The BCS Era is finally dead but it seems like Notre Dame's horrible January luck will continue to reign supreme. It's been 20 years since the Fighting Irish had a good first month of the New Year and after yesterday it could be another 20 years.
Here is a rough time line of the shit hitting the fan in South Bend.
Image via UHND
LEADING RETURNING RECEIVER DAVARIS DANIELS SUSPENDED FOR SPRING
Davaris Daniels caught 49 passes for 745 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013 but won't be catching shit this spring other than study time after being suspended for a less than stellar GPA. Ahh the joys of playing at an actual academic institution. Daniels was expected to be QB Everett Golson's (another player suspended last season for academics) #1 target and really only proven receiving commodity other than TE Troy Niklas (shit we will get to him later) returning. Now it's up in the air. Yes he can return if he gets his grades back in order but as a rising senior this shouldn't even be an issue at this point in his collegiate career. Players like Daniels need to be leaders especially at a position at WR where they are extremely green. No Spring Game for Daniels means players like Chris Brown and CJ Procise as well as freshman wideouts Corey Robinson, Will Fuller, and James Onwuala will have to build some trust with Golson as he returns.
DT TOP RECRUIT MATT DICKERSON DECOMMITS, GOING TO UCLA
Well at least this news broke before signing day and not 3 months after. UCLA again poached a valuable ND recruit at a position where they struggle mightily to get quality numbers in defensive tackle. Last year it was freshman All-American Eddie Vanderdoes and this year it's another Northern Cali prospect in Matt Dickerson. Dickerson like Vanderdoes is citing family issues for flipping to UCLA and wanting to stay closer to home. This is understandable but both players are still a 5-6 hour drive from UCLA to their respective homes. In other words it's more BS. Oh well move on right? I mean defensive tackles are just rushing to get into Notre Dame now that Louis Nix is going first round to the NFL right? Fuck no.
NOTRE DAME SWITCHING TO UNDER ARMOUR
This is just a personal preference and not an indictment on Notre Dame. I just am not a fan of Under Armour. And yes I'm from Maryland originally but I think UA gear is overpriced and overrated. No offense but offense to my Maryland peeps. Supposedly ND picked UA over Nike after deciding to let their Adidas contract run out. A lot of recruits and fans were not happy with the decision. They bitched and moan about it on Twitter and Facebook. I was also one of those fans. I don't want to protect this house. I want Nike and field turf and a fucking video board in the stadium in 2014. But none of these things look like they will happen. Awesome.
Image via UHND
TROY NIKLAS DECLARES FOR NFL DRAFT
This was the final dick kick I needed before going to bed late last night. Presumed to be returning tight end Troy Niklas aka Hercules aka build himself into a 1st round pick in 2014 aka what the fuckity fuck are you doing declaring for the NFL draft? I've had some time to rethink this and if I was in Niklas size 15 shoes I would have come back for my senior season and strive to make myself the best tight end in the nation but I can also see leaving early. Football careers are short and concussions are extremely dangerous. Niklas has the later already. You gotta get your money "legally" while you can and after talking with Tyler Eifert and others Niklas made his decision. At least he told Brian Kelly about it unlike Stephon Tuitt who went straight to the media. No way to sugar coat it but losing Niklas and Tuitt are tremendous losses. Physically no one can replace those two on the roster. But hey look on the bright side at least Notre Dame plays a shit schedule like Ohio State...oh wait...nevermind.
And last but not least I've heard some grumblings about Kelly and the NFL. At this point nothing would surprise me. With so many players jumping ship and academics taking away elite talent I'm not so sure Kelly returns in 2014. At this point they are just rumors but until Notre Dame or Brian Kelly come out and announce his new offensive coordinator (?) and defensive coordinator (Brian VanGorder) I'm going to prepare myself for the worst. Because make no mistake losing Kelly would be devastating. And no Gruden is not walking through that Golden Dome door nor would I want him.