Camping World has RVs? Just go up to Elkhart to the Hall of Fame
So, on Saturday afternoon (thank God we finally got a noon kickoff), the Notre Dame Fighting Irish dominated the Iowa St. Cyclones to win the 2019 Camping World Bowl. As confetti rained down upon the team with their trophy, smiles all around, everyone I think could still sense something missing from the picture. The win was great, but bowl game and 11 wins seemed overshadowed by the lackluster matchup and a sense that the team should be in a better position. I agree that something seemed missing, and that the Irish team got screwed on a good game just because of getting housed by Michigan in October. Regardless of all of that, a win to end the season is fantastic to see, as that game has been a loss so many other times in the last 10-20 years for Notre Dame. Let’s look at some things to take away as that game concluded and we all look to the offseason.
3 things to ponder from the bowl into the offseason
I would much rather have a dominating win than a crushing loss to end the season
When it comes down to it, the Irish played a pretty complete game overall. The defense was flat out brilliant. The offense did its job, and special teams got in on the fun. Yeah, the matchup sucked, and Iowa State did not show up as most of us thought they would. That is a testament to the team and the chemistry they have. They still want to go out and have fun on the field to get a W. It wasn’t a flashy game or win, but it is greater, for me, to ride a positive into the offseason than a negative. 11 wins and a bowl win to close out the season are definitely positives.
I think people need to cool it with the narrative about the sluggish practice
I know the game was not that interesting, and it was the matchup right before the College Football Playoff, so there needed to be a bit of a spin zone. I get it. However, the freakout over the guys going out on Christmas Eve and then a sluggish practice was just unneccesary. I would’ve believed more about the guys not playing motivated for this game, but the practice narrative was too overblown for me. They obviously did not have to worry about that. Also, regardless of the reason, there are going to be slower practices. The guys just got to Orlando, it was Christmas break, and many of them ended finals 5 days prior. Remember; This is a game played by kids. BK had them on track. The story was interesting to add a layer to the game, but it was not detrimental. Even if the Irish had lost, I don’t think that would’ve been the reason for the loss.
Nothing but respect for MY quarterbacks coach turned offensive coordinator
Yes, it was a questionable start, but I would say Tommy Rees passed his test/audition/tryout to be the offensive coordinator for next season. Overall, the plays called were good, not stellar. I thought he did a good job, and it seems that he actually likes the players and wants them to develop. With Ian Book coming back, that cohesiveness will be nice to have, and something that can develop during this offseason. Now, again, there is no confirmation that Rees got the job, but many signs point that way. I am TOTALLY fine with that call. I will not have any TRees slander here. Honestly, I think he will understand what the job entails, and I think it is an overall good fit.