Time for this weeks Gathering, brought to you by Frankie V at UHND Blog.
(Photo of Subway Domer)
2. Not to look too far ahead… but in looking at the 2009 schedule, do you think the Irish will be set up for a title run if they continue to improve each week as they are doing now?
Definitely. The schedule does not get significantly harder than this years plate. The key games will be @ Michigan, VS. Michigan State, VS. U$C, and @ PITT. The U$C game could be a lot like 2005. If ND has one loss or is undefeated going into the U$C game, they will have a chance to play for the title when they play USC- win and then win out. As fans we have had 2009 circled as the year that ND football gets back in the title picture and as long as they keep improving, I fully see them getting there.
3. If you could take 1 recruit we missed on from each of the last 4 years (1 from each year), who would they be and how differently would this team look like right now if we had gotten that 1 player each year? (Note, the players should be players the Irish either led for at one time or were at least a finalist for).
This is quite easy given our true weaknesses on this team and it is on the defensive side of the ball.
- 2005: Lawrence Wilson DE (Ohio St.). I piss and moan to my Buckeye friends about this loss. We had him. Weis just couldn't talk him out of the Ty trance. When healthy, Wilson is an absolute animal.
- 2006: Gerald McCoy DT (Oklahoma). Really good. That's what I think of when I hear the name Gerald McCoy. He is a huge run stuffer and would be a difference maker in the passing game with his ability to create pressure by himself.
- 2007: Ben Martin DT (Tennessee). Of all of the recruits Notre Dame was said to have lost after the loss to LSU in the Sugar Bowl, Ben Martin might have been the biggest.
- 2008: Keith Wells LB (Ohio State). Irish fans thought Wells would be a perfect fit for Corwin Browns 3-4 defense, but he would be an even better fit for the Brown/Tenuta style defense. (This was a hard one to answer after having the #1 class).
So there you go. I would also like to mention Ettiene Sabino LB was also a big loss, albeit early for the 2008 class. He too is now a Buckeye.
4. If Notre Dame could only land 1 more recruit on each side the ball in this recruiting class, who would you like it to be? (Again, it should be someone we have a reasonable chance with).
OFFENSE: Given that we are probably out of the picture for Xavier Nixon, and all of ND's other offensive offers are either committed to another team or have put the Irish way down on the list, I have to go with WR Shaq Evans. Evans would join a crowded depth chart with Floyd, Tate, Parris, West, Goodman, Walker, and Oliver. I will say that the biggest losses from this recruiting season were the big boys; offensive tackles- Shrive, Shofield, and now possibly Nixon.
DEFENSE: How about MLB Manti Te'o. Te'o is a ferocious hitter and has good sideline to sideline speed to make plays all over the field. The downside is that he intends on going on a 2 year Mormon mission. I can wait, but if I couldn't i would say Corey Adams DT.
5. If you could take one of Notre Dame’s bowl losses since the 1994 Cotton Bowl win over Texas A&M and turn it into a win, which one would it be? Why? And What if any impact do you think that win would have had on the Irish.
The 2006 Fiesta Bowl versus Ohio State. Living in Ohio, and working with a lot of Buckeye fans in Indiana, i took a lot of shit over that game. People seem to forget that it was 27-20 with 5 minutes or so to go in that game. People acted like we got destroyed. Plus, that game gave the Heisman to an inferior QB in Troy Smith. Who didn't have big numbers against ND through the air in 2005? Navy, because they run the triple option. If ND wins that game, Quinn would have been the clear front runner for the Heisman that year. Smith was a joke of a winner. Even worse than Gino Torreta.
Quinn's Revenge: Clausen 4 Heisman in '09