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By · September 15th, 2010 · 8,355 views
Statistically Speaking: Notre Dame vs. Michigan

Last year it was freshman Tate Forcier’s clutch touchdown pass on the final Wolverine possession. This year it was his off-season understudy-turned-starter, Denard Robinson.

Robinson, after a record-setting performance against Connecticut in week one, exploded for an even bigger day against Notre Dame. He was clearly the best player in Notre Dame stadium Saturday, and his stat line (502 total yards, 7.4 yards per touch, …

Game Coverage, Personnel, Staff, Statistics »

By · September 13th, 2010 · 2,592 views
Evaluating the Irish: Michigan Wolverines

As the Fighting Irish battled the Wolverines toward the end of the game, memories of recent seasons past flashed through my mind. In a game littered with missed assignments, blown coverage, and shoddy tackling, could the Irish squeak out a win? In a few short months with Brian Kelly, could Notre Dame shake their recent reputation of crumbling under pressure and notch a victory—one they …

Game Coverage, Statistics »

By · September 9th, 2010 · 2,996 views
Notre Dame vs. Michigan: Keys to an Irish Win

Notre Dame faces long-time rival Michigan Saturday, the second of three consecutive Big Ten opponents. Even as the game looms, last year’s frustrating loss is still fresh in the mind of many Irish fans.

Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez enters his third year at the helm having presided over arguably the worst stretch of Wolverine football in the program’s illustrious history. Rodriguez is 8-16 (0.333) …

Miscellany, Off-Season, Staff, Statistics »

By · September 4th, 2010 · 2,628 views
A Theory on College Football Performance: Part 3 – Game Day Performance

Part 3 of this series of articles will cover the effects that performance in close games and game day management, preparation, and execution have on a program, and how these areas have affected Notre Dame. Part 2 focused on scheduling and the benefit that playing home games while Part 1 focused on recruiting and player development. This article covers the tactical element of the program: …

Game Coverage, Statistics »

By · September 2nd, 2010 · 3,566 views
Notre Dame vs. Purdue: Keys to an Irish Win

The Brian Kelly Era begins Saturday with the home opener against annual foe Purdue. After an off-season spent parsing coaching comments, grasping at limited practice footage, and discussing the positives/negatives of the Blue-Gold game, Irish fans will finally be able to evaluate their new head coach.

If Kelly is to meet fans’ expectations, he needs to get started on the right foot. In this regard …

Miscellany, Off-Season, Statistics, University »

By · August 28th, 2010 · 6,851 views
A Theory on College Football Performance: Part 2 – Institutional Factors

Part 2 of this series of articles will cover the effects of scheduling and the benefit that playing home games have on a program, and how these areas have affected Notre Dame. While Part 1 focused on the player impact on a program, recruiting and development—something the coach and his staff have greater control over—this article specifically looks at factors that tend to be tied …

Miscellany, Off-Season, Personnel, Recruiting, Statistics »

By · August 24th, 2010 · 6,830 views
A Theory on College Football Performance: Part 1 – The Players

I originally came up with the idea of creating “five-year profiles” because I wanted to evaluate the entire Charlie Weis period at Notre Dame on a scale relative to the rest of college football. The thought was that if we could create a snapshot of what the last five seasons (2005-2009) looked like at ND  in comparison to what that same period looked like for …

Miscellany, Off-Season, Statistics »

By · August 19th, 2010 · 6,608 views
2010 Season Predictions Survey Results

Thanks to all who participated in the 2010 Season Predictions Survey. When the data to support this analysis was gathered, over 1,500 votes had been cast.

The primary goal of this exercise is to move beyond simply estimating a win-loss record. Selecting the percent confidence in a win on a game-by-game basis is not only much more accurate, it also allows for some interesting follow-on …

Miscellany, Off-Season, Statistics »

By · August 16th, 2010 · 4,555 views
Blueprint for BCS National Championship Success V: Measuring the Irish

Editor’s note: This is the final installment of a five-part series detailing the blueprint for winning the BCS national championship and measuring the Irish performance against this standard.

As Irish fans know all too well, Notre Dame hasn’t been part of the national title picture for over a decade. The last year the lads in blue and gold laid a legitimate claim to a championship …

Miscellany, Off-Season, Statistics »

By · August 7th, 2010 · 3,125 views
Blueprint for BCS Championship Success IV: Outlining the Blueprint

Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment of a five-part series detailing the blueprint for winning the BCS national championship and measuring the Irish performance against this standard.

As the offensive and defensive results indicate, there is certainly a blueprint for winning a BCS national championship. The overwhelming majority of the last 10 champions performed at very similar levels in the same statistical categories, and, …