Scout.com’s Jeffrey Stewart draws Notre Dame in the site’s weekly Devil’s Advocate feature. For those unfamiliar with the column, Stewart and Randy Moore, both excellent sports writers, take sides, each making the case for a win by the team they draw. For his part, Stewart starts out with a bang:
Making a case for Notre Dame beating Tennessee in South Bend on Saturday is a little like vouching for Bill Gates’ credit. In other words, the only real obstacle to overcome is — where to begin?
These are two teams headed in opposite directions at the speed of light. The Fighting Irish are reborn under first year head coach Charlie Weis, the mastermind behind a potent offensive attack that is putting points on the scoreboard in bunches. With a 5-2 record that includes victories over Pittsburgh, Michigan, Washington, Purdue and Brigham Young, Notre Dame is best known for its instant classic cliffhanger last month against defending national champion and undefeated USC. That near victory propelled the Irish back into the top ten where they remain today at No. 9.
Conversely, Tennessee is in the depths of a spiraling free fall from a preseason ranking of No. 3 through a 3-4 start, until it was finally spit out of the bottom of national polls last week, following a 16-15 defeat to that other USC. The one with the roosters on its helmet and no national championships under its belt.
The Vols dramatic demise is the result of an offense that rarely has a pulse and produces points at the pace of the Tunisian national ice hockey team. If you say it’s not fair to compare Tennessee’s offense to a team that doesn’t exist. Well, I rest my case.
Pretty much nails it, doesn’t it?
On the other side, Moore is hanging his hat on this week’s offensive shake-up.
Moore does an admirable job, but you’ve got to go with Stewart and Notre Dame this week.