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12/03/2019

Vince Milum's Post-Game Analysis for Notre Dame

Final Score: Notre Dame 45, Stanford 24

After a rough start that saw the Irish trail the "Satan-ford Vegetation" (see my previous tree discussion) 17-7, Notre Dame came up with a key defensive stop that left Satan-ford / Stanford with fourth-and-a-half-yard-to-go.

In hindsight, the Trees should have gone for it because Notre Dame blocked the punt and returned it to the Stanford one, later scoring on a short pass. After that, it was all Irish as they won at Stanford for the first time under head coach Brian Kelly (and handily so at that).

Ian Book finished with four touchdown passes for the game and -- but for a mulligan at Michigan over a month ago -- would be the talk of the nation in terms of how well he played in five games in the month of November.

Even the defense (which played not-so-well for 1.5 quarters, then very well for the final 2.5 quarters) got in on the scoring action with a quarterback strip and fumble recovery in the end zone near the end of the game.

As has been my recent tendency (in recognition of outstanding merit), I give all aspects of the Irish -- offense, defense, special teams, and coaches -- an A for this performance that saw the Irish win by three touchdowns.

One final comment (similar to remarks I have made in the past)…

The head football coach of Stanford, David Shaw, is a class act and a credit to an otherwise-overrated university. When Brian Kelly retires (which I hope is not soon), it would behoove the Irish to explore its opening with Shaw should he wish to explore the football world outside of the home of the over-privileged.
           

UPDATE on the Over-Privileged Punks at Satan-ford / Stanford: "College-Admissions Scandal Ringleader Tried to Recruit Seven Stanford Coaches, University Says"

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/college-admissions-scandal-ringleader-tried-to-recruit-seven-stanford-coaches-university-says/ar-BBXIcAo?ocid=spartanntp
           

My next column will appear once we know (for sure) who Notre Dame's bowl opponent will be and where. As of right now, it appears the Irish will play Oklahoma State in the Camping World Bowl (but there is a possibility that a team other than Oklahoma State will be selected).
                                  

11/28/2019

Vince Milum's Boston College Review Summary and Quick-Look at the upcoming Football Game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Stanford Idiots who have a Tree for a mascot and a team named after a color because naming yourself after a bird or American Indians is somehow offensive.

Previously...

I told the Irish to "be watchful of the BC running game" and indeed they were as Notre Dame shut-down the nation's number-five rushing attack with both of BC's "super backs" held to miniscule yardage.

Whereas the Irish started slowly, field goal kicker Jonathan Doerer ensured that that really did not matter as he kicked four field goals -- while missing none -- including several from long distance. Once Ian Book and the boys got their groove going (after a critical fourth-and-three conversion on a pass from Book to Chris Finke) it was off-to-the-races as Notre Dame won 40-7 but only after all-but-ordering their backups NOT to score -- i.e., ND's margin could have been even bigger should they have so desired.

Because of the excellence of the team play at nearly every position and because of the great preparation ND displayed, I give all the Irish coaches and players for the Boston College game an even A.

Now, on to Stanford...

Again, please do not get me going about the PC chauvinism of this once great university, instead, let me focus on the matchup Saturday...

If the two teams (ND and Stanford) would meet in good weather at a neutral site, I would make Notre Dame a four touchdown favorite, unfortunately for Notre Dame...

(1) Notre Dame has NEVER won at Stanford during the Brian Kelly era.

(2) The weather is forecast to be a near-monsoon of high winds and rain thus impairing Notre Dame's pass offense and, remember, the rush game for Notre Dame this year "sucks."

So, Notre Dame should lose, right?

Well, "not-so-fast," as Lee Corso says...

(1) Stanford's "Stud Quarterback" -- K.J. Costello -- will not play Saturday due to an injury.

(2) Also due to injuries, Stanford's "two-deep" at offensive line (reportedly) will have eight freshmen!

So, Stanford should lose, right?

"Well, to tell the truth, in all this commotion, I kinda lost track myself. But you have to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?'"

"Well, do you, punk?"

Yea, I do, so here goes...

Notre Dame will prevail in a close one to go 10-2 prior to bowl season with a 27-23 victory at Stanford -- Brian Kelly's first (and another checkmark on his record as to why the Irish are "lucky" to have him as their coach which is something I did not see myself saying a month or so ago).
                                  

11/27/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 14
By Ron Worley

Last week: 5-1
Season: 56-24

About last week in the Big 12. For a welcome change KSU won a very close game and T/T lost another. As expected Baylor and OU will play a rematch for the Conference Title no matter what happens in their games this weekend. T/T and W/V joined KU as bowl ineligible leaving TCU as the only team not yet eligible or ineligible. In the SEC, MU shot themselves yet again, this shot may prove deadly for Odom. We will see if they can both recover against an all but dead Arkansas. The NCAA make a final decision, that MU is dead to them, even if they win on Friday and get to 6 - 6. Another bad NCAA decision, no real surprise there ! The only good news for MU is that it is better delivered this year than next. Note to KU fans. This hard line decision sets a pattern that might portend bad news for KU.

Joining the firing line were head coaches from UNLV, Northern Colorado, Colorado State and sort of retiring was Bob Davis of New Mexico.

Week 14, final regular season game for almost everyone. Conference Final exams start next weekend!

Friday

Texas Tech (2 - 6, 4 - 7) @ Texas (4 - 4, 6 - 5). T/T has little to play for and Texas a lot and UT gets a Senior day win, a winning record and a better bowl bid.


West Virginia (2-6, @ TCU (3-5, 5-6). Also not much upside for W/V in this road game and TCU is playing for bowl eligibility on Senior Day and they do get the win.


Missouri (2-5, 5-6) @ Little Rock vs Arkansas (0-7, 2-9). MU must win or Odom likely flies home alone. They do win to get to a .500 season. In any case a long season ends and we will see what comes next. Will it be just recruiting players or also hiring a new Offensive Coordinator or maybe all those and hiring a new head Coach?


Saturday

#11 Baylor (7-1, 10-1) @ Kansas (1-7, 3-8). Baylor has a chance for a final 4 game to play for and they do keep that chance alive with this road win over KU and their sparse home crowd on a cold day finish to a long season that did have some bright spots including a road win and a conference win.

#26 Iowa State (5-3, 7-4) @ Kansas State (4-4, 7-4). ISU appeared to overlook KU last week but will be ready for KSU. This is usually a close game and ISU is favored and a win will get them a real AP # but injuries are slowing them and the Wildcats harvest a mild upset with a close home win on their Senior Day and maybe also get an AP number of their own. It looks to be a cold if not also a wet day in Manhattan. Their next game may be in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31, not a bad way to end a new coaches first year.


#7 Oklahoma (7-1, 10-1) @ #21 Oklahoma State (5-3, 8-3). I expect this to be a very close game. Oklahoma gets the win which also keeps alive their chance for a final 4 playoff spot.
                                  

11/21/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 13
By Ron Worley

Last week: 3-3
Season: 51-23

About last week. In the Big 12 lots of close games, lots of balance in the league. Very unlikely but as of now it is possible to have FIVE teams tie at 6-3. KSU lost yet another close game and so did Texas. At this point I expect it will be a Baylor vs Oklahoma rematch in the Conference title game. In the SEC Alabama won as expected but likely have lost their national title chance. South Carolina and Old Miss joined the ranks of Bowl ineligible teams. Just of interest, at least to me, this week BYU becomes the first D-1 team to accept a bowl bid, going to the Hawaii Bowl. As an Independent they don't have to wait for conference approval.

Saturday, November 23:

Kansas (3-7, 1-6) @ #27 Iowa State (6-4, 4-3). I expect a Senior Day home win for ISU and it may get them back into the AP real top 25 and into a better bowl game. (Note to Vince: KU beat Boston College so I am sure that ND will also beat them.)

Kansas State (6-4, 3-4) @ Texas Tech (4-6, 2-5). T/T is the betting favorite. I expect another close game but this one the "Cats", this week without those new hats, win and end any T/T bowl game hope. KSU needs this win for momentum as their next game, even at home, will be difficult.

#22 Oklahoma State (7-3, 4-3) @ West Virginia (4-6, 2-5). Cowboys rope in a road win and end W/V's slim bowl game hope.

Texas (6-4, 4-3) @ #13 Baylor (9-1, 6-1). Texas all but dropped out of the Big 12 Conference discussion with the late loss to ISU. Baylor gets a Senior Day home win and locks up a Conference title game spot.

TCU (5-5, 3-4) @ #8 Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1). Sooners also win at home and thus lock up their Conference title game spot.

Tennessee (5-5, 3-3) @ Missouri (5-5, 2-4). Looks close, likely will be close. MU and Odom need this Senior Day win and get it. They thus become bowl eligible, but only IF the NCAA decides to make a decision and then makes the right decision.
                                  

11/21/2019

Vince Milum's Apologia and Quick-Look at the upcoming Football Game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Boston College Eagles.

All right, everyone, I admit it -- I am both a sinner and a liar. Last month -- after a blowout loss at Michigan, I wrote:

"After Saturday's blowout, Irish fans have had enough of Brian Kelly while Irish players are demoralized and likely to lose more games in which they will be favored.... I am moving on (as I suspect many others will do, fans and potential coaching-replacements alike)."

I further wrote that I was done covering Notre Dame for this football season.

But then a funny thing happened...

With time expiring (and me not watching the game), Irish quarterback Ian Book led a near-miraculous comeback victory over a decent Virginia Tech team, then Notre Dame overwhelmed Duke (which I humbly watched) and then...

Notre Dame thoroughly demolished a ranked team from the Naval Academy (which I joyfully celebrated).

With the Irish having proven (yet again) that I am a terrible prognosticator, I am now (at least temporarily) back on the Irish Train.

Accordingly, I salute the Irish for turning things around and I predict that they will keep it going this weekend in South Bend on "Senior Day" (but be watchful of the BC running game!).

PREDICTION: Notre Dame 34 Boston College 23.
                                  

11/14/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 12
By Ron Worley

Last week: 3-2
Season: 48-20

Last week Big 12 comments. Baylor pulled out yet another close win. It was a major win because it keeps them in a 3-way race to be one of the two teams in the Big 12 title game. KSU should have won at Texas but did not and that win for Texas also kept them in that 3-way race for the top 2 spots. SEC comments. MU fans may be interested to know that Wyoming is now (6-3) after a 3-point loss to now #19 Boise State (8-1) on the smurf turf very late Saturday night. Vanderbilt now (2-7) after a 56-0 loss to FLORIDA joins Arkansas now (2-8) as not eligible for a bowl. Did not expect the early firing of the Arkansas Coach. I did expect it later, after a season ending loss to Missouri.

Saturday Nov. 16,

Kansas (3-6, 1-5) @ #25 Oklahoma State (6-3, 3-3). An improving OSU team wins this home game and retains or slightly improves their AP ranking.

West Virginia (3-6, 1-5) @ #27 Kansas State (6-3, 3-3). "Cats" win at home with a new old logo on their hats. Thus we will see the "Cats" in these hats again, likely in the bowl game.

TCU (4-5, 2-4) @ Texas Tech (4-5, 2-4). This is a make and break game. A make for the winner and a break for the loser. I expect Texas Tech to make it a home game win.

#22 Texas (6-3, 4-2) @ Iowa State (5-4, 3-3). Texas needs this win to keep their title game hope alive. Lose and they would then need to beat Baylor and have KU also beat Baylor, not very likely. ISU is favored at home but I expect a Texas win.

#10 Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1) @ #12 Baylor (9-0, 6-0). The biggest Conference game thus far! IF Baylor beats OU they could then lose to Texas and beat KU to finish 8-1 and be in the title game. If they lose to both OU and UT and beat KU they finish 7-2 and likely would tie with Texas. I expect OU to outrun Baylor, get the road win and end the unexpected undefeated run of Baylor.


#11 Florida (8-2, 5-2) @ Missouri (5-4, 2-3). MU gets QB Bryant back and it is a home game. Both will help but will not be enough help. Florida wins but the history of this game says it will be closer than the records would suggest.
                                  

11/7/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 11
By Ron Worley

Last week: 3-0
Season: 45-18

About last week. Important momentum win for KSU over KU. Firing season opened with the first shot from Florida State. There will be more, look for USC to fire the next shot. Arkansas fell to 2-7 and became the first SEC or Big 12 team to become bowl ineligible. First week final 4 rankings are out and some in the PAC 12 are asking why are they part of this 5 Conference process that usually leaves their Champion on the sideline. It's a fair question.

Saturday 11/9

#11 Baylor (8-0, 5-0) @ TCU (4-4, 2-3). Baylor continues to rise to the occasion and gets another road win over a TCU team with young players and especially young at QB as they continue to not play the transfer former KSU QB with experience. Maybe this year TCU is playing for next year.

Texas Tech (3-5, 1-4) @ West Virginia (3-5, 1-4). Someone has to win this game! I expect it to be W/V as they escape the Big 12 bottom with a home win.

#20 Kansas State (6-2, 3-2) @ #27 Texas (5-3, 3-2). KSU is a 6 point underdog to an officially unranked home team. I expected a close game but now even more so with KSU's best pass defender Parker injured and out for at least this important game. KSU beat OU and OU beat Texas so I will go with KSU in a very close road win.

Iowa State (5-3, 3-2) @ #8 Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1). OU gets this home win by 21. They have a point or several to prove with this game.

Missouri (5-3, 2-2) @ #6 Georgia (7-1, 4-1). Hard for MU to win any road game and this one will be extra hard. Georgia wins and stays on top of this Division of the SEC. MU has a long trip home and a week to get ready for another ranked opponent but there is lite (as in lesser opponents) at the end of the schedule.
                                  

10/30/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 10
By Ron Worley

Last week: 1-4
Season:   42-18

About last weekend. It was an upset or upsetting weekend, depending on your prospective! I picked one upset (the KU win) correctly and was happy for the miss on the KSU very big upset win over OU. The Big 12 Conference title race is now a mess. There is no longer any clear favorite for either of the two spots in the title game. In my view this past weekend losses by OU and UT ended almost any chance of the Big 12 getting a team in the final 4. IF Baylor, who I now believe in more than before, were to win out they would have a chance but they have yet to play UT or OU and I don't yet believe in them that much.

Week 9, it's November and the temperature turns colder but for some Coaches (see Odom) their seat is getting hotter! Thinking about MU, unlike KU's Les Miles who 3 weeks ago fired his O/C, Berry Odom did not fire his. So far it has worked out well for Miles but not so well for Odom and MU appears to be unlikely to win their next two games.

Thursday 10/31 Halloween

West Virginia (3-4, 1-3) @ #12 Baylor (7-0, 4-0). Baylor stays undefeated for another week with another win to also stay in the Conference title conversation. No trick, just a home win by 10.

Saturday 11/02

#22 Kansas State (5-2, 2-2) @ Kansas (3-5, 1-4). Big game for both teams. Both teams coming off big wins for their program. A week ago it appeared close, not so much now. I expect KSU to get this sort of road victory. KSU will have nearly as many fans at this game as KU. The win also makes KSU bowl eligible and it hard for KU to get eligible.

TCU (4-3, 2-2) @ Oklahoma State (5-3, 2-3). This looks like a great game. Both teams coming off upset wins over ranked teams. I expect OSU to win a close game at home and also become bowl eligible.

Missouri has a bye week, they need it!

Extra local comment. Chiefs have now lost 3 straight home games, all to teams with winning records. Conversely 4 of their 5 wins have come over teams with non-winning records. Minnesota comes in with a 6-2 record. Who do you think will win? IF the Chiefs make the playoffs, they may due to being in a weak division, what records will those teams bring with them?
                                  

10/28/2019

Vince Milum's Post-Game Analysis for Notre Dame

Final Score: Michigan 45 Notre Dame 14

The potential divorce between Notre Dame and myself (that I mentioned after the Irish were blown out by Clemson in last year's college football playoff) is now official. I will no longer be watching or reporting on Notre Dame Football UNLESS and UNTIL the Irish win ten games this year (which is extremely unlikely).

This past Saturday night before 100,000+ fans in attendance and a nation-wide ABC audience, the Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” proved that they have all the fight of a Division III Junior Varsity team.

Notre Dame (to quote a woman I despise) was “deplorable” in all facets of the game (including offense, defense, and special teams). The only thing worse than the play of the Irish on the field was the pathetically-inept coaching of (head coach) Brian Kelly, (defensive coordinator) Clark Lea, and (offensive coordinator) Chip Long.

Like many times before, most of you reading this saw the game for yourselves, so I will not perform a recounting of the details.

Suffice it to say, after ten years “in office,” Brian Kelly has managed to restore the Irish program to the level experienced under Charlie Weis and Tyrone Willingham — only those incompetent coaches had to deal with inferior talent on the Notre Dame roster. Brian Kelly has managed to embarrass the brand with Top 10 talent.

And, although I have been resistant (until now) to say this, the pundits are right: quarterbacks regress (rather than progress) under the tutelage of Brian Kelly.

Do not be surprised if the nation's leading high school passer, Tyler Buchner, drops his (2021) commitment to the Irish in light of what I (and others) have noted.

After Saturday's blowout, Irish fans have had enough of Brian Kelly while Irish players are demoralized and likely to lose more games in which they will be favored, yet nobody in their right mind (who would otherwise be a suitable candidate) will want to be the next Notre Dame football coach under these conditions.

So, Notre Dame can take a hike — I am moving on (as I suspect many others will do, fans and potential coaching-replacements alike).
                                  

10/25/2019

Vince Milum's Quick-Look at the upcoming Football Game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Michigan Wolverines.

While Michigan opened as a 4-point home-field favorite, at last check, the game was a betting-line toss-up.

Why Michigan Will Win: Notre Dame is winless in prime-time games at Michigan.

Why Notre Dame Will Win: Notre Dame is relatively healthy (for once) with both Jafar Armstrong and Shaun Crawford projected to factor heavily in this weekend's game plan. For more, see:

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/27921853/irish-getting-rb-jafar-armstrong-cb-shaun-crawford-back-vs-michigan

My best guess: Despite the 100,000+ crowd, I think the Irish have the tools to prevail (but just barely)...

Notre Dame 27, Michigan 24.
                                  

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 9
By Ron Worley

Last week: 4-2
Season: 41-14

About last week. KSU did get a needed and important win. MU, after shooting themselves in the left foot opening weekend at Wyoming, shot themselves in the right foot at Vanderbilt. Can they recover? Texas may have overlooked Kansas and should have lost but did not due to some home help.

#5 Oklahoma (7-0, 4-0) @ Kansas State (4-2, 1-2). Oklahoma will not overlook KSU and will win but likely will score less than their usual 50 plus points. Wildcats just need to get out healthy and ready for their next game which is very important for their season.

Texas Tech (3-4, 1-3) @ Kansas (2-5, 0-4). This looks like a high scoring game. At the start of the season this was the Conference game I thought KU might win and I still do. KU wins at home by a few points. If I am correct then next week's game gets very interesting!

#15 Texas (5-2, 3-1) @ TCU (3-3, 1-2). Texas is only a slight favorite but more of one in my view. They need and get this road win by 2 TD's and remain, at least in my book, the second best team in the Conference.

Oklahoma State (4-3, 1-3) @ #23 Iowa State (5-2, 3-1). OSU's season is not going well and this game is no help. ISU wins at home to stay ranked and in the race for 3 ed place in the Conference.

Missouri (5-2, 2-1) @ Kentucky (3-4, 1-4). Can MU win on the road? They badly need this one as the next one will be even harder. I think MU does win to become bowl eligible by the #'s, if not by the NCAA! However, this win will not get their ranking back, next week would.
                                  

10/17/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 8
By Ron Worley

Last week: 4-0
Season: 37-12

About last week... Chiefs lost again and again looked bad. Hope they look better and win Thursday night at Denver. Baylor won but it took 2OT's to get it done. Again I believe the Big 12 has 2 very good teams and 3 or 4 very average teams, Baylor being one of them, and two not very good teams, those being W/V and KU. As expected a Missouri win moved them into the AP Top 25.

TCU (3-3, 1-2) @ Kansas State (3-2, 0-2). Hard game for me to pick. TCU is a 3 point betting favorite but they last lost on the road. With OU coming next week KSU really needs this win! I think and hope they get it. KSU in a close small upset win.

Kansas (2-4, 0-3) @ #15 Texas (4-2, 2-1). Until someone other than Oklahoma beats them I see Texas as the second best team in the Conference. Kansas may win a Conference game this season but on the road it will not be this game! Texas by 3 TD's.

West Virginia (3-3, 1-2) @ #5 Oklahoma (6-0, 3-0). No upset by W/V, just a beat down by OU.

#27 Iowa State (4-2, 2-1) @ Texas Tech (3-3, 1-2). Looks close but today I see ISU as the 3rd best team in the Big 12. They get this road win to prove it or at least keep it an open discussion.

#18 Baylor (6-0, 3-0) @ Oklahoma State (4-2, 1-2). I view Baylor as overrated and without their by far best defensive player I expect their undefeated record to end as OSU gets a close win at home.

#22 Missouri (5-1, 2-0) @ Vanderbilt (1-5, 0-3). This should be and will be an easy road win for MU. They need it to be to keep their new AP ranking. A strong win may even move them up to # 20.
                                  

10/14/2019

Vince Milum's Post-Game Analysis for Notre Dame

Final Score: Notre Dame 30 USC 27

"Even a broken clock is right twice a day."

In my pre-game analysis, I accurately predicted the final score. (Unfortunately, I failed to place a bet to profit from this clairvoyance.)

In my post-game opinion, these were the three keys to the Notre Dame victory: (1) an outstanding rushing attack by the Irish that amassed over 300 yards total (308 to be exact) with Tony Jones setting a personal best of 176 yards rushing; (2) timely, intelligent quarterback runs by Ian Book; and (3) certainly not least, the outstanding field goal kicking of Jonathan Doerer who hit from 43, 52, and 43 yards, setting records along the way and earning the game ball in the process.

Where Notre Dame fell down was giving up a few big passing plays (as I feared would happen) and letting USC's rushers out-muscle the Irish defensive line for first-downs. Where Notre Dame almost lost the game was on the onside kick near the end of the game. But for the illegal participation of a 12th man that was not called (that man being head coach Brian Kelly) Notre Dame might very well have lost this game.

Next up for the Irish is a bye week in preparation for a game at Michigan against the Wolverines the following week.
                                  

10/11/2019

Vince Milum's Quick-Look at the upcoming Football Game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the USC Trojans.

Notre Dame is an 11-point favorite against USC heading into Saturday's contest. This says more about the state of USC's program than about Notre Dame's.

While USC has preeminent player talent, it has less-than-stellar coaching and an athletic administration facing criminal indictments. By contrast, the Irish team of Head Coach Brian Kelly and Athletic Diretor Jack Swarbrick has been a (relative) model of (positive) consistency.

As I see it, there are five keys to the Irish securing a victory...

1. Contain (because they will NOT be able to shut down) the uber-talented USC receiving corps while getting pressure on the freshman quarterback for the Trojans.

2. Hold USC to less than 125 yards rushing.

3. Win the turnover battle.

4. Stay healthy and get (a newly returning) Jafar Armstrong involved in the game-plan.

5. No major mistakes on special teams.

With the Southern California boys having to experience game-time temperatures forecasted to drop into the (upper) 40s, give a bonus home-field-advantage to the Irish.

Barring any major injuries to the Irish -- or the Irish surrendering any big plays, I see a Notre Dame victory but with the Irish failing to cover: Notre Dame 30, USC 27.
                                  

10/10/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 7
By Ron Worley

Last week: 3-3
Season: 33-12

About last week. Bad weekend for football in the Metro except for MU. KU lost on the football field and on the Basketball Court without even a real game. KSU and the Chiefs both lost on the football field and both looked bad doing it. KU scored 20 points against the # 6 team in the country and fired their offensive coordinator. KSU and the Chiefs scored less against lesser competition and kept their OC's. In a couple of weeks we will see who made the right move or non-move. Right now there appear to be a lot of average teams in the Big 12.

#6 Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0) vs #11 Texas (4-1, 2-0). Red River rivals in Dallas in the old Cotton Bowl. An annual event during the Texas State Fair. Very big game for both and for the Big 12 Conference. OU wins this game on their way to a 9 - 0 Conference record. But they likely meet again on Dec. 7, for the real Conference Title. An odd system.

Texas Tech (3-2, 1-1) @ #22 Baylor (5-0, 2-0). Baylor looks better and is at home and gets the win by more than 10.

Iowa State (3-2, 1-1) @ West Virginia (3-2, 1-1). Looks close and may be close. This looks like a season begin to make it or a begin to break it game. I expect an ISU road win which keeps them in the top half of the conference for at least another week.

SEC

Mississippi (3-3, 1-1) @ #27 Missouri (4-1, 1-0). A must win home game for MU if they are to have a really good season. They do get the win and with it move into the AP top 25.
                                  

10/08/2019

Vince Milum's Post-Game Analysis for Notre Dame

Final Score: Notre Dame 52 Bowling Green 0

As I wrote in my pre-game analysis:

"I think [the following] should be the major goals for the Irish [against Bowling Green]... (1) Keep the players healthy -- particularly the starters and key reserves. (2) Get plenty of reps for backup personnel. (3) Have Ian Book attempt to complete some long passes. [and] (4) Attempt to pad the statistics sheet and the point-spread while accomplishing the above."

Count all four as having been achieved... The Irish emerged with no reported injuries, lots of backups played (including the second and third string quarterbacks for the Irish), Ian Book set a Notre Dame record with five first-half touchdown passes while completing multiple long passes, and Notre Dame covered the 45-point spread with Tony Jones rushing for 102 yards on just seven carries.

Next up are the USC Trojans in prime-time in South Bend.
                                  

10/3/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 6
By Ron Worley

Last week: 2-2
Season: 30-9

About last week. Well, ISU and Baylor did play a close game (2 points) but my pick did not win and OU did score over 50 points and did win by less than 50.

#6 Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0) @ Kansas (2-3, 0-2). OU will score 50 plus again and will again win by less than 50. With good players already departing, this season may be getting away from KU almost before it has started and their schedule is not giving them any help.

#31 Baylor (4-0, 1-0) @ #36 Kansas State (3-1, 0-1). Those are the AP rankings if you count those getting votes. Anyway it looks close and I expect it will be close. Cats get a much needed home win. I surely hope so because not winning would look like the beginning of a bad season.

TCU (3-1, 1-0) @ Iowa State (2-2, 0-1). Also looks close and will be. Who will be the TCU QB, the former KSU guy or the new freshman? TCU gets a road win to stay in the conference hunt for 3rd place.

#21 Oklahoma State (4-1, 1-1) @ Texas Tech (2-2, 0-1). OSU also gets a road win to also stay in the conference crowded 3rd place discussion. T/T will need to wait until Oct. 26 for a chance to win another game. Yes, that is when they play at KU.

#11 Texas (3-1, 1-0) @ West Virginia (3-1, 1-0). Texas wins by 14 or more on the road to stay in the conference title race.

Troy (2-2) @ #30 Missouri (3-1, 1-0). MU by several TD's in a walkover win at home. But this win will not be enough to get them into the top 25. That will take at least a win over Old Miss next week.
                                  

10/2/2019

Vince Milum's Quick-Look at the upcoming Football Game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Bowling Green Falcons.

As I previously wrote, Notre Dame has opened -- and is holding -- as a 45-point favorite against Bowling Green for this Saturday's match-up.

Because of this gap, I am foregoing my traditional pregame look to focus strictly on what I think should be the major goals for the Irish this weekend...

(1) Keep the players healthy -- particularly the starters and key reserves.

(2) Get plenty of reps for backup personnel.

(3) Have Ian Book attempt to complete some long passes.

(4) Attempt to pad the statistics sheet and the point-spread while accomplishing the above.

Should Notre Dame win by less than 30 points, expect to hear negative rumblings about the team.

I will have more substantive commentary to deliver in my post-game review, once I have seen what kind of performance Notre Dame delivers this weekend -- i.e., will they dominate an obviously-inferior opponent --or-- will they play down to the level of the competition as they have so often in the past?
                                  

9/30/2019

Vince Milum's Post-Game Analysis for Notre Dame

Final Score: Notre Dame 35 Virginia 20

In my pregame write-up of this matchup I stated that: "In order for the Irish to win, they [would] need [primarily] to contain the Virginia quarterback." Although "my game plan" was far from successful in the first half (with the Virginia quarterback completing passes at will), Notre Dame must have read my manuscript at halftime for, by game's completion, the Irish defense had generated eight sacks, five hurries and five turnovers. In so doing against the #18-ranked team, the Irish earned national praise from a broad array of previous national critics.

DEFENSIVE GRADE = an overall A (with a B- in the first half and an A++ (if there is such a thing) in the second half

As for the Offense, Notre Dame was inconsistent but did manage to put together a good ground game in the fourth quarter to seal the victory (with Tony Jones finishing with well over 100 yards rushing).

OFFENSIVE GRADE = C+

Special teams were a sore point Saturday with ill-advised kick returns that should have been fair-caught, a failure to anticipate Virginia's successful onside kick to start the second half, less-than-stellar punting, a muffed punt return by Chris Finke that turned the ball over to the Cavaliers, and a missed field goal.

SPECIAL TEAMS GRADE = D-

COACHING: The Irish coaching staff failed to have their team prepared for nearly everything that transpired in the first half plus the second-half kickoff. After that, the superior coaching of Notre Dame matched its superior talent, so my grade is as follows for the Irish Coaches... Overall = B-, with a D+ for the first half and an A- for the second half.

With their victory, Notre Dame kept its #10 ranking in the Coaches' Poll and moved up to #9 in the AP Poll -- meaning that, should the Irish win out (after playing arguably their two toughest opponents the past two weeks), they still have a plausible chance at making the four-team national playoff. Progress towards that goal will require total domination of this week's opponent, Bowling Green, against whom the Irish have opened as a 45-point favorites. Stay tuned for what better be a blowout!
                                  

9/27/2019

Vince Milum's Quick-Look at the upcoming Football Game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Virginia Cavaliers.

Notre Dame has been a 12.5-point favorite against Virginia for most of the week after a performance last week against Georgia that was well-received by a broad spectrum of observers.

This Saturday's contest will feature an outstanding "dual-threat" quarterback for Virginia while the Cavaliers' defense features the nation's #1 team in sacks.

As for the Irish, their underperforming offense gets back three playmakers who missed the Georgia game (Michael Young, Braden Lenzy, and Jahmir Smith).

In order for the Irish to win, they will need to (1) contain the Virginia quarterback, (2) slow the Virginia pass rush, and (3) distribute the ball to many players on the offense. (Having Cole Kmet back last week was great but he cannot be your only passing target.)

PREDICTION: Unfortunately, I lack enough info (i.e., data points) to accurately gauge this contest so I will punt and say the Irish win by 3 (because of home field advantage): Notre Dame 27, Virginia 24.
                                  

9/26/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 5
By Ron Worley

Last week: 4-2
Season: 28-7

Light schedule again this week with all in Conference games and no MU game.

Kansas (0-1, 2-2) @ TCU (0-0, 2-1). Can KU get another road win this season? If so it is not this week. TCU wins at home by 14 after a bad loss to a better than expected SMU team last week.

#24 Kansas State (0-0, 3-0) @ Oklahoma State (0-1, 3-1). Cats are ranked ahead of the Cowboys who are home favorites by 4.5 points. Why? Because OSU played Texas close last week and they are at home. Cats have momentum and two starters back and find their way to a close game road win to go to 4-0 and hold or improve their AP ranking.

Texas Tech (0-0, 2-1) @ #6 Oklahoma (0-0, 3-0). This will not be a 50 point OU win but OU will likely score 50 points in this home win.

Iowa State (0-0, 2-1) @ Baylor (0-0, 3-0). Interesting game. Looks close. Which team stays in the running for third place in the Conference? Baylor has not yet played a good team and ISU has and stayed close to #14 Iowa. I see it as an ISU road win by 10 or less.
                                  

9/24/2019

Parker Milum’s Jayhawk Post-Game Analysis

Final Score: Kansas 24 West Virginia 29

Never have I seen Kansas football fans so pleased by a performance that ended with a LOSS. David Booth Memorial Stadium was an exciting and engaged environment, receiving praise from Jayhawk players and Les Miles alike in the post-game interviews. Despite the 'Hawks falling short of a "W", the team received a standing ovation after the game for putting on an exciting performance and showing progress that fans feel is part of a greater turnaround we've waited so long for.

TCU fell short of many's expectations that same day. As Kansas heads to Fort Worth, Texas this Saturday, we may have a more exciting matchup than previously anticipated (and a not totally unrealistic possibility for KU to receive a 3rd "W" before taking on Oklahoma in Lawrence).
                                  

9/23/2019

Vince Milum's Post-Game Analysis for Notre Dame

Final Score: Georgia 23 Notre Dame 17

I am delighted to report that Notre Dame did not embarrass themselves in Georgia as I feared.

I am saddened to report that Notre Dame fell short in their comeback effort against the Bulldogs.

With less than a minute to go in the game, the Irish were well within Georgia territory with a chance to take the lead. The drive ultimately failed and turned a stunning upset victory for the Irish into a Pyrrhic one.

MAIN REASONS FOR LOSS: Two overriding factors decided the outcome of this game: the most intensive "away" experience a team can feel and the outstanding performance delivered by the Bulldogs field-goal kicker, Rodrigo Blankenship. Without either, the Irish might very well have pulled this one off. Without BOTH, my money is on the luck of the Irish.

OTHER REASONS FOR LOSS: While Ian Book was almost the hero of the game, in the end his overall play did not reflect that of a future NFL talent. In addition, an Irish rushing attack that cannot generate (even) fifty yards, is not national-championship-worthy. These two offensive shortcomings dictated the Irish defense would "wear down" in the third quarter which is exactly what happened and the three added together combined to spell doom for the Irish as they significantly reduced ND's path to victory.

OVERALL GRADE: Saturday was both a team effort and a team loss for the Irish. Most of you reading this saw the game for yourselves so I won't indulge in a deep analysis here. I will simply grant the coaching staff and players a (combined) respectable "B."

OUTLOOK: While the Irish got outstanding play from Cole Kmet in his first action since his preseason (collar bone) injury, Notre dame was still without several key players against Georgia -- three of whom are on track to play this weekend against Virginia. Provided there is no marked letdown from the Georgia loss, the Irish team that plays Virginia should be a better one.
                                  

9/19/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 4
By Ron Worley

Last Week: 7-3
Season:   24-5

About last week: I was very pleased to be wrong about KSU and see a big win for the Wildcats after they tried to give it back a couple of times. Kickoff return changed the outcome. Also good to see KU make a one hundred eighty degree change from their game #2 loss. Both wins are good for the Big-12 Conference resume.

Big-12, short schedule this week as 3 teams have a bye week.

West Virginia (2-1) @ Kansas (2-1). Both teams coming off good wins. I think KU found something last week that will carry them to an upset home win this week. KU gets a close game win to start their Conf. season.

SMU (3-0) @ #25 TCU (2-0). On their records this would appear to be close and it will not be. Right now I see the Frogs as the third best team in the Big 12 and they get another easy win at home.

Baylor (2-0) @ Rice (0-3). This appears to not be even close and it will not be. Baylor goes to 3-0 and Rice stays at 0. Bears by 31 at least.

Oklahoma State (3-0) @ #12 Texas (2-1). Important game for both but Texas appears to me to be clearly the better team and gets a home field win by 14 points which keeps their Conf. title hopes alive for a little longer.

Univ. Louisiana Monroe (1-1) @ Iowa State (1-1). By the records this would look close. It will not be. ISU wins at home by 24 or more.

SEC.

S. Carolina (1-2, 0-1) @ Missouri (2-1). Don't overlook the fact that S/C scored 23 on Alabama but maybe that was after the students went out for beer. That and their past close games say this one will also be close. MU gets an important home win by 10.
                                  

9/18/2019

Vince Milum's Quick-Look at the upcoming Football Game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Georgia Bulldogs.

THE GAME is now upon us.

The #3-ranked Georgia Bulldogs host the #7-ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in Athens before a CBS prime-time audience on Saturday night. Despite not being an ABC-ESPN program, it has been chosen as the site for ESPN's Game Day.

So, what do we have to look forward to?

The Bulldogs are bigger, stronger, faster, more talented and more experienced. They will also be playing before (arguably) the best home-team supporting fans in all of football -- pro or college (as evidenced by the $800 ticket prices if nothing else).

Notre Dame enters the game a 14-point underdog and rightfully so. About the only area where Notre Dame has an edge is in SAT scores, which will provide little comfort unless Brian Kelly & Company can come up with a (superbly) intelligent game plan which negates some of the Georgia advantages listed above.

PREDICTION: Because of the hostile crowd (which brings back memories of Notre Dame being throttled by Miami a couple of years ago) and the strong talent edge favoring Georgia, I am predicting a long night for Notre Dame. Look for Georgia to have a dominating rushing attack against the Irish while the Notre Dame offense will likely fail to achieve 100 yards rushing. The net result should be in the vicinity of a 37-16 victory for Georgia (thus eclipsing the betting spread by a touchdown). The worse news for Notre Dame will be its need to shake off its demoralizing defeat and having to immediately prepare for an undefeated and ranked Virginia team which visits South Bend the following Saturday. Lose that one and ND will open its season 2-2 with a chance for a major bowl bid severely diminished.
                                  

9/15/2019

Vince Milum's Post-Game Analysis for Notre Dame

Final Score: Notre Dame 66 New Mexico 14

Again, Notre Dame started slowly and ineffectively against a much weaker opponent -- this time against the overmatched Lobos of New Mexico. ND's only score in the first quarter was a "pick-six" by Freshman Phenom Safety Kyle Hamilton.

The second quarter, however, saw the Irish put up 31 points with the Irish bench nearly emptying in the second half as Notre Dame went on to win by a total of 66 to 14. Perhaps, most importantly, the second and third team quarterbacks saw action for the Irish with both engineering touchdown-scoring drives.

With its three interceptions, Notre Dame's defense contributed its fair share to the Irish victory.

With a field goal, a good opening kickoff return, plus a recovered fumble of a Lobos field goal attempt, Irish special teams also strongly contributed.

Although two were more like handoffs than passes, Ian Book finished with five touchdown passes and added a TD run of his own.

And, if two words could sum up how Notre Dame dominated the scoreboard, those words would be BIG PLAYS. And, if I were allotted five words to share the Gospel of Good News for Notre Dame regarding their most recent performance, those words would be BIG PLAYS BY MULTIPLE PLAYERS.

All-in-all, I am giving Saturday's performance by the Irish players and coaching staff an A+. (Yes, there were some mulligans, but this was only Notre Dame's second game of the season, so let's all cut them some slack.)

Going into the Georgia game, I am more optimistic after this second game for the Irish than I was the first. Still, in a preview of what I will be writing later this week, keep in mind these two tweets when contemplating how much more remains to be done for Notre Dame to be able to compete with the elite of the SEC (like #3 rated Georgia):

                                  

9/14/2019

Parker Milum’s Jayhawk Post-Game Analysis

Final Score: Kansas 48 Boston College 24 (Note: NOT a typo)

Is this the Carter Stanley that Les Miles has been seeing in practice this whole time? If so, I can finally feel confidence not only in Stanley, but in Miles's decision making. If you take out the interception thrown early on the Jayhawk's first drive, Stanley played at an elite level the entire game. Khalil Herbert had a breakout game, showing that he's just as dangerous a weapon as Pooka Williams.

Les Miles needed a big win, not only to show the world that he is back, but to remind himself the very reason he came back. Looking ahead to West Virginia, it will be a time for Kansas to sustain their dominance or fall apart. But the Jayhawks proved that they can reach greatness when they put their hearts in it.
                                  

9/13/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 3
By Ron Worley

Last Week:   7-1
Season:     17-2

Week #3 Friday 9/13

Kansas (1-1) @ Boston College (2-0). KU should have won last week but did not. This week they should lose and will. The question is will KU put any points on the board and the answer is maybe not but BC will score enough to win by 21 or more.

Saturday 9/14

Kansas State (2-0) @ Mississippi State (2-0). Miss State starting QB, as far as I can find today, is day to day for this game. I expect him to play but the backup did well the second half last week. Zuber will be looking to have a big game for them. Mississippi State also brings back 7 players suspended from last week's game. A loud home game crowd and a hot day. Important game for both programs. Winner has momentum and the other does not. Would like to be wrong on this one but I expect a close game low score win for the home team.

North Carolina State (2-0) @ West Virginia (1-1). State is a one touchdown betting favorite however my bet would be that W/V finds a way to get a close win at home. Neither team is very good this season so I will go with the home team in a minor upset.

Oklahoma State (2-0) @ Tulsa (1-1). Instate battle that OState wins by 21 or more.

#19 Iowa (2-0) @ Iowa State (2-0). Interesting game. Can Iowa win # 5 in a row in this matchup? I don't think so and ISU gets a close game win and takes Iowa's place in next weeks AP rankings.

TCU (1-0) @ Purdue (1-1). I like the Frogs for a road game win over a not so good Big 10 team.

#5 Oklahoma (2-0) @ UCLA (0-2). I doubt OU will win by their usual 45 points this week but I expect them to win by 31 points. This looks like a very long season with not many if any wins for UCLA.

#12 Texas (2-0) vs Rice (0-2). Texas may shut it down early because of an instate game. In any case they cruise to a big win.

Texas Tech (2-0) @ Arizona (1-1). Expect a high score game. T/T is a small betting favorite. I see Arizona pulling out a home game win against a not very good T/T team.

South East Missouri State (1-1) @ Missouri (1-1). MU just needs to not get anyone hurt in what should be and will be an easy win at home.
                                  

9/09/2019

Vince Milum's Quick-Look at the upcoming Football Game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the New Mexico Lobos.

In prepping my analysis for Saturday's game, I told my family that Notre Dame needed to win this week by 35 points (e.g., a score of 45-10). Lo and behold, that is precisely the margin that Vegas has set for the game. Should Notre Dame win by significantly less, I dread thinking what Georgia will do to the Irish in Athens next week. On the other hand, should ND cover, our nation will turn its lonely eyes away from Joe DiMaggio and towards next week's primetime matchup between the Irish and Bulldogs.

So, this week's warmup in South Bend is a harbinger game of who the Irish really are and what we can expect of the 2019 season.

On the injury front, tight end Cole Kmet (who missed week one due to a collar bone injury) MAY play against New Mexico but SHOULD play against Georgia next week. Coach Brian Kelly said that receiver Michael Young (also out with a collar bone injury) is about a week behind Kmet in his recovery. (I would consider him doubtful for both this week and next.) Running back Jafar Armstrong had surgery to repair a torn rectus abdominis and thus could be out two months. Finally, running back Jahmir Smith (who is needed to help fill Armstrong's void) suffered a sprained toe in practice this past weekend and is questionable not only for Saturday but (perhaps) for a notable period going forward.

Because of the shake-up of the running back corps, defensive back Avery Davis has returned to the offense and will likely see action in both the running and passing games.

On other fronts...

In his press conference on Monday, Coach Kelly expressed confidence in his young linebackers and said he believes he has successfully refocused the veterans (on both sides of the ball) on the need for "six seconds" of technique for every play rather than trying to win the game on every play.

On a presonal level, Kelly also extended his well-wishes to Lobos Coach (and former ND head coach) Bob Davie who will miss Saturday's game because of a "heart incident" he experienced after New Mexico's opening game. (The Lobos being down a head coach should provide a modicum of additional success-opportunities for the Irish on Saturday.)

PREDICTION: Because I am originally from Missouri ("The Show-Me State"), I ain't buying what the Irish are selling until I see "proof of concept." Because of this, I am predicting that the Irish win but only by a score of 31-16. (I hope this weekend proves me wrong and Vegas right -- Go Irish!)
                                  

9/09/2019

Parker Milum’s Jayhawk Post-Game Analysis

Final Score: Kansas 7 Coastal Carolina 12

Abysmal loss, the first loss any Power-5 conference team has suffered to Coastal Carolina. A pair of interceptions thrown by Carter Stanley seems the most to blame, yet Les Miles still insists confidence in Stanley as the starter. Horrible O-line blocking exacerbated the Jayhawk QB woes. Playcalling that avoided establishing a deep threat like the plague only made matters worse by allowing Coastal's defense to keep the box stuffed.

The offensive line coach has the most work to do going forward, but Les Miles has got to be willing to alternate quarterbacks until the best player is made apparent. If nothing else, it could demonstrate to fans that, yes, there ARE worse quarterbacks than Carter Stanley. But until we see it for ourselves we have to believe the best QB is further down the depth chart.
                                  

9/05/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 2
By Ron Worley

Last Week:  10-1
Season:     10-1

As predicted the Big 12 ran the table with all 10 winning this first week, good for the Conference. This week that won't happen as I expect at least one loss. Really mostly non interesting games unless you are fans of Missouri or Texas. They both have serious games and both could win or lose.

Week #2, all games on Saturday, 09/07

West Virginia (1-0) @ Missouri (0-1). I see this as likely a close game. MU suffered a bad loss at WY in a game everyone expected to be an easy win. Can they bounce back at home against a Big 12 team ? W/V is not the same team as last year and they have a different coach. I expect MU to win by 10-14 points. Another loss would be a disaster for MU and not bold well for the rest of the season which is already behind expectations with the WY loss.

Bowling Green (1-0) @ KSU (1-0). Cats looked very good opening week and I expect a repeat this week and a 24 point win. These first two games were/are must wins.

Coastal Carolina (0-1) @ KU (1-0). Good this game is not in Carolina this weekend, something teams scheduling September games with coastal colleges should strongly consider. KU was just good enough to win last weekend. I expect them to be better this week and again win but not by a lot, 14 or less.

Texas San Antonio (1-0) @ Baylor (1-0). Baylor wins this one by 24 points or more. Three years ago I thought TSA would be a better program by now.

South Dakota (0-1) @ #4 Oklahoma (1-0). The score could total over 80 with about 70 of those scored by OU.

McNeese State (1-0) @ Oklahoma State (1-0). I expect OSU to win this by 30 plus points.

#6 LSU (1-0) @ #9 Texas (1-0). Very BIG game for both teams. Looks close but LSU wins and holds or improves their ranking and gives the Big 12 their first loss of the season.

UTEP (1-0) @ Texas Tech (1-0). T/T wins this home game but this may well be their last win of this season.
                                  

9/03/2019

Parker Milum’s Jayhawk Post-Game Analysis


[Picture Credit: Parker Milum]

Final Score: Kansas 24  Indiana State 17

Does Les Miles know what he’s doing when it comes to choosing the starting quarterback? Why didn’t Thomas MacVitte play a single down? The #1 Pro-Style QB transfer from community college could have been the much-needed spark for the Jayhawk offense’s deep pass game. Miles is the first KU head coach to win the season opener of his first season on the job since the pre-Mangino era, so perhaps I should give him the benefit of the doubt.

It’s hard to take much away from game one for the Jayhawks other than a sigh of relief due to their come-from-behind victory in the 4th quarter. I witnessed true freshman nose tackle Dajon Terry absorb multiple blockers and make a quality solo tackle in his limited play, reinforcing my high expectations of the 6’4” 345 lb newbie. I see that the KU defense (namely HASAN Defense) can still force turnovers in the Jayhawks’ favor.

Our offensive playcalling left much to be desired until we had to come from behind, though our running game was fairly swift in-spite of the best RB in the Big-12 being out until game 2. Upon the return of Pooka Williams this Saturday, we shall see what our offense can spruce up against another meager opponent (meager by the means of any FBS team besides KU, that is).

Until I accumulate more data from the next two games, I remain in constant flux between cautious optimism and dire anxiety for the future of the Les Miles era for KU football. But for now…

THE JAYHAWKS ARE UNDEFEATED IN THE LES MILES ERA, BABY! And the endangered kittens across the border can eat that for all it’s worth (1-0 vs 0-1)
                                  

9/03/2019

Vince Milum's Post-Game Analysis for Notre Dame

Final Score: Notre Dame 35  Louisville 17


INTRODUCTORY NOTE: Most of you reading this will have seen the game, so I will forego a detailed analysis of the game but, instead, focus on just a few key points.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish came perilously close to losing to a significantly below-average team in their season opener at Louisville.

The primary reason this nearly occurred is that Notre Dame's Defense repeatedly allowed Louisville to convert on third-and-longs* while the Irish offense repeatedly FAILED to convert on third-and-shorts (and one fourth and short). *Two notable times, ND had the Cardinals facing third downs with over ten yards to go and then (in unforced fashion) committed an off-sides in each situation thus shortening the yardage Louisville needed to convert.

Offense: While the offensive line played well for the Irish, the aforementioned inability to convert in short yardage situations nearly cost the team their victory. Three major factors played outsized roles in this ineptitude: (a) as I previously wrote, Notre Dame was without three of its top four receivers, (b) Jafar Armstrong -- who, in addition to being the primary running back for the Irish is also one of its top receiving threats -- was injured on the first series and did not return (his prognosis is undetermined as I write this), and (c) perhaps most importantly from my observational viewpoint, quarterback Ian Book FAILED to check into short passes to the wideouts when Louisville crowded the line of scrimmage.

On the plus side, with Armstrong out of the lineup, Tony Jones did a very good job of carrying the football while rushing for over a hundred yards.

Overall, I would give the Irish offense a C if this was early in Brian Kelly's tenure but this is supposed to be a team that competes for national championships and looked anything but. Accordingly, I give the offense a D+. (Despite Book's check-down failures, he did throw for two touchdowns and made some impressive runs -- including one for a touchdown.)

DEFENSE: The rookie linebackers looked like rookie linebackers and were routinely out-of-position to make plays thus allowing Louisville to accrue many long runs from scrimmage. The rookies -- being rookies -- have an excuse and will hopefully get better with time. The "veterans" (with the notable exception of Alohi Gilman who had an exceptional game including a fumble strip and recovery) looked equally inept -- particularly the much-vaunted Irish Defensive Line. With the exception of their off-sides penalties, the line failed to get much penetration in the game and continuously FAILED to disrupt the line of scrimmage or get pressure on the Cardinal quarterback (whose last name is coincidentally "Pass").

Like the offense, overall, I give the Irish Defense a D+.

SPECIAL TEAMS: While nothing "outstanding" happened on Special Teams, there were no major errors. All punts were clean and all extra points were made. Their score is a B.

DID ANYBODY IMPRESS ME? Yes. The "rookies" on offense played well and Irish safety Kyle Hamilton looks like a star in the near future. The game ball rightly went to rookie tight end Tommy Tremble -- also a potential star of the future.

OVERALL GRADE: If this was the (inept) Charlie Weis era, I might be coaxed into a C+ but as this is year ten of the Brian Kelly era, I give Notre Dame an overall D+.

Next up (in just under two weeks) is New Mexico which is coached by former ND head coach Bob Davie who is recovering from a heart incident following their Saturday night victory. It is unknown at this time what role he will be able to play in preparing his team for the Irish.

-END

Postscript:


                                  

8/30/2019

Vince Milum's Quick-Update

Since my Notre Dame - Louisville preview was originally published, the betting line is now down to 18 points in favor of the Irish. Either there is a late ND concern of which I am unaware --or-- "Vegas" has finally processed the Irish receiver information that I previously reported.

We will continue to monitor this development but it is unlikely that we will have updated information before kickoff on Monday.
                                  

8/27/2019

Vince Milum's Quick-Look at the upcoming Football Game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Louisville Cardinals.

Heading into its opening game as a Monday Night Football feature in Louisville against the Cardinals and their first-year coach Scott Satterfield (who previously was the head coach at Appalachian State University from 2013 through 2018), Notre Dame is favored by three touchdowns. Given the talent and experience of Notre Dame, anything less than a 17+ point margin of victory (i.e., "three or more scores") would be cause for concern.

Mitigating the potential for Irish domination is the loss of three important receivers: starting tight-end Cole Kmet (out with a collar-bone injury), starting wide-receiver Michael Young (also out with a broken collar-bone), and an important back-up receiver Kevin Austin who Irish Illustrated reported on Monday has been banned from the football team for the entire 2019 season. (There was no word yet what the infraction was but Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune indicated that it likely involved a "third offense" of some sort to have merited this level of punishment and that this level would have come from the university's administration side of the house and not the athletic department's.)

Assuming there is no further loss of personnel for the Irish, Ian Book (who inherited a super-hero's body since last season) should have had plenty of time to work with his backup receivers in preparation for Monday's game.

On defense, all of Irish nation and their sports-reporting teams have been fretting about the linebacker corps. I personally am not as concerned as others (but am space-limited to explain why). If I am proven right, Notre Dame should be stout on defense given its talent on the line and in the secondary. However, depth is an issue for the D.

Special teams will truly be a revelation on Monday as the Irish break in both a new punter and a new placekicker. I will skip my preseason evals of the two rookies as there is no substitute for game experience which both (substantially) lack.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame 31, Louisville 21.
                                  

8/27/2019

Worley's Annual Big 12 Preseason Final Results Predictions
By Ron Worley



It is Oklahoma's Conference Title to lose! Texas will lose two conference games, both to OU. Iowa State and TCU are two or three steps behind and close to each other in talent.

Four teams have new coaches, however not all are equal. Chris Klieman comes to KSU with a winning record, with a but behind it. Most agree he had the best talent in the league at North Dakota State and to his credit he won games with them. The question is can he win when he doesn't have the leagues best talent? My guess is not so much this first year but maybe more next year.

At KU Les Miles also comes in with a great record but can he win with much less talent? My guess again is not much this first year but he can recruit so watch out for year number two.

Missouri is a very good team that benefits from playing its schedule in the weak side of the SEC and with a chip on their shoulder due to no bowl game. Their only loss may be to Georgia. Florida did not look like a #8 team on Saturday night.
                                  

8/27/2019

Ron Worley's Wondrous Predictions - Week 1
By Ron Worley

Week # 1 (Ranking #'s are AP preseason)

8/30 OSU @ Oregon State
OSU wins a close road game by 10 points. This win is the first of a Big 12 10 game sweep on opening weekend, the only time that happens this season!

8/31 Louisiana Tech @ # 10 Texas
Longhorns win by a lot, more than 27 points.

8/31 Northern Iowa @ # 21 Iowa State
Not as close a game as usual, ISU wins by 24 points or more and off to a good start.

8/31 Nichols @ Kansas State
Closer than it looks like it would be as KSU wins but holds back plays for their week 3 game.

8/31 Indiana State @ Kansas
KU wins opener by only 13 points as they learn a new system and also hold back some plays.

8/31 James Madison @ West Virginia
W/V by 23 points in a miss match win, one of very few for W/V this season.

8/31 Stephan F. Austin @ Baylor
Bears eat up this win early, 50 to about 10.

8/31 Montana State @ Texas Tech
T/T glad to get this win, any win, by any score this season.

8/31 Arkansas Pine Bluff @ TCU
QB Delton leads a different purple team to a big miss match win at his new home.

9/01 Houston @ # 4 Oklahoma
Not a walkover team but still a big win for the Sooners.

SEC

8/31 Missouri @ Wyoming
Unranked Tigers will be ranked next week after this high country road win by 17 or more.
                                  

8/26/2019

Welcome to the Fall 2019 Edition of Milum Sports where we emphasize college football.

(Kansas State Graduate) Ron Worley returns as your Big 12 + Missouri Tigers Prognosticator.

Parker Milum returns as associate editor and College Football Playoff Prognosticator. As a recent graduate of the University of Kansas, he will also take on the role of KU beat reporter and will be in attendance at KU's opening game against Indiana State.

Vince Milum continues in his role as executive editor and Notre Dame Fighting Irish football analyst.

Stay tuned here for all the coverage...
                                  

NOTE: For earlier 2019 sports coverage, CLICK HERE.

NOTE: For 2018 Football season coverage,
CLICK HERE.
     

 

     

Notre Dame 
   
UND Football Home
NBC ND Football Home 
Irish Illustrated
Blue & Gold 
Twitter - Eric Hansen
Twitter - Angelo Di Carlo
   

College Football
 

ESPN NCAA Football 
Yahoo NCAA Football 
Sports Illustrated NCAA Football 
Rivals.com NCAA Football Recruiting 
 

More Sports
 

ESPN 
Yahoo Sports 
NFL 
Kansas City Chiefs 
Kansas City Royals 
Kansas City T-Bones 
Kansas City Mavericks 
Sporting Kansas City

 

U.S. Military Academy Sports
 
Air Force Academy
Army (West Point)
Navy (Naval Academy)
Coast Guard Academy
Merchant Marine Academy

 

Mo-Kan College Sports
 
 

Kansas Schools
 

Kansas
Kansas State
Wichita State
 
Others...
 
Baker University
Benedictine College
Bethany College
Bethel College
Emporia State
Fort Hays State
Friends University
Kansas Wesleyan
McPherson College
MidAmerica Nazarene
Newman University
Ottawa University
Pittsburg State
Southwestern College
Sterling College
Tabor College
University of Saint Mary
Washburn
 
Missouri Schools
 

Missouri
Missouri State
St. Louis University
UMKC
 
Others...
 
Avila University
Central Methodist
Central Missouri
Culver-Stockton
Drury University
Evangel University
Graceland University
Lincoln University
Lindenwood University
Maryville University
Missouri S&T (Rolla)
Missouri Southern
Missouri Valley
Missouri Western

Northwest Missouri State
Park University
Rockhurst University
Southwest Baptist
Truman State
U of M - St. Louis
William Jewell

Mo-Kan Junior College Sports
 
(In development...)

Kansas Schools

Allen CC
Barton CC
Butler CC
Cloud County CC
Coffeyville CC
Colby CC
Cowley CC
Dodge City CC
Fort Scott CC
Garden City CC
Highland CC
Hutchinson CC
Independence CC
Johnson County CC
Kansas City, Kansas CC
Labette CC
Neosho County CC
Pratt CC
Seward County CC

Missouri Schools
 
MCC - Blue River
MCC - Longview

MCC - Maple Woods
MCC - Penn Valley


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