NCAA Football: What I Learned From Notre Dame-Michigan

Alan BassSenior Writer ISeptember 11, 2010

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 11: Ethan Johnson #90 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Roy Roundtree #12 of the Michigan Wolverines chase down a fumbled ball at Notre Dame Stadium on September 11, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Note: Allow me to set the record straight: I do not have a favorite school. I enjoy seeing certain schools have success, but never do I cheer for a specific football program to succeed. I simply watch the games. 

After watching Notre Dame host the Michigan Wolverines, there were some positives and negatives coming out from each sideline.

Continuing this regular segment, I go through the standout players, those that need work and tendencies of each team that must be praised or fixed.


Dayne Crist Could Lead Notre Dame to a BCS Bowl (Assuming He’s Healthy)

Let me clarify, before everything chews me out. No player can lead a college to a BCS Bowl on his own. But Crist is talented enough and has the supporting cast to do it this year.

I’m not expecting a National Championship appearance for the Irish. But why not an appearance as a BCS Buster if they can win out (improbably, but not impossible)?

In the short time he played, Crist looked composed in the pocket, in addition to being extremely calm and making smart decisions (other than the last play).

He wasn’t afraid to get hit and made numerous rushing and passing attempts with hands and bodies inches from his face. After a good (but not great) first week performance, Crist looks like he’s settled in and ready for a long season.

Kyle Rudolph May Be The Most Valuable Tight End in the Country

Standing at 6-foot-6, the Notre Dame junior is one of the biggest, strongest and most talented tight ends in the country.

His ability to keep possession of the ball under incredible pressure, in addition to being able to rack up yards after the catch, shows just how talented he truly is.

You think he could double as a fullback in the NFL?


Notre Dame’s Mascot Still Cracks Me Up

Is there anything funnier than watching a college student, dressed up as a leprechaun, jumping up and down like a little kid as his team marches down the field?

This is no disrespect to Notre Dame; I have the utmost respect for one of the most storied college football programs in the country. But mascots, especially those that make you giggle, just make me smile.


Notre Dame Showed Great Composure, Which Will Help Them Down the Stretch

After having two touchdowns taken away on their first drive (one from a penalty and one after a video review) Notre Dame didn’t react negatively in the slightest. Dayne Crist simply punched the ball in himself to put the Irish on the scoreboard.

Just one example of Notre Dame’s composure, the team showed how much they’ve improved in the offseason working with Brian Kelly.


Denard Robinson is a Future All-American

Quarterback Denard Robinson is extremely talented and a lot of fun to watch. He had many flashes of brilliance, both on the ground and in the air.

He was calm under pressure, composed in the pocket and showed a great ability to move nimbly out of the pocket and avoid defenders, often for scores of yards at a time.

I mean, come on! 502 total yards of offense??? Man…


Alan Bass is a writer for The Hockey News and In addition to writing for Inside Hockey and Pro Hockey News, he has also worked for the Philadelphia Flyers. He is the General Manager of the Muhlenberg College hockey team as well. You can contact him at