Notre Dame (7-5) vs. Miami (FL) (7-5) (-3)
Brian Kelly himself has said that no team begins their season aiming for the Sun Bowl. So why does it exist? What’s the point of this and other bowl games that feature nothing but teams that are disappointed to be there? It sure isn’t the pay out, and most of these crap games do not feature major programs like Notre Dame and Miami.
Then again, it’s a stretch to call either of these programs “major” at this point. The only thing that makes them major anymore are their major asshole fans and the major expectations that are created for both of these programs before every season when neither team has the talent or execution to get the job done.
That’s pretty much the only reason Randy Shannon got fired. Miami’s fans and athletic department think they should go undefeated every year, forgetting in just a few short years that Butch Davis ran a Miami program that won a national championship and came spectacularly close to the “death penalty” at the same time. Randy Shannon was clean, but he didn’t win enough. So somehow Al Golden has to run a perfectly clean program AND go undefeated whilst producing dozens of NFL prospects at the same time. I say good luck to him.
Charlie Weis was a bad fit in South Bend almost from the beginning. His reputation was the only thing that kept him on there as long as he was, and both he and Tyrone Willingham were fired for running clean programs that didn’t win nearly enough games. Brian Kelly is now faced with exactly the same task as Al Golden, and after year one, they’re in the Sun Bowl, so you tell me how it’s going so far.
So it seems fair to say that the Sun Bowl is exactly where both of these teams should be, and it’s ridiculous to pretend that either team is slumming it in El Paso this year. Games like this exist because the crap teams need somewhere to play after they finish mediocre seasons. Fat girls need love too, you know?
Yes, there are probably quite a few Miami players who are trying to look good for NFL scouts in their last game for the school while Notre Dame has a very young and very injured team. This doesn’t strike me as a great reason for Miami to come out and destroy the Irish.
And believe it or not, I trust Tommy Rees a lot more than Jacory Harris or whatever his backup’s name is. Harris is the very definition of hype over substance, of tools over production. He certainly hasn’t shown any NFL-level skills yet other than his arm and mobility. His decision making is terrible and his throwing mechanics are deeply flawed despite three or four years in the system. Philip Rivers thinks Harris pushes the ball when he throws. Nice guy, though.
Anyway, Notre Dame seems to be on the way up since they managed to play decent football while building at almost every major position. I have no idea what Miami is doing, and it seems like the players don’t either.0
Pick: Notre Dame