticize me for this, but some things are higher than football=yes even at my beloved Notre Dame.
    The GMAC bowl could have been a great one for the Irish–and a chance to extend practice. Some will interpret this as arrogance on the part of ND as if it is not good enough for ND. ( As others have said, 6-6 is NOT ideal bowl material)
    After watching teams play today, I am very impressed with the likes of Pellini ( spelling?) from Nebraska. The Huskers gave everything that Texas could handle in a game that I “thought” would be all Longhorn.
    Who knew? Nebraska very well may be back. Good for them.
    Which leads me to this–and I believe we can ALL agree on this.
    Mr. Bo Pellini is DEFENSE and ND should be looking for someone that had defnense in mind-first and foremost. While we are at it, a mix it up offense with a lot more option than what we have seen. I know some teams hot dog it -with the shotgun—but option and triple option can do wonders.
    This is a time of transition for ND–and hopefully the Administration which has had its head way too far up its ass to listen to the people –might just come off their high horse and do something right as opposed to the knee jerk reaction of hiring somebody.
    I REALLY hope the Administration is not limiting itself to Catholics only.
    Ara wasn’t Catholic. His record shows much to our past .
    If the man is Catholic, let it be icing on the cake-but not a
    pre-requisite.
    Watching the games today, I am sad about ND at the present time but also a realist that ND can’t play with these teams which played today and this week. Not one of them.
    Time for the RIGHT CHANGE.
    I don’t have much trust in the Administration–I just hope they honestly think about the future of the Program and we are not at the computer in another 4-5 years saying “here we go again.”
    All of this crap started with the likes of hiring Bob the loser , vanilla, back stabbing, double talking , wussy, “footbaw” Davie becuase Wadsworth was his puppetier and Davie was his puppet.
    We cannot afford this —or the program will NEVER recover.
    With the way the game is being played now—ND had best not repeat the vile mistakes of the previous hiring practices.
    Well–here is the individual guys with off season conditioning.
    Go Irish!

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    Irisheye62 replied on December 6th, 2009 at 2:22 am

    Last staement error
    Here’s to the individual guys with off season conditioning.
    Raise a glass to the dedication of those that have the hope for ND.
    A Toast to the Student Athlete-of ND.

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  • bleednd82 commented on December 6th, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    No guts no glory. This Irish squad has no guts and will never earn respect. This Irish squad is a huge disappointment. No bowl game? Are you serious? We had an eight game bowl losing streak.
    We finally break it last year and not willing to start a new streak.
    I get that not all the players voted no. For the ones who voted not to go…… what are they afraid of?
    This is what all is wrong with Notre Dame Football. It’s as if what the haters say is true. ND thinks it’s better. I will say the Glory Days are over and the “old” alumni need to wake up. Seriously, have you sat in Notre Dame Stadium? It’s a bunch of old, angry, bitter alumni who do nothing but complain. They don’t cheer and if you cheer they go tell the usher on you for standing and cheering. I am an alumnus by the way. I’m just realistic to what I see.
    No way is this ok. You finish what you start.
    I am honestly ashamed of my school and my team.

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    Tom replied on December 6th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    If you’re that ashamed then don’t watch. Go root for someone else

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    bleednd82 replied on December 7th, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Watch what Tom? I dont think I am watching anything and neither is anyone else.

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    Tom replied on December 7th, 2009 at 1:10 am

    I’m glad you speak for everyone else since you’re the spokesman

    bleednd82 replied on December 7th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Spokesman for what? LoL What are you even talking about? Please specify.

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    Tom replied on December 7th, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Dude,look at what you wrote. you said you were ashamed of your school and team. I said if your ashamed then don’t watch YOUR team and now you don’t understand a damn thing. And to think you went to college. WOW!

    bleednd82 replied on December 8th, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Tom:

    Since ND is not playing in a bowl game, I don’t really know what you’re talking about when your saying “don’t watch”. My statement is ND declining a bowl bid and not playing in a bowl game. How can I watch them play? What can I watch?

    I am stating no one is watching them because how can they? There is no bowl game for anyone to watch them in. Isn’t that obvious to you? Maybe……..

    I can be ashamed of my team and still cheer for them. I am a very loyal fan.

    Don’t insult me. I have seen your posts on these boards before and you troll them. You have no opinion of your own. You just like to bash others and start arguments.

    Irisheye62 replied on December 6th, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I am not ashamed of ND at all.
    From what I understand, the players did NOT vote on this.
    The administration made the move on this.
    Still, I think that the Irish playing later on would help a young team–without Weis.
    This is NOT about Weis.
    This is about the future of ND=-at least the immediate future.
    So–6-6 ending with a loss to
    arrogant, irreverant, far left coast, Nancy Pelosi loving Stanford?
    ( Condolezza too. and Tiger)
    Well–
    Irish wake up
    Irish Play with some inspiration
    Irish
    Move forward
    Irish get a Coach and LOOK LIKE YOUNG MEN HUNGRY FOR VICTROY ON THE FIELD
    not just business as usual.
    I love my team.
    I question the out of touch administration.
    I really do.
    Things that make you go hmmm.

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    C-Dog replied on December 7th, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Oh, they certainly are old, but they are not all alums. Many are Midwesterners who have had season tickets forever. Given the price and the fact you can’t will tickets to decendents, they are holding on for dear life with those. Given a pair of season tickets, parking and misc will easily run you over $3000, this might change. But one thing I have noticed is that when you ask the old person next to you about how they came to the game, you find that someone gave them the tix. What I wonder is if younger people even like the atmosphere. I do know a die hard fan who said he’d never go to a home game becuase it was way too restrictive.

    Is football itself becoming politically incorrect?

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  • Shazamrock commented on December 7th, 2009 at 7:49 am

    “by skipping the Irish will miss valuable practice time???”
    The defense had 4 months of valuable practice time. Nothing ever got better or fixed. Couldn’t stop the run, couldn’t stop the deep post.
    Game after game, team after team, it was the same. The defense gives up 400 yards and the offense has to score 35 or more in order to have a chance to win.
    Perhaps if the Irish had lost their first six games then went on a six game winning streak, maybe. But to limp into a bowl game on 4 consecutive
    losses. No. Bowl games are a reward for a season well played. I heard someone say that ND was 6 plays from being undefeated. A loss is a loss. Good teams find a way to win those games.

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  • C-Dog commented on December 7th, 2009 at 10:50 am

    This would not be a good situation for Notre Dame to go bowling. They need to button up the press exposure a bit. Rumors have been flying too fast. Exposure in a bowl will cause that to continue. No this is a time for Notre Dame to ger the coach and close it’s doors for a bit. Let the program be introspective and quiet. Next season is the time to let it all play out —– on the field!

    [Reply]

    JC replied on December 7th, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Amen C-Dog,

    Bowling with no official head coach is without question a waste of time. Why practice the same failure system that achieved 6-6 for two years in a row? It seems only the Charlie Lovers are upset with themselves they are wrong. So lets attack everybody who does not agree with their madness. LOL.

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  • Shazamrock commented on December 7th, 2009 at 11:11 am

    As I stated, someone mentioned that ND was 6 plays from being undefeated this year.
    Lets think about that for a minute. What if ND had converted those 6 plays?
    They start the season unranked and finish undefeated. There are 5 other teams that are undefeated as well. Alabama, Texas, TCU, Cincy, & Boise St.
    Alabama, Texas, Boise St, and TCU were all ranked to start the season.
    Alabama and Texas were in the top 5 and eventually move to 1 & 2.
    If this senario played out the same, but add a undefeated ND to the mix, and right now instead of looking for a head coach, we would all be talking about how an undefeated ND team got omitted from a BCS Championship game.
    I’m not saying that a undefeated 2009 ND squad is in the same league with Alabama or Texas at this point, I’m just saying, think about a untied, undefeated ND team NOT playing in the championship game. It could have happen this year. To be honest, I never gave much thought about the BCS bowls vs a Playoff until I looked at the teams that remain unbeaten at the end of this season. I kept thinking about that one magical, special season, when ND rises up and wins them all. Used to be that would be an “automatic” National Championship for the Irish. Not any more.

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    Joe replied on December 7th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    6 plays from being undefeated! Oh man, that’s a good one. ND was also a few plays away from going 2-10. But they are what their record is, and that’s 6-6. I watched Alabama-Florida. Alabama would beat ND by 50 points without breaking a sweat.

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    Tom replied on December 7th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Amen Joe!

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    Shazamrock replied on December 7th, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Joe,
    No arguement there.
    But what if ND HAD finished undefeated this year?
    That’s the question.
    They would have no chance at a National Title. But we all would say they are what their record is, 12-0. Where’s our title shot!
    So do you go the playoff route?
    If not, it may take 2 or 3 consecutive 10 win seasons or better, to win a Championship.

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    Joe replied on December 7th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    So let’s assume that we have an undefeated ND (excuse me, just almost choked laughing), then assuming ND wouldn’t have passed Texas for #2, then yes, it matters where you started the season. Of course, let’s just assume for a moment in a perfect world that ND thumped everyone on its schedule by at least 21, including USC, and looked especially good in thrashing Stanford in the final game. (excuse me, almost started choking again). Decent chance that a powerful ND squad would have overtaken Texas after its 13-12 stinker against Nebraska. But it’s difficult to deal with hypotheticals. Seems that any time there’s more than 2 unbeaten teams someone is going to be upset. I thought TCU or Boise State deserved a shot at Alabama, quite frankly, and in any event, to have TCU play Boise is a joke — better to show what those teams can do against the so-called “major” schools. So yeah, it would be nice to have some kind of playoff.

    Shazamrock replied on December 7th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Weren’t you the same guy who insisted that ND had no business even sharing the same field as USC? That USC would beat ND by 50?
    And how This years USC team was just so much better than us? In case you hadn’t noticed, they lost 2 of their last 3 and finished unranked.
    Yeah, we’ll take your expert word. A regular football genius.
    Amen Tom! That’s simply poetry. Here’s a tip for you.
    Nobody likes a leech who sucks off everyone else. If you ever put together more than 3 sentences of originallity your brain would probably melt.

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    Joe replied on December 7th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I said that in 2008, ND didn’t belong on the same field as USC, which was true. Before this year’s game I didn’t think ND had closed the talent gap enough to beat USC this year, and sure enough, ND couldn’t beat USC despite the fact that USC had a down year. In fact, USC was beating ND fairly easily until the 4Q. The game was, however, closer than I thought, although I never said they would beat us by 50.

    Shazam, you don’t have to disparage me to make your point. I just thought the idea of ND being 6 plays away from an undefeated season was fairly preposterous given ND’s performance this year, that’s all.

    Shazamrock replied on December 8th, 2009 at 8:55 am

    In the week leading up to the ND vs USC game there wasn’t a day that didn’t go by that you didn’y beat on ND like a 10 cent whore. You made it perfectly clear that ND had no chance what so ever. I tried, to no avial, to point out that USC lost a bunch of players and coaches, and were starting a freshmen QB. Didn’t make any difference. We were ND and they were USC. Game over.
    I also can’t recall a team being awarded a victory after 3 quarters of play either.
    If we were to play Alabama this year I’m sure that running of theirs would run for 200 yards agianst us, and they would win the game.
    But I seriously doubt that they would shut us out, or win by 50, or not break a sweat playing us.
    I don’t take any pleasure in disparaging anyone. It’s a free country, and anyone can say what they want. Some people here offer fresh and original insights on ND football. Others just circle
    this site like crows looking for something to jump on and criticize. Some bloggers here have my respect, others, not so much.
    There are probably dozens of teams that were a hand full of plays from being a BCS contender(UCONN comes to mind) but that’s what college football is, a hand full of plays here or there.
    If the ref’s don’t screw us in Ann Arbor, and Kamara catches the last pass agianst USC, we start the season 8-0.
    That’s just 2 plays. But agian, that’s college football.
    What you have said has some truth, and what I have said has some truth as well.

  • power run the ball commented on December 7th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Notre Dame is a poorly run organization.

    No Bowl game.. How about the seniors that will never play another football game and about shaq evans and Jonas gray type players that never got a shot under charlie to let them mature and get field exp. Also it is an opportunity to evaluate coaching but if you don’t know what you are doing i quess those things that don’t hold importance.

    Jimmy Clausen to the nfl adivsed by CW is another ridiculous situation. Name 5 qb’s that came out as juniors that are successful in the NFL.
    Jimmy had 1 greatttt season and did mature tremendously but he isn’t close to being an NFL QB. CW a good guy maybe with his heart in the right place but he was the Head Coach and Clausen was one of many of your players who needed coaching not a fan..

    I now see the problem at notre dame isn’t the recruiting it is the powers that be that are making the decisions, b/c they are constantly making the wrongs wons.
    Lets hope they get lucky and get a coach that can wip them into shape.

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    Irisheye62 replied on December 8th, 2009 at 2:48 am

    Your words are the wisest on this site regarding this article.
    It is a situation which is indeed poorly run.
    The Irish just did not look like a team with umph and desire. Joe Paterno at 80 plus years old runs out with his team. Charlie–overweight or not–even before his knee incident , did not do this.
    Charlie should not be advising Jimmy to go to the NFL.
    So-salary caps are in the talking. Who the hell can’t live on 300,000 grand? ( that’s the rumored salary cap for the year after next in the NFL) and I dont’ really care for NFL football.
    I want the Irish Men to do well-other than that-It is nothing to me.
    As for Notre Dame being poorly run, that starts at the top with the President, the AD, and the coaching staff which is out of sync.
    Bad decisions indeed-in play calls-no improvement on defense and these people think they are above it all.
    I think we need to clean house and start fresh—with the exception of Ron Pawlus–brand new staff altogether that understands ND.
    The house of Cards has fallen–and it may take until 2012 to fix it.
    I hope I am wrong!
    I know one thins
    YOU Power run the ball are right on a lot of things!
    ( and it KILLS me because I live in Buckeye town of Columbus, Ohio and the OSU media and fans bash ND at least 3 times a week. I am sick of it. I am sick for ND and sick of Ohio State.
    WHERE ARE THE ARA’s and HolT
    like people of our day?)
    BTW, I am cheering FOR Oregon in the Rose Bowl for obvious reasons.)

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  • Chris commented on December 7th, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Kelly or Bust. The fact an attorney is making this call is scary. A total 180 next year IF they hire Brian Kelly. Dont screw it up ND!

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    bleednd82 replied on December 8th, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Chris:

    I like Kelly but I have heard just about 100x that Stoops has signed a contract. It’s a very hot topic amongst everyone in South Bend. I dont know what to think other than Stoops saying he was not coming here but coaches deflect all the time and stretch the TRUTH. I’m guess Kelly is our next head coach.

    He seems pretty good fit for us also. We have a favorable schedule next year also.

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    Irisheye62 replied on December 8th, 2009 at 2:54 am

    An attorney??
    What is THAT all about???
    I haven’t heard that one.
    Hmmm.
    Enlighten me.
    BTW, Stoops , Kelly
    Can Stoops win the big one???
    Is Kelly great or did Cincinnati have a Cinderella year?
    The Florida match up will be entertaining.
    Things that make you wonder.
    Still, with Kelly—
    will they have to wait until January after that Bowl game to announce it if it IS Kelly?
    I am calling a hotline psychic!!! LOL

    [Reply]

  • Tom commented on December 8th, 2009 at 1:10 am

    bleednd82:

    Obviously, you are illiterate. That’s too bad. You can’t understand what you wrote. I don’t start arguments but when someone as idiotic as you make dumbass statements, It’s hard to resist. You are an idiot. You don’t know a damn thing about football or ND so quit trying.

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    bleednd82 replied on December 8th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Tom:

    There you go again. Calling me names. I understand what I wrote. I just dont understand what you wrote. This is why I asked you. You have become defensive and have decided to call me names, curse, and prove my point.

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  • Nathan commented on December 10th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Those of you who don’t think we should go to a bowl are full of it. Why not send Tate out in style and with back to back bowl game wins? It doesn’t make sense, don’t we need the extra practices? I never thought I’d see ND decline a bowl bid…I don’t agree with the decision. We Are…ND!

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