May 23, 2006

The overrated Irish

Is it September yet?

Are the Irish overrated asks Going into 2006, I believe that the Domers are a bit overhyped. Yes, they made huge strides from 2004 to 2005, thanks in part to Charlie Weis and the attitude he instilled in his players.

However, when I peer at the defense for the Irish in 2006, I see a lot of familiar faces from a team that was torched by Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. What remains to be seen is whether Charlie can turn around the defense in Year Two just as he did the offense In the Beginning.

One component however is to define what being overrated is...Ivan Maisel put out his pre-season, post-spring rankings and he has them at #8. I think that is just about right. They still need a signature win to catapult them to thinking national championship, but the expectations are back in South Bend. No longer will a 8-4 season be viewed in a positive light.

Much like last year, the first stretch of games will define the Irish.

at Georgia Tech
Penn State
at Michigan State

They face a tough game in Atlanta before coming home for two rivals. Then they travel to East Lansing for a little payback. I don't think anyone will predict the Irish to be 0-4 like last year's gurus had the Irish at 0-6 after their murderous beginning, but what will help the Irish is that they get who they need at home. (Penn State, Michigan, UCLA, etc.)

The exception is USC in L.A. at the end of the year. By then the Irish will be playing for a national championship, but I think more a BCS slot. For me, that is a good goal for this team, get back to the BCS, win the bowl game.

I won't rule out a championship, but if you're a person who thinks the Irish will absolutely be in Phoenix at the end of the year for the title game, then yes the Irish are overrated.


ET said...

I'll tell you what I think the problem is dude, there isn't that one knockout team in college football like there was the last three years with the USC's and Oklahoma's and even last year with Texas.

So in all honesty, I think the Irish are a "safe" bet for tops in the polls. A "safe" pick too because it generates hype, people love college football when ND is better, I know even as a diehard PSU guy, I love it when ND is good. It just seems like all is right with the world.

That said, I don't think they are overrated at all. Few teams have the combination of an explosive running back, Heisman QB, and stud receiver like ND does. Sure there are holes in the defense and maybe O-line too, but look at it this way, every team is rebuilding this year.

It comes down to the trap game of UCLA and I think by the time they play USC, the Trojans will mirror that 02 USC team where they caught fire late and dominated everyone, but if Brady's Heisman is at stake on National TV in that game, he will light them up.

I'm to the point with ND where I only really thought they would lose one game last year and that was to Ohio State. Weis is bringing that Patriots type aura and confidence to them where you just can't doubt them.

The College Game said...

I cant agree more about there not being one dominant team this year. Each contender has a reason for me to pause about picking them. It's early in the summer and I can't weigh out my top 10 yet for the first Blog Poll.

I love the Irish, so we have to do some sort of wager on the Penn State game.

Ben said...

We need a wager for the Michigan game too!

The College Game said...

Oh yeah, Ben, definitely.

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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.