Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 4 of 63 AUGUST 2017 5 FAN FORUM OFF SCHEDULE Notre Dame's scheduling in recent years is perplexing. Stanford's band mocks the Pope on our own field, yet we are com- mitted to playing them annually in perpetuity. A contentious rivalry with the Uni- versity of Michigan, whose early ath- letic leaders did not want to play a Catholic school and more recently ridiculed us by playing the chicken dance in their stadium, is strangely renewed. Michigan State, an honorable rival we played almost every season for 65 years, is dropped from the schedule. Arguably the greatest college venue for a football Saturday is deserted for the silliness of play- ing a crummy opponent in the big city for a ticket only the well healed could afford in something called the Shamrock Series (which should have been allowed to die but may now be resurrected). Night games are halted because of all the drunks, but suddenly that problem doesn't bother us anymore as we now have them each year. We're committed to finishing the season in California every season even though it rarely turns out well. We're located in the heart of the Midwest, so we hook up with a con- ference on the East Coast? Don't play MSU or Purdue anymore, but find a spot for Arkansas and Ball State? No one roots harder for Notre Dame than I do, but I really have a hard time understanding the think- ing behind some of our scheduling choices and the entire ACC infatu- ation. Tom Derengoski ND '70 Lansing, Mich. Mr. Derengoski, the ACC decision was not predicated solely on football — other than the league's willingness to allow it to retain its independent status as a partial member in that sport. That was not going to be possible in the Big Ten. A director of athletics is responsible to provide the best opportunities for every sports operation offered at its school, and the ACC provided such a landing spot. There has to be give and take. Maintaining a recruiting presence in California also is a priority, which is why USC and Stanford remain untouchables on the slate. Times change, and with Notre Dame not having a 13th game as a league champion, director of athletics Jack Swarbrick believes it's imperative to have "markers" against each of the Power Five conferences for the committee to assess. Notre Dame has the ACC covered, as well as the Pac-12 with USC and Stan- ford, and there is at least one Big Ten opponent on the schedule every year from now through 2027. The SEC is also get- ting better covered on the slate, and from the Big 12 you had Oklahoma (2012-13) and Texas (2015-16). When the Big Ten went to nine-game conference schedules, that limited that league's non-conference slates because they want at least two of them at home, and many times against a lesser non- Power Five opponent. Two of Ohio State's three non-league games this year are Army and UNLV. In 2019, the three non-conference games for the Buckeyes are Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati and Mi- ami (Ohio). Power Five teams have to be realistic with 12- and 13-game slates and need to schedule some "gimmes." That's why Notre Dame has opponents like Ball State, Bowling Green, New Mexico in the future, too. As for the Shamrock Series, it's going to be challenging to make that an annual event because of so many logistics. BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P. O. Box 1007 Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: FROM THE WEBSITE Nico Toscani: If we can win 10-11 games and be in the playoff discussion, recruiting will sig- nificantly improve. Question is whether we are/have been recruiting the quality of athlete, especially on defense, to win 10-11 games with the schedule we play? Patriot82: You still have most of the guys and head coach from a 4-8 team. Why the thought that just because it's Notre Dame everything will suddenly be rosy? The same guy is going to be making the last-second decisions and why would the results change? Benko's Army: And you have the same head coach who went undefeated with a first-year starting quarterback in 2012, following a year in which they lost five games. And the same head coach who won 10 games in 2015, de- spite losing his starting quarterback and run- ning back early in the year — and this despite having a catastrophic defensive coordinator. There are reasons for skepticism, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism too! Drink from my keg of Kool-Aid! DCPittman: The fact that most of the losses last year were by less than 7, while incredibly frustrating, indicates that a few tweaks might have made the difference. This isn't coming off of 2007 (3-9). Maverick1: Kelly has not been able to consis- tently recruit enough difference makers on the defensive side, specifically the front 7. Until he does, 8-9 wins will be the watermark, with the 10+ win season every 5 years or so. PreTill2: USC, UGA, Miami and Stanford all have enough talent to beat us. More specifi- cally, we aren't so talented we should win those 4 on talent alone. So if we go 2-2 against those 4, we would be meeting expectations (not great). That means you have no room for error. Most every team loses at least one game they were expected to win on talent alone. We must have another 2015 in which we win every game that we are supposed to win. That is tougher than most believe. NFL draft picks since 2012 draft: Miami 29, UGA 28, ND 28, Stanford 26, USC 25. Notre Dame is committed to playing annually in California — against Stanford and USC — in order to maintain a recruiting presence in the state. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - August 2017