Thursday, January 04, 2007

the Morning After | by Pat

Well, the sun did come up this morning after all. Unfortunately, the Sugar Bowl wasn't just some burrito-induced nightmare. The 41-14 loss certainly wasn't a total shock, but it still hurts. And I'm sure that goes double for the actual players and coaches.

Hats off to the LSU Tigers. They came out strong, made the needed adjustments in the 2nd half, and turned a close game at halftime into a blowout. Undoubtedly upset about not landing the Rose Bowl nod, the Tigers didn't play like they wished they were in Pasadena, so kudos to them.

So what now for the Irish? We have a whole off-season to dive into the nuts and bolts of the game; the fake punt call, Darius Walker's runs, Brady Quinn's throws, Charlie's play-calling, the defense, so I won't bother to get too deep into that now.

Suffice it to say that ND was beat both in talent and coaching last night. The former is already being addressed and will hopefully get even better news in two days at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl down in San Antonio. The latter I suspect will be addressed as well, but it remains to be seen just exactly what will be done. My guess is that there will be changes made.

In the meantime, the Brady Quinn era at Notre Dame is over and next year promises to be one filled with new faces and uncertainty at just about every position. The shortcut return to glory has proven to be a dead end, and now ND is going to have to work hard to start a new run to the top with a different cast of core characters. I confess to thinking the road back to the top would be a fast and easy one. I was wrong.

Still, while the next few years might be a bit of a roller coaster ride, I have faith in the program and the big guy leading it. I'm excited about what the future will bring. Go Irish.