The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Friday, September 12, 2008

Notre Dame Schedule Analysis

I considered holding off on this until after the Michigan game because part of me thinks we didn't see everything Notre Dame has against San Diego St. But I decided, "What the hell!", and am doing it today because a bigger, smarter part of me believes we got a pretty accurate portrayal of your 2008 Notre Dame Fighting Irish last Saturday. Besides, last week I had predicted a 7-win season, so I wanted to explain where I saw those 7 wins coming. So without further ado, here are my game-by-game predictions for the season...

  • San Diego St. - We'll win, but it will be ugly, and definitely not the blowout most are predicting. I'm betting a freak, goal-line fumble decides the game. Irish 1-0
  • Michigan - My heart says loss, but my head says win. Mainly because they've also looked like shit against two suspect opponents and they'll be bringing two freshman quarterbacks to South Bend for their first road game. I'll stick with my head and say win. Irish 2-0
  • @Michigan St. - Loss. A final win on the season for MSU before they go on their annual 6-game losing streak after beating ND. Irish 2-1
  • Purdue - Loss. Irish 2-2
  • Stanford - Win (At least they better since I'll be at the game). Irish 3-2
  • @North Carolina - Win. Further, I don't know why everyone is saying we'll drop this game. UNC has a long way to go under Butch Davis. They barely got past McNeese St. and Rutgers was a one-hit wonder in an abysmal Big East and is now back to their regular suckiness. Irish 4-2
  • @Washington - Loss, and won't all the Charlie haters just love it. I'll probably be replacing (a newly destroyed) TV shortly after this game. Irish 4-3
  • Pittsburgh - Win. I'm fairly confident we can handle the mustache at home. Irish 5-3
  • @Boston College - Loss, and probably another new TV. Irish 5-4
  • @Navy - Win (At least they better since I'll be at the game). Irish 6-4
  • Syracuse - Win, unless a time-traveled Jim Brown miraculously appears. Irish 7-4
  • @Southern Cal - Loss. Big, fat, humiliatingly bad loss that will ruin my entire Thanksgiving. Irish 7-5
So there you have it, a 7-win season. That's not to say this can't, and won't, be all wrong. Who knows, maybe a win over Michigan will give the team and coaches a needed boost of confidence before hitting the road. Bottom line, after watching the team last week I think the team has a ways to go in the consistency (dropped passes, poor execution, stupid penalties) department before they get back to the point where they're regularly winning the games they should.


Kevin said...

I'm also thinking 7-5. I actually have us at 2-3 (after starting 2-0) before we rattle off some wins. USC will be an awful loss, but I know it will be and everyone else does, too. So it really won't ruin my Thanksgiving (too much). Besides, at that point we'll be 7-4 and bowl eligible. I'll be hoping for a loss, if only to get a slightly worse opponent in the bowl game that we can finally beat.

Teddy said...

Excellent, excellent point by Kevin about our bowl opponent. My game by game analysis is a bit different:

Michigan: LOSS. No way our O-Line handles their dominant D-Line. We will have under 100 yards rushing, and they will tee off on Clausen causing some turnovers.

@MSU: LOSS. The home team has lost the last 6 games in this matchup. No way it hits 7. MSU is very good this year.

Purdue: WIN. Other than the TY fiasco in 2004, you have to go back to 1985 (Faust's last season) to see ND lose at home to Purdue. See the trend??? If we do lose this one, Charlie is gone.

Stanford: WIN. A very close game, but I think we have the edge decisively over a well-coached team.

@UNC: WIN. Agree with Ian 100%. ACC teams are way down this year. UNC will be big favorites after tearing through the weak conference schedule. A road win will be a HUGE boost to the season.

@UW: WIN. We are buoyed by our big win in Chapel Hill, and roll into Seattle and put the nail in the coffin of Willingham's tenure there. All they have is a solid, scrambling QB. I think our speedy D contains him.

Pitt: WIN. The 'Stache is just awful. This will be a similar situation to the UNC game. Pitt is riding high on a weak Big East schedule. We will dominate putting ND into the BCS conversation (just barely) at 6-2.

@BC: LOSS. Just that quickly, we will be out of the BCS picture. On paper, we should be favored over a rebuilding team. However, BC always seems to knock the chair out from under us when we are reaching for glory!

@Navy: Win. A new streak begins.

Syracuse: WIN. Just an awful opponent. Good that we got them on the schedule long term!

@USC: LOSS. We have 0% chance of beating USC this year. They look the best they have ever been, and I just don't see that game being even close. That said, I will still suffer through it till the end!

My final tally: 8-4. Slightly more optimistic than Ian and Kevin.

By the way, I think we could very easily go 9-3 with a BC win (guaranteeing another bowl loss) or 6-6 with a couple losses to either Pitt, UNC or UW. Obviously, it is much more likely that the wheels fall off the bus than we shock and deliver 9 wins.