Welcome to the IBG responses to my own lil questions. I AM the next man in. (Brian Kelly would be sooo proud!) There was a slight miscommunication error this week, and seeing as I am the “Administrator” of this group of dominate Irish blogs, I came off the bench to provide some spark to this IBG offense. I think I did such a kick-ass job, that I will be hosting the IBG next week (that was already planned, weeks ago- so chilax).
Let’s cut the bullshit and get right into it; kickoff is about 14 hours away.
1. Notre Dame routinely gets blasted by the media and other fans for scheduling Navy every year. It gets especially out of control when Notre Dame decides they want a portion- or all of the Commander in Chief trophy when they put either Air Force and/or Army on the schedule. Would you like to see this series continue or blown up? Why? If the series was forced to end, who would you replace them with that isn’t on Notre Dame’s schedule in the next decade. Bonus points if you come up with someone other than Alabama or Texas.
I completely understand, and respect, the reasons why Notre Dame plays Navy every year. My general opinion, is that I think the Navy series and the U$C series are the only games that Notre Dame should play every year. Because of that, they should NEVER schedule another service academy- especially all 3 in one year.
As far as a possible replacement, that gets a bit trickier when you look at how the Irish are scheduling it’s games for 2012 and beyond. It’s brutal. Navy is supposed to be the “cupcake” on the schedule, but that hasn’t exactly worked out for the past 3 years. So, I am going against the grain on this one and giving you the option (no pun intended- or maybe it was) to replace Navy with one of the following 3 teams:
- Ball State (In-state)
- Northern Illinois (Chicago-ish)
- Miami… of Ohio (Coaches of historical note)
I know most of you are probably rolling your eyes at this Big MAC value meal, but they are 3 options to fill one spot. My choice would probably be Ball State for locality reasons, but would be happy with any of the 3. It would be a nice “breather” school to play in 2012 and beyond, when the schedule starts to get a little out of control in terms of difficulty. And, just to piss off those that I haven’t… play it at night, on Thursday.
2. Before 2007 (and even still) Navy was treated like the neighbor kid with a terminally ill disease that does charity work and plays basketball against you in the driveway, by the media and fans when it came to their game against the Irish. Personally, if I was a Navy player, I would be pissed at the lack of respect given because of all of the “respect” given. Know what I mean? Seriously… answer that poorly phrased question. (I’m a pirate not a wordsmith).
It’s patronizing. It is just plain stupid. It is what was wrong with the Weis era (amongst other things). The minute the Irish players walked over to sing the school song for the Naval Academy, was the day that Notre Dame themselves turned into a service academy. I fucking hate it.
This is not the “Star Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful,” or even “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” (or whatever name that hillbilly Toby Keith titled it)- it’s THEIR school song. Fuck that. Those Navy guys must be good guys, because I’m not sure what keeps them from breaking out a machete and going commando on the Irish players when they walk over to sing it (especially after a ND victory).
3. It seems like the injury bug has really hit the Irish this year. We’re not talking about leg amputations or eyes popping out of the socket, but there is a trend of frontline players getting injured. Bad luck, or is this staff pushing the envelope with some of the players? Navy is skilled in the dirty tactics art of the chop block. Do you have any special concerns this week in terms of injuries?
It could be a little of both. Most of the players that have been hurt are the “serial injured,” so it’s hard to say, really. The Rudolph situation had some fans calling “foul” against Kelly, but Kyle has played hurt every season, and hamstrings are a funny bitch. If anything, I see kelly trying to instill that mental and physical toughness into his players- but I don’t believe it is one of those “win at any cost” kind of things. We just have had 6 really tough games, where our starters had to play full go, the whole game. Just wait unil 2012!
As for this week, I am concerned. I am always concerned when we play Navy as it pertains to injuries. Like it or not, and none of us do, Navy goes low to block and knees are a big target. All I will say is, watch your ass… and your knees.
BONUS: Give me your prediction for this weekend. Good. If Notre Dame continues to win, when (homonyms) will they creep back into the top 25?
I think Notre Dame comes out looking surprisingly crisp for having to use so many “backups,” and they make the most of their opportunities on offense, and they will look like a brick wall if Navy gets the ball into the redzone. I’m calling for a 31-16 game with one or two plays making this a 24-23 or 38-10 game. Any way you cut(block) it, Notre Dame wins.
Special thanks to Irish Creed for looking up the stat on 3 loss teams being ranked. I think if ND wins this week and next week, they will get some votes, and after they DISMANTLE Utah… they will end up in the #21 range. A win over U$C puts them at around the #16 spot… and a bowl win could put them near the top 10, if not in it. I’m not saying all of this will happen for certain, but if ND wins out and wins its bowl game, it is a likely scenario. Don’t doubt me; not now.