IBG: Clearing the Forest

The IRT is back with another IBG.  Can we get another three letter acronym?  Sure.  NBC’s Keith Arnold is hosting this week.  Must be a big game.

This Thanksgiving we are thankful for the Irish Blogger Gathering.



Obviously, Saturday night’s game is massive. Win, and the Irish get to nine wins after starting 0-2, and you can make a really persuasive argument that they’re deserving of a BCS berth. Lose, and ND only makes incremental progress over last year’s 8-5 record. Three potential outcomes: Win, close loss, ten-point loss. How does your takeaway for the season change?

Too many fans stake the Season on W-L record.  Obviously it is important.  But with a program rebuilding, it’s less about W-L for me and more about improvement.  Improvement from season to season and improvement during the course of the year.  Despite Saturday’s outcome it is safe to say that this team is better than last years and probably better than any team since Holtz was the coach.  And the team is getting better as the season moves on.  Rees is developing before our eyes.  As is the entire defense.


Right now the Irish have 15 prospects committed to the 2012 recruiting class. Let’s assume every starter with a year left is coming back (Cave, KLM, Cwynar and Slaughter) and the Irish end up signing 20 recruits. That’ll make 93 players technically available for the 85-man roster (With Mike Ragone potentially being No. 94). Assuming Te’o and Eifert are back next season, what reserves do you invite back for a fifth year? Why?

Crist – yes, but I don’t see him staying

Goodman – No

Walker – No

Golic – Yes

Clelland – Yes

Hafis Williams – No

Brandon Newman – No

McDonald – No

Posluszny – No

McCarthy – No

Ragone* (Sixth Year) – Easy, if Eifert stays, No.  If Eifert goes, yes


If you ran the website NDNation, what would you do with it? It’s the most prominent Notre Dame hub on all of the internet, but it’s got a very vocal faction of readers/fans that seem to control the agenda — most often with a significantly negative point-of-view. What would you do if that was your website?




I love this question, Keith.  It’ll let us see if NDNation can take criticism as well as they dole it out.

I am NDJoe on NDNation.  I give the founders of NDNation serious props for not only starting the site when they did but also for keeping it going for as long as they have.  It is not easy to run a website for as long as they have.  The backroom at NDNation is an incredible resource and a great daily read.

I used to post on Rock’s House every so often to join the dialogue.   I also used to read every single post.  Now I just go there once a week.  The negativity and groupthink are out of control.  The resistance to change is mind-boggling.

NDNation doesn’t want Notre Dame to sell out and tarnish “the brand.”  But isn’t this exactly what NDNation has done with their site?  The countless ads clutter up the screen and increase load times.  It also calls to question (the same question I have for the ND Administration and the football team) Is this about ND Football or making money?  I understand it takes money to run a site but it is not that much. Plus, NDNation could pull the ads once they cover expenses.  Make no mistake about it: this is a for-profit entity.  Just like the Notre Dame football team that they continually rail on.

But this is America.  Where capitalism reigns.  Unfortunately the leaders of NDNation have bought into America’s idea of capitalism but North Korea’s idea of free speech.  If you have dissenting thoughts on the Jumbotron, field turf, music in the Stadium, or any other gameday traditions then you will be ostracized.  If you think Kelly is doing a fine job, you better not mention that on NDNation.

I checked out Rock’s House last Sunday after the BC win.  If I didn’t watch the game I would have thought ND lost.*

I shutter to think what NDNation’s opinions of Lou Holtz would have been if it existed back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  The very coach, who the illuminati of NDNation want today’s coach to emulate, would have been lambasted and thrown to the wolves.  It’s sad that ND is having a resurgence after 15 years of pain and it still is not good enough.

A turning point for NDNation was the Call For Change campaign that NDNation ran to have Ty Willingham removed as head coach.  It gave the impression that a few internet yokels could steer policy and decision making at the University.  Since then I feel like the leaders at NDNation have used the site to drive the issues that they feel most strongly about.  If the Dear Leaders don’t want a Jumbotron, they need to write about it every day, squash those who are pro-Jumbotron, and claim that no right-minded ND fan wants a Jumbotron.  Then ND won’t get a Jumbo-tron.  And the Dear Leaders pat themselves on the back.  “We saved ND from a Jumbotron..”


Problem with that is that there are more places for Notre Dame specific discussion on the internet today than ever.  I used to get 100% of my ND football info at NDNation.  Now I get less than 5%.  Imagine the old-timer that still gets 100%.  What was he thinking at the USC game when they actually started pumping music into the Stadium?  All he knew was that people were against pumping music into the Stadium(NDNation groupthink.)  How surprised is he he going to be when the Jumbotron actually goes up in the coming years?


The question was how would I change NDNation.

-I would lose the ads(at least once the yearly budget was covered.)   When you are for-profit your motives will be questioned.

-I would merge Rocks House and Cartier Field.  Create a separate board for students and admin.  Only people with und.edu email addresses could post on it. 

-I would “hire” two admins that don’t think like the current admins.  Younger alums or students that might have differing opinions than the main 4 guys.

-I would open a NDNation Twitter account.  Drive some of the discussion from Twitter to the board.


*As a side note I believe you can be anti-Kelly or anti-Rees, but not both.  This team is 8-3 and clearly improved.  If you think Rees sucks, then Kelly must be doing an excellent job coaching to be at 8-3 with a sub-par QB.  If you think Kelly sucks, then Rees must be amazing as he is racking up better numbers than Brady Quinn AND Jimmy Clausen as sophomores.


You’re Brian Kelly. You spent last recruiting class successfully upgrading the front seven of the defense. Over the next two recruiting classes, what position groups do you absolutely need to upgrade to get the Irish over the BCS hump?

Continue to recruit the hell out of the Dline and Oline.  Each and every year. Oh, and add one lock-down CB each year, too

I’ve seen dozens of analogies used to describe the current state of the quarterbacking position at Notre Dame. What’s your favorite, or the one you think is the most appropriate?

Waterboy.  A majority of ND fans think Tommy Rees is no good and doesn’t belong on the field.  Fact is, he’s the most proficient Sophomore QB Notre Dame has ever had.  I’ve been ranting about this for weeks.  Tommy Rees’ Soph numbers are better than Brady Quinns’ and Jimmy Clausen’s.





Get out the crystal ball. Even after an unimpressive weekend, the Irish are right around a seven-point underdog to Stanford. Do the Irish leave Palo Alto victorious?

30% chance Notre Dame leaves with a victory.  Not having Gray hurts and Luck is going to thrash the secondary.  Need to get pressure early and often and hope Brian Kelly tries to establish a running game with Wood.


3 Responses to “IBG: Clearing the Forest”

  1. IBG: Thankful for another year of football | Inside the Irish Says:

    […] Our friends at the Irish Round Table make a really interest point: You can be anti-Brian Kelly or anti-Tommy Rees. You can’t be […]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP ( doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP ( and so is spam.

  2. Mike Coffey Says:

    Just so I have this straight — once our “expenses are covered”, we should take all the ads down, and any time we spend monitoring the board, linking to the news stories, answering emails, processing registrations and password updates, updating schedules, and everything else we do that takes us away from our families and other things we might want to do for our own enjoyment should be done out of the kindness of our little hearts.

    OK dude. Whatever.

  3. JVH Says:

    That’s cool, Mike.

    Just don’t complain when your motives might be questioned then.