April 19th, 2012 at 4:37 PM ^

I'm in the minority on this, but even though I think ND has a very tough schedule, I really believe that by the year's end it won't seem as difficult as it does now.  I think they've scheduled a lot of names that initially seem like they would be difficult, but in this particular year, will not pose as much difficult as in the past.  i.e. Miami is going to really struggle this year, Oklahoma will not be the Oklahoma of the past, and we will start to see the Harbaugh/Luck effect at Stanford.  If they field a solid squad, they would be able take two out of those three. 

Again, I realize I'm in a small minority on this.


April 19th, 2012 at 1:59 PM ^

We do have a very tough schedule early on and 2-2 is a real possibility. However, should we defeat Alabama and ND we could be ranked #1 in the nation very early on. Considering the past few years (obviously besides last year) even the possibility of being a #1 team in the nation is signifigant progress. We were down but we weren't down for long. I'm proud we're back to high expectations so I love this article. 


April 19th, 2012 at 3:49 PM ^

Our offense plodded vs MSU and VTech, and now gets to face Alabama's D w/o Molk or moonball-catching-release-valve Hemingway, not to mention the losses on the D line.  An expectation to compete for the BiG is legit, but hinting an expectation vs Alabama is homer. I for one just want to see us compete at the JerryDome.  I'll be OK with a loss under 14 points.  The rest of the games on the schedule, especially MSU, are another story.


April 19th, 2012 at 2:02 PM ^

Ha, that's awesome. I used to work with Travis at the Charleston Post and Courier back in the day. I was relegated to working the Charleston Southern men's basketball beat, as well as high school and community sports. Nice to see he made it to the big times.

I am currently stuck in a cubicle job providing customer support for aspiring authors. Ho hum.



April 19th, 2012 at 4:11 PM ^

 If ND finishes with a record better than 8-4 I'll be shocked. MSU in East lansing, Michigan at home,  Oklahoma at Norman and USC in L.A those 4 games alone could be brutal. Add in Miami ( ytm) , Boston college , Stanford and BYU there is no room to have a bad week. ND should be happy to be bowl eligible after this schedule and Brian Kelly should feel lucky to be employeed


April 19th, 2012 at 2:22 PM ^

The article looks at top-25 teams ("or close to it") - perhaps they didn't consider ND close to a top-25 team?  In any event, I think their schedule merits consideration here.

EDIT: The article is specifically looking at EARLY-SEASON schedules.


April 19th, 2012 at 2:22 PM ^

...heading into the year, but I am not sure that is how it will play out at the end of the year. 

I think there is a very good chance Bama is not our toughest game.  It might be at Nebraska, at OSU or someone else.  I don't think any BCS NC team has ever repeated and you normally get a little let down after winning the trophy.  I assume Bama will have about 3 losses at the end of the year. 


If Bama ends up like that, ND fumbles away the season, MSU struggles with a new QB and OSU has a hard time transitioning to the triple option....we won't have the toughest schedule.  I think all or some of those things are somewhat likely to happen.


April 19th, 2012 at 2:36 PM ^

It is a tough schedule. I believe it to be tough enough to merit consideration for a title game appearance if a loss was to occur early enough in the year.

Obviously a lot can happen though over the next months. Would not be surprised though if this schedule is at least top 20 even if some of the teams end up struggling.


April 19th, 2012 at 2:47 PM ^

tough schedule but I wish it wasn't all on the road. The home games this year are not worth even close to the season ticket price. You're pretty much paying $400 for an MSU ticket. Praise jeebus that trash bowl 2.0 won't be around this year.


April 19th, 2012 at 2:58 PM ^

He says... well Michigan might be 2-2, heck 1-3 if they are still licking their wounds from 'Bama v. Air Force... But .... they should be able to beat ND, so 3-1... I mean he has everything covered when he says, Alabama is as vulnerable as ever (read 4-0)... He might as well say UMass, two years ago/The Horror 0-4 and just cover them all...


April 19th, 2012 at 3:10 PM ^

Sill a little unsure as to why Brandon would have scheduled the game with Bama this year? It will be great if we win, but for a former business exec who should have some ability to know these things take time this just seems like a move that should have been made for the 2014 team after Hoke got his stuff going as far as recruiting and style of play.


April 19th, 2012 at 3:51 PM ^

The benefits of playing in this game far outweigh the risk of a loss. Look at it this way-there are pretty much 4 possible outcomes for this game.

1) Michigan wins in a blowout-This is most definitely the least likely outcome but if it happens Michigan just got paid a ton of money to go "on the road" and annihilate the defending national champions. You may as well pencil MIchigan into the National title game should this happen as long as they only lose one game the rest of the way. On top of that recruits all across the nation just watched Michigan beat the best team in the nation the past 4 years. Can you say hello to all the 5-stars that will line up visits after that.

2) Michigan wins a squeaker-Same as above, but dial back the national title talk a bit.

3) Bama wins a squeaker-Michigan just got paid a ton of money to lose to the best team in the nation the past 4 years. Recruits just saw Michigan hang with Bama and interest in the program is increased.

4) Bama wins in a blowout-Michigan gets to see where it's lacking when stacked against the best the nation has to offer. Recruits see that Michigan is willing to play anybody and recruits everywhere still get to see what Michigan has to offer. The worst part about this scenario is all the SEC chest beating and sports outlets declaring Michigan still has a way to go to (and let's be honest-they do).

Only one outcome out of those 4 can likely be called "bad," and even that is fairly subjective. Brandon and Hoke know what they are doing.

Perkis-Size Me

April 19th, 2012 at 3:58 PM ^

The assumption was that by this point Rich Rod would have been fielding national title contenders too. Regardless, its still a good matchup. Its two storybook programs, both will sell tickets very easily, and both will have a lot of fans tuning in on TV. No matter who loses, this is win/win for both programs.


April 19th, 2012 at 3:26 PM ^

DB and Hoke care more about Big Ten championships and a game like this is perfect for DB.  It gives us a ton of national exposure, against a consistent contender, and might establish an avenue to recruit in the most talent heavy place in the country.  If we lose, it sucks short term but long term it's a win regardless.


April 19th, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^

Oklahoma, Miami U, Stanford, USC, Michigan, MSU. They may suck but they play one of the hardest schedules in college football. Sadly it never seems to help them strength wise but I'd have to agree with ours being the toughest in the B10 by far. Alabama on the road in Dallas, ND in South Bend, Nebraska in Lincoln, MSU at home and of course Ohio St in Columbus. If we go undefeated by the time the MSU game rolls around I will be shocked. Not surprised because I believe we have a great chance to do it but I will be shocked.


April 19th, 2012 at 3:40 PM ^

Sorry to be that guy and threadjack, but to make the game at Jerryworld even more of an uphill battle, I just heard from a friend that the band isn't going to be taken on the trip.  It is going to be treated just like any other away game.  Since when is a neutral-site game against a defending national champion like any other away game?  It just seems odd (not to mention ridiculous) not to have the band at one of the most anticipated and difficult game of the year.


April 19th, 2012 at 3:47 PM ^

According to the person that told me, the Athletic Department is treating it as 'just another away game' so there is no budget for the band to go.  For a group that puts in so much work for the University and really does a lot to help motivate the fans/players during games, it just seems stupid to me.


April 19th, 2012 at 5:38 PM ^

They lose offensive leaders QB Jefferson and star TB Asher Clark, plus leading WR Knauth to graduation.  They had a senior-laden offense last fall. Defensively in a word they sucked last year against questionable opposition.

That said, Air Force always plays over their heads on the road vs. better competition.  It helps Michigan that Hoke got royally burned by Air Force at SDSU and probably carries over this nightmares and hate into that game after seeing a great season downgraded after losing to them a few years back by just 2 pts points (at home).