Looking Back Through the Archives: 2013 Notre Dame Year in Review

Scott Cunningham

Weirdest. Year. Ever.

2013_medium

Ah, the year 2013. You were bizarre, you were painful, but you were so colorful. We jammed a lot of weird stuff into the past 12 months and we're going to re-live some of the highlights right here right now.

Our title is admittedly conservative and somewhat SEO friendly. However, we did bounce around a bunch of other titles for this year in review:

  • Could It Have Been Worse?
  • The Gypsy Curse from the USF Game Except All Year Long.
  • Fake Girlfriends, Sick Grandmas, & Cheating on Tests.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events.
  • It Gets Better (We Hope).
  • Okay, We Give Up Please Stop.
  • Ow, My Balls.
  • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again.
  • We Suck, No We Don't, We Suck, No We Don't, We're Okay.
  • The Return of TFR.
  • Who Forgot to Knock on Wood After the USC Game?
  • If You Weren't Lucky Enough to Spend 2013 in a Coma Here's What Happened with ND Sports.
  • 13 is an Unlucky Number.
  • Tommy No! And Other Things You Won't Have to Say in 2014.
  • Remember When We Beat Michigan State? What? No I Don't Think We Played Pitt.
  • Empty on 3rd & 2.
  • I Just Had the Craziest Dream.
  • We Lost to Pitt.
  • Andrew Hendrix Played This Season. Once.
  • Duke is Ranked Higher than Us. Yes, in Football.
  • Whatever, We Beat USC.
  • Is It Basketball Season Yet Oh Jesus They Lost to Indiana State
  • At Least It Wasn't 2007

JANUARY

The year started so wonderfully! I was just finishing up positional previews for the National Championship game (remember how nice all the folks from Roll Bama Roll were?) and Tarean Folston committed right before the official ND vs. Alabama game preview. Dear Lord, did the entire staff pick the Irish in the title game? That can't be right what a bunch of homers.

More great recruiting news happened when Max Redfield picked Notre Dame but then Saban crushed all of our hopes and dreams ushering in the pain that would resonate throughout all of 2013.

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(Mark Wilson - Getty Images)

But hey, a 12-1 season was far better than most expected and a big jump forward for the program. We'd re-focus, finish up recruiting strong, and get after it in the spring with little problems right?

Wrong.

Two days after the title game flop it was reported that Brian Kelly interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles and everyone freaked out. In between the 3 days before Kelly said he was staying in South Bend we had 5 early enrollee football players arrive on campus.

A mere 4 days later the Manti Te'o hoax story exploded across the country. Fish wrote about the complicated situation, Jack Swarbrick stepped up to defend Te'o, TMZ reported the hoax led to one Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, Te'o finally spoke about the situation with Jeremy Schaap, and we lambasted Deadspin for their handling of the entire issue.

The insanely wild month of January seemed to last forever and it ended with the Irish basketball team beating Villanova and moving up to 3rd in the Big East.

FEBRUARY

This website turned four years old which is like 25 years in blogging years. A few days later we were your one-stop-shop for National Signing Day, Eddie Vanderdoes signed with the Irish, and we gave a thorough overview of the 2013 recruiting class with Miesle calling Deeb & Kinlaw the 2013 sleepers.

As we entered the middle of February the hoops team won a thrilling 5 OT classic against eventual national champion Louisville, Jim began breaking down each positional unit from the '13 recruiting class, while I looked at our opponents 'crooting too.

Fish came out with one of my favorite posts of the entire year grabbing a screenshot of Swabrick's e-mail. How that only got 19 comments from everyone boggles the mind.

The end of the month brought us Irish players testing at the Combine, the continuation of our Reviewing the Redshirts series, a prediction of the fall football roster, and both fencing teams battling for national titles.

MARCH

The beginning of March is traditionally pretty slow for us but it didn't stay that way when Gunner Kiel left the program before spring practice began. Then, JoeSchu made his debut on the site with a preview of the Louisville basketball game and Pburns 2010 made his OFD preview a few days later with the beginning of his Top ND Football Performances Since 2000.

We switched out links post to Hitting the Links which was clever, I thought. Alstein gave us a great preview of the Big East basketball tournament and then chronicled the loss in the semi's to L'ville. Alstein wasn't done with the hoops coverage posting about the Irish's No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament and commenting on their path to the Final Four.

Things started picking up in late March as Brian Kelly's presser official started spring ball, the football team practiced for the first time, and NCAA Tournament predictions were being discussed.

We previewed the Irish bouncy ball first round game against Iowa State, which they promptly lost, and led to CW writing some thoughts on the 2012-13 basketball team. Hey, this stink bomb of a year wasn't limited solely to the football team!

The end of March brought us the verbal from Andrew Trumbetti, more coverage of spring practice, a nice post by JoeSchu on the rivals of Irish basketball, and our second high profile transfer as former 5-star wideout Davonte Neal (and Justin Ferguson too) left the football team.

APRIL

Larz made his OFD debut on the fourth of this month as we FINALLY decided our wounds were sufficiently healed and looked at what went wrong in the National Title game. As Larz churned out more OFD Films posts and spring practice continued, JoeSchu wrote about the media's love/hate relationship with Notre Dame.

Our mid-spring report focused on creating an identity around Everett Golson (sad face) and Brian Kelly floating somewhere in that good but not great area for Irish coaches.

Does anyone remember our numerous designs for The Shirt?

The_shirt__all_aboard_with_helmet__sketch_medium

Late April brought us the Blue-Gold Game and one of the few pure joyous parts of 2013 in the WILD CHOCOLATE formation---courtesy of burger23 on the breakdown.

Before the month was out we got more happy news in the form of Eifert and Te'o going in the top 2 rounds of the NFL Draft, Elijah Hood committed to the Irish, and our very first OFD Podcast went live!

MAY

This month kicked off with the verbal from Quenton Nelson and the University released a stadium upgrade concept that was pretty neat thus sparking a ton of conversation. The first of our summer opponent previews started with a look at Temple.

Two months after it began, Pburns' Top Football Moments came to a close with Brady Quinn's effort against MSU in 2006.

On the 21st we began sorting through the bizarre circumstances surrounding Eddie Vanderdoes and his decision to bail on his NLI. If that wasn't a gut punch enough less than a week later we found out that Everett Golson would be suspended for the 2013 football season, forever changing the outlook and dynamic of the upcoming schedule.

It wasn't even summer yet and 2013 was a miserable year already. We tried to lighten the mood with a look at BK's Notebook while CW went all in on starting Malik Zaire during the fall.

JUNE

The long summer months began with Larz giving Hendrix the ISO Film treatment while I stepped outside of my box and wrote about Skylar Diggins and the WNBA. Fish also started part 1 of a year in review of the 2012-13 athletics season.

One of the more interesting articles to go back and re-read was Pburns' using Florida as the model for the 2013 Irish. Let's just say he won't be using the 2013 Gators for a role model this summer.

My first OFD Films post was a plea to flip the script with Rees at QB and yeah...it didn't happen for the most part.

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(Kelley L. Cox - USA Today Sports)

With Golson out we got some good news in the form of a commitment from DeShone Kizer. Also, after a hissy fit the ASU AD (soon to be the new Texas AD!) was successful in keeping the 2014 game with the Irish on the schedule.

Near the end of the month Jerry Tillery gave us our first verbal for 2015.

JULY

July opened with us pondering which freshmen would play on defense and the first of my 6-part series on the 1924 National Champions under Knute Rockne.

In the middle of the month Fish was asking what you would change about Notre Dame history, and Larz was in the film room again focusing on rushing the passer.

Remember when we wondered what was wrong with the Notre Dame punt return game?

The end of the month was jammed with some good stuff. Our fifth podcast previewed the upcoming fall camp, 4pointshooter submitted his ballot for the Top 25 Notre Dame football players, alstein focused on basketball recruiting and scholarship needs, JoeSchu pondered if we were ready for pay for play, and on the last day of the month we found out Vanderdoes was cleared to play at UCLA.

AUGUST

The eighth month of the calendar began with a look at Irish players in NFL Camps, Kelly's first fall practice press conference, and two verbal commitments on the same day from Richard Yeargin and Matt Dickerson.

On the fourth Whiskey recapped a nice interview between Jack Swarbrick and Eric Hansen. The next day we (mostly) approved of the 2013 Shamrock Series uniforms.

A week into fall camp we found out that Nicky Baratti would miss the season with shoulder surgery. We made our staff predictions a day later and only Burgs got it right with his 8-4 guess.

Towards the later stages of the month we published the 4th Annual Shamrock Awards, introduced the 2013 freshmen basketball players, saw Elijah Hood decommit, Larz tried to find an identity for GA3, and 3 captains were named for the football team.

The month of August finished with Paul Rigney publishing his first article on OFD on Notre Dame's opening day first drives, Whiskey posted the most controversial football food article in site history, and hey we beat Temple!

SEPTEMBER

We showed how the Irish beat Temple with a balanced offense and Pburns previewed Michigan saying we needed to contain Gardner and getting pressure in his face. Well, we kind of did that but Gardner played the game of his life in a UM victory. A few days before the game in the Big House ndmspaint officially joined our site with his first OFD published piece of art.

During football season we changed up the look on our recruiting big board to make it more user friendly. FDM talked about some brew on football food, we beat Purdue, although we were starting to worry about some bad tendencies that we'd seen so far.

Punter Bro came on board a few weeks into the season and began thoroughly breaking down the special teams of Notre Dame and opponents.

A victory over Michigan State was a welcome sight and turned out to be a huge win in retrospect. Burgs showed us how it all happened in the film room.

OCTOBER

After a third of the season we published the Doing Good Things™ report---and that list would change drastically in the coming weeks. The Irish lost to Oklahoma but USC fired Lane Kiffin which gave us plenty to talk about.

Jim talked about pulled pork for football food, we upset Arizona State, and the 12th episode of the podcast was then glowing about the Irish defense.

The bye week Trick Shot Wednesday post was certainly entertaining as was Paint's masterful football food post on cheeseburgers. To keep you busy without a Notre Dame game Jim posted a recruiting insider and JoeSchu covered Mike Brey's media day press conference.

Shemburglar_medium_medium

Have you bought your tickets to the Vatican City Shamrock Series game for next season? I still can't believe the Pope cut me off.

Somehow, someway we beat USC despite not having an offense in the second half and the men's soccer and hockey teams were off to great starts. The following week, OFD famously scooped the entire Internet by being the first to introduce the world to Ridiculously Photogenic Cam McDaniel.

October finished with Larz giving some praise to Cam McDaniel, the Irish destroying Air Force, Everett Golson giving a candid interview with Sports Illustrated, and FDM publishing his first of a 2-part series on why we play Navy.

NOVEMBER

This month opened with Mouth telling us about his delicious Louisiana Boiled Shrimp followed by a much-too-narrow win over Navy. Hey, for a brief moment in time both the men's soccer and hockey team were in the top five which made us feel better until Burgs showed how bad the defense played against Navy.

On the 6th we began our basketball previews as Notre Dame entered the ACC for the first time. As we hoped for a strong season with hoopy balls the football team went and achieved a new low with a loss to Pittsburgh, and we wondered what was wrong with the defense.

In the middle of the month we previewed the 2015 football big board, basketball done lost to Indiana State, and I looked at all those junior college players populating football. We also flipped a player from Purdue!

The lead up to Senior Day was covered in dark clouds as we learned Louis Nix was done for his career after having knee surgery but the team went out and won a big game against BYU anyway.

A stud 2015 quarterback visited for a second time during the BYU game and pledged to Notre Dame not soon after the players left the field.

DECEMBER

We wanted to keep the positive mojo going so bad into the last month of the year but those dreams were ruined with a season-ending loss to Stanford.

A couple days later Irish OC Chuck Martin left for the Miami (Ohio) job and USC hired Steve Sarkisian away from Washington.

On the 6th our One Foot Down founder and leader Whiskey stepped down from his command leaving many congratulations and thanks in his wake. While we were mourning the football program said "screw it" and accepted a bid to the Pinstripe Bowl.

20121217_ajl_sc5_018

(Matt Cashore - USA Today Sports)

Since losing one coordinator wasn't enough in mid-December Bob Diaco left to take the head job at UConn. But hey, for the first time in OFD history we broke down some soccer stuff and it yielded a national championship for the men's team. What's more quarterback Everett Golson was re-admitted into school too. 2013 wasn't all bad!

As the year winded down we brought you our first individual lacrosse post as the Irish lax bros are soon to enter a very competitive ACC conference. A couple days later the future football schedules were revealed to much delight. On the second to last weekend of the year the Irish hoops team suffered an agonizing loss to Ohio State and then lost their top scorer to suspension the following Monday.

The final few days of 2013 saw us unveil the TSW Playoffs, Paint made a commemorative poster for the Pinstripe Bowl, and guess what Notre Dame ended up beating Rutgers in Yankee Stadium to finish Brian Kelly's fourth season at 9-4.

~~~

So there it is, the year 2013. Hopefully nothing insane happens over the next 15 hours that won't be in this review. Before you float down into the comment section take a look at the University of Notre Dame's official year in review from Brittany Collins. The school did some very cool things outside of the athletic arena.

Now, give us your take on 2013 with a word, phrase, or single sentence with accompanied GIF that sums up your thoughts on this past calendar year.

"Oh, brother."

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