For some of us, myself included, tonight (Jan. 7) will be one of the most important dates of 2013.
Of course, I am talking about the BCS national championship game between my beloved Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the other team — Alabama.
Here is my prediction: Notre Dame 17, Alabama 13
And here are some predictons of others I checked with:
Mark Keller: Alabama 17-13 (right score, wrong team)
Andy Mason: Notre Dame 27-24
Bob Parasiliti: Alabama 24-13
Dan Kauffman : Notre Dame 21-17 (this may cause concern)
C J Lovelace: Alabama 24-20
Scott Nicewarner: Alabama 21-14
Wayne Webster: Alabama 24-7
Ryan Myers: Notre Dame 31-21
Sue Koelble: Notre Dame 24-21 (she was not forced)
Enjoy the Notre Dame victory
And here it is: the ACC has officially filed a lawsuit against Maryland in — wait for it — Greensboro, North Carolina. Shocking, I know. According to The Duke Chronicle, who broke the story, the ACC’s suit against Maryland is likely regarding the $50 million exit fee the conference demands from schools wanting to jump ship.
Maryland and Florida State were the only two ACC schools who voted against the this figure back in September. School President Wallace Loh believes the $50 million fee won’t hold up in court. We shall see.
This is the first of many legal details to be brought to light in the Maryland-ACC saga. This is also the first time I have ever read The Duke Chronicle.
Ever since the story broke I’ve been trying to conjure up reasons as to why Maryland shouldn’t leave the ACC — legitimate reasons. I came up with exactly zero. One big bagel. The brimming reason most Maryland fans did not want to join the B1G was the tradition it shared with the ACC. It has plenty of history being one of the conference’s charter members, but its history is just that.
History, like Greivis Vasquez’s senior night in 2010 when the Terps upset Duke and claimed a share of the ACC regular season championship. Like his triple-double performance against North Carolina in 2009. Like the football team’s upset of Boston College in 2007 that began the demise of Matt Ryan’s Heisman run. The upsets of Florida State in 2006 and 2004. Maryland’s 2004 ACC Tournament championship where it beat Duke. The 2002 basketball national championship where the Terps beat new B1G conference foe Indiana. Or, the 2001 football game against Clemson where Maryland won the ACC Championship and a barrage of oranges blanketed the field. Yes, there is plenty more Maryland-ACC history, but none so exuberant that it should prevent the Terps from doing what is best for the school.
With the recent admittance of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and, as of September, Notre Dame to the ACC, that history died. Maryland would only get a chance to play Duke or North Carolina at home every two years. Maryland got paired with Pittsburgh and Virginia in basketball as its “natural rivals.” Speaking of rivalries, ask any Duke or North Carolina fan if they consider Maryland a rival. I bet they don’t because they have each other. Fact is, Maryland doesn’t have a true in-conference rival. Duke and North Carolina are fun teams to beat, but the Terps haven’t beaten them much as of late. The rivalries in football are non-existent.
The Maryland-to-the-B1G rumors actually began awhile ago when conference realignment was all the rage. It died off, Maryland remained in the ACC, who then wooed Syracuse and Pittsburgh into becoming conference members. And, in September, Notre Dame joined the ACC as a quasi-member in football and a full member in all other sports except ice hockey.
If you read almost any report regarding Maryland’s potential move to the B1G, you’ll see ESPN.com’s Andy Katz and Yahoo! Sports’ Pat Forde garnering all the recognition for breaking this story. In reality, neither Katz or Forde did just that.
Jeremy Conn, a radio personality for Baltimore’s 105.7 The Fan, brought up the move on November 12 while on the air. This was the first time since major conference realigning was taking place I heard the rumor surface again. This past Thursday, Jeff Ermann from InsideMDSports.com had the story informing everyone Maryland was indeed in serious talks with the B1G about jumping ship.
James Madison 24, Maryland 21 ??????? That is not a huge typo on the scoreboard,is it?
And I have to watch Randy Edsell in a post-game press conference tearball session? C’mon, bring back Ralph !!!
Maryland starting quarterback and team captain C.J. Brown will miss the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL he suffered in a non-contact drill Tuesday night.
Freshmen Caleb Rowe and Perry Hills will vie for the starting job in Brown’s absence. Rowe, Hills and myself have all taken the same amount of collegiate snaps, so there’s that.
It’s very possibly Brown will be granted a medical redshirt and will be a sixth-year senior in 2014, but that remains to be seen.
Head coach Randy Edsall will address the media at 2:15 regarding this nightmarish injury.
Maryland released its first fall depth chart that generated a mostly tepid reaction from myself. Preseason camp doesn’t get underway until August 7, so not much has changed from the spring. There aren’t many surprises on it, just inclusions of the players who didn’t partake in spring camp for whatever reason. Without further ado:
Quarterback — 16 C.J. Brown (JR*); 11 Perry Hills (FR) or 7 Caleb Rowe (FR)
Running back — 44 Justus Pickett (SO); 45 Brandon Ross (FR); 46 Kwabena Ofori (SR); 4 Wes Brown (FR) or 5 Albert Reid (FR) or 29 Joe Riddle (FR)
[Pickett is the incumbent starter. He played sparingly last season in the backfield and handled some of the kick returns. I've seen projections in college football preview magazines that have Pickett starting, but I've also seen Brown get the nod. It'll be an interesting battle to watch heading into the Sept. 1 opener vs. William & Mary. If Pickett runs like he did last season (in one word: terrified) it wouldn't surprise me to see Brown, a 4-star recruit, or Ross unseat him as the starter.]
Starting December 17 we begin the glut of 34 college bowl games. Don’t get me wrong, I love college football, but at this time of year the reward of playing in a postseason game becomes a little ridiculous.
That means 68 teams are playing and of that number, 29 teams were rewarded for a season in which they did no better than a 7-5 season.
There were 16 teams at 7-5, another 12 that hit the jackpot with a 6-6 record and even one school — UCLA — that gets a bowl game at 6-7. Unreal!
What powerful matchups there are ahead. Such as 7-5 Western Michigan vs. 6-6 Purdue; there will be 6-6 Mississippi State vs. 6-6 Wake Forest; 6-6 Texas A & M vs. 6-6 Northwestern and yes, even the real big boys fall into this category when 6-6 Florida plays 6-6 Ohio State on Jan. 2 in the Gator Bowl. The real winner is 6-6 Illinois vs. 6-7 UCLA.
And as a prelude to the National Championship game when LSU meets Alabama, our lips are moistened by the GoDaddy.com Bowl between Arkansas State and Northern Illinois.
Remember the old days … Jan. 1 truly was the granddaddy … What a mess.
Saturday night truly was an Irish invasion at FedEx Field — a Notre Dame invasion.
You can’t imagine, without being there, what it looked like all around the place. It was Notre Dame everywhere, beginning with the groves of tailgaters that were everywhere. You’d have thought it was a Notre Dame home gome in South Bend.
As it were, I would say the stadium was at least two-thirds Notre Dame fans. I know Notre Dame fans are everywhere but it was just amazing to see them all at a game locally. And of course, we were treated to a 45-21 victory.
The football team looked great in the green jerseys and the special shamrocks on the helmets, shining brightly under the FedEx lights.
And the band — stunning performance as usual beginning with the fight song in pregame and the halftime show, which at the end turned into a combined performance with Maryland to salute the service branches. It was a great show by the bands.
It just showed the Notre Dame travel power. Next year, Notre Dame opens against Navy in Dublin, Ireland and also plays one of its home games at Soldier Field in Chicago against Miami.
A great night for Irish fans.
We’re halfway through Randy Edsall’s first season at the helm of Maryland football and I think I’ve just now began to figure things out. It only took six uniform combinations, two quarterbacks and a laundry list of injuries to figure out.
When C.J. Brown stepped into the game against Georgia Tech when Maryland was trailing 21-3, I was very skeptical. Granted, Danny O’Brien had posted Rex Grossman-esque numbers, but he was the incumbent. He was the man. He was the 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year. And, unfortunately, he was the guy that couldn’t grasp Gary Crowton’s spread offense. Danny O. made some uncharacteristic mistakes all season, and it all started against Miami on Labor Day night. The Terps had marched down the field on their first drive and scored a touchdown to go up 7-0. On the second offensive possession, Maryland was poised to go up 14-0, but Danny O. tried forcing a pass that he should have never thrown. I watched that play about eight different times and came up with the same conclusion: just run it in. He had a less-than-stellar showing against West Virginia two weeks later where he threw three interceptions and then played possibly the worst game of his life against Temple. I’m not going include the Towson game in this because that was a gimme-game for the Terps. But even against an FCS opponent, it appeared Maryland struggled a little bit. Then, against Georgia Tech, everything hit the fan and Danny O. went a whopping 1-for-6 for 17 yards and an interception. (continue reading…)