We’ve been reading pretty much every post of the NYT Quad Countdown, and, frankly were continually surprised that ND wasn’t the next team somewhere around the time the Quad Blog got in the 50s. Finally, ND checks in at #21.
The Irish suffered through more embarrassments â€“ though definitely on a smaller scale than the year prior â€“ such as being shutout by Boston College for the first time, losing to Syracuse at home and again suffering a blowout defeat at the hands of U.S.C. But definite progress was made, if you look close enough. The Notre Dame offense regained some of its swagger, averaging roughly a touchdown and 100 yards of total offense more per game. The rushing attack, much maligned in 2007, took a step forward in averaging nearly 110 yards per game. The Irish defense also took a sizable step forward, limiting opponents to 22.2 points per game (down from 28.8 in 2007) while forcing 25 turnovers. Still, this program, its fans and its history deserve better, placing â€“ yet again â€“ Notre Dame and its coach, Charlie Weis, under a microscope heading into the 2009 season. Will this team deliver on its potential?
Yes, pre-season rankings do little more than entertain, but the Quad Blog takes a relatively close look at every program in the land and does a nice write-up for each, so it’s always worth checking out. And at the very least, you should check out this post.