Commentary

Top 25 Intel: No. 17 Notre Dame

Jimmy Clausen has taken his blame, but he and the Irish are ready for a BCS run

Originally Published: June 11, 2009
By Chris Sprow | ESPN The Magazine

Want to add a reason to re-examine the football future? Of course you do. Start here:

Check out these numbers, from Quarterback A and Quarterback B.

Quarterback A: 406 of 685 (59.3 percent), 4,426 Yds, 32 TDs, 23 INTs
Quarterback B: 329 of 604 (54.5 percent), 4,272 Yds, 26 TDs, 23 INTs

Getty ImagesIf you don't buy lofty comparisons, you might need to look past the losses.

Quarterback A -- with the more impressive totals -- is Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame.

Quarterback B?

The No. 1 pick in April's NFL Draft, Georgia's Matthew Stafford.

Both QBs were considered the nation's No. 1 QB prospect coming out of high school, and the totals are from when both started the majority of their teams' games as freshmen (Clausen started nine, Stafford eight) and 13 games as sophomores. Both also enrolled early to get a jump on college ball.

And while Notre Dame has taken its share of taunts over the last two years, a product of its 10-15 record, Clausen's development is as real as Stafford's when you consider surrounding talent compared to strength of schedule, and the Irish could be on the verge of a huge season because Clausen isn't the only one on a solid developmental track -- the whole program is.

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