Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

The Back Corner Fade

September 24, 2019
3,023

Almost. Such an open word isn’t it? “I almost made that 30-foot putt. I just lipped it out.” “I almost applied to Harvard, but my 2.5 G.P.A made me think otherwise.” “I asked Taylor Swift out once. She almost said yes and then her security hip-tossed me into the street.” One ‘almost’ makes sense, while the other two are pipe dreams.

We ‘almost’ beat Georgia and that’s a reality. We’re ‘almost’ a top-tier program. In 2016, I would have said that was about as close to happening as the aforementioned Ms. Taylor going out on the town with one of us knuckleheads. Fast forward to 2019, and were not too far off. As a matter a fact we’re at the doorstep. That means nothing until we can get through the door beating a team like Georgia in a wild environment like we witnessed Saturday evening. But to think where this team was to where they are now is remarkable. I was one of the villagers at the castle gate with the torches and pitchforks after sloshing through the miserable 2016 wanting Kelly’s departure. Now, here in 2019, I’m glad I was wrong. 

The Irish are not there yet, but they’re close. One last step to take, boys. 

Well, I can tell you one team that isn’t close, even as much as the media wanted you to believe they were at the start of the season, are the Michigan Wolverines. I reserved my enjoyment of that beating administered by Wisconsin simply because we were staring at a potential similar fate later in the day. Now that the weekend dust has settled, this is delicious. All we’ve heard about since around 2010-ish was Jimmy this and Jimmy that. Bottom line: he’s a joke and so is his program. Speaking of Wisconsin, I have a man crush on their offense. Just body blow after body blow. It can’t be fun to play against that for four quarters.

Congratulations to Pitt for doing the most Pitt thing ever, beating UCF when let’s face it, they’re just not very good. Say what you will about Pat Narduzzi and his mediocre coaching, the guy finds a way to clip a good team every year. He’s good enough to find a way to beat Clemson in Death Valley two years ago, yet can struggle with Youngstown St. and Albany. I’d hate to be one of the hundreds of Pitt fans out there having to go through this glass case of emotion every Saturday as an excuse to booze to get ready for the “Stillers” on Sunday.

In case you didn’t stay up very late Saturday night, you probably missed the fact that UCLA outlasted Wazzou, 67-63. The Bruins scored 50 points in the second half led by Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s 565 all-purpose yards. When asked on what happened in the second half by Mike Leach, Cougs DC and Flounder from Animal House look-a-like Tracey Claeys, could only stare at him……Leach again demanded an explanation this time with an affirmative “well, out with it!”…….and was puked on.

Congrats to the U with that huge five point win over Central Michigan in front of an announced crowd of 49,000 people. Really? This reminded me of going to Indians games as a kid at the old Municipal Stadium. There’d maybe be 3,000 people there on a May evening and they’d announce 20,000. 

Indiana beat UConn 38-3 which begs the question: why doesn’t UConn just go back to FCS or shut the program down completely. It still is nauseating to think that ND, and it wasn’t very long ago, lost to that program.

So what do we have this weekend. Honestly, not many real “must watch” games with national implications riding on them, but there’s still some decent early conference games to check out.

Not many people are saying anything, and it really was an under-the-radar hire, but Chris Klieman was, in my worthless opinion, an outstanding hire from ND State, and has the Wildcats at 3-0 (with an impressive road win at Mississippi St) heading to Stillwater to play Mike Gundy (still a man, and aged 52) and the Pokes who gave Texas all they wanted last weekend in Austin. K-State plays an old school, smack you in the mouth style of football, while OSU of course tosses it all over the yard and spreads you out. I love it when contrasting styles meet up. Small upset: K-State 28-24.

Even though the ACC sucks this year, it will be interesting to see what happens when undefeated Wake Forest heads up to the high school stadium in Chestnut Hill to take on the Eagles. This obviously is a huge, huge game for Fredo and it shows is the ticket prices. According to Stub Hub, it’s going to run you a solid $21.00 to even get in the door for this one! BC’s gotta be feeling great about themselves after that big win against Ruptures last week after getting boat raced by mighty Kansas the week before. Back to reality boys…..WF 38-28.

Ohio St, fresh off running through their in-state brothers part of the schedule, hits the road for their first real test against Nebraska. , I don’t think that NU has the pony’s to hang with the Buckeyes, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Huskers could hang around for at least a half and tested them. In the end, too much of the law firm of Fields and Dobbs. OSU 42-24.

How bad a season is Stanford having? They’re only 3 point favorites on the road against Oregon St. 

New Mexico’s AD didn’t do Bob Davie’s boys any favors did he. Two weeks ago they obviously came to The Bend, this past week they played the always emotional slug fest against NMSU (They scored 55 points. Seriously, how bad is NMSU) and this week they head back east to take on Liberty. Not that playing Jerry Falwell’s boys is remotely in the same league as playing at ND, they could have easily stayed on the west coast for an equal beating and saved the program some dough. 

Mola Ram Offering to the Cupcake God’s Game of the Week: How about those Florida Gators?!? Three weeks ago they had UT-Martin, then Kentucky (which they lose if Franks hadn’t gone down,) last week was Tennessee, which is quickly becoming a light week, and now they get Towson State. 

Trap Games. Emotional let down. Not being “up.” We’re going to hear those words all week and I’m sure will be on a few “Upset Alert” articles this week as the Virginia Cavaliers make their first appearance in South Bend. The last time we saw the Cavs, Will Fuller was cooking past a helpless UVA corner with no safety help, to escape Charlottesville with a really ugly win. If you remember, that was a week after the Irish had the season opener against Texas and clearly didn’t play well. I’m sure that might be mentioned by BK even though it was four seasons ago. This would be a feather in Bronco Mendenhall’s cap, and if you remember, his BYU teams always gave ND a tough game. Bottom line, while they have some nice players, they don’t have the horses across the board to beat ND if ND comes out focused and ready to go. While I don’t expect this to be a “pretty win,” I expect us to grind them down with a win that looks easier than it truly was. Just remember, if you look at ESPN’s latest “Bowl Predictions,” this will only be Round 1 with the Cadavaliers as they have us slotted to meet up with them again in the Cotton Bowl. Just goes to prove any idiot with a computer can be a writer these days, present company included. ND 34-17.

Beat Virginia.

 

 
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