So the much anticipated Notre Dame weekend is finally here. Thousands of Bruin alums, students, season ticket holders are going to be heading out to Chicago later this week to pay pilgrimage to one of the holiest sites of college sports if not American landscape. I had been looking forward to this weekend ever since this game was scheduled more than a decade ago during the days there were still $1 pint nights at Strattons in Westwood.
Of course I am going to be watching the game this weekend. But I have to tell you I am having a very hard time getting excited about this game.
As I have already mentioned on paper Notre Dame (thanks to Tyrone Willingham's less than stellar recruiting) is not exactly vastly superior to UCLA, in terms of talent on its roster. Our offense at least on paper matches up pretty well with the Irish defense:
|Bruin Offense||06 Rank||Per Game||Irish Defense||06 Rank||Per Game|
|Rushing Offense||58||143.67||Rushing Defense||68||134.8|
|Pass Offense||71||189.83||Pass Defense||80||212.83|
|Pass Eff. Offense||74||119.10||Pass Eff. Defense||73||130.16|
|Total Offense||66||333.50||Total Defense||75||347.67|
|Scoring Offense||50||25.67||Scoring Defense||69||23.67|
And on the other side our improved defense (again saying ?improved? is kind of relative here given we had one of the worst defenses in the history of college football last year) at least on paper matches up well with the vaunted Irish offense:
|Bruin Defense||06 Rank||Per Game||Irish Offense||06 Rank||Per Game|
|Rushing Defense||14||84.33||Rushing Offense||89||106.83|
|Pass Defense||25||157.67||Pass Offense||12||273.50|
|Pass Eff. Defense||24||108.17||Pass Eff. Offense||33||141.12|
|Total Defense||9||252.00||Total Offense||34||380.33|
|Scoring Defense||22||15.33||Scoring Offense||27||30.33|
Stats compiled by the Irish Eyes.
However the excitement is kind of gone. As the LA Times noted today the Irish running game is a little suspect:
Sure ND?s rushing attack is one man show featuring Darius Walker. But how can you not gulp at the though of Charlie Weiss having more than two weeks to scheme against Kick it Karl?s offense.
The Irish are 13 point favorites heading into Saturday?s game. And may be Dorrell?s boys will come out all fired up, fight hard for another true moral victory, and perhaps even pull out a miracle, if the Fighting Irish unfocused, uninspired with the prospect of taking on a mediocre football program which is better of matching up against San Diego State and Idaho States of the world than taking the field in front of hallowed Touch Down Jesus? Heck some Irish fans are already afraid of a let down effort against Kick it Karl?s pathetic football program.
But does it really matter any more?
Our football program is a joke. It is being led by someone who may not be only stubbornly dumb or incompetent but turns out that he is a quitter.
Where is the fun?
Someone please give me good reasons for why I should be excited about the Notre Dame weekend. We are all looking for some inspiration. Tell us why we should be excited and jazzed about this much anticipated game week? I am looking for some thoughtful responses.