Notre Dame mailbag

You request, I deliver. Here's what's been of your minds through an eventful three weeks of Notre Dame's season.

Mark Schadl from Atlanta writes: Matt, what's your thoughts on the future of Dayne Crist? He "was" eligible to come back for a 5th Year next year, but Brian Kelly's take on 5th Year Seniors is if they can't help and ND needs that scholarship spot, they generally don't get one. I liked Dayne a lot, I wish he would have had more success on the field. Thanks,Mark

Matt Fortuna: Mark, Dayne entered this year publicly with the approach that it would be his last. Obviously, he didn't expect to get pulled halfway through his first game. It's certainly an interesting scenario and a sidebar to watch as the season progresses. With nine games left, I highly doubt we've seen the last of him. Depending on how much (or how little) playing time he ends up getting, though, it wouldn't shock me if he chose to go to another school for one more year where he could play. Given his California roots, I'd imagine he'd head to the West Coast, though we are getting ahead of ourselves three weeks into 2011.

Greg from Grand Junction, Colo., writes: It is a shame that Michael Floyd is not being mentioned as a Heisman candidate!

Matt Fortuna: Greg, you clearly haven't been reading my weekly Heisman watch. Floyd's numbers are up there with anyone's nationally, but he isn't getting as much attention for the simple fact that Notre Dame is 1-2. Win a few more games, continue to produce at the rate he's at, and surely the national eyes will reach South Bend.

George Somerville from Lake Geneve, Wis., writes: Notre Dame should try putting Michael Floyd in for Wildcat and see how that works out.

Matt Fortuna: George, with the many ways the Irish have used Floyd so far this season, it wouldn't really surprise me. Seriously, though, he said he's lost a lot of weight, which has helped contribute to a quicker burst of speed off the ball. I wouldn't expect to see him in the Wildcat, however, with a still developing quarterback at the helm of a team that leads the nation in turnovers.

Paul S Grabsky from Alpine, Texas, writes: Hello Matt, with A&M about to bolt the Big 12 I have heard rumors that Notre Dame will replace the Aggies on Texas schedule for the annual battle Thanksgiving Night. Just wondering if you heard that as well? Of course the landscape of college sports is all hearsay these days. Thanx for reading.

Matt Fortuna: Paul, Notre Dame's series with Stanford won't end before 2019. And I can't see the day that the Irish's series with USC would ever end, though I suppose nothing would surprise me anymore. In short, it would take plenty of legwork for something like that to possibly happen.

Ty Winter from Trinidad, Colo., writes: I have 3 questions for you#1: What is your prediction on thier record, and what bowl will they land in?#2: Kelly is a proven coach that rebuilds teams and brings them to the top, is next year the year they will make a run for the BCS championship, and finally,#3: Will Notre Dame join a mega conference, and if so will they keep thier TV deal with NBC? Thank you; oh by the way do you have enough pull to get me two tickets to a ND home game, it's the #1 thing on my Bucket List. Thanks Ty

Matt Fortuna: That's a lot to dump on my plate at once, Ty. Here we go: 1) Nine wins are still possible, but the Irish can't even think about that if they continue to turn the ball over. The Champs Sports Bowl would seem most likely with anything less than nine wins. 2) Notre Dame will be in great position from a talent standpoint to compete next year, but the schedule is just brutal, with a date in Norman against the potential defending BCS champion Sooners standing out above others. 3) The carousel seems to be put on hold for now, and the Irish and their fans can continue enjoy their status as an independent. Lastly, if I had a dollar for every person who asked me for tickets, I may just be able to afford a few on my own.