Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Upon Further Review - Week 6A | by Dylan

Despite not playing a game this week, the Irish depth chart took yet another hit when it was announced that Ronald Talley was taking his leave of the team. While we’ve been assured by Coach Weis that it was not a disciplinary action and that the decision was mutual, it’s definitely a puzzler. While Talley may have been dissatisfied with his playing time this year, he was certainly on track to start next year, at least if you go by the current depth chart. It seems like a curious decision, especially when you consider that he cannot play for another Division 1-A school until the fall of 2008. Whatever the reason, we wish him well and hope he finds a situation more to his liking.

What can you say about the Miami Hurricanes? They made a run at respectability under Butch Davis and seemed to have found a steadying, aww-shucks influence in Larry Coker, but that got shot all to hell on Saturday. Once a ‘Cane, always a ‘Cane, I guess. In an act of supreme inhospitality, the ‘Canes invited the Florida International University They-Have-A-Football-Teams? to the Orange Bowl for some work on the speed bag. Forget the question of why Miami would play FIU in the middle of their conference schedule, but what kind of derangement is in evidence when the ‘Canes feel the need to curb stomp Florida International University? Miami really sucks this year. Shouldn’t they have tried to represent for the thug life against a more worthy target? It was like watching Luxembourg nuke Andorra. Oh, well. It’s just one more sign that the CFB universe is aligning itself on its proper axis. Notre Dame is legit again, and Miami is a team of embarrassing sociopathic criminals.

The best story of the week was the Indiana victory over Iowa. It was the Hoosiers’ biggest win since 1987 (a game against Michigan which I attended as a freshman, pre-transfer), but not just because the hapless Hoosiers only get to celebrate in this fashion once a generation. Indiana coach Terry Hoeppner, mere weeks after his second brain surgery in 10 months, guided his team to an improbable (to say the least) win. I’ve always hated the Indiana basketball team, but I have a soft spot for the football squad. Good for them. They deserve it. We'll see what Iowa can do to redeem themselves and justify Brian at mgoblog’s earlier top 2 ranking. Whoops.

Didn’t you used to be Garrett Wolfe? The Northern Illinois running back’s celebrity stopwatch hit 14:59 on Saturday when he pounded out 25 yards on 18 carries against directional powerhouse Western Michigan. Who will be the next darling of the talking-head doofi? Well, king of the dipshits Dennis Dodd (who bears an uncanny resemblance to a clean-shaven Tobias Funke) has decreed that a freshman linebacker who has played in one game is one of the top 5 Heisman candidates. Lordy, that is some new brand of stupid. Good work, Dennis. Dork.

ND fans got a taste of things to come with the release of the initial BCS standings this week, as Harris poll voters and computers made fantastic leaps of illogic, vaulting and dropping teams with wimsy and a distinct distaste for Notre Dame. It’s how you end up with Auburn leapfrogging ND while Florida fails to fall below. Idle Notre Dame fell a spot while idle Tennessee held steady (one spot ahead of Florida, who beat them, in the Harris poll) and idle Georgia Tech moved up two. Arkansas, eight days after whipping Auburn, finds itself ranked 10 spots behind them. Go figure.

After a week of hearing blather on SoCal talk radio about how Ty Willingham has done such a great job of maximizing the talent on his Washington team, being ahead of the rebuilding curve, and throwing a scare at USC, the Huskies promptly lost to Oregon State. If any sportswriter or other media-type happens to meander past this page, remember this if you remember nothing else. Tyrone Willingham is 4-3 now, and that’s the type of performance you can expect as long as he’s coaching, wherever he’s coaching. He will occasionally beat someone you think he shouldn’t (like UCLA), teasing you into thinking he’s “turned it around”, and then he will lose to someone he should beat easily (like Oregon State) if his team were really that good. I understand the need to sell magazines and drive hits to your website, but just make up some other bit of nonsense and run with it. Ty is terrible and ND was right to ditch him. Can we go on to the next thing now?

Speaking of Southern Cal, they’ve beaten Washington State, Washington, and Arizona State by six, six, and seven points, respectively. I want them to win the rest of their non-ND games to maximize Notre Dame’s BCS bounce, but they’re going to be lucky to finish with less than three losses.

So on to UCLA on Saturday, and a BGS/EDSBS summit in the Stadium Lot. If Jay, Teds, Pat, and I have anything to say about it, Stranko and Orson are going to be dinged up come game time.

Go Irish!