IBG: "Spinning Newspapers With Topical Headlines" Edition
This week, IBG founder and emotional rock, Subway Domer, leads us into Pitt week with a "straight from the headlines" theme.
1. After weeks and weeks of living on the edge, Notre Dame finally fell off of that edge into a pile of shit. Please describe your mental state since the Navy game. Are you hopeless or hopeful? Why?
Local Man Settles Into Booze-Induced Coma
Much like a bear plying himself with large amounts of food in order to make it through the winter, I intend to take part in a similar, yet boozier, ritual for the remainder of the Irish season. To put it in mild terms, I am not hopeful. During the course of the season, I have had several occasions to flirt with hope and optimism. Unfortunately, I've found both to be unfit suitors and now am back to my longtime paramour, despair. I have absolutely zero confidence in the "abilities" of Charlie Weis or his coordinators. They have proven to be erratic and deeply flawed. I fully expect them to beat Pitt by three touchdowns and then lose by four at home to UConn. I should be anxiously awaiting this game and, instead, it feels like the onset of some type of rote obligation. In other words, the name "Charlie Weis" has, for me, become a euphemism for "ennui."
The author enjoying yet another of Charlie's masterpieces
2. Given the sorry state of the Fighting Irish defense, are they capable of slowing down Pitt's offense, or will Stull, Baldwin, and Lewis have career days?
MENSA Elects Ignoramus to Board of Directors
Bill Stull is not a good quarterback. Yes, I realize he is fifth nationally in passing efficiency and is having a nice, little season for himself. I don't care. I repeat, Bill Stull is not a good quarterback. He has been able to mask that fact with a solid receiver (Baldwin) and dynamic runner (Lewis), but this is still the same guy who threw 9 TDs to 10 INTs a year ago while at the helm of Pitt's offense. I mention all this because, in spite of his limitations, Stull is about to look like one of the most explosive QBs in the country. The most yards Stull has had in a game this season is 268 in a win over UConn...if he doesn't hit 300 by mid-3rd quarter against the sieve-like ND secondary, I'll be shocked. I actually do think the Irish will find a way to slow down Dion Lewis; however, as we've seen them do in the past, it will be at the expense of stopping the pass. Therefore, Average Joe, Bill Stull, will become Joe Montana by game's end. If you don't believe me, allow me to introduce you to: Tate Forcier (for the freshman QB, the ND game represents 15% of his total passing yards for season and second-highest yardage output), Kirk Cousins (for the first-year starter, the ND game was one of only two he went over 300 yards passing...the other was Western Michigan), Joey Ellliot (the first-year starter had a cool 289 yards and three TDs against the Irish), Jake Locker (his second most passing yards in a game this season came against Notre Dame), Matt Barkley (the freshman had his most passing yards in a game by nearly 100 yards in South Bend) and David Shinskie (his most passing yards in a game came against Notre Dame).
3. Notre Dame has had serious Red-Zone issues this year. They can't score... why is that? What needs to be corrected and how can they do this?
Being An Unoriginal Pussy No Way To Go Through Life, Experts Warn
Stop running the friggin' fade route over and over and over! For the love of God, Charlie Weis is supposed to be a strategic genius, but when his team gets inside the redzone, suddenly he's Colonel Klink. Weis has a playsheet that's the size of a boogie board and yet, he calls the same five plays when the Irish get inside the twenty. Here's my advice to Charlie: Mix it up, try something different and stop being such a completely predictable d-bag your whole life.
4. Charlie Weis and Dave Wannstache started coaching their alma maters at the same time. They have both coached on crutches. They both seem to recruit fairly well. They are both considered disappointing in their respective 5 year campaigns. After reviewing their total body of work, who would you rather have coaching ND in 2010? Explain.
Citizens Asked To Choose Between Gang Rape By Meth-Fueled Grizzlies or Listening To 36 Consecutive Hours Of "Donny Osmond's Straight Outta Provo: A Hip-Hop History of Mormonism"
If these are my only two choices, I very reluctantly choose The Wannstache. Neither of these two are coaches I would put on my short list but, since "Option C: Any Other Sentient Being on the Planet" was not given, I will choose the only one of the two who actually seems to have his program moving in a positive direction. Take a look at the trajectory both schools have taken since these head coaches started at their alma maters. Weis' records: 9-3, 10-3, 3-9, 7-6, 6-3. Wannstedt's records: 5-6, 6-6, 5-7, 9-4, 8-1. Now, it's entirely possible that what Pitt is experiencing now is what the Irish did in 2005 and 2006 and, eventually, the Panthers will settle back to the median. Still, there's at least a sense that John Holmes-with-a-clipboard has Pitt moving in the right direction while the Irish are an inconsistent mess. For me, even a sense of forward progress would be a welcome improvement.
Yes, yes y'all
5. Prediction time. How does this game play out. Please include a score, an offensive MVP, a defensive MVP, and a sleeper.
ESPN Analyst Mark May Fired For "Lewd Behavior"
I kind of think this headline's a possibility regardless of the outcome. If the Irish win, I can see May directing a torrent of profanities towards a smiling Lou Holtz. If the Panthers win, I can see Markie Mark pleasuring himself to the box score on national television. So which one will it be? Since last week Notre Dame managed to drop a game most everyone thought they'd win, I think this week they flip the script. I should add that, at this point, any prediction as to Notre Dame's performance is guided more by own dumbfounded groping than logic, so take that into consideration.
Score: 27-17, Irish
Offensive MVP:Shaq Evans (why the hell not?)
Defensive MVP: Ethan Johnson
Sleeper: Notre Dame secondary...they may even be narcoleptic
I can't see his hands, but he does look like he's enjoying himself