Notre Dame Football: Blue-Gold Storylines to Watch

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Wednesday is the second biggest day of the spring practice period for Notre Dame football as the Blue-Gold Draft will take place. The draft is a new thing in the program this year, and it will see Jerome Bettis serve as the commissioner.

It’s in advance of the Blue-Gold exhibition at Notre Dame Stadium, the very first of the Marcus Freeman era. Remember, there is never any such thing as a spring college football “game,” anywhere. These are all intra-squad scrimmages, and therefore are all just practice sessions, no matter what nonsense sports television networks try to sell you about all this.

You got to start with these basic truths before you pay attention to spring intra-squad exhibitions, for any team. Spring football is extremely important in house, as it’s all about position battles and personnel finding new roles. One thing it is not though, is a mainstream spectator sport.

With all in mind, let’s take a look at what to keep an eye on this Saturday for 2022 Notre Dame football Blue-Gold. Michael Mayer should be one of the nation’s top overall tight ends, as well as one of this team’s best players, at any position.

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That’s not news, but here is a link to more about all that.

If you want to know more about the Blue-Gold draft, this link has a whole lot of detail about how it will work. It’s also supposed to be 80 degrees in the afternoon, low 70s in the morning on Saturday, so you may want to go to Blue-Gold simply to enjoy the weather something we’ve gotten to do this “spring” here in the Midwest on maybe 2, 2 1/2 days, tops.

Yes, it’s an old joke that spring only exists for a grand total of two weeks in the Midwest, with those 14 days being sprinkled and spread around all over the place, but never has that maxim been more real than this year. Having covered a few Blue-Golds in person, I vividly recall the edition from a few years ago when it snowed.

Also, you heard about Ed Orgeron, yes the Ed Orgeron, that Ed Orgeron, coming to practice? Here’s more on that.

Notre Dame Football Look Ahead to the Season and Overall Goals

Just to make it as “narrative-y” as possible, the Notre Dame football season opens against Freeman’s alma mater, Ohio State on Sept 3. The Fighting Irish travel to Columbus, where their young head coach was a stellar linebacker. The home opener is Sept 9 against Marshall, with the banner home game coming Nov 4 against Clemson. This season will see the Irish play six at home and six on the road, with the clashes against the Buckeyes and Tigers the main headliners.

Although, the USC, Stanford and UNC games could perhaps be compelling too. But in the end, this season will be all about one thing, and one thing only- finally ending that Traditional New Year’s Day Bowl Game/BCS Bowl/New Year’s Six Bowl/College Football Playoff drought. While the format and names have changed, the song remains the same, ND can’t seem to close the deal in any bowl game that is BIG.

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You have to go all the way back to the Lou Holtz era, the 1994 Cotton Bowl (1993 season) to recall glory like that. The Irish have lost their last 10 since then. It’s starting to feel like the Chicago White Sox in the first round of the MLB playoffs, or the Illinois Fighting Illini in the second round of the NCAA Tournament; just snake-bitten. But then again now is not the time for that. This is the zeitgeist of new beginnings for Notre Dame football.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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