So did anything happen this week? Outside of Brian Kelly and the rest of the Fighting Irish staff signing a consensus top 5 class it was actually a relatively slow week for news. I suppose the flurry of madness surrounding signing day can do that. This week was a nice and positive change of pace for the Notre Dame faithful after a January that most of us would like to forget.
Let's start with some amusing stuff.
Tejas Tech fans got into the fax machine action on signing day and faxed former Red Raider coach Tommy Tuberville a copy of the menu from the Lubbock, TX restaurant where Tubs allegedly walked out on Tech recruits. Nicely done.
While we are on the topic of Texas this article kind of sums up how uneasy folks are feeling down in Austin. If the Horns struggle on the football field again this season the demand to run Mack Brown off may reach a fever pitch.
USC Trojan Tight End Junior Pomee got himelf into some hot water with the law this week. This is where those scholarship limits really start to hurt. If the Trojans lose Pomee they can't exactly replace him any time soon.
Have you all seen these new NCAA football recruiting rules? Unlimited calls and texts all the time? Coaches used to get a break but those days are gone. Hello cell phone burnout! Coaches will now be calling and texting 24/7 for 365 days a year. The ramifications of this could be something to keep an eye on.
Matt Hinton put together this interesting look at recruiting rankings and the pay sites. There is a ton of data in that article but the obvious takeaway is that a rankings = individual success = W's.
The big story in this year's race to Signing Day was that Ole Miss of all places put together a monster class with a ton of really high profile recruits. Yeah that Ole Miss. Andy Staples examined how Ole Miss did it. I still say stand by for sanctions in a few years.
On National Signing Day 2012, after the Rebels' staff cobbled together a solid-if-unspectacular class in less than two months on the job, Freeze unveiled his master plan for 2013. The Rebels would identify 12 highly ranked players -- regardless of location -- and recruit them relentlessly.
While Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze went after the big fish Chuck Weis took an entirely different approach at Kansas. Many have often criticized Weis for his lack of player development at Notre Dame and his recruiting strategy at Kansas this year appears to confirm that he realizes that too. All the JUCO players!
While pondering all the variables, he recalled his days at Notre Dame and an observation Maura Weis shared inside their home.
"You're counting on 18-year-old kids that you're recruiting versus men you've got in the NFL," Weis recalled.
With this year's flood of juco signees, Weis achieved "a happy medium" by adding older players who have experienced the college football grind out of the major-college spotlight.
"If you're taking nothing but high school kids, there's only a couple that ever end up playing as freshmen," Weis reasoned. "The rest are over there on the bench with me. What good is that going to do me?
"You say, go develop them. Go develop them for who? The next coach? I'd rather be coaching the ballplayers myself if you don't mind, so that's why we're taking this tact."
Reon Dawson declared his undying love for Ohio State after signing with Michigan on Wednesday. Huh?
"Until I die, I'm gonna be a Buckeye fan even though I'm going (to Michigan). When we play (OSU) I'm gonna still bring my ‘A' game. But, I love Ohio State."
There is no shortage of articles out there about this Notre Dame signing class but here are links to a few.
Here is our own Jim Miesle's initial take on this class from Thursday morning. We will be rolling out more detailed breakdowns of each position group over the next couple of weeks.
On the back side of signing day Keith Arnold discussed how "specialization" brings additional challenges in college football recruiting. Interesting stuff here, and it really applies to multiple sports.
Over at HLS ND Tex put together this signing day recap complete with high speed graphics.
Subway Domer celebrated signing day by hosting a Google+ Hangout that included adult beverages and a digital pirate hat. It takes a special something to pull that off.
Andy Staples put together a nice piece on Brian Kelly's big signing day win.
"These decisions were not based upon 'Notre Dame has a stadium that seats 81,000 and plays on TV,' " he continued. "These decisions were made based upon our distinctions at Notre Dame, a faith-based education, a community, obviously the high academic standards, and now their belief, not just my belief or my staff's belief, but their belief that Notre Dame can play for a championship. "So when you have both of those together ... it's going to keep them together."
What else? Oh yeah the NFL Scouting Combine. Eight Notre Dame players received invites to the annual cattle call, and Keith Arnold has a nice breakdown of what is on the line for all eight of these guys. The group is listed below.
Braxston Cave, C
Tyler Eifert, TE
Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE
Zeke Motta, DB
Theo Riddick, RB
Jamoris Slaughter, DB
Manti Te'o, LB
Cierre Wood, RB
The comment of the week was a tough call this week. In a week of more than 1,000 comments it isn't easy to pick a winner. Generally speaking I thought that the nickname sub-thread that developed under Miesle's Thursday morning recap was the most enjoyable. If you missed that somehow I would encourage you to go back and check that out. OFD regular commenter occtipus put this green gem together but it was complemented by several others.