The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Friday, August 02, 2013

Irish Football 2013

You knew it was coming. Our first official blog post of the 2013 ND Football season! Brian Kelly held his opening press conference of the season today, thus ending one of the most painful offseasons in memory. Let's recap the top story lines shall we?
  • From the highest of the highs to the lowest of the lows, our beatdown by Alabama ended 2012 with a very sour taste in our mouths.
  • Kelly's flirtation with the NFL, perhaps costing us a couple recruits.
  • The Manti T'eo catfish saga. What the press did to him is reprehensible.
  • The dismissal of starting QB Everett Golson from school.
  • The flip by Eddie Vanderdoes (future NFL D-lineman) AFTER he had signed a binding letter of intent. He went to UCLA, appealed to the NCAA, and was cleared to play THIS SEASON!!! Brave new world in which a LOI means nothing.
So let's just throw all that crap out the window right now. I admit, I was pretty pessimistic for 2013 after the Golson issue, but after reading about the presser today, I am really trying to temper my enthusiasm. Now, I remember that we really are a very talented, deep team. There are 3 keys to the season in my mind, and they are pretty simple:

1) Rees' development as a QB
Rees was an okay QB when he was our starter 2 years ago. If (as Kelly says) he truly has developed and improved, you can't tell me he couldn't do for ND what recent SEC QBs have done for their National Championship teams. That means NO BIG MISTAKES and converting those 3rd and short situations.

2) Normal team development
We have a TON of people back. A good coaching staff should create incremental improvement in its players. If we improve as expected at several positions, we could have an overall better team than 2012.

3) Michigan
The importance and magnitude of this game cannot be understated. They are ready. It's at the biggish house. Last trip there in the foreseeable future. Night. This will be huge. If we can pull out a victory (I think we'll be underdogs), that could set the tone for the rest of the season. A loss could derail things.

Given those, as always it will take a few breaks to finish this season like last. That Stanford game could end up being for a BCS game. Yet another stressful Thanksgiving Saturday night! I will reign back my gloom and doom predictions from earlier this spring and say we end up 10-2 with an at-large BCS bowl game.


Colin and Liz said...

Of course my expectations for this year, as always, are way too high. I hope we play in the Orange Bowl so Ted and I can crash on Bill's couch again.

Tim said...

Optimism just feels better. Go Irish.