Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to All

It is Christmas Eve and events here at OC Domer HQ are about to start spinning beyond my control as last-minute Christmas errands are run, final presents wrapped, mass at what we think will be our new Church is attended, Christmas Eve dinner is served, etc...

We are all excited to have our daughter home from the University for Christmas break. She is already so thoroughly enthralled by Notre Dame that can't wait to go back "home" to be with all her new college friends, which is as it should be.

I will have some thoughts for you on Coach Kelly when things settle down, as well as the announcement of the OC Domer Player of the Year for 2009.

But for now I just want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Pope seems to have gotten over the whole Obama controversy

Despite all the uproar over President Obama being invited to give the Commencement Address at Notre Dame last Spring (he's pro-abortion!), it seems that Pope Benedict nonetheless respects the important role the University plays within the Church. From the South Bend Tribune:

Notre Dame associate professor receives papal appointment

Tribune Staff Report

SOUTH BEND — John C. Cavadini, an associate professor and chair of the theology department at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed to the International Theological Commission by Pope Benedict XVI.

The International Theological Commission consists of some 30 theologians from around the world. An advising body to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, its members are personally appointed by the pope.

Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend said that Cavadini’s appointment "brings honor to our diocese and to Notre Dame, especially to its theology department."

A member of the faculty since 1990, Cavadini also is director of the university’s Institute for Church Life.

Congratulations to Professor Cavadini!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kelly Being Fitted For New "ND" Wardrobe

This post from leaves little doubt that Brian Kelly will be Notre Dame's new football coach. It makes clear that Kelly has already met with representatives of Notre Dame and that he will be taking the job. The article notes that Coach Kelly has not wanted to make it public because he didn't want to distract his Cincinnati players before the game against Pittsburgh, and he didn't want them hearing about it on the news before he had a chance to talk to them at the Bearcats team banquet this Thursday night.

So it appears that we can expect a formal announcement on Friday or very shortly thereafter.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Quick Hits, Pearl Harbor Edition

Things have been busy at OC Domer HQ and I just haven't been able to write all the posts I have wanted to write lately. So here are my thoughts on recent developments in condensed Readers Digest format:

1. Coaching Search. Well, what do you know? Brian Kelly will be meeting with Jack Swarbrick on Tuesday to discuss ... well, you know. All as foretold by OC Domer.

2. Pete Carroll's Girlfriend. Do I really care if Pete "Always Compete" Carroll is (or was) living with a USC grad student in Malibu? Hell yes I care. I'm not particularly proud of it, but I do care. I'm sure the Los Angeles media is all over this story and we'll get all the juicy details real soon. With pictures. (Won't they?) I want to see if Pete is hitting a higher class of "mistress" than Tiger Woods is. But you will note that in his profuse apologies about allowing an off-the-record comment to get into print that Charlie never quite says that the underlying facts about Pete and the grad student aren't true. Hmmm. Seems very unlike Charlie to let something like that slip without any basis.

3. Tiger Woods' Mistresses. Latest count is up to nine. At what point do we get real and stop calling all these tramps "mistresses"? And don't you love how all these "hostesses" are shocked and hurt by Tiger's infidelity? "I thought I was the only hooker gold digger in his life." Hilarious. What's not hilarious is that Tiger has hurt his wife Elin, who deserved better from him. I hope a few hundred million dollars will ease her pain.

4. Jimmy & Golden. Going pro. Not a surprise. I would love to see them play at Notre Dame for another year, but they'd be crazy to. Good luck to both guys as they move the show to Sundays. I hope they each make a big pile of cash and have long, glorious NFL careers. Thanks to both of them for giving all of us everything they had for three years. I hope they find the time somewhere down the road to complete their degrees and graduate from ND.

5. Charlie to Da Bears? Rumors have the Chicago Bears as a potential landing spot for Coach Weis next season, likely as offensive coordinator. Makes great sense. I would expect that CW will try to find a position as close to South Bend as possible to remain close to the Hannah & Friends facility that means so much to him.

6. Still Recruiting. Thanks to Coach Weis and all his assistants for being completely classy and professional and working to keep all the 2010 verbal commits in the fold.

7. Bowling. I agree with the decision not to accept any bowl invitations this year. Notre Dame has a long history of declining bowl invitations. During decades when we were THE elite program in the country we won National Championships without bowl games. We have frequently declined to go bowling when the team had a sub-par season or when the invitation wasn't from a prestigious bowl. There is no reason to humiliate ourselves by playing a bowl game in Detroit against some MAC opponent. In the current context there is no real upside. More weeks practicing the system of the just-fired coach? And who is calling the plays? And how motivated are our soon-to-be millionaire offensive leaders? And what would a win get us? Have some pride and play in a bowl again when you've actually earned it and when the game would mean something.

8. OC Domer Owns Subway Domer's 2009 Pick 'em Contest. Subway Domer once again hosted a weekly Pick 'em contest for this season. Players had to pick winners for about a dozen college games each week, straight up. Bonus points for correctly picking upsets. More bonus points for picking upsets in Top 25 games. After a very slow start to the season I went on a very nice run and finished 2009 as co-champion. Final results are here. My team is "Holy Cross." Thanks to Subway for putting on the contest again this season. I really do enjoy putting my picks together each week. It makes Saturdays more interesting without costing me a wad of cash.

Golden Tate #2 on my Heisman Ballot

I received an e-mail from Shotgun Spratling at inviting me to cast my ballot for this year's Sports Blog Heisman Trophy. Voters are not limited to just the five players invited to New York for the presentation of that other Heisman trophy. Here is the full text of my e-mailed "ballot" as submitted:

Dear Shotgun,

Here is the OC Domer Heisman Ballot.

1. Toby Gerhart. He is most dominant player at his position, and his dominance doesn't depend on anyone else to make him look good. One-on-one, mano-a-mano he beats you down at the point of attack. Puts his team on his back and carries them to victory.

2. Golden Tate. You can't keep him from getting the ball, you can't tackle him, and you can't catch him. Once Michael Floyd broke his collar bone, everyone in the stadium knew Notre Dame and Jimmy Clausen were going to get the ball to Tate, and still nobody could stop him. Despite being double or triple covered every play, Golden still came up with huge plays time and again. Golden kept the Irish in games single-handedly for seven weeks. Without Golden Tate to throw to, Jimmy Clausen would not be in a position to make big money as a top draft choice in April.

3. Colt McCoy. My choice at the beginning of the season, he played his way down to third place during the season and especially against Nebraska.

Honorable Mention: Jimmy Clausen. He has become one heck of a quarterback. Will make Charlie Weis look like a really good coach once he starts playing and winning on Sundays.

My website is

I'm in the Far West.

Look forward to seeing your results!

OC Domer

What would your ballot look like?

Every Breath You Take

If you ever had any doubt that the Democrat party wants to control absolutely EVERY aspect of your life, a determination today by President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency should make things crystal clear for you. According to your Federal government, carbon dioxide is now considered a "danger to public health." And this danger must be regulated in the ongoing war against (imaginary) global warming.

Which means that every time you exhale, you are polluting the environment and endangering mankind. As are your children, your pets, and your livestock. The grass clippings you left in the yard to decompose (and fertilize)? Polluting. Your compost pile? Polluting. That can of Diet Pepsi you just opened? Polluting.

Oh sure, the government assures us that they are only going to regulate the biggest producers of CO2. For now. But if this baloney is allowed to stand it won't be long until the government starts pushing "one child" population control policies in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Before that the government will start urging us all to "eat green" and go vegetarian so that livestock populations can be drastically reduced. And you can bet the do-gooders will be after all of us to get the fizzy CO2 out of our beverages.

Is there any aspect of our lives the Democrats don't want total control over? They want to control where you live, what you drive, how you operate your business, what you eat, how you get health care, what your children are taught in school, when, where, and how you are allowed to pray, and what you say or write.

Land of the free? Really?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Narrowing the List

I recently wrote about the "Long List" of potential successors to Coach Weis at Notre Dame. My stated criteria in assembling the Long List of more than 21 names were:

  1. Track record as a successful head coach at the Division I college level or the NFL. (Assistants need not apply).
  2. Ability to recruit. Ideally a proven recruiter, but may have to make judgment call on the recruiting potential of NFL candidates.
  3. Person of integrity and class. (This rules out Urban Meyer and Nick Saban).
  4. Committed to making sure Notre Dame student athletes go to class, graduate on time, and represent the University with class. (Real students, no thugs).
Yesterday the University officially announced the firing of Head Football Coach Charlie Weis, and Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick spoke for a few minutes with the media about his decision to "take our football program in a different direction" and he gave us some clues about where the search for a new coach might lead.

Clearly, from listening to Swarbrick and reading the full transcript of the press conference, there is a very strong preference for candidates "who have demonstrated an ability to build and sustain a Division I college football program." Swarbrick used that phrase twice in his remarks yesterday. "Building and sustaining." He also indicated that, while it wouldn't necessarily be a limiting factor, he does feel that we "need to play good defense." So I won't leave anyone off the list depending upon whether they are a defensive or an offensive minded coach, but just be aware that at the and of the day that might be the tie-breaker.

Should we believe what jack Swarbrick is telling us? Is he trying to throw us off the scent while he brings in another NFL coach? I don't think so. The template for success at Notre Dame has been fairly simple. When we have hired proven college head coaches we have had great success. When we have gone off that recipe, we have met disaster. So I think we can take Jack at his word. Having just dismissed a very good NFL coach, it would be a very risky move for Swarbrick to bring in another NFL guy and expect a better result. Much safer for him to go with what has worked well in the past.

So, taking Jack at his word, we can start whittling the Long List down, removing coaches who have not demonstrated the ability to build and sustain a Division I college football program. To me the word "build" means a coach who has taken a program from whatever level it was on when he was hired and then elevated the program to another level. The word "build" means, to me, that we don't necessarily want a coach who took over as the caretaker of a program that was already doing really well and simply maintained it. The word "sustained" means we don't want a one-year wonder. We want someone who built a program up to a high level and then kept it there for some time.

Applying these standards to the Long List and being a little flexible with the definitions of "build" and "sustain", I get the following names:
  • Mike Belotti (Long-time University of Oregon head coach, now the UO Athletic Director)
  • Pat Hill (Long-time and present head coach of Fresno State University)
  • Greg Schiano (Head coach at Rutgers University)
  • Skip Holtz (Head coach at East Carolina, former head coach at Connecticut)
  • Brian Kelly (Head coach University of Cincinnati, former head coach at Grand Valley State and Central Michigan)
  • Jim Harbaugh (Head coach at Stanford, former head coach at University of San Diego. Has beaten USC two of last three years)(Might be too short-lived to meet "sustain" requirement)
  • Mike Riley (Head coach at Oregon State, former head coach of the San Diego Chargers. Perfect 5-0 record in bowl games. Beat USC in 2006 and 2008)(Nobody is talking about him, but he is a great coach)
  • Pat Fitzgerald (Head coach at Northwestern)(Pretty young still. Might not meet "sustain" requirement yet).
  • Randy Edsall (Head coach at University of Connecticut)
  • Chris Petersen (Head coach at Boise State)(Didn't really "build" the program. Took over a really good team from Dan Hawkins).
  • Gary Patterson (Head coach at TCU)
  • Kyle Whittingham (Head coach at Utah)(Did not really "build" the program. Took it over from urban Meyer).
  • Kirk Ferentz (Head coach at Iowa, former head coach at Maine)
  • Bob Stoops (Head coach at Oklahoma. Won one National championship and 6 Big XII titles. Not sure if he is really interested as reported, or if he is just angling for a raise from OU)(I have some reservations about Stoops' integrity and the quality of player he recruits).
  • Butch Davis (Head coach at North Carolina, former head coach at Miami and Cleveland Browns. Personally, I'd have difficulty accepting a former Miami coach at ND)(Did not "build" at Miami, but has "built" at UNC).
  • Tommy Tuberville (Former head coach at Ole Miss and Auburn)
Can you think of anyone else? Add them in the comments below and if they fit the criteria I'll put them on the list. I am a little curious about the Division I-AA option, a la Coach Jim Tressel at Ohio State. I'm not sure Swarbrick would take the risk of bringing in a Div I-AA coach, but if you know of any really strong candidates from that level I'd love to hear about them. Jack said he was looking for Division I experience, but he didn't specify Division I-A only.

Eliminating the guys listed above who I think may be a little short on either the "build" or "sustain" criteria, my personal favorites from the shorter list are, in approximate order of preference:
  • Brian Kelly
  • Kirk Ferentz
  • Mike Riley
  • Mike Belotti
  • Randy Edsall
  • Butch Davis
  • Tommy Tuberville
I think any of these guys would be outstanding hires. Who do you like?