Saturday, November 27, 2010
Time for a Statement
In addition to the intense instate rivalry taking place in Virginia today there is a similarly heated intersectional rivalry being conducted between two schools from Indiana and California.
With respect to the Hokies and Cavaliers, this post takes aim at the greatest intersectional rivalry in all of sport: Notre Dame vs. Southern Cal.
For those in need of a history refresher on the rivalry please google it. I would link as per normal protocol but I am currently on the road traveling and linking becomes increasingly more difficult on a phone. But I digress.
The bottom line is that the Trojans have owned Notre Dame for the better part of the past decade. Though the Trojans' eight game winning streak against the Irish pales in comparison to Notre Dame's 13 game undefeated streak (11 straight wins followed by 1 tie then another win) it is still an impressive feat. Moreover, the manner in which the Trojans have beaten, rather pummeled the Irish, has been particularly troubling, annoying, and long overdue to be rectified.
Tonight on ABC, depending on the region you're in, Coach Kelly and his men have an opportunity to make a statement win. Some will say the victory on senior day against Utah was a statement win given the defensive dominance on display, a rare sight by the home team inside Notre Dame stadium, but I don't buy it. It was the first ever meeting between the two schools and the Utes were ranked in the top 15 teams in the nation, but make no mistake they're no USC.
Even though the Trojans seemingly have nothing left to play for - postseason bowl game suspension to thank for that, compliments of Reggie Bush - this is still a game between two bitter rivals fighting for excellence both on and off the field. The past few years have seen the Irish succeed only in the latter while the Trojans have succeeded impressively but only in the former.
Both schools feature new coaches this season. Success has been hard to come by for either skipper this year as distractions and injuries have taken their toll on both programs.
Even through the turmoil of the 2010 season each team has something to play for: bragging rights. In addition, recruiting efforts will no doubt be impacted by the outcome of tonight's matchup for the Jeweled Shilelagh.
With that pressure abound, Coach Kelly seeks his first statement win in his first opportunity to do something not executed by an Irish coach since Bob Davie - beat 'SC.