Today's "Thundering Herd" Vs The "Ghosts Of Notre Dame"

Doug UrschelCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  Head coach Charlie Weis of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish greets Pete Carroll of the USC Trojans after the game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 29, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. The Trojans defeated the Fighting Irish 38-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

There will be a difference between the two teams playing at South bend on October 17, 2009.   The USC Trojans will be playing in actual time.  The Irish of Notre Dame will be praying to the ghosts of Irish past.

Make no mistake, the Trojans are young and want to make their own mark in South Bend.  They don't care about what has happened in past USC/Notre Dame games and they aren't thinking about playing the game for Trojans of "yesteryear." 

The game is now and it's for them.

Each time the Irish come running out of the tunnel in green uniforms they are screaming that they are a team of the past - not of the present. 

Pete Carroll tells his players to compete to the best of their ability each minute that they're in uniform.  Those players that clear their mind of everything but football and the game at hand declare "I'm in" and tap a sign.

Those who aren't able to don't play the game.

This is the harsh reality from a coaching staff that is primarily from the NFL.  Maybe that's why Pete Carroll's players are doing better and better in the  NFL.

Coach Weis relies on the ghosts of Rockne, the Four Horsemen, the Gipper, and some stuff from Trader Joe's. 

The season before last, coach Weis announced that he was going to have his team wear the green jerseys.  That's like apologizing for a speech before you give it.  That's something you just don't do.

There may be a team as good in big games as Pete Carroll's Trojans have proven to be, but none better.  Coach Weis should find out why that is.  Instead of the green jerseys, come out with a plan. 

Notre Dame should have the players to compete against anyone.  All of Notre Dame's players should have been recruited by coach Weis.  So what gives?  Most of the recruiting sources claim that Notre Dame has recruited well in the last four years.

This year marks the first time in many years that a Notre Dame QB is one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy.  It was claimed, by some, that he would have won it by now.  Now is the time for the Notre Dame QB to place his claim on that award. 

Beat USC and it will say something more than (last year), having no first downs until the last play of the third quarter.   Notre Dame has lost to USC each year under coach Weis.  USC won the last game in South Bend 38-0.  Last season, the Irish lost to the Trojans in Los Angeles 38-3.

Now is the time coach Weis.  The Notre Dame fans are anxiously awaiting a win over USC.  You have bragged about your passing attack being "the best in the nation."  Prove it!  Have your QB pass around and over the Trojan defense.  After all, many have claimed that USC's defense all left for the NFL last year.  There's nothing left!

Coach Weis, have your runners gut the inexperienced Trojan line and linebackers for huge chunks of yards.  They're paper tigers!  USC has nothing left on defense.

USC is playing with a freshman QB.  What could he possibly know?  How could a freshman QB understand your defensive schemes?

There is also this sensitive problem.  If the Irish fall behind or lose, will the fans throw things at them?  USC players don't wish to be in the line of fire.

I'm not sure if that actually happened last year.  It may have been created by the media.  I hope so for the Trojans' sake.  I've been a part of friendly fire and there's nothing "friendly" about it.    I know that the Trojans don't want to be a part of any "collateral damage" either.

So please, keep the Irish fans in the stands and their arms down.

Coach Weis, this could be the year that you end the consecutive humiliating defeats to the Trojans.  The ball, fans, referees, snowballs, and flashlight batteries are all in your court.

Coach Weis, this is the year that your team beats USC, your QB gets a boost in the Heisman race and you secure your job for another twenty years...or not.