Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Irish Blogger Gathering: Backing into Backup College

1. After 3 straight losses, there appear to be two camps of fans: A. The sky is falling. Coach Kelly is not a good coach, not a good fit, probably won't ever win a game and should be fired today. B. Coach Kelly is still totally awesome, and you had to expect some bumps and bruises as he builds the team - remember Holtz's first year?
Which camp do you fall into, and why?

I'm still firmly in the "Kelly is still awesome" camp, but that position took a huge blow this week. I thought we were the better team each of the first three weeks (despite the two losses), but last week I never really felt that way. Of course, there's a reason Stanford is ranked in the top 10, but it hurts that we're simply not in that class right now. I'd say that this team is fully capable of being a top 20 team this season, but their inexperience in the system is going to cost us a good year. Also, I think that if we can get wins in the next two weeks, the ship will be righted and the fan-base will become reunited in their support of Coach Kelly.

2. With the current state of the program, put yourself in a recruit's shoes. If you had offers from all 12 schools on our schedule and Notre Dame, which would you pick right now and why? Who would your top 3 be?

I'd pick Notre Dame, but then I'm an alum and a total homer. So I'm going to discount my personal bias and pick from the rest.

And I'm going to spend my football career at: the University of Utah.
They are an up and coming program that's poised to enter the Pac-10 and really make some waves. I like Coach Wittingham and I like that the program is 86-30 since 2000 and has a 12-3 record in bowl games, tops in the nation among teams that have played 10 or more bowl games - and that includes their two wins in BCS games (both years where they should have had a shot at the title.

I wanted to go to Stanford, but then I met Coach Harbaugh, and got physically ill at the thought of spending four years around him.

And to round out the top three, I spent some time seriously considering the Naval Academy. But then, I'm not really a morning person.

3. What's the trajectory of this season? Is this going to spiral downward into a 2007-esque kind of year, or will the team rally and start winning some game against quality opponents?

I know I've picked the Irish to win every game this year, and they're sitting here with a 1-3 record. I've watched enough of this Irish football team to know that they're good, but not great. We will win the games against Western Michigan, Tulsa and Army. We will lose to USC, Utah and probably Pitt. We should beat BC and Navy, but there's no guarantees there, as we still continually shoot ourselves in the foot. Which means a 6-6 record.

That said, if this team gets better as the season progresses (which they have somewhat, until they regressed this week) - this could still be a solid season. This team is capable of winning out. But until I see some evidence that they've learned that killer instinct, I'm going to withhold judgment.

4. Give me your top 5 reasons why you'd rather go to Notre Dame than Backup College.

5. Boston College sucks.

4. BC people are assholes.

3. Academics.

2. No respect for how difficult it is to maintain a real grass field.

1. I like football.

5. I'm depressed after our third straight loss. Do your best to cheer me up and convince me that I should still be excited about this weekend's game.

Since I hosted this week, I feel I should be exempted from answering. However, I will post my favorite answers as they roll in...

One Foot Down weighs in (via Michael Collins, Irish revolutionary leader), telling me it's my job to get myself excited about the game this weekend - he'll have nothing to do with it.

Matt at We Never Graduate submits that if I can't get fired up for Notre Dame football, there's something wrong with me. And this is the correct answer. I don't care if we're 0-11 and playing a D-II school, I'd still be fired up come gameday.

Subway Domer, Safety, 6'1" 210 lbs, commits to the IBG. "Drink up, and fire that shit up." Well said, my friend.

Keith Arnold from NBC Sports gets a little testy. Apparently, Backup College is offensive to those people who couldn't get into ND. (I kid, Brian!) He does a pretty good job of trying to get me fired up, but Matt and Subway had pretty much already fixed that.

6. If you could ask Coach Kelly any one question, what would it be?

I'm also going to hold out on this one, as I'm working on actually having Coach Kelly answer the questions posed during the bye week. So tune in then to find out...