Notre Dame Football

The Back Corner Fade

December 6, 2018

Step one is complete. The Irish are in and there is nothing ESPN, the other media outlets, or hand wringing fans of other programs can do about it other than flap their gums, call Notre Dame unworthy, and moan for the next 24 days.

Just to give you an idea how non-ND fans feel about this, I’ll give you my experience over the past 14 weeks. Mind you, I live in Ohio:

·         “You guys are not going to beat Michigan. Their defense is too strong. Don’t get me wrong, I hate Michigan, but you guys don’t have the horses.” Irish win. “Man, you guys looked good. Of course, Michigan is overrated as usual.”

·         “Typical ND. They play great against Michigan but can just sneak by Ball St. It’s gonna be a long year for you guys.”

·         “Sweet. You guys snuck by an SEC team. Granted, it’s the worst program in the SEC.”

·         “Wake Forest’s offense is no joke. I’m calling the upset!” Irish paste them. “Wake is complete garbage. Yeah Book looked good against those guys but what’s going to happen against a great team like Stanford? It isn’t going to be pretty.”

·         ND whacks Stanford: “It’s obvious that Bryce Love isn’t healthy. It’s a totally different game if he’s firing on all cylinders.”

·         “Dude, playing at Virginia Tech is no joke. That’s a different animal down there.” ND destroys them. “Hey man, ND has a nice team. Reminds me a lot of the 2012 team and we all know what happened there.”

·         “Congrats you guys lucked out against a horrible Pitt team—luck of the Irish. Penn St and UCF drilled those guys.”

·         “Oh look, ND plays their annual service academy game. How cute. Real teams don’t ever play schools like that.” Of course, none of these people have any clue why ND plays them every year.

·         “You scared? Northwestern is playing great football right now. Fitz will have them ready.” ND takes care of business. “Yeah well, it’s Northwestern. You should beat them. Hey man, I got to tell you, you don’t want any part of Michigan now.”

·         “Florida St is having a bad year, but they have the athletes to give ND all they want.” ND clocks them. “This is the worst FSU team since we were infants. I’m not impressed.”

·         “Syracuse has an offense that can dial it up. ND is in for a shootout!” ND damn near shuts them out. “Pretty impressive, but it would have been a different game if their QB was playing.”

·         “You guys had to sneak by an awful USC team. There’s no way this team can get into the playoffs. No way.”

·         “But, but, we won the Big 10. Disregard the fact we lost by 4 TDs to Purdue who lost to Eastern Freaking Michigan earlier in the year. This isn’t fair!! You guys have no business going to the playoffs. We need an 8-team playoff now!”

·         “I’m going to enjoy seeing you guys get embarrassed by Clemson. Go Tigers!”

Sound familiar?

Such is life as a fan of Our Lady’s University. We’re simply a different bunch and the vast majority of the college football world hate us for it. In the infamous words of Otter in “Animal House”: “It doesn’t matter what we do Hoov, they’re going to nail us anyway.”

Real quick, here’s a thought on the past week and a couple of coaching moves:

Georgia is the second-best team in America right now. I’ll say it with no reservations. They went toe-to-toe with the Devil and damn near took him down. I would have loved to have seen that last Alabama drive making them at least go 80 yards instead of 50. Kirby Smart and the UGA faithful are going to be bouncing that decision around in their heads for years to come. In my opinion, the Bama game shouldn’t be the one to make them lose sleep. Losing by 17 to a dolt like Coach O would be the one that would drive me nuts.

I feel bad for Georgia Tech’s 23 fans. With Paul Johnson “retiring” ahem, if they don’t bring in a coach that runs a similar offense (say our old pal, Coach Ken) they’re looking at the very least a two-year rebuild. Going from the option to a “normal” style offense with what they have in fold is going to take time and I don’t envy who has that job ahead of them.

So Urb’s has decided to leave Columbus due to health reasons. I’m not going to come out and call him a bold face liar because there really may be health issues. That being said, his heart miraculously got better fast in the year between Florida and his return to Ohio State didn’t it? I also wonder why Gene Smith and the boys gave the keys to the kingdom to a 38-year-old with no previous coaching experience. They could probably get any big-time coach they wanted for that gig. It begs the question: is Day the caretaker for when the NCAA comes calling soon? Please know, I have zero evidence that anything is afoot in Woody World, but this whole thing seems odd. In the end, maybe it is Meyer’s health is bad and they’re giving this kid his shot and that’s all it is. But if I’ve learned anything for being around OSU for as long as I have, nothing is that simple.

Coach Brah, better known as Kliff Kingsberry is bringing his Ray-Bans and wide-open offense to Southern Cal. If he can mesh with Clay Helton, look out. That offense could be scary.

Bob Davie is back for another year of losing football at New Mexico. Brilliant move to have such a big contract for Beavis that they can’t get out of. See you in September, Hoss.

The Washington/Utah PAC-12 Championship game might have been one of the worst football games I’ve ever witnessed. I curse myself for ever sitting through that whole monstrosity.

We’ll take a peek at the bowl games in the next few weeks along with gift-giving ideas, cookie thoughts and a spirited debate on who was the better Christmas Crooner: Bing Crosby or Perry Como?

Until then, enjoy the fact that the Irish have something big to play for. It’s going to be fun.

Go Irish! Beat Finals!

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