The WDRB College Football Notebook might only have been born a few months ago, but it was not born yesterday. Notre Dame is saying it didn't join the Atlantic Coast Conference in football. That's understandable. Who would admit to doing such a thing, unless you were a program so bereft of current cache and so dependent on past glory that you have noting else?
Wait a minute. That didn't come out right. (Pitt and Syracuse, it looks good on you, though.) As for Notre Dame, a tip: You might say you're not in the ACC, but if you play five games a year against ACC teams, you're at least keeping a change of clothes and an extra toothbrush over at their place.
Notre Dame will be dragging home in the morning with its hair all messed up wearing a borrowed ACC jacket soon enough. The Irish can say what they want, but the 'Book knows what's up. Pretty soon Notre Dame will be getting beat in the Orange Bowl like every other ACC team.
Now, on with the show . . .
A TIMELINE OF NOTRE DAME IN THE BIG EAST
Sometimes a look back is instructive:
2012 -- Left for ACC
2011 -- Lost to Florida State in Champs Sports Bowl; did not win Big East men's basketball title
2010 -- Beat Miami in the Sun Bowl; did not win Big East basketball men's title.
2009 -- Did not make a bowl game; hired Cincinnati's coach; did not win the Big East men's basketball title.
2008 -- Beat Hawaii in Hawaii Bowl; did not win Big East men's basketball title.
Okay, this is getting old. Just let this sum it up
1995-2007 -- Lost every bowl game it played in.
1980-2012 -- Did not advance past the NCAA men's tournament's Sweet 16.
You get the picture. The 'Book gets it regarding Notre Dame. It's an Iconic program -- and a fantastic all-around athletic and academic program. Particularly in women's basketball and women's soccer, Notre Dame is a fixture. But here's the thing about icons -- they are important, enduring symbols, but often little more than that. The Notre Dame departure is symbolic, but its substance is more difficult to pin down.
For the 'Book's money, the Irish will regret not finding a way to shack up with the Big Ten -- though that league was going to require football to get hitched, and Notre Dame will avoid that at all costs.
TAILGATiNG RECESSION HITTING THE BLUEGRASS
Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and Western Kentucky need to pick up their games – and it isn't anything the coaches can take care of, folks. It's up to you.
And you. And you.
Tailgater magazine is out with its annual list of the Top 21 schools for tailgating in the country. None of the local tailgating scenes cracked the Top 21.
In a bit of a surprise, Southern California. Gotta be the weather. Either that, or those new silicon-filled cornhole bags they're playing with in SoCal. And did anyone clear this ranking with the college football authorities? The 'Book was under the impression that the SEC won everything in college football, especially in the tailgating department. The finest spots The 'Book has ever enjoyed before and after a game are Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana State.
And if that wasn't enough of a snub, none of the locals made the list of 15 finalists in USA Today's balloting for America's best college football towns. The more the 'Book reads stories like this, the more we wonder if somebody is out to get Kentuckiana – the way they've been out to get the Big East. Conspiracy theorists unite! If it's any consolation, USA Today reported Diana Ross was dead, so it might just be possible they're wrong on Louisville, Lexington or Bloomington, too.
Less than two full games into the season, Indiana made a quarterback change. It wasn't because Tre Roberson failed to perform. Roberson was dazzling in the first half of IU's 45-6 win over Massachusetts, but suffered a broken leg during the second quarter. Roberson had surgery this week and will miss the rest of the season.
Enter Cam Coffman. Who's Cam Coffman?
That's what many Indiana fans are asking with the Hoosiers returning to Memorial Stadium to host Ball State Saturday night. Coffman grew up in Missouri, didn't like the FBS offers he had coming out of high school and played at Arizona Western Community College last season. He completed better than 61 percent of his passes, throwing for 2,244 yards and 21 touchdowns.
His football pedigree is solid: Dad (Paul) played tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers. Brother (Chase) is a tight end on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad. Brother (Carson) played quarterback for Kansas State.
Rivals.com rated Coffman the No. 20 passing quarterback prospect nationally in the Class of 2011. The recruiting service said Coffman has scholarship offers from Arizona State, Wyoming, Iowa State, Kansas State and Nebraska.
"I don't know if he has the biggest cannon ever. He has good knowledge, good anticipation," IU coach Kevin Wilson told LaMond Pope of the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal-Gazette. "The more he plays, the more comfortable he's getting. … He's got a little pep in his step. "At the same time, he's not a very ‘rah, rah,' fired-up guy. He's a very calm guy. It's his DNA. He won't get rattled."
He's better not. Ball State has won its last two games against the Hoosiers, including last season.
LOUISIANA-MONROE: BEAT ARKANSAS AND ALL IT GOT WAS THIS T-SHIRT
In case you missed it, Louisiana-Monroe upset Arkansas, 34-31, in overtime in Little Rock last Saturday. In case you missed it, an enterprising manager at the ULM bookstore developed a commemorative T-shirt for the game.
The manager's only miscalculation was the strength of the demand. The first 150 shirts were gone within minutes after they were placed on the shelves. So another 200 were ordered. And then another 388.
According to a story in the Monroe News-Star newspaper, the back of the shirt featured the ULM and Razorbacks' helmets, the score and the headline: "The Shock in Little Rock."
The shirts are on-sale for $14.95, plus shipping and handling, at the ULM Bookstore website. The 'Book won't tell former U of L (and current Arkansas) coach John L. Smith if you order one. Or more.
Please note: The shirts come in sizes S, L, XL, and JLS.
The 'Book's proprietors pick five games each week on the WDRB.com SportsPage Live webcast. If you're not catching it, you're missing out. But you're not missing out on the picks. Rick Bozich is 9-1 after (straight up) two weeks. Eric Crawford is 9-1 after two weeks. Here are the Week 3 picks:
North Carolina at Louisville: Rick picks U of L 21-17, Eric picks U of L 34-24.
Western Kentucky at Kentucky: Rick picks UK 24-20, Eric picks WKU 35-31.
Ball State at Indiana: Rick picks Ball State 27-17, Eric picks IU 31-27.
Alabama at Arkansas: Rick picks Alabama 29-14, Eric picks Alabama 31-28.
Florida at Tennessee: Rick picks Tennessee 27-20, Eric picks Florida 21-17.
Say this about the Internet, there's never a problem rushing to judgment. Two weeks into this season, the fellows at AthlonSports.com in Nashville have already calculated their list of the Ten Most Disappointing College Football teams.
You don't have to be Bobby Petrino to guess who's Number One. The Notebook will share the Top Five – and insist upon contributing its original snarky comments.
1. Arkansas – ULM T-shirt not included. 2. Washington State – Appears that Mike Leach left his genius hat in Lubbock. 3. Wisconsin – The Badgers' new offensive line coach lasted two games. 4. Auburn – Cam Newton's not walking through that door. Neither is Bo Jackson. 5. Pittsburgh – Better hope the ACC commissioner doesn't see that Youngstown State score.
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