Tag Archives: College Football

The DEVIL We Know

Jesse J. – @TheShamRap

Well Domers, here it is.The brutal truth…

We may have actually played ourselves out of playoff contention with a win.

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Yes, a win. Don’t believe me?

There is a difference between good and REALLY good. An actual equation. Here it is:

Greatness = What you see + margin of victory

What we’ve seen from Notre Dame in regards to “greatness” comes in flashes. Hasn’t quite been consistent enough on the field for me to consider us REALLY good.

You can’t beat Navy by 10 points, while giving up 39 on defense and expect the Playoff Committee to say “Well that was impressive”, not without extremely sarcastic undertones anyway.

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Biggest red flag? VanGorder had two weeks to get this defense prepared for the triple option. TWO WEEKS!

It’s not like Navy was sandwiched immediately in between a game against a spread offense and a pro-style offense. The guys should have been ready.

I’m not trying to put him on the chopping block by any stretch, but BVG has laid 2 BIG goose-eggs (UNC, Navy) as far as defensive game planning vs. teams we should be dominating on that side of the ball.

Our playoff chances just took a huge hit.

But our performance on the field Saturday won’t affect our playoff chances nearly as much as the loss of starting LB, team leader, Joe Schmidt.

Schmidt is now out for the season, he was the quarterback of the defense, and someone you can only replace by giving someone else the time to gain that experience.

Enter Nyles Morgan.

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You wanna replace Joe? You couldn’t have picked a more exciting candidate for that prospect.

Morgan has all the natural skills and athletic ability that Schmidt lacks. He’s a physical freak.

Welp, time to make a t-shirt with Nyles and Jaylon.

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“Freak Brothers”
.

Back to reality though. We have a banged up squad heading into likely our biggest remaining game of the year vs. ASU in Tempe.

But don’t let me kill your dreams of seeing those shining helmets in the playoffs. It isn’t impossible, and isn’t all bad news.

Some of the “consistency” Brian Kelly is always talking about is coming together.

THREE consecutive 100 yd rushing games by Folston.
Golson hasn’t fumbled in 2 games.
EVERY wide receiver is contributing.

On to Tempe.

Onward to Victory.

Peace, I’m outta here. Go Irish!

Will Mahone Arrested on Multiple Charges

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-Sgt Shamrock

It seems as if the yearly off season tradition of losing a player will continue this year. According to reports, Notre Dame running back/wide receiver Will Mahone was arrested on Sunday in Mahoning County, Ohio on multiple charges that include assault of a police officer, resisting arrest, vandalism, and disorderly conduct. News of a Irish football player having “off the field” trouble began circulating earlier today and now we know who that player is.

Mahone was a member of the 2012 recruiting class but has been limited with injuries and has not seen much playing time. Last season, the Irish coaching staff moved Mahone from running back to wide receiver to see if he could contribute elsewhere with a logjam of talent at the running back position however that never was able to pan out. The University of Notre Dame has yet to comment on the incident and the ramifications Mahone will face, however it seems that his football career at Notre Dame may be in jeopardy.

The arrest record can be found here: http://pii.mahoningcountyoh.gov/(S(0pzeta55ymm5c355mtx4xd55))/Booking.aspx

 

Breaking Up With 2013 and Hello New Mistress: 2014

2013, could you come here for a moment? (pours two glasses of whiskey).

Oh, I see you’re already out the door. Well, you might want to sit down. I’m just going to come out and say it: It’s over. We both know it’s been over for a little while now, but we should make it official. To be fair, there were warning signs well before now…

When we first met, I was filled with anticipation and expectation that you could be the one.  That quickly evaporated.  We took that trip to Miami together.  What a magical time it was to be.  Yet there on the beach you left me our final night in the city.  Went running off with that southern, inbred hick.  I heard there was champagne and celebration, but I didn’t stay around to find out.  I went off, got drunk with some of the guys, and I forgave you…

After all, the flirting period the Fall before had been incredible.  Every Saturday you’d found a new way to tease me.  To make me feel special.  Eventually there was no denying that you and I were going to meet.  The stars were going to align and we’d be meant for one another.  In December of 2012 I heard the rumors you were too good to be true.  I quickly dismissed it though.  “Just jealousy from those that hate me,” I said.

Screw them all!  2013, you and I were going to prove them wrong.  Miami wasn’t what it could have been, but we were alright.  Then, the bombshell hit.  It turned out parts of you were too good to be true.  You took away my heart, my purity, my moral compass.  I was speechless.  People mocked me for even thinking you could be the one.  Okay, so you weren’t perfect, but still….I was intoxicated from the Fall of 2012.  I could also have still been feeling the buzz from Miami.

(pours another glass of Whiskey)

There were other warning signs.  Not too soon after some of your imperfections came to light, I noticed that folks started to run away.  I searched for the reason and found solace in their reasons.  Turned out one guy I really liked had family commitments that couldn’t be ignored.  Another knew that you weren’t going to belong to him and sought greener pastures.  I wrote them off too; flawed in their logic that you couldn’t be the one.  Not only that, but in early February you brought me that litter of puppies.  You showed me their elite pedigree and said raising them together would bring us closer.  You said we’d be able to enjoy them for years to come and to just have some faith.

I did have faith.  I believed you.  Then I found out that you’d had other indiscretions during 2012.  That part of what made you alluring then, and tangible now, was going away.  No, you didn’t cheat on me with another man, but you cheated on me mentally.  That creative spark that I so admired may not be quite as bright as I thought.  My god, everything was just crumbling around us.  I respect that you came clean about that.  You’d said you were going to re-dedicate yourself and comeback stronger, better than ever.  By this point, I wasn’t entirely ready to wait around, but what else could be done?  You’d built me up, raised my expectations, and I needed to be the bigger man and stick by you during these times.  My faith would be rewarded.

Right around that same time, one of the puppies ran away.  This made me sad, but given everything else that happened it didn’t seem quite as bad.  I mean, I hadn’t had an opportunity to know him yet.  He was still just a puppy.  I thought you and I had done our best to give him a good home, had treated him well, and if he was still too dumb to realize that, then I just hoped he’d find a good home.  Far, far away where I didn’t have to be reminded that he’d left us.

As the late Summer/early Fall came around, I felt a renewed sense of excitement.  Some of it didn’t directly have to do with you but still brought back fond memories.  There was that magical trip out of the country I took when you were but a fantasy.  When I thought back to that, I wondered if there was still a chance for us.  After all, that trip was great, but it’s not like I’d had major expectations back then either.

Oh yeah, I was also less than thrilled with the idea of your sometimes annoying friend returning to our relationship.  She’d been alright in small doses while we were flirting, but I never wanted her to be around continuously.  This is something I never felt the need to tell you before now, but I knew your friend before I knew you.  There’d been far too many Saturdays where she’d showed up and done something so embarrassing that everyone I was with reverted to drinking and making fun of her.  It’s moot now but just thought you should know.

It wasn’t that the Fall was bad.  It’s just that it missed the magic from a year ago that was so exciting.  No longer were we destined for one another.  We were in a rut.  You knew it.  I knew it, and there didn’t appear to be much that could be done to cure it.  By this point, I knew it was just a matter of time before you and I were finished.  I didn’t say it then because the timing wasn’t right.  Deep down inside, I have to believe you knew it too.  We found things to blame our problems on, but they all rang hollow.  Sometimes the timing just isn’t right, and I think we both know that was the case here.

Hell, since I’m being truly honest anyways, your friend wasn’t even that bad.  I even came to appreciate some of the moments she’d been there for.  Sure, I’d rather she not have been, but given everything, it wasn’t her that harmed us.  I came to like her flaws.  Oh how I remember those late nights where we’d stay up late, look at one another, and break out laughing about the things that’d gone wrong that night.  It was awkward.  Our laughter was fueled by nervousness and discomfort, but sometimes, laughter is the best medicine.

The final straw came this last December.  Our time was running short.  We scheduled a trip to New York together, but there wasn’t any situation under which that could honestly be seen as a chance for reconciliation.  Under the best of circumstances, I knew I just wouldn’t loathe you.  Your buddy the matchmaker even left you.  Don’t look at me like you don’t know who I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the one, I can’t remember his name off the top of my head, that had that head of hair and believed in vampires.  He was hilariously awkward and had helped provide some of the most memorable moments from that 2012 flirting period.  I knew if he was ready to leave, there was nothing more to be done.  Only thing left was to wait until after the holidays…

Sooo….here we are.  You and I.  I wish I could say “it wasn’t you, it was me,” but that’s disingenuous.  It was you.  I’d have given you anything.  My heart, my money, it didn’t matter.  You just callously stomped on it.  What could have been our best moment was ruined by that stupid southern hick down in Miami.

And that’s where I need to confess something to you.  By chance, I found out there’s someone new out there for me: 2014.  She’s promised to bring back the energy and creative spark that you cast off.  Even better, I’ve heard she’s already stomped on that southern asshole you thought was better than me.  No, I don’t know that much about her, but the mystery is part of the allure.  All of the things that made you special, she’s now got.  Fact is, you’re past your prime.  In case you didn’t notice, you’re kind of a loner nowadays.  Most everyone’s already moved on, I’m just joining the crowd.  In a brief conversation, 2014 told me that you weren’t even that special to the southerner.  Apparently, you were just a notch on his belt.  That’s all I needed to hear to make this final.

While you won’t be remembered for all the great times, I should thank you.  I’m confident that when I do find the one I’ll appreciate her even more.  Hopefully 2014 can be that one…

(glasses up for a cheers to the new adventure)

– IrishMoonJ

A rough path. The Tale of Tommy Rees

 
– Sgt Shamrock
 
Turnover Tommy, Touchdown Tommy, The Closer, and Reesus. All different names for Notre Dame senior quarterback Tommy Rees, who will be playing his final game at Notre Dame Stadium this Saturday against BYU. Rees could very well be one of the most polarizing figures in the history of Notre Dame football and while there have been their fair share of former Irish players who have caused jubilation and heartache over the years for Irish fans nationwide, it can be safe to say Tommy Rees is near the top of the list. From making game winning throws, to throwing horrific interceptions at the worst possible times, Tommy Rees’s career at Notre Dame has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. As his career at Notre Dame comes to an end, its time to look back at one of the most interesting, nerve racking, and polarizing careers of any player to play at Notre Dame.
 
Coming out of high school, Tommy Rees was a 3 star recruit who held offers from Tennessee, Stanford, Bowling Green, Miami (OH), and Central Michigan. Not what you would call a very strong offer list. Fellow Irish quarterback Andrew Hendrix, who was in the same recruiting class as Rees, was rated a 4 star recruit with a much more solid offer sheet. Rees committed to the Irish while Charlie Weis was still the head coach and remained committed once Brian Kelly took over for Weis in 2010. Brian Kelly keeping Rees in the class was a surprise to some, as he was more of a pro style quarterback, and Kelly was bringing the high octane spread offense with him from Cincinnati to South Bend. However keeping Rees in his first recruiting class turned out to be one of the smartest decisions he could have made.
 
In his freshman year Rees was not expected to play. Dayne Crist, who was a 5 star quarterback recruit and had years of experience under his belt, firmly held the starting job for the Irish and clearly had the better physical attributes. It was only after Crist suffered a season ending knee injury against Tulsa, was Rees thrown into action. Rees didn’t play all that bad however the game ended on a Rees interception and an Irish loss. The rest of the season, however went pretty well for Rees. After the loss to Tulsa, Rees and the Irish went on to win the remainder of their games to include wins at USC and against Miami in the Sun Bowl. It was a strong finish to the first year of the Brian Kelly and it showed hope for the future of the Irish program. Rees played well to end the season, and because of it, the first of many quarterback controversies was born.
 
Going into the 2011 season the main offseason storyline was who was going to play quarterback for the Irish. While Rees played well to end the 2010 season, he still was responsible for his fair share of turnovers. Throughout fall camp everyone was waiting for who Brian Kelly was going to name his starting quarterback for the 2011 campaign. Kelly finally made the decision that most thought he was going to make and named Dayne Crist the starter for the season opener against South Florida. The decision only lasted for one half. Crist started the 2011 season just about as bad as you could imagine for Notre Dame and by halftime the majority of the stadium was chanting for Tommy Rees to be inserted into the game. And I was one of them. I was also in favor or Crist getting the nod to start the game. But after how the game began for the Irish, it was time for a change. Insert Tommy Rees. However it just wasn’t enough and thanks to five total turnovers by the Irish, South Florida won the game spoiling what was supposed to be a special season for Notre Dame.
 
Following the loss to South Florida, Brian Kelly kept Rees as the starter headed into the game under the lights at Michigan. Its a game we all hope to forget. I will have to say in all my years of watching Notre Dame football, that it was one of the worst losses I have ever witnessed. Thanks to 5 more Notre Dame turnovers, Michigan made an almost impossible comeback to put the Irish at 0-2. Quickly Rees became the new scapegoat for Irish fans everywhere and the term Turnover Tommy started circulating everywhere. And the misery continued all season. It was almost as if everything that could go wrong for the Irish, did go wrong. Rees just kept turning over the football and the Irish, who had hopes at a BCS bowl to start the season, where relegated to the Champs Sports Bowl to play against Florida State. For a while the Irish were playing well against the Seminoles and it looked as if they might pull out a victory to end the season on a high note. That was until the Rees again caught the turnover bug and the Irish ended up losing yet another close game, ending a frustrating and disappointing season for the Irish.
 
The majority of Notre Dame fans had had enough with Tommy Rees following the 2011 season. I will be the first to admit that I was one of them. I was tired of all the turnovers and the frustration that came with them. I was ready for a new quarterback. Everett Golson, who redshirted his freshman year at Notre Dame, was the fan favorite to take over the starting job. Still Brian Kelly would not name a starting quarterback following the 2012 spring game, and allowed the quarterback competition to continue into summer workouts and fall camp. That all came to a screeching halt when Rees was arrested following a college party and trying to run from the police. Rees famously was tackled by a cab driver, starting numerous jokes about Rees’s mobility. Not going to lie a lot of them were really funny. Following his brush in with the law, Brian Kelly suspended Rees for the season opener and seemingly answering every prayer of Irish fans everywhere. Notre Dame was going to have a new quarterback. With Tommy Rees out of the competition, Golson won the starting job and fans thought that we would never see Rees on the field again. They could not have been more wrong.
 
After playing well to start the 2012 season against Navy, Golson looked to be what fans had been waiting for. A mobile, athletic quarterback with outstanding arm strength that would fit into the offense system that Brian Kelly wanted to run. However late in the game the following week against Purdue, the Irish were in a close one. Late in the game Golson scrambled and took a hit that forced him to leave the game. In comes Tommy Rees to a loud and thunderous roar of boo’s from the Notre Dame faithful. Just imagine how Rees must have felt running onto the field when the entire stadium was booing the fact that he was forced into the game. It would be hard for anyone to focus and play after hearing that. But not Rees. Rees led the Irish down the field capped off by a key throw on 4th down that lead to the game winning field goal. While Irish fans were happy the game was won, mostly nobody wanted to see Rees at quarterback over Golson, and were happy to see Golson play well the following week as the Irish picked up a win on the road at Michigan State. Again it looked as if Rees’s playing time was done at Notre Dame. Than came the Michigan game.
 
As I sat in the stands that September night as the Irish took on Michigan, you could feel the excitement in the stadium. The Irish were 3-0 and fans were starting to believe we could be in store for a special season. When Tommy Rees was inserted into the game to take over for a struggling Golson, all that energy seemed to leave the stadium in a heartbeat. And yet against all odds Tommy Rees did it again for the Irish, leading the only touchdown drive for the Irish and completing a key pass to Tyler Eifert to ice the game and bring the Irish another victory. Rees quickly became known as “The Closer” as he seemingly would come of the bench in relief and bring home the victory. Rees was again called upon to start for an injured Golson against Stanford and BYU and in both instances Rees delivered. Rees had become an invaluable asset to the Irish and without him, its safe to say that the trip to the National Championship would have never happened.
 
And that brings us to this year. Nobody thought that Tommy would start another game following the 2012 season. Everett Golson had a firm grasp on the starting job, and former 5 star recruit Gunner Kiel seemed to be the favorite to take over the back up job. The only future that Rees seemingly had left at Notre Dame was to sit the bench. But thanks to Kiel transferring, and Golson being suspended for an academic issue, Tommy Rees again was thrown into the starting job for Notre Dame. So far this year Tommy Rees has had his ups and downs and has again drawn criticism from fans everywhere including me. But when Rees was knocked out of the game against USC this year, the true value of Tommy Rees really started to show. Andrew Hendrix came into the game with the Irish leading 14-10. Andrew Hendrix did not complete one pass and the offense came to a screeching halt. It really made people realize just how valuable Rees has been to the Irish.
 
While I am sure that many fans will be glad to see Tommy Rees move on from Notre Dame, I myself am going to miss the kid. I have been very critical of Rees during his career and I am not afraid to say that. Rees has deserved more than his fair share of criticism. But what I love about Tommy Rees is that no matter what the kid never gives up. He never let his head get down and always gave his all for Notre Dame. He overcame so much during his time at Notre Dame and embodies the Notre Dame spirit. Now on senior day, Tommy Rees gets a chance to run out onto the field for the last time and finish his Irish legacy on a high note. And I am glad I will be there to see it and cheer on Tommy and the Irish in the final home game of the season. So while you may not be the biggest Tommy Rees fan, take a moment to look back on Rees’s career, and thank him because without Rees, many of the success that have taken place over the last 4 seasons would have never happened. The future looks bright for the Irish and a large portion of that can be credited to Tommy Rees. Thanks Tommy for all you have done for Notre Dame.