ND Is Toast … Wildcats Boast

notre20dame20fightin20irish1To say that Notre Dame fans across the country are disgusted, embarrassed, disappointed, angry, ticked off, agitated and/or sickened would cover approximately 80% of the emotional spectrum.   For the other 20%, insert some expletives in front of those adjectives and we’ll have everyone covered.   On the morning after ND’s 24-23 defeat to the lowly Syracuse Orange, one thing I cannot say is that I’m surprised.   We’ve seen this same script time after time this season and last season.   The Irish struggle to mount a double digit lead in the 4th quarter to an opponent with a mere fraction of their talent base … and then they just quit playing hard … or with inspiration … or with character … or with intensity … or whatever essential ingredient this team most certainly lacks.   I’m not surprised … I knew they would eventually cough up this game as they ALWAYS do.   And again, we’re left wondering how this team … how this coaching staff … can be so incompetent … so uninspired … when all other teams under the same circumstances would be busting their butts to win the last home game, to clinch a winning season, to clinch a decent bowl game, to keep some positive momentum going.   Nope, these types of things one might expect from a college football team playing under the Golden Dome do not exist in any images61detectable quantities in South Bend.    Other than admitting that ND’s come-from-ahead defeat, again at home, to a sinking Syracuse team everyone thought should be beaten by at least 3 touchdowns is about the most humiliating event a ND fan could imagine, I really just don’t know what else to say.   I guess it’s pretty obvious that something very drastic must change under the Dome.   Why can’t Weis and his staff inspire these kids to play hard and smart for 60 minutes?!?!?   This staff has simply lost the players.   And I’m too disgusted to be very prescriptive about it … would just prefer not to even think about ND football right now.   Let’s just leave it up to the new AD, Mr. Swarbrick, to figure out what’s wrong and fix it … that’s his job.  Now, if they want to hire ol’ Wally as a consultant, I think I can make myself available … for a slight fee … just enough to offset money wasted on ND tickets these last few seasons  :)    

images62Now, on a positive note, how about the nice season by the Northwestern Wildcats?   (I used to call them the Northworsten Mildcats … but no more!)   The ‘Cats just beat their “close-to-home” rival Fighting Illini to finish 4th in the Big 10 with an overall record of 9-3.   Pretty damned good for one of those “premier academic images63institutions”.   Maybe ND should try to recruit NU head coach Pat Fitzgerald away from Evanston, just like they did with Ara Parseghian back in the early ’60s.  

images64Boise State remained undefeated with a hard fought road win at Nevada and they are now 10-0.  However, still undefeated Utah beat BYU convincingly and is better perched in the BCS standings to claim a spot in one of the “big games”. 

Nice to see Michigan get crushed again to worsen their worst season ever.    Speaking of getting crushed, how did Texas Tech give up 42 points in the first half to Oklahoma and just not show up for their day in the sun?   What a disappointment that was, as I’m sure college football fans everywhere were hoping to see a true showdown in the primetime game of the day. 

Looks like Oregon State may just as well nudge USC away from the Rose Bowl.   The Beavers just need to beat the Ducks next week in Corvaillis. 

Well, the BCS rankings will be released in a few hours.  I expect we’ll see it set up so that the SEC champ (Bama or Florida) will end up playing the Big 12 champ (as long as it’s Oklahoma or Texas) in the title game.   Can’t complain about this type of match-up, but I would like to see both Utah and Boise State get invites to one of the 5 big games. 

images65Happy Thanksgiving to all!   Oh … there’s only one NFL game on Turkey day cuz the Detroit Lions are playing in the other one.   :)

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6 Responses

  1. Wally, ND is indeed disappointing, nay discouraging. I have been saying since the beginning that Charlie is not a good college coach, but I always said it with the blind optimism that he is a good person and a good football mind and would just need to learn the college game. But yesterday my optimism and faith wavered. Helearned a few things about the college game, but then plateaued. He still thinks he just needs to send his boys on the field to do their job. The key word in that last sentence is “boys”. They are just kids, and it’s NOT a job to them, and they need to be motivated and cajoled. It’s a “game” and Charlie still obviously does not know how to play it. He also believes that a brilliant game plan is always the answer. It’s not. College players need to be trained in the basics of blocking and tackling and running and catching and whatever other skills are needed on the football field. Schemes are for the NFL. Training and motivation are the bedrock of good college football. Henec last night’s debacle in Norman. Had that game been in Lubbock, TT might have won, but Stoops had home field to help him motivate his boys and it was way more than TT could handle. Will be interesting to see how Sooners perform in Stillwater next week. Last night’s game ends all chances of Big XII 1-2-3 finish in polls. The http://www.collegefootballbelt, BTW, goes to Oklahoma with last night’s win. Final thought; maybe ND can pull off an SU and beat USC! THAT would make this season much more tolerable!

  2. Pete —
    I agree with you. btw, I never stop rooting for the Irish. When every game starts, I hope it’s THE ONE that really gets us going in the right direction. I’m still waiting. As much as ND disappoints us, you’d think they’d pleasantly surprise us once in awhile. Still waiting for that too. Maybe Saturday vs USC will be that direction-changer. I hope so, but I’m afraid it will be an outright slaughter.

  3. Like you, I never stop rooting for the Irish. And on days like today I am careful to wear much ND gear to be sure no one sees me as fair-weather fan, but it hurts some mornings to pull that gear on. Wait-until-next-year is not a feeling I believe in, especially when I am not seeing the kind of progress that would make next year anything to write home about. Nevertheless, next week’s USC game could change all that; it could be the turn-around we have all been waiting for. How ironic, since I think that heartbreaking loss to USC in Charlie’s first year was a back-breaker that triggered the current slide. Time will tell!

  4. I have been telling people for years that you have a free kick after a fair catch if you so choose. Not true in college, but definitely true in NFL as evidenced by Cardinals attempt at end of first half vs Jints. Little known rule, and I am impressed that Whisenhunt knew it. BTW, letting on that I am a closet NFL (Giant) watcher. MLS Cup had just ended, and Grey Cup still a few minutes away.

  5. Pete

    Can you please explain what happened and what advantage a team would have in using the free kick option.

    As for ND – how are the Irish at this place in the road? Maybe the USC donny brook of a couple of years ago is to blame, but the Irish came out this year and looked like an offensive juggernaut of sorts at one point. And now this?!?!

    I feel badly for the folks in the stadium. That was an awful game – Ineptitude Bowl II.

    I did have a special experience nonetheless. With Wally in town I got a chance to watch the Irish with the Big Guy. Yes, I had to protect the remote for fear it would get chucked through a window.

    Did the game sellout?

    Then somehow I became a Texas Tech fan. Only to be completely let down with that fiasco. That performance was worse than puking in one’s own mouth.

    But ah yes – USC still might not get the Pac-10 title. Love it – except if there was a playoff…they are the last team I would want to play.

  6. Re; free kick. Whenever a team makes a fair catch of a kick, that team has the option to take a free kick from the spot of the catch. Apparently you can’t use a tee (I thought you could), but you can kick )like a kick-off w/o the tee) or drop kick, and if the ball splits the uprights it’s a field goal. Whne players dropped kicked it was an effective weapon because drop kicks travel amazing distances, but accuracy of striking the ball is always risky. The only time this free kick is an advantage is when there is very little time on the clock. If the kick is short it can be returned and the other team will possess the ball if there is still time left on the clock. Seldom invoked rule because it is seldom useful, but Cards Whisenhunt did the right thing in this situation. Kicker tried too hard, just like the guy who tries to crush his drive on the links. Otherwise it was all-to-gain, nothing-to-lose situation.

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