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Weekend notes: Floyd, Smith, Rankings, and more

May 11, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT

Jaylon Smith

With finals ending this week at Notre Dame, and graduating approaching next weekend, it’s a slow time for college football news. As we march through the offseason desert with no oasis in sight, let’s dig into some of the more interesting stories I stumbled across this week.

***

Michael Floyd is one of those seniors graduating next weekend, culminating a wonderful four years in South Bend that included graduating from Notre Dame in 3.5 years and getting drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. While most of Charlie Weis’ recruits didn’t live up to the hype they arrived with, Floyd was certainly everything anyone could ask for and a great success story.

Christian McCollum of IrishSportsDaily.com did a great job catching up with someone very important in Floyd’s life, St. Paul trainer Ted Johnson. A fellow Cretin-Derham Hall graduate and a former standout running back for the Raiders (if my memory serves me correct he played alongside Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke in the 1988 Prep Bowl), Johnson now trains Twin Cities athletes, with Floyd being the standard bearer.

Johnson was invited by Floyd to be with him at Radio City Music Hall, and shared his experiences with McCollum in a great trip down memory lane.

Make no mistake, Ted Johnson was honored to be invited to join Michael Floyd at last month’s NFL Draft, especially after hearing what the former Notre Dame star had to say just after being selected 13th overall by the Arizona Cardinals.

“He gave me a big hug,” says Johnson, who has trained Floyd in his hometown of St. Paul, Minn., dating back to the end of Floyd’s high school days.

“He said, ‘You were the one. You planted that seed and you let me know that was real. I just want to thank you for it and I love you.’ I didn’t even know what to say.”

Floyd has leaned heavily on his mentors from Cretin-Derham Hall, still staying in constant communication with former coaches Mal Scanlon and Andy Bischoff, who both counseled Michael through the difficult decision of coming back for his senior season, as well as bouncing back after his DUI arrest.

Johnson also spoke to ISD about class of 2013 recruit James Onwualu, who is another CDH athlete that works with Johnson. Working together since Onwualu was 13 years old, Johnson labels the future Irish wide receiver a “super freak,” focusing on his explosiveness after Onwualu jumped out of a pool 80 straight times.

“I’ve scoured YouTube, vimeo, UStream to see guys jump out of pools at greater than 3.3 or 3.6 feet,” Johnson told ISD. “We’ve actually moved him to four feet. Now that’s the new benchmark. I couldn’t find anybody in the world anywhere on the internet who’s exploding out of four feet of water and landing on the edge of the pool. I couldn’t find it. We’re trying to do something that’s never been done.”

If you’re into pool jumping football players, you’re going to love Onwualu.

***

Speaking of freak athletes, Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.com is reporting that five-star outside linebacker Jaylon Smith will be visiting South Bend this weekend, meeting with Irish coaches for the third time this spring.

There’s no more important recruit in this class than Smith, and the Irish are in a great spot with him. After dazzling recruiting websites with his work as both a pass-rushing outside linebacker and even as a lockdown cover corner, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Smith will likely walk onto campus and be one of the most dynamic athletes at whatever program he chooses.

There were rumors of Smith being ready to pledge his commitment to the Irish as far back as the Blue-Gold game. Regardless of when he does it, the Irish are in good shape will stay on Smith until Signing Day, as they’ll be in a battle with college football’s biggest programs (including Urban Meyer at Ohio State) for Smith’s signature.

If the Irish do win out here, it’ll be interesting to note that Brian Kelly will have out-dueled Meyer for two players who have brothers already on the Ohio State staff. Count that as a perception vs. reality issue that opponents of Meyer would be wise to mention to prospective recruits. It’s never a good sign when it seems like the only players who turn down Meyer are the ones who have a family member that’s actually played for him.

***

Athlon Sports is rolling out their preseason Top 25 for 2012 and they’ve got Notre Dame ranked at No. 20, a number that’s raised more than a few eyebrows.

Here’s their rationale:

If Kelly can get his quarterback situation settled, the Irish have enough talent to match their victory total from the last two seasons, even against a schedule that includes three 11-win opponents (Michigan, Stanford and Michigan State) and a pair of 10-win squads (USC and Oklahoma).

Although this isn’t necessarily a crossroads season for Kelly since Notre Dame seems committed to his renovation project, the 2012 campaign will go a long way toward determining how good the Irish can be in 2013-14. There are too many holes/question marks to look at this season as anything but a transitional year under Kelly. Find a consistent quarterback and show improvement, and regardless of the record, Kelly should approach a combined 20 victories in 2013-14. Fall flat and continue to struggle protecting the football and the regime could be in jeopardy.

That first paragraph is filled with minefields that could destroy any encouraging predictions. You certainly can’t gloss over the unsettled quarterbacking situation. Even more difficult to ignore is a schedule that has a whopping five teams that won ten games or more. (And that doesn’t account for opponents like Miami or Pitt, programs that should give the Irish all they can handle.)

You can quickly dismiss Athlon’s ranking by assuming they just included Notre Dame to sell some magazines. But they point out some of the nice assets this football team has, and a final ranking in the Top 20 would be something most Irish fans would sign up for sight unseen I’m guessing.

***

Lastly, Notre Dame graduate (and friend of the blog) Jamie Reidy has a new book out that’s worth a look. Reidy’s first book, Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, inspired Ed Zwick’s movie “Love and Other Drugs” with Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal (no big deal, Jake played Jamie).  His most recent effort is A Walk’s As Good As a Hit: Advice/Threats from My Old Man.

It’s a series of essays that tackle father/son relationships, and I’ve enjoyed reading through it this week. If you’re technically savvy, you can buy the eBook here. If you want a hard copy for Father’s Day, buy a paperback copy here.

  1. bernhtp - May 11, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    I really hope that Jaylon Smith is an RKG and likes Notre Dame. We need that type of talent and at that position. While he’s a five-star on Scout, Rivals and ESPN rate him as a four-star, but he is still clearly among the top at his position.

    I liked the article on Floyd. He worked extremely hard to get where he is and it’s nice to see him get his paydays in graduation and NFL contract. Even in his big mistake, he recovered with class. I’m proud to have him join the ND alumni club.

  2. gtizzo - May 12, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    Preseason rankings are for the birds Keith,

    This is something that needs to done away with and quickly. Your comment “You can quickly dismiss Athlon’s ranking by assuming they just included Notre Dame to sell some magazines” is so true. Same reason ESPN put them in there top 25. Should the Irish have another 8-4 year then those same people will use the same reason to bash ND. Keith your the only sports writer who gives honest thoughts and analysis of Notre Dame football. Your thoughts are far and away better then those two idiots that call and offer analysis during ND home games. I watched more ND football with no sound last season then ever before!!!

    • audomer - May 14, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      I actually think Mayock is an upgrade from the previous two knuckleheads.

      • 9irish - May 14, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        He’s alright. Sometimes I think they go out of their way to not seem biased TOWARDS ND, and it comes out the other way.

  3. yaketyyacc - May 12, 2012 at 6:16 AM

    gtizzo, youre a man after my own heart. thought I was the only one who muted my tv, to rid it of the constant jibberish. spewed by analysis from commentators who put their muths into motion before they put their minds into gear. and add to that the sideline interview, or booth interview of a “great one” while the game is in progress. Or, boxing the game to a small screen to allow a larger shot of someone scoring somewhere else.
    and the camera focusing in on the coach as his quarterback comes to the sideline after throwing an interception, and remarking on his poor demeanor, ranting and raving. like focusing on our unmade bed right after we awake, and hinting that this is how our bedroom always looks..
    oh yes, it will change, for the worse.

  4. 9irish - May 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    I agree with gtizzo and yakety. Ratings DO mean something with the current system but it’s all gibberish…hard to break thru when you start out unranked, though. I think the Irish will be a surprise team (they might stink, too). College football changes so much every year, some of these opponents might not be what they have been, and we may well be alot more. And all of these teams, except Oklahoma, are ones that we have played regularly anyway. So I am cautiously optimistic. (oh….we might need a QB)

    • nudeman - May 12, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      10 Predictions from the desk of Nudeman:

      1) This will be a much better team than last year
      2) The degree to which they are better will exceed the degree to which the schedule is harder
      3) In other words, I see them winning more than 8 games.
      4) QB growing pains will be aggravating at times, but worth it
      5) By end of season, Golson will be much, MUCH better than what we’ve seen so far
      6) I would LIKE to say the same re: Hendrix, but not so sure I believe that. Just don’t think he can be a reliable passer. Situational player at best
      7) Surprise MVP candidates: Slaughter, GA III
      8) Best Frosh: Sheldon Day
      9) Guy under the most powerful microscope: Chuck Martin
      10) First signature win: Michigan

      • 9irish - May 13, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        I agree on every point. Everybody forgets that ND has solidly beat U of M 3 years in a row…except on the scoreboard. They have just got to pick a quarterback and go with him…the mental pressure of getting canned on a whim was half the problem last year.

      • nudeman - May 13, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        I thought of one more category after I wrote the above. With something of a logjam at RB, someone is going to get lost in the shuffle.

        Wood and Riddick will get the majority of the carries.
        GAIII absolutely HAS to play some; he’s too good to sit or just return kicks
        Mahone is a Frosh and isn’t expected to do much
        Russell is a slot receiver, as is Neal.
        Am I missing anyone?

        So barring injury there is a real chance that Amir Carlisle could be the 2012 Lost In The Shuffle Guy. Seems like a good young man, and nothing would be better than a USC xfer tearing it up in gold and blue, but …

        How many carries does the #4 RB ever get, in ANY program? 15? 20? Can’t be much more than that.

      • gtizzo - May 13, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        I wouldn’t put Michigan in the “signature win” category just yet. Brady Hoke has captured lightning in a bottle with a BCS win and they are hot on the recruiting trail. Michigan still has some work to do. Yes they have won 3 straight against ND. I’m sure every irish fan is aware that ND has beaten USC (ND biggest rival) only 3 times from 2000-2012…a fact I hate mentioning. Michigan has only beaten Ohio State (its biggest rival) 3 times in that same time frame. Could be said the thing that helped Michigan the most was Tressel leaving Ohio State along with Pryor. Don’t forget Michigan State has beaten the Wolverines 4 straight times. Michigan is going to get a lot of hype this season, but Michigan is “hype”.

      • bernhtp - May 13, 2012 at 10:44 PM

        Nude: I’m wondering about Carlisle and the RB position myself. He is a great talent that did well at USC as a frosh. He is too good to keep off the field.

        The integration of the slot and RB positions under Alford is not accidental. My bet is that there will be a lot of movement between RB and slot to keep multiple playmakers on the field at once. It’s a nice problem to have.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - May 13, 2012 at 11:59 PM

        1)agree
        2)agree
        3)agree
        4)agree
        5)agree
        6)irrelevent
        7)Surprise MVP candidates: GAIII and Collinsworth
        8)No number eight apparently?
        9) Guy under most powerful microscope BRIAN KELLY…if the offense falters, Chuck martin’s head won’t be on the chopping block!
        10)First signature win: NAVY, because the world will see sparkles of brilliance from VG at QB

      • 9irish - May 14, 2012 at 10:33 AM

        Ha! good catch Idratherbe….where the hell is #8 nude? anyway, that is a very good point, Navy is a very fiery foe, who has given the Irish fits…they better not lose that one. That would sink the season…no pun intended.

      • nudeman - May 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM

        I don’t know where 8 is
        The smiley face guy just showed up instead of 8 when I posted

        I hope you’re right about Collinsworth as they badly need the def backfield to be a strength. And yes, Kelly is under the hottest microscope but we all know that, so I chose Martin instead.

        One thing I’ll say: ND has a tremendous amount of talent at the offensive skill positions; more than I can remember in a long time. Maybe ever. And some of the best might see limited playing time. Carlisle, Mahone and Russell. Goal #1 for Chuck Martin: Don’t turn the ball over.

  5. smurphdoggy29 - May 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Keith,
    Stellar work as usual.
    Just stopping by as we stare at the Abyss of the College Football World = Summer
    Of course on the other side is the Promised Land of the Season

    Just wanted to inquire on how Collinsworth is progressing in the Defensive Backfield, and how Luke Massa is coming along with his rehab. Also what is the projection for using Welch in the Tight End rotation ? I am a huge fan of Niklas there as well.

    Only 111

    GO Irish
    Erin Go Bragh, see you in Dublin !

  6. nchdomer - May 13, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Agree with nudeman. This could be a very good team and Michigan will be the game that determines how good. If ND beats Michigan, they can beat anyone on the schedule, including USC. QB is important and although my preference is Golson, Hendrix will be fine if he knows “he is the guy” and doesn’t get yanked after a bad half. Confidence is important for any player and no one plays well if they are looking over their shoulder at the competition on the sideline instead of the competiton on the field. Very excited for this team.
    Listened to Martin at a coaching clinic and he articulates a simple, straightforward approach to coaching and scheming against an opponent. He used an example of how execution and anaylizing your opponents weaknesses were more important than intricate plays. Interestingly, the example was throwing to a DB that could not play the ball when it was in the air. Apparantly, he had a game at a prior coaching stop where the opponent’s cornerback was all-everything but had no interceptions. He decided to throw against this cornerback and his receivers had big days because the cornerback, though physically talented and always in good coverage, could not knock the ball down or intercept it. But he was a good tackler!
    One final thought, the team practice I witnessed was the day Lynch announced he was leaving ND. Team did not seem affected at all by the departure. When one person leaves a program, it opens up opportunities for others. The same is true for players that have off-field issues. If they have trouble seeing the playing field again, it is because the “next man in” can do the job (that is why he was recruited, after all – no one is recruited to be on the 2nd team). ND will be fine. Talent level really is up and the coaches seem more comfortable with this group of players.

    • bernhtp - May 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      I generally agree but think that Michigan is the third or fourth best team on our schedule. I believe that USC is way better, Oklahoma is better, and even MSU might be better (assuming they find a good replacement for Cousins).

      Here’s an MSU board posting that was interesting: http://michiganstate.247sports.com/Board/93/Surprise-Brian-Kelly-not-a-tool-9547049/1

      As bad as this board sometimes gets, you only need go to another to see we are in relatively great company.

      • nchdomer - May 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        I agree with bernhtp. Did not mean my comment to be viewed as ranking Michigan ahead of USC, MSU or Oklahoma. They represent a confidence boost in my opinion. Had ND won last year, it would have had a season closer to what Michigan experienced and vice versa, Michigan would not have been as successful as they became. That game seems to influence the type of season each team has, good or bad.
        Thanks for the MSU board reference. Don’t understand the bile directed at ND and Kelly. There are good MSU people that really like ND – my daughter being one. The comment by the MSU fan that college football is fine without ND being a national factor is funny. Curious how that fan will enjoy the couple years when ND and MSU don’t play. Wonder if the same gameday fervor will be there for when MSU plays one of the “directional” schools (as Bob Davie called a school with a direction in its name) instead of ND. Even the sportswriter Mike Lupica, a BC grad and decidedly not an ND fan, has said that college football is always more fun and engaging when ND is competing for the national title.
        Some fans take rivalries and negative views of opponents too far. Without your rival, Saturdays are nothing more than a Spring game. As much as I enjoy ND beating USC, Michigan, MSU or Purdue, I like those opponents. Good schools, generally respectful and knowledgeable fans (I have friends from each school) and great atmospheres to enjoy a college football game. A lot of USC fans told me when my family and I went to the Coliseum for the ND game a few years back, that when they are not cheering for USC, they cheer for ND – and they were genuine in their comments. Boorish fans of any school, even ND, take the fun out of a football Saturday.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - May 13, 2012 at 11:52 PM

      As much as it pains me to say it, I think USC might be the best team in the country. Oklahoma will be tops in the Big 8/12 conference, but Landry Jones doesn’t scare me as much as Barkley or Lucky Shoes Robinson up at Michigan. Clearly UMichigan, MSU, USC, and OU will all be tough games for the Irish to pull off a victory, but USC is the tops (despite a slightly defunct defense), followed by UM and Rainbow Pass Robinson, and then OU (lots of OU blogs are absolutely HATING on their own defense), and Michigan State will be down smidge. They’ll still play smash mouth football and be in every game til the end, but without Cousins at QB, there’s a dropoff in leadership and poise at the position.

      I agree the Michigan game could be our first tough test, but here’s something to ponder as well…

      ND has kinda played to the level of its opponents for the past decade or so…when playing tough teams, they ALMOST win and when they play weaker opponents, they ALMOST lose.

      The best test of the true character of this team could be in Chicago against Miami. An athletic team that is incredibly undisciplined, in a game that will be overhyped weeks before the opening kickoff….just seems like if the Irish are a quality, disciplined, efficient team we might not find out until Catholics vs. Convicts. I feel like it is a game that they should be able to control from start to finish, but it could be that game where we turn over the ball 11 times and commit 4 personal foul penaties or miss 9 tackles on a special teams.

      Regardless of the outcome against MSU or Michigan, i think the first time we TRULY learn how ready these kids are will be against Miami.

      • 1historian - May 14, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        One of those thumbs up is mine. Good points well made, especially the remark about Miami – a team we SHOULD beat.

        I’ve said it a number of times and I repeat – other teams don ‘t even respect us. We have to get that back and then they have to FEAR us.

        (I was not there but) I remember a game ND played against OU. Oklahoma had won 47 straight and ND played them in Norman and beat them 7-0. It was 1957.

        It can be done.

      • nudeman - May 14, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        - I have always hated that “Catholics vs Convicts” moniker.

        – Why does everyone seem to think it’s a given that ND will lose to OK? Yes, the game is on the road; yes, OK will be favored. But this is a very talented ND team on both sides of the ball.

        – Reminds me of a story I heard about the Bears and Mike Ditka. They were going into New Orleans to play the Saints (1988?). The Saints were mouthing off all week, and in Ditka’s pre game speech he screamed “Who the f88k do they think they’re playing? We’re the CHICAGO BEARS!!” The name alone has gravitas. They went out and kicked the Saints’ collective ass.

        – In other words, buck everyone. This is NOTRE DAME.

  7. turknd - May 13, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Had conversation w/ a 5-0 at scene of Rees Calabrese debacle. Said both would have been fine if they just listened. Said the cop that busted Rees didn’t know who he (Rees) was during or even shortly after the altercation so to speak. Calabrese said a little something more than he should have (more so than what was reported)

    • bernhtp - May 13, 2012 at 9:16 PM

      Kids don’t tend to be the best listeners under the best of circumstances, and we certainly didn’t have the best here that included challenges like partying hard after the end of classes, a bit too much alcohol, running from the police with others in an attempt to avoid an embarrassing arrest, getting run down by a cab, and watching your good friend and team leader get aggressively wrestled down and arrested. Not making excuses, but it was a perfect storm of stupidity.

      • turknd - May 13, 2012 at 9:47 PM

        agree and to a certain extent feel sorry for them for not being able to enjoy the typical things a normal college student gets to enjoy w/ out being in the spotlight. Hope it works out for the best for both of them no matter how things play out on the field.

    • waydomer - May 14, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      Hard to feel sorry for someome getting a $200,000 education for free. I’d take that over a few nights partying anytime.

      • 1historian - May 14, 2012 at 2:52 PM

        Good point, well said.

      • turknd - May 14, 2012 at 8:40 PM

        True, but tell that to a 20 year old who got it for free. 20 years old, ego’s as big as the Golden Dome and college chicks…come on dude.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - May 15, 2012 at 1:48 AM

        I understand your sentiment, but do you really think you can find a scholarship athlete anywhere in the country that doesn’t try to take both the free education and the few nights of partying?

        He made the same decision as every other kid, but he got caught.

        That having been said, i’ll share some of the best advice i ever received from a co-worker at a factory i worked at during college.

        “Life, and the success get from it, is just a series of decisions. And in my 71 years on this planet, i’ve never met someone that makes better decisions when they are drinking.”

  8. bernhtp - May 14, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    The Bleacher Report has ND ranked number 20.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1178247-preseason-college-football-rankings-2012-overrated-teams-bound-to-disappoint

    Note that we have five opponents ranked ahead of us in the top twenty – USC, Oklahoma, Stanford, Michigan and Michigan State. It’s six top-twenty opponents if you include our biggest nemesis from last year: Notre Dame.

    This will be a huge test for Kelly and the team. The 2011 team underachieved its capabilities and expectations. The team will need to play up to its level just to keep the same record this year.

    • 9irish - May 14, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      yep. Notre Dame got beat twice last year. The rest of the times they beat themselves. That was the aggravating part.

  9. 1historian - May 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Nudie;

    Your 11:42 – good one. They don’t fear us anymore – just my point.

    The Bears in 1988 – at that time they were the Chicago #%&**)!@+!! Bears.
    No one fears them anymore.

    My Patriots played them in the 1986 SB and my Pats were scared shitless going into that game, at least the QB Tony Eason was. We all know what happened.

    Fast forward to a few years ago when the 2 teams played in Chicago in the snow. 36-7 – I loved every second of it.

    But in a way it was sad because in a very real sense the Bears ARE pro football.

    When you have as much white hair as I have – who do you think of when you think about college football? Not Boise State or any of those newcomers, but Notre Dame is one of those you think about.

    Ohio State? Hell we beat them back in the 30’s (No I wasn’t there) and the hero of the game was William (friggin’) Shakespeare!!

    My point – Notre Dame football didn’t start 20 years ago, it started about 100 years ago, and us old farts are JUST as much a part of it as you young farts.

    In conclusion – Keith, you’re doing a hell of a job and I know I speak for many of us when I say – Thank You.

    • nudeman - May 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM

      There are certain names in sports that just have gravitas and a resonance, especially if spoken by the late John Facenda
      “The Chicago Bears”; “The Green Bay Packers”; “The NY Giants”

      Also the Yankees, Canadians, Celtics and Lakers.

      “Notre Dame” still resonates and possesses tremendous gravitas, regardless of the last 20 years of underachievement. The team needs to adopt that attitude and swagger that says “Oklahoma, we’re ND and we’re coming to town and we’re going to KICK YOUR ASS”

      Instead I keep reading posts about how that game is already lost.

      Why?

      • 1historian - May 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

        We’re in a dry spell

      • 1historian - May 14, 2012 at 1:12 PM

        Nudie – GREAT post. Thanks.

        I’ve been saying this for years – We need a signature game, we need a turnaround game, we need a game where we KICK ASS on someone who is expected to kick ours and (all over this great land) guys and gals (aka alumni and alumnae) jump up out of their seats and say YESS!!!

        For Lou Holtz it was the USC game in 1986.

        I think Coach Kelly has the right stuff. (The fact that he has a daughter named Grace speaks well of him.)

        There will come a moment, there will come a second, there will come a play, there will come a player – it is coming.

        It is coming

      • mmanor01 - May 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        We don’t just need one signature game to KICK SOMEONE’S ASS. ND needs to kick everyone’s ass on the schedule week in and week out. Then, ND needs to dominate in the BCS bowl game. When 2013 rolls around people will claim ND got lucky and will be gunning to take them down and prove that 2012 was a fluke (see Michigan). So what should ND do then, dominate everyone in 2013. Then, by 2014 other teams might be a little afraid of ND. One game is not going to do it.

      • 9irish - May 14, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        I remember when I was a kid in the 70s, if Notre Dame would lose, it was such a big deal that they would show highlights of it on Sunday on “NFL Today”…it was that big. Like the freaking space shuttle blowing up or something. Need to get back there…it is still a world changing event for some schools to beat the Irish, but it has become way too common.

      • nudeman - May 14, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        mmanor
        Nobody here has written that “one signature win and all is well in ND Nation”.
        One signature win means this: One signature win and light at the end of the tunnel
        No more/no less

        For “all is well” or “we’re BACK” type talk, ND needs a couple or more sig wins per season.
        Whoever wrote that Holtz’s signature win was the ’86 USC game was dead right
        I remember where I was (skiing in Tahoe) when that happened and it sent the message to the CFB world that ND was a doormat no more.

  10. 1historian - May 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Speaking of muting the TV while watching:

    You’re sitting at home watching the Boston Celtics with John Havlickek, Dave Cowens, Nelly, Paul Silas et. al.

    Fast forward a few years to Larry Bird &co.

    Choice – NBC talkers, CBS talkers, or

    JOHNNY MOST – The man who (rumor had it) gargled with sani-flush before every game.

    Are we talking no-brainer here?

  11. 1historian - May 14, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    MManor01 – Your 1:59 – “One game is not going to do it.”

    Point well taken – One game is NOT going to do it.

    But – you gotta start somewhere.

    • 9irish - May 14, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      Agree. But I have harped on here several times about last year, only Stanford really BEAT them, USC was probably not going to turn out well, even after the 14pt turnaround on the fumble. Other than that it was just multiple shots to the foot that cost them. They better be doing some serious elbow pulling, punching the football, a QB who makes good decisions, when they practice again. I think we can line up with every single team on this schedule.

  12. mmanor01 - May 14, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Don’t get me wrong. I am not discounting the importance of a big win in the beginning of the season. Beating the hell out of Michigan is a great place to begin and hopefully it will only fuel and make our players hungrier for even more victories.

    Think what happened to the men’s bball team this year. They take down Syracuse and suddenly they had attitude and the belief that they could roll with anyone in the country. I want to see the same guts displayed in the football program.

    Side note: Starting 5 intact with the return of Martin for sixth season!

    • bernhtp - May 14, 2012 at 9:50 PM

      Good point about the bball team. We’ve been significantly outperforming our recruiting talent. I hope the football team gets to make the same statement this year instead of the opposite.

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