Jun 30, 2009

Wu Am I? Greasy Choirboy & Tha Foolish Magician

Welcome to another edition of Wu Am I? for the 2009 season. Once again- I am trying to identify the 36 players of impact for the 2009 squad. So without any further bullshit, I open chambers 15 & 16...

Duval Kamara #18
Wide Receiver
6'5" 220 lbs.
Hoboken, New Jersey
Wu Name: Greasy Choirboy

When it comes to Kamara, things are usually very quiet. He was a highly rated 4 star prospect in high school, yet his commitment to Notre Dame in early June of 2006 went largely uncelebrated. Kamara set freshman receiving records in 2007, but the team had one of the worst seasons in its entire existence and no one outside of the ND fanbase really took notice. As good as Duval was in his freshman year, he did regress quite a bit in 2008. When Kamara arrived to ND in the summer, he weighed more than what the staff wanted and was punished until he dropped the pounds. (He had to wear a lineman's jersey). Duval never regained his freshman form and watched his minutes dwindle as fellow sophomore WR, Golden Tate, became a star and freshman phenom, Michael Floyd, skyrocketed to stardom himself as he crushed the records set by Kamara a year earlier.

Here comes 2009. With Tate and Floyd virtually locked in as the #1 & #2 WR's, Kamara finds himself in a battle with two redshirt freshman ( John Goodman & Deion Walker), a senior (Robby Parris), and yet another bigtime freshman (Shaq Evans) for the "3rd" WR position. Notre Dame has arguably the best and deepest receiving corps in the country, so whoever emerges as the "3rd" WR will definitely have earned the job. My money is on Kamara. He has the experience and the skill set to set himself apart from the rest of the pack. It will ultimately come down to Duval and his ability to go up and get balls in traffic that has me believing in him. He will be pushed- but that push may be to the top of the mountain and not, to the bottom of it.

Kerry Neal #56
Defensive End
6'3" 246 lbs.
Bunn, North Carolina
Wu Name: Tha Foolish Magician

Speaking of quiet. Kerry Neal was the first commitment for the incoming class of 2007. What sometimes happens in recruiting is that even though you may be rated very high (as Neal was) you don't receive a lot of hype or attention. (Bad for business for the recruiting services.) What Neal lacked in flash during the recruiting period, he made up for once he got to South Bend. He played in all 12 games during his freshman year and started 5 of those games at outside linebacker. He was developing into a very nice pass rusher and showed good coverage skills on the outside. In 2008 Neal played almost the entire year with his hand on the ground at defensive end and was pushed around by offensive tackles, much bigger than him. The run support on the outside suffered.

I'm looking for a huge step forward for Neal in 2009. I think he had some injury issues with his shoulder in 2008 and he should be a little more healthy- plus if the Fighting Irish use more of a rotation system in 2009- he should stay fresh. Neal didn't have huge stats his freshman year, so saying his sophomore year was a downturn when he switched positions doesn't make all that much sense to me. I think Kerry has a swagger and a determination that is all his own, and we should expect more from him in 2009, as I believe he will deliver. Tenuta has been known to get the most out of his defensive ends in his scheme, and with new coach Randy Hart along to help- this could be a very big year for Neal.

Jun 29, 2009

Badger Is Irish... Recognizes Harbaugh Is A Tool

The Fighting Irish are on a roll with commitments as off late. They got their 4th commit in 5 days when 3 star safety, Chris Badger committed to Notre Dame. Badger is a big hitter and will definatly play more of a strong safety role that rolls up on run support.

Badger was a verbal commitment to Stanford and Jim Harbaugh up until now. Harbaugh may be crazy as bat shit, but he is becoming a thorn in the side of Notre Dame's recruiting efforts. The Irish may still get another "flip" from Stanford before this is all over with.

Chris is the first safety to commit for the class of 2010. Notre Dame would like to take no less than 2 safeties, but will probably take 3 or even 4.

Here is an evaluation from ESPN:

This guy is one tough nut. He has good size and for the secondary and really stands out at the safety position. Very instinctive and is a quick reactor to both the run and the pass. Attacks downhill on run support and takes great angles to the football; rarely is out of position. A sure reliable tackler attacking from the inside out and in the openfield. Especially impressive defending the sweep and option before the ball can break the perimeter. A physical hitter that makes a ton of face up tackles; absolutely doesn't shy away from contact. Tackles from low to high and explodes through the ball carrier. Intelligent safety that understands and reads route progression; knows when to jump the route. Transitions well and gets a great break on the ball. Excellent ball skills and times the interception to perfection; knows exactly when to go up for the ball. Soft and confident hands that gets north and south instantly after the interception. Goes up in a crowd and high points the ball. Fluid in the hips and can change direction without losing speed or balance. Very solid zone coverage safety from both the two and three deep. Quicker than fast but runs well and has a burst out of his break. Shows some limitations in one-on-one coverage when in man. Badger is an outstanding run support safety and possesses all the skills to be a very good free safety at the next level as well as a special teams standout.

Here's a nice video of Badger laying dudes out:

Welcome to Notre Dame Chris!!!

View The State of Recruiting 2009 in a larger map

In The Blink Of An Eye

The Subway Domer was on a little siesta this past week and a half. Ahh... I should have known better. There was more ACTUAL Fighting Irish news in the past 4 days than in the last two months. Never fear- I have a little recap of what went down along with some commentary that I know most of you just can't live without.


Notre Dame was in a bit of a recruiting lull for most of the past few months (as far as commitments are concerned), but this past week has proved to be a giant one for the Fighting Irish.

Andrew Hendrix, Quarterback- Cincinnati, Ohio:

The last elite QB prospect offered by the Irish for the 2010 class, finally committed to Notre Dame on Thursday. Hendrix doesn't have the name power of Nick Montana and he isn't as highly rated as Austin Hinder (Cal) or Jake Heaps (BYU), but he is still a four star QB with a lot of potential. He fits in well at Notre Dame with his overall character, but his rollout style as a passer will be a project that Charlie Weis will definitely be hands on with right away. This was an excellent pick-up for Notre Dame as they start to really cement the future at the position.

Here is an evaluation from ESPN:

Hendrix could be the biggest sleeper in this class not only as a powerful pocket passer, but also as a deceptively good athlete. He possesses adequate-to-good height and a solid build. Arm strength is outstanding and he is one of the few players in this class with natural downfield power and terrific wrist snap and velocity on all throws. Plays in a multiple set scheme out of the shotgun and from under center. Foot speed is good for the position and overall athleticism is very good. Gets back and set quickly in the pocket, feet are balanced and he shows poise and confidence surveying the field. Shows good ball handling skills, can freeze defenders with play fakes and can make the deep sideline throws from the opposite hash off play action. Has shown the ability to work through progressions, side-step the rush, keep eyes downfield and deliver the ball on time. Can compensate on late throws with arm strength and is more than capable of fitting the ball into tight spots in all three phases of the field-- short, intermediate and deep. Delivery mechanics are sound and consistent. Release is fairly compact and he is capable of driving off his plant foot and deriving excellent power when he transfers his weight through his hips. Overall accuracy is very good and even through he displays a great arm, he can change ball speeds a bit too. He is a guy that can use his feet to buy time and get an extra passing chance. Is not afraid to tuck the ball and run and shows very good foot speed for the position. He can be elusive and is a much better runner and athlete than one might think. His feet and arm make him a threat on the perimeter when rolling to either side because he can tuck it, but also make difficult throws off balance and across his body due to his arm strength. The more you watch Hendrix, the more you get an appreciation for the vast array of throws he can make which you do not see much of at the high school level. He can be a bit robotic at times as a passer-- a little tense in the upper body, but he has a high ceiling for further development. Overall, this is a kid that should be garnering far more attention than he is in the spring on a national level particularly in what is considered a down year by most at the QB position. Big arm, good athlete and nice upside.

Here is video from Rivals:

Blake Lueders, Defensive End- Zionsville, Indiana

One of the biggest recruiting needs for Notre Dame is at the defensive end position. The Irish are looking to solidify both end spots with Lueders and Chris Martin. It never seemed like Blake would go anywhere else but ND. Four and 5 star prospects from the state of Indiana are few and far between, so after losing James Hurst to North Carolina, Blake was a must have kid to help not only the team, but to keep building that fence around the state.

Here is an evaluation from ESPN:

Lueders is a pretty physical defensive prospect. He plays middle linebacker for his high school and does a nice job versus the run and he will offer some versatility to a defense in college, but will most likely make a move to defensive end. He has good size now and nice physical upside and should grow into an end with ideal type size. The athleticism he shows for his size should translate well to the end position, but there will be some adjustment. He moves well and has the lateral ability to stretch plays and come across the ball and squeeze down. He displays a physical nature in taking on blocks from the linebacker spot. Flashes the ability to generate power from his lower body on contact and use his hands to engage and separate from the blocker. He will need to be more consistent though in using his hands and also get accustomed to more quickly engaging blockers on a consistent basis. He has a good motor and is a good wrap-up tackler. An area Lueders will need to work on and adjust is his pass rushing from the end position. He displays the raw tools to be a productive rusher as he can attack half-a-man and work around blockers, but he will need to learn to use his weapons. Lueders is a good prospect with nice upside physically and as a player. He could end up at outside linebacker in a 3-4 look and where he ultimately plays will depend on where he lands. If he makes the likely move to end though there will be some adjustment and gray areas but should develop into a good one in college.

Lo Wood, Cornerback- Apopka, Florida

Back in the early spring, Wood was considered a Michigan lock. Some lock. Wood visited Notre Dame and called the Irish his leaders... a few months later he becomes the first defensive back to commit to Notre Dame. With the departure of McNeil after this year and the possible departure of Darrin Walls after this year as well, Notre Dame was looking to sign 2-3 corners. Now that Wood has committed , it will add pressure to players such as Spencer Boyd and Joshua Shaw, amongst others, to make a commitment soon.

Here is an ESPN evaluation of Wood:

Wood is a quick-footed cornerback prospect who is savvy and very active around the football. Lacks great size but has adequate arm length and some range to his frame. Plays bigger and is a scrapper. Transitions out of his pedal quickly breaking underneath and eats up the cushion. Hips are fluid and shows he can open out of his pedal and transition smoothly breaking underneath. Has good body control and change-of-direction quickness when playing off-man coverages. Will walk up and play press aggressively as well; knows how to use his hands to take away leverage, but lacks the upper-body strength at this time needed to reroute and jam bigger receivers of the line. Best asset may be his ability to recover in the short-area with burst and quickness. Anticipates the pass well and undercuts a lot of balls. Very instinctive and adjusts his body well to the ball in the air. Ball skills are good. In terms of run support, he is willing and feisty. Comes up quickly to tackle and is reliable in the openfield chopping down bigger backs. However, he could struggle setting the edge if asked to be the force player in Cover 2 zone schemes, and we question his vertical speed when locked up in man-to-man. Struggles limiting separation from faster receivers at times and can let them slip behind. Will have a more difficult time recovering at the next level. Shows some hip-stiffness for a smaller corner transitioning to run vertically. Overall, Wood is a solid, well-rounded corner who is savvy in coverage awareness, disciplined and consistent in his play. Has better range than speed and projects well as an underneath corner if he can continue to physically develop.

Here is a video of his commitment:

Other recruiting news of note...

Talk about an emotional roller coaster ride for recruiting junkies- Notre Dame commitment Chris Martin announced earlier in the week that he would be checking out a few other schools as part of a back up plan. Irish fans have fell in love with Martin after reports were coming out of Chris verbally and physically smashing U$C recruits at various football camps and pledging his hatred of the Trojans. A few days after the news came out of his decision to take a few visits, he retracted his plan and has said that ND is solid with him and he has no plans to take any visits. Whew. One small note though, Pete Carroll will not allow Martin at his camp because he fears Martin will recruit for ND while he is there. However, Urban Meyer still has that invite for Martin at his camp. How many ND verbals / former recruits are on the Gator front four? Too many. Meyer isn't scared of what the Poodle is pissing his shorts over.


Sophomore TE, Joseph Fauria has asked, and received permission to transfer out of Notre Dame. Fauria was recently suspended for the fall semester after he was found guilty of violating school policy. I will not comment much more on this matter as it pertains to the reasons for the suspension as I have only read rumors and nothing has- nor will it probably ever be released by the University. I will say that I smell a lot of bullshit, and it isn't coming from Fauria. Fauria will likely transfer to a PAC-10 school.


The incoming freshman were assigned their jersey numbers:

Manti Te'o #5
Shaq Evans #11
Roby Toma #84
Jake Golic #88
Cierre Wood #20
Tyler Eifert #80
Theo Riddick 332
EJ Banks #27
Carlo Calabrese #44
Tyler Stockton #92
Zeke Motta #17
Jordan Cowart #60
Zach Martin #70
Chris Watt #66
Alex Bullard #68
Nick Tausch #40
Ben Turk #35
Dan Fox #48


The eligibility charts for 2009 and 2010 are updated as well as the State of Recruiting map. All 3 links can be found in the right hand column.

All right. I think that about covers it. Subway Domer is officially back on schedule. Commence with the kegger!

Jun 25, 2009

Still Vacationing...

I realize that there has been a lot of Fighting Irish news in the past week. You should realize- I'M ON VACATION MOTHERFUCKERS!!! Hellyeah!

Anyways, I'll be back and running full speed by either Monday or even Sunday. I really mean it this time.

So R.I.P Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon, and sweet Farrah.

And not only did Hendrix commit today, but Blake Leuders did as well per Rivals. (Stories to follow post vacation... what a week).

Jun 18, 2009

The Nitty Gritty

I'll make this short and sweet. Bagpipe Monday is suspended until August. I have a lot of posts that I want to do for the summer, and I have even less time to do it- it's summertime. And to make maters even more complicated, I am tinkering with a few things on the site and I may make some very big changes before the season begins.

We'll see.

Look for a new survey on the right hand column to appear very soon. I also ditched the Shoutbox. It was becoming a collection of links to dating sites and other bullshit. Other than BM, posts should (should) stay relatively on the same pace, as they have been.

So anyways...

Jun 12, 2009

Wu Am I? Chi-Town Colossal Ass-Kicker & Hayseed Tha Dragon-Slayer

Welcome to another edition of Wu Am I? for the 2009 season. Once again- I am trying to identify the 36 players of impact for the 2009 squad. So without any further bullshit, I open chambers 13 & 14...

Robert Hughes #33
Running Back
5'11" 237 lbs.
Chicago, Illinois
Wu Name: Chi-Town Colossal Ass-Kicker

Notre Dame has had more than its fair share of spectacular "Big Backs" in its history. None were better than Jerome Bettis. (Do not argue with me- for I know best). He is the bar that is set, for any back walking onto campus with a robust frame. Hughes was touted as the possible challenger to that title when he committed to Notre Dame after a long and grueling recruiting process that had Hughes heading to the Fighting Irish over Illinois and Michigan. In some ways he looked the part in 2007 as he looked like the best offensive player on a very bad team. His stock was soaring and most thought that 2008 would be a very big year for Hughes. It turned out to be a sophomore slump. Hughes doubled his carries, but dropped over 2 yards per attempt from 5.5 to 3.4 while ending 2008 with the same amount of TD's (4) as in 2007. Robert did suffer a nagging injury against San Diego St. that those close to the program had said bothered him all year.

2009 could be that special year. Hughes was asked by his coaches to figure out what type of back he wants to be. I think we will see a much more determined runner in 2009 than we saw in 2008. All indications are that the offensive line will be much better this year and the Notre Dame will have a "Cliche" pair of backs with Allen and Hughes. Robert has a tremendous skill set, and for a big back- he has great feet. The real question for Hughes is: Can he put it all together? If the answer is yes, and it should be, than the Fighting Irish offense will continue to improve and start scaring the shit out of its opponents. Hughes can be that difference maker. The one that keeps drives alive on a 3rd and 1 and the one that pushes the pile and score when its 4th and goal from the one, and the one that suddenly burst through the middle for a long run. He has the tools, now let's see if he learns how to use them. I vote-yes.

Harrison Smith #22
6'2" 206 lbs.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Wu Name: Hayseed Dragon-Slayer

Athletic. That's the best way to describe the long-haired Junior from Tennessee. He was a prize recruit from a state that produces few top prospects. He followed fellow Tennessee product, Golden Tate, to Notre Dame as an early Christmas present for Charlie Weis. If Tate didn't earn some state honor, Smith did. Because of a good two-deep at safety when Smith arrived, he was able to redshirt and preserve a year of eligibility. Out of necessity of depth and a need for speed and overall talent at the linebacker position- Smith was thrown over to Jon Tenuta to become his primary blitzer from the outside. Although the sacks didn't quite pile up, Smith made his presence known as he consistently applied pressure and was effective in batting down passes. He will probably be best known for his acrobatic rush style as he was in the air for a lot of those blitzes.

Flash forward. With a depleting depth chart at safety and an increase in talent at linebacker, Smith has been moved back to his natural safety position in 2009. Perhaps the short stint at linebacker, helped toughen Smith up and help make him a dangerous enforcer in the secondary. The potential for Smith is really, limitless. He has a big frame and could still add a few pounds while maintaining his good speed. I think Smith really has a banner year for the Irish as he will provide the opposing offenses a lot of headaches. he will be able to blitz effectively and provide solid run support- while at the same time be able to drop back in coverage against the pass. The Fighting Irish need a playmaker at safety, and Harrison Smith should be able to answer that call.

More On The Montana Fallout

Here's a video clip from Rivals.com explaining in quick form what the Nick Montana commitment to Washington means to Notre Dame and a few other schools.

Jun 9, 2009

Bennett Jackson Is A Good Fit

Notre Dame recently received its 5th commitment for the incoming class of 2010. Bennett Jackson, a speedy slot receiver, gave his verbal pledge to the Fighting Irish over the weekend.

Good. Very good. I was kind of shocked at the amount of Irish fans that displayed some dismay to Jackson's commitment. He is not as highly rated as some of the other WR prospects that ND has offered such as Kyle Prater, Justin McKay, and Corey Cooper and that has a few fans worried.

Hogwash. Notre Dame could, and probably will, take up to 4 WR's for the 2010 class. We continue to need speed and Jackson has it. Plus, he just seems like an ND kid to me. So...


Bagpipe Monday... Dammit- It's Tuesday Again!

Welcome back to another edition of Bagpipe Monday- brought to you on Tuesday from the fine makers of Monday Housework. Anyways, last week I asked you a few questions about the TV announcing for Notre Dame football games. You people scare me:

  • 51% of you say they don't give a crap what the announcers say during the game.
  • 53% of you said that you have screamed at the TV announcers for over a minute on an occasion.
  • 50% of you would like to see Christopher Walken and Gary Busey call the games for Notre Dame.

So, most of you are screaming at the TV announcers while not really giving a shit what is going on, AND your dream announcing crew would sound something like this:

Scenario---4th and goal. Notre Dame down 33-38 to U$C. 3 seconds remain on the clock. Do or die...

Walken: James Clausen steps behind the center and places- his hands- directly under the ass of Wenger.

Busey: That's called ' Inner manhood.'

Walken: Jimbo takes the snap and fakes to Aldridge. What a LIAR! Now he zips one in the endzone... caught by Tate. That's a TD folks and Pete Carrol is officially-anal raped.

Busey: That's why they call Jimmy, The Eagle. He grabs his spirit jock and forces the frog to become part of his inner child. That is sexual, in its rawest form.

You people scare the shit out of me. Don't forget to vote in this weeks survey in the right hand column, and enjoy the pipes!

Jun 4, 2009

Pencil Them In

In a recent Subway Domer survey, I asked 20 questions about the program to help me brainstorm and post a few thoughts/ideas/manifestos... whatever you want to call it- about the program. (Alright- 19. 1 was to see if anybody was still paying attention to the site). So here is the first post to kind of really deal with those results.

The Schedule...

Generally, The Subway Domer does not comment on the schedule very much. There are a few things in life that you can't control, and when it comes to college football there are many, many things that we can't control, so I choose to not bitch about the slate that much. But it is still a very important part of the college football landscape... so a post about it every couple years or so won't hurt.

Notre Dame's schedule takes a lot of heat every year for their schedule and the opponents on that schedule. Whether it's fans of the Fighting Irish, or its detractors- the schedule stirs up a lot of heated debate on both sides of the aisle, and even a few fistfights in the same aisle. I'm not here to to vilify the schedule or defend it- rather, explain what it is, what it isn't and what it could be in this new era of the 7-4-1 system.

I'll do this by examining the 2009 & 2010 season's schedule and incorporating your thoughts from the recent survey. In that survey, Miami Fla. and Alabama were overwhelming winners when I asked what two teams should be on the schedule if the Michigan State and Purdue games were on an every other year rotation and if we got rid of a PAC 10 team. So let's get started...

2009 ( Current)

  • Nevada
  • @ Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • @ Purdue
  • Washington
  • U$C
  • Boston College
  • Washington State (@ San Antonio)
  • Navy
  • @ PITT
  • UConn
  • @ Stanford

2009 is the first year that the 7-4-1 scheduling model takes effect. For a team and a fanbase that is in desperate need of reaching a BCS bowl, the schedule looks like the cure. It has 7 bowl teams from 2008, but only two of those teams won their respective bowl games (U$C & UConn).

It breaks down like this:

  • 4) Pac 10 teams
  • 3) Big 10 teams
  • 2) Big East teams
  • 1) ACC team
  • 1) Independent team
  • 1) WAC team

The schedule is very indicative of what Notre Dame really is in 2009. A national school that recruits nationally- but well groomed for a serious BCS run. What this schedule doesn't have is what may be of the most importance: 1) No SEC schools 2) No Big 12 schools 3) No 1-AA schools.
As much as Notre Dame likes to recruit the south (particularly Florida and Georgia), it doesn't get to showcase itself to southerns very often anymore.

The same goes for the state of Texas. The game in San Antonio is a nice way to help recruiting in a state that Notre Dame would love to start taking more recruits from, but the game lacks a BIG 12- or even opponent from Texas with the the awful, awful Cougars of Washington State slated as the opponent.

The schedule does have an often overlooked (media) bright side that keeps the Fighting Irish respectable... no 1-AA schools. In an age of getting "the sure money win" Notre Dame has not resorted to filling its slots with those schools that have NOTHING to do with 1-A football. Yes, some of those 1-AA schools are significantly better than some schools in the lower third of 1-A- but they are still in a completely different division with a different title. Should MLB start scheduling AAA teams, or the NFL start scheduling teams in the CFL? That's what this is- except the games actually count towards the BCS formula.

Now on to what you want to see in the schedule based on the parameters of the survey question:

2009 (Adjusted)

  • Nevada
  • @ Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • @ Alabama
  • Washington (@ San Antonio)
  • U$C
  • Boston College
  • Miami Fla.
  • Navy
  • @ PITT
  • UConn
  • @ Stanford

The schedule breaks down like this:

  • 3) Pac 10 teams
  • 2) Big East teams
  • 2) ACC teams
  • 2) Big 10 teams
  • 1) SEC team
  • 1) WAC team
  • 1) Independent team

That schedule is significantly harder with 9 bowl teams from 2008, although the collective bowl record is a very poor 2-7. Two of those teams were in BCS games with U$C winning another Rose Bowl and Alabama losing to Utah in the Sugar Bowl.

What's still missing from the schedule is a BIG 12 opponent. Texas came in 3rd in the voting and if I was feeling saucy, I guess I could slide them into the neutral site game, but would 3 teams that made it to BCS bowls be suicide? Yes. It would.

I originally had planned to make the Miami game the neutral site game and have it played in Tampa, but even in this fantasy world, Miami would never play a neutral site game one year and then play at ND the next and vice versa.

The schedule is even more wide spread across the country and fiscally and historically makes sense. I personally have a problem with the idea of rotating the Purdue and Michigan State games, but it was an idea that was brought up by the A.D., so it serves merit in this fantasy situation.

I should note that I really like the Nevada game. Nevada will contend for the WAC title versus Boise St. this year, and it will have one of the best quarterbacks on the schedule (real or fantasy). One more thing about Nevada... I already consider The Mountain West a better conference than the Big East, but if we could add Nevada and Boise State to MWC- top to bottom it would pull ahead of the Pac 10. No, I am not crazy, but I do digress.

2010 (Current)

  • Purdue
  • Michigan
  • @ Michigan State
  • Stanford
  • @ Boston College
  • PITT
  • Army (Chicago / Soldier Field)
  • @ Navy (Baltimore)
  • Utah
  • @ U$C
  • TBD
  • TBD

A monkey wrench is already being thrown into the new 7-4-1 format. There are only 5 home games scheduled so far and and there will only be 3 true road games with the Army and Navy games being played on neutral fields.

The schedule breaks down like this:

  • 3) Big 10 teams
  • 2) Pac 10 teams
  • 2) Independent teams
  • 1) ACC team
  • 1) Big East team
  • 1) Mountain West team

At least there is a significant drop in Pac 10 teams with the Washington series ending and no Washington St. There is still no SEC teams or Big 12 teams on the schedule. The addition of Army as the "neutral site" game won't help with those who criticize Notre Dame's schedule as Navy is still on there (and will be forever).

Let's take a look at the adjustments:

2010 (Adjusted)

  • Alabama
  • Purdue
  • Michigan
  • @ Miami Fla.
  • Stanford
  • @ Boston College
  • PITT
  • Army (Chicago / Soldier Field)
  • @ Navy (Baltimore)
  • Utah
  • Cincinnati
  • @ U$C

The schedule breaks down like this:

  • 2) Big 10 teams
  • 2) Pac 10 teams
  • 2) ACC teams
  • 2) Big East teams
  • 2) Independent teams
  • 1) Mountain West team
  • 1) SEC team

I know what you're thinking. Why Cincinnati? It received the least amount of votes in the survey. But, to keep with the theme of evening out of the conferences and the need for a home game, it made the most sense out of the rest of the list. I have heard rumors of playing Houston in 2010 and even Oklahoma- but this is just a fantasy look, so we'll just go with it.

Once again there are no BIG 12 teams and I have also heard a desire to play Baylor, but I guess we will just have to wait and see what Swarbrick has in mind.


We may never again get what we want from the schedule. It was an amazing time from the Era of Ara to the end of the Holtz years. The schedule that the Fighting Irish faced in that time period was normally on par with being one of the tougher schedules in the country. The schedule in the present times is telling of the administrations burning desire for another National Title- they are obsessed, as we all are, about winning another title.

Like I said before, I normally don't comment too much about the schedule as it is too frustrating and fruitless to do so in my opinion. However, once the Irish start winning the big games (U$C- cough, cough) and BCS bowls or even the effing Gator Bowl- the schedule will continue to be the target of criticism on both sides of the aisle.

This post was just a fantasy take on what the schedule could be with the parameters that I set forth in a survey question. It is not perfect and is open for debate. My only hope, is that Notre Dame will start scheduling another big game every year without drowning itself. Until then, we should just cliche' the thing and take it one game at a time and cheer 110% and let the chips fall as they may and...

Jun 1, 2009

Wu Am I? Childish Gambino & Gratuitous F-REEK

Welcome to another edition of Wu Am I? for the 2009 season. Once again- I am trying to identify the 36 players of impact for the 2009 squad. So without any further bullshit, I open chambers 11 & 12...

Brandon Walker #14
6'3" 202 lbs.
Findlay, Ohio
Wu Name: Childish Gambino

If you take Jimmy Clausen out of the conversation- Brandon Walker is the most criticized player on the Fighting Irish roster. Since the day that Walker stepped on campus, most observers thought he was the best kicker on the team and would grab the starting position. I wonder if Brandon knew what kind of pressure cooker he was getting himself into when he decommitted from Louisville and signed with Notre Dame? If he didn't- he does now. Walker has had a rough start to his football career at Notre Dame going 20-36 for his field goal attempts for a very poor 55%. On the flipside, he is 61-62 for his PATs.

2009 will be a defining year for Walker as he enters summer camp with competition arriving in the form of freshman Nick Tausch. Either Walker cements himself as the starter or he may slip into obscurity. Notre Dame needs Brandon to be the guy. He has been in the heat, and he will have a better handle on things as a junior as opposed to a freshman still getting his feet wet. I think he will finally come into his own this year as a competent and steady kicker. By all accounts the Fighting Irish shouldn't need him to kick for victories at the end of the game, but they will need him to put points on the board after a stalled drive. That's so important, and often overlooked. Three stalled drives inside the 30 can equal 9 points. That's the difference between a 7-5 season and a 10-2 / 11-1 season.

Darius Fleming #45
Defensive End / Outside Linebacker
6'1" 242 lbs.
Chicago, Illinois
Wu Name: Gratuitous F-REEK

Darius Fleming was one of those guys. Darius was one of the 4 players I wrote about almost 2 years ago in my post, "Four 2 Score." Darius was a must get for the Irish because he was 1) a big time prospect from Chicago, and Notre Dame needed to re-establish itself in the Windy City 2) A freakish athlete that would add size and speed to the front seven & 3) he was an absolute need for roster depth. All these things made Fleming so important, that his early commitment to Notre Dame in the spring of 2007 one of the biggest catches in the #1 overall class in the country. It took a few games for Fleming to really see some strong minutes, and while he only amassed 24 tackles and 2.5 sacks- he was starting to become a very important piece of the puzzle. One of the biggest clues to the level of importance that Fleming was becoming was the statement by Coach Weis before the bowl game. Basically he said that ND would be playing a lot of nickel and that meant Fleming would see a ton of time. When you start to become the integral piece of a particular scheme or defensive alignment- that means you are pretty good.

In 2009 , Fleming is listed as an outside linebacker after playing 2008 with his hand on the ground. What does this mean for Irish fans? I'm not sure. While I always envisioned Fleming as that WILL backer, I also liked seeing the speed on the outside rush from the end position. Notre Dame has really started to find some much needed depth along their front 7, so with the emergence of a few guys, it meant Darius could take his hand off of the ground. That doesn't mean it won't be there from time to time, and by all accounts I think he is supposed to be an end in the nickel in 2009. Whatever it may be, expect a lot out of Fleming this season.

Bagpipe Monday... The Polls Are Back- Yet Different

Welcome back to Bagpipe Monday at Subway Domer. This is the first Monday of the new format that BM will be taking. It's kind of an evolving weekly feature that I keep messing with to announce shit, and occasionally make fun of midgets, Trojans, and Mr. Rodgers.

I want to thank everyone that participated in the Random Randomness Is A Survey- survey. I got a lot of good information that will be used in some future posts this summer and early fall. I posted this in some very different message board locations. i think I got a pretty decent mix of answers and it should reflect the overall attitude of the entire Fighting Irish fanbase.

That reminds me. June is Rivalry Month at Subway Domer. Why? Because we fucking hate you- that's why. Anyways, look for more on this is the next few days. If I say much more than that, my lawyers will have my ass.

Please take the time to fill out this weeks new survey, and as always... ENJOY THE PIPES!!!

Quizzes by Quibblo.com