This is “The Holy War,” right? One of America’s best and most storied college football rivalries? Hardly seams like it. Lately, Boston College has been just as bad as the Irish, if not worse. Tonight may seem more like a battle of the inept then a clash of two Catholic powerhouses.
Last week, we mused about the fascinating parallel between Notre Dame and Stanford. Notre Dame is the school struggling to find a balance between keeping the educational integrity that they pride themselves on while competing in a changing Division I climate. Stanford, after years of stumbling to find that balance themselves, has mastered it.
Perhaps this is why Stanford is involved in one of the most compelling games of the day and Notre Dame is involved in one of the more laughable ones. Ironically, the two play opposite each other on the same network (one is on ABC is some markets, while the other gets ESPN2 billing, flip flop the channels as you get further west).
But make no mistake, the comparison between Stanford and Notre Dame isn’t being done to ramble about an already beaten to a pulp premise. Instead, it’s part of a different, and much more relevant, comparison.
In the same way that Stanford and Notre Dame can be compared because they are schools of, as I dubbed it last week, much higher learning, Notre Dame and Boston College can be compared because they are Catholic universities. In this comparison, however, Notre Dame deserves the nod for football program headed in a better direction. That is not to say that Boston College hasn’t had more success lately (Matt Ryan, anyone? 8 wins last year), but just that currently the Irish have a better football team.
Boston College is coming off a 19 – 0 loss to an overrated Virginia Tech team and will look to start a freshman at quarterback. Notre Dame, while the luck hasn’t been there, are 2 individual defensive stop against two teams from Michigan away from being 3-1. Aside from last week, they have gotten inconsistent, but at times superb, play from the quarterback spot. Offensively, this team looks like a group that’s only getting better, not a team looking for answers.
Dayne Crist needs to play better. He showed signs of major regression last week against Stanford. Whether or not that was the opponent remains to be seen, but Crist needs to get back to where he was two weeks ago. His consistency within games needs to improve as well, but this week he’ll be able to get by playing just as well as he did against Michigan State
Defensively, I think it’s hard to gage either team. Notre Dame has had major trouble stopping the run. The stats don’t show it, but they haven’t played all – together poorly as a defensive unit, they’ve just fallen victim to the big play.
Once again, the name of the game will be avoiding the big gain on defense. I think Boston College’s offense is suspect enough that they can do that.
The Pick: Notre Dame 24 Boston College 14- A scatter brain column, I know. But I think Notre Dame has a lot going for them that Boston College does not. The quarterback issue is huge. Notre Dame’s defense is underrated and they will play well against an inexperienced signal caller.
About the Author
Written by Jordan Lauterbach
Jordan Lauterbach began his career in sports media when he was just 15 years old at WKWZ - Syosset. He hosted a sports talk show for nearly four years before moving on to WCWP - Brookville in 2006. Lauterbach currently hosts a sports talk show every Wednesday night from 9pm - midnight (eastern) and a College Football talk show on Saturday mornings from 11am - 12:30 (eastern) (can be heard online at wcwpsports.com and on Long Island on 88.1fm). Follow me on twiiter: jlauterbach1