Pat Forde

  • Notre Dame trying to stay united during investigation into academic scandal

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports10 days ago

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. – After nearly an hour at the podium, Brian Kelly walked up the steps of Isban Auditorium in the Guglielmino Athletics Complex, his Notre Dame media day duties complete.

    Behind him, director of football media relations Michael Bertsch was politely firing a pre-emptive shot at reporters, dissuading them from asking Fighting Irish players and assistant coaches questions about the potential academic scandal that threatens to derail this Notre Dame football season before it starts. Bertsch announced that players and coaches would not answer questions about the "ongoing investigation."

    Walking up the steps, Kelly almost breezily echoed the words – seemingly to himself, but out loud: "Ongoing investigation."

    The light tone was misleading. Are there two words college coaches like less than "ongoing investigation"? Probably only these two: "You're fired."

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  • College football's 25 Most Intriguing Games of 2014

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports12 days ago

    Back by popular demand (or at least an absence of protest), we continue the presentation of the annual Most Intriguing lists for college football. Here are the 25 Most Intriguing Games of 2014:

    1. Auburn at Alabama, Nov. 29. As if this game hasn't carried enough payload for ages, consider: the winner has played for the national title each of the last five years. And then there is the unprecedented way the most recent meeting ended last November on The Plains. That's a lot to live up to, but this rivalry usually seems to find a way.

    2. Michigan State at Oregon, Sept. 6. The marquee non-conference game of 2014 will do a lot to frame the early stages of the College Football Playoff debate, for these two teams and their conferences as well. Also an intriguing clash of stylistic opposites. The Big Ten really needs this one.

    3. Florida at Florida State, Nov. 29. It's a long way to Thanksgiving, but a few of the things that could be on the line when this game is played: the Seminoles' defense of the national title; Jameis Winston's repeat Heisman Trophy bid; Will Muschamp's job; the Gators' viability as a power program.

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  • SEC's shootout days could ground to a halt in 2014

    Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports17 days ago

    HOOVER, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference's brief identity crisis may be over.

    For the past two seasons – and especially in 2013 – a league built on fast and ferocious defense played touch football. Offenses ruled like never before. Scoreboards exploded. Shootouts proliferated.

    Fans raised on 17-14 slobberknockers weren't quite sure how to react. Pat Dye surely thought the end of democracy was at hand. Bear Bryant must have gone through three packs of Chesterfields in Gridiron Heaven watching Alabama surrender 42 to Texas A&M and 34 to Auburn.

    This is a conference that has produced the national statistical champion in scoring defense 21 times (including five times this century) and in scoring offense only twice (last time in 1996). Yet with a plethora of talented and experienced quarterbacks, a greater embrace of hurry-up offense and a lot of vulnerable defenses, the formerly rock-ribbed SEC closely resembled the Big 12.

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