Tag Archive: Notre Dame


It was the agony of defeat … over and over again.

All throughout the garbage-time fourth quarter in South Bend, the voyeuristic NBC cameras kept focusing on the deadpan face of an obviously hurting 20-year-old college student.

He was anything Saturday but “So Good, So Cool, So Cal.”

The Associated Press pointed out that USC has already turned over the ball 19 times in eight games, emphasizing that 16 of these were committed by quarterback Sam Darnold.

There will be no all-expense-paid trip to New York in December.

Someone else will receive the Heisman.

There will be better days for Sam Darnold, maybe this coming weekend in Tempe.

He will celebrate his 21st birthday next June 5.

As a college professor, who once roamed the sidelines as a student football manager for both USC and Oregon in the mid-1970s, Almost DailyBrett must ask:

Are pre-season Heisman Trophy hype campaigns launched by university athletic departments/sports information offices in the best interest of a college-student/athlete, who is not old enough to legally order a beer?

Is the young stud ready for the plethora of writers, camera lenses, microphones and fawning stories? The media is absolutely superb at building up a celebrity; the beast is even better at crashing the new hero down to earth and stomping on him.

Some may contend these premature campaigns draw national media attention that carries over to the season and may lead to holding up the most famous stiff-arm in all of sports.

USC athletes need extra media attention in the second largest television market in the country?

Almost DailyBrett wonders whether more times than naught these athletic departments are setting up these young people, students at their school – most not ready for the limelight – for failure by the jury-judge-executioner media (e.g., MSESPN).

Believe it or not, these kids have to go to school, attend classes, submit papers, work on projects and take exams (okay, maybe not the University of North Carolina basketball team).

Your author knows as much as any other writer, how a mere university cannot control the Fourth Estate. If the folks in Bristol, Connecticut or Sports Illustrated wish to build up their list of Heisman candidates before the season starts, who is going to stop them?

Cats are easier to herd.

Halloween and The First CFP Rankings

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will not release its rankings for the real contenders for the sport’s four playoff spots until Halloween, safely past the mid-point of the season.

If the NCAA is “wise” enough to put off the hoopla surrounding who could be playing in the first semifinal at the Rose Bowl and the second in the New Orleans Superdome, then why can’t this august body put a kibosh on overactive athletic departments, exploiting underage students?

Many say: “Where are the parents?” Almost DailyBrett asks: “Where are the university presidents?”

It doesn’t matter whether a student seeking the NFL degree attends a heavily covered traditional power (e.g., USC Heisman campaign for Sam Darnold and Matt Barkley) or less heavily covered sometimes power (e.g., Oregon with the Joey Harrington Times Square billboard and Marcus Mariota), the respective athletic departments/sports information departments need to remember the football team represents the university … not the other away around.

Football is a team sport. Yes, everyone knows a quarterback is the most equal-of-the-equals and has the best chance of holding up the Heisman hardware, but the trophy is not presented on a Southern California beach in August.

The 12+-week season is a grind. This year’s team may not be the same as last year’s team. Conferences abound with college towns and trap games. College football is much more unpredictable than the brand played by the National Field-Goal League (NFL).

Sam Darnold is talented, but clearly does not have the hogs in the offensive line or the skill players beside him. The Trojans are good, maybe the best in the Pac-12, in a down year for the conference. The league will not send a team to the playoff unless there is dog-eat-dog chaos in the other conferences.

Hopefully, Darnold’s parents will be wise enough to steer him to return to USC for another year. He needs the time to work on his game, hit the books and earn a degree in communications. There may even be a Heisman Trophy and the NFL dollars in his happier future.

Wonder if the USC Athletic Department/Sports Information Office can dial back the P.T. Barnum/Donald Trump hype and let a good college kid be a good college kid?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Darnold

http://www.espn.com/college-football/undefined

http://www.latimes.com/sports/usc/la-sp-usc-notre-dame-20171021-story.html

http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/news/college-football-playoff-rankings-2017-2018-release-date-schedule-cfp-selection-day-committee-national-championship/t22jkpo01wej1j8dzmr925m28

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/should-matt-barkley-be-canonized/

https://247sports.com/college/usc/Article/Sam-Darnold-says-Irish-were-a-little-too-much-to-handle-109296081

 

 

 

 

“Right now, it’s difficult to find many good reasons why the heading coaching position at Oregon would not be attractive. The school does lack tradition, but the Ducks have averaged 8.4 wins per season since 1994.” – Athlon Sports, “Coaching Jobs from First to Worst.” http://www.athlonsports.com/college-football

Make that 8.5 wins per season for Oregon since 1994 with potentially three more this year.

Chip Kelly’s job as Oregon’s head coach (he is 19-3 in his nearly two years at the helm) is rated as the 15th best gig in all of college football. In contrast, Notre Dame is ranked as the 12th ranked coaching destination and the main reason is the “T” word for tradition. http://www.goducks.com/

“Notre Dame has three unique advantages compared to almost every school in the country – a national following, its own television contract (signed through 2015 with NBC) and an unparalleled history that includes 11 consensus national titles and seven Heisman Trophy winners.” http://www.und.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/061908aaa.html

Holy Touchdown Jesus and Number One Moses that is friggin’ impressive until you start pulling down the recent numbers. In fact, Notre Dame defies the Almost DailyBrett Law of College Football: Tradition is Now.

bamaND

Do I dare infuriate Lou Holtz and Beano Cook by speaking ill of Notre Dame?

Will I be excommunicated by Rome?

Let’s just let the numbers do the talking.

Number One Oregon (10-0) has consistently out competed unranked Notre Dame (6-5 including a loss at home to Tulsa) over a span of the last 17 years and there is no doubt the Ducks with Darron Thomas and LaMichael James running the spread offense would blow the Fighting Irish off the field this year. According to the Jeff Sagarin ratings for USA Today, Oregon would be favored by 25 points, if the game was played in Eugene, and 19 points, if the contest was played in South Bend. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbt10.htm?loc=interstitialskip

But wait a minute…Notre Dame has won all these national titles…Quick when was the last time that Notre Dame was the best team in all the land (Hint, Reagan was president)? Wonder who is the number one team in the BCS rankings that came out tonight? Sorry Mr. Leprechaun, it is not you.

For the record, the last ND Heisman trophy winner was Tim Brown in 1987. Since that time, no member of the Irish has even sniffed the famous straight-arm. For Oregon, Joey Harrington and Dennis Dixon were serious candidates the last decade and James is expected to be at least invited as a finalist to the ceremony in New York in three weeks.

Let’s match up the two including this season in progress and going back to 1994:

Oregon is 145-62; Notre Dame is 120-84.

Oregon has been to 14 bowls and is 6-8 in these post-season contests (includes two Rose Bowls, one Fiesta Bowl, one Cotton Bowl and most likely either BCS championship game or the Rose Bowl this year). Notre Dame has been to 10 bowls and is 1-9 (interrupting a NCAA record nine straight bowl losses with a win in…the 2008 Hawaii Bowl).

Since 1994, Oregon has missed two bowls and recorded only one losing season. Notre Dame in this span has missed bowls six times and has recorded four losing seasons.

Oregon is on the cusp of winning its fourth outright Pac-10 title and fifth overall since 1994. The Ducks are second only to USC in Pac-10 titles, who dominated the conference from 2002 to 2008. Speaking of USC, who would the Trojans rather play, Notre Dame or Oregon? If you asked the Notre Dame and USC alums they would wax poetically about the “Greatest Intersectional Rivalry” in all the land. If you ask the USC players, they would grumble about the 100 points that Oregon has scored against them in the last two games.

DAT1

Since 1994 (they play this Saturday), Notre Dame has compiled a 4-11 record head-to-head against the Men of Troy, including losing the last eight. In contrast, Oregon is 8-5 against USC during this stretch including winning the last two and three out-of-the last four.

Using marketing speak, NBC’s Dick Ebersol described Notre Dame as the “most storied brand in college sports.” Really? Does that mean NBC will televise more ND losses to Connecticut, Navy and Tulsa for the benefit rapidly aging subway alumni, who fondly remember John Huarte and Paul Hornung? That is east of the Hudson River thinking that reflects the proverbial East Coast bias.

Let’s face it Notre Dame has a Little Napoleon complex as epitomized by their pint-size mascot and their relatively quiet stadium. Oregon in comparison offers college football’s loudest and most intimidating venue, Autzen Stadium, and the one-and-only triple-threat mascot, the Duck. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=maisel_ivan&page=iZone091028

Yes, the push-up champion Duck can go by land, sea and air…Let’s see the sham(rock) Leprechaun pull off that feat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ve92hOixGo

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