What's wrong with Notre Dame?

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Notre Dame keeps recruiting what I and Rivals, Scout, ESPN and other analysts agree are some of the best players in the country. But they aren't winnning. Why?

Coach Charlie Weis' freshman and sophomore classes boast as much talent as any school in the country. The talent isn't overrated because every major recruiting service ranked them in the top 10.

Last year's class was ranked No. 1 by Rivals and No. 2 by me. Two years ago, Notre Dame was rated No. 7. This year's class should rank between 10 and 20. It is good but not as good as last year.

Next year's freshman class got better over the weekend when wide receiver Shaquelle Evans of Inglewood, Calif., committed to the Irish. He is one of the top wide receivers in th nation. He originally committed to USC, who told him that he was their No. 1 target on the West Coast, but he changed his mind and opted for Notre Dame after deciding that USC had recruited too many wide receivers. He is another Golden Tate and Michael Floyd.

So what's wrong at Notre Dame? Why aren't they winning? Why aren't they a top 25 program?

I'm not a coach. I don't like to explain coaching when I talk about a school's recruiting. But it doesn't take an expert to see flaws in Notre Dame's program.

There are no difference makers in the defensive line or at linebacker. Former St. Rita star Darius Fleming has turned into a potential star at linebacker but he isn't there yet. The Irish have three or four good defensive backs but they don't have any outstanding defensive linemen except for Ethan Johnson, who was the Player of the Year in the Pacific Northwest last year.

Except for Johnson, it seems to me that the rest of defensive line is filled with second-stringers, overachieving backups.

Most of the best players are on offense. Sophomore Jimmy Clausen is having a good year. Floyd is the best freshman wide receiver in the country. Kyle Rudolph is the best freshman tight end in the country.

But the running game is non-existent. Robert Hughes and James Aldridge and Armando Allen were nationally recruited but none has come to the front. I'm not an expert but, when I watch them, it is obvious that the offense is one-dimensional. And you can't be one-dimensional at the major college level, even at Oklahoma or Texas Tech.

As good as the passing game might be, once you have demonstrated that you can't run, the defenses will load up on the passing game. Result? Boston College 17, Notre Dame 0. More questions are being asked and not many answers are being provided.

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10 Comments

I am not a football coach either, but I see the running problem as that of an offensive line is not producing, probably the results of bad O-line coaching. Good football teams have good lines, both on offense and defense; ND does not.

Why wouldn't top D Linemen flock to ND with the promise of getting early playing time?

THE PROBLEM IS THEY DOGGED OUT THE PREVIOUS COACH, AND
THE NEW COACH SINCE HE WAS ONCE A STUDENT AT ND, THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO WALTZ IN TO SOUTH BEND, AND POOF INSTANT VICTORIES, BUT EVEN KNUTE ROCKNE HAD DECENT PLAYERS, IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU HAVE SUPERBOWL
RINGS, YOU STILL NEED PLAYERS TO GO AGAINST THE LIKES
OF USC AND NORTH CAROLINA, NOTRE DAME'S ENTRANCE
REQUIREMENTS DON'T HELP EITHER, BUT IT IS NO SENSE
BRINGING IN GUYS WHO WILL FLUNK OUT EITHER, AND AFTER
THE PROBLEM WITH THE QB FROM THE CHICAGO PUBLIC LEAGUE
THEY WON'T BE GETTING IN BLUE CHIPPERS FROM THIS LEAGUE
AS WELL, I HOPE COACH WEISS SUCCEEDS BUT HE IS IN A
TOUGH PICKLE, COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS NO JOKE, AND WITH
THE IRISH BEING INDEPENDENT EVERY WEEK THEY HAVE A
BULLS EYE ON THEIR BACKS!
ALL I CAN SAY IS KEEP RECRUITING AND HOPEFULLY LIKE A
CAKE THE INGREDIENTS WILL COME TOGETHER!

I can see that the line (offense & defense)is not getting off quick enough..I played football and I know what i am talking about...they have to get off like a spring or rubber band shot from your hand .I am a senior
citizen and retired .I'll bet I could still beat any lineman off the ball.. I would be willing to show coach WEIS how its done also.... some tricks I learned over the years(all legal)I CAN BE CONTACTED THRU MY E MAIL ADDRESS......

Notre Dame has the most talent in the nation, and It kills me to say this, but the real problem is Weis... I have been a Notre Dame fan my whole life, and these last few seasons have been painful to watch. In 2005, and 2006, we had the best teams in the Nation, but couldn't win more than 9 games. Now 2007 is excused because we had lost 8 key seniors, plus our QB, who was also the best in the Nation. This year we should be 9-2 going into the USC game. After today's game I wanted to cry, as well as the NC game and PITT game. I think we can all admit, that Charlie Weis, is Notre Dames only problem...

Thanks for that - I am such a newbie when it comes to the internet and it never ceases to amaze me how helpful everyone is. Wish I'd gotten into this sooner now!

I couldn't agree more with you, thanks for giving this the attention it deserves

Hey your blog is fantastic. i found in google.. may be come back any day :)

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This page contains a single entry by Second Season published on November 9, 2008 11:42 AM.

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