January 15, 2008 // Notre Dame Football

Bruce Feldman Has a Short Memory

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Bruce Feldman from ESPN has been doing some college football “year in review” type articles over at ESPN.com the past week or so and today came out with one featuring the “biggest disappointments and most dubious moments of 2007“. As you can probably have guessed, our beloved Irish earned a place on his list (rightfully so).

3. The Notre Dame offense: Starting with the failed spread experiment against Georgia Tech, the Irish O was shockingly inept. Despite having an All-American-caliber tight end (John Carlson) and a couple of returning starters on the O-line — including a three-year starter at center (John Sullivan) — to go with a host of hyped young skill talent, ND ranked dead last in Division I-A in total offense, 116th in scoring offense, 115th in rushing offense and 110th in passing. The 3-9 Irish also lost to Navy for the first time in 44 games.

Also on the list was Dennis Dixon’s knee injury, the FSU academic scandal, Dennis Franchione’s newsletter, and USC’s historic upset loss to Stanford. You know what wasn’t on the list though? Michigan’s embarrassing loss to Division 1AA Appalachain State. If USC’s loss to Stanford made the list, how in the hell did Michigan’s not find a home amongst the 10 biggest disappointments and dubious moments of 2008? At least USC loss to a division 1a school (barely). Michigan lost at home, on opening weekend to a team that should have been able to beat with their second string.

Back to Feldman’s comments on Notre Dame though. Did he actually make it sound like we were overflowing with experience on the offensive side of the ball? What he failed to mention was that despite having an All-American caliber tight end in Carlson, we had to start 3 OL who never saw any meaningful minutes prior to 2007, 2 new wide receivers, a new running back, and a new quarterback. Not exactly a recipe for success. To be fair however, there was more than enough talent to be ranked much higher than 116th in scoring offense and dead last in total offense.

I’ll give Feldman credit for having Notre Dame on his list of 10 teams that will make the biggest jumps in 2008.

On the bright side, the Irish did play a bunch of true freshmen, 11 in all. Linebackers Kerry Neal and Brian Smith were solid, as was NT Ian Williams and WR Duval Kamara. WR-KR Golden Tate flashed some much-needed big-play potential and QB Jimmy Clausen got a ton of experience. The Irish do lose a handful of key seniors, most notably DE Trevor Laws, their best player, and TE John Carlson. Still, Clausen should be better as Charlie Weis talked about him bulking up. His outside receivers will benefit from the added experience. And if Clausen doesn’t get better fast, then incoming freshman Dayne Crist may overtake him. Even though the Irish O-line loses three-year starting center John Sullivan, it should be improved from the dismal showing in 2007, when they looked bewildered every time they faced a blitz. Another big plus: The schedule is lighter. The Irish trade Georgia Tech for San Diego State; UCLA for Washington; Air Force for Syracuse and Penn State for Pitt, meaning they lose four bowl teams and get back none.

Comments to this Article

  • robert t. gilleran commented on January 15th, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    frank,

    1. there has never been anything wrong with feldman’s memory.

    2. he, along with ivan maisel, and a few others at the the espn.com have intentionally and illegally been using disney corporate funds to bash notre dame to to pimp for usc since 2002 with the specific intent of driving recruits away from notre dame and to usc.

    3. well, their tactics are not working in 2008 and, like their former associate at the espn.com, trev alberts, feldman and his nd bashing associates at the espn.com will not have jobs there, or anywhere, much longer.

    4. you put it best in that immortal article that you wrote before the 2005 notre dame/pitt game “The good, the bad, and the espn.”

    5. neither of us will be tempted to throw our tvs against the wall when the espn announcers speak about notre dame much longer.

    6. if anyone thinks that recruits are no longer falling for the usc pimping and nd bashing of feldman, maisel, and a few other jerks at the espn in 2008 just by accident and not because we exposed the truth about what they were doing, they are incredibly naieve or dishonest or both.

    keep up the great work,

    bob gilleran

    [Reply]

  • bleednd82 commented on January 15th, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    It is odd that the Michigan loss is not #1. Most Espn analysts said it was the greatest upset ever in college football. I think feldmans list was not all that bad. He had valid points about 07 ND and he is right about 08 looking a lot better.

    [Reply]

  • Wake Up Bob! commented on January 16th, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Bob:

    Why wouldn’t people want to attack you personally? You post your same lists all over the internet, yet never say anything new. There’s no reason to even read them anymore because you know it’s all some twist on:

    -Charlie is truly an offensive genius and will turn around the Irish(despite his pathetic, last in the NCAA offense and the fact that the Patriots have flourished after ND was suckered into hiring, then extending him. How can this clown motivate his players to work hard, when he can’t even push himself away from the dinner table.)

    -The judges who disbarred me are crooked. (Why haven’t you been reinstated after ten years?)

    -Pete Carroll, Reggie Bush, Urban Meyer etc. are crooked. (Maybe so. Move on. They will not be taken down by some crazy disbarred ex-lawyer.)

    I’m buying the South Bend Tribune because they criticized Charlie. (Sure you are.)

    -The refs are crooked and biased and I am taking care of it. (More craziness)

    -I’m taking all you posters to court. (Sure you are. Bring it on, loser.)

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on January 17th, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Fault finding is the most common unskilled labor. “he can’t even push himself away from the dinner table.” 007 I’ll bet your a poster boy for speedo. Where do we send the DEPENDS. Just a short diatrabe.

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on January 17th, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    That’s Diatribe! Sorry for the typo. This sight certainly is not hypercritical.

    [Reply]

  • tg104072 commented on January 26th, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    I say let this guy be!! All we are doing is feeding the fire. ND has and always will be a place people like Mr. Feldman like to take cheap shots at when we are down. I’m just curious to see what this literary genius will have to say once we are back on top. I’m guessing he will say the Irish are over rated, play a weak schedule, etc. and I for one can live with that coming from a guy like him.

    [Reply]

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