1. I’m taking an old friend of mine to the USC game. They were born and raised in South Bend near Notre Dame, and developed a dislike for the University at a young age from dealing with the frustrations and messes that come from Notre Dame home football weekends. She’s never been to a Notre Dame game before (she’s an Ohio State fan). We’re going to go tailgate and do all the usual tailgating stuff. Any suggestions on what I could do to help her let go of her animosity towards Notre Dame?
Take her to the actual game and let her see how classy fans act. She won’t see any batteries thrown at players, fans picking fights with the band, or bags of pee reigning down from the student section. It will be an eye opening experience for her, as it would be for any Ohio State fan.
If she still persists: start dating her. Lavish gifts on her and pay a ton of attention to her needs. Then buy a ring and let her find it, getting her hopes up. Right when she’s all lathered up and at the relationship is at its peak dump her in a humiliating fashion. Serves her right for being an Ohio State fan.
2. On a related note, do you have any suggestions for improving the Notre Dame game weekend experience generally? Are there traditions lost that you’d like to see restored, or new ideas that you’d like to see implemented to improve the gameday experience?
Not much has changed from the game day experience since I was a freshman 20 years ago except for the cracking down on tailgating. Here’s the IRT’s top ten ways to improve the Notre Dame game day experience:
10) Make the pep rally student only. Hold it in the Stepan Center. No video cameras allowed. Serve Beer.
9) Get a mechanical bull on campus
8- Kill the Mums. Some other ideas for what to do with those planter boxes can be found at this link
7) Put James Earl Jones in the PA box.
6) The band needs some new go-to numbers. Play all the old stuff, but get a few new
5) Eliminate the gameday players mass. This is controversial, no doubt, but Mass is for Sundays. The players should be watching Gladiator or 300 getting fired up to maim their opponent.
1-4 all revolve around making the stadium louder:
4) Pump in music during the game.
3) Install a Jumbotron with a live Twitter feed scrolling along the bottom.
2) Build suites opposite the press box. Put the blue hairs in there.
1) Stop honoring dining hall staff during timeouts and play old highlights on the Jumbotron we spoke of in number 3.
3. (a) USC is (and always will be) our biggest rival. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? And if you agree, why do you feel that this is such an important rivalry? (b) Rank your top 10 college football rivalries and provide justifications for each.
I somewhat agree with the first statement. USC is Notre Dame’s biggest rival. But I don’t know that they will always be going forward. Two issues with the current rivalry. 1) USC cheated massively in the 2000’s. USC needs to earn the rivalry status and the privilege of playing Notre Dame on a yearly basis through fair play. 2) The conference landscape is changing fast. This could lead Notre Dame into a scheduling predicament.
We’ll make a bold prediction on the future of this rivalry. Texas will go independent and become the de facto rival for Notre Dame over the next 20-30 years.
4. Southern Cal is 5-1, with their only loss on the road at Arizona State. They are unranked, sitting right behind us in the “also receiving votes” category. How good is Southern Cal this year? How do you see this game playing out?
Notre Dame is favored by 8. If they can continue to protect the ball(10 quarters without a turnover) Notre Dame could win by two touchdowns. Tommy Rees figured something out at the half of the Pitt game. He started to throw the ball away when the play warranted it. Instead of forcing the issue and risking a turnover he is wisely getting rid of the ball.
That coupled with the excellent protection from the offensive line is the difference between 12 turnovers lost in the first 10 quarters of the season versus 0 turnovers lost in the last 10 quarters.
5. It appears that with a win over USC, we’ll re-enter the Top 25 rankings. Now that we’re halfway through the season and have some actual evidence available to us from real games, how do you see the rest of the season playing out? Predict:
(a) Notre Dame’s final record (indicating where we will lose if at all) 9-3(Stanford)
(b) Notre Dame’s bowl destination, opponent and outcome. Champs Sports Bowl vs. Clemson
(c) The BCS Championship game and result. Stanford vs. Wisconsin with Wisconsin winning
(d) Notre Dame’s final AP ranking. 16
(e) The winners of the major awards, including:
(i) Heisman Trophy Andrew Luck
(ii) Home Depot Coach of the Year David Shaw, Stanford
(iii) Davey O’Brien Award (best QB) Andrew Luck
(iv) Doak Walker Award (best RB) LaMichael James
(v) Fred Biletnikoff Award (best WR) Michael Floyd
(vi) Chuck Bednarik Award (best defensive player) It would have been Tyrann Mathieu if he didn’t get suspended. Let’s go with Manti.