Aaron (Chicago): A rather fitting weekend to be in D.C Matt. To the point...I can't stand Randy Edsall and the fact that his mediocre UCONN team pulled off a win from our poorly coached Irish at the time (cough...charlie weis...cough) i know they went to the BCS but they had 4 losses. But mostly how it seemed like he couldnt wait to get out of UCONN and coach somewhere else the last 2 years he was there. Does this failure of a season for Maryland mostly stem from his coaching?
Matt (2:13 PM): Aaron, I didn't like the way he exited UConn. I don't think anyone did. What I didn't like even more was Maryland letting Ralph Friedgen go after last season. How often do you see a guy win the conference coaching award get fired that year? Still, I wouldn't blame this season all on Edsall. He has had ridiculously bad luck with injuries (five season-ending, by my count).
Nick (internet): People are saying that Alabama should not be allowed to play for a National Championship since they didn't win their conference or division. Does logic like this not help independents like Notre Dame? How can you loss to the #1 team in the nation and be eliminated from National contention for not winning your division?
Matt (2:26 PM): Nick, I don't think it hurts Notre Dame. For what it's worth, I love me a defensive slugfest like the one Bama-LSU put on. And, to be honest, I'm not convinced Bama isn't the second-best team in the country, which, in theory, is the whole point of the BCS, to get the top two teams to play each other. That being said, they got a shot at home and blew it, and if there are other undefeated teams (in addition to LSU) at the end of the season, they deserve the chance more.
Dave (Detroit): Why does Notre Dame keep changing its helmet? I thought some things were sacred.
Matt (2:38 PM): Dave, I don't know about saaacred ... I do think there's something to be said for being one of only a handful of teams that anyone can identify based on jersey and helmet, and ND is certainly one of them. I like the new shiny helmets but don't like the idea that they have four different helmets this season. Then again, the players and recruits love them.
JR (Bloomington): Matt-If the Irish can get out early, and presumably force MD to punt often, do you see BK trying some new punt returners, possibly even Toma or Atkinson to see what they can do?
Matt (2:59 PM): JR, I think the Irish are who they are in that department. Not to downplay punt returns, and not to excuse them, because it's a bad situation, but we're going on 10 games into the season now without a legitimate answer. I don't expect any big changes. Maybe Floyd will finally get a returnable punt and we can see what he does. Also, I think Austin Collinsworth gets a fair shot at them next year as well.
Thanks for all the questions. Be sure to stop by again next week. Same time, same place.