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, December 5

Rating The Irish

So now that the BCS controversy has settled -- at least if you don't live in Michigan, support Michigan football or base your happiness on Michigan football opportunity -- we can analyze what Notre Dame means to fellow coaches. We can do this because of the coaches' poll. The final votes were made public, so we can see who voted who where.

Okay, that might not be gramatically smooth, but the point is, we can tell what everyone thinks of the Irish, as well as the Florida-Michigan debate.

Notre Dame was picked as high as seventh (thank Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee) and as low as 16th (what was South Carolina's Steve Spurrier thinking?). Indiana's Terry Hoeppner had the Irish 10th.

Tyrone Willingham, who is now at Washington, picked Notre Dame 13th.

What did Charlie Weis do? Well, he had Notre Dame eighth, which, coincidentally or not, is the last BCS spot to receive an automatic BCS bowl bid.

All of this is moot now that the final BCS rankings are out and the Irish are safely in the Sugar Bowl. Okay, "safe" might not be the right word considering Notre Dame's eight-bowl losing streak and the strength of its opponent, LSU, but you get the idea. What better way to end this streak than in a BCS bowl against a high-profile opponent.

Let's face it. Next year could be a bit of a struggle considering how many high-quality seniors the Irish will lose. Winning this game would be a big momentum boost, sort of like a final gift from these seniors to the program. Because nobody -- nobody -- who is involved with the program wants to deal with any more talk about a bowl losing streak.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about a struggle...Considering the way ND beat UCLA and MSU...they could easily be 8-4 right now. I'm not sure playing a quick/fast LSU team is a reward...thank you baby Jesus... Jim/Redondo Beach

December 07, 2006 12:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

By that logic, considering the way that LSU beat Tennessee and Ole Miss, they could easily be 8-4 as well. ND isn't the only team that pulled out a couple of last second miracles. LSU needed OT to beat 4-8 Ole Miss and a last-second TD to beat UT with an untested freshman backup at QB.

December 07, 2006 2:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you also look at the close win Michigan had aganist Ball State and also OSU had a close call as well. So saying the Irish could easily be 8-4 there are alot of other teams that could have a worse record as well. A win is a win. GO IRISH

December 07, 2006 4:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weis and ND haven't beat a "favorite" yet. It really has to do with the players putting together a "best" game and the coaches having the right game plan. I was hoping for the USC game, that didn't happen, now LSU is the candidate. Brady was ready for USC, let's see if the ND players and coaches can finally put it all together.

December 07, 2006 8:10 PM

Anonymous Jamie said...

Imagine. Just imagine a top 25 ND defence - yes, not top 10, nor a top 20 - just a top 25 in points allowed. Or a combination of yards allowed, lost yardage, etc.

People, ND fans around the globe, especially Coach Weis: your "D" ain't cutting it now for 24 games. And I'm not buying the lack of speed factor. But I am buying the lack of coaching, strategy & direction.

I love ND but I hate our chances vs LSU because of the above. Buck stops where?

Charlie somehow takes over the defence for ONE game, pulls out a minor miracle for a win, makes the right replacement hire for D Coordinator thereafter - the BIGGEST hire since he was hired - and you have a team.

December 07, 2006 8:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spurrier is an idiot! He voted ND the lowest of any coach last season as he's not biased!

December 07, 2006 8:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to agree with the D scheme being as big a culprit as anything. I was half hoping Crennel would get sent packing by the Browns so CW could lure him to SB. There is plenty of speed on defense unless they are 10 yards behind a guy chasing him down the field. Our LB's are too small, the scheme gets no pressure on the QB and leaves guys mis-matched in the secondary. CW would put up 80 points on his own D

December 07, 2006 10:21 PM


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