Let’s Be Clear

If we end up with the offense to human decency that a Notre Dame/Alabama title game would represent, I will hold Rob and Erik personally responsible. I mean, is getting 17 regulation time points against Stanford too much to ask?

87 comments on this post.
  1. stevesliva:

    ha-ha

  2. ploeg:

    The way we’re going, how ’bout a Florida-Georgia rematch?

  3. LosGatosCA:

    I think Oregon got enough breaks today to score another 17-21 points on top of the 14 they scored.

    To Stanford’s defense’s credit, that didn’t happen.

  4. Onward to victory:

    Cheer cheer for old Notre Dame
    Wake up the echoes cheering her name
    Send a volley cheer on high
    Shake down the thunder from the sky

    Just think of the Irish as the only thing preventing a title game
    featuring two 1 loss SEC teams

  5. LosGatosCA:

    I think the big 1-loss team winner today was Kent State.

    Their earlier win over Rutgers is looming large now.

  6. LosGatosCA:

    I’m preferring the SEC matchup to a team that limped across the finish line against mighty Pitt (4-6) in OT and almost dominated Boston College (2-9) and played so poorly against Stanford that it took a bad call at the goal line and a 2 interception performance by the soon-to-be-replaced Nunes to keep them in the game for OT.

    Here’s hoping USC stomps them by a point on a bad, blown call at the goal line.

    Oregon may have it’s hands full with Oregon State next week as will Stanford with UCLA.

    Depending on results, Stanford-UCLA could be the PAC-12 championship game right after they each other play next week. That would be very weird.

  7. LosGatosCA:

    In other sports injustices, Melky gets a 2 year $16M contract to play 112 games for the Blue Jays in 2013.

  8. James E. Powell:

    Now that I see so many heads exploding and the potential for so many more I really want to see Notre Dame win out.

  9. Pinko Punko:

    I hate ND, and they have three barely wins (Michigan, Pitt, Stanford) but being in the Stanford game means more now, and the OU win looks halfway decent at this point. I just don’t like how every other team that loses a late in the year game is automatically out, but Alabama can always stay in. SEC is strong this year, but Alabama has had the weakest schedule of the top SEC teams because it didn’t play a strong SEC East team in its regular schedule, it never gets retroactively dinged by the voters for a win over an OK Michigan team that was overrated at the beginning of the year (though I suspect the computers will give Michigan credit for slim losses to ND and Nebraska). The SEC is very stratified this year. 6 teams dividing their losses relatively equally and all of them beating everyone else. Florida and SCa have both played tough SEC West games and will get to go against the top 1 loss teams from the ACC, but it doesn’t matter- Bama is the anointed. And they have two wins of note, Michigan and LSU. I feel if UCLA beats Stanford and then Oregon beats UCLA we have a situation. Why would Alabama be the anointed one? Ugh. Note that the computers like Florida better than Alabama (remember computers are only allowed to look at who you beat and other stuff, but not margin of victory) so computers have Gators higher than Bama, and with the Gators having FSU…too much to think about.

  10. Anonymous:

    Your Oregon bluster has been adorable all season.

  11. Domino:

    Be glad you don’t root for Kansas State.

    That loss was so terrible I’m beyond upset. Now going to sleep. Cheers

  12. commie atheist:

    How about some love for Stanford? Luck leaves, and they still play great football – came close to beating ND, beat Oregon, and they play a redshirt freshman at QB. Has anyone played Oregon better on defense recently?

  13. Matt:

    Why 112 games? He served his suspension this year, didn’t he? (He was eligible to play in the World Series, so he must have finished it.)

  14. Aaron B.:

    It wasn’t exactly bluster; they’ve been stomping a lot of face.

  15. Njorl:

    The good news for Notre Dame is that either KState or Oregon lost last night.

    The bad news is that they both did.

  16. Ken:

    I tuned in to the Oregon-Stanford game and got a B1G game instead. By the way, OSU-Wisconsin total points > Oregon-Stanford. Whooda thunk?

    I was really hoping Oregon would make it to NC game (they may yet) because Oregon would clobber Big Ten representative in Rose Bowl. Assuming they get by UCLA, of course.

  17. Mudge:

    Obviously Stanford decided to win one for Susan Rice. Powerful mojo there.

  18. Chet Manly:

    Has anyone played Oregon better on defense recently?

    Just checked, today was the lowest Oregon score since Sep 3 2009.

  19. Marek:

    He did serve the suspension. Perhaps we’re anticipating another positive test after the all-star break?

  20. Colin:

    Were it not for Tressel’s coverup, the country would be staring at the real possibility of Notre Dame-Ohio State. YMMV on whether that would be better or worse than Alabama-Notre Dame.

  21. John:

    Man, Jim Tressel. What a horrifying scandal, where Ohio State players were…doing…something. Getting free tattoos?

    What a moral monster. Tressel’s failure to, um, prevent his players from getting free tattoos (?) is probably the worst moral failing ever from a Big Ten Coach.

  22. NonyNony:

    The scandal was that Tressel, who should have been doing his goddamn job by disciplining the students involved instead directed a cover-up to hide what they’d done. Despite the fact that his cover-up scandal was “not as bad as” one that broke shortly after it, it still doesn’t change the fact that the idiot decided to look at the regulations on what he was supposed to do and decided to ignore them and hide what his players did. That was stupid.

    Having said that – Ohio State would not have had the season they’ve had this year if Tressel were still the coach. They might have had a winning season anyway, but there’s no freaking way a coach as conservative as he was would have had games full of stupid wins like the ones we’ve had this year. There have been many games where we just should not have won but either the other team was even more inept than we were or we got damn lucky. The Big 10 this year just kind of sucks all around when it comes to football, and Ohio State gets to be the least sucky team in a whole crowd of suckage.

  23. Ken:

    No we wouldn’t. Tressel wouldn’t have this team where it is this season. Nice try, though.

  24. Mudge:

    Everything you say about performance could also apply to Notre Dame. Perhaps there is a Touchdown Jesus, on ND’s side for Stanford and Pitt..and in the Stanford/Oregon game.

  25. Colin:

    I was referring more to the penalties than to the actual coaching (whether or not he’d have kept his job without the coverup is moot).

  26. Scott Lemieux:

    Just think of the Irish as the only thing preventing a title game featuring two 1 loss SEC teams

    Seriously. This scenario is making goddamned Notre Dame in the BCS title game the least bad option. Jesus.

  27. Scott Lemieux:

    No kidding. At least we can be pretty confident that Alabama will stomp the crap out of them.

  28. Pinko Punko:

    Alabama presumed confidence is why they lose and it never seems to matter- they MUST be good, right?

    They are probably really good, but they don’t have the schedule that allows us to know it.

  29. Chris MM:

    The loss to Kentucky is damning.

  30. Scott Lemieux:

    Oh, yeah, to be clear I’m not a believer in this “the SEC is worlds apart” theory. Oregon losing is never about the PAC-12 being underrated, while an Alabama loss is spun as “you can’t go undefeated in the SEC.” Still, it’s hard to imagine that they aren’t a lot better than Notre Dame.

  31. Bill K:

    I sill think it’s a same that an Oregon team that beat the murderers row of Arkansas State, Fresno State, and Tennessee Tech should be out of the BCS title game.

  32. Bill K:

    The real “shame” is that there isn’t grammar check in the comments.

  33. NonyNony:

    Tressel wouldn’t have this team where it is this season.

    To be fair, Tressel probably wouldn’t have had this team either. His team would have been a different one, just like his coaching style would have been a radically different one.

  34. Davis X. Machina:

    33 posts on minor-league football.

  35. tonycpsu:

    Maybe if the Ducks had rolled out these unis their receivers could have gotten some more separation.

  36. Pinko Punko:

    ND is weird. I mean Michigan self-destructed and should have destroyed them, but Stanford and Oklahoma are games that I think say ND must be at least pretty good. While I don’t think the SEC is worlds apart, if Georgia wins out and beats Bama, then Florida has almost the same argument that Alabama had last year. Let’s just ask- if UF, UGa, ND, Oregon and K State all end up with one loss, and through in Clemson as well (or replace UF with FSU and UGa with Alabama), who are the picks for the NCG? Let’s say in one scenario Stanford blows it against UCLA giving Oregon the PAC-12 championship game, but in another scenario they don’t. In some of those situations, it seems like voters would lean toward an all SEC game. Ugh.

    I kind of fantasize that they should just suspend the BCS rules this year. Give 6 slots to the SEC and then the other 6 to everyone else, and then everyone else can team up and try to get the best matchups vs the SEC (it would be a la the Ryder Cup) and we can finally determine whether the SEC is really any better. I suspect they’d maybe go 3-3, which would mean they aren’t any better.

  37. MikeJake:

    They’ve definitely turned the old adage “It’s better to lose early than lose late” on its head.

    The problem is the SEC’s pretenders get the advantage of the conference rep, but the schedule doesn’t always expose those pretenders until the second half of the season. So Miss. St. starts 7-0 and gets all the way up to #11, while beating exactly nobody. When Alabama beats the crap out of them, it solidifies in the minds of the voters that Alabama is #1 (before this game, Oregon was still getting a top vote in the coaches’ poll; afterwards Bama had all the votes). But when it turns out that teams like Michigan and Miss. St. weren’t actually that good, do the voters readjust in light of this new information? No. If FSU beats Florida and Clemson beats SCar this week, will that cause a wholesale downward shift of the SEC teams in the polls? Of course not.

  38. Anonymous:

    Stanford’s record = Oregon’s record; Cardinal have the head to head & they’re in the same div. I’m a Big Ten guy by geographic accident, but on current trajectories (obviously a loss by either would change things) don’t these facts make Oregon’s path back to the Pac 12 championship game & thus the Rose Bowl, err, strewn with obstacles?

  39. Davis X. Machina:

    I didn’t know the Ryder Cup was pro-am.

  40. MikeJake:

    A lot of the ND hate, aside from the usual reasons, seems to be predicated on the notion that Stanford and Oklahoma are nothing special, so beating them isn’t anything special. But I feel like the Pac 12 and Big 12 are filled with quality teams this year, so I don’t understand the narrative.

  41. Linnaeus:

    Which is more interesting than the NFL.

  42. MacGyver:

    Oklahoma’s only losses have been to number one ND and previous number one KSU.

  43. Decrease Mather:

    Against whom?

  44. Pinko Punko:

    The weird thing is that who is putting Notre Dame 1 but undefeated Ohio State at 4? I’m not saying Ohio State is special, but outside of one win, what has georgia done? What is impressive about them?

  45. Eric:

    Boise State?

  46. themann1086:

    That was my thought last night. I didn’t want both of them to lose! I didn’t want the SEC to have a rep in the title game. Ah well. Go Irish!

  47. themann1086:

    I’m more amused by the 3 coaches that voted for a team not named Notre Dame as #1 (2 for Alabama and 1 for Georgia). Hate them for their disproportionate media coverage all you want, they’re the last eligible undefeated team and have a higher SOS than any of the one loss teams outside of maybe Florida. For this week at least, how do you not vote them #1?

  48. Anonymous:

    Yeah, it turns out that Urban Meyer is a pretty good coach.

  49. Andetson:

    Yah, Ga and Fla overrated. LSU almost lost to Ole Miss.

    Hoping for USC stomp down on Irish so we maybe get Ducks Tide in NC game. Assuming championship games don’t go wacky.

    (Must say, Stanford looked a lot like Bama last night.)

  50. Eric:

    Exactly. I often spend an entire Saturday watching college games, but an NFL game rarely holds my attention for a full game.

  51. SOS:

    Alabama wins but I actually think they are a better match up for ND than Oregon. ND is never going to score over 17 on any good team and the Alabama offense is easier to hold to something near that score than either Oregon or KState.* I will take the over on the number of 3 & outs.

  52. Pinko Punko:

    The coaches poll is terrible at the top, but they are better at the bottom. AP blows off pretty good teams from non-automatic conferences all the time. Teams that the coaches will vote around 20-25, the press won’t even get a vote (or they definitely lag the coaches).

  53. efgoldman:

    Well let’s see.
    Yesterday, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Auburn, and Texas A&M all burnished their BCS credentials by beating mighty 1AA teams. In late November. Every damned one of them ought to be docked two places in tonight’s ratings (but won’t be, because, well, mighty SEC or something.
    At least ND (about which i don’t care much one way or the other) played legit 1A teams.

  54. Pinko Punko:

    That is how the SEC schedules- they all have non-conference dates in November. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it is to whet appetites early in the season with conference games before anyone else is really into their conference schedule (i.e. A&M vs. Florida in week 2. It might also be do to rearrangement due to incorporation of two new teams into the conference.

  55. efgoldman:

    Out of conference is one thing. 1AA teams is something else entirely. That’s like NC or KY in hoops scheduling the cupcakes they played the last few weeks, in late February. I’d like the strength-of-schedule algorithm to punish them for it.

  56. Tracy Lightcap:

    Well, that’s what the Ducks get for playing in a conference where the average offensive production (even including Stanford in the stats) is 396 YPG. I thought their offense would have trouble against Stanford; they haven’t played anybody with a half decent D all year and they just weren’t ready for what that required. (Hint: What it requires is a good kicking game, in case you Pac 12 types were wondering.)

    For all that, I think that if those two teams played 10 games, the Ducks would win 8 of them. They’re a real good football team, but they have simply got to get over the idea that you can win the MNC by outscoring everybody. Sooner or later you have a close game and D decides it.

  57. Erik Loomis:

    Stanford has to beat UCLA next week, assuming Oregon beats Oregon St.

  58. LosGatosCA:

    Exactly.

  59. LosGatosCA:

    You may mean Condi Rice. If so, not powerful mojo.

  60. LosGatosCA:

    That was before Kent State peaked.

  61. LosGatosCA:

    (even including Stanford in the stats)

    You may not be aware that last night Stanford gained both more yards than Oregon and more yards than the average offensive production you cite.

  62. LosGatosCA:

    I’m not following the hate on the SEC.

    2011 National Championship: (2) Alabama 21, (1) LSU 0
    2010 National Championship Game, Phoenix, (1) Auburn 22, (2) Oregon, 19
    2009 National Championship Game, Pasadena: (1) Alabama 37, (2) Texas 21
    2008 National Championship Game, Miami: (2) Florida 24, (1) Oklahoma 14
    2007 National Championship Game: (2) LSU 38, (1) Ohio State 24
    2006 National Championship Game: (2) Florida 41, (1) Ohio State 14

    That’s 6 consecutive national championships by 4 different SEC teams. Only Auburn had a close game in that string – thanks to Oregon.

    If you want the SEC rep to fall all someone has to do is beat them. If it’s an Alabama – Notre Dame NCG, that aint gonna happen.

  63. LosGatosCA:

    I think that if those two teams played 10 games, the Ducks would win 8 of them.

    As a counter to that prediction, I think by game 5, Kevin Hogan would be establishing the expectation that he would be turning pro before game 8 ever happened.

    Oregon had their one chance to beat him while he’s still a talented, but somewhat inexperienced red shirt freshman and they couldn’t do it.

  64. LosGatosCA:

    Forgot to note Oregon was at home as well.

    I hope for his sake that Chip Kelly is learning the fundamental truth that even Air Coryell learned in St Louis after going 4-9-1 in his first year in the pros (roughly):

    ‘I expected we could outscore everyone, but you can’t expect to outscore everyone and win consistently at this level. You need a defense to compete.’

    For Oregon that means winning the national championship.

  65. Erik Loomis:

    Of course, the defense gave up all of 17 points…..

  66. Tracy Lightcap:

    Which, as you might have noticed, was plenty enough. Besides, the Cards are the only team in the Pac 12 that actually tries to keep the score close and win with D. Which, as you might have noticed as well, worked.

  67. Tracy Lightcap:

    Dude, read the post. Slowly this time.

    I was saying that Stanford was the only team in the Pac 12 that played D. If they are left out of the stats, the league offensive average goes above 400 (!) YPG. Nobody out there seems to be interested in playing defense.

    I’m agreeing with you, iow.

    And, btw, good as Stanford is, they wouldn’t be able to duplicate their result last night consistently. The Ducks are simply too talented on O.

  68. Erik Loomis:

    Yes, that strategy worked brilliantly the previous 2 times they played Oregon.

    Defense wins games. So does offense.

  69. Linnaeus:

    I hope for his sake that Chip Kelly is learning the fundamental truth that even Air Coryell learned in St Louis after going 4-9-1 in his first year in the pros (roughly):

    ‘I expected we could outscore everyone, but you can’t expect to outscore everyone and win consistently at this level. You need a defense to compete.’

    Some of those 4th down decisions are looking a bit questionable in retrospect as well.

  70. Erik Loomis:

    No they aren’t. Have you seen the Oregon kickers?

  71. Linnaeus:

    Good point. Kelly should work on that.

  72. LosGatosCA:

    Sounds like sour grapes.

    The defense that made the difference in the game was Stanford’s.

    They defended on the road against a -2 turnover effort.

    I haven’t seen Oregon do that against a top 5 opponent away from Eugene ever.

  73. LosGatosCA:

    Or at Eugene for that matter.

  74. LosGatosCA:

    So except for the not having a kicking game, not being able to defend at the elite level (see also USC game), and not having an elite offensive line, I think Oregon is definitely being screwed by the SEC bigots in the polls.

  75. LosGatosCA:

    That’s 3 over the margin of error.

  76. LosGatosCA:

    I read it slowly, did move my lips however.

    We’ll have to just disagree on the 8/10 speculation. I’m willing to wait to see how the next 2 or 3 years with Hogan play out.

  77. burnspbesq:

    The fate of Western Civilization is in the hands of Lane Kiffin.

    If that doesn’t make you queasy, nothing ever will.

  78. LosGatosCA:

    Which way will Kiffin save the world as we know it?

    1. If SC wins, it could be another all SEC NCG.

    2. if they lose, it’s likely ND vs the 1-loss SEC conference champ (Alabama or Georgia).

    Kiffin has a powerful force behind him: USC is the only team with an all time winning record against top 10 opponents

    Plus:

    1938 – ND undefeated ranked #1 – USC 13, Notre Dame 0
    1964 – ND undefeated ranked #1 – USC 20, Notre Dame 17
    1970 – Notre Dame was 9-0 and ranked #2 – USC 38, Notre Dame 28

    Any similarly notable Notre Dame wins in the series have been edited out due to space considerations.

  79. Anonymous:

    Right, so on current trajectories (i.e. assuming wins by each next week over quality but inferior opposition – not a safe assumption, but I’d say the most likely scenario), Oregon isn’t on a path back to the Rose Bowl. Which is very good for Wisconsin, Nebraska, or Michigan.

  80. Njorl:

    Tebow isn’t playing much, and Jesus has got to do something with all that mojo he pre-ordered in the off-season.

  81. mpowell:

    That’s certainly a strong statement on behalf of the SEC, but they haven’t had 4 title contenders every year. They usually have 1 or 2 while other conferences have 0 or 1. But the rest of the their conference isn’t any better than anyone else’s in your typical year. If you look at the rest of their bowl matchups, they generally have a fine but not overwhelming record. It’s pretty clearly the case that the polls overrate the middle of the pack SEC teams.

    Whether a 1-loss Bama teams is obviously a shoe-in for the title game I think is a lot harder to say.

  82. Linnaeus:

    Sarcasm aside, I certainly am not making that case. I think Oregon is a very good football team, but I had some questions about how Oregon would do against a quality defense. Those questions were answered on Saturday night.

  83. thusbloggedanderson:

    Yep. Reminds me of my 17YO, who has formed the impression that only half the team is really playing football, whereas the D just stands around as a backdrop.

  84. thusbloggedanderson:

    Right! If you unskew the score, Oregon really won!

  85. LosGatosCA:

    I think that’s an excellent rationalization for any non-SEC conference supporter for why they haven’t been as good as the SEC.

    Of course, most of this discussion is about who the best team in the BCS is likely to be, not which conference has the strongest 6th best team of 14.

    Until some team beats them in the NCG, it all just sounds like a bunch of whining.

  86. Cody:

    This may be true, but if you don’t realize that every football team does this you should look again.

    The SEC just does it in November. Don’t know why, don’t care.

  87. Cody:

    Lets be honest here – Alabama stomped their opposition this season. Except for the LSU game and that awful loss they have been 100% dominant of their SEC opponents.

    Their defensive talent is completely unfair. Expect 4-5 more high NBA defensive picks from them this year.

    The lack of really high quality opponents is not their own fault. It’s not like they’ve been totally devoid. LSU is certainly a good team, and they’re going to have to beat Georgia also.

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