Notre Dame Football

The Back Corner Fade

November 7, 2018

NOTE:  Mike Kane is a Notre Dame fan writing his column from a fan's perspective and is not a member of the staff.  Our readers love the fan perspective, and Mike tries to find the humor in our obsession every week.  Enjoy!

19-3. That’s the record of the Notre Dame football team since the start of 2017 after they walked off the field in Chicago last Saturday night. 19-3. Can anyone truthfully say that they could see this program in that position after the lose at USC the last game of the train wreck that was the 2016 season? As ND fans, we’re programmed to complain and moan when the play calling might not be to our liking, or the tackling may not be up to snuff. I get it, I’m as guilty as anybody. But to see where this team is now compared to what this thing looked like just two seasons ago is a testament to Brian Kelly and his players.

Love Kelly, hate him, or on the fence, the numbers don’t lie. He’s won 19 out of 22 and has this program in position for another opportunity to play in the playoffs. That’s an amazing coaching job and you’d have a hard time proving otherwise.

I’m not going to get into the Northwestern game other than to say it wasn’t Stanford pretty or Ball St. bad. It was a win on the road against a decent opponent. Two years ago, they would have lost to a team like this. The pressure would have got to them, they would have been physically worn down by the 4th quarter, and chances are it would have been a very ugly, “I told you so” type loss. Survive and advance.

So what else did we learn last weekend?

If you haven’t noticed, Alabama is good at the game of American football. They made LSU look like UL-Monroe and coasted to an easy 29-0 win. It’s almost not even fair.

Georgia goes into Lexington and completely dismantles a decent UK team. No real surprise there. What is funny is that UK dropped all the way from #9 to #12 in the polls. Huh????

Congrats to the Missouri Tigers getting that elusive first SEC win by going into the Swamp and hammering Florida. Wasn’t it 2 weeks ago that Florida was the media flavor of the week and had an outside shot at the playoffs? Chomp, chomp.

We’ve discussed the merits and shortcomings of Brian Van Gorder for years on the ISD Forums and the consensus opinion is that it’s shocking that he has a job coaching anywhere let alone a Power 5 school. While watching Clemson drop a 77 nugget on Louisville, it finally dawned on me how he has a job……he’s a vampire. Here me out on this one:

Back in the winter of last year Bobby Petrino was sitting in his office dreaming of JUCO’s and Harley rides with 20 year old co-ed’s. His old friend Brian Van Gorder walks in with a cut-off Molly Hatchet t-shirt, jean shorts (Cope ring on the back pocket) and a new tattoo on his arm with a heart with sword through it. Above the heart it says “Live to Blitz” and below the heart “Blitz to Live.” This is how the conversation went down:

BVG: “So Bobby, you get that new Softail yet? We gotta go riding soon.”
Petrino: “Yeah, but I didn’t get one that I can bring a passenger on.” (both guys laugh)
Petrino: “So you get a new gig yet, Brian.”
BVG: “That’s what I came to talk to you about.”
Petrino: “Well, Brian I don’t…….”(he suddenly stops and is in a trance like state.”
BVG: “Yes….that’s it. Look…..look into my ‘stache. It’s pointless to resist the power of my lip lettuce.”
Petrino: “I’m… your command Lord of the 3-4.”
BVG: “I will be your defensive coordinator, Bobby. My schemes are so diverse, we will rule the ACC.” (evil guy laugh.)
Petrino: “Yes master. Run complicated defenses that the smart kids at ND couldn’t figure out but my JUCO grads will comprehend with ease. Yes, master.”
BVG: “So it is done!!!!”

Yep, dude can get people in a trance like Christopher Lee back in the day. It’s the only plausible explanation.  

…..and my parents wondered why I didn’t get in to Our Lady’s University with this sort of thought process.

So what do we have to look forward to this week?

Ohio State, fresh off that memorable win against Nebraska, heads up to E. Lansing to take on the average, at best, Spartans. It’s actually very quiet here in my home state of Ohio. I think the Sons of Urban realize that their teams just isn’t very good this year. If you look at their schedule, their “signature win” this season was against a 4-5 TCU team. Talent across the board, it’s just not gelled at all.

Nobody is really talking about Auburn going to Georgia, but this one might have all the signs of a trap game for the Dawgs. They’ve had a brutal last 3 weeks (at UK, Florida, and at LSU) and come home to play an Auburn team that just got done putting up 28 points on our old pal, Mike Elko and his Aggies. I think that Georgia will get the win, but I also think that Auburn easily covers the 14 points and this one goes all four quarters.

How “blah” are the games this week? Well, consider ESPN is taking their clown show on the road to Chestnut Hill to pump up the Clemson vs BC game should give you a pretty fair idea. A.J. Dillon is a great, great running back. I love how hard the kid runs and how hard BC’s offensive line gets after it. That being said, they’re not going to move Clemson’s d-line and they’ll force them to throw to beat them. Not going to happen. BC will play hard, the cold might mess with Clemson a bit, and it won’t be close. Clemson by 24.

Saturday night in South Bend. Where else would you want to be? I’m sure the Florida State Seminoles are thinking of thousands of places they’d rather be than sitting in 20 degree temps, playing with a bunch of individuals, and going up against the #3 team in the country.

The key to this game is jumping these guys early. They’ve had a horrible year and it seems to get worse with every passing week. As I mentioned above, it’s going to be cold. I really believe if Ian BOOKER can get the offense cranked up early and jump out to a quick 14-0 or the like lead, they’ll flat out quit. The body language of that team from what I’ve seen is awful and the “here we go again” mentality can creep in very quick if they light it up early.

I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Beating FSU is going to be sweet. Dismantling them is even going to be better. This one shouldn’t and won’t be close. ND 45-14

Beat Free Shoes.


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