Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Court date changed for Fighting Irish quarterback Tommy Rees

Court date changed for ND QB

The court hearing for Notre Dame Junior quarterback, Tommy Rees, will now be held on July 24th instead of this Tuesday after a request from Rees' attorney.

Rees was arrested in early May along with Notre Dame linebacker Carlo Calabrese outside a house party off campus after Rees had attempted to flee the scene.

Rees faces four misdemeanour's including two charges of resisting arrest by a law enforcement officer, one count of battery to a law enforcement officer, and one count under age drinking.

Rees has finished the last two seasons as Notre Dame's starting quarterback, after taking over from an injured Dayne Crist almost two seasons ago. Entering his junior year, he's now in a four way battle to retain the starting position with Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson and true Freshman Gunner Kiel.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has cleared Rees to participate in summer workouts while his legal situation plays out. The Irish open up camp on August 4th, and will face the Naval Academy on Sept 1 in Dublin, Ireland.

Police were called to the home in South Bend in early May due to a noise complaint. South Bend police Capt. Phil Trent says Rees was part of a group who had jumped a backyard fence and ran after officers had arrived at the party.

According to police reports, Rees ran from officer Brandon Stec. Police say a cab driver saw the pursuit and blocked Rees's path. Then, they say Rees raised his knee into the officer, knocking the wind out of him. Officials say the cab driver then grabbed Rees and kept him from running away.

When the officer tried to arrest Rees, police say Rees scuffled with him and they both fell back on the pavement. Stec sustained scrapes to the arm in the struggle.

Jason is owner and author of godcountrynotredame.me and writes for both IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find Jason on twitter at @jayomahony

Friday, July 13, 2012

Six Notre Dame players make annual awards watch lists

All-american LB Manti Te'o
No fewer than six Notre Dame Fighting Irish players have made the annual awards listings for the forthcoming 2012 season.

By far the best chance for any potential winners for Notre Dame and the prestigious awards, are those who were highly considered last season.

For Notre Dame, those individuals are All-American's LB Manti Te'o and TE Tyler Eifert.

Te'o is back for his senior year when many believed he would opt to join the professional ranks of the NFL last season.

The 6'2" 255 lbs MLB currently ranks as the eight all time leading tackler for the Fighting Irish with 324, has made the watch lists for the best defensive player in the nation, Chuck Bednarik Award and the Bronco Nagurski Award, along with fellow senior Kapron Lewis-Moore.

Eifert continues a rich tradition and legacy at Notre Dame for producing some of the top calibre tight ends in the sport.

Eifert is hot favourite to win the John Mackey Award for the nations best tight end.

He is the only tight end in the country to make the Maxwell Award watch list and is joined on the list by fellow Fighting Irish, RB Cierre Wood.

Offensive linemen Zack Martin and Braxston Cave made the Outland Award watch list for the best interior lineman, with Cave also getting notables in the Dave Rimington Award for the best center in the country.

Jason is owner and author of godcountrynotredame.me and writes for both IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find Jason on twitter at @jayomahony

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rumours surrounding ACC/Notre Dame affiliation grow legs

I recently posted how a bowl tie-in with the ACC and Orange bowl would be of huge benefit to Notre Dame.
So it is not surprising then to hear that a group of ACC presidents is meeting today with Notre Dame, a source with inside knowledge close the situation tells Tigerillustrated.com.

IrishIllustrated.com have posted on their website; At this point we have not been able to confirm specifics as to the purpose of the meeting. But it is known that the ACC has been courting Notre Dame to join the conference.

This is what Clemson Board of Trustees chairman, David Wilkins, had to say on the matter;

"I'm not surprised, because obviously Notre Dame would be of great interest," Wilkins said."I'm not aware of any meetings or contact, but I've been out of the country since July 4th.

"The general consensus is Notre Dame would be a great fit. I'm certainly not implying there's been an offer or anything like that, and certainly I'm not speaking for the ACC or for John Swofford. But my personal opinion is they would be a great fit."

So what is in the offing ?

All kinds of speculation is rampant on the social media outlets.

By far, the most believable and probable is for Notre Dame to shift it's Olympic sports from the Big East to the ACC and remain Independent in Football. Of course, there has to be an upside for Notre Dame, the ACC would tie Notre Dame into the Orange Bowl once it met certain criteria.....perhaps 9 wins in a season.

Such a move would be very welcomed considering the fact that out of the major athletic conferences, the Big East has seriously digressed in it's status since losing Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC.

Adding the Orangemen and Pitt brought to five (Miami, Boston College & Virginia Tech), the number of teams that have jumped ship from the Big East to the ACC in recent years.

Notre Dame is currently affiliated with the Big East in all sports except football.

Anyone else see a pattern developing here?

Stay tuned for more on this as it happens.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the ever changing landscapes of the college footballing world and BCS, we turn our attention to recruiting.

The heir-apparent to the best LB in college football, Fighting Irish MLB Manti T'eo, has been found in Beaverton, Oregon.....of all places!

Alex Anzalone may be only rated as the 49th best player in the nation by Rivals.com, but he is already being regarded as the next Teo and will even occupy Teo's number 5 jersey when he enrols early next January.

The Ohio State de-commit, Anzalone, made the announcement at an ESPN/Nike sporting event known as "The Opening" . Anzalone becomes the 17th member of the 2013(known as IrishMob13)class to have verbally committed to the Fighting Irish.

As a result, only Alabama and Michigan rank higher than Notre Dame nationally in recruiting, and we are not done just yet!

Finally, while the season is fast approaching, the big boys at the ND campus decided to take a day out recently and enjoy themselves away from the classroom. The footage below was made exclusively available to the "Bang Bang Notre Dame Gang" group on Facebook.

Fighting Irish NG Louis (Irish Chocolate) Nix III posted a few snippets of the many talents of the Fighting Irish players.


 Jason is owner and author of godcountrynotredame.me and writes for both IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find Jason on twitter at @jayomahony

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Possible Orange Bowl-Notre Dame tie in ?

Photo USA Today
The ACC and the Orange Bowl Committee have reached a 12-year agreement that will annually feature the ACC Champion in the Discover Orange Bowl.

The game will be moved from its night time slot to be played on New Year’s Day at 1:00 pm beginning after the 2014 season, with the official opponent tie-in still to be determined.

It is widely rumored that a special deal may be made to Notre Dame in a bid to provide the Fighting Irish with a more stable bowl game "home", if the Irish meet certain W/L criteria.

“The ACC and Discover Orange Bowl have a terrific relationship and, as we look ahead to the future of postseason college football, this will further an already beneficial partnership for both organizations,” ACC commissioner John Swofford.

 “The Discover Orange Bowl has a rich history of prestige, is located within the league’s footprint and is a great destination for our student-athletes, alumni and fans. In addition to our continued partnership, we are very pleased to be playing annually on New Year’s Day.”

The new playoff system in 2014 has the Orange Bowl hosting four semi-final games within a 12 year stretch, and says in those years, its champion will play in one of the three other host bowls.

If the ACC champion makes the playoffs, another ACC team will play in the Orange Bowl to face either an "at-large" or a 9 win Notre Dame outfit.

The Fighting Irish have played in no fewer than five Orange bowl's and have played a large part in making the Orange Bowl what it is today.

The ACC is now the fifth power conference to announce a tie with a bowl game that expects to be part of the pool of six bowls from which two semifinal sites will rotate.

The Big 12 and Southeastern Conference are creating the Champions Bowl, while the Big Ten and Pac-12 are both committed to the Rose Bowl.

So what does this mean for Notre Dame?

Well, should the Irish enter into such an arrangement with one of the major bowls, then you can forget about Notre Dame joining ANY conference for the duration of the the new playoff structure, 2024.

The Fighting Irish are sitting very pretty if they get this deal done with the ACC/Orange bowl.

Jason is owner and author of godcountrynotredame.me and writes for both IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find Jason on twitter at @jayomahony

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Odds stacked against Notre Dame in 2012

2012: A season full of uncertainty
Once the 2012 Notre Dame football season wraps up in Southern California in late November, it is conceivable that the Fighting Irish will have faced the Heisman Trophy winner, Matt Barkley or Landry Jones or Denard Robinson, AND the two teams contesting the BCS championship, Oklahoma and USC!

Such is the daunting task ahead of Notre Dame this season, with yet another ultra tough schedule, it is fair to say that Las Vegas are more than generous with their 50/1 price on Brian Kelly lifting the coaches trophy in Miami in January 2013.

Without doing any research while typing this piece, I'd hazard a guess that only two of the 2012 opponents that the Irish will face never made it to a Bowl game in 2011......Navy & Wake Forest.

Notre Dame does not have the luxury of taking on the minnows of the college football world, unlike the BiG 10 out of conference schedule..........Fact: Notre Dame does NOT play any FCS programs.

The 2012 schedule is regarded by many experts as the nations toughest.

If you are an ABND (Anyone But Notre Dame) fan, then drop the hating temporarily and go pick out the cupcakes from this lot:

Home Games: BYU, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Stanford, Wake Forest
Away Games: Boston College, Michigan State, Oklahoma, USC
Neutral Site Games: Navy (Ireland), Miami (FL) (Chicago)

Navy (in Ireland) ?
The Middies have won 24 games the past three seasons, and have been the best service academy team over the past 10 years by a country mile. Not to mention that the Irish might be led by a redshirt freshman in Everett Golson.

They won seven games last season and made it to a bowl game.

Boston College?
The Eagles put the wind up the Irish last season and are always up for a good ole religious brawl. They also managed to beat NC State and Miami, no slouches there.

Wake Forest?
Ask Florida State about the Demon Deacons. FSU have been on the losing end in four of the past six times in which they have met.

That is the "potential" cupcakes taken care of, the remainder of the teams on the schedule will more than likely all grace the Top 10-15 in the polls at some stage of the season.

Yes, it is a daunting task ahead for Brian Kelly to get the Fighting Irish to a BCS bowl, and if the toughest schedule in the nation was not enough.....you have the whole issues surrounding the starting QB, the inexperience of the secondary that face the top three QB's in the nation, the need for an emergence of a deep threat at the wideout position.

It's difficult for the most passionate of Irish fans to realistically look at a BCS bid in 2012, giving the gargantuan task outlined above, but at this stage, I'll take the Beno Cook line from last season......if Notre Dame get out of September unblemished......then look out!

Jason is owner and author of godcountrynotredame.me and writes for both IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find Jason on twitter at @jayomahony