The Media Thinks You’re Stupid

I’m going to depart from what I usually blog about because the media has been driving me crazy this week.

There was a time when USC and Notre Dame had a legitimate rivalry. One where either team could win in any given year. That hasn’t been the case for many years because USC and ND haven’t been in the same league with respect to talent and coaching. The rivalry may exist superficially among fans — we get more satisfaction out of beating each other than we get out of beating most teams — but you can’t legitimately say that ND has any chance of winning the game this year.

Let’s consider the facts, ND is ranked #25 and is lucky to be ranked at all. There is some favoritism in their ranking. ND is 4-1 but they’ve played a very weak schedule; they’ve only played one team with a winning record and that’s the team that beat them. ND nearly lost a couple of the games they did win but managed last minute drives that put them ahead. And ND’s win against Washington was the result of a totally blown call in which a touchdown was taken away from Washington.

So even though ND is 4-1 they are barely 4-1.

I don’t follow bottom-feeding teams too closely but my guess is that there are other 4-1 teams (or even 3-2) that beat better opponents and are more deserving of ND’s #25 ranking.

Now couple the fact that ND barely registers in the polls with the fact that they are playing a team that’s ranked as high as #5 in the major polls. If you had all these facts but didn’t know the names of the schools would you give this #25 team any kind of shot at beating #5? No, you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t think #25 would have any chance at all of beating #5. On its merits the game is hardly worth talking about.

But the media, largely fueled by the overexposure Notre Dame receives from NBC, discusses this game as if two very closely matched teams are involved. Let me be the first to break the news to the news… THIS GAME IS NOT GOING TO BE CLOSE! Yes, there are a lot of ND bandwaggoners out there but they aren’t watching your show because you pretend that ND’s any good (the exception is Lou Holtz who is senile and really believes ND is one of the elite football teams, Holtz should neither be seen nor heard on TV), your ratings will not suffer if you tell it like it is.

Television analysts keep comparing the offenses of USC and ND. But I haven’t heard an honest evaluation all week. You can pit the two offenses against each other but the only logical conclusion is that ND will struggle to keep the score respectable. Sure, ND has scored lots of points this season and they beat the one team that USC lost to but that’s a very superficial analysis. For starters, when USC lost to Washington our starting quarterback Matt Barkley was injured. Taking his place was Aaron Corp who was making his very first start and is so bad that he’s currently our third string QB. I don’t think there’s any question that if anyone else was running the offense that day USC would have won. You also have to consider the quality of ND’s opponents. They’ve played a very easy schedule, a lot of teams would have scored a lot of points against that schedule without struggling to win.

Meanwhile USC beat two ranked teams, including one top-10 team, and they did it on the road both times. And one of USC’s wins came in one of America’s most hostile stadiums with a true freshman quarterback who was playing on the road for the first time.

And I haven’t even started on the defenses yet. Notre Dame’s is awful. They’re giving up points by the boatload, and they’re giving them up to unranked teams without winning records. USC hasn’t allowed a single passing touchdown, ranks among the nation’s best in nearly every defensive category and only gave up 16 points combined to the two ranked teams they beat.

If USC played the same teams on ND’s schedule there’s no question USC would have scored more points and allowed fewer points. And there’s no question that if ND had played the teams on USC’s schedule they would’ve lost more games.

Everything I’ve said should be PAINFULLY obvious to any talking head on TV. They know all of this. But they still continue blabbering on and on about this game even though ND has no chance of winning.

The poll voters have it right and anyone who ranked USC near the top of their ballot and ND at tthe bottom of their ballot will tell you that USC will win in a landslide.

That’s enough ranting. I am flying to the game right now and have a window seat with beautiful views of canyons and snow-topped mountains. I’m going to go back to enjoying the scenery.

Let me know what you think.


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