Fighting Irish vs USC Trojans: brutally honest preview



Notre Dame vs. the USC Trojans will be the “Probably an Opening for a New Coach Bowl.” It certainly will be a matchup with a lot of sizzle, but very little steak. Then again you could say the same thing for Penn State versus Michigan, and look what that produced. Maybe the Irish versus the USC Trojans will do the same? Obviously, this series has a ton of tradition. So much so that Lou Holtz used to make his players take a written history test on the series.

More importantly where will Lane Kiffin land? Most important of all is the status of Layla Kiffin. Let’s make sure Layla Kiffin is treated well and taken care of.

Will Brian Kelly bolt for the NFL after this season? We have so many questions here today.


Like another coach named Kelly, maybe BK did one season of seriously testing the NFL waters, then leaves the very next season when he finds the right fit job; a la Chip Kelly. Clearly, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are not the landing place for Brian Kelly. He’ll better deal them eventually, if not this year.

It’s possible ND will be 8-4 or worse this year, does that severely impair Kelly’s coaching stock? And now rumors are swirling that A.D Jack Swarbrick won’t be there much longer. So ND could be looking for a package deal soon.

SPREAD: pick’em all the way up to ND -3, it all depends on who you talk to

TV: 6:30 NBC Which means hey some Alex Flanagan


ND Preview:

big win over Arizona State keeps their season from derailing completely. For Notre Dame, their schedule is kind of like a mullet: business in front, party in the back. Or at least it would be if you swapped Stanford with Temple. Notre Dame looked really good versus Brigham Young East or BYE last week, perhaps they can ride that momentum into another win here.

The time off made the Fighting Irish look less impressive some how though. The losses to Oklahoma and Michigan look worse; as does the win to Temple. None of Notre Dame’s next five opponents are ranked – USC (4-2), Air Force (1-6), Navy (3-2), Pittsburgh (3-2), BYU (4-2) – and they have a combined record of only 15-14, so not a lot to worry about in the next few weeks.

And looking to the future, ND has offered a scholarship to the son of Snoop Dogg

However, the Irish suffered another key injury to their front seven. And their best player on defense isn’t 100% healthy either. When is Stephon Tuitt going to be himself again?


USC Trojans preview:

Marqise Lee is probable. He hasn’t been himself, and like Tuitt, has seen his NFL Draft stock tumble. Still he figures to be the difference in what might be a close one. The USC Trojans are a lame duck team. Nothing inspiring here. Lane Kiffin will never get a premier college football or NFL head coaching job again. Fine. Couldn’t have happened to a douchier guy.

Coaching regime change is a much more interesting plot line here than the actual game. With both teams unranked.

usc-cheerleader-getting wet

Then again, there is the case of Penn State transfer Silas Redd. Do you think the tailback is happy he left PSU now?

Brutally honest prediction: Notre Dame 24, USC Trojans 21

It’s weird to say USC Trojans versus Notre Dame and think how little buzz it will receive on ESPN College Gameday and ESPN College Gamenight Final. So much potential future NFL talent on the field, but neither side looks destined to really do anything of note this year. Especially when you consider the astronomical standards of both programs.

record: 63-24

Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees and the Fighting Irish enter Saturday’s action following a tight 37-34 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, on Oct. 5, in the 2013 installation of the Shamrock Series. The Trojans are coming off of a 38-31 victory over Arizona in interim head coach Ed Orgeron’s debut on Oct. 10.


Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst on multiple news and sports talk radio stations across the country, with regular weekly segments on NBC, CBS and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and Facebook, and RSS feed

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