Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sh*t Sandwich | by Dylan

We knew this was coming, in spite of the rosy predictions of some. Me, for example. I'm constitutionally incapable of predicting losses to any but the strongest of opponents before the season starts. At this point, it's like that scene in Titanic where the grim reality sets in, that the laws of physics have taken over, when it becomes a foregone conclusion that, despite the miracle of its engineering, "Titanic will founder." We knew it last year, but hope got the better of us (of me, at least). We felt it looming, Ty's revenge from beyond the grave, but we chose to ignore it in the warm glow of the new season. But it was there all along, that iceberg, bobbing in the darkness, cold and inevitable.

The gaping hole in the depth chart, the paucity of bodies along the lines resulting from Willingham's hapless "recruiting", has been documented (and lamented) on this site and others. As poor a coach as he is, and as much as he deserved to be fired for that ineptitude alone, this year's senior and junior (despite Weis' best efforts to salvage it) classes are the true monuments toTy's mediocrity. It is primarily because of this dereliction that Notre Dame and her faithful find themselves in their current predicament, sitting down before a shit sandwich, knowing we must eat every bite.

And yet there is hope. Just as we knew this was coming, we also know what is yet to come. Jimmy Clausen is going to be very good. He handled himself about as well as could be expected. Armando Allen is as advertised. The defense is turning around. Most importantly, and this could never be said of Willingham, the players are on the way. If this season were a trip to the dentist, we've just heard the doctor say "you may feel a little pressure" before jamming four (Five? Six?) giant needles into our gums. But that pain is temporary. It will fade and will be forgotten in a year when our choppers are clean and healthy. An awful metaphor, but you get the idea.

So, what else happened in the CFB universe?

Michigan lost, again. At least everyone thought we were going to be bad. But Michigan? Dayum. The pain of a Notre Dame loss is generally mitigated by 30% whenever Michigan also loses, but that number can go as high as 45% when Michigan's loss is at home to a Division 1-AA would-be powderpuff or by 30+ points. I say this acknowledging that Notre Dame sucks this year and will probably lose to Michigan on Saturday, but I am loving the fact that this is just the beginning for UM. This is the beginning of the implosion. We're rebuilding now, but they don't even get to start rebuilding until next year after they fire everyone except Bo's ghost(who, quite frankly, is not pulling his weight either). Icing on the cake: watching a certain UM blogger take his site offline rather than face the music. OMG sooooooo teh bedwett0r!

Why are CFB writers so gullible? Why do they refuse to learn the most basic of lessons? Louisville is not a top ten team. The fact that their schedule is less likely to cause them to lose games does not make them good. Good teams do not give up 35 points in a half to middling Sun Belt schools. Yet there they sit at #9, the second most nonsensical "Number 9" in the history of everything.

Ditto Hawaii. 38 non-overtime points allowed to Louisiana Tech. But hooray! They don't play anyone and their quarterback throws a brazilian touchdowns against those nobodies. Top 25!

When it comes to preseason/early season polls, this week was just one more straw on the camel's back. By virtue of rankings that were based on last year or, more likely, nothing at all, teams like #7 Wisconsin (who was losing to UNLV after three quarters), #8 Cal (who moved up two spots after a 34-28 win over winless Colorado State), and #4 West Virginia (who was only up 27-23 over winless Marshall after three quarters) will be allowed to maintain their shiny preseason rankings. This makes no sense at all. No one has any idea how good these teams are, nor will they until the cupcakes are taken off the menu. Case in point? Virginia Tech. Ranked #9 after an inspiring 17-7 win over East Carolina, they were pantsed, swirlied, and drawn-on-while-passed-out by a frightening LSU team. VaTech lost by forty-one points, yet, somehow, they are still in the top 20. Eight of the teams in last week's top 25 struggled with or lost to unranked teams (Wisconsin, California, Georgia, Auburn, Nebraska, Hawaii, Boise State, and Texas A&M). When you're essentially clueless on nearly one-third of all the teams you've ranked, you're either terrible at ranking teams, or you just don't have enough to go on. Not that ignorance ever gave pause to a sportswriter.

I'm ashamed to admit this, but for a few seconds on Saturday, I felt sympathy for Miami. I really did. But it passed when I remembered they are @#!&ing Miami. Always have been (at least since 1983) and always will be, from the 58-7 game through the brawl with Florida Freaking International. I wish Miami could go 0-12 and still make it into the BCS Championship game, just so I could watch them get blown out again.

Many of our opponents look better than us right now. Before the season, I made a silly prediction based on the flawed notion that our offensive line would be, had to be, better. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. My prediction for the rest of the season? I'll get it to you after we score our first offensive touchdown. Hopefully in our third game.

Oh my Christ.