September 2, 2009 // Notre Dame Football

IBG – The Season is Here Edition

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah, the season is here and so is this year’s Irish Blog Gathering .  This week’s host is Domer Law Blog. Here is my take on this week’s questions.

1. 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 had a couple ideas for this, but I’ll save them for later in the season.  The Final Countdown to me really signifies this team heading into the season because it’s now or never time for Weis and a bunch of players on this team.  At the same time, it could be the final countdown for Weis if Notre Dame can’t capture the same magic they had in 2005 this season.

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

ibg-week1-full

Photo - Icon SMI

Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I hope this picture exemplifies the team’s attitude this year.  I can’t wait for this season to get underway because I think there is a chance that Notre Dame will shock the world (I need to see some results before fully buying into that thought though).

I hope the team is tired of hearing about how weak the schedule is, how bad they were last year, and how they have no chance against USC and comes out with some fire this year.

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

Aside from the obvious weaknesses – the offensive and defensive lines – I’ll venture out a bit here and say the team’s killer instinct, or its lack there of is the biggest weakness.  Last year Notre Dame had chances to blow teams out and couldn’t close them out – see Stanford and Navy.  Other times Notre Dame had comfortable leads that they blew all together – see Syracuse, North Carolina, and Pitt.  This team had chances to win games last year, but lacked the killer instinct to put teams away.

Notre Dame will have opportunities to put teams away this year.  Will they be able to as they did Hawaii? Or, will Notre Dame let teams hang around and occassionaly steal a game from them this year?

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?

I’d like to think Notre Dame has a chance to win a national championship this year, but going from 7-6 and losing to Syracuse to the national champion in one year seems like a major stretch.  I know Lou likes Notre Dame to play in the title game, but I need to see Notre Dame win a couple games convincingly before I feel comfortable about the Irish giving USC a game this year.

If Notre Dame doesn’t lose anyone to the NFL Draft (like Clausen and Tate), I think next year Notre Dame has the talent in place to make a serious run at the title.

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?

When a team has the personnel in place, I think the spread is the most difficult to defend of the three – that’s why it’s become all the rage in college football. Michigan is missing the biggest component to make that offense really dangerous though – the quarterback. Michigan is still a long ways from having all of the pieces in place to make teams really fear their offense.

With that in mind, I’ll say the Pistol will be the most difficult to defend for Notre Dame this year. It’s a little different than anything they’ve seen and Nevada has some solid playmakers. The triple option shouldn’t give Notre Dame much trouble this year with the athleticism Notre Dame has at linebacker and in the secondary.

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

When healthy, I think Jake Locker is the best quarterback Notre Dame will see this year.  He’s got great athleticism put is more than just a running quarterback – he’s got the arm to can hurt defenses too.  Washington would not have gone winless last season if Locker had not gotten hurt and they’ll be a formidable opponent this year with him in the lineup.

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

  1. Overall prediction for wins/losses – 10-3
  2. Projected bowl game and result- Gator Bowl win over Georgia Tech
  3. Predicted final ranking – #12
  4. Best player on the team – Kyle Rudolph
  5. Heisman trophy winner – Tim Tebow
  6. National Champion – Alabama
  7. Prediction for Nevada game, including score – Notre Dame 42, Nevada 21

Comments to this Article

  • Bill Meehan commented on September 2nd, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    just wanted to say 3 things.

    1) my theme for the week has been final countdown. So I love the video choice.

    2) I don’t care if it’s just me and lou on the bandwagon, I’m willing to admit it. I’m buying in. I’m willing to put my chips into the pot pre-flop looking at this team. I WILL be disappointed if we end the season with more than 1 loss. I WILL be disappointed if we lose to USC, and not like screw USC disappointed I mean like how did syracuse win disappointed (maybe not the same magnitude).

    3) I think it’s very telling that we have the #1 recruit come in and he can’t crack the 1st string by the end of camp. USC gets the #1 QB and he’s declared the starter w/ 2 weeks to go in camp. I’m not saying Manti’s not living up to expectations by any means. I’m saying that the other guys are better than they get credit for.

    [Reply]

  • chris 2 commented on September 3rd, 2009 at 12:08 am

    That’s a great point about teo. Looking forward to this season with cautious optimism. College football!!!! Go ND!!!

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  • newportbeachirish commented on September 3rd, 2009 at 5:22 am

    So 10-2, with bowl win? Depending on who the 2 are, BCS would be the most likely bowl win, not Gator (esp. since no more Big East tie in).

    [Reply]

    Frank Vitovitch replied on September 3rd, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I was thinking more 9-3 regular season with the win over GT in the Gator Bowl.

    If ND is 10-2, I don’t see a BCS bowl unless the schedule turns out to be a lot tougher than everyone thought.

    [Reply]

    irishspartan replied on September 3rd, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Frank,

    What games are you predicting the losses coming from (I’m assuming you’re banking on USC edging them again…)

    [Reply]

    Frank Vitovitch replied on September 3rd, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Two games out of Pitt, MSU, and BC.

    BrettS replied on September 3rd, 2009 at 10:23 am

    No. 9-3, with Gator Bowl win, equals a final 10-3 record.

    [Reply]

  • newportbeachirish commented on September 3rd, 2009 at 5:26 am

    Bill, while I am excited about Manti, if any freshman is challenging at positions other than specialists (read: wr, specialty teams, etc), we have much bigger problems. Speed of the game and size/strength alone dictate at least a one year curve. Even for USC.

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  • Shazamrock commented on September 3rd, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Billboard BS. Former players chip in to send Charlie a message via a Billboard in South Bend. Hey,It’s a free country where even idiots are allowed to speak there feeble minds. Talk is that it puts Charlie on the hot seat. If the guy doesn’t win every game he’s on the hot seat. If he does, then the rumors that he’s heading off to the NFL pop up. However you look at it, it underminds our recruiting efforts. Nice work guys. Maybe some good can come of it. Maybe it will provide extra modivation. With friends like these who needs enemies?

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  • C-Dog commented on September 3rd, 2009 at 10:41 am

    1. Theme: Silent Storm, Here Come the Irish!!
    2. Picture – if I could find one of Zorich, Pritchett, Stamms, Stonebreaker…
    3. biggest weakness – that Lou isn’t there to fire them up. They need to keep those fires stoked every secodn of every game until January.
    4. Next year. Assuming Tenuta and Brown stay, the defense next year could be scary.
    5. Any of thsoe are difficult. They depend on quickness and speed so the problems increase if the team executing is quick.
    6. Locker – agreed, with the new coach, he could be Washington’s version of Brady Quinn.
    7 Predicitons:
    Win / loss – 12-1 ( I have to predict on how I think they should do. ) Any letdown’s and you could add 2 to three losses.
    Bowl Game – How about an Orange Bowl Win over Ga Tech.
    Final Ranking – 6th
    Best Player – Better be an offensive lineman
    Heisman winner – don’t care unless it’s an ND player
    National Champ – don’t care unless it’s ND
    Nevada game prediction – ND 45 : Nevada 14

    [Reply]

  • bleednd82 commented on September 3rd, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I am going to take this season one game at a time.

    ND vs. Nevada

    MVP O – Jimmy C (+300 yards passing 3 Td’s)
    MVP D – Brian Smith (12 Tackles 1 sack)or could be entire secondary.

    Side Note: ND will rush for more than 150 yards.

    Final Score
    ND 45 : Nevada 20

    [Reply]

  • Chris commented on September 3rd, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I see a storm brewing in the Irish this year – aint gonna be no losses even to USC – this is the year and we will see the edge of the stormfront a comin’ September 5 – ND 38 Nevada 10.

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  • chief joseph commented on September 3rd, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    if the irish don’t come out with a lot of electricity and sting like bees,then it could be another ho hum season.

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  • Sean commented on September 3rd, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    I agree with “bleednd82″ we need to focus on what is directly in front of us. But since we aren’t the ones on the practice field preparing for the Wolfpack, WE can afford to seek the future… That being said, I don’t know how you guys count the Irish out of contention against USC. Winning is impossible without a positive attitude. USC is a tremendous opponent, sure. And the Irish are coming out of a couple of poor season, I hear you. But beating USC has to start somewhere! Why not this year!?!? Lets do it! GO IRISH! BEAT TROJANS! I want blood!

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  • elkona commented on September 4th, 2009 at 1:16 am

    3 losses is consensus among the fan blogs, tho SBT pegs 4. These are safe predictions based on recent history, but I bet the owners of them will be revising up (or down) based on results of the first 3 games and USC. Herbstreit thinks the UM game is the “hump day” of our schedule, but I don’t see UM being as much of a challenge as Nevada. UM is getting its ass kicked by its hometown paper and the players are tattling on RichRod. Ann Arbor is a basketcase and probably a lost cause. If we defeat Nevada and Michigan, then win AT

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  • elkona commented on September 4th, 2009 at 1:20 am

    Sparta, the fan blogs will be arguing NC. If we then lose to USC but play gamely, they’ll argue that we should go BCS. If we then lose to USC but look inferior, we’re headed for 3 losses. All I’m saying is we won’t know til after game 3. As usual fans should be geared up for MSU more than any other game, and lose the fixation w/ Michigan. I can see us losing 1 game or, like the fan blogs, as many as 4 if Jimmy doesn’t make the jump to light speed that Brady did as a junior and the defense fails us.

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  • Scott commented on September 5th, 2009 at 2:38 am

    It all comes down to how the defense makes game changing plays. If the D can make some big plays and consistently stop opposing offensive drives, that will pave the way for the hyped O to score some points. I’ve watched every game for the last seven years(youngin I know) and feel like a strong defensive performance is needed for ND success this season. The Irish are somewhat young, however they are talented and have good depth at most positions and I am excited that this will prove to be important in turning into productivity. Speed and athleticism dominate the future for ND and the future is NOW!!! GO ND, beat the Pack!!!

    [Reply]

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