Category Archives: Notre Dame’s Faint Echoes

Wait… you weren’t serious about that?

Not a good look, Notre Dame.

The wild recruitment of Thompson’s Station (Tenn.) Independence four-star wide receiver TJ Sheffield took another turn on Wednesday. Just days after announcing his commitment to Notre Dame, the 5-10, 170-pounder from the class of 2019 has reopened his recruitment and will now consider other schools.

Clearly there was a miscommunication on this front and Sheffield shed some light on this on Twitter earlier today.

“After establishing a long-term relationship with coach Alexander, the receivers coach for Notre Dame, I called him on the morning of the 6th of July and stat to him my intensions to commit,” wrote Sheffield in an announcement on Twitter. “Coach Alexander then congratulated me on committing and he spoke with my parents as well, stating that he looked forward to coaching me. Today I received a call from coach Alexander stating that Notre Dame was not going to honor my commitment due to a change of plans. Coach Alexander stated that he should have let me know on the 6th of July that Notre Dame had different plans. As a result of the information that I received today, my recruitment is now back open. I completely accept Notre Dame’s decision as God’s will for me and know that God has an open door that no man can shut. Thats again to Notre Dame for considering me as a possibility for their program Sincerely, TJ Sheffield. #2.”

So, to recap:  Notre Dame had an outstanding offer to a kid, kid accepts the offer, coach accepts the kid’s commitment, even speaks with the kid’s parents and then the school reneges.  Nice.

I’m sure the amateurism romantics here will be happy to explain to the rest of us how this is no big deal and Sheffield has plenty of other options, blah, blah, blah, but for a sport that loves to bill itself as teaching kids life lessons about honoring commitments (kids, you need to risk your future earnings by playing in a meaningless bowl game, because, team!), this sure seems like pure garbage.

It’s another good example of why the NCAA ought to blow up the whole signing framework and require schools to treat these deals as straight contracts.  One side offers, the other side accepts and, boom, you have a binding arrangement.  Until then, the lesson learned is that coaches control until they don’t.  Welcome to the real world, TJ.

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Filed under Notre Dame's Faint Echoes, Recruiting

“We’re trying to find some nice, gray-haired people who want to do some good things for the University.”

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Notre Dame’s Guest Services Team should be deeply flattered by this.

What was really cool and unexpected was Georgia’s announcement that it would be utilizing the “Silver Dawgs” to serve as campus hosts at the Bulldogs’ home football games in the future.

What in the world are Silver Dawgs, you ask? Well, that’s yet to be established. But if you were at the Notre Dame game in South Bend, Ind., this past September, you have an idea what Georgia is shooting for.

While on the beautiful campus occupied by the Fighting Irish, you no doubt came in contact there with one or more green-jacketed individuals who were incredibly cheerful and very willing to help. Notre Dame calls those guys its “Guest Services Team.” They are just one small part – and the most visible part — of what is actually an army of personnel that Notre Dame unleashes to provide hospitality for guests visiting their pristine campus on game days. On its website, Notre Dame numbers its “Usher Corps” at 850 people, about 350 of which are volunteers. Many others are full- or part-time employees of the university.

Basically, they’re there to make sure spectators – and visiting fans, in particular – have an enjoyable game-day and game-weekend experience. So, they’re deployed all over campus on Fridays and Saturdays of a home game and stationed at key points to answer questions, provide directions to restrooms or points of interest on campus and even to provide historical information.

Speaking as one who was there, I thought those folks were great.  They really added to what was a terrific stadium experience.  That Georgia is looking to emulate that is something I can heartily commend.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

Today, in PC gone amuck

While it galls me in the extreme to even partially agree with the stylistic rantings of Clay Travis here…

… (I qualify with “partially” because “MSESPN” is a loaded term and because, regardless, it wasn’t the network as a whole making the argument, just one network shock jock) I can only say that having an issue with “Fighting Irish” is one of the more irrelevant takes I can imagine.  And I ain’t no Notre Dame fan.  Move on, idiot.

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Filed under Notre Dame's Faint Echoes, Political Wankery

Assholes gonna asshole.

I do feel better knowing there are still some Notre Dame fans worthy of dislike.

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Filed under Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

Mickey haz a green woody.

Behold the wonder of ESPN’s college football page this morning, where the WWL has not one (“Notre Dame, the team everyone loves to hate, can disrupt the CFP“), not two (“Finebaum jumps on Notre Dame bandwagon“) but three effing pieces on the Irish and their college football playoff chances.

I think I’m gonna fwow up.  Could you be any less subtle if you tried?

I left South Bend with nothing but good vibes about Notre Dame and their fans.  ESPN is doing a bang up job of messing with that.  Thanks, assholes.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

Notre Dame and the emerging CFP narrative

As my post proved, you didn’t have to be a genius to see this kind of analysis coming.

And now, as the Bulldogs head into their closing stretch of the season, they now have the best win in all of college football. And they can thank themselves and Notre Dame for that.

Problem for Georgia is that win is a two-edged sword.  Yes, it’s a big deal for the Dawgs, but it’s also evidence for Notre Dame’s quality in light of the run Brian Kelly’s team has been on since that night.  The media is starting to notice that in a big way and that way may have consequences none of us saw coming while we were celebrating the win in South Bend.

Selection committee, how’s it going?

I joked a little about this scenario last week, but as you can see, it’s inching its way slowly towards not being a laughing matter.  It goes without saying that there’s still a lot of football left to be played, but what happens if both Notre Dame and Georgia run the rest of their regular season tables?

Notre Dame’s done both schools a favor with its decisive win over Southern Cal, as that’s likely crippled the Pac-12’s chances to make the CFP field for good.  But that’s also opened the door for this kind of talk:

1. It’s time to take Notre Dame seriously as a CFP contender. Few, if any, were talking about the Irish this past summer as a Top 25 team — they weren’t even ranked in the Associated Press preseason poll. Now? After drubbing USC, Notre Dame is one of the hottest one-loss teams in the country with a legitimate chance to ultimately earn a top-four ranking from the selection committee. So far, Notre Dame’s only loss was by one point to SEC East favorite Georgia. While the Sept. 23 win at Michigan State continues to look good (the Spartans are still undefeated in league play), Notre Dame’s win over USC was its first true statement win of the season. Beating USC was the first step in what ESPN’s Football Power Index considers to be the 11th-toughest remaining schedule, as Notre Dame still has to face No. 14 NC State at home and go on the road to play No. 8 Miami and No. 20 Stanford. On Saturday, though, Notre Dame proved it’s a far different and better team than it was a year ago, and it has the potential to win out. If Notre Dame finishes 11-1 against what the FPI projects to be the No. 8 overall schedule in the country, it will have a great case for a top-four finish.

Note that there is no similar entry about Georgia’s chances.  It’s not just FPI that’s swinging Notre Dame’s way.  Sagarin ranks the Irish ahead of the Dawgs.  And here’s Bill Connelly’s backhanded praise for Notre Dame:

Even their lone loss burnishes their bona fides. The Irish fell 20-19 to a Georgia that has otherwise beaten every other opponent by at least three touchdowns. They’re the only team to hold the Dawgs under 31 points, and they’re one of two to score more than 14.

At least Georgia’s got that going for it.

That being said, there are two complications facing the Dawgs.  One, quite simply, is named Alabama.  If the pupil does indeed face off against the teacher in Atlanta, it will be with the general expectation that he won’t be the one to carry the day.  (The irony here that, if in fact Georgia does pull off the upset, a one-loss Alabama is still a lock to go to the semi-finals isn’t lost on me.)

If Georgia loses the SECCG, as most would expect, the second may be even more obvious.  Mickey is already peeing in his pants in anticipation of the growing possibility that Notre Dame, the national program, makes the playoff field.  If it’s a choice between the Irish and one-loss Georgia, that is going to be one tough narrative to overcome.  For one thing, the “Notre Dame didn’t win a conference title game” argument goes straight in the trash under that scenario.

It’ll make for one helluva debate in any event, as Wolken acknowledges.  It would likely wind up being the impetus for bringing the eight-team playoff into reality, Bill Hancock’s pious postulations notwithstanding.  If the Dawgs aren’t invited, though, that’ll be small consolation for us.  (Actually, for me, none at all.)

Bottom line here?  Alabama looks like a lock.  So does the eventual Big Ten champ.  If you’re Georgia, either hope for a second ND loss — but not a bad one! — or a helluva lot of chaos descending on the ACC and the Big 12.  Anything to make the selection committee’s job easier…

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UPDATE:  One thing to keep tucked in the back of your mind for now is that Georgia sits on top of the current CPI ratings (h/t).  Again, the usual caveat about a lot of football left to be played applies.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Paul Myerberg:  “To date, the greatest asset on Notre Dame’s résumé is a loss: Georgia’s 20-19 win in South Bend on Sept. 10. More than an impressive win two weeks later against Michigan State, the defeat lent the Irish credibility. The unbeaten Bulldogs have likewise ridden that victory into the thick of the early College Football Playoff race.”

If the Irish manage to beat Southern Cal this weekend, they’ll probably jump into the top ten as a result.  That, in turn, would make Georgia look better without even having to play a game.

And to think I used to complain about Notre Dame being overrated by the media.  College football, I don’t know you any more.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes