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Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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When you think College Football, one of the first names that comes to mind is Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Since the early days of college football, when players wore a minimum of padding and hit hard with no more than leather helmets strapped on their heads, Notre Dame has been a major player. From the familiar strains of the Notre Dame fight song to the long list of legendary players and coaches at the school, including the one and only Knute Rockne, Notre Dame football is synonymous with grid-iron lore. Even these days, Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football tickets will get you into a game to remember, in which, for that day anyway, power football, honor and winning on the field are of supreme importance.
Champions Over and Over Again
Notre Dame, a Catholic university in Notre Dame, Indiana (abutting South Bend, Indiana), has always taken deep pride in its football teams. They have won 11 national championships, produced 96 All-Americans, and seven winners of the Heisman Trophy, the annual award given to the best college player, more than any other Football Bowl Subdivision school. Countless Notre Dame players have gone on to play professional football, some with legendary careers, including quarterbacks Joe Montana and Joe Theismann. Then there are the legendary coaches. Knute Rockne coached the Fighting Irish in one of its heydays, 1918-1930, winning five national championships along the way. These days, head coach Brian Kelly is looking to bring the Fighting Irish back to their days of glory. Check out the SeatGeek Blog in for early season September college football stories and news.
3/25/15: Notre Dame is now considered an appropriate opponent for SEC teams looking to fulfill their Power 5 scheduling requirements. That such a thought would be otherwise is pretty much absurdity, but now it is official. In the meantime, Notre Dame Athletics Director, Jack Swarbrick, sees a new future for NCAA football. He thinks that there will come a day with separate collegiate football programs. Not the big and little guys, but the public and private schools. That puts Notre Dame in a strange situation, as they are a private school, but have the support of a big time public university.
3/11/15: In a bit of a surprise, starting offensive lineman Matt Hegarty is transferring out of Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish were expecting to have all five offensive linemen returning next season, which bodes well for the offense. However, Hegarty claims that he was asked to play another position and allow younger players into the offensive line rotation. Hegarty has one year of eligibility remaining and also suffered a stroke three years ago. He dreams of playing in the NFL and wants more playing time and the opportunity to focus on a single position. The good news is that Notre Dame does have a lot of O-linemen waiting in the wings, so they should be able to fill the hole that Hegarty leaves.
3/4/15: Notre Dame will not kick off their 2015 season for another six months, but fans know that it is always a good time to talk about Irish football. The 2014 season started out wonderfully, but took a wrong turn after the offensive pass interference call led to Notre Dame's first loss. One cause of concern for next season is the secondary. Cody Riggs and Austin Collinsworth are gone. The scheme will say the same, but the players will change. Hopefully safeties Max Redfield and Elijah Shumate will develop into playmakers the Irish need to shut down opposing offenses.
2/25/15: Like a lot of items that go through large organizations, the announcement of Avery Sebastian being added to the Notre Dame roster took some time before it was official. It became official last week, though Sebastian announced the move a week prior. Sebastian is a graduate transfer from Cal, meaning he will be eligible to play right away. He should be an immediate boost the Irish secondary. That is good news for the team, who could always use an experienced safety to help patrol the intermediary part of the field. He played in 33 games at Cal, starting six.
2/18/15: The rankings each year of every school's recruiting class has become a cottage industry in the world of sports. But those rankings only include new recruits, most of whom will not see the playing field for another year or two. It leaves out transfers that can help the team, and often times right away. The Fighting Irish got a nice transfer last week. He is safety Avery Sebastian who had been at Cal. He is a graduate transfer, so that means he is eligible to play immediately and not have to sit out a year per archaic NCAA rules.
2/11/15: Notre Dame, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Duke have to be considered the academics of the college football world, and all have enjoyed at least some measure of success over the past few years. Notre Dame looks to continue their rebuilding and had a very strong showing on National Signing Day. The Fighting Irish finished with 24 recruits, including 13 4-star prospects. That was good enough to be ranked 11th by Rivals, and ahead of traditional powerhouses like Texas and Oklahoma, as well as new elite programs like Oregon and Mississippi State. Sadly, though, Notre Dame did not land Snoop Dogg's son, who signed with UCLA.
2/4/15: Notre Dame entered National Signing Day with the 9th rated recruiting class, according to Rivals, and easily the best class of any independent school or 'smart' school. Granted the rankings are subjective, and who really knows how any of these prospects may work out, but still, a top 10 class indicates good things for the future. The Fighting Irish have commitments from recruits across the county - from Florida to California - which is a big advantage as most schools concentrate more regionally. As of the end of January, Notre Dame did not have any five-star guys, but had a number of four-stars, including QB Brandon Wimbush from New Jersey.
1/28/15: One of the more interesting storylines going around during the height of the recruiting period is Cordell Broadus. If that name is unfamiliar, then consider this. He is the son of rapper Snoop Dogg and one of the most highly coveted recruits this year. The wide receiver could end up at Notre Dame (and is friends with safety commit Nicco Fertitta). The question then becomes how would Notre Dame handle having Snoop Dogg around on a regular basis. Snoop has been to Notre Dame and was well received. He may not be papal ministry type, but one would imagine that Notre Dame fans and alumni would welcome him.
1/21/15: Notre Dame is putting the finishing touches on their 2015 recruiting class and may have landed a big one. It seems that they have been successful in flipping elite tight end Alize Jones. Jones had been committed to UCLA for several months, but now has verbally agreed to Notre Dame. He is widely considered the best tight end in the country, so that is no small matter. The youngster is 6'5 and 220 pounds with a lot of speed. That is the type of build that makes matchups a nightmare for opposing defenses and leads to red zone scores.
1/14/15: There has been a lot of talk about the future of Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson lately. It has been reported that he is considering transferring out of Notre Dame (as a graduate transfer) so he can get more playing time. Both LSU and Duke have been mentioned as possible destinations. Golson has not confirmed nor denied the rumors. For what its worth, head coach Brian Kelly says he expects Golson to return next season. Golson will graduate in the spring and has one more year of eligibility left, so he would not have to sit out a year if he does decide to transfer.
1/7/15: Granted, Notre Dame prefers to play big time bowl games that matter, but that did not happen this season. Instead, they ended up in the Music City Bowl, but faced a developing LSU team. LSU was favored in the game, but that did not stop the Irish. They send a message to the SEC with a 31-28 win. Kyle Brindza kicked the game winning field goal as time expired to seal the win. It may not be the biggest win, but beating an SEC West contender will go a long way to restoring the program and luring in more recruits.
12/3/14: Notre Dame would probably like to head back in time about six weeks ago or so when they were undefeated and ranked fifth in country. Since losing at Florida State, the Irish have fallen into a tailspin and have only managed one victory - and that was against Navy. They closed out their regular season with a 49-14 beating at the hands of long-time rival USC and have limped to a 7-5 overall record. The Irish will now wait to find their fate as to which bowl game they will be heading to this season as well as speculation that there may be a coaching change in the near future.
11/19/14: Notre Dame was on the wrong side of what may have been the biggest upset of the weekend. Playing at home to a Northwestern team that does not have near the talent that the Irish do, Notre Dame let an 11 point fourth quarter lead fall apart and loss 43-40 in overtime. The loss drops the Irish to 7-3 on the season and has leave the team wondering where the wheels fell off. Notre Dame's two previous losses were to Florida State and Arizona State - two top programs. The Irish continue on with their ACC slate of games this week, hosting Louisville.
11/12/14: Like Auburn, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish may be out of the running for the playoffs after suffering their second loss of the season last Saturday. No. 10 Notre Dame was in Tempe to take on No. 9 Arizona State. The Sun Devils got off to a quick start, even taking a 31-3 lead midway in the second quarter with the help of some big turnovers and strong offense. The Irish tried to fight back and made a game of it by getting to 34-31. However, Arizona State stood strong and put the game away 55-31. Notre Dame is back home to host Northwestern this Saturday.
11/5/14: A few years ago, Navy upset Notre Dame for the first time in 40 years. Since then, the Midshipmen have generally played Notre Dame well, but the Irish win. Same story last Saturday when No. 10 Notre Dame mounted a fourth quarter rally to escape 49-39. Navy got within three points with just over four minutes left in the game, but the Irish were able to control the clock and add on the dagger score with 87 seconds remaining in the game. QB Everett Golson remained hot with 315 yards passing and three throwing and three more rushing TDs. Notre Dame is no 7-1 and heads to a big elimination game at Arizona State this Saturday.
10/29/14: It has been 10 days now, so everyone has had a chance to go through the five stages of grief in regards to the Florida State game. Yes, the called-back touchdown that likely would have won the game was a controversial call, but it is over and the Fighting Irish were not punished too harshly for it. They fell from 5th to 7th in the rankings with the loss, which is certainly something that can be overcome. There will be more attrition between the top teams as the season continues, so Notre Dame may well end up in the playoffs yet. In the meantime, the Irish had a bye last weekend and can now focus on Navy - a team they regularly beat.
10/22/14: Love them or hate them, the Fighting Irish deserve their top ranking. They took their spot at No. 5 and unbeaten record to Tallahassee to face No. 2 Florida State last Saturday night. This ended up being one of the best games of the year, and, even though FSU survived with a 31-27 win, Notre Dame validated their spot as one of the best teams in the country. QB Everett Golson was outstanding under pressure and was able to keep the team going strong, despite suffering leg cramps in the second half. The game came down to the final possession, but the Seminoles defense held fast. There is no shame in this loss - it was two heavyweights slugging it out. Everyone needs some time off after this game, and the Irish have a bye this week before playing Navy.
10/15/14: Notre Dame is starting to gain some national recognition as they are one of only six unbeaten teams in the land. The Irish have been placed behind FSU, Mississippi State and Mississippi, but will move up with Auburn's loss over the weekend. The Irish also showed they can score points, beating North Carolina 50-43 in a shootout that they actually trailed 14-0 halfway through the first quarter. Notre Dame has its best chance of the year to make a statement this Saturday when the travel to Tallahassee to take on the top ranked Florida State Seminoles.
10/8/14: Two years ago the Fighting Irish went on an improbable undefeated run in the regular season and found themselves playing for the National Championship. Like 2012, Everett Golson was the QB, and also like 2012 many still have doubts about the Irish six weeks into the season. Ninth ranked Notre Dame may have gained some believers this past Saturday by knocking off No. 14 Stanford at home, rallying and then holding on to a 17-14 win in a persistent rainstorm. Golson threw a touchdown pass to Ben Koyack with 1:01 left to play for the win. The Irish head to North Carolina to face the Tarheels this Saturday in an ACC-affiliated game.
10/1/14: Notre Dame bolstered their playoff resume last Saturday by going on the road and overwhelming Syracuse 31-15. The win left the No. 8 Fighting Irish at 4-0, and (of course) in Lou Holtz's top four for the playoffs. This game was 100% owned by Notre dame. After a scoreless first quarter, the Irish took a 14-3 lead into halftime. Then they simply dominated the second half. The next three games will define Notre Dame's season, which include a home game against Stanford (this Saturday) and a trip to Tallahassee to meet the reigning National Champion Florida State Seminoles. If they can win out during this stretch, then it is time to talk about them in the national playoffs.
9/24/14: It is only a quarter of the way through the Notre Dame football season, but expectations are growing by the minute. Granted, the Irish have won three games over terrible teams, but they are undefeated - and that means that imaginations will run wild. Aside from that, Notre Dame is looking for better play from offensive line. The real problem is how much the team misses left tackle Zach Martin from last year. Head coach Brian Kelly is considering moving some parts around for better pass protection and run blocking. The Irish had a bye last week but get back into action at Syracuse this Saturday.
9/17/14: Notre Dame remained unbeaten by outlasting the Purdue Boilermakers 30-14 last Saturday. Combined with both Georgia and USC getting upset, that may be enough to push the Fighting Irish into the top 10 in some polls. QB Everrett Golson was strong, as he has been all season. His 15 yard scrambling touchdown just before halftime set up the Irish to dominate the second half and take the game. Notre Dame has now beaten Rice, Michigan and Purdue on the season. They have a bye this Saturday but are on the road to face Syracuse next Saturday, September 27.
8/28/14: This is the first season that Notre Dame will have a quasi-conference alignment. While they are not part of the ACC, they will play several ACC teams this season and in years going forward. Notre Dame has a very respectable schedule with home games against Michigan, Stanford, North Carolina and Louisville, as well as road trips for Florida State, Arizona State and USC. The Fighting Irish also have re-installed Everrett Golston at quarterback, with the hopes that he can rekindle the magic he showed as a freshman when Notre Dame made the BCS National Championship Game.
Next 4 Games
Top 5 Games of Last Week (10/13/14 - 10/19/14)
I was forced to leave so much off of this week's list: Peyton's 509th TD, West Virginia upsetting Baylor and Utah overcoming Oregon State in double OT. But hey, it's a Top 5, not a Top 8. These are this week's best. #5. Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers Division rivals always have some…Read more