Notre Dame completed one of the worst seasons in its storied history on a high note yesterday, as they beat Stanford, 21-14, at Palo Alto.
The Fighting Irish end the 2007 season at 3-9, and with two consecutive wins. Stanford is ending a pretty rotten season also, as they are now 3-8, but a win is a win as they say.
(And by the way, I've always wondered something. Why does Stanford call themselves the "Cardinal" and not the "Cardinals?" It's like calling the Boston baseball team "the Red Sock." Pretty dumb if you ask me.)
Freshman Robert Hughes rushed for 136 yards (pictured), and looked impressive in the final two games, rushing for 246 yards in the last two games, and he's becoming a fan favorite among the Irish faithful, and a reason for hope next year. He also rushed for the winning TD with 6 minutes left to give ND the win.
But I will also remember the lousy officiating that went on in this game. David Grimes made a sensational catch in the end zone that looked to be the TD that broke the 14-14 tie in the third quarter, as it appeared from every angle that the ball never touched the ground. Every replay seemed to confirm that, but somehow the ref overturned it, and ND was eventually forced to try a long field goal, one that they missed. I don't know what angle convinced the ref to take away that TD, but ND got shafted on that call. The game also got a little chippy at times, as both teams have had a frustrating year, and both appeared to want to start brawls on different occasions. The refs nearly lost control of the game, but fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.
So, Notre Dame's lost season has finally concluded. I've heard that next year's incoming class of players is pretty strong, will make ND a much better team, and coach Charlie Weis is going to confer with his old bosses at New England to try to correct many of the glaring mistakes that were made this year. I wish him all the best with that.
2007 has mercifully ended for Notre Dame football. I can only hope a once-proud program gets back on the right track again in 2008.