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Hitting The Links: March 16th, 2013

No recruiting today, just hitting the links.

I should be on the links
I should be on the links

With all of the conference tournaments going on and the NCAA tournament right around the corner basketball is rightfully dominating the news at the moment. Our roundball staff has been all over Notre Dame in the Big East tournament this week and I'll leave all of that to them. Outside of the roundball the latter half of the week was relatively slow but I was able to dig up a few things you might find interesting.

As always starting elsewhere and ending in South Bend.

College football playoffs: 31 bowls free to bid, but Chick-fil-A, Cotton, Fiesta still favored -

This is really nothing more than a paperwork drill as three of the big players have already been publicly identified. The Sugar, Rose and Orange bowls have already been announced to host national semifinal games in 2014 and 2015 respectively. That leaves one more semifinal available for 2015 and two available for 2016 in this new rotation.

It also announced the 31 bowls not yet in on the party can submit bids by March 27 to be included in all this, though everyone expects the Chick-fil-A, Cotton and Fiesta to claim the last three spots. The BCS-or-whatever requires host stadiums must seat at least 65,000.

NCAA VP of enforcement stresses investigations with integrity -
Enter the new guy.

The entire NCAA enforcement model is not broken, but future cases must be "done with integrity and consistent with our bylaws" while revisiting any potential problematic practices, the new vice president of enforcement told on Thursday. Jon Duncan, who started Tuesday under an 18-month trial period, walks into a tornado of criticism after the NCAA botched the Miami investigation by paying the attorney of ponzi-scheming booster Nevin Shapiro for subpoena power, resulting in the firing of former VP Julie Roe Lach.

Nebraska vs Alabama: A Full Comparison of Dynasty - Corn Nation
In the wake of Notre Dame getting run ruled by Alabama this is an interesting comparison to peruse. Damn you Baylor! Those mid 90's Nebraska teams were pretty scary though weren't they?

"A statistical comparison between Nebraska's dynasty from 1993-1997 and Alabama's current run from 2008-2012. The comparison is done to answer which team had a better run."

Michigan Wolverines give Greg Mattison three-year contract extension - ESPN
Brady Hoke and his crew are trying to settle in for the long haul. I'm okay with that.

"The school announced a three-year contract extension for defensive coordinator Greg Mattison on Friday, keeping him in Ann Arbor through the 2016 season."

Texas A&M, Texas Tech could resume Big 12 rivalry -
Tejas Tech is trying to lure the Aggies back to the Hub City so that they can talk smack to them about plank walking and throw tortillas all over the place. In addition to swagger Kliff is bringing the tortilla tossing back too right?

This prompted me to go looking for that old story where Mike Leach was talking about the wives of Aggie Coaches being made to walk the plank. I didn't find it but I did find this random collection of Top 12 Mike Leach quotes.

"At no level do I see where the Red Raider football team is responsible at all for any tortillas being thrown. We watch over them very carefully, and before they ever go on the field, we ensure that none of them have tortillas."

Lookit -

This isn't directly related to anything but if you enjoy sports related GIFs and other random randomness you should check it out.

‘NC STATE NEEDS = BALLERS. YOU = BALLER’ … Looking at an energetic recruiting letter | Dr. Saturday
Son let me put this into words that you will understand....

"We need DIFFERENCE MAKERS," the coach writes, and here comes the highlighter, "to come in and MAKE AN INSTANT IMPACT!" In a box at the end, Hughes writes: "NC STATE NEEDS = BALLERS. YOU = BALLER." Highlighted, of course.

Notre Dame football: Sweating out their spring break -

A few Notre Dame players went to Arizona for spring break but it wasn't to party at Lake Havasu.

Nose guard Louis Nix, linebacker Kendall Moore and quarterback Malik Zaire made the trip to Scottsdale, Ariz., with wide receiver Davonte' Neal, to train with Neal's father, Luke. Owner of The Athletes Factory, Luke Neal has been putting the four players through three workouts a day since they all settled into his home late Saturday night. Sunday, he introduced the group to the "Neal Thrill Hill," a hill in the Phoenix area that he uses to train athletes. By the end of the week, he'll have put them through the entire three-mile workout.

Over at Inside the Irish Keith Arnold continued his series discussing the spring depth chart.

Spring Solutions: Quarterback | Inside the Irish

Spring Solutions: Running backs | Inside the Irish

Spring Solutions: Wide Receivers | Inside the Irish

Notre Dame releases spring football schedule | Notre Dame Notebook

The Big East Tournament might be over but spring football practice kicks off next week! The festivities will kick off with a Brian Kelly press conference on Tuesday, March 19, and will wrap up with the annual Blue-Gold scrimmage on Saturday, April 20.

It has been a busy week around here. The Big East Tournament, Recruiting, TWINDA, Reviewing Redshirts, Top Performances and discussing a few links. If you missed anything you can catch up over the weekend. With spring football and the NCAA tournament right around the corner it isn't going to slow down any time soon!

Have a great weekend!