With Temple and No. 14 Notre Dame set to kick off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (NBC / 97. 5 The Fanatic), we scoured the internet (ran a Twitter search) to find the best semi-amusing ND blogger we could find. We came up with The Subway Domer, who's the A-No. 1 Tommy Rees supporter on the interwebs. Our chat with the Domer appears below, and I answer some Temple questions over on his site. Enjoy:
1. First off, I had no idea Tommy Rees was referred to as the Reesus. I'm not sure this is a question. Respond.
Obviously, there is a resurrection that is happening here. It's OK. It may take 2000+ years before some people accept Reesus into their heart. The prophecies were correct!
— Brendan McAlinden (@verypiratey) August 12, 2013
2. As far as Tommy's concerned, he had some moments last year when he came into games, righted the ship, swung some games, and really kept the National Title hopes alive. But you guys had to think he would fully take a back seat to Everett Golson this year, right? Now Golson's off the team and Rees is back under center. Odd as it sounds considering what he did at times last year, is this a disappointment?
Yes and no. Golson would have definitely been been the starter, and Irish fans (myself included) would have been extremely pumped to see Everett blossom and grow in Year 2. But ... things happened, and we have Tommy Rees. I am still confident that this offense will do pretty well this season. Tommy is a senior, he knows the offense better than anyone, and he has won a lot of games for the Irish. I'm sure there is a little disappointment, but if the wins start rolling in, no one will care.
3. Another Tommy question before we move on: How does the Rees-Brian Kelly dynamic play amongst the fan base? There are always coaches who get on players, but for casual observers of the program, this is an especially high-value source of entertainment.
Honestly, I don't know if the fanbase is really all that concerned with it. It's noticeable, but more in a way that says, "Tommy is a tough dude, he can take Purple Face." This is almost a non-factor in my thought process during a game.
4. The Irish defense is now without it's most high-profile player from last year in Manti Te'o, but defensive tackle Louis Nix is likely a top-10 pick and the defensive line is arguably still the best in the country. The defense carried the team to the title game last year. Is it still on that level?
I truly believe that it is. Te'o was a great linebacker at Notre Dame, but like most great linebackers, he had a lot of help from the big boys in front of him with their hand on the ground. The defense returns so much back, and the secondary should be even better than last year when the Irish had to piece together the unit due to injuries. It may sound strange since this defense lost the runner-up to the Heisman ... but they will probably be better than 2012.
5. We just mentioned him, and we can't get through this talk without addressing it: Manti Te'o and Lennay Kekua/Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. The Internet can be a cruel place, but for a good while, people couldn't get enough and the details only got weirder, which kept feeding at the beast. How was the whole thing received amongst the fan base? Were Domers just as morbidly curious and entertained as the rest of us, or was there a sense of embarrassment or sympathy or exhaustion or ... ?
No offense, but I have zero time for any of this. Didn't care much then and don't really care now.
6. We're around a year out from ND's announcement that it's joining the ACC in 2014. The football independence is still in tact but now comes with a mandated five ACC dates a year. How was the move viewed at the time and how is it viewed now, a year later? Was there ever a shot with the Big Ten? Was that preferable? Or did it not particularly matter once the Big East became a rapidly sinking ship?
There's mixed opinion about this whole ACC deal, but I personally welcome the partnership. Notre Dame will never join the Big 10. Geography is the only similarity for that type of alliance. The ACC and ND fit together quite nicely and is a better match in terms of academics, and overall mission. Notre Dame would join the Sun Belt before they join the Big 10 (there's a history of "screw you" there).
7. Let's go back to June, when ND still had 14 teams on its 2014 schedule and things with Arizona State were getting testy. Since then, the Temple game originally scheduled for next year at Lincoln Financial Field was pushed back to 2015. You're Jack Swarbrick: Who would you have dropped at the time? And you've still got one more team to axe from next year's schedule. Who would you like to see bumped now?
Temple was the right call then and is still the right call as to what team needed to be dropped. As for the next "cut," I would say it should be Rice, but it could most likely be Northwestern.
8. I'm not breaking new ground here. Notre Dame fans are perceived as arrogant. Give us your best arrogant response. Inject a little bit of religious fervor into this if you're so inclined.
I can't believe I'm wasting my time by answering questions from a Temple writer?
9. Perfect segue to bring this back around to Temple and close this up. Is this game already an afterthought for Irish fans? Like, "Yeah, we have a game against some Jewish school (kidding) but the season starts Week 2 vs. Michigan." Accurate, not accurate?
A little bit. Mostly, Irish fans are just excited to get the season started and get this weird offseason behind us. If this was the third game of the season, I think you would see us looking past Temple quite a bit more, but we love football and are just excited to start another run at the title.
10. Last one. We've known the spread was going to be quite large for some time, and that it was only going to get bigger. I'm writing this to you on a Tuesday and the line is currently Notre Dame (-29.5) or (-30) depending on where you get your numbers. That number is getting a lot of love here locally, and not for emotional, fan-related reasons, with Temple to cover. If you're putting down on this game, are you taking or laying the points?
Historically, Notre Dame hasn't covered the spread very well and this would look like another game that I would take the opponent and the points -- at least a couple of years ago. Temple is not a good football team, and Kelly really steps on the throat against those types of teams. I'll spot ya 30. [ducks]
Head over to Subway Domer as we flip things around and talk Temple.