Thursday, August 19, 2010

Underdog Games of 2010

Trying to look at the schedule from non-rose colored glasses is always tough for a fan. Can Notre Dame go undefeated? They probably can, but it's very unlikely this year. There are certain games that are tougher than others just based on the scheduling. I've gone into the last couple of seasons with big expectations and having been disappointed both years, I'm trying to even my expectations out.

Michigan State (East Lansing)
Going on the road for the first time under Brian Kelly, playing a rivalry game for the third week in a row, and playing maybe the best passing QB, Kirk Cousins, they'll play all season. This is Michigan State's first tough game of the season and maybe that helps ND out, but the Spartans should also be able to play very vanilla in their first two games and win easily, so maybe we'll see a new version of the 2007 fake fumble. If the schedule worked out better for the Irish I think this would be a middle game, but I think the Spartans might be able to beat up a team that has to play into the fourth quarter to put away it's first two opponents.

Pittsburgh (Home)
Dion Lewis and Jonathon Baldwin are maybe the best RB-WR combo the Irish will face all year and covering a 6-5 wide receiver is hard enough when you don't have to worry about an All-American type running back too. Pitt has won two games in a row in the series, and those games were close enough that maybe being at home under Brian Kelly would be enough to swing the game into a toss-up. Except the schedule steps in again, and places Pitt at the end of a hard six game open to the BK era and immediately following a road game at Boston College. It just seems like to much to soon for the Irish.

USC (Coliseum)
The same old, same old. Another very good, young QB, Matt Barkley and he has plenty of weapons to use. Notre Dame finally has the edge in coaching as Lane Kiffin is kind of the bizzaro Brian Kelly, in that he keeps losing games and getting hired at better jobs. I think the Irish are probably one year away from ending the streak but I expect this game to be the first close game in LA since 1997 when SC won by 3.

I can see Brian Kelly being able to win one of these games as he's a better coach than all three opposing coaches and winning games you're not supposed to used to be something that happened for the Irish. Maybe I should re-read Resurrection as it might apply better to Kelly's first year as opposed to Weis' last.

Purdon't is almost here. Can't wait for the 4th.

1 comment:

latest sports news said...

Notre Dame is a great team but they will have to work hard to become undefeated.