Archive for the 'Notre Dame Football' Category

Notre Dame to the Big10(11)-Not Happening

Notre Dame to the Big 10

I wrote a while back saying that Notre Dame should seriously consider joining a conference.  I said it would make logical sense for them to join the Big 10.  Well clearly the Big 10 powers that be are reading this blog and they are now talking about conference expansion.  Jack Swarbrick came out earlier this week saying that ND would not be interested in such a move and that they enjoy their independence.  Here is what I’m saying to Jack – it is time to realize that the college football landscape has changed and it is time for Notre Dame to change with it.

The fact that this idea was shot down without even discussion just shows how behind the times the current ND administration is.  Now a lot of “purists” will say that Notre Dame is different, it would go against what the place stands for, blah blah blah.  Here is my response to that: Does Notre Dame want to have a big time college football program?  If so, they need to change with the times.  Notre Dame has always prided itself on its balance between education and athletics, which I truly admire.  The fact remains though that their ideals have allowed them to fall behind other schools.  Did you know that Notre Dame is going to have a football training table for the first time in 2010?  Texas has its own athlete dining hall.  Every other D1 school (and some D2 schools) have training tables.  Notre Dame doesn’t because they want the athletes to be a part of the regular student body.  That puts its football players, the ones that generate a lot of money for the school at a major disadvantage.

Anyways, back to joining the Big 10.  There would obviously have to be a lot of negotiating to make this happen – scheduling, TV contract, division alignment, revenue sharing, etc.  The fact remains though that pretty much the only championship that Notre Dame plays for is the National Championship.  Not that they have competed for it at all recently but they have nothing to fall back on.  All other schools play for a conference championship and by winning that, a trip to the BCS.

I know the purists hate the idea of giving up independence and if Notre Dame continues its course, they will be happy.  I just think it is time for ND to join the rest of college football in the present and at least consider the idea.


Better Late Than Never – My Thoughts on Brian Kelly to Notre Dame

Brian Kelly to Notre Dame

I probably should have blogged about this on Friday, after the official Brian Kelly press conference, but I have some thoughts on the first week of the Brian Kelly regime in South Bend.

First, his press conference was great – the guy is very articulate and came across as confident, not arrogant.  You can tell Kelly has a political background by how he speaks and the way he deals with the media.  Kelly has been on a media roadshow ever since taking the job – I have heard him on PTI, Mike & Mike, the Dan Patrick Show, ESPN Radio, and AM 670 in Chicago.  In every one of his interviews the message was the same – he wants players who will be tough and play all 4 quarters.  His promise is he will develop his players.  This is in stark contrast to Weis, who claimed to have a schematic advantage in every game.  Weis came across as arrogant and smug in his press conference and these were labels he carried throughout his time at ND.  Kelly came across as completely different.  I especially liked when asked about the talent on the current roster, here is how he responded:

“Does it matter? I mean, it really doesn’t matter. These young men want to win, and that’s why I’m here at Notre Dame. I want to be around men that are committed, and we can’t trade anybody. There’s no waiver wire. We’re going to develop our players, and they’re going to play their very best for us. That to me has always been the most important principle. Let’s go; don’t tell me what you don’t have; I don’t want to know about it. Tell me what you can do to help us win. And that’s the way we’ll hit this thing running.”

I love this statement – this is what Kelly has done his entire coaching career, figure out how to win with what you have.

I have read a ton about Kelly – before and after his hiring.  Former players say he was the toughest coach they have ever played for, obsessed with winning, almost a tyrant when it comes to conditioning his players in practice.  This is exactly what Notre Dame football needs.  They need a guy who can be a great face to the media and a win-at-all-costs dictator to his team.

As positive as everything is with Kelly, I still have some concerns.  Will he be able to handle to bright spotlight?  Kelly has never dealt with public pressure like this in his coaching career.  Will it tire him out?  Will he bring in assistants that can handle working at a top program?

Right now, I am hopeful.  I think Jack Swarbrick made a great hire.  No one will really know until probably next November.  Weis had the ability to get his teams through September and October but his teams fell apart in November.  Will Kelly train his teams to be tough, especially as games get more important in late November?  We have no reason to think he can’t.

South Bend Tribune: Kelly to Irish Official

Although their servers are overloaded – the South Bend Tribune is reporting that Brian Kelly to Notre Dame is official.  He was by far the most logical choice and I am really excited about the future!!  Hopefully there will be an official press conference tomorrow.

More details to come…

Cincinnati Closes Football Banquet to the Media

In what I see as the biggest sign that Brian Kelly and Notre Dame have come to an agreement, a Cincinnati TV station is now reporting that the media will not be allowed at the Bearcat Football Banquet tonight.  This is what happened at Notre Dame last week after Weis was fired.

I fully expect the reports to come out tonight that Kelly is the new Notre Dame coach and a formal announcement will be made tomorrow.

The Notre Dame Coaching Circus Rolls On…

Notre Dame Coaching Circus

We are now on Day 10 of the “Official” Notre Dame coaching search.  All signs are still pointing to Brian Kelly taking the job.  There are rumors that Randy Edsall and Notre Dame are showing some mutual interest but I refuse to believe it.  There were also rumors that Kelly was balking at Notre Dame’s student life rules and disciplinary protocols.  I believe that this is all a big dance in the negotiating game and in the end, Kelly will go to Notre Dame.  We may even start hearing about it as early as this evening with the Cincinnati Football Banquet beginning at 5 pm.  I refuse to believe that Randy Edsall was ever a real candidate for the position.  Notre Dame would have a PR fiasco on its hands if they fired Weis for a guy with a worse career record.  I know I wrote last week that I was warming up to Edsall, but the logic of him taking the job just does not make sense.  I can think of probably 10-12 coaches that ND would have a realistic shot of getting before I would get to Edsall.

I will say this, if everything is silent tonight and through this weekend, Notre Dame could be in for a huge surprise.  There is no reason that Brian Kelly to Notre Dame shouldn’t be wrapped up before Monday.  If it doesn’t happen then, I don’t think Kelly will be coming and the search (and crazy rumors) will continue.

Kelly May Stay at Cincinnati

Here is the latest from Bill Koch at the Cincinnati Enquirer:

When I texted Brian Kelly yesterday about his talks with Notre Dame, he made a point of saying in his response that he was still talking to UC as well.  I believe that he is and that he’s serious about those negotiations, but from talking to people close to this situation, I still believe that Notre Dame is his first choice. I know for a fact that ND has always been the job he has had his eye on.

Here’s what I believe is going on. Kelly won’t go to Notre Dame and risk being another in a recent string of coaches who can’t win there because of the restrictions those coaches face. He’s telling them what he needs to win a national championship, and if they can’t compromise on some of those issues he won’t take the job. Meanwhile, he’s in talks with UC to strengthen his position there. If the ND job doesn’t work out, he returns to UC in a much stronger position than he was before.

We could know as soon as today if Kelly is going to ND. If it’s not today, we’ll almost surely know tomorrow night at the UC football banquet. I really believe that Kelly will tell his players first before any announcement is made because that’s the decent things to do. If he’s leaving, he will probably tell them before the banquet and be in South Bend on Friday for the press conference. If he’s not, he can make a big splash at the banquet by telling everyone he’s staying.

I will say this:  if the ND administration botches this because they will not do what it takes to put a winning product on the field, I am done.  They can’t keep pretending to want to win if they will not provide the environment in which winning can be achieved.  The arrogance that permeates from Notre Dame has always been something that bothered me as a fan.  The “we are better than you because we win and our players go to class” crap drives me crazy.  Hey ND officials, guess what?  You haven’t won anything in 21 years.  I am not saying that the school should drop all of its academic restrictions and let all of the thugs and hoodlums in – I’m saying offer a few exceptions and give them a chance to prove they can succeed at the school and on the field.  I understand that ND has it’s values, and I think they are very respectable – especially when trying to compete with football factories like Texas, Ohio St, and Florida.

I have a feeling this is going to get ugly…if this gets screwed up, the ND leaders better be prepared for the rioters with torches and pitchforks to be showing up in front of the golden dome.

I hope this all gets ironed out, Kelly and ND compromise and there is an announcement on Friday.

Brian Kelly to Notre Dame Not Done Yet

Although it seems like it is almost official, Brian Kelly becoming the new head coach at Notre Dame is not done yet.  There are some reports saying that an official announcement may come as early as Friday.  The Cincinnati Football Banquet is Thursday night so you would think that nothing would be announced until after that time so Kelly can tell his players in person.

I certainly hope this gets done.  Here is a great article about Brian Kelly and his recruiting in Ohio.

April 2019
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