Normally on Friday's I talk about the game and make my prediction. There really isn't much to say about this game other than Army is not a good football team. They average more than three turnovers a game, and they give up more points (26.8) points than they score (20.9). I expect that margin to increase after Saturday.
I mean no disrespect to Army. The play hard, and they certainly have my admiration for what they go through day in and day out in the academy and will be going through in the very near future. But they're not a good football team. I just don't think it will be much of a game and I have something else I'd rather talk about.
Mike Frank Prediction:
Notre Dame: 49 Army: 7
The End of an Era
The 2003 recruiting class is kind of a special class for me. This was the first class where I was able to follow them through the entire "process." I followed them all through their recruiting season, and I was able to follow them all the way through their careers at Notre Dame as a "journalist," or as some would say, "fanboy."
Like any other class, some played a great deal over their careers and some didn't. Like many before, some didn't last at Notre Dame and others stuck it out.
I've been following recruiting for some time, and I've talked with many members of various recruiting classes over the years, but for some reason this class seemed special. This group just seemed to have that level of confidence and leadership that none before seemed to have.
I think initially it was the leadership of Brady Quinn. This class was the first class I can remember where they actually got to know each other very well long before the enrolled at Notre Dame. Brady Quinn and many others had a large role in that, but it certainly seemed to pay off over the years.
This group, from their freshmen season, seemed to have a chip on their shoulders and understood they were the future of Notre Dame football. They embraced the tradition, and more importantly, the expectations. They fully understood the expectations and gladly accepted them because they were the same expectations they set for themselves.
Standing in the press room after games, I've seen them at their lowest of lows and their highest of highs, and every one of them handled themselves with total class in both situations. It can't be fun having a mic shoved in your face and having to answer why you threw a key interception, dropped a pass, missed a block, missed a kick or were a reason your team lost the game. Most members of this class found themselves answering those questions at one point or another over their Notre Dame career.
But here they stand now, a few games away from a chance to do what they set out to do…..win the National Championship. They'll need some luck, but this class seems to have plenty of it…..or is it belief? Maybe the improbable wins against Michigan State and UCLA were just that—not luck but a belief in oneself that permeates through this class and now team.
They'll need to get by Army first, something they'll certainly do, and then it's the challenge of their life. To go into the Coliseum and take what's rightfully theirs….what was stolen from them last season.
I don't know about you, but I think we have a lot more fireworks left in this season. The planets aligned last weekend. It's like the story is writing itself at this point. Will it be a happy ending? We'll have to wait and see.
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