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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Seizing and Safeguarding Mo

What is Mo?

The Curley, Larry, and Moe of the Three Stooges? No not that Moe.

Gary Moeller as in former Coach Mo of our northern nemesis Michigan? Gracious no not that Mo.

Mort Zuckerman billionaire publisher? No not that Mo either (darn).

Big Mo in meaning the Battleship Missouri?  Heavens no, taking on the Navy football team is plenty enough.

Mo = Momentum – A positive strength and force within a football program or a surging direction during an individual game leading to a successful conclusion for one team.

Come on IRISH football fans you knew that.

Mo is fickle. It is elusive. Mo is hard to keep once you get it. You can’t buy Mo. Not even with Big Ten Championship rings or Fiesta Bowl MVP awards. You got to earn Mo.

Mo can be Short Term or Long Term.

Some teams have no Mo. The University of Pittsburg has no Mo. They fired two head coaches within 30 days. (Probably an NCAA record) In fact, they not only have no Mo, they have bad Juju. (Which is scheduled to be defined in a future post) What Pitt has is an AD and a President who look like idiots, worried recruits, season ticket holders and alumni reevaluating their interest in the team and an entire Football Program looking for Mo.

Our northern nemesis has no Mo. They lost their Mo when they beat Illinois in triple overtime 67-65. Yes, they beat Purdue the next week 27-16, but they had already lost their Mo. Mississippi State was disappointed; they wanted to play a team with some Mo. Nope. Michigan brought no Mo. Only when they fire Rich Rod and hire Jim Harbaugh will Michigan begin to find some much needed Long Term Mo.

You do not want to lose Mo. Especially during a football game. Notre Dame has lost Mo far too many times. Remember: 1974, USC 55, Notre Dame 24?

Notre Dame had plenty of Mo, leading 24 – 0, then with 10 seconds remaining before halftime, Anthony Davis scored on a 7-yard pass from Pat Haden. Notre Dame went into the locker room thinking they had Mo, instead Mo walked over to the USC locker room. At the start of the second half, Davis took the opening kickoff of and raced 102 yards for a score, opening the floodgates as USC rallied for 35 points in the third quarter. For good measure USC scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter just to show Notre Dame who really ended up with Mo.

Short Term Mo is very important in maintaining positive strength of direction during a football game, either you got it or you don’t. Miami in the Sun Bowl had no Mo. Coming in after losing two games Miami brought no Mo. They didn’t really have a head coach either. Plus they were cold and dispirited, you can’t safeguard Mo shivering, listening to a coach who won’t be your head coach after the game.

Long Term Mo. Notre Dame has Long Term Mo. Four wins in a row over some pretty good comparative teams. Very nice. Eight wins on the season. Not sure where Mo was hangin out during the Michigan, MSU and Tulsa games. You can sometimes lose Mo if you have injuries, maybe that was it.

Last year Notre Dame had no Mo in November, no coach in December. The IRISH earned and banked Mo very slowly in 2010, through some fits and starts.

Currently there are plenty of teams wishing they had Notre Dame’s Mo going into 2011. Many play in the Big Ten.

Coach Brian Kelly knows Mo. Mo is confidence. Mo helps to develop your program to the Championship Level. He wants to feed and nurture Long Term Mo right up to playing South Florida, and then he will trade in some Long Term Mo for Short Term Mo.

Meet Notre Dame’s Long Term Mo:

++  Victories over Utah, Army, U$C, Miami.

++  A coaching staff, football players, trainers, cheerleaders, helmet painters, all brimming with abundent confidence and Mo.

Some More Mo We Need:

++  Successful finishing up recruiting and filling the holes in the roster.

++  A smart decision by Michael Floyd to stick around and suck up some of that Long Term Mo for his immiediate future and NFL career.

++  Serious decisions on which fifth year seniors to invite back.

++  Coach Paul Longo ratcheting up the conditioning and weigh training to ensure Long Term Mo does not decide to take a hiatus.

++  Spring practice that further instills Coach Kelly’s philosophy, program, and championship goals.

++  A clear idea who will be taking the first snap versus South Florida.

Coach Kelly has to continue to earn and bank Mo. You can never, ever have too much Mo.

Remember it takes time to build up and to safeguard Long Term Mo. It is easy to lose Short Term Mo.

This maybe what Mo looks like, but we are not sure.......

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