Judgement week has come and gone and there honestly isn't much to say.
USC's offense easily seeped through the porous Irish defense, particularly in the third quarter, and ultimately put the game out of reach. I'm proud of the grit and fight in the Irish to almost tie it up on the last few plays of the game.
If only Michael Floyd had been healthy or Robby Parris hadn't been nearly decapitated by Taylor Mays... if only the secondary had kept their focus on containing USC's wideouts...
Regardless of the 'what ifs' the fact of the matter is a loss is a loss and, despite what the media tries to tell you, Charlie Weis' job is still safe (for now). A blowout (loss) would have led to his termination at the end of the year along with an outrageously large buyout. Since the Irish showed they could compete on nearly the same level with the Trojans, though, my instincts tell me Weis is safe...for now.
As for the Hokies, I won't go into any details but I am surprised Georgia Tech pulled out the victory last week. Hats off to Paul Johnson as he has shown that the traditional option-based offense is not dead in the modern era.
So what did those two losses mean for the friendly competition between my associate and I? The ultimate swing weekend turned into quite the swing as my poor showing evened up our season records at 10-3 apiece.
Cumulative point differentials are a lousy -101 for myself and a more respectable -50 for Justin.
With no other games picked differently through the close of the season Justin and I will find ourselves battling for the cumulative point differential tie-breaker. Of course, 'winning' this competition is about as meaningful as points in a Whose Line Is It Anyway show.
Virginia Tech has a bye this weekend so the only game I find myself interested in is ND vs. BC. One of the esteemed mutual friends of Stars and Slights, Cassie, is a BC alum so bragging rights are certainly at stake.
Domers often remark that this game means more to BC than it does to ND. While the statement is mostly true it ignores the fact that the Eagles have had ND's number the past six consecutive times the schools have met in the "Holy War."
I mentioned earlier that Charlie Weis' job is safe for now. If he wants some insurance he had best beat the Eagles this weekend.
BC has been a case of Jekyll and Hyde this season with moments of brilliance and others or utter disappointment. They've delivered and received blowouts and, with the Irish secondary reeling from another letdown, I suspect this could be a high scoring game.
In the end I think Clausen will be too much for the Eagles. Their poor pass rush will not be able to put enough pressure on him to force turnovers like they did last year at Chestnut Hill.
On Friday night the Irish and Eagles face-off on the ice at the JACC. Even though the hockey season is young this is a very important game in terms of selection for the NCAA tournament.
Go Irish, beat Eagles!
*Note - our thoughts and prayers go out to former BC linebacker Mark Herzlich who is battling the fiercest opponent of his life: cancer. While we don't cheer for the same athletic teams it's safe to say we cheer for the same medical teams. Go Mark, beat cancer!