Her Loyal Sons http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog A Notre Dame Football Blog Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:33:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Friday Roundup: The “Unlikely Bedfellows” Edition http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/24/friday-roundup-unlikely-bedfellows-edition/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=friday-roundup-unlikely-bedfellows-edition http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/24/friday-roundup-unlikely-bedfellows-edition/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:27:03 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=26825 When TMZ decides to email HLS directly about a story they broke, we should know that something crazy will soon motor down the highway for a head-on collision of weird. This week’s edition has freshman WR Justin Brent on a date with 42 year-old porn star, Lisa Ann. Honestly, I cared very little for the […]

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When TMZ decides to email HLS directly about a story they broke, we should know that something crazy will soon motor down the highway for a head-on collision of weird. This week’s edition has freshman WR Justin Brent on a date with 42 year-old porn star, Lisa Ann.

Via, and I can't believe I'm saying this, Lisa Ann's Instagram account, @thereallisaannxxx

Via, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, Lisa Ann’s Instagram account, @thereallisaannxxx

Honestly, I cared very little for the “shocking” news. I wasn’t even completely convinced of the claims of a date as the information TMZ had to prove the claim just came from a “we’re told that” and nothing more. So, it could’ve been sensationalized a touch for some PR and for all we knew, Brent could’ve just been in the same place she was.

Well, Lisa all but confirmed that date on her Twitter account (if you click through links on any of these, be weary, some tweets/replies are NSFW):

Still though, it was all quite funny in my mind. Considering the events of the past week, it felt like this lightened the mood quite a bit. Sure, it probably isn’t what Notre Dame, a Catholic institution which makes you sign a document (or at least they did when I went there) agreeing to their policy on extra-marital sex, would like. But hey, wink-wink-nudge-nudge, how are you going to prove a sexual relationship exists?

This might be how (SFW link).

Despite ND’s policy on extra-marital sex, the truth is only the most blatant violations ever really see ResLife, ND’s disciplinary wing, take action on such DuLac rules. Taking a topless photo in bed with a porn star would certainly qualify as “blatant” in my opinion.

This is likely bad news for Brent and his future at Notre Dame. DuLac is intentionally written vaguely to have leeway in prosecuting offenses to the outlined standards of conduct. It also doesn’t matter that this happened off campus, as DuLac states:

The University reserves the right to address off­-campus misconduct or violations of law. Judgments about these matters will depend on the facts of an individual case. The following factors are among those that will be considered:

  • whether the conduct occurred at an event sponsored by the University
  • whether the student involved was acting as a representative of the University
  • whether the conduct has a negative impact on the University community or interferes with the pursuit of Notre Dame’s mission
  • whether the conduct has a negative impact on the local community.

I have a feeling that Notre Dame sees Brent as a representative of the ND community as a football player (even off the field), and his date with Lisa and the bed selfie that resulted, in their eyes, had a negative impact to ND’s mission as a Catholic university.

So while many would like to file this under “I really don’t care who anyone dates” (and I’m right there), the problem is that Notre Dame most likely will. Brent, unfortunately, had a lack of self-awareness here. Not just in likely thinking his fall break trip to New York City would be outside the DuLac umbrella, but in the publicity his date would receive.

I have a feeling that Lisa or her people leaked the story and details on the date to TMZ and the photo to Deadspin. Now, I don’t believe Lisa or anyone associated with her did it maliciously to harm Brent or Notre Dame. Notre Dame is already in another world in comparison to many other colleges. The world of a porn star veteran might as well be in another galaxy.

I’m sure she saw nothing wrong with sharing (again, this is an assumption by me, not a claim of fact) what is really a very tame photo of two consenting adults in bed. In fact, her Twitter timeline makes some very good points about successful, older men dating younger girls for years and no one really blinking an eye:

Sure, she’s getting some publicity for this, and by all accounts, her and Brent are happy with the situation at this time. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal.

Unfortunately, Notre Dame and their rules are from what is considered “normal” today. There is a reason why ND requires a signature to agree to such rules.

I’m doubtful that Brent walks away unscathed from this; however, I hope that the University shows some restraint, slaps Brent on the wrist, and allows him to learn that his role as a football player at ND comes with a huge spotlight and he needs to be aware of it at all times.

After all, this is far less harmful to others than say, Michael Floyd’s DUI. Floyd was punished, but more importantly got a chance to learn from that mistake. Now, he is a well-respected NFL player. Brent should be afforded the same opportunity.

This should be a lesson for him in awareness of situations that he places himself in and, more importantly, the need for open communication and understanding from his partner in keeping their private life a bit more private should they wish to continue their relationship. After all, respect of another’s need is critical in any relationship whether it is two Domers of similar age or a freshman football player and an older porn star.

UPDATE: And now we’ve gone full Rovell, so expect all public opinion to swing to Brent’s side in this. Thanks for being you, Darren:

The Roundup

There’s no good way to transition to this, so here’s your weekly Savin’ Aven update. The fund now sets at just under $6,000. Also, here’s a message from Aven’s mother, Mary Jane:

Jimmy [Aven's father], Aven, and I would like to personally thank everyone who has donated! This means the world to us and we really appreciate every donation!

Please keep it up. Y’all are making a huge difference.

We have more from the Instagram News Network. Not porn stars, but KeiVarae Russell, who claims DaVaris Daniels is coming back next season.

Now here’s a school with an actual problem. The report on North Carolina’s academic fraud is complete. You can find the whole thing here, but here’s a good recap.

Michigan’s trying to fix their student ticket sale problems. Surprisingly, it doesn’t involve buying two Cokes. I have a slight feeling though that this price reduction won’t cure all their problems.

Texas is looking to spend $6 million to pay their players. This, of course, is all based on recent rulings for things like full cost of attendance, but we are definitely heading into a brave new world here.

And now your moment of Nix… If you need proof that ND fans have a sense of humor about the whole Lisa Ann situation, I present to you the working script for “Nudy”, a Rudy porn parody, written by Twitter.

The Booze

Since we have hit the bye week, I can stop making jokes/references to our opponent with the beverages. It’s time to hit up the pumpkin ales if you haven’t yet. Be hasty, winter is coming.

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Notre Dame Still Squarely in Playoff Picture http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/24/notre-dame-squarely-in-playoff/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=notre-dame-squarely-in-playoff http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/24/notre-dame-squarely-in-playoff/#respond Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:30:54 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=26822 I know. Being the second-ranked football team this week would make us all feel a lot more comfortable about our chances of making the inaugural edition of the College Football Playoffs. We are one silly offensive pass interference away from “hosting” a first round playoff matchup. Now that we’re all done throwing our remotes, replacing our […]

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I know. Being the second-ranked football team this week would make us all feel a lot more comfortable about our chances of making the inaugural edition of the College Football Playoffs. We are one silly offensive pass interference away from “hosting” a first round playoff matchup. Now that we’re all done throwing our remotes, replacing our flat screens, and replenishing our liquor cabinets, it’s time to look at the playoff picture. The whole picture.

We don’t know what exactly the 12-person committee will use as criteria for which teams make the final cut. We don’t know if they’ll take injuries or suspensions into account. We don’t know how they’ll weigh conference championships. We don’t know if they’ll show compassion for a team that lost in the final seconds of an epic top five show down because of a controversial offensive penalty that negated a game-winning score. We don’t know anything, really.

Several committee members have noted that they watch upwards of fifty teams a week. Not just the top teams, but also the teams that the top teams play, specifically the ones that will be considered common denominators. I imagine, and this is just me, that teams that cross conference lines such as Clemson, South Carolina, or Arizona State will be major influences even if they don’t have realistic chances to make the Football Four themselves.

I broke down the top teams into three tiers. The top tier are the current “guarantees” if there are such a thing at this point. The second tier will be the teams fighting for the last one or two spots. The third tier are the teams that need some help outside of their own schedule.

Tier One: 

  • Mississippi State – The widely-considered top team in the nation has by far the best resume. They have wins against three top ten teams (at the time of kickoff) and they’ve been one of the most consistent and dominant teams in all of their wins (their only single-digit winning margin was on the road against LSU).
  • Ole Miss - While they don’t have as many top wins as their magnolia state brethren, they did knock of Alabama, skyrocketing them into the top three. the rest of their wins have been just as dominant as Mississippi State, but not against quite as high of talent thus far.
  • Florida State – If the Seminoles were a Friends episode, it would be called “The one that didn’t die”. This team has found ways to eke out wins when it shouldn’t have. If they do fall at some point, the voters will likely make them pay for it.

For now, these teams are in. Unfortunately for the two Mississippi teams, the Egg Bowl could be the first of potentially four straight playoff games for the winner. If both teams win out, the Egg Bowl decides the SEC West winner, who will then have to play in the SEC Championship, then into the NCAA playoffs. Only one of these teams will get in. I feel like any team that gets a loss in the last two weeks of the season will be toast. That’s just how voters remember things.

Florida State will likely win out. The ACC is terrible and FSU has already faced the hardest teams on their schedule. So barring some incredible upset that would likely make the entire nation celebrate, we have to assume the Seminoles are going to be in the playoffs.

Tier Two:

I saved this one for last because it is the deepest and in the most flux. If you’re a Notre Dame fan, these are the teams we need to watch closely if we hope to get back into the top four. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the top tier, but likely two out of those three teams are going to be in the playoffs. That leaves just two more spots open. At this point, it’s going to be hard to see an outcome where two SEC teams don’t go. The SEC West is just too incredibly deep, and as we’ll see shortly we can’t count out Georgia out of the East either.

  • Alabama – Of all the one-loss teams in the SEC West, Bama has the best shot of stealing the conference. A win over Mississippi State throws the entire nation into a mess, let alone the division.
  • Auburn – Similar to Alabama, Auburn has plenty of chances to win out against big teams and still take the division. No matter what, the Iron Bowl likely decides which team gets eliminated.
  • Oregon – The Ducks’ big problem was originally that Michigan State looked like not such a big win, but now it’s looking a lot better. Now their problem lies in the schedule. With no big games remaining until the conference championship, it’s hard for Oregon to impress anyone on the committee.
  • Notre Dame – Some people are saying Notre Dame’s loss almost helped the Irish as much as a win at least in perception of if they belong with the big boys. Notre Dame cannot win a conference championship, but their schedule allows them not to have to. A couple of “big enough” games are still ahead of them, as well.
  • Michigan State – Right now, they’re a little on the outside looking in, but defeating Ohio State in two weeks will put them squarely into the mix. After that, the path smooths out and even the B1G Championship will be very gettable.
  • Georgia – If there’s any team that has been overlooked this year, it might be Georgia. With one more big game against Auburn coming up and a potential trip to the SEC Championship game, the Bulldogs are far from dead this season.

The biggest question out of this tier will be what happens in the SEC West. There’s a scenario where Ole Miss beats Alabama who beats Mississippi State who beats Ole Miss. I don’t even know who wins the division at that point, let alone gets into the playoffs. Or how about Auburn beats Ole Miss who beats Mississippi State who already beat Auburn? Could there be a four-way tie? Only time will tell and it’ll be huge for the outside one-loss teams hoping to get a chance at the championship.

Tier Three:

  • TCU/Kansas State/Baylor – These teams must win out. The Big 12 just isn’t strong enough right now to guarantee a one-loss champion getting into the playoffs. Kansas State may have the best chance as they close the season with games against not only TCU and Baylor but also West Virginia. Running that table would go a long way to bumping their resume.
  • Nebraska/Ohio State - Both of these teams will need to win the B1G championship to have a shot. That chance is greater for OSU as they have a huge game against Michigan State looming.
  • Arizona State/Arizona – The loss to UCLA is killing them right now as the Bruins have dropped in the rankings. Still, with wins over USC, Stanford and a game against Notre Dame later on, it could give them a chance to steal the PAC 12 South and play Oregon as a play-in game. Arizona has a huge win against Oregon, but will have to beat ASU to get a rematch against the Ducks. It’ll be hard to beat that team twice.

It’s going to be hard for any of these teams to make the playoffs, there’s just too much up in the air at this point on their schedules. The Big 12 teams have beaten each other up just enough to knock them all out. The B1G teams need Michigan State to drop out. The Arizona teams have mediocre losses on their record already, have to play each other still, and THEN still have to likely play Oregon. Are these teams out of it? Not even close. But it’s a steep hill in front of them.

My gut tells me that if the remaining season is on short supply of surprises, the last spot will come down to Notre Dame and Michigan State. We’re going to see exactly what the committee weighs heavily and which things aren’t as important. Of all the seasons these two teams could have picked to not play each other, it looks like it happened when both teams needed the game the most. One could be a conference champion whose only loss is on the road to a top five team. One could be a cross-country conqueror whose only loss is on the road to a top five team.

It’s hard to compare Notre Dame to other teams around the country. There’s no conference championship to play for, which could end up being the death blow to a 2014 championship run. While Notre Dame sits at 11-1 after a win on the road to USC, the other teams will all be playing nationally televised all-or-nothing games. Will it be Georgia versus Mississippi State? Whoever is in this game, the winner is in. Florida State will likely win the ACC with an unblemished record. They’re in.

That leaves two spots. There is a strong chance that two SEC teams finishes the season at 11-1 and DOESN’T make the championship game, despite having defeated at least one of the teams in that game. How can you punish a team from the SEC West with an 11-1 record? You can’t. They’re in, too.

That leaves one final spot.

Notre Dame. Michigan State. Oregon.

Who gets in? Does the head-to-head victory for Oregon over Michigan State knock out the Spartans? Oregon and Michigan State will likely both win conferences, does that end the season for the Irish? Notre Dame will have played the hardest schedule. Does that cook the Ducks?

Even more importantly, will any of that even matter?

If college football has taught us anything, it’s that there will always be more surprises. We know there will be teams in the top ten that will receive their first or second loss this season. That’s a guarantee. But we also know that a couple more will likely be upset. Who takes that fall? Will Notre Dame lose to Arizona State? Does Oregon stumble against Stanford? Does Kentucky surprise a big name? Does LSU? Can Michigan ruin the Spartans season?

Anything can and will happen in the NCAA. We’ve already had a week where five top ten teams lost. If only one top ten team loses a week from now until December, we will have a drastically different idea of what a playoff team might look like. The key? Don’t be one of those teams that lose. If Notre Dame can avoid that fate, they’ll be getting good news about January.

 

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Opponent Watch: Sleepless Saturday Edition http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/23/opponent-watch-sleepless-saturday-edition/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=opponent-watch-sleepless-saturday-edition http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/23/opponent-watch-sleepless-saturday-edition/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:26:48 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=26811 Who To Watch USC at Utah (Sat 10:00pm ET Fox Sports 1) If you can’t get to sleep late on Saturday night (and let’s be honest: after last week, who can?), here’s a Pac-12 matchup on an obscure cable channel that kicks off waaay later than a football game should. Utah’s offense shouldn’t provide matchup problems for USC’s […]

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Who To Watch

USC at Utah (Sat 10:00pm ET Fox Sports 1)

Southern Cal QB Cody Kessler (Photo: AP)

Southern Cal QB Cody Kessler
(Photo: AP)

If you can’t get to sleep late on Saturday night (and let’s be honest: after last week, who can?), here’s a Pac-12 matchup on an obscure cable channel that kicks off waaay later than a football game should.

Utah’s offense shouldn’t provide matchup problems for USC’s defense, but a better metric is to watch how the Ute defense is able to contain the Trojan offense. With the Thanksgiving trip out west looming for the Irish as the final marquee matchup for the 2014 campaign, the Irish performance between now and then will be closely watched.

Strength-of-Schedule Rankings

Rank

Team

Record

Weekly Change

15 North Carolina 3-4 +1
17 Southern Cal 5-2 +7
24 Syracuse 3-4 +9
25 Stanford 4-3 -16
31 Northwestern 3-4 -6
34 Notre Dame 6-1 -17
36 Florida State 7-0 -9
42 Arizona State 5-1 -16
43 Purdue 3-5 -5
50 Michigan 3-4 +10
65 Rice 3-3 +21
69 Louisville 6-2 +17
105 Navy 3-4 +15

Upcoming Opponents

  • San Jose State at Navy (Sat 1:00pm ET CBS Sports Network)
  • Arizona State at Washington (Sat 10:45pm ET ESPN)

Past Opponents

  • North Texas at Rice (Sat 12:00pm ET)
  • North Carolina at Virginia (Sat 12:30pm ET ESPN Gameplan)
  • Oregon State at Stanford (Sat 3:30pm ET ESPN2)
  • Michigan at Michigan State (Sat 3:30pm ET ABC)
  • Syracuse at Clemson (Sat 7:00pm ET ESPNU)

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The SEC Is Awesome Theory – WEEK 8 UPDATE http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/22/sec-awesome-theory-week-8-update/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sec-awesome-theory-week-8-update http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/22/sec-awesome-theory-week-8-update/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:26:08 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=26798 Welcome back for another edition of The SEC Is Awesome Theory. The title reads ‘Week 8 Update’ above, however I was very tempted to swap the lone ’8′ for an ’80%’ in honor of the AWESOME-est conference in the land achieving 80% population in the AP Top 25 – JUST AS THIS COLUMN PREDICTED (via […]

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Welcome back for another edition of The SEC Is Awesome Theory.

The title reads ‘Week 8 Update’ above, however I was very tempted to swap the lone ’8′ for an ’80%’ in honor of the AWESOME-est conference in the land achieving 80% population in the AP Top 25 – JUST AS THIS COLUMN PREDICTED (via a different path). We’ve got some terrific awesomeness to go over, so let’s dispense with the pleasantries and get down to business.

SEC Is Awesome

The AWESOME Games

(10) Georgia 45 / (NR) Arkansas 32 – Hats off to the Bulldogs. They marched into Fayetteville Little Rock and did what the [now] 4th best team in the country couldn’t do. That’s right, their WRs and RBs scored five times as many touchdowns against the [UPSTART] last-place Hogs as Alabama did a week ago. FIVE TIMES. As a bonus, they didn’t even require an overtime period to do it! Yes, I’m looking at you, [now] unranked Taxas A&M. Arkansas has yet to win a conference game.

(3) Ole Miss 34 / (NR) Tennessee 3 – Not much to note here. The 3rd ranked team in the country scored 34 unanswered against the 6th place team in the SEC East. They looked solid, as expected. Though they were close on a couple of occasions,  Rocky Top has yet to win a conference game.

(7) Alabama 59 / (21) Texas A&M 0 – After taking heat for two weeks following a loss to Ole Miss and a close game with UPSTART Arkansas, the Tide absolutely crushed 1st-Week-of-Season-Heisman-Favorite Kenny Football and the Aggies. Remember, just four weeks ago, Texas A&M held FIRM as the 6th BEST team in the nation according to the AP Top 25, fresh off of their OT victory over UPSTART Arkansas in Week 5. I questioned the validity of their ranking, noting the Aggies’ bizarre rank-swap with the Gamecocks after the season’s first game. It didn’t make sense then and now we can confirm that the move was, at best, overly ambitious. They backed into the 6th slot after victories over SMU, Lamar and Rice before the Fayetteville Miracle and have now lost THREE straight games on their way to being the 6th best awesome team in the SEC West.

(NR) LSU 41 / (NR) Kentucky 3 – Normally, you wouldn’t think we’d need to cover a game between two 2-loss, unranked teams in this column. But the Theory reached WAY down into its bag of tricks this week and made this game relevant. LSU limped into a home game with the Wildcats after escaping The Swamp with a last second field goal to squeak by the TRAIN WRECK that is the University of Florida football team. They had dropped the two games previous to that against Mississippi State and Auburn. Kentucky entered Death Valley with two SEC wins to their name and only one loss on the season. They’d beaten last-place Vandy and (cough) unranked South Carolina. Their one SEC loss? A triple OT soul-crusher to the Florida Gators. So how could a home win by LSU factor into the national landscape? Please read on…

The AWESOME Results

I just don’t get it.

We’ve been spoon-fed by the media that Arkansas was supposed to be AWESOME, their only issue being the unfortunate fact that they have to be the least awesome team in the mighty SEC West. They have been constantly mentioned as a QUALITY SEC opponent when it came to close victories by Texas A&M (maintained their position at #6 after requiring OT) and Alabama (maintained their position at #7 after winning by one point). Heck, the vast majority of Gameday panelists even picked them to beat Georgia, the 10th ranked team in the country! An yet…and yet…a Gurley-less Bulldog squad marched in and absolutely dominated the Razorbacks. So was Georgia just really so much better than everyone was giving them credit for? Did they fall victim to the SEC’s own Theory by making the mistake of being from the wrong division? Or maybe, just maybe Arkansas was really just a last-place team in a division just like any other division in any other conference in the country.

If so, that would mean that the minuscule victories over Arkansas by the Tide and the Aggies just aren’t quite as QUALITY as we were told they were. And if that’s the case, then the sweetheart ranking deal that both teams enjoyed after flirting with another loss sure makes what happened to FSU in Week 7 a bit curious. Need a refresher? No problem. That was the week that Mississippi State JUMPED from #3 to #1 even though #1 FSU had remained undefeated that week by beating lower-tier conference foe Syracuse by 18 points. Must be nice to stay right where you are when you barely beat a last place team in your conference. It WOULD HAVE BEEN nice to have remained right where you were when beating a conference opponent by more than two and a half touchdowns. Unfortunately, you can only expect that kind of nicety if you have an SEC patch on your jersey.

As luck would have it, both the Baylor Bears and the Fighting Irish fell off of the list of undefeated teams this past Saturday. Notre Dame played a great game against the Seminoles and statistically dominated the 2nd place team in the country for a majority of the game. Amazingly, they were rewarded with 50% of the drop suffered by both Alabama and Auburn following their first losses – though the Tide were surely the most fortunate of the bunch as their loss was NOT to a Top 5 team. But hey, they’re Alabama! And what better week to cut the Irish some slack than the week in which the AP could leapfrog two of the one-loss SEC-west darlings into the Top 5. That’s right, as we all know by now, Alabama and Auburn are now your 4th and 5th best teams in the country, complimenting their Mississippi brethren in the highest echelon. Auburn was idle and Bama squashed Texas A&M, so they clearly earned it.

Alabama is now the 4th best team in the country. They’ve only beaten one ranked opponent and didn’t accomplish this until this past Saturday when they whooped on Texas A&M, who is now unranked and has three losses. Ole Miss is right ahead of them, having been propelled into their position by wins over that same lackluster Alabama team and their mutual stomping victim, the Aggies. Auburn returns to the Top 5 without playing a game but with two wins over ranked opponents – albeit one of which was LSU at home. Impressively, they did handle Kansas State earlier in the season and the Wildcats dispatched Oklahoma in a great game on Saturday. FSU held steady at #2 after beating an impressive Top 5 Notre Dame team. So they were set to leapfrog the idle Mississippi State Bulldogs for the #1 spot.

Only they didn’t.

That’s right. Mississippi State can replace FSU as the #1 team when THEY beat a Top 5 team and FSU defeats a conference opponent by two and a half scores. But FSU CAN’T replace an idle Bulldog team when they beat a Top 5 team. It just doesn’t make sense – unless you recall the rules of the Theory, folks. The SEC is AWESOME.

But what about that LSU game? Why did we talk about that again? Oh, you know…with each new week, unranked teams that have upset wins over ranked teams or show a true trend in performance are given their shot in the poll when ranked teams inevitably lose. For instance, West Virginia SHOT all the way to #22 when they romped all over the undefeated and #4 ranked Baylor Bears, 41-27. We could get into a discussion about the #14 initial ranking for Mississippi State when they beat a one-loss and #8 ranked LSU team in Week 4, but let’s just hit the THEORY button and keep going! Yes, there was another team that jumped into the Top 25 for their chance at some greatness following a huge, epic win. You may think that it was the 6-1 Minnesota squad, who beat Big 10 rival Purdue to remain undefeated in conference play and post up as the #1 team in their division. You’d be wrong! You might then think it was the Blue Devils from Duke, another 6-1 team who are now tied for 1st place in their ACC division and have one win against a Top 25 team. You’d be wrong again. How about 6-1 Colorado State or even the 6-2 team from Louisville? Nope.

No, creeping into the #24 spot is the 5th place team in the SEC-west, LSU. If you recall, they beat Kentucky. And if we look ahead…hey, look at that! LSU faces #3 Ole Miss this week and ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY will be there. Coincidence? Luck? You don’t need either when you have the THEORY.

Here’s your update on the SEC awesomeness migration within the AP echelons:

Preseason
#1 – #5: 1 SEC Team
#6 – #10: 2 SEC Teams
#11 – #15: 2 SEC Teams
#16 – #20: 1 SEC Team
#21 – #25: 2 SEC Teams

Last Week

#1 – #5: 2 SEC Teams (-1)
#6 – #10: 3 SEC Team (+2)
#11 – #15: 0 SEC Teams (-2)
#16 – #20: 0 SEC Team (-)
#21 – #25: 1 SEC Team (-)

This Week

#1 – #5: 4 SEC Teams (+1)
#6 – #10: 1 SEC Team (-2)
#11 – #15: 0 SEC Teams (-)
#16 – #20: 0 SEC Team (-)
#21 – #25: 1 SEC Team (-)

Games to Watch This Week:

(1) Mississippi State vs (NR) Kentucky – Can’t wait to see how the #1 team in the country performs here. All teams are allowed letdowns and challenging weeks, but the SEC Theory demands that extra credit be given to SEC teams when they play SEC teams, regardless of their rank, standing or just overall performance. If the Bulldogs roll, their vice grip upon the #1 slot will tighten even more. Should they struggle, expect nothing to change because Kentucky is no Syracuse, you fools!

(3)  Ole Miss vs (24) LSU – LSU’s only win over a ranked team was against Wisconsin in the first game of the season. Ole Miss’ only victory against ranked teams came against the sinusoidal Tide and the fraudulent Aggies. Even though I would love to see and rage against the inevitable rank-jumping for LSU should the Mad Hatter pull another miracle out of rear-end, I’m not sure I could take the stress. The game is IN Death Valley, though, a traditionally tough place to play. Basically, it’s time for Ole Miss to prove it’s legitimate – at least, we could say that if LSU was itself legit. Oh wait, they’re in the bottom half of the SEC-west, you say? Fortunately that equals AWESOME, so the Rebels are perfectly hedged against a fall in the rankings as nothing preserves a SEC team’s top ranking like a close win over another SEC opponent who should really be unranked, for all intents and purposes.

(4) Alabama vs (NR) Tennessee – Bama is not as good as everyone would have you believe. Remember, they lost to the only ranked team they played (at the time of the game) before Saturday’s further exposure of the hapless Ags. It will also be fun to see how tough Tennessee is made out to be by CBS and the gang, despite their 3-4 record. Regardless, a close victory by the Tide will undoubtedly be treated with the same tenderness as their escape from Hog Heaven.

(5) Auburn vs (NR) South Carolina – this one may prove interesting. In case you forgot, the Gamecocks have fallen apart this season after serving as the Week 1 conduit for Kenny Football & Company. The damage was done before they fell to Kentucky (new UPSTART?!) and then to MIZZOU. But Spurrier is sneaky and may provide a challenge for Auburn who still have a lot to prove.

No real DOOMSDAY scenarios to play out here.The 80% Top 5 should be maintained if all games proceed as expected, but don’t be surprised if Ole Miss threatens to leapfrog the idle Seminoles with a convincing win over LSU. LSU is, after all, the 24th ranked team in the country but more importantly – the 5th ranked team in the AWESOME SEC-west.

See you next week!

 

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Notre Dame Fans, There Is No ACC Referee Conspiracy http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/22/notre-dame-fans-acc-referee-conspiracy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=notre-dame-fans-acc-referee-conspiracy http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/22/notre-dame-fans-acc-referee-conspiracy/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 04:16:49 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=26803 Look, I understand that everyone is upset about the offensive pass interference call against Notre Dame which took away a win from Florida State. I am right there with you. But this whole, “there are ACC refs conspiring against us” needs to stop immediately. It’s a terrible look and it isn’t even close to factual. […]

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Ref and penalty flagLook, I understand that everyone is upset about the offensive pass interference call against Notre Dame which took away a win from Florida State. I am right there with you. But this whole, “there are ACC refs conspiring against us” needs to stop immediately. It’s a terrible look and it isn’t even close to factual.

Thanks to a comment on HLS on Tuesday, I was made aware of a forum post that linked to another blog post which claimed that Pat Ryan, the back judge that flagged that fateful OPI this past Saturday, has a huge anti-Notre Dame bias.  The problem is that these claims aren’t based in any kind of fact (the post linked doesn’t even bother to cite these accusations). It’s all rumor and conspiracy theory, hoping that there is something else out there that we can blame more than just the FSU, and other, losses on.

The claim is that Ryan was a back judge in both Michigan 2013 and Pitt 2013 (which he was). Further, David Epperly served as referee for all three games as well. Therefore, there were questionable calls in all three games, notably including a questionable ejection of Stephon Tuitt. All of this supposedly proves that Notre Dame was hosed in each of these affairs.

This is beyond ridiculous and I’m going to kill this now even though it’s probably too late considering Every Day Should Be Saturday has already made a mockery out of this.

Let’s start dealing in facts. Ryan did indeed call the the OPI against ND this past Saturday as he was the back judge for that game. However, let’s take a look at the Pitt ejection of Tuitt:

Notice, the official with an “H” on his jersey throws the flag (and the ACC officials in the booth, not Pat Ryan or David Epperly, confirmed the call). That stands for head linesman and that man was listed as “Clein, S.” who wasn’t even on the officiating staff of the Florida State game (please see previous link…actually, here it is again). Further, if you look at the discussion between the officials, the back judge, hilariously abbreviated as “BJ”, is nowhere to be found in this discussion.

So let me make this abundantly clear: Pat Ryan had absolutely nothing to do with the Stephon Tuitt ejection against Pitt in 2013. Got it? Good.

Also, Pat Ryan had nothing to do with the three turnovers committed by the Fighting Irish and that -3 turnover margin had a lot more to do with that loss than the questionable ejection. Oh, another fun fact, ND and Pitt received both the same amount of penalties and penalty yards that game.

As for 2013 Michigan, yeah, Ryan and Epperly were there. However, I seriously doubt they were responsible for Rees’ two INTs that game. Also, Michigan actually had more penalties and penalty yards assessed against them.

I’m struggling to see a pattern of the ACC refs trying to screw us over here.

Look, sometimes officials make bad calls. I stand behind my post earlier this week 100%. I don’t think ND committed OPI or should have been called for it. Further, I think the INT at the end of the game shouldn’t have been counted. However, bad calls happen. That doesn’t mean there is some larger conspiracy that the ACC officials are out to get us.

Hell, we even reached out to the ACC asking about officiating crews and how they are comprised. Mike Finn, associate commissioner of football communications, gave us the following feedback:

Even though we have certain base crews that remain the same each week, several members of that crew may change from week to week due to potential conflict of interest rules we have, such as an official cannot officiate a game of his alma mater, or of the city where he works and he cannot work a game if he is a contributer [sic] to a participating school. There are about eight of those rules in all, so several members of the crew may change each week.

And no, we didn’t bother pressing our new partners at the ACC for all of the other rules because everything else that we dug up showed up that would be a waste of both our time and their time.

Again, I say all this not agreeing with the OPI call at the end of the game. The ACC admitted they dropped the ball on the helmet removal as well. These things happen. Even with all of this, Florida State still had more penalty yards than ND did. As I said on HLS TV, this isn’t the reason we lost even though it certainly removed a win.

Yes, it sucks. Yes, I think we got hosed. No, the ACC doesn’t have some larger conspiracy against us.

Remove your tin foil hats. It’s a terrible look.

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TCB Poll: Week 8 Reactions http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/21/tcb-poll-week-8-reactions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tcb-poll-week-8-reactions http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/21/tcb-poll-week-8-reactions/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:30:34 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=26770 Beginning in 2014, a playoff selection committee will determine which four college football teams play for the national title. Some are skeptical of the committee, so we — the Elvii of college football — have joined together to present our weekly playoff nominations. We call it the T.C.B. Poll. Playoff Rankings: Week 8 Each week, the T.C.B. Poll […]

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Beginning in 2014, a playoff selection committee will determine which four college football teams play for the national title. Some are skeptical of the committee, so we — the Elvii of college football — have joined together to present our weekly playoff nominations. We call it the T.C.B. Poll.

TCB Elvis Presley College Football Poll logo

Image courtesy @AuburnElvis

Playoff Rankings: Week 8

Each week, the T.C.B. Poll is an aggregate of all our inputs. Scroll down to see individual selections and opinions.

Rank

Team

Record

Weekly Change

1 Mississippi State 6-0
2 Florida State 7-0
3 Ole Miss 7-0 +1
4 Notre Dame 6-1 +3

Also receiving votes: Baylor, Oregon, TCU.

TCB Committee Member Comments

@TheLSUElvis

College Gameday comes to Baton Rouge and The LSU Elvis will be there! Geaux Tigers

  1. Mississippi State
  2. Florida State
  3. Ole Miss
  4. Irish

@AuburnElvis

  1. Mississippi State – Their remaining schedule sets up like a dream with an easy opponent before each remaining tough one. Pencil them in for the SEC Championship and a playoff berth after that.
  2. FSU – I don’t think they’re the #2 team by a long shot, but this is where they’ll likely end up just because every story needs a good villain to defeat.
  3. Ole Miss (or Auburn or Alabama) – If the SEC West’s #2 team only has 1-loss (to #1 MSU), their strength of schedule and quality non-conference wins should get them past an Ohio or Michigan State team without either. (Plus, I think Oregon’ll lose another game soon.)
  4. TCU (or Kansas State or Baylor) – I don’t know who it’ll be, but a 1-loss Big 12 Champion will get the fourth spot. (BTW, I think Notre Dame is going to lose at least 1 more game.)

@HawkeyeElvis

I spent Saturday night at the Heartbreak Hotel after Iowa’s loss to Maryland. Unfortunately, Irish Elvis was there with me.

  1. Mississippi State – That defense and that QB will carry them a long way yet this season.
  2. Florida State – Does anyone outside of Tallahassee like this team?
  3. Mississippi – I think both Mississippi schools make the playoff, especially if the Egg Bowl is a close, down to the wire game. Either way, that SEC Title is going to the Magnolia State this year.
  4. Notre Dame – I will wait for you to stop screaming. Okay, may I continue? Thanks. The Irish schedule sets up for them to finish the season at 11-1. The Big 12 and Pac-12 are both way too volatile and either of those conference champs are likely to have 2 losses. We might get 2 SEC teams into a playoff, but we ain’t gonna get a third, so no Bama or Auburn (sorry Auburn Elvis). So who does that leave for a 1-loss team in the final spot? How about a team whose only loss was on the road at the undefeated National Champions in a controversial finish? You might even get a rematch on New Year’s Day in a huge bowl. That game would pull HUGE ratings. So chin up Irish Elvis, you may still have a shot at this thing.

The Hawkeyes have a bye this week so I’m headed for some Fun In Acapulco with some Girls! Girls! Girls! and get over these G.I. Blues.

@IrishElvis

  1. Mississippi State – They still have a couple games with landmine potential, but they’re unbeaten and have looked like the most complete squad to this point in the season.
  2. Florida State – They should have no more challenges up to and including their conference title game.
  3. Oregon – I’m not sure why I have such fascination with the quacks out west…perhaps it’s the theory that losing early is beneficial, perhaps they’re still riding Chip Kelly’s coattails in my pompadoured head. Maybe I’m just not convinced we’re going to find a Big 12 team with fewer than two losses. Whatever the reason, I think the Ducks are an attractive option if they carry their lone loss into December.
  4. Notre Dame – If there’s any way for a loss to be a positive, it’s this one. To clarify: this loss was *not* a positive for my heart or liver…so no more of that, please and thank you.

With the Elvii LSU and Hawkeye voting in lockstep for all four teams, this week’s poll was all but set. After MSU and FSU, there’s a yawning chasm in the TCB Poll voting for the final two playoff spots. We will see no more than 2 undefeated teams by the end of the year, which means there’s going to be a whole passel of one-loss teams (and maybe even legitimate two-loss teams?). Buckle up over the next month, college football fans — the TCB Poll is about to be All Shook Up.

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Notre Dame Football 2014: Florida State Highlights http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/21/notre-dame-football-2014-florida-state-highlights/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=notre-dame-football-2014-florida-state-highlights http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/21/notre-dame-football-2014-florida-state-highlights/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:19:21 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=26792 Trust me, I know what you’re thinking: (in Kevin Hart voice) “OH MY GAWD NOOOOOOO, NOT THE HIGHLIGHT VIDEOOOOO! WAAAAAH I WASNT REEEEADYYYYYYYY” Look, we have to face it at some point, and believe me it hurts for me too. I WAS THERE MAN. I WAS THERE *breaks down into tears. But the first step […]

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Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.09.56 AMTrust me, I know what you’re thinking: (in Kevin Hart voice) “OH MY GAWD NOOOOOOO, NOT THE HIGHLIGHT VIDEOOOOO! WAAAAAH I WASNT REEEEADYYYYYYYY”

Look, we have to face it at some point, and believe me it hurts for me too. I WAS THERE MAN. I WAS THERE *breaks down into tears.

But the first step on the road to recovery is Acceptance. And what better way to accept the result than with a highlight video that mixes actual football with undermining music? I know of no better way. THIS IS HOW I COPE DONT JUDGE ME!

ENJOY!

 

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Florida State Review: Defense http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/21/florida-state-review-defense/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=florida-state-review-defense http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/21/florida-state-review-defense/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:00:37 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=26778 It definitely wasn’t the ending we wanted, but it sure was one heck of a game. One for the ages. Notre Dame and Floirda State went head-to-head and seemed evenly matched throughout most of the game. How did our defense match up? Lets take a look! The game on Saturday marked the first time that both teams […]

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Notre Dame lineman Jarron Jones, right, chases Florida State quarterback Jameis Winson during the second half. (Photo: Mark Wallheiser , Associated Press ).

Notre Dame lineman Jarron Jones, right, chases Florida State quarterback Jameis Winson during the second half. (Photo: Mark Wallheiser , Associated Press ).

It definitely wasn’t the ending we wanted, but it sure was one heck of a game. One for the ages. Notre Dame and Floirda State went head-to-head and seemed evenly matched throughout most of the game. How did our defense match up? Lets take a look!

The game on Saturday marked the first time that both teams scored at least 27 points in the history of the Notre Dame-Florida State series, with our defense giving up a total of 31 points.

In the first half, the Irish defense did a great job of harassing Winston with defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder’s blitzes, but when the Seminoles regrouped in the second half the Irish defense could not seem to make the needed adjustments to stop the Florida State offense. The Irish blitzes that got to Winston in the first half were completely ineffective in the second half. The Notre Dame secondary just couldn’t stay with Rashad Greene, Jesus Wilson and Travis Rudolph in the second half. Winston picked the Irish defense apart.

The bright spots?

The Notre Dame defense held Florida State to just 20 first down. They only allowed Florida State 50 net rushing yards, but gave up 273 net passing yards. Florida State was only able to convert on third down 2 out of 8 times.

Joe Schmidt had eight solo tackles and one assist, Jarron Jones had five solo tackles and one assist, Cole Luke had four solo tackles and two assists, Elijah Shumate had three solo tackles and two assists and both Jaylon Smith and Cody Riggs had four solo tackles. Not a bad day for the Irish defense.

Jarron Jones had three tackles for loss tonight. He entered the game with three TFLs in his 18-game Irish career.

Joe Schmidt recorded his second career interception during the second quarter. His other interception came on Sept. 13 against Purdue.

DL Jacob Matuska made his first appearance since the season opening game against Rice on Aug. 30.

All in all the Irish defense did their job and kept Notre Dame in the game. And, to be honest, the offense did their job as well. It’s tough to stomach a loss that comes on a referee’s call.

Hopefully the guys get a bit of a break on their week off and then get back to the grind to prepare for Navy. The rest of the season is definitely doable for the Irish. Can’t wait to see exactly what this team is made of!

GO IRISH! SINK NAVY!

 

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Recordings from Last Two Weeks of “Inside the Game” Are Here http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/20/recordings-last-two-weeks-inside-game/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=recordings-last-two-weeks-inside-game http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/20/recordings-last-two-weeks-inside-game/#respond Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:41:31 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=26772 Let’s take a trip back to happier times shall we? Robin Valetutto, the DFW Sports Angel, has just sent me the last two weeks worth of recordings (this past Saturday, Oct 18, and Oct 11) in which yours truly was one of the special guest hosts. Below, you will find embedded players from both weeks […]

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HLSpodcast

Let’s take a trip back to happier times shall we?

Robin Valetutto, the DFW Sports Angel, has just sent me the last two weeks worth of recordings (this past Saturday, Oct 18, and Oct 11) in which yours truly was one of the special guest hosts. Below, you will find embedded players from both weeks as well as download links. Remember to subscribe to our podcasts via Podbean and/or iTunes!

Also, as I mentioned last week, this has become a weekly thing. So be sure to tune back in to KVCE from 11am – 12pm (right after Lee Corso puts on his head gear) and give us a listen. I want to give a big thanks to everyone that has tuned in, streamed, and listened in podcast form. The desire to have me back this often is in large thanks to each and every one of you.


Download this episode (right click and save)


Download this episode (right click and save)

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HLS TV (Episode 8): This One Hurts http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/20/hls-tv-episode-8-one-hurts/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hls-tv-episode-8-one-hurts http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2014/10/20/hls-tv-episode-8-one-hurts/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:59:11 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=26768 Molly Moran and I return for another episode of HLS TV to cycle through some of the Notre Dame football stages of grief. Yes, we talk about that play and Jimbo’s strange postgame comments, but we do attempt to move on and talk about the game as a whole and what Notre Dame’s playoff chances look like […]

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HLS TV LogoMolly Moran and I return for another episode of HLS TV to cycle through some of the Notre Dame football stages of grief. Yes, we talk about that play and Jimbo’s strange postgame comments, but we do attempt to move on and talk about the game as a whole and what Notre Dame’s playoff chances look like going forward.

Today’s intro and outro is something you may have seen me post on Twitter after a terrible ND loss. A high school friend of mine, Michael Gruber, manned the audio board for the biggest sports radio station in the DFW area (KTCK The Ticket 1310AM/96.7FM). He now runs the music for the Dallas Stars, but one of his lasting Ticket legacies was the mix of Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” with many different audio clips. This was played after any area team suffered a loss that eliminated them from postseason play or failure to even make the postseason.

It’s a perfect mix of pain and humor and has become a required step of healing from sports heartbreak and so I’m happy to share this with you. The song can be downloaded here if you wish to have a copy for yourself.

The latest episode of HLS TV is embedded below in the usual YouTube and Podbean formats. Let’s heal together.


Download this episode (right click and save)

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