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For Those Against Brian Kelly, I Have 1 Question.

  • I don't want to put Lou S. out of a job, but I'd like to see a moratorium on comparisons of "what coaches have done in their first two years." I've been guilty of the same, but the more I do it, the more I realize that each circumstance will have some uniqueness to it that seriously dilutes comparisons. Some coaches looked like geniuses their first two years, and were. Others looked like geniuses, but only proved to be so in contract renegotiations.

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    I may not be pretty, but I'm fast..... POTW 1/31/11 - 2/6/11

  • Excellent point. That is indeed the question at hand.

    After last season I thought that we had the right coach. With the losses to Navy and to Tulsa at home which was just around the time of the death of Declan Sullivan and the alleged rape scandal, I thought the team would crumble, which is what it had done in it's previous 2-3 seasons without the tragedies Those were very dark days for Notre Dame. He won the final four games of the season and the defense went from so-so squad to a top 25 caliber was astounding.

    Also, with how he kept the offense productive during the second half of last season without Dayne Crist, Kyle Rudolph, Armando Allen, Michael Floyd and Theo Riddick for a few games each. All that with starting a true freshman QB.

    I don't recall the DEFCON 1 level of sideline outbursts last season. Though he was intense and in-your-face, but not like this year. 5 turnovers and a missed field goal(from a guy that missed 1 or 2 the season before) against USF and to lose by 3 points after out gaining them 2-1. Another 5 turnovers against Michigan, 2 of which were made with no contact and within or near the red zone. Even if we would have given away 28 points in the 4th quarter against them it is reasonable to think that we would have been far enough ahead to still win. Turnovers in big games obliterated us.

    Even after coming out flat to USC we had a chance to tie the game when Dayne Crist fumbles on the 1 yard line and it's returned for a touchdown, a touchdown! These were a collection of the craziest and weirdest ways of losing I have ever witnessed as a ND fan. I struggle to understand how much blame I can give BK and the coaching staff for some of the turnovers.

    All in all a loss is a loss and BK has made his fair share of mistakes. It's strange to have the best kick off return game since Lou Holtz but to have the worst punt return game ever, but that is on Kelly. Perhaps he should have give Hendrix a shot a lot sooner. Yadda, yadda, yadda...

    I think this would be a much different discussion if we would have had just 3 of the 16 turnovers we lost in our 4 defeats. We could have easily been 10-2 right now, which was a very reasonable possibility several months ago. If this were true we may not be calling BK elite, but with 10 wins we would all believe we were heading in the right direction.

  • I like BK and think that he'll be at ND for a very long time.

    For the sake of discussion, however, I just heard this video interview of Kirk Herbstreit about being a QB coach for Urban Meyer... he didn't deny the possibility, but he did admit that some day he would like to try his hand at being a head coach.

    With all the flak he's given ND over the years, how ironic would it be if he was offered the job some day?

    Link - http://goo.gl/oduAr

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  • dw45, Good post. I agree with all that you said, with one exception. I'm not sure if many (or perhaps any) 10-1 teams would have played as poorly as ND did in the first half of the Stanford game (this assumes that they beat USF and Michigan). They looked so unprepared and confused that it was almost comical. My point is, even on a bad day well coached teams don't look so poorly organized or befuddled. This was beyond being "flat".
    I could be over stating this because of my emotional attachment to the ND team, but I can't get those surreal negative images out of my mind.

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  • jtesi said... (original post)

    My point is, even on a bad day well coached teams don't look so poorly organized or befuddled. This was beyond being "flat". I could be over stating this because of my emotional attachment to the ND team, but I can't get those surreal negative images out of my mind.

    You bring up a good point. I watch college football more than I rationally should, and I rarely see other teams look glassy eyed and directionless as often as I see it with Notre Dame players.

    The disconnect is palpable. I'm not sure where it originates, or if it will ever go away... but I sure as heck hope it does.

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  • IrishWon said... (original post)

    You bring up a good point. I watch college football more than I rationally should, and I rarely see other teams look glassy eyed and directionless as often as I see it with Notre Dame players.

    The disconnect is palpable. I'm not sure where it originates, or if it will ever go away... but I sure as heck hope it does.

    Thanks and good points jtesi and @atlas. First half big game cognitive droopiness is astounding when juxtaposed to cognitive focus that magically appears in the second half of those games. Even though we lost to SC and SU, we came out READY to play after half time.

    What is happening throughout the week and in the locker room before games to produce blah? If somehow before each game the coaches/team could time travel to half time and then back to the beginning of the game we would be quite a team.

  • georgekrebs said... (original post)

    Brenner,

    You are amazingly childish. You know nothing about me but , thanks to your infantile retort, we all know too much about you.

    Feel better.

    clap

    3 time POTW

  • Brenner f, I respectfully disagree with you,especially about Ferentz. Granted, Iowa is a young team this year, and their record shows, but look what he does with the talent he gets. He is highly regarded by all analysts, and I would not be surprised if analysts and fellow coaches named their top 10 to top15 coaches, he would be on the list.

  • Tressel is a crook and he has been everywhere he has coached.

  • When I played football years ago (which stopped at a level much lower than these kids, and probably most of you have achieved), and for that matter in other team sports I played as well, one player, maybe two could make a massive difference in the tone and confidence of the team--whether at the beginning of the game or if we fell behind. I saw the same thing when I coached. A couple of strong willed, talented players who assert themselves and come up with the big play reliably make a huge difference . I really wasn't thinking that much about the coach while I was on the field, and I don't think the kids I helped coach did either, but those key, assertive players made all the difference. It's what I saw in Zorich on defense when he was at ND. I think we lacked that this year on offense and that is part of the difference between being 10-2 or better right now, and our 8-4. I really think next year it's there.

    This post was edited by ndlaw83 3 years ago

  • I am not so sure about Brian Kelly now after 2 seasons. I think the number of people feeling that way is starting to grow. I haven't read many, if any, actually calling for his job though. At this point, I would not put Kelly near the elite coaches in college football. I have not said that Brian Kelly can't be there some day.
    There have been concerns since Kelly arrived.....I know many will dismiss the 2 deaths directly related to the football program...we have had inexcusable losses with Kelly (no different than with Weis)... we continue to lose 4 or 5 games a year, Kelly's sideline behavior has been a topic on this board and also with the mainstream media (ESPN even did a piece on it)....his recruiting has been fine but still probably not as good as Weis's to this point.....Of course, Kelly also brought more national attention to ND with his comments about the players....If Teo leaves after this year, we may never know if Kelly's comments played a role or not. Have you watched the Irish Connection videos? The clips of Kelly talking to the team in the locker room before and after games are very bland. I would have thought they might be more inspirational...
    For those who completely dismiss all of this, thats fine. I may be putting too much emphasis on it. But I can't point to any significant advancement of the program after 2 years and it doesn't look too promising next year. Are there other coaches I wanted more than Kelly? Absolutely!!! But they are all employed. So Brian Kelly was the best hire available. He hasn't been great. He hasn't been terrible. He has been average so far.

    3 time POTW

  • IMO Kelly' s a good coach, the question is how good. How he does next year ( year 3 ) will begin to clear the picture but not necessarly a Hi Def picture. He has to win the games we are supposed to and beat the likes of Michigan.

    I am dumbfounded as to how he handed the job over to Rees, there has to be a story between him and Crist. Beyond Crist how is it that Hendrix had no game experience, not only in the blowouts but for the numerous poor possessions Rees had.

    I also think special teams has been subpar.

  • My head hurts at the thought of a change. At this point BK grades out about a C in my opinion, but I still believe he has the tools to win and win big. Like many of us in our own careers we stumbled some when we got that first big break, at least I know I did. If I was judged on my first two years of operating a major Corporations Region sales I would have been about a C-, but when I left that company to form my current partnership that grade had changed quite nicely. I know the same is true for many so I am still behind BK and trusting he will correct and improve in all areas, including his own coaching, his staff, his preparation and his recruits.

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    Irish Oak in Chicago

  • jtesi said... (original post)

    dw45, Good post. I agree with all that you said, with one exception. I'm not sure if many (or perhaps any) 10-1 teams would have played as poorly as ND did in the first half of the Stanford game (this assumes that they beat USF and Michigan). They looked so unprepared and confused that it was almost comical. My point is, even on a bad day well coached teams don't look so poorly organized or befuddled. This was beyond being "flat". I could be over stating this because of my emotional attachment to the ND team, but I can't get those surreal negative images out of my mind.

    jt, you raise a very good point. While the team had a couple of games where they hit the ground running, when confronted with a team equal to, or superior in talent, they did look unprepared. There will be a number of these games on next year's schedule, and I think one of the benchmarks will be their readiness and focus against challenging foes. I've said this repeatedly, but the first halves of the USC and Stanford games bothered me more than those bizarre opening two losses. It did not appear we were ready to compete. While the team grew past those first two losses, and did not lose another game it shouldn't have (I know we were favored against USC, but even Vegas makes the occasional mistake), my assessment of Brian Kelly, next year, will be heavily weighted by how we come out against the big boys. Not all 8-4 seasons are created equal.

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    I may not be pretty, but I'm fast..... POTW 1/31/11 - 2/6/11

  • IrishWon said... (original post)

    Great. So far I haven't seen one person come up with a coach that we could actually hire right now that would be an upgrade from Brian Kelly. So maybe we should all sit back and let the man do his job with all of our support until he proves one way or the other whether he is the right man for the job. Because no "elite" coaches are walking through the door right now. None. Not one.
    And by the way, all of the negativity that comes from some of our fans towards our coach is not doing *anything* to help our program. Not a thing.

    IrishWon

    I did actually ..kirk ferentz. Yeah i know, he doesnt excite the masses and id take my chances with BK, but hes gotta be considereda an upgrade, you can't argue with a proven proven winner in a big time conference who gets a lot less elite talent than ND does.

    BTW as jon stated if ND ponie up the $ we may get more takers. In any event its impossible to know whats in a man's head but i will give some more upgrades whom we potentially lure here

    Bielema
    gundy

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by NDgriff1 3 years ago

  • HamOnWry22 said... (original post)

    I don't want to put Lou S. out of a job, but I'd like to see a moratorium on comparisons of "what coaches have done in their first two years." I've been guilty of the same, but the more I do it, the more I realize that each circumstance will have some uniqueness to it that seriously dilutes comparisons. Some coaches looked like geniuses their first two years, and were. Others looked like geniuses, but only proved to be so in contract renegotiations.

    If you're going to request that then I have another one, how about we call a stop to the inevitable Ara and Lou comparisons that seem to turn up every single week. History is nice to look back on, especially when it involves winning, but it is exactly that....history.

    Time to move on.

  • kelly is best suited for this job.

    anyone crying for kelly to be out is not worth the discussion.

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  • At the risk of sounding like Richard M. Nixon, let me make this perfectly clear: Everyone wants to see Brian Kelly to thrive, but it seems way too many people are making excuses for this year's failures.

    Here's all I'm saying: You don't get many seasons where: 1) you have a strong senior class (including fifth year) that was rated No. 2 in the nation when it was recruited, 2) starting experience and success from not one but two QBs, 3) marquee players at so many positions (only Alabama and Arkansas had as many as ND on the Watch Lists) and 4) a favorable schedule in which you are deemed the favorite in the first 11 games.

    To go 8-4 in such a situation is a huge letdown. That doesn't mean Kelly can't get it done. I really thought a 10-2/BCS win type of season was needed in Year 2, because it would not set up the pressure to perform superbly in year 3 when more re-tooling will be needed against maybe a not as favorable slate.

    When Charlie Weis was 3-9 in year 3, I heard way too many rationalizing (including me) about how it was the fault of others. My opinion was that a fall was inevitable that year, but a strong leader could have gone 6-6, maybe even 7-5. It's not necessarily about what the record is, but how a team fulfills potential. This program has consistently fallen short in that area, and it did again this season.

  • Lou Somogyi said... (original post)

    At the risk of sounding like Richard M. Nixon, let me make this perfectly clear: Everyone wants to see Brian Kelly to thrive, but it seems way too many people are making excuses for this year's failures.

    Here's all I'm saying: You don't get many seasons where: 1) you have a strong senior class (including fifth year) that was rated No. 2 in the nation when it was recruited, 2) starting experience and success from not one but two QBs, 3) marquee players at so many positions (only Alabama and Arkansas had as many as ND on the Watch Lists) and 4) a favorable schedule in which you are deemed the favorite in the first 11 games.

    To go 8-4 in such a situation is a huge letdown. That doesn't mean Kelly can't get it done. I really thought a 10-2/BCS win type of season was needed in Year 2, because it would not set up the pressure to perform superbly in year 3 when more re-tooling will be needed against maybe a not as favorable slate.

    When Charlie Weis was 3-9 in year 3, I heard way too many rationalizing (including me) about how it was the fault of others. My opinion was that a fall was inevitable that year, but a strong leader could have gone 6-6, maybe even 7-5. It's not necessarily about what the record is, but how a team fulfills potential. This program has consistently fallen short in that area, and it did again this season.

    And, Lou, I'll go back to my distinction between accomplishment v. ability. The team performed at a 10-2 level. Yes, I know there's a reason they keep score, and the implications of losing games you should win, but the manner in which they lost was an aberration, and I know we'll have to agree to disagree about that. The other factor is that the notion of "starting experience and success from not one but two QB's" has to be diluted as a factor when you consider that apparently only one was ready for this offense, and the other was incapable of performing at a level that could match up with elite teams. With that as a factor, two losses were virtually a given. Having said, all that, I, too, have concerns, starting with the quality of performance in the first halves of the Stanford and USC games, that went well beyond quarterback limitations. My only major contention is that I believe you have to look beyond the record in assessing performance, and in so doing, it still does not make a particularly favorable case for Brian Kelly's efforts this year, but it can refine the points of analysis.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by HamOnWry22 3 years ago

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    I may not be pretty, but I'm fast..... POTW 1/31/11 - 2/6/11

  • This team did not perform at a 10-2 level.

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  • HamOnWry22 said... (original post)

    Good points by I-Won and GIGA. I don't even want to think about a "next coach." My head hurts just from thinking about quarterbacks.

    That's a class post Ham my boy!

    Mike Leach said it best on his radio program earlier this season when speaking about Brain Kelly.... " you ND fans are just going to have to let him coach", meaning give him the proper time an d he will produce!

    One time POTW winner.

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    One time POTW winner.

  • Lou Somogyi said... (original post)

    At the risk of sounding like Richard M. Nixon, let me make this perfectly clear: Everyone wants to see Brian Kelly to thrive, but it seems way too many people are making excuses for this year's failures.

    Here's all I'm saying: You don't get many seasons where: 1) you have a strong senior class (including fifth year) that was rated No. 2 in the nation when it was recruited, 2) starting experience and success from not one but two QBs, 3) marquee players at so many positions (only Alabama and Arkansas had as many as ND on the Watch Lists) and 4) a favorable schedule in which you are deemed the favorite in the first 11 games.

    To go 8-4 in such a situation is a huge letdown. That doesn't mean Kelly can't get it done. I really thought a 10-2/BCS win type of season was needed in Year 2, because it would not set up the pressure to perform superbly in year 3 when more re-tooling will be needed against maybe a not as favorable slate.

    When Charlie Weis was 3-9 in year 3, I heard way too many rationalizing (including me) about how it was the fault of others. My opinion was that a fall was inevitable that year, but a strong leader could have gone 6-6, maybe even 7-5. It's not necessarily about what the record is, but how a team fulfills potential. This program has consistently fallen short in that area, and it did again this season.

    Well said Lou.

    Two time Poster of The Week, 2011 and 2013.

  • merlin08 said... (original post)

    This team did not perform at a 10-2 level.

    Da!!

  • Lou Somogyi said... (original post)

    At the risk of sounding like Richard M. Nixon, let me make this perfectly clear: Everyone wants to see Brian Kelly to thrive, but it seems way too many people are making excuses for this year's failures.

    Here's all I'm saying: You don't get many seasons where: 1) you have a strong senior class (including fifth year) that was rated No. 2 in the nation when it was recruited, 2) starting experience and success from not one but two QBs, 3) marquee players at so many positions (only Alabama and Arkansas had as many as ND on the Watch Lists) and 4) a favorable schedule in which you are deemed the favorite in the first 11 games.

    To go 8-4 in such a situation is a huge letdown. That doesn't mean Kelly can't get it done. I really thought a 10-2/BCS win type of season was needed in Year 2, because it would not set up the pressure to perform superbly in year 3 when more re-tooling will be needed against maybe a not as favorable slate.

    When Charlie Weis was 3-9 in year 3, I heard way too many rationalizing (including me) about how it was the fault of others. My opinion was that a fall was inevitable that year, but a strong leader could have gone 6-6, maybe even 7-5. It's not necessarily about what the record is, but how a team fulfills potential. This program has consistently fallen short in that area, and it did again this season.

    Doc,

    Why, why do you continue to let the facts get in the way of a "poor" argument!!

    Here's an interesting question: From your perspective, will you tell us - why - this BCS potential team did not live up to its' billing?