Jimmy Clausen Heisman Watch

Jimmy Clausen has thrust himself into the heart of the Heisman debate with three straight fourth quarter comebacks.

Welcome to UHND’s Heisman Watch. We are now five games into the season and Jimmy Clausen has firmly planted himself as one of the top three Heisman candidates in country according to most college football pundits. And while Clausen is arguably the best quarterback in the nation statistically, the life of this column, his invitation to New York City and receipt of the greatest individual trophy in sports rests on his performance and the outcome of the matchup between Clausen’s 4-1 Irish team and #7 USC on October 17th.

According to The Heisman Pundit, one of the foremost authorities on the Heisman Trophy, there are four candidates who still realistically have a chance to win the award. This week, we’ll compare those candidates up to this point in the season.

2009 Heisman Watch Statistics

Att Comp Pct Yards YPG (Rank) Yds/Att TD (Rank) Int Rating (Rank) Rush Yds Rush TD Sagarin SOS
Jimmy Clausen 148 100 67.6 1544 308.8 (6) 10.4 12 (7) 2 179.3 (1) -45 0 36
Jacory Harris 112 69 61.6 1008 252.0 (24) 9.0 8 (32) 5 151.9 (24) -61 1 1
Colt McCoy 145 103 71.0 1145 286.2 (12) 7.9 9 (21) 5 151.0 (25) 61 1 90
Tim Tebow 68 44 64.7 643 160.8 (NR) 9.5 5 (56) 1 170.3 (3) 271 5 107

Florida and Texas are the top two teams in the country and Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy are the best players on their teams. The Heisman Trophy mission is to present the award the most outstanding player in college football. While a healthy Tebow might be considered one of the best college football players of all-time, 2009 has not been healthy for Tebow and his strength of schedule is abominable with bouts against Sun Belt foe Troy and high school Division II opponent Charleston Southern.

McCoy’s candidacy seems more like a career achievement award and if the statistical trend continues as it has, then awarding McCoy the trophy would only diminish the integrity of the award.

Jacory Harris is an intriguing candidate because his team has played the toughest schedule in the country thus far, opening the season against four ranked teams. The last team to open a season with four ranked opponents was Notre Dame in 2000. But in Miami’s only loss against Virginia Tech, Harris was 9-for-25 (36%) for 150 yards and an interception – certainly not a Heisman-type performance.

Which is why Clausen’s performance against USC is so critical. In 2005, in a losing effort, Brady Quinn vaulted himself into Heisman consideration with a performance against Southern Cal leading the Irish on a go-ahead touchdown drive and scoring himself with just over two minutes to go in the game. Quinn’s numbers were a little better than average in that game, but it was his poise and leadership that got him the attention. Clausen already has four, fourth quarter, go-ahead drives this season (Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Washington). He has also been playing while battling turf toe since the Michigan State game. If Clausen can produce like he has all season, especially if the Irish win, he is in the driver’s seat for the trophy. If Clausen struggles like Harris did against Virginia Tech or if the Irish get blown out, this column will die along with Clausen’s Heisman chances.

Taking a look around the national media this week, I’ve gathered the following Heisman coverage.

Jon Saunders said on today’s College Football Live on ESPN that Colt McCoy is his number one candidate so far. He said his problem with Clausen is that their schedule is not strong enough to get him the trophy. As noted above, Clausen’s strength of schedule is 36 and McCoy’s is 90. Also on College Football Live, the following analysts gave their votes.

  • Kirk Herbstreit’s leading candidates – 1. Clausen, Notre Dame; 2. Gerhart, Stanford; 3. McCoy, Texas
  • Trevor Matich’s leading candidates – 1. Clausen, Notre Dame; 2. Tebow, Florida; 3. McCoy, Texas; 4. Harris, Miami; 5. Pike, Cincinnati
  • Desmond Howard’s leading candidates – 1. McCoy, Texas; 2. Tebow, Florida; 3. Pike, Cincinnati; 4. Harris, Miami; 5. Gilyard, Cincinnati
  • ESPN’s Heisman Experts Poll – A 15 person panel of college football experts currently has Tebow, McCoy and Clausen topping the list.
  • The Heisman Pundit Poll – The Heisman Pundit Heisman Poll consists of 13 Heisman voters and submits their opinions if the vote were held today. The top three are Tebow, McCoy and Clausen. Irish wide receiver Golden Tate earned a few votes as well.
  • Sports Illustrated Heisman Watch – Gene Menez of Sports Illustrated and his weekly watch list has Tebow, Clausen and McCoy.
  • CBS Sports Heisman Hopefuls – A panel of five pundits give their Heisman picks and the overall consensus has Clausen, Tebow and Pike.
  • Sporting News Heisman watch – Matt Hayes of the Sporting News has Clausen outside the top three
  • Winners & Losers – Tom Dienhart of Rivals has Tebow, McCoy and Clausen.
  • Sports Illustrated on Clausen’s Heisman chances – Steward Mandel discusses the Heisman.
  • CBS Sports on Clausen and the Irish – Dennis Dodd takes a look at Clausen’s performances so far and the Irish showdown against the Trojans.
  • ESPN: Clausen should stay at ND – Joe Theismann tells ESPN Radio he thinks Clausen should stay for his senior year.

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  1. This blog needs to be updated! Claussen has passed Tebow this week on ESPN’s Heisman watch. He is ahead by 2 votes and #2…..

    1. Yeah, whats up with this blog?

      What’s this lying around shit?
      Neidermyer,.. he’s a dead man, Marmalard…dead!
      Who’s with me?
      LETS GO!

  2. Finally USC fans can go into a game against TOUCHDOWN JESSUS (N.D) and expect a contest i hope? I don’t want to start on my HONEY DO LIST at half time like the last couple of years. N.D has been OUTSCORE 76-03

  3. I think this is or best shot at USC in the last 7 yrs for 2 major reasons: Notre Dame’s Offense and USC’s Offense. Our offense is making it happen and if we can just put some points on the board AT HOME AGAINST USC, I don’t think little Matt Barkley will know what to do. He’s just a Freshman and we need to take advantage of it.

    Yes, I think Joe McKnight is going to be a BIG player in this game, but if we can rattle this Freshman just a little bit, our offense will do the rest. Clausen, Tate, Allen, Rudolph, Hughes, even Evans (who showed signs of big things) know what to do with the football. It should only take a few plays to get under Barkley’s skin and we can capitalize on that.

    Now, I don’t expect a blow-out by ND because it is still USC, but I do expect a win. Something like 38-31. GO IRISH!

  4. Bleed – You really need to put your big girl panties on – it is really unbecoming of you. I am simply saying the D has to suck it up and come out and play for crying out loud. Have you not noticed the Irish D is giving up like 400 yards a game??? Without a staunch D – its gonna be a long game against SC. Live in the present man!!!

    1. i think all he was saying is enough negativity already. it gets old. its fine on sundays, but then we move on to the next opponent and support our team, esp. this week. we are not blind or choose to be. we know our weaknesses, but we all know our strengths as well. i just hope you are not upset because you claimed that our defense was going to be the good suprise this year, even after nevada. i think you might need to put your big girl panties on – difference is, it is becoming of you.

      1. Nepachris – You know you’re right I am still smarting that the D has not lived up to expectations. And Bleed – that was a bit uncharitable of me. Sorry. I did say there was a storm front forming in South Bend and I still believe that. I guess it is just a slower moving front. There is nothing I would like better than to see an Irish defense take the field with a real nasty attitude this Saturday. I would love to look at my friends with beer in hand and yell about the Irish D “Who are these guys and where have they been all season!” I truly believe that is what it will take for a win in 3 days. After too many years of hanging onto that hope to see the Irish rise once more – I am hoping really hoping for just another glimpse of past glory on the gridiron in South Bend this weekend! A win here which is needed for all of us is long overdue and will I think serve to take the Irish to an 11-1 record. GO IRISH!

  5. one thing that i do not want to deal with saturday is the piss-poor attempt of play-by-play commentating of a former usc qb and his curly haired step brother. so, please, if anyone knows where i can listen to the game while i watch it(i.e. web site, radio, etc.), let me know. please, i can’t take those idiots anymore! i swear all they talk about is the other team. i want some commentators with some bias and emotion/pulse.

  6. Chris I hope they are tears of Joy and not your sad pathetic attempt at continuing to being negative week in – week out being a “critical” fan of the team. Great fan base like I always say.

    1. i couldn’t agree more. i think we, as fans, need to believe as much as the players and the student body.

      damn, i wish i was there on campus this week. i was there in 2005 and it was electric. i loved walking everywhere with matt’s face beneath my feet! i love the “we believe” writings on the sidewalks.

      i, for one, believe in the players and can not wait for saturday.

      1. Nep’r
        Check out this quote from Pete Carroll

        Silencing the crowd
        By Ben Malcolmson on October 5, 2009 3:47 PM
        For the second time this season, USC quieted a raucous away crowd en route to a strong win on the road.
        Wins like Saturday’s 30-3 victory go a long way in developing confidence and a strut about the Trojans as they head toward the midpoint of the 2008 season, one that includes three more challenging road games.
        “We are in charge of the energy and noise in a stadium,” Coach Carroll said. “We own it.”
        If they are looking for trouble,they have come to the right place !

      2. i know, i read that somewhere along with barkley talking about jc’s attitude. i know matt was trying to compliment jc but to bring up this “attitude” of his? plus HIS arrogance saying jc will get a taste of his defense! shit like that lights a fire under the ass of opposing teams defense. i hope these quotes are everywhere the team can see.

        for everything being said about this southern cal defense, what have they faced so far?? san jose st and washington state, enough said. ohio state and cal which are very one dimensional teams, take away the run and they are screwed. the only team that could run and pass beat them.

  7. If he were not a Notre Dame player getting the hype that goes with that Clausen would not be in the top 5. The qb at Central Michigan is a better qb. Oh well since it is unlikely that most posting here were even born when the Irish last won a national championship the fervor is phoney.

    I visited South Bend in June. A nice campus but the city looks pretty bad.

    USC as usual will bring damers back to the reality that their coach is clueless and, their tradition is meaningless now. This is the BEST chance Notre Dame will have to beat USC for at least 3 years.

    Know why Notre Dame keeps losing to Boston College?—-BC has better Christians.

  8. I have notice how NO ONE is CRYING about the PUSH by ND on the WASHINGTON GAME by half of the Nd offensive line ? I guess thats OKAY because it favored TOUCHDOWN JESSUS (N.D). So next time i read how illegal the push by reggie bush was, REMEMBER THE WASHINGTON GAME. prediction USC WINS BY 10

  9. killing me here…….Irish are 10 points underdogs for SC – they havent covered the spread all year so maybe theres hope. Unless the defense of the Irish totally reinvent themselves there will be a lot of watered down beers this Saturday from all the tears from the loss…..you would think we could win one against the University of Spoiled Children one of these years…if not – we aint gonna be happy campers! GO IRISH!

  10. The SAD case for ND is that if they can’t defeat USC this year , they will never have a better opportunity in Weis’s era.

  11. With the team on a “Bye” this week I decided to watch Boston College vs Virgina Tect. Man, did BC look bad. Flat, unmotivated, weak. I doubt very seriously that this is the same team that will show up in South Bend in a couple of weeks. Florida vs LSU. BORING. Pitt vs UCONN.BORING. Mich vs Iowa. All I can say is we truly do get everyone’s best effort.
    This had to be the most boring weekend of college football that I have witnessed in a long time. Bring back the Cardiaic Kids. Come from behind wins. Last minute drives. Game changing plays. Goal line stands. Now that’s entertainment!

  12. It is interesting to see how some fans digress here and there and what not. STRICTLY speaking, isn’t the Heisman about the best PLAYER in college football? AS someone posted before NOT necessarily the best TEAM loaded with talent? Clausen is nothing less than amazing.
    If Clausen continues he will surely be making a trip to New York.
    The Media, however, is in LOVE with Tim Tebow.
    He is a great athlete, leader, he has charisma and all.
    I wish him well. Jimmy is still in prime position to continue to lead this team for another year.
    The fact is ANYONE up for the Heisman needs help from the entire team to win and enhance the win factor and thus the overall voting for the award.
    LEt us not forget–NOTHING from Notre Dame was even considered for anything at the beginning of the season. ESPN and some media are biased and hate ND. That is THEIR problem. Let Jimmy get it done on the field–results speak for themselves. He can only continue to improve!
    ( A lot of improvement from the defense would be nice for Clausen and the blood pressure factor as well!)

  13. I to am really proud of JC. But he does need a solid win against a team like U$C.. I mean he has really shown guts so far.. No question he is a leader But for him to win the Heisman and not get robbed of it, I think it has to come down to winning the rest of their games. and watching his interceptions

  14. Actually, I’d rather see JC win out the rest of his games. The Heisman has
    been a curse, a burden, as well as an over-rated, unfair, popularity contest, that rarely goes to the “best college football athelete” in the nation. If you are a great player from a smaller or less popular school you can forget it, no matter what kind of numbers or acheivements you may have. It’s a sham.

    1. The Heisman is somewhat of popularity contest and I haven’t completely agreed with all of the recent winners, but to say it’s overrated and unfair is a bit of a stretch. There is a reason these so-called “great” players end up at small schools and not at the Notre Dame’s, Florida’s , Texas’, etc. of the college football world. Becuase if you put them on those teams and that stage, they’re not that good. THAT’S why good players at small schools don’t get notice.

      No offense, but a GREAT player at Indiana St. is still not as good as Notre Dame’s 2nd string. You can’t just base things solely on numbers, which is what I think you may be basing your statement on. You have to look at the competition level. A 4,000 yd passer at Indiana St is not even close to the same as a 4,00 yd passer at Notre Dame, or any other top-50 D-1 school. Hell, even a 3,000 yd passer at a D-1 school is better than that. Like I said, I haven’t agreed with all the Heisman winners, but if they start basing it solely on who put up the biggest numbers, regardless of the competition, then the Heisman would be, as you put it, “a sham.”

      1. Well money talks. When the NFL comes calling, a guy like Joe Flacco becomes, a much better investment than say a JaMarkus Russell.
        That’s Dellaware over LSU. Russell won because he was from LSU.
        He was in the SEC, and was on TV every week. Nobody saw Dellaware play.
        Most Heisman winners bomb at the next level.

      2. I don’t discount that Heisman Trophy winners bomb at the next level. But guess what…the Heisman Trophy is given the best COLLEGE player, not the best potential NFL star. Troy Smith played great the year he won the Heisman, but everyone knew he wasn’t going to equate to an NFL QB, but that’s fine because when viewed as a COLLEGE QB, he was great. Tim Tebow is going to be a dud in the NFL unless he changes positions, but when viewed as COLLEGE QB, he’ll go down as one of the best.

        If you look at Flacco’s college numbers, he souldn’t be considered for a Heisman, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be a good NFL QB, it just means he wasn’t the best COLLEGE QB out there. So now you’ve changed the meaning of the Heisman as well. No longer does it go to the Best College Football player (which I don’t always agree with the winner, but I do agree with candidates), but now it goes to the player most likely to have a promising NFL career. Now THAT would be a “sham.”

        By the way, Russell didn’t win the Heisman and “Dellaware” is actually spelled DELAWARE.

      3. All I’m saying is that the award is supposed to go to the best college player reguardless of position or school. period.
        You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that in modern times, that it will always go to someone who plays for a major college program.(with TV & Media coverage)
        History has proven that some outstanding players, with comparable numbers, from smaller programs were intensionally passed over so they could promote their dog and pony show with only high profile players from major conferences.
        The award is not intended for everyone as advertised.
        The only ones who have changed the meaning of the Heisman are the members of the
        Downtown Athletic Cub and the media.
        The only player from a small school to even come close to winning in modern times is the late Steve McNair from Alcorn St.
        So if you think this award is still fair for all college players then maybe I can intrest you in some great southern swamp land.
        It has great potential if you’re willing to work around the snakes, gators, bugs, and quicksand. And it is in the Sunshine State!

  15. Beano Cook said tonight on his ESPNU podcast that Clausen would win if he beats USC. Now we all know Beano has never been wrong before about this kind of thing, so take that to the bank.

  16. Herbstreit is the straightest shooting analyst out there. He watches the games and knows what he’s talking about. Desmond Howard can’t possibly support an ND candidate for Heisman, so discount him there. Also, he’s not a serious analyst. (Two candidates from Cincinnati? The committee is not inviting 2 players from the same dang team, especially one that plays in the Big East. Get a clue, Des.) Jon Saunders is out of touch with reality. The SOS numbers speak for themselves. JC is the most deserving candidate but as you say, he won’t stay at the top of the pack unless ND beats SC.

  17. Jimmie needs (and I think he will) to show up for the USC game…and IMO I think he will have to win this game to get some serious consideration for the Heisman. Don’t necessarily agree with it…however that is the reality..

    1. Cliff – It isnt a matter of Jimmy not showing – the defense is busy learning how to friggin tackle 5 games into the season….Weis is also 2-2 coming off bye weeks which suggests he has a problem keeping these kids focused. USC will bring their A game – ND better wake themselves up first on D prior to waking up the echos which have been dormant for far far too long…yeah make an argument for confidence against SC….the key will be the D and they have gone backwards…Washington was definitely two steps back.

      1. At this point in the season, there is not a better quarterback in the country than Jimmy Clausen. But let’s not get down on the defense too much. Granted, they have had some problems tackling lately. But their goal line stands last weekend will be remembered far beyond this season. It should also be remembered that the offense, which in most cases has been rightly described as the strength of this ND team, had to settle for five field goals against Washington. Hardly finishing the deal.

  18. speaking of B.Quinn….hey oakland howas jamarcuss Leif… i mean Russel working out for you!?!!?

    (i am stilled p*ssed at all the so-called “experts” fawning over J.russel on draft day going on and on and on about his arm strength!!!)

    1. I agree with your comments about the “experts” getting all giddy about his arm strength, but…to say they should’ve drafted Quinn instead is a bit of a stretch. I love Brady as much as anyone else, but he has done anything in the NFL to warrant praise. He’s currently the BACK-UP on a not-so-good Cleveland Browns team. If he was putting up numbers and starting, you might have a leg to stand on and say the Raiders should’ve drafted Quinn.

      As for the Jimmy Heisman talks…how is he NOT the front-runner. He’s the only Heisman candidate to play D-1 schools in every game. And last time I checked Troy, Charleston Southern, Louisiana-Monroe, Wyoming, etc. are not power houses (referring to Florida and Texas schedule). Those have not and NEVER will be good. At least ND is playing teams that have some potential and are in BCS conferences. Also, schedules are made 2-3 years in advance, so you can’t fault ND for attempting to make a tough schedule, it just didn’t happen that way. On the other hand, NEVER will Wyoming or Louisiana-Monroe be a threat in football. Jimmy has played notable teams, sure they’re not good this year, but he’s putting up solid “video game” type numbers and they need to be recognized.

      Everyone says look who Jimmy has played, which is fair, but look at who the others have played. Jimmy numbers are astounding when compared because there is no comparison. So what is McCoy, Tebow, and Harris’ excuse. Some of them have played FAR worse teams and the numbers don’t compare.

      The Jimmy Heisman push needs to start.

  19. yeah seriously, JC does not need to come out this year. i mean, he’ll have michael floyd back next year and shaq evans will have had time to have matured into a more polished receiver and serious threat. except for the possibility of golden tate or armando allen leaving early (which i also don’t see as much too worry about), ND’s offensive firepower will be absolutely unmatched with tate, floyd, rudolph, and evans as easily the best receiving corps in the nation, not to mention armando allen having another year to become an even more dangerous running and receiving threat. JC should put up even more ridiculous numbers next year, and easily be a top 10 pick (who hopefully doesn’t slide like quinn did) coming out of charlie weis’s system, and he won’t have to worry about competing with the likes of mccoy and bradford.

  20. i agree Ted, obviously pottential devastating injuries are always a BIG concern when thinking of coming back, but JC seems like he realy wants to deliver on all the hype and promises he had when first arriving.
    i think its safe to say that it is very important to him (and the team in general)to restore ND back to the top of the college football landscape! where they deserve to be!

    **with that being said though, if the QB class was weak and JC was pretty much guarantee’d a top pick, he might have a SLIGHTLY tougher decision to make. thankfully for us, that does not appear to be the case though**

  21. jonnyC, if we go back to when Jimmy C. committed to ND, I believe we will see why he will be back. There will most likely be unfinished business after this year, and I have to believe he will want to be a part of that senior class in ND Football 2010. You are also correct when you bring in the consideration of the QB class for the draft of 2010 compared to 2011. Of course someone could bring up the possibility of an injury but that isn’t what will be considered in the decision.

  22. regardless of how the rest of this year plays out, i think JC should be here for his senior year. The QB class coming out in the 2010 draft is ridiculous!! i think he’d be better served waiting till 2011 (w/hopefully even MORE eye popping stats, and dare i say a national championship under his belt)

  23. I’ve been watching Notre Dame football for 25 years and Clausen is the best QB Notre Dame has had during that time. Forget Quinn, forget Mirer, forget Rice, this is the guy. A pure talent. His accuracy and arm strength are incredible, he’s becoming a real leader, one of those guys who you see on your side and you know you have a pretty good chance to win the game, and…wait for it…he’s as tough as they come. If he thrashes USC and Taylor Mays and ND wins the game, he should be the front-runner for the Heisman. Unfortunately, that will be a very tall order without Floyd. God I wish Floyd was healthy.

    1. Joe- very well said…If we had Floyd I think we win by 14…however without Floyd it will go down the wire (which means I will need to get on heart medicine).

      1. I hope it’s that close. Last year we didn’t belong on the same field as them, but I think the talent level overall has risen this year and the team as a whole is playing with a lot more confidence. So we’ll see. I’d still like to see more Rudolph — I know he’s blocking a lot, but he’s a serious weapon.

  24. I think all Clausen needs to worry about during this bye is SC. If I were CW, I would revoke internet privledges so all he eats, sleeps, and lives for is awakening the Echoes on the field Oct. 17. Heck, while your at it, do the same for the D. Heismen talk early as we all know is speculation and what ifs. Get it done on the field and it will all fall into place later. GO IRISH!!

    1. Gee wizz Beav. If there was one player who you think that you wouldn’t need to worry about being distracted, it’s Jimmy Claussen. He could go out and only throw 10 times, and if his team won, he’d still be happy.
      After the last few games, I’d say he has this “Awakening the Echoes” thing pretty well covered.
      I like yer “git’er done” on the field attitude as well.

    2. one thing that i loved hearing was the fact that j claw “vetoed” weis. weis wanted him to rest this whole week and jimmy said no i want to practice. hopefully this sets the example of “no pain, no gain” for everyone else.

      1. Hey nep’r, I really dig that “j-claw” term. It sounds Superhero-ish. Like a giant bird of prey, in a number 7 Irish jersey. Circling the Golden Dome in an effortless glide. Then swooping down, razor sharp “j” shaped tallons fully extended. His X-RAY vision seeking out some hapeless DB to pounce apon. Soring high above his Stadium kindom, spittin firefootballs, he is the terror of the skies.
        It’s a bird, it’s a plane, NO! IT’S J-CLAW-MAN!
        (sorry…. sometimes I get a little carried away)

      2. i didn’t come up with it though i wish i had. as long as espn didn’t i will always use it. hell i was using it everytime oklahoma let byu’s jclaw thru the line to sack bradford. i kept saying to my girlfriend that they better do something to stop him before sam gets hurt.

        loved your comic book storytelling.

  25. I’m glad for Jimmy. He deserves some recognition. God knows he’s paid his dues over the last few years.
    Now, if we could only find someone to challange for the “Butkus” or Lombardi award!

  26. Win out and we’re talking…..Weis still needs a signature win in 5 years..odds aint good against USC but if Jimmy wins he is definitely in the running top 2.

    1. uhh…#5 michigan, 1st year. like i said many times, i know it wasn’t usc, but that isn’t the only team nd needs to beat to get that espn term “signature win”. and no i do not care that michigan imploded after that. that is out of our control and maybe we had something to do with that implosion.

      why aren’t the “odds” good against usc? if only, for the sake of arguement, we use washington as an equalizer, then i feel damn confident. i won’t state all of the stats between the 3 teams, but if you want me to, i will. i can make a case as to why we should feel confident.

      besides, this is a blog to follow our qb who has to THIS point in THIS season, shown why he is in contention for the heisman. this has nothing to do with his commitment announcement or his 2 years of learning how to be a great college qb with no experience around him like other schools that plug and play. he came in under reconstruction years, along with almost everybody else that is starting, and they sacrificed ALOT. now they have the experience and talent and are showing it and being rewarded for it and all i hear is they don’t deserve it. BULLSHIT!!! i hear it everywhere else and i don’t want to read it here. constructive criticism is fine, but enough is enough.

      1. “Why aren’t the odds good” you ask? How about Carroll knows how to coach and motivate consistantly. USC plays solid football and puts games away on a regular basis. USC also beats most teams they are supposed to beat and beat ranked teams every year. Love the Irish but losing to Syracuse – Pitt – NC – and Navy for the first time like ever kinda supports that. Geez. I will never bet against the Irish – but when strictly talking odds..come on! Getting back on point however should the stars align and Weis develope a good game plan which keeps attacking and not go conservative as he ALWAYS does and should the DB’s decide to show up for a game – I am confident JC can direct us to a win. SC however remains a major monkey on ND’s back and that factor will be on the minds of these players. A win is possible for sure but again strictly speaking – the odds aren’t really there.

      2. motivate consistantly? 1 loss every year to some unknown? he really must keep those kids on the edge! as far as putting people away, i will not argue, but tim tebow’s headache might want a word. syracuse, pitt, unc…i can argue that was immaturity. pitt, wide open floyd for the win, but nerves got the better of the deal that day. unc, INEXPERIENCE=BAD DECISIONS, they were evident everywhere that day. navy, do they ever quit? we did cause we were too young at the skill positions plus playcalling was suspect there.

        i agree that weis needs the killer instinct more than the team does. i was thrilled with hughes’ suspension because he didn’t go over the top and was showing usc that they were not going to be pushed around anymore soon. yes they got their ass wooped, but you can send a message while taking a beating as well. that message being, “YOU WILL BE GETTING WHAT IS COMING TO YOU!”

      3. Yes, I love how USC put away Washington. Oh, my bad. How about the way they put away Stanford? Or the way they put away UCLA?

        Please Carroll is an outstanding coach. He isn’t all that much better than Weis, though. He’s just been there a lot longer and is obviously getting great players to commit to SC. And, frankly, coaching SC is easier than coaching in South Bend.

        Getting back to the point of the blog, Clausen has as good a chance as anyone 5 games into the season. That is where we are: five games into the season. If Clausen continues to play this way — he continues to have the performances we’ve seen these first five weeks — ND will beat Southern Cal and BC and Pitt and Navy and Wash.State and Connecticut and Stanford.

        Will he win the Heisman? I don’t know, but I do know that this kid is playing some incredible football right now. He is completing huge passes. He is inspiring an offensive line. He is working hard — all the time — and is showing exactly why he was the best QB in the country out of hight school.

        I would not want another quarterback.

  27. A Fan, Have you been watching the same games I have been? By your logic why should Tebow be mentioned, who the hell have they played? Last three games Clausen’s come backs have been legendary. I for one am leading the charge for Jimmy. I am not naive enough to think he doesn’t need a great game against SC but that’s not what thet’re talking about for this article. They’re saying, thus far. Go Irish!

  28. Is this a joke. Jimmy needs to beat a team with a winning record first. His stats are good, but I am finding this hard to fathom. Can someone help me out here?

    1. Apparently it’s not a joke since so many pundits and poles have Claussen at the top spot or in the top 3. See above.

      Just like team rankings, it means far more at the end of season then it does mid-way through.

    2. Clausen has been clutch all year long and his stats are amazing. It’s just refreshing to see Most Valuable Players to their team being recognized for the award, not the most hyped players on great teams that are loaded with talent.

    3. he is actually pretty good, can you imagine what he could achieve behind the offensive lines of USC or Florida? his mobility in the pocket behind a mediocre line is a proof of his versatility and creativity…

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