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buzzkill, but wanted to get it out of the way

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 11:42
edited by Jay, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 11:46

What if we lose the championship game? What will it mean for 1) the program going forward, 2) the historical significance of this season, 3) your mental health?

big picture


okay, i'll play...

by oaknd1 ⌂, Notre Dame, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 15:04 @ Jay

if Notre Dame loses a tight game in which they play like they are capable and the breaks beat the boys? (Say: USC 2005 esque): the program emerges stronger.

If Notre Dame loses by 10-14ish (a la Ohio State Fiesta Bowl) we will spend the next calendar year arguing with people who say that the SEC "destroed us."

Notre Dame gets run out of the building (LSU Sugar Bowl, Oregon State Fiesta Bowl)? I think things flat line a bit, I doubt there are tremendous negative consequences but it would be a huge black spot on the brand to do exactly what everyone in SEC country is predicting will happen. Still: it's a young team learning to be champions and i think they bounce back from it strong.

Under no circumstances would this be a situation like 2006-2007 because of the relative youth of the team and the emergence of future senior leadership.

No matter what happens, I predict Notre Dame emerges stronger as a program, and frankly, I'm sick of underestimating these guys. I think they win a close one, and i think the defense will be on the field for the game winning series of plays.

It's really pathetic when someone includes a link to their Twitter profile in their signature.


You never know when you will get back - I want to win

by NDSF, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 14:51 @ Jay

and will be disappointed if we lose. It will still be a special season, but nobody should think this one is gravy because we are "back" and will have other shots. 1988 was, in my opinion, the fourth best of Lou's teams and it was the only one to win an NC. Ara's 1973 team was, I think, his probably his fourth or fifth best team, but won it all. Now that we are here, I will be disappointed if we don't get it done. I think we will be competitive, but if we lose badly, it is a bad echo of prior BCS blowouts - I really want to make sure we are competitive so the meme that we are smoke and mirrors does not catch on. In many ways, actually, the legacy of this year's team might be defined by what follows. If this is the beginning of a reign of great teams it will be even more special


Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive, Jay.

by NDTerp, I am not Jay. I never have been Jay., Thursday, November 29, 2012, 14:21 @ Jay



It's funny how expectations shift.

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 14:17 @ Jay

If you asked me "What would make you happy about this season?" on August 31st, I would've told you "Give me 9 wins, and I'll be ecstatic."

Here were are on November 29th, though, and although I'm going to be happy no matter what happens on January 7, I will admit to being disappointed if we lose.

I will be happy, however, because no matter what happens, the team has made demonstrative strides in several key areas (Defensive line, Offensive line, Quarterback), and unlike the previous forays into "Return to Glory"-ville, it seems like this one means something.

HAVING SAID ALL THAT, duh we're gonna win. C'mon Jay.


Hey! What is this "if" crap!?

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 14:15 @ Jay


Lose? Us? After going 12-0? We don't lose! We can't lose! We're going to play the SEC, which the media has crowned the greatest college football conference in the history of the world, Now, Hot, etc.. But eff that. Sure it'll be tough, but it isn't done. It's not over. It ain't over now because when the going gets tough............THE TOUGH GET GOING. WHO's WITH ME!? (reads rest of posts).

What the fuck happened to the Polo Grounds I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest January of our lives, but you're gonna think it could possibly be the worst. "Ooh, we're afraid to think like you Moco, with your 50 point win predictions. Our heads might explode." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. ESPN? They're dead, man! Richt, dead! SABAN!!!!!!!!!!????????????


I still feel like we're playing with house money.

by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 13:27 @ Jay

However, I still think it's really really important for us to win this game. Nothing is ever guaranteed, and you have to strike while the iron is hot. (Enough cliches for you?)

When ND lost to BC in the hockey championship in 2008, I sort of shrugged and said "we'll be back, and we'll get ours". But we haven't gotten ours, making only 1 Frozen Four and no further championship games, despite keeping our elite coaching staff in place and ostensibly getting better levels of talent into the program.

And further, I'm no nearly so "sure" we'll be back -- it's harder in football, with (a) more teams competing at the highest level, and (b) requiring an entire season's work rather than a hot few weeks. Even though we should be better next year, that's just not compelling: '06 should have been better than '05, too, and we WERE better in '89 than '88; and yet both of those years ended without championships. We need to win now.

That said:
(a) Not a huge change for the overall trajectory. Perhaps a bit more fire in the belly for the team/coaches next season w.r.t. staying "hungry". Probably a touch less enthusiasm in the huddled fan masses simply because of the "that was our chance, and we blew it" factor and fears of not getting another chance.

(b) It decreases it monumentally. Especially if we sustain a high level (see, e.g. all those Ara years when only a loss to Purdue or USC kept us from a claim at the title), because then it gets lost among the good years. Championship teams, on the other hand, never get lost.

(c) As I said, I've approached this with "beat SC, then we're playing with house money". But besides, y'all think I'm deranged anyway. No change ;)


Nicely done

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 13:42 @ Savage

I like the hockey analogy, though its obviously apples and oranges. I really thought Jackson and Co were poised to take over college hockey for the next decade and it hasn't really happened (though I'm certainly not disappointed with the results - they're still pretty freaking great).

There's part of me that completely agrees with the "house money" thing while another tells me that we'll never see a group of kids (the remainder from the '08 class, and the awesome '09 class) like this that embodies just what ND means and plays so freaking hard. Its hard to imagine having so much fun following another ND football team.


Absolutely agree with your 2nd p. I thought the same re: MVG

by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 13:46 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

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We got our backs to the wall, we're gonna take it one

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 13:37 @ Savage

game at a time, and good Lord willing . . .


similar to your hockey analogy

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 13:35 @ Savage

I remember somebody asking me in fall of 2005 whether I'd rather have the White Sox win the World Series or ND win the Championship. Weis really looked like he had things going the right way, so I figured I'd say the World Series since that really felt like a perfect storm.

I got my World Series, but my oh my has it been a long walk through the desert for ND football since then. I have similar fears as you: the program could get "better" but could certainly lose a couple games here or there and take itself out of the NC running. Add on top of that the complications of the new playoff format.

Even if Kelly has ND consistently great, this could be the program's only shot at a title.


Fall of 2005 were heady times for us ND/Sox fans.

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 13:39 @ HumanRobot

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If we lose the game-

by Indiana_Irish, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 13:00 @ Jay

It will be like Darth Vader becoming emperor with Luke at his side, Sauron finding his long lost ring, and it all being set to an endless loop of Gangham Style.

Seriously, I don't think we'll lose.

But if we do- I don't care what anyone has to say about it. 118 other teams will be sitting home and wondering what it was like to be there.

We had one of our best seasons ever while fielding one of our most likable teams ever. It's been a tremendous year, regardless.


Unless we get blown off the field

by JN @, Seattle, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:44 @ Jay

I really don't care. I'd clearly prefer to win and I'll be bummed and maybe pissed and if it's close and we get screwed, I'll be super pissed. But I think the only take away from this season,in terms of the future of ND, etc is incredibly positive regardless of the outcome of this game.

That said, if we don't destroy Temple next year, I'll be a little freaked out that the ship isn't fully righted. I don't expect that to be an issue.


In terms of ND's perception around college football...

by FunkDoctorSpock, Your Nightmares, B* tches, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:42 @ Jay

no matter what happens against TEAM SEC:

We handed Oklahoma their worst home loss of the Bob Stoops era.

Went 3-0 against the Big TenTwelveWhateverthe Hell

Went 3-0 and absolutely destroyed ACC teams by an average of 30 ppg.

Went 2-0 against the PAC 12 and (potentially) beat their conference champ.


I agree with many of the previous comments

by irishvol @, Music City, USA, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:29 @ Jay

From a historical standpoint and looking forward, the results to date have provided a sense of validation that despite some challenges, ND can compete in the current college football environment. And I don't think a loss of any kind would completely diminish that. While many of us have believed that ND still could compete, I can honestly say that an increasing level of doubt had crept in after umpteen years. Whether or not ND loses the championship game, it's safe to say that those thoughts have been largely eliminated from my mind. And more importantly, the minds of today's kids. A HS kid can no longer say "I'm sure I'll get a world-class education at ND - but I'm not sure it's worth it from a strictly football standpoint." Rather, they can now point to guys like Manti and say "I'll get a great education and have the opportunity to become a legend."

Looking forward, a loss (and a 7th straight SEC national championship win) does set up the potential for a similar scenario in 2013, where poll bias toward the SEC remains a significant obstacle. A blowout could potentially foster some belief that ND was fortunate to end up undefeated, setting the stage for more skepticism in coming years. But all in, I think the nation's come around on ND's place in college football.

From a purely personal standpoint, I would be fairly disappointed with a loss - primarily due to my personal dislike for both Bama and (to a lesser degree) UGA.
For those of us south of the Mason Dixon in particular, a blowout loss would create some tough days around the water cooler. But win or lose, I'll look back on this football season with more fondness than any since 1998.


I think Bama and UGA respect ND as an opponent

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 14:53 @ irishvol



great post

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 13:12 @ irishvol

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This season has been magical.

by Joe (LBbeachrat) @, Los Angeles, CA, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:16 @ Jay

You can't take that away from me.



by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 14:05 @ Joe (LBbeachrat)

No matter what happens on the 7th, I'll always have the magic and memories of this year. It's been a great ride.

Now let's go win on the 7th.


ND needs to win this game

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:08 @ Jay

Spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically.

This season is about a lot of things and unfortunately, I think a lot of the good things this team has done will be dismissed even if they lose a close game. I think a lot of the narrative would shift back to "ND would have lost 5 games in the SEC" and "ND is overrated."

Frankly, this team is playing to show that the rest of the country deserves to play football, too.


I'd like it to be competitive.

by Kevin @, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:06 @ Jay

12-1 with a hard-fought loss in the national championship game would be both a great season and an acceptable ending. The seniors could leave with their heads held high and we'd all be excited for next year.

A blowout loss would still cap a great season, and we'd still be excited for next year, but I'd feel bad for the seniors, and we might be a little worried about the remaining space between us and the truly elite programs.


Anything other than a blowout loss would provide a

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:09 @ Kevin

valuable slingshot impact with recruiting, as well.

Blowout loss might give some of the remaining bluechippers a moment of pause.


As far as I'm concerned, since pretty much Stanford...

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:04 @ Jay

we've been playing with house money. And certainly that's been the case since Oklahoma.

This has been an amazing -- and most importantly, FUN -- season, filled with great performances, clutch plays, and great personalities. The title game can only add to that, in my mind.

Getting blown out in the title game would be disappointing, but not nearly as much so as getting waxed in a run of the mill BCS game.


This is where I'm at

by bpeters07 @, Sack Lake City, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:30 @ BillyGoat

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I don't think this is going to be Kelly's most talented team

by Pat, Right behind you, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:03 @ Jay

so I still have high hopes for the future, win or lose.

My biggest disappointment with a loss will be the fact that Te'o didn't go out on top like he deserves. All the other noise like SEC SPEED! won't bother me much because I know ND is filling up the roster more and more with SEC SPEED!

In other words, I feel like this isn't ND's only title shot under Kelly, so if they fall short I know they will be back. The future is still bright, regardless of how we all feel on January 8th.

I feel like this sort of looks like a pre-loss rationalization with ND likely facing a very formidable Alabama team. But what can I say, I feel like the program is playing with house money at this point. Sure, you can't waste rare chances like this and I obviously will be upset if ND doesn't win. But if we're strictly talking long-term outlook, ND is on very solid footing right now.


But next year might be.

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:06 @ Pat

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by River, Hell of the Upside Down Sinners, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:02 @ Jay

I was just told the National championship was being played this weekend. That was followed up by a rousing "SEC, Baby!!!" chant.


a) Excellent; b) it will be OK; c) Excellent

by KelleyCook @, quite pleased with Nov 8th, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 11:56 @ Jay

Seriously, saying you made it to the championship game is already something to hang our hats on. Even an ever-optimist like me who predicted 12-0 didn't seriously think that it was the most likely outcome. Next year however, I will think that.

Moreover, since unlike many of the choices for the BCS championship game it wasn't a fluke of a poorly written math formula, but it was due to hard played football that we reached this point

So if we lose, I'll be not as happy as I would have been with a victory, but I'm not going to go crazy (like say after Michigan '11) and wonder how calling #7 Boston College overrated in 1992 along (with a fake punt) deserved twenty years of crap that we had got. After that USC goalline stand, I'm sure that the program has finally shook its bad-karma snakebit days away.



by hobbs, San Diego, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 11:56 @ Jay
edited by hobbs, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:01

What if we lose the championship game?

Life goes on. Both UGA and Alabama are outstanding teams worthy of the championship banner. If ND lost to either of them it wouldn't represent any failure or dishonor in my eyes.

What will it mean for:

1) the program going forward:

Not much. Personally as I entered the season question #1 wasn't if we'd win a national championship. The question that I wanted answered more than anything else was, is this program heading in the direction where a NC will be possible in the foreseeable future.

I think we answered that question.

2) the historical significance of this season,

One of the all time great seasons. IMO, you appreciate the seasons where a team surpassed expectations more than the ones where they did what they were expected to do. The former has a natural enjoyment to it while the latter you just breath a sigh of relief that things didn't get "messed up".

3) your mental health?

I'm cool either way. I enjoy watching ND football. I enjoy the individual chapters that go into the ND football story. If we win great, if we lose I'll have a ton of fond memories that I will have taken away from the season.

Wins all around for me I suppose.



by FunkDoctorSpock, Your Nightmares, B* tches, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:34 @ hobbs

[ No text ]


We're not going to lose.

by Silk, St. Louis, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 11:55 @ Jay

God, I hope not anyway....

But for the sake of your hypothetical, is it much different than how we felt going into 2006? The 2005 team had a nice run, but was "blown out" (and yes, we can debate the merits of that term given the score and statistics), but we entered 2006 excited about the returning players and what appeared to be a competent coaching staff.

A bad loss will take some of the shine off this season, but I think we can go into next year enthused about the upward trajectory and optimistic that we have a good chance of producing a BCS caliber team again.


can't take away from the season

by OrangeBlueGray ⌂ @, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 11:53 @ Jay

great coach in place, firmly in the top tier of recruiting, fan support and entusiasm back to old heights.

This year is ahead of schedule if you ask me.


My thoughts

by PootND ⌂ @, Jersey City, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 11:53 @ Jay
edited by PootND, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:00

1)Unless it's a 49-0 curbstomping, I don't think a loss hurts or stall any program momentum. We're the 1st team outside of the preseason AP Top#25 to make the national championship. Considering most of us seemed to expect next year to be "the year", I think we're still on track. Also, a loss could keep the staff together for another year. To borrow from Barkley, "unfinished business" and all that rot

2)I don't think a loss will severely alter any of the joy the previous 12 games brought me or cause me to look poorly upon the season looking back. We exorcised our Denard demons. We stopped all first time since 2002 or 1993 stat/record comparsions from future broadcasts. Except for BC games, we probably won't see the '93 kick as much anymore.

3)I'll be a nervous wreck leading up to and during the game. I probably can handle a loss but I'm sure I'll do the mental gymnastics the next week (if only Theo caught that pass! That bad bounce on a fumble just sucked!) But Justified premieres the next day. Raylan Givens can cure all ails*
*as stated earlier, a massive blowout will extend needed recovery time.


Lose? Or get crushed?

by KGB, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 11:52 @ Jay

Two different outcomes that result in somewhat different responses, I think. Getting crushed certainly wouldn't undo the great accomplishments of the regular season, but the perception of ND moving forward won't likely be quite where I'd like to see it.


Hate to always use the Florida references

by OrangeBlueGray ⌂ @, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:00 @ KGB

but hey, that's my background.

Our "return to glory" season came in 1995, after a few successful seasons prior to that.

We went 12-0 and it was the Gators season to finally break through.

Well, I'm sure you remember 24 guys not being able to tackle Tommy Frazier, losing 62-24 and the game forever remembered as the "Fiasco Bowl"

A lot of people said after that game that a beating like that put us in our place, and we wouldn't recover. And then we won the National Title the following year and were contenders after that for a good period.

Point is -- even a beatdown wouldn't take away from the positive direction of the program, unless it was a farce to begin with - and it's just not in this case.


agree. I can handle a close loss

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 11:58 @ KGB
edited by Jay, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 13:36

and probably even a football-in-the-groin loss at the end of the game, but an "exposure" would set me back, and cause much clucking in the CFB universe.


Agree. People think ND is a slow northern paper tiger.

by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 13:32 @ Jay

Getting crushed by "real SEC speed" would torpedo the national perception of the team/program (or, as I like to call it, "Jamarcus Russell Syndrome" ... no, the one that doesn't involve purple drank).

This hurts us in myriad ways:
-- fan enthusiasm
-- recruiting (otoh: the casualties of the LSU game, Chris Donald and Lo Edwards, never did squat)
-- perception in the college football world, which seems like it may matter quite a bit going into the selection committee era.


We're through the looking glass

by irishoutsider @, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 11:52 @ Jay

Whatever happens happens. As one of the Lost Generation, I'm just relieved that this is possible.

Ill be upset for losing a title game, but it wont create longer term anxiety about the future of the program.

There have been times in the last 12 years where losing an average game delivered the crippling depression of watching a once proud program slowly fade away. I consider myself "cured" of this burden since Stanford hit that field goal.


We're still back

by Bill, Southern California, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 11:51 @ Jay

Winning championships is hard work. Holtz, despite all of the great teams he had, only did it once. I don't think that detracts from his legacy. I don't think losing in a championship game should detract from this team's either.


ND already did the impossible.

by ⌂ @, Thursday, November 29, 2012, 11:44 @ Jay

Nobody has ever been ranked #1 in the BCS and #1 in Grad Rate, much less #1 between the last week of the season and the BCS championship game.

I really can't fathom being anything but psyched about the promise of the future of this program.

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.

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