While we are in the summer is in full swing (i.e. oppressing heat and humidity), football is quickly approaching. There is just a little over 6 weeks until the season starts as the Irish host Temple in South Bend and only a few weeks until camp opens up.
We at OFD have been doing our thing, including vacations and road trips. Whiskey thought it would be a good idea to drive all the way across the country-not once, but twice. Larz went on a
grizzly bear recruiting camping trip. Fish has been chilling on the left coast. Murtaugh has been Murtaugh, cranking out copious amounts of material. CW, alstein and 4pointshooter are saddened by the end of the NBA season (don't worry, they will get over it). JoeSchu has been taping a few podcasts with E. PB and Burgs have been MIA. Burgs-everything okay there buddy?
And then there is Mouth of the South. He just keeps on keeping on, while still looking for some good reading on the English language.
1. Irish Illustrated's Pete Sampson caused a bit of a stir amongst the writers at OFD this week thanks to his response on an II question about who the four starting DBs would be against Temple.
Obviously, the inclusion of Wood over Russell caused the major stir, and for good reason. The major question/point is that Wood didn't work himself into the rotation in 2011 when healthy and then missed last season with a major injury. How could he supplant a returning starter?
I agree with the masses here-I have a hard time seeing it. When we discussed it in our weekly emails, some of the staff thought that another safety would be starting over Baratti.
I think Baratti nails down the starting job, in addition to returning starters Farley, Jackson and Russell. One thing is for certain-the Irish aren't hurting for depth in the secondary, something that still a new concept to fans.
2. Andy Staples at Sports Illustrated ran an article this week on a hypothetical situation-what if college football had a "redistribution" draft. This brings an interesting question to the table. If Notre Dame could "draft" one current college player for the 2013 season, who would it be and why?
Three positions come to mind immediately thanks to questions about depth-Quarterback, Defensive Line and Inside Linebacker.
I will throw a few names out before making what I think is an obvious choice.
At QB, I think you could consider AJ McCarron (Alabama), Aaron Murray (Georgia), Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville) or Braxton Miller (Ohio State). Any would fill the gap until Everett Golson returns in the spring.
The linebacker group includes guys like Anthony Barr (UCLA), CJ Mosley (Alabama), Christian Jones (Florida State) or Max Bullough (Michigan State).
To me, the choice is clear-Clowney. Can you imagine a starting defensive front of Tuitt-Nix-Clowney? Even if for only one season, it would be something special to watch.
3. The O'Bannon vs. the NCAA case has been in the news for the last few months, including an announcement this week that the NCAA was ending its contract with EA Sports for the NCAA Football and Basketball franchises. Yesterday, it was announced that some current athletes were joining the suit. What are your opinions on the case?
I didn't come here to play lawyering, nor have I followed the case closely. Of course, that means that I have some opinions on the matter.
First, if somehow O'Bannon and the athletes win this suit, it opens a Pandora's Box-something that I don't believe schools, fans or (clearly) the NCAA is ready for. It could spell the end of big-time college athletics as we know it today.
Second, the media is clearly in the corner of the plaintiffs here. I didn't go to journalism school, but am still pretty sure that you are supposed to report on the facts objectively without injecting personal opinion. Heisenberg had something to say about that around a century ago.
Finally, I don't personally see how the NCAA loses this one. As all ND fans have learned this summer, the LOI is a binding contract-even if for only one season of athletic competition. It appears to me that student athletes are essentially in a "work for hire" situation, trading their time and athletic abilities for the opportunity to earn a free education. It is a pretty sweet deal. If you don't think so, go ask any recent graduate drowning in student loan debt about their thoughts on the situation.
4. An interesting tweet came out yesterday from former Domer Brian Fremeau:
16 years ago, 77 percent of Division 1-A teams played games only against other 1-A teams. Down to 15 percent in 2013: http://t.co/nJJ0hwmhSo— Brian Fremeau (@bcfremeau) July 18, 2013
That stat is mind blowing in many ways. First, there are more D-1 teams today than 16 years ago. How many, I am not sure-but it is probably around a dozen. Second, this represents the widening gap between the haves and have-nots. It should be disturbing to all college football fans.
The solution is simple-wins against lower tier competition shouldn't count towards bowl eligibility. That step alone would reduce the number of garbage bowl match-ups.
5. Non-sports Question: Are there any bands that have burst on the scene in the last year or two that will still be widely popular in 5 years?
This is one of those topics that come up from time to time behind the scenes at OFD. Yes, we do actually discuss things outside of football. Basketball is one example. Music is another.
Today, there are just way too many options for consuming music, which has led to dilution in one way or another. Not that it is a bad thing, but I just think that we won't see as many huge or widely popular acts as when the main avenue for finding new music was via the radio waves. Options like iTunes, Spotify, Pandora and Rdio allow users access to a multitude of options that just weren't there a few years ago.
That being said, I there are two bands that have the potential to have some staying power. The first is Imagine Dragons. These guys burst on the scene basically out of nowhere, and are one of the hottest commodities out there. The variety of sound that their album has tells me they might be a little more than a flash in the pan. The other band is Fun.. I think it is unusual to see the number of singles off of an album that they have released from Some Nights.