January 10, 2013 // Notre Dame Football

Duranko’s Digest: 42-14, The taste of ashes. What’s Next?

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Davonte Neal - Notre Dame Alabama BCS Championship 2013

Jan 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Davonte’ Neal (left) and Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Landon Collins (26) dive after a muffed punt as it goes out of bounds during the first half of the 2013 BCS Championship game at Sun Life Stadium. Notre Dame retained possession on the play. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

12 victories.  One defeat.  Wide world of Sports coined it decades ago: “The thrill of victory; the agony of defeat.”

Alabama, the better team, won. A numbing, total defeat after twelve wondrous victories. But it was the correct football result. The fantasies, the possibilities began in Dublin:  ” Your young men shall see visions and your old men will dream dreams.”  And so we did, as the magic carpet ride  began, survival against Purdue, ending the Michigan streak, a perfunctory romp over Miami in Soldier Field, rainy goal line glory against Stanford, vindication in Norman,  a sweet November culminating in the Coliseum.  We drank deeply of the goblets of kool-aid, believing we were all the way back.

And some day, years from now, when this all makes sense, we’ll realize that the “Luck of the Irish” really came AFTER our win over Wake, on November 17th.  The lucky axis began in Waco, where Baylor was handing it to Kansas State, the “Lucky” axis ending in Eugene, where Stanford was edging out Oregon.  For had those losses not occured, we would have played either Oregon or Kansas State.  We would have beaten either one, and “won” a National Championship.  But it would have been Pharasaic larceny, it would have been a cowardly illusion, it would not have been the Notre Dame way.  It was a moral imperative.  It HAD to be the SEC and it had to be Alabama.  If you do not see that, then I can not help you.  The Notre Dame way was to play the Tide.

So, who are we, the 12-0 team or the BCS bowl loser?  Well, we are each and both.  “The truth will set you free.”  In the BCS universe including all fiefdoms except the SEC, we are the best football team in the land. Challengers like SC, Oregon, Stanford,  Michigan, Oklahoma, Kansas State,  Florida State, Clemson are simply not as good as Notre Dame, at least in 2012. But Alabama and some of their SEC confreres are, by a margin, better than we are. That is the painful truth, the tincture of merthiolate which first sears the wound before the healing can begin.  Oh sure, the emotionally dwarved will descend into envy, animosity, what ifs,  attacks ad hominem, on region, academics, referees, layoffs,  overrecruiting, or the most dangerous of all: DENIAL.  But the better team, the better program won.  DEAL WITH IT.  Justice was served on January 7th.

And, with that merthiolate still burning, let us begin the salve, the ointment, the soothing  cocoa butter.
Justice was served when we won 12 in a row.  We are at the very top of the non-SEC BCS universe.
And we have come some long distance since that  nightmare:
11/22/2008-11/21-2009.  Within a calendar year, our Fighting Irish lost to Syracuse, Navy and Connecticut, AT HOME.  It has been three years since that nadir, under an incompetent, undisciplined, self-sbsorbed coach.

So we have made progress and 2012 is just a taste of what is to come.  But we have miles to go before we sleep and enjoy LEGITIMATE championship dreams.  I’d like to refer to a painting, a visual, which first stunned me when I saw it in the quaint little St Louis Art Museum nestled in Forest Park in St. Louis. It is “Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion.“  Our hero, with the muscles straining on his back, is just climbing atop one challenge, but is now seeing that there are more precipices and more arduous work before he reaches the top.  Our Irish, like Sadak, have struggled mightily, and nobly to reach their current plateau.  But more effort and courage are required.

The next plateaus are more difficult, more gut-wrenching.

Oh, Notre dame has done this before.  Rockne struggled with Nebraska.  After beating SC in ’65 and ’66 Ara had to wait the biblical seven years before his next victory, and the USC wins in ’72 and ’74 were as agoninzing and disemboweling as Monday night was.  From ’84-’87 Notre Dame scored 20 points against “Da U” while giving up 113 points.  That’s an average of Miami 38-Notre Dame 7. a wider margin of victory than the horror of January 7th. Ugh. How did Rock, Ara and Lou turn it around?  The Old Fashioned way, they earned it. Notre Dame style.

First, raise the bar. I mean RAISE THE BAR.   Increase expectations, goals and the level of excellence demanded.  We can no longer compete against our opponents, we must now play against that most dangerous and rewarding of opponents–our own POTENTIAL.  We must recruit better, practice better, coach better, Longo better, play better.  The easy part is behind us, finding a way to beat the Michigan States, Purdues, and yes, even Stanfords, Michigans, SC’s and Oklahomas.  We can no longer measure ourself against the yardstick of the Big X, the ACC ,  our schedule or that fool’s gold called polls.   We have a new yardstick, and it is CRIMSON.

There are areas of the team where we are just not at BCS championship  level.  The difference between Bama’s OL and ours was shocking.  The Tide’s secondary was taller, more muscular, quicker to the ball. (All Hail Zeke  Motta: his last game was his best game.)  We must recruit better. We were the toughest team on the field in every game we played this year (just edging Stanford).

We must become tougher.

Will we do it?  Well, you know, “Pressure makes diamonds,” “sweet are the uses of adversity.”  That nauseous, pained look on Kelly’s face when he politely congratulated Saban was priceless, and pitch perfect.  We have the head coach and the coaching staff to bite down on that bit and never spit it.  They will, like  our buddy Sadak, be realistic about where we are, realistic about the miles and mountains we have yet to climb. IT WILL BE MORE THAN A ONE YEAR CAMPAIGN.  We have  have great kids, NDRKGS, who love a challenge. They didn’t come here, and the new ones are not showing up in August to accept second tier status.

Okay, enough of words; actions speak louder than.

The future begins in three, two, one. Let’s do this! GO IRISH

Comments to this Article

  • EJS commented on January 10th, 2013 at 9:43 am

    I agree with your sentiments, but what does Brian Kelly’s interview with the Eagles say about his commitment to Notre Dame? It appears that Notre Dame is just a line on his resume, although I don’t understand why he would consider demoting himself to the NFL.

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    HURLS replied on January 19th, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Hey EJS > come-on. Kelly is playing many games at once. That’s life as a damn-good football coach. If you thunk BK was going elsewhere, “I’ve got some land in Florida to sell you.” Ain’t happnin’ . ND fans gotta convert some of that Kool in the “KoolAid they’ve been drinking.” Kool is all about DYNAMIC MANAGEMENT. BK is just winning the game that Weis/Won’tingham/Davies didn’t know how to play. Rest essay, my ND fan-friend.

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  • Livonia Steve commented on January 10th, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I do not think Coach Kelly will be leaving ND any time soon. He has a job to complete and only a BSC victory will satisfy his thirst.

    Interviews with the NFL come with the territory and he would be short sighted not to take the opportunity to explore the next level.

    I think he come down on the side of job satisfaction, working to shape young men lives rather than a few extra dollars.

    I could be wrong I thought ND had a good chance to defeat Alabama.

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  • Michael the Archangel commented on January 10th, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Great article, Duranko- balanced and right on . . . and re: Kelly leaving . . .
    Kelly ranting and in the faces of NFL stars? Good luck with that, Brian.
    If that’s what you seek, go for it.
    ND has reached the potential to be a contender and, in part,
    it had a lot to do with Kelly and an excellent coaching staff.

    But other than LSU( w/Far Les Miles in charge), most of the top tier programs have excellent staffs and recruiters,
    and the with the talent in place and a top recruiting class on the horizon,
    ND can maintain and, yes, Duranko, improve even more, and with or without Kelly.

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  • ChrisJ commented on January 10th, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Everyone needs to chill with Kelly. I’m sure he is just interviewing to get that experience. He has already stated that he has the best coaching job in sports being the HC at ND. I’m sure he will be getting an extension here soon. At no point has he had intentions of leaving ND, guaranteed.

    Now to comment on this team’s championship game performance…I really felt like this one fell on the players mostly, whether it was from them missing tackles or just not being as strong as Alabama. The only coaching issues I had were some of the offensive play calls. I thought Kelly should have utilized Golson’s running ability the whole game. I know Bama has a tough defense and Golson getting hurt would have completely taken us out of the game, but it’s the championship…you have to do whatever it takes and if that means risking Golson getting injured than it does. We all saw what Manziel did to Bama running all over the place extending plays and picking up yards with his feet…well Golson should have been used the same. Also, no passes to Riddick out of the backfield until a garbage time TD, but hey it worked didn’t it. Not sure where that was??

    That was the only gripe I had about the coaching. Other than that, our kids did NOT come to play. That is NOT the coaches faults. How many times did we have opportunities at tackles, and a lot for losses, but we didn’t wrap up and make the play like we did ALL year?? Almost every time we blitzed on the run, we filled the gaps, had defenders in the backfield, and could never make a play. I was getting so frustrated that I even yelled at the TV to start taking the backs knees out because they surely weren’t succeeding going high. I hate to see that because I think it’s dirty, but nothing else was working. Unfortunately, when we did choose to blitz, it never matched up with the timing of their play action, and McCarron was left untouched all night.

    In my opinion, I thought Diaco put the defense in a good position all night to make plays. Our players simply didn’t show up. Never would I have thought our defense would have given up points and yards like that, especially after first contact. It was pretty pathetic and disappointing. Even Teo was missing tackles. Was it the national spotlight of being in the championship game and the pressure that came with it? Was it the layoff of mroe than a month? Were our kids just that scared of Bama? I can’t figure it out.

    This doesn’t matter a bit, but thanks to the refs for NOT reviewing Eifert’s catch and for the penalty on Farley where he didn’t touch or interfere the returner and we had the ball at their 25. Momentum is HUGE in these types of games and those two calls took it all away right from the get go. How do you not even review Eifert’s catch??? We even called a timeout to give them extra time. Pac-12 officials for you.

    Great season for the Irish, but we better go 12-0 if we ever think about getting into the championship again. There’s no way we are going to get voted in if we have 1 loss and there are others with 1 loss, especially SEC schools. The only way is if Kelly doesn’t call off the dogs and starts pounding teams each game the way we did Navy and Wake Forest. It’s so hard to go 12-0, but that is the bar now, no matter what. Would we as fans be satisfied just going to a BCS game next year? I’m not going to be..

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    IrishBeej replied on January 10th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Well than you, sir, are most likely going to be let down. We do have a great class coming in, coupled with many returning starters, however one cannot deny that our 12-0 regular season slate was indeed due to some “luck of the Irish.” I am a firm believer that the better a team is, the more luck (along with the more calls) they will get, but nevertheless we were awful fortunate to be in the championship game. You also are assuming BK isn’t leaving, and we all know what happens when you assume. With BK I expect us to make it to a BCS bowl, without I honestly have no clue. Fans who consistently are expecting NC’s and nothing less isn’t a very marketable asset to a future coach. I expect us to consistently remain among the top 10 teams in the nation, but to ask for NC after NC is unreasonable.

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    ChrisJ replied on January 11th, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I’m not saying that NC year after year is feasible. I’m saying that is the bar. We went 12-0 and made it. We got smoked. Until we win a NC, I’m not going to be happy with just BCS bowl appearances. Why would you as a fan be satisfied with that? What if we never make it back to the NC but keep going to BCS bowls? You’re telling me you are going to be satisfied??? I don’t think a coach at ND is going to want his fans thinking this way. Sure, if we would win at least one, then things change because hey, we won one finally. Until then, you as fan should be thinking the exact same way I am. Until we win the NC, we are NOT back.

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    IrishBeej replied on January 11th, 2013 at 10:42 am

    If we consistently stayed in the top 10 teams, and consistently went to BCS bowls (and actually won a few), I think that there would be many (like myself) that would be rather thankful, given our previous 20 year history. Of course a NC is the ultimate goal and “bar,” but you discredit potential great seasons by claiming you wouldn’t be “satisfied” with BCS bowl wins. Considering the our dismal past, BCS bowl wins look pretty good. I want a NC just as much as the next Irish fan, but I’m not going to invalidate other potential successful seasons simply because a Natty wasn’t won. We as fans should focus on the positives that we are winning once again, and the NC(s) will come.

    ChrisJ replied on January 14th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    To quote Ricky Bobby…”If you’re not first, your last”…well we’ve been last for 25 years.

    Domer Dad replied on January 10th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    BK obviously had this interview planned before the most important game of his career. Did it distract him from preparing his players?

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    ChrisJ replied on January 11th, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Absolutely not.

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    JDH replied on January 11th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I think the Kelly “Eagles interview” is muchado about nothing. It’s a resume builder and nothing more. Maybe I’m naive, but I do not think he is going anywhere.

    Just a feather in his cap. We all have to plan for our futures, when we don’t exactly what our futures hold.

    He lives in the real world.

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    TacomaDomer00 replied on January 12th, 2013 at 3:01 am

    Resume builders are for people looking to build their resumes – aka, people looking to use those resumes to move on up. People with job security in their dream jobs or their own gigs don’t need resumes – and they certainly don’t need practice to hone their interviewing skills.

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    JDH replied on January 14th, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Except that’s not the way business works. I’m not “defending” his timing for the Eagles interview. I’m simply stating what is. He and his agent are not just thinking about today. They are thinking about the future because it cannot be predicted. “Job security” is a very subjective term. Kelly’s job could be “secure” in January of 2013 and quite insecure in a couple years, depending on results.

    Coaches also do this to secure more money for assistant coaches etc.

    The way alot of fans are looking at this is myopic, at best.

  • C-Dog commented on January 10th, 2013 at 11:36 am

    We’ll know about Kelly when he returns from his trip. Given his nature, I cannot see him in the pros. Saban is now the model. Saban has much of the professionalism that exists among NFL coaches, but has adapted it perfectly to college football. That’s Kelly to a T. Saban couldn’t succeed in the pros, so why wouldn’t Kelly be more patient and get ND a national championship. ifnot next year, then in 2014 and beyond. That playoff system will favor Kelly’s style. Get through the semi final and his type of teams will have favorable prospects in the final.

    But I am worried. The fact that Kelly had entertained this after making his statements is not the best sign. I do hope he and Swarbrick are working together because they seem to have a good relationship. If he leaves that will be not so good for the Irish. His assistants are great but none would be ready to take over ND. A new staff would set this program back and you can bet we’d lose the recruiting class. Plus Kelly would not get that pinnacle win and frankly bailing before that should put questions of confidence in his mind. So while his best option seems to be to stay, I am concerned. Let’s hope this gets put to bed just like it did for the other Kelly in coaching.

    Let’s go Irish!!

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  • HJPrender commented on January 10th, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Kelly had no trouble leaving and then to Cincinnati, After what he had to say ,I have a problem with his word.

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  • duranko commented on January 10th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    One of Brian Kelly’s closest friends is Chip Kelly. Chip interviewed with the NFL and returned to Eugene for MORE MONEY. Brian may just be “HELPING” Swarbrick make the case that Kelly should be given length and dollars of contract AT LEAST commensurate with the prior coach. Sometime, a little drama helps loosen purse strings, unless, of course, some of
    you folks have not negotiated like this………..

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    EJS replied on January 10th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I don’t know that you’re wrong and even Knute Rockne played this type of game with his bosses at Notre Dame. Nonetheless, it just doesn’t seem like such shenanigans were necessary, as Swarbrick had already all but announced that Kelly would get a raise and a further contract extension. The timing is also horrible, as this news comes 2 days or so before the early enrollees are to hit the campus and only a couple of weeks before National Letter of Intent Day. One recruit has already decommitted. Couldn’t he have talked privately with the Eagles and let the Administration know about it before blaring it all over the media and hurting our recruiting? This may also mean that Diaco is gone, as Kelly has now announced that he can be had, so all the assistants might as well do the same. Assuming Kelly stays, it’s still bad business.

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  • storespook commented on January 10th, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    To be the best, you have to play and beat the best. Right now, that is Bama (or at least those teams close to them in talent, which are upper tier teams in the SEC). I agree with your sentiments about what needs to occur for ND to make continued strides. Nice article.

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  • irishechoes commented on January 10th, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    This is a great article.

    I’m so tired of everyone crying about those calls early in the game. Had Alabama not “ran clock” in the second half and played conservative on defense this game could have easily ended 70-0. We were over matched in every phase of the game. We didn’t just miss tackles! Their monster running backs made our guys miss. If you think we just had a bad game you are delusional. We could have played them 10 straight times with the same result. I guess for some of you… ignorance is truly bliss.

    We weren’t as good as we thought. Simple as that. The better, faster, stronger team won the day. They did us a favor… they set the standard and as CBK stated, we now know what it looks like.

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    ChrisJ replied on January 11th, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Wow, you’re freakin crazy irishechoes…you think if we played them 10 games, it would be the same result??? That’s ridiculous of you to say. We beat ourselves man. Yes, Alabama is good but this team didn’t miss tackles all year and then we all of a sudden missed more that game than we did the entire season. What if we made all of those tackles we missed, then what happens? It’s much closer, even with the 14 points we put up. Play them again 10 more times and we win half.

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    Joe replied on January 11th, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Alabama had something to do with all of those missed tackles. All the “ifs and buts” mean nothing. These teams play 10 times, Alabama wins 10 times. After Monday’s game I don’t know how you can reasonably believe otherwise.

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    TacomaDomer00 replied on January 12th, 2013 at 3:12 am

    If these teams play 10 times, I think we get the once, maybe twice. I think the worst of the ten is what we saw last week. Yes, they’re considerably better. Bigger, stronger, faster, deeper, more experienced. But overall they’re not 28 points better. Maybe 14 or 17 on average. I also think that the long layoff actually hurt our guys – as it seems to every year in every bowl game we play against teams not in the WAC or playing without a coach.

  • bb commented on January 10th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    What I think the author ‘gets’, but most ND fans that did not see the BAMA kids up close and in person do not ‘get’ is the size and strength difference between the two teams.

    ND kids looked like high schoolers in comparison. They never had a chance. It wasn’t that they didn’t show up, it was that they couldn’t compete physically. That is the large chasm that ND (and the rest of the country) will have to bridge if it wants to break the stranglehold the SEC has on the BCSNC.

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  • fxm commented on January 10th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    If we played Bama ten times they would beat us ten times. BUT, I think the lay-off hurt us and we would do much better on D absent the lay-off, but we would be always hard pressed to score on them. They were a bad match up for this team.

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  • RUSSELL GLOEDE commented on January 10th, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Hope Kelly has not hurt our recruiting, seems most have took to staying on their early enrollment plan. Any thoughts?

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  • EDWARD SEROW commented on January 10th, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    I have seen ND from Frank Leahy to present.I believe that I have a damn good right to comment.ND all season long was never a powerful message sending team.The Spirit was certainly lacking in some of the (I guess you would call them victories)even playing lackluster teams.Above it all we must remember that ND is a school with high educational esteem.I assume this is still the case.Oh yeah I almost overlooked that “never assume” thing.What is this I hear about professional athlete mills?In conclusion I must state this is not the Notre Dame I cheered for as a 12 year old kid sitting in my dad’s old car on a Sat.afternoon running the battery down while ND FOUGHT ONWARD TO VICTORY.

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  • C-Dog commented on January 10th, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    We just lost one guy and unless the assistants are allowed to contact him, Florida gets him as early as next Monday as an early enrollie.

    You’d like to hear something, but frankly it does seem like a tactic to get more money. And if he uses some of that for bonuses for his assistants then I’ll give him credit for the tactic. He does deserve at least per year what Weis got, just not yet for 10 years straight.

    Folks get on these guys, but let’s not forget, Holtz was pushed out by a bad AD. So why shouldn’t a coach play the game?

    I will say that if Kelly does go, I just can’t watch these guys anymore. Reading and hearing the hate leveled on a team that got this far has felt personal, and if they need to start again it’s just going to be unbearable. The hate takes the fun out of sports.

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  • Portugoose commented on January 10th, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    BK is likely staying put. The interviews with the Eagles are just leverage for him. He’s forcing Swarbrick to act quickly and offer an extension and/or change the terms of the contract.

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  • D-Train 65 commented on January 11th, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Anzalone was “wishy-washy” from day one. Guy wanted to go to Florida where his dad went and to play in SEC that is why he bailed on OSU to start with just used guy taking photos and Kelly’s flirtation with Eagles to drive up his salary and possible extension. Hope Swarbrick has learned from all the Millions we are still paying Weis for coaching “elsewhere” not to give an extension based on ONE outstanding year. He did the same with Weis. What if next year is another 8-5 and no win in a bowl game? That would mean 3 mediocre yrs out of 4. Diaco will take a HC job somewhere else next year. All other coaches doing a GREAT job particularly Longo they would be the guys if I was Swarbrick that I would be giving more $ to, especially Alford as the King Recruiter. I still don’t see Kelly as an Ara Parseighan or Lou Holtz much less a Frank Leahy. He has had 1 great yr and 2 very MEDIOCRE ones. He has a potential No 1 recruiting class coming in so decides to blow that opportunity by going on VACATION. Wouldn’t you think if you needed it you would take a break the week AFTER signing day???? Don’t see Nick Saban going on vacation. He said on national TV we enjoy 24 hrs of the win and then it is back to WORK. No wonder he has 4 NC’s and 3 out of last 4 years. If Kelly wanted to see where the BAR is relative to winning a Natl’ Champ. I can tell him HE WON’T FIND IT OR NICK SABAN ON VACATION. Get with the program Brian. One swallow doesn’t make a summer.

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  • JC commented on January 11th, 2013 at 3:26 am

    Well, all valid points and possibilities, however, what about the other side of the coin? Why have we gone this far already? ND had a whole month prior to the NC game to avert this now episodic business negotiation! I definately would have so strongly favored a modus vivendi prior to the title game! Anytime we start losing recruits for obvious weak commitment, we look weak also for recruiting them. Fact of the matter is, this issue should have been settled before the National Championship Game! Win or lose incentives would have been inked.

    I suspect right now, serious trenched in negotiations are indeed going on. BK deserves a big raise, and I agree just not the whole bank like CW. Both sides at this point need to remember not to over play their hand for a poor outcome. Hopefully, it is all over ASAP with BK and ND cementing a favorable deal for both parties ensuring a bright future.

    The Eagles are not really an option for anyone! Sorry, Frank!

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  • Robert Adams commented on January 11th, 2013 at 11:40 am

    In Alabama we live for football. There is no basketball season. Are players are going to the weight room. We are now doing “optional” 7 on 7 drills. If you want to be 1 st string you better not let the 2nd or 3rd out work you. Notre Dame has now seen the the “process”. Start work today or Alabama will be that much further ahead next season. Roll Tide

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    JDH replied on January 11th, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Congratulations on your win. I agree with you that ND (and everyone else) has seen what it means to be #1.

    I’ve no doubt ND is getting back to work with no illusions as to what it takes to be the best in this day and age.

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    C-Dog replied on January 11th, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Yes, Congratulations.
    I have to say that Saban has done a very professional job at Alabama. And while I have often blasted Pete the Cheat for creating a facade that his players were true students, I cannot place any such blame on Saban. I’m guessing that according to the level of education afforded at Alabama in general and certainly among the football fans of the SEC in general, there is not any pretense that football players are full students. I can live with that because it is honest.

    My only concern is that Notre Dame believes that collegiate sports don’t alleviate the responsibility of athletes to perform in the classroom. We don’t allow classes to be taken from Western Oklahoma State ( an online university scam ). Therefore, our players need to follow the NCAA rules and furthermore balance academics with football.

    Someday, I hope the NCAA will split and let those who are willing to pay for outside club teams to carry the school brand versus actual collegiate teams. I’ll keep cheering for all colleges who educate their athletes because it’s the best way to keep America strong against China or other economic threats.

    Football may be a way of life in the south just like soccer or baseball are a way of life with our third world neighbors to the south of the US. I’ll opt for a higher bar. One that balances athletics with achievement int he classroom and the boardroom.

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    ND Southy replied on January 11th, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Amazing insight Robert, I’m sure no coach ever thought of the weight room in the offseason.

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  • GP for Bama commented on January 11th, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    What a great article. The picture depicting overcoming some challenges, but facing many more…is true of life in general.
    Good luck to Notre Dame in the future.
    Both Bama and Notre Dame have had many great coaches over the decades…and that is the key to a successful football program.
    We, at Bama, are fortunate to have a great coach in place now…I believe ND also has a good one.
    Hope we meet up again soon!

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    Jack replied on January 11th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Great comment GP. I think that the problem with any football power is that the pick the wrong guy. Saban is the reason Bama is back. They had almost the same talent level and Shula just didn’t get it done. Plus the guy from WSU they fired right away. As a program it is important to get the right coach. Once you have the right coach talent will come to your University. If BK leaves ND needs to take their time and worry about getting the right coach. Will this recruiting class take a hit, probably, but BK has built up talent.

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    C-Dog replied on January 11th, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Yeah, As I said above, Saban seems to demand that his players maintain a hig bar in all aspects of life. There are still some coaches out there who do this to develop young people.

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  • duranko commented on January 11th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    hello to our Tide guests. You had every right to Rammer Jammer after that
    performance! Well, at least we now know what excellence looks like and we’ll
    get after it. Remember, it’s a LONG TERM quest!

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  • Green Day commented on January 12th, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I have lost a bit of respect for Kelly and do not appreciate his arrogance that he even thinks he is NFL worthy. How dare he shops weather it is a money ploy or he really wants to move on. I DO appreciate what the program has evolved to this year, however, it could of easily went 7 and 5. The Irish did take care of business week after week and had some Irish luck in a few instances. I will take 12 and 0 any time. It was a good feeling until Bama kicked our ass. We were out coached and out played bottom line. The long lay off didn’t help either unless your Saban and Bama who has the experience to deal with that.

    So who the hell does Kelly think he is? He has one good year at ND and he interviews for the NFL? The Eagles must be idiots as well. Kelly is irrespnosible for his actions cause of the recruiting damage that may ensue. Hell I wouldn’t want to commit to ND with a coach on the fence. Go to a few more BCS champs then maybe he is worthy of something. It will be interesting in 2013 to fill the voids of seniors. Then we will see how good he really is or not. Hope to see Kiel lead the troops next year. I do like Golson but I think what we saw is as good as it is going to get with him. My only hope now is to keep some stability with the coaching staff moving forward.

    [Reply]

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