2008 NFL Preview – Week 13

(Philadelphia, Pa) — Week 13 of the too quick 2008 NFL Season is upon us.  This time of the year is my favorite as football and my favorite holiday Thanksgiving collide.  Football on Thanksgiving is an “Autumn Ritual” to me just like the phrase, “Can you please pass the gravy”.   The game has aligned itself beautifully with the greatest holiday ever and it provides an opportunity for fellowship by friends and family around America’s Game. Whether attending a hometown rivalry game, playing in a “Turkey Bowl” touch football game with friends/family, or just watching the now three NFL games.  Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said about Turkey Ball, “I remember watching Thanksgiving games as a kid.  Even in high school and college, and now in the NFL, you practice, you come home and you watch Thanksgiving football.”

The interesting question is, “Will Week 13 be lucky or unlucky for the many NFL teams still in the race for one of the twelve coveted playoff spots?”  By reason of parity or design, almost every team still has a mathematical shot at the playoffs – only the Lions and Bengals have been totally eliminated.  There are currently twenty teams in the NFL with a .500 or better record, so teams are scratching to survive as almost every division is up for grabs except the AFC South (Titans) and NFC West (Cardinals).

The week started early with the aforementioned three NFL Thanksgiving games that were symbolic of the holiday as there were three turkey stuffings.  The first game featured the Tennessee Titans (11-1) bouncing back from their first loss in week 12 with a 47-10 massacre of the Lions (worst beating ever on Thanksgiving).  The second game was not much better as the Cowboys (8-4) continued their climb back to respectability with a 34-9 drubbing of the Seahawks.  The holiday’s nightcap featured another blowout, but this time in a surprise the supposedly finished Philadelphia Eagles and their disrespected quarterback Donovan McNabb rebounded with a resounding 48-20 reclamation win over the Cardinals (have not won a game on the East Coast since November 7, 2004 at Miami).

There are many interesting battles that are on the slate of games this week including: 

  • Five divisional games with most of them have extensive playoff implications (New Orleans at Tampa Bay, N.Y. Giants at Washington, Kansas City at Oakland, Chicago at Minnesota, and Jacksonville at Houston)
  • A huge reunion battle as running back Michael Turner leads the Atlanta Falcons against his old team the San Diego Chargers.  In his first season with the Falcons, Turner has rushed for a career-high 1,088 yards and an NFL-best 13 touchdowns.  Last year, Turner only rushed for 316 yards and one touchdown in 16 games as LaDainian Tomlinson’s backup… did I mention that LT only has much less at 770 rushing yards and only 5 TDs. 
  • Two former AFC Title Game playoff rivalries taking center stage with the Broncos at the Jets and the Steelers against the Patriots.  The Broncos knocked the Jets out of the 1998 playoffs and Patriots defeated the Steelers in the Super Bowl ticket game in 2001 and 2004.
  • Playoff Seeding type games as teams with winning records battle for position (Carolina at Green Bay and Arizona at Philadelphia)

An interesting trend during this week that several NFL media types including myself will be monitoring is scoring.  In more proof the NFL needs to work on their defenses, the National Football League had its first 800-point weekend in week 12 (total of 837 points).  The scoring record comes as no surprise to me as many coaches are subscribing to the Andy Reid school of Passing, Passing, and More Passing.  A lot of fans like the pinball machine type games in the NFL, but this NFL writer is all about running the ball and playing good defense.  I am sure in the playoffs we will see a higher level of defensive play around the NFL.

Featured Game

NEW YORK GIANTS (10-1) at WASHINGTON REDSKINS (7-4) FOX, 1:00 PM

Broadcast Team: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa (Field reporter). 

I love NFC East type football — weather will be cold and expect a physical game — and this the marquee game of week 13.  It is a match-up of two teams from the NFL’s best division (.670 winning percentage) where both teams pass efficiently, run the ball – will be tough as the two units are in top-10 rush defenses (Giants, No. 6; Redskins, No. 7) and play tough attacking defense.  The Redskins and 90,000 of their fans will welcome the New York Giants, who I consider to be the best team in football.  The Redskins and their rookie head coach Jim Zorn will be looking for revenge from their week 1 loss where the G-Men dominated on their way to a 16-7 win.  In first game of the ’08 season on Thursday Night Football, the Giants’ defense handled the Redskins, limiting them to only 209 total yards and three of 13 third-down conversions.

Even though the Giants cannot clinch the NFC East with a win (Dallas won), they can easily establish themselves as the odds on favorite to win the division and have the playoffs go through the Meadowlands.  The Giants are a red-hot road team (have won 14 of past 15 on road including the playoffs), so the Redskins better have their “A” game.  The Giants will look to lean on quarterback Eli Manning (24-5 (.828) in past 29 starts), a fearsome running game of Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, and Ahmad Bradshaw that always seems to run for 200 yards (Jacobs is among the NFC leaders with 879 yards and 11 TDs), and a defense that is ranked third in sacks (32). 

The Redskins will need another big game from quarterback Jason Campbell (only 3 INTs in 340 attempts), running back Clinton Portis (leads NFL with 1,206 rush yards) and the NFC’s leading defense in terms of yardage (272 yards).  The player that I am most interested to see for the Redskins is newly acquired defensive back DeAngelo Hall.  The former Raiders malcontent has four interceptions for the season and I am sure he and fellow corner Shawn Springs will be hyped to face a multitude of Giants receiving weapons. 

Injuries may play a part in this game and the injury list for both teams is lengthy.

Giants: RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), WR Plaxico Burress (hamstring – out), LB Jonathan Goff (hamstring), RB Brandon Jacobs (knee – doubtful), and DT Fred Robbins (shoulder)

Redskins: DE Andre Carter (foot), LB London Fletcher (foot), DT Kedric Golston (ankle), DT Cornelius Griffin (shoulder), G Pete Kendall (knee), RB Clinton Portis (knee, oblique), T Chris Samuels (knee), and LB Marcus Washington (ankle)

LV‘s Pick:  This is a tough game to pick, because these two teams are evenly matched and injuries will be a factor.  I believe turnovers and who can establish the run thus controlling the clock will win this game.  As good as Portis is at running the rock, he is no match for the Giants three-headed monster.  I expect the G-Men to attack the Redskins underachieving defensive line to the tune of over 150 rushing yards, which allow Manning to avoid having to carry the team.  Also watch for Giants DE Justin Tuck (9.5 sacks in ’08) against an aging Redskins offensive line.  Giants 23, Redskins 17

NFL Week 13

Thursday, Nov. 27

Tennessee 47 at Detroit 10 (CBS)

Seattle 9 at Dallas 34 (FOX)

Arizona 20 at Philadelphia 48 (NFL Network)

Sunday, Nov. 30

San Francisco at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Baltimore at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Carolina at Green Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Miami at St. Louis, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Indianapolis at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (CBS)

New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)

N.Y. Giants at Washington, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Atlanta at San Diego, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Denver at N.Y. Jets, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)

Kansas City at Oakland, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)

Pittsburgh at New England, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)

Chicago at Minnesota, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC)

Monday, Dec. 1

Jacksonville at Houston, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

 

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

Thanksgiving Football Equals Americana

 

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The Masters of Disaster (MOD) from a Turkey Bowl circa 1991

(Philadelphia, Pa) — Football on Thanksgiving is an “Autumn Ritual” to me just like the phrase, “Can you please pass the gravy”.   The game has aligned itself beautifully with the greatest holiday ever, in my opinion, and it provides an opportunity for fellowship by friends and family around America’s Game.  Whether attending a hometown rivalry game – in my town growing up it is Abington (my alma mater) vs. friendly rival Cheltenham that goes back to 1915 (BTW: The Ghosts beat the Panthers 38-3 in this year’s rendition, see all of the scores from this rivalry) – or playing in a “Turkey Bowl” touch football game with friends/family, or just watching the now three NFL games and other college games, Americans like myself cannot get enough Turkey Day football.

My most vivid memories of Thanksgiving are attending the hometown rivalry game in the early afternoon then going over to my paternal grandmother’s house for a celebration like none other with food like turkey, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, candy yams and many other favorites while having good fellowship over food and of course football.  When I was younger my grandmother’s television was a big cabinet black/white set and I vividly remember watching the Lions (usually lost) and Cowboys (usually won) play many Thanksgiving games on that set. 

The earliest Thanksgiving game that I can remember was the Chicago Bears against the Detroit Lions in the Pontiac Silverdome November. 27, 1980. I remember this game, because Vince Evans was at quarterback for the Bears (rare to see an African-American quarterback at the time) and the great Walter Payton rushed 18 times for 123 yards and I think he even threw a pass.  The ending was everything as the Bears won an overtime thriller 23-17 when Bears kick returner Dave Williams returned the overtime kickoff for a touchdown, completing a Bears comeback from a 17-3 deficit.

My favorite Thanksgiving game of course involved the classic broadcasting team of John Madden and Pat Summeral commentating a Turkey Bowl classic on November 23, 1989 in Texas Stadium.  This game dubbed “Bounty Bowl I” featured an Eagles 27-0 shellacking win over the hated Dallas Cowboys, which left me over-the-top giddy. My joy came from the fact that I was a long suffering Eagles follower, who finally got to stick-it to the stinking Cowboys fans in my family (brother and many my cousins), who year after year told me how much better the Cowboys were than the Eagles.  This 1989 NFC East afternoon rivalry game was something extra special for me to watch as the Birds won handily and the Cowboys turncoats in my grandmother’s suburban Philadelphia home had to eat some crow with their turkey that day.  The story of the game was Buddy Ryan’s Eagles defense knocking the stuffing of Troy Aikman as they seemed to sack him a million times.  The game ended with my favorite player Reggie White eating the ceremonial Madden Turkey Leg as the game’s MVP.

Thanksgiving Football Schedule
Easton (PA) vs. Phillipsburg (NJ) 9:00 a.m. Lafayette College’s Fisher Field in Easton, PA (the 102nd meeting will be shown locally on WBPH-TV)

Tennessee at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. (CBS)

Seattle at Dallas, 4:15 p.m.    (FOX)

Texas A&M at Texas  at  8:10 (EST) on ESPN

Arizona at Philadelphia, 8:15 p.m.  (NFL Network)

Lloyd’s Leftovers

  • There was a time that Thanksgiving football was defined in the African American community by rivalry games like Lincoln vs Howard.  Here is an excerpt from a piece that I wrote on the subject… “The “outside world” of major white college football may have had traditional rivalries like Harvard-Yale, Ohio State-Michigan, and Notre Dame-Army.  But to most African American football fans those contests had nothing on the annual Thanksgiving Day clash between the mighty men of Lincoln (PA) and their rival school Howard University.  After their initial meeting in 1894, the annual Lincoln-Howard Thanksgiving game quickly became an autumn ritual.”  Check out the rest of the piece.
  • I am often asked, “Why are we subjected to the stinking Detroit Lions and hated Dallas Cowboys every Thanksgiving??”  The reason is “Carpe diem” as these two teams both had the vision of matching College Football on America’s Holiday and seized opportunities to host football games when everyone else was afraid the crowds would stay away.  The Lions were the first in 1934 and the Cowboys followed suit in 1966.  The NFL also added a rotating third game in 2006 (Chiefs winning 19-10 over the Broncos) on Turkey Day to help boost their channel NFL Network.  Our friends over at Mental Floss give some great background on the subject of NFL football on Thanksgiving.
  • The oldest high school Turkey Day Game rivalry is in Massachusetts between Needham and Wellesley, dating back to 1882.  Find out everything about Thanksgiving Football.
  • NFL results of every Thanksgiving game going back to the 1920’s (courtesy of the Pro Footballl Hall of Fame)

 

 

 Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

Teams Establish NFL Scoring Record in Week 12

In more proof the NFL needs to work on their defenses, the Monday Night Football 51-29 win by New Orleans over Green Bay boosted the National Football League to the first 800-point weekend in its history. A total of 837 points were scored in the league’s Week 12 games (it averaged out to more than 50 points per game), the most ever in a single NFL weekend. The previous record was 788 points, set three times back in 2002, 2004 and 2007.   Games this season are averaging 45 points. If that holds up, it would top last season’s average of 43.4 points and the record average since the 16-game schedule was instituted in 1978 of 43.7 points per game in 1983. 

The scoring record comes as no surprise to me as many coaches are subscribing to the Andy Reid school of Passing, Passing, and More Passing.  A lot of fans like the pinball machine type games in the NFL, but this NFL writer is all about running the ball and playing good defense.  I guess I am an East Coast football advocate — cold weather in November, running the ball through the elements/mud, and bonecrunching Reggie White type defense.  I am sure in the playoffs, we will see more my style of play around the NFL.

Vick Accepts Plea Deal for State Dogfighting Charges

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Michael Vick was back in court on Tuesday in hopes of getting back to the NFL

Michael Vick cleared another hurdle in his long journey back to the NFL on Tuesday, as he appeared in a Surry County (VA) Circuit courtroom to enter a guilty plea to his state dogfighting charge.  Vick entered a guilty plea to two felony counts in a deal with prosecutors that calls for a suspended sentence and probation. The plea deal should resolve his last pending criminal charges with his attorneys hope that Vick will be eligible for early release from prison and into a halfway house designed to ease his return to society.

With this last hurdle apparently cleared, the question is not “if”, but “when” will Michael Vick get his opportunity to return to the NFL.  According to a USA Today story, there is still interest around the NFL for the former Falcons mercurial superstar quarterback that upon completion of his time, some team will take a chance on Vick.  But the most interesting thing is which of the NFL’s 32 franchises will take the public relations hit from dog loving fans aligned with organizations like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) – planned to protest Vick’s court appearance  – to bring in the former star who is Persona non grata in some circles. 

According to the story at least half-dozen of the NFL teams contacted, speaking on anonymity due to tampering, would be interested in taking a look at the former 3-time Pro Bowl player.  The only team that should be totally ruled out is the Atlanta Falcons, who still hold Vick’s rights as they are trying to recoup monies from Vick’s $130 million, 10-year deal signed in December 2004. Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank made it abundantly clear that the Falcons have moved on by saying, “Not only have we turned the page, we’ve turned the chapter and closed the book.”

Even if the Falcons are not ready to make the commitment to Vick returning to the NFL, the former star seems to be getting encouragement from some other NFL players including Vick’s former teammate Alge Crumpler.  Vick’s former security blanket receiver (now with the Tennessee Titans) said of his friend’s chances of returning to the NFL, “Somebody’s got to give him an opportunity. I’ve never thought Michael was a bad person. I’ve never thought he was a detriment to any team. … He just made a stupid mistake.”

However the biggest person that the 28-year old Vick will need to convince is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  But the chances for Vick’s reinstatement seem to be looking better as Goodell recently has given second and third chances to players like Cowboys bad boy defensive back Adam “Pacman” Jones.  Goodell recently said of the Vick situation, “The good news is I don’t have to make that decision right now, He hasn’t finished serving his time, and the legal process isn’t completed, and I said he was suspended until that process was completed. And at that point I will make a decision on his ability to play in the NFL.”

I fully expect upon his release (scheduled for July of 2009), that Goodell will summon Vick to New York to plead his case – already seen this with Jones, Vikings DE Jared Allen (late hits on quarterbacks), the StarCaps players, and others.  There is no doubt that Goodell will need to look into Vick’s eyes to see if he truly is a changed man.  On the anticipated meeting Goodell said, “I’ll put it this way: Has he rehabilitated himself sufficiently? Does he understand the consequences of his actions? What would be the impact on the NFL? All of those things.”

Of course all this speculation is conjecture, as Vick has to continue rehabilitating himself in hopes of getting another chance come July 2009.  But as stated in his recent bankruptcy paperwork “Michael Vick fully intends to return to the NFL and earn a living”.  To me if Vick continues moving forward in his life and he still has the talent to perform at an NFL caliber level then “YES” the former No. 1 overall pick (2001) deserves to be back in the NFL.  There have been too many precedents of athletes getting two, three, or even four chances to not give Vick the opportunity at redemption.

 

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

Reid Decides to Go Back to McNabb

With a short week of preparation before a Thanksgiving clash with the Cardinals, all eyes descended on the NovaCare Complex to find out whether Donovan McNabb would be allowed to return to his spot at the head of the Eagles’ table. The answer came from beleaguered head coach Andy Reid quickly with the following statement, “Donovan is the quarterback. I don’t want to leave here until you understand that”.  Reid then followed up with “Donovan is the quarterback for this football team.”

Reid sounded very confident in McNabb as his “man”, but his actions from less than 24 hours earlier spoke volumes of how he really feels about his 10-year veteran, who has become “Dead Man Walking” in Philadelphia.  Reid plain and simple panicked in Baltimore going to “green” second-year quarterback Kevin Kolb at a time when McNabb needed him most.  To exacerbate the situation more, Reid let the bad news come from quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur rather than himself in a move many people around the NFL called “gutless”.

I still cannot believe Reid pulled his little stunt with McNabb in a game that was winnable – only 10-7 at the half – and it spoke volumes about how far the quarterback-head coach relationship has sank on the Birds.  Reid in trying to save his own butt, decided that McNabb should be the scapegoat for his football team.  Despite the fact that everyone knows that the Eagles offensive problems stem from their inability to run the football (averaging 94.yards per game for an NFL ranking of 26th) caused mainly from Reid the talent evaluator’s bad personnel decisions.  But Reid fueled by a very poor half of play by McNabb — 8/18, 59 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, and a fumble — chose to point the finger at the one player who has been a loyal soldier to him for 10 years.  McNabb always stood in front of the microphones as Reid’s advocate through having to carry the Eagles with his legs in the early years to echoing the head coach’s famous retort “We are fine at wide receiver” even with the likes of James Thrash, Todd Pinkston, Na Brown, and Freddie Mitchell to playing on a broken ankle to not calling audibles when Reid’s play calling begged to be fixed. 

I guess McNabb thought having Reid’s back all this time gave him some wiggle room, just like how Mike Holmgren (Reid’s hero) gave Brett Favre opportunities despite the legend throwing a ton of picks while having a few quarters here or there.  It was unbelievable how “wronged” McNabb was by Reid’s desperation move, but he now has the chance to prove he is still the same five-time Pro Bowl player — while most likely showcasing himself for the Vikings, Bears, Rams, Lions, Panthers, and the rest of the NFL. 

Reid I guess trying to pump McNabb back up finished by saying, “Sometimes you have to step back to step forward in a positive way and Donovan will do that.”  These last 5 games of the Eagles season will be a doozy as this 5-5-1 team finishes out the string toward their third non-playoff season in four years.  But one thing is apparent “change” is in the wind around Broad & Pattison and if Reid doesn’t watch it McNabb will not be the only one changing addresses this off-season.

McNabb is Benched in a Bad Loss as Uncertainty Surrounds the Eagles

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Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was on the sidelines — just like this ’07 training camp picture — as the Birds went with Kevin Kolb in a 36-7 loss to the Ravens

(Philadelphia, Pa) — The second half of Philadelphia Eagles-Baltimore Ravens game started with the Birds down 10-7 to the Ravens, but the big news was that starting quarterback Donovan McNabb was on the bench.  Granted McNabb had a horrible first half where he completed 8 of 18 passes for 59 yards, 2 INTs and a bad lost fumble.  But how with your season on the line in hostile territory could Andy Reid go to 2nd year “green” quarterback Kevin Kolb.

To all of the emailers and callers that I have talked to over the years that are “Anti-McNabb” and clamored for someone else…Well you got your wish as Kolb got the nod to turn around the Eagles’ fortunes.  What did the young quarterback do with the opportunity, not much to answer the question.  As I stated a million times before Kolb was not ready to play in a regular season game and it showed.  You could see the smiles on the faces of Ray Lewis and the Ravens defense as Kolb came into the game.

Kolb proved to add “Zero” spark to the Birds offense as he threw for numbers: 10 of 23 for 73 yards and two interceptions including a goal line pick that was returned by safety Ed Reed for an NFL record 108 yards.  In Kolb’s defense the scoreboard read 36-7 in favor of the Ravens, but the Eagles biggest problems don’t lie with him or McNabb. 

Week in and week out the biggest problems for the Eagles are inability to run the football (86 yards with 19 yards by the quarterbacks), a lack of quality players at key positions (bad drafting and free agent moves coming home to “bite” them), penalties (7 for 64 yards) and a defense that cannot stop the run (110 yards by the Ravens).  All these problems point directly to the architect of this team and that is Andy Reid.

Reid clearly panicked against the Ravens at one of the worst moment going to Kolb.  As bad as the Eagles had played in the first half, thanks to a Quintin Demps 100-yd kickoff return they were right in the battle.  Reid should have given the notoriously slow starting McNabb the opportunity to rally his team.  That is the least he could have done, but Big Red had made up his stubborn mind that #5 was the problem.  It was later learned in the Eagles post game press conference that Reid didn’t even give his franchise quarterback of 10-years the dignity of telling him he was getting the hook at halftime, leaving the task to someone else. 

Apparently after five Pro Bowls, a franchise record 28,115 passing yards and 185 touchdowns, McNabb learned from someone other than his former biggest supporter that he officially has earned the label “2008 Philadelphia Eagles’ Scapegoat”.  I never thought Reid  would make the decision to remove McNabb — always stuck by him from Russ Limbaugh to Numerous Injuries to HBO-gate to Not Knowing about ties in the NFL.  I always thought on the remote chance that a benching to McNabb would come that is would happen after the Eagles lost seven games (ending their playoff hopes) with Big 5  moving in a quiet off-season trade.  But the future of this Eagles team is now and Reid decided to point the finger at McNabb.  Thus hitching his flickering playoff hopes to a quarterback that has zero career starts instead of the guy that handed him the majority of his 101 career regular wins.  

The fun part is that the Eagles have a very short week as they prepare to play the Arizona Cardinals on Thanksgiving night in Philadelphia.  I am not sure if the beleaguered and confused Reid will go with Kolb or McNabb — my guess is that he goes back to McNabb one last time, only Andy knows what Andy is going to do and he sure isn’t going to tell us. 

But the 2008 Philadelphia Eagles season has reached “Critical Mass” and it is only going to get worse.  And you thought tying the Bengals the worst thing that could happen to this team.

  

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

Syracuse Stuns Notre Dame in Final Seconds

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Syracuse quarterback Cameron Dantley celebrates his huge game-winning touchdown pass in the Orange’s road win over Notre Dame

In a take-that moment for Notre Dame, senior Cameron Dantley — son of one of Notre Dame’s basketball legends (Adrian Dantley) — threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Donte Davis with 42 seconds to give Syracuse 24-23 upset win over Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.  Dantley’s touchdown pass left Notre Dame stunned as their disheartened fans scrambled for the exits. 

The Orange had trailed 23-10 in the fourth quarter before rallying as Notre Dame struggled mightily on offense. The Irish (6-5) came away with just six points after starting four times inside the Syracuse 23-yard line, including three times in the third quarter when they settled for a field goal. Dantley (13-25, 122 yards with one huge touchdown) said of the win, “To do that on this type of stage on national TV, it’s just a dream come true”.

Losing to Syracuse (3-8), who was a 19½-underdog was unfathomable as several fans and media are ranking the loss as one of the worst in Notre Dame history.  The loss now leaves embattle head coach Charlie Weis with another blemish (the first opponent with at least eight losses to beat the Irish). Weis is on a very hot seat with administrators and he now has a 28-20 record over four seasons, which equates to a 58.3% winning percentage. 

Did I fail to mention that Weis’ winning percentage is the same as former head coach Tyrone Willingham after his three years before being unceremoniously fired – oh the irony !!!  I wonder if Notre Dame is trying to think of a way to jettison the smug Weis, who just happens to have seven years left after this season on a 10-year contract (signed a big contract after only 7 games in his first season, through 2015 and is reported to be worth between $30 million and $40 million).

Get out the Rolaids…Charlie and Notre Dame administration, because that monster of a contract may have to be eaten.