Jan 27, 2009

Depth Chart Filler

On Monday, Daniel Smith, Wide Receiver from Clay High in South Bend, committed to Notre Dame and became the second player to do so for the 2010 class.

The 6'-4" 205 pound Smith, didn't hesitate to jump on the opportunity to play for the Fighting Irish. Almost immediately after he was offered a scholarship, Smith scooped it up.

I'm a little late on the draw here so here are a few links that you should read if you haven't already...

Welcome to Notre Dame Daniel!!!

I promised you guys this the other day, so I might as well put it on here. The following is the 2010 eligibility chart. Before you go crazy on my ass, I better explain a few things first.

  1. The senior column has all those that have that kind of eligibility. I'm not sure who from that column that will have a 5th year, will decide to come back or leave.
  2. Also, the freshman column is a little thin. This is because we still have to wait a while to find out which 2009 freshman will redshirt in 2009.

Jan 26, 2009

Bagpipe Monday... The Battle Draws Near

The recruiting wars are becoming things of legend. Signing day is 9 days away and things are getting tense. Last week I asked "Do you follow College Football recruiting?"

  • 53% said they check the recruiting services now and then.
  • 23% said that I must be kidding. They already have a top 100 for 2017.
  • 14 % said they have Mike Franks number on speed dial.
  • 10% said they have bigger problems than dealing with an 18 year olds college choice.

I'm sticking with the theme for this weeks poll. The hour awaits... enjoy the pipes!

Asaph Schwapp Is History & Other Roster Hits

It's over for Schwapp. Asaph has declined an offer to play for a fifth year at Notre Dame, and will look to try and become a blocking fullback in the NFL according to the NFL Draft Bible.

Draft Daddy had this to say about Asaph:

Of the new names, not counting the 4 big names we reported Monday should've been on the list, Asaph Schwapp should be the most notable to college football fans. He was the top high school player from the state of Connecticut in the class of 2004 and was hotly recruited, but did not have a great career at Notre Dame. Schwapp accumulated only 98 rushing yards and 62 receiving yards, with no touchdowns, in his four years in South Bend. That said, he may earn a free agent deal and tried as a blocking back.

This is obviously not a surprise to most, but it does leave a gaping hole at the depth the Irish have at fullback for the 2009 season. Steve Paskorz will enter the spring as the #1 fullback... the only fullback. But does it really matter?

Notre Dame has not really used the FB as an effective offensive weapon since the departure of Powers-Neil. When RPN was playing in the Weis system, he was effective as a running fullback, a receiving fullback, and as the featured back near the goaline and short yardage. He worked.

Notre Dame can actually make this position viable again by incorporating those same type of principles with the 2009 offense. But, that depends on the player available.

As mentioned earlier, Steve Paskorz is now the #1 FB on the roster. A converted Tailback from High School, Steve started as a linebacker for the Irish until an onslaught of injuries at the TE and FB positions, along with an influx of talent at the linebacker position forced a move.

Steve certainly has the athleticism to help improve the play at the fullback position. He had his senior season in high school cut in half because of a bad hamsting, but before that happened, Steve rushed for over 4000 yards in his career at Hampton High School in Allison Park, Pennsylvania. He had over 2000 yards duiring his sophomore season.

There may be other options for the Irish as well. Notre Dame was actively recruiting two prospects this year as a fullback- Tyler Gaffney and Toben Opurum. Opurum verballed to Kansas and the opportunity to be more of a featured back. Gaffney is making his verbal declaration on Monday, and it is looking like a Stanford and Irish battle. Gaffney was the player of the year in his division in California and he is exactly what we are needing in a fullback. The problem is, is that he may want to be more of a featured back and Stanford has shown what it can do with a powerful, fullback like runner with Gearhart (I really don't care if I spelled this right... he plays for Harbaugh).

Now, listen to Yoda... "There is an...oth...er, Sky...walk...er." There is, but his name ain't Luke- it's Robert. Robert Hughes to be exact. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that there is no way that is going to happen, and maybe you are right for the most part. While recruiting Hughes, Weis assured Robert that he would be used as a feature back and not as a fullback. Weis is many things, but he is no liar. That's not to say that Weis won't have a talk with Hughes about playing a little more fullback, but I'm sure the conversation will be more of a tester than a demand.

The thing is, Hughes should jump at this chance. I see the Irish offense spreading itself out more in 2009 and using its best weapons in the passing game. There will be more and more formations used that offer only a one back set, but you know Charlie will pull out the regular two back formations a lot as well. How would a switch help Hughes then? Well, it wouldn't be a full switch. The times that ND would need or want Hughes in the same backfield as Allen, Aldridge, and Gray they would be able to put him there with the confidence that he can accomplish the goal of the play.

Really, all I'm saying is that an athletic fullback can drastically improve the offense that has a hard time getting the short yards that it needs to sustain drives. Look at U$C and their fullback Havili. That guy may be their MVP. He's fucking ridiculous the way he catches the ball out of the backfield, blocks, and runs. That's what wee need, and at the moment- we probably lack. That could change soon however.

Yoda thinks Hughes is the shit.

Some other quick roster news... Nyshier Oliver is probably going to decommit from the Irish and head back to his original commitment of Tennessee. This is not fact yet, but I 've read enough to just face it and admit that he is probably gone. Nyshier visited Tennessee this weekend, and all signs point to him spurning the Irish. Oliver was a very nice grab for this class, but the combination of a very talented depth chart at WR at Notre Dame, and a smooth-talking Lane Kiffin, will probably end this relationship. Good luck to Oliver.

Updating the Eligibility Chart for 2009. As I was taking Schwapp off of the chart, I decided to do the same with Oliver. Again, this may be jumping the gun, but someone has to be the asshole... it might as well be me. I also put Gary Gray back on the chart as it was reported that he will be back at ND this summer. (BTW- I will have an eligibility chart for 2010 out soon as we already have one commitment for that class and we may get another this week).

The Irish have 5 spots open for 2009, and as of right now, they are in the mix for Starling, Moore, Te'o, and Gaffney. The Irish are in good shape with 3 of the 4 with Gaffney probably heading to the Farm. Te'o is down to three, and Moore decommited from USC and most likely will sign with the Irish... knock on wood.

Special Thanks to Frankie V at UHND.com Blog for posting a lot of good recruiting info that I and other bloggers have neglected this last few weeks. Good show.

Jan 20, 2009

Gregisms Live On

Let that sink in for a moment...
I almost couldn't believe it when I got the phone call from a friend today about the hire (no, it wasn't Troy Nunes- although I'm sure somewhere in New York the famous Syracuse blogger is laughing his ass off).
After a moment, it made perfect sense from a Dick Rod point-of-view. Notre Dame lost to Syracuse. It blew donkey nuts and it is still a painful image to conjure in my mind, but seriously... Greg Robinson? Dick Rod must really not care what the Michigan fanbase is going to say. I haven't heard them yet, but I'm positive most of them are shitting their collective pants.

At least Michigan recruiting may take a different spin...

Jan 19, 2009

Bring It In

There is a ton of coaching news today for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. First, Tony Alford has been named the running backs coach (a position previously held by Mike Haywood). This was a name that never surfaced during the search, but that may be because the concentration has been on the offensive coordinator job. Either way, Alford looks like a solid hire and someone that can work to develop the overwhelming, yet perhaps underachieving talent, that is present on the Notre Dame depth chart.

Also, two former players are coming home to coach as grad assistants. Bryant Young is taking the defensive G.A. position and Tim Grunhardt is sliding into the offensive G.A. position. Bryant Young was a beast at Notre Dame and a future Hall of Famer in the NFL (A great in depth piece on Young from TGIAB.com). Both of these guys will be counted on to help improve both our defensive and offensive lines.

So welcome to Notre Dame Tony, and welcome back home, Bryant and Tim. Coach Weis is piecing together a very nice staff that should help this team get over the next step.

Bagpipe Monday... Waiting

Welcome back to Bagpipe Monday. Waiting. What a pain in the ass. We are all waiting for something everyday. Whether it be for a coffee in the morning, the minute to clock out of work, or even to see the inauguration of the United States first African-American President- we all are waiting for something, everyday.

As Fighting Irish football fans, the 2008 season may be over, but the continuing quest remains intact. The next big event for the program is the same big day for other programs across the country- National Signing Day on February 4th. So the countdown continues...
Last weeks poll asked simply, "Tebow ?"
  • 31% said he was a closet devil-worshipper
  • 26% said he was a future Pro Bowl fullback
  • 22% said he was the epitome of jealousy
  • 21% said he was the savior of crack-babies.

He very well may be all of those things as we keep hearing that Tebow is the greatest human being that has ever existed (you can still save crack-babies as a devil-worshipper- just differently). How's President Obama dealing with that?

Don't forget to vote in this weeks poll and enjoy the pipes!

Jan 16, 2009

The Madness Continues...

The coaching situation is getting hotter everyday at Notre Dame as Charlie Weis looks for replacements on his staff. The Fighting Irish have already hired Frank Verducci as their offensive line coach to replace the favorite heel of Irish fans, John Latina. I dropped the ball on this story and never did fully respond about the hire. In a weird twist of fate however, I will just say that I agree with both The Biscuit and Domer.mq about the hiring of Frank and the stupidity of others. Spot on.

So that's one down.

The other coaching position that is getting a lot of message board talk and focus, is the defensive line coach. Reports were, that Ohio State assistant coach and former player Luke Fickell was offered the job. I was getting used to the idea of Fickell joining the staff, until this morning where I was reading that it isn't going to happen. The next man in line for the job may be Steve Stripling. (What the hell?!!! Another Michigan guy). As much as it hurts to see more former skunkbears flock to the Golden Dome, this guy knows his stuff and he could be a huge difference with the young talent ND has on hand.

And that's about it. No more word on the offensive coordinator/running backs coach openings and Reuben Mendoza still has a job. So the madness continues, as does the pressure...

Luginbill's Got Our Back?

This was one of those moments where you are watching ESPN, and as Howard and Stewart are listing off their top 50 wide receivers coming back in 2009, you want to throw a brick or at least a Pringle at the TV screen. Then, something happens and you realize yet again that the first letter stands for "entertainment." Luginbill comes to the rescue... Tom Fucking Luginbill.

Jan 15, 2009

Petey Poodle Is Pissed

Southern Cal quarterback, Mark Sanchez, made his announcement that he would forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft. I guess the Poodle didn't take it so well...

USC coach Pete Carroll was extremely ungracious during the Mark Sanchez press conference. He stormed out of the room and did not even sit at the table before Sanchez addressed the media. Something he never did when Matt Leinart, etc., announced their decisions.
Carroll never sat down at the table but stood with his palms on the table. His anger was clear if you spend time around him.
Not a great moment. - Scott Wolf, The Daily Trojan

What a dick.

Jan 14, 2009

The Final Blogpoll Top 25

The final commentary from Brian and the rest of the poll can be found here.

Random Randomness, Meticulously Placed At Random

As we head full steam into the later stages of the recruiting wars, I sit here at my computer with a level 5 migraine, a pregnant wife, and bracing for a blizzard- that just doesn't want to start. There are many, many topics to cover and I'm sure we have many, many opinions on these topics, but right now I have just a few random points to put out there. Welcome to the discussion. And if you don't think that this post is a random thing of beauty, then what is that picture of Tom Lopienski doing on the left hand side? Hmm? That's what I thought...

Recruiting is at a fevered pitch right now. As it stands, the Fighting Irish have 17 commitments and are ranked #18 by Scout.com in the recruiting rankings. Not exactly what we are used to, but this class has the same feel as the 2006 class. That class was ranked 5th in the team rankings and had a whopping 28 players. But, since then the 2006 class has lost 10 players due to transfers, medicals, and being a douche bag. So, as long as the 2009 class stays their 3 or 4 years, they should collectively be as good or even better than the 2006 class.

Don't jump over the edge just yet. Weis is not done with the 2009 class by any stretch of the imagination. Along with some current offers that the staff has been actively pursuing they are looking at offering more kids as well, and have done so already. The current offer list has these recruits offered that are looking at Notre Dame and the Irish have at least a shot at gaining a commitment:

There are, of course, other prospects that Notre Dame has offered that are uncommitted, but these are the ones that they still have a shot with signing. Pollard, although a recent decommitment from the Irish, is still being heavily pursued by the Irish. It ain't over yet, but is probably unlikely that Pollard changes his mind again- although I've seen weirder. The other committed prospect is Byron Moore, who most people on the inside think that his commitment to U$C is very soft. Buchanan is the most recent offer and I suspect that ND may have a couple more in mind before the end of next week. Just a hunch. I think Notre Dame will land 2 or 3 more prospects before it is all over with.

The coaching search is still quiet. No new hires have been made for any of the coaching vacancies. This is a slow and excruciating process for Irish fans, but one that has to take its course. A lot of names have been thrown out, but nothing of real substance has really been put out in front just yet. Also, there has been reports of Latina being fired, but that has been denied by the University. And when in the hell is Weis going to show Mendoza the line to the unemployment office? The Mendoza and Latina jobs ( Strength and Offensive line jobs) are probably the two that most need a change. Notre Dame passes the eye test with their lineman... until some guy that weighs 40 pounds less blasts them on their ass.

I don't expect anything to surface too soon, but I'm not sure if that is good news or bad news. The fact remains that these staff assignments are of vital importance and if Notre Dame is going to take that next step as an improving team, these hires need to be of a first class nature. Weis knows this and I am sure he is doing all that he can to make the best possible hires from a pool of candidates that meets the criteria that both he and the administration have set out in front of them. Tenuta was a late hire last year, and I'm pretty sure that he has worked out well for the Irish- and for wildlife everywhere.

A few notes on the enemy. A mini-Link-O-Rama if you will...

Subway Domer News...

Despite pleas to my employer that National Signing Day is in all actuality a national holiday and worthy of a paid holiday, they have made no effort to pay me to stay at home to check message boards for information on the stream of Letters of Intent that will be coming over the fax machines at Notre Dame. So, it remains to be seen if I will be posting on that glorious day. If i do, I will have a Live Blog up and running for you to vent and boast.

Shortly after that beautiful holiday, I will post the Subway Domer Recruiting Spectacular: 2009. And by shortly, I mean a day or two or three after. Please take the time to check it out as I try hard not to swear. Here are the links to the 2007 & 2008 versions.

Then kids, after the Recruiting Spectacular has been out for a few days, I will post my State of Recruiting: 2009. This isn't quite what you may think it is. You have to take it literally. Here are the links to the 2007 & 2008 versions.

This is all subject to me not dieing in this blizzard or my wife not giving birth before February 17th.

Congratulations are in order to OC Domer. That SOB won the Subway Domer Bowl Pick-Em for the 2nd year in a row. Last year he asked me to make a donation at the Grotto in lieu of the T-Shirt prize. Those regular alumni must really like not having to put the word "subway" as a prefix to their alumni status. So what's it going to be this year OC, saint or shirt?

Jan 12, 2009

Bagpipe Monday... Right On Time

With less than 6 hours to go, I can still say this is Monday. Last weeks poll asked, "Did you think Musburger was only moments away from giving Pete Carrol a reach-around during the Rose Bowl?" (Yes I realize that I didn't spell Carroll correctly... fuck him).

  • 77% said yes
  • 3% said no
  • 20% said they didn't know what a reach-around was... interesting.

Don't forget to vote in this weeks poll and Go Irish!!! Cue the pipes...

Jan 11, 2009

Blogpoll... The Final Ballot

1 Florida 25
2 Utah 24
3 Southern Cal 23
4 Texas 22
5 Oklahoma 21
6 TCU 20
7 Alabama 19
8 Penn State 18
9 Ohio State 17
10 Boise State 16
11 Oregon 15
12 Georgia 14
13 Mississippi 13
14 Texas Tech 12
15 Virginia Tech 11
16 Oklahoma State 10
17 Cincinnati 9
18 Missouri 8
19 Oregon State 7
20 Iowa 6
21 Florida State 5
22 Georgia Tech 4
23 Brigham Young 3
24 Michigan State 2
25 West Virginia 1

Dropped Out:

Trouble On The Corner

Notre Dame is seeing some bad news lately as it pertains to the cornerback position and the future of the depth chart. Marlon Pollard, a four star CB from California that committed to ND months ago after decommitting from UCLA, has recommitted to UCLA.
It is, what it is. I'm not going to harp on Pollard for flip-flopping, but to shrug this off as a minor event is just plain dumb. The depth chart is suffering at cornerback with the news that Gary Gray is not enrolled for the spring semester.
Notre Dame will be fine at the position next year, but after 2009 we may see a void if Weis can't get 2 or 3 commits at CB in 2010. The depth chart has McNeil, Anello, Walls, Slaughter, Blanton, and Banks playing in 2009 with Anello and McNeil out of eligibility at the end of the season and Walls may decide to leave early. Anello is not a factor at CB. So 2010 could have only Slaughter, Blanton, and Banks if Gray doesn't return, although all reports are that he should return to ND in the Summer.
Having Pete Carroll in California is bad enough, but to also compete with Slick Rick at UCLA is going to be a tough task to overcome for an Irish staff that has done pretty well in that state since the arrival of Weis.

Jan 9, 2009


I ran across some videos of Zeke Motta that you may, or may not, have seen. Irish fans should be very eager for the arrival of Zeke as he may be one of the freshman that contributes heavily this year. The order is from oldest to newest:

Jan 8, 2009

The Last Score

Armando Allen puts a spectacular ending to a mediocre 2008. I've watched it like, 30 times.

Oliver Is Out At Notre Dame

Jappy Oliver is leaving Notre Dame. The defensive line coach has had more downs than ups at ND since his arrival, but his pool of talent is only now getting better. There is no word yet from Notre Dame and no candidate has emerged as a replacement. Let the rumors begin.

Notre Dame now has two job openings as of right now (there may still be more assistants on their way out) and no top candidate has emerged for that other job- offensive coordinator. ( I guess you could say 3 jobs, since Haywood coached the running backs as well.

Here is a link to a free article at Irish Illustrated about Oliver. Good luck to Jappy in the future.

Jan 6, 2009

2009 Eligibility

With the season over and Irish fans waiting anxiously for spring practice, some of us may be wondering what the roster will look like next year. I took the time to put the scholarship players and spreadsheet their asses. This particular one is based off of the free chart at Irish Illustrated as there is a similar one at Irish Eyes.

The reason I am basically copying this stuff, is so that I can use it as a resource for future posts whether they be about new recruits, depth chart, transfers- whatever. So get used to seeing this thing as I will embed it with a lot of roster-type posts.

The future of a program can be foretold by objectively looking at the depth chart and identifying strengths and weaknesses.

A few notes from The Subway Domer:

  • Gary Gray is still on the eligibility chart. Until further notice from the university, I will count Gary as a roster member.
  • No official word has come from the University about the players that may return for a fifth year. We have all heard that 5 players were for certain (Anello, Herring, Duncan, McCarthy, and S. Smith) would be invited back for a fifth year. This chart has two others that still have a year left and after the recruiting class is signed, they may be back next year (Bemenderfer & Schwaap.).
  • Harrison Smith is still considered a linebacker until he practices with the safeties. As much as Weis may want to move him, it may not happen.
  • The black boxes on the chart represents the fact that no players are designated for that eligibility year. The two that are the most significant are the Junior eligibility for offensive tackles and the Senior eligibility for the defensive tackles.
  • Darrin Walls is listed as the word has been spread about his return this month.
  • The defense that ND is running is kind of like Optimus Prime. It transforms. I'm not sure you can label this unit. 3-4? 4-3? Well, the Irish ran most of the year with an even front and I would venture that next year will be similar. The hybrids and other linebackers could get moved around.
  • Ethan Johnson is known as a defensive end, but he played more defensive tackle this year than anything else.

There is a lot of discussion available as far as the depth charts and positioning goes, and I will be discussing these more and more as we roll into the spring.

Jan 5, 2009

Lombard Support

The first commitment for the incoming class of 2010 is not a Golic. He is a giant. Five star Christian Lombard is a 6'5" 285 pound offensive tackle that is certain to put on 20-30 pounds before he even arrives in South Bend in 2010.

Christian chose Notre Dame over some other early offers from the likes of Michigan, Iowa, and Arizona. The Palatine, Illinois native is one of the top 10 prospects for 2010 as ranked by Scout.com.

This commitment is a huge stride toward developing a top class for 2010 early in 2009. More and more, the top High School prospects are committing to their school of choice early on in the recruiting process. Lombard will be a key figure in helping the staff recruit other players for 2010.

Welcome To Notre Dame Christian!!!

Bagpipe Monday... You Know You Missed It

After missing last weeks Bagpipe Monday, I'm sure you were moved to tears and fits of rage. Sorry, I guess the holiday's have a way of tapping that inner dark side. Did last Monday look something like this?

So much has happened in the last few weeks for the Fighting Irish football program and I have not posted quite as often as i would have liked. Well, maybe some of the stuff was minor, but I'm sure I could have made it a big deal- if only for a moment.

Don't forget to vote in this weeks poll on Bret Musburger (The Musburger Drinking Game), and Go Irish! Remember, you are the greatest wingman... ever.

Jan 1, 2009

How Did The Recruits Like The Hawai'i Bowl?

A quick interview with Stockton, Wood, and Evans in San Antonio.

The Hawai'i Bowl Hangover...It's 2009?

I know what you're thinking. Why bother, right? The game is over a week old, it's been discussed to the max, and I didn't even bother to post a Bagpipe Monday or wish all of you a Happy New Year. By the way- Happy New Year. I suppose I could just walk away from this post, but I feel that this game was too important and was dismissed by the main stream media as just "another bowl game".

It wasn't just another bowl game and it deserved a little more attention before the New Years Bowls and BCS Bowls started. I'm not going to throw out a bunch of stats in this post or write too much about particular plays (because I'm positive that you already know these things by heart) but I will write some shit that I need to say- if only to just put it on the record.

Jimmy Clausen is the shit. Get over it. Clausen was just a true sophomore this year. Jimmy was plagued with the same tag as another former Irish quarterback in Ron Paulus in where they both came in as a life-altering quarterback that should win a Heisman while playing at Notre Dame. These expectations are overwhelming- but they are expected as the Notre Dame QB. The difference is that Jimmy has been expected to turn the program around and catapult it back into a national power overnight.

Clausen certainly has his flaws and they are pointed out on a regular basis by flamers and talking heads alike. He had a tendency to lock on to a WR and his decision making under duress has been suspect. But, when you are running for your life behind a rabbit fence instead of being protected by a brick wall- you have to to get rid of the ball. Sometimes that means knowing where you are going to throw the ball before it is snapped and also trying to force a great play when your running game is bested by a group of lingerie models.

In this game, Clausen was perfect. He had incompletions? All I saw were a few passes that were dropped. Clausen was 22 of 26 for 401 yards and 5 touchdowns with 0 interceptions and he didn't attempt a pass after the 7 minute mark in the third quarter (that stat was too good to not mention). It is quite apparent that Clausen is a different QB than Quinn. Clausen is a lot more brash and cocky as he plays well, and almost an isolationist when things aren't quite going his way. Quinn was poised and a vocal leader in almost any situation. It will be interesting to see how Jimmy evolves as a leader on the field in 2009 as I am certain that he will continue to improve as a passer. Did you see those throws? Even when he didn't have to put the ball on the money because the defender was burnt, he hit the receiver in stride. The TD pass to Tate at the end of the half was insane. Jimmy Clausen is insane. Hmm- ICP. Insane Clausen Posse (T-shirts will be available soon).

You stay awesome Golden Tate. Those were the words of The Subway Alumni Show- and how true they are. Tate smashed a few records of his own in the bowl game as he racked up 177 yards and three touchdowns while averaging almost 25 yards a reception. As bad as he toasted the Warrior secondary, and as good as Clausen's throws were- he has another player to thank... Michael Floyd. Floyd had a less than average day catching the ball, and in fact, he had the least productive day statistically than any other player on the Irish roster that caught a football- 2 receptions for 17 yards. But the difference of having Floyd on the field as opposed to him on the sideline with a knee brace is one of epic proportions. Even Tate had to admit that Floyd helped draw coverage away from him and helped open up the passing game. These two players will enter the 2009 season as one of the best WR tandems in college football- if not the best. They will draw all kinds of coverages and looks from opposing defenses, and not only will they keep producing because of their playmaking abilities to go and get the ball, but they will open the rest of the offense up for players such as Allen, Rudolph, and three guys that will see their first action on the field in Shaq Evans, John Goodman, and Deion Walker. You stay awesome Golden Tate.

I want what ESPN is smoking. Or for that matter, what the main stream media is toking as well. First, Irish fans were blessed to have Andre Ware and Dave Pasch announce the game. They may of thought themselves to be comedians covering a football game, but the joke was on them most of the time. Forget the fact that they were butchering names on a regular basis as we should be used to it with Tom Hammond and Pat Hayden calling the Notre Dame home games, but the way they tried to entertain us was almost unbearable- even if you were as drunk as I was for the game. The Golden Shower is a classic moment and it is even funnier as they were not trying to be funny but clever. They waited until after the series was over and came back from a commercial break. How they thought that was a good idea is astounding. The Christmas names were laughable only because of how eager they were to use them after a couple of weeks of waiting.

As if the game announcing wasn't bad enough, the commentary by Corso and most of the other talking heads at ESPN was criminal. After most of them picked Notre Dame to lose to Hawaii due to the Warriors being faster and more athletic, they took the blowout win that Notre Dame had and turned it into a big fucking joke. It's not like the Irish left Hawaii with another bowl loss or even a close win- they fucking demolished the Warriors. Fucking demolished them. With the young roster that ND has this year, for them to end this ridiculous bowl losing streak and put themselves in a good position to have a great season in 2009. I wasn't looking for them to crown Notre Dame as a national title contender in 2009, but for them to treat it like a joke is just another line of jokes that has been coming from that network. FYI- In 2001, USC went to the Las Vegas Bowl and lost to Utah. They then proceeded to go to 7 BCS games while winning an AP title in 2003 and a BCS title in 2004. I'm just saying.

Mike Anello for Heisman. Did you see how average the kickoff coverage team was without Mike Anello. Notre Dame ended the year ranked #1 in kickoff coverage and with an injured Anello on the sideline for the Hawai'i Bowl, they allowed more yardage per attempt than in any other game this year. It is unbelievable how much Anello means to that unit and how good of shape they are in next year with Anello scheduled to return.

Speaking of special teams, Amando Allen finally broke a kickoff return for a touchdown, 96 yards. Not only have Irish fans been waiting for Allen to return a kickoff, but anyone. Notre Dame hasn't done that since Vontez Duff returned a kickoff for TD against Navy in 2002. It was almost just another blown chance for this unit as Allen stumbled right before he blew past the kicker. It should also be noted that Allen caught two passes for 59 yards and a touchdown as well.

It should not be forgotten that Golden Tate not only had a monster day receiving, but he also had a punt return for touchdown called back for a roughing the kicker penalty. It was a remarkable play that could of gave ND 56 points and maybe it would have thrusted Tate into All-American status in 2009. It didn't count, but it was fun to watch.

I'm tired of regurgitating week old news and ideas. I might as well end this thing with a bullet list of quick thoughts and a few nuggets.

  • The team played with a lot of passion and determination. Did you see Grimes getting fired up and getting in the faces of the Hawai'i defenders? Where was that these past 4 years?
  • The running game was still dreadful, but it was effective as it loosened up the defense. that is all we can really ask for with this offensive line. Hughes looked very powerful and productive when he ran downhill. Coaches take note.
  • I didn't say anything about the defense yet, but they played very strong. The 8 sacks that ND had put Hawai'i on the top of the list for most sacks given up in a single year... passing ND from 2007.
  • Ethan Johnson and Darius Flemming were figured to be big contributors for this game, and they produced like veterans.

That's it. I'm too tired and too hungover to continue. I will have a lot of stuff on the site about recruiting and about the roster and depth chart from now until the start of Spring practice. The number of posts may decrease slightly as I have returned to the hell known as work, and I am getting ready to be a first time father in February, but i assure you that the content will still be palpable... somewhat.

Happy New Year !

Sergio Brown is pretty pumped about the game, and the future in 2009. Brian Smith is just amazed.