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. And I know the occasion of ND being number one in the polls for the first time in over 6,000 days merits a special edition here.
Notre Dame being #1 in the GSR shouldn’t be news to anyone — that’s water-is-wet territory. But I think it’s good for the sport that the #1 team in the classroom is the #1 team in the polls and might end up #1 in the nation for the season. College football needs that kind of standard-bearing, because if we’re left to the tender mercies of the Ohio States, Michigans, and LSUs of the world, we’ll sink deeper into the cesspool. I really hope the MSM picks up on this the way it should, because the mewling about how if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying does no one any good. Sanction the bejesus out of the rule-breakers, because ND’s shown that it can be done the right way.
Manti Te’o’s story gets more amazing to me every time I think about it. He came for his official visit the weekend we lost to an awful Syracuse team in terrible weather, but he committed anyway. He could have left for money aplenty after last season, but hung around. Now he anchors the best defense in the country, and is two victories away from a National Championship ring. Talk about reaping what you sow.
I don’t care if there are pictures of Matt Barkley’s right arm hanging off of his body connected only by a single tendon. I’ll believe he’s not playing when SC takes their first snap in the game, and maybe not even then. Lane Kiffin is so full of shit his eyes are brown.
Speaking of Lane, I love watching SC fans gurn as they hope against hope for a coaching change. Sorry kids, ain’t gonna happen. What kind of a quality coach is going to take a job facing three more years of scholarship reductions? Face it, you’re going to have to ride LK as far as he can take you through the rapids before you jettison him, and we’re going to watch and enjoy every nanosecond. Hope the mythical three-peat-but-really-one-peat was worth it, because the waitress just bought the check. $10 for one more song adds up after a while.
Some of the youngsters out there have no idea how deep the ND hate can get. What you’ve experienced the last couple of years has been a lot closer to pity than animosity. But now you’re gonna see it in all its raw form, because there’s nothing college football fans hate more than a successful Notre Dame team. And it’s glorious. Don’t fear it, don’t shy from it, don’t be ashamed of it, embrace it. Feel the hate flowing through you. They’re not going to like us no matter what we do. You can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself.
A lot of you complain that NDN folks ask too much of the program. Well, think about how you’ve felt for the last 48 hours since Oregon and Kansas State fell and it became obvious the Fighting Irish would assume the mantle of #1. During my ND career, that’s how we felt all the time. Even when we weren’t #1, we were contending strongly for #1, and we knew we’d be there eventually. While I was a student, we were ranked in the top 25 for all 59 games, and ranked #1 for at least 19 of them, not to mention one entire offseason. That’s why we bitch, because we were too far away from that for too long. Now we need to stay here.
I don’t think Maryland and Rutgers are being very smart. All of these moves are predicated on the lucrative nature of the Big Ten Network. But that network is based on a constantly-evolving content delivery system. People are fighting cable costs by creating their own version of a la carte programming, and five years from now, the television marketplace may not look at all as it looks today. When the formerly-Integer graduates can pay money for the BTN without requiring their local market provider to carry it, what exactly will the Terps and DORKS bring to the table other than being another mouth to feed? As soon as they decide you’re expendable, you get expended, so you gave up ACC tradition for some short-term ducats.
The entire concept of 16-team conferences is ridiculous. Why bother being in a conference with someone you hardly ever play? No 16-team conference has stayed that way for long — it’s just too unwieldy. Patience is a virtue with the conference reshuffling — the system will implode, and a new and better one will rise out of it.