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  • Wonder, Think & Know: That Escalated Quickly Edition

    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 this whole thing really got out of hand fast.

    If anyone had told me walking out of that BC game in 1993 we wouldn’t be #1 again until 2012, I would have punched them in the throat.

    Another outstanding performance by Everett Golson. Now if he can just reduce the throws off the back foot….

    Great to see Tyler Eifert go out as ND’s most productive tight end. Nice to give Ben Koyack and Troy Niklas something to shoot for.

    I’m too young and sprightly to remember the killer ND defenses of the 1970’s very well. I can only imagine this is what they were like. Those who say defense wins championships know what they’re talking about.

    Figures that the minute we picked up some style points, they don’t matter anymore.

    Due to scheduling snafus, I had to listen to a lot of this game on the radio, including just about the entire first quarter. I love all my fellow alums, even the ones I don’t like very much, but Don Criqui and Alan Pinkett really need to be replaced. On the fumble in the first quarter, Pinkett talked over the crowd reaction to the fumble trying to make some semi-relevant point for 30 seconds. You could tell something was happening, but it wasn’t until after the play was reviewed that we knew what.

    Carlo Calabrese’s people may not be able to get you, but he damn well sure can.

    We went into tonight wishing for one of the teams ahead of us to lose. Apparently we weren’t specific enough.

    In the car on the way home tonight, I heard the hosts of Sirius/XM’s college sports show say, “Now the players at Notre Dame will know what it’s like to play under pressure.” Because as we all know, Notre Dame never plays pressure-filled games at all because no one pays attention to them ever. Mopes.

    No national championship contender should lose to a four-win team, and I don’t care where the game is.

    Hello, Oregon. This is what the rest of us in college football call a “defense”. I understand your confusion, it’s been a long time since you’ve seen one.

    I can’t see a senior quarterback nursing a separated shoulder putting his draft stock at further risk by playing in a meaningless game.

    The only thing marring my enjoyment of the evening is the fear that an extremely deserving Heisman Trophy candidate who has the misfortune of playing on the defensive side of the ball is going to lose to a goofy-looking freshman with a douchey nickname.

    I hear Miami is lovely this time of year.

    45 Responses to “Wonder, Think & Know: That Escalated Quickly Edition”

    1. look who s numb 1. lots of payback if we win this. only been 20 yrs.

    2. Douchey is right. Johnny “football” ? Really?

      • Only thing worse are the reports that his family is working with school lawyers to trademark the term “Johnny Football”

    3. Well Said. Unlike the SEC, we play 12 Bowl games a year. No East Minnie Pearl Techs for us. Can you imagine what would be said about us if we played a 1AA team. We beat 3 Big Ten teams, 2 ACC Teams, 2 IND Teams, 1 Pac 12, 1 Big 12, 2 ACC Teams. Go Irish, Beat Troy

      • That’s every important conference and the beat remaining independent except for the SEC which it’s to scarred to schedule us because it would mean scheduling a REAL team at this point in the season.

    4. GO IRISH. look who ‘s number 1

    5. martinjordan says:

      There’s going to be a great deal of media noise and specultion about Barkey’s status this week. They need to stay focused n U$C. Don’t be surprised if someone gets suspeded for a “violation of em rules.”

    6. Watching USC play UCLA, it is apparent that USC is weak on defense. So we should score some points. But I am going to assume that the backup for Bartley is very good. That is usually the case at USC. And he will be looking to make a statement for next year. So we need to stay focused and take care of business. USC is never a sure victory. Let’s think Miami after this game.

    7. Beat USC. Just beat USC for God’s sake.

      KILL USC!!!!!!!!!!!

    8. frank carpin says:

      miami is wonderful this tme of year but our hearts have been broken before….and new orleans or tempe are also wonderful…but lets set our sight on the land of chads.

    9. Mark P - '79 says:

      You smell that? You smell that? 11-0 son. Nothing else smells like that. I love the smell of 11-0 in the morning. You know, we’ve been playing since August….almost 4 months. When it was all over last night, Irish Nation walked out into the night. We didn’t find one of ’em, not one stinkin’ FBS body. The smell, you know that grilled bratwurst and Miller Lite smell, the whole street. Smelled like….BCS #1.

      Someday this season is going to end….

      • Well, in a couple hours, I’ll be smelling dinner!

      • I’m coming to your street! Sounds like my kinda street…. filled with NOTRE DAME FANS!!! Unlike this neighborhood that I live in that is littered with O$U fans.

    10. mark may can kiss lou s ….. orange. it s a beautiful morning.

    11. Did you hear those two booms last night? That was K State and Oregon coming back to earth! Go Irish beat SC!

    12. It’s SOUTHERN CAL, not USC. And we need to beat them like a drum.

    13. I think there’s a very good chance now that the intangibles favor Manti for the H. Johnny FB is a freshman and will have other chances to win it. But Manti’s personal story and the fact that he is a man of the highest integrity may be the tipping point. After Reggie, the voters are a little risk-averse as far as voting for a cheating scumbag.

    14. Going to be interesting who is #2 on down. I know the BCS polls wil have those SEC teams at 2, 3 and 4, but they should be penalized for the disgraceful scheduling this weekend of those East Minnie Pearl Tech teams…Oregon shouldn’t drop that much, K-State should fall off the map, and our 2 soon-to be ACC rivals, Florida State and Clemson should jump up, Noles definitely into the top 5.

    15. Have caught some portions of Irish games on radio this year and have to agree, Criqui and Pinkett are just awful and both need to be replaced…

      • Both are better than Mike Mayock and Tom Hammond for sure. I cannot stomach the NBC broadcast anymore.

    16. You (and several TV analysts) think that the ND-u$c game is “meaningless” to Barkley? Like every other college kid, I’m sure he would love to be out there competing, especially against a rival and the #1 team in the country in his final home game.

      You think he shouldn’t play in a game where he might get hurt which would be bad for his pro career? EVERY college football could be any player’s last.

      Still, it does appear he may not play. u$c has been outgaining nearly all of its opponents, but has big mistakes (turnovers, penalties, giving up big plays). Barkeley has made a bunch of those major mistakes. I’m just hopeful that his young red-shirt freshman backup also makes a bunch of mistakes.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        This kid is looking at a multi-million-dollar career. He’s not going to jeopardize it for a game where victory or not doesn’t change SC’s season.

        • SubwayAlum_2012 says:

          Further, I’ll raise this question: is this USC program the type where a player would sell the ship for one more college game/college season, or do the players in LA view their time in college as prep for the League? My gut reaction is towards self-interest. I wouldnt knock Barkley for sitting the game out, however; like you said, that arm has the potential to be worth millions of dollars, and with stephon tuitt and prince shembo breathing down your neck, it could depreciate in value fast. ive watched 0 SoCal football this year, but with the Daniel Tosh, i mean, Lane Kiffin, DEFLATING the competition, i imgaine the minds of the very SC talented players are geared towards sunday paychecks, not saturday football. In fairness, that can happen at any school, look at Clausen in ND. I think we’ll see an even-keeled army of blue and gold Pipeswingers conquer by brute force come 11/24.
          GO IRISH

    17. Ghost of Joe Moore says:

      Oh how I love college football! Oh how I love it when the so called talking heads are certain they have it all figured out! Someone should tell these idiots what we all already know…THAT IS WHY THEY PLAY THE GAME! Even in light of all that – it begins anew… Alabama will face the Irish in the NC game and the Irish wont have a chance.

      Nobody thought the Irish would be 11-0 either….thats why they play the game!

      My only hope is that the Irish take the sledgehammer to LA and use it with a vengence to exorcize yet another monkey of the programs back. Continue to let things take care of themselves and believe and trust the focus that got them this far.

      It matters not who the Irish play in the NC game poviding they take care of business in LA LA land next week. BK said late last year – we will play anybody, anytime…hey, have at it boys! Looking forward to seeing a Rice like performance in California next week by #5 and a smackdown handed out by this ND defense. GO IRISH!

      • GraceHallChapel86 says:

        Don’t bet on Alabama dominating ND in the NC game. Bama hasn’t had /that/ tough of a schedule and has NEVER faced a D likes Notre Dame’s. The Criimson Tide is as mortal as KSU or Oregon. Is ND better than Texas A&M? Of course. Thank you!

    18. Don’t get giddy. Tend to business. It’s all crap if they don’t follow through and BEAT SOUTHERN CAL like we all know they can IF the Irish play like we know they can.

    19. GraceHallChapel86 says:

      Any thoughts about Barkley faking this? I doubt it but it did occur to me.

      Ditto on Oregon and my thoughts exactly. That goes for KSU as well. Welcome to “football.”

      People slamming on ND reminds me of the echo chamber political conservatives lived in leading up to the election: They have so believed their own propaganda about ND they cannot grasp that the Irish have been tested by fire and come out both hard and flexible. There isn’t a team in America ND cannot beat.

      Be brutal, ND, and focus, focus, focus on USC.

      • Doesn’t matter if he is or he isn’t. Kelly and company will be game planning for Barkley whether he is in the game or not. Bank on that.

    20. Cool Breeze (PV1x) says:

      REMEMBER! 1964 20-17

    21. Brian in Cleve says:

      Mike, Nice energetic article. Salient points. Let’s stay classy throughout, though. I expect people to be called “douchey” in a Michigan blog, not an ND one. I know it’s a fine line to walk. We all have energy to release after a long time in the wilderness. Just maybe strike that one word from the article, though.

      • He didn’t call Manziel douchey, he called his nickname douchey!!

        KILL SC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Brian in Cleve says:

          How about, don’t use that word at all, period. Totally classless. Mike can do better.

          • How about STFU? The man made an excellent point about the whole Johnny “Football” moniker. It is “douchey”. If you don’t like the use of the word, don’t read the article. Is that classy enough for you?

    22. I have to agree about the radio announcers. It is pretty bad when you have to count on the guest they are interviewing (Buerlein) to tell you what is happening on the field.

      I understand that 90% of their listeners are probably watching television as well, but you have to give the down, distance, and position on the field every once in a while.

    23. i just locked in my tickets for the game…. second time i see them in south central.last time was a win 2010 .all stars aligned the fortunes will favor notre dame nation ….. and a little bit of payback on the puddles account

    24. No way Johnny football should win the Heisman. let him earn it. if Manti doesn’t win it, I’ll never believe inthe Heisman again. It would be for quarterbacks not the BEST player inthe nation.

    25. Gary Canori, '72 says:

      I agree with the comment about the Heisman voters not wanting to get Bushed, again.
      Plus, can you name any relevant player on any relevant team. Not ‘Bama, Not Florida, Not SC, not Okla, Not Oregon.
      Manti is the best player in the nation, and a class act !

    26. They said ND football didn’t matter anymore. They said they’ll never be good
      again. They said ND football needs to join a conference. They said their best
      days were behind them. They said the ND model won’t work in today’s world. I
      guess my only question is; are we relevant now??? Go Irish!!! Beat SC!!!

    27. jjwilliams says:

      I think Johnny what’s his name may have lost that Heisman with that stupid extra point try. It was a pathetic attempt at attention that would have irked me if I was on the other sideline. I can’t believe more analysts did rip him (and his coach) for such a lame move. I also can’t believe that I’m the only one bothered by this. Heisman to #5, he certainly deserves it. What a year!

    28. Wow, ND/USC is a ‘meaningless game’ for Barkley? I couldnt disagree more. If anything, I say this game is probably the single most important game of his life to this point. He decided to forego the NFL for a chance to win a NC, Hesiman, and to cement himself as one of the greatest college QBs ever. He failed so miserably, he may not even go in the 1st round anymore. So this is his last chance to prove that he was a victim of NCAA sanctions, poor coaching, bad team around him, etc. ND/Troy is a game where LEGENDS are made and if he could play and knock ND out of the National Title game, he would earn himself a HUGE boost in the spring at the draft.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        But he’s injured, and if playing was an option for him, he would have to balance the possible aggravation of the injury versus being able to do the things you listed. I don’t think the minimal improvement to his resume would be worth the potential cost.