Our Saturday? We'll Take Harry Potter

Do we have to watch? You know Notre Dame football has hit a low ebb when "Harry Potter" tickets are more precious than those to an Irish home football game. (Editor's note, "I need five." For Harry, that is.) The IrishEyes staff weighs in on Irish-Navy, a contest full of athletes with admirable courage and character, and painfully little gridiron success.

November 16, 2001

Time To Say Goodbye
To Dismal Grid Season

The IrishEyes.Com NewsService

NOTRE DAME, IN (IE) – Notre Dame and Navy enter tomorrow game's with combined records of 3-14.  Enough said.


There are leaves to be raked.    Chores to be done.  Harry Potter. 


But, then again, we're Irish.    Of course we need to watch and cover the game tomorrow.  It doesn't mean we have to like it.


Here are the predictions from four members of our staff.


MARK ALLEN, “Fan’s Perspective” ContributorThe pre-game rhetoric will be as it usually is: The Academies are tough and disciplined. The option is difficult to defend, etc. Navy QB Brian Madden is a good option QB. But, he will not be enough. Navy is horrendous against the run. Notre Dame should have its best rushing game of the season. Look for maybe two Irishmen to have 100 yard games and Notre Dame to have over 300 total rushing yards. It could be worse than my prediction. NOTRE DAME, 38-10.


TOM BECK, “Beck’s Beat”There is no way that this should not be a rout. ND is talking about injuries and how tough Navy plays against them and both points are true. BUT, Navy also has injuries at this point in the season and although every true fan loves the spirit and determination of the Navy players they simply cannot match up with the talent and size of Notre Dame. Good big athletes will beat smaller, less-talented athletes. With a drought in scoring this season, ND will want to score and score and score. A mis-match, but the Midshipmen will keep fighting 'til the final whistle. NOTRE DAME, 49-7.

RICHARD CICCONE, "EyeGlass" -- Not even the pall that has set over the Irish, nor the injuries, nor turnovers nor rain, hail, sleet, etc., can stop Notre Dame from extending its streak in what used to be called the nation's longest intersectional rivalry. For the last 30 years or so it is hardly a game, although the game Middies never quit. NOTRE DAME, 34-10.

ALAN TIEULI, IrishEyes Managing EditorAt one time, being the top independent in the country meant something. Now Navy and Notre Dame are the only two indies that play legitimate Division 1-A schedules. In the time I’ve been on this beat, two head coaches have impressed me with their character and genuine personality more than any others – Charlie Weatherbie at Navy and Bob Davie. One is already gone, the other is on his way. The rapid deterioration of both programs illustrates how difficult – if not impossible – it is to be an independent in major college football. It’s a charming story why these two schools continue to meet each year, and expect NBC to recount it at length tomorrow, particularly during these war times. There may be some drama on the field, as well. With a six-season track record of poor performances at home versus the Service Academies, there is no reason to believe the Irish will play flawlessly. NOTRE DAME, 27-14.

JOE TYBOR, IrishEyes Founder This should be easy for Notre Dame. Let's hope the players have some fun with it. Maybe Jared Clark can see some playing time. It's a shame that as college football heads down the stretch toward the BCS countdown Notre Dame has become such an inconsequential participant. Even the Wall Street Journal noted it in Friday's editions. "Up until a few years ago, the [college] game's top rung was pretty much dominated by five schools," the WSJ wrote. "Penn State in the East, Alabama in the South, Notre Dame in the Midwest, Nebraska in the Midlands and Southern Cal on the West Coast. In that time, these teams won more than half the national titles. These days, you couldn't put together a team of all -stars from the other four that could top Nebraska's second string." It's too bad some once-very-promising players -- Tony Fisher, David Givens, Javin Hunter, Kurt Vollers, Rocky Boiman -- will be playing the last time before a home crowd under such disappointing circumstances. Oh well, there’s always hoops, which gets underway Friday night. NOTRE DAME, 43-13.


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