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Irish Blogger Gathering: Live from Dublin

Aug 30, 2012, 4:14 PM EDT

ibg_nokelly3

Another football season is finally upon us. And that means another year of the Irish Blogger Gathering, my attempt at trying to be social in the wonderful world of the Irish blogosphere. Our fearless leader, the Subway Domer, has tweaked the format and tried to add some energy to the proceedings. And since most readers here know I’m pretty slow to catch onto things, I’m fairly certain I haven’t quite grasped the new concept but here goes:

The IBG membership is the following:

The Subway Domer
Her Loyal Sons
Inside the Irish
Strong and True

Every week, we’ll trade off asking and answering three questions from each other. There’s a whole bunch of talk about round robin formats and after that it gets pretty sketchy. But I do know that Josh Flynt, the resident blogger for UND.com’s football blog, asked me some good questions and I’m going to answer them. On the blog. (I think. Or maybe it was his blog. After a long day of driving across the Irish countryside, I’m a little woozy.)

(FIVE MINUTES LATER: Turns out my answers are going to be at UND.com’s Strong and True website… Stay tuned.)

Here are Subway Domer’s answers to my questions:

This is the time of year where everyone tries to call their shot. Instead of picking a win total, name three things that Notre Dame has to do this season for it to be considered a success.

As we all know, success is defined very differently- especially within the Notre Dame fanbase. As far as my opinions on the matter for this season are concerned, I have three of them swimming in my head very clearly:

1. Beat Michigan. This is a team that Notre Dame has given away wins to since 2009. After ND’s 2008 win against the Skunkbears, the Irish basically said, “Here ya go UM, we don’y need this win in September- you take it.” Beating teams that Notre Dame SHOULD beat has been a problem ND has had for quite a while.

2. Quarterback Development. Perhaps I can even throw that under the hood of “Player development.” I don’t expect ND to win a MNC or even go to a BCS game. I do expect them to continue to mold themselves for those runs. It begins with developing and maintaining a QB that everyone is behind. Easier said than done at ND, but very doable.

3. Win your bowl game. Notre Dame is in a weird place as far as what bowl it can go to this season. It doesn’t matter. Wherever it is and whoever it is against- IT MUST BE WON.

If you had to put money on it, who would you bet is the team’s starting quarterback on the following dates:

* Sept 22 vs. Michigan
* Oct 27 vs. Oklahoma
* Nov 24 vs. USC
* Opening Day 2013

Quarterbacks don’t seem to last very long under Kelly at ANY school. Just ask Joe Montana. Seriously though, if Golson stays healthy, I expect him to start this year and next year.

Name one offensive player and one defensive player that people aren’t talking much about that you think will break loose in 2012? Any other shots you feel like calling before the year begins?

This is rough considering Irish fans seem to “touch em all” when chatting, but here we go…

OFFENSE: Christian Lombard. I think people expect him to be good, but I expect him to be on the same level as Zack Martin. Not a sexy pick (offensive line) but one that I think is absolutely for sure.
DEFENSE: Prince Shembo. People are enamored with Ishaq Williams, and for good reason as he has a ton of potential, but Shembo goes back to the position that made him a name on the Irish defense and won the starting job.
BONUS SHOTS:
  • ND wins 9
  • I’m just not sold on DaVaris Daniels
  • BYU will be easier than we think.
  • Wake Forest will be tougher than we think.
  • By week 6, the Wood suspension will have been a blessing in disguise.
  • Beer, beer, gin, beer, gin. Repeat.
  1. nudeman - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Gotta agree with most of what he says, including DaVaris Daniels.
    I’ve heard some predict a great year for him and I say “Based on what?”

    If you monitor all the chatter and scribblings since the spring, there has been zero buzz about him. I can’t recall a single quote of anyone saying “That Daniels kid is really starting to look like the real deal”.

    - Agree they win 9
    - Don’t know how/why WF would be a tough opponent, Come on.
    - Not sure why week 6 will reveal losing Wood for 2 games will be a blessing. Because we’ll “discover” GAIII? He’s already been discovered.

    • bernhtp - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      Some thoughts on why the Wood suspension have have been a blessing :

      1. Allowed others to have meaningful reps and develop.
      2. Saved Woods’ body for for tougher opponents in a long and difficult season.
      3. Gave him a kick in the butt to put in the concerted effort he needs to show he is ready for another level of football next year.

      Davaris is an unknown. He has enormous athletic potential and is said to have markedly improved, but I haven’t seen “wow!” said about him by coaches the same way we heard about a young Tate or Floyd. We’ll have a better idea on Saturday. If he can’t make smaller and less athletic Navy guys look bad, it would be hard to be optimistic.

      WF played us tougher than expected last year and their QB is pretty good. But I really don’t expect the game to be that close.

      • nudeman - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:45 PM

        WF played them close because the QB play from the Irish was atrocious

        I can still see Kelly screaming at “you know who” when the 1st half ended with an INT (surprise) “they were in COVER THREE!!!”

        ND 38
        WF 20

      • ohioirish - Aug 31, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        Nudey, I gave you a thumbs down on this. Sorry, but I disagree with your prediction. I think our D holds them to 14 or less. And it is a home game, we win bigger.

  2. irisheyesnate - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    I like it! It all makes good sense.

    I think that NOTRE DAME has the weapons to beat navy and purdue.

    Game 3 against a hungry MSU team will show that Wood and Carlo are hungrier. Which will end up in a good 3-0 start then mich?

    Either way I like our odds this season.

  3. loadofwash - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    ND sucks

  4. loadofwash - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Irisheyes

    You think they can beat navy and purdue….hint you idiot, so can temple

    • ndgoldandblue - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:12 PM

      Seriously, who the f@#% is this douchebag?

  5. bernhtp - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    It’s obviously a full moon when the loons come out to howl.

  6. mtflsmitty - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    Saw Blanton play in H-town tonight. He looked great, even if he was in those cruddy purple and yellow colors. Probably bagged 7 tackles or so. My date for the evening, 9 yo daughter, pointed out the Vikes’ uniforms look like LSU’s. She’s right. Purple and yellow now my all time least favorite color combo. Smith (the bum), Carlson, and Rudolf never saw the field, I don’t think. All the ND guys will make the cut. Just too bad they have to be in those colors.

    Go Irish!
    Go Ball State!
    Go Bears!
    Go Klein BearKats!
    Go my 9 yo daughter! Best football date I could have had (and the only one who wouldn’t have known the difference between pre-season and regular season)

    • Jennifer - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      mtfismtty: I, too, was nine when my Dad took me to my first ND game. As the middle child of seven, one-on-one time with him was extra special. He was a huge fan and great game commentator. ND won that afternoon, and I walked out of that beautiful stadium with a modicum of NDFB knowledge and the seed of what became a lifelong passion for all things ND. Your daughter is a lucky little girl.

      Go Irish!

      Go Klein BearKats!

      Go St. Monica’s Grade School!

  7. kleinick - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Strongly disagree on BYU. I’m watching them knock the brakes off Washington St. right now and BYU has a very good football team. Tough, athletic QB, NFL caliber WR, bunch of playmakers on D swarming to the ball. This is another one of those games that I hate: we win and it’s no big deal, but if we lose it’s the end of the world and they are calling for BK’s head.

    33 hours til we kickoff! Go Irish!

  8. bernhtp - Aug 31, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    http://www.barkingcarnival.com/2012/8/27/3265393/texas-preview

    The bloggers need to read this preview of the U Texas season. It’s among the more wonderfully written pieces I’ve seen.

    • papadec - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:59 AM

      bern – now that was some funny stuff – thanks for sharing.

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