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By · January 30th, 2011 · 8,850 views
How Good Are the Irish? A Year-End Offensive Statistical Review

It may be head coach Brian Kelly’s first year at the helm, but positive change is already tangible.

While the 2008 and 2009 Irish squads finished 1-8 in November, this year’s unit went 3-0. It isn’t time to anoint Kelly the next Lou Holtz or Ara Parseghian, but Notre Dame played its best football down the stretch without several critical players such as quarterback Dayne …

Miscellany, News, Statistics »

By · January 17th, 2011 · 3,383 views
2010 Elite Selection Playoff: Final Rankings

Editor’s note: The previous week’s results can be found here: week 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6.

The dust has settled on the 2011 season, and the Auburn Tigers came out on top. It was quite the turnaround for head coach Gene Chizik. Auburn finished the 2009 season in relatively pedestrian fashion. The Tigers compiled an 8-5 record, including a dubious …

Game Coverage, Off-Season, Personnel, Staff, Statistics »

By · January 4th, 2011 · 10,265 views
Evaluating the Irish: Act II

The wise Rocky Balboa said, “It ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” After Notre Dame’s stunning loss to Tulsa, it would have been easy for the Irish, who stood at a record of four wins and five losses heading into their bye week, to throw in the towel on the season.

The …

Game Coverage, Statistics »

By · December 29th, 2010 · 7,785 views
Notre Dame vs. Miami: Keys to an Irish Win

Notre Dame faces Miami in the Sun Bowl New Year’s Eve. The game marks the first meeting between the two teams since 1990 and is a preview of three future contests—a neutral site game at Chicago’s Soldier Field in 2012 and a home/away series in 2016 and 2017.

In many ways the two teams are heading in opposite directions. The Irish enter the game on …

Miscellany, News, Statistics »

By · December 15th, 2010 · 5,444 views
2010 Elite Selection Playoff: AV Ranking Bowl Predictions

Editor’s note: Special thanks to ESP and AVR co-creator Vincenzo Siciliano for his effort in the work outlined below. He did the analysis, I just made a few observations and wrote up this summary.

Disclaimer #1: The following is not intended for betting purposes.

Disclaimer #2: The following analysis does not include the Army—Navy game last weekend. It is not expected that excluding this …

Miscellany, News, Statistics »

By · December 5th, 2010 · 6,254 views
2010 Elite Selection Playoff: Week Fourteen

Editor’s note: Be sure to check back for the final installment of the ESP when the final AV Ranking (AVR) will be used to predict the bowl game outcomes. The previous week’s results can be found here: 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6.

The season ended with three undefeated teams but only two will be playing for the BCS National Championship in …

Game Coverage, Statistics »

By · November 30th, 2010 · 8,521 views
Statistically Speaking: Notre Dame vs. USC

The Irish stopped the Trojans eight-game win streak in dramatic fashion Saturday night. Robert Hughes five-yard touchdown run with 2:23 remaining capped off a physical, run-heavy drive that gave head coach Brian Kelly his second three-game win streak of the season.

Looking back this could certainly be a season of what if’s. What if quarterback Dayne Crist hadn’t been injured in the Michigan game? What …

Miscellany, News, Statistics »

By · November 29th, 2010 · 3,219 views
2010 Elite Selection Playoff: Week Thirteen

There was some shuffling atop the polls and the AVR this week as three teams—Boise State, LSU, and Oklahoma State —in last week’s ESP top 10 lost.

The Broncos fell one spot in the AVR but fell more sharply in both the AP and Coaches Polls dropping five spots in the former and seven in the latter. LSU dropped from 6th to 13th in the …

Game Coverage, Statistics »

By · November 24th, 2010 · 3,722 views
Statistically Speaking: Notre Dame vs. Army

After getting shellacked by Navy and losing a heartbreaker to Tulsa (with some questionable coaching decisions to boot), it was difficult to imagine the Irish becoming bowl eligible, let alone having a chance to win out.

But Notre Dame has outscored their last two opponents by a combined 55-6 and heads to the West Coast to battle the rival Trojans on the heels of two …

Game Coverage, Personnel, Staff, Statistics »

By · November 23rd, 2010 · 4,242 views
Evaluating the Irish: Army Black Knights

Win six games and become bowl eligible—this was now the goal for the Fighting Irish football team. In what has become a somewhat underwhelming inaugural campaign for head coach Brian Kelly, his team adopted a desperate undertaking: making the postseason. Long gone are the days of yesteryear when Notre Dame was at the forefront of college football’s greatest powers. Will Brian Kelly make that happen …