Let’s get to this week’s mailbag questions. Well done, people. Some good ones here.
obie1818: Keith, do you think we’ve turned the corner to be an elite program again? With the recruting and coaches in South Bend? I’m scared to say it but I feel like for the next 4 yrs a 3 loss yr will be a disappointment. I just can’t think of going back to 8-5? Thoughts?
Obie, Define elite. Because it’s been pretty well-chronicled at this point that the Irish are among the elite when you look at Ws and Ls over the past few seasons. Since opening the 2011 season 0-2, the Irish have the sixth-best winning percentage in college football, winning 26 of their last 32 games.
Probably a better gauge? The losses have come against Oklahoma, Michigan, Alabama, Florida State, Stanford and USC. You can get pouty about a lot of things, but not one of those teams is an embarrassing loss.
If three loss seasons are disappointments, than you might have answered your own question.
jcmpa: What’s next for Tommy Rees? Do you think an NFL team will give him a shot? Chad Pennington had a nice career as a high IQ/weak arm QB, could Rees follow that path?
If I had to guess, Rees will spend training camp with an NFL team next year. If he doesn’t stick around on a bench, it’ll be a coach’s life for Tommy.
Comparing Rees to Pennington is a bit of a stretch right now. I get the mobility/arm-strength angle, but Pennington finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting. He was a guy that went in the first round of the NFL Draft. Rees isn’t likely to get drafted.
bernhtp: Golson: Training with George Whitfield in San Diego for around six months can’t be cheap. From where does the money or subsidy come? Because Everett was expelled from ND and not currently enrolled, are there any NCAA regulations that cover payments/subsidies for such training or a contract about reimbursement from future income? Given the public profile, I’m sure ND is extra-scrupulously clean here, but I wanted to have some insight into the operative rules and limitations.
Good question, Bern. Having spoken with George Whitfield literally today, I’ve got some insight into that. Whitfield doesn’t just train NFL stars or elite college players. He trains 4th graders and junior high schoolers. Golson spent ten weeks with Whitfield (he went home today), the longest he’s had to ever work one-on-one with a college player.
What it cost, I’m not sure. But it’s not the ridiculous number many are expecting it to be. And the Golson family is saving roughly $60,000 a year on college tuition. Spending some a chunk of money to invest in your son’s professional future isn’t the worst investment in the world.
I don’t know exactly what the NCAA says about relationships like that, but I’m guessing this was triple-checked before the plan was enacted.
scottatnd: Keith, how tall is Alex Flanagan? Does she ever ask about me?
I haven’t pulled out the tape measure, but I’m thinking she’s about six-feet. And no, sorry Scott.
ndgoldandblue: Keith, I was at the debacle in the Meadowlands in 2010. Do you think the Midshipmen will pull off a similar feat and beat the Irish on Saturday?
I don’t think so. Kelly talked about that game Thursday evening (we’ll be seeing an excerpt in the Six Pack), and it’s clear it still stings. But after an ugly start against the Navy option, the Irish have looked pretty good against Ken Niumatalolo’s offense.
drempala: I’ve noticed that several players have been injured in the past couple weeks. Is there any way we can blame that on Tommy Rees?
Not yet, Drem. But if Rees throws a pick against Navy or misses a wide-open receiver, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
@mfmitchell88: Any reason to suspect a DNP from Nix will be more noticeable against navy than AF? If he is a no-go, will Tuitt be at NG again?
Great question. Nix won’t be dressing this weekend and the Irish will also be without Ishaq Williams, taking away another really big body that would’ve probably started. Last week we saw Ben Councell slide down and play with his hand on the ground. We also saw Justin Utupo get some snaps, something that’ll likely happen again this week. Tuitt will play on the inside again, he would’ve done that even if Nix was playing.
Navy is better than Air Force. They’ve got a better quarterback, too. If this was Stanford, would Nix be playing? You bet. But I think Kelly is confident in his depth up front and the scheme the Irish employ.
nudeman: Keith, will you be releasing weekly/monthly statistics on the new “Report Comment” feature? Follow up is who do you suppose will finish 2nd?
I want to take this question as an opportunity to be candid about the comments situation here. It’s really frustrating. I’ve gotten emails from dozens of you asking for my help in removing things that are offensive, crass, vulgar, etc.
I’ve tried my best to fight the good fight with commenters for about five straight years. There are people on here that I’ve sent personal emails to and they’ve done a good job of straightening out. There are others that have left because I asked them to stop being a jerk. Outside of me reading each and every comment every day, which isn’t a realistic expectation for a guy that’s kind of busy, this “Report Comment” feature is the next best thing.
Ultimately, I’m hoping you guys help police each other. My dream world would feature a message-board and continuing conversation where you guys can pick the topic. But that’s not going to happen if people continue to spew vulgarities, cross the line with sexist and racist things, and act like jerks.
The devil himself likely came up with the idea of anonymous commenting on the internet. If it were up to me, everybody would put their name on things, and own up to their own words. But I do have hope that you guys are on the right track, and it’ll continue to be a productive and fun use of people’s time to get in on the conversation.