Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Who They'll Beat 2010

A series of three sets of predictions, we'll start first with the game I expect the Irish to win. With only the spring game underneath the coach's belt, it is hard to get a feel for this team. Of course, I was expecting 9 wins minimum the previous two years, so maybe the less knowledge the better.

Purdue (Home)
One of the few teams on the schedule that had a worse record than Notre Dame (5-7), although they also had one win better than any in the Weis era, beating Ohio State. They return an All-Big 10 wide receiver in Keith Smith and add a QB that started his freshman year at Miami, in Robert Marve. A torn acl for Ralph Bolden leaves the Running Back situation a question mark and there are numerous holes in the defense, including filling all four defensive back spots.
-Notre Dame 38 Pudue 13

Western Michigan (Home)
A that lost 4 games in the MAC and went 5-7 overall, finished third in the MAC West last year. They will be lucky to finish similarly this year which means the Irish should win big.
-Notre Dame 56 WMU 7

Tulsa (Home)
Another team from a non-BCS conference, who had a 5-7 record last year that comes to Notre Dame Stadium. They return their leading passer and rusher from last year in Texas transfer QB G.J. Kinne. Last year they lost close games to Boise State (28-21), Houston (46-45) and UTEP (28-24). The offense should be much improved with four returning wide receivers including Damaris Johnson one of the most explosive players in C-USA.
-Notre Dame 45 Tulsa 24

Army (Yankee Stadium)
Another 5 - 7 team from last year. Army should be improved from last year as they have 16 returning starters. Playing them after Navy makes adjusting to the option easier (which is why ND should play them before Navy) but it's still a completely different defense then The Irish will use the rest of the reason. Army's QB Trent Steelman was their first freshman starting QB in the modern era and while no Ricky Dobbs is a good option quarterback.
-Notre Dame 42 Army 10

Michigan (Notre Dame Stadium)
Why not list all the 5-7 teams from last year. I don't expect Michigan's defense to be any good especially after losing Brandon Graham so another big offensive game is expected. Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson are back at QB and are joined by true freshman Devin Gardner, who was one of the top QB recruits in the nation last year. The rest of specialty players are new to the starting line-up outside of TE Kevin Koger. On defense they return Obi Ezeh and that's about it, but they should still improve as they continue to adjust to the Rich-Rod 3-3-5.
-Notre Dame 35 Michigan 24

Those all the guarantee games, I'm willing to make and putting Michigan on this list scares me just because of last year. 5 wins or bust for The Irish you heard it here first. I'll be back with my coin toss games and scare tactics games.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

What EA Sports Thinks of ND's Team

A breakdown of the ratings that EA Sports has assigned to the Notre Dame roster on their upcoming release of NCAA Football 11. Not that these ratings are actually based on real life people. That would be wrong. All ratings come from EA Sports Teambuilder website.

QB's (C)

Dayne Crist (SO) is rated 83 Overall (OVR). He has a Throw Power/Accuracy (TPW/TAC) of 92/86 and Speed/Acceleration (SPD/ACC) 68/62. His injury rating is 76 while Awareness (AWR) is 70.

Andrew Hendrix (FR) is rated 74 OVR, with TPW/TAC of 87/86, and SPD/ACC of 88/71. AWR is 40

I'm guessing Luke Massa (FR) is QB #8 but it could just as easily be Tommy Rees (FR) a 65 OVR with TPW/TAC of 80/80 and SPD/ACC of 78/89. AWR is 40.

Nate Montana (JR) makes the cut as a 59 OVR. TPW/TAC of 77/74 and SPD/ACC of 65/68 and AWR of 45.

Much like the actual football team, the video game team needs Dayne Crist to stay healthy to be good/great.

RBs (B)

Armando Allen (SR) is a 90 OVR, with SPD/ACC 95/96, AWR of 89, Catching (CTH) 75 and Elusiveness (ELV) of 92.

Robert Hughes (SR) is an 83 OVR, SPD/ACC 85/90, AWR of 72, Break Tackle (BKT) 80, CTH 72.

Theo Riddick (SO) is in the game at RB and is a 77 OVR, SPD/ACC 88/85, an outstanding Stamina (STM) rating of 97 and CTH of 68.

Jonas Gray (JR) is a 75 OVR, SPD/ACC 85/83, nothing else stands out and a CTH of 67.

Cierre Wood (SO) is a 75 OVR, SPD/ACC 93/87, STM of 94, ELV of 79 and a CTH of 68.

Cameron Roberson (FR) is a 74 OVR, SPD/ACC of 90/90, STM of 96 and a CTH of 65.

Bobby Burger (SR) is in the game at FB a 69 OVR, SPD/ACC of 70/74.

With Theo Riddick actually a WR, which roster editors will attend too, the RB depth isn't as good as it is in real life. I expect Cierre or Jonas to break out this year, in that order.

WR's (A-)

Michael Floyd (JR) is the highest rated of all the Fighting Irish at a 97 OVR, SPD/ACC of 90/96, AWR 90, STM 98, INJ surprisingly is at 88, CTH is 92, while his Spectacular Catch (SPC) is 94.

Duval Kumara (SR) is 85 OVR, SPD/ACC of 88/88, CTH of 84, STM of 99.

Shaq Evans (SO) is a 82 OVR, SPD/ACC 97/83, CTH 78, STM 96, and an AWR of just 55.

Deion Walker (SO) is an 80 OVR, SPD/ACC of 95/90, STM of 98, CTH of 74 and an AWR of 56.

Tai-ler "DASH" Jones (FR) is a 77 OVR, SPD/ACC of 88/97 CTH of 80, STM of 94.

Daniel Smith (FR) is a 69 OVR with SPD/ACC of 96/80, CTH of 70 and STM of 95.

Bennett Jackson (FR) is a 68 OVR, SPD/ACC of 87/90 and a CTH of just 68.

Notable absences include John Goodman and Robbie Toma.

The receiving depth and talent in real life is much better that represented in video game form. John Goodman is poised for a Treme like breakout and DASH should fit into this offense better than Shaq, Toma and Deion did as rookies.

TE (A-)

Kyle Rudolph (JR) is a 90 OVR with SPD/ACC of 82/86 an 80 BTK and 88/87 CTH/CIT (catch in traffic).

Mike Ragone (JR) is a 82 OVR, SPD/ACC of 84/85 and CTH/CIT of 79/76.

Tyler Eifert (FR) is a 73 OVR, SPD/ACC of 80/75 and CTH/CIT of 72/71.

I like the relative depth at TE and Rudy 2.0 is a stud who I might have to win a Heisman with.

OL (C+)

Left Tackles
Matt Romine (SR) is 79 OVR, with a 78 Pass Block (PB) and 76 Run Block (RB) and a 80 Impact Block (IB).

Lane Clelland (JR) is a 74 OVR, with 80/75/89 PB/RB/IB.

I think they left Matt James in the game. RIP.

Left Guards
Chris Watt (SO) is a 83 OVR with 82's across the board.

Braxston Cave (JR) is 74 OVR with 80/80/79.

Mike Hernandez (JR) is a 72 OVR with 75/75/72.

Mike Golic Jr. (SO) is a 81 OVR with 78/78/80.

Jordan Cowart (SO) is a 72 OVR with 75/75/70.

Right Guards
Trevor Robinson (JR) is an 80 OVR with 80/85/85.

Tate Nichols (FR) is a 73 OVR with 77/78/77.

Alex Bullard (SO) is 73 OVR with 78/85/78.

Right Tackles
Taylor Dever (JR) is an 80 OVR with 87/87/83.

Zack Martin (SO) is a 70 OVR with 77/74/69.

Offensive Line is the biggest question mark on this teams offense in real life so the corresponding stats aren't a surprise. Dayne Crist will be rolling out a lot to stay safe in video games.
Defensive Line (B-)

Defensive Line (B+)

Left Ends
Kapron Lewis-Moore (SO) is an 81 OVR with 79 SPD, 80 Strength (STG), 82 Power Move (PM), and 78 Tackle (TKL).

Emeka Nwanko (JR) is a 72 OVR with 62/85/85/78.

Christopher Skubis (SR) is a 66 OVR with 77/72/60/70.

Right Ends
Kerry Neal (SR) is a 79 OVR with 81/74/65/80.

Kona Schwenke (FR) is a 64 OVR with 80/68/60/65.

Defensive Tackles
Ian Williams (SR) is an 86 OVR with 65/85/73/86.

Ethan Johnson (JR) is an 84 OVR with 76/86/85/76.

Louis Nix (FR) is a 76 OVR with 68/85/84/79.

Brandon Newman (SO) is 70 OVR with 58/77/73/78.

Hafis Williams (JR) is a 77 OVR with 68/74/74/70.

Sean Cynwar is a 63 OVR with 59/76/70/72.

The Defensive Line has a couple of very good players and a couple of players that could make a huge leap this year. There is enough depth that switching out players due to fatigue shouldn't be a huge drop in talent.

Linebackers (B)

Left Outside Line Backers

Darius Fleming (JR) is a 78 OVR with 84 SPD, 82 ACC, 80 TKL, and 86 Pursuit (PRS).

Dan Fox (SO) is a 76 OVR with 79/85/79/67.

Justin Utopo (FR) is a 73 OVR with 87/80/75/75.

Right Outside Line Backers

Manti T'eo (SO) is an 89 OVR with 86/85/88/94.

David Posluszny (SO) is a 73 OVR with 81/70/76/79,

Kendall Moore (FR) is a 70 OVR with 83/80/79/72.

Middle Line Backers

Brian Smith (SR) is an 86 OVR with 85/86/86/ and 82 Hit Power (HTP).

Prince Shembo (FR) is a 73 OVR with a 83/82/81/78.

Anthony McDonald (SO) is a 73 OVR with a 79/84/77/74.

Carlo Calabrese (SO) is a 66 OVR with 78/88/77/65.

Brian Smith and Manti T'eo are the two standouts at line backer with Prince Shembo having a great chance to grow into a player that's as good as his name.

Cornerbacks (B+)

Robert Blanton (JR) is an 86 OVR with 92 SPD, 95 ACC, 76 TKL and 93 Pursuit.

Gary Gray (JR) is an 85 OVR with 96/88/73/94.

E.J. Banks (SO) is a 75 OVR with 94/90/67/68.

Lo Wood (FR) is a 68 OVR with 90/88/68/79.

Spencer Boyd (FR) is 67 OVR with 90/88/65/74.

They seem to have left Darrin Walls out and in his place is a guy who I have no idea who he is. Even after scouring through the roster. Without Darrin Walls the Irish still have two very good cover corners and should be able to play with even the best wide receivers.

Safeties (C-)

Jamoris Slaughter (SO) is an 80 OVR with 90 SPD, 95 ACC, 72 TKL and 88 PRS.

Dan McCarthy (SO) is a 77 OVR with 90/86/75/89.

Derek Roback (FR) is a 66 OVR with 82/89/66/70.

Harrison Smith (SR) is a 78 OVR with 90/82/82/89.

Chris Badger (FR) is 70 OVR with 88/85/77/70.

With no Kyle McCarthy to take charge in the defensive back field this could be a bad year for the safety. Harrison Smith might be the biggest question mark on the entire team, he needs to know what he's doing at all times.

Specialties (B+)
Nick Tausch (SO) is an 89 OVR with 92 Kick Power and 89 Kick Accuracy.

Ben Turk (SO) is an 84 OVR with 89/82.

The kicking game looks like a strength in virtual games, so winning field position battles should be easy.

Return Rating
Shaq Evans 90
Michael Floyd 94
Armando Allen 88
Robert Hughes 87
Cierre Wood 90
Tai-ler Jones 88
Deion Walker 82
Daniel Smith 85
Robert Blanton 81
Dan McCarthy 82
Jamoris Slaughter 90

This is the base Notre Dame roster so all your complaints can go straight to EA. I'm just the middle man. Their are some very, very good roster editors out there who will fix Notre Dame (and those other teams) up. If you're interested in a game some time my 360 gamer tag is NDeezlo.

Game officially comes out Tuesday although some stores have begun selling them early so you might be able to find one this weekend.