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04/22/2018 - 10:39am Good questions. Losing

Good questions. Losing Hiestand is a blow. He's being replaced by Jeff Quinn, Kelly's righthand man at GVSU, CMU, and Cincy, who didn't come to ND originally when he took the Buffalo HC job. The fanbase was not happy when he was named the OL coach, the thought being we went with the familiar candidate versus the best candidate. He was an anlyst the last couple years in SB so got to see Hiestand work up close. He's been very complimentary of Hiestand and has described how he wants to continue to teach the same way. The proof will be in the pudding come the Fall.

Kelly forced Wimbush to play from the pocket yesterday knowing the best team's we play will do just that. If Michigan can shut down ND's running game, where Wimbush is at his best on the read option, then ND will really struggle to score points. Wimbush will need to be able to throw it from the pocket to beat Mich.

04/22/2018 - 10:35am Happy to do so.
I forgot to

Happy to do so.

I forgot to mention the TEs. There is a ton of talent there led by Alize Mack, 247 composite #1 TE in 2015. He was academically ineligible in 2016 and very inconsistent last year. He supposedly has had a great spring and can be a dynamic passcatcher if he realizes his potential.

The DL should be a strength of the team. Led by Jerry Tillery, a four-year starter who could have gone to the NFL last year. He's been moved to the 3-tech to allow him to penetrate more. ND's has struggled with their pass rush in recent years, the hope is Daelin Hayes and Khalid Kareem can provide that, both are very talented. ND did just lost Jay Hayes, who started at SDE last year and grad transferred to OU. Kareem was going to beat him out but he was a strong run defender and provided depth.

LB will be led by Te'von Coney and Drue Tranquill. Both delayed going to the NFL for one more season. Both were super productive last year, Coney in a part time role (he had 17 tackles in the bowl game). Tranquill is moving from Rover (hybrid LB/safety) to Buck (inside linebacker) where he will play in the NFL. Replacing him at Rover is an open competition with three very athletic candidates.

ND has five CBs coming back who have seen time. Julian Love is not the best athlete but set an ND record for pass breakups last year. Troy Pride should be the other starter, he's the fastest player on the team. CB should be a strength.

Safeties were the weak point of the defense last year, they didn't record a single interception! They looked much better yesterday. Alohi Gilman transferred from Navy but was forced to sit out 2017. He started at Navy as a frosh (had a big game against ND when they beat us in 2016). He'll start at SS and looks to be a playmaker. Jalen Elliott will be the FS. He missed a lot of tackles and plays on the ball last year, the hope is now in his third year at ND, second in the same defenisve system, he'll start to realize his potential.

04/22/2018 - 1:37am To answer your question the

To answer your question the left side of the OL for ND should be plenty experienced and talented:

LT - Liam Eichenberg  Soph (RS) - 247 composite #80 recruiting albeit first year starter

LG - Alex Bars 5th Year Sr - 247 composite #109, three-year starter

C - Sam Mustipher 5th Year Sr - 247 composite #225, three-year starter

So you are assuming Michigan will get better through experience but ND will not? Based on what logic?

ND will has question marks on offense at the skill positions. Wimbush was awful in Nov, but acocunted for 30 touchdowns in 2017, more than all of Michigan's QBs combined. He appears to have regained his confidence this spring.

ND has two experienced RBs, Dexter Williams with one more carry would have led the country in YPC last year. Tony Jones also saw extensive playing time. Neither has been the lead back before, it remains to be seen if they can step up into that role.

Miles Boykin will be the top WR who torched LSU's secondary in the bowl game. Chase Claypool will be the most talented WR, but needs to get his head on straight. Michael Young is another promising WR who scored a TD vs. LSU.

The OL returns three starters, the two mentioned previously plus:

RG - Tommy Kraemer Soph (RS) - 247 composite #26, part-time starter at RT last year, moving inside to RG where he is a more natural fit

RT - Robert Hainsey Soph - 247 composite #84, split time with Kraemer at RT last year

Can get in more detail on the defense if you are interested in understanding your opponent. It won't be as good as Michigan but returns 8 starters from the #27 ranked defense by S&P+. We lost Mike Elko who was a great DC, but promoted his protege Clark Lea, so the system will be the same

08/31/2014 - 4:07am mgoreadingcomprehensionfail


04/22/2012 - 10:27pm I would like Michigan's

I would like Michigan's chances if the game was played in the spring as well.  Hoping Kelly can coach 'em up between now and September...he's going to need to with our schedule.

A few thoughts from an ND fan perspective:

  • I really hope Golson is the starter.  I would imagine its easier to teach a QB to get the playcall in on time and take snaps than it is to teach someone how to be a playmaker.  
  • Rees didn't look improved at all in the game despite talk of him being head and shoulder above the rest.  Hendrix seems to lack the instincts for the position despite his tools, although the only thing that can improve that is PT.
  • I think the RBs and OL will be very good in 2012, probably the best they've been in years.  Eifert should be a beast and they will line him up all over like they did yesterday.
  • WRs have a long way to go, right now I would just say they are just serviceable.  A playmaking QB like Golson could make them better.
  • Not too worried about the defensive front, Te'o didn't play hardly at all, lots of backups out there.  The DL could have been outstanding with Lynch, will probably be very good but not great without him.
  • Safeties should be solid and everyone is really high on Bennett Jackson at one corner.  I was actually encouraged by the play of Lo Wood and J. Atkinson, neither looked great but they weren't as bad as I feared they would be.

Will be interesting to see what Kelly does with the QB positions.  I was originally thinking Rees would be the starter and one of Hendrix/Golson would get snaps, and then inserted into the starting lineup once Rees struggled against better competition.  If Rees looks like he did yesterday and the last few games last year, I think Kelly has to make Golson or Hendrix the starter, Rees just can't make plays and is a turnover machine, a bad combination.

04/18/2012 - 10:59pm Keep in mind also...that's

Keep in mind also...that's his backup QB (at the time) and his team is up 20 on Mississippi State.

04/18/2012 - 5:17pm I'm in full agreement Kelly

I'm in full agreement Kelly had a meltdown during the USF game, not looking for another coach doing the same to somehow justify it.  That's not something I would waste my time doing.

He lost it, I can understand why and point to other coaches who have done the same, but that doesn't justify it.

If Te'o, Floyd, & Eifert left and a bunch of others were transferring because they hate him and what he's doing to the program, then I would be in full agreement with many on this thread.  The attrition that has happened is either natural (i.e. playing time or guys just decommitting in the recruiting process) or outside of Kelly's control as far as we know Lynch/Shepard.

04/18/2012 - 3:49pm He certainly lost his

He certainly lost his composure during the South Florida game, which was a mistake on his part and shouldn't happen.   He's not the first coach to do that though (see Pelini, Bo) and won't be the last.

He is tough on his players, especially on game day.  It works for other coaches like Izzo and Saban and it's worked for Kelly at his previous three stops.  Maybe it won't work at ND, time will tell.

Back to your original premise though, the attrition we've seen, in particular Ragone, isn't due to to Kelly losing control of the program.  That premise is false and misinformed.

04/18/2012 - 2:18pm Not every successful HC is a

Not every successful HC is a player's coach.  I would say if Manti Te'o is returning because of his devotion to the team (which I agree with) rather than a personal allegiance to Kelly, that's still mission accomplished on Kelly's part.

This is a Michigan blog right?  Isn't it "the team, the team, the team" not "the coach, the coach, the coach?"

04/18/2012 - 12:38pm I enjoy how Michigan fans on

I enjoy how Michigan fans on this site are frequently mocking ND fans for being myopic, then cite evidence proving they are completely misinformed about what's going on in South Bend.

The reality of the situation is that after Tyler Eifert, who was a Mackey Finalist last year, ND has three young TEs, Ben Koyack, Alex Welch, and Troy Niklas, who were all highly recruited with multiple years of eligibility, competing to be the second TE in the offense.

Seems like a no-brainer for Kelly and his staff to develop one of them, especially with Eifert almost certainly leaving for the NFL next year, rather than bring back Ragone for a 6th year, someone who has suffered multiple severe knee injuries during his career.  Seems like a no-brainer to him to play one last year at Kansas with a couple of his friends and the coach who originally recruited him, with a much better shot at PT.

If Kelly was losing the program, would Michael Floyd, Manti Te'o, and Eifert forgo millions in the NFL to return for their senior seasons?  Would ND have 6 5th-year seniors returning?  This just in...not every player with an extra year of eligibility returns, at programs across the country.

Not saying everything is perfect with ND football, far from it, but to quote Mike Gundy: "Get your facts straight!"

04/12/2012 - 11:44pm It depends on what your

It depends on what your definition of "fantastic" is.  If your definition of fantastic is Heisman-worthy and being remembered as a legend at his school/nationally, then I would agree that neither was RGIII, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, or Vince Young caliber.   That's a pretty high bar for fantastic though.

If your definition of fantastic is one of the elite QBs the seasons you played, i.e. you could start for 115+ FBS teams, then both absolutely were fantastic.  Quinn btw, did finish fourth in the Heisman in 2005, Weis' first year, I would say he was unequivocably great that year.

I agree they both fell short of the hype, with Quinn's senior season losing the three games you mentioned and Clausen only going 6-6 as a senior.  That's why they aren't considered all-time greats and some of that falls on them.  A lot of it falls on having a pretty horrible coach, a bad defense, and in Quinn's case his senior year, less talent that teams like Michigan, USC, and LSU.

03/25/2012 - 4:44pm ND also just got a commitment

ND also just got a commitment from QB Malik Zaire from OH, offers include Alabama, Ohio State, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

08/23/2011 - 7:28pm You do realize that with

You do realize that with Crist only playing for a half and a drive in his second career start, ND outgained Michigan last year?  I'm not saying Crist is Andrew Luck, but I would think he's someone you would be at least a little worried about, especially with your defense.

08/23/2011 - 7:17pm It's not the HC

It's not the HC responsibility to determine if a player is concussed or not, its the training staff's.  Do you really think Kelly put Crist back agains the medical staff's recommendation?

Also, Crist was never diagnosed wit a concussion.

07/23/2011 - 1:14pm Rees had the major benefit of

Rees had the major benefit of a running game and a great defense when he played, Kelly essentially put the burden of the offense on Crist's shoulders, in retrospect something he was not ready for as a first year starter.

Crist has a stronger arm, is a better athlete, and is much bigger than Rees.  At their best, Crist enables Kelly to expand his offense more so than Rees.  Kelly really did not attack down the field much with Rees.  Not sure about Rees facing stronger competition either.  Crist played against the two best teams on the schedule last year, Stanford (he really struggled) and Michigan State (he shredded them much of the game, throwing for almost 400 yards).

Long term, Hendrix and Golson are better fits for the offense than Rees and have more eligibility left.  I'm not counting Tommy out though, because he's definitely a gamer/grinder/insert cliche.

07/22/2011 - 8:49pm No it's not a given that a

No it's not a given that a player will get injured during the course of a season.  If he does get knocked out for a period of time, it very well may be during a game ND can weather the storm like Purdue or Wake Forest, instead of Michigan or USC.  Also, I was assuming that given this is a Michigan blog, the rating was more about the quality of the team when Michigan plays them, not the last game of the season.  I would say its highly unlikely that he's injured before Michigan.

Not many teams have experienced depth period, rather they just have depth.  ND is thin at RB but there are options if they miss Wood, although certainly not ideal.  At WR ND has John Goodman and Robby Toma, neither can replace Floyd, but they can get the job done if Jones and Riddick get knocked out respectively.  ND is actually very deep at TE, Mike Ragone was one of the top TEs in the country coming out of HS and has a lot of experience blocking (and a little in the pass game) as a 5th year senior.  Alex Welch really impressed in  the spring as a RS Frosh (so much so that Kelly said he would implement some 3 TE sets).  Ben Koyack was one of the top TEs in the country this past year and could contribute in the passing game if needed.

07/22/2011 - 5:29pm Floyd's previous issues were

Floyd's previous issues were for underage drinking, he doesn't have multiple DUIs.  Wasn't it Lloyd Carr that once asked a reporter (paraphrasing) if he ever had a beer in college before 21?  

Also, what punishment did Stonum receive for his first DUI and also what discipline did he receive when he violated his probation?

07/22/2011 - 5:18pm  

Overall, I thought it was


Overall, I thought it was a pretty fair article, but from an ND perspective, I had some issues with it.

QB: Not sure why you feel Rees is a better fit for Kelly's offense. Kelly wants a pass-first QB who can push the ball down the field and also has the ability to be a threat running the zone-read option.  Rees has the weakest arm among the QBs and is not a runner at all.  He may end up being the best QB but he's not the best fit.

I would assume Crist is the starter with Rees as the main backup right now and Kelly said he will probably use either Hendrix or Golson as a change of pace QB given their running ability.

RB: If Wood lives up to any of the hype and can stay healthy ND will be much better than a 2/5 at RB.  He was better than that when he was the starter at the end of the year against USC and Miami.  His biggest issues last year were holding onto the football and inexperience in the system, two things that should improve with time.  Depth is rightly noted as a major concern.  However, if Wood went down I don't think Kelly would hesitate to move Riddick back to RB, especially if Gray can't carry the load (he hasn't proven he can so far) and the frosh aren’t ready.

WR: Duval Kamara was not a starter last year and he wasn't injured, he only played after TJ Jones and Riddick went down with injuries.  He played in 3 games and filled in well with 3 TDs but then missed the bowl game due to academic issues.

OL: Watt is contending with 5th year senior Andrew Nuss for the starting job at LG (Watt is expected to win), Robinson will be the starter at RG.

DL:  The biggest issue is Cwynar holding up (he’s been injured this offseason and its probably affected his ability to lift) given that he’s undersized as a 3-4 NG (at 6-4 285).

LB: Soph Danny Spond is squarely in the mix to start at the OLB spot opposite Fleming.  Spond is a good athlete who can play well in space.  Kendall Moore is contending for a backup ILB spot (Fox can play there too), he was ND’s defensive scout team player of the year as a frosh.  5 star early enrollee Ishaq Williams will probably see time on pass rushing downs on the outside.

DB: ND’s biggest concern is the 3rd corner spot.  Lo Wood played ST last year as a frosh and Bennett Jackson moved from WR to CB in the spring, where he impressed (very fast player).  Other than that we have two true frosh in Jalen Brown and Josh Atkinson.  Jamoris Slaughter is batting Motta to start at FS.  Slaughter was the starter to open the season but was banged up for most of the year opening the door for Motta.

04/18/2011 - 7:59pm Your first point depends on

Your first point depends on your definition of relevant.

Aside from ND's tradition and history + academics and community that draws recruits, ND's recruiting track record over the last 10 years is a little more nuanced:

Davie was able to recruit because the success Holtz had was in the not too distant past.  He also had some excellent recruiters on his staff like Urban Meyer, Greg Mattison, Charlie Strong (for a couple years),  and Steve Addazio.  Davie wasn't a bad recruiter himself.

Willingham had one great class (2003) off the heals of an 8-0 start (plus the hype that came along with it, see SI cover).  His recruiting quickly fell off, the 2004 class was far and away the worst in ND's history and the 2005 class he was putting together wasn't much better before he got canned.  Willingham was an awful recruiter and didn't work very hard at it and the results bear that out.

Weis went to BCS bowls his first two years which he was able to sell,  plus he was personally a very good recruiter and had a lot of hype off his success with the Patriots.  His recruiting wasn't flawless though, in multiple classes he left major holes like the DL in 2006-07, DB in 2009-10, and not taking a QB in 2009.  These misses really hurt him (and Kelly last year).  A few guys on his staff could recruit but he also had a lot of dead weight that really hurt (see Tenuta, John).

Kelly had the hype of his previous success at Cincy, he's a very good recruiter and has a great recruiting staff, he also has a better recruiting plan than Weis ever did and understands how to manage a program, and lastly beating USC and Miami to end the year really helped.

04/18/2011 - 7:45pm

Maybe you should read up on the subject and the investigation into what actually happened rather than solely blame one person for a tragic accident.

04/17/2011 - 10:17pm If the star avg is a factor

If the star avg is a factor in your rankings then it seems foolish to factor in kickers, punters, and long snappers b/c they are going to negatively skew the average downwards.  A team shouldn't be "punished" for trying to improve its special teams by taking one of these players.

04/17/2011 - 10:13pm Yes, and more teams are doing

Yes, and more teams are doing this rather than look for a walkon or another scholarship player to do it.  USC took one last year and so did Ohio State (Bryce Haynes, ND recruited him as well).  Unfortunately, ND will have two long snappers on scholarship Daly's freshman year, which definitely is excessive.

04/16/2011 - 5:02pm It isn't just some anonymous

It isn't just some anonymous 3rd string QB being compared to Robinson, its our frosh early enrollee Everett Golson who was heavily recruited.  There's a tendency to provide comparisons to established players for younger frosh and recruits who have yet to see game action so the less informed viewer can have a better understanding of what they're watching.

Fwiw, Golson is a passer first and runner second.  He is a much more accomplished passer than Robinson out of HS and is a good athlete but not the freak Denard is.

04/09/2011 - 1:10pm BK made a mistake and

BK made a mistake and apologized for his comment, he point blank shouldn't have said it.  However, it wasn't a racist comment or a justification for violence.  If you don't think there isn't a problem with violence in this country in the inner cities and people looking the other way then you are naive.  That's what he was speaking to, not a justification for his players to go commit violent crime.

04/08/2011 - 8:53pm A few things:

There is

A few things:

  • There is new ResLife leadership that overall has been more lenient across the board than the past regime, thus this might be the new standard for punishment.
  • I haven't read "Under the Tarnished Dome" but the "findings" from that book were produced from the accounts of disgruntled former players, many of whom were suspended or expelled due to disciplinary reasons.  It's hardly gospel.
  • ND did go to great lengths to denounce the violations that did take place in the mid to late 90s.
  • ND has taken the high road as an academic institution in the standards it holds its football program to (see top graduation rates, overall harsher punishment than most for misconduct, higher academic standards than most of CFB, etc.)  ND not suspending Floyd for games in the fall for a violation in March does not mean ND has SEC like standards now.
04/08/2011 - 8:41pm He wasn't making excuses for

He wasn't making excuses for violence by his players, he was explaining why they were hesitant to cooperate with the police investigation.

04/08/2011 - 7:06pm At CMU, Kelly said regarding

At CMU, Kelly said regarding his players involved in a police investigation (he hadn't yet coached a game): “For example, a number of them were African Americans that had been in that culture of violence and they’re taught to look away.”  Not politically correct in today's society but you are out of touch with reality if you think he said something inaccurate.  He wasn't generalizing for all AAs but speaking specifically about his players.

Also, please show me evidence of Kelly's drinking problem and his open support for abortion?  Or are you just pulling this out of your ass?

03/07/2011 - 7:34pm Odenigbo

I would say ND is on equal or better footing with OSU and Stanford for Odenigbo, he loved his junior day visit.  He has yet to make his visit to Stanford however.

02/06/2011 - 9:38pm  

I have a couple


I have a couple problems with these rankings:

1.  You should just exclude ST players from the average ratings b/c even if they are the best K/P/LS in the country they will be no higher than a 3 star.  You shouldn't have your rating hurt b/c you decided to give a scholarship to a ST player.

2.  Figure out the actual positions these players are slated to play at their school.  It will give a more accurate picture of how a school did recruiting various positions.  All the recruiting services project the players based on a 4-3 defensive scheme when more and more schools are using 3-4 schemes (ND in particular in these rankings).

A team could have a ton of talent in one class but miss at a crucial need position like QB or or along the OL and in reality the recruiting class isn't as good because it doesn't address a team's needs.

02/04/2011 - 4:36am From an ND fan perspective,

From an ND fan perspective, Corwin obviously was a great recruiter.  He bears most of the responsibility among the assistant coaches for putting together ND's 2008 recruiting class (ranked #2 overall by Rivals) during the 2007 season, the year we went 3-9.

As a defensive coordinator he showed promise in 2007 as he got a largely inexperienced unit that was devoid of talent at several positions to play hard and keep games competitive early until they wore down by being on the field so much.

After his promising 2007, Weis decided to bring in John Tenuta, which everyone was excited about at the time, but ended up being Weis' worst single decision as coach.  After making the transition to a 3-4, ND went to a hybrid (3-4 under look maybe the best description) in 2008.  The defense played decently considering the transition and youth but wasn't a great unit.

2009 was when shit hit the fan.  Weis turned playcalling duties over to Tenuta and his blitz-happy schemes killed us.  The talent brought in back in 2008 that was recruited to play the 3-4 was now shoehorned into the 4-3.

Corwin's DB coaching was pretty good his first two years but everything fell apart in 2009.  The DBs frankly didn't look like they were coached at all (watch the missed tackles, poor angles, and lack of recognition during the 2009 USC-ND game).  Corwin bears responsibility for this but clearly he and Tenuta weren't on the same page.  The difference between the DB play last year under Corwin and this year under Chuck Martin (former GVSU HC) is night and day.

Overall, I would definitely take a chance again on Corwin as a position coach b/c of a recruiting abilities (I also think he can motivate) but only if he's on the same page with the coordinator.  The lack of chemistry on the coaching staff really killed Weis and it was apparent between Corwin and Tenuta.

02/04/2011 - 4:12am You bring up a good point.

You bring up a good point.  No one seems to mention this in the outrage about the lack of black HCs in CFB but look at the large gap in graduation rates nationally in college football between blacks and whites.  It's pretty difficult to be a "graduate assistant" if you don't have a degree in the first place.

How many college coaches don't have degrees?  Probably none or close to it.  It's not the white man trying to hold down the black man, its a problem thats already started before most AAs step foot on a college campus (see national eduction/testing gap).  Then when you factor in that most universities don't really give a crap whether their players graduate or not you have a major difference in the racial makeup of players versus coaches.  Too bad most hack sports columnists don't actually investigate the causes of this issue.

01/17/2011 - 9:28pm None other than former

None other than former Wolverine Mike Elston.  Kelly is putting together one heck of a class this year.  Only thing really missing right now is a big-time RB (maybe Savon Huggins but he's probably going to Rutgers), although Cam McDaniel is a nice prospect.

10/10/2010 - 3:44pm Carrico was moved to OL this

Carrico was moved to OL this year but was a full-time DE last year and that's what he's been recruited to play by the Irish coaching staff and will start at next summer (although there is a good possiblity he will move especially if ND does not land another OL this class).

10/10/2010 - 2:07pm ND recruits' positions

Many of the positions the ND recruits are listed at are wrong.

George Atkinson III will play WR.

Anthony Rabasa, Clay Burton, and Ben Councell will all be OLBs.

Tony Springmann and Brad Carrico will be DEs.

09/06/2010 - 4:31am Yes, I was replying to your

Yes, I was replying to your comment.  The first poster made an inane comment that ND's offense isn't anything to worry about because they only put up 23 points against Purdue.  RKGs responded that the final score isn't indicative of how well ND's offense played, they were one fumble away from being up 27-3 with over a quarter to play.

You responded that turnovers matter and that you can't ignore them, a point RKG's never made, he was just trying to provide context to the original poster's idiotic comment.  If one game's box score is totally predictive of how good a team/unit is then ND's defense should have been a hell of a lot better after shutting out Nevada (the 6th ranked scoring offense) in their first game in 2009 (and we all know how that turned out.)

09/05/2010 - 9:55pm ftr, small sample sizes can

ftr, small sample sizes can only tell you so much, especially with relatively infrequent events like WRs fumbling at the goal line.  Also, context matters as well, the final scoreboard isn't totally indicative of how well or poorly a team played.

You probably should weigh things like they only scored 23 points against Purdue in their first game in a new offense accordingly, especially if you want to be taken seriously around here.

09/05/2010 - 6:05pm Marve doesn't suck.  ND had

Marve doesn't suck.  ND had excellent coverage in the secondary (as pointed out by Mike Mayock, a guy that knows something about defensive coverages) and were able to put pressure on Marve with their front 3, which will make life difficult for any QB.  I didn't say Purdue has more talent than UConn, the Huskies have a much better RB and a better O-line.  Purdue won't have the worst offense in the Big Ten, they finished 5th last year in scoring offense in-conference games only and they will put up points again in the Big Ten.

Marve is definitely better than Frazer, who finished 4th in the 2007 ND QB race behind future Cincy OLB Demetrius Jones and Evan Sharpley.  Frazer was the second worst QB we played last year, only in front of Jeff Tuel, a true frosh from Wash. State.

09/05/2010 - 5:24pm You must not have watched the

You must not have watched the game.  ND's defense is much different than last year.  They only allowed 10 points to Purdue's offense, which does have talent and a much better QB than Frazer at UConn.  Also, ND was without two starters most of the game (Fleming maybe our best defensive player and FS Jamoris Slaughter).  Both should be back next week.  Not sure if you heard but Jon Tenuta is not our D coordinator next week, Denard will definitely present problems and is a major cause for concern for every team on Michigan's schedule but we will have a competent gameplan unlike last year.

09/05/2010 - 5:19pm ND didn't go 5 wide all game

ND didn't go 5 wide all game against Purdue, I'm pretty sure only 4 WRs played and the most out there at one time was 3.  If they went empty at all it was only once or twice.  ND will spread it out but TE Kyle Rudolph won't come off the field.  Both RBs Armando Allen and Cierre Wood looked excellent against Purdue.

ND will be very balanced ths year given the need to take pressure off Crist (a RS Soph by the way, class of 2008) and the talent at running back.  Overall, ND was pretty conservative against Purdue and I think  they will open it up more to exploit Michigan's secondary.

08/02/2010 - 5:28pm Basically none of the ND

Basically none of the ND defensive front seven recruits are ranked properly because they are being recruited for the 3-4 not a 4-3 which is how they are graded by the recruiting services.  Rabasa, Burton, and Councell are all DE/OLB tweeners but great fits as 3-4 OLB.  Carrico and Springmann are really poor fits in a 4-3 line so they are graded as OL, but they have the necessary bulk and athleticism to play as 3-4 DE.  Even Aaron Lynch would probably end up as a DT in a 4-3 but is a great fit as a 3-4 DE.  Jarrett Lynch isn't going to be a sideline to sideline 4-3 MLB but can absolutely excel as a 3-4 ILB (see Alabama offer).

08/01/2010 - 3:34pm ND probably only has 3-4 more

ND probably only has 3-4 more spots left in the class unless something drastic unexpected attrition happens.  Kelly will probably hold out and only accept commitments from elite guys at this point, as ND has satisfied most of their recruiting needs and can afford to wait.  If ND has a good season (8 wins or more) I don't think Michigan or anyone else on the list will be passing them.

ND fans who follow recruiting would also make the argument that some of their guys are very likely to be ranked higher on NSD, especially Jordan Prestwood (playing OT for the first time this year with offers from everyone), Clay Burton, and Anthony Rabasa.  Plus Jalen Brown and Kyle Brindza  will also be ranked at some point too.

07/29/2010 - 12:50am Weis' recruiting track record

Weis' recruiting track record actually is a little more complex than most people assume it to be.  He did have some great success getting guys like Clausen, Floyd, Te'o, Ethan Johnson, Rudolph, and the other guys we know about.  He also had some major misses and basically struck out at positions often. 

His entire 2006 recruiting class was in large part a disappointment especially the defense.  Between 2007-2009 he only recruited 3 corners and 7 DBs total.  He missed on taking a QB in 2009 and we are a Dayne Crist injury away from this season being a disaster as a result.  He underrecruited the defensive line and got burned a number of times with d-linemen switching their "commitments" (see Gerald McCoy, Justin Trattou, Omar Hunter, Chris Martin...).  He missed out on DEs in the 2009 recruiting class forcing Kelly to take a guy with no other D-1 offers (Heggie) last year.

Overall he improved the quality of the program from a talent perspective (although that isn't saying much considering the mess Ty left him).  However, his recruiting misses did hurt him in the end and are an obstacle for Kelly to overcome (especially DB recruiting).

07/22/2010 - 10:41am From 2005-2009, Rivals ranked

From 2005-2009, Rivals ranked Cincinnati's Big East recruiting classes 8th, 8th, 8th, 7th, & 5th (out of 8 teams total). Before that they were in Conference USA so I do think there is a considerable talent gap between Cincy and Pitt, WV, & Rutgers.

I understand your argument. If this list was made 2 years ago RR would be in the top 15 & if it was made 4 years ago Dan Hawkins would be in the top 15. Cincinnati did beat Oregon State 34-3 at home in 2007 and 28-18 on the road last year (Mike Riley is a pretty good coach IMO).

If you put LSU in the Big East they would dominate, that doesn't mean Les Miles is a great coach though. The difference is Kelly did clean up in the Big East without a superior talent level to his peers.

07/22/2010 - 9:41am My next post I mentioned

My next post I mentioned exactly the same thing. It is apples to oranges, Kelly doesn't have anywhere near the resources that Tressel does but also doesn't face as difficult of a schedule.

Still I think given OSU's talent level, losing to a pretty unremarkable USC team at home, losing to Purdue, getting blown out at USC the year before, and getting blown out in consecutive NC games isn't as impressive as Kelly winning 10+ games a year at Cincy including going undefeated. Especially when you consider that Cincy isn't as talented (based on recruiting rankings) as Rutgers, Pitt, & WV.

07/22/2010 - 1:08am Favorites: Rome (not b/c of

Favorites: Rome (not b/c of JRIB which I don't really watch but I'm a huge fan of the Jungle), Bill Simmons, Lou (obviously), Mark May (he hates ND but he just cracks me up for some reason, great schtick), Current MNF booth, SVP, Rece Davis, Ron Franklin

Least: Most everyone else but especially Berman, Cowherd, Le Batard, Pam Ward, Kornheiser (when he was on MNF), Stu Scott, Jemele Hill, Rob Parker, John Saunders, Mike Lupica, Mitch Albom, Rick Reilly to name a few...

07/22/2010 - 12:46am I think a list like this is

I think a list like this is really open to debate. How do you compare Mack Brown who has all the resources in the world at his disposal including recruiting base versus Patterson/Mendenhall/Peterson. Or how do you compare the job Saban, Meyer, and Richt do with far superior talent but also a much tougher schedule versus the guys in the non-BCS conferences.

07/22/2010 - 12:43am BK has gotten much more out

BK has gotten much more out of the talent at Cincy and before that CMU than Tressel has at tOSU (edit: the past 5 years).

Much of it is based on the last five years and overall its weighed heavily towards the present, so what Joe Pa did in the 70s and 80s wasn't really weighed. He basically argues that Joe Pa is just a figurehead (see him not visiting a recruit in a few years) so he can't really be included.

07/11/2010 - 9:52pm If you are interested the

If you are interested the positions listed for many of the ND prospects are not what they are slated to play when they arrive at ND.  Both Carrico and Springmann are being recruited to be 3-4 DEs.  Councell and Burton are being recruited as 3-4 OLBs.  Hardy is being recruited as a CB.

07/10/2010 - 5:29pm Oh ok, well if I was going to

Oh ok, well if I was going to compare BCS performance I would probably just stick with the games where the coaches in question were actually in the buidling the game was played in.  I think the Fiesta Bowl said that RR put a really good program together at WV with White, Slaton, Devine, etc. (although we have yet to see that at M), Bill Stewart did a great job as an interim coach in that game, and Bob Stoops has had a lot of trouble in bowl games in recent years.

Not sure how its Kelly's fault that Cincy couldn't get up for big games (they did in every game last year), the one game they lost was to one of the most talented teams in the country!  They weren't supposed to win that game, the fact they played Florida in a Sugar Bowl is a minor miracle in and of itself. 

The VT game was pretty close, Cincy just failed to convert in the red zone (yes that sometimes happens in one game sample sizes).  Beamer has had VT as a top notch program (probably top 10 in the country) the 15 years prior to that, so that Kelly had a match up against them in a BCS game in his second year and the game was closer than the 13 point differential on the scoreboard isn't really a huge knock against him IMO.

07/10/2010 - 5:16pm You may be right that Crist

You may be right that Crist won't play up to Pike's level, especially in the early going, but I guarantee you would have said there is no way Pike (whose primary recruiting interest other than UC were FCS and Div II schools) can play as well as Mauk did in 2007 before leading Cincy to a BCS bowl in 08.  You also would have said there is no way a redshirt soph Zach Collaros (whose primary decision as a recruit came down to football and baseball for Cincy or just play baseball for Kent) with 15 career passing attempts can keep Cincy's offense rolling (and actually improve it) when Pike was injured last year.