Welcome to the Irish Blogger Gathering on Subway Domer and WORLD-WIDE SON! That's it. Seriously, everyone knows what is at stake ths week, so I don't feel the need to give you much buildup. This week, I have the honorable Josh Flynt from UND.com's Strong & True to push around the interrogation room.
You can check out my contribution over at Inside the Irish, and to complete the circle of trust, please check out Her Loyal Sons for the square and the win (see what I'm doing with circles and squares... I'm AMAZING).
On to the IBG...
You're on campus, so... What's the vibe been like around The Dome with the 5-0 start and with ESPN's College Gameday making their first appearance at Notre Dame in 7 years?
To be honest, it’s tough to gauge. Students are in the middle of midterms right now, so many are studying for exams, while some are opening up those textbooks for the first time all semester. I haven’t had much interaction with the student body this week.
However, from speaking with some after the Michigan State and Michigan games, and even a few cynical young alums after Miami, there’s a feeling of excitement surrounding the program that hasn’t been felt in YEARS. I think people are starting to recognize that the pieces are coming together and that the future looks bright for Irish football.
So though I haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary yet this week, I’m confident that come Friday and Saturday, campus will be buzzing again – and I expect the excitement level to be higher than it’s been for any game in the last several years.
Personally, I’ve never been more excited for a Notre Dame football weekend – and I’ve felt that way since Saturday night when I read the announcement tweet from College GameDay. It’s been an interesting few days in the Fighting Irish Digital Media office, as the athletic department gears up for this weekend. I can’t wait until Friday and Saturday.
I’m only a 2011 grad and not to play the alum “back in my day” card, but as students, we never got to experience anything like this. I truly hope that the current undergrads soak in every second of this weekend. College GameDay is one of the most popular sports programs on television and it’s the first thing many college football fans watch on Saturday morning, but something that not too many get to experience in person. Let’s make sure Fowler, Corso, Herbstreit & co. leave glad they returned to South Bend, and do everything we can to ensure it’s not another seven years before they’re back again.
Notre Dame is on an incredible 3 game streak where the Irish defense has not allowed a touchdown. Even more incredible, is that the defense has also not allowed a rushing touchdown since November of last year. Please explain...
I’m not sure I can. It’s an incredible feat, and a testament to the coaching staff and strength program over the last couple seasons.
When I was a student, it felt like there were multiple games when Jimmy Clausen threw for 300+ yards, and we’d still lose. Brian Kelly knows that he doesn’t need Everett Golson to throw for a quarter-mile and four touchdowns to win a ball game.
Knowing that the defense will help keep every game within reach can go a long way towards building confidence for the offense, but especially for the freshman quarterback. Fans aren’t watching games with baited breath, waiting for something to go wrong.
You can’t say enough about the defense, and what a tremendous job the Irish have done so far this year. Bob Diaco, Mike Elston, Bobby Elliott, Kerry Cooks, Paul Longo and everyone else involved with the defense deserve a lot of credit, as do Manti, Kap, Tuitt, Lou and the rest of the Irish D.
Most experts have the Irish playing in a BCS game if they beat Stanford. Do you think they are underselling the possibility of ND landing in the title game and not just in the BCS?
I think a lot of people are so surprised by the 5-0 start, that they’re still not sure what to expect from the Irish the rest of the way. They jury’s still out on whether or not Notre Dame is the “real deal” this season.
I’ve gotten into the classic “what if” argument several times over the last few weeks. Maybe I’m crazy, but I think Notre Dame controls its own destiny. If the Irish run the table, winning their remaining seven games, I don’t see how they could be left out of the national championship game – even if Alabama and Oregon are both undefeated.
An undefeated Alabama team would not get snubbed, but I think that #2 spot could be Notre Dame’s for the taking. Now of course, if the Ducks were 12-0 and got left out of the title game, there’d be riots in the streets of Eugene. But if the Irish’s schedule is the toughest in the nation (as many said it was), I think Brian Kelly and his team would find themselves in Miami on Jan. 7, 2013, should they finish 12-0.
Now, people are overlooking the possibility of the Irish as a national title contender, because many still believe they will lose to Oklahoma and/or USC. If they can get through BYU still undefeated, I think anything can happen. The Sooners and Trojans have already shown they’re beatable. Until Notre Dame loses a game, it should be as much a part of the title game conversation as any of the other undefeated teams.
In terms of getting to a BCS game, Saturday’s game is huge. With a win, the Irish would be 6-0, and favored in at least four of their remaining six games. Obviously it depends on how things shake out with the rest of the nation’s top teams, but 10 wins would seem to be the magic number for the Irish.
BONUS: Going to need a prediction for this weekend...
I usually don't fare well in making predictions, but here goes. Corso ditches the tree for a leprechaun hat and improves his headgear selection record to 3-0 when picking the Irish. No idea, what the score will be, but Notre Dame 24, Stanford 13 sounds pretty good to me.