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really creative play on Bama’s 2nd TD

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, January 11, 2021, 19:00

Nice breakdown by Clawson, Chizik, and Freeze.

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D. Smith can play for my team anytime --

by omahadomer, Monday, January 11, 2021, 21:40 @ Jay
edited by omahadomer, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 10:39

it's impossible to not appreciate a kid like that. He worked his butt off and he was by far the best player on that field tonight despite only playing the first half. Thank God it's just a broken finger and not an injury that will affect his future in the NFL.

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Second best WR on his own team

by Greg, 'dena, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 16:30 @ omahadomer

Though as you say, with Waddle injured the best on the field.

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glorious (n.) - amazing and inspiring so as to fill an observer with awe; see, e.g., John Parr's hair in the "Man in Motion" video

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What team had this WR corps.?

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Monday, January 11, 2021, 23:12 @ omahadomer

3 Calvin Ridley – Junior (6'1, 188)
4 Jerry Jeudy – Freshman (6'1, 175)
6 DeVonta Smith – Freshman (6'1, 160)
11 Henry Ruggs – Freshman (6'0, 175)
17 Cam Sims – Senior (6'5, 206)

Hell, what team could also claim this too?

QB
2 Jalen Hurts – Sophomore (6'2, 210)
10 Mac Jones – Freshman (6'2, 180)
13 Tua Tagovailoa – Freshman (6'1, 215)

RB
8 Joshua Jacobs – Sophomore (5'10, 200)
9 Bo Scarbrough – Redshirt Junior (6'2, 230)
22 Najee Harris – Freshman (6'3, 226)

College football has an Alabama problem. It's not exclusive to Notre Dame.

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Add Damien Harris to the RB list

by BPH, San Diego, Monday, January 11, 2021, 23:25 @ Domer99

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Damn straight. Wow- he’s as good as college f’ball gets

by JD in Portland @, Portland OR, Monday, January 11, 2021, 22:14 @ omahadomer

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We held Bama to 31 for the whole game --

by omahadomer, Monday, January 11, 2021, 19:51 @ Jay

we might want to re-evaluate how well we played in that Bama game.

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Reminds me of 2018....

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Monday, January 11, 2021, 22:41 @ omahadomer
edited by Domer99, Monday, January 11, 2021, 22:45

https://thespun.com/acc/clemson-tigers/clemson-john-simpson-notre-dame-alabama-dylan-moses

or this...

and this...

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I think Saban wasn’t worried about ND scoring

by Jeff (BGS), A starter home in suburban Tempe, Monday, January 11, 2021, 20:29 @ omahadomer

And kept some of these creative plays in his back pocket. He took his foot off the gas.

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At night, the ice weasels come.

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I'll call bullshit on this

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Monday, January 11, 2021, 22:01 @ Jeff (BGS)
edited by Domer99, Monday, January 11, 2021, 22:24

Such a typical "always spin ND in the worst light" type-take.

Did Bama dumb down their play calling against ND? Maybe. Did their Heisman trophy winner sit out the second half against us? Did Najee Harris take a seat for the 4th quarter?

At some point we need to quit the bullshit.

There are probably at least 7 teams with more raw talent then ND. Fine. It is what it is. And recruiting is on the coaches.

But this constant, obsessive need to always juxtapose ND in the worst light possible needs to stop.

Fuck this shit.


At some point we just need to give credit where credit is due. We have a dominant borderline elite coaching staff who gets the most out of a player base that isn't quite where the rest of the elite of college football resides. Not sure how to fix that but we're closer today than we were 8 years ago when I walked out of that same stadium.

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mostly agree, but big nit

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:21 @ Domer99

I contend we do not have an elite offensive coaching staff and we did not get the most out of our offensive talent.

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Offense finished higher than defense in FEI!!!

by CW (Rakes) @, Harlan County, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:27 @ Jay

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come now

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 10:09 @ CW (Rakes)

Fremeau himself would not argue the offense was the better unit on this team.

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Fremeau himself

by CW (Rakes) @, Harlan County, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 10:15 @ Jay

Said on this very website the last time you were trying to work through your Rees issues that the real strength of the team was its balance. The post-bowl SP+ rankings (haven't seen final yet) also had offense at 19 and defense at 20. You can keep saying the offense was blah and the defense was elite but that won't make either statement true.

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pinging Brian for a ruling

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 10:17 @ CW (Rakes)

[ No text ]

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Who, specifically, did we not get enough from?

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:24 @ Jay

Considering the injuries to the wide receivers, I’d say we maximized our talent.

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Not to speak for Jay

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:36 @ Jim (fisherj08)
edited by Domer99, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:39

But I think it's probably Rees, and not really anyone else. Hard to fault Taylor, Alexander, or everybody's favorite whipping boy Quinn.

And I agree with Jay to a minor extent, in that I think Rees is deserving of criticism for our play calling, scheme, and strategy for the last 2 games. However where I depart, is I actually think Rees was pretty good the balance of the year.

But this is also a macro view and how do you answer this question: was the hiring of Rees indicative of a overall lack of program commitment? I am not sure it's as definitive as some have presented. And reasonable minds can disagree. Kelly has shown a willingness to go outside the program (hiring Long and Sanford) and relinquished play calling duties, so I don't think it's totally fair to say that Kelly isn't as committed to building our program because the state of the current offense.

Rees was coveted enough to warrant interest as Northwestern's OC. I believe Oregon too (if I am not mistaken). So I just have a hard time thinking this fits the mold of the same ol' small-timey, low hanging fruit argument. I get being frustrated with the last 2 games because I was too, I just don't know that it reflects some bigger systemic issues that plague ND.

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Seeing a real lack of receipts re: Rees

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:46 @ Domer99

he did as much to hold Bama to 31 points as Lea did. The real stuff to be sore about with the last two games:

- Vs. Clemson we folded once they hit us a couple of times. That'sa general coaching point but mostly rolls up to Kelly.

- Vs. Clemson we didn't have an answer for Lawrence running the ball. That's on Lea. We also didn't have a prayer of keeping up with their receivers - which is just a longstanding talent issue

- Vs. Bama we just didn't go for the win. Shitty 4th down strategy, no onside kicks, etc. We should've dialed up more deep shots but we also were probably 2 or 3 lucky bounces from taking them into the 4th quarter (which is a sad ceiling on our ambitions but that's just who we are and who they are). Again, Alabama's offense was actually more successful vs. us on a per play basis than they were on average over he course of the season

Really I feel like there's some whining about the offense as it's been brought into light just how far away we are. We don't have the university to play the game the same way Bama does. That's been obvious for a while but maybe it's just that our noses are pressed up more tightly against the window the past few weeks?

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Correct on interest from Oregon

by BPH, San Diego, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:43 @ Domer99

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I'm curious

by CW (Rakes) @, Harlan County, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:45 @ BPH

If there is some way to contrast how Tommy Rees at Notre Dame and Joe Moorhead at Oregon would do against a similar or maybe the exact same defense in bowl games? Maybe separated by like 370ish days? Ah, well, we'll never know.

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Amazing how much more creative you can be when you have

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:54 @ CW (Rakes)

Saquon Barkley at the center of your gameplan!

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Thank you. Yes.

by JN @, Seattle, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 08:55 @ Domer99

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Good content

by CW (Rakes) @, Harlan County, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 07:11 @ Domer99

[ No text ]

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Jay, can we get a "Like" button here?

by mkmcfrlnd, Monday, January 11, 2021, 22:29 @ Domer99

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I’m not trying to say ND sucks

by Jeff (BGS), A starter home in suburban Tempe, Monday, January 11, 2021, 22:20 @ Domer99

But I think it is unfair to read too much into a single number. There is a definite context to it.

I think ND is clearly a Top-4 team this season. If we played Clemson or Ohio State ten times, I think we’d win 3-4 of them. I don’t know that anyone would beat Alabama one time out of ten. ND’s defense was excellent this season, but this Alabama offense is phenomenal.

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At night, the ice weasels come.

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I'll just let your posts stand. People can decide.

by omahadomer, Monday, January 11, 2021, 23:13 @ Jeff (BGS)

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Don't default to the "N.D. sucks" explanation --

by omahadomer, Monday, January 11, 2021, 21:25 @ Jeff (BGS)
edited by omahadomer, Monday, January 11, 2021, 21:33

OSU's defense has had no answers, even without Bama's Heisman winner on the field. When we recovered that onside kick he did't look like a guy who'd take his foot off the gas.

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our game ended earlier than the onsides

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, January 11, 2021, 22:08 @ omahadomer

I give us some credit for two stops earlier in the game when it meant something, but our garbage time TD and the kabuki onsides stuff was putting lipstick on a pig.

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The OSU game was over in the first half

by omahadomer, Monday, January 11, 2021, 23:09 @ Jay

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No doubt

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Monday, January 11, 2021, 22:19 @ Jay
edited by Domer99, Monday, January 11, 2021, 22:49

But that was the game we played. We played to slow the game down. We played to minimize their chances. And in spite of the kabuki, we could have closed that gap to 21-31.

I guess the greater point, is we had a winning strategy....IF the offense would have shown up. Yes, we probably need more playmakers at numerous positions including QB, WR, etc. But that was the right game plan. It would have worked had the offense tried to pretend to care to actually score points. Not saying we should have won, but we abandoned everything about our offensive identity in the name of trying to keep this game close. And that was something we did better than anyone else in all of college football, but namely because of the defense.

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Maybe, but we also deserve credit

by CK08, Monday, January 11, 2021, 20:43 @ Jeff (BGS)
edited by CK08, Monday, January 11, 2021, 21:02

We successfully executed the part pf our gameplan where we held the ball and kept the score reasonable. Just couldn't score enough.

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This will always be my biggest criticism of Rees this season

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Monday, January 11, 2021, 23:07 @ CK08

And really over the last 2 games.

In the Clemson game, we were inside Clemson's 35 yard line 3 straight times to start the game and walked away with 3 points. You just can't do that. The game slipped away from us from there.

Against Bama it was different. We probably should have deferred the kick when we won the toss. But I think Kelly knew in order for this team to win we had to get out front early like we did the first Clemson game. That game was the blueprint for us against an elite team. We don't have the weapons like tOSU, Clemson, or Bama but if we can get ahead our defense can contain the other team. The problem? Well we never really converted our possession after a lousy kick return and we got behind the scoreboard. This was not a team that was explosive offensively against superior talented teams.

I can't blame the strategy. It was what is was. But I'd also add that Rees didn't game plan for defenses that sought to neutralize keeping Book in pocket. If there's a major criticism it's finding a way to execute what we do effectively. We kind of turtled into trying to run Kyren for 3-4 yards a pop and throw to Mayer on short routes. That doesn't cut it when you're playing from behind.

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I’m not a fan of admitting this

by Busco21, Monday, January 11, 2021, 20:16 @ omahadomer

Bama is creating ways to get their best player the ball at a level I’m not sure I’ve seen before. So damn creative. Very impressive.

We need to just keep getting there every two or three seasons. The ball ain’t round. Someday it will bounce our way.

But if anyone thinks we are playing in the same scenario these teams are playing, you don’t value a ND degree.

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Hope receivers the world over are ready...

by domer.mq ⌂ @, Monday, January 11, 2021, 21:11 @ Busco21

for some conditioning. Coaches everywhere are gonna have their best guys running 30-60 yards pre-snap every snap.

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Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.

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Sark is so creative

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, January 11, 2021, 21:08 @ Busco21

I hope Toonces is soaking this all up.

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Meanwhile, his replacement is an NFL playoff HC.

by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Monday, January 11, 2021, 21:54 @ Jay

[ No text ]

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confounds me

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, January 11, 2021, 22:10 @ Savage

that we have the fortitude to go get the hottest DC on the market but a year earlier opted for a 28 year old neophyte to run the offense.

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Doesn't that further validate Rees?

by KGB, Belly o. the Beast, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 05:38 @ Jay

Recent hires, Freeman in particular, suggest that Kelly is not bothered by going outside the program to look for a new coordinator. Since the reboot, Lea is the only other internal coach who has been promoted to that role, and I think we can all agree that this worked out pretty well.

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I think BK has treated OC differently

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:11 @ KGB

He came in with Molnar, went to Chuck Martin (converted from defense!), then had Denbrock with Mike Sanford. Basically all BK internal hires, never really looking for an experienced guy from the outside to liven things up. He finally goes outside his comfort zone when pushed to hire Chip Long. Long brings his RPO system and has a lot of success. Long gets fired and he goes right back to someone familiar (and perhaps more pliant), shitcanning the RPO and ending up with something less productive than before.

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I don't think Long was fired

by KGB, Belly o. the Beast, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 11:43 @ Jay
edited by KGB, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 12:53

for not being sufficiently deferential to Kelly. The market's response to his return to the pool of available candidates would seem to support that notion.

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Were we less productive, though?

by BPH, San Diego, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:41 @ Jay

I know red-zone TD percentage was a big red flag, but I feel like in general, this year's offense was pretty darn similar to Long's in terms of overall output if not in style.

Also, Mike Sanford was certainly an outside hire, and not too far from being the Freeman of that cycle on offense. He was very highly regarded at the time.

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Didn't we try to get Moorhead?

by okerland @, The right side of the Bay Bridge, Monday, January 11, 2021, 23:37 @ Jay

[ No text ]

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Do you think that if we had Sark as OC

by omahadomer, Monday, January 11, 2021, 23:10 @ Jay

we would be national champs?

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are you saying Tom Rees and Steve Sarkisian are fungible?

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:06 @ omahadomer

[ No text ]

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No. But he wouldn't have made enough

by omahadomer, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 10:46 @ Jay

of a difference to change the outcome.

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This is exactly the point

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Monday, January 11, 2021, 23:25 @ omahadomer

So Steve Sarkisian is coaching the best offensive talent assembled in years.

Along with a whole host of talented players I've already listed above.

But Alabama also had Butch Jones on staff. And before him it was Lane Kiffin. But in addition to Jones he had Charlie Strong, Mike Stoops, Major Applewhite, and a host of others on staff as "analysts."

ND matched Mike Elko 2 separate times before telling him to just go to College Station. We were able to nab the hottest defensive coordinator in college football who was headed to Baton Rouge after re-upping our original offer.

I don't know how else to say this but Alabama is playing a different game than anyone else.

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we've played championship caliber defense for a while now

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:19 @ Domer99

We don't have that "get me Marcus Freeman!" level of killer intent for competing on offense. I think Kelly's shown by the Rees hire that he's still unwilling to turn over the offense entirely to an experienced hand, as he has on defense. And I'm just repeating myself but I think we're potentially going to waste the Freeman years because our OC is still trying to figure things out.

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have we really?

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 12:07 @ Jay

I mean, Alabama and Clemson really had their ways with us this postseason - they both actually were more effective vs us than vs the average team on their schedule. Clemson also put up 40 points in the first game. In 2018 Clemson put up 320+ yards in the first half and 583 for the game.

We've certainly played very good defense, but it's not a unit that's going to give us anything other than a puncher's chance in a playoff context, which is about where the offense is as well

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held Bama three scores under average

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 12:25 @ Mike (bart)

Held Clemson to 33 and 34 points, ten points under their average. Only OSU did better.

In all three games the defense did enough to win (would use that as the definition of "championship" caliber).

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You seem to be trying hard not to understand this

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 12:29 @ Jay

This concept of complimentary football. Our best defender in the first half of the Alabama game was Kyren Williams.

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failed to score enough

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 12:33 @ Mike (bart)

Are we going to keep calling each other dumb? I'd rather not

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You're the one presenting a controversial

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 12:42 @ Jay

argument and not wanting to back it up! I spent 30 minutes working on a post at the top of the board to address the idea you're floating and all you're responding with are Twitter dunks. If you want to leave it alone, fine, but don't try to read it into the record if you don't really want to bother with it

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for me this comes down to

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 12:59 @ Mike (bart)

the disappointing offense in our last two games. We disagree on the factors and their weightings; you weigh lack of talent more heavily, I look at the lack of game plan and wonder if someone with more experience than Rees would have come up with something more productive. I don't think Clemson's defense nor Alabama's defense in 2020 are among the best defenses Notre Dame has faced in the Kelly era and thus I think we underperformed, even with the talent on hand.

I understand and accept your rebuttals and opinions on the matter and I am not questioning your sanity or mental acuity. We just disagree!

I'm not insane, I swear. I'm smart. Not dumb, like people say. Smart.

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Thumb is up

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 13:48 @ Jay

[ No text ]

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Isn't there a loophole though?

by okerland @, The right side of the Bay Bridge, Monday, January 11, 2021, 23:42 @ Domer99

From what I recall and I could be wrong, the coaches you mentioned are still collecting their buyouts while working for peanuts to work for Bama.

"https://www.al.com/alabamafootball/2018/03/butch_jones_alabama_salary_rev.html"

I guess ND can go this route and maybe they did with Quinn a few years ago.

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Not really a loophole

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 05:43 @ okerland
edited by Domer99, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 08:15

Offset clauses with college football coaches are pretty common.

http://bluegraysky.com/forum/index.php?id=386539

And we’ve taken advantage of them too, as you mentioned with Quinn, but more recently Kerry Cooks. I just don’t know how many of those guys on Bama’s “analyst” roster would take the same gig at Notre Dame. It’s really uncanny. I recall Jay had a post a couple of years ago that listed 20+ “analysts” on Bama’s staff. That’s tough to compete with when they already have the best talent too.

EDIT: picking up my own flag. This Bama issue has come up before, so much so that Jay posted about it twice:

https://www.bluegraysky.com/forum/index.php?id=145630

https://www.bluegraysky.com/forum/index.php?mode=thread&id=327247#p327309 *

* Interesting perspective from KGB which still seems to hold up today.

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looked at LSU's super sized staff recently too

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 12:02 @ Domer99

Exactly

by okerland @, The right side of the Bay Bridge, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 12:00 @ Domer99

Why isn't ND doing more of this? Is the department not wanting more analysts?

One of Bama's former analysts is a ND alum and former player, I bet he would have taken a similar gig if offered.

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we will have the most competitive loss in the playoffs

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, January 11, 2021, 20:15 @ omahadomer

[ No text ]

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