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Posts Tagged ‘Notre Dame’

P.S.R. 1-124: Week 5 Re-Ranking

With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, even if we’re now four weeks into the year. As promised, everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

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    P.S.R. 1-124: Week 4 Re-Ranking

    With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, particularly with only two weeks in the books, so you may see one team ranked below a team it just beat — see Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, for example. Don’t be alarmed. Everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

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      Notre Dame Pushes Back Against M.S.U.

      Earlier this summer, I wrote of Notre Dame’s ability to “push back” against more physical opponents – in the widescreen view, I wrote of Notre Dame’s quest for a tougher mentality, a sort of rediscovery of the bullying, confident mindset that propelled the program for generations. I thought that the Irish were close; I thought that under the surface, behind the negativity, the program had made clear and steady progress in nearly every facet of the game. No one game can possibly encapsulate this idea more so than Notre Dame’s dominating victory over Michigan State.

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        Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 3 (Sept. 15)

        Do you remember the last time Notre Dame took a trip to East Lansing? You might not remember the game’s first 60 minutes and change, but that’s fine: things didn’t get wild until overtime, when Michigan State answered a Notre Dame field goal with the most audacious coaching decision of the 2010 season. Now you remember, right? Dan Conroy is lined up for the potentially game-tying 46-yard field goal; Aaron Bates, the punter and team captain, was the holder; tight end Charlie Gantt was lined up one spot inside from the edge to Conroy’s right. The call: “Little Giants.” The snap went to Bates, as expected – and then came the unexpected. You’ll see the rest of the play later tonight, when the Irish and Spartans meet in one of the day’s marquee games. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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          Notre Dame to Leave Big East, Join A.C.C.

          Notre Dame will join the A.C.C. in all sports with the exception of football and hockey, the conference announced Wednesday. As first reported by Brett McMurphy of ESPN, the university’s arrangement with the A.C.C. differs from its previous affiliation with the Big East in one significant fashion: Notre Dame will play five non-conference games annually against A.C.C. competition. In a way, this slides the Irish into a role as the league’s 15th member – while certainly not a full-fledge football member, seeing that the program is not playing for any sort of conference hardware, Notre Dame’s relationship with the A.C.C. is far deeper, far more meaningful and far more significant than the university’s prior connection to the Big East.

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            Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 2 (Sept. 8)

            Let’s not beat around the bush: this isn’t a great week. I mean, it’s great – better than what we’re used to, better than any non-football weekend – but it’s not great, all things considered. There’s no Michigan and Alabama to end the night; there’s no prime-time game on ABC at all, in fact. Instead, we’ll close our night with Nebraska and U.C.L.A., Georgia and Missouri and, later on, Arizona and Oklahoma State. Very, very intriguing games. But with perhaps the exception of Georgia, depending on how highly you think of the Bulldogs, these games don’t carry any title implications. That doesn’t make the games any less interesting – or change the fact that every game, especially while teams find their footing, carries some level of importance. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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              Looking for Revenue? Let’s Try a Swear Jar

              The gold standard for curse-word comeuppance comes via former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick: Tired of his colorful vocabulary, Billick’s family – I believe his children set the tone – implemented a swear jar; every time Billick let loose, he had to make a contribution. Did it work? Well, Billick did say during an N.F.L. telecast last September that the St. Louis Rams “had some sex with the no-huddle offense” – so old habits die hard, or not at all, even if there’s technically no curse word in that sentence. The latest to hear about his “potty mouth” is Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease, who was caught by an ESPN camera screaming any number of unmentionable dirty words during the Gators’ 27-14 win over Bowling Green.

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                No. 25: Notre Dame

                There’s past, there’s present and there’s future, and nowhere else do all three commingle more than at Notre Dame. Such is life in South Bend, where every nook and cranny – from Rockne to Leahy, Ara to Holtz – serves as a reminder, and an often painful one at that, of the program’s newfound place among college football’s perennial underachievers. If it’s not one thing it’s another; if it’s not penalties it’s turnovers, if not the defense it’s the quarterback. It’s getting tiresome, and for no group more so than the current Irish – those players who constitute this year’s team, who have battled against not only U.S.C., Michigan and Michigan State but also the annual perception that when push comes to shove, Notre Dame is not going to live up the hype. Well, you have two options when you get shoved against a wall: you can either run away and hide, with your tail between your legs, or you can push back.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.