I was thinking about teams that Notre Dame lost to in 2010, and remembered the Michigan State game. That team was legit... Kirk Cousins, Bell, Baker, and Cunningham and Martin at WR.... they were really good!
I always have trouble sorting what's real and what's not when it comes to Notre Dame, especially because they're so darn active on Wikipedia these days. Did they really push Lou Holtz out the door so he wouldn't exceed Knute Rockne's record?* Did Michigan really refuse to play Notre Dame after 1909 because they were upset over losing 11-3?† Did the Gipper really give a dying speech in the locker room of the Army game imploring Gorbechev to tear down this wall?‡ Did O'Leary really invent sticky notes?§ We peel back the myths in this week's roundtable, getting answers this time from such legends as:
And the question:
Separate the real Notre Dame from the legend: was last year's 12-1 season against an apparently brutal schedule a thing of luck, a thing of talent (here or gone), or the first sign that Kelly has managed to recreate Grand Valley State in BCS form?
BiSB: Notre Dame deserved to be in the National Championship game. They also deserved to get their doors blown off in the National Championship game. The 12-1 wasn't exactly awe-inspiring, but it was legit. They beat Stanford, Oklahoma, Michigan, USC, and Michigan State, and you don't get to 12-0 with those teams on your schedule without being pretty good. The part that bugged people was the close games and sheer luck against some pretty crappy teams. Pitt alone missed like eleven game-winning field goals against the Irish. But while nailbiters against Purdue and BYU do not scream "national title contender," but go back and look at the 2002 Ohio State national title season some time (do not actually do this). Most teams need some ridiculous luck, and to survive some close games against inferior competition, to go undefeated.
[Continued after the jump]
Long term, though, that is not the kind of season that portends the eponymous "Return to Glory." Hell, even if they replayed LAST season, the odds they finish 12-0 are pretty slim. Notre Dame is recruiting well, but they're leaking 4- and 5-star commits and players at an alarming rate. It seems like Brian Kelly can at least coach college kids, which the previous coach couldn't, so I wouldn't expect the post-BCS cratering that occurred under Weis. My guess: I think they'll return to the days of 9-3 records and undeserved BCS bowls in which they get stomped by far superior teams.
|It's as if a million voices cried out, and were
suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible
has happened. USPResswire via ESPN
Ace: Very much agree with Bryan [Blue in South Bend]—last year's Irish squad had an elite defense and a good-enough offense, and with that schedule going 12-0 very much earns you a spot in the title game. Did they get a little lucky? Absolutely; ND went 5-0 in one-possession games last year, and they got gifts from Michigan (ALL OF THE PICKS) and Pitt (being Pitt; also, ND had two players on the field wearing the same number when Pitt missed a potential game-winning FG, so they should've had another crack at it). Were they also very good? Yes. Getting blown out by Alabama happens to very good teams, and the list of very good teams Notre Dame managed to top deservedly put them in position to play for the title.
I think they'll fall back to earth this year; not dramatically, but they won't be BCS title contenders in 2013, and getting back there depends on whether Kelly can figure out why his team can't hold onto a large number of their elite recruits. They should vacillate between nine-win semi-disappointments and 11-win contenders unless they reach a point where Kelly can't replace the outgoing talent; so far, he's doing pretty well at restocking.
Brian: As Vladimir Putin is fond of saying, "any time you need three overtimes and a kicker meltdown to beat Pitt, you're not really elite." The gentlemen above have covered the nature of Notre Dame's previous undefeated season: it was damn lucky, beyond the usual amount of luck it requires to make it to the national title game.
But Notre Dame isn't going away. Well, not from Purdue. From us, sure.
The point. I had a point. The point is, Brian Kelly is an established winner at multiple places who's recruiting at a very good clip. Not a great clip since he's had a nasty tendency to see the top fifth of his class decimated a year into their careers, but a very good one. Diaco is apparently not the clueless twit he seemed after that one Navy game, and Kelly's got the offense stuff on lockdown. I hate to say it, but for the next decade or so they're going to be a legitimately top ten program. Sorry guys.
Seth: The answer to every question about 2012 Notre Dame is "Manti Te'o." Te'o could cover the flat and a Tampa 2 zone on his own. Brian suggested at the time that Borges was structurally putting him in a bad spot by having him deal with pressure and that's valid. The reason ND didn't mind doing all sorts of stuff with their DL was Te'o was causing third and longs. He timed one blitz so well he came in completely unblocked and caused an interception.
Three guesses what ND fans were complaining about after the Temple game? If you said "our linebackers can't cover" you win zero points. Kelly is a good football coach (we saw plenty of him at Grand Valley State) and also a major putz, likewise Notre Dame. They will continue to fill a national recruiting niche and thus will be more susceptible to a widespread trend of more player movement. But that niche is poorer today; a half-hearted relationship with the ACC isn't likely to give them any more push in the South, and the closest thing to a homebase for them—Chicago—is nearly as rough these days. Their midpoint will be 9-4.
* No. But neither is it true that he left because, as with every other coaching stop, he took off right before his school was slapped with sanctions for his tenure. ¶
† We were hardly blameless but Yost's stated reason was that ND was using ineligible players. Yost also went all around the Big Ten trying to get other teams not to play the Irish because of their supposedly loose eligibility standards.
‡ Only Rockne knows if Gipp ever said anything before he died of pneumonia.
§ It says so on his resume.
¶ Except yes it was.
Bonus question: your favorite Myth of the Irish.
Bryan: It's a relatively recent development: "Michigan isn't really our rival." I wandered the campus of Notre Dame and the surrounding South Bend community for several years, often in my Michigan gear. It was made very clear to me by random passers-by in parking lots, grocery stores, and one particularly rude sandwich shop that Michigan was not welcome here. No one gave two craps about Purdue. No one gave more than two/thirds of a crap about MSU. It was USC, and it was Michigan. In 2008 they sure seemed pretty proud of their rivalry win, and took every opportunity to point it out to me. A common refrain in South Bend, regardless of the time of year, is "it's [whatever time] and Michigan still sucks."
The coaches and players had no problem referring to it as a rivalry. A few years back, Notre Dame's official website was referring to the "Historic Rivalry" as "one of the nation's great rivalries." But that was when it was about the Rocket and Notre Dame coach Greg Mattison and But then Mario Manningham and Jimmy Clausen for Heisman and Greg Mathews and Denard and Denard, and all of a sudden it's a "series." Don't be that ex, Notre Dame.
Ace: My favorite Notre Dame myth is that legendary
snap-jumper walk-on Rudy Ruettiger committed fraud by artificially inflating the stock price of his self-branded sports drink. Oh, wait, that one totally happened.
Brian: My favorite Notre Dame myth is this one, penned by an ND Nation fellow on the occasion of Brian Cushing's commitment to USC:
October 20, 2007
As he trudged off the field in the light rain, Brian thought it wasn't supposed to be like this. He could hear the "We're Number 1" chant from the Notre Dame student section, but it was muted. He still had the ringing in his ears from early in the game when he tried to tackle Schwapp, the guy they call "The Human Bowling Ball".
He thought the near turnover on the kickoff might work to SC's advantage. Following ND's recovery of its own fumbled kickoff, the Irish were pinned down at the 11. Not for long. The perfectly camoflaged [sic] draw play to Schwapp yielded 30 yards and a day-long headache for Brian. On the next play, Heisman candidate Walker went for 8 yards, and Brian got blind-sided by Incarnato. Hord's catch for a TD on the next play was the first of three for the day, and the resurgent Irish were off and running.
"We're number 1", We're number 1" followed him into the tunnel. He escaped the bedlam in the stadium only to find a tomblike atmosphere in the Trojan locker room. Lying amidst the discarded tape and bandages, Sanchez did not appear to respond to the smelling salts. No wonder. As he ran on to the field following Mark's fumble, he remembered Zbikowski hovering over the fallen Trojan qb, yelling, "Get up bitch". The trainers allowed as how a night at St. Joe's might be prudent. The young junior could fly back tomorrow.
No such luck for me, Brian thought, wincing as he pulled off his white away jersey, now soiled with grass stains, drops of blood, and tiny flecks of gold paint. I've got the long plane ride home, then I have to study for my "History of Cartoons" midterm. Then, practice. No rest for the weary. They had Ty's Dawgs coming into the Coliseum next Saturday.
As he packed his bag, he thought back 2 years when he made his decision to attend USC. He remembered how it was sort of fun toying with Charlie. Now, he wondered if that was wise. He had an inkling during warmups when he approached Weis. "Hey Coach", he said in his best Jersey accent. The eyes said it all. He did not have to wait for the "who the fuck are you?".
Seth: If a player clearly stepped out of bounds, but one angle is kind of inconclusive, then the call on the field ought to stand because the burden of proof is on the replay and you don't overturn a field call unless you've got 11 eyewitnesses and the murder weapon.
I mean, there were people standing right there and it's their jobs to know whether Armando Allen stepped out of bounds or just toed the line. They didn't institute replay to make the referees useless; it was just for obviously blown calls. Like the Bush Push. Besides Notre Dame never gets the calls from the refs; they would have more championships than the Yankees if the NCAA wasn't always out to get them.
I was thinking about teams that Notre Dame lost to in 2010, and remembered the Michigan State game. That team was legit... Kirk Cousins, Bell, Baker, and Cunningham and Martin at WR.... they were really good!
I agree that ND is probably back to national relevance in the top 10-20 vein. At least, as long as Kelly stays. And I'm not sure how long that will be.
I believe Brian Kelly is, in fact, the reason for ND's success and failure; that he is both leading them and keeping them from being a perennial title contender.
Here's the good:
Those things are good enough to keep ND a top tier program for the foreseeable future. If he ever gets a Braxton Miller and has a Manit Te'o at the same time, he might even contend for/win a NCG. But there's also the bad:
If Kelly wasn't a dick, he'd keep his amazing recruits and would stay for the duration of his contract. His coaching would be even more effective, and ND would be more like 'Bama (and hopefully Michigan) and less like, well, ND.
You picked Braxton Miller for your example and not Devin Gardner? Interesting, considering Brian Kelly likes to throw it so much, and Braxton Miller is an average passer compared to his other skills.
Hence, ND can only hope for a Braxton Miller
ND may have been the biggest afterthought of a team playing in a championship game ever. Only their own fan base thought they could keep it close with Alabama.
This years pre-season ranking of 14 speaks volumes about what people think about them. Typically a team that went 12-1, played in the championship game, returns a good chunk of their defense, has a back-up (now starting) QB with that much experience would get the benefit of the doubt ranking in the top 10 until proven otherwise. This ND team? Nope. They were ranked 14th. Three spots ahead of a Michigan team that went 8-5 and had it's own questions entering the season.
I'm on the side of "2012 ND was a really good team, and by really good I mean 10-2 with a tough schedule." There's no shame in being 10-2 with a tough schedule, kinda like where the 2nd or 3rd SEC team is most years. But they should not have been in the national title conversation. Had they lose one of those games, they would have been about an even match-up with whoever they got in their BCS bowl.
We're really lucky (and so is Alabama) OSU was on a bowl ban, otherwise the national championship game would have been ND-OSU which would have sucked for a million reasons but I think ND would have won. OSU was equally lucky but with an easier schedule and Alabama is not going to be in the title game when ND and OSU are both undefeated.
There was also a blown td call to hand ND the victory at the end of one of their games. I can't seem to remember who, but I remember the play being shown on ESPN several times.
Stanford. And I believe that would have just extended the game to another OT, but I could be wrong.
I'd never seen that Brian Cushing write up. By the way, the score of that 2007 game that NDNation was predicting to go to the Irish as of that 2005 writing? 38-0 USC
I liked the myth that ALL students at ND had to take "calculus." that was a good one. Back in the good - LOLGeneralStudies- days. Thanks to Harbaugh and intolerable domers for that insane fiasco.
like a chicken wing!
He may have heard you say wing, your walls are not safe
I've always thought Weis would really just look right coaching from a litter, while being fanned by a midget.
Just had a ND lackie bet a lunch on the game. Originally, he wanted 3.5 points (brave fan). He's been bustin my chops that the Michigan stadium design was taken from ND, and that the ND stadium, while built after Michigans, was DESIGNED prior to Michigans and we took the designs from them. Cannot find any facts to corroborate this - in fact, Wikipedia states the opposite.
That's a pretty ridiculous claim by your friend, considering Michigan's stadium was built 3 years prior to ND's, so ND must have had their plans made well ahead of time and we were sleuthy enough to steal them. What a weird conspiracy theory.
Fantastic "obsession." Best one in a long time and a very fair analysis... Another thing, Kelly doesn't have to deal with the dreaded "quarterback controversy" this season...
I was in South Bend in '88... Awful experience. My bride (fiancee at the time) and I sat in the end zone. We were in the 6th row IIRC, and you couldn't see any action if it was on the other end of the field. The field there was (is?) very crowned. Anyway, there was a rather loud gentleman in his late 30's who had the amazing ability to somehow relate what just happened to some great achievement in Notre Dame football history. It was horrible. I managed to temper my displeasure, but let a few loud 'sighs' here and there. Long story long, the guy followed the two of us to our car berating us (we were in Michigan gear). He actually tried to spit on us. Haven't gone back...
Fast forward to 2003 in Ann Arbor, and I'm back on campus recruiting for the Navy... I was lucky enough to get tickets (this time near the 50, no less) and the joy I felt when the student section was belting out "OVER RATED" was incredible...
[EDIT: Rudy Sucks!]
I might have sat in those same seats in '86. My time was better. It was Holtz's first game, and we won when ND missed a long FG at the end.
"Houston's Better" chant. Because Houston actually scored a FG on us. That was awesome.
And, I believe "Four Yards Passing" was also chanted just before halftime.
What can I say about Notre Dame that hasn't already been said about Afghanistan?
I have to go home and put water in Brian Kelly's mother's dish.
All I remember was seeing the Stanford ball carrier break the plane of the goal line while on top of other players and the refs saying the was down short of the goal line. I also remember asshole fans blowing whistles during multiple games to screw up the opposing offenses. In conclusion, fuck Notre Dame.
Notre Dame knows how to tailgate:
Sorry, cannot figure out how to embed
It feels like a terrible fan fiction write up found on a sleezy cookie cutter blog site....
Just missing the terrible crayon drawing of Cushing crying in the rain.
Not sure it is fair to call it luck, but ND was fortunate in that their close games and tough matchups pretty much all came against teams that matched up poorly with their strength (very good defense). Purdue only broke 30 points against one BCS opponent (Indiana) and was held to 20 or less 6 times (plus only put up 22 on OSU). MSU, BYU, and Stanford were pretty terrible on offense throughout the 2012 season. Michigan moved the ball well against them, but we shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers. And USC was without Matt Barkley and had to replace him with a freshman playing for the first time (ND still only won 22-13).
ND was able to play a conservative style on offense and protect a young QB who may otherwise have had to produce in a shootout or two along the way if the schedule had fallen a little differently. I think if that ND team had to face guys like Cousins, Luck, and Barkley, things could very easily have gone a lot worse for them.
I think that ND's best win last year was at Oklahoma. In order to remind myself that despite all the luck and breaks they got with matchups and whatnot, I always think back to that game. Holding an opponent like OU with a senior QB on the road to 13 points is really really good.
some short tiny micro-kicker from Hawaii boots a bunch of FGs against us and thus the Irish win the game.
oh yeah, that actually happened:
p.s. best line from that stupid wiki entry: "However, in the first game of the season he endeared himself to Notre Dame fans by his performance against rival University of Michigan"... (emphasis mine)
rival, you say??
Senior year. Held their offense w/o a TD. Gillette missed the game-winner as time expired.
M Daily headline: Ho, Ho, Ho
Really not funny
Hell no, he wasn't pushed out the door and that became readily apparent as soon as Davie took over. Of coure there's in an arrogance that surpasses Michigan's even in thinking that a high school coach, no matter how successful, can step right in and take ove the nation's second winningest program. ^Reason for his accepting the job and resigning the job have the same subject-matter at heart. With Stanford and the acadamies being among the few schools that demand more rigorous acceptance standards than ND, Holtz insisted on having these relaxed so he could play on a level playing field with the Florida schools and other schools on his schedule. The school gave into this demand, but only for a period of time. There is quite a long list of players who would not have qualified if these standards would not have been lifted, among them beingThe Rocket and the Bus to name but a few. Well anwyay, their A.D., Father ????? told Lou it was only for a certain period of time. When Lou was unable to get them to extend the lower acceptance standards he stepped down with his famous declaration, "I don't want to be the one to break Rockne's Record," as his excuse. But any football player or coach knows this to be pure hyperbole because if you've ever done one, or possibly both, you know you want to be remembered as the best to ever play the position or coach at that particular school. To say otherwise is a total and unbelievable contradiction to the unmatched competitive nature that drives players and coaches to rise to the D1 level in the first place ^Even given his often bizzare behavior on the practice field, like tackling a lineman that outweighed him by 200 lbs from behind and other such idiotic behavior, the guy won football games. But i will also add, this act on ND's part does seem to contradict their long standing claim of "We will play anyone, anywhere, anytime." This claim is supposedly one of the traditions that make up the ND myth, and myth always come to mind when I think of this school because so many of their claims are just that, mythical with no proof to really back them up. All one has to do is take a look at some of their Heisman winners, compare them to other players of the same year, Rockne's pleading to the AP to have one recognized NC at the end of each year to be determined by the AP and the result unquestioned. His thinking was correct in that the AP with it's overload of caholic sportswriters would give ND the benefit of the doubt if they happened to play another undefeated team to a draw, etc., but like the contradiction of their claim and then refusal to play Michigan leads to more questions than answers, such as how they could still lay claim to the '47 chanpionship after it was taken away from them and handed to M after the bowl game of New Year's '48 when the AP gave into Rockne with the understanding the final poll would not be questioned. Religion and politics should be removed from bars and sports in the same manner it's supposed to be separated from gov't. I think in large part because just like the U.S. gov't, ND football truths exists only in the minds of those programmed to follow, not to think for themselves.
I disagree with the conversation regarding the Allen touchdown reversal way back in 2009. Isn't that image of Allen's foot from a sideline photographer and not from the broadcast? An image that the replay officials would not have had access too? Look, I do TV production for a living and the idea that the ABC crew wouldn't have shown a replay that had Armando's foot out of bounds is not plausible to me. That was the argument made by the blog back in 2009 and again by Seth today. I totally disagree with it and wanted to mention make mention of it after the image was posted again as conclusive proof that the officials would have been able to see.
Notre Dame vs. Michigan week is one of my favorites and I hate that it's going away. I hope I'm in Michigan Stadium Saturday like I was in '87, '89, and '97.
...if we grant you every single point in doubt, is that it boils down to "we were robbed because the replay official made the right call, but he shouldn't have."
Is that really where you want to hang your hat?
Appreciate the comment.
As the other guy who responded to you was saying, though, you're still arguing semantics. There's a phrase I learned in the one philosophy class I took: "Admission of one reality." Usually it's used in reply to the argument that a market price is a real price, because the REAL price is the real price and everything else is a guess.
Our best evidence shows that in the one reality Allen stepped out of bounds. In the replays they showed on TV I saw his foot on the line and said "oh man that's out of bounds but I hope it's enough to overturn." And they did, and they got it right. If you concede the one reality--that the sideline reporter's evidence conclusively shows Allen's foot did go out of bounds--then your best argument is "they should have gotten the call wrong!"
I would not pin the lose the reversal of the Allen call. However, let's say the call stood and ND wins 35-34. Let's say Tate comes up just short, do you blame the loss on the call? I blame the loss on a poor defensive game plan. I suppose you could say Clausen, Floyd, Tate, and Rudolph should have been more efficient, but how about keeping the opponent under 30 points.
I thought the video evidence was not conclusive and I still believe the image you are showing was taken by a South Bend news reporter. Obviously the ABC crew wouldn't have been able to see that. I don't think replay offices can make calls on what they think happened, but on the video they review.
It's like using the front page of the LA Times and 1982 that showed an official signaling a USC touchdown against Notre Dame, while the ball carrier didn't have the ball. It's a nice piece of evidence that you don't get to know about until the next day.
Something, something....ends and means. My point being, the officials have to use what's available. I'm for getting the calls right, what I'm saying is that photo did not and could not influence the officials either way.
Red herring-- any single play is going to affect the game X amount. If Michigan lost I'd be saying "they got that call wrong but from the video evidence they showed I can see how." That's happened to us quite a bit.
Example: Michigan lost a shot to beat Iowa in 2011 when the video review showed what was 85% "that's a catch" and 15% "I'm not sure" and the replay official ruled that was too much "I'm not sure" to overturn the call. We said "that's the wrong call but I see how they did that." Michigan's chances of winning the game (would have still required a 2pt conversion and an overtime win) were affected; it wasn't the whole game. In any close game like that you can point to 20+ plays that had little 1-inch things happen that changed the outcome. It is standard, therefore it is a red herring.
Fortunately for us that luck came around when a similar play happened in the Sugar Bowl: VT's receiver caught a late TD but the ball moved when he trapped it against the turf and the TD on the field was reversed. Again, the call was 85% "that's not a catch" and 15% "I'm not sure" which means the officials could have gone either way. It was the margin of the game, but so was Denard chucking it into triple coverage and his receiver coming down with it, or Michigan screwing up a fake FG only to have the ball bounce off a guy and into the long snapper's hands for a first down (that was a freebie.)
Okay, I'm done talking about how a play that was the margin of victory is just one of many plays that were the margin of victory now (I coulda done that with a lot fewer words but whatevah: comments). Focus shifting back to was he physically out of bounds or not, which means that unless you're alleging a referee conspiracy against ND, there are zero grounds to complain about the refs getting a call right.
Isn't that exactly what you're doing?
Until someone can embed the video from the actual feed here that should they were consclusively unable to judge, I'm going to disagree with your assertion and say that the video was enough to overturn it. Don't forget they're not just looking at the video from the tv, but are in a stadium replaying the video from there too. And in the stadium on the big screen the view wasn't much different than that picture.
I don't think his argument is semantic so much as it's procedural. It's the equivalent, in a very different context, of the argument in criminal law in favor of disallowing evidence gathered in an illegal search, or a confession made prior to a Miranda warning.
I understand that argument in the legal setting. The right to an attorney, the right not to be subject to unreasonable search and seizure--those are bedrock principles of the society, and upholding them is sometimes worth getting the decision wrong in a particular case.
I'm not sure "freedom from improper overturning of a referee's decision on the field" has similar importance.
Right on. But I would submit the LAST thing any conversation about reality needs is lawyers getting into procedure. "He stepped out but they didn't have the evidence to convict" is lawyer for "they ought to have gotten the call wrong."
Procedural is irrelevant: if the call was right then there is nothing to complain about unless you're trying to show a pattern of official bias.