Welcome to GAME WEEK SON!!! With that, we continue onward in our Irish Blogger Gathering discussions, that bring together some of the best Notre Dame bloggers on these here interwebs.
This week, Frank from UHND.com, has the hosting duties and basically asks us to break out our magic 8 balls (not that 8 ball esse) and break down what we think may happen this season.
I know I’m geeked to make some horrible predictions- so lessssggggoooooo:
1. The big news of last week was Dayne Crist winning the starting QB spot. Are you happy with the outcome and how comfortable are you with Crist as the starting quarterback for the 2011 season?
I’m happy, but surprisingly disappointed. In a small way, I was really pulling for Tommy Rees so I could break out all of my Joe Germaine comparisons that I pushed to the side last year. Oh well… I guess we’ll just have to ride with the best choice available; Dayne Crist.
Crist has all of the tools to be a big time QB in Brian Kelly’s system. I thought he was on his way to doing so last year- even with a few bumpy spots. Crist brings more athleticism, a stronger arm, and seniority to the table. Comfortable? Hell, I might just move right in to Hotel Del Dayne.
2. A lot of people say you see the biggest improvement between year 1 and 2 after a coaching change. What area do you hope to see the biggest improvement in 2011?
I want to BURY teams. For years, Notre Dame has been unable to put teams away early after getting a nice lead. I’m tired of all that shit. I want Brian Kelly to have this team poised to gut and bleed these teams for total domination. Sure, I guess I could have said the “running game” or something, but it is in this area that has helped the National media talk about how overrated ND is.
Going four quarters for every game is exhausting for everyone involved. How can you get game experience to some of the younger guys when your only up 2 points to Podunk University with 5 minutes left in the game (of course you were leading by 24 a quarter ago)?
I want Brian kelly accused of running up the score by some asshole coach in the postgame press conference.
3. I think we’ve all covered this year’s highly touted freshman class quite a bit this off-season already so instead, who do you see as this year’s Corey Mays? Mays played primarily special teams for 3 seasons before a breakout season as a 5th year senior in 2005. Who on the Irish roster can pull off a similar performance this season?
Steve Filer will be the first name brought up by most of us. Same hometown, same position, similar number- but no dreadlocks. What the hell Steve?
I am going to go out on a very far and weak limb, and say Deion Walker. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING suggests that Walker will much of anything during his senior year, but i just got that hunch. Depth is fairly weak at WR, and we need someone to step up and provide some offense. Is Deion ready for Prime Time- OH SNAP!
4. Theo Riddick is a player I’ve been touting all off-season and think the is ready to become a big name in college football. What player on Notre Dame’s roster who hasn’t yet broken out are you expecting to put up big numbers in 2011?
I’m going to play this one off like a trick question and say… NO ONE. I think the big pieces of the puzzle will be the only ones to provide “big numbers.” There will be many, many role players and if you combine their stats it would be a big number.
5. Notre Dame plays a legit opponent in South Florida unlike a lot of teams around the country. How do you see this game playing out and does it help or hurt Notre Dame that they play a BCS conference opponent this weekend while Michigan plays Western Michigan?
There are pros and cons to playing quality teams right off the jump. You have a much better grasp of where you are as a football team, and it gets them focused and ready to role for the season. On the flipside, you risk early injuries, and a loss could cause the team to lose that focus and desire to get rolling.
I think South Florida is a good test, but I’m not in the “watchout” crowd. Call me overconfident, but I like our chances against a team that returns only 2 starters on their offensive line and one on their defensive line. The trenches make the difference and the Irish start the year off with a “HOLLA” and a 34-13 victory.
Fuck Michigan. No seriously, FUCK THEM.
6. Stealing this one from my IBG pre-season questions from last year – who is the Notre Dame player the Irish can least afford to lose this season? For the sake of getting some different response, you can’t use Michael Floyd or Manti Te’o here.
A tie between Cierre Wood & Harrison Smith. In both cases, depth is the reason why- or lack there of.
In Wood’s case, its not that I don’t believe that Jonas Gray can make the leap, it’s that he has two freshman backing him up who aren’t exactly ready.
In Harrison’s case, I would imagine that if he went down, Slaughter and Motta would be the starters. I can live with that, but they both showed an amazing ability to get hurt a lot last year. Who backs them up?… Right.
7. Obligatory pre-season prediction question:
- Notre Dame’s final record (noting the losses): 12-0. I really believe that right now. Don’t worry, someone else will tell me how insane I am.
- Notre Dame’s bowl game and opponent: BCS Title Game. Notre Dame loses a close game to Oklahoma 31-29.
- Final ranking for Notre Dame: #4 (He Hate Me)
- Best opposing offensive and defensive player ND will face in ’11: Offensive- Andrew Luck (Stanford) :: Defensive- Luke Kuechly (Boston College)
- Best opposing coach ND will face: Mark Dantonio
- Notre Dame game you won’t miss for anything: U$C. I’ll be there to start some shit.
- Notre Dame game you could watch on DVR: Wake Forest. I might be in Columbus for this game. Planning on watching it at my buddies house, but just in case.
- National Champion: Oklahoma (They play in that god awful Big 12).
- Heisman Trophy Winner: Theo Riddick (Man I love hope and optimism!)