by Mike Coffey
As the late great Mike Royko once said, some things you wonder, some things you think, and some things you just know.
When you’re running the football for about five yards a pop all game and have first and goal at the four, you shouldn’t need a video review of a downed elbow after a game of Pigpile to determine whether or not you got a touchdown four plays later. You didn’t get it. Deal with it.
And before the Cleveland Gary comparisons start, let’s remember this was a Pac-12 crew — not a group with a reputation of being friendly to Notre Dame — and video replay was available. The pundits can pundify all they want. They didn’t get it. Deal with it.
Speaking of officiating crews, it’ll be interesting to watch how the Big East groups handle the Fighting Irish down the stretch. Obviously they’ll owe no fealty to us going forward. The sooner we can transition to ACC refs, the better. At least they’ll have a bit of skin in the game.
Two or three years from now when Jim Harbaugh’s players have cycled out of the Farm, these ND/Stanford games will be back to the three-touchdown Irish wins they used to be. David Shaw has a long way to go on his head coaching chops.
Shaw complained about a whistle being blown from the stands. Sour-grapey as it might sound, I’ve heard it too on some of the home broadcasts this season. The nimrod who is blowing it needs to cut it the hell out. Now that it’s been brought to officials’ attention, the chances it’ll come back to bite us at an inopportune time increase exponentially. That’s a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty there, Zamphir. You’re not the ghost of George Gipp helping out. Let the game be decided on the field.
A similar hand-to-the-head salute to the idiot who thought “Hey Lynch, was Gameday at your Wedding?” was a clever thing to express on national television. Jackass. Remind me again what a great thing GameDay is, outside of giving the Cletus Spuckler branch of the fanbase an opportunity to be on TEE-vee.
The playcalling in the second quarter when ND was backed up into its endzone that led to the fumble recovery in said endzone was bad. Just the awful kind of bad. I was gratified to see, however, in the post-game interviews that Brian Kelly said he agreed with that assessment. Learning experiences that don’t really hurt you are the good kind.
I still wonder exactly what we have in this offensive line. Every time ND plays a tough front seven, they have problems out the ying-yang, especially on the right side. Maybe that’s a function of the other team giving out scholarships too, but I’d really like to see a gritty performance in the trenches against a team that isn’t a collection of strawmen. Methinks our next opportunity to see that will be on October 27th.
I’m not wondering at all what we have in this defensive front seven. And I’m starting to think we have excellent play behind them as well. If there’s a group of youngsters exceeding expectations more in college football right now than ND’s secondary, point ’em out to me because I don’t see it.
It’s not often you see a college football team with two functional quarterbacks and not see a quarterback controversy. Tommy Rees has skills Everett Golson lacks, while Golson has skills Rees lacks. Situational substitutions have worked well so far.
People can talk about 2002 all they want. I watched the 2002 season, and the smoke-and-mirrors aspect was obviously pretty much from the get-go when the offense took over two games to score their first touchdown. This team has flaws, but the basis of quality football certainly seems to be there, at least much more so than it was 10 years ago.
After two back-to-back long trips to play conference games, the second one ending in a loss, anyone else think the West Virginia Mountaineers are reconsidering their choice of conference?
I had Sirius XM’s College Sports Station on while driving around this morning, and the guest host was none other than our own Tim Brown, who slowly but surely is making a name for himself in media circles. Dare I hope there’s a full-time radio gig in his future?
I see Illinois got destroyed on the gridiron once again. No wonder their fans were so desperate for DJ — gotta have something to watch over the course of a college season.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to scoreboard-watch and have it mean something. Good times.