Irish Blogger Gathering: Headlines

Welcome to this weeks edition of the Irish Blogger Gathering, or affectionately also known as- The IBG.

How many headlines have you read this week concerning Notre Dame? Sure, the number is usually pretty high considering the national fascination with the Notre Dame football program, but once again we are forced to swallow every headline possible about the coaching situation.

Headlines are everywhere. That’s why I am asking the other members to come up with a headline for each of their answers. Also, feel free as the readers to post your own headlines in the comment sections of any of the blogs in the IBG. Have some fun in these dark times.

On to the IBG…

1. After weeks and weeks of living on the edge, Notre Dame finally fell off of that edge into a pile of shit. Please describe your mental state since the Navy game. Are you hopeless or hopeful? Why?

Subway Domer Still Confused After Torturous Loss To Navy

Subway Domer has been abnormally positive since the loss. So much so, that I have had a large number of emails trying to sway my opinion of the Weis situation- mostly from the “fire his ass” crowd. Mainly, I have been trying to piece together the possibilities that the season still holds. The more I think about it, however, the more uneasy I get when I think about both the positive and the negative.

So actually… I’m bamboozled.

I remain hopeful though. I still believe that Notre Dame can win its final 3 games and play in the Gator Bowl. This is still a team that is capable of putting up a lot of points on the scoreboard, and if the defense can just slow down the opponent enough to keep them from scoring on 70% of their possessions, than all will be well.

2. Given the sorry state of the Fighting Irish defense, are they capable of slowing down Pitt’s offense, or will Stull, Baldwin, and Lewis have career days?

Stull Stalls As Baldwin Flies By…

Keep this in mind… Bill Stull is not a first year starter, or a freshman. Quarterbacks in those categories have dismantled the Irish defense over the course of the entire season. However, what Bill Stull is. is the 5th ranked passer in the country with a passer efficiency rating of 161.61. In comparison, Clausen is ranked 3rd and has a rating of 162.88.

What Stull has had has been a really good ground game with Dion Lewis who is rushing for over 120 yards a game, a tall, fast, athletic wide receiver in Baldwin, and a solid offensive line. With all that, he has been very efficient.

However, Notre Dame improved their rush defense during the course of the season until Navy came into South Bend with chop blocks and the always tricky triple option. I think ND can slow down Lewis enough to force Stull to win the game with his arm. I think Stull is capable, especially against the Irish secondary- but I just have a feeling he won’t. He’s not a freshman.

3. Notre Dame has had serious Red-Zone issues this year. They can’t score… why is that? What needs to be corrected and how can they do this?

Red Zone Disaster

I have actually mentioned this before. Notre Dame is not physical enough in the redzone, particularly inside the 10, to will itself for a touchdown. I think they try- but fail miserably. I still don’t have the stats for the red zone scoring (or lack there of) of the Irish, but I know it isn’t good. Too many times they are forced to throw up the fade, because the running game is non existent.

It is probably too late for Notre Dame to improve its physical nature, but they can do more to mix up the play-calling with drags, slants, and the wildcat. I’m talking touchdowns here people. More creativity and spreading the ball around could help- but it is certain that something needs fixed.

4. Charlie Weis and Dave Wannstache started coaching their alma maters at the same time. They have both coached on crutches. They both seem to recruit fairly well. They are both considered disappointing in their respective 5 year campaigns. After reviewing their total body of work, who would you rather have coaching ND in 2010? Explain.

Charlie Weis > Wannstache

This is actually a trickier question than it shows on the surface. You look at Pitt’s record and Top 10 ranking this year, and say Wannstache is the man. Word. Right? No. Dave has had a few small but noticeable advantages in coaching Pitt.

  • Pitt has had a horrible schedule in terms of its strength for the past 5 years.
  • They play in the Big East.
  • They schedule 1-AA teams.
  • They take JUCO’s and College Prep players (LeSean McCoy)
  • They have kids that didn’t qualify for ND academically (I won’t call out the players by name).

Obviously, Weis has a few advantages that Dave doesn’t in terms of national exposure and such, but overall his pool of players is smaller.

Aside from the schedule and recruiting differences, lets look at Wannstache’s record. 25-22 from 2005-2008. 0-1 in bowl games.

I’ll just stop right there and change the direction a bit. Wannstache’s teams are physical and play hard. I like that, and it is intriguing, but generally in the past 5 years, Pitt has not accomplished much of anything. And to make this simpler, Weis is an ND alum and Wannstache is a Pitt alum. Nuff said. Who asked this dumb question anyways? Shit. It was me…

5. Prediction time. How does this game play out. Please include a score, an offensive MVP, a defensive MVP, and a sleeper.

Irish Still Have Heartbeat, Smack Pitt Upside The Head 34-27

Notre Dame has been through some wars this year already. They have been through adversity and have conquered a few of the demons that have plagued this program. They have also suffered some low moments as well, with none lower than the loss to Navy last week.

With so much riding on this game for Notre Dame, and not nearly as much for Pitt, I think the Irish show up in Pittsburgh and come together as a team. They show why they were considered a BCS school in the preseason and why Jimmy Clausen is the best pure QB in college football.

IRISH 34-27. Golden Tate is the offensive MVP as he catches 2 touchdowns and throws for another. Darrin Walls becomes the defensive MVP for his game clinching INT late in the game in front of his home crowd. Mike Ragone steps up in a huge way as the sleeper, with 6 receptions for 89 yards and his first TD in an Irish uniform.


Obviously, we all just need to wait and see what happens on Saturday, but this game is without a doubt as important as any in the Weis era. How will Notre Dame respond?

I’ll have all of the IBG responses linked here in the post as they roll in…

*One Foot Down Finds Strength From Alice.
*OC Domer Won’t Stand For “cute.”
*Brawling Hibernian Is Spinning with booze and headlines.
*Domer Law sounds worried.

About The Subway Domer

Warlord and Emperor of the Subway Alumni... also, I do this "dad" thing pretty damn well.