Notre Dame Football: South Carolina Gamecocks

1. The NCAA Football Rules Committee tabled the 10-second rule, and Alabama coach Nick Saban says the pace of play needs a closer look, which means we are in the exact same place as we were before the committee ready-fire-aimed its way toward passing the 10-second rule three weeks ago. That is, save for everyone on both sides being a lot more riled up. Until the data shows this is a player-safety issue, it’s a style-of-play issue. Those rules are tougher to pass, if only because trends in the game develop slowly.

2. In a discussion on the ESPNU Football Podcast on Wednesday, my colleague Matt Fortuna made an interesting point in favor of the idea that Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has established himself as a success in South Bend despite having had only one BCS-bowl season. Three of Kelly’s coordinators have been hired as head coaches: Charley Molnar (UMass), Chuck Martin (Miami of Ohio) and Bob Diaco (UConn). Here’s another point in Kelly’s favor: he is in year five in South Bend without questions surrounding his job security. Since Dan Devine retired in 1980, only Lou Holtz has passed the five-year threshold.

3. Has it occurred to anyone else that this is the golden age of college football in the state of South Carolina? The Gamecocks have finished 11-2 and in the top 10 in the last three seasons; Clemson has done both in the last two seasons. This from the flagship programs of a state best known in recent years for exporting its talent to national powers such as Florida State and Penn State. What Steve Spurrier and Dabo Swinney have achieved gets lost because they have one conference title between them in their present jobs. But the state of South Carolina stands behind only Alabama in recent success.

Early Offer: No doubting OSU's Meyer 

December, 17, 2013
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Ohio State moves up three spots in the RecruitingNation Class Rankings after the addition of five-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan, but the Buckeyes aren’t done in the South yet; Notre Dame also moves into the top 10 after landing the nation’s No. 1 tight end; and the NJCAA All-America team features a number of well-known recruits.

Ohio State makes Southern push
Shortly after Ohio State landed five-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County), I asked on Twitter if it’s time to stop doubting Buckeye coach Urban Meyer’s recruiting efforts. Of course, fans from other schools all over the country jumped in and said the jury is still out (and several other things that aren’t safe for print). But even then the biggest Meyer critics might have to change their minds if he is able to also land No. 4 receiver Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer) in the next couple of days. The Buckeyes currently have the nation’s No. 8 class and have some major momentum heading into the final push.

Irish lunch links

July, 22, 2013
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Man, this summer has flown by.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The video has been making the rounds for much of the offseason, garnering more than 12,000 views since it was first uploaded in January.

If hype and preseason projections hold to form, it may feature a future Heisman Trophy winner. If Everett Golson develops into the kind of quarterback he hopes to become, it may eventually feature two Heisman winners.

The first play of the South Carolina High School League AAA title game, as CSNChicago's JJ Stankevitz notes, offered a familiar sight: Jadeveon Clowney obliterating everything in its path en route to the quarterback.

The quarterback remembered getting tossed on the sack -- "like it was yesterday," Golson joked -- but he also remembered the night for something else. His Myrtle Beach team beat Clowney's South Pointe squad, 27-23.

Clowney, a rising junior at South Carolina, is among the early spring favorites to lift college football's most coveted individual hardware in 2013, especially after he capped his 2012 campaign with a hit like this one on Michigan's Vincent Smith.

Golson is quietly rooting for the fellow South Carolina native to become the first pure defensive player to win the Heisman. Golson's former teammate, linebacker Manti Te'o, came as close as any pure defender ever in 2012. But there is a caveat.

"I hope he does, but at the same time, I think I'm pushing for the same thing," Golson said. "I know it's maybe a goal some may say is a little bit far-fetched, but I want to be the best competitor I can be. So I want to see him do great, but I also want to be there at the same time."

Starting at the glamor position of quarterback -- at Notre Dame, no less -- one year after taking his team to the final game of the college football season gives Golson a built-in advantage. A year of ups and downs at the highest level, plus the ever-so-slight comfort of knowing the No. 1 job is his to lose, also gives Golson more confidence heading into his redshirt sophomore season. He is better prepared for this year after admitting to being a bit overwhelmed by the media attention.

"I think I came in and it was probably like six [reporters]," he said of last year's spring game, which served as his first breakout public performance. "I was like, 'All right, it's cool.' And next thing I know, I look up and it's like 20, 30 people. I'm like, 'Whoa.' So I'm trying to watch my words more carefully and stuff like that."

He is hoping his plan heading into the 2013 season goes a little bit better than his team's did entering that 2010 title game in South Carolina, end result notwithstanding.

"Oh man," he said laughing. "Let's just say what we planned to happen didn't happen at all. It was the complete opposite. I guess we had a great plan, scheme-wise. We thought it was a good plan. We were basically cracking back on Jadaveon so we would block him with our tackle and our tight end was actually detached and he would crack back as soon as the ball was snapped.

"But I remember we snapped the ball and he just gets off the line and I don't think my tight end gets to him. So I'm like, 'Awww man.' I know he's coming, so like I'm trying to get out but he's a great athlete and it wasn't really combat from me, I guess. I couldn't do anything. I was at a loss so I just kind of took that one."

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