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.   🙂

Wally’s World Just Got a Little Smaller

After getting squashed by a mediocre Boston College squad, Notre Dame football is absolutely lifeless.   There’s really not much to write about, let alone care about.   They may beat Syracuse, but I think  they will lose again to Navy and get absolutely crushed by USC.   A once-promising season will be relegated to a 6-6 record.   This ND program is a huge contradiction.   We lose a very winnable, immensely frustrating game to Pitt, then we get good news about a highly ranked WR recruit from SoCal committing to the Irish, then we go and lay a big fat goose egg to BC.  Colin Cowherd is right … South Bend is the Bermuda Triangle of college football … where talented recruits just disappear.  The current Weis coaching staff … just like its two predecessors … appears to be incompetent.   Yes, they can recruit, which is an improvement over the previous post-Holtz regimes, but these guys cannot teach, motivate or effectively scheme a gameplan that works.   Whether it’s the seemingly constant holding penalties killing drives … or the kickers & punters kicking footballs with no air in them … this ND team just does not inspire me in any way.   They are lifeless … all you have to do is watch a game to see that.

This will be the last post dedicated to ND football …. until they make it worth my while to care again.   Not sure when that will be … maybe 2017 or somewhere around there. 

In the meantime, GO BOISE STATE!!!

ND Gags Away Another One

At some point, after foregoing about 10 distinct chances to win the game by making just one more play, you gotta concede that you just flat out dropped the ball and failed.   You just didn’t get ‘er done when you should have … you just lacked that winning quality … you underachieved in a major way.  Well … that was definitely Notre Dame on Saturday vs Pitt.   I’ll come out and say it right now … the 4 OT loss to the Panthers is simply infuriating for ND fans … it is simply the sickening type of loss we have seen within ND Stadium 2-3 times per year over the past  12 years or so … and it is absolutely nauseating.   Now, why would I say that?   Well … maybe it’s because ND has more talent than Pitt, we were playing at home, Pitt was playing without their starting QB and their center … and Rutgers scored 54 points on them in Pittsburgh the week before.    Shall I continue?  ND had a 14 point halftime lead and led by 7 with about 4 mins remaining in regulation … at home.    Nobody … I repeat … nobody … gets less out of more than the ND coaching staff. 

Starting in the second half, Notre Dame had about 10 distinct chances to essentially win this ball game.  They then proceeded to whiff 10 times in a row in clutch situations … also known as the “gagfest”.  The first such chance was Harrison Smith’s freakin’ senseless personal foul very early in the second half.  If Smith can somehow avoid being a butthead (e.g. avoid smacking the Pitt player in the back away from the play and 3 seconds after the 3rd down play was over), then Pitt starts the half by having to punt from their 30 yard line and down by 14 points.  Instead, they are awarded a first down at their 45 and go on to score a TD to cut the deficit to 7.  That changed the entire complexion of the game and  ND’s offense became tighter than a drum … they simply went into a shell … afraid to use their talent.   I think the Irish had 7 yards of total offense in the 3rd quarter, which was one of the worst single quarters I can remember in a long time. 

So Smith’s mindless personal foul started the whole mess … for Cubs fans, you could say it was  Bartmanesque.   From that point on, ND had several opportunities to make just one more play to seal the win.  There were several  4th downs on defense where the Irish could’ve simply made the stop and won the game.   The most obvious opportunity was with ~2 mins left in regulation with ND winning by 7 and Pitt facing a 4th and 6 from the Irish 10 yard line.   Whiff.  ND’s defense whiffed on about four other 4th downs along the way during the second half.  How in the world does ND get only 1 sack on Pitt’s back-up QBs the entire game????  

Offensively, ND had a 2nd and goal from the 3 yard line in the first OT.  If they score a TD, they win the game.  But nooooo … jamming it in from there is too much to ask.    There was also the 4th and one from the 50 with about 1 minute left in regulation.  If we can sneak a just a yard on this one play, we can get another 20 during the next 45 seconds and kick a FG to win in regulation.  Yeah … right!  Forget it.  

The truth is … there is no way this game should’ve even been close to reaching over time.    ND should’ve won by 15+ points.   We have more talent, we’re at home, Pitt has key injuries, Pitt has Dave Wannstedt as head coach.  I mean, how many advantages do you want????   So I’m really ticked off and disgusted today … just like most ND fans across the country.  The Irish should’ve won this game easily and instead coughed it up.   The reasons?    ND’s coaching staff can sure recruit, but they can’t coach X’s and O’s leading up to game day, they can’t motivate consistently, and they don’t adequately develop players.   ND’s coaching staff is close to inept.   They are good recruiters, but not good at much else … except screwing up a good thing.    This could’ve been a really nice 9-3 springboard season.  Instead, we’ll be lucky to be 7-5 when all is said and done.    Charlie … I don’t know if it’s you, the members of your coaching staff, or both.  But collectively, you’re just not getting the job done.   Saturday’s loss to Pitt is a real low point of your tenure at ND. 

In other CFB news, Wally’s next favorite teams both won … Boise State trounced New Mexico State 49-0 to stay undefeated, and Northwestern beat Minnesota  with a late pick six.  (That’s why they’re the Gophers).     Did everyone see Texas Tech beat Texas in an instant classic? Will they now become #1?   Nope … probably #3 … behind Alabama and Penn State.  If TT keeps winning though, they will crack the Top 2, likely at Penn State’s expense.    Meanwhile, Georgia did not disappoint as the most underachieving team in America … they got trounced by Florida.   Last but not least, one good thing has continued to happen the past few weeks:  Michigan lost again!!!!!!    Quite cool.