Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Irish Class Grows to Nine

On Monday the Fighting Irish picked up their ninth commitment in the recruiting class of 2010 when former Stanford commitment Chris Badger made a visit to campus thanks to the work of defensive line coach Randy Hart. Badger was quoted as saying he was "blown away" by what he saw on his visit to Notre Dame and was surprised how quickly he was able to change his mind on Stanford.

Credit is owed to one of the Irish who is yet to play in an actual game as Manti Te'o was very helpful in recruiting aspects. Both Te'o and Badger are Mormon and attended a church service together over the weekend, something that sold Badger on the University.

Badger becomes the second defensive back to commit to the Fighting Irish with the other being Lo Wood and occurring just days ago. After bringing in zero defensive backs in the 2009 recruiting class it is of utter importance that the Irish do well there this year. With both Lo Wood and Chris Badger now commited the Irish are off to a solid start at the postion. Both players are touted as three star recruits so adding both more numbers as well slightly more touted players would be ideal in Notre Dame's case.

Although the 2009 recruiting class failed to pick up any defensive backs the 2008 class is shaping up to be very solid at the position. Robert Blanton has shown signs of brilliance in one year on campus as he had a pick-6 against Purdue as well as what was called an "outstanding game" by Charlie Weis against USC. Dan McCarthy and Jamoris Slaughter were both also in this class but did not see any game action in 2008.

Badger has a body size of 6'0'', 178 pounds while his forty time is listed at 4.65 seconds. For comparisons sake Lo Wood checks in at 5'10'', 165 with a forty time of 4.58. Badger will be a safety for the Fighting Irish in the future. His videos show him to be outstanding against the run while be able to deliver the big hit on recievers.

Welcome to Notre Dame, Chris Badger!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Jimmy Clausen: Bust After Only Two Years?

Ryan Williams, Domer Sports Report

Notre Dame Football

Is Jimmy Clausen a bust or is he a maturing superstar? I will save my opinion for the comment section and let you, the reader make the call.

Clausen's sophomore stats looked like this: 268/440 60.9 percent for 3172 yards, 25 TDs, 17 ints, 132.49 rating.

Let's take a look at the second full season of some of the more high profile QBs of the last five years.

Let's start with a couple Heisman Trophy winners.

We all know of Tim Tebow's accomplishments. He has been one of the biggest game-changing players at his position. He seems to be able to put his team on his shoulders and will them to victory. See Tebow's speech after Ole Miss loss last year. Tebow's sophomore year was phenomenal. It was his Heisman winning year. His stats on the year read like a one man show.He completed 217 of 317 passes for 3132 yards. He threw 29 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. He also rushed for 833 yards and 22 TDs. This gave him a ridicules passer rating of 177.8.

How about Matt Leinart? Leinart's third year in the system but second as a starter was a National Championship winning year for USC. It was also Leinart's Heisman Trophy winning year. Leinart completed 269 passes out of 412 attempts for 3322 yards. He threw 33 tds with only 6 interceptions. He had a well above average 156.5 QB rating.

Those two are examples of the best of the best. Now let's take a look at a couple mere mortals.
Mathew Stafford had a very good collegiate career. Good enough to garner the first overall pick in last years NFL draft. Stafford’s sophomore campaign netted him a completion percentage of 55.7 by completing 194 passes out of 348 attempts. He threw for 2523 yards with 19 TDs and 10 interceptions which netted him a rating of 128.9.

And last but not least lets compare Notre Dames own Brady Quinn. Brady’s sophomore season saw him complete 191 passes out of 353 attempts for 2586 yards. He had a completion percentage of 54.1 Quinn threw for 17 TDs and 10 interceptions which led to a passer rating of 125.78.

These are strictly individual accomplishments and take into account none of the value of the surrounding team they played on.

Clausen is bested in every category by the two Heisman Trophy winners. He bested the other two QBs in every category with the exception of the interceptions.

So I ask you: Bust or Maturing Superstar?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Irish Class Continues to Grow, Welcome Lo Wood!

In what has turned into a very good week for Notre Dame on the recruiting front, defensive back Lo Wood of Apopka, Florida took the Irish coaching staff by surprise on Friday afternoon when he showed up unexpectedly to announce his verbal commitment to the University of Notre Dame.

Wood becomes the eighth verbal commit for the Fighting Irish in the 2010 class, a class that has nearly doubled in size over the past two days. As late as the morning of this past Thursday rumors were flying that Chris Martin was not going to end up at Notre Dame after all and that many on message boards felt that this years class would be lucky to crack the top 25 when it is all said and done.

Don't get me wrong, there is a ton of work still left to do for the Irish but at least things are seeming more on track with where they need to be compared to where they seemed to be headed just a few short days ago.

So who exactly is Lo Wood and football wise what is he going to be able to do at the University of Notre Dame?

Wood comes in listed at 5'10'' and weighing 160 pounds, "room to grow" is how we will put it with him. His height is about where you expect a solid cornerback to be at this level but he will have to add some muscle before he gets any playing time for the Irish. His forty time is listed at 4.58 seconds and although there is plenty of room to improve, its a solid starting point.

Wood chose the Fighting Irish over rival Michigan with many from Michigan thinking that Wood was leaning their way until just recently. From everything I have read and heard, Corwin Brown is what made the difference in getting Wood to come to Notre Dame.

With the talent the Irish have started to bring into the secondary it is seeming more and more that all defensive backs will have to battle in order to get on the field. Wood has decent enough size and enough speed that he should be in the mix for playing time in the future, just don't expect a lot out of the gate with all the talent Notre Dame already has in the defensive backfield. Here is what I was able to find videowise on Lo:

Welcome to Notre Dame, Lo Wood!

Written By:
Nick Shepkowski
Bleacher Report
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Irish Recruiting Class Grows to Seven!

Shortly after Andrew Hendrix committed to Notre Dame on Thursday afternoon, the class of 2010 grew by one as Blake Lueders gave his word to head coach Charlie Weis.

Lueders is a 6'5'', 250 pound middle linebacker from Zionsville, Indiana and chose the Fighting Irish over other top-notch academic schools Northwestern, Boston College, Wake Forest, and Stanford.

Lueders plays middle linebacker at Zionsville High School but is expected to move to defensive end once he arrives in South Bend next summer. With Lueders now joining Chris Martin in the class of 2010, the defensive end position is becoming a very strong point.

At 6'5'' we will see Lueders have the body frame to be a potentially great defensive end, his athletic ability will factor in to be a major plus for the position. I wouldn't expect an instant impact from him once he arrives on campus but after a year or two at the position he will likely turn into a bright spot. There is no question that the Irish have struggled in having a consistent pass-rush in recent years and the way the defense is shaping up, this may not be an issue for that much longer.

Blake Lueders, welcome to Notre Dame!

Written By:

Nick Shepkowski
Bleacher Report
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Irish Land Ohio QB!

Welcome to the class of 2010, Andrew Hendrix of Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. After the Irish lost out on Nick Montana a few weeks back it was Hendrix who became very important for the Irish to lock down in the class of 2010.

A few facts on Andrew Hendrix:
- 6'3'', 220 Lbs. - Room to grow
-Listed as a pro-style quarterback, ranked as the 11th best in the nation by Rivals.
-Comes from the pistol-offense in high school, shows ability to throw on the run and take ball down to pick up yards on his feet.
-Must add strength and some speed if he hopes to be able to run much in college.
-Arm strength not great but accuracy looks to be superb for a high school senior to be.

It doesn't appear to me that Andrew Hendrix is likely going to be considered by any to be the best quarterback in the nation or anything along those lines. He's solid but not outstanding. However, put great talent around him like the Irish seem to be doing and he may just look that much better.

Hendrix was recruited to Notre Dame by Ron Powlus and becomes the sixth commitment to the class of 2010, you can catch up learning about the other five right here. Care to see Hendrix at his best during his junior year?

Welcome to Notre Dame, Andrew Hendrix!

Written By:
Nick Shepkowski
Bleacher Report
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Notre Dame's Biggest Game of 2009

It seems like Notre Dame fans all over the country feel that 2009 will be a success not if the Irish go 11-1 and end up in a BCS game but instead, if they are able to beat USC for the first time since 2001. Beating USC would go a very long way in showing that Notre Dame is back, something they have been trying to prove for far too long in Fighting Irish Country. Is the battle on October 17th the most important game on the schedule for the Irish in 2009 though?

With the way the college football gods lined up the the 2009 season schedule, October 17th could turn into the most important regular season weekend of the season. If Florida is to go unbeaten like so many expect, then USC and Notre Dame as well as Texas and Oklahoma could be playing elimination games for the other berth in the national title if all four teams remain unbeaten up to that point.

"If" is the keyword in that entire last paragraph for the Fighting Irish. If the Irish prove many of their supporters right by not laying an egg against Nevada in week one. If Charlie Weis can pick up his second win in three tries in the Big House against the University of Michigan on September 12th. If Jimmy Clausen and company can avenge their first defeat of the 2008 campaign by getting by Michigan State in week three in South Bend.

Over the course of time and into the future, yes, USC does in fact weigh more in possible recruiting battles that may face the Irish down the road and a win over the Trojans would show signs that a corner has been turned much more than a win over Michigan State would do. However, for the success that many envision the Irish having in 2009, a win over the Spartans on September 19th is a must.

A win over MSU could swing momentum to the BCS. A loss could mean very bad news for ND.

How important is this game for an Irish team who should be growing as each week gets scratched off the schedule? Notre Dame hasn't defeated Michigan State in South Bend since before any current player was a teenager. If the Irish get by the Spartans and improve to 3-0 then the BCS will seem like a very likely end result to the 2009 campaign for the Fighting Irish. Lose and the end of the Charlie Weis era in South Bend may be upon us.

Based on talent and experience levels there is no reason that Notre Dame shouldn't enter this game 2-0 and really, they should exit it 3-0. For some odd reason though, Notre Dame beating Michigan State in South Bend has turned into rocket science for the Fighting Irish.

In 2007, it was a young Irish team that hung with Michigan State for a short amount of time before falling. In 2005, it was an Irish team which wound up in the Fiesta Bowl that fell to the Spartans in OT after trailing by as many as three touchdowns. 2003 would have been a win...had the Irish gotten in the end zone a time or two instead of settling for three Nick Setta field goals, all from within 35 yards. 2001 was another case of the Irish forgetting to get in the end zone in a 17-10 defeat at the hands of a Michigan State team that featured Charles Rogers and TJ Duckett.

Outside of 2005, every year the Irish have lost at home to Michigan State, the season has turned into a quick downward spiral. We all remember 2007 where we saw the Irish finish with only three wins. Other cases?

2003: 22-16 Loss, second of three straight defeats and six losses in seven contests during the season - No Bowl Appearance
2001: 17-10 Loss, second of three straight to start season, before finishing only 5-6 on the year - No Bowl Appearance
1999: 23-13 Loss, third straight for the Irish after winning in week one vs. Kansas - No Bowl Appearance
1997: 23-7 Loss, Second loss in a row, finished regular season 6-6 after starting 1-4 - Independence Bowl: 27-9 loss vs. LSU

Bad things tend to happen when Notre Dame loses to Michigan State in South Bend. Sure, in 2005, they were able to bounce back and still make a BCS game, but in every other case over the past decade the Irish have either missed a post-season bowl berth altogether or just barely sneaked in. If the Irish get by Michigan State on September 19th then it should be full steam ahead to the BCS. If they don't?

Charlie Weis will be making his farewell tour the rest of the 2009 season from the Notre Dame sideline.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Catching up on the Recruiting Trail

Nick Shepkowski, Domer Sports Report

Notre Dame Football

It's still very early in the world of college football recruiting. Early in the sense that most players are still taking their time in making a final decision as to where they will spend their time after high school, but late in a sense that if you (as a school) are not on somebody's watch list then you better get kicking.

For those who are unaware, the Fighting Irish currently have five commitments for the incoming class of 2010 . Is it loaded with talent or is it on its way to being an elite class? That part is tough to say exactly; the groundwork is there with one five star defensive player in place, but there is plenty of work to still be done.

A quick rundown of the class so far:

Bennett Jackson: 6'1'', 165 lbs. - WR, Hazlet (Raritan), NJ
Seen as a three star recruit by most, Jackson has spent time both catching and running the football in high school. He will have to get bigger to be much of an impact but from everything I have read he seems to be along the path of a George West.

Christian Lombard: 6'5'', 290 lbs. - OL, Palatine (Fremd), IL
Was the first Irish commit back in January and chose Notre Dame over such rivals as Michigan, Purdue, and Stanford as well as plenty of others. Lombard committed to Notre Dame at the Army All American Game this past January, a game he will participate in next year.

Chris Martin: 6'4'', 240 lbs. - DE, Princeton (Hun School), NJ
If Manti T'eo was the first major defensive recruit that Charlie Weis was able to bring to South Bend then consider Martin to be the second. Martin was said to be the "most physically impressive defensive player" by one scout in attendance at a recent Nike summer camp on the campus of Stanford University. From the way people talk it seems that Martin has the potential do things at defensive end that haven't been seen at Notre Dame since Justin Tuck was on campus.

Daniel Smith: 6'4'', 205 lbs. - WR, South Bend (Clay), IN
The hometown choice to fill one of the available scholarships has the size to compete at the division one level but could use to get a step or two quicker with his fastest 40 time coming in at 4.6 seconds. The Irish landed Smith who had several offers from Big Ten teams.

Alex Welch: 6'5'', 225 lbs. - TE, Cincinnati (Elder), OH
Consider to be one of the top tight ends in this years class, Welch was offered by nearly every school under the sun. Its too early to tell if he will be able to step in immediately and play a role in the fall of 2010. If he is, think back to 2005 when Anthony Fasano, John Carlson, and Marcus Freeman all earned valuable time for a Notre Dame offense that was lights out good. I'm not saying to expect Welch to be able to perform at that level right away but if he can show the ability to block when he has to and be able to catch the occassional pass or two, this may end up being the biggest offensive commitment in the 2010 class.

Hopefully, that catches you up on where the Irish sit in the recruiting world at this point of the summer. Lots of camps are coming up soon where players make unofficial visits and, in turn, many commitments come about as well. Hopefully, only more good news comes in during the next few weeks for the Irish.

Written By:
Nick Shepkowski
Bleacher Report
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Friday, June 5, 2009


No that's not the frequency of a new radio station, its the most important number from last year that Irish fans can use to look forward to the 2009 season. The fate of Notre Dame in 2009 relies on them vastly improving their running game which played a large part in defeats at the hands of North Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse last fall. Had the Irish been able to run the ball, control the clock and keep their defense off the field the 6-6 regular season mark probably turns into a 9-3 season with a trip to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl instead of the Hawaii Bowl this past Christmas Eve.

I have very little doubt that this year will be Jimmy Clausen's coming out party and it will only be that much greater if there is a running game there to compliment him. He has the gift of having perhaps the most talented receiving core in the nation with Golden Tate, Michael Floyd, Duval Kamara, Robby Parris returning while potential newcomers to on the field action Shaq Evans and Deion Walker both have the potential to turn into playmakers quickly.

Throw in more experience at the tight end position with Mike Ragone returning from injury while Kyle Rudolph promises to remain a threat after a stellar freshman campaign. Missing two solid tight ends over the past two seasons has made Charlie Weis lose much of what his offense is based around, much of the offense that was so lights-out in 2005 as well as 2006. It helps not only allowing for extra receivers to throw to but also in putting in an extra blocker or two in the running game.

I have made the claim that running the football will be the key to this team finding their way to a BCS game this fall. Broad statement alert but its the truth. The inability to run the football the past two falls in South Bend has cost the Irish a good four or five games over the past two seasons, four or five games they should have won.
Four of the five starting offensive linemen return from last years team, a squad that gave up only 22 sacks after allowing 58 in 2007. Can they improve that much in the running game? Time will tell but there is no question that the addition of Frank Verducci as the offensive line coach/running game coordinator will bring changes, but will those changes bring more success?

That is the multi-million dollar question in South Bend this off season. Multi-million dollars in the fact that if it does not the university will likely spend several millions to buy out the rest of Charlie Weis' deal. Multi-millions in the fact that if this offense plays to its full potential in both the passing and running games that the school could be looking at a multi-million dollar check from the BCS.

I understand that many feel this Irish team could win as many as eleven games this coming season while some of the skeptics have the win total closer to seven. Its not time for me to be making any predictions yet, heck, NCAA '10 hasn't even come out for my PS3 yet (Username: NickShep10 if you ever want to play).

What I can predict is that if the Irish are going to be playing in a BCS game like so many predict, it is up to the running game of the offense. Sure they will likely put up a good 30+ points per game but will they be able to bury anyone by running down the field on them? It's not going to matter win/loss-wise unless they do.

Written By:
Nick Shepkowski
Bleacher Report
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Top Ten, an Introduction to me as an Irish fan

Salud! While my name is Italian, I swear there is at least a little Irish running through my blood (thanks, maternal Grandpa). I must admit, my love for Notre Dame far outweighs the actual percentage of Irish blood in my system. I thought I would introduce you to me through my top 10 of Notre Dame sports (I will only be picking from games that I witnessed either in person or on TV). The first football game I remember watching was a Notre Dame vs. Michigan game when I was 5 or 6. I was visiting my cousin and his dad had graduated from ND law school. Coming from Michigan, I think I was expected to root for U of M. Instead, I rooted for Notre Dame that day and have ever since. Here we go...

Honorable Mention

Notre Dame @ Ferris State. Hockey, 1998.

This was the first Notre Dame game I was in attendance for. Unfortunately they lost, 4-2 - to the school that I was attending. This was the worst game I attended. Ever. I wanted both teams to win; I spent the whole game hating myself. I only went to Ferris State for my freshman year and this was one of the few standout moments of attending a school with a 3-1 guy/girl ratio (seeing Notre Dame in person).

#10. Notre Dame vs. Michigan. Frozen Four, 2008.

Yes, another hockey game. We will get to balls very soon, I promise. Notre Dame wins in Overtime, 5-4. The Irish raced to a 3-0 lead only to see Michigan come back with a freshman goalie and force OT. While Calle Ridderwall has not exactly become a known name in Irish lore, his goal will live on forever. Notre Dame would go on to lose in controversial fashion to another hated rival in the final. Boston College escaped when the referee ruled that a goal by Notre Dame had been kicked in. That goal would have cut the BC lead to 3-2. Instead, BC scored seconds later and would win, 4-1. Yes, it still hurts that ND lost to BC because of a kicked object.

#9. Notre Dame vs. UCLA. Basketball, 1994.

Not the last time that UCLA makes this list, but the only basketball game that affected me greatly. This is one of the first ND basketball games I remember watching. Before this game I was a Notre Dame football fan and Michigan State basketball fan. Ever since, Michigan State moved to number two in basketball and it's not very close to number 1. Notre Dame routed the #2 Bruins, 79-63, while I was putting together a wardrobe with my dad. This was my introduction to Monty Williams and the over-rated chant. UCLA missed all 16 of their three point shots and Notre Dame ran away and hid.

#8 Notre Dame vs UCLA. Football, 2006.
Welcome back, Bruins. The day of Game 1 of the 2006 World Series. My hometown Detroit Tigers would play in their first World Series game since 1984, all well and good, but first the Irish had a home game against UCLA. The second year of Charlie had seen some chinks in the armor, most of them dealing with the state of Michigan. I finally showed up with friends at B-Dubs, for the 4th quarter of this terrible football game. While rooting for Iowa to upset the Wolverines, I was also watching ND on the smallest screen possible.

The Irish got the ball back down 17-13 with 1:02 left in the game and 80 yards to go. Out routes to Samardzija and Grimes for first downs took 25 seconds off the clock. Then came THE PLAY. Ball on the UCLA 45, Samardzija lines up in the wide slot and runs across the field. Brady Quinn gives the pump fake and then hits Samardzija perfectly and he does the rest. One cutback and he's into the end zone. I explode while sitting on my stool and heard one other person in the bar who enjoyed the ND comeback as much as I did. I ended up disappointed in the day overall because the Tigers lost, but Notre Dame kept me from freaking out, with the comeback.

#7 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State
. Football, 2006.

The MSU game is always interesting for me. Most of my close friends graduated from East Lansing, as well as both of my sisters. Plus, the Spartans are the not-so-close second team I root for. The Irish played terrible for more then half of this game and I was slowly drifting away from the game and more towards alcohol. My roommate had a lot of friends in town to attend a wedding the next day and the booze was flowing. There were multiple drinking games going on and I was half-heartedly watching the debacle unfolding on the TV. At some point during the MSU scoring bonanza, I received a text message from one of my friends that didn't attend MSU, ripping Notre Dame. My MSU friends would not appreciate this later.

As for the actual game, it had a lot of trash talk heading into the game, due to MSU planting the flag at Notre Dame Stadium the previous year. Notre Dame was coming off an ass-kicking the week before by Michigan that I barely remember. The score was MSU 31, Notre Dame 14 at halftime. Then the comeback happened. I was running around the condo losing my mind. Delaying my group leaving for the bar as long as possible, once the final INT happened I was able to leave and have a good evening. I didn't know it got reviewed until the next day. I sent a text message to every MSU fan in my phone that said how much I didn't care for State when the game ended. One of my State friends thought I was just mad about ND losing as he had stopped watching at halftime. And, of course, this rant from a State fan on local radio.

#6 Notre Dame vs. Boston College. Football 1993.

I don't remember all of this game, but I remember the important things. I was watching the comeback happen in my bedroom on a tiny TV. A 4th quarter from Kevin McDougal, a great two point conversion to take the lead. Then it was dinner time and I had to switch from watching the game alone in my room (LL Cool J) to the family room on a bigger TV. Gross. Penalties and a lucky field goal later, Notre Dame had been eliminated from the National Championship conversation. This play is on par with the Bird steal from Isaiah as plays I hate watching. Another reason for my hatred of all things Boston.

#5 Notre Dame vs. Michigan. Basketball 2002.

The only sporting event I've ever attended by myself, and the only time I've given the University of Arrogance money. I bought a ticket behind the basket opposite the tunnel. Notre Dame ended up shooting at my end in the second half. I sat next to good Michigan fans, the only ones ever. As I remember it, Notre Dame played terrible basketball was lucky to be close and blew a lead in the final minute. Chris Thomas had a shot to win it at the buzzer and had it blocked. I responded to the older couple next to me that the better team lost in football and in basketball. ND had won the football game that year thanks to Darius Walker.

#4 Notre Dame vs. West Virginia. National Championship. Fiesta Bowl 1989.

I don't remember a lot of watching this game when I was younger, but I do remember my parents making a big deal about it. Making nachos (Fiesta) and letting me enjoy Notre Dame win their last National Championship. This is one of the greatest teams ever, not just ND teams. They won 10 of 12 games by double digits and only the Miami and Michigan games were close. A complete domination of a season in which they beat the number 1, 2 and 3 team. The “Rocket” put the Irish up 23-3 to pretty much end the game in the first half. Lou Holtz won his National Championship and got himself locked into Irish lore with this win.

#3 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State. Football 2002.

This was the first time I saw Notre Dame football in person. I was visiting friends that were attending State and staying with my sister that night. It was a great time, tailgating before the game, a random State fan asking me how many Heisman's Ron Powlus was supposed to win. He had mistaken my #33 Courtney Watson jersey for a #3 jersey, typical State fan, drunk by 1:30 (tongue in cheek). Michigan State had dominated the Irish since Lou Holtz left and won 5 games in a row. The Irish took over the game in the first half, leading 14-3 at the half. Michigan State came charging back, or should I say Charles Rogers took over the game, using insane athleticism to catch a touchdown pass with less then two minutes left in the game that gave MSU a 17-14 lead. I had to deal with an old man sitting right in front of me yelling, “Six in a row, six in a row.” He was using his thumb to signify the sixth win, which is obviously not very cool.

The Notre Dame offense had stalled out in the second half, which was due in part to Carlyle Holiday getting hurt (how bad was the QB situation in 2002 that Carlyle was missed? No offense CH). The Irish got the ball back and needed little time to take it to the house. 2nd down with 1:26 left Pat Dillingham, a walk-on that followed Ty from Stanford, threw a perfect slant pass to former QB Arnaz Battle who took it 60 yards for a touchdown. I got a hug from a random ND who was behind me, but I knew that Charles Rogers and Jeff Smoker could get high (pun intended) for another touchdown at almost any moment. For some reason, State showed little to no urgency when they got the ball back, and in the final 20 seconds got just one play off, a Hail Mary the Notre Dame intercepted to end the game. I left Spartan Stadium the happiest I've ever left a Notre Dame football game (1-3 record when I'm in attendance).

#2 Notre Dame vs Michigan. Football 2008.

The last win over Michigan is always my favorite, and this was a game that was a domination. From Michigan struggling to catch kicks and committing penalty after penalty, Notre Dame was able to jump to an early lead and continue to build on it. Golden Tate (for Heisman) exploded onto the scene this day and dominated the Wolvey defensive backs. The offensive explosion that was shown in this game led to expectations growing for the 2008 season, even though everyone knew that U of M was going to be terrible (now no one knew that they would lose to Toledo, NICK MOORE, but still). This is how the offense has to look in 2009 or Charlie will have been doing something wrong. After the San Diego State debacle of opening week, we saw glimpses of an offense that could dominate. The second half got bogged down due to a rainfall that meant no one could pass and just made the game ugly. A great half of football that showed how much promise a very young team had. This game shows that there is a lot of Gold to come.

#1 Notre Dame vs Florida State. Football 1993.

The Game of the Century. One of the greatest programs of all-time versus a great program that was new on the scene. Number One versus Number Two. Heisman Favorite versus Back-up Quarterback. Even Florida State's kicker had been recruited heavily by both schools. One of the great openings to a football game, that is sorely missed now a days. A game that, even as a eighth grader, I knew everyone would be watching.

The game lived up to it's billing with Charlie Ward cementing his Heisman Trophy even in a losing performance. Just a great game, that Notre Dame led 31-17 in the fourth quarter, which led to Ward throwing a TD pas to Kez McCorvey, FSU forcing a three and out and getting the ball back with limited time for their final drive. A Shawn Wooden knock down of a pass as time expired, knocked the number one team out and made Notre Dame number one for the last time as we speak. FSU only dropped to number two and a re-match in the Orange Bowl was expected. Somehow Notre Dame lost to BC and dropped past Nebraska and out of title consideration. But for at least one day Notre Dame was the NUMBER ONE TEAM IN THE NATION.

That's my top ten list and says a lot about who I am as an Irish fan. Follow me on twitter @dascenzo. Lot's of sports talk and pop culture references. I try to be funny, let me know if I am or not. Hopefully you'll see more of me on here.