Irish Blogger Gathering: Viagra-Swilling Circus Clowns

irish blogger gathering
The Brawling Hibernian slams his answers down on the desk and takes a bite out of my apple.

  1. What is your biggest “FEAR” going into the bowl game?

    Like most right-minded people, it’s viagra-swilling circus clowns with active libidos and low standards becoming our overlords.  Beyond that, though, I’d have to say Notre Dame’s inability to run the ball effectively.  While Miami does not have an exceptionally stout rush defense (81st nationally), the possibility that they load the box and dare Tommy Rees to beat their 2nd ranked pass defense certainly exists.  That is not a position which plays to Irish strengths.

    During the three-game winning streak, Notre Dame’s offense has been efficient, but not spectacular; which is to be expected with a true freshman behind center.  The key to the whole thing has been the ability to move the ball on the ground effectively.  Take that away, and Friday afternoon could be as uncomfortable as an encounter with the aforementioned ravenous clowns.

  1. Will Michael Floyd and Kyle Rudolph enter the NFL draft?

    As of now, I would say ‘no’  for two reasons: 1) an NFL lockout is looming in 2011; and 2) they have both been victims of significant injuries in their college careers.  The first is an obvious concern; given labor disputes, there is a huge amount of uncertainty hanging over the 2011 NFL season.  More importantly for guys like Floyd and Rudolph, one of the major issues swirling about is the possibility of a rookie pay scale.  Given such uncertainty in the pros, it’s probably a safe(r) bet to head back to campus one more time until things get sorted out with owners and the NFLPA.

    The second issue is specific to these two players; namely, they’re somewhat seen as damaged goods.  Michael Floyd has yet to make it through a season in college without an injury keeping him off the field for at least one game, and Rudolph is coming off a major injury which cut his 2010 season short.  It would be in their best interest to show the powers-that-be that they are both durable (and, in Rudolph’s case, fully healed) in order to advance their stock with NFL franchises.  Of course, there are risks associated with this strategy, such as further injury or diminished production (Rudolph’s replacement, Tyler Eifert, has been ascendant), but these would seem to be outweighed by the negatives of leaving now.

  1. Duval Kamara did not make the trip for personal reasons.  This is very bad – true or false?

    It ain’t great, that’s for sure.  Kamara had been playing very well in the last three games, hauling in three TD passes combined in the wins over Utah and USC.  After spending much of his post-freshman year career in the abyss, it seemed as though Kamara was, once again, finding his groove, and it was paying dividends for the Irish.

    Making matters worse, as mentioned earlier, the Hurricanes have the 2nd ranked pass offense in the country, so it would have benefited Notre Dame to have “all hands on deck” with the receiving corps; particularly those as experienced as Kamara.  TJ Jones is a talented replacement, but lacks experience and has been dinged up.  While I don’t know what “personal reasons” have prevented Duval Kamara from making the trip, I know his absence will be a negative for ND.

  1. Which senior will have the biggest game?

    Robert Hughes.  As many readers know, I have been a big Hughes fan for the entirety of his career in South Bend.  In addition to the gentlemanly manner with which he’s always conducted himself, he has proven to be an asset whenever he’s been inserted into game action.  Unfortunately, after his freshman year, Hughes was misused by two different coaching staffs and never really got the opportunity to be the star I believe he should have been.

    On the bright side, Hughes has been terrific over the last three games, bringing a hard-nosed north-south style into the game to compliment Cierre Woods fleet-footed shiftiness.  Heading into his final game at ND, with so much on the line and an opportunity to not only shine, but help his team win, I have no doubt Robert Hughes is going to be massive on Friday.

  1. Vegas has the Irish as a 3-point dog…

    I guess I’d go with “that’s about right.”  While I think Notre Dame will win this game, for a number of reasons, I can certainly see why the oddsmakers like Miami here.  Coming into the season, the expectations were much higher for the ‘Canes than they were for the Irish, starting the year at #13 in both the AP and Coaches’ Poll; and, frankly, when Miami’s been good, they’ve been very good.  Unfortunately, for them, they’ve also been wildly inconsistent.  Now, of course, the same can be said of ND, but Miami has probably been just slightly (you know, three points or so) better on balance for the course of the season which, to my mind, justifies the line.

  1. Does Notre Dame NEED this bowl win for a good start to 2011?

    No.  Look at it this way, the Irish ended the 2008 season with about as solid a bowl performance as anyone can hope for, and it did nothing to keep 2009 from being a 6-6 nightmare.  On the flip side, Notre Dame ended the 1987 season getting beaten down, 35-10, by Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl and were undefeated national champions in 1988.  In reality, as much as fans, pundits and bowl committee members like to ascribe a huge amount of importance to bowl games, they simply do not carry over to the following season.  So, while I would love to see the Irish win big on Friday, I don’t think it has much to do with what 2011 will or won’t be as a season for them.

  1. Notre Dame will…

    Win in relatively comfortable, 27-17, fashion.  Here’s the thing, Miami is undoubtedly a talented team but, for all the talk of how much more skill and speed they have than the Irish, keep in mind, Notre Dame’s recruiting has been in a league with the Floridas and USCs of the world over the last five years.  For that reason, I think that argument is largely overstated.

    More importantly, though, is morale and preparation.  Miami just lost their head coach and are being led by an interim until the Al Golden era begins.  Now, it’s possible that Hurricane players may see this as an audition for the new guy, but spring practice is really what that kind of jockeying is for.  What I think more likely is that, a team which was inconsistent and lacked focus while being led by their established coach will be, if anything, less so under their interim.  In addition, Brian Kelly has proven to be a pretty solid coach when given some time to prepare.  Remember how gut-wrenching that loss to Tulsa was?  Remember how great Notre Dame looked against Utah in its next game?  Remember that Kelly and Co. had two weeks to prepare for that Utah game?  Long story short, if the coaching staff can turn this team around that significantly in just two weeks, I like their chances with a month to prepare.

The Subway Domer

About The Subway Domer

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

Quantcast