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