Yooooo what’s up, y’all??
It’s been a pretty wild time since the end of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football regular season — lots going on with conference championship games, the transfer portal, recruiting getting wild as we hurtle toward Early Signing Day, Deion Sanders doing Deion Sanders things, and more.
I meant to get this Q&A out last week as a leadup to the final weekend of action that would decide all the CFP and bowl match-ups, but unfortunately I got busy preparing for my own big title that weekend — becoming a “fiancé.”
That’s right, ya boy Pat Rick was finally able to hoodwink someone into agreeing to marry him. She’s pretty incredible, with her one flaw being that she’s a Michigan graduate — but we’ve learned to ignore that in favor of a happy and healthy relationship, so let’s just let that lie in the comments, if you please.
Anyway, I finally got around to collecting some of the questions you guys submitted for this post-season, pre-bowl Q&A, and managed to secure some free time from this absolute idiot I know named Pat Rick. Pat is an Editor over at One Foot Down, SB Nation’s one-stop-shop for all things Notre Dame and taco vs. burrito, and so I felt he was best equipped to give some dumb answers to some very fun and funny questions.
So, let’s not waste any more time than you’re already wasting by reading this drivel — let’s see what Pat had to say about the transfer portal, the “real” USC, defunct bowl games, Scott Pilgrim, all the athletic feats Pat could never successfully accomplish, and more!
1. FAN QUESTION:
Question? When a player enters the portal can a coach immediately recruit him?— Cheryl Russo (@CherylR01091480) November 27, 2022
Pat Rick: Yes. For anyone that isn’t aware, the Transfer Portal is essentially just a massive database with player names and contact information for any player who’s interested in transferring elsewhere. So, once a player is officially in the portal, any coach looking at the portal can use that database to reach out to them.
Prior to officially putting one’s name in, coaches technically aren’t allowed to directly recruit the player. But, we all know that:
- A lot of coaches will not adhere to this non-enforced rule
- Even if they technically follow the rule, almost all coaches are back-channeling to get in touch with potential transfers, using third parties and those close to them to build a few layers of communication that keep the coaches from getting in trouble but still allow for relaying of messages, negotiating NIL things and starting job guarantees, etc.
From what I can tell, pretty much everyone does #2 — I think Notre Dame absolutely is doing it this off-season, considering how quickly they’ve bene on Hudson Card and the rumors we’ve heard about them potentially back-channeling with QBs like Michael Pratt or others who haven’t officially entered the portal yet. And then we know plenty of others have done it, with Lincoln Riley bringing Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison to USC last year, etc.
So, that’s my understanding of how recruiting transfer portal guys works — it’s basically just a place for them to put their contact info for people to reach out to them. Otherwise, there still aren’t a ton of (enforced) rules, processes, or procedures governing the situation.
2. FAN QUESTION:
How many consecutive national championships would South Carolina need to win in order to be considered undoubtedly the real "USC"?— Pat C (@iamthetweeter) December 5, 2022
Pat Rick: If we’re just going by claimed national titles, the USC Trojans have 11, so you could make the argument that the USC Gamecocks would need 12 to overtake them as the “real” USC.
However, winning consecutive titles is super difficult, especially in this day and age, so I’m thinking “consecutive titles” should count for more than all the one-off titles someone like USC has. It could work kind of like the trick points in NBA Street Vol. 2 — keep combining them and building momentum one after the other and you reach a Gamebreaker status. So, maybe like 5-6 in a row would easily do it?
However, I’m a big head-to-head match-ups guy when it comes to deciding who’s better between two schools. Sure, a 1-11 team who gave an 11-1 team its one loss may not have been the better overall team on the season, but the fact they played and one beat the other really tells me which is superior, in the vacuum of those two schools alone against each other.
I just looked it up — the Trojans and Gamecocks have only played twice, ever, and split the series 1-1. So, in my humble opinion, the “real” USC is simply the school who owns the head-to-head series, and thus the ‘Cocks need only to defeat the Trojans in any sort of game — title game, bowl game, regular season game, exhibition game — in order to assert themselves as the “real” USC. If I were Shane Beamer or South Carolina AD Ray Tanner, my biggest priority going forward would be to get the Trojans on the schedule in order to pull off a massive victory and secure that title forever by never agreeing to play the Trojans again afterward.
That would be just delightful to see.
3. FAN QUESTION:
If you could wave a magic wand and bring back any historic bowl game and have ND play in it, what would it be?— John Macke (@JohnPMacke) November 28, 2022
Bring back the Bacardi Bowl imo--ND vs. University of Havana in Cuba https://t.co/ok1Efxjxt3
Pat Rick: It’s hard to top John’s suggestion of the Bacardi Bowl (also known as the Rhumba Bowl), which was a bowl game that was played seven times in Havana, Cuba (1907, 1910, 1912, 1921, 1937, and 1946). According to Wikipedia, this bowl was apparently the “foremost event of Cuba’s annual National Sports Festival” and typically involved an American college team playing a Cuban college or athletic club team:
- 1907: LSU defeats the University of Havana 56-0
- 1909: Tulane falls to the Cuban Athletic Club 11-0
- 1911: Mississippi A&M defeats the Cuban Athletic Club 12-0, avenging Tulane’s loss
- 1912: Florida plays a two-game series over a four-day span, facing off against the Vedado Tennis Club on Christmas day (winning 28-0) and then beginning a game against the Cuban Athletic Club on December 28th, but failing to finish said game*
- 1921: Ole Miss loses to the Cuban Athletic Club 13-0
- 1936: Auburn plays Villanova in this game for some reason, and the two teams tie 7-7 in the first ever college football game between two American universities on foreign soil. This game was almost canceled because Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista’s picture was not originally included in the game program
- 1946: Mississippi Southern absolutely destroys the University of Havana 55-0
*Note: this second game of Florida’s two-game series in 1912 has a pretty fun story. Apparently, Florida’s coach George E. Pyle realized during the first quarter that the referees were running the game based on old rules, and that the head referee was the former coach of the Cuban Athletic Club. Pyle pulled his guys off the field, which led to him being arrested — Cuban law prohibited anyone from suspending a game after spectators’ money had been collected.
A trial was scheduled (!!!), Pyle was released on bail, and he skipped town with his team on a steamship headed to Tampa. Pyle was labeled a “fugitive from justice” by Cuban authorities, and Bacardi Bowl officials declared the game a 1-0 forfeit win for the Cuban Athletic Club, while Florida claimed it was a 1-0 forfeit win for themselves. The game has since been dropped from Florida’s official records, and the Gators would never again compete against a Cuban squad (lol, like most college teams?).
I could learn more about the Bacardi Bowl for hours, but to stay on task, what other now defunct bowls would I potentially want to bring back? For this exercise, I found this Wikipedia page of defunct bowls and perused the list looking for:
- Funny bowl names
- Funny bowl locations
- Anything else fun I could find about all these dead bowl games
Here’s the short list of ones I enjoyed and a fun fact for each — some of which I had heard of but most of which were very new to me:
The Raisin Bowl, played in Fresno, CA from 1946-1949
- FUN FACT: this game is not to be confused with the California Bowl, which was later staged in Fresno and in its later years was marketed as the California Raisin Bowl due to the sale of naming rights to the California Raisin Marketing Board
The Salad Bowl, played in Phoenix, AZ from 1947-1951
- FUN FACT: this was the precursor to the Fiesta Bowl, meaning the Salad Bowl was basically a NY6 bowl and rotating CFP game
The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, played in Pontiac, MI and Detroit, MI from 1997-2013
- FUN FACT: thi
The Gotham Bowl, played in New York City from 1961-1962
- FUN FACT: this game was originally devised as a fundraising attempt for the March of Dimes, but the two games they had both lost money, as “few fans were willing to sit through the frigid December New York weather.” Take notes, Pinstripe Bowl!!! Also, it was supposed to be a game held in 1960 as well, but they couldn’t find an opponent to play Oregon State lololol
The Cherry Bowl, played in Pontiac, MI from 1984-1985
- FUN FACT: the 1984 Cherry Bowl featured Army’s first ever bowl appearance, as they took on Michigan State (making their first bowl game appearance since 1966) in front of a crowd of 70,000+. Army won 10-6
The Aviation Bowl, played in Dayton, OH in 1961
- FUN FACT: this was New Mexico’s first bowl game since 1947 and Western Michigan’s first ever, and they only played because both Rutgers and The Citadel declined invitations and Bowling Green played in the Mercy Bowl instead. New Mexico won 28-12 and then proceeded to not win another bowl game for 46 years
The Boardwalk Bowl, a D-II bowl played in Atlantic City, NJ from 1961-1973
- FUN FACT: Inaugurated in 1961, the game featured an annual matchup between Pennsylvania Military College (now Widener University) and the United States Merchant Marine Academy, known as the “Little Army–Navy Game” until 1967. The playing surface in the earlier years consisted of natural grass sod that was grown outside and then moved indoors for the game
The Knute Rockne Bowl, a D-II bowl played in Akron, Ohio and Davis, California from 1976-1977; it was formerly a College Division East Regional final played in Bridgeport, CT and Atlantic City, NJ from 1969-1972
- FUN FACT: this bowl is named after Notre Dame’s legendary former coach Knute Rockne, if you can believe it
The Oyster Bowl, a D-III “bowl” (it was at various times a D-I bowl game, a D-III bowl game, a high school game, and currently a regular season D-I game) in 1946, 1948-1955, and 1999-present; it’s currently played in Norfolk, VA and has previously been played in Hampton, VA and Newport News, VA
- FUN FACT: the inaugural Oyster Bowl was held in 1946 between two high schools, the local Granby Comets and the Clifton Mustangs of Clifton, New Jersey; the latest iteration featured James Madison smacking Old Dominion around 37-3 this season
The Cigar Bowl, a small-college bowl game played in Tampa, FL from 1946-1954
- FUN FACT: this was the first bowl the Florida State Seminoles ever played in, partaking in the 1950 game (they beat Wofford 19-6)
The Fruit Bowl, a minor college/unofficial bowl game played in San Francisco, CA from 1947-1948
- FUN FACT: this was the first interracial college bowl game, featuring Southern and San Francisco State in 1948
The Grape Bowl, a minor college/unofficial bowl played in Lodi, CA from 1947-1948
- FUN FACT: in 1949, a game following the season was held at this same venue between senior players from Pacific and Cal as a way to showcase their QBs. It drew over 20,000 fans and was called the “Cash Bowl” because the proceeds were divided amongst the players
The Pear Bowl, a minor college bowl played on Thanksgiving weekend in Ashland, OR and Medford, OR from 1946-1951
- FUN FACT: the first two games were designed to raise funds for a new stadium on the Southern Oregon campus; the last three were a benefit for crippled children in Portland
The Glass Bowl, a minor college/unofficial bowl game played in Toledo, OH from 1946-1949
- FUN FACT: this game was a suggestion from a shipyard worker at a Toledo glass company, who recommended to municipal leaders that a “Glass Bowl” in such a hotbed for manufacturing of glass objects would be a way to build the city’s and industry’s prestige
The Refrigerator Bowl, a minor college bowl game played in Evansville, IN (!!!) from 1948-1956
- FUN FACT: this bowl was named as such because Evansville was producing 3,800 refrigerator units per day, known at the time as the “refrigerator capital of the United States”
The Boot Hill Bowl, an NAIA bowl game played in Dodge City, KS from 1970-1980
- FUN FACT: the 1974 game between Washburn University and Millikin University is remembered for how cold it was, with a recorded temperature of 10 degrees Fahrenheit and wind of up to 40 mph. The Wikipedia entry says, “A few Washburn players spread an analgesic ointment cream on their bodies, attempting to provide an extra layer of protection from the cold — reportedly, this did not work.”
The Wheat Bowl, an NAIA bowl played in Ellinwood, KS and Great Bend, KS from 1995-2006; it has been both a post-season and a pre-season bowl in that time
- FUN FACT: there was a game called the “Wheat Bowl” played between Kansas Community Colleges from 1948 to 1950. Although the name is the same, the organization was completely different
The Mirage Bowl, a regular season matchup played in Tokyo, Japan from 1977-1993; once Coca-Cola took over as the sponsor from Mitsubishi, it became known as the Coca-Cola Classic
- FUN FACT: Notre Dame played in this game in 1979, pummeling the Miami Hurricanes 40-15 in front of nearly 63,000 fans. Also, for some reason the 1984 game featured Army vs. Montana, despite all the other matchups featuring some pretty big programs (UCLA, USC, Clemson, SMU, Houston, Oregon, Stanford, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Michigan State, Wisconsin, etc.). That Army/Montana matchup also apparently introduced “The Wave” to Japan — you’re welcome!!!
That’s an incredible assortment of options, but as a Hoosier at heart I HAVE to go with the Refrigerator Bowl — that’s an A+ name that lends itself to all sorts of food/kitchen/appliance puns, and it’s simply incredible they tried to hold a bowl game in Evansville and that Evansville was at one time known as the Refrigerator Capital of the U.S.*
My apologies to Pontiac, Michigan, which is a hilarious locale for MULTIPLE bowls to be held, but whose bowls couldn’t bring home the W here.
*NOTE: I think this was because of a Whirlpool plant that was moved to Mexico...I’d like to apologize to Evansville on behalf of my old employer for that one, y’all.
4. FAN QUESTION:
In the movie/graphic novels Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Scott must defeat Ramona’s seven evil ex’s in combat to be able to date her. What are the seven evils that Marcus Freeman has to defeat to win a national championship and win the heart of the ND faithful?— Nathan Johnson (@1_nathan_god) November 27, 2022
Pat Rick: This was much harder to answer than I anticipated, but I think I’ve aligned on the below as the seven evils that Marcus will need to conquer in order to win a championship in early 2024, which would be ahead of schedule but I wanted to set that as the timeline to make the below work.
Status: COMPLETE (but will need to be defeated again in 2023)
Description: Both of ND’s playoff teams and another (2015) that had major playoff potential all fell victim to a Dabo Clemson squad at some point, and despite the double-OT win against him in 2020, it still seemed he had ND’s number, considering Trevor Lawrence’s return later that season made the ACC Championship a blowout in the Tigers’ favor. Yes, the 2022 Clemson team wasn’t an elite title contender like 2015, 2018, or 2020, but the fact Marcus and his first team went out and just demolished Dabo and his then-top-5 team was perfect. Marcus has conquered this first evil.
2. The Oklahoma Coaching Staff
Status: IN PROGRESS
Description: I honestly have very little worry about Marcus Freeman and his staff finding more success than Brent Venables and his, especially once OU moves to the SEC. But before we can make an assessment on any of that, Marcus needs to win a massive battle against Venables and co. THIS MONTH, as the Irish staff battles to keep 5-star safety commit Peyton Bowen in the fold and have him sign in a couple weeks. The rumors have been rampant for months that Bowen would flip to the Sooners, and reportedly his girlfriend will be attending OU and many on the OU side expect him to sign with them. But he’s still committed to the Irish, so it could go either way come Early Signing Day. This would be a massive win for Freeman and his staff and they could really use an elite playmaker on the backend of the defense if they want to compete for a title in the next three years.
3. Spencer Rattler and Ireland
Status: IN PROGRESS and PRETTY MUCH IN THE BAG
Description: I cheated and lumped these two things together, but I think it’s really important for Marcus to achieve wins to finish his first season as well as to kick off his second season at the helm of this program. The Gator Bowl will be interesting with all the attrition from the Draft and Transfer Portal, and Freeman will be without his starting 2022 QB (never a great sign), but the original starter (Tyler Buchner) will be back, and the Gamecocks will be dealing with plenty of people sitting out the game as well. If Freeman and co. can finish the year on a high note and scrape out a win, it will build momentum for next year and also give some young guys some nice confidence and experience against a solid team, which is important as these top recruits of Freeman’s time at ND begin to take the reins.
Similarly, it’s going to be very important that Freeman and his 2023 team start the year much stronger than they did in 2022. Of course, they won’t have to begin the year in Columbus against a CFP team, instead getting Navy in Ireland. It should be a game that goes roughly the same as it did 11 years ago when these two teams played in Dublin, but with Navy and with Freeman’s team so far, you can’t take that for granted. It would be awesome for the new transfer QB who will likely be starting in this one to go off and throw for a bunch of yards and TDs, displaying a more potent and balanced Tommy Rees offense than we’ve been able to see the last couple years.
4. His Alma Mater
Description: Marcus already attempted to defeat this evil in September, but failed to achieve victory — probably because he attempted it out of order! This is #4, not #1! Anyway, Marcus will get a shot to take down Ryan Day and the Buckeyes at home in 2023, and a win against that caliber of opponent before the first month of the season is done will go a long way toward building the confidence of the team to achieve great success. Plus, hopefully beating them will make Marcus realize that, whenever Day’s job becomes available in the future, he shouldn’t take it, because he can do better at ND.
5. Caleb Williams
Description: Just like defeating his alma mater, taking down the reigning Heisman winner in Caleb Williams and the mercenary USC Trojans under Lincoln Riley will be a huge and necessary milestone on this march to a title. Williams is the perfect villain in terms of his talent/skill and his knack for the flair and flashiness and showboating, and so this will be a tough but very important victory needed to keep progressing along the path for Freeman.
6. Narduzzi and Jurkovec
Status: BASICALLY COMPLETE BUT NOT OFFICIAL YET
Description: Similar to Navy in Ireland, I don’t have a ton of anxiety about the Irish taking care of business against these two jabronis, but considering how much both of them hate Notre Dame and love talking about the Irish for no reason, it’s going to be a fantastic experience watching Freeman’s squad steamroll the Panthers similar to what the Irish did to Pitt back in 2020. I think Benny Mo might pick off Jurkovec 5 times on his own, unless Peyton Bowen decides to take some of those INTs for himself. Hell, who am I kidding? There will be more than 5 picks to go around, despite Nard Dog’s proclivity for ignoring the pass and only running the ball.
7. Elite CFP Opponents
Status: NOT STARTED
Description: This has to end where Marcus’s predecessor couldn’t find success — beating top teams in the College Football Playoff. Hell, Brian Kelly couldn’t even compete with these guys, so this will of course be the toughest and least likely victory for Marcus in his quest for a title. But it’s a necessary evil to defeat, with the likes of Saban, Smart, Harbaugh, Day, Swinney, and whomever else waiting for ND in these final games of the season. Marcus HAS to slay those dragons if he wants to finish this journey and bring a title back to South Bend.
5. FAN QUESTION:
You have 100 chances to accomplish one of the four. Which is successful?— PWagon (@PWagon60) November 30, 2022
Catch a punt from Jon Sot.
Beat Blake Fisher in a 1 on 1 pass rush
Defend Foskey in a 1 on 1 pass rush
Tackle Audric Estime in the open field
Pat Rick: The first one is absolutely the only one I think I could realistically accomplish. It wouldn’t be easy, but if you give me 100 chances, I can probably reel in 1-2 of Jon Sot’s punts. I’d also suffer many bruises and embarrassing muffed punts in the process, but catching a football is something I think I can manage at least 1% of the time.
The other three are things that I know for a fact I would never be able to do. I think of the three, I’d have the best chance at achieving #2 (beating Blake Fisher in a 1-on-1 pass rush), simply because my only task is to get past someone, and that is inherently easier than having to stop someone from going somewhere like #3 and #4 would necessitate. Fisher would, of course, never allow me through, but I think I have a better chance of stumbling past him as he gets bored or trips or something than me blocking Foskey or tackling Estime.
Of the final two, I guess for #3 I could get lucky and have Isaiah Foskey trip or hope he wants to take a play off or something, so that’s probably a miniscule amount more achievable than tackling Audric Estime considering I’m just trying to get in his way and slow him down. I would NEVER be able to even make contact with Estime because of how slow I am, but even if I did, there is no way in hell I’m both wrapping him up and able to bring him to the ground. That’s so many things I have to do in sequence against someone way bigger, stronger, and faster than me. That one would never, ever happen.
6. FAN QUESTION:
Oh just noticed I’m second. I still feel pretty good about Joshua beating him and/or the “body blow” theory helping me at least keep it close in Round 2.— Jude (@ndjrs) November 30, 2022
I didn’t even think about that specific detail… let’s go separate days to give Pat a fighting chance haha— Patrick (@memprkwy) November 30, 2022
Pat Rick: I need to begin this answer by being very clear that I’ve never, once in my life, been in a real fight. Thus, there’s no way in hell I have any of the necessary experience, instincts, or toughness to beat just about anyone in a fight. Most middle schoolers could probably give me a run for my money. I would need a comprehensive training session with Greendale’s best in order to stand a chance...
With that said, here are my thoughts on Pat Rick vs. those 6 opponents:
1. Joshua Vowles AKA The Subway Domer
Pat Rick’s chance of winning: 10%
Explanation: You guys know our Emperor and Supreme Warlord, and have seen him in photos. He’s a tough S.O.B. with no problem getting feisty and aggressive when the situation calls for it, and although I’ve never actually met him in person, I think he’s a big enough guy to pretty easily kick my ass. I do not think this would go well for me.
2. Jude Seymour
Pat Rick’s chance of winning: 20%
Explanation: Jude seems to be giving me a lot of credit for my fighting ability and focusing on Joshua wearing me down enough for him to hold his own. First of all, if I fight Joshua the day before, Jude will be fighting a broken shell of a human. Easy win for him. But even if I somehow can still generally move my body enough to try to fight, I think Jude would be a wily, clever fighter who will find my weakness and quickly use it to his advantage. I don’t see this one ending well for me either.
3. Brendan McAlinden
Pat Rick’s chance of winning: 5%
Explanation: I was going to say something pretty similar for Brendan as I said for Jude, but I’m actually going to make this the least likely win for me so far. That’s partially just because it will have been my third fight in three days (and I likely would have lost the first two, meaning I won’t be feeling great), but also because I remembered all the disturbingly amazing videos Brendan has produced for the OFD Twitter over the years, and I don’t think anyone who’s capable of making something like this...
...is someone I want to go up against in anything, especially a fight where anything goes and his creativity and depravity could really lead to some horrifying ways he kicks my ass.
4. Jim Harbaugh
Pat Rick’s chance of winning: 10%
Explanation: Jim Harbaugh is a tall former professional athlete who now has dad-strength, so on the surface he’s a fairly formidable opponent. Add in that he’s absolutely unhinged and would no-doubt start the fight by ripping his shirt off and asking me to wrestle him shirtless in just khaki pants, and I simply do not think there’s much of a chance I could take him, despite my youth compared to him and despite how much I could channel my dislike for him, as well as his weirdness, into finding a way to beat him.
5. Lincoln Riley
Pat Rick’s chance of winning: 70%
Explanation: I don’t know how tall Lincoln Riley is, but various Google searches with questionable sources in the results have told me anywhere from 5’7” to 5”10”. Knowing he’s a former walk-on QB, older than me, and not that big of a guy (whereas I have some heft to throw around), I don’t think he has much of a physical advantage over me. Plus, he just kinda strikes me as kinda soft — he’s definitely a strategic mind as a coach, not a more...physical leader like, say, Ed Orgeron. So, I think my best chance to beat anyone in this list in a fight will come against this joker. But I’m also probably overestimating my chances because I don’t like him and hate USC with a passion.
6. Mike Brey
Pat Rick’s chance of winning: 0%
- Explanation: If I were ever to find myself in a scenario where I was supposed to fight my beloved Mike Brey, I would simply close my eyes and tell him to go ahead and hit me. I would sacrifice myself and pick up another loss if it meant not having to try to hurt that man. Hopefully, after he quickly and efficiently kicks my ass, we could go to the Backer and share a few Long Islands while we discuss the merits of never playing more than 7 players in a basketball game.
Alright folks, I want to give precisely 0 credit or shout-outs or praise to Pat Rick, as his answers were real dumb and not at all useful or entertaining. Truly one of the biggest morons of his generation.
If you for some reason are into that sort of thing, though, I encourage you to check out his work — along with the rest of that awesome staff — over at One Foot Down. They even have a Q&A with yours truly right now, for your reading pleasure.
Furthermore, be sure to give Pat a follow on Twitter for all the inane retweets you never knew you needed, and follow the site Twitter as well so you can see his troubling stream-of-consciousness when he live-tweets ND men’s hoops games.
That’s it for this week — as always, Go Irish, Suck It Gamecocks!!!!!!!