So you guys, by now, know the drill. Wait, there are tens of thousands of you that are new since last year? Well, okay then, a quick primer: I pick the score of every game, and I use Dancing Leprechauns – to the scorn of most of my peeps – to declare my certainty.
My records of late:
07: My inaugural year, was ugly. I said 8-4 with a lean towards 7-5. We all know how that turned out.
08: I said 7-5 with a strong lean to 6-6. Pretty good. Sad that I was right, but I was right.
09: Said 10-2. Was very wrong. Chaz got fired, I didn’t.
10: I said 8-4 with a lean towards 7-5 (notice I never lean ‘up’? This is an issue) and I had it pretty much right.
11: Good Lord. Please read what I wrote last season:
“So I am going with 11-1 as our upside, 10-2 as likely, and 9-3 as our downside this year. BUT, we can win every game. If we get the bounces and we can stay healthy, this is a BCS team. Could be a MNC game team.
If all hell breaks loose, we dont get the bounces, we get hurt in key areas, and we slip again on a fake FG in overtime, we finish 8-4.”
HOLY GEEZ IT WAS THE LATTER IN SPADES. Regardless, not a great year.
A reminder of the rating system: THE DANCING LEPRECHAUNS! Here’s the Scale:
This is just as likely to be wrong as it is to be right (aka the BadKermit Effect)
I’ve got a good feeling, but am leaving myself some wiggle room
This is a lock, I am a genius, I cannot be wrong.
Against our starting Front 7, and a Navy team that has no air game, the midshipmen’s best chance here is that they are used to getting up really, really early. Which means that playing in Dublin will feel a little more normal for them. I’m not discounting the losses they handed us a few years back, but they’re rebuilding, and ND is loaded against the run on D. And while our Offense has holes, I think Kelly has figured this one out. I expect a close first half, with ND pulling away in the 2nd.
ND Wins 31-13
The time zone thing is what keeps this a 2-Dancer.
Wait, what happened? Oh yeah, we’re playing the most boring program in America. I can’t say the name, because it puts me to sleep, immediately, Saying that word is like Ambien on Steroids Drinking Horse Tranquilizers. Watch. Purduzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Anyway, the SimmerCreators are a mess again this year, and should be an easy romp for ND. Once again, the only thing that gives me pause is the time zone change. The boys from Sleep Lafayette will have had a nice easy game at home against Eastern Kentucky and we’ll be traveling back from the other side of the world. But this is a team that we should absolutely HANDLE. If that’s not the case, then forget about the murderer’s row that follows, we’ll drop ’em all. And I don’t think we’re there, so we’ll beat Purzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
We’ll beat ’em, but it’s not going to look great because of the fatigue.
ND Wins 21-17
Again, travel and time zones make this a 2-Leprechaun rating.
I was pleased to call a W against MSU last year, and I see it again this year. This is a team redefining its offense with the loss of Cousins. And while we are also building our O, and the MSU defense is also strong, we have a stronger supporting cast around our QB (whomever it shall be) and a stronger front 7. MSU would typically take this opportunity to jam some shifty RB up our throats a thousand times for 5 yards each. But now that RB has to meet the likes of Nix, Tuitt and KLM. #NotHappening
ND Wins a Grinder 17-13
Despite what I think is a pretty strong case to be made in terms of depth chart, etc, I’m leary of this game due to fatigue. We play 2 real games to start, with one half a world away. One Dancer.
I was so sure we were going to crush the skunkbears last year. And at half time, it was in the bag. In the 3rd quarter it was in the bag. In the…nevermind, it still sucks too bad to go there. Regardless, Denard has had ND’s number. He can’t pass for shite, but man he can get some amazing bounces and our DBs sure can make his receivers look amazing by completely blowing coverage. And with the injuries and lack of depth at CB this Fall, I am not counting on guys staying covered while Denard runs for his life. In the interest of not being a homer, we’re probably losing to Denard again. DAMMIT I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT. But this is not a rah rah column. I believe we can beat them, we SHOULD BE UNDEFEATED VS DENARD AHHHHHHH. But we’re not. This should be a really tight game – ND can stuff the run, but Denard is so damn shifty. The UM D was much improved last year, and will be good this year. Both offenses will likely struggle. But UM has experience under center, and a much lighter schedule the two weeks before after opening against Bama. I can’t even bear it, but I’m gonna say it:
ND Freaking Drops Another to FREAKING MICHIGAN 24-20
So up in the air. One Dancer. But we can easily take this game.
Say it with me: WE. ARE. M. D. WE. ARE. M. D.
Off to Chicago, Soldier Field, and the “Our Helmets are Uglier than the Ugliest of Last Year” Bowl. Joy.
The talk will be all about the hideous uniforms, which is a shame, because the Shamrock Series, and the players, deserve better. Miami doesn’t, however, and
MND will trounce them.
ND Wins 28 – 10
Feel really good about this game. 3 Dancing Leprechauns!
I will be in town for this game. I don’t lose. Unless there are 2 lightning storms and we fumble 5,000 times in the red zone. Okay, then I lose. But anyway, we won’t lose. I’ll be there, I’ll be drunk, it will be glorious.
Last year, I did not fear Andrew Luck. I was foolish to not fear him. And I actually really like the staff over there – they do some good things and have done a great job of continuing Harbaugh’s winning ways without being, you know, dicks. But the holes are too big this year. ND hasn’t had a QB in a while, and we hung in last year. They had Andrew Freaking Luck, and the game wasn’t a blowout. We turn the tides among the smart boys this year. But it’s a barn burner, and it’s gonna be close.
ND Wins 14-10
Just the 1.
Independence and belief in a book are where the similarities end, on and off the field. This won’t be close.
ND Wins 45-16
Just the 3.
Stoops is back. There are a lot of injuries. But this game happens late enough where the Sooners should be able to get their depth chart figured out, and young guys will have more experience. This is, also, the #4 team in the country pre-season. This is, also, in Norman. ND will also be at the end of a pretty long grind, though the 2nd half against BYU will be a decent rest to add to the 4 hour long nap we all take when we play Purzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Anyway, if this were at home, I’d paint a different picture. But assuming Rees isn’t the QB, this will be a first-season starter in a big, hostile environment. This will be a top 15 opponent for sure (though we will also be ranked), and it will be an electric atmosphere. I think it’s a bit much for the team this Fall. But we perform admirably and don’t slide much in the polls.
ND Drops Another 34 – 21
2 Leprechauns for the Sooners.
Genac This Pitt! Pitt is in all-out, start from scratch rebuilding mode. New coaches, new everything. While last year was ugly that was so much about ND and so little about Pitt. The boys are pissed about the week prior and take it out on the Panthers. Genac!
ND Wins 27 – 17
BC and their HC Spaz-man are in a similar spot, in start from scratch rebuilding mode. This one will be ugly by the 2nd half.
ND Wins 37-9
Wake Forest played us well last year. They had a good game plan and executed it well, and it was down to the wire. But that was at home for them, and ND clearly came out flat-footed. I don’t expect a similar test this Fall, but it won’t be a blowout either. (can you tell I’m starting to get tired? yeah? well, good on you!) But Our Lady trumps your Deacon any day of the week. That said, injuries and fatigue could play a role here for ND.
ND Wins 27 – 21
1 Leprechaun for the Deamon Deacons. They played us well last year, and will come in fired up for the Irish, and we’ll be a bit tired and hurt. They could upset.
We all know the story of the
condoms Trojans Trogans. Sanctions. Hire the shadiest, least successful ‘successful’ coach out there, hit the precipice, manage through it somehow, and come out really strong. The big secret is that the sanctions don’t really start hurting SC until next season, but with their recruiting they’ll weather it pretty well. Regardless, this Fall they are pretty strong. While they don’t have quite the dominance in the trenches and the backfield, they have a hell of a passing game with 2 of the best in the country at wideout, and a lights out QB. Given that the strength of the ND D is against the run, this isn’t a great matchup for us. And their D, per usual, will give our offense fits. I don’t know that Away, against this pass-focused offense, is our time to beat Southern Cal. In 2013, we will be poised to knock them off, but I have to give the pre-season #1 the nod here.
ND Loses 27-14
2 Leprechauns – it’s not a lock against us, but it’s an uphill climb.
Straight up I am calling for 9-3, but the confidence weights as indicated by the Leprechauns (DANCING!) shows that I’m not very confident in that number. Typically I would call that a 9-3 with a lean down, but I could see 6-6 here for ND this year. It’s a high beta year, and that’s assuming that we’ve gotten past all of our amazing ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Because of that, I’m going 8-4 with no lean either way. The uncertainty has me giving away an entire game, but I’m okay with that. I have a few 3-Lepre-W’s in there, but there are a few that are less certain – due to travel, fatigue, or just an opponent that I’m not sure about.
8-4 isn’t a disaster against the #1 SOS in the country, but it wouldn’t tell us that we’re headed in the right direction either. Coach Kelly and the boys need to prove me wrong for me to be ready for a MNC run in ’13 – let’s get to 9-3 boys, and it’ll be a successful year. Anything above that is GRA-VY.
Now please don’t poo poo me for my realism/lack of fandom. I, of course, believe fully that we will RISE AND STRIKE AND WIN OVER ALL! DANCE LEPRECHAUNS DANCE!!!