This week’s Irish Blog Gathering is hosted by its founder, Subway Domer.
1. Regardless of what you may have heard and what may happen, what do you think should be the fate of Charlie Weis? Please give an explanation in detail along with a possible replacement if you said… FIRED. No Urban Meyer bullshit here. He’s not coming. Get over it.
This is a tough question for me to answer because I’ve been a big Charlie Weis fan since his opening press conference and have kept confidence in him over the last two seasons. That said, I lost a lot of that confidence at about 6:30 pm last Saturday as I was walking out of Notre Dame Stadium. I think this weekend’s game will tell us what the fate of Charlie Weis should be. If Notre Dame comes out and plays with fire and emotion and somehow pulls off the miracle upset, then I think it’s safe to say that Weis should be back next year. If we come out and USC puts an ’85 Miami style beating on Notre Dame, well then I think it’s safe to say what Weis’s fate will likely be.
I will hold off any possible replacements in the event that a change is made.
2. Recruiting. Colin Cowherd has been murdering the recruiting services and Notre Dame. He thinks that the recruiting services rank Irish recruits higher than what they should be because of a marketing plan. Everyone else on the outside is falling in line with this thought. What are your opinions? Please explain and provide a solution.
First off, Colin Cowherd is a complete idiot. He only exists because he makes sensational claims and really has very few original thoughts. All he does is take a “stance” on a controversial subject and then goes off on it and pretends to be an expert. Cowherd, who has killed Notre Dame the past two seasons is the same shock jock who called Charlie Weis the smartest guy in the world next to Socrates.
That said, Cowherd should be seen as entertainment only and not news. He knows very little about recruiting so he made up a claim that they overrate Notre Dame recruits. I guess they also make up the offers that these kids get from other top notch schools. Clausen was recruited by everyone. Ditto for the likes of Sam Young, Michael Floyd, Ethan Johnson, Steve Filer, Kyle Rudolph, Mike Ragone, and many more Notre Dame players.
While recruiting rankings are very subjective, a kid’s offer list is not. If a kid has offers from schools like USC, Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, etc he is a legit prospect. Notre Dame’s last three classes are full of such players and the one being formed now does as well.
3. I (Subway Domer) made a comparison in a poorly written post about this team mirroring the 2004 team. I generally don’t like doing comparisons to other years, but I felt it was valid. What is your take? Is the 2008 version of ND like the 2004 team, and do you think the 2009 team could have similar results to the team in 2005?
The 2008 and 2004 comparisons are very fair because both teams had a lot of young talent and lost a lot of games to teams that they should have never lost to. In 2004 it was Boston College, Pitt, and BYU. This year its Boston College, Pitt, and Syracuse. Both seasons should not have been anywhere near as bad as they were and both had similar problems – offenses that couldn’t sustain offense, lack of a running game, inconsistent special teams, under manned and overmatched defenses.
The schedule in 2009 certainly looks favorable and could lead to a 2005 type season, but after some of the losses this year I question if it’s possible with the current staff.
4. Is Michael Floyd the Notre Dame team MVP? Why? If not, who then?
Floyd has been huge, but I think Golden Tate has been even more valuable as a receiver because he almost single handily beat SDSU and was the only reason we were in the Michigan State and Syracuse games. Tate has made big play after big play this year. The third and longs against MSU and Pitt, the touchdowns against Syracuse, the long bombs against Michigan, etc. For a converted running back, he has turned into an outstanding receiver this year and should only get better with more seasoning.
5. What is Notre Dame’s biggest problem schematically and mentally?
The biggest problem schematically is that the offense changes too much. One week it’s run, run, run. The next its pass, pass, pass. The offense never really developed an identity this year and because of that the offensive line never developed the mentality to be able to run the ball consistently. The blocking schemes for the offensive line are also poor. We haven’t been having trouble running the football due to a lack of talent at either the line or in the backfield, but rather from blocking schemes which do not account for all defenders. There have been many instances this year where we’ve had offensive linemen 7 or 8 yards down field looking to block when a play was blown up in the backfield because of unaccounted for defenders.
6. Notre Dame is a 30 point underdog to USC. It’s safe to say that none of us thought that ND would ever be that big of an underdog in this rivalry game. Your thoughts and please include a prediction for the game.
I honestly never though we would be in this situation after the 2005 USC game. It’s shocking and depressing that we are now a 30+ point underdog to USC with the line continuing to rise. That means even with such a large point spread, people are still putting their money on USC. I would love to say that I think we will come out and give USC a game but after the last 4 weeks I don’t know how anyone can do that with a straight face. I think the game will be competitive for a quarter or so, but USC will turn it on in the second quarter and will end up winning this one comfortably. If we only scored 23 on Syracuse at home, I don’t know how we will score much more than 10-14 on USC. My prediction is USC 49, Notre Dame 14.