Notre Dame Football: A Decided Schematic Advantage

The Dead Guy SECAnalyst INovember 11, 2008

It’s been a while since I ranted a bit about Fat Charlie and his Pathetic Irish, but after reading Senator Blutarsky's take on this, I figured it was time to pull one together. The one sentence that should incent any college football fan is this:

If Notre Dame beats Navy and Syracuse and loses, as expected, to USC on the road, the Irish will finish 7-5. That should be good enough for them to earn an invitation to the Cotton Bowl, Gator Bowl or Sun Bowl…

First of all, no way the Cotton Bowl selects a 7-5 Notre Dame team over LSU or Ole Miss or any other SEC team. The point is most likely moot as the Gator Bowl would surely jump at the chance to bring Fat Charlie to Jacksonville.

Secondly, I just don't get why people are still obsessed with Notre Dame. They haven’t won a bowl game since 1993. They haven’t been competitive in a bowl game since 1998.

They're a whopping 5-4 this season playing almost exclusively with the players Weis has brought in, though I'm sure it's somehow still Tyrone Willingham's fault the Irish suck again this season.

Despite all that, the Irish are on TV every weekend, and actually have special exceptions written into some bowl contracts, including the BCS games.

In his tenure at Notre Dame, he has exactly one win that you can look back and point at and say, “Nice win there, coach” and that’s the 41-17 beatdown of Penn State in 2006 when the Nittany Lions finished 9-4.

Other than a win over a 7-5 Michigan in 2005, there’s hardly a win worth mentioning. To put a little more perspective on it, Pat Forde has this to say in his latest Forde Yard Dash:

After once again playing piñata for mighty Boston College, Weis is now 1-16 in his past 17 games against teams that finished the season .500 or better, or, in the case of 2008 opponents, currently are .500 or better. That lone point of pride in those 17 games: a seven-point win last month over Stanford, which presently is 5-5 but easily could end up 5-7 and wipe that victory off the books.

Gre Couch of the Chicago Sun-Times references that same PSU victory in 2006 as Weis' only accomplishment at Notre Dame and also offers these gems:

...the most-hyped coach in college football history has been one big failure. Never has so much hope and hype been built from hot air. But when you sell yourself on spec, as Weis did, sooner or later, the finished product comes in.

Under Weis, Notre Dame has never beaten a good team.

In the Sagarin computer national rankings, Notre Dame is ranked behind James Madison.

Let’s take a closer look at Notre Dame’s offensive numbers from last year, the third year that the Fighting Irish had their Decided Schematic Advantage over everyone they played:

2007 Notre Dame:
Scoring Offense: 16.4 ppg
Total Offense: 242.3 ypg
Passing Offense: 167.0 ypg
Rushing Yards: 75.25 ypg

For those of you struggling to grasp how pathetic those numbers, here’s how they compare to the 2008 Tennessee team:

2008 Tennessee:
Scoring Offense: 16.0 ppg
Total Offense: 267.1 ypg
Passing Offense: 162.8 ypg
Rushing Yards: 104.3 ypg

So, the offensive genius designed an offense that managed 25 less yards per game than the Vols are averaging this year.

The Irish aerial attack last year did manage to put up nearly 5 more passing yards per game than the current Jonathan Crompton/Nick Stephens debacle in Knoxville this season.

And the Vols are doing this against (mostly) SEC defenses, while the Irish played the Service Academies and mid-tier Big 10 teams.

For those of you who are interested in joining the millions of "Huge Notre Dame Fans" out there, please refer to the following flow chart:


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