August 21, 2009

It's Official...

Jack Swarbrick has officially lost me. I think I held out long enough before forming any opinions, but there is enough body of evidence that his latest quotes in a Yahoo Sports article are just the icing on the cake. He just doesn't get it. And if that makes me one of his so-called delusional alums, then so be it.

"The 7-4-1 model makes scheduling much more complex. We don't make any scheduling decisions that are designed to try to produce more winnable games," Swarbrick said. "But everyone has to understand the price you pay for having more home-game experiences, more things people go to and enjoy, is a limitation on who you can get."

Wait a second. So the 7-4-1 model makes things more complex. It limits the quality of our opponents. It gives us matchups like ND-Wazzu in San Antonio. It prevents us from having games like ND-Texas in Texas or ND-Miami in Florida because of our stubborn refusal to relinquish that last home game. SO THEN WHY ARE WE STILL PURSUING THIS MODEL? Honestly, at some point, you just have to come down to what is best for the program. I would like to think that college football is still about that, but maybe not anymore. If Swarbrick thinks that it is better for the program to play "home" games against Army in New York rather than a neutral site game against Alabama or Texas or anyone like that, well, it's a sad day.

"I think our fans need to recognize how the BCS landscape has changed. Utah might not cause the same reaction as some other schools, but look at what they did last year," he said. "I don't know that Nevada isn't this year's Utah. I think we all have to have a more expansive view, a more studied understanding of how quickly it changes in the top level of college football today."

This is the one that did it for me. Here he goes again. Those crazy Notre Dame fans. Can't you just be happy playing Nevada and Utah. You really want to play Alabama AND Utah in the same season? Don't you fans realize that playing Nevada is essentially the same program as Texas? Just wait until September 5th - I mean there will practically be a BCS bowl atmosphere when the Wolfpack come to town.

Give me a break Jack. Sure the college football landscape is changing, but Miami is still Miami, Texas is still Texas, Alabama is still Alabama and so on. Yes, there are cycles where programs go through ups and downs, and Miami is just coming out of a down period, but for a lot of college football matchups its about the name on the front of the jersey, the pomp and circumstance and passion behind the fan base and the history behind the program that make them what they are. Miami could go .500 for the next 10 years and I would still want them on the schedule and still get fired up for a meeting with the U.

I could go on and on, and I'm sure Doug will pick up the reins from here, but this is not the type of things I want to hear coming from the athletic director's office. It's like Kevin White never left.

And all you Nevada and Utah fans, this isn't about your programs. We respect them for what they've done. But when our AD is touting these games as the same as playing a Texas or Alabama, it just not what we want to hear. Ask any ND fan how they feel about this year's schedule and the first word is more than likely 'embarassing.' You have to supplement the Nevada and Utah games with more than Army in New York or Washington State in San Antonio. And Swarbrick doesn't seem to get it.


Mike said...

Jack Swarbrick: Kevin White with a law degree.

Doug said...

Amen. I think Swarbrick should be required to read the 3rd to last paragraph of your post before he heads to work every morning. The name on the front of the jersey still matters a lot in college football. I want to see those burnt orange Texas uniforms and those blue ND uniforms on the field at the same time. I don't care what Nevada is ranked. You can't sell me on that game as a "marquee" game no matter how hard you try or how high they are ranked.

Swarbick's line about "Nevada being this year's Utah" as some sort of defense of this schedule is the biggest load of nonsense I've ever heard from an ND spokesperson. We scheduled Nevada as a BUY GAME!! The only reason they are even on the schedule is because we moved that BYU game five years ago and Nevada was one of the teams who had to move around their schedule. We didn't schedule that game as some marquee series. Nevada stunk when we scheduled them. It was viewed as an easy win before Michigan. Insisting that Nevada is now "this year's Utah" as if we had scouted them and made a determination that it would be a good game is complete revisionist history. It was a "buy game" then and it's a "buy game" now.

If Nevada was a marquee game, we'd be playing them home and home. I don't have a problem with playing Nevada at all (especially in the opener), but selling me on that game as a clash of the titans is laughable.

Swarbrick is insulting the intelligence of his fanbase by using that line. Don't sell me on Nevada or UConn. I don't care about either of those teams and never will. You are not the one who gets to determine whether this schedule is any good. WE ARE. We're the fans. We're the consumers. We get to make the decision on whether this schedule is any good. And apparently we have decided that this schedule stinks because half the games are not sold out yet.

Here's the other line that kills me.

"I think our fans need to recognize how the BCS landscape has changed."

That sounds like it came straight out of the Kevin White playbook. The BCS is a complete sham, so I don't care about the "BCS landscape." Winning 10 games in the WAC doesn't make you a heavyweight when you have 2 star talent and play in a 30,000 seat stadium.

There are only 10-15 heavyweights out there, and that list is FINAL. USC, Miami, Michigan, Texas, Ohio State, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Tennessee, LSU, Auburn, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alabama, Penn State. All of those schools have huge stadiums and elite talent and elite tradition. We should be playing three of those teams every year. Nevada has none of those elite qualities. If you want to play Nevada and think they're going to be great, then go ahead. But they shouldn't replace a big boy.

Other schools who would be great for a home and home if we couldn't get 3 heavyweights in a particular year: Arkansas, Clemson, South Carolina, Oklahoma State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin. I could be talked into some other possibilities, but any of those schools would be a blast to play. They have tradition, rabid fanbases, and would be great for tv ratings and prestige.

(Continued below)

Doug said...


Swarbrick, just stop with the nonsense. You sound like the Cincinnati Reds ownership/GM. You sound like you're trying to sell me on trading for 35 year old Scott Rolen as a "marquee" pickup even though the team is 15 games under .500. Don't insult my intelligence.

I really want to believe in Swarbrick, but I'm concerned. If he was really committed to changing the makeup of the schedule, I feel like we would have a couple big announcements by now. Instead, we get Swarbrick blaming the fans and making excuses and defending this crappy 2009 schedule. He came in to ND talking the talk about changing things, but now it feels like he's channeling Kevin White.

I'm still holding out hope that he'll hear the roars from the ND alums/fans and restore the traditional schedules in the future, but he has done NOTHING yet to substantiate that hope for me. All it will take is one big Texas/Miami/Bama announcement to get me excited, but I feel like that day doesn't appear to be on the horizon any time soon.

Another scary thought: The Oklahoma series has not been signed yet. The OU AD said we haven't signed the contract. My original understanding was that we wanted that series as a replacement for Michigan. Now that we have Michigan on the 2012 schedule, are we still going forward with that series?? I certainly hope so.

Anonymous said...

Swarbrick says it's the cost of having more games people can go to. Maybe he'd like to explain why with two weeks before the season half of our games have not yet sold out.

Yeah, it's clear that ND fans want more uninteresting games rather than cutting back the model to create more interesting matchups.

Anonymous said...

nice picks retards. ps - Notre Dame is horrible. You lost to M.