Notre Dame Football: Bobby Petrino

Another double dip? Why not ...

Week 13 schedule

Thursday, Nov. 20
  • North Carolina at Duke, ESPN, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 22
  • Boston College at Florida State
  • Virginia Tech at Wake Forest
  • Syracuse at Pitt
  • Georgia State at Clemson
  • Miami at Virginia
  • Louisville at Notre Dame
Our pick: North Carolina at Duke AND Louisville at Notre Dame

Why you should come along: Another Thursday night game presents another opportunity for us to take in multiple games in a weekend ... and this one should be particularly good. Two of the Coastal Division's expected title contenders square off, and plenty will be on the line. Duke has won the last two matchups against its rival down Tobacco Road, the first time the Blue Devils have posted a winning streak against North Carolina since 1987-89. Both of Duke's wins the previous two years were absolute thrillers, as it clinched bowl-eligibility with the win in 2012 and picked off the Tar Heels late on the road in last season's regular-season finale, clinching win No. 10, the division crown and stopping the Tar Heels' five-game winning streak in the process.

On Saturday, we'll visit Touchdown Jesus in South Bend, Ind., to check out Notre Dame Stadium's new FieldTurf and watch Louisville and the Irish run all over it on Senior Day. This is the ACC's fourth and final game of the season against Notre Dame, and it might be our best chance to check out the Golden Dome in the first year of this scheduling agreement, which I highly recommend you do if the chance presents itself. The Irish enter 2014 with plenty of questions on defense after suffering major personnel losses, but they welcome back quarterback Everett Golson, who went undefeated during his only regular season under center, in 2012. Golson, fresh off a suspension and an autumn spent working out with George Whitfield Jr., should have the Irish offense looking more like the one his coach, Brian Kelly, had at Cincinnati. And we all know the fireworks that a Bobby Petrino offense is capable of putting on display. These coaches missed each other by a year in the Keg of Nails rivalry in the old Big East. The late-fall weather elements could try to slow these two teams down, but I'll take my chances. (Especially if it means one last postgame meal at Parisi's, just off the south end of campus.)

SI: Kelly among top coaches

July, 10, 2013
AM ET's Stewart Mandel unveiled a list this week that will surely draw lots of praise and criticism: The 10 best and five worst coaches in college football.

Brian Kelly fell just outside of the top-10 list, checking in with four other coaches in the "just missed" section.

There are a pair of very familiar faces on the five worst list, however: USC's Lane Kiffin and Kansas' Charlie Weis.

Mandel stresses that the list is about the best and worst right now, meaning they are not career achievement lists. Hence, no Mack Brown, who won a national title at Texas in 2005 but has had mediocre squads the past three seasons.

Nick Saban and Urban Meyer are Nos. 1 and 2 on the list, respectively, as they have been on most other coaching lists. It's tough to argue against those two and their multiple national titles.

I do, however, think Kelly belongs somewhere in the top 10. While coaches like TCU's Gary Patterson (fourth on the list) and Baylor's Art Briles (10th) have had much less to work with, there's no denying Kelly's track record, especially in taking last year's team to the BCS title game, resurrecting a program that had been through too many disappointing campaigns in the 24 years preceding 2012.

Bobby Petrino is at No. 9 as well, which is a bit of a head-scratcher for me.

Handicapping Notre Dame's title hopes

February, 15, 2012
Our Will Harris Insider took a look at the odds for next season's BCS title contenders. He divided 17 teams into three categories: favorites, contenders and longshots.

With 20-to-1 odds, Notre Dame falls into the contender category, joining Arkansas, Clemson, Michigan, Texas and Virginia Tech. Among teams from that group, Harris likes the Hokies' chances to emerge from the pack as a darkhorse title contender in 2012:
The Clemson defense that was vaporized by West Virginia in the Orange Bowl is an unlikely candidate for a quick fix, and as mentioned earlier, we want proven coaching for title futures. We're optimistic about Mack Brown's total overhaul at Texas, but Year 2 is too soon and there's still a black hole at quarterback.

At a little better price the Razorbacks would have our attention. Arkansas is a strong program with a top-10 coach. Bobby Petrino's regime will overtake LSU this year, and the man who went 41-9 at Louisville will eventually bring at least one SEC title to Fayetteville. This could certainly be the year, as the schedule is favorable, but a trio of new coordinators and a rebuilt receiving corps are reasons for caution.

Like Arkansas, Michigan and Notre Dame are on the rise behind excellent coaching, but the best of this group for 2012 looks like Virginia Tech. With Bobby Bowden gone, this is Frank Beamer's ACC. A national title is the only hole in Beamer's résumé, and he is setting up for one more run behind quarterback Logan Thomas. This will not be an experienced offense, particularly along the line, but the skill position talent is outstanding and the bulk of the defense returns. Virginia Tech is a physical, disciplined team that knows its identity. This program is a constant threat to post an unbeaten season, and at 25 to 1, the Hokies are the most appealing play on the board.

Irish opponents USC and Oklahoma fall into the favorite category, with odds of 8-to-1 and 12-to-1, respectively.

Surprisingly enough, Michigan has worse odds than Notre Dame, at 25-to-1. The Wolverines have had a higher preseason ranking than the Irish in virtually every way-too-early 2012 poll.


'College Football Live' Extra: Biggest Plays
Ed Cunningham and Brock Huard offer up their choices for the most important and season-changing plays of the 2014 college football regular season.


Saturday, 12/20
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