Yo peeps, tweeps and Little Nobodies. Biscuit is BACK BABY! And that can only mean one thing. THE LEPRECHAUNS ARE DANCING! Dance, Leprechaun, DANCE BABYYYYYYYYYY!
Historically, I’m not that great at predicting the season in detail before seeing a single game. Shocking, I know. That said, I have my good years and individual games as well, and last year I am pretty sure I called as many games FTW as any HLS peep, and I did so BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED. That is, simply, victory my friends.
So last year I was a bit overly optimistic. Called 10-2 (maybe 9-3) and we hit the 8-4.
I missed Skunkbears (still can’t believe it), Oklahoma (Stoops’ Revenge), Arizona State (thought we’d drop that one but we came out and seriously performed against a legit squad) and Pitt (of course – still have no idea how we lost that game).
I got the rest right obviously, but a few big “nailed its” stand out. Before the season started, I called that ND would beat MSU 17-14 and the W was 17-13. That’s not bad at all. And I called the USC win as 13-10, with the scoreboard reading 14-10 Irish when the final whistle blew. Also legit. And I called the Stanford game as an L 24-21 and the ending score was 27-20. So, even a blind squirrel, etc etc but I came up with some nice calls last season.
Anyway, onto this year, and those leprechauns!!! Quickly, to recount 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.
This isn’t about hard-hitting analysis. This is about getting some of the basics down and going with gut. Because, seriously, not a down has been played. But a dance? It’s been danced. By leprechauns.
So…off we go!
It’s a starch. It’s boring. It’s Stu according to his not-quite-yet-father-in-law. I will also be at the game. It should be ugly early, though it’s gonna be toasty and humid and drunken and BACKER HERE I COME.
Anyway, ND rolls early and the backups get a taste. We ride a wave of THUNDER (Bryant) and LIGHTNING (Folston) for the first half, and let EG get comfy in the 3rd, before they’re all on the bench resting in the glow of a great first game W. So very excited to see this new offense in action. Kelly is back calling plays (don’t know why he keeps pretending like he’ll really give it up), the up-tempo dream will be a reality with Golson back, we have a talented WR group and the best set of running back talents I can remember. If we can execute, this O should be a thing of BEAUTY. And given the massive holes created on D by the departure of the LEGEND LNIII, Tuitt and Diaco’s hair, we’re gonna need it!
ND Wins 38 – 13
And that’s 3 leps baby! Feeling good here. Hit me up at herloyalsons at gmail if you want to hang pre/post-game!
The last chance for all the HATE to come out for quite some time. It will be HATE HATE HATE week the second the Rice victory ends. The winner here will have the ‘last’ win for years and years. I am not even going to research the Skunkbear squad for this post. Because, frankly, we simply CANNOT LOSE THIS GAME. My brain and my heart and my soul cannot handle a Loss here. After some of the crap that’s gone down recently in this series, the Irish simply cannot allow UM to take the ‘last’ Win, especially at Home. So, ND Wins! ND Wins! ND FREAKING HAS TO WIN!
ND Wins 24-23
Sure, it’s gonna be close. Sure, it’s gonna be madness. Sure, it’s a 1-point call. But I am CONFIDENT WE WILL WIN by that one point because, well, because we HAVE TO WIN! 3 LEPRECHAUNS DANCING ON THEIR SKUNKBEAR GRAVES!!!!!!!
Sooooooo glad we’re saving this most restful of a rivalry. I have crushed Purdue for being boring for years. Yes, many, many times. This year, things are no different. World’s Biggest Drum still isn’t actually the biggest. The ZZZZZZ’s come easy, and Purdue continues to flail around in football. Things aren’t improving at our southern neighbor any time soon coming off 1-11, and this should be a nice walk in the park for the Irish.
ND Wins 31-9
Feeling pretty certain here – certain of sleep.
Time to hang with the HEY-CC a bit! The ‘Cuse are orange, the ‘Cuse are ready, the ‘Cuse are gonna Lose. Syracuse wasn’t some horrible squad last year, winning 6 games and a few against ‘decent’ competition. But they are over-matched here in talent, and it’s not really close.
ND Wins 28-15
A safety against ND is the only real intrigue in this ACC victory. Orange you intrigued?
Stanford comes to town riding the on back of 2 Pac-12 Championships and a solid and consistent dynasty building under Shaw. They have their stuff together. While the Pac-12 win will be tougher with a surging UCLA and ever-tough Oregon, I fear the tree will have our number again this year. At least for now, fear the tree. After a loss by 7 last year 20-27, I see a somewhat similar result this year.
Stanford Wins 33-27.
2 ‘chauns dancing here. This isn’t a dominating performance, and next year I believe ND wins this ever-evening-rivalry as this squad matures. Yep, calling it a full year and change in advance!
EDIT: We can call it Battle of the Good Schools with Recent Cheaters. Rolls off the tongue, no? Too early? Ah, get over it!
UNC comes into town after tough games against Clemson and Va Tech, so they’ll be a bit tired from both a tough stretch and travel. ND comes out smarting from the Stanford loss and goes to work. The ND Defense is starting to come together, and the Offense is really humming at this point. The combination of a young but now maturing receiving corp, plus Golson with Thunder & Lightning in the backfield? Just too much for UNC
ND Wins 30-16
2 tiny elves dancing here as well. I don’t know the UNC squad all that well, but feeling pretty solid.
Whoooaaa-whoa-whooooooa. Whooaaaa, whoooooa….YOU SUCK!
Okay, so no, they don’t suck. But the freaking 1-chant-only thing, much like USC, does. FSU is legit, and they’ll still be legit when this battle kicks off. ND has plowed through a pretty challenging schedule and has come out largely unscathed, but FSU is rolling through a weak schedule by comparison (playing OK State, Citadel, NC State with only Clemson a legit contender) and feeling good. I would love to call an upset here, but I don’t think we’re there yet, and FSU is just reaching the pinnacle of their turnaround.
FSU Wins 30-17
ND isn’t back to this level yet. But we’ll get there.
After a rough loss to a top tier team, ND faces the (god bless em) midshipdudes. (Question: Why midship?) While the Option Attack will take a bit to prep for and adjust to, and ND will come out a bit slow, the athleticism in this newly-fast-newly-nimble ND offense is far too much for the boys in uniform. I expect a somewhat close first half, some half time angst, and ND rolling in the back half of this annual match-up. Bank it fellas, the ship be sunk.
ND Wins 38-17
Lock it in.
So ND plays the toughest schedule in the country, and ASU is right behind at #2. This means a long slog for both teams to this point, and likely some injuries to boot. And if things continue as they’ve been at ASU, this team is still really strong on O. And if things come together for the ND O as I expect, this has SHOOTOUT written all over it.
Unfortunately for ND, I think I need to call a random loss that’s an upset. Pitt from last year has me spooked. Now, I could be wrong on where that rule bites us in the…booty, but I think it could be here in a crazy, crazy high scoring trick play laden shootout.
ASU Wins 45-41
Madness! This is all I can predict, sheer, sheer Madness!
I still can’t believe these ‘football players’ freaking unionized. Super tough, fellas! Can’t wait til you have to pay taxes on the value of your education. WAY TO THINK IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH BOYS! Seriously, this ain’t no job. Some things are wrong with college football, and college athletics in general. But this isn’t the answer, and it’s not going to fix, it’s just going to confuse. Anyway, the result?
IRS: $Bajillion. Football: 0.
Just due to my sheer annoyedness I am calling WHOMPING. They deserve it, they asked for it, and when it happens they can ask their Union Leader to negotiate less ass kickings in the future. Good luck.
ND Wins 31-6.
WAH! CRY BABY CRY!
Louisville is a matchup that I’m actually interested in. If their coach hadn’t gone to Texas it would’ve been way more interesting – but still, a different, cool, new matchup for the Irish in their first year in the ACC. Strong is gone, Petrino is in, and Louisville has a decent core to build upon.
But I don’t think there’s enough talent there to overcome the first-year-coaching-blues. (Can you tell I’m losing steam? Sorry, I’m human, and this is a ROUGH schedule folks!)
ND Wins 27-20.
Lots of variables here, so not an easy one to call. So this dance is a solo.
Sark is in town and we all mourn the loss of Kiffykins to Bama. I can’t wait to see what crap he screws up over there for the tallest midget. Anyway, Sark is a decent coach and USC is always super talented. Except, they lost a LOT this year. A lot more than Kiffy.
This should bode well for the Irish as they come out to hang with me and Tricerapops in LA LA Land. We’ll be tailgating it up bright and early, so come grab a cold one.
Feeling optimistic about an Irish win here, but feel the teams will be fairly evenly matched. At this point, USC’s team is more senior than the first half of the year when they drop a couple due to inexperience and the growing pains of a new staff. That said, it’s freaking USC, and I’m not sure I see us ending this season 9-3. So, it’s an ND win, but a nailbiter.
ND Wins 17-16.
Only 1 leprechaun to dance on their Trojan Grave. (I hope it’s their grave, this one is a toss-up).
If you take this straight up, we’re a 9-3 team this year. But, we have a few tight games in the Skunkbears, Louisville and USC that could flip this quickly to a 7-5 year. I’m going to make the official call 8-4 and hope I’m being pessimistic. Here’s to it!
EDIT/Note: These were all done prior to the information that we might lose a couple starters due to academic issues. I am not going to adjust now, but pending where we net out on that, it could have a material impact. I am definitely sticking with 8-4 given this new info, and if all 4 or even the more impactful 2 starters end up out for the season, I would drop this to a good chance of 7-5. Not the end of the world, but it’d be a disappointment as we build toward what should be a contender year in ’15. Hoping this clears up a bit and without the big fraud we all fear.
Go Irish, Beat Everybody.
While maintaining integrity unlike everyone else.