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Irish Links: DeShone Kizer is Off to Camp

Jon Gruden’s QB Camp, that is. Also, more football, the Return of the Mack, and some other cool stuff.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Friday. You ain’t got no job... you ain’t got **** to do.

Or maybe you just heard about this new Irish Links series and thought “I need a break from work anyway. Let’s check it out.” In that case, get your coffee, grab a bagel or a banana (foreshadowing) or something, and tuck in! Time for some links and I don’t mean golf.

DeShone Kizer is off to (Gruden’s QB) Camp

Participants in this year’s hotly anticipated QB Camp series - a signature element of ESPN’s sterling pre-draft coverage if you didn’t know - have been announced. This year, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer will join Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Nathan Peterman, Joshua Dobbs and Brad Kaaya in taking turns trying not to feel incredibly uncomfortable as Jon Gruden maintains intense eye contact with them while repeatedly whispering “Spider Two Y-Banana.”

NFL: Pro Bowl-AFC Practice
Spider 2? Spider 2! Y! Banana! Ha ha ha ha yeeeaaah!
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This year’s edition promises to be just as riveting as ever.

Gruden’s QB Camp begins airing two weeks prior to the NFL draft. Notable previous participants include Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Sam Bradford, Ryan Tannehill and Jameis Winston. Notable previous participants we care a little more about are Jimmy Clausen and - wait a minute - Manti Te’o? That’s right. There have been all of six participants in Gruden’s QB Camp that weren’t even QBs. Seven if you count Terrell Pryor. Te’o was one of them. A full list of alumni can be found here, if you be ever so curious.

This begs this question. Is Jon Gruden’s QB Camp nothing more than a rite of passage disguised as analyst fodder? Let’s go back in time and ask 2010 Mike Mayock how he feels.

The answer: if there are already “nagging questions” and you don’t perform well, it could hurt you.

Kizer then may have something to worry about. The narrative on Clausen read a little something like this: top-10 pick slides to the second round (he was taken 48th overall, 16th in the second round, behind Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford). Was it because of Gruden’s QB Camp? I mean, probably not. No one knew where Clausen was headed.

Kizer is similar; his draft stock has been all over the place. We’ve seen so many projections; number one overall to the Browns, number 12 overall to the Browns, 13th overall to the Cardinals, sixth overall to the Jets, or hell, I don’t know. I bet the Browns pony up a bunch of picks and trade for a pick late in the first round to take him.

Sorry, dude.

Jokes aside, the DeShone Kizer draft journey could be an interesting one. For his sake, I hope he aces QB camp, aces his workouts, and is taken in the top 13. We’ll see how the story plays out.

Bleacher Report Predicts the Top 20 Offenses of 2017

More football, you say? More football I give you.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California
More football confirmed.
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Bleacher Report put their best predictive minds to work, and those wily prophets gave us a surefire list of who the top 20 offenses of the 2017 college football season will be.

Offenses. Meaning groups of 11 guys that line up with the ball for a team. This isn’t a Fulmer Cup thing; we’re talkin’ ‘bout quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, tight ends. Linemen. Certainly with the type of talent the Irish have returning in the aforementioned positions, even with a lack of experience under center, they’ll be -

They aren’t even there. How dare you, Bleacher Report. Mind you, I’m fully aware that the deal was for “the 2016 season” (and for social content). Our first true stinging experience of the dreaded offseason.

While the Irish won’t be facing one of the predicted top-20 2017 offenses in the spring game, they will face a few teams that made the list. Bleacher Report predicts the Georgia Bulldogs at 15, and the USC Trojans at number one. Mr. Elko better have the defense ready.

The usuals filled out much of BR’s list, such as Oklahoma State at two, Florida State at three, Oklahoma at five, Ohio State at 11, and so on. Penn State was tabbed as fourth after their outstanding B1G championship season, and South Florida showed up at 16. You do you, Bleacher Report.

Andy Staples Has Thoughts on Conference and TV Rights

And he calls it “#DearAndyLive”.

The esteemed Mr. Staples starts off with a pretty entertaining discussion of theoretical jumps from football coaching to a political career. I’m sure one Brian Kelly listened to this one quite closely. I’m with ya, Andy. Ed O for supreme leader.

I’m embedding this video, however, for the conversation that takes place starting at about the 3:55 mark. A question is posed about conference realignment, and Andy has some insight. Go ahead and tell us what you think, Andy, Ima hang up and listen.

It's #DearAndy Live!!! Which college football coach could win the governor's race in his state? What will conferences look like in the future? Also, a dilemma involving leftovers.

Опубліковано Andy Staples 22 лютого 2017 р.

I think Andy is on point here. At some point, conferences become leagues and divisions become conferences. That’s enough complexity (and revenue sharing) to scare commissioners away.

Andy’s next point: the power five will join together to sell their viewing rights as one. But who would be the buyer?

Notre Dame’s broadcast future with NBC is locked up until 2025, so it could be fun to speculate. There are the obvious players: ESPN, ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS - all of which can be found on your cable television (and most over the air) and by some sort of streaming method or another. Then you have streaming-only options like Netflix, Hulu (for argument’s sake), Amazon (also mostly for argument’s sake but a sleeper option, in my opinion), and I suppose Google. What an exciting time we live in.

So many of us nowadays rely on the internet to get our college football fix on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, the occasional Tuesday. How wild would it be - and how likely would you be to go for it - if you could order something like NBA League Pass or MLB.TV for college football? Pricing would be intriguing. ESPN would... well I’m sure they prefer not to think about it.

My personal prediction: Live Nation steps in. Feld Entertainment (and Monster Jam) gets a new partner: Power Five Football. SATURDAY! SATURDAY! SATURDAY!

It’s the Return of the Mack

I’m so, so, so sorry. We’re over a thousand words into this thing and I needed some low hanging fruit:

There you have it. Unless we’re being hilariously trolled, that is.

The Notre Dame tight end formerly known as Alize Jones will return to the field next season after missing last season while serving an academic suspension. However, here’s the twist: he’ll apparently return as Alize Mack.

If I’m not mistaken, that’s practice footage of Alize Mack running a banana route. Beautiful. Moving on!

Lunardi’s Bracketology, AKA The Bracket of Death

NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at North Carolina State
What did we do to you, Mr. Lunardi?
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi released his latest NCAA Tournament Bracketology yesterday, and the Fighting Irish are projected to be the sixth seed in the midwest region. The first round takes place in Indianapolis, a nice soft landing spot, and the game would be against the winner of a play in game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Seton Hall Pirates.

Here are the would-be top five seeds: Kansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Duke and Wisconsin. Iowa State, Wichita State, and Virginia Tech are seven, eight and nine.

You could watch that. Or you could watch the 2006 slasher horror film Hatchet. The outcome will likely be similar.

What I mean to say, is that’s an insanely tough bracket. There’s plenty of regular season and tournament championship left to shake things up, but if Joey Brackets is right... yikes.

‘Member Boston College?

NCAA Football: Notre Dame vs Boston College
I ‘member those guys.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

It was announced earlier this week that Boston College AD Brad Bates is stepping down at the end of the academic year.

Boston College is a traditional Rival of Notre Dame in football, and have been, well, down as a program, to put it lightly. The basketball team, which also plays in the ACC, has been pretty awful, too. Do we have Brad Bates to thank for this? I’m of the opinion that we do, and I’m sad to see him go.

Prior to his stop at Boston College, Bates was the athletic director at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In fact, he was the one who hired Mike Haywood away from Charlie Weis’ staff at Notre Dame to be head coach for the RedHawks.

Sadly, Haywood was his only - and I hesitate to say this - good hire. Haywood’s highest point in his career was the 2010 MAC Championship and a win in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Haywood’s low point was a domestic violence-related arrest. Bates’ hire before Haywood - Shane Montgomery - was 17-31. His hire after Haywood - Don Treadwell - left the RedHawks in a hole that took former Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin two and half seasons to dig the program out of. Not to mention, the basketball program is a mess still.

I’m not linking anything here because I witnessed the whole thing as a student at Miami, 2006-2010. It was a disaster. However, Boston College hired Bates because his student athletes were successful in the classroom, Miami’s hockey program was successful, and new facilities were built at Miami. These are all pretty much a given at Miami, Bates probably had little to do with it other than saying “yes” and “thank you”.

Sound familiar?

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for you as part of this Friday’s Irish Links.

Now get to work. Bye, Felicia!