Notre Dame mailblog

What's crackin'?

Michael from Evansville, Ind., writes: Hey Matt, love what you do with the blog! My question is: With Notre Dame running the ball as well as they have this year, and the weaker defenses we play in the next three games, do you think its possible the Irish could have 2 1,000 yard rushers in Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood? They both need to average around 100 yards rushing in each of the last 4 games. Thanks.

Matt Fortuna: Thanks for the kind words, Michael. I would say it's definitely possible, though it's going to be tough for a guy like Cierre Wood to gain 452 yards over four games while splitting a majority of carries. Would be a big testament to how good he is if he were able to pull it off, given the fact that he was suspended the first two games. The Irish probably would have done it last season if poor Jonas Gray didn't tear an ACL on Senior Day.

Ed Ryan from Denver writes: If four teams are still undefeated and ND is ranked fourth, what bowl do they go to and who do they play? If ND is 11-1 what bowl do they go to and who do they play?

Matt Fortuna: Ed, the most likely scenario is the Fiesta Bowl, which has the first choice among the BCS at-large bids. Notre Dame -- assuming it is No. 4, as it is in your scenario -- would then face Kansas State, the Big 12 champ. It is possible, however, that the Pac-12 ends up with just one BCS-bowl eligible team, Oregon, which in this scenario is destined for the national title game. So there's a possibility the Irish could get taken as a replacement Rose Bowl team, where it would face the Big Ten champ, which, for my money, will be Nebraska.

Wayne Janke from Piscataway writes: Have you heard anything regarding the altercation that involved the three Pitt starters? It was published and then nothing came of it...should we expect any disciplinary action or is Pitt so desperate for wins that they are turning a blind eye to their players beating up on the public? Or did they just let it run through the system at bureaucrat speed so they could play their starters against Notre Dame (epic fail)?

Matt Fortuna: I've gotten many emails like this one in the last week. I'd caution to let the legal process play out and read all of the details before jumping to any conclusions, though how anyone can be upset about Pitt's guys playing last week when Michael Floyd was suspended a grand total of zero games last season confuses me.

Jim Goodman from Cleveland writes: You said that when ND looks back on the season (in particular the Pitt game), it will look like anything but a Picasso. I think I know what you were going for, but you made an ironic choice of artist. Picasso's odd cubist style, with warped figures and oddly shaped features, would actually lend itself very well as a metaphor for their season (at least as it pertains to the Pitt game).

Matt Fortuna: Winner.