Welcome to this Friday’s edition of Irish Links. We’ve got some very important information to impart that you’ve been patiently waiting to learn. For example:
The 2017 @NDFootball Blue-Gold Game will kickoff at 12:30 p.m. ET on April 22 at Notre Dame Stadium.— Michael Bertsch (@NDsidBertschy) March 1, 2017
READ MORE: https://t.co/n6zOt88UKv pic.twitter.com/XCWgH21eBD
That’s right, we now have a time and date on which we’ll get our next glimpse of Notre Dame football. In just under two months on April 22nd, we’ll get our first look at the 2017 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, with Brandon Wimbush under center and Mike Elko coordinating the defense. Here’s your ticket info.
Don’t forget, last year was a showcase of Irish defense and we all remember how the season went. Moving on.
Tom Holmoe, BYU AD: No Update Notre Dame Series
As we noted earlier this week, BYU has announced a home-and-home series with Tennessee. The repercussions as to what that means in terms of Notre Dame fulfilling the promise to visit Provo before 2021 is explained in great detail in the our article, give it a read.
On Wednesday of this week, BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe gave his semi-annual press conference, and mostly stressed the stability of BYU athletics. However, no update was given regarding the BYU-Notre Dame football series.
Holmoe did comment on the university’s relationship with ESPN, stating that it remains a good relationship and, despite the fact the the eight-year deal is seven years old, BYU and ESPN should be partners for a long time. ESPN continues to have the biggest say in what bowl deals are in place, as BYU has none currently set for the next two years. An interesting contrast from Notre Dame for an independent university. Holmoe also stated that BYU has not ruled out joining a “Power Five” conference.
Vice President Mike Pence is This Year’s Commencement Speaker
The University of Notre Dame announced on Thursday this year’s commencement speaker: Vice President of the United States Mike Pence.
.@VP Mike Pence will receive an honorary degree and serve as principal speaker at our May 21st Commencement ceremony https://t.co/gyk1a1cWWH pic.twitter.com/8kZ4nFwZ7z— Notre Dame (@NotreDame) March 2, 2017
Not a totally unprecedented move by any means; when you examine a list of individuals invited to speak at commencement, there are plenty of prominent politicians. Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Kofi Annan, George W. Bush, and Barack O’Bama are all notable commencement speakers since the mid-seventies until now.
Vice President Pence will receive an honorary degree, and commencement is set for Sunday, May 21st.
Welcome to South Bend, Tyler Santucci
As reported by Football Scoop, Texas State outside linebackers coach Tyler Santucci will join Brian Kelly’s staff as a defensive analyst. Santucci’s Twitter profile seems to confirm this report.
Santucci played his college ball at Stony Brook, and then coached for the Seawolves for four years. He then joined the Wake Forest program as a graduate assistant for the defensive line, under current Notre Dame defensive coordinator Mike Elko. More help for the defensive aught to be a good thing.
(Notre Dame and) Texas is Back! Or, should be.
According to AP writer Ralph Russo, The Texas Longhorns and Notre Dame are the two teams who, based on close losses and luck, are poised to have big turnarounds in 2017. We’ve heard this before, haven’t we?
After all, it looked like the teams were going to be two of the best after their thrilling 2OT game to kickoff 2016. At the time, Notre Dame was 10th in the AP poll, and Texas was looking to thrive under Coach Charlie Strong. Then, the rest of the season happened.
Russo tabbed Football Outsider’s S&P metric, which takes into account one-possession losses and starters returning, among other things. Other teams on the list include Iowa State, North Carolina State, Michigan State and UCLA.
Coach Brey Chats with SVP
Before Notre Dame beat the pants off of the Boston College Eagles on senior night, Coach Brey had a chat with Scott Van Pelt for ESPN.
Discussion ensued regarding the current win streak, how proud Coach is of this year’s seniors, and what to do now that it’s time for March Madness.
Bracketology: an Update
With one game left in the regular season and the ACC tournament looming, it’s always fun to take a look at what Joey Brackets has to say about projected NCAA tournament seeding.
This week, the Irish sit on the five line across from UNC Wilmington, in the East bracket. That would mean the Irish would travel to Orlando for the first round. Villanova, Baylor, Duke and Florida are the 1-4, and Minnesota, Dayton, and Miami take us to 8. Both Monmouth and Winthrop are in that same bracket, and if you’ve been watching Notre Dame basketball at all since 2000, those names might trigger you.
That’s about it for this Friday’s Irish Links. Tune in tomorrow on CBS for Notre Dame vs. Louisville on the hardwood to finish out the 2016-17 regular season in basketball.