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Friday, November 27, 2009

It Can't End Soon Enough

posted by John Vannie
Notre Dame closes the regular season with a meaningless game at Stanford on Saturday as the Charlie Weis era comes to an inglorious end. The 6-5 Irish are eligible for a post season bowl, but that technicality should not convince anyone that a postseason game will benefit the program in any constructive way.

A new head coach will be named soon, possibly as early as Tuesday, and it is very unlikely that any of the current staff will be retained. The players realize this, of course, and their motivation against the Cardinal as well as any residual interest in a lower tier bowl game is collectively quite low.

There has been some talk that the Gator Bowl may be interested in a 7-5 Notre Dame team, but that would require the Irish to defeat Stanford this weekend. That is not going to happen. Besides a shortage of motivation, the week has provided nothing but a series of distractions for the players, not the least of which is the brawl that left quarterback Jimmy Clausen with a panda look this week. Tommy Zbikowski, he's not.

In any event, the Cardinal represent the type of physical running team that has caused problems for the Irish all season, and it may take less time than normal to break the spirit of Notre Dame's gelatinous defense. Weis may make things fun with some devil-may-care play calling, but I don't suspect that the level of offensive execution will be crisp.

The Irish can make this another close game for a while if they have the desire to do so, and the final score will reflect their level of effort. A loss by 7-10 points would be a nominal result, but it could deteriorate into a blowout. We may get to see a few more players in extended action as auditions for next season or rewards for meritorious service on the scout team this year, but this game might be tough to watch for even the most hard core fans.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Meaningless" is an appropriate word. I wish Charlie the best and a quick assignment in the NFL. I wish the Irish a return to dignity, and with them, an important facet of college football.

11/27/2009 09:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Vannie,

Regarding the outcome of the Standford game, I could NOT disagree with you more. I will watch the whole thing, and ND will win this game, yes sir. Go Irish. I love our team including the D. I do not know what happened this year. For what thing, Coach Weis did not "play his players". IE. UConn moved 2 RB's in and out the game like ping pong balls, keeping them fresh & ready. ND? AA played the whole game, tired as he11, limping and injured, and if I am Hughes and Alridge olayed all of on1 play per person. Play your players Weis and Brey !!!!!!!! You are wasting their careers!

11/27/2009 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Irish Sting said...

Who would have thunk, this season to boil down to this. Same old story of poor tackling and blocking, the basic fundamentals. Deliver us please with a coach who will not tolerate the above and stupid penalities.

Go Irish you can do better.

11/27/2009 11:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bitter much?
Irish 28, Trees 27.

11/27/2009 11:11:00 PM  

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