Notre Dame Football: good, bad and ugly thus far



(UPDATE: we finally have news regarding the suspended ND 5)

The good:

-Notre Dame football is 5-0, despite losing two very good players in KeiVarae Russell and DaVaris Daniels, as well as three solid players in Ishaq Williams, Kendall Moore and Eilar Hardy to suspension. (The five Notre Dame football players were not at practice Wednesday, that’s all we know as of yet, but we may not gain knowledge of a resolution until after the North Carolina game,)

-The passing game. Despite missing his top receiver, quarterback Everett Golson has been very accurate throwing the football at 64%. He also set a school record for consecutive completions in the win over Syracuse.

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#5 Notre Dame football vs UNC Tar Heels preview, prediction



(UPDATE: we finally have news regarding the suspended ND 5)

This is a battle of “iconic/legendary in one sport, total afterthought despite being solid in the other.” If we decide to do a Notre Dame versus North Carolina game preview ahead of the January 5th meeting in basketball, we could copy and paste the exact same sentence. UNC Tar Heels football actually has a decent history; they’ve produced a lot of great defensive players.

Today however, the program is known for it’s extremely egregious academic scandal. And this game is more about Notre Dame football not beating itself by looking ahead to the big show-down with Florida State.

It’s the cliche “trap game.” So hopefully, the media don’t fall into the trap themselves; and overkill that narrative themselves.

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Update (sort of) on 5 suspended Notre Dame football players


The University just sent out this letter/press release on the status of the five suspended Notre Dame football players. So consider this your news update on the situation. That is, if you’re into reading and deciphering legalese.  Enjoy:

The following statement can be attributed to Paul J. Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications at the University of Notre Dame:

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Notre Dame football the big winners from upset Saturday


We hear that Notre Dame football is “overrated” almost every year. At least from somebody. That somebody may not have a lot of credibility every year, but somebody says it. This week, the overrated claim had a lot of legitimacy. They entered their showdown with #14 Stanford having beaten teams with a combined record of 7-12. Their five opponents had a combined zero wins over teams in the power five conferences.

That changed today. And while this Notre Dame football game was anything but fun or exciting. It was  a college football of the March Madness “survive and advance,” while all those teams ahead of ND in the polls fell.

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Does anyone really know how good Notre Dame football really is?


Their record is 4-0 and their ranking is No. 9 in the AP, No. 8 in the USA Today and No. 12 in Sagarin. But really, I’m not sure even the biggest lover of Notre Dame Football can actually tell you how good this 2014 edition of the Fighting Irish is.

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Will Notre Dame EVER give us a suspended 5 players update?


Congratulations goes out to the University of Notre Dame for finally giving us an update on Tuesday about the five suspended players.

Head football coach Brian Kelly said he was told, if all goes according to plan, that the honesty committee hearings for KeiVarae Russell, DaVaris Daniels, Ishaq Williams, Kendall Moore and Eilar Hardy will wrap up next week.

The way this time line is moving, it appears that a decision will be made the week before the big game against Stanford. Coincidence or not, it does make you have to wonder why a decision is finally coming down the very same week that a very good Cardinal team comes into South Bend.

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New Irish QB Coach key to Everrett Golson’s improvement


Yes, I know it’s only been three games against average to below average competition, but Irish quarterback Everett Golson looks like the best signal caller in the nation so far during the 2014 season. For a guy who sat out all of 2013, Golson has been unbelievably sharp in games against the overmatched Owls of Rice, the always underachieving team from up north and the god awful Boilermakers of Purdue.

While every so called expert says the difference in this year’s Golson from the one that we last saw taking a beating in the national championship game two years ago is QB guru George Whitfield. Now that might have some slight justification to it because Whitfield seems to be some sort of quarterback whisperer to the point where if he touches young quarterbacks, they instantly become better.

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Notre Dame 30, Purdue 14: the Shamrock Series in Tweets


Purdue didn’t defeat Notre Dame, but at least they covered the spread. (Hence the Bart Simpson GIF above) The Boilermakers gave a noble effort in a match-up in which most observers felt they had zero chance. The Fighting Irish won by 16 in a game that was pretty close for three quarters and change. We learned a lot:

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Notre Dame football sets new game livestream record


The final Michigan vs Notre Dame football game was an ugly one. It was very lopsided and quite boring. However, it was still the most-streamed Notre Dame Football game of all time.

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Game preview: Notre Dame football vs Purdue football? I guess?


As this game has a 28.5 point spread, I’ll keep the brutally honest Notre Dame football game preview this week shorter than usual. I have no idea what it actually is they are doing in West Lafayette right now.

It’s not college football. It’s….whatever it is it’s frighteningly bad. Purdue is such a broken program right now, I’m hesitant to even call it college football.

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Best tweets hilariously slamming Big ten football last night


Was it the worst day in Big 10 football history yesterday? Perhaps.

Was it the worst day in the history of Big Ten football from a national perception/brand damage stand point? Absolutely. No doubt it was nothing short of catastrophic. I did a cover story for the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition previewing and predicting this season in August. (link here) I also listed the biggest story-lines. I did not have “Big Ten football will resemble a bunch of mediocre mid-majors by week two” as one one of them.

If you don’t turn on the Big Ten Network again until basketball season, no one would blame you. Well, it’s worth it to see Teddy Greenstein do his work (Dave Revsine and Gerry Di Nardo are very talented too), but non Tedward reasons to watch BTN are few and far between. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that this league’s broadcast arm of its Sports Information Department exists. Because now you can see games that would otherwise never be televised.

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Will Brian Kelly guide Notre Dame through another minefield?


Since Brian Kelly took over the Notre Dame football program in 2010, there’s been a whole host of off-the-field issues that have tarnished the Golden Dome. No need to go into detail on all of the PR black eyes here, simply stating the individual names will suffice: Everett Golson, Manti Te’o, Tommy Rees, Michael Floyd, Carlo Calabrese, Declan Sullivan, Lizzy Seeberg/Prince Shembo.

Currently, the names at the center of controversy are: KeiVarae Russell, DaVaris Daniels, Ishaq Williams, Kendall Moore and Eilar Hardy. Yes, “stuff happens” as Donald Rumsfeld used to say, and “stuff” happens at every college program in the nation, not just in South Bend. Yes,”stuff happened” under Charlie Weiss, Bob Davie, Ty Willingham, Lou Holtz etc. as well.

However under the Brian Kelly regime, it “happens” a lot. Yet he always gets past it, and always gets through it. So there’s no reason to believe he won’t also navigate his way through the current minefield too.

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