This week’s edition of the Pre-Snap read is going to be a bit different today. Â It just so happens that the questions for this week’s Irish Blogger Gathering covers what I would usually put in for the “Previously on HLS” and “Outside the Bubble Sections”. Â So for this week, I will mix in the IBG questions with the usual topics covered in the Pre-Snap Read.
There is quite a bit of content in this post and, to not make it a huge wall of text, I’m going to take advantage of some features of our redesign. Clicking on any section below will expand to show all content for said section. Hopefully, that will make navigating this post far easier.
Enjoy, and be sure to drop by our gameday thread as well.
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Your hosts for this week:Â We Never Graduate.
1. This year more than most, there seems to be an inordinate amount of attention spent on peripheral topics like the jumbotron, field turf, and apparel. Kelly is responsible in large part because heâ€™s so candid about his take on them during his press conferences, making it perfectly clear his preferences that stoke the NDNation’s ever-burning fire. Do you think he’s going too far to push for these “enhancements” or do you think he’s doing what’s necessary to push Notre Dame’s program into the modern age.
Personally, I believe Kelly and Swarbrick are definitely going in the right direction. As MQ pointed out earlier in the week, the execution of these ideas have not always been on point and that needs some work. Â One thing we all need to keep in mind though is that ND and its fans should be open to change as it has been littered throughout our history.
2. Coach Kelly made it clear today in his press conference that he couldnâ€™t care less what you think about the helmets and uniformsâ€¦but I care what you think. Give the world your take on the helmets weâ€™ll be wearing this weekend.
One thing is for sure, MQ’s initial reaction was far from flattering.
Personally, I am on the fence. I initially hated it, but more photos and some really kick-ass Adidas boxes are making them look a whole lot less awful. I’ll reserve final judgement until I see the whole package together on TV though.
3. The Irish are starting to incur some injuries that are forcing new players to emerge and contribute. Identify one guy who hasn’t made a big contribution thus far that will show up big over the next three games.
4. There was a short time during the Notre Dame coaching search when it appeared current Maryland head coach Randy Edsall was the front runner. How different would things be for the Irish program right now if he was chosen in front of Kelly?
Personally, I never bought into the Edsall rumors. The supposed interest on ND’s end just didn’t make sense.
Playing along though, we’d be awful. So, so very awful. You think Kelly and the program has some heat from some fans now? Put Edsall at the helm and theÂ apocalypseÂ is upon us.
5. Let’s briefly step away from South Bend and address the talk of college football right now: the mind-boggling Penn State scandal. What’s your take on the entire situation and what do you think needs to happen moving forward in Happy Valley?
The “Outside the Bubble” section was going to be precisely on this very topic as it has completely dominated the college football world.
Firstly, one thing needs to be clear, Sandusky is the alpha and omega of “bad guys” in this equation. Â While most of the media attention has been focused elsewhere, sometimes Sandusky has been lost in the shuffle. All people are innocent until proven guilty, but there is no doubt that there seems to be a load of evidence that continues to pile against him and the majority ofÂ vitriolÂ should be spewed in his direction.
However, that does not absolve everyone else at Penn State. This story is littered with people that just simply didn’t do enough. There is no reason why no one followed up aggressively with authorities instead of keeping the issue in-house. There is no reason why Sandusky should have been allowed to have any form of campus presence up until this past week.
With everything combined, Penn State didn’t just appear to be sweeping child rape and molestation under the rug, but actually harboring Sandusky as long as he didn’t bring any children on campus. “Please don’t commit your crimes here” is not exactly a good stance to hold for a over a decade.
I’m sure Paterno feels awful for not doing more; however, his inactivity for over a decade makes me completelyÂ unsympatheticÂ to his fate. The same goes for anyone else, including McQueary who, according to the grand jury report, saw Sandusky anally raping a boy in the shower.
Penn State has no choice but to clean house. Obviously, they can’t tear the entire program’s staff apart despite some claims in the media that they should. The players on the team had nothing to do with this and its far too late in the season to allow transfers. Punishing them as well by cancelling the rest of the season or leaving them without a coaching staff doesn’t make any sense.
The main message has been sent by firing the major players. The rest will definitely follow.
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So what affect did that “game of the century” field goal contest have on this week’s rankings? Well…let’s just say winning that craptastic game didn’t do LSU any favors:
|Rank||Team||Score||Last Week||BCS Rank||AP Rank||Coaches’ Rank|
|Dropped Out of NDtex25: Toledo (18), Ohio State (21)|
|Just Missed the Cut: Toledo, Ohio State, UL Lafayette, Illinois, Rutgers|
ND Rank: 38
ND Opponent Rankings
- USF – 41
- Michigan – 23
- Michigan State – 21
- Pittsburgh – 47
- Purdue – 58
- Air Force – 89
- USC – 39
- Navy – 79
- Wake Forest – 74
- Maryland – 90
- Boston College – 109
- Stanford – 9
- Avg Opponent Rank – 57
- ACC – 3
- Big East – 1
- Big Ten – 5
- Big XII – 4
- PAC 12 – 3
- SEC – 6
- Indpendents – 0
- Non-AQ – 3
- Ole Miss
- Washington State
- Central Michigan
- New Mexico
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|Rank||Team||W/L Points Rank||ANTY Rank||Avg TO Margin Rank||Score||Last Week|
|51||San Diego State||61||92||9||65.25||48|
|78||New Mexico State||103||42||49||46.75||89|
|87||Middle Tennessee State||99||36||81||42.25||80|
|100||San Jose State||82||104||89||31.75||101|
[toggle title=”Put These Games on Your Radar”]#19 Nebraska @ #12 Penn State, 12pm EST, ESPN/ESPN3 – Let’s be honest, this isn’t on the list for the actual game as it is for everything else going on around Happy Valley. Its going to be very interesting to see how this game unfolds. How will the fans react? How will the players react? What is Nebraska’s reaction going to be to all this? It’s just simply too intriguing to turn away from.
TCU @ #5 Boise State, 3:30pm EST, Versus – TCU has had a rather disappointing season with two gut wrenching losses to Baylor and SMU. Make no doubt, the Horned Frogs are still a solid football team (just look at the love the NDtex25 continues to give them) and should give Boise State a solid run for their money. As far as Boise is concerned, this is their last major step on a road to a perfect season.
#20 Auburn @ #15 Georgia, 3:30pm EST, CBS – Auburn has been running a gauntlet as of late in their schedule, facing many of the top ranked teams in the SEC. Their only blemishes are to Clemson, Arkansas, and LSU, hardly awful losses. In comparison, Georgia has gone through a schedule of far lesser SEC opponents, but their losses too aren’t bad, falling to only Boise State and South Carolina. Georgia still has a solid shot at the SEC title game, with Auburn having LSU and Alabama in front of them, they will look to play spoiler to Georgia’s SEC title run.
#7 Oregon @ #4 Stanford, 8pm EST, ABC – Let’s face it, from a ND perspective, this game may very well determine whether or not we face an undefeated Stanford team in a couple of weeks. Both teams have only faced a couple of real tests thus far in the season. This game will help determine the cream of the Pac 12 crop.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”Predictions”]NDtex: Maryland is just flat out awful. The only FBS team they’ve beaten is a Miami team that had many of its top players suspended. Â They’ve even managed to lose to Boston College somehow which just boggles my mind considering that BC may actually be worse than Maryland overall.
Either way, this game will not be close and I have a feeling that we won’t come out flat like Wake. Expect a beating.
ND 42 – Maryland 13
PootND: ND 42- MD 17 with 7 for MD coming in the 4th when the game is out of reach. God help my sanity if it’s any closer as I don’t want to deal with the online assclenching that comes with that.
Biscuit:Â ND in a slaughter. 38-13, all but 3 of their points in garbage time.Â At least 6 people lose their eyesight.
MQ: Just plain needs gimmicks – 17, Could use some innovation – 35 (Translation: ND 35 – Maryland 17)[/toggle]