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74 Responses

  1. Avatar Will Truman says:

    I can’t believe I am rooting for Notre Dame.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      It stings the nostrils.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        Never in life. I despise the SEC, but I’d root for the North Koreans against Notre Dame. Seeing them embarrassed like this is sweet. What an unworthy national title contender. Bring on the playoff so we don’t have any more of this nonsense.Report

  2. Avatar Plinko says:

    Nothing tops my desire to see Notre Dame humiliated on the field.
    Though it pains me to say it – ‘Roll Tide!’Report

  3. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Is it me or did Brent Musberger spend about 25 seconds too long gushing/lusting over AJ McCarron’s girlfriend?Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Heh, yes… I thought for a moment he was going to slide into some dangerous vernacular; in his mind he was thinking that quarterbacks get one thing, and rather clumsily translated that “thing” into “Pretty Girls.”Report

  4. Avatar greginak says:

    Well the only thing worse then bama in a rout would have been ND in a rout, so i guess that is the best lemonade to make out of it.Report

  5. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    As a lifetime Notre Dame fan this is painful. If they come out for the second half in green jersies I’m turning the TV off.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      Geez Mike we just went through this huge gun debate that was generally civil and all. Now you admit to something that REALLY speaks to a cultural divide and irreconcilable beliefs like being a ND fan.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        *shrug*, I would feel more comfortable with my information being stored in the hands of people that were disinclined to give up any more information than they have to and would start making noise if unreasonable requests were being piped through. MA and Jesse talk of multinational corporations… to be honest, I wouldn’t likely trust them, either. I’m not a big fan of the NRA at the moment, but I would trust them with this. Or some organization that Mike Dwyer endorses. It may seem silly or irrational, but I am far more comfortable with that than with it all in one centrally-located database already in the government’s hands.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        Greg – I grew up Irish Catholic in a state that had no college football worth talking about at that time. I never had a chance.Report

  6. Avatar Chris says:


    Also, this should be Bama-Oregon, which I suspect would have been highly entertaining. Notre Dame has no business being in this game, as anyone who watched them this year already knew.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      The computer polls loved ND, which tells me they didn’t get here simply on reputation. I do believe the computers are barred from using margin of victory, which might have helped the Irish and all the wins they squeaked by with. Plus they were the only undefeated team.

      Of course, a playoff would have solved this. Aren’t they starting the Plus-1 game next year? Which is really just a four team playoff?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Yeah, but playoffs ruin everything (fun fact, that was my first guest post on this blog).

        In any event, it’s not Plus-1 (taking the top two teams after the bowls). It’s a straight up playoff with four seeds. I think they should have gone with Plus-1.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        The semifinals start in the 2014 season (actually played in January, 2015).

        I doubt they’ll resolve much. I suspect there will be 1 or 2 undefeated teams, and a handful (more than 2 or 3) one-loss major conference teams in most seasons, meaning those 4 spots will become as contentious as the 2 spots now.

        Also, Notre Dame required overtime to beat a team that lost to Youngstown State. Youngstown State.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          Oh, right. Year after next.Report

        • Avatar James Hanley says:

          I half agree with Chris. I think there’ll be enough controversy (and enough money potential) that the playoffs will necessarily expand. But I think he’s wrong to say they won’t resolve much. The 5th ranked and lower team rarely has a serious claim to being #1, so even if they have a serious claim to being #4, unless #4 ranked teams start regularly winning the championship, nobody’s going to worry too much about #5 being left out. “We shoulda been #4!” doesn’t mean much if #4s are regularly unsuccessful. (But of course who knows if they will be.)

          Of course “we shoulda been #8!” or “we shoulda been #16!” means even less.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        I assert that the eventual end-state for all the conference realignments is four 16-team conferences, each with two 8-team divisions. Those 64 teams will tell the NCAA and the bowls that they’ll be playing their own 7-game tournament based on the division winners (no more conference championship games knocking teams out of contention). The four bowls now in the BCS can host the first-round games, all the weekend between Christmas and New Years, or fade away. Then two semi-final games a week later, and the championship a week after that. The NCAA rolls over for it when the 64 announce that the NCAA can go along, or the 64 will run their own basketball tournament in March (with invitations to a handful of well-rated teams outside the conference).

        Not saying whether it’s good bad or indifferent — just predicting that’s where they’ll end up.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          The 4/16 has been talked about for a while. I don’t think that things will ever work out that cleanly. If the sort of consolidation you refer to occurs, it’ll likely be four conferences of varying sizes (12-18 teams). On the whole, though, I see two problems:

          First, it assumes a degree of cooperation between the conferences that I don’t think is possible.

          Second, the same reason that they gave the non-AQ conferences a clear pathway to BCS games and why they get an automatic berth now. The politics would make such a move very, very difficult.Report

          • This is something that has made me realize that I haven’t really been paying close attention to college footbal the last few years.

            When did Al Qaeda join the NCAA?Report

            • Avatar James Hanley says:

              After the important discrimination case Al Qaeda v. NCAA was decided by the Supreme Court. With all those Catholic schools in the NCAA, and with the schools receiving federal funds and thereby having to comply with federal non-discrimination policies, AQU claimed they had been illegally discriminated against when their membership application was denied. They screwed themselves over, though, because now they have to comply with Title IX, and they’re struggling to find women’s sports that don’t actually let women do anything. Their DI Women’s Knitting team hasn’t yet found any other teams to compete with.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

          Is the NFL off-topic?

          I predict that within a few years they’ll go to a 16-team playoff (8 division winners + 8 wildcards):

          Week 1: 4 games, all wildcards
          Week 2: 4 games, the remaining wildcards @ the lower-ranking division winners
          Week 3: 4 games, the week 2 winners @ the higher-ranking division winners
          Then the conference championships and Super Bowl.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        If a team goes undefeated in Division I they have a pretty good claim on the championship game because you have to assume that any Division I team could beat any other team or the division system doesn’t work. Notre Dame’s schedule was solid. They weren’t playing fluff teams. The Irish won road games against No. 8 Oklahoma and No. 10 Michigan State. They also won at home against No. 17 Stanford and No. 18 Michigan.

        In contrast the Louisville Cardinals (my alma mater) had a very weak schedule and lost two games and then managed to embarrass a Florida team that almost made the title game.

        I think the biggest factor in last night’s game was the long layoff between their last games and the championship. Nick Saban is a master strategist and giving him a month to prepare is almost unfair. On top of that Notre Dame is practicing in South Bend while Alabama is practicing in Tuscaloosa. The high for today in Tuscaloosa is 62 degrees. South Bend is 38. That may seem trivial but it’s not when you’re prepping to play in Miami.

        I think Alabama earned their win and I am not knocking them at all. But I think the lopsided score doesn’t truly reflect the quality of the two teams. A tournament will fix that although I agree with everyone that it needs to be larger. I’d like to see them expand to 16 teams eventually.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          I generally agree with this, though think there was still a pretty significant gap between ND and ‘Bama. Not 30-something points big, but I think the 9.5 line was justified.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

            ND was certainly a legit underdog coming in but again, if they had played in December I think you would have seen something much different.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              Probably. ND just looked unprepared, physically and mentally. I think a lot of that goes to coaching. And what was up with Teo? You barely heard his name mentioned unless they were talking about missed tackles.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                Not just unprepared. They were small and slow. I honestly think that in the SEC, that’s a 3-5 loss team (depending on the schedule, and assuming they’re in the SEC East). I think Nick Saban is probably, at this point, as good as anyone has ever been at preparing teams for bowl games with all that time in between games, but I suspect that if this game had been held at any other point in the season, it would have been a blowout. ND just didn’t have the athletes to compete.

                Also, going undefeated in Division 1 is an accomplishment, to be sure, but with the exception of Stanford (and ND should have lost that game, and would have without some help from the officials), ND’s schedule turns out to have been really weak. I repeat, Pitt lost to Youngstown State.

                And parity is something that only exists at the top in football. Even in the top conferences, there are teams that simply can’t compete. Just ask Colorado.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                Here goes the SEC lovefest. If we’re talking strength of schedule, Alabama lost to Texas A &M, they lost to Florida and Florida lost to Louisville.

                So the Cards could have been national champs?Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                The Cards lost (at home) to UConn, which lost to Western Michigan, which lost to Eastern Michigan, which lost to Central Michigan, so I hereby declare the Chippewas the FBS National Champions.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                If football wins become transitive, eventually everyone’s the national champion.

                Also, who knew there were so many regions in Michigan? I thought it was just the hand and the UP.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If you’ve got a football trophy, you didn’t win that.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:


                And I didn’t even mention Northern Michigan University.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                Florida came within a minute or two of losing to Louisiana-Lafayette. I would also add that a team that hadn’t been competitive in the Big 12 in years and years came in and did remarkably well. It does make one question the constant “they’d be mediocre if they had an SEC schedule” claims.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine says:

              I don’t think so, Mike. I was at ND for the ’88 championship and have enjoyed watching them in good years and bad… Alabama is bigger, faster, stronger, and every other meliorative adjective in the book than Notre Dame – or, in a word, better.

              I agree with you that ND put together a perfectly justifiable #1 season under the old milieu. What honestly concerns me is that the SEC appears to be a completely different league and that means that the old milieu doesn’t mean much for college football anymore.

              Not sure if this is just a temporary phenomenon as the rest of the teams rush to upgrade their hookers and blow, or if there is some sort of long-term bias that will only get bigger with each win by an SEC team.

              I take nothing away from ND… they played like they did all year: well coached college team with a lot of solid players and a few stand-outs. In the old days of College Football, that was all you could really ask for – and usually enough to compete. They were obliterated by a team that played with the mechanical precision of a (semi-)pro team; they were awesome to watch, but it wasn’t college football.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          But, yea, undefeated is undefeated. You can’t do more than win all your games. And given the scheduling constraints, wherein some schools simply won’t agree to play other ones (this screwed Boise State for a while, who couldn’t get a game against a quality opponent for fear or being beat by a mid-major and then was criticized for a puff schedule). If you have multiple undefeated teams, SoS is a reasonable barometer, but barring a team really scheduling an absurd slate of games, you have to respect winning every game.

          Even if ND was lucky as shit in half of them.Report

        • Avatar James Hanley says:

          Notre Dame also barely beat Pitt and Purdue, and although I’m a Purdue fan, they were a weak pathetic team this year.

          And Notre Dame was practicing indoors

          Nick Saban is a master strategist and giving him a month to prepare is almost unfair.
          Brian Kelly’s overmatched? I’ll buy that.Report

          • Avatar Chris says:

            You’re a fan of Purdue in West Lafayette, or of Eye-you-pooh-ee? (I just like saying IUPI.)Report

            • Avatar James Hanley says:

              The real Purdue. IUPUI (pronounced ooey pooey) is actually administered by Indiana University, which makes it evil.

              There are several regional joint campuses, some administered by IU, some by Purdue. They exist in a sort of netherworld, much more than mere satellite campuses, but not fully independent, either. I’m not sure if any other state has anything similar, but it seems to work pretty well.

              For a truly obscure odd trivia fact, the University of Southern Indiana is now a stand-alone university, but was once a satellite campus of Indiana State University, which itself was once just a satellite campus of Indiana University.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                That’s right, Ooey pooey! When I lived in Kentucky and dated a woman from Chicago, we used to drive through Indiana, from the Ohio River to Lake Michigan every 5 or 6 weeks to go hang out in the 2nd city. That drive… so much corn… so little of anything else. The horror. The horror.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                Corn is beautiful. And unlike central Illinois, the corn-fields are broken up by innumerable small wood lots–very domestic and homey, very shire-like. And of course you went through Kentucky-like hills in southern Indiana. And unbeknownst to you, you passed within about 20 miles of one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, a series of sandstone gullies and gorges with vegetation unique to the region, remnant from the climate of about 5,000 years ago.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                corn smells like cow shit.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                This isn’t as funny as some of your other whacky comments. It’s just odd.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Er, isn’t cow feed often at least partly comprised of corn (in the form of silage)? Could that be why, and your association runs the other way (cow shit smells like corn)?Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                yeah, I guess i just meant cornfields smell like cowshit. which they do, most of the year.
                it’s just fertilizer.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                They don’t unless fertilizer’s been recently applied. With the increase in confined animal feeding operations and the need to manage their waste streams, some fields do get more frequent applications than in the past, but nobody fertilizes continually, and fields generally don’t smell strongly for more than a few days (leave a dog turd on your lawn for a few days and you’ll see how quickly–thank god–it stops smelling).Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                James, silver bracelets taste like tangerine ice cream.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                My cat’s breath smells like cat food.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                My dog’s breath smells like poop.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Dogs are great, aren’t they? I mean, I use their *own* feces to prevent them from digging up the flowerbeds and the like – dogs avoid their own droppings like they were plutonium.

                But they encounter another animal’s feces, say a cat’s? A delectation, to be snarfed up posthaste.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                My cat’s breath smells like cat food.

                My dog’s breath smells like poop.

                I think I see a way that you could save a lot of money on dog food . . .Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                In some particularly barbaric societies of the past, the smell of dogs’ breath was used as a torture device. It was incredibly effective.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain says:

          The high for today in Tuscaloosa is 62 degrees. South Bend is 38. That may seem trivial but it’s not when you’re prepping to play in Miami.

          Back in the early-to-mid 1990s, when Florida St and Nebraska seemed to be near the top of the polls every year, Bobby Bowden came out with a great quote. He was asked if he ever had nightmares about football match-ups. His answer was something along the lines of “Yep. Playing Nebraska, in Lincoln, at the end of November, with the temperature about 10, the wind howling, standing on the sidelines in the snow.” I’ve always thought teams from California, the Southwest and the South had a substantial advantage going into a bowl against teams from the Midwest.Report

          • Avatar James Hanley says:

            Most big football schools, and even middling ones, today have indoor practice facilities, and one of the tricks they can do is crank the heat. With 3-6 weeks of practice before a bowl game, there’s little excuse fir not being prepared for heat.

            They can also crank up the volume to prepare for paying before large crowds. I was canoeing past Oregon’s practice facility once when they were preparing for a game at Washington’s Husky Stadium, a very loud venue. We could hear it well before we came in sight of the facility, so it took us a while to figure out where the hell all the noise was coming from. It must have been deafening inside, but effective practice.Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain says:

              You can acclimate to the temperature and/or humidity in a few weeks; but you don’t rebuild your team into something else. In the Big 10 and Big 8 20 or more years ago, the problem was getting a team built around speed and precision passing through the November part of the schedule without two or three losses. “Five yards in a cloud of dust” was a good — perhaps the best — way to build a team for winning the Big 10 in the 70s and 80s. And a recipe for getting blown out in the Rose Bowl. Nebraska spent a decade getting outrun by the Florida schools, until Osborne and Charlie McBride figured out how to put enough speed into a running offense and overall defense to compete. Heaters on the sidelines didn’t hurt. And they still put the ball on the ground a lot in November.

              When I was an undergraduate at Nebraska, you generally froze your ass off at home games in November. According to my sister who still lives there, the most obvious sign of global climate change is that November games in Lincoln are a whole lot warmer.Report

  7. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

    After Sam’s well written post on the subject, I’m finding quite a bit of satisfaction watching Notre Dame getting pasted.Report

  8. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I find this fascinating. Can I ask my own Tuesday question here? Why not?

    Why do people go crazy over college sports especially considering the conversation we had in Sam’s Post on the Ohio tragedy? What is the pull? Also why the seeming hate for Alabama? Is it like hating the Yankees? I get the hate for Notre Dame based on Sam’s post.

    I am not a big sports guy and sports are not really part of my life. I have a fondness for the Mets and slow growing liking of the Giants but it would never be my choice of entertainment in spending an afternoon or night at game: live or in front of the TV. I went to a Division III school and we just did not have a big sports culture. Nor do we even have a football team. The one sporting event I saw in college was a fencing match to support my friend.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      The one sporting event I saw in college was a fencing match to support my friend.

      Now that’s a friend. Fencing has got to be one of the most unwatchable of sports for non-fencers. And that’s speaking as a fencer.Report