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Ask Lou

  • This is a thread for anyone searching for answers about Irish football lore from our resident Notre Dame football encyclopedia, senior editor Lou Somogyi.

    Just Ask Lou...

    Links to previous mailbags:

    Ask Lou

    This is a thread for anyone searching for answers about Irish football lore from our resident Notre Dame football encyclopedia, senior edito

    http://notredame.247sports.com/Board/87/Ask-Lou-3355618/1

    Ask Lou...

    This is a thread for anyone searching for answers about Irish football lore from our resident Notre Dame football encyclopedia, senior edito

    http://notredame.247sports.com/Board/87/Ask-Lou-393298/1

    Sapp.Jason@synthes.com - https://twitter.com/Jason_Sapp

  • Lou - if there is another planet somewhere out there in the solar system and that planet also has college football, how is Notre Dame's football doing on said planet?

    Sincerely,
    StupidQuestionAsker

    * Sole Member of Loner Monkey Gang * 11-Time Winner of POTW Award * Does Not Give A Sh*t

  • RON! You beat me to it! You highjacked my post just before I got to it. Is that Smoking Monkey some kind of clairvoyant? That's just too spooky.

    signature image signature image signature image

    Gringo Mafia: Black Ops & 'Family Recruitment' Official thorn in JSapp's side POTW 3/25/12

  • Lou - who is your offensive and defensive POTD (Player of the Decade) starting in 1950? Use the whole 1950-1960, then 1960-1970 model.

    * Sole Member of Loner Monkey Gang * 11-Time Winner of POTW Award * Does Not Give A Sh*t

  • Lou - since the birth of the BCS, what team(s) have been every bit as deserving to play for the title, yet didn't get the opportunity. Part II - what would you like as far as the BCS goes - a +1, the current system, a 4-team playoff?

    * Sole Member of Loner Monkey Gang * 11-Time Winner of POTW Award * Does Not Give A Sh*t

  • IFR,

    I'm not into astrology that much, although I've been told I can be a space head, so I don't have much insight on the rest of the stratosphere.

    Offensive & Defensive Players of the Decade. Interesting idea. It's hard to do in the 1950s because players lined up on both offense and defense. But for 1950-60, I think you would have to go with the two Heisman winners, Johnny Lattner (1953) and Paul Hornung (1956). We knoe of their offensive prowess, but both were also fabulous defenders. Lattner held the school record for interceptions (13) for a decade and is still tied for third, but he especially was a sure tackler. There wasn't anything Hornung couldn't do on a football field.

    1960-1970
    Offense: Even though Huarte won the Heisman, I'd say a toss-up between the late Jim Seymour for his impact from 1966-68 and QB Joe Theismann, mainly for his superb 1970 senior year.
    Seymour was a freak in his time with his 6-4 frame, and as a sophomore in 1966 he was huge for both QBs, Hanratty and Coley O'Brien in a national title year, and then late in 1968 for Joe Theismann. You really had to game plan around him, and he was kind of the Michael Floyd of his time, the first Irish receiver to eclipse 100 career receptions.

    Defense: Jim Lynch. I don't know if you will ever find a better embodiment of a Notre Dame Man and leader than the 1964-66 linebacker. I'd be inclined to name him captain on the All-Time Notre Dame team.

    1970-80
    Offense: Truthfully, I think tight end Ken MacAfee (1974-77) was the best player (how many tight ends finish third in the Heisman?). Unbelievable hands and tremendous blocker. I'd name him co-MVP with classmate Joe Montana, but if I had to name just one, Super Joe's impact was just too powerful. Tom Clements (1972-74) is a personal favorite too.

    Defense: Ross Browner (1973-77) is the greatest football player I've ever seen here without the ball in his hands. He had 77 tackles for loss. No one else at ND has more than 44.5. Luther Bradley and Bob Golic also merit mention.

    1980-90
    Offense: Tony Rice (1987-89). Rocket Ismail is the greatest player I've ever seen here with the ball in his hands, but Tony was the straw who stirred the drink. Former MSU coach George Perles said it best: "I can kick it away from Ismail and keep the ball out of his hands. I can't keep it out of that quarterback's hands. There aren't many that come around like him."

    Defense: Chris Zorich (1987-90). Rice was the Ice and Zorich was the Fire. He brought meanness to the field, attitude, production and impact like few ever have. He made a profound difference.

    1990-2000
    Offense: Aaron Taylor (1990-93). Odd as it might seem to have a lineman, the Lombardi Award winner was a phenomenal leader who epitomized the physical, hard-nosed style under Holtz and Joe Moore. Profound intelligence who brought a Zorich-like attitude to the offense.

    Defense: Bryant Young (1990-93). The stats weren't eye-popping, but he was the aircraft carrier for the 1992-93 defenses that helped win 17 straight games. One of the three or four best "first guy off the bus" individuals I've seen here. Awesome physique, and as quick off the snap as anyone I've seen here.

    2000-2010
    Offense: Brady Quinn (2003-06). Jimmy Clausen was a better pure, accurate passer, but Quinn's impact in Charlie's first two years can't be overlooked. Golden Tate's 2009 season was spectacular.

    Defense: Shane Walton (2000-02). Excellent leader on and off the field. Instincts and ball skills were as good as any defensive back I've seen here.

    Let me think a bit about the BCS.

    This post was edited by Lou Somogyi 3 years ago

  • IFR,

    I think most people note the 2004 Auburn team that finished 13-0 but didn't get the chance to play for the title as the most worthy, but in my humble opinion, the greatest team since the advent of the BCS in 1998 to not get a shot was Miami in 2000. It was Oklahoma versus FSU — and Miami had defeated FSU in the regular season meeting. (OU would win, 13-2).

    Willis McGahee RB
    Najeh Davenport RB
    Andre Johnson WR
    Santana Moss WR
    Mike Rumph CB
    Ken Dorsey QB
    DJ Williams LB
    Ed Reed CB
    James Jackson RB
    Clinton Portis RB
    Phillip Buchanon CB
    Dan Morgan LB
    Jonathan Vilma LB
    Jamal Green DT
    Vernon Carey T
    Vince Wilfork DT
    Bryant McKinnie G
    Jeremy Shockey TE
    Reggie Wayne WR
    Damione Lewis DT
    William Joseph DT

    The 2001 Miami national champs were as talented as any I've ever seen, but they should have played for the title in 2000 as well. (Then in 2002, a late controversial call led to Ohio State beating them in the title game).

    In 2003, it was a disgrace for Oklahoma to play LSU in the BCS title game in the Sugar Bowl. The Sooners lost 35-7 to Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game. Come on, man! Screw the computers in that situation and use a human element of common sense. A team that didn't win its conference title and lost by 28 points in its final game before the bowls should not play for the national title. Period. End of story. LSU did win, but USC — No. 1 in the AP and coaches polls — should have played LSU, not Oklahoma. Thus, there was a split national title between the Tigers and Trojans.

    I also think USC was definitely the best team in 2008, but Oklahoma and Florida played for the title. In my humble opinion, the 12-1 Trojans would have beaten both. It was like Miami in 2000 with an NFL franchise.

    This post was edited by Lou Somogyi 3 years ago

  • IFR,

    The first and foremost I would like in the BCS is for college football to "take back" New's Year Day, which today has become meaningless.

    As I stated in a different thread, I know I sound like an old fogey when I say this, but I miss the excitement that used to be New Year's Day in college football. Sugar, Cotton and Fiesta to kick it off, Rose in the late afternoon, and Orange at night. It was college football's Holy Day of Obligation, and on that day a national champion was determined.

    How about if this year you could have on Jan. 1 that old style: SEC champ LSU vs. Stanford in the Sugar, Big 12 champ Oklahoma State vs. Alabama in the Orange, Pac 10 champ Oregon vs. Big 10 champ Wisconsin in the Rose, and maybe the Fiesta can have Arkansas vs. ACC champ Clemson.
    Or there could be a rule that a conference champ with at least three losses cannot play in one of those major bowls. It would have been intriguing to see No. 7 Boise State go against an SEC team like No. 6 Arkansas.

    If a Plus-One is in demand, how about top college football people then voting after Jan. 1 on the two best teams, and then having the title tilt two weeks later? I just would so prefer that old New Year's Day feel.

    However, in fairness to the BCS, you would not have had Ohio State-Miami in 2002 or USC-Texas in 2005 with the old format. Everything has its pros and cons.

    There is just such an anti-climactic feel today with the bowls, especially Jan. 1, and between Jan. 1 through about Jan. 8 it's like, "Who's playing in a bowl today?"

    I loved how sometimes on Jan. 1 you had two (and sometimes even three) different bowls that had national title implications. For example, on Jan. 1, 1971, No. 1 Texas lost to No. 6 ND in the Cotton Bowl, and then No. 2 Ohio State was upset by Stanford in the Rose, leaving the national title up to the Orange Bowl with No. 3 Nebraska against SEC champ LSU (who ND beat). If Nebraska won, it would win it all, but if it lost, ND would. Alas, the 'Huskers eked out a 17-12 win.

    There were many other years like that, and that was part of the fun of New Year's Day. I miss that, although the BCS meant well.

  • Thanks, Louspendous. Here's yet another question: If Notre Dame were to play in a BCS bowl with no national title implications, what bowl would you prefer. And why?

    * Sole Member of Loner Monkey Gang * 11-Time Winner of POTW Award * Does Not Give A Sh*t

  • Imagine how much it must of cost the Boosters of the U to essemble that team!

  • IFR,

    Believe it or not, I have not been at an actual bowl site since the 1989 national title win against West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl. The way our operation worked back then was we would send one writer and one photographer to the site, and I would do the final proofs at home for publishing the next day.

    We do have Wes Morgan and Dan Murphy in Orlando and we'll be publishing the next morning by 10 a.m. However, in the future, hopefully at a BCS site for a national title, I plan to travel.

    I don't really have a preference, but the Rose Bowl would seem intriguing. I've been to the Cotton and Fiesta, so Orange, Sugar and Rose would be a nice trifecta on The Bucket List. At the top of my sports Bucket List is witnessing one more national title in football by the Irish. I've been alive for four and passionately followed three (1973, 1977 and 1988), so I consider myself very fortunate in that respect. I've had my doubts whether a fourth would ever occur, but that's what keeps sports interesting.

  • Lou,

    One of my favorites of all time is Joe Howard from Archbishop Carroll in Maryland if memory serves me well. What a clutch ball player. He even played for Digger too. Is there anybody on the current recruiting radar that reminds you of Joe Howard? It seems to me that someone of Howard's ilk would absolutely thrive under Kelly's offense.

    Could you do a where are they now story on Joe? Also, what is up with my old pal John Carney? Thanks.

    One time POTW winner.

  • Frawls42,

    "Small Wonder" was a special athlete who, it is my understanding, was taken late in first-year coach Gerry Faust's 1981 recruiting class that a record 13 Parade All-Americans. He was about 5-9, 167, so there was some initial reluctance to take him, but after a 2-3 start he was inserted and exploded on to the scene.

    First, he had a 56-yard kick return in a 14-7 loss to USC , and then his first start, versus Navy, he caught five passes for 115 yards, had 96- and 58-yard scores against Georgia Tech, snared four passes for 102 yards in a 24-21 loss at Penn State and then was named ABC-TV player of the game for ND in a 37-15 loss at Miami (five catches, 77 yards).

    His 17 catches for 463 yards (27.2 per catch) and three TDs were practically identical to the 17 catches for 462 yards Anthony Carter had two years earlier as a Michigan freshman.

    Joe was also a superb high school basketball player and played in the McDonald's Capital Classic. In his junior year (1983-84), one point guard (JoJo Buchanan) transferred and the other, Dan Duff, was declared academically ineligible for the second semester. Digger turned to Joe Howard after the football season and he did a heck of a job, highlighted by an upset of Maryland and helped them to the championship game of the NIT.

    I don't see anyone on the recruiting radar that fits his profile because all are at least 6-1 and fit the type of profile Brian Kelly and Co. seek.

  • Lou - has there ever been an ND player to catch, throw, and run for a TD?

    * Sole Member of Loner Monkey Gang * 11-Time Winner of POTW Award * Does Not Give A Sh*t

  • IFR,

    Are you trying to be nice because you feel so sorry for all the crickets in the "Ask Lou" thread?

    There have been quite a few to achieve the feat, most recently Arnaz Battle (1999-2002), who began his career at QB before becoming a receiver.

    Quarterbacks Steve Beuerlein (1983-86) and Joe Theismann both did it. Beuerlein caught a 6-yard TD pass from halfback Allen Pinkett in 1984 against South Carolina, and Theismann had about a 20-yard catch against USC from halfback Coley O'Brien (former QB) against USC in 1968.

    Allen Pinkett (1982-85) also achieved the trifecta, as did halfback Al Hunter (1973, 1975-76).

    In fact, not only did both Pinkett achieve all three in the same season (1984), but so did Hunter in 1976, the year he became the first 1,000-yard rusher in a season at ND. He threw a 33-yard TD pass to Mark McLane against Purdue and caught a 28-yard score against Navy that same season.

    And here's a grand slam for you: Pinkett had a kickoff return for a TD against Penn State in 1982 as a freshman and Hunter did the same as a frosh against Alabama in the 1973 Sugar Bowl. So they scored or helped tally four different ways during their Notre Dame careers.

    I don't have all the records from the 1920s through 1940s, but I'm certain with some research a George Gipp also would be in that category.

  • Thanks, Lou. Now - has the trifecta ever been done in one game?

    As for the crickets - I believe those are seasonal crickets. Pity the Lou? Nonsense. During the season, we're all wired on football and then - BAM - the season is over in two games. So, what do we as Irish fans do? That's right - go back to 1677 and talk about how good we were. And who knows more about Notre Dame's history than any one person on the planet?

    Lou Somogyi.

    So, you get blasted with questions on everything from the color of Montana's socks when he's not playing football to what would you suggest to Weis to help that runny nose. And everything in between. Now, the regular season is over. Depression. All that's left is the hope that comes from good recruiting news. And Sapp becomes the offseason Lou.

    In no way am I suggesting that Sapp doesn't contribute during the season or that you don't after - it's a beautifully balanced mix of two 5-stars at the top of their respective games. It's why no other site can offer what this site does - and then deliver it. We'll still have plenty of recruiting questions during the season and be in need of history lessons after the season. Recruiting chat will slow down after February. Yet Sapp won't become un-needed. Recruiting, like ND history, is year-round. Both topics have their peaks and valleys.

    And both staff members responsible for answers/info on said topics are far too humble to ever realize both are far too important, regardless of the month, to ever warrant pity. This site (and I hope I'm taking nothing away from the other staff members) could easily be renamed Lou & Sapp Illustrated.

    * Sole Member of Loner Monkey Gang * 11-Time Winner of POTW Award * Does Not Give A Sh*t

  • IFR,

    Thank you for the kind words, but everyone here feeds off each other, whether it's Jason, John Haynesworth, Wes Morgan or Dan Murphy. The staff at 247Sports, led by Steve Wiltfong, also have provided a boon to our operation.

    And no, I have no knowledge of the trifecta of passing for a TD, running for a TD and catch a TD being pulled off in one game.

    However, in the first ever ND night game, a 40-6 victory at Detroit on Oct. 5, 1951, an ND back named John Petitbon (brother of future NFL coach Richie Petitbon) did the following — all in the first quarter:

    * Returned the opening kickoff for an 85-yard touchdown.
    * Took a punt on a reverse and scored from 73 yards.
    * Took a toss sweep for a 39-yard touchdown.

    Three TDs via three different means, all in one quarter. Truly amazing.

    This post was edited by Lou Somogyi 3 years ago

  • Lou Somogyi said... (original post)

    Frawls42,

    "Small Wonder" was a special athlete who, it is my understanding, was taken late in first-year coach Gerry Faust's 1981 recruiting class that a record 13 Parade All-Americans. He was about 5-9, 167, so there was some initial reluctance to take him, but after a 2-3 start he was inserted and exploded on to the scene.

    First, he had a 56-yard kick return in a 14-7 loss to USC , and then his first start, versus Navy, he caught five passes for 115 yards, had 96- and 58-yard scores against Georgia Tech, snared four passes for 102 yards in a 24-21 loss at Penn State and then was named ABC-TV player of the game for ND in a 37-15 loss at Miami (five catches, 77 yards).

    His 17 catches for 463 yards (27.2 per catch) and three TDs were practically identical to the 17 catches for 462 yards Anthony Carter had two years earlier as a Michigan freshman.

    Joe was also a superb high school basketball player and played in the McDonald's Capital Classic. In his junior year (1983-84), one point guard (JoJo Buchanan) transferred and the other, Dan Duff, was declared academically ineligible for the second semester. Digger turned to Joe Howard after the football season and he did a heck of a job, highlighted by an upset of Maryland and helped them to the championship game of the NIT.

    I don't see anyone on the recruiting radar that fits his profile because all are at least 6-1 and fit the type of profile Brian Kelly and Co. seek.

    Thanks Lou. What is Joe "Small Wonder" Howard up to these days?

    One time POTW winner.

  • Frawls42,

    I've been trying to find him but don't have a direct number or e-mail in the school's alumni directory. He's definitely someone I'd like to profile in the Where Have You Gone section of our print publication. We'll track him down sooner or later.

  • Do you know where each team has been practicing this week? I assume that it is off-site for ND and maybe even at home until a few days ago for FSU. Thanks.

  • SDWolverine,

    ND has been in Orlando since the afternoon of the 24th, with an initial walk-through in the stadium. To my knowledge everything has been on-site in Orlando for both teams to make media and public relations access for the bowl easy.

  • Lou Somogyi said... (original post)

    IFR,

    The first and foremost I would like in the BCS is for college football to "take back" New's Year Day, which today has become meaningless.

    As I stated in a different thread, I know I sound like an old fogey when I say this, but I miss the excitement that used to be New Year's Day in college football. Sugar, Cotton and Fiesta to kick it off, Rose in the late afternoon, and Orange at night. It was college football's Holy Day of Obligation, and on that day a national champion was determined.

    How about if this year you could have on Jan. 1 that old style: SEC champ LSU vs. Stanford in the Sugar, Big 12 champ Oklahoma State vs. Alabama in the Orange, Pac 10 champ Oregon vs. Big 10 champ Wisconsin in the Rose, and maybe the Fiesta can have Arkansas vs. ACC champ Clemson. Or there could be a rule that a conference champ with at least three losses cannot play in one of those major bowls. It would have been intriguing to see No. 7 Boise State go against an SEC team like No. 6 Arkansas.

    If a Plus-One is in demand, how about top college football people then voting after Jan. 1 on the two best teams, and then having the title tilt two weeks later? I just would so prefer that old New Year's Day feel.

    However, in fairness to the BCS, you would not have had Ohio State-Miami in 2002 or USC-Texas in 2005 with the old format. Everything has its pros and cons.

    There is just such an anti-climactic feel today with the bowls, especially Jan. 1, and between Jan. 1 through about Jan. 8 it's like, "Who's playing in a bowl today?"

    I loved how sometimes on Jan. 1 you had two (and sometimes even three) different bowls that had national title implications. For example, on Jan. 1, 1971, No. 1 Texas lost to No. 6 ND in the Cotton Bowl, and then No. 2 Ohio State was upset by Stanford in the Rose, leaving the national title up to the Orange Bowl with No. 3 Nebraska against SEC champ LSU (who ND beat). If Nebraska won, it would win it all, but if it lost, ND would. Alas, the 'Huskers eked out a 17-12 win.

    There were many other years like that, and that was part of the fun of New Year's Day. I miss that, although the BCS meant well.

    Amen!

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    My luck w/the Irish 20-6...GO IRISH!!!

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  • How many recruits can we sign for this 2012 recruiting class? Also how many for 2013?