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Irish Blogger Gathering: Backing into Backup College

This week's round of questioning was put forth by Wacko at Domer Law. I will jump right in.

1. After 3 straight losses, there appear to be two camps of fans: A. The sky is falling. Coach Kelly is not a good coach, not a good fit, probably won't ever win a game and should be fired today. B. Coach Kelly is still totally awesome, and you had to expect some bumps and bruises as he builds the team - remember Holtz's first year?

Which camp do you fall into, and why?

That sounds like a loaded question, couselor. Who leaves after three innings in the first game of the World Series if your team is behind? Obviously, Kelly does not need to be fired four games into the first year of his five year contract when he has lost to three top 25 teams. We all realize the Michigan and Michigan State games could have gone either way. Notre Dame football may not where we want it to be, but is progressing. The coaching stafff gets high marks for teaching fundamentals, changing directions, identifying weaknesses and firing up highly regarded recruits to come to Notre Dame. Imagine if we had Big 10/SEC type scheduling control and had opened with Western Michigan, Army, Tulsa and Purdue. Now, counselor, make a case for Camp A.

2. With the current state of the program, put yourself in a recruit's shoes. If you had offers from all 12 schools on our schedule and Notre Dame, which would you pick right now and why? Who would your top 3 be?

Disregarding any depth chart considerations, my top three would be Notre Dame, Stanford, and USC - all for the academic and athletic excellence.

3. What's the trajectory of this season? Is this going to spiral downward into a 2007-esque kind of year, or will the team rally and start winning some game against quality opponents?

I think we are at the bottom of a J curve with the trajectory up. That should mirror players' learning curves and fans' comfort levels.

4. Give me your top 5 reasons why you'd rather go to Notre Dame than Backup College.

5. Notre Dame offers one of the best all around sports programs in the country (despite having a struggling football team of late....) and students have access to all of the sporting events if they choose.
4. Notre Dame has the top undergraduate business school in the country.
3. The first year studies program all the freshman go through is one of the most demanding freshman programs in the country and prepares students very well for the rest of college.
2. Notre Dame has one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.
1. There really is no where else but Notre Dame!

5. I'm depressed after our third straight loss. Do your best to cheer me up and convince me that I should still be excited about this weekend's game.

After three games, Boston College is auditioning for their QB position. David Shinskie was pulled in the third quarter with BC scoreless, having fumbled once, thrown two interceptions, and stopped short on a run to the 1 yard line to end the first half. Mike Marsovetra, in four drives, did not get a rushing or passing first down. BC QBs were sacked six times. In their first three games, including one against a FCS team, the Eagles have converted 30.8% of their third downs. In the red zone, they score two thirds (66.7%) of the time - tied for 111th nationally. They score touchdowns 25% of the time they are in the red zone - tied with Rutgers for the worst (119th) in FBS. Even in 2007, we converted 58.8% of our red zone chances into touchdowns. Chase Rettig, a true freshman who has not taken a snap this year, has been announced as the starter.

It's your responsibility to cheer yourself up and get excited - or not.

6. If you could ask Coach Kelly any one question, what would it be?

Have any extra tickets - or a press pass?