Wednesday, November 07, 2007

ESPN Bias; Personal Statement

Men of the Blog,

I just wanted to clarify a few things that have came to my mind as I have begun to solidify my status as a contributor to the blogging community. As a member of another school that has solidified itself in America's Top 20, I will always remain the skeptic outsider that brings an outside voice into the discussion. I will always be quick to point out when one has crossed the line because it is clear that Charlie's boys have a long way to go, despite the Three Top 10 classes and the Kevin White "Barnstorming Campaign".

With that being said, I will be the first to say that Clausen can have at least three more bone chips removed before we even begin to question what the future holds for him and the likes of Kamara, Floyd, Tate, and, if you can believe George's analysis, Walker. It is true Brady had Jeff and Rhema, but this crop of receivers that is beginning to emerge in South Bend (or has the potential to) matches the duo in terms of size and athleticism and perhaps possesses a more intriguing upside considering there will be no Bill Diedrick. So despite his bone chips, his unspectacular debut under the shining dome and his MTV-laced commitment, a betting man would be stupid to bet against Jimmy getting it done in the future.

George was quick to point out how ESPN and the recruiting cartel has it out for our Irish, but it will be interesting to see how Charlie reacts (It hasn't fazed him yet). It is safe to say that this might be a new test for the program, since no coach in the modern era has had to deal with the ND-bias on such a level as Charlie has. Lou had it, but he was in SC before the internet pushed recruiting into a big-ticket stock. As it began to emerge, Davie probably got scared of it. Ty probably didn't know it was happening (Discount rates at Pinehurst No. 2. Chris Leak? No, I'm going to NC to play golf.)

I personally love the hate mail that has been thrown towards the Irish this year. What a better way to get a team ready for next step, than to have scrutiny in all shapes and sizes. Mark May, bring it on. Pete Carroll, I can't wait to see what is left of you when Myles Brand gets the balls to begin ReggieGate. Weis is crafting it beautifully. He's taking his lumps, there will be no awards coming his way this season, but in the process is learning a lot of lot of things he might not have learned in New England. Sorry to sound a little to much like Father Hesburgh, but at least he's learning a lesson in humility. But for those that have played there right in sending the laughs Charlie's way, payback will be a bitch.

While the chaos that has been this season might trim a few gems away at the Cadillac class, it is pretty safe to say that the "us against them" attitude is beginning to works it magic in South Bend. To go along with that, 2008 and 2009 offer a much less daunting tour schedule for the Irish.

Before I let you go, George, a few points: Mitch Browning - most notably Minnesota's innovative OC that helped the Gophers set numerous NCAA rushing marks, is currently out of a job. Could he be an asset to the Irish in helping develop our young backs and in developing a more balanced attack in the coming years. Interesting rumor: Brett Bielema to Michigan, Barry Alvarez to Nebraska. Bielema is a Big 10 guy, is 19-4 in two seasons and is 37. Could he be Michigan's alternative if Les Miles stays in the Bayou? Alvarez is a former Nebraska captain and has proven he knows how to rebuild a program. Could he be Osborne's guy in Lincoln?


At 9:56 PM, Blogger George said...

Depends - is Mr. Browning's expertise centered around O-Line development or around the fortune to have Marion Barber III and Laurence Maroney in the same backfield?

Looking at the way ND's back were running on Saturday, there were some positives and negatives, particularly for James Aldridge - sometimes he runs too much like an NFL back in that he expects a collision, so he settles for a 5-yard run where he drags two tacklers to the ground rather than try to accelerate through a hole for a 10-yarder. Tim Prister noted there was at least one time against Navy when he basically ignored an opening that would've gone for 8-10 yards in favor of pushing the pile forward for three. Armando Allen, on the other hand, is developing better "vision" every time he touches the ball and shook his early-season bout with Ryan Grant Syndrome (magically be tackled by the turf monster on every...freakin...carry). Overall, I think Mike Haywood is doing a fine job with the running backs. It's offensive line development that puzzles me - obviously this is the position, probably even more than quarterback, that changes the most (in terms of difficulty) between high school and college. Yet all these great recruits being pulled in on the O-Line continue to make the same fundamental errors, even the absolute studs like Sam Young. The top focus for the offseason has to be getting stronger and more aggressive along the interior of the line; perhaps fresh coaching blood can help there.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Pat Girouard said...

I believe Mitch Browning recently signed on as a football consultant to Cretin-Derham Hall. This was per Charley "Shooter" Walters so take it for what it's worth. And yes George, I do know that Joe Mauer went to Cretin - DH.


At 1:45 PM, Blogger Pat Girouard said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:16 PM, Blogger George said...

All things considered Pat, I probably would've responded to that CDH reference by asking if you knew that Joe Long went to Cretin Derham Hall.

And now you've left an air of mystery by deleting your third comment...


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