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IrishDodger
06-19-2012, 06:15 PM
As ND fans, most of us need all the perspective we can get. I've often leaned on the fact that ND is going through a down cycle similar to down cycles that other national powers have gone through. It's all about the HC to set the trend & turn the tide. Unfortunately, for ND they picked the most media-pervasive time we've ever seen. Combined w/ short memories & impatience, it makes for a tough road to hoe. Below are some recent seasons turned in by teams now competing for NCs. Some include losses that, I dare say, ND would be embarrassed to experience.

1999 Alabama: They were a respectable 10-3 and won the SEC Championship. Impressive, until you look a little deeper. The SEC was down that year & one of their losses came at home to Lousiana Tech. The other was a 2 TD loss to Tennessee at home. Bama went 3-8 the following year & Mike DuBose was fired as HC. This was obviously DuBose's most successful year in a horrible tenure in T-town.

1998 OU: Remember John Blake? UNC fans do & Sooner fans have selective amnesia w/ Stoops bringing them back to national power status. While he was an excellent recruiter (the 2000 NC team was loaded w/ his recruits), he was not HC material. His 3rd & final season ended w/ a 5-6 record and his being shown the door. That was his best year as he went 3-8 and 4-8 the first two seasons. Their best win that year was over a 7-5 Texas Tech team in Norman. The most embarrassing losses came in Blake's 1st two years when they were spanked by San Diego State 51-31, Nebraska 73-21, Nebraska again 69-7, Tulsa 31-24, A&M 51-7...OUCH.

2004 Nebraska: While still not in the NC hunt, they've been a lot lower under Bill Callahan. In '04, they lost to Southern Miss in Lincoln. Texas Tech embarrassed them 70-10. To make matters worse they lost to perennial Big 8/12 doormat Iowa State.

LSU 1991-1994: Curly Hallman even made the Gerry DiNardo era look successful at LSU. It's not wonder LSU & the rest of the SEC has added FCS schools to their non-conference slate b/c they didn't play them through the Hallman/DiNardo era (1991-99). Hallman turned in seasons of 5-6, 2-9, 5-6 & 4-7. LSU should thank God every day for the arrival of Nick Saban who was there long enough to put them at a NC level...you're welcome Les Miles. The DiNardo era was very Davie-esque in the late 90s.

I know I'm always beating a dead horse, but I raise the question to every CFB fan I talk to regarding ND being down & it brings them perspective. I ask them to name the head coaches who preceded the following at each school...can you name them (w/o Google)?

USC - Pete Carroll
Texas - Mack Brown
OU - Bob Stoops (I gave you that one)
LSU - Nick Saban (I gave you that one)
Alabama - a true CFB fan should know every coach hired between Bear Bryant & Stallings and then Stallings & Saban


Those aforementioned teams were all average, at best, during the Holtz era when ND was dominating & competing for championships. It's not the weather, the social scene, the academics, the uniforms/gear, the females, etc. Get the right HC who can WIN & the rest takes care of itself.

eric_navy
06-20-2012, 12:22 PM
This isn't the first time this topic has come up.

It is nice to think of things being cyclical. USC had plenty of down years in the '80's and '90's (with a couple of pretty good ones thrown in). Oklahoma struggled through the 1990's. Texas went almost 40 years between championships, and was thoroughly mediocre during the middle part of that stretch. LSU and Alabama had their share of hard times recently. One thing they all have in common, as you point out, is that they found "the right coach."

My question: who is ND's "right coach?" In 2002, after the Davie doldrums, I thought it was Ty (although I didn't see the actual games that year due to deployment). When ND was 8-0 and back in the top ten, I was pretty ecstatic. Then the ball stopped bouncing the right way, the defense regressed to the mean, and he never figured out how to recruit anyone, and the rest is history.

I thought for sure in 2005 it was Charlie. That '05 team was very good. I jumped on the bandwagon and thought ND could win it all in '06, but that team was worse than its predecessor across the board. Then '07 happened. I don't think Ara Parseghian could have won 10 games with that team, but ND should never field one of the worst teams in the country. I thought Charlie should have been gone in '08 after the way he was embarassed in LA.

I was on the BK wagon as early as '08, and the strides the team made during his first year are undeniable. We looked like a legitimately good team by the end of the year, despite substandard QB play. The team seemed to regress in some ways last year though. I briefly convinced myself that BK should have been fired on the spot for giving up in the fourth quarter against USC. The painful losses against Michigan (sucks) and FSU are at least partially on him for the dueling QBs, packing it in with a 14 point lead at halftime, and forgetting how to play defense. Add in the inexplicable play calls (which of course are brilliant if they work) and a few high-profile transfers, I'm not as confident as I would like to be, especially given the comparison with the second years under other top coaches.

BK won national championships at GVSU. CMU didn't have a winning season for like 5 years, and he turned them into conference champions. Cincinatti is, well, Cincinatti, and he won 10 games three years in a row, including being 1 second away from playing for the national title. What changed when he got to ND?

With the three previous coaches there were good rationalizations. Davie and Charlie had never been head coaches. Ty really didn't have a record of success - just one good year in a bad PAC-10. His recruiting philosophy ("Let them come to me") doesn't work on the big stage. Charlie recruited well, and is still highly regarded as an offensive coach, but he didn't know how to manage an organization and seemed completely lost on defense. If you told me in 2001 that Bob Davie would be the best ND coach from 1997-2009 I would have said you were crazy, but it may be true.

None of these things apply with the current staff. BK has always won as a head coach. He has experience in every facet of the game and has a coaching staff he trusts and who deliver a consistent message. He has the facilities and administrative leeway Davie and Ty didn't have, and the coaching experience and leftover recruited talent that Charlie lacked. Even Mark May thought BK was going to win big at ND, and he (a) almost never says anything good about ND and (b) is usually fairly accurate in his assessments. So what is broken now? If BK isn't "the coach" for ND, who is?

Saban - not going to happen; mutual disinterest.
Gruden - when was the last time he coached? His career trajectory wasn't that great after winning with Tony Dungee's team.
Stoops - if that was going to happen, it probably already would have.
Meyer - ditto, not to mention he's damaged goods.
Charlie, part II - I don't think he is even physically capable.
S. Holtz - hasn't really proven anything; would always be unfairly compared to his dad.
Kelly - it will be awfully tough to get over the 8 win hump this year.

I'm still trying to be positive about BK. Not necessarily because I think he's that awesome, but because I don't like the alternative: If Kelly can't win at ND, who can? He was one second away from taking Cincinatti to the national championship game after going 12-0. If he can't win more than 8 games at ND, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that there are greater structural impediments at work (what?). As it stands, ND has lost at least 3 games in 19 consecutive seasons. This year's high school seniors (recruits) have seen ND finish in the top ten only once, in 2005. By contrast, they have seen ND finish .500 or worse in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007, and 2009, and have never seen them win a major bowl game.

I didn't mean to turn this into a novel, but it was cathartic, so I went with it. Based on history, I can maintain a glimmer of hope. In 1987, the Irish lost their last three games by a combined 50 points. They lost to Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl 35-10 on January 1, 1988. They didn't lose another game until November 25, 1989. In the six years from 1988-1993, ND lost 9 games and finished outside the top 6 only once (#13 in '91). Of course I left out the fact that in November of '87, they were 8-1 and ranked #7 after beating a top 10 Alabama team 37-6, but we're being positive here. The bar is set. Let's go for it.

jerseyborn1971
06-20-2012, 01:52 PM
We're gonna be surprised..in a good way...one of t hese years. It will happen, it's just a matter of when.

tedwick
06-20-2012, 02:36 PM
Stability is key. There's no way the program is going to succeed if ND keeps firing its coach every 5 years. I was against the Chuck firing for that reason, and I think he's going to turn some heads at Kansas. But BK is our guy now. If we go 8-5 and 7-6 for 10 years in a row, I'll be kind of ok with that. The only way we're going to get that breakout season is if we allow a guy to lay down the right framework.

eric_navy
06-20-2012, 03:56 PM
If we go 8-5 and 7-6 for 10 years in a row, I'll be kind of ok with that. The only way we're going to get that breakout season is if we allow a guy to lay down the right framework.

I agree that stability is important, but I don't agree that going "8-5 or 7-6 for ten years" reflects of laying down "the right framework." That type of record is not the result of just not being able to get over the hump - it is the result of not being very good. If you accept consistently winning only 7-8 games out of 13 for the sake of stability, it sends the message that you are not serious about winning.

This may be indicative of how things have changed over the last 15-20 years. For most of the 20th century, a "breakout season" at ND meant a championship. It is unfair to compare anyone to Ara or Leahy, but a more recent comparison seems reasonable. In 11 seasons at ND, Lou was 100-30-2, for an average record of about 9-3. He lost two games or less in '88, '89, '92, and '93. Since '93, ND has lost at least 3 games in 19 straight seasons, and has only averaged about 7-5.

Nationally, you will be hard-pressed to find more than a handful of teams that average less than 3 losses per year for extended periods of time, but there are several current/recent examples, and I think ND should aspire to be among that group.

None of this really has anything to do with BK. He is off to a decent start as a coach, and has plenty to work with over the next few seasons. My confidence in him was shaken last year, but I think his track record entitles him to a little breathing room, just like Charlie's early success kept some of the grumbling at bay in '07. If he goes 8-5 for the next 3 years I will have a hard time making up my mind. ND hasn't really ever had a coach who was consistently pretty decent. Coaches have either won championships in year 3 or made it pretty obvious that they weren't likely to ever do so.

jerseyborn1971
06-20-2012, 04:34 PM
Screw it. This is the year that ND shocks the college football world. And they are going to do it on the ground and with defense.

tedwick
06-20-2012, 05:14 PM
I agree that stability is important, but I don't agree that going "8-5 or 7-6 for ten years" reflects of laying down "the right framework." That type of record is not the result of just not being able to get over the hump - it is the result of not being very good. If you accept consistently winning only 7-8 games out of 13 for the sake of stability, it sends the message that you are not serious about winning.

This may be indicative of how things have changed over the last 15-20 years. For most of the 20th century, a "breakout season" at ND meant a championship. It is unfair to compare anyone to Ara or Leahy, but a more recent comparison seems reasonable. In 11 seasons at ND, Lou was 100-30-2, for an average record of about 9-3. He lost two games or less in '88, '89, '92, and '93. Since '93, ND has lost at least 3 games in 19 straight seasons, and has only averaged about 7-5.

Nationally, you will be hard-pressed to find more than a handful of teams that average less than 3 losses per year for extended periods of time, but there are several current/recent examples, and I think ND should aspire to be among that group.

None of this really has anything to do with BK. He is off to a decent start as a coach, and has plenty to work with over the next few seasons. My confidence in him was shaken last year, but I think his track record entitles him to a little breathing room, just like Charlie's early success kept some of the grumbling at bay in '07. If he goes 8-5 for the next 3 years I will have a hard time making up my mind. ND hasn't really ever had a coach who was consistently pretty decent. Coaches have either won championships in year 3 or made it pretty obvious that they weren't likely to ever do so.I dunno. I think this kind of attitude is part of why we've had a rotating door at the HC position, the assistant positions, all the way on down. Earning a little breathing room based on how BK did in Year 2? Eeek. Take someone like Frank Beamer. Didn't win 10 games until his 8th year at VaTech. Nick Saban had four years of 6 and 7 win football his first years at MSU before getting them up to 9-2 in his fifth year. Both of those guys probably would have been fired in their 3rd year at ND.

I'm not saying let's be cool with losing, but if we keep changing guys every 3-5 years, we'll have more 3-9 seasons than championships for sure.

ACamp1900
06-20-2012, 05:22 PM
I have stated the overall point of this thread many times in the past as well; in fact I just discussed this yesterday with a student. Although the more I have thought about it, the more one thing stands out that simply does not make this apples to apples.

Each of the teams mentioned for a means of comparison have basically taken on a "Win at all costs" mentality, meaning winning comes first, second and third... academics is not a remote priority for some of those schools. ND does not adopt and I do not believe ever will, that type of mentality.They will win the right way or not all at... No?

It's hard to compete at such heightened levels in ANY FIELD when those you are competing with pull every trick they can and you tie your own hands…

I’m not saying ND should start over signing or forgetting the big picture (though I now believe strongly that JuCos have to be a factor for this to ever fully turn around)… All I am saying is, in the current environment of college football it is becoming harder and harder for me to envision a scenario where Notre Dame becomes a year in, year out, top five level team again like Lou and Ara had them (basically what bama is now) until ND makes some changes or the teams mentioned above are forced to change by the NCAA etc… I'm really starting to wonder if 05 style runs every few years are more realistic.

ACamp1900
06-20-2012, 05:30 PM
We're gonna be surprised..in a good way...one of t hese years. It will happen, it's just a matter of when.

This is really what I cling to... a lightning in a bottle year... not only could that bring what we all want but it could potentially change the current dynamic...

I definately do not see that happening this year... but maybe soon

NDAlumSon
06-20-2012, 09:20 PM
I smell a championship.

jerseyborn1971
06-20-2012, 10:03 PM
I definately do not see that happening this year... but maybe soon

That's why it is called a surprise! It's coming.

ACamp1900
06-20-2012, 11:05 PM
That's why it is called a surprise! It's coming.

^^ I like it

;)

IrishDodger
06-20-2012, 11:09 PM
I have stated the overall point of this thread many times in the past as well; in fact I just discussed this yesterday with a student. Although the more I have thought about it, the more one thing stands out that simply does not make this apples to apples.

Each of the teams mentioned for a means of comparison have basically taken on a "Win at all costs" mentality, meaning winning comes first, second and third... academics is not a remote priority for some of those schools. ND does not adopt and I do not believe ever will, that type of mentality.They will win the right way or not all at... No?

It's hard to compete at such heightened levels in ANY FIELD when those you are competing with pull every trick they can and you tie your own hands…

I’m not saying ND should start over signing or forgetting the big picture (though I now believe strongly that JuCos have to be a factor for this to ever fully turn around)… All I am saying is, in the current environment of college football it is becoming harder and harder for me to envision a scenario where Notre Dame becomes a year in, year out, top five level team again like Lou and Ara had them (basically what bama is now) until ND makes some changes or the teams mentioned above are forced to change by the NCAA etc… I'm really starting to wonder if 05 style runs every few years are more realistic.


I was less optimistic until Stanford's recent success. It can be done w/ the right HC. I also agree w/ not firing HCs every 3-5 yrs unless it is unavoidable.

TexasDomer
06-21-2012, 02:19 PM
Harbaugh was at Stanford for 4 seasons. Is that an appropriate length of time for us to see if BK is moving in the right direction?

tedwick
06-21-2012, 02:51 PM
Harbaugh was at Stanford for 4 seasons. Is that an appropriate length of time for us to see if BK is moving in the right direction?I'd have a hard time saying "Our coach did not go 11-1 and get a BCS bowl in his first 4 seasons, therefore he's probably not the guy." Please, let us not forget that Harbaugh's first 3 seasons at Stanford were 4-8, 5-7, and 8-5.

jerseyborn1971
06-21-2012, 03:45 PM
And they weren't playing MSU, Michigan, Oklahoma and Miami. They played SC, Oregon and some other dudes.

TexasDomer
06-21-2012, 04:12 PM
I don't disagree, but that argues against the theory that "Stanford did it, so can we."

IrishDodger
06-21-2012, 11:10 PM
I don't disagree, but that argues against the theory that "Stanford did it, so can we."

I didn't mean in the same time frame....just that academics should not be an excuse. The overall situations at each school are not an Apples-to-apples comparison.

NotreDameNate
06-22-2012, 05:19 AM
How so, Irishdodger? Andrew Luck vs. Tommy Rees :biggrin:

tedwick
06-22-2012, 11:51 AM
I don't disagree, but that argues against the theory that "Stanford did it, so can we."True, although for different reasons than academics/Indiana. I don't think ND would have ever given 1 year to a guy whose only significant coaching experience was at a I-AA school that didn't give athletic scholarships, let alone 3 or 5.

TexasDomer
06-22-2012, 01:35 PM
Other questions to consider:

a. Does independence create a situation where our schedule is too light or too heavy, but never as balanced as conference schedules are?
b. Does Stanford make more exceptions on its admissions than Notre Dame?
c. Is Harbaugh a better coach than Kelly?
d. How much of this is simply "getting lucky" with the harmony of a coach and specific player (e.g. Andrew Luck) peaking together?

ACamp1900
06-22-2012, 03:14 PM
Other questions to consider:

a. Does independence create a situation where our schedule is too light or too heavy, but never as balanced as conference schedules are?
b. Does Stanford make more exceptions on its admissions than Notre Dame?
c. Is Harbaugh a better coach than Kelly?
d. How much of this is simply "getting lucky" with the harmony of a coach and specific player (e.g. Andrew Luck) peaking together?

My two cents..

a.) yes, without question, the front loading stuff has killed us...
b.) no, at least not that I'm aware of
c.) I would have to say yes, though that's more a compliment to Harbaugh at it may be a bit early to fully answer that fairly
d.) Luck has a role to play in anything... (getting lucky, not the player... ;) )

IrishDodger
06-23-2012, 11:28 AM
True, although for different reasons than academics/Indiana. I don't think ND would have ever given 1 year to a guy whose only significant coaching experience was at a I-AA school that didn't give athletic scholarships, let alone 3 or 5.

No, ND has preferred HS coaches w/ zero college experience (Faust) & career coordinators w/ zero college or pro head coaching experience (Weis).:biggrin:

IrishDodger
06-23-2012, 11:36 AM
Palo Alto is definitely more esthetic than South Bend...in more ways than one. It's this simple: win a BCS bowl game (preferably vs a higher ranked team) & the trajectory will skyrocket upward. Recruits will have to consider ND & the press & opposing fans will have to save their "ND isn't relevant" comments for next millennium. Another demand will be silenced, too...."ND has to join a conference". Winning cures EVERYTHING.

jerseyborn1971
06-25-2012, 07:41 AM
Harbaugh's first 2 years at Stanford were nowhere near as good as Kelly's first 2 at ND. The Jury is still out on that one.

IrishDodger
06-25-2012, 08:52 AM
Harbaugh's first 2 years at Stanford were nowhere near as good as Kelly's first 2 at ND. The Jury is still out on that one.

Harbaugh inherited a team that was 16-40 under Buddy Teevans & Walt Harris. The season before Harbaugh arrived they were 1-11. Hard to imagine anyone doing much better than Harbaugh considering the atmosphere of losing that he inherited.

HoffVir
06-25-2012, 08:59 AM
Is it harder to turn around a losing program with no expectations or an underachieving program that may have the biggest expectations of any program in the country? I don't know. Both are difficult situations.

eric_navy
06-25-2012, 09:43 AM
Harbaugh's first 2 years at Stanford were nowhere near as good as Kelly's first 2 at ND. The Jury is still out on that one.

Good point. You could add that Charlie's first two years at ND were better than Kelly's, but his last three were nothing to write home about. Part of the problem is that it's hard to get a good idea of where we are right now.

In 2005, ND mostly looked like a really good team, and in 2007 they couldn't do anything right: it was obvious where we were in those years, but they were exceptions. It seems like with most 7-5 teams, you can see that they are simply decent/mediocre. They win some games and lose some games without looking too spectacularly good or bad. But for much of the last 15 years, including each of the last four, there have been moments where the Irish have looked like a genuinely good team mixed with moments of eye-gouging ineptitude. (The Tulsa/Navy double-whammy comes to mind).

On the subject of "perspective," here are some factoids. If ND wins 7+ games this year, they will have three straight winning seasons for the first time since 1998. If they do that without winning a national championship (the NC seems very unlikely) BK would join Elmer Laydon (1934-1940) and Jesse Harper (1913-1917) as the only ND coaches to complete three seasons at ND without a) a losing season or b) a national championship (Harper was 7-0 in 1913). I don't know what, if anything, that says about where ND is and where she is going, but it's interesting nonetheless.

jerseyborn1971
06-25-2012, 11:48 AM
It is interesting but any comparisons to things ND has done before 1990 don't say much. The landscape of college football is so vastly different now, that comparisons to days of yore don't mean much.

eric_navy
06-25-2012, 12:53 PM
If ND wins 7+ games this year, they will have three straight winning seasons for the first time since 1998. If they do that without winning a national championship (the NC seems very unlikely) BK would join Elmer Laydon (1934-1940) and Jesse Harper (1913-1917) as the only ND coaches to complete three seasons at ND without a) a losing season or b) a national championship (Harper was 7-0 in 1913).

A little more detail since I found it really interesting:
ND coaches since 1913 (with at least three seasons)

*Harper: 1913-1917, no NC's or losing seasons, 7-0 in 1913, .863 overall
Rockne: 1918-1930, NC in 1920 (and '24, '29, '30), .881 overall
Anderson: 1931-1933, 3-5-2 in 1933, .660 overall
*Layden: 1934-1940, no NC's or losing seasons, .770 overall
Leahy: 1941-'43, '46-'53, NC in 1943 (and '46, '47, '49, '53*), .855 overall
Brennan: 1954-1958, 2-8 in 1956, .640 overall
Kuharich: 1959-1962, 2-8 in 1960, .425 overall
Ara: 1964-1974, NC in 1966 (and '73), .836 overall
Devine: 1975-1980, NC in 1977, .764 overall
Faust: 1981-1985, 5-6 in 1981 (and '85), .535 overall
Holtz: 1986-1996, NC in 1988, .765 overall
Davie: 1997-2001, 5-6 in 1999 (and 2001), .583 overall
Willingham: 2002-2004, 5-7 in 2003, .583 overall
Weis: 2005-2009, 3-9 in 2007, .564 overall
Kelly: 2010-20??, 8-5 in '10 and '11, .615 overall

Other interesting notes, which are probably not new to any of you:
-Lou Holtz is the only ND coach to have won a national championship (1988) AND had a losing season (5-6 in 1986), although Leahy and Rockne both came pretty close.

-Every championship coach at ND has won his first one in year 3.

-Elmer Layden and Jesse Harper are the two coaches to have had neither a championship nor a losing record by year 3. The worst season either coach had was Layden's first year, when his team was 7-3. If BK followed a similar career path, I think we would be satisfied waiting a little longer for another championship.

-Only 1 ND coach (Terry Brennan) has won between 58% and 76% of his games. He was fired in 1958 with a record of .640, which seems a little unfair until you look at a little closer at his records year-by-year. BK needs to average 8.5 wins over the next three years to match this record. Given the different circumstances, this would almost certainly keep him around past year five.

eric_navy
01-03-2013, 01:33 PM
I highly recommend taking a few minutes and reading back over the posts in this thread. Of particular interest:

ACAMP1900

This is really what I cling to... a lightning in a bottle year... not only could that bring what we all want but it could potentially change the current dynamic...

I definately do not see that happening this year... but maybe soon

ERIC_NAVY (oops)

it will be awfully tough to get over the 8 win hump this year.

All-time Winner Greatest post: JERSEYBORN1971

Screw it. This is the year that ND shocks the college football world. And they are going to do it on the ground and with defense.

jerseyborn1971
01-03-2013, 02:35 PM
All-time Winner Greatest post: JERSEYBORN1971


Screw it. This is the year that ND shocks the college football world. And they are going to do it on the ground and with defense.

NDAlumSon just had an aneurism.

NDAlumSon
01-03-2013, 02:49 PM
:biggrin:

NDisNCin2010
01-03-2013, 04:01 PM
jerseyborn nailed it!
go irish!

eric_navy
01-03-2013, 04:33 PM
More perspective on the bigger picture of CFB:

I had a dream that I was at a bar on November 5, 2005 watching #5 ND thrash Tennessee and the following exchange took place. A fellow sitting next to me in a faded IRISH ball cap, seeing that I'm a pretty serious fan, says

"You know, back in 1985 I took a quick ride in a Delorean and ended up in 2015. I didn't have time to learn much about the future, but I do know the future of ND football."

"You don't say," I muttered.

"Yes, I do say. If you don't believe me, in about 30 seconds, Zibby is going to take a punt to the house."

"Great," I said, my eyes rolling imperceptibly. "I'll look forward to that."

As #9 rolled into the endzone to the roar of the normally subdued ND Stadium crowd, I looked back at the man. He had my attention.

"Charlie is going to win 19 games in two years, but will get blown out in BCS bowls both years. In the next three years, he will go 3-9 and lose to Navy but still sign a #1 recruiting class, THEN win a bowl game, THEN get fired after losing to Navy again. ND will lose AT LEAST 5 games a year from 2007-2011."

"No way," I scoffed. "That's the craziest thing I have ever heard. Besides, ND is winning the championship next year, and will never lose to Navy."

"No, seriously, and that's not even the crazy part. ND's next head coach will have spent most of his career in Division 2, and 1/2 of the rest in the MAC. This coach will be welcomed with open arms by a portion of the fan base as "right out of central casting", and resisted at every turn by another portion. These folks will be convinced that the only way for ND to win is by hiring either Bob Stoops, Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, or Jon Gruden (depending on who you ask), will find fault with literally everything he does. After two years, many will be so utterly convinced that he is the wrong guy (despite a 16-10 record) that they will actually assert that it would be better for ND to go 3-9 (again) so that he will by fired immediately."

"Well, I think the ND fan base would show a little more unity than that, and I can't imagine them losing hope on a coach that quickly when he seems to be doing pretty well. Besides, that list of coaches is silly. Stoops will never leave Oklahoma - he'll probably win another couple of championship there. Saban left a championship team at LSU to coach the Dolphins. He's not coming back to the NCAA. Gruden will probably be in broadcasting or something after he leaves Tampa Bay. And Meyer, well already left us at the alter once, and we ended up with someone EVEN BETTER! "

"You will just have to wait and see," he said. "Just try to keep your cool during the Tulsa game in 2010. You'll know what I mean when the time comes. And, by the way, this new coach will scrap the pro-style offense and install a pass-first spread. However, in year three he will change his own offensive stripes by featuring the running game. He will bench a 16 game starter at QB in favor of a sophomore who has never taken a snap."

"Look, pal. I don't know who you are, but this is ridiculous. First of all, the spread is a gimmick offense. In five years, defensive coordinators will have figured it out and NO ONE will be running it. Furthermore, D1 head coaches don't just change their offense on a whim like that. And changing QB's like that? I think I'm going to need much more beer before anything you say will make sense."

"No," he said, "it's true. And not only that, but this guy will be known as an offensive guru, but in his third season, he will shed the nickname "Notre Ame" (no D) and field the #1 defense in America and will go from being unranked in the preseason to playing Alabama for the national championship after going 12-0."

"Well," I responded, "the third year is historically THE year for ND coaches, but nothing else you said even makes sense. First of all, Notre Dame's defense may not be up to historical standards this year, but I'm sure Charlie will field a much improved unit in 2006 and beyond. Second, there is no way that a team could rise all the way to the top 2 after starting the season unranked. Finally, do you really expect me to believe that Mike Shula can sustain the success he's had this season and turn Alabama into a championship contender?"

"No," he said. "Shula will be gone after next year, and they'll hire someone from the NFL."

"Jon Gruden?" I asked, mockingly.

"Good guess," he chuckled, "but no. You'll just have to witness that fiasco for yourself."

"Anyway," I continued, "if we're 12-0 in, what, 2012?, that means we finally beat USC after they beat us 4 years in a row, right? That's pretty impressive, since, according to ESPN, USC is the greatest team in the history of sports. Rivals.com lists their current recruiting class as containing 18 of the ten 10 overall players. I'm not sure how that even works, but I think it involves non-Euclidean geometry. They will probably never lose again, if this is to be believed."

"Oh, they will win their share of games," he grudgingly admitted, "and they will continue to attract great athletes, but what goes up does eventually come down. You can take some solace in the fact that they will never win a BCS championship."

"Wait," I said, "they have ALREADY won a BCS championship and are practically a lock to win another one this year!"

His face lit up at this statement, his heart clearly warmed by something I had said. He sat silently for a moment, a look of calm contentment washing over his face.

"In the 4 years from 2009-2012," he informed me, "USC will lose 18 games and go 2-2 against ND. Pete Carroll will bolt for the NFL when the NCAA finally takes a look at their shenanigans, but not before losing 4 games in his last season. After he leaves, they will hire Lane Kiffin as his replacement."

"Oh, they hired their offensive coordinator," I said. "That's great. He certainly paid his dues, spending all those years as an assistant before earning a shot at a head coaching job."

He squinted a bit at this, and looked as if there was much he wanted to say, but simply assured me that "It's not quite that simple."

"The balance of power on the West Coast is shifting to the north" he continued.

"You can't mean that Ty is going to turn Washington into a winner again?"

"Oh God no," he flatly stated. "ND definitely did the right thing letting him go. No - hold onto your seat - Oregon will continue to win games under Bellotti, and then his offensive coordinator, a guy you haven't heard of yet, will take them to a national championship game, although they lost to Auburn. Then, of course, there's Stanford."

"Okay, your drunk," I replied, losing interest. "Stanford has only had like 2 winning seasons in the last decade."

"Do you remember the Jim Harbaugh, the quarterback" he interrupted? "Well, he turns out to be one of the best coaches in the country. He turn Stanford into the class of the PAC-12 (you'll understand the '12' part in a couple of years). And not only that, he does it by emphasizing a power running game! They actually beat ND three years in a row by simply pounding them into submission."

"I guess sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. So you say Auburn wins a championship. It's nice to see Tuberville get a shot at it after what happened to him last year. He had a really good team, and it's a shame that they didn't get a chance to play for the championship because their SEC schedule was a little soft. The SEC has only had a team in 2 of the 7 BCS championship games. I think that conference is a little under-rated."

Something, I'm not sure what, about this statement seemed to anger him. He said that in a few years the SEC wouldn't have that problem anymore, and noted that Tuberville was no longer the coach at Auburn when they won the championship. I figured he retired, and let it go. He also said that everything I thought I new about conferences should be forgotten as soon as possible. He didn't go into detail, short of informing me that it would be a wild ride, with old rivalries falling by the wayside and seemingly well-established conferences essentially disintegrating. I pondered what this might mean, and how it might affect ND, but decided to focus on the most important question.

"Well, let's hear it," I insisted.

"Hear what?" he mockingly replied.

"Does Notre Dame, with her great new coach, her new and improved #1 defense, her power-running-pass-first-spread hybrid with a first year QB beat Alabama and strike a blow to the SEC, who I can only infer is now considered the top conference in a conference landscape that evidently resembles that Balkans?"

"Well, if I gave you the answer to that question, do you think you would enjoy the ride as much?"

I woke up thinking "YES DAMMIT, JUST TELL ME!" But it was too late.

Jiggafini19
01-03-2013, 04:55 PM
Notre Dame and Stanford aren't going anywhere anytime soon. ND haters need to come to grips with that, and ND fans need to come to grips with Stanford.

I embrace and welcome Stanford having a successful football program. I know plenty of ND fans are insecure about Stanford in recent years, but there really isn't any reason for that anymore.

Both programs still have hay in the barn and will keep reloading like traditional powers that could care less about academics.

stonebreakerwasgod
01-03-2013, 07:45 PM
I believe I called for a NC early on.

(or 2-9...can't remember)

Hell, if we all had good foresight, we would be rich from gambling.

NDAlumSon
01-04-2013, 07:56 AM
jerseyborn nailed it!
go irish!:whiteflag:

jerseyborn1971
01-04-2013, 07:57 AM
I'm never letting you forget this....

NDAlumSon
01-04-2013, 08:02 AM
I'm never letting you forget this....:smack:

njuneardave
01-04-2013, 08:49 AM
loved the post, eric... that was epic. im on spread.


somebody rep that man.

eric_navy
01-10-2013, 11:30 AM
Monday afternoon, we were kicking ourselves for being so short-sighted about our team and our coach, whose mistakes have probably cost us some games. Now we were undefeated and we expected to stay that way. Even if we lost, our defense would keep it close, and it would be a huge building block for the future.

Then came Monday night. The team largely failed to show up (although they tried hard) and this was reflected in the scoreboard. After really starting to believing we were "back," the talking heads have suddenly turned on us again. Recruiting defections are in the back of our minds, whether we admit it or not. Our coach, whose praises we were singing a few short days ago, was badly outclassed in the game and may be jumping ship.

This whole situation reminds me of a story:

A farmer's rice fields are destroyed by a terrible storm. Everyone in town says "How awful for his family!" The Zen master says "We'll see."

The next year his fields, having lain fallow, produce a record yield, and he becomes rich and buys for his son a beautiful pony as a gift. The town says "How wonderful for the young man to have such a fine horse!" The master says "We'll see."

Some time later, the boy is thrown from the horse, badly breaking his leg. "How terrible!" the townspeople exclaim. "We'll see," says the Zen master.

The following year the town is embroiled in a conflict with the neighboring village that becomes so serious that warfare results. The boy, due to his injury, is unable to fight. The battle does not go well for the town, and many men are killed. The townspeople find a silver lining - "How fortunate that this boy was injured and could not fight, as he will now be able to maintain his father's farm and care for his family." The Zen master says "We'll see."

It is uncanny how quickly things can change from bad to good to bad again. What will happen next? We'll see.

stonebreakerwasgod
01-10-2013, 12:26 PM
I killed myself. I came back as a more reasonable fan.
ND was early to that party, out of luck, down opponents, and good coaching.
IMO, ND still has much to do with depth along the lines, and at DB.

IrishDodger
01-12-2013, 01:32 AM
ND lost by 5 points to FSU in the Orange Bowl after the 1995 season. That was Lou's last bowl game as NDs HC. It was actually a respectable loss as FSU was one of the best programs in the nation & ND was coming off an embarrassing season in 1994. That was the year the Bowl Alliance was roundly criticized for selecting a 6-4-1 team to face #5 Colorado where the Irish were blown out from the start to finish. So '95 seemed to get ND back on track as they were more deserving of their prestigious bowl bid vs the Seminoles. Additionally, they had to go with the backup QB, Tom Krug, as Ron Powlus was injured. Despite this crucial loss, ND led for most of the game before FSU finally prevailed.

The rest is history as Lou "retired" after the following season & they declined a bowl invitation. Since that Orange Bowl loss to FSU after the 1995 season, ND has yet to compete, much less win, in a high profile bowl game vs a top 10 team. In fact, they've lost four BCS bowls by a combined 101 pts. This year was bittersweet as ND ran the table only to see their carriage turn into a pumpkin as they were outmatched in the NC game. Ironically, a less successful regular season (say 11-1 or 10-2) could have placed them in a BCS bowl vs a more comparable team. Despite the anti-climatic ending, we were still galvanized by the fact that the immediate future would be bright as next year looked to build on this year's success as BK was truly building something special. Notre Dame was finally back in the big picture where it belonged. That all changed on Wednesday evening. The ball is in BKs court. He can resurrect a football institution or be a footnote. Time will tell. Hopefully sooner vs later.

Domer Dog
01-12-2013, 03:20 PM
Stoops has been getting hammered a lot this year at OKL, loses his starting QB, and I think would be ripe for the picking. I'd just like to see us get someone good who will stay for 10 years or so.

Jiggafini19
09-10-2013, 07:56 PM
per·spec·tive
pərˈspektiv/
noun
noun: perspective

1. the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.

plural noun: perspectives
synonyms: view, vista, panorama, prospect, bird's-eye view, outlook, aspect More

Geometry: the relation of two figures in the same plane, such that pairs of corresponding points lie on concurrent lines, and corresponding lines meet in collinear points.

2. a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

rontdtarchala
09-05-2014, 10:35 AM
believe don't know what it is... So lets say its a feeling... in the pit of your stomach... where you believe your team will be successful against a team everyone says you will loose too!!! You say screw that!!! my boys will win and convincingly... and they do!!!
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!

rontdtarchala
09-05-2014, 10:38 AM
Whichever one of you awesome people that put interviews on the site if there is any for you know that team please put them up!!!

IrishDodger
09-28-2014, 12:37 AM
At least we aren't scUM fans

Despite their ugly win over Stanford, SCum also lost to BC

Nebraska is 4-0 and the darling of the B1G despite needing a last second TD to beat an FCS school earlier in the season.

FSU...the #1 team in America & defending NC...gave up 41 points to unranked NCSt and survived Clemson despite being outplayed by them last week.

PSU got blown out by Northwestern...a team everyone had given up for dead.

Despite Arkansas' prodigous run game & the biggest OL in the country...they still let their first SEC win slip through their fingers...KARMA Bielema

TAMU should be returned to the B12 until they agree to play defense

ND can't help the fact that their first four opponents were underwhelming. At least they took care of business putting at least 30 pts on each victim. They're 4-0 w/ room to improve...just like FSU, Auburn, TAMU, Miss St, Alabama, Nebraska, Baylor, Oregon, et al. They've all showed vulnerabilites w/ unimpressive wins. All of ND's remaining opponents are beatable but a few will take ND's best efforts which mean they can't afford the sloppy play we witnessed tonight.

At least we're not scUM fans.

rontdtarchala
09-28-2014, 03:41 AM
Our last two games are definitely nothing to brag about... We won and that is good because at the end of the season all they really look at are wins and losses no matter what any of the talking heads want us to believe!!! This group seem to play to the caliber of opponent they are playing and that can be very dangerous... Now its time to get serious and start playing like the champion caliber team we all know we can and should be... We better figure out how to play on the offensive front or we are screwed!!! I am hoping this is the last sloppy game we see this year because that was sloppy!!! However our Defense came through with flying colors...Again!!! Wow they are playing championship caliber football!!! There is no excuse for our offense so boys you better get it together and you better do it now!!!

Eight years ago MY NOTRE DAME was playing and I was laying on the couch... I wasn't watching, I wasn't doing much of anything!!! The most incredible woman I've ever had the complete pleasure of being able to share life with was sitting on the floor next to me telling me what was happening!!! I have absolutely no memory of it just what she and friends have told me... She talked to me a lot... begging me to fight... I had gone from 269 lbs. too 150!!! I ate through a tube in my stomach... Close friends and one of my brothers ( the other is a fan of that team up north...nuff said) would come sit with me and beg me to keep fighting even though how I looked scared the living hell out of them... They had to pull the skin off of my face and neck to get to the tumurs (sp don't care) they actually had to periodically push my eyes back in their sockets so they kept me unconscious so I wouldn't have to deal with the trauma!!! I had talked a lot about keeping up with some of the top posters on GH... My sweetie talked about how I needed to fight so I could... never thought I'd get the chance to get to this day and this number.......I DID!!! THANK YOU GOD, JESUS, HOLY SPIRIT, MY CHICK THATS HER NICKNAME... WHO IS THE ABSOLUTE LOVE OF MY LIFE... PAULY...YOUR THE BEST BRO... BRENT A REAL BROTHER... RANDY WE ALL MISS YOU BROTHER (CANCER GOT HIM) AND ALL OF YOU... THIS IS WITHOUT THE CLASS OF ALL NOTRE DAME WEB SITES!!! I CONSIDER YOU ALL BROTHERS!!! THANK YOU GUYS!!!
Now I just have to get off all the damned drugs they had me on so I'm not sick all the dang time... Wooo Hooo!!!

RONTDTARCHALA

jerseyborn1971
09-28-2014, 11:07 AM
Ron is "all day tough".