An empty Notre Dame Saturday, left me wondering what to do. I quickly solved this dilemma by deciding to drive to Gettysburg to see Johns Hopkins and Gettysburg. As an old Division III player (many moons ago), I still have a big place in my heart for “small ball” and its place in the fabric of college football. I also have a former student and player who is playing for Hopkins.
As I killed time in the morning, I decided to tune in to College Game Day. I don’t often get a chance to see College Game Day on a Saturday. While I’m not a huge fan of ESPN, I love Lee Corso, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and I’m even beginning to forgive Desmond Howard. The operative word is beginning to forgive. I also love Mike Leach so Game Day being on the Palouse was equally intriguing. I’m glad I did, as the heartbreaking and yet uplifting story of Tyler Trent as the backdrop for Purdue and Ohio State locked down my Saturday evening plans.
The drive to Gettysburg was uneventful and mainly consisted of listening to Sirius XM debate playoff scenarios. While seemingly having a torrid love affair with a now 6-1 Michigan team. I listened in to some of the Wolverines and Michigan State game, hoping Sparty would dispatch the Wolverines. They did not cooperate. In my travels, I also contemplated the Irish fortunes going forward which will likely hinge on travel.
For the Irish to qualify for the playoff, I believe they cannot lose a game and must navigate not only the opponents but a grueling travel schedule that by any standard is simply a head scratcher. It is hard for me to believe, an AD that set up that ending travel schedule has the football program at the top of his priority list.
After watching Hopkins win big and enjoying two really good academic schools face off in an intimate setting which brought back a ton of great memories, I headed home and caught the end of the Penn State-Indiana game that nearly featured a miraculous comeback by Indiana.
The night-cap did not disappoint either, as I found myself jumping back and forth between Washington State-Oregon and Purdue-Ohio State. All of us in some way have been touched by cancer some of us more than others, so Tyler Trent’s story resonates with all of us. Purdue could have been playing anyone last night, and I believe they would have won. The emotion and inspiration Trent provided was evident throughout particularly on Rondale Moore’s 43-yard touchdown reception that essentially put the Ohio State away.
Watching Moore’s defiant refusal to be tackled and his run through the Ohio State secondary into the chilly October night, gave a young man battling an awful disease a night to remember and reminded me why college football is beautiful and perfect whether Notre Dame is playing or not.