Friday, June 29, 2012

Irish & Wolverines to take a break

Images / Google
One of the greatest and storied rivaleries is no more…..well for two seasons at least!

The University of Michigan Wolverines and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame have been involved in some of the closest and entertaining games to grace the turf of any field on any giving Saturday in the US.

 Both universities have agreed to that a break from the storied rivalry contest in seasons 2018 & 2019.

“This was either in place when I got here or it was a request that came shortly after I got here,” Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick told the Chicago Tribune.

“I didn’t even know it wasn’t known, frankly. It had been cooked into our scheduling model for at least three years."

Both sides expect the series to resume in 2020.

The break is not without precedent. The Irish and Wolverines did not meet in either 2000 or 2001 before resuming the series for the past 10 years. The also did not play in either 1995 or 1996 and also in 1983 and 1984.

“We’re going to keep playing each other,” Swarbrick said. “It’s important to both schools. This initiated with a request from up there years ago, and we said OK.”

Michigan holds a 23-15-1 edge on Notre Dame in the series which dates back to 1887.
Jason is owner and author of and writes for both IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find Jason on twitter at @jayomahony

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Brian Kelly clears Tommy Rees to practice

Rees cleared for workouts
According to Eric Hanson of the South Bend Tribune, Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly is allowing 2011 starting Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees to participate in summer workouts with the football team.

Rees and fellow team mate Carlo Calabrese were arrested on May 3rd after an off campus party got out of hand which resulted the arrest of the Fighting Irish players.

Many Fighting Irish fans feel that as a result of the arrest, Rees, should be discharged from his starting role as QB.

Brian Kelly had indicated prior to the annual Blue and Gold game that the QB position was wide open between Rees, Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson and true freshman Gunner Kiel.

"They (Rees & Calabrese) are cleared to stay in school. They've been cleared from me to participate in all workouts," Kelly said.

"When all of these things come together, we're not going to wait a long time. We're going to try to get this thing to the point where we know exactly where they are. We want to move and get all of this done."

Rees is to attend a hearing in St. Joseph County court July 17 to address two counts of resisting arrest and one count each of underage drinking and battery, while Calabrese is to appear in court on Aug. 20th for one count of intimidating a law enforcement officer.

Jason writes for IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find him on twitter at @jayomahony

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Notre Dame's Swarbrick announces new BCS playoff format.

All 11 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference commissioners stood shoulder-to-shoulder behind Notre Dame Fighting Irish Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick, who read the BCS statement from a podium set up in a hotel conference room.

The statement outlined what many considered to be a foregone conclusion.....a BCS playoff system to determine the college football undisputed National Champions.

The agreed proposal will be reviewed by university presidents prior to being presenting to the BCS presidential oversight committee on June 26th.

It is proposed that the playoffs would be worked into the existing major bowls, thus not extending the season which had been a bone of contention with many. What is not specific is the fact in determining the site of the actual championship after the bowl season.

A genuine solution to this is to market the championship game in much the same way the NFL does with the Super Bowl, by allowing cities to make a bid for the game and all the economic benefits that go with it.

"We're very unified. There are issues that have yet to be finalized. There's always devil in the detail, from the model to the selection process, but clearly we've made a lot of progress", Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said.

Still unclear is how the teams will be selected. Currently the Bowl Championship Series uses a combination of the Harris Interactive Poll, Coaches Poll and computer rankings. This formula is widely regarded as the instigator for a playoff system to begin in my opinion, it more than serve's it's purpose, should it remain.

Swarbrick refuted comments on Notre Dame's stance with regard to joining the BiG 12.

"I’ve said all along that there were three important factors for us," Swarbrick said. "One was the resolution of postseason football, which we are closer to. One is a resolution of our media relationship, which we are in the homestretch of.

"The third is related to the stability of the Big East, which we get more information on every day. In that sense, pieces of that are starting to fall into place, and that will put us in a time and place where we probably take a look at it and decide what we’re doing."

"Our interest was ensuring we had an opportunity to play ourselves into any championship model, and we do," Swarbrick said. "There’s no obstacle to that for us. If we earn it, we can play in it."

Jason writes for IrishCentral and domersportsreportYou can find him on twitter at @jayomahony

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BiG 12 looking like a nice fit for Irish

The days of an Independent college football powerhouse are numbered!

The BCS lords will meet this week to decide the future of a possible BCS play-off or plus-one game.

It is a widely accepted opinion that should such a proposal, which seems inevitable and much sought after, be implemented......then it will eventually force the hand of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish sports programs to join a conference to be even considered as a participant in the playoff/plus one format.

In essence expect the two highest rated teams after the bowl season to play for the BCS national title game. That is not good news if your team happens to reside in the ACC, Big East or for Notre Dame.

Currently the University of Notre Dame is affiliated with the Big East in all of it's sports programs except football. The Fighting Irish football team have a lucrative TV deal with NBC who have the exclusive rights to show home games until 2015.

Once the Notre Dame / NBC contract elapses, it is widely envisaged that Notre Dame will establish it's own broadcasting network to showcase it's football and other sports.

The University of Texas already has it's own TV network in place with ESPN.......oh.....and I forgot to mention that Texas is already affiliated with one of these play-off conferences right now.

Reports published on would seem to suggest that an agreement on the proposal is eminent. The conference commissioner's and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, will be presenting the proposal to the BCS presidential oversight committee on June 26th.

Expect an announcement in early July as to the new format in determining the number one in college football.

So what does all this mean for the Notre Dame faithful? is very simple really, affiliate your football program to play-off conference or get left behind.

As to where the Fighting Irish end up is still unclear right now. Spectulation amongst ND fans right now tend to lean towards the BiG 12. I'd be in agreement on the BiG 12, as it seems the most logical choice and already has agreements in place with schools (Texas) that want to showcase their schools events on their own networks.

The BiG 12 have also recently entered into a bowl agreement with the SEC, similar to that of the Rose Bowls agreements with B1G & PAC12. The Bowl game will begin in 2014 as both conferences will send their highest ranked representative to a January 1 game, and possibly their respective conference champions if they are NOT involved in the proposed new BCS play-off format.

Still a lot unclear, but if Notre Dame do take the plunge to the BiG 12, then expect some major names from the ACC to follow suite.

Jason writes for IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find him on twitter at @jayomahony

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fighting Irish off-season woes keep coming

Collingsworth will miss 2012 season
And the hits keep coming people!

The University of Notre Dame announced Wednesday that specials teams standout and defensive back Austin Collingsworth will miss between 4 to 6 months due after undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Collingsworth, son of former Cincinnati Bengal wide receiver and current NBC play by play analyst Chris Collingsworth, sustained the injury at the annual Blue and Gold game last month and is expected to miss the 2012 season.

Collingsworth's injury further depletes a Notre Dame secondary that is deemed by many experts as the weakness on the entire football team. The Fighting Irish are extremely thin after losing first round pick Harrison Smith, fifth round pick Robert Blanton and undrafted free agent Gary Gray to the NFL.

Collingsworth's injury may not send shockwaves around the NCAA, but when you consider that his replacement, most likely Chris Badger, has zero playing time. Couple that with the fact that Notre Dame faces perhaps the top three QB's in the nation next season in Matt Barkley (USC), Landry Jones (OU) and Denard Robinson (UM).

Collingsworth's injury is the latest in an off-season of woes that the Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish have had to have dealt with. Highly touted recruited DB Tee Shepherd left the University earlier in the year due to what his father described as "medical" reasons. However, I have been speaking with a very reliable source that Tee's decision was based largely on the academic expectations he faced.

More woes in April last, Notre Dame freshman All-American DE Aaron Lynch decided to quit the University to move closer to his childhood sweetheart in Florida. He has enrolled in the University of South Florida.

And who could forget last month's epic saga provided by 2011 starting QB Tommy Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese, after both got into trouble with the law after a house party in South Bend which led to Calabrese being charged with intimidation and Rees charged with assault of a law enforcement officer.

There was some good news of late for the Notre Dame faithful:

One of the nations top prospects in the country, Jaylon Smith, has committed to the Fighting Irish. ranks Smith as the 4th overall recruit in the country and the #1 outside linebacker.

The Fighting Irish also took a huge DE in Isacc Rochell from under the noses of the Georgia Bulldogs. ranks Rochell as the #8 strong side defensive end and #88 overall prospect giving Notre Dame three recruits in Rivals’ top 100.

Record breaking Michael Floyd has signed a lucrative four year deal with the Arizona Cardinals, which will guarantee him $10 million and an option of a fifth season.

Last but not least, head coach Brian Kelly is said to be recovering well from surgery on a nagging chronic lower back pain caused by a herniated disc, which bothered him for the most part of the 2011 season.

Jason writes for IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find him on twitter at @jayomahony