As my colleagues at CSNChicago wrote about over the weekend, if you’re a die-hard Notre Dame fan feeling nostalgic about natural grass at Notre Dame Stadium, you can now buy a two-by-five foot piece of grass turf from the stadium for $149.95.
Notre Dame sent a release out Monday morning with more details on the sale: The sod will be removed from Notre Dame Stadium by Tuesday, May 20, shipped on May 21 and delivered by May 23 (the $149.95 includes two-day shipping). The cuts of grass will come from the least-worn areas of the stadium — some sections were in pretty awful shape by the end of the 2013 season, and in even worse shape during the Blue-Gold game last month.
Notre Dame has played football on natural grass for every season of the program’s existence, but will switch to artificial turf for the coming 2014 season. Issues with the field grew over the last few years, with 2013’s regular season home finale against BYU a pretty egregious example of how bad the turf got (there were about 10 instances of a player being “tackled” after slipping and falling on a dead patch of grass).
Natural or artificial turf became a sticking point with a lot of Notre Dame fans hoping the school would continue to “do things differently” than other college programs. But tradition only goes so far when it becomes impossible to maintain a passable quality in natural grass.
Oregon touched the ball 15 times in its 41-24 win over Colorado on Saturday night. Jeff Lockie played seven of them, including the first. Taylor Alie played eight.
As long as Vernon Adams nurses his broken finger, this appears to be the plan for the Ducks.
“They’d both done enough good things in practice last week to merit playing,” head coach Mark Helfrich told the Oregonian. “We just felt looking at the game plan we could parcel out aspects with each.”
“Of course you want to get into a better rhythm but that’s how it goes,” Lockie said. “We’re just going to play the best we can and as long as we’re winning games, there’s no problem with me.”
Lockie completed 8-of-11 throws for 54 yards with an interception while rushing five times for 18 yards. Alie connected on 4-of-9 throws for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on five carries. Not quite Marcus Mariota numbers from either signal caller.
“It’ll just depend on the game plan,” Helfrich said of Alie and Lockie. “I think those guys they have differences. There are some strengths and weaknesses to different areas of their game and so we’ll think about that going forward of just how the Washington State game plan comes out.”
With Oregon playing Washington and Washington State (combined Pac-12 wins thus far: zero) before a tough closing stretch, Helfrich and company have time to alternate signal callers.
The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.
Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.
And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.
That group breaks down as follows:
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:
- Ohio State
- Boise State
Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.
None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.