Before final decisions on fifth year players are determined.Before the Blue-Gold Game is played.
Before spring (and first year) academics sort themselves out.
Before any transfers.Before any practice and training injuries.
Before any Early Enrollees and First Years getting homesick.Before any mischief by players.
Even before the recruiting class of 2013 even starts summer school in June.Korzo78 on the NDNation Rock’s House bulletin board has posted the below analysis/opinion of the 2013 schedule. Good for him. We need to keep the momentum going after getting our butts kicked by the Red Tide.
While his comments are in italics, ours are in normal Times New Roman.Last year, ND was coming off an 8 win season and facing a schedule with six teams who had won 10 games the previous year. Just about everyone agreed that it would be one of the nation’s most difficult slates. Many expected an eight or nine win season. Didn’t turn out that way as MSU, BYU, SC, and Michigan slipped from the previous year.
This year, ND is coming off a 12-1 season and faces only two teams with 10 win seasons. Maybe, a few teams will rise up and have good seasons, but at this point, the schedule seems quite manageable.
Temple (4-7). Good opening game fodder. Should help ND break in a number of new offensive players. This game should be fun. On the downside, the Irish have been flat against opening day cupcakes before.
Michigan (8-5) Year 3 for Hoke, who has done well. The Skunkbears have recruited well. Gardner is an intriguing QB. Night game at Michigan. Toughest game on slate? It is also the last game in Ann Arbor concerning the contract between two stored programs. Look to Michigan for an all out assault.
Purdue (6-7) New coach. Could be a letdown game like last year. Although Tommy Rees had to win this game last year for the Irish, Purdue is an embarressment to the Big Whatever.
MSU (7-6) Lost a lot of talent. Also losing a bit of luster with Michigan’s reemergence. Mediocre QB play last year lead to many close losses. Tough team, could be tough game but ND is the better team. Mark Dantonio has more tricks up his sleeve than Doc Holiday, you never know.
Oklahoma (10-3) Victim of high expectations. Ten wins but program seems a bit stale. Mediocre recruiting class this year. New QB, which is never good, Stoops probably will be looking for payback. Will the Sooners come back roaring on all cylinders or pucker up and take a beating like last year? Glad this game is at home.
Arizona State (8-5) Pitt. circa 2013? Decent team, decent coach, Irish letdown and it could be a close game. The game will be fun.
USC (7-6) Lane Nero fiddles as USC burns. Maybe, the biggest wildcard in college FB. Rebirth or firing the coach? Lot of physical talent; mentally, mush. Another team with an inexperienced QB. Glad this game is at home. Did I just say that above?
Air Force (6-7) Should be a W. We need to limit our schedule to one academy team. After 2014 and the ACC five game rule we probably wil.
Navy (8-5) Should be a W. I sure hope so.
Pitt (6-7) Irish should be ready for the Panthers this time. Another W. Man, what a game last year, this is a trap.
BYU (8-5) Tough team but very winnable game. Ho Hum.
Stanford (12-2) Toughest game on schedule? A true aspirational peer: Stanford on a nice run lately. Will ND need a signature win to cement its post season placement? In tree hugger country, could be tough.
Much different than last year at this time. Hard to see any definite losses, like Okla. and USC last year. No one really knows but looks like a lot of wins.
Three walkovers: Temple, AF, Navy.
Irish should beat Pitt., ASU, and Purdue comfortably if their heads are screwed on straight.
MSU and BYU will probably show up to play but can’t match ND’s talent.
Not sure what to make of Okla. and USC. Talent is there but something is missing.
Toughest games at Michigan and Stanford.
In sum, Irish look BCS bound. Double digit wins seem quite reasonable.
Yes, 9-3 would be disappointing.
I have to agree, Michigan and Stanford (both away) appear to be problems. There is always the bite you in the butt game/team that plays over its' head to contend with as well.
EDITORS NOTE: If Korzo78 or any of his buddies read this post, please contact us to give credit and by-line.