Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditWednesday, October 5, 2022

Articles tagged: Notre Dame Football

Video: Notre Dame hypes new uniforms with ‘The Hangover’ spoof

Notre Dame spoofs The Hangover

The newest uniforms for Notre Dame football’s Shamrock Series have been unveiled, and the Fighting Irish really went all-out for the big announcement this time.

Notre Dame’s Shamrock Series is an annual tradition where the team plays in a unique venue and wears alternate uniforms. This year, the Irish are facing BYU on Oct. 8 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. For many people, the first movie that comes to mind when they think of Vegas is “The Hangover.” Notre Dame created an elaborate spoof of one of the famous scenes of that comedy classic.

The video stars Mike Golic and Mike Golic Jr., both Notre Dame alumni, Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman and star players Isaiah Foskey and Michael Mayer.

You can tell a lot of effort went into that. Notre Dame did a nice job leading up to the announcement, too. They made a couple of subtle references to “The Hangover” with tweets on Tuesday, but very few people saw the spoof coming.

The Shamrock Series is a big recruiting tool for Notre Dame, and they do not take it lightly. It is going to be a challenge for them to live up to this year’s work in future seasons.

Report: Notre Dame could join conference if 1 key condition is not met

Marcus Freeman looking ahead

Oct 2, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman enters Notre Dame Stadium before the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

With conference realignment once again creating upheaval across college football, speculation has grown that Notre Dame could finally be forced to end its independent status and formally join a league. That possibility is on the table if one major condition is not met in television rights negotiations.

Notre Dame is seeking at least $75 million annually in media rights from television partner NBC if it is to remain independent, according to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports. This would be a significant increase in price, as the school’s current deal with the network averages $15 million per year. That deal runs through 2025, though negotiations for an extension are already underway.

Due to the spike in price, NBC is looking into buying “shoulder programming” from a Power Five conference in order to become a bigger player in the college football media market. The Big Ten and Big 12 have both emerged as candidates for NBC.

The figure Notre Dame is throwing out there is hardly arbitrary. Estimates suggest that Big Ten schools could earn between $80 million and $100 million in media rights on the conference’s next television deal. If Notre Dame cannot get a similar figure, they will essentially be left with the choice to abandon independence and join a conference or risk being left in the dust financially.

Reports suggest at least one conference has made clear that it would love to have Notre Dame if they were to end their independent status. Whether that happens or not ultimately seems to depend on how much NBC might be willing to put forward to keep Fighting Irish games on its network.

Report: Big Ten targeting 1 huge school to continue expansion

Kevin Warren smiling

Dec 4, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Big 10 commissioner Kevin Warren during the Michigan Wolverines game against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Conference championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Reports emerged Thursday indicating that the Big Ten is poised to add USC and UCLA to its ranks within two years, but the conference apparently is not done there.

According to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, the Big Ten may look to add further Pac-12 schools to its ranks after landing its current two targets. However, the bigger priority will be to try to convince Notre Dame to drop its independent status and formally join the conference.

If ever there was a time for Notre Dame to join a conference, this is it. The way college football is set up is changing for good, and the Fighting Irish risk being left behind in many ways if they insist on staying independent. The Big Ten would be a natural home, as the conference includes multiple rivals. Plus, Notre Dame fits the Big Ten’s historical geography.

Notre Dame previously played one season as a temporary member of the ACC due to the pandemic, and some lobbied for that to be made permanent. Ultimately, the Big Ten is a more desirable home at this point, and makes much more sense from Notre Dame’s point of view.

Marcus Freeman takes shot at Ohio State academics

Marcus Freeman looking ahead

Oct 2, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman enters Notre Dame Stadium before the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Freeman is already making an enemy out of one college football program prior to his first full season as Notre Dame’s head football coach.

In an interview with CBS Sports published on Friday, Freeman discussed the difficulties in recruiting for a school like Notre Dame due to its high academic demands. He also brought up his past college football experiences in comparison, including playing for Ohio State under then-head coach Jim Tressel. Freeman seemed to take a jab at Ohio State’s academic standards.

“If you don’t go to class [at places like that], OK, take some online classes, show up for your appointments,” Freeman said. “At Notre Dame, you’re forced every day to go to class.”

Freeman played at Ohio State from 2004-2008 and was a fifth-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

This isn’t the first time that the 36-year-old has taken a supposed shot at his alma mater.

After being named head coach in December, Freeman penned a letter in The Players’ Tribune where he seemed to indicate that he made the wrong decision in playing for Ohio State rather than Notre Dame.

The Buckeyes and Fighting Irish are scheduled to play on September 3. Freeman’s comments could add more anticipation to what is already expected to be a tremendous opening week matchup between the two teams.

H/T Eleven Warriors

Lloyd Carr’s grandson commits to play QB at Notre Dame

CJ Carr at a press conference

CJ Carr is straying from his family’s lineage.

Carr on Thursday announced that he has committed to Notre Dame. Carr is a 2024 recruit and 5-star quarterback prospect, according to 247 Sports’ composite rankings. He is from Saline, Mich., which is just outside Ann Arbor (where the University of Michigan is located). His grandfather is former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr, who won a national championship with the team in the 1997 season. His father is former Michigan quarterback Jason Carr.

Yet CJ is going to rival Notre Dame.

CJ told ESPN that he has felt strongly about going to Notre Dame for quite a while. His father advised him to see what else was out there, but CJ’s confidence about going to play for the Fighting Irish only grew. CJ also claims that his family is supportive of his decision and prepared to become Notre Dame fans.

Here he is with Lloyd, who was wearing a Notre Dame hat.

In addition to Notre Dame and Michigan, Carr also had scholarship offers from Georgia and Alabama, which were the participants in last season’s championship game. Carr had offers from numerous other schools as well.

ESPN releases its top 5 CFP predictions for 2022 season

Steve Sarkisian smiles

Jan 7, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian speaks to media during the Alabama Crimson Tide media day at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 college football season doesn’t kick off until August 27, but it’s never too soon to look at possible College Football Playoff matchups.

ESPN revealed its top five most likely playoff combinations based off of the recently-updated Football Power Index (FPI) rankings for 2022. ESPN’s FPI rankings are based on projections from 20,0000 simulations of the season using FPI, which measures team strength and is meant to be the best indicator of a team’s performance during a season.

Based off of these FPI rankings and the All State Playoff Predictor, ESPN predicted the five most likely playoff combinations, as seen below.

All combinations involve the top six teams in the FPI rankings: Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson, Notre Dame and Texas.

Alabama, ranked No. 1, appeared in four of the five possible combinations, including the one with the highest probability at 20 percent. Georgia, the defending national champions and No. 3-ranked team, was also predicted to play in four of the five possible outcomes.

However, it was Ohio State, the FPI No. 2 team, that appeared in all five possible combinations. With QB C.J. Stroud back for his second season, and Michigan figuring to take a step back, Ohio State has a great chance at a playoff berth.

Clemson, the FPI No. 4 team, made three of the combinations. The Tigers are still a talented team despite last season’s lackluster 10-3 record. The Atlantic Coast Conference could also be wide open with former Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett headed for the NFL.

Notre Dame, ranked No. 5 in the FPI, appeared in only one potential playoff scenario. Texas, as the No. 6-ranked team, made three potential combinations.

For those college football fans worried about the lack of parity in the sport, these predictions aren’t good news.

Each of the teams in the most likely scenario – Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and Ohio State – have appeared in at least two of the first eight playoffs, and have all won at least one national championship during that time.

Alabama has won three titles in seven playoff appearances, while Clemson has won a pair of championships in six trips to the playoff.

Ohio State won it all in the inaugural season of the playoff in 2015, and has made four playoffs overall. Georgia, the reigning national champions, has clinched two playoff berths.

Ed Orgeron makes surprise appearance at 1 school’s spring practice

Ed Orgeron up close

Ed Orgeron made an eyebrow-raising visit to one school’s spring practice, and it likely isn’t a school many would expect.

The former LSU coach was on hand to see Notre Dame practice, and even addressed the team. The Fighting Irish posted a video of the speech, in which Orgeron effusively praised the Notre Dame coaching staff and said the Fighting Irish were “going to win it all.”

Orgeron’s choice of visit is certainly intriguing. After all, the Irish are moving on from Brian Kelly, who jumped to LSU to replace Orgeron. Kelly’s departure from Notre Dame was not amicable, as recent comments he made demonstrate.

As for Orgeron, he took a break from vacation to speak to the Fighting Irish. That makes for some nice PR for Notre Dame, if nothing else.

Photo: Sep 18, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron looks on against Central Michigan Chippewas during the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Brady Quinn unhappy with Notre Dame for 1 reason

Brady Quinn during a radio show

The Notre Dame football team will make history in 2023 when they host Tennessee State, and it would be an understatement to say Brady Quinn is not impressed.

Notre Dame proudly announced this week that it has scheduled a game against Tennessee State on Sept. 2, 2023. That will mark the first time ever that the Fighting Irish play a historically black college and university. It will also be Notre Dame’s first ever game against an FCS opponent.

During his “Two Pros and a Cup of Joe” show on FOX Sports Radio this week, Quinn blasted his alma mater for scheduling the game.

“This a no-win scenario for Notre Dame, no matter what way you go about it,” Quinn said. “It does not help elevate their program. You’re not winning a recruit for this. You’re not winning in the eyes of the College Football Playoff Committee, or the AP, or whatever else want to talk about recruiting.”

Quinn said he understands the historical aspect but wishes Notre Dame focused solely on winning a national championship. Obviously, there are stronger opponents they could schedule games against, especially since they are not affiliated with any conference.

“It’s just a dramatic departure from what it used to be and it it crushes me to see it,” Quinn added. “Notre Dame in this instance, when it’s always kind of been something of its own, is now really trying to almost blend in with everyone else. And that hasn’t been their MO.”

Notre Dame fell just short of the College Football Playoff last year. The only small school they had on their schedule was Toledo, and they are at least an FBS program. Quinn is right that the Irish are forgoing an opportunity to pick up a quality win by scheduling Tennessee State.

Granted, the game will at least be a guaranteed victory. If Notre Dame scheduled a powerhouse opponent instead of Tennessee State and lost, that would also work against their playoff resume. Quinn would rather see them try, and he surely is not alone.

Photo: Jan 27, 2020; Miami Beach, Florida; USA; SiriusXM radio personality Brady Quinn at the Super Bowl LIV Media Center at the Miami Beach Convention Center.. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Kelly shares why he left Notre Dame for LSU

Brian Kelly smiles at an LSU press conference

Brian Kelly’s surprise decision to leave Notre Dame for LSU shocked the college football world. Kelly, however, indicated in a new interview that he was increasingly dissatisfied with how Notre Dame was handling its football program.

In an interview with Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press, Kelly said he felt that both he and the Notre Dame program had gone as far as they were willing to go with each other. Kelly cited Notre Dame’s reluctance to fund upgrades to football facilities to match what already exists at LSU.

“I felt like I did everything that I could at Notre Dame and they felt like they did everything they could for me,” Kelly said. “I felt like we had both got to a point where this is what they could do, right? This is what I did. And we couldn’t get past that. OK? And so here we are.”

Kelly said he made frequent requests for more resources and improvements at Notre Dame that were never fulfilled. He specifically cited the fact that LSU’s practice facility houses its own nutrition center with a dining hall and chef dedicated to the football program. Kelly said he asked for similar upgrades at Notre Dame.

“I felt like that what I was looking for was student-athlete centered,” Kelly said. “And I was pushing for more for the student-athlete. And I wanted to see that piece. And we didn’t seem to be on the same path as to how that was going to get accomplished.”

Kelly could certainly be telling the truth, but Notre Dame fans will probably see this as a face-saving exercise. LSU courted Kelly with a 10-year, $95 million contract, which almost certainly had a say in his decision. The abrupt manner with which he left the program made matters even worse.

Fighting Irish fans would probably question why Kelly was saying things like this if he was privately frustrated with the direction of the program.

Photo: Dec 1, 2021; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Newly named LSU Tigers head football coach Brian Kelly answers media questions after being introduced in a press conference at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Dennis-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Freeman sends clear message after Notre Dame bowl loss

Marcus Freeman smiling

Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman will not want to remember his first game as head coach. Despite what happened, he’s absolutely not shying away from the challenge.

The Fighting Irish lost the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday 37-35 to Oklahoma State after blowing a 21-point first half lead. The collapse ensured that Freeman started his Notre Dame head coaching career with a loss, and was a key setback for the new coach after all the positivity that followed his appointment.

Freeman knows this and is not hiding from it. He offered a hugely encouraging quote following Saturday’s loss, proclaiming his honeymoon over.

Freeman is right about that. Most Notre Dame fans were happy with his appointment, and few will turn on him now. However, expectations will remain high, and this loss will lurk in the back of everyone’s mind heading into next season.

The good news is Notre Dame showed what it can be capable of in the first half. The key for Freeman and his staff going forward will be figuring out how to keep that going and being able to adjust on the fly better than they did Saturday.

Photo: Dec 6, 2021; Notre Dame, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head football coach Marcus Freeman speaks during his formal introduction on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports