Reid Cherner in USA Today had a pretty good collection of quotes this morning from various commentators on this year's Irish. Kevin White's in there, Pat Haden, Golic, Matt Cavanaugh (?), Mike Farrell of Rivals; hell, even Jimmah (PFS) weighs in. The mood is, if not optimistic, at least mildly hopeful for the future.
The Irish have three new starters on the offensive line, and going into the Michigan game had 13 starters with five or fewer career starts.The question, of course, is when does the future begin? Will it begin this week against Michigan State?
"In college football there is no secret. First of all you have to have the talent second of all you have to have the coaching," says Fox NFL analyst Jimmy Johnson, who will work the BCS title game on Fox. "They have a quality coaching staff but evidently their talent level isn't where it needs to be."
Johnson won a national title at Miami and two Super Bowls in Dallas. He was 1-15 with his first Cowboys team and won the NFL title three years later. Still, he's not sure how Notre Dame can fix its problems.
"Obviously they are playing a whole lot of young players on offense, so they've got to bite the bullet and let them get some experience and let them grow," he says. "But in all honesty, I've watched them in the first three games, and they've played three quality opponents, but I'm a little baffled myself. I didn't expect them to be great, but I expected them to be better than this. I'm scratching my head as well."