#73 Kansas Jayhawks: College Football 77 in 77

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New regimes take time, so maybe the Kansas Jayhawks 2012 will be more of just a build towards 2013? Can’t be worse than the 2-10, 0-8 in conference 2011 campaign?

Charlie Weis comes in to take over the college football program, and you know what that means? Weis, front butt and all sandwiches Turner Gill with Mark Mangino as the last three KU coaches. When you have one normal sized guy sandwiched between two 400-pounders, it’s not really a sandwich it’s more like that disgusting artery clogging monstrosity they serve at the Indiana state fair: a pound of hamburger meat stuck between two grilled cheeses for bread and macaroni and cheese.

You had a heart attack just reading about it, and I’m guessing the sandwich must be a staple of the Mangino-Weis diet. And oh yeah, don’t expect KU to be very good at football this year.

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Former Notre Dame QB Dayne Crist Going to Wisconsin?

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It looks like ex Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist will soon join the Wisconsin Badgers program, sources close to both programs told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

I guess Sconnie is becoming very good at “free agent quarterback signings.” They got Russell Wilson for one year after he graduated from NC State, and all he’s done is break the single season passing efficiency record (well, he’s one game away) and lead the Badgers to the Big Ten title/Rose Bowl.
Badgers coach Bret Bielema said that Wilson’s success has inspired at least 10 players to inquire about transferring to Madison.

Notre Dame Football and Brian Kelly: How does this story end?

Notre Dame Stadium

Halfway through his second season at the pressure-packed helm of Notre Dame football, Brian Kelly has experienced horrible tragedy and made almost every mistake imaginable.

From the death of Declan Sullivan to horrible public admission that the players he recruited were on a different level than those he inherited, Kelly has done a lot in creating the minefield he has to navigate daily.

After finishing last season with a four-game winning streak and a lopsided bowl victory over one-time-rival Miami in the Sun Bowl, a lot was expected of the 2011 Fighting Irish.

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Will QB Tommy Rees be the man for Notre Dame?

It appears we won’t know until tomorrow who will start at quarterback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. ND Coach Brian Kelly said yesterday:

“We’re evaluating that right now. We’ve just finished grading all the film. We’ll meet here about four to start to discuss things relative to personnel and then whatever decision we make, we’ll talk to the quarterbacks involved and then get rolling again on Monday with the decision as to how we go.”

Given how close the QB derby was this preseason, and how much Tommy Rees out-performed Dayne Crist on Saturday, most college football people expect Rees to get the nod.

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#16 Notre Dame Loses Long and Bizarre Opener to South Florida

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Murphy’s law is an epigram typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” And it pretty much summed up the season opener for the #16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, as they dropped a 23-20 decision to the South Florida Bulls. USF came in ten point underdogs, despite being a Big East conference favorite by many college football experts.

I guess it’s fitting that a law with an Irish name was in effect for a team nicknamed the Irish. Here are just a few things that went wrong for ND: they turned it over three times inside the USF five yard line; finished the game -5 in turnover differential, had -2 punt return yards, entered the red zone six times, but scored just twice, their kicker who had a perfect season last fall missed a chip shot field goal, and the loss came despite perfectly doubling their opponent yardage (508-254).

However, in spite of all that; the weather was the real story.

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#10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish: College Football 77 in 77

Here it is- THE BIG ONE! Of all my 77 in 77s, this is my piece de resistance. The team I cover the most, Chicago’s home college football team, the program covered in the media unlike any other. Yes, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the most storied and well-documented team in the history of the game. This preview will be longer than the others, so let’s get right to it.

Storyline #1 QB controversy: Crist has risen, announced two days ago. (For more on that go here)

Coach Brian Kelly on the situation: “Dayne (Crist) overcame a serious knee injury just to be able to start the season (in 2010). He had another serious knee injury. He got himself ready for the spring and fought through the uncertainty of that as well. Then, the work in the summer and preseason , and it puts it in perspective. He is a much better quarterback. He’s the kind of guy I want to coach.”

Go here for a podcast previewing the 2011 Notre Dame season

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Notre Dame Names Dayne Crist Starter at Quarterback

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly said today that Senior Dayne Crist will be the starting quarterback in the season opener versus South Florida September 3rd.

Tommy Rees was the other starting candidate,and Kelly said the difference between the two QBs was very small. Last year, Crist started 9 games before a knee injury sidelined him for the season.  ND went 4-5 in his starts as he completed 59% of his passes, threw for 2,033 yards and 15 TDs.

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Potential Notre Dame Starting QB Tommy Rees Grew up a Northwestern Fan

The #1 storyline surrounding Notre Dame football this preseason is who will be the #1 quarterback, as senior Dayne Crist battles sophomore Tommy Rees for the coveted QB1 gig.

Crist opened 2010 as the starter, but went down in midseason with injury. Rees took over and finished the season 4-0, leading to the QB controversy we have today. Crist is bigger and taller, with a better down field ball. And he’s slightly more mobile. But Rees had a better passer rating, and he’s more accurate and superior in the short-range passing game.

Rees grew up in Lake Forest, a Chicago suburb; but he did not grow up root for ND, Chicago’s most popular college football team.

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Notre Dame Running Game in 2011: What can be expected from Cierre Wood?

If there was one weak link in Notre Dame last season, it was without question the ground game. If you look at the national rankings, on offense: 67th in scoring, 92nd in rushing, 34th in passing, 61st in total yardage.

Defense: 23rd in scoring , 50th in rushing, 54th in passing, 50th in total yards. 2010 was also the first year since 1971 that the Fighting Irish failed to produce a 100 yard rusher in any single game. And the fourth consecutive year without a 1,000 rusher.

Redshirt sophomore Cierre Wood hopes to change all that. He took over the job in week 6 when Armando Allen suffered a career ending injury. It was a tough way for Allen to go out. He was an underrated back. He’s on more all-time ND record lists than you would believe, and his place on those lists is much higher than you’d expect.

Wood filled in quite admirably though, posting over 600 yards on 5.1 ypc.

Go here for our season preview of the 2011 ND offense (passing game)

Go here for our season preview of the 2011 ND Defense

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Notre Dame Offense: Too Early Season Preview

“The quarterback spot? I really don’t know. I’m taking all suggestions. I can make a case passionately for any of the four. We can’t go into the season not knowing what we’re doing. We can’t do musical chairs.”

Those are the words of Irish football coach Brian Kelly last month when he spoke at an IMG sales luncheon in Chicago for clients of Notre Dame’s football radio network and at a dinner following the 25th annual Notre Dame Club of Chicago golf outing.

That quote pretty much says it all when it comes to what the main story lines will be for both the offense and the overall team when training camp opens next month. In other words, it’s all about Dayne Crist vs. Tommy Rees vs. Andrew Hendrix vs. Everett Golson.  More on that here and here.

Go here for our season preview of the 2011 ND Defense

Go here for our season preview of the 2011 ND offense (running game)

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Who will be the Best QB in College Football this Fall?

Never has there been more excitement for college football award watch lists. The twin lockout-induced free agency voids in the NFL and NBA has given us even less to talk about during MLB’s slowest (and overall sports’ slowest) week for media. Cuz NO ONE cares about the All-Star game and the ratings numbers reflect that.

Let’s talk gridiron! As the Davey O’Brien Foundation announced the 2011 Watch List today for its trophy honoring the nation’s top QB.

This year’s list, which was compiled by a subset of The O’Brien National Selection Committee, features 38 of the nation’s top collegiate quarterbacks who were selected based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2011 college football season.

In addition to last season’s finalists, Andrew Luck (Stanford) and Kellen Moore (Boise State), 2009 O’Brien finalist Case Keenum (Houston) is back in the action. This year’s list also includes seven 2010 semifinalists: Matt Barkley (USC), Kirk Cousins (Michigan State Spartans), Robert Griffin III (Baylor), Landry Jones (Oklahoma), Taylor Martinez (Nebraska Cornhuskers), Denard Robinson (Michigan Wolverines), and Darron Thomas (Oregon)

For the list of the top running backs go here [Read more…]

Notre Dame’s Dayne Crist, Michael Floyd Make Maxwell List

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Wide Receiver Michael Floyd is still in that Notre Dame University limbo/purgatory. He’s not yet re-instated, but he’ll likely play. If he is allowed to come back, he’ll probably comprise a really exciting, high scoring combination with quarterback Dayne Crist. That is if Crist starts.

Both members of the Fighting Irish are looking at uncertain roles this college football season, yet both made the list of Maxwell Award candidates, given the nation’s outstanding player.

Go here for our season preview of the 2011 ND offense (passing game)

Go here for our season preview of the 2011 ND Defense

Go here for our season preview of the 2011 ND offense (running game)

 

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