Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Irish infighting: Getting to the bottom of the rivalry Notre Dame fans dismiss

I think there are three views of the BC-Notre Dame game:

BC fans: Our main rival. Huge circle your calendar, pack up the RV and get ready to beat ND…again
Notre Dame fans: BC fans are trash. BC players are trash. They are not and will never be our rival.
Casual college football fans: The two Catholic schools hate each other. How cute. Not Michigan-Ohio State, but certainly a rivalry game.

I had a big windy post about the rivalry and what it means and what it doesn’t. I decided to scrap it after reading Charlie Weis’ press conference transcript. He's the smartest guy in football so if he thinks it is a rivalry it must be. Right? [Ed. note: I added the bold]

BC has beaten us four times in a row, and the obvious rivalry comes from being the two Catholic universities in America that play Division I football.

And then he added this

Q. What are some of your thoughts on this rivalry and this game?

COACH WEIS: Well, I think that growing up on the East Coast, a Catholic kid on the East Coast, and you were looking at universities, the two universities that were involved in Division I football that you knew very much about were Notre Dame and Boston College. I think the stereotype or the chemistry of the kids are very similar type of kids.

Q. Can you talk also about the football aspect of it? It seems like there's a history of one team ruining another season.

COACH WEIS: Well, they're not going to ruin our season. (laughter)

This game is a rivalry. The two-year break was great for BC. It gives some freshness to this year’s game and the break changed BC fans’ perspective. More fans realize that ACC wins are more important than beating the Irish.

I would like to see the series continue but not on ND’s terms. We want a home and home series. They want lopsided ones. I know we considered a 4-3 arrangement. They wanted four in South Bend, two in Chestnut Hill and one neutral site game (although not Ireland or Foxboro). Sorry, but that is bullshit. If Notre Dame feels that series against Rutgers or Washington State generate the same amount of program momentum, TV ratings and revenue that a series with the only other DIA catholic school, than that is their right. We’ll see if they come back to BC if the Big Ten continues to force the Irish to front load their schedule. We’ll fill their slot with USC and other BCS teams. It’s too bad.

Finally for a moment of levity. There are some great ND fans but that doesn't make it less fun to poke at the condescending and boorish ones.


ToTheHeights said...

That video is well done.

If nothing else comes from this weekend I hope that Charlie hypes up Matt Ryan some more.

In a video on espn.com college section Weis compares Ryan to Tom Brady and Brady Quinn and says that he is going to be an early draft pick

tow2nd2none said...

thanks for linking that video in your main blog... my roommate sent it to me and it was too priceless to not share with the rest of Eagle Nation. GO BC!

Leather D said...

I disagree with the statement that all BC fans think it is a huge rivalry. I used to think that when we were in the Big East and had pretty much nothing in common with any of the football schools. Now that we are in the ACC and several schools are private and many are academically strong, I've moved on. The Catholic school thing is a nice angle the week we are playing them, but otherwise I could give a rat's ass.

Eagle in Brighton said...

I gotta agree: as a younger Eagle, dueling with more academically consistent and national schools like Duke, UVA and UNC or the perennial football powers Miami/VT/FSU is becoming more of a draw in my mind than ND.

Don't get me wrong, I love the tradition and the Catholic school component, but it terms of big picture scheduling, ND is rarely our most competent opponent. I'd take FSU/VT in football, or Duke/UNC in basketball any day.

Eagle in Brighton said...

Not to get all dissertation on you, but BC is not the school it was 20 yrs. ago, even 10 years ago. At least in the northeast, Chestnut Hill is definitely more respected and desired academically than South Bend, and I think this equaling effect is present in athletics as well.

To draw on my best Rick Pitino, the ghosts of Lou Holtz and Parseghian are not walking through that door for the Irish. Marked by media inflated bowl placements, Notre Dame has suffered through nearly two decades of mediocrity and underperformance.

Tradition is one thing- and that's really were NDN draws its arrogance, but at the end of the day, it's 'what have you done for me lately' ND? And the answer is nothing.

That's why I don't mind if they cut off the BC series- it's an acknowledgment that we have become too competitive an opponent for their schedule: more akin to Penn St. than a Syracuse. With recent ND mediocrity and our competitive annual ACC slate- that's only bound to get better with FSU/Miami's inevitable rise- I'm more than excited for a ND-less future. There media loss will be our gain.

eagleboston said...

Boy, I can tell some of you guys are very young. While we can lose this game and it will have no effect on our goal to win the ACC Championship, beating Notre Dame is still very important. #1, this game is on NBC, broadcast nationally. #2 a lot of Catholic recruits will be watching this game and the winner may get one or two commits. #3 While we have been successful on the field, Notre Dame is kicking our ass in recruiting and they won't stay down for long. #4 There have been at least 2 movies about Notre Dame football. BC has.....none. #5 We have one Heisman winner. I think Notre Dame has 9. #6 We have won one national championship. Notre Dame has won several. #7 If BC is so great in terms of its attractiveness, then why is Notre Dame consistently rating higher in recruiting? Could it be that recuits go to Notre Dame and see 80,000 screaming fans and then they go to Alumni to see a Top 10 team and the piddly 40,000 seat stadium is half-full at kick-off? I was thoroughly embarrassed when I went to Saturday's game. That is not big-time football. Notre Dame, even a losing Notre Dame has way better fan support than a Top 10 BC team.

Thus, newbies, this game is huge. To beat Notre Dame well send a signal that we are the best Catholic program and our school is going to be vying for the Top 10 consistently. To lose, will let the nation know that BC does not deserve it's ranking and Notre Dame is on its way back. We need to win this game.

Marie said...

Eagleboston, your comments are absolutely on target. On the national stage like this, we MUST win, and win big. I'm in the deep south (AL) where they hate ND with a passion and BC has earned some respect. (I always wear my BC t-shirt here when we have beaten ND and always get smiles and thumbs up!)

They will be out for revenge; we can't let them get it. Go BC and Matty Heisman!

BCNorCal07 said...

It's disheartening to hear that some people actually discount Notre Dame as an opponent and rival. Being out in the Midwest now, every Catholic that I know absolutely loves ND. When I ask them why, they reply that there is no other option.

Perhaps it's the two year lay-off, but I know that the best atmosphere (both on-campus and in Alumni) was always for Notre Dame. Other games may have had great crowds, but it wasn't because of the opponent, it was because it was a night game or an important conference game or something like that. With ND there is bad blood, great crowds and fantastic games. We have none of that in conference (yet). How is ND not a big rivalry?

lance said...

Wow....talk about delusional....you really think BC is a more respected school than ND? and people say mass-holes are myopic.

Are you really comparing BC to UVA and Duke?

BTW BC Fan....lets not get carried away. BC whooping up on ND is like Gary Coleman kicking Emanuel Lewis' ass. Talk to me when you've knocked off a decent non-con team>

BC in the SEC = Mississippi St.

Eagle in Brighton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eagle in Brighton said...

@ Lance

BC/UVA/UNC all are a close second to Duke in the top tier of the ACC academically. BC trumps all but Duke in terms of selectivity and median SAT ranges for incoming Fresh. Higher overall rankings for UNC/UVA are countered by the lower competency of in-state students.

In terms of football, ND is the most storied program in football, I'll give them that. But as a University, they really only carry cache in midwest as the end all academically. BC, with its leaps and bounds of the past 2 decades, definitely is the more respected institution where it truly matters- in the northeast.

In terms of the SEC, that's just a whole other beast entirely. I don't think BC's ever professed to be a football factory, but at least we graduate out players (as does ND, for that matter...)