Welcome to this weeks Irish Blogger Gathering on Subway Domer. This week, I pulled Keith Arnold with Inside The Irish as my detainee. Be sure to check out Her Loyal Sons & Strong And True for the other IBG's this week.
Her we go...
The public perception for this Notre Dame & Michigan State game is, in my mind, off the charts crazy. For many people, while they expect this game to be close, they also expect the Irish to lose. What up with that? Could Notre Dame have changed all that with a more convincing win last week, or would people still drool over the Spartans?
This early in the year, rankings usually rule. With the Spartans starting highly ranked, and beating Boise State, a team that's been one of the best teams of the last 5-10 years, there you have it. That said, it is a little crazy people tend to just forget Notre Dame beat Michigan State by 18 points last year, when the Spartans won 11 games and had a three-year starter at QB and a ton of receiver depth.
I'm sure public perception would be a little bit different if the Irish dropped the hammer on Purdue, but it is what it is. With the Irish bringing a young quarterback into another team's house for a nationally televised night game, I can understand why the Irish might be slight underdogs. But this should be a close one. And a game where we find out how ready for prime-time Everett Golson is.
With the Notre Dame to ACC news getting dropped on us today (it pays to be late with the questions) how do you see this series played out in the future? Does it die, does it rotate, does it even change at all? And as a sidenote, what are your feelings about the Rivalry with Sparty?
I think it continues, but maybe not at the frequency it has in the past. Jack Swarbrick has made a commitment to traveling to the West Coast every season -- making it logical to rotate USC and Stanford as the November destination of choice for the Irish. Keeping Navy on the schedule every year is a given as well. After that? Who knows, especially with the Big Ten likely adding another conference game and schools demanding seven home games.
Michigan State has always been one of those pesky rivals. A far better team than Irish fans usually give them credit for, they're always good for ruining a season, ending a winning streak, or stealing a game they shouldn't. With Mark Dantonio solidifying the program and building a team to his liking, they're probably one of the most underrated programs in college football year in and year out.
You are obviously aware of my affinity towards Rivalry trophies, and the Irish have a trophy at stake against Sparty; The Megaphone Trophy. What are your feelings about these icons of hardware and does this particular one mean anything to you? Also, come up with a new trophy for this series & describe it. Have fun y'all!
I love these trophy games. Growing up in a state where the Gophers battled every year for awesome trophies like the Little Brown Jug, Floyd the Pig, and Paul Bunyan's axe, it'd be fun if the megaphone got a little bit more run -- I bet that the guys on the team barely even know it exists. (And how great would it have been if the Irish sprinted across the Coliseum two years ago and stole back the jeweled shillelagh?)
As for a trophy for this series, I think it's gotta be a flag pole, with notches in it for each year of the rivalry. Then the winner can thread their team's flag into it and plant their team's flag on the field after they win the game, as it was done so memorably by Michigan State in 2005.