Look, I went through plenty of emotions in today’s Maryland debacle; but today belongs to Navy. The Mids finally snapped the streak, and now they can deal with something besides the fact that they haven’t beaten Notre Dame in 43 years. My only question now is “What else does Paul Johnson need to do at Navy?” I mean, he’s been to bowl games, he’s won bowl games, and he’s owned Army AND the Commander-In-Chief Trophy. I guess he could use a win over Maryland in a few years, which he almost got a few years ago. But he’s beaten BCS conference teams, he’s beaten ranked teams (okay-maybe just Air Force-but still), and now he’s FINALLY beaten Notre Dame. What else can be expected of him in Annapolis? His name will again be hot when it comes to job openings in January, and I just don’t know what else he’ll feel like he can accomplish here. The expectations have a ceiling due to the fact that there are only certain kids that can come to the Academy; so goals along the lines of “an undefeated season” or “a BCS party crash” are not legitimate. As beautiful as today was for the Academy, I wonder if it also might mean that Paul Johnson can’t tell himself that he has anything left to prove.
Ram Vela will never have to buy a drink again. The “Superman Sack” was the type of move that we will all want to watch over and over again, and I haven’t been able to find it on YouTube or anywhere else yet. If you have it, please let me know.
There was obviously a game that many people here in Tempe were interested in watching today, so I gathered with a group of guys to watch ASU-Oregon, and forced them to watch both Maryland-Carolina and Navy-Notre Dame beforehand. Given the timing of both games, the Navy-Notre Dame game was getting into crunch time as Maryland-Carolina was at half. The guys I was watching with decided that they were going to “pull rank” and force me into another room, as they couldn’t stand to watch “barely D-1 football” anymore. While I understood that these teams can’t be considered BCS contenders; watching this game move on reminded me of why I love College Football. Notre Dame is playing for nothing this season. Navy is probably headed to the Poinsettia Bowl with or without today’s win. But these two teams absolutely laid EVERYTHING on the line for 4 quarters and 3 overtimes; in one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever seen in College Football. Watching both teams stand for the singing of each alma mater; watching Notre Dame’s players holding each other’s hands even in defeat; and watching the brigade’s total emotion following the win made me realize just how much College Football means to so many people. Seeing Notre Dame fans shaking the hands of Navy players on their way into the tunnel after the game practically gave me chills.
This game is about more than just wins and losses. People throughout this country who have never visited EITHER campus identify themselves with these teams. Notre Dame represents more than just a town, city, or school-Notre Dame represents an entire faith. Navy represents more than just Annapolis, Maryland, or the Academy. Navy represents every human being who has ever served their country AND their families.
This was more than just a win for Navy today. What happened today is the type of thing people will one day talk to their grandkids about. It was special.
The AP recaps Navy’s big win
The Official Site provides the numerical evidence of the win
The Official Site offers quotes after the win
The Official Site offers post-game notes
The Sun’s David Steele says the streak is FINALLY over
The Sun’s Sandra McKee credits KNKE’s confidence in leading Navy to a win
The Sun’s Patrick Gutierrez looks at the party that followed Navy’s win
Washington Post’s Christian Swezey recaps the monumental win
Washington Times’ Corey Masisak says streak is over
Washington Times’ Corey Masisak isolates play of the day-Ram Vela’s “Superman Sack”
Washington Times’ Corey Masisak paints the picture in South Bend
South Bend Tribune’s Jeff Carroll recaps Irish loss
Indy Star’s Tim Prister recaps Irish loss
Go Mids recaps the end of the streak
Go Mids’ Matt Zemek breaks down Navy’s win
Irish Eyes’ Colin Burns recaps the end of the streak
Irish Eyes’ Steve Wiltfong looks at one highlight for the Irish: a Robert Hughes TD
Irish Eyes’ Colin Burns breaks down Notre Dame’s loss (must subscribe)
Irish Illustrated’s Pete Sampson says Irish couldn’t stop all of Navy’s options (must subscribe)
Irish Illustrated’s Tim Prister says the streak is over (must subscribe)
The Official Site provides numerical evidence of the loss
The Official Site offers post-game quotes
The Official Site offers post-game notes
The Sun’s Jeff Barker steps in for Heather A; recaps a bad loss
The Sun’s Jeff Barker plays the loss back
Washington Post’s Marc Carig credits mistakes in doing Maryland in
Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens also credits mistakes in Terps’ doom
Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens notes worst part of the day-Terps’ pajama uniforms
Raleigh News & Observer’s Robbi Pickeral recaps a win for the Heels
Winston-Salem Journal’s Bill Cole recaps Carolina’s win
Durham Herald-Sin’s Nolan Hayes says Carolina kept their bowl hopes alive
Turtle Sports Report’s Seth Hoffman says Terps are now desperate (must subscribe)
Inside Carolina’s Greg Barnes recaps a win for the Heels
Inside Carolina’s Don Callahan breaks down Carolina’s win
Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says the Terps ‘came up short again’ (must subscribe)
Carolina Blue’s Evan Marfield recaps Carolina’s win
Carolina Blue’s Eddy Landreth says Heels ‘hung tough’ (must subscribe)
The Official Site’s Allen Barrett says Brian Billick is good after the Bye
The Official Site’s Terry Foy looks at the “Mayor of Owings Mills” Ed Carroll
The Sun’s Don Markus says Big Ben has gotten better with maturity
The Sun’s Edward Lee says McAlister and Rolle will both likely be out
The Sun’s Don Markus says Trevor Pryce is ready to go
The Sun’s Edward Lee says the Ravens could have the O-Line they were supposed to have
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s John Harris looks at MNF history
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s John Harris says Steelers playing for pride and revenge
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Joe Starkey says Steelers’ rookies are producing
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Scott Brown says there are no stupid questions, only completely stupid Steelers fans who have no idea how dumb their questions are
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Scott Brown talks Special Teams with Clint Kriewaldt
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Mike Prisuta says it’s Ravens’ O-Line vs. Steelers Front 7
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Scott Brown says Aaron Smith is likely out
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette says Steelers don’t need to be reminded of what Ravens did to them last year
Aaron Wilson says both Ravens and Steelers are defined by defense
Aaron Wilson says Ravens will probably be without Mac and Rolle
Aaron Wilson says Ravens need to defend the pass, run the ball, and create turnovers (sounds like a blueprint that’s good for anyone)
Live from Owings Mills; its Press Box’s Joe Platania on Saturday Night!
Extreme Ravens Ken D. Sheeks previews Ravens-Steelers
Scout.com’s Tom Marino has the Ravens 15th in his power rankings
Fanhouse’s Ryan Wilson looks at ‘hobbling’ Ravens
Fanhouse’s Ryan Wilson looks at the Ray Lewis-Brian Billick ‘marriage’
The Official Site says a Gordy Combs decision may have cost the Tigers the game
The Sun’s Ken Murray looks at the impact walk-ons have had at Towson
The Sun’s Pete Warner says the Tigers took a chance and failed
The Sun’s Ken Murray recaps Morgan’s loss to Norfolk State
The Examiner’s Dave Carey recaps Bears’ loss
The Sun’s Dan Connolly says the ‘grandmotherly’ doctor who reportedly gave Jay Gibbons steroids got 2 years in jail
The Sun’s Roch Kubatko says the Birds are headed towards a major rebuilding process
Oriole Post’s “Maryland Orioles Fan” looks at how Birds can change
The Sun’s Todd Karpovich says Mario Pino will need to get an extra win for history
The Sun’s Carlos Alvarado recaps the Blast’s win, 3-0 start
The Examiner’s Sean Walsh says Jays can’t win on Senior Day
Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Terror can’t win at Gettysburg
Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Terror won’t miss a certain Gettysburg RB
TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:
The Sun’s Fred Rasmussen remembers ‘Dixie’
SOME QUICK NOTES:
-For all of the emotion in Navy-Notre Dame; there was absolutely NO emotion on display today in Chapel Hill. The Terps never showed me any heart or desire to play the game. Even Erin Henderson-who has carried this team with his heart-appeared disinterested at times. There were MAJOR issues for the Terps in this game, and Ralph will now have to pull out a MIRACLE to make it to a bowl game this season. What I wonder now is whether or not we can give Ralph a pass for this season given all of the injuries. There is no chance that Ralph will be fired this off-season, and he obviously has to hire an offensive coordinator, but is that enough? What else needs to change in College Park to change things in 2008?
-Chris Turner didn’t lose this game today, although I don’t know where he was throwing the ball on 4th down. He has to remain the starter for the rest of the season, and it may be a Turner-Portis competition next summer. Hopefully Portis is the savior, but I’m not counting on it.
-While we’re talking about it, what in the HELL were the Terps wearing today? The uniforms looked like Pajamas. I’d rather see gold again than the white top blank pants combinations. Maybe they weren’t inspired because they thought they were still in bed.
-Tough break for Gordy Combs and the Tigers. It seems like when coaches make these types of calls; their confidence is enough for players to get it done.
-Rolle and Mac out is TERRIBLE news. No other way to explain this. My confidence in this game Monday is SERIOUSLY wavering.
-I hope we hear more this week from the meetings about what a “major rebuilding” could really mean for the O’s. This could be exciting speculation as the organization pretty much just needs to flush the toilet and clean out the plumbing, but EVEN IF a rebuilding works, we could be looking at another MISERABLE 5 years. Ugh.
Talk to you tomorrow. Congratulations to Navy again.