We shouldn’t be surprised if the NCAA and BCS collectively pass legislation prohibiting Notre Dame from appearing in a high profile bowl game until they actually beat a Top 10 opponent … in any game. And it could take awhile. The Irish were again completely undressed in front of a national audience … once again displaying one of the most incompetent defenses ever assembled. And a sputtering offense that always seems to screw up enough plays to lose against tough competition.
If I’m Charlie Weis, I’m totally embarrassed right now. Heck … I’m sitting here in Alaska and can’t walk out my front door for fear of being heckled. Of course, I can always hide behind or dive into one of these 6 foot snow banks, but that’s another story. Let’s start with the “defense” because that’s the real source of ND’s crappy performance. Let’s count the ways they failed: 1) Allowed 2 TDs in the first quarter … another real bad start. 2) Allowed a third TD in a total of 1 min 15 seconds right before halftime … and immediately after ND had tied the game and seized the momentum. 3) failed to even show up in the second half and seemed to allow something like 700 yards of offense. No pass rush. No coverage. No tackling. No clue. We were blown off the line of scrimmage the entire 2nd half and it seemed like we gave up. LSU averaged over 8 yards per play and gained 32 first downs for the game!!!! Incredibly pathetic!!! And just downright embarrassing for ND and its fans … AGAIN.
Now, the offense. Where was it to start the game? Although ND displayed some offensive life and pretty good numbers in the first half while temporarily tying the score 2 minutes before halftime, we did not show up for the entire 2nd half. We needed to answer immediately when LSU put up a FG early in the 3rd. Nope … three and out. They got another FG and we had another 3 and out. By then it was too late as our leaky defense was about to burst open. Whether it’s dropped passes, slightly misfired passes, crappy play-calling, a false start, missed FGs, etc, the Irish seem to screw up just enough on offense to come up empty in big games. How could we look pretty good on offense in the first half, yet look so terrible in the second? Is it possible that our resident genius was out-coached? Is it because our offensive line just isn’t very good and is very inconsistent to begin with? Is it because Rhema McKnight can’t catch a cold, let alone the ball? Is Brady Quinn possibly overrated as a passer? Do we totally lack break-away speed at RB and WR? YES!!!!!
So, aside from wearing the fake glasses and nose with mustache during the next two weeks, where do we go from here??? Well … I say we recruit like hell and try to get some blue-chip players … especially on defense!!!! And we should consider firing the entire defensive coaching staff and find some coaches who’ve demonstrated a track record and know what the hell they’re doing. It’s not like ND is an awful football team or program. We’re on the right path to improvement and God knows we’re better off now than during the Davie-ham era. But the pundits are right … ND is a pretender at the moment … have been all year … not a legit Top 10 team … and we won’t be next year. We’re only “Top 15-25” right now … obviously not capable of competing ON THE FIELD with the current football powers. So we better get more top players coming in and beat the other squads in the recruiting wars off the field.
What I can’t figure out is why ND is worse now versus last season. In ’05, we almost beat USC (shoulda, coulda won) and lost to Ohio St in a game that was at least competitive into the 4th quarter in last year’s Fiesta Bowl. This season, we had a real nice nucleus of players coming back, yet we lost 3 games by 26, 20 and 27 points. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s like we didn’t improve at all … I know the defense somehow was better statistically (how can that be?), but the offense was not nearly as prolific as expected and quite disappointing in the key games. Maybe we just played way over our heads last season?
Don’t really know the answer. I just know that I’m embarrassed for the Irish football program … again. Not because we stink, but because we alway seem to play like crap on the big stage. We can beat most of the teams on our schedule, but we’re just awful against the big guys. I do have good news though. Aside from saving money on my car insurance, the ND basketball team is something like 14-1 with their only loss coming to a pretty good team. They are just starting the rigorous Big East conference schedule, so don’t get too excited yet. But it’s been a loooooong time since they started a season like this. And has anyone outside of Alaska noticed that the Irish hockey team is #2 in the country???? You can look it up. GO IRISH !!!
See … ya just gotta move on … I have … I think. Time for a beer …
Filed under: Wally's World |