Friday, October 24, 2008

Washington. It's All About The "W"

The Fighting Irish play the University of Washington Huskies tomorrow night in Seattle, at 5:00 Pacific time on ESPN2 (more on that in a minute). Here are my quick hits on the Washington game, and this week it's all about the "W".

  • W is for Washington, who is 0-6.
  • W is for Willingham, coach of 0-6 Washington, who was fired from his job at Notre Dame and who is now dead man Walking at the U of W.
  • W is for Weis, who succeeded Willingham at ND, and who is succeeding where Willingham couldn't.
  • W is for the Whiner, Coach Boob Davie who failed at ND before Willingham and who will be calling the TV broadcast for ESPN2. I'm sure the execs at ESPN think that is just hilarious!
  • W is for Winning, which Notre Dame is doing again this year.
  • W is for Winless, like Washington and Willingham.
  • W is for Wagering. The wagering on this game has moved the line in Washington's favor from +11 to +10.
  • W is for Wise Guys, who like Washington to beat the spread.
  • W is for Weather, which should be clear and cool (low 50's), with only a little Wind (8-9 mph).
  • W is for Walk-on kicker who has gone from interhall ball to back-up for Walker in just a week!
  • W is for "Who have they played?"
It's true that Washington is a hapless 0-6, while the Irish are a majestic 4-2. This has prompted many Notre Dame fans to predict a road blowout win by ND. And maybe we'll see it. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Notre Dame has played two road games this season, both of them a lot closer to home than Seattle, and lost both of them. You have to walk before you can run, and I think the Irish need to win a game on the road before we start calling for blowout wins on the road.

And while the Huskies have looked pathetic, one must take into account who they have played. According to Jeff Sagarin, Washington's schedule so far this year is ranked as the #1 toughest schedule in the country. Notre Dame's schedule is ranked 45th. Washington's six opponents have an average Sagarin ranking this week of 29th in the nation. Notre Dame's six games were against teams with an average Sagarin rank this week of 64th. The four teams the Irish have beaten rank, on average around #85. The two teams we lost to have an average rank of 23rd in the country, which is just slightly better than the average ranking of Stanford's whole schedule. That's right, the teams that have beaten Notre Dame rank only slightly better, on average, than the teams that have beaten Washington.

The best team Notre Dame has beaten was Stanford, ranked 51st. We beat them by 7 points. It just so happens that Stanford is the worst team that Washington played this year (by a significant margin), and they lost by just 7 points. Washington's players are not going to be awed by Notre Dame's talent. Notre Dame sits at #44 in the Sagarin rankings this week (one spot ahead of Cincinnati!). Five of Washington's six opponents are currently ranked higher than that (at 4, 18, 32, 33, and 35). Only Stanford was ranked below the Irish. So they are not going to be intimidated by us. I also expect Washington to play with a lot of fire and emotion. They have their backs against the wall, and they know that their coach is under serious fire. As disappointing as Willingham has been at UW, I have no doubt that their locker room is full of players who love their coach and who feel like they have to defend his honor against all the haters.

All I'm saying is - don't be surprised when the Dawgs don't roll over for us and instead put up a fight. They are playing at home, with their backs against the wall and they are used to playing (albeit losing to) quality teams. But it looks like the Irish will have good weather, a vulnerable opposing secondary, and a very fast artificial surface for Golden Tate and Michael Floyd to play on. I expect the Irish to win fairly comfortably. But they haven't really shown the killer instinct yet when it comes to putting teams away, so I won't be surprised if it's close enough to preserve some of Willingham's dignity.


Anonymous said...

I used to read your post periodically, but the pro-McCain anti-Obama propaganda on this website leads me to believe one thing. YOUR A FUCKING IDIOT !!! Never again my friend, will I visit OC Fuckshow. Just my opinion, not that you care anyway.
Go Irish!

OC Domer said...

Dear Anonymous - I almost deleted your comment. But then I decided to leave it up as a terrific example of the quality of the debate one gets when daring to disagree with a liberal. Your comment perfectly illustrates the liberal political argument, which instantly devolves into personal attacks on anyone who disagrees with them. God forbid you should actually engage in a discussion of the issues!

And of course it's even better that you make your attack anonymously. No name, no e-mail. Just a personal profanity-laced attack with no accountability.

I'm leaving your comment up so that others who may be undecided about the election can read it and decide if they want to be on the side on irrational, crass, F-bombing cowards, or if they want to be on the side that is about ideas and rational civic discourse.

Anonymous said...

Good post. We should have beat UNC but couldn't put four quarters together. It will take all of that to beat WU. I'm thinking win to have a nasty feeling it may be ugly.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, OC, but mixing politics and football is like pouring Jameson in beer. It may sound like a good way to get a fast buzz but all you end up with is a bad taste in your vomit. Political ads have already ruined my television watching - do they have to f-up Notre Dame football too?

Anonymous said...

Actually OC, I have had plenty of intelligent political conversations with both liberal and conservative people. Conservatives use personal attacks too. Your saying that makes me trust your opinions less, because it's characteristic of someone who lives in an ideological bubble.

Anonymous said...

Actually OC, you are right. It seems that personal attacks are the mantra exhibited these days. Matt, it appears you are the one living in the bubble. For every one logical discussion I have had four that quickly became personal attacks. Just insecurity OC.

On to football. I am hoping that we start strong. That will be the benchmark for this game. Unlike NC, these guys are demoralized enough to fold. Also, some have been pointing to BYU as an example of the type of team that we face. That comeback was a Locker engineered effort. He was the heart and soul of the team. I just do not think they have the strength to return if trailing by two scores. At that junction, it also probably depends on whether we change game plans and try to sit on the ball. We are not good enough for that. We just have to continue what we do best for four quarters. Pass, spread the D out and set up strategic runs to compliment. I never would have thought this year would be characterized by a successful west coast offense, but I love it!

Anonymous said...

Good post. Hopefully the Irish don't take the Huskies lightly. Did you know Bill Ayers is a michigan man?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with McCain on immigration, the bailout package and a few other items. However his choice of a running mate that irritates the political blue bloods but represents the everyday citizen quites well is cause for hope.
The most important item I agree with McCain (and the most critical in my opinion that will shape the country for the next 20 years) is his stance on Supreme Court Justices. His belief that judges shuold interpet and apply the law as writen and not ledgislate from the bench is one of the most important checks and balances in our representative repubic form of government.

Anonymous said...

As I read OC Domer's post dated 10/24, I didn't see anything about was about the University of Washington, and our game later today with the Huskies.

It is his blog, so if he wants to express his thoughts about the election of our next President I believe he has that right.

I am not certain why there has to be the profanity laced posts. I enjoy reading about Notre Dame Football, and their other sports as well. It is also important to me to read differing opinions on sports and athletic issues at ND.

However, I also wish we could keep politics out of this realm.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, great post!!! Indeed, Washington is not absolutely terrible, and it'll trash WSU for sure. They are slightly worse than Staford, and the Stanford game could have gone in their favor without the TO in our favor.

The fact that ND is only +10 indicates that much ...

But hey, this only makes the game more interesting :)