Duranko’s Digest: Ranking ND’s Opponents, Degree of Difficulty

Notre Dame Spring Game 2013
Apr 20, 2013; Notre Dame, IN, USA; The Notre Dame Fighting Irish line up in the first quarter of the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

We play twelve opponents in the regular season.  There is, of course, a hidden, ghastly, unlisted opponent: the ghost of Alabama. Each Saturday, the newspapers will report the result of the Irish fray, and yet, in the air will be the measurement of how we would stack up in a rematch with the Crimson Tide. Get used to it.  It is what it is.

This is not a ranking in order of team quality and relative strength.  This is an attempt to go beyond who we play and to examine WHERE we play them (Home, away or Jerry Jones Stadium) and at what point in their schedule and our schedule we play them. Our premise here is that an evaluation of the difficulty of the GAME, not just the opponent, involves who each team played the prior Saturday, as well as open dates.

We rank them from the easiest tilt  to the most difficult.

(12) Temple, August 31st, Notre Dame Stadium

In 1956, Hal Lear of Temple was the MVP of the NCAA Final Four when San Francisco’s Dons won their second consecutive National Championship.  Since then, Temple athletics have been on a downhill slide.  Despite once having had Bill Cosby play halfback for them, the Owls football history has been as ugly as the North Broad Street neighborhood that is the central artery of their campus.  The Owls were 4-7 in 2012, and Steve Addazio, their head coach, was able to escape to become the head coach at Boston College.  Their head coach is Matt Rhule.  Yes, that Matt Rhule. Springboarding from previous triumphs while serving as an assistant coach with the Albright Lions, the Buffalo Bulls and the Western Carolina Catamounts, Rhule moved on to become the offensive coordinator for Al Golden before becoming the assistant offensive line coach for the Giants in 2012.

The Owls return 8 offensive and 8 defensive starters from last year’s team, and look to bolster the roster with lead recruit Jarron Alwan, a 3 star 6′ 212″ linebacker recruit from Cherry Hill.

They will be playing their first game under a new coach in Notre Dame Stadium against a team that is still smarting from the defeat on January 7th.

(11) Navy, November 2nd, Notre Dame Stadium

While Navy beat Air Force in 2012 and won the Commander in Chief Trophy, AFA might be better.  But we play the game Middies the weak after we play Air Force in Colorado Springs, and will have had an extra week to prepare for academy/option football (okay, the AFA/Navy offense are not clones).  Diaco now has the scheme to defeat the Naval Academy  The Midshipmen return 7 offensive and 6 defensive starters, but if anything, the gap between Navy and Notre Dame has widened since we beat them 50-7 in Dublin.  Remember, Notre Dame had won over 40 in a row over Navy until they hung a couple of losses on ol’ schematic genius.

(10) Air Force Academy, October 26th, Falcon Stadium

This is more difficult than Navy because we play them first, on the road, and because they typically throw the ball better than Navy, though that wasn’t true in 2012. We also play Air Force the week after USC, so there will be an inevitable emotional letdown after the big hullabaloo in South Bend. Granted, the Falcons finished third in the Commander in Chief standings losing to both Army and Navy.  And they lost their Bowl Game to Rice to finish 6-7.

But they do have a week off before they entertain the Irish-at altitude.  Now, the last time they played the Irish, they lost 33-59 to a Notre Dame team that was a mere shadow of the 2013 Notre Dame squad.  Under current coach Troy Calhoun they did trounce the Irish 41-24 in Notre Dame stadium in 2007 when the current Kansas head coach was on the Notre Dame sideline.

(9) Brigham Young. November 23rd, Notre Dame Stadium

The Cougars come into Notre Dame stadium after the Irish’s second off week of the season.  They will be facing a well-rested Irish team which will have the freshmen as fully incorporated into the team as they are going to be.  Think Bryant, Smith, Vanderdoes.  The Cougars did finish 8-5 with a 23-6 Poinsettia Bowl win over San Diego State. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy will anchor another solid Bronco Mendenhall defense, but Ezekiel  Ansah is off to the NFL.  They are all aflutter in Provo over Taysom Hill, but after a few years of playing a healthy Denard Robinson, the Irish will put Hill in his place. By November Hill will have accrued nice numbers against the likes of Middle Tennessee, Houston and Idaho State, but this is a Diaco defense.  And Hill is not Robinson.

(8) Purdue, September 14th, Ross-Ade Stadium

If you predicted that Purdue would take Notre Dame into the final minute and lose by a Kyle Brindza field goal with seven seconds left, raise your hand.  Otherwise, ignore Purdue at your peril. This is a very dangerous spot, as we go to the banks of the Wabash the week after the emotionally-charged nighttime tilt against the dangerous Wolverines in Ann Arbor.  This game is in the dictionary as a definition of “let-down spot.”

Remember after we play Stanford, the regular season is over.

Darrell Hazell, fresh off an 11-3 division championship, season for Kent State’s Golden Flashes is the new head coach for the Boilermakers, replacing Danny Hope. He was named the Mid-American coach of the year. Hazzell was an assistant for six years under Jim Tressell.  Like him or not, Tressell was a magnificent college football coach, and if you need confirmation, just ask any Michigan fan.  Hazzell learned well, and inherited a 5-7 Kent State team from Doug Martin, then matched that record in 2011 before exploding to 11-3 last year, when the Golden Flashes averaged 33 points a game.  Rob Henry is back to play quarterbck for the Boilers, and Bruce Gaston may be a thorn in the Irish OL’s side again.
Don’t sleep on this one.

7) Pitt, November 9th, Ketchup Stadium

Paul Chryst may have settled down the Pitt program after the Wannstedt/Mike Haywood/Todd Graham merry-go-round.  His offensive line is starting to develop the size profile that Chryst had at Wisconsin.  Sunseri graduated and Russell Shell left, but there is an intriguing qb battle between former Rutgers shooting star Tom Savage and Chad Voytik.  The shocking thing about Pitt, the school of Mark Spindler and Hugh Green, is that the defense is woefully undersized at all position s and will have difficulty matching up with the Notre Dame offense.

Chryst started his career 0-2, including a loss against those pesky Penguins of Youngstown State, but Chryst held the team together, and they finished 6-6 before losing a bowl game to Ole Miss.

This is not a bad spot for the Irish, as it follows the two academies and precedes an open date. Pitt has a road game against Georgia Tech the week before we play them. This is probably the best timing “slot” of any game the Irish play all year.Further, given the fact that Pitt has bid farewell to the storied legacy of Goldberg, Cassiano, Stebbins and Chickerneo, and is now a Steelers town, Notre Dame will have a lot of fans in attendance.

(6) MSU, September 21st, Notre Dame Stadium

This is arguably the third best program in the Big X, considering the inconsitency of Nebraska and that Bielema has left Wisconsin.Did you know that Michigan State is 5-3 versus Wisconsin in their last 8 tilts.

A former Irish nemesis, the Spartans have been controlled by the Irish the last two years.  We are their fourth game, following Central Michigan, South Florida and the Mighty Penguins of Youngstown State.  So they can spend some preparation time for us.  But they did lose their best offensive player, Leveon Bell, and their best defender, William Gholston, to the NFL draft. Certainly, Andrew Maxwell is back as the second-year starter, but the receiving corps does not contain the NFL prospects of the last several years.  While you can never take the Spartans for granted we have beaten them by 18 and 17 points the last two years, and we have improved more since last year.

(5) USC, October 19th, Notre Dame Stadium

That dark cloud over Heritage Hall is more ominous that the usual LA smog. It is a growing and voracious pack of buzzards, eager to peck at the carcass of Lane Kiffin.  When last seen on the gridiron, the talent laden Trojans were coming off the Sun Bowl field in El Paso after having extended their  losing streak to three games with an astonishing 21-7 loss to mighty Georgia Tech.  The Trojans were so excited about both 2012 and 2013 that there was a well-documented brawl among team members in the locker room.  Kiffin reacted with typical aplomb, and channeled the Queen of Hearts, decapitating both coordinators including Daddy.

College coaches rearrange deck chairs on their career Titanic by (1) changing coordinators (2) having more physical practices and (3) promising “It’s Different this time!”  There are more future NFL players on the SC roster than ther are on the roster of any other regular season ND opponent.  But coaching matters.  SC arrives after the Irish have an open date.  The Trojans play at ASU, then have an open date, then entertain Arizona before they travel to South Bend.  The Notre Dame coaching staff never makes the same mistake twice, and the hype and diffracted focus that occured in
2011 will not be repeated.

Enjoy this moment, Irish fans.  Haden is no chump; Mike Garrett stuck him with Kiffin on Garrett’s way out the door.  Haden just made a great hire for his basketball coach, (Andy Enfield of Florida Gulf Coast, the giant-slayer) outwitting and out classing UCLA in the process.  Rhodes Scholar Haden has a short list and a big checkbook (fattened by the fact that attendance has dwindled under Kiffin, and the seats must be filled).  His next coaching selection will be a dandy.  And SC will, once again, be SC. And quickly.

(4) Oklahoma, September 28th, Notre Dame Stadium

First the Irish won last year, 30-13, in Norman.  They lost their four year starter at QB. We have our second year starter back and better.  Second, the Sooners struggle on the road. While they beat Florida State in Tallahasee two years ago, they have not rung a lot of big bells away from Norman.  They struggle with physical football teams, losing to Kansas State last year. And they were crushed, 41-13, by A&M in the Cotton Bowl.  Most of their Big XII opponents are pass-happy and do not live in the trenches. We do.

The Sooners have a nice schedule spot as they are off the week before they come to South Bend.  In the last several years, the OU defense has not been of vintage Stoops quality.  They have a deep, and outstanding receiver corps, but who will they get to throw them the ball?.  At this stage, we are simply a better football program than Oklahoma.

There is an X-Factor here.  Stoops, and his brother Mike, are graduates of Cardinal Mooney in Youngstown, and grew up in a very Catholic family.  He has been aware of Notre Dame and its traditions since the cradle.  If he could fashion a way to win this one, he would.

(3) ASU, October 5th, Jerry Jones Stadium

…at which the New York Football Giants won the first regular season NFL victory

This is a nasty spot and a nasty coach for the Irish.  The Irish will fly to the Metroplex the week after having played Oklahoma at the end of a four week stint of @ Michigan @ Purdue, then MSU and the Sooners at home.  All signs point to a letdown, like it or not.

Then there’s the Todd Graham factor. Graham brought the mighty Hurricanes of Tulsa into Notre Dame Stadium in 2010 and escaped with a 28-27 win.  He then moved to Pitt and in 2011 hosted the Irish in Ketchup Stadium, right there near the confluence of the Monongahela and the Allegheny and the Irish needed a great run by Jonas Gray to clinch a 15-12 win.

So he, personally, will not shrink from playing Notre Dame. Taylor Kelly may be the best quarterback we face in the regular season.  Last year he completed 67% of his passes and had a 29/9 TD/Int ratio.  The Sun Devils also rushed for over 200 yards a game.  The Sun Devils return 7 offensive starters and 8 defensive starters from an 8-5 team and a bowl romp over Navy.  Then Graham brought in TEN JC recruits to shore up his roster in his recruiting class. The Sun Devils had been 6-6 and 6-7 under the esteemed Dennis Erickson in the two years before Graham’s arrival.

This game has “Why are we playing this team in this venue on this weekend?” written all over it.  Don’t get caught watchin’ the paint dry!

(2) Michigan, September 7, Michigan Stadium

1987.  That’s the last time we had an easy win in Michigan Stadium.  It was ND 26-Michigan 7 that day.  Michigan is in a very similar position to where the Irish were just one year ago:

Third year under a new coach.  Three years to clean up the mess and disarray of a prior coach (Rodriguez in their case) One okay and two VERY GOOD recruiting classes A trusted defensive coordinator, Greg Mattison in their case.  Breaking in a new quarterback, but one more in line with the preferred offensive scheme.

There is one big difference.  In the first two years of the Hoke regime, the Maize and Blue HAVE NOT LOST AT HOME.  Devin Gardner is not Andrew Luck, but he’s not Denard Robinson either, and that cuts both ways.  Borges will now be able to run more of his regular stuff.  Former ND target Taco Charlton was the defensive star of their Spring game.  Michigan, under Mattison, has held opponents to under 20 points a game the last two years, even with Rodriguez’ leftovers.  Mattison now has better talent to work with.

Buckle your chin  straps, lads.  This is a key game.  Because if we win this one we are in good shape for a nice stretch.

1) Stanford, November 30th, Stanford Stadium

The most underappreciated team in college football. Have won BCS bowl games in 2 of the last three years and took Oklahoma State into OT after the 2011 season.   Only Oregon, Stanford and mighty Alabama have won two BCS games in the last three years.  The Cardinals are proud owners of four consecutive wins over USC, and five of the last 6.  USC gets the ink and the oohs and the ahhs, and Stanford gets the wins.

But the Irish staff respects and UNDERSTANDS Stanford, and in his first year, 2010, Kelly was sagacious enough to identify the physical Stanford way as containing many of the elements the irish want to model.  This game comes at the end of the season for both teams (unless Stanford has nosed out Oregon for the Pac XII North in which case they would play the following Saturday in the championship game.)

Stanford lost only Sam Schwartzstein from the OL and is now fully working the wonderfrosh, Andrus Peat, Kyle Murphy and Josh Garnett in with the returnees, in what will be the best offensive line, by a margin, that the irish will face in the regular season.  The Cards rushed for 187 yards in the Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin.The Irish do have the scheduling advantage here,  as the Cardinals face Oregon, SC and Cal in the three weeks prior to tihe Irish visit while the irish will be coming’ off a home game against Brighham Young which follows an open date.

The Cardinals return defensive stalwarts like Ben Gardner, Shayne Skov, Henry Anderson, James Vaughters. Trent Murphy and Wayne Lyons.  This game will be a mighty struggle.  It always is.  It’s STANFORD.

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  1. Jimbo 5 years ago

    I see a 9-3 Irish team in 2013.

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  2. bj 5 years ago

    can justin brent be the new rocket?


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  3. Irish Demon 5 years ago

    Real good article but I have one correction. It’s the Stanford Cardinal, not Cardinals. That’s been their nickname for over 30 years. It may seem petty, but someone writing a featured article should know that.

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  4. duranko 5 years ago

    Old school, let me give some further specification to my original post and your comment.

    First, I am a big believer in the Goose and the Golden Egg, and have spent a lot of money sending my salespeople to “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” training. So when I made the comment about us being better than Oklahoma I was speaking of the Goose (Production Capacity) in time present.

    Clearly on body of work from 2000-2012 Oklahoma is the superior program by a margin, including a National Championship, many conference championships, multiple BCS wins, and three appearances in losing National Championship games.
    But it is the moment that counts. And right now the notre Dame program is stronger, has better athletes, is more physical and plays more rugged defense. The Sooners can be pushed around by anybody who’s tough, like
    Kansas State, A&M and us. So I stand firm on us being stronger than Oklahoma right now.

    Same goose analogy for USC> That is one sick, fetid, rotting goose, coming off a three game losing streak, a locker room fight and
    a massive staff turnover. Can upsets happen?

    I remind people who gamble that USC was a 41 1/2 point favorite IN THE COLISEUM against Stanford in 2007 and Stanford won 24-23.Further, in 1972, I sat in Notre Dame Stadium to watch Notre Dame play an Al Onofrio coached Missouri team that had lost to Nebraska the previouos week by 62-0.

    Missouri, on a rainy day, won 30-26.

    Sure, upsets happen, and there is no such thing as a sure thing.

    But my ranking was only in degree of difficulty. You’ll note there are no predictions of results. I never do.

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  5. HURLS 5 years ago

    Good article. And I’m not about to prognosticate, here. (it’s too early, even with the Spring game) But what CAN I say that I haven’t read about on any boards? NICK SABAN IS A CATHOLIC. He is a reasonable man, judging from the pre-bowl interview I saw w/him & BK last year. I can think of no reason to hate Alabama – and I come from the “Catholics v. Convicts” days of UMiami. We can dislike them, because they’re not us and we compete against them. (t’s ALWAYS good to dislike your enemy) But Catholic Saban and the inbreeds are not hate-worthy. (I STILL HATE U.Miami!)

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  6. westcoastirishfan 5 years ago

    I see ASU as the toughest game of the year. I suspect ND will be undefeated going into the game but will be be bruised and tired. If ND is undefeated after the ASU game, they’ll be in the BCS championship game again….probably against A&M.

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  7. Jack W 5 years ago

    Excellent write up. It’s hard to predict games in the later half of the season due to injuries or team dissent, but I agree almost 100% with your analysis. The only one I might argue is the Michigan game which may be the toughest. Hoke has so much talent but thay haven’t learned how to win. ND has talent and HAS learned how to win. Let’s just hope we haven’t forgotten how to win! Go Irish!

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  8. old school 5 years ago

    You say we are, at this point, “simply a better football program than Oklahoma.” The problem with that is that Oklahoma was a better program than ND for, what, the past 15 years? Then last year we had a better record and beat them at Norman — as we always do. Does that make ND “a better football program”? A reasonable man might say it means that we had a better team than Oklahoma last year after the Sooners were better than we were for a long time before that. ND has done well historically against the Sooners. But to dismiss them as an inferior football program is foolish. (By the way, Belldozer can pass.)

    The flaw in your reasoning about USC is that Kiffin may be a bad coach for the program; but sometimes, like two years ago at Notre Dame, he proves to be a good psychologist and a good game coach. Their starters are terrifically talented. Counting them out would be a mistake.

    You are absolutely correct that right now, Michigan and Stanford look very formidable. We will be underdogs in both games. The unknown against Michigan will be whether Golson will repeat his performance against them last year when he froze and had to come out of the entire rest of the game. Was it Michigan or was it just his inexperience as the starting quarterback? I guess we’ll find out.

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    1. HURLS 5 years ago

      Advice to old school: This is a college football board. This is a Notre Dame board. DO NOT EXPECT REASONABILITY. (advice cc. “A reasonable” man might say…”) Reasonability is for retards. Hell, even the republicant’s can be reasonable!

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    2. Shazamrock 5 years ago

      What’s flawed is to think that anyone really believes that Lane Kiffin is a good
      psychologist or a good coach.

      He is paid to be a head coach which he hasn’t proven he can do yet.

      Not in the NFL, not at Tennessee, and not at USC.

      What I have seen is a flim-flam who sells snake oil.

      But don’t take my opinion.

      Proof is when you deflate footballs, have players change their jersey numbers during half time of a game,
      alienate the media before the season even starts, make promises to recruits that he couldn’t possibly keep, talk a sure first round NFL draft choice into bypassing the draft and the millions that comes with it, losing control of your team in the locker-room, and (after the season had ended by the way)throwing your entire defense under the bus and blaming them for the poor season.

      Yeah, real psychologial genius and game coach of the year there!

      I only hope it’s real cold, windy, and rainy, for their game at Notre dame Stadium this year.

      If you saw the Sun bowl, you saw that Kiffin had the wrap-around sunglasses on, cap pulled way down, and the collar of his coat pulled way up.

      He looked like he was embarrased to even be there.

      His body language alone suggested he had no desire.

      No desire to be in that game.
      No desire to coach that team.
      No desire to support the players.
      No desire to represent his conference.

      As a ND fan I hope the extend his contract!

      Of course believing that would be the real mistake.

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      1. duranko 5 years ago

        Shazamrock, you are right on about Kiffin’s body language at the Sun Bowl.

        I am loath to post hearsay, but there was some scuttlebutt on the Sc sites, and it may have been Scott Wolf, that Kiffin kept the sunglasses on because he was hiding a shiner he had picked up in a scuffle with a player.

        If true, that would only buttress your analysis.

        Further, I don’t know if you remember this, but when he moved to Tennessee for the Vol job, his wife was with child. When the child arrived, he named the kid “Knox” for Knoxville. Of course Knox celebrated his first birthday in LA because Daddy ditched the Vols.

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      2. Shazamrock 5 years ago


        Knox Kiffin??? Yikes!

        Kip Kiffin, Keefer Kiffin, The Griffin Kiffin, Ken Kiffin Jr…. anything is better than Knox!

        “Ditched the Vols” is an understatement.
        He ditched the Vols but did you notice he didn’t ditch their recruits?

        If he did indeed got his eye dotted I hope it was Barkley who gave it to him.

        Any coach worth his salt must insist that any player on his team who is fortunate enough to be projected as a top 5 pick in a upcomiong NFL draft has to take advantage of what is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

        Read somewhere where staying at USC for his senior year cost that kid in the neighborhood of $2 mil.

        That’s a lot lip service, even for Kiffin.

        He should have insisted that Barkley go to the NFL after his junior year. After all, there is always “The next guy in” theory… well…except of course with Lane.

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  9. duranko 5 years ago

    JDrive. My effort here was to rank the difficulty of the GAME not the quality of the opponent.

    ere are two mitigating factors about the BYU GAME. We play them at home and we play them after an open date. Last year we played them after we had played Stanford. Further, Taysom Hall is a big noise in Provo, but he’s not really an outstanding ballplayer.

    I hate the Purdue spot because it comes right after Michigan, and the team will be sky high for that. It’s a classic letdown spot.

    I’ll see you one and raise you one on Devin Gardner.

    Even with Clowney chasing him, he was 18-36 for 214 yards, 3TDs and 1 int against a very Solid South Carolina defense in the bowl game. I yet feel that Borges was never really comfortable with Denard Robinson, and is much
    more comfortable with Gardner.

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  10. JDriveSthND 5 years ago

    I also will say that you’re right on with the Michigan pick as the #2 toughest game. I live in West Michigan and hate being surrounded by skunk bears. Devon Gardner is going to be a very dangerous QB. He passed for 1,219 yards and 59.5% with 11 TD to 5 INT and also rushed for 101 yards and 7 more TD in just 5 games last season. Color me a bit nervous of this guy. I just remember how Denard crushed all hopes and dreams of an undefeated season or BCS run before they even got off the ground. This dude is 6’4″, 203 lbs and can run AND throw.

    Our defense will have to be up to the task and Golson will have to put any lingering ghosts from his worst performance in an Irish uniform (and probably ever) out of his mind for ND to go into Ann Arbor and snag the win.

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  11. JDriveSthND 5 years ago

    Even with the scheduling aspects, I might move BYU ahead of Pitt and Purdue. Purdue just doesn’t have good personnel right now and a first year head coach – AND we play them early. Pitt is Pitt. They will play us tough because they hate us, but I just don’t think they have the horses on either side of the ball to run with the Irish in 2013.

    BYU, as you point out, returns Kyle Van Noy, the biggest pain in the neck the Irish faced in 2012 outside of Chase Thomas and the entire Crimson Tide defense. They have an exciting and mobile QB, which has not been ND’s strong suit to defend. They were simply a very good defense last year and return most of it. Our offense will be better this year, but will still be our weaker unit which plays into BYU’s strength.

    To say it simply, I think BYU has a high level defense. Pitt and Purdue aren’t high level on either side of the ball.

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  12. HJPrender 5 years ago

    Another well thought out article, comments were also thought out. Still worry about the navy option, I always felt that if navy couldn’t establish the full back you could contain them. Any body with some thoughts on this logic. GO IRISH.

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  13. Davis 5 years ago

    It’s Stanford Cardinal, not Cardinals. They’re a color, not a bird.

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  14. Toulmin H. Brown 5 years ago

    I’ll base my opinions on last seasons remarkable success for Notre Dame and it new season fast approaching:

    N.D. defeated Oklahoma, in Norman OK., in a nationally televised game, 30 – 13. M. Tao’s best effort IMO for 2013.

    N.D. defeated Stanford in OT at home in a true fight.

    N.D. defeated Pittsburgh 2012 in what has become a dirty + mean spirited series in the last decade. A series which includes a OT loss in South Bend under Charles Weiss. N.D. won in 2012 in spite of everything.

    N.D. though losing ultimately started the BCS NC versus Alabama by successfully stopping their ground game. This until they went t the air which confused the defense. I sincerely believe N.D. would have won by 14+ had they held the Crimson Tide in the early going.

    “N.D. will have a great line on both sides of the football in 2013 as they did in 2012.?

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    1. Toulmin H. Brown 5 years ago


      I’ll base my opinions on last seasons remarkable success for Notre Dame and its new season fast approaching:

      N.D. defeated Oklahoma, in Norman OK., in a nationally televised game, 30 – 13. M. Tao’s best effort IMO for 2012.

      N.D. defeated Stanford in OT at home(South Bend) in a true fight.

      N.D. defeated Pittsburgh 2012 in what has become a dirty + mean spirited series especially in the last decade. A series which includes a OT loss in South Bend under Charles Weiss. N.D. won in 2012 in spite of everything.

      N.D. though losing ultimately started the BCS NC versus Alabama by successfully stopping their ground game. This until Alabama went to the air with play action which confused the defensive coverage. I sincerely believe N.D. would have won by 14+ had they held the Crimson Tide in the early going in the game.

      “N.D. will have a great line on both sides of the football in 2013 as they did in 2012.?

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  15. duranko 5 years ago

    Mike, he was the King. I resisted the temptation to go for true data obscura and mention the other famous Temple hooper, Bill Mlkvy,
    the famous “Owl without a vowel.”

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  16. ARMAC 5 years ago

    Excellent preview, Duranko.

    Like last season, the Irish defense should dominate.

    Chuck Martin’s offense gives reason for optimism, but so far not much call for confidence. It will be better than last year. It might be explosively better.

    Thanks for rating the course.

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  17. Mike Sullivan 5 years ago

    Hal Lear…nice start. wasn’t he Hal The King Lear?

    Nice finish. High grade.

    You continue to create worthwhile articles.

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