Just Another Day: Cotton Bowl Instant Reaction

You devote a lot of time to following your team. You watch every game, obsess over every nugget of information, and sometimes, you get a run of awesome play and are lucky enough to root for a team that gets to the College Football Playoff.

Then the team’s most indispensable player, its consensus All-American at its thinnest position group, takes a head injury on the first series of the game, and the opponent wastes no time taking advantage of it, by attacking the replacement over and over again, nuking any chance your team may have had, and you wonder why you bothered.

Such was today’s Cotton Bowl game between Notre Dame and Clemson, a game ND had to both play its best game and probably catch a couple breaks to win, and boy oh boy did those things absolutely not happen.

(I couldn’t find another place to put this, but consider this your obligatory mention of the tough breaks on replay. Every replay overturn was indisputably correct except for the fumble out of bounds thing, and damn would that have been nice to have, but it sucks to think you have a big play you desperately need, only to have it taken away.)

Julian Love’s injury was a disaster

It wasn’t hard to find the position ND could least afford a key injury. Pretty much everywhere else, even quarterback, the depth of talent and/or experience was there to at least somewhat cover the loss. If ND was Alabama or Clemson, they’d just plug in another five-star stud. But the Irish don’t recruit at that level. And once Clemson realized Donte Vaughn was in the game, they basically threw out the rest of the playbook and attacked the right side of the field over and over again.

Each of the Tigers’ first two long TDs were to Love’s side of the field, and it wouldn’t be hard to imagine a world in which the Irish’s runaway leader in career pass breakups made the difference in at least slowing those plays down, if not snuffing them out entirely. (Hard to remotely blame Vaughn for the third TD, the killshot right before the half, on which Vaughn did everything right, tipped the ball away, and was charged with the score anyway on a ludicrous tip-drill catch.)

Love returned in the second half, but it was obviously too late by then.

Clemson’s D snuffed out the offense

Pretty much every case for the Irish staying in this game revolved around ND 1) managing to slow down the Tigers and 2) getting the points they needed against a great Clemson defense. #1 obviously got crushed to hell by Love’s injury (and didn’t really improve after he returned) but that doesn’t explain #2.

ND’s first play was really good – a slashing 11-yard run by Dexter Williams. After that, a false start, a fumble (ND recovered) and a dropped 3rd-down conversion by Chase Claypool. The offense never seemed to get in a rhythm. Some of that had to do with Clemson’s defensive line, surely, but it’s not like Ian Book was running for his life the whole game. He had a semi-reasonable amount of time, but either receivers didn’t get open or he made poor/rushed decisions. We all thought he wouldn’t look like a deer in headlights like Everett Golson six years ago. But he basically did.

Another mark against Kelly?

Look, I’m not going to make an argument here one way or the other. But you know this question is going to come up again. Brian Kelly in the big one. He came up huge in 2012 in Norman. And he’s won several games, and been damn close in a couple others, that proved to be better performances in retrospect than they appeared at the time. And heck, just last year, his team beat an LSU squad that, in 2018, is considered an elite team by some (not all).

But this is a ‘what have you done for me lately’ world, and Kelly has been blasted every time he’s faced a highly-ranked team with something on the line since that October night in Norman. I thought this time might be different, with new coordinators Chip Long and Clark Lea and without a distracted Heisman finalist and a head coach that was on the verge of interviewing for an NFL job. It wasn’t.

Kelly isn’t going anywhere, but whether he’s ever going to ‘win the big one’, or even compete in it, is an open question. It may not be fair, but they don’t pay you millions to be fair.

This is really bad for the future – fair or not

Forget today. ND winning today was always probably a 1-in-3 shot at best, and all the advanced stats said so. That’s not the end of the world; Alabama and Clemson have been the 2 best teams in the country all season, and no one, least of all this fan base, has ever argued that.

What’s really bad is that getting housed like this has not only absolutely destroyed the chance of any 11-1 ND team ever getting in the playoff under this format (and, frankly, made it a long shot even under an 8-team format), but it isn’t hard to envision this game being used against the Irish to justify keeping them out even if they go 12-0 at some future point. This team already saw their ranking this year affected by a game that happened six years ago (there’s no way one-loss LSU is at #3, ahead of ND, in the first playoff rankings, if the Irish don’t get crushed by Bama in 2012).

Now the committee, which is comprised exclusively of conference cronies and only begrudgingly allows ND to help them make money in the first place, will have ample, and recent, ammunition if they want to keep the Irish out in favor of 11-1 SEC Team X or even 11-2 B1G Champion X in the future. Who’s going to argue with them? If College Football Twitter during the second half of this one is any indication, certainly not most fans. At this point, the media might not be hard to persuade – some of them (hey, Kirk) already wanted to ignore what actually happened and nebulously define ‘best’ to serve whatever their bias of the moment was.

I’ll still believe it when I see it, but even if ND somehow manages to run the table of road games at Georgia, Michigan and Stanford next season – and even before tonight, chances of that seemed slim – you know the discussion in the committee room, whether it’s supposed to or not, will include mention of this performance. It’s not fair – College Football Playoff semifinals have been blowouts 7 of 9 times so far, pending tonight’s game, and until today none of that had to do with the Irish – but discussions of ND rarely are.

I want to tell you 2018 was a success despite all of this – winning 12 games always is. Obviously, such talk rings hollow right now. Big-picture questions are soon to follow. I don’t want to think about those right now.

By |2018-12-29T19:46:46+00:00December 29th, 2018|18S Reads|56 Comments

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IllinIrish20
IllinIrish20

Yep, this was bad.
I told my parents the other day that I will always expect ND to get blown out in games that matter until it doesn’t happen. I’ve been watching ND football for over 20 years and that has always held true. There’s absolutely no way any non-ND person has a different opinion, which means recruits feel the same way.

Brian Kelly is a good football coach. He’s unquestionably the best coach since Holtz, and probably the best non-championship winning coach of all time at ND. But he’s not elite and he’s not going to win us a playoff game.

This was a great season and I really enjoyed watching this particular ND squad. I hope we’re able to have a few more solid years before BK retires and we can get the guy who can get us over the hurdle. But we really need to land top-5 recruiting classes to even have a chance with the big dogs.

KG
KG

“He’s unquestionably the best coach since Holtz”

To be fair, this isn’t necessarily a great compliment. But I agree, he’s a good coach.

This (and 2012) will be used against any 12-0 ND team (not to mention 11-1) that doesn’t blow out bad teams by 40+ each game and have excellent wins against excellent teams. Beat UGA next year, go 12-0, and blow the doors off people, then we’ll be in.

(We won’t do any of that)

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Kelly’s always a lightning rod, but he’s never going to get a top-5 class unless he relocates campus to the southeast. I don’t think today was on him, it just didn’t go their way. Tough to swallow tonight, but so it goes sometimes. Or I guess all the time.

IllinIrish20
IllinIrish20

Edit:
This was not as bad as I thought. ND better than Bama confirmed.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

This instant analysis was excellent and spot-on. Both of these things can be and I think are true:

(1) this season was a lot of fun and hey we beat Michigan, Stanford, and USC;
(2) this game was a disaster that set us back far more than if we had blown the game against Pitt and played in a NY6 instead.

Sad!

Orlok
Orlok

Ouch. Truth hurts.

dannan14
dannan14

Point #2 could be negated if Alabama ends up making our game look close…and right now that is what it looks like they’re doing.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Yes, I am rooting for Bama to win by 60 right now.

Also, almost all of Bama’s offense is back next year. Yikes.

KG
KG

Doesn’t look like they need your good wishes.
This is crazy.

KG
KG

Oklahoma showing spine, at least.

Sigh.

KG
KG

We’re getting close to having a ballgame…

KG
KG

Nevermind

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

“(2) this game was a disaster that set us back far more than if we had blown the game against Pitt and played in a NY6 instead.”

Couldn’t disagree with this more. Making the playoff > not making the playoffs for any number of reasons for the program from top to bottom. Confidence, attitude, swagger, recruiting, you name it. Much better to be that team that makes the playoff seeking the next level than the one that blew it early in the season and never got the chance to build on it.

Notre Dame needs to measure themselves against the elites in the college football world, even if they don’t always measure up. And ideally take lessons and learn how to win and be better next year. Not choke away a winnable regular season game and not even get the opportunity to get on the big stage.

I don’t see today as a setback either. A painful loss, sure. But why can’t Long, Lea and Book – chiefly among others- learn from this and be better next season?

We’d all rather be victorious than humbled, but in getting tested there’s at least the path forward to try and do better that would remain unknown if you never even made it this far.

More Noise
More Noise

Just back from Mass in my town where nobody but me even knows about ND football (or any American football) and so I just swallowed my agony and got on my favorite web site. Hooks, bless your heart, this is a very good formulation. I hope our guys can do this and learn.

Russell Knox
Russell Knox

I agree Hooks. This was a great season. This game sucked but I can’t see going undefeated and getting to the playoffs as bad for ND. I would have lived to see them do better, but this is how ND moves up and gets better.

As far as BK goes, I just don’t know. Let’s see if he still has the fire to improve. If he does, he might get us there again.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

UGA losing yesterday basically renders the concerns underlying #2 mostly moot. That was a sneaky big game for ND – I didn’t even really think it was a possibility!

KG
KG

However, we know that a certain section of the CFB media/rabble will conveniently ignore that, claiming “well, UGA just didn’t care because it wasn’t the playoff and didn’t mean anything.”

Three losses. Go away.

tOSU won their bowl game, but they seem less chirpy, given they lost by a bajillion to Purdue.

TFRdidnothingwrong
TFRdidnothingwrong

Oof, this was rough. I’m struggling to keep a modicum of perspective.

I may be way off base, but I don’t even feel like this was a no-show. The defense came to play. The offense showed intermittent signs of life. Even at half way through the third quarter I didn’t think it was over yet.

But good god, this was brutal once I finally accepted it.

12-1 is objectively great, but this still feels like the typical ND limbo/purgatory.

Is Notre Dame just Oklahoma State at this point?

Orlok
Orlok

I do think we’ll have to win a big bowl game to erase the stink. Paradoxically, however, our loss to Georgia in 2017 have us credibility. So I think if the program wins and even plays tight with good teams, this will work itself out in two years.

That’s hard to picture right now, but damn near everything that could go wrong in this game did.

Hitman
Hitman

Depressing, I never dreamed we could be held to 3 points.

8FP
8FP

As I inch further towards being a middle aged man, I’m running out of energy to follow this team. All I really wanted in this game was a performance that said ND belongs here. Here we are with another bowl of poop and I think I’m done picking up that spoon. I hope I look like an idiot as ND goes on to great success in the near future, but I think I’ll spend my Saturdays next fall doing something less draining and fruitless.

8FP
8FP

MOTS patented self-reply

Yes, I realize how stupid and entitled that sounds after a 12-1 season, but that’s just it. Kelly is a good coach. We have really good players and ND is a good football program. We’re just in a different era and I don’t think ND can compete with the schools that are all in as football schools.

TimsSon
TimsSon

In my post-game sadness I was just thinking this same exact thoughts. Though it was followed quickly by a kind of sad-happy knowledge that I won’t be able to stop. That even as the CFB and Notre Dame trends over the last 30 years continue I’ll keep expending this same ridiculous amount of time and energy watching and hoping that the Notre Dame of my childhood reappears.

I don’t think its too much to ask that your playoff team is AT LEAST a threat to win the game in the second half. To punch-up at some of the time. After the first few drives back and forth, I actually thought “ok ND can drive the ball some, can stop Clemson some”, so I felt sure the game would at least be competitive. Even though the D fell apart some with Love out, they generally did their job, as best as I hoped anyway. Its just really disappointing that the offense didn’t keep up their end at all.

8FP
8FP

My first memory of ND football was the 1993 loss to BC. I just remember my Dad, dumbfounded, standing in front of the TV, repeating “I can’t believe it” several times. It’s like my whole life as a fan has been expecting and waiting for the ghost of ND football greatness to reappear.

The world is different. I think it’s quite likely that football as a major sport will fade away before ND wins another title. Getting harder to put much into this anymore when I could go trout fishing or something.

Clay Cossé fka Mouth
Clay Cossé fka Mouth

We dont spend the money, we don’t have the population base, and we do have high admissions standards. We’re like some sucker who enjoys shooting a little billiards walking into a pool hall and asking if anyone would like to wager a few bucks on some pool. The results are predictable. If you haven’t picked out the mark, you are the mark. Alabama spends $20 million a year on coaches salaries alone. We’re kids playing a mans game.

rbn
rbn

I very, very rarely offer any comment on this site, but at this moment I feel compelled to do so.
Firstly (and in a spirit of full disclosure), I am not a Notre Dame fan but I am definitely a fan of this website and have followed all of you for several years. I feel as though I know some of you.

But as I read these comments I am sad that you are so discouraged.

Just remember that everyone who loves their team as you love yours (and as I love mine) will almost certainly experience disappointing times. (Shucks! I lived through a decade of what we refer to as “The Dark Years” with my team. I vividly recall the moment that a nationally-recognized commentator stating on live TV that “… [my fan base] needs to accept that the ‘glory years’ [of my school] are gone forever…” (He made that comment more than ten years ago and it still makes me boil inside… and I will hold it against him forever.)

Okay – so Notre Dame will not make it to the Championship game this year, but they DID make it to the playoffs…and only 3 other teams can say that.

Nevertheless, Notre Dame IS a Blue-Blood and will Always be a Blue-Blood. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or in denial.

And one final (and irrelevant) thought…IMO I agree with those of you who think you have reached the ceiling with Kelly; If Notre Dame was my school, I’d be hoping that the big-brains that run things would wish him happiness in his new landing place and launch a search for his replacement (…but leave my coach alone.)

KLM2
KLM2

This was a terrible lost. The game boiled down to Lawrence being out and Clemson not missing a beat. Compared to Love being out and everything falling apart.

Every single time we get on the big stage you see the difference in good recruiting and elite recruiting. We will never beat these juggernauts unless we can land some top 5 classes. I can’t remember the last time we had a consensus top 5 class. We have to start giving these elite recruits a reason to pick Notre Dame. We can’t follow this 12-1 season with a 8-9 win season. This team has got to come back in 2019 and follow this season up with a double digit win season and show some long term consistency.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Our last composite top-5 class was 2013 and our last consensus top-5 class was 2008. We simply aren’t recruiting on the level to legitimately compete for national championships (and, before anyone quibbles, it is possible to make the playoff and not legitimately compete for national championships. We just did it).

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Ehh, I don’t believe that’s true that Notre Dame “isn’t on the recruiting on the level to legitimately compete”

How the playoff teams ranked in recruiting on average over the last the last five classes:

Alabama: 1st
Clemson: 8th
Notre Dame: 9th
Oklahoma 12th

https://twitter.com/BradenGall/status/1070446877202677760

Maybe you can say ND is skewed by maxing out on OL and TE, but the recent defensive talent they’ve brought in the past 3 cycles (plus the Gilman transfer) make me think that’s no big deal.

ND recruits basically well enough where they should be competitive in these big games. But Book fumbled, Claypool dropped an easy one, Love got hurt, didn’t get the benefit of the kickoff fumble against on replay etc. Clemson didn’t make any mistakes. I don’t see it so much as a big time talent discrepancy so much as an execution one tonight. No doubt Clemson is much more experienced but they basically played flawless too. Really hard to beat that.

Bottom line is I don’t think ND had a major talent problem today. They had a playing problem. Credit Clemson, but breaks didn’t go our way. Sometimes it happens on any given day. It wasn’t like 2012 where they didn’t even belong on the same field as Bama, they held strong for a long time, just made mistakes and their opponent capitalized on them and didn’t really make any mistakes.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

We do not have the team to legitimately compete for a national championship this year. The S&P+ said so – we were over a full touchdown worse than both Bama and Clemson going into the game, and, by the own views of the metric’s creator, it doesn’t fully appreciate dominant teams. We’re not on or near their level.

Saying we don’t have a talent problem (in the context of competing for national titles) is flatly wrong. Any team with a Drue Tranquill-level player (or, in our case, Drue Tranquill) as one of its five best players cannot win a national title. Believing we’re close feels good, but it is not accurate.

kiwifan
kiwifan

You nailed it, my friend.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Games aren’t played on S&P+ the last time I checked.

I also can count probably 10 players better than Tranquill on ND, though he was an important team leader and the 2nd best LB. Tranquill wasn’t close to the reason ND lost today so I don’t really see that as a relevant point either way.

It’s clear the Notre Dame would have and should have been an underdog in this game. But the problem wasn’t really that they were largely overmatched. They didn’t execute, the opponent was flawless today. You can’t be disproven to point to that as a likely outcome, Clemson was a favorite and rightfully so – they’re an outstanding team that is super-experienced.

kiwifan
kiwifan

So which of our players in key positions are better than their counterparts on Clemson? Not even mentioning the 2 or 3 deep?

This WAS an execution problem. Our guy at corner flat out couldn’t execute against better players, and our Oline was nowhere near talented enough to beat their Dline even without its best inside Dlineman

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

The major execution problem where Clemson blew the game open was when the best corner on the team was out and they rightfully picked on the disadvantage. To that point, sure, talent and depth problem, no one can deny that.

Not arguing by any means that ND stacked up well across the board, they were deserved underdogs. They would have needed everything to break right to win. Clearly that didn’t happen and the game got away from them.

My point was Notre Dame had the talent to compete and did for a while. They just made mistakes and suffered when a great opponent took advantage. Clemson was 27 points better tonight, no doubt about it. I don’t think they should have been 27 points better if ND would have played to their capabilities.

kiwifan
kiwifan

Yeah,I thought it would have been closer, more like the betting spread. Love being out hurt, but being in wouldn’t have gotten us more points. Our line on offense was the critical weakness. We got by in season, but not against the top tier.

After watching Bama play OU, I think Clemson is definitely on par with Bama.

And all three of those teams are better than we are. I’m glad we got into the playoff though.

Publius2010
Publius2010

Tranquill wasn’t the one out there missing blocks in pass protection or dropping passes

KG
KG

I think that’s unfair to Drue. You can have a Drue as one of your 5 best players. The other 4 need to be elite and not just 3-stars who developed and played above their recruiting ranking.

As for the rest, though, absolutely. I still reject the “didn’t deserve” it argument, as at 12-0 we most definitely “deserved” it, whether one thought we were one of the 4 BEST is a different question. But we deserved the shot. That said, I think all of us knew, if we were objective about it, that there was a dropoff between Bama/Clemson and us, and that we were helped by a schedule that ended up weaker than anticipated by virtue of traditionally good teams not being good. S&P had us at 6 I think at the end, and that’s probably about right. Though LOL eff Michigan being ahead of us was a joke.

In terms of program strength, we’re probably on the edge of top 10. There’s a big gap, though, between us and the top 2-4.

kiwifan
kiwifan

I agree with most of that. We definitely earned and deserved the slot. We just aren’t at the elite level.

Re Tranquill he earned everything he got. Played with broken bones, sprains, and very well. I still don’t get the Love injury.

kiwifan
kiwifan

Sorry, I don’t think we watched the same game. Clemson had better players at just about every position and were much deeper. Their backup Dline was destroying our starting Oline. Swinney said they won it in the trenches and he was right. Our Oline is not CFP level. Book was rushed all game and still made some nice runs to save drives. The overturned fumble was indeed the right call, as clearly seen in the shot down the sideline. We made mistakes, they didn’t. Fact is, Clemson is a much better team, even though we have a very good team, just not an elite team. Teams like Bama, Clemson, OSU etc would never lose this kind of game because one DB was out for a half. They are able to recruit very deep. We can’t. Recruiting averages are fools gold once you get down below the top few.

There were some on this board claiming “Clem” was a paper tiger, who hadn’t played anyone. Guess again. They may beat Bama. I didn’t see any weaknesses.

As for Andy’s implication that it would be unfair for the committee to overlook an 11-1 ND team, sorry, what has ND done on the field in BCS/Playoff games to make you think they’d be wrong? I doubt an Urban Meyer OSU would have lost this badly to Clemson, although I do think they would have lost.

I don’t understand the Love injury, does anyone know why he was out so long, yet seemed totally unaffected when he came back in? Vaughn’s weaknesses were huge, putting tons of pressure on the safeties and linebackers to try to prop him up.

All in all a great season for ND. Having been a fan for many many decades, I adjusted my expectations long ago. Given the strictures on the program, both geographically and self imposed, this is about as good as it gets. We can beat the “normal” teams we play in season, but the elite teams will remain a class above us, no matter who the coach is.

CardinalBaseball
CardinalBaseball

I mean an urban Meyer osu team literally lost 31-0 to Clemson in a playoff game so that argument doesn’t hold a ton of water

kiwifan
kiwifan

I tend to stay in the current year with the current teams

Publius2010
Publius2010

Well this year’s Ohio State team lost by 29 points to a Purdue team that gave up 56 points in the first half of their bowl game, so…

kiwifan
kiwifan

They also smashed a Michigan team we squeaked by and would crush us this year

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

I don’t put much stock in garbage time. Yeah, the Clemson backups were having their way with the ND starters but when it’s 30-3 and everyone knows it’s over and they can pin their ears back, what does it matter? It’s already over in the first place, thus the whole concept of garbage time.

Maybe we weren’t watching the same game. It was 3-3 after 1. Despite several ND mistakes. They belonged. They just made too many mistakes. I agree with your points about Clemson, anyone talking them down is foolish. They are an outstanding, well-coached team that’s extremely experienced and/or just sick athletes.

2012 ND vs Bama was a talent problem. Tonight was an execution problem against a very talented team. Subtle but importance context there, IMO.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

My man, we lost 30-3 to a team without its second-best player.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Score would have been 30-3 with their 2nd best player (which I don’t think he even was)

And score would have been 30-3 if Jerry Tillery had steroids in his pee. Ok, actually 31-3 because of the blocked XP.

Publius2010
Publius2010

Tonight was a coaching problem

KG
KG

Perhaps.

Everything would be easier if we had one thing to point to. The fact is that it all comes down to a “coaching problem,” in the sense that the head coach is ultimately responsible for having the team ready to play.

That said, while I think we all acknowledge BK isn’t on the same level of Saban, he’s a good coach. He’s not a great coach, clearly. The “coach of the year” award is given to someone who does the unexpected, not “the best coach,” which is Saban. ND going 12-0 was unexpected, so BK got the nod.

But I can’t find it in me to ignore that we got to 12-0. You don’t do that in CFB today without good coaching. At the HC, at the coords, at the positions.

The problem is that for ND to compete with Bama or Clemson or a tOSU or whomever, on a consistent basis, would take a GREAT coach. A transcendent coach, even. Someone who could not only be a great recruiter and over come ND’s…differences…to take us from a Top 10-15 talent school to a Top 5 talent school, but also would then make those players better through coaching, and win the tactical scheme battles and decisions on game day.

There’s how many of those coaches at any given time? 2? 4? And they’re already at schools like Bama, or Clemson. There’s maybe a handful of coaches who could possibly grow into that, but they’re at places like Oklahoma, or Texas.

We’ve got Top 10-15 talent. That’s good!
We’ve got a Top 10-20 HC and good young coordinators. That’s good!

It doesn’t beat teams with a Top 5 coach and Top 5 talent. We’re not alone here. Look at Washington. I think many here would consider Chris Petersen a better coach than Kelly. But how different are our programs?

I keep hope alive that the value here is that we showed it’s possible to be in the conversation with ND, and that somehow that convinces the next Top 5 coach-to-be that he can come here and win big. It’s not much of a hope today in the aftermath of yesterday, but it’s all I’ve got for the moment.

kiwifan
kiwifan

I don’t think so. The best coach in the world won’t be able to overcome NDs admission standards, which is a major reason we don’t get many legit 5 stars. The true 5 stars come in and play lights out as frosh. Ours, like Morgan, Redfield, Bryant (sp?) never do. The elite coaches can count on multiple difference making players in key positions. Manti is the only one that proved to be a star and it took him awhile. We had the best, most balanced team we’ve had in a long time, but were 1 deep in a key position, and nowhere near the talent level of the other 3 playoff teams. Saban, probably the all time best, would never choose to coach at a school that hobbles his recruiting, a major reason Urban declined.

For those of you wanting an expanded, 8 team playoff, yesterday’s results should make you stop and think. 1 and 2 destroyed 3 and 4. How would another 4 teams have improved things? Or changed the outcome of the ultimate winner?

tlndma
tlndma

I agree with the expansion part.(I don’t disagree with the rest) I see no need to add teams. The average margin of victory in the semis is 21 pts. There have been 2 of 10 that had single score margins.

Russell Knox
Russell Knox

Fair enough.

More Noise
More Noise

Hooks, you are right exactly on the money.

Publius2010
Publius2010

The fumble overturn was garbage.

CardinalBaseball
CardinalBaseball

Was at the game and was really hesitant to believe ND was going to compete. Said to the guys in front of me that ND belonged and thought they outplayed Clemson in quarter 1. That was short lived

Will say in the last 4 years Clemson and BAMA have blown out ND, Ohio state, Michigan state, Oklahoma, Washington. This is pretty much Clemson BAMA and everyone else

tlndma
tlndma

Looking at Bama’s recruiting class, that’s not likely to change…Kinda takes the fun out of it …don’t ya think?

HolyCrossHog
HolyCrossHog

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