Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Notre Dame football.

Tuesday, September 12

Saturday Stakes Are High

Sure, Notre Dame has Michigan this weekend in a game ripe with national title implications. And, yes, the Irish seem focused and disciplined enough not to let that distract them.

Still, they're human and when you consider the big Notre Dame Stadium crowd and national TV audience and title possibilities, distraction can enter the picture.

Then there's the NFL element. Notre Dame could have as many as eight players drafted and because NFL thoughts are never far from a talented player's mind, even the disciplined ones, you might think coach Charlie Weis would be concerned.

You'd be wrong. Why? Because he knows what NFL scouts are looking for.

"They get judged by how they play," Weis said. "They don't get judged by reputation or who you are. It's a very simple motivational tool. They know I'll always tell them the truth. They might not always want to hear it, but I'll tell them the truth."

The truth is a big game against Michigan could make a big impression with NFL scouts. Come Saturday, we'll know how big.


Blogger Chad said...

While the Michigan game does have serious implications, really, every game on the Irish schedule does too. With teams like Auburn around, which will likely go undefeated, ND can't afford to lose any game. It would be dangerous to take a team like Stanford or Purdue lightley.

I believe if ND gets past Michigan, MSU, Purdue, and Stanford, it will go to USC in November in control of its own destiny. But, one loss will knock them out of contention. A lot of poll voters think ND's defense is weak, and are just looking for a reason to put USC ahead of ND. I hear radio analysts saying the Trojans should be considered no. 1.

The Irish need to approach every game this season with a sense of urgency if they want to be champions.

September 12, 2006 10:33 PM

Blogger Chad said...

Please excuse my misspelling of the word "lightly."

September 12, 2006 10:34 PM

Blogger Pete DiPrimio said...

Chad: No problem about the spelling, and you're right about the sense of urgency. Notre Dame players have really bought into that, as my most recent post mentions. They aren't about to say anything that could fire up the Wolverines and more than they are. I think this game will determine whether the Irish are unbeaten when they face USC.

September 14, 2006 8:02 AM


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