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Weekend Primer: Getting you ready for Purdue

Sep 2, 2010, 11:45 PM EDT

First off, I want to thank everyone that’s been visiting the blog. August was our best month ever at Inside the Irish, and I only expect things to grow exponentially from here as we kick off the season.

Over the next couple of days, I’ll keep the updates coming fast and furious, with video, analysis, live-blogging and just about everything else that’ll hopefully make this the best one-stop shop for all your Fighting Irish football needs.

As you read this, I’ll likely be en route to South Bend, either in the air or in my trusty rent-a-car navigating through the twists and turns of Chicago traffic on the way to South Bend. While posting might be light during my travel, it hasn’t been light for the past few weeks, as we got everybody caught up and ready for the 2010 season.

For those of you new to the party, or in need of a place to catch up, here’s a link to everything that’s been going on the past few weeks as the Irish prepare to face off with Purdue at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

OFFSEASON CHEATSHEETS

After the way last season ended, I wouldn’t blame some of you for taking a step back and thinking about something else for a few months. I’ve got a friend that’s purposely avoided reading anything since last season ended, just so he didn’t get his hopes up again before the season started.

For those of you that slacked on your summer reading, here are your Offseason Cheatsheets, your Du Lac approved crib-sheets to get you caught up on everything you’ll need to know for the 2010 season:

QUARTERBACKS
RUNNING BACKS
TIGHT ENDS
WIDE RECEIVERS
OFFENSIVE LINE
DEFENSIVE LINE
LINEBACKERS
DEFENSIVE BACKS

While that should catch you up on your Irish roster, knowing the opponents on the Irish schedule is also critical. Good thing the past few weeks we’ve rolled out Opponent Previews, a team-by-team breakdown of everybody playing the Irish this season, including the degree of difficulty associated with each opponent.

OPPONENT PREVIEW

Here are my rankings for Notre Dame’s opponents this season, from hardest game to easiest:

      1.  Southern California Trojans
      2.  Utah Utes
      3.  Boston College Eagles
      4.  Michigan Wolverines
      5.  Michigan State Spartans
      6.  Pitt Panthers
      7.  Stanford Cardinal
      8.  Purdue Boilermakers
      9.  Navy Midshipmen
      10. Tulsa Golden Hurricanes
      11. Army Black Knights
      12. Western Michigan Broncos

To show the depth of this schedule, consider that Utah just slid past Pitt in overtime, showing the balance in the meat of this schedule between my second and sixth ranked team. Looking closer at the schedule, if I had a mulligan, I’d probably slide Michigan down a few slots, and switch Navy with Purdue. (Obviously, after the mulligan I took where I slid Purdue down from sixth to eighth.)

When looking at this schedule, it’s easy to see why some people ridicule this schedule, but on closer inspection, it’s also obvious why Phil Steele ranks the Irish slate as the 17th-toughest schedule in the country. Sure, the Irish aren’t playing any top-ten teams, and just a few teams ranked in the Top 25, but top to bottom the schedule is impressive with the top 10 opponents on the Irish schedule games that the Irish can conceivably lose. Just like last year, the Irish find themselves playing a ton of teams in the top forty percent of college football. With talent spread so evenly as scholarship limits and visibility at smaller programs more and more common, games against teams like Nevada, Tulsa and Utah are just as dangerous as traditional opponents like Purdue, Michigan State and Navy. 

NEW FOR 2010

Other than the coaching staff, the offensive and defensive philosophy, and just about everything else in the football program, there’s plenty that’s changed between 2009 and 2010 on our end of things. From a technology standpoint, there has never been more ways to watch the Fighting Irish play football.

Between the international agreement with Eurosport to broadcast games in Europe and Asia, iPhone and iPad applications that give you access to broadcasts, a completely new ActionCam overhead cable-camera system for never-before-seen angles, and fully functioning, live simulcasts of the NBC broadcast with HD quality and DVR capabilities streaming live on your computers, there’s never been a better time to be a Notre Dame football fan.

Finally, one last look at the UND.com 2010 Season Primer, which should have you ready for Saturday afternoon.

T minus one day and counting…
  1. sullyp18 - Sep 3, 2010 at 1:39 AM

    A big thank you to you for your work on your blog. For those that dont pay for the exclusive sites but truly love THE IRISH this is the first site I go to for my ND info. Thanks for getting me ready for this upcoming season, I havent been this excited to watch ND play since Lou Holtz. GO IRISH!!!!

  2. sullyp18 - Sep 3, 2010 at 1:54 AM

    One other note, Bob Davie was one of the worst coaches ever and might be the worst commentator ever. I cant stand listening to him call a game. What qualifies him to do so? GO IRISH!!!

  3. Art Vandelay - Sep 3, 2010 at 2:19 AM

    Keith-
    You’re far too modest. This already is the best one-stop shop for all our Fighting Irish football needs. You have put together quite a body of work to help us through the off season. Nicely done. I hope this season comes together for these guys. It appears that all the elements may now be in place for something special to happen, to capture lightning in a bottle so to speak. The Irish are long overdue and none of us are getting any younger. I’d love to see another run at the title in my lifetime. Who knows, if the offense clicks, the defense stiffens and the ball (and the calls) rolls our way some of the time, we might just be ready. GO IRISH!

  4. terry - Sep 3, 2010 at 7:32 AM

    FYI – I did NOT graduate from Notre Dame, even though I went there twice – I flunked out both times. Between those two times I spent 3 1/2 years in the Navy, I heard the USC game in 1966 on a radio in the mid-east.
    People I knew in those days – the 60s – who were students and who graduated agree with me that there is an arrogance about the place these days (I was last on campus in 2005) that does not sit well with them. Before you unload on me please keep in mind the fact that 50 years ago a goodly portion of the student body was composed of children of first and second generation immigrant Catholics who sacrificed to send their children to a good CATHOLIC college, that was a good portion of the atmosphere of the place, and nowadays that is gone.
    Notre Dame does many things well these days, but humble is NOT one of them. They used to be good at it but those days are fading fast in the rear-view mirror. This video with the slo-mo and the doomsday choir in the background and the voice-overs of Coach Kelly paying lip service to the tradition, etc. is a little sickening, in part because it is SO predictable and it is probably only the first of many.
    Please – just play the damn game. I’ll tune in when they kick off, I will shout my head off, I will drink beer and if they do something sensational I will say YESS!!!!
    Coach – if the offense is clicking big-time and someone tells you that you you have to stop because NBC wants to run some ads, IGNORE THEM. Do it a FEW times and they’ll get the message – Something about the tail wagging the dog.
    And remember the seven P’s – Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
    Other than that – God Bless, good luck, hope no one gets hurt, and BEAT PURDUE.

  5. terry - Sep 3, 2010 at 7:50 AM

    One more thing and I’m outta here because I gotta take the dog to day care.
    Logic 101
    In Indiana you are not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages until you turn 21. Like it or not that is the law. Therefore if you BREAK that law and get caught you could get into trouble. BIG trouble.
    Possibly keeping in mind the seven P’s previously referred to would help.
    And if you are arrested by a policeman and you feel like mouthing off it would be wise to remember
    1) This policeman or policewoman NEVER had the opportunity you have – to go to a world class university.
    2) At the moment of the arrest he/she is holding ALL the cards, you have none. To him or her at the time of arrest you are just a mouthy young punk, so
    3) it might be a good idea for you just to STFU.
    Humble pie doesn’t really taste that bad – I’ve been there.

  6. dan - Sep 3, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    terry,
    what? i mean seriously, what?

  7. terry - Sep 3, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    Dan;
    I am an old fart – 66+ – and I can remember things from a long time ago. I am musing on how the university has changed, and not for the better in my opinion.
    If kids at the university insist on breaking the law and consumimg alcohol they should realize that they are placing themselves in a very vulnerable position. They should realize that if they are arrested the arresting officer is holding ALL the cards at that point and it would be in their best interest to be quiet – be humble. As in STFU – I know whereof I speak. The issue of drunken undergraduates goes back many years.
    CV – In 1966 I listened to the Notre Dame – USC game (51-0 ND) on a short-wave radio in the mideast, where I was stationed at the time. Legend has it that after the game John Robinson, coach at USC at the time said “I’ll never lose to that Armenian b…..d (Parseghian) again!”
    The next year he brought O.J. Simpson to South Bend.
    If you think of me as nothing more than an old coot sitting in his rocking chair babbling on about the good old days that is, of course, your privilege.
    That having been said, I will be sitting in front of the TV tomorrow afternoon hoping for the best.
    38-10

  8. borromini - Sep 3, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Guess with age comes not only the crotchety ‘tude but loss of memory…John McKay…not John Robinson.

  9. #1irishfan formerly mikeford - Sep 3, 2010 at 9:23 PM

    Kudos to you! Would love to have been able to experience your travels through LIFE! Then again can’t say I would trade mine for anything! Thanks for the Memory road. I have always enjoyed stories from those who where there!
    Thank Keith, for the absolute best off-season blog if they where being counted you have my vote for National blogger Champion!!! GO IRISH!!! LETS DO THIS!!!

  10. Glory (Grey) Hound - Sep 3, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    I love your blog. Is is my first stop for info on the Irish.
    Keep up the great work!
    Go IRISH!

  11. terry - Sep 3, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    Thanks for your nice remark

  12. terry - Sep 3, 2010 at 11:06 PM

    do you feel better now?

  13. terry - Sep 3, 2010 at 11:27 PM

    My memories are older than yours, but no less dear.
    Let me try to explain this in terms that you can grasp – it’s people like you who make it unpleasant for people like me even to visit the place.
    NOW do you get it?

  14. billy - Sep 4, 2010 at 3:46 AM

    Go.Irish!

  15. mo - Sep 4, 2010 at 4:57 AM

    As long the Defense has abandoned that awful SHOULDER tackling that we all had to watch for the past 3 years, and returns to tackling at the KNEES like in the happier Win-vs-Loss times–then success will come together for ND and for Coach Kelly. Not so much “Go Irish,” but please “Come Back Irish.”

  16. skeeterandbucky - Sep 4, 2010 at 9:02 AM

    Hopefully they’ll quit talking about ghosts and other ancient history and start creating a new winning history!

  17. SpankMonkey - Sep 4, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    ND has been so over exposed for the last couple decades i think any coverage should be banned. no one except for catholics give a $hit

  18. dan - Sep 4, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    it seems the arrogance would lie within someone who is preaching the “holier than thou” concept. terry i am implying, pretty bluntly, that you are preaching this. I would think that most everyone, including yourself, has made mistakes in life – be it drinking before you are 21 or stealing a piece of gum, maybe even exceeding the speed limit. this seems to be more of a place to speak on the football team and how its performance will be. See as SpankMonkey shows, even those that don’t like ND come to this site to look at the comments and great posts that Keith puts together.
    I would think that BK has a way of understanding the student athlete that will equate to a great year with plenty of promise next year. I do not believe there is a game on this schedule we are not capable of winning, however i feel that we are looking at a 9 win season – Utah and Pitt aren’t all that bad.
    Here is to the few hours that remain before kickoff.

  19. crankyirishman - Sep 4, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    yo man heres that thing u were asking about its http://sportscomplainer.com my buddy found it the other day accidentally but good thing huh, well ill cya man

  20. SpankMonkey - Sep 4, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    actually i did not come to this site directly … i saw a headline on the MSNBC home page (really? headline material? …. that’s bull$hit) and thought another waste of web space article about a has been school. i came to read the a$$ kissing posts as ND fans give each other reach arounds …. just pure entertainment.

  21. SonofCalifornia - Sep 4, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    Notre Dame is old news. They are stuck in the past. Their program is mediocre, at best. They are a mid-major level team. Their D-2 schedule is a joke. Time for people to stop pretending that Notre Dame matters except to a few subway alums and strap-hangers that never went to college.

  22. SonofCalifornia - Sep 4, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    NBC needs to stop pimping for ND…I would rather watch reruns of antiques roadshow that sit through any more ND ‘football’ they are was past their ‘use by’ date.

  23. ScubaGolfJim - Sep 4, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    I play the lottery… I play in the stock market… I don’t look to really get uber-rich… But during College Football Season I sometimes wish I was a multi-billionaire.
    I’d buy as many NBC stations as I could and show ANYTHING else but gd Notre Dame football. I’d show f’n Barney instead.
    If ANY team deserved that much attention from a network, recently it would’ve been Florida State and then Florida, and I HATE Florida!
    GET OVER IT NBC!
    DAMN! Can’t take a Latin ‘u’ with a Diaeresis in the word uber?

  24. CRind - Sep 4, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Can we please get over Notre Dame? They are nothing but an average football team that nobody cares about. Why does NBC keep showing their games?? It is so annoying that I have yet to find anyone that even likes ND anymore.

  25. Lemen - Sep 4, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    To all those that are hating on the Irish, YOU exemplify why ND is relevant, and why NBC shows all their games. Yes, fans like me will tune in (and there are an awful lot of us), but so will the people like you, who will watch JUST to see ND get beat. Networks have no allegiance to any one school. They care about ratings. ND is one of the best network draws (if not the best). Whether you like them or not (and whether their on-field play warrants it or not), more people will watch than if you put another team on there.
    As long as people watch, ND will ALWAYS be relevant, and will always be on TV. It doesn’t matter if they are contenders. People still watch.

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