Welcome to a late Wednesday edition of 5WF. Today we talk about TV ratings, the size of Notre Dame, and all the postseason awards piling up in South Bend.
1. Will the January 7th showdown between Notre Dame and Alabama be the most watched BCS game ever?
It's got a shot to unseat the USC-Texas showdown from 2006, for sure.
That national title game drew a 21.7 rating---just a massive audience for a college football game. The second most watched game is the 2001 Florida State-Oklahoma game in the Orange Bowl that came in with a 17.8 rating.
Up until the last week of the regular season the LSU-Alabama game on CBS was the most watched game of the year with a 7.0 rating. Since then, the two national title teams have blown away that rating.
First, the Irish and USC Trojans posted a 10.3 rating giving ABC the most watched regular season college football game in many years. Last weekend the SEC title game between the Tide and Georgia Bulldogs posted a 10.0 rating as well.
With the history behind these two title teams, and the intrigue surrounding the game, I'm sure the ratings are going to get close to the 20.0 mark and possibly beat the 2006 "Game of the Century."
2. As the No. 1 team in the country the Fighting Irish should be taking the Sun Life Stadium field dressed in their blue home jerseys. Since it's for all the marbles on the big stage are you advocating any special uniform additions?
Ah, it's tempting. It's tempting do a little something, something!
However, I think we'll see the regular home uniform set and nothing fancy.
How about pulling a page out of the Lou Holtz playbook from the 1989 Fiesta Bowl and refusing to wear the BCS National Title Game patches? Of course Discover would throw a giant hissy fit, but man that was one of the great moments in uniform history when Holtz said something to the effect of, "Bowl patches? They were lucky we put numbers on the jerseys."
3. Since the matchup has been announced and surely continuing right through to the title game, many people have been and will be trying to point out how much bigger Alabama is than Notre Dame. Is it true?
No, not really.
Since Alabama runs an identical 3-4 defense to Notre Dame let's just matchup each player for every position.
Bama DE, 6'3" 286 vs. ND DE, 6'4" 306 (ADVANTAGE IRISH)
Bama NG, 6'4" 320 vs. ND NG, 6'3" 326 (DRAW)
Bama DE, 6'4" 282 vs. ND DE, 6'6" 303 (ADVANTAGE IRISH)
Bama OLB, 6'6" 248 vs. ND OLB, 6'2" 250 (SLIGHT ADVANTAGE TIDE)*
Bama MLB, 6'3" 262 vs. ND MLB, 6'2" 255 (ADVANTAGE TIDE)
Bama MLB, 6'2" 242 vs. ND MLB, 6'3" 240 (DRAW)
Bama OLB, 6'3" 245 vs. ND MLB, 6'3" 240 (DRAW)
*Notre Dame's backup Ishaq Williams is 6'6" 255, much larger than Bama's backup so this is pretty much a draw.
Bama CB, 6'1" 199 vs. ND CB, 6'0" 185 (ADVANTAGE TIDE)
Bama CB, 5'11" 179 vs. ND CB, 5'11" 182 (DRAW)
Bama S, 6'0" 215 vs. ND S, 6'2" 215 (DRAW)
Bama S, 6'2" 210 vs. ND S, 5'11" 200 (ADVANTAGE TIDE)
Basically, Notre Dame is bigger in their front seven and Alabama has a corner and safety that make their secondary larger. Or in other words, these teams have very similar size.
Alabama does have a size advantage on the offensive line (314.2 pounds to 304.4 pounds) but Notre Dame is bringing 2 tight ends to the party that average 255 pounds to Alabama's two tight ends averaging 237 pounds.
There is no real size advantage for either team.
4. Assuming Bob Diaco stays put through the end of the 2013 regular season, what do you think are going to be the job opportunities available to him then?
I have a list!
Here's a top 15 list of teams in order of most appealing to least appealing. I only included programs which I think could have an opening around this time next year---with the exception of one school.
Okay, probably not realistic because will they ever fire Mack Brown? But also, this job is probably a little bit above Diaco's abilities right now. But hey, you never know. If I'm Diaco it's top on the list anyway.
Assuming he's not fired before next season, Bo Pelini will be finishing his 6th season in Lincoln after 2013. It might be a stretch but it wouldn't be ridiculous given what we've seen around the country for Pelini to be axed after next season.
If Diaco doesn't take this job over the next week or two, it's probably going to be filled and won't be available. However, the possibility exists that current AD, former Badger coach, and former Irish DC Barry Alvarez takes over for this year's bowl game and next year before making a full-time hire. If that happens Diaco could be a top candidate for Wisconsin.
This might be a little bit too high but I think Diaco would be a great fit for the program. He'd be able to work the East Coast on one side and still access the Midwest for recruits as well. His defensive philosophy would work great as well, although I wouldn't be too pumped to play him on a semi-regular basis once the Panthers move to the ACC.
If Kirk Ferentz is canned next year then Diaco has to be a top candidate there---no questions asked. This team very well might be atop Diaco's personal list since it's his alma mater.
6. Virginia Tech
Of course Frank Beamer probably isn't going anywhere and if he did the team would likely be handed over to current DC Bud Foster, but who knows. If it somehow comes open it would be a very attractive job.
7. Georgia Tech
Would Diaco go this far south? There would be worse places to go and it is still a BCS program with a pretty solid tradition. Plus, recruiting would be much easier here than just about most places on the list.
It sounds like the Cardinals are working on a contract extension with Charlie Strong and with the program moving to the ACC in the future they might not have a coaching vacancy for a while. But if Strong jumps to an elite school after next season he'll leave behind a talented roster for Diaco to work with.
Diaco was already a coach here under Al Groh and the powers that be might realize that Mike London is in fact not Doing Good Things™ and will fire him after his 4th season in Charlottesville. This might be a sneaky good place for Diaco to start his head coaching career.
Doug Marrone has done an okay job here, but he'll be finishing his 5th season inside the Dome and the program hasn't really done anything except recover from The Gerg. I could see this job opening up.
Diaco has been loosely connected to this job under the assumption that Butch Jones leaves at some point. Since Bobby D already coached here it would be a good spot for him but still being stuck in the drowning Big East drops the program down the list quite a bit.
Tim Beckman was almost fired after one abysmal season so I'm assuming he's not long for this job. Hey, it's a Big Ten job but I think this would be a really tough rebuilding effort after Zook AIDS and Beckman had their hands on it.
13. Wake Forest
I could be missing on the heat under Grobe's seat (I don't think it's that strong, but still) yet he's been at Wake for a long time and they seem to have regressed quite a bit since the days of Riley Skinner & Co. Diaco would be a decent fit here, but he could probably do a little better.
There were rumors that George O'Leary was going to retire soon, so this job might be open following 2013. It's not a BCS job but there's plenty of talent on the roster and Diaco could probably dominate the competition pretty quickly.
15. San Diego State
Rocky Long is a good coach and he's done well at SDSU since taking over for Brady Hoke. There's the possibility Long is gone after next season and on to greener pastures. There are worse places to start your head coaching career than beautiful southern California.
5. Have they started building a new wing at the Gug to store all these postseason awards Notre Dame players and coaches have been receiving in recent days?
It's been a whirlwind past few days and it's been awesome. The university and athletic department will certainly have a ton of trophies and plaques to display soon.
Here's the rundown of what's happened so far.
Manti Te'o won the Bronko Nagurski award for the nation's top defensive player, in addition to the Dick Butkus award for the nation's top linebacker.
Te'o received the ARA Sportsmanship Award earlier in the week, and still has a good shot at the Lombardi, Bednarik, Lott IMPACT awards in addition to the Heisman Trophy presentation this Saturday night.
Head coach Brian Kelly won the Home Depot Coach of the Year---the first coach to win it twice (he won it in 2009 at Cincinnati) since its inception in 1994.
Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco also took home the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant, and lastly Tyler Eifert was awarded the Mackey Trophy as the nation's top tight end.
In addition to all this, the All-American honors are starting to roll in as well.
The AFCA, which names only a 1st team, has Manti Te'o on their list.
Athlon named Te'o on their 1st team, as well as center Braxston Cave and defensive end Stephon Tuitt on their 2nd team.
CBS Sports was the most friendly handing out 1st team nods to Tuitt and Te'o, 2nd team nods to Cave and Eifert, and a 3rd team nod to Louis Nix.
A round of applause for all this hard work being appreciated!