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Five things we learned: Notre Dame vs. Pitt

Nov 14, 2009, 11:32 PM EDT

It’d be so much easier if things were cut and dry. But once again, Notre Dame loses, and it doesn’t even begin to tell the story. For much of the game, the Irish were shut down offensively, failing to get into the red zone for the entire first half while the defense held it’s own against the potent combination of Pitt’s running and passing attack.

Yet as the script always does, the Irish mounted a furious comeback, thanks to the electric play of Golden Tate, and after Tate’s punt return for a touchdown, the Irish found themselves attempting a two-point conversion to make it a field goal game. Yet Jimmy Clausen’s shovel pass dropped between backup tight end Mike Ragone’s hands, and the Irish never got any closer.

Still that doesn’t tell us everything, as the Irish had another chance to march down the field and win the game. With Pitt down two key cornerbacks, the Irish had a chance to mount another rally until a chop-block penalty was called on Dan Wenger, dropping the Irish back from a 2nd and 1 at the 42 to a 2nd and 16 back at the 27. On the very next play, Clausen was flushed from the pocket, and hit just as he threw the ball, the ball squirting forward and putting the Irish in a 4th and ballgame situation. The Irish called timeout to get a play set, the Big East replay officials called downstairs to take one more look at the play.

We’ll never know what would’ve happened on that 4th and long for the Irish. The Pitt pass rush ate Paul Duncan and the Irish offensive line alive all evening and maybe the Irish wouldn’t have had a chance to throw down field. But Golden Tate and Michael Floyd were going against a beat-up secondary, and at the very least the Irish — and their embattled head coach — deserved a shot. Yet a replay official who couldn’t overturn a controversial completion to Jonathan Baldwin a few series earlier could somehow determine that Clausen’s pass was a fumble and the inadvertent whistles once again didn’t kill a play before Pitt recovered?


In the end, there will be more questions than answers. If this is it for Charlie Weis, he certainly deserved better. Better than being on the short end of nearly every replay review short of one against Washington, and better than knuckle-headed mistakes his players made while they played frantically for their coach.

Here’s five things we learned tonight:

1) Pitt’s pass rush killed the Irish.

If Notre Dame fans hear the name Greg Romeus again they might get sick to their stomachs. Romeus, Gus Mustakas, Jabaal Sheard and Mick Williams controlled the line of scrimmage when the Irish tried to throw the ball, taking away the deep threat and letting Pitt’s defensive backs jump the short throws. Even when Weis tried to slow down the pressure with screen passes, the Pittsburgh defense was game, snuffing out every attempt for a loss of yardage with great pursuit by the linebacking corps. Ditto the Wildcat formation. The Notre Dame running game was surprisingly effective with Armando Allen gaining 5.5 yards per carry, yet to get back into the game, the Irish needed to lean on their passing attack, and without any time to throw the ball, Jimmy Clausen just couldn’t get it done.

2) Notre Dame’s kicking game killed them

Just when the Irish finally get a big play out of their special teams, they have a game like Pittsburgh, where kicking and punting factored largely in the outcome. I’m sure Eric Maust is a good person, but he was terrible punter on Saturday night, kicking 5 times for an average of 24.8 yards. When he wasn’t punting short ineffective kicks, he was dropping the snap and shanking punts out of bounds when he should’ve been pinning the Pitt offense deep. Much of the first half the Irish offense was shut down because they had to start deep in their own territory. On the flip side, David Ruffer filled in for freshman kicker Nick Tausch, who was a surprising scratch from the lineup, and while Ruffer made his only field goal and did well on kickoffs, his low extra point attempt was blocked, putting the Irish in another hole. (To be fair, Trevor Robinson got run over…) Either way, the Irish have now committed two scholarships to punters, two to kickers, and even another one to a long snapper, all to try and get the Irish special teams to average. Even with Tate’s punt return for a touchdown, it was clear that Notre Dame could never flip the field on a change of possession, and Maust’s short punts put Notre Dame at a real disadvantage.

3) Irish defense just can’t force turnovers.

During this two game losing streak, the Notre Dame defense has failed to force a single turnover. In their four losses, the Irish have only managed two turnovers — an interception of two freshman quarterbacks, Tate Forcier and Matt Barkley, who both seemed to manage pretty decent games despite the gaffs. It’s become so evident that the Irish defense is deficient that the offense knows it, and it’s permeating the entire gameplan for Notre Dame. While Weis can say that he likes his offensive’s chances with the defense holding a team in the 20s, what he isn’t mentioning is that most teams depend on a big play or two from the defense to help score some points. The lack of pass rush out of the front four against Pitt forced the Irish to gamble with blitzing linebackers and once again Jon Tenuta’s scheme rolled snake eyes, giving up big plays to Jonathan Baldwin and Dion Lewis that ultimately sank the Irish’s chances.

4) Way too many games are turning subjective.

Remember when people used to say, “Let’s settle it on the field?” Not anymore. Too often the replay booth is getting in the way of the ebb and flow of the game, stopping to look at a trivial replay to confirm a play when a referee was within feet of the action. I’m all for getting things right, but when you’ve got the game starting and stopping to review plays that aren’t even close, the replay officials are getting in the way of a the football game. Even more baffling is the decision to overturn a call. Whether it’s Friday night’s game in Cincinnati or the final offensive play for the Irish, there is just way too much subjectivity getting in the way of football. When you slow a person’s movements down to a single frame per second it warps your sense of what really happened.

Jimmy Clausen’s fumble/incompletion at the end of the game is a proof that replay officials have forgotten what the word inconclusive means. There’s no way you can overturn Clausen’s fumble if you understand what indisputable means. And if Clausen’s fumble is the line of demarcation, then Jonathan Baldwin’s controversial catch with under seven
minutes left in the game should’ve been brought back. The NCAA has to do something this offseason about it’s replay system, and putting the onus on coaches to call challenges instead of allowing partisan officiating crews to dictate what play gets looked at is the best solution. Football may be a game of inches and the officials may be doing the best job they can, but it’s getting to the point where even logical fans start questioning the integrity of officiating crews.

5) Notre Dame’s nightmare scenario is upon us.

Once again, Charlie Weis and the Irish are in a position where they’ve given up their ability to control their own destiny. A win at Pitt would’ve silenced a very vocal minority that is hellbent on change. Now there’s another week of questions, another week of speculation, and another week where people will look for word out of Notre Dame’s athletic department regarding the head coaching situation. As I said earlier, it’s too bad that things aren’t black and white, because it’d be a much easier decision. There’s no doubt in my mind that the whispers from last week weighed on the Irish players and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’ll effect them again as they prepare for UConn. Now it’s up to Weis to prepare his team for another tough game, or for Jack Swarbrick to tell him he doesn’t need to do it anymore.

237 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. David - Nov 16, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    You sir, are an idiot. Keep your stupid political idea’s to yourself. This forum is about Notre Dame football. Not your child molester moronic politcal tendencies. Or, maybe, you should call Rome to bitch about the cover-up of rapist/child molester men of god.
    I was at the Pitt game. Notre Dame was unprepared, un-motivated, and beaten by a average football team, with a below average coach.
    What’s that saying…even a blind squirrel…Which makes this loss all the more horrible.
    Folks, I love Notre Dame. However reality has to set in sometime. We have stunk for years. Maybe, just maybe it’s not Weis, or Tyrone, or Bob. Maybe it’s the administration, the decision makers, and the big money alum. If so, well then they suck.
    I think a blue collar attitude needs to return to SB. When five star recruits meant nothing, when post high school all-american games did not exist. When winning on the field was it’s own reward.
    I am from Steubenville, Ohio. As a child everyone loved the Irish.
    A town of steel workers, and blue collar folk. A town, and a nation of subway-alum’s. Where has that all gone?
    It’s the money. It’s the bullshit. It’s the 24/7 sports talk, and crap that these dolt’s vomit out each and every day that is killing college football.
    I just wish that those at ND would recognize the sub-alum’s, are the one’s who love the Irish, and have been with them through thick, and thin. They are the ones who deserve better, as do the players. The longer this goes on, the more difficult it is to hold on to the legacy of ND Football.
    Find the right man.

  2. bill polaha - Nov 16, 2009 at 7:04 PM

    troy u r the biggest jerk on here. comparing what u c on tv with what is on here is rediculous.shows what kind of person u really r. STUPID. GO IRISH

  3. robertg - Nov 16, 2009 at 7:10 PM

    1. while charlie did call off his usual sunday press conference on sunday, anyone can watch charlie and jack nolan’s usual wrapup of the notre dame/pitt game right now at, including a closeup of the phantom fumble by jimmy clausen created by the big east tech review crew, each of whom will be receiving visits at their homes this week from our process servers bearing lawsuits.both the tech review and game officials were warned of the consequences of dishonest officiating and they did so throughout the notre dame/pitt game anyway. by the way, the pitt punter was no knocked down by a notre dame player at all, but by one of his own pitt teammates. the game officials called a 15 yard personal foul against notre dame anyway and gave pitt thje 1st of many free free points, in addition to taking many points away from notre dame.
    2. we are informed that charlie spent some time on sunday with his family and with jack swarbrick and the other people at notre dame who now have all decision making powers over football matters and that charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes will be back next season and for the forseeable future, thus exposing eric hansen and the other media shills as the con artists that they are and always have been for the 3rd straight season.
    3. notre dame is simply not going to get into the sewers with the football factories and we are immensely proud of notre dame.
    4. the corrupt officiating, rules enforcement, and rankings systems will not be around next season, nor will any of the persons or entities connected with those con operations, including every single predator coach who runs a football factory operation.
    5. pete carroll will be the 1st of many to go down in the civil courts.
    6. next season, with honest high tech officiating, rules enforcement, and rankings systems in place, the entire nation will get to see on the playing fields exactly how outstanding charlie and his staff and notre dame real student athletes actually have been all along.
    GO IRISH!!!

  4. mike ford - Nov 16, 2009 at 7:12 PM

    hey bud, I’m also from close to Steubenville, good to hear from someone close to home on here!!

  5. StephenOfTroy - Nov 16, 2009 at 8:31 PM

    mrrandolph: Thanks for supplying the info re: Irish RB’s in the NFL. I knew about Julius Jones (I like him and his brother and consider them humble, talented, hard working players – just what I like to see). I forgot about Ryan Grant. Thanks for letting me know. My question, however, was facetious and designed to shut up the whiner who tried to throw in gibberish about Reggie Bush getting some sort of favor. I’m sure he thinks Brady Quinn paid full value for everything he ever got from Irish alums. Anyway, thanks, man. I return civility where I receive civility, and I show no mercy to idiots who show that they deserve none.

  6. StephenOfTroy - Nov 16, 2009 at 8:32 PM

    bill poloha: Sorry, I’m a bit slow. But it seems to me that you’re calling me stupid. And yet, you don’t know that there’s no “e” in the word “ridiculous.” Um, yeah. Good luck with that. 0 and 8. Scoreboard, in other words.

  7. Jennifer - Nov 16, 2009 at 8:33 PM

    Hey (most-of-you) people….Time to go to your naughty chairs and take a time out. And while there, write the words “civil discourse” one hundred times. And if you still don’t understand this most basic of civilized comments, stay on that chair and continue writing until you do. Please, and thank you.

  8. StephenOfTroy - Nov 16, 2009 at 8:43 PM

    Hey, robertg, aka nutso NotreDameNostradamus: You keep making predictions about what’s going to happen, what’s going to change, and who (Pete Carroll) is going to go down in the civil courts. Care to tell us WHEN any of these things will happen? I’m going on record here: those things will happen when Joe Montana plays QB for Notre Dame again. You should be at a comedy club. You’re worth the two drink minimum.

  9. StephenOfTroy - Nov 16, 2009 at 8:53 PM

    Avon Domer: You’re full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The notion that somehow I wanted Ty to stay so we could keep beating you? Ummm…no. As I recall, we beat you 38-0 and 30-3 with Charlie Weis at the helm. And the 38-0 game was the one where Weis grew the grass long at South Bend to try to take away our superior speed. THAT is pathetic. How the Irish players could take the field, knowing that their coach didn’t think they could compete fair and square is beyond me. What would the score have been if he had allowed the groundskeeper to do his job?
    Bottom line, the onus is on ND’s AD to explain why Weis gets to stay while Willingham (and Davie) had to go. It is not on us (or anyone) to hire a black coach. Pete Carroll has the best winning percentage of any active FBS coach. And he and his players have fun. Especially when they come to South Bend. Can’t wait till we play you again next year.
    And so what if you don’t have the guts or the intellect to go to a USC board and try your best to come up with something to say? That doesn’t mean I can’t post here. *covering my eyes with my fingers* “I don’t see you, so you can’t see me!” What a joke!

  10. enforcer - Nov 16, 2009 at 10:03 PM

    r u for real; or is this just a bunch of BS?

  11. mike ford - Nov 16, 2009 at 10:24 PM

    Hey, the game the grass was a little long was in 2005 and considered a very good game by both teams (minus the Bush-push)! The 38-0 game was 2 yrs later 2007 and if I recall correctly, we were definitely not in a situation by the time USC rolled into town that would have called for grass growing techniques to slow down the opponent. I’m not sure what Petey pays the officials but I’m positive it’s a lot more than what ND pays it’s groundskeepers !! P.S. (your such a good speller)

  12. Art Vandelay - Nov 16, 2009 at 10:46 PM

    I see the USC gadfly is still hovering about. What’s that old saying about insanity? You keep trying the same thing while expecting a different outcome. Stephen, you keep making the same arguments over and over…..for like 48 hours now. Your psychosis is approaching that of robertg. Just swallow the pill under your tongue and get some sleep. Chief and McMurtry will make sure you get back to the laptop in the dayroom tomorrow. Was firing Ty racially motivated? Is there an ‘e’ in ridiculous? Glad you’re on here to keep these pressing issues in the forefront of our discussion. Is this really what you do for fun? No Mrs. Stephen of Troy? No hobbies? Tragic. Oh, I almost forgot, you’re still a douche.

  13. jamey - Nov 16, 2009 at 10:49 PM

    I really don’t understand why MSNBC has a ND Central site.
    What’s the big deal about ND ?? They should be consistently be ranked in the top ten every year, based upon their recruits.
    Maybe they get bit by the overrated bug of their institution.

  14. StephenOfTroy - Nov 16, 2009 at 11:33 PM

    jamey, MSNBC has to have an ND Central site or it will be implicitly admitting that it made a huge mistake by paying all that money to ND in the first place.
    Sort of the same way ND had to pay Weis all that money or else admit it made a huge mistake by firing Willingham/Davie/Holtz.
    “Maybe they get bit by the overrated bug…” Yes, and MAYBE Tim Tebow is a decent college football player. Hello, understatement of the year.
    Art: you’ve moved from talking about my father to talking about my significant other. Gee, and just when I was starting to feel a little pity for you Tarnished Domers. Like Huckabee said, if you’re not catching flak, you’re not over the target. You know my points are valid. And you admitted I raised the discourse. Get back to watching your VCR footage of the days when ND had good coaches and watchable games.

  15. qb - Nov 16, 2009 at 11:42 PM

    “Irish defense just can’t force turnovers”
    Are you fing kidding me? Talk about the understatement of the century. How bout they don’t know how to tackle? Did you notice the back up half back go 60 and a bunch of sissy would be tacklers falling off him? HEllo Keith!! Weis in 5 years hasn’t been able to put a half ass defense or running game together. NDs D is statistically near the bottom in every defensive category genius. And don’t you dare blame these kids or the refs for this fat momo’s shortcomings. If it weren’t for 2 Heisman performances all year and the offensive talents of Clauson and tate carrying the fat man all year, he’d be looking at 3-9 again! 2 losses to Navy at home in a row for the first time in almost 1/2 a century! This guy will go down in ND infamy understand? He can’t coach his way out of a paper bag. strictly a qb coach period!

  16. Art Vandelay - Nov 17, 2009 at 12:45 AM

    NBC made a very shrewd investment in ND football. Their broadcasts are always among the most highly watched games each weekend, whether we suck or succeed. Notre Dame has a huge and intensely loyal fan base and the program appeals to many different groups on a national level. It appeals to ND alum, which are scattered around the planet, Catholics, those of Irish lineage, those who appreciate the heritage of the program, and so on. Those people can be found in Cali or Kansas, Maine or Miami……it is a national following. SC is a very well-respected school but a regional school. Let’s face it, if you live in Missouri and you’re admitted to Harvard and SC, where you going to go? Not SC. Besides, the Trojans have to compete in their own market with UCLA and others, further splintering their fan base and popular appeal. Other than SC alum and some WASPs from SoCal, what groups follow SC football? People who like scarlet and gold in their wardrobe? Lovers of Greek mythology? NBC would never have “Trojan Football Saturday” or some such program because it just wouldn’t pay. Could USC go to the Alamodome and draw the kind of crowd that ND did to play WSU? I really don’t think so. Even if they did, it would never be broadcast to a national audience. The TV contract is all about the money for sure, but it remains the envy of all programs that are regional in scope. And I’m not trying to offend you…it’s the same as some guy in Delaware who would have no allegiance to Ohio State, let’s say, based on the same rationale. The religious tie-in, the ethnic tie-in and other factors combine to make ND football something very unique. SC will never have that. EVER. Period. I know it’s sometimes difficult to deal with and I feel for you but when the Trojans did play WSU, I’m sure you were able to get the game on some ESPN Gameplan or streaming webcast, right? Lastly, is there some significant other in your life? I didn’t mean to poke fun…..would be kind of funny if her name was Helen by the way.

  17. StephenOfTroy - Nov 17, 2009 at 1:06 AM

    Art: Yes, I have a significant other. She’s an even more rabid SC fan than I am, even though she didn’t attend USC. Shocking to you, I’m sure. And she’s much less polite to SC’s many detractors than I am. Careful, your jealousy is showing. Give my regards to your ex-wife.
    You made an impassioned and specious argument to defend NBC’s clownish move to put ND on an undeserved pedestal. College football is immensely popular and has grown in popularity at a record pace in the last couple of decades. Internet sites like that allow people to follow scouting, etc. are one example. If NBC had simply chosen to televise the BEST game each week, they’d have better ratings than they do for showing us the Irish losing every other week. If you think people across the country don’t want to see USC (or Florida, or LSU, or Alabama, or Texas, or any other school that actually wins its games) play, then I have to say I think the Dome is blocking your view and skewing your perspective. Maybe some Catholics who don’t like football all that much wouldn’t watch. But for every Irish fan lost, you’d pick up 5 college football fans who want to watch a good game.
    By the way, since you brought up the Harvard vs. USC thing, I was admitted to Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley and U of Chicago, but I chose USC for undergrad on a full academic scholarship. I was offered a half-tuition scholarship to Boalt Hall for law school but chose to stay at USC (with another full-tuition academic scholarship). I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Especially on Saturdays in the fall (except this past Saturday — YIKES!). You ever been to an Ivy league football game? Painful. You ever seen the girls on an Ivy league campus? Simpsons reference: Mr. Burns: “Peter Graves couldn’t find ‘ugly’ at a Radcliffe mixer!” Of course, Mr. Burns, as a Yale man, is a tad biased. Point being, we have “Sundress Day” at USC. A miraculous day in spring when every young woman decides to wear a sundress, making all of us thank our lucky stars that we chose USC.
    And the idea that USC is actually competing with UCLA in football is one of the sillier things you said.
    At least you still have the funniest nickname on this board. I love that Seinfeld episode. Stop talking about my dad and my girl and you’ll be ok. I don’t care what you say about me. Rolls off my back. By the way, our colors are cardinal and gold, not scarlet and gold. Just saying.

  18. StephenOfTroy - Nov 17, 2009 at 1:24 AM

    Art: One more thing. About the “regional” thing…. USC schedules very good teams out of conference. Ohio State this year and last, for example. Before that we played Arkansas in back to back years. The first year was in the Coliseum and we hung 70 points on them. Humiliated, they vowed to get back at us the next year. We went to Arkansas and put 50 on the board before going to two zone running plays in an act of mercy.
    And in that game, Arkansas went to its bench late in the game and put in their hometown hero freshman QB, Mitch Mustain. After that game, Mustain and Damian Williams, the team’s best receiver (also a freshman) transferred to USC.
    If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
    Both games were sell-outs (all Coliseum games in the Carroll era sell out) and the country was buzzing about them. Same thing with Ohio State. The ratings for those games are higher than ANY ND game in the Weis era.
    The Trojan Family is huge. We have fans and alumni all over the country. When we play Hawaii in our throw-away game next September, you will see a lot of cardinal and gold in Aloha Stadium. Regional my left foot.
    Do you ever talk about anything you know about? Tell me something about dollhouse construction.

  19. Art Vandelay - Nov 17, 2009 at 2:43 AM

    Wow I got 2 responses to that last one…..I really hit a nerve I guess. Mrs. is even more rabid than you? Hard to believe. You must have to chain her up and keep her away from all keyboards. Let me talk about something I know which proves my point from the above post. Recorded attendance for your home game against WSU was 75,000 and change, hardly a sell-out of the Coliseum. Yet you state that all home games in the Carroll era are sold-out. This is clearly not true. Check your facts counselor, they help you make arguments. ND played WSU 1,000 miles from home, nearly filled the Alamodome and had it nationally broadcast. I don’t remember seeing or even hearing about SC-WSU, so I know it wasn’t nationally televised. There may be intense interest in these games in your household when you and the Mrs. snuggle up to watch, but I’m saying that because of a host of other reasons, ND’s following is national. That’s why they are on TV. That’s why NBC wants them on TV. Be glad they are such a draw….they’ve even given an out of work former SC quarterback a steady job. Even ND’s away games (not part of the NBC contract) are televised nationally as the Pitt game was on ABC. I guess you’ll attribute that to ABC thinking that Pitt was the draw for a national audience. Off the subject, but since you are obviously a hardcore Seinfeld fan (not many people could invoke the name of Kel Varnsen, Vandelay Industries’ best employee, with such aplomb) what did you think of the last Curb episode? The Michael Richards vs. Leroy/Farrakhan stuff was pure genius I thought and quite funny.

  20. robertg - Nov 17, 2009 at 4:07 AM

    1. yet another bit of fraudlent propaganda( aka wire fraud for civil rico purposes) from al lesar of the south bend tribune who, unlike his leader eric hansen, actualy claims to be a notre dame graduate.
    2. of course,lesar, like hansen has zero knowledge of college football or coaching and zero access to anyone at notre dame who has any decision making power in football matters.
    3. however, like hansen and wieneke of the south bend tribune(others at the south bend tribune previously involved have wisely left voluntarily and provided us with documents and testimony), lesar gets very well paid by sources outside of the south bend tribune to write and post fraudulent nd and weis bashing articles.
    4. therefore, with zero sources, like so many so called notre dame fan sites, lesar does not hesitate to write and post “Notre Dame football: Time for Irish to make the change with Weis” on behalf of his real undisclosed employers basically ordering notre dame ad jack swarbrick what to do and backing up his article with the usual phony comments which appear to be from notre dame fans, but blocking all comments calling lesar out for the con artists that he really is.
    5. of course, lesar’s garbage then gets passed on to other media outlets which repeat the same garbage thinkling thast they can hide behind lesar as a source.
    6. well, a lot of brokers who continues to shill enron and worlcom stock after they knew or should have known that the books were cooked thought the same way and figured that, if trouble arose, we would never go that far down the food chain.
    7. well, as the public records of those cases show, we did not miss even one of those brokers in our civil rico cases and we will not miss hansen, lesar, and wieneke.
    8. in the meantime over at the notre dame campus and at, perparations forn the notre dame/uconn game go on as normal and the imminent firing of charlie weis and his staff just never happens.
    9. on the usc pete carroll side, things to continue to get even worse.
    10. after using every sleazy delaying tactic imaginable, the callifornia court of appeal 4th district, div one, in san diego, finally got fed up with bush’s attorneys telling them that the case of lake vs bush was going to be settled and, on 11/16/2009, entered a submission order which basically deprives tyhe bushes of their chance to have an oral argument of the non issues raied by their baseless appeal, and set a date of 2/10/2010 as the deadline for their opinion denying the appael and sending the case back to the san diego superior court for a very expedited and very public jury trial at which reggie and petey and mikey and many othjer people currently and formerly associated with the crooked usc football program will be required to produce documents and testify under oath with taking the fifth, as bernie ebbers of worldcom tried before the us congress, not being a viable option and brazil looking more and more inviting.
    11. many people would ask quite reasonably why the lakes and their attorneys do not simply take the very large amounts of hush money offerred by reggie and certain usc boosters.
    12. well,there are 2 sets of reasons. the 1st set of reasons stems from the righteous anger of lake and his hard worker banker mother who have known reggie and his family since high school and did not take kindly to the attempts of reggie and the usc mafia to get lake indicted for extortion and tax fraud. lake’s mothe5r, who keeps very casreful records as many good bankers do had to appear before a fderal grand jury in san diego to prove that she had loaned to her son everrty cent that he passed on to reggiie and regie’s parents in order to give her son another shot a a normal life.
    13. the attempted indictment was a complete bust, but the very deep anger persists, no matter how much monet reggie offers those he betrayed.
    14. the second set of reasons has to do with the civil rico consequences for lake and his family and attorneys of accepting any hush money and settling out of court.
    15. using civil rico language, taking money to keep quiet is known as obstruction of justice while all funds which lake and his family and attorneys collect after a public trial are funds that they can keep without exposing themselves to civil rico liabilities.
    16. while notre dame appears to be stuch with another big east game and tech review crew for the notre dame/uconn game with all that we have learned that this means for notre dame, the stanford game may have alternatives to a big east game crew.
    17. after viewing crooked pac 10 crews steal wins over notre dame and oregon state for usc, new and honest pac 10 commissioner larry scott, a harvard grad, became so outraged that he made every pac 10 football official personnally accountable to him.
    18. although stanford has a fine team of real student athletes, stannford’s big wins over oregon and usc would not have been possible unless larry scoot had cleaned the crooked officials out of the pac 10 conference.
    19. therefore, we are going to make a sporting proposition to the members of stanford’s board of trustees;namely, that the game and tech review officials all be from the pac 10 conference and personally selected, vetted, and supervised by larry scott.
    20. we expect that stanford will agree, we are fairly certain that notre dame will also agree.
    21. then , we will have a real college football game this season.
    GO IRISH!!!

  21. brad - Nov 17, 2009 at 9:07 AM

    So, let me get this right….ND would be undefeated and ranked #1 in the BCS if not for corrupt officials? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  22. Avon Domer - Nov 17, 2009 at 9:20 AM

    SOT: You are quite right about USC kicking Weis’ Irish all over the field in 2006 and 2007, but what you don’t seem to get is that ND was playing more freshman and sophomores (along with some fifth year seniors) in those years than it ever had previously. The reason for that is the incredibly poor job of recruiting by Ty and his staff which left a giant void in Notre Dame’s roster. Weis took full advantage of the few in number talented players recruited by Davie and TW to give you guys a heckuva fight in 2005, and he used his own recruits to give S.C. a pretty good battle in South Bend this year. The lame recruiting by Ty is the biggest reason why ND went from 9-3 in 2006 to 3-9 in 2007. Weis was given until this year to see if through recruiting he could rebuild the team and make it prominent again. For Weis, everything depended on this year, and alas, this squad of highly rated recruits that is also now an experienced football team, has not gotten the job done, and that’s why after ND gets demolished at Stanford on the 28th, Weis will be gone. He’s proven that he cannot develop and motivate players, and that he’s not a leader of men. He was promoted beyond his capability, the same as Bob Davie, who was a terrific defensive coordinator, but had no business being anybody’s head coach.
    And in regards to accusing me of having no guts or intellect because I don’t appear on USC boards, I mean, are you kidding me?
    Why would I have any interest in doing that? I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in USC football, so why would I waste my time with that? Your entire purpose for being here is to rub our collective noses in it because ND Football has been mostly lousy over the last 20 years or so. Guess what, we all read the papers and we’ve figured that out. We don’t need any trolls living in their mother’s basement to remind us of that. If this is how you find joy in life I’ll start praying more for you than I already have.
    FIGHT ON!!

  23. Old Alum - Nov 17, 2009 at 10:06 AM

    The won-loss record is not the only measure of success in college sports. It isn’t even the most important measure of success in college sports.
    I think I understand The University of Notre Dame. I graduated from there in 1966. I have two younger brothers, a son, and a son-in-law who are all graduates. I have two daughters who are St. Mary’s graduates. One of my brothers roomed with a team captain. One of my brothers holds four season tickets. Someone in the family as at nearly every home game. Now my oldest grandaughter is applying to Notre Dame. I think I understand The University. I can still remember clearly standing in the cold below the porch on Badin Hall when Ara Parsghian came to campus after the football season was over to make his first pep rally speech.
    Ara was replacing Hugh Devore who had been interim coach for one year after the firing of Joe Kuharich.
    Charlie is the first head coach the Irish have had since Hugh Devore left in 1963/64 who is an alumnus of The University. Charlie understands Notre Dame and that is important to me. It’s very important to the institution.
    A few facts for those who may not know. Notre Dame’s undergraduate student body is fewer than 8,500 students. Compare that to any other major program. Most are four or five times that size. A recent Forbes Magazine report ranked the top fifteen football programs in the country for their financial contribution to their institution, to the athletic department, and to the surrounding community. Notre Dame ranked first with a $97 million contribution. About $24 million of that went into the University’s general funds and another $24 million went into non-football atheletic programs. Texas was second with about $88 Million followed by Ohio State and Michigan, I believe. Notre Dame’s atheletic department is the only one among major institutions whose budget is part of the general coffers of The University. Every other program has separated the atheletic department into its own budget.
    Some years ago I did business with the endowments of many of the country’s leading universities. When the topic of Notre Dame came up, one person after another, Chief Investment Officers of these schools, people who represented institutions such as Texas, Nebraska, Florida, were in awe of what Notre Dame accomplishes on and off the football field. It’s where they wanted their sons and daughters to go to college.
    Read the comments in this and other related blogs from fans of other schools who have traveled to ND for a football game. Invariably they talk about the Notre Dame community having the nicest people, about being made to feel so welcome, about the magnificence of the campus, about the classiness of the entire weekend. You have to experience it. It can’t really be put into words.
    So what’s the point of all of this in a discussion about whether or not Charlie Weis should be fired? I don’t know if Charlie Weis should be fired. I don’t have that kind of knowledge and I don’t think anyone else commenting here has that kind of knowledge either.
    What I do know is that the influence of the head coach goes far beyond the won-loss record. Look at the quality of the recruiting.
    According to an ESPN web site, Notre Dame has 31 player currently on NFL rosters. Florida has 32, Florida State has 30, USC has 38, I believe. There’s certainly nothing wrong with those numbers.
    Look at graduation rates. For the last NCAA reporting year, 2008, Notre Dame is first at 94%, followed by Stamford, Duke, BC, and Northwestern. Florida’s graduation rate is 68%, Alabama’s is 55%, Texas 50%, OSU 52%, USC 54%. In a conference ranking the touted SEC is last with a 60.5% graduation rate.
    Would I like to see more wins? Of course I would, but not at the expense of the quality of the University. Someone else pointed out that ND does it without redshirting (except for medical reasons), without Jr. College Transfers, without 5th year Seniors who haven’t graduated already.
    I’d much rather wake up on a Sunday morning and read about an ND loss on the football field than see that three student-atheletes were arrested for armed robbery, or that the institution has been fined for tampering with atheletes grades, or that, God forbid, a student athelete has been stabbed to death on campus following a school function.
    I don’t know who the head coach should be but I know that this institution’s football program is the finest in the country regardless of the won-loss record. College atheletics are about a lot of important things. Perfect records aren’t even on the list.

  24. robertg - Nov 17, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    1. many cheers for the comments by old alum.
    2. notre dame football is unlike football at any other school.
    3. playing the game with honesty and integrity and without lowering notre dame’s very high academic and character standards will never be lowered just to win football games.
    4. every notre dame student, whether they also play football or other sports, will always be a student 1st and an athlete second.
    4. at notre dame, every student athlete graduates with one or more real degrees in real academic disciplines.notre dame will never just use the athletic talents of any student athlete and send them out into the world without any real educations, as the football factories regularly do. the graduation success rates are posted at the ncaa website with notre dame always above 90% and the football factories at 60% or less.
    5. keeping up those standards while doing his best to win games was the reason why charlie was hired in the 1st place.
    6. next season, when the current crooked officiating, rules enforcement, and rankings systems have been replaced by honest high tech systems fully transparent to the public and the football factories and their coaches are gone forever, the world will finally get to see what fine jobs charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes have done and why notre dame sticks with charlie.
    7. many would say that bringing about such radical changes is impossible. however, we heard the same things about bringing down the enron and mci worldcom con operations with our civil rico lawsuits and the results of those cases, with the exception of many confidential settlements, are matters of public record available to anyone willing to pay the online charges at pacer. com.
    8. unlike the proprietors of crooked college sports enterprises, the con artists at enron and mci worldcom were actually highly intelligent and figuring out how they cooked their books through numerous offshore entites was a tough job, one that i did personally.
    GO IRISH!!!

  25. leomcm - Nov 17, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    Many cheers for the comments by old alum, and robertg.

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