Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Sugar Bowl

These are dark days to be a real Notre Dame fan. People are already talking about how Brady Quinn can't win the big game (he hasn't even blown a gimme at home to the Steelers yet!) and, of course, how the Irish didn't even belong in a BCS bowl. I guess that's true. I was kind of hoping they'd get into a lesser bowl, like the Gator Bowl, or for poetic justice, the Cotton Bowl (where they could have pounded the shit out of Texas A&M, preferably with Kevin McDougal at quarterback), but was of course hoping for the best against LSU in the Sugar Bowl. New Orleans should comp LSU, by the way, for the collective grease stain its fans left on the city over the week.
And we're hearing about how Brady Quinn isn't as good as Jamarcus Russell (the comparison to Daunte Culpepper was gloriously apt) or Troy Smith (Eric Crouch) or Christ forbid, Colt Brennan (David Klingler, to go in the way-back machine). This is not to say, on my end, that Quinn won't turn out to be a latter-day Rob Johnson, though that would mean he would have precisely two solid years in Buffalo relieving a whiny old gunslinger with a chip on his shoulder. If anything, we could relive the outstanding "It felt like they were stomping on my son" game. I think Quinn is most likely a slightly more mobile Matt Leinart with similar arm strength.
Although, it was gratifying to see ND actually run the ball well behind their frustratingly mediocre offensive line. Not so gratifying to see Charlie Weis completely out-gameplan Les Miles and still get blown out.
I am hopeful for the future, though. Notre Dame has a great quarterback prospect with the maturity of a fourteen year-old and the upbringing of a young dictator - and isn't that the background of all great quarterbacks? I think Weis can recruit better than Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham, which is kind of like saying I can run better than a quadraplegic, but it's gotta count for something. I like Weis, and I like him no less after the debacle yesterday. The same could not be said after the '01 Fiesta Bowl with the immortal Matt Lovecchio's final unencumbered performance for the Irish, or the '03 Gator Bowl, which was the end of Willingham's glory days. I think Weis can coach, and I think he's the kind of asshole who inspires confidence in his players. My brother, an ND grad of the Holtz days, says he remembers when they looked mean, and pissed off that they even had to play on Saturdays. I hope Weis can bring that back, and develop a wicked lisp in the process.