Hitting the Links: April 19th, 2013

I'm sure that none of you will be hitting the Backer this weekend.

I hate that spring football used to interfere with my time on the links.

The Blue-Gold game is upon us. For a single day we can almost pretend like it's football season. On the other side of this game is the wasteland known as the off-season so enjoy this weekend! I am dropping this version of "The Links" a day early so that we can concentrate on the game tomorrow. I also thought it just might come in handy for those of you with football on the brain on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Our Blue-Gold open thread will go live tomorrow at 11:00 AM EST. Until then...

As always starting elsewhere and ending in South Bend.

2013 college football schedule guide: The least wedding-friendly Saturdays this fall - SBNation.com

This is a pretty solid weekly breakdown of the biggest college football games of the upcoming 2013 season. Notre Dame appears in the "Five biggest games" on five different weekends. The following games made the cut: Michigan, Oklahoma, Arizona State, USC and BYU. The Stanford game is also sort of implied under the umbrella of "Hate Week" where every game made the cut.

A Mitch Mustain Documentary Is Coming Out, Narrated By Nolan Richardson | The Big Lead

This documentary has tremendous potential. Like so many other uber recruits that didn't pan out, the story of Mustain is a fascinating one. Deal me in.

K-State's Snyder: College athletics 'in a bad place right now' - CBSSports.com

The wraith speaks. Is anyone listening? Should they be?

“College athletics, particularly football, has changed dramatically throughout my career,” Snyder said on 610 Sports Radio KCSP. “I think it's in a bad place right now. It's in a bad place for a variety of reasons. We've allowed it to become money driven. We've allowed it to become TV driven. We've allowed athletic programs or football programs to mean more to a university than what the university is really supposed to be all about.”

Houston Cougars without a home for three home games | Campus Union - SI.com

The Houston Cougars’ football stadium is currently a big pile of concrete scheduled to be operational in time for the 2014 season. Houston has seven home games scheduled for 2013, four of which will be played in Reliant Stadium, three of which the Texans aren’t accommodating.

Where do you all think that Houston should play these other three home games? The Astrodome, Rice or at a high school stadium? They probably have a couple of those in Houston that are bigger than a small college stadium anyway.

PHOTOS: See the new UConn uniforms and logo here - The UConn Blog

With the obvious exception of the completely ridiculous helmets these new UCONN uniforms aren't too bad.

Tennessee uses a drone to film practice | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports

Does the FAA know about this?

A drone was flying high above Tennessee’s spring practice doing drone-like things (whatever those are). Jones told reporters following practice that the drone would be used to help with film study.

Remember Toomer's - College and Magnolia

Roll Damn Tide 1. War Damn Eagle 0.

Boston College cancels spring game in light of Boston tragedy | Campus Union - SI.com

Thoughts and prayers for everyone in Boston.

UMass football to honor Boston Marathoners with its own finish line at midfield | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports

Charley Molnar sighting! His UMass squad will honor the Boston victims in a fairly unique way.

UMass football is doing its part to honor the victims from the Boston Marathon bombings with helmet stickers for this weekend’s spring game, but coach Charley Molnar, an avid runner, wanted to go the extra mile. So, at halftime of the spring game, he’s asking people who were not able to finish the Marathon to come out and take a lap around UMass’ McGuirk Alumni Stadium and celebrate their accomplishment by crossing a special finish line set up at the 50-yard line.

Notre Dame will also be wearing special helmet decals on Saturday.

Notre Dame & NBC Sign 10-Year Extension - One Foot Down

Let it be written. Let it be done. The commentariat was relatively quiet about this one. What say you people? The most encouraging thing about this for me is that it further cements continued independence in football. It's kind of hard to fully join a conference when you have your own TV deal. Just ask Texas.

Revenues from the NBC partnership have played a key role in Notre Dame's financial aid endowment since the start of the relationship in 1991 when University officers allocated a portion of the football television contract revenue for undergraduate scholarship endowment (not athletic scholarships). To date, some 6,300 Notre Dame undergraduate students have received nearly $80 million in aid from revenue generated through the NBC contract.

What do you all think about this potential ACC scheduling? I would have liked to see a trip to Virginia Tech in there. There also isn't a trip to North Cackalacky until 2016. Come on man!

DeBartolo Performing Arts Center | Intimate Apparel

In addition to playing cornerback in the Blue-Gold game this weekend KeiVarae Hustle will also be strutting his stuff as an actor in a play.

Notre Dame football: Kelly joined by Tim Brown for town hall meeting - southbendtribune.com

For those that missed CBK on SiriusXM town hall Thursday night there will be a rebroadcast from noon-1 p.m., just prior to the Blue-Gold Game broadcast on SiriusXM Channel 91.

Here's a sample of what went on between Tim Brown and Coach Brian Kelly during the broadcast.

"Did your face get as red when you played as it gets on the sidelines when you coach?" Brown queried. Without missing a beat, Kelly responded, without any bluster, "You couldn't see it. I was wearing a facemask."

Five early enrollees to see first Stadium action - Irish Football - The Observer

The Observer has a nice article here on the five early enrollees seeing their first action inside of Notre Dame Stadium.

Notre Dame football: Grass looking greener at ND - southbendtribune.com

Hansen on Swarbrick. The topics include Field Turf, Jumbotrons, CBK's contract extension, and schedule shuffling. *The full video from this presser is at the bottom of this post.

Student seating for Notre Dame home games is now general admission. Thoughts?

So what do you all think of The Shirt? LINK.

I still like our versions better!

One Foot Down Designs The Shirt - One Foot Down

My personal favorite is choice #1. That ND MSPaint has skillz.

As for the Blue-Gold game itself below are your options for watching from places other than Notre Dame Stadium.

12:00 EST NBC Sports Network

Strong & True Notre Dame Spring Football 2013

1:00 PM EST NBC Sports Network

The 84th Annual Blue-Gold Game

No TV? No problem.

NBC will stream the broadcast feed HERE and via the NBC Sports Live Extra App.

Below is a Blue-Gold game buffet. Enjoy.

Kapron Lewis-Moore On 2013 Notre Dame Leadership & Spring Game Storylines | April | 2013 Articles

Over at Subway Domer Herring Bone chatted with Big Kap about the Blue-Gold game and a few other assorted topics. I remain a big KLM fan. Great kid.

Kapron Lewis-Moore: I'm excited to see how hungry the guys are to get back to the National Championship ... I wanna see who has matured and who is evolving into next year's leaders. That's the stuff I'm really excited about.

Notre Dame Notebook: Kelly breaks down Blue-Gold scrimmage

Similar to last year, Notre Dame’s Blue-Gold scrimmage will pit the offense against the defense rather than a true “Blue vs. White” scrimmage. Major changes between this year and last include the defense wearing blue jerseys and the offense wearing white. Head coach Brian Kelly also said that there will be no live special teams this year, including no field goals or extra points. Punting will be included in the scrimmage.

Five Big Things I’ll Be Watching In The Blue-Gold Game | Her Loyal Sons

The Anti-Preview: 2013 Blue-Gold Game | Subway Domer

ND Nation » The Rock Report: Spring Game Primer

Pregame Six Pack: Blue vs. Gold | Inside the Irish

Keith Arnold has the goods on the offense vs. defense scoring system.

For those unfamiliar with the set-up, here’s how the scoring system will be broken down.

OFFENSIVE POINTS:

6 points for a touchdown (1 point for PAT kicks, no rush allowed).

3 points for a field goal.

DEFENSIVE POINTS:

4 points for a defensive stop before offense crosses the 50.

2 points for a defensive stop after offense crosses the 50.

7 points for a turnover before the offense crosses the 50.

3 points for a turnover after the offense crosses the 50.

1 point for holding the offense to a field goal.

I'm going to close this one out with a little video cleanup. One is CBK's media session on 17 April. The second is Jack Swarbrick's media session on 18 April. The third is the trailer for "Strong & True" because why not? There are plenty of discussion points in the two media sessions.

See you in the open thread at 11:00 AM EST on Saturday!

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