The Just because I’m Fired Up Game-by-Game Prediction Post

Picture it…

The crisp Fall air stirs across campus, picking up the leaves and scuttling them across the quad.  The sweet sweet scent of Knights of Columbus steak sandwiches drifts along with that of Miller Lite.  Kids in #10 Jerseys toss a football with their dad as you turn and see Touchdown Jesus on your left, the stadium on your right.   And somewhere, you hear a rumble and a cheer.  The band is stepping off.  Or maybe that’s just God getting the troops ready in Rock’s House.   No matter which way you turn, it’s Green, Blue and God.  Irish.   The Irish are coming…

I am getting FIRED UP.  That’s right, it’s time for some football baby!  Wooooooeeeeeh-hhheoooooooh!  And I am getting to the breaking point here, for Father Sorin’s sake!!! 

I am not sure what it is about this time of year.  The anticipation gets to me.  I need to do push-ups or run stairs or something, because I just get too damn pumped up.   You feel that?  You FEEL it?  That’s CFB, breathing down your neck.  The history, the rivalry, the unabashed LOVE for your team.  And in this case for the Irish. Sing it with me now…

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Okay, maybe not…anyway…wait, was she popping-and-locking there?  Gotta love the effort at least, if not the execution.

With this feeling propelling me, I’m going to give my own personal game-by-game run down and prediction for the season.  Knowing my biases, knowing my fired-up-ed-ness, you may take issue with some of the predictions. I am okay with that – comment away.  I am not going to be totally absurd (you won’t see ND over USC by 20), though.    And frankly, I don’t care if I’m right.  I just wanted to run down the season so I know what to look forward to, and you will too (or each could have a completely different result. but at least you will be able to say “wow, that Biscuit is money” or “man, he’s full of shit” and that will be fun for you either way.  right?).  Some of these calls are losses, and my irrational ND-loving self is screaming NO YOU IDIOT, WE WILL WIN EVERY FREAKING GAME!  WE WILL SWARM AND CRUSH THEM WITH OUR NEW HIGH-POWERED DEFENSE AND CUT, SHAKE AND BAKE OUR WAY FOR 6 WITH OUR SLASHING RUNNING GAME.  RAH RAH ETC Etc etc……..But I’m trying to at least base this in reality.  Maybe not an unbiased reality, and maybe a slightly self-serving reality, but it’s my freaking reality so stuff it if you have a problem with that.  I think I am fairly fair. As always.

Season Run Down, Fired-Up-Biscuit-Style:

Georgia Tech

After an early stalemate, things will open up midway through the second half. Tenuta is good, but so is Charlie.  The new Irish D does a solid job on a fairly rookie-ish Tech offense, shutting down Choice.  Keeping things close and low-scoring.  Irish win it in the 4th while leaning on the running game heavily, 13-10.  It’s not pretty, but the close-knit Irish pull it together in time. 

The Irish get a little more comfortable.

At Penn State

Penn State is shaking, rattling and rolling.  And JoePa is trying to use his immense evil powers to affect game play from the Press Box.  State, however, isn’t all that good.   Corwin’s D is now swarming everywhere since he unleashed the full power of the 3-4 in the 2nd quarter, the PSU offense is confused, and on their asses a lot.  Morelli is still inept and costly mistakes combined with a player shortage from their 3rd team brawl in a month costs them.  The ND offense is still rusty though, but the run is pretty effective and the play-action/slant/out pattern passing game keeps the defense on their heels at times.  ND is out-matched in terms of experience and talent and it’s tough going, though.  A lot of stalled drives and drive-stalling mistakes.  We head into the 4th quarter down by 3, and a miracle drive will seal it in the final minutes. But this inexperienced offense doesn’t quite have it in them yet and PSU squeaks past 17-14.

Sadness. But there’s fight in this team, and ND’s ability to hang with a highly regarded team turns some heads.

at Michigan

ND comes into Michigan a heavy dog, despite two decent games and a 1-1 record. Michigan has trounced a Pee Wee football team from just outside Akron and a local Girl Scout Troop as warmups, so they come in confident.  The Irish D does a good job containing Hart, but Michigan’s talent is spread throughout the offense and the passing game works well for them.  ND puts up good numbers on the ground, but the passing game isn’t there to match up with Michigan.   Sadly, UM takes this one handily, beating the Irish 31-13.  But next year will be different.  Next year…

 Momentum crushed.  Reality sets in – there is work to be done.  Progress to be made.  Charlie is scowling.

Michigan State

The ghost of John El remains, and this MSU team has already started falling apart.  Leprechauns are standing at midfield ready to fight these guys.  No matter where MSU turns, a golden helmet is in their face.  They still have a slight chip, but it’s nothing compared to the chip ND still holds on their collective shoulders because of the ‘flag incident’ two years prior.  The running game powers, the passing game chips away.  ND wins solid, 24-10. 

Celebration.  So fun to beat the school with the “Packaging” major.

at Purdue

Purdue rolls out their big drum and they fling the ball all over the field again.  But this time, the Irish D is up to the challenge.  This Brown-coached secondary is no longer a joke – broken up passes and big INT’s fuel the ND fire.  The running game is on all cylinders by now, and the QB (whoever the hell he is) is settled into his game, the attack balanced.  What ND lacked in experience in games 1-3 is now gone, and things start to gel.  Lambert takes out the big drum in the 4th quarter ‘by accident’, and ND wins 24-14.

Gellin’ like a felon.

at UCLA

The Irish make the trip out to LA and the ‘hallowed’ Rose Bowl, in Biscuit territory.  I am at this game and I am freaking drunk.  Yay.  The place is sold out, and ND fans compose more than half the stadium.  It’s pretty much like a home game, just with more diversity and better weather.  UCLA’s defense remains SICK.  And they are especially good against the run, forcing ND to pass more.  While QB X gets things going early, it gets more difficult with the running game shut down.  Olson is still an off-and-on guy, and it shows in this game.  He seems to freak out, FREAK OUT, in the spot light for some reason, and mistakes show it.  But, UCLA proves to be a Top 10 team and handles the Irish, 31-21. 

Pain.  ND was on a roll again, and came up short.  But, there’s confidence building as well.  We can hang with the better teams in the country.  We have huge upside.  We’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

BC

BC comes into town all strutting pretty.  Look at me, I am an eagle, I can soar…WHAP!  Suck it, eagle.  ND brings it this week, pissed off about the previous week’s result and ready for revenge.  BC is experienced but the ND squad is young and talented and finally, somewhat experienced and tested as well.  ND needs an on-side kick late in the game to do it, but wins 16-14 on a last-second field goal.  

Huge for this team’s spirit.

USC

The Irish welcome USC back to Notre Dame stadium amid fanfare and national attention.  USC is undefeated, and the Irish haven’t been stellar but have surpised many by pulling out a 4-3 record to date.  But USC is still #1 and for a reason.  The USC D is just too much for the young Irish offense to handle.  Too big and too quick.  We know that one day soon this will all change, but it’s not today.  The Irish fall hard, 34-13.

Stings.  Must be remembered.

Navy

The Irish are looking to coast through their final few games after the gauntlet they just survived, but Navy is having none of it.   It’s an ugly day in the rain/sleet/snow of South Bend, and Navy plays it tough.  But the Irish have too much talent on the field and walking the sidelines, and they handle Navy 21-7 on a ground-loaded game full of big hits, slips and fun mud-puddle diving.

Cold and miserably wet.  But happy. 

Air Force

Air Force’s quintuple option offense brings a twist to this game as always, but the widespread and flexible 3-4 is a perfect defensive match.  ND’s offense is starting to click, and it’s a well-balanced attack that leads the Irish to a handy 38-20 victory.  ND’s top-scoring performance of the year, to date.

Feels good. 

Duke

The smart kids from Duke come to town to take a whooping.  It’s sort of sad, because you’d think that a school with so much to offer could get some players.  But they can’t.  ND rolls, 38-6. 

Satisfying. In a sad kind of way. 

at Stanford

Despite their obnoxious new head coach, the Cardinal (why isn’t that plural???) still suck(s?).  ND finishes off the season strong, winning at Stanford 28-10.

Stanford is lame, so we celebrate.

The regular season is wrapped, and ND has surprised the CFB world by pulling off an 8-4 season and a berth in a respectable bowl.  More than anything, the team matured throughout the year, and with the incoming talent is poised to make a serious mark over the next 2 seasons.  A national championship in ’08-’09 isn’t out of the question, and everyone’s expecting one the following year.  Based on his preseason comments, ESPN donkey pundit Mark May votes Charlie Weis Coach of the Year, which he wins.

Meanwhile, I have hit the lotto and now reside in Hawaii, sipping Mai Tai’s and only leaving to catch ND games, whereever they may be.  So this, my friends, is sweet.

Go Irish!

 

  • Adam

    Nice post. I am starting to get really pumped up as well. One question tho…how could you leave out the inevitable bowl victory that we are going to get this year?

  • irishdevil

    Nice job–I also am predicting an 8-4 season, although I haven’t done each game.

    Not that it even matters, but as far as you want your predictions to give you a base for what to expect, you should up the scores a bit. For example, we don’t score over 24 points in any game until the 10th game of the season–I cannot see our offense being that consistently mediocre. With these scoring averages, ND would have been 86th in offense and 10th in defense nationally in 2005 (I did not use last year due to the clock rule changes). I will be shocked if a Weis offense ever ranks below 50th in the nation, and while I love Coach Brown so far, I think a top-10 D is out of our reach this season.

    (In fact, if you use the football Pythagorean formula, it also comes to about 8-4 for us if you use my expectations of a 30 pt/g offense and 22 pt/g defense; 8.11 wins, to be exact. Interestingly, using your scores predicts a 7.79 win season, so you’re pretty much dead on-the-money there.)

    Thanks for taking the time to post, and keep up the good work with the blog–I check it every day!

  • gwzimm

    I agree…..nice post. Although I’m not sure what Penn State is all about. That could be an irish win. Let’s hope JoePa poops his pants on the sidelines.

  • dave

    USAFA isn’t going to be an option team anymore. new coach is installing a more traditional style of offense.

  • Trey

    “No matter which way you turn, it’s Green, Blue and God”
    Freudian slip there or was that intentional?

    I agree with all your picks except the Peeyeew one. I think that game will be the one that finally makes JoPa realize why ALL coaches in the history of football coach on the sidelines and he gets out of the press box after losing to ND because of a 4th quarter turnover. Without being able to rally his troops, State falls by 4.

    I see a 9-3 record for us and probably another Gator or Cotton bowl.

    As an interesting tidbit, with all the jackasses(read ‘experts’) calling for a 1-7 or 0-8 start for us, I did a little research on ND football and that kind of mark. Only once in the entire history of ND football have the Irish started 1-7. And that was back in 1960. However, of the really BAD starts the Irish have had, we’ve only been 2-6 2 times. The most recent of these being in ’03. So it just doesnt happen to ND. Call it the Luck of the Irish, teh Irish Lore, whatever, ND doesnt joke up the starts of seasons. We’re more of a team that plays hard and exceeds expectations and has heartbreakers at the END of the year.

  • http://irishglory.blogspot.com Irish Glory

    Nice job! I am thinking 8-4 myself. I did a similar season prediction on my blog as well and share many of your views.

  • http://www.noassesallowed.com The Biscuit

    Thanks for all the comments.

    Adam, sorry for leaving out the bowl. At that point in the post, I was just tired. It’s a long season at 12 games…

    Irish Devil. Once again, your math skills floor me. I agree that I tended towards lower-scoring games and that’s for 2 reasons. 1) I have no idea what to expect from our offense. That is probably clouding my judgement. I am sure that some of those games will open up and be higher scoring, I just don’t know which. 2) For us to win, our D had to hold those guys to lower scores because of my low Irish predictions. cause-effect there, but I agree it’s probably a bit biased. But I’m okay with that.

    I feel like Penn State and BC are the toughest calls to make. I am guessing we’ll win one and lose one, and being at PSU makes me lean toward that being the loss. ‘Course I hope we crush them both, with PSU fans being such a bunch of whiners and BC being…well, BC.

    Dave, thanks for the heads-up on Air Force. News to me, but great to know. I am leaving it as-is to showcase my ignorance of all things Armed Forces.

  • Christian Deist

    You gotta love it when ND fans go out and predict the score of games before the season starts. ND will be lucky to break .500 this season and you are grossly underestimating how good the team in West Lafayette will be this year. I’m not a Purdue grad, but look at their returning starters and size buildup and you can see that Tiller has them focused. When does the size of Charlie’s stomach become a safety hazard for small children that fall under its shadow?

  • http://www.yourmother.com The Biscuit

    You gotta love it when haters ignore everything that goes against their hater-age in a post. Did you not see all the disclaimers? And are you seriously saying that ONLY ND fans predict games and scores? Feel free to disagree with the predictions, I have no problem with that. But calling me out for doing it in the first place is absurd.

    Purdue is a game that the Irish can, and will, win. Based on talent and matchups. Could I be wrong? Yep. Could I be right? Yep. It’s called a prediction for a reason – it hasn’t happened yet. Just like this prediction: You will pay for sex for at least 3 more years.

    Your Charlie-fat-jokes don’t offend me, or anyone else, either. So hate on his looks all you want – he’s successful as hell and could probably buy and sell you 10 times over. I’m sure you’re Fabio Part II, and that the girls are hounding you all over the place, you stud.

  • gwzimm

    I can’t imagine anyone in their right minds thinking that purdue could beat ND this year. They are one of the more irrelevant teams in college football, despite their sixty Big Ten Championships, their fifteen National titles, and their 47-2-1 record in bowls.

    Uh-oh, my mistake.

  • Trey

    The only beating of anything that Purdue will be doing is going to involve that stupid drum and their bunk mates.

  • Mick

    Dude…you’re going to predict the outcome and score of each game and you’re not even going to take a stab at who the QB will be?

    weak.

  • http://www.noassesallowed.com The Biscuit

    Mick, throwing me under the bus. I tried. I thought about it, starting the article with a choice and then bailing by the end. My best guess is that Charlie will go with age/experience to start, but that he’ll have one of the younger guys ready to go if that doesn’t work out. Which one? No idea. So I gave up.

    I appreciate your calling me on it though. That is pretty weak.

  • Sean

    Understand an young offense and all, but do you really expect less than 20 points per game from Charlie and the offense??? Not to mention turnovers and special teams points.

  • http://www.noassesallowed.com The Biscuit

    I partially explained it above. I think the offense will break out in a few games that will increase our average. But…1) They’re young 2) They havent played together 3) An offense based on a running game will score fewer points while eating up the clock 4) Our D and Special Teams haven’t been that productive lately in terms of points.

    So yes, I think my average came in low because of my conservative nature regarding this O (and that’s because I’m not sure what to think of them). I expect a few breakout games will indeed increase the average, but when or where? No clue. So I stuck with a low estimate. And, I think it’s our best chance of winning. If we get into shootouts, we will get smoked.

  • http://www.noassesallowed.com The Biscuit

    And why does nobody care about the pop-and-locking 4 year old white girl singing the Fight Song? I mean, to me that’s the focus of the article, clearly. Weird.