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Five Wide Fullbacks: The March Sadness Edition

5WF makes a triumphant return!!! Hey, things are awfully busy for football off-season. Am I right? I'm right, aren't I? I see you nodding your head in agreement.



Back from a three week hiatus is everyone's favorite game show weekly feature, Five Wide Fullbacks. It has been a crazy run through March with spring practice underway and I also hear there is some kind of basketball tournament going on. Anyone have more information on this?

On to the questions:

1. Speaking of basketball tournaments, how is your bracket looking?

Well, for some unknown reason I put New Mexico in the Final Four, so I have that going for me. Wait, you mean they got beat? IN THE FIRST ROUND?!?

Needless to say, the bracket is basically busted and the West was a bloodbath. I think I have three correct picks from the entire region. Ouch.

I used to spend a lot more time on the analysis piece, but now it basically comes down to finding 5 minutes on Thursday morning before the tournament starts-and I mean really starts, not what they refer to now as the "first round".

Gone are the days where I would enter all the online pools and such. Now, my wife and I continue on our tradition of filling out a bracket and the loser buys the winner dinner. I have an outstanding 7-1-1 record (yes, there was a tie-but only because someone didn't fill out the score for the championship game) and now my hopes lie mostly with Florida advancing in order to seal another victory. Of course, there was that one year that she filled out the women's bracket by mistake...

2. Notre Dame held its NFL Pro Day on Tuesday. Who were the big winners and losers?

Murtaugh broke down the results earlier in the week, so I will spare the details here. Basically, all of the NFL Combine participants improved their numbers. Not surprising with another month of training, right?

The big winner here has to be Robby Toma, with a close second from Mike Golic, Jr. Neither were invited to the Combine, but both put up some impressive numbers. Toma ran a 4.5 40. Does anyone else think it would have been great to see him get a few more snaps over the past couple of seasons? I also wish he would have been given a chance to field punts.

Toma might be on the fringe of some team's boards with his performance, but I will still be a bit surprised if he does get drafted. Remember, Wes Welker isn't in New England anymore and they signed the oft-injured Danny Amendola to fill his spot. Toma seems like a nice fit.

Golic put up 225 over 30 times. Not bad. Not bad at all. I think he gets to camp somewhere, especially with his flexibility to play guard or center. All anyone can ask for is an opportunity. You should get one this summer Mike Jr.

3. It appears a bout of transfer fever has struck the football team. Thoughts?

Two transfers due to playing time/depth and one due to family issues. This happens. In fact, I would go as far as saying that transfers are a part of a healthy, winning football program.

Let me be clear on that last statement: I am not talking about SEC-level roster management or attrition.

Simply put, you have 85 guys on your roster. Only 11 are on the field at any one time. You do the math and figure it out. Some guys are content to stick it out and earn their degree. Others want a fresh start at another school.

Best of luck to all of these young men-I hope that your choice works out for you in the end. Fans should thank them for the time and effort put into the program. Let's take the high road here people.

4. CBK and staff held its annual Junior Day last weekend. How did things turn out?

Everything I have read/seen/heard was positive, and the Irish netted one verbal to date (from DE Andrew Trumbetti).

The staff has been hosting visitors leading up to and throughout spring practices. They started to change their approach last cycle and now focus on quality over quantity. As such, their Junior Day activities aren't going to be as large as say Texas, but are effective nonetheless.

With a few additional spots now available for scholarships (due to the transfers outlined above), the 2014 recruiting class should grow a bit larger. With Junior Day in the rearview mirror, the staff will likely start to ratchet up the pressure on their top targets and begin giving more attention to the next tier of recruits.

Long story short, expect the number of verbal commitments to start to increase from now to the early summer.

5. Non-sports related question: What is the top American band of all-time?

This is one of those questions that come up behind the scenes that I figured I would throw out to the larger audience. Just be warned: Murtaugh has had a head start on everyone, so expect a few longer comments.

Actually, we started discussing this on or around January 8th of this year-not that the date means anything or there was any particular reason we started discussing non-football items behind the scenes.

I have pondered this one in the past, and here is the thing-if I asked you about the best bands of all time, how many British bands would you name before even thinking of an American one? I would wager at least a half dozen.

If you hit the interwebs and do a little research, you will find plenty of lists that all list out their criteria. While I am very numbers-driven and analytical by nature, I think I am going to throw that out here and go with my gut.

My answer: Pearl Jam

While it might feel like Ten came out not that long ago, it has been over 20 years. Yes, it really has been that long. They have been a mainstay in my musical preferences since my early adolescence.

Pearl Jam has withstood the test of time, released nine studio albums and seemingly every single live show they have ever done. Anyone who has seen them live can appreciate the loyalty that their fan base has shown them over the years.

I wish I could develop a more compelling argument than that, but I will leave you with one final thought-the only Pandora station that I created that I actually listen to is called "Pearl Jam Radio."

What says you, the commentariat?