I'm amazed that the "loyal subway alums" at the Trib have already started to question Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham.From the Grapevine:
One column today even resurected the image of former coach Bob Davies standing on the sidelines as the Irish got roundly stomped by NC State Wednesday. Forget that ND has been losing bowl games for a while now, really didn't show anything against USC, the last good team they faced, and probably have a long way to go to really return to their glory days of "yore," This year's team has been treated like the "second coming," with Willingham in the featured role.
But the term "Playing over your head" keeps popping up in the back of my brain.
Then you start reading of all the little problems that have beset the Irish since November: Two starting Tackles suspended for "student affairs violations;" a backup defender arrested after an altercation in a Jacksonville bar, and a bunch of personal foul penalties during the game. What made ND so attractive during their early season run was the return of the "altar boy" image so celebrated by the Irish faithful.
One lineman, now expected to bolt to the NFL is All American Jeff Faine: "I play as hard as I can play," said center Faine [in Chicago Sports], who was whistled twice for personal fouls. "If it's too much, it's too much. I really have a hard time swallowing an unnecessary-roughness penalty because it's definitely a rough game. I come out here to be a violent player. That's part of being in the trenches."
I might point out that interior linemen rarely get called for personal fouls - they are smarter than that. Flags fly inside for holding, but a center with two in a game has to be a candidate for the record book. Some fans complain about NU's stupid late hit penalties, but two in a game takes the cake.
You'd have to wonder if NU Coach Randy Walker or O-Line Coach Jim Patton would leave an NU center in a game after a Personal Foul. Anyone remember [graduating NU Center] Austin King ever getting flagged that?
Those who question NU Coach Randy Walker's recruiting style and how strong the bonds are on the present team, can chew on this one:On all these Bowl Games
I've been told that NU pulled an offer to one top prospect this fall, after team members came to the Coach and asked to have the prospect's offer recinded because of the prospect's antics at an off campus party during his recruiting weekend.
We can all take a guess at who it might be, but I wouldn't say even if I knew. Suffice to say that this team appears to be pretty particular about who joins them in representing Northwestern on the gridiron.
Some of you may remember the story from year's past, about Coach Walker deciding to not persue a recruit who did not show his parents any respect during an official home visit. I think we also know about how Walker doesn't try to change another team's committed prospect's decision.
Personally, I like this recruiting style.
1. I think there are too many bowl games-- da Coach
2. I agree with the guy on ESPN who thinks that you should have a winning conference record along with a .500 season to be eligible for a bowl.
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