An Up Close Look at Stanford

andrew luck full
If Notre Dame is going to pull of an upset of Stanford this weekend, the Irish will have to generate pressure on Heisman hopeful Andrew Luck. (Photo - Ric Tapia/Icon SMI)

Notre Dame heads to the west coast this week to take on the 4th ranked Cardinal from Stanford.  In preparation for this year’s huge season finale, we exchanged Q&A’s with the Stanford blog Rule of Tree.

1. Andrew Luck is completing over 70% of his passes and has thrown at least 2 TDs in every game this season. What can the Notre Dame defense do to slow him down?

The key to slowing down Luck is getting pressure on him. He’s had the luxury of throwing behind one of the best offensive lines in college football over the last three years, but he’s faced more pressure than he’s accustomed to over the last few weeks. That’s led to a couple of interceptions returned for touchdowns against USC and Oregon. His interception last week against Cal was at least partly due to the fact that his receiver slipped, but he misfired on several other passes in an ugly first half. When Luck is pressured, he sometimes attempts to do too much. Rather than throwing the ball away or taking a sack for a short loss, he’ll make an ill-advised throw.

2. Notre Dame has seen defenses drop 8 or 9 defenders into coverage with great success slowing down the Irish offense. Do you expect Stanford to employ a similar defensive scheme this weekend?

Stanford’s defense has been most effective this season when it’s managed to generate a good pass rush. That said, the Cardinal defense was burned repeatedly by the screen pass against Oregon and has had issues tackling all season. If Notre Dame employs the short passing game that it did against Boston College, it’s imperative that the Cardinal doesn’t allow the short passes to turn into big gains. Dropping more guys into coverage might be a good strategy.

3. With Jonas Gray out this weekend, what can the Notre Dame rushing offense do to have success against Stanford’s stout rushing defense?

I think Cierre Wood could have a tough time getting going against the Stanford defense, unless the Irish’s passing game is clicking early on. The Cardinal is much more vulnerable against the pass than it is against the run, but it does give up the occasional big play on the ground.

4. After almost a full season without Jim Harbaugh, how do Stanford fans feel about David Shaw and his ability to maintain the current success next year without Andrew Luck?

I think most Stanford plans are very pleased with David Shaw’s first season at the helm. It’s helped that he’s had Andrew Luck as his quarterback, but his rookie year hasn’t come without adversity. The Cardinal lost its best defensive player, Shayne Skov, in the third game of the season and has dealt with injuries to other key contributors throughout the year.

All things considered, including the pressure of following in the footsteps of Jim Harbaugh and the heightened expectations for the team, Shaw has done an excellent job. I think he earned a little extra respect from some fans when the normally mild-mannered coach criticized the BCS system and defended Luck against anyone who questioned whether he was still Heisman-worthy during this week’s Pac-12 coaches teleconference.

As for the Cardinal’s future without Luck, Shaw’s first recruiting class was impressive. Stanford seems poised to continue to compete for Pac-12 championships in the near future, even if BCS bowls are no longer regular occurrences.

5. Assuming both LSU and Alabama finish the season with 1 loss, do you think Stanford has a legit chance to make the BCS title game if they get past Notre Dame this weekend?

I think the only way that Stanford plays for the BCS title is if it beats Notre Dame, LSU beats Arkansas, Auburn beats Alabama, Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State, and Virginia Tech loses another game. In other words, it’s probably not happening. I outlined this scenario here. Short of making the NCG or the Rose Bowl, which would require Oregon getting upset by Oregon State, there’s a good chance that Stanford winds up in the Fiesta Bowl against the loser of the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State showdown.

6. Stanford’s never won 3 games in a row against Notre Dame and until last season had never won two in a row over the Irish. How big of an accomplishment would you consider that for Stanford and has it been discussed by Stanford fans this week?

Wow, I wasn’t aware of that. That potential accomplishment may have gotten lost among the fans in all the fretting about BCS possibilities, but it would be an impressive feat. Notre Dame seems to give Stanford fits every season, no matter how good the Cardinal is. Last year’s win in South Bend was a rare exception. Notre Dame may not be the dominant program that it once was, but Brian Kelly seems to have the Irish headed in the right direction and I’d bet Stanford takes great pride in competing against a program with that much tradition.

7. How do you see Saturday’s game playing out?

Stanford’s been prone to slow starts and I think that trend continues, but I think the Cardinal eventually finds its rhythm and pulls away for a 38-21 win. I don’t think the Irish will have much success running the ball, and while Michael Floyd should have a big day, I don’t think the Notre Dame defense will be able to slow Stanford enough for that to matter. It may sound simplistic, but I just don’t see Andrew Luck losing what is most likely the final home game of his career. (If Oregon State shocks Oregon, Stanford would host the Pac-12 Championship next week.)

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  1. Best wishes Dayne, you deserve a better HC. Sounds like Wisconsin?
    Hope he ends up at Standford. Prediction: More transfers coming!

    TR starting Champs Sports Bowl? The obvious panacea for apposing defenses. A well known dilemma.

    In the inevitable world of compromises BK will be forced to develope a #2 QB!

    Mandatory Requirements: 20 yard DOMAFLICKY passes, quick release style and atleast 2 turnovers per game for BK fascination purposes. The rest need not apply. Caveat Emptor: Transfers accepted.

  2. Here are some quotes from a Chicago Tribune article that just posted.

    “Sophomore Tommy Rees will start the Champs Sports Bowl against Florida State, Kelly stated unequivocally during a teleconference.

    Sophomore Andrew Hendrix, who played the entire second half of the season finale at Stanford, “will get an opportunity to play as well,” per Kelly.”

    As such, Crist may not be part of the Irish’s bowl preparation or travel party.

    “That’s yet to be determined,” Kelly said. “We’re not really sure. We’ve given him a release. He’s going to have to pursue some of those things. Right now it’s pretty much up in the air and I’ve got to focus on the guys that are going to be here.”

    Speaking more about the role Hendrix will have, Kelly didn’t sound an optimistic tone about Crist’s participation.

    “(Hendrix) is going to have to get a lot more (work), because there’s only two,” Kelly said. “Dayne and will I have further conversations, but the way we left it, he’s got a lot of work left to do to work on his transfer. Andrew is going to have to get a lot of that work because he’s got to go in there and play. His role definitely will increase in practice.”

    Defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who missed the last two games while battling mononucleosis, was cleared to return and began working with strength and conditioning coach Paul Longo last week. Kelly said Tuitt will practice Tuesday… Theo Riddick will continue to play running back in the bowl game, Kelly said.

  3. Dayne Crist is transferring and this decision might finally push ND in the direction of commiting to a spread QB. As it stands, ND has one drop back and 2 spread QB’s on the roster. If Dayne would have applied for a fifth year, I think they would have given it to him and we would have the same issues going that we had this year.

    This frees up a scholarship to recruit another QB. I think ND will have a great shot a Keil now. It would also give ND a balance in eligibility. Tommy will have 2 years left, Andrew will have 3 years left, Golsen would have 4 years, and Keil could come in and sit out a year.

    I wish Dayne the best of luck and I hope he finds a place where he can develop his game.

    1. Yeah, I hope he (Dayne) can go somewhere that his skill set is better matched. I get concerned if EG will stick around if committment to the offensive scheme he was recruited for doesn’t pan out by BK sticking with the fair haired wonder boy (TR)and the piss poor hodge podge offensive scheme that is used with him. The Stanford game showed that giving AH some extended playing time and he might do all right. I’ve got a feeling the fair haired wonder boy is going to get the start. FSU has a pretty good defense, which a good mobile QB might negate. We do have one of those on the team. Too bad he probably won’t start.

      Go Irish
      Do some Seminole Stomping

  4. Ok St deserves a shot. Bama had theirs. Bama only beat 2 teams with a winning record. Perception of the SEC is the only reason Bama will be #2.

    1. Yep, I can appreciate that position. However, since Div 1 FBS purports itself (officially) not to engage in a “playoff” type determining format, it makes little sense (to me, anyway) of trying to justify Bama had their shot earlier in a conference game and losing to LSU so they should not get the chance for a rematch & Okie State should. Heck, even Stanford could make a case they deserve an opportunity (though I think Okie St is better than Stanford). If there were a playoff like determining format,I think that would ring true. Since FBS BCS NC game though is picked, and team rankings are picked by subjective decision, picking the 2 teams to play for the NC is, at least, staying consisten in its “formula” so, yeah, I think Bama will remain at number 2 in the BCS standings to play LSU. Big 12 teams historically can play good offense but not as good on the defensive side of the ball. Bama wasted missing (I think) 3 fg’s and another fg attempt blocked in that game against LSU. I thought BAMA was still the better team but ended up scoring less than LSU. What it really boils down too though, is, there should be a Div 1 playoff. All other classes have it and at least it goes to a more level of objectivity to determine a winner/champion. Those conferences that have championship games could have even more relevance if their champions went to seedings in a playoff format. Oh well, it will never happen unless the BCS organizes into a somewhat quasi-playoff in the future through the bowls.

      Well, just waiting to see what the Irish have to look forward to as to what bowl & opponent they draw.

  5. Well, since at the time I write this, a bowl & opponent hasn’t been yet determined with certainty for ND (hence no upcoming game yet to blog about), what are people’s thoughts about game results from last night & BCS championship game scenario. LSU taking on either Alabama or Okie State. I’ve read a lot of “hub-bub” about who LSU should end up playing. To me, I think Alabama is the stronger team between them and Okie State. I guess if Okie St hadn’t lost to Iowa St, this wouldn’t even be a “controversy.” I wish we had a bona fide playoff system, but, I know that won’t happen. Too bad.

    Hope Hendrix starts in the bowl game.

    Go Irish!!!

  6. Just saw an interview with Nick Saban and he was talking about how important it is for teams to win the SEC Championship. Again, at ND, we do not have that to play for. As I was thinking about it, when you are in a conference, you control your own destiny because the results on the field determine how you fare in the season. ND’s fate rest on the opinion of others. Where they end up depends strictly on polls, there is nothing to win to give them the right to a BCS Bowl. With this love them or hate them attitude that people have against ND, I thinks it hurts at times in the polls. Remember in 2007 when ND beat UCLA in the closing seconds, they actually fell in the polls to a team that didn’t even play that week. I just feel that with the changing landscape in college football and the fact that others schools have caught up to ND in what they can offer, ND may be at a point where they need to make a move or get left behind.

  7. look at ucla they are what 6-6 and have a chane at a bcs, although a small one..i know its because usc is on sanctions just trying to show a piont. i love ND being independent but there are times it is a disadvantage . like an earlier post by shaz, ND plays a 12 team conf. schedule that change s from year to year and we dont play fcs schools.its harder for ND , but when/if we win it all it will be that much sweeter. GO IRISH!

  8. Since Holtz left, ND is on it’s 5th coach. The problem with all the “Big-Time” coaches is that they do not want to come to South Bend. It’s all about the SEC, the Pac 12, the Big 10, and whatever other conference you want to throw out there. They can recruit whoever they want, in most places it’s better weather, and it is easier to qualify for the BCS. ND’s BCS bowl aspirations were shot down in October after the USC game. Even if they would have beaten Stanford, they probably wouldn’t have qualified for a BCS game.

    I know I’m going to get thrown under the bus, but I believe it is remaining an Independant in football that is causing ND to remain irrelevant in college football. If ND loses one of it’s first couple of games, they are almost never going to qualify for a BCS game. However, most of the other schools can stumble early in the season and still have a chance to end up in a BCS game. I know people will say that being independent will help with national recruiting, but when I look at the kids ND is recruiting, they are also being recruited by teams like Alabama, Florida, USC, LSU, and Michigan. All those teams are in a conference and they recruit nationally as well. It is not being an independent that will get kids to come to ND, it’s winning…period.

    Now as far as Brian Kelly goes, I’m thankful that he was even willing to come here. He was a proven winner at his other schools, was going to BCS games at Cincy, and could have waited for other opportunities. However, he wanted to coach at ND and even though this job is a pressure cooker, he is still developing this team into something we haven’t seen in awhile.

    I’m also convinced that even though he toes the company line on remaining independent, he would probably prefer being in a conference because it gives the team more to play for. There is no longer just a single goal of getting to the BCS, there is winning your division, winning your conference championship, and then winning your bowl game. It just makes me wonder if the pressure to win the USC game made the team play so tight because they knew if they lost one more game, they were probably out of the BCS.

    I’m all about the traditions of ND, but I would rather see them win. I would rather have a team that can stumble early in the season and still have something worthwhile to play for. Think of Ohio State for a moment, this is the first time in I think 6 years that they didn’t win the Big 10 conference championship and people were making a big deal out of it. Don’t you think one of the first things Urban Legend is going to use to motivate this team is getting back to winning the Big Ten conference championship? He is not even going to talk BCS because he knows that if they win the conference championship, they are in the BCS.

    Kelly will succeed at ND, it’s just going to take time. However, if he was in a BCS conference, it wouldn’t take nearly as long.

    OK traditionalists, let me have it.

    1. scav,

      You do a good job pointing towards the salient features and benefits of belonging to a conference.

      I view conference play simular to grading papers.

      If you win your:

      Division, you get a “B”
      Conference, you get a “B+”
      BCS Bowl, you get a “A”
      National Title, you get a “A+”

      So you have the opportunity to win three/four motivational trophies for your accomplishments.

      Further, TV revenues are shared with the conference coupled with compliance standards in addition to the NCAA.

      However, as an independent you can only achieve an “A+” for a National Title.

      And, only have NCAA rules to contend with. But here’s the good news, as a non-for-profit entity you get to keep all the TV revenues. And control of your scheduling. Not to mention your destiny.

      That’s the short version, but it is a conversation for the 21st century considering all the recent landscape changes in college football. As a traditionalist, I do have my eyes wideopen.

      So it really comes down to revenue in my view. I believe as long as ND is making more revenue as an independent there is no real reason to change; unless that dynamic changes. Unfortunately, it is all about the money.

      1. I’m with you. It’s kind of like the Chicago Cubs, as long as Wrigley is selling out regardless of the product on the field, what’s the incentive to change?

        My fear is that these “Super Conferences” are going to form and ND is going to be on the outside looking in when it comes to bowl options. It’s already starting to feel that way as it is.

      2. scav,

        You hit the nail on the head!

        When “Super Conferences” can pull a old-fashion squeeze play: We got more money than you and you have to join, or you will only being playing 4 games a year! And no bowl!

        Sounds ugly, but it could slowly but surely be headed in that direction?

        Kind of reminds me when investment sharks say: “Contracts are made to be broken!” And what they are really telling you: “I’ve got more money than you and if you don’t do as I want I will crush you!

        I also found it interesting when the Uconn Coach said: “Well lets just force ND football to join the Big East! Laughable today, maybe not down the road?

        On the other hand, I really think the Uconn Coach was pissy he did not get BK’s position.

      3. If there IS a super conference I have said ( and others ) that Notre Dame could be in the Drivers seat with the likes of much of the big 12 , big East and the Jesuits of Boston and throw in a service Academy or two. It wouldn’t be totally regional but it would and could be Great Conference USA!
        Oklahoma, Okla State, Kansas, Kan. State, Texas, T.Tech, Baylor, Iowa State, Louisville, Cincinnati, W. Va? Rutgers, U Conn BC, navy < Army–think of that in football ANd basketball –the business backbone of these could be powers to contend with–why not??? It the NCAA and the BCS are heading this way, why not? We could be in the thick of it with divisions and conference titles and still keep USC for a non-conference game and Mich. or Mich . St too and one SEC –it could work–it really could work—why not? I like ND as Independet but "outside " looking in is just where some folks want us—we have moved so poorly in so many ways since bob Davie was hired—why not move on something???

      4. One of the reasons I like ND as an independent in football is the diversity in scheduling.

        Look at the SEC. The leading football conference in the country, and has been for a number of years now.
        But the kids in that conference never leave the south to play a game. Ever.

        ND has played in New York, Boston, Washington DC, Winston-Salem, Miami, Chicago,
        Southern California, Hawaii, Washington State, Colorado Springs, the Midwest, and soon, in Dallas and then Ireland to play Navy.

        I think that is a really cool thing for the players, many of whom might otherwise not get to see and experience such places.
        It also holds true to the values that ND uses football as a teaching tool for it’s players.

        ND’s life long tradition of playing all over the country has earned them the title of America’s Team.

        Joining a conference would take that all away. That’s a price that seems a bit steep to me.

  9. Can we please stop with BK bashing? Its getting old.
    How can some seriously entertain firing him after 2 years? Were you also the ones praising CW after 2 yrs.
    Let’s just let it play out and see what happens. Nobody goes undefeated every year. Bobby Bowden went undefeated exactly 1 time.
    After 5 years lets evaluate and see what happens. Personally I think the program is in the best overall shape its been in since the mid 90’s.

    Go Irish!

    1. Irish,

      Excuse me, this losing thing is getting way old. Can we please stop losing?

      Let’s see, back in 1972 when I was at ND, winning was the culture at ND with no exceptions. This new losing culture back to Bob Davie is really old. So I don’t need a lecture on what is getting old.

      I like Irisheye62 have lived through Championship Football when it wasn’t just a wishful conversation. So I don’t need to be reminded of what is getting old.

      Moreover, the iphone/ipad preppies are clueless what it takes to win a National Championship.

      It seems the RahRah people think it is more fashionable to be talking about new toys and more time. Well for me, two decades of losing has been enough period.

      By the way, if you go back prior to CW and BK read my posts. I was for hiring an experienced and proven National Championship Coach.
      I still am because we are still going nowhere fast.

      Boy, you just had to mention “Bobby Bowden” who received his one and only POLITICAL NC title at our expense! We beat them straight up during the season and finished with identical one lose records. But, the poor Bobby AP crowd decided to give him his 1st title at the expense of Lou’s second!
      And would have been ND’s 12th!

      So what is really getting old my friend?

      The ND football adminstration that is suffering from a severe case of ACATALEPSIA!

      1. Easy big fella. Don’t know what you took so personally. I wasn’t speaking to you directly. We are all on the same team here and want the same thing. I am tired of the losing as well but firing coaches every 10 minutes is not the solution. BK has won at every level and we can assume he can get it done here bit he needs more than 2 years to prove it. That’s all I am saying.

        The Bowden reference was just to show that winning is tough. For as great as Spurrier is he has never gone undefeated. Heck Urban never went undefeated at UF. Winning is tough and it takes time when our program was clearly broke.

        Also, what does an IPad have to do with anything?

        Cheer up, enjoy the holidays!

        Go Irish!

      2. Irish,

        Fair enough, however, BK has not won at a National Championship level. Nor would we be firing coaches every 10 minutes if we would have spent the right money to get what we needed in the 1st place.

        Urban, Saban, Stoops and Miles don’t come at BK prices.

        In closing, the IPad/Iphone crowd at the home opener where more interested in their toys than cheering.

        I hope you and your family have a great holiday season too!

        For me, I’ll go back to my gruppy old men movie!


      3. A couple things to note. Before Urban, Saban, Stoops, and Miles won National Championships they where not proven National Championship coaches. They were not born with a clip board in one hand and the crystal ball in the other hand. Unless someone else can prove to me of this phenomenon than I will stick to that statement. Second those coaches would not have the balls to come to ND, where they would have to have strict academic standards, ethical standards and a constant bias from the media. And to top it off, even when you have a two winning seasons after showing obvious improvement over the years prior your rabid fan base is after you because you haven’t opened up the heavens and bestowed the cystal ball upon the masses.

      4. Another thing is that times have changed, no longer is ND the only team on the TV nationally, or able to recruit nationally. They are not the only team that can get players to the NFL, or the only team that can get their players so much coverage they will have bias for voting and drafting. Those are the days of the past, so to think that all you are going to do is win for ever is crazy. There will be down years and we have experienced enough your right. But I tell you that those days are changing, we are getting better and we will be crashing the BCS in the next two years depending on the success of Golson/ Hendrix out of the gates.

        Don’t loose hope, or give in to despair, because the Fighting Irish are marching, and soon National Championships will be there! Go Irish!

      5. AMEN AND AMEN
        Notre Dame 31 Florida State 24 ( The Florida State the ESPN worshipped) and we beat them straight on –and the game was not as close as the score indicated. yeah, FSU had some good moments in the 4rth quarter but ND had a cushion because of a running game. I MISS THOSE DAYS. WE have NOT been the same since. While I have been accused of not “being a real Notre Dame FaN’ or briing “bad karma” as Shaz suggested ( BTW, Karma is not exactly Christian is it? but I digressed) I too like you JC am tired of this half way effort on the part of many. ( and yes, I applaud and laud the players–but something is WRONG somewhere) nad has been for a long time –wait until next year–that was before CLINTON’s Second term as President! Those of us who REALLY know and have a legacy with ND-Have been waiting–and JC is right. I hope we are both wrong–but I fear we are not. This is NOT a personal slam on anybody -and one need take it that way-it is a keen observation and a correct one. Go Irish –and I mean that! go and do SOMETHING! JC is right folks!!

      6. Eyes62

        Thought you said that you wanted to bury the hatchet?

        I should have figured it would be in my back.

        Never said you weren’t a REAL ND fan. Just said that you were a real whiny one.

        But that’s not a personal slam on you or anyone else.

        I do understand how you feel about waiting and how long it’s been since our last National Championship.

        I have read your full page synopsis and family history on the subject…. over, and over, and over, and over, agian.

        Been waiting since the Clinton administration…

        Long Time….

        Very long time….

        Got it!

  10. SteelFanRob,

    I am not yearning to be critized anew for jumping off the BK Train. But more than likely your right about Hendrix. You know very well I was for BK in year one. However, this year has indeed been a strange and ambiguous year to say the least. Remarkably, this year BK has found about every imaginable way to implode progess with his narcissistic mouth and attitude for starters. I really could engage in a serious diatribe on 100 ways to fire BK, Swarbrick and Jenkins. But I won’t. Sorry if I have over stated my position, for I am extremely unhappy with this years results period.

    Hopefully, next year there will be some kind of recognizable positive result concerning the QB position. But believe me, I am not going to hold my breath. It does not look promising for next year with this unique BK approach.

  11. JC,

    With all due respects to Shaz, I’m not sure about the AH pulled hamstring hypothesis. Here’s why. AH actually took a few snaps after that in the AF game (without any visible signs of a limp or injury) and then made another appearance in the SC game (again without any apparent health problems). If he had pulled his hamstring after the long run against AF, he wouldn’t have stayed on the field, unless it was a minor injury, which means that it shouldn’t have kept him out of the lineup at all the following weeks.

    I saw Lamarr Woodley of the Steelers pull his hamstring and it looked like he had been shot by a gun point blank, that’s how fast and how hard he hit the deck on the play that he was injured on. I didn’t see that at all with AH on the long run against AF or on any subsequent snap he took.

    Sorry, I don’t buy the AH was hurt hypothesis at all. I think BK simply wanted to stick with TR. Bottom line. Why else then not play anyone else in the blowouts after AF. Let’s say AH was hurt, was DC also injured? No. BK just stuck with TR hoping to get him as many reps as possible, all at the expense of AH getting game-time experience. Bad job, BK, plain and simple.

    1. Yeah and also the facts don’t back that theory up- with all respect to Shaz. AH reported that, when he walked to the sideline after that play against AF, Cierre Wood sat him down. CW said, “Nice Run Andrew. You slowed down a bit to look behind you. DON’T EVER DO THAT AGAIN.” It was a “rookie mistake”. And no jumbotron to see pursuers. That little bit of slowing down caused him to get tackled right before the endzone. Lesson learned.

  12. just some news from irish sports daly. they called taylor decker about ohio st trying to sway him, ohio st came to his highschool and Decker wouldnt even talk to them and he has no plans of taking other visits. now thats a fighting irish football player. he is a kid that i think could dominate… here is what superprep say about him…

    STRENGTHS Aggresiveness / Tenacity  Flexibility  Size . AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT Power And Strength
    What puts him here is not just his frame or athleticism, but the strength and intensity he plays with. He was strong when he played at 260 and now that he’s continuing to add bulk, he’ll only get stronger. He plays mean in addition to that. Those are the types of things that stand out in addition to his physical tools. – Allen Trieu
    he is 6-8 288


    I think this is an excellent article about how costly the TO ratio was this year. And it points out that our “points allowed” stats really aren’t that bad- average, but not bad. Some have claimed that our defense has allowed too many points, but I would say “not really”. Not that there isn’t plenty of room for improvement. But, if you make the argument that our defense was bad and allowed too many points, you must take into account the amount of times our offense has handed opponents the ball. How many times? 27 times this year. That is going to significantly affect “points allowed” and “yardage allowed”, and it did.

    Everyone knows how costly TOs can be, but this article really puts it into perspective. It is almost certain that ND would have 1 (maybe 2) losses instead of 4 losses, if the discipline to hold onto the ball had been present.

  14. Shaz,
    You highlight that Michigan has been given a gift season and much promotion by the “Don King” of promotors Brent “Big Ten” Pussberger. Herbstreet is also promoting and caving to the ESPN scumbag no ethics mentality. But if they do play Houston, don’t count Houston out. I believe Houston can pick apart the UofM defense. I also think Houston will not concentrate on Robinson, but on everyone else. You see defenses freak out when Robinson gets a big gainer. He’s one hit away from the injured list.

    1. C-Dog,

      You make a good point about Houston having a excellent chance vs. the Wolverines.

      I like to call it the Appalachian St. syndrome.

      You remember… a few years back… when Michigan scheduled a home only game agianst App. St.?

      It was what Michigan assumed would be an easy win over a little 1-AA creampuff that turned out to be their most humiliating defeat at home of all time.

      Of course the powers to be at Michigan remedied that problem by replacing App.State with the (softer than the field at Stanford) Fighting Lake Loons of Western Michigan.

      Now that’s what Kirky and old Pussball would call Michigan being “Shreeeewd”

      1. Shaz:
        the hatchet was buried. I simply referred to the past and what was and what could be –and what is lacking. That HARDLY makes me whiney. I do think Shaz you have good points but it is obvious that you take issue with people disagreeing with you. My allegiance to this University is in tact. ( read my family history above and the connection.) I –like many have been waiting for something —and the rotation of coaches and mediocre calls and plays is enough to make one stir crazy. This is becoming common place–and almost acceptable. “We will be better next year” etc.–and still on and on. BTW, Shaz, I was NOT one of the many ND fans booing the Irish at the half of the Southern Florida game. I would NEVER do that even when down 42-3 like we were aginst Mich. St years ago at halftime. That is hardly whiney. It’s calling it like it is. There is “no hatchet in your back” as you say. NOne whatsoever. Neither of us knows all of it. I do agree with you on Hendrix and am perplexed. In the future, avoid terms like mangina ( we are not in 7th grade) and telling people to go to a Justin Biebler concert to wait some more and NOT expect them to react. We can disagree and agree to do that. Enough said. Subject is closed.

      2. Irisheyes62,

        This all started because I reponded to a post made by “Chris” from the previous week. Got that? C-H-R-I-S.

        I told “chris” to go to a Justin Bieber concert in responce to a Grandpa remark
        that he made my way. Got that?
        He refered to me as grandpa, and I told him to go to a Justin Beiber concert.
        Him and I traded jabs. That’s it. He fine with it as am I.

        Until you came along.

        You, for some reason, interpeted that I was talking to you. I wasn’t.
        Then you went all 7th grade telling me to kiss off numerous times. Remember?

        Then I tried to ignore it, tried to turn the other cheek,(just ask JDH) but you just couldn’t vent, then let it go. You had to go on and on.

        If you want to refer to the past I suggest you leave my name out of it. In fact, it would be best if you left my name out of any of your future posts.

        You made a mistake. You stuck your nose in a conversation that wasn’t yours to begin with. It happends.

        But then you flew off the handle and pissed me off.

        I don’t have an issue with people disagreeing with me.

        I just have an issue with you.

        Leave me be, and I’ll leave you be. Simple enough.

    2. I disagree with you about Herbstreit. I think he is as objective and fair as they come and the best in the business these days.

      Just my opinion…

  15. Next year will be awesome, wait and see. The defense hasn’t looked this good in forever, and Kelly knows he needs the best QB to start games for him next season. It’s gonna happen.

  16. I personally don’t care who starts the bowl game whether it be Rees, Hendrix, or Uncle Fester. I just want to WIN. I think we put too much emphasis on “playing time” as a criteria for experience. I’m assuming coach Kelly knows how to develop his quarterbacks and does this very well within practice. I’m sure Hendrix wouldn’t have played any better in the Stanford game if he had played a few more snaps during the year. I don’t think we should jeopardize a bowl win just to play younger players. If Tommy gives us the best chance to win, then play him. If Hendrix gives us the best chance to win, then play him. Fortunately or unfortunately, coach Kelly knows a lot more than we do and he has an important decision to make. I hope he makes the right one.

    1. If you don’t consider “playing time” the same thing as “experience”, what do you consider “experience”? A player MUST play in games, and face THAT dynamic, to prove his worth.

      “I’m sure Hendrix wouldn’t have played any better in the Stanford game if he had played a few more snaps during the year.” – You are sure of that why? Hendrix came in and the spark/emotion he created on both sides of the ball was palpable and obvious.

      There is NO way to groom a player for proper game-play like well, game-play.

      1. I agree with you 100% JDH. Nothing in practice can take the place of live action. I’d be willing to bet that’s where Crist couldn’t cut it. Great in practice but once he stepped on the field he was like a deer in the headlights.

      2. JDH:

        Great call!

        I don’t know what some people are thinking when they post. After all, I’m sure that if AH had been given as many game reps as TR he would’ve looked just the same against Stanford. Who cares that the Stanford game was his first significant playint time since AF. That makes total sense to me. NOT!

      3. JDH:

        Spot on observation and rebuttal of “Ping7Fe”!

        I don’t know what some people are thinking when they post on here. How can someone seriously argue that AH wouldn’t have performed better with more game reps under his belt. Many of these people are the same TR apologists who insist that he’ll get better with, wait for the punchline, more live repetitions. I have no doubts AH plays better if BK hadn’t rotted him on the bench after the AF game. I don’t know if he leads ND all the way back against Stanford. But AH probably makes a few more plays with his arms and legs. Something TR won’t ever be able to do, no matter how many reps he gets!

      4. Hendrix proved what he brings to the offense in the AF game, so why didn’t he play more after that?

        If you remember, late in the AF game, he broke off a long run only to get caught from behind just short of the goal line.

        My guess (and thats all it is) is he pull his hamstring.

        It takes about 4-5 weeks to get over a hamstring injury. Which puts him right on target for a return agianst Stanford.

        A college coach can’t come out and say “My backup QB will be reasting for 5 weeks, or he has a bad hamstring”

        That would only be doing your opposing defences a favor.

        I don’t know this to be fact, but it is the only logical reason that I can come up with for why Hendrix did not get more playing time.

        I mean, for the first half of the season they groom Hendrix (a true duel threat QB for Kelly’s system) for his first appearence agianst AF, then we don’t see him agian until the season’s final game. Why?

        Whatever the reason, I would like to hear it from someone at ND.

      5. Unsurprisingly Shaz, you make a great point on Hendrix.

        I have been completely perplexed with Hendrix’s almost non-existance presence on the field?

        You may very well have the best hypothesis on the matter.

      6. Lads,
        We’ve all heard and seen the term “practice players”. My guess is that Crist is/was a great one. But come gametime, things changed. Hell I’ve experienced that personally! Any athlete has. In college, I remember having a great practice week and then sucking in the game. Happens. But if it’s a habit, there’s a problem- that’s Crist IMHO.

        Rees probably practices alot like he plays in games. Gets the job done with little fanfare or emotion. And it has “worked” much of the time. TR’s record under center is very respectable, especially with the 15 years of turmoil and mismanagement at this program. But again, if we are going to build a top-5 “elite” squad, we must have an elite qb.

        Hendrix MAY be that guy- I don’t know.

        Hendrix’s body motion, “killer instinct” look, and performance against Stanford was very impressive to me. Doesn’t mean I’m anointing him, just that IMHO he deserves ALOT more PT. And an almost “meaningless” Champps Bowl Game would be a great place to give him that.

      7. Yep, can’t disagree with ya, SFR. Hendrix should have had a lot more reps during the season.

  17. Good Morning Shaz,

    An impecable analysis on an imperfect BCS system. Our self-imposed standards are certainly not for the light-hearted. The “E”go “S”ports “P”undit “N”etwork certainly loves to denigrate ND’s position without remorse. Again, an outstanding analysis.

  18. ND, at 8-4, is probably going the the Champs bowl.

    I realize a lot of us have a issue with that.

    But let me run a few things by you first.

    It is said that ND does not belong to a conference, when in fact, they belong to the “Independent” conference. This conference is a full 12 games long, not 8, and changes from year to year. And there is no “Automatic” bid given for playing an independent schedule, although ND can make it if they meet certain criteria.

    According to NCAA strenth of schedule rankings, ND is tied for 6th with Iowa St. Ahead of us are Clemson, Baylor, Kansas, Washington, and LSU.
    That’s pretty good company.

    In comparison, Michigan’s schedule is ranked 32nd. They started the season with 5 streight home games. They didn’t have to give up home field advantage until the second week of October. And even then, it was against lowly Minnesota. In those first 5 games, 4 of those opponents were true cupcakes.

    The only real team they faced was ND in the first ever night game at the big house, and they were very fortunet to win that.

    But here we sit at seasons end, with Michigan getting an at-large bid to play Houston(who’s strenth of schedule just happends to be 110th) in the BCS Sugar bowl.

    Does anyone else see a problem with this?

    There has been a bit of talk about “ND not lowering the bar” but does anyone think that ND could get away with a schedule like Michigan or Houston has and not get completely blasted in the media or by the pin heads at ESPN?

    For ND to be in the BCS I think ND has to have at least 9 wins and be ranked in the top 14. If we played a schedule like Michigan or Houston we would be. But then, the media would never let us live it down!

    We didn’t make the BCS, But then, we didn’t lower the bar to get there either.

    1. It is getting to the point where no one will want to watch that crap .. who wants to watch any bcs talent massacre poor lil Houston .. I’m sure everyone loved the thriller of Cincinnati and UF .. just after Brian Kelly “The Great” hightailed it

  19. Jc i agree totally with Crist…. I feel bad for him and I hope he lands on his feet.. Hey Crist, things don’t go the way they should and things sometimes have a funny way of working out… good luck..

  20. Hey Irish,

    Excellent point, although my “sometimers” must have kicked in again. I did not even think of CW at Florida. I’ll bet your right, CW would probably love to have Crist again.

    1. I have a question, we all know we will have a qb controversy next year again, and we have young skill guys. should kelly announce right in fall camp that hey we are starting a new qb and younger players to build depth and build for the future and we may regress in wins and losses, but its for the good of the program. in my opinion ND needs to take a few lumps with the younger more talented kids. maybe we lose 1 or 2 more so we finish 7-5 but know what we have. also as a coach i would bring the us against the world mentality , ND always plays better like that vs being favored. so do you go 9-3 with upper classmen or 7-5 or maybe better with the young guns? just wondering what uguys would do. next year will be intresting

      1. ndforever,

        That is a tall diagnostic question at this point. If we start Hendrix in our bowl game we would have more material to assess.

        By only seeing one half of football this year, it appears he has excellent talent for the spread offense.

        But what else does Hendrix have in his armamentarium?
        I would like to see him start and win the bowl game.

        Another QB derby will delay progress. Pick a QB at the end of spring practice and live with it. Otherwise precious fall reps with the 1st team will be negated 50% less for the eventual starter. Not a good thought for our opener with basically inexperianced QB’s other than Rees next year.

        Unfortunately, and I say this with great conviction that BK missed a great opportunity to develope his younger QB’s by not utilizing Crist for two years. His impatience may very well cost him his job next year.

        Now the Achilles Heel,’ BK will likely start Rees in the bowl. However, I again would like to see Hendrix start and mop-up with Golson, to get a real handle on what we really have for next season.

        At this juncture, I would indeed like to call it a “test-bowl” for next year. But I don’t get paid millions.

  21. scav,

    More than likely BK deserves more time under normal circumstances, however, there are some serious character flaws presented by him and the administration. Birds of feather flock together per say.

    When CW was basically fired in the media I posted “no one deserves that kind of treament.” Not only is it classless and disrespectful it represents pure management ignorance.

    As I recently posted, the same applies to addressing select members of your team negatively in the media. There is no motivational asset in being a jackass boss. Morale has suffered!!

    Further, Crist was not given a second chance unlike multiple turnover chances for Rees. It would be one thing if Dayne was given a second chance to start and failed again. However, we will never know since the QB derby has proven to be only a facade. Dayne was available this year and next, so to discard senior leadership so effortlessly for a cryptic personal agenda is quite amazing to say the least. Dayne certainly has running ability and an arm which certainly qualifies for a spread offense. I hope Dayne is playing for Standford in a BCS bowl next year.

    Kelly has already shot himself in the foot with the Crist issue, just one more nail in the coffin concerning BCS bowl participation period. I would like to share your exuberance for BK’s offense but just not at the expense of another 2-3 years of building the program due to CW player bias. Blame game HC’s are a joke. We need an adult HC now without question.

    I have a BCS Bowl X-mas list, sorry it’s not your fault it just does not included BK.

    1. Unfortunatly, Rees going 4-0 last year became a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because I think it helped recruiting last year. But it was a curse because it made Tommy look like a hero and it set up some unfair expectations on this team for this year.

      Had Tommy lost some games last year, I think we would have seen more of Dayne and his lease would have been a lot longer. I agree that Dayne may have been a better fit, but he was not developed as a true spread QB because Kelly didn’t have enough faith in the back-ups to let him run loose.

      I know you talk of not wanting to wait another 2-3 years, but that is exactly what would happen if they hired a new coach. Kelly has done some things wrong, but he has also done some things right. A lot of people were singing Kelly’s praise when he mentioned his “RKG”s when he was hired. But now that it is appearant that he meant it, no one likes it. He is with these players 6-7 days a week and he has a lot more coaching experience than most of us posting on this site. Dayne didn’t play for a reason that we will probably never know. Rees played over Hendrix for a reason and Hendrix will start in the bowl game if Kelly thinks it will help this team.

      Also, people are talking about how Kelly called out CW’s players, but if you remember last year, he called out Michael Floyd. All Floyd did was become the standard of what it meant to “coming to work” everyday according to Kelly.

      So, we will not get to see ND in a BCS Bowl this year, but at least we get to see them one more time. Everyone has already written this team off because of next years schedule, so the expectations will be low. Kinda feels like the end of the 1987 season and we all know what happened in 1988.

      1. scav,

        It is OK to call out your players privately in the locker room and even better in the coaches office one on one! Most people do not like their perfomance review in the media. Nor is it acceptable even by contemporary standards. Would you like to be reprimanded in the media or infront of your peers at work? Grandstanding in the media clearly demonstrates poor judgement of character and promotes ill-will period.

        Kelly needs to exclusively practice what he preaches: “We’re a family and it stays in the family!”
        And adherence after the fact does not cut it by any standard.

        As for Michael, one would expect a public corrective action plan for someone who had to address a DUI problem.

        Hopefully, we did not hire a HC with less coaching experiance than those and myself posting on this board. Keep in mind, even your personal interpretation is just that without facts.

        Not to be contrary, but in a mindful way, the results on the field and in the media speak volumes about BK without internal surgery awareness of each player.

        Interesingly enough, are you the only one entitled to a prediction for next year? Seems like you are implying a possible NC next year? If you are right then great.

        I have no problems with a proven National Championship Head Coach resetting the table of expectations for 2-3 years and doing it the ND way.

        Holtz and Holtz would be a great start for a new long term future the ND way! So I agree 1988 was a great year! Remember, your paycheck is based on results not wishful thinking. Especially, when millions are involved.

        So as the infamous BK puts it: “There are Head Football Coaches, then there is the Head Football Coach at Notre Dame!” Interesting how that promotes a superior to all others mentality?

  22. We have seen these rough patches before. Ara left and Dan Devine took over and won. What we did not see were the changes taking place in college football. Weight lifting and speed put ND, its antiquated facilities, and Gerry Faust well behind other programs. Some would say steroids also played a part in this as many schools struggled with this problem (i.e. Oklahoma, Miami..). ND struggled several years (1986) before regaining its place in college football; thankfully, it did not sacrifice its beliefs and standards so it could compete with programs that have eventually imploded over time(i.e. Miami). There are others that will fall.

    If Notre Dame has lost its way then it’s in the win/loss record only. I would not want any National Championship if our school, program and coach would eventually be disgraced.

    I agree with others on the point of letting players into Notre Dame who may be borderline. The Notre Dame experience is unique and belongs to those who understand what that commitment means. Maybe the gift, I do mean gift, of playing for Notre Dame is not clearly explained or understood by an 18 year old. Chris Zorich and Tony Rice clearly understood.

    I for one like the new helmet, uniforms, music, stadium, etc; and yet, protecting what is “the spirit of Notre Dame” is what has to come first.

    Personally, it would not matter if Bob Davie, Tyrone Willingham, Charlie Weise, Bryan Kelly, or Fred Flintstone was coaching Notre Dame, I would expect her players to be giving 100%, 24/7.

    Looking forward to the bowl. GO IRISH!!

  23. yeah you could tell that Kelly was trying to play to Reese’s strengths. I have been wondering if we didnt see Hendrix more often is so he could work on mechanics and accuracy. i dont think he wanted to trot him out there as a glorified wildcat and have the d just stack the box. i hope AH starts the bowl for experience i think that is more important then a crappy bowl game, however i believe it will be split between him and reese

    1. You’re probably right that Rees and Hendrix will play. I just hope they alternate series, not plays. Would like to see as much of Hendrix as possible.

  24. I think Brian Kelly is at a crossroads at ND. I know he was under a lot of pressure to win right away and I don’t think he had that pressure at his other stops. But he also took over a program that is elite in name only. I’ve been following ND for over 20 years and this program was broken. For years ND was the cream of the crop, but unfortunatly, college football has passed ND by.

    When Kelly was first hired, all the rage was about his fast-paced offense. Well, he took over a program that did not have a single QB that could have fit the mold, so he tried to fit a square peg in a round hole with Crist. He toned it down with Rees, but it has been clear that we are not running the type of offense that Kelly prefers. Therefore, the jury is out until he commits to a spread QB. Now, if he gets Hendrix and Golson in the mix and ND continues to have 8-4 seasons, then it is time to let Kelly go.

    I think if everyone will relax and let Kelly “build the program”, he will become successful. I mentioned in an earlier post that there are signs of improvement. This was the first season in A LONG TIME that ND was competitive in EVERY game. Kelly is the first coach in A LONG TIME to address the defensive issues and I think this defense will be one of the best in years to come.

    The real issue here is that the pressure to win right away and the lack of a mobile QB has stunted the growth of this team. The last 2 games showed the world that Rees can be defended and it’s time for Kelly to develop a QB that can run his type of offense. I will take another 8-4 year next year as long as Kelly is building the program the way he wants to. I think all of us are frustrated because we know Rees or Crist is not the answer, so if we are going to take our lumps, at least let us do it while we are developing a spread QB. I want to see this high tempo offense that has defenses grasping for breath. I want to see this offense that is last in time of possession, but averages 40 points/game. Who cares about a jumbotron, jc transfers, or if the whole adminstration gets fired. I just a QB that can do what Hendrix did playing all the time.

    1. I agree with you 100%. I can’t remember the last time there wasn’t a game or two where ND was completely blown out of the water. Even the losses to USC and Stanford this year were by 14 points, not 30 or 40 like some games in year’s past. None of us are happy with 8-4 or 9-3 or even 10-2. But we must accept, as you said, college football passed ND by. And you don’t make up that ground in 2 years, or 2 plays or 2 games.

      I am not sure how quickly Kelly will get ND to consistent top 10 status, but I know it will happen. And I know that by the foundation we’ve already seen put in place – excellent defensive recruits, ability to alter game plans based on personnel, ability to score points, etc.

      There’s still a long ways to go with eliminating turnovers and building the offense and defense to elite status. But as an ND follower for 15 years, I can tell you I feel more confident in our position now, than I ever was with Davie, Willingham or Weis.

  25. i agree i would love to have a couple JC kids playing, it would help with depth right away and give the kids a world class education. When i watch SEC football and 4 or 5 starters are JC kids with majors in playground management it makes me sick. The best example i know of a great JC player who didnt get any real offers from a major college is Aaron Rodgers, wish we had a guy like that

  26. SFR,

    Always great to converse with someone who can look past wins and losses and see the bigger picture.

    Before we talk of balancing the playing field, I think we all need to go back and define what the playing field is, or should be.

    I always thought college football (and all college sports for that matter) was a viable tool for teaching and producing well rounded young adults,
    and instilling in them, the necessary values needed to be a productive and respected member of our society.

    There are few places that does that better than ND.

    As it currently stands, I see major college football as nothing more than a cash cow for a select few, and a minor league training camp and talent
    pool for the NFL.

    I know money drives our world, but we are doing our kids no real favors with the messages that are currently being sent by those who are consumed
    with winning at all costs, and the fog of greed that is being displayed.

    I have no problem with ND adapting to the changing cultures and landscapes of Major college football.

    Want a Jumbo-tron? Fine. In fact… Better get two. Fireworks, piped in music, The Flying Yeasch Brothers at half time.


    College football should be fun.
    Let’s keep in mind that ND will never relinquish its history or legacy.
    It will always be there for those who seek it.

    While growing up I attended Catholic grade school, and Catholic High schools. The good fathers and sisters of the archdiocese always taught us
    not to discriminate against those who were of different social status, ethnic backgrounds, financial status, or of various levels
    of academic achievement. ND would do well to remember that.

    I have touched on the subject of JC transfers before. You know as well as I that there are many good kids from good family’s who are attending Junior College that have the potential and determination to excel at a
    place like ND if given the chance.

    In a case by case approach, I think ND giving one or two of these kids a chance to attend ND and contribute to the football team would be a
    Great thing for all involved.

    Sometimes I get the feeling that a few of these 4 and 5 star recruits come to ND with expectations that they are above everyone else, and something
    special is owed to them.
    You get a kid or two, who transfer in and realizes the rare opportunity bestowed on them, and watch them work their tails off to make the most
    of it, and I think that can be very beneficial for the entire team and culture of ND.

    In fact, I wish we had a few like that this year.

  27. I don’t think many would argue that ND has some very intelligent people.

    Free thinkers, entrepreneurs, professionals, and envisionist’s just to name a few.

    So why can’t these obviously smart people, the Administration, coaches, and players, see the unbelieviably great oppertunity that lies before them?

    I believe a growing number of college football fans are quickly growing weary of hearing the SEC this and the SEC that.

    They are growing tired of the scandles, the cheating, the lies, the stealing, and the deploriable crimes agianst humanity and society as a whole, and the way they function under the guise of college football.

    They are tired of believing in what they thought was good and honorable, only to get stabbed in the back…. time and time agian.

    Can you imagine, just for a moment, “IF” ND were to run the table next year?

    They do it without cheating, without cutting corners, by taking a knee when the game is clearly won instead of running up the score for “style” points. No need for show-boating or trash talking. Letting their play do their talking. They do it in the class room. On the field. And in the community.

    All the while displaying class, honor, and pride.

    I think there is a market for that. I think the nation is hungery for it.

    After 20 plus years of championship football drought at ND, the players and coaches would be hailed as hero’s. They would become legends in their own time.

    They would re-claim the title of America’s team.

    They could restore some order, and the idea that doing things the right way most certainly has its advantages.
    They would be a model for future generations.

    Isn’t that an oppertunity worth fighting for?

    You got to believe that there are at least a few current players that can understand that everything that is needed to set the college football world on fire is available to them. HERE.

    That they have the vision to see what IS possiable, and the balls to go after it and make it happen.

    Not many places in this world offer such tremendous oppertunities.

    All they have to do is make up their minds to grab the oppertunity that lies before them and get the very most out of it.

    It can be done, it has been done. ND can do it agian.

    I heard it said somewhere, by someone, that college football needs ND back on top.

    I believe it now more that ever.

    1. Shaz,

      I love your optimism!

      In an earlier post you made a great suggestion, one that would balance the playing field and restore what little credibility and integrity the NCAA still has. I believe you said that the polls should also factor in the academics of the players and university. That’s an inspired idea, Shaz! I’d add that the NCAA should also look into bogus majors and discount them from the GPA and other academic factors that would go into this hypothetical new polling system.

      I also agree with Shaz that having ND win the right way would send a positive message to our society as a whole. It seems that today, from Wall St. to main St., people believe that the only way to get ahead is to cheat. If corporations do it, politicians do it, athletes at all levels do it, why not me? To win with integrity, that would really mean something!

      Like I’ve said, however, ND can adapt without selling its soul. It’s done so in the past. It can do so again.

      Let me give a provocative case. What if ND allowed QUALIFIED JC transfers? I’m not saying you bring in clearly academically ineligible athletes. No. Instead what’s wrong with bringing in a kid who’s busted his tail getting good grades in community or junior college while also playing football? We have some fine junior colleges in this country that send on their grads to the best universities and liberal arts colleges in the country. If a kid does well at the JC level, why not let him plat football at ND. Question: Does ND not allow community or junior college transfers at all?

      BTW: If BK can recruit top 5 classes, then ND wouldn’t need to recruit the JC anyway.

  28. For more than two decades, Notre Dame has neglected its greatest teaching instrument-its football team. At one time the team’s success made Notre Dame unique. You learned that on any give day you could rise to the challenge and beat anything, no matter what the odds. Everyone learned Rudy’s lesson: you never ever give up. You learned about teamwork and that people who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society. The team’s striving for incredible excellence permeated everything at Notre Dame. Every graduate believed that in his life he could take all those lessons and apply them to politics, to public service, to his family life and his faith.

    But two decades of neglect have put all that the University stands for in jeopardy. Who could not watch dumbfounded as the University (Malloy & Jenkins) let one athletic director hire one loser after another. The first an assistant coach- you never ever hire an assistant coach for the toughest coaching job in the nation. He then tried to hire the rambling Irish wreck, who was not even much of a coach, and didn’t even vet him properly. It was a huge embarrassment for the University. To save face he hires another, whose uniqueness as a black head coach makes him initially immune from criticism; but ultimately he is not a great coach. Finally, he tries to buy a big time professional coach, whose waddling across the field is an embarrassment to all great athletes. Even more embarrassing watching him yell at Brady Quinn on national TV. In the end the players gave up on him. The result was the worst football season in a forty years year. Someone was a completely poor judge of men.

    We get a new athletic director who says maybe Notre Dame might win a national championship one day. Hardly a commitment to excellence, when at one time the team fought for the national title every year. Then he hires a new head coach from a second rate football school in ten whole days, hardly an auspicious beginning. We lost Urban Meyer twice!!!

    If you want to be the best, you take time, you prepare, you find the best coach in America. Even then the odds are long.

    It becomes quickly apparent the new offense is some quick start gimmick. There is no Joe Montana, Jerome Bettis, Rocket or Larry Conjar. The defensive coordinator the new coach brings allows the opposition 22 points a game on average. There are no shutouts. They lose more games in half a season than Ara Parseghian lost in four years. And this coach too humiliates his players on national TV by yelling at them. Such a lack of dignity and grace under pressure. Imagine, John Wooten, having ever having done such a thing. If they had been coached and trained properly, there would have been no need to yell. He is clearly over his head.

    Even worse the new athletic director says the new coach is like a great corporate ceo. I am reminded of the JFK quote: “My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it till now.” The team’s integrity has been sold: a new plush stadium, a TV contract, Notre Dame sports productions, mass marketing of tee shirts, autographs; even a commercial where the sacred fighting Irish leprechaun is used as a prop. Shades of the gecko. Notre Dame football has become a business, not an instrument for learning, self sacrifice, excellence or teamwork.

    Imagine how the players must feel. THEY ARE NOT INSPIRED OR COACHED BY KELLY. When I was there you never ever criticized the team. That was gospel. I do not do that now. But, many of the best players in the nation believe Notre Dame has lost its will. And go somewhere else.

    Something is terribly wrong. Not just football, but the University’s acceptance of this bumbling toward pathos. Vince Lombardi said it this way: “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” This failure, this acceptance of failure, this benign neglect affects all the University does and the way it presents itself to the nation.

    Father Hesburgh once said: “ My belief is and always has been that the University
    ought to do everything, academics, athletics, you name it in a first rate manner.”

    But, the athletic director, the University’s President, the Board of Trustees and the Holy Cross Fathers have accepted something less.

    Unless that changes, what set Notre Dame apart and above, Duke, Yale or Harvard or Stanford, was its belief in itself. At one time the University’s team was an inspiration for poor and middle class kids all across the country, and no other school had such a faithful feeder system or a subway alumni. No other school had such a rich legacy. No other school had Notre dame’s true grit, or its indomitable spirit.

    America’s greatest President Franklin Roosevelt knew the value of spirit:

    “It is not enough to clothe and feed the body of the nation, and instruct and inform its mind. For there is the spirit and of the three, the greatest is the spirit. Without the body and mind, as all men know, the nation could not live. But, if the spirit of America were killed … the America we know would have perished.”

    Our spirit, our legacy is at risk.

    I have been hard. Dale Carnegie teaches us that genuine appreciation and seeing things from the other fellow’s point of view are the keys to personal success. All the efforts of every member of the Notre dame family are appreciated and we can see that many of these people did their best and often above their best. But, another coach said it this way: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

    Its time to regain our legacy of winning and make sure that the spirit of Notre Dame never perishes. Where is the inspiration, the commitment, the leadership? Fire Kelly, Fire Swarbrick, Fire Diaco? Start over.

    1. Amen Bj,

      Fire Father Jenkins also! Most employers allow problems to linger on baseless hope of self correction. The Board of Directors need to establish a new direction for ND!

    2. BJ:

      Well Stated. It IS time to regain our legacy of winning–not just “wins and losses” but the approach. For those of us who can “see past the wins and losses” it is terribly difficult to witness the Administration and the Holy Cross Fathers accept less off the field as well as on the field.
      Notre Dame could be a combination of MIT, NYU, a haven for the Arts such as Julliard of Manhattan along with what we already have. Alas, like the Vatican’s snails pace what is decided upon in back room and Administration offices do not reflect those of us who are true Notre Dame people but honest enough to see the very thing of which you are speaking. Little by little and more and more, the crowds are expecting less and that makes me numb. Notre Dame our Mother-Tender , Strong and True? I hope so. I don’t see it and it makes me weep.
      With so many ties in our family to the Univeristy this is not just about “wins and losses” it is about a winning approach and we can’t seem to find it and I wish we would with some PASSION and Inspiration.
      Respectfully Submitted,

  29. Did anyone see the Meyer press conference. Impressive and now the defense rests on the ND coaching staff in my book. He is a General unlike Private Kelly. I’m not saying we should get rid of Kelly and should have chased Meyer, what I am saying is Kelly needs to get his house in order otherwise these athletes are going no where fast as we witnessed.

  30. Urban Meyer will get 4 million a year + bonuses. OSU has pending NCAA sanctions and it will be interesting how they are applied? Hmmm….4 Million a year seems a little light? Another missed opportunity for ND to close the season on a positive note? Yep Rob, as Ozzie and Harriet goes, so goes ND! Where do we send the flowers??

  31. urban meyer has gone to ohio state and kelly and swarbrick will bring us another decade of mediocrity, while they suck the tit of notre dame

    1. I hope not -but I think you are right. I hope not though. I don’t trust Meyer–he did make himeslef vulnerable. is he telling the truth? Ohio State is in trouble with the NCAA and can Urban cope with that and will they lower the boom any further now that he is there? It was TOTALLY classless on the part of OSU ( imagine that) to hire a new coach while the interim was there. Time will tell–as it will with ND. BJ you may be right.

  32. I’m going to chime in on my observations this year. I realize we need upgrades at QB, secondary and special teams but the thing that really gnaws at me the most is the games we didn’t even show up. Case in point, opening game, South Florida, new season, all the hype and we don’t even show up. Are you kidding me! Penalties, turnovers, don’t give as shit attitude.

    Biggest game of the year, USC, week off to prepare, night game at home, loud music, everyone totally hyped up and we come out like someone just shot our dog. Lackadasical, uninspired and didn’t give a crap.

    There were numerous games we won but why does it seem like we don’t like being there.

    I like BK but the jury is still out on him. Why can’t he INSPIRE this team. Why can’t he MOTIVATE this team. We are so undisiplined and have no mental toughness. This falls entirely on BK. This team looked like it dind’t want to compete and that bothers me.

    I hope BK puts a few of his assistants on notice because with next years schedule it won’t be pretty unless we all (team and coaches) change our attitude on Saturdays.

    1. Point on here – but if you saw the Aaron Taylor comment earlier he made some very good points – leadership and fire have to show up on the field – someone has to step up and be a drivng force among the players – that is really missing right now – where is that going to come from – Hendrix gives a hint he may have that drive – but leadership on the field is missing – you are right too many games where just no fire

      1. I think a lot of the frosh who played big roles this year will in the coming years provide team leadership that has been sorely lacking this past regular season.

  33. nice example SFR,
    i find myself getting so frusrated during games that i want to kick my tv. After the game i realise this is a process, and a process that is way overdue. ND may be 8-4 but they are starting to close out games wich is a big step in a a winning program . As a highschool coach who took over a doormat team i realised how hard it was to change a mind set of losing, especially the current players. 6 years later conf. champs and semi finals in state preaching the things kelly talks about everyday..toughness and attention to detail. my point is remember the process takes time especially when its been so long since there has been a good process in place . nobody remembers 1987 but we all remember 1988.

    1. 1987, Tim Brown and a very exciting year. I remember Texas A&M stealing his towel during the bowl game and waving it around.
      1988 was magical.

      We need a few more Wes Pritchetts, Frank Stams, and Zoro on this team.

      1. i do remember 87 very well it started out so great and then 3 straight losses. i was just trying to show they were 8-4 and then we had a magical year. just trying to give perspective and hope. im hoping lynch, tuitt and niklas can do the same things, bring some attitude. thanks castine for atrip down memory lane, just hop my kids can see the same thing some day

  34. Rob,

    There is a high probability we will be 8-5 for the 1st three years under BK or worse next year. I understand your position as well as many others, however, just rearranging the chairs on the titanic is not going to work.
    Like C-Dog pointed out: “Thats on the coach, not the players.”

    It would be one thing if some of BK’s post game comments would be encouraging instead of defensive or ill-will-childish satire. “You watched the game what did you think?” Or better yet: “There are head football coaches, then there is the head football coach at ND!” Inside ND football has fueled a monster ego, for there is not a humble bone in his body. So this is the kind of person we pay millions for? It would be nice to win one New National Champsionship before we start the self-promotion nonsense.

    Time is of the essence, BK has next year (maybe) at best to make an impact at the BCS level. BK was indeed hired to win now not 5years down the road.
    Base on what we have seen to date, it seems the writing is on the wall for next year.

    I for one do not like the coaching merry-go-round, yet reconsideration of BK’s position with ND is a certainly valid one. Again, 8-5 head coaches are dime a dozen.

    1. JC,

      I think you’re right. 8-5 looks pretty realistic for next season given the schedule. But who knows. Perhaps ND over-achieves next season and wins 10 games.

      I think how we get to 8-5 is key. JC. If we clearly win the games we should win and are competitive in every game, then I think we’ll be able to say BK is building something. I’d like to see better redzone play from the O, more TOs and sacks forced by the D, better all-around performance from all the ST units, but esp. the punt return team, better time management by the coaching staff, etc. If we can see all these things plus 8 or 9 wins (including at least 1 signature win!), then that’s promising.

      Time is running out, though, JC, on ND football. At some point ND will really become irrelevant. People will no longer have the passion to hate or love ND. They’ll just be indifferent.

      I don’t think ND has to sell its soul to win again. Did ND sell out when it changed its academic calendar to allow for bowl games? Did it sell out when it allowed admission to the likes of Chris Zorich, Tony Rice, Ricky Waters, or Jerome Bettis? Did ND sell out when it introduced “redshirts”? Did ND sell out when it brought back training tables? No, it didn’t.

      1. Correct as usual Steel Fan ! Right on–AND when ND had the likes of Zorich and Rice and Waters and Bettis–we evolved AND STILL stayed ND–not Disney Land with jumbotrons and tasteless music akin to a club with the “enc, enc” beat of today ( annyoing–but it sells ) time is running out on ND. I just pray we beat Miami and give Oklahoma a good run for the money and beat all thre ebig ten teams. I wonder HOW long has it been since we swept the big ten temas on the schedule? Thanks Steel Fan Rob.

      2. Ricky Waters actually scored a 1460 out of 1600 on his SAT. He was a jerk, but a smart kid.

        Your point is well taken though. Frankly once accepted, any reasonably intelligent person can get a passing great in several majors at any university.

  35. Let me relate a story from last night’s Steelers-Chiefs game that may throw some light on things from a different angle for those here since most of you are indifferent to or even hostile to the NFL in general and the Steelers in particular. That may allow some of you to grasp what I mean when I say not all fans look at things the same way, even if we all want the same goal.

    So, I’m with my fellow Stillers fans watching the game at our favorite sports bar to catch the games. Chiefs drive down the field and kick a FG. OK, no problems. But then the Steelers drive down and fumble going in. I and a few others point to the persistent problem of the Steelers leaving points of the board (sound familiar?). Next Stillers possession another drive that gets inside the 10 and ends with only 3 points. 2 times inside the 10 = 3 points for Pittsburgh. I say right then and there that this game is going to be closer than some of my buds thought. Others insist that I’m being negative and that Pittsburgh will win by at least 2 TDs. Game goes on. KC sticks around. Stillers end up winning by 4, largely thanks to Tyler Palko doing his best Tommy Reese impersonation.

    Who was right? Me pointing to the realities I saw happening on the field as the game developed, with the Stillers blowing opportunities? Or some of my “never-say-a-bad-thing-about-the-black-and-gold” friends who were positive that the Steelers were going to rout the Chiefs? Who was seeing things for what they were and who was seeing things as they wished they were?

    That’s similar to what I perceive among some of us here. How many times have we heard ND is going to blow out this or that team only to see the Irish lose or be in a tight game. Someone here just recently insisted ND was going to crush BC. How many of us knew just a quarter or so into that game that it was going to be close all the way to the end? I know I did.

    Right now things are not what any of us would like them to be for ND football. So be it. Let’s call a spade a spade. I’m sue all of us would have much different attitudes and we’d be a lot more friendly towards each other if the Irish were competing for a NC. (Even then I’d remain critical, unless, of course, ND was perfect in all 3 areas of the game, committed no turnovers, scored over 50 points a game, and totally shut down the competition. Short of that, criticism is always valid.)

    1. I like how some people think a bounce here or there and we beat USC and Stanford. What a crock! We got bullied by Stanford and USC on both lines of scrimmage. Here is a stat of Stanford’s which is the antithesis of us. Stanford had the No. 1 red zone offense this season: 61 of the Cardinal’s 62 trips inside the 20-yard line have resulted in points including an astounding 48 touchdowns – 24 rushing; 24 passing.. 48 TDs in 62 trips inside the red zone!!!! 1 failure to score and we had 2 trips turn into 6 for our opponents! I was following the game on my Ipad on a plane and lost the connection after the Luck pick and we were 3rd and goal at the 3. I said to my wife I lost the connection in the red zone, my wife asks whats that? I said “the red zone my dear is another name for hell for the boys from South Bend.” The plane lands no points, maddening. My point, our defense which can’t get a sack or a turnover is a hell of a lot closer to elite than our offense. There are some pieces in place but BK better wake up, I think he thought he had something powerful on his hands going into the season and he was dead wrong.

    2. SFR,
      Oh yes, you’ve really hit the nail on the head.

      If we all just go Rah Rah Notre Dame and pretend everything is great, then a) we look like fools and b) we provide no ideas of value were anyone in capacity to change things to collect ideas proposed here.

      Aaron Taylor, Lou Holtz, Tom Pagna, and Ara Parseghian would be considered bad fans, negative, or worse by those who say you can’t be critical of “The program”. Those of us who coach, mentor, or otherwise lead must always point out the less than ideal so it can be fixed.

      Keep excercising the critical mind.

  36. JC,

    My “nuclear option” is intended to take place in the next 2-3 years, not now, and only if BK continues to produce mediocre seasons. It would be both impractical and wrong to fire BK after only 2 seasons. Let him get 2 more (top 10) recruiting classes under his belt and develop them and then we’ll see. I still want to believe that BK will do at ND what he’s done elsewhere, namely, win big.

    C-Dog is right. ND’s lost something. Let’s get it back. It starts with the coaches and players, then the administration and staff, then current students and alums, then, finally, the rest of us. Let’s all pull in the same direction since we all want the same thing — to see ND win a NC soon!

    I’m looking forward to the Champs Bowl. It’s a step up from last year’s Sun Bowl. Win and build recruiting momentum. BK and his staff now have Urban Meyer to worry about poaching our top prospects.

  37. Ouch. Let’s all stick together here and realize we are frustrated. It’s not just this year, but since early 1994. I will list a few simple items.

    3 QB’s. None are yet the answer. Crist graduates. Rees needs a drop back attack, perhaps like MSU. Hendrix, one half game. That’s on the coach not the players. I like Rees and want him to figure it out. Either at ND or to transfer. I want to see him play. But ND needs the team to succeed. So let’s hope they all figure it out.

    Fair catch Goodman? how about fiar catch Floyd. I don’t see the coaches screaming about it. They know they barely practice a return. They gave up on it early in the season. It’s obvious. Watch tape at the lack of blocking to set up a return.

    Kelly to leave? No. Personally I don’t think Kelly will bring a National Championship until maybe 2015, if ever. But get rid of him? No. Who would succeed without breaking the rules?

    As for the rules, I will be an ND fan as long as they educate their athletes and run an ethical program. Personally I think the NCAA is about to implode. After that the ghetto rats can play in some NFL farm/prison league. Herbstreet and Pussbeger can call those games and ESPN can have a league without concern for ethics and morals. Then the institutions that want to compete and still teach ethics and morals can help repair our mightily damaged society. I do not currently think Notre Dame has much of a chance in the NCAA of today, but one based on the ideals of this once great but decaying nation could help turn not just sports around but also our country.

    Gotta like Stanford’s football program. Somehow they do compete. Hopefully they won’t break the rules to be competitive. I’d bet one or two more southern schools will be on sanctions next year.

    Has anyone who used to be around Notre Dame before the 1990’s been around Notre Dame recently? It’s a soft campus fit more for tea parties than a student body with a chip on their shoulder. These kids all came from rich alums or rich families. It seems so peaceful with the women and the limp wristed priests creating a politically correct effeminate culture. How does a football team excell in that atmosphere.

    So I am frustrated but I see no other alternative but to stay the course with Kelly and most of his staff. I don’t see it getting better for Notre Dame. I’d hire from within but you’d be surprised. How about the women’s soccer coach, Randy Waldrum? He won a National Championship last year. How about Muffet McGraw? She’s tough and wise and level headed. She also has a national championship. Now I’m not really serious, but you have to respect those at ND who have done it all, while the University markets the Shroud of Turin imprints on footballs and fake Rudy crap.

    I am more frustrated that some of our best chants, like ” Here come the Irish…” aren’t used anymore because they were over marketed. The University put a price tag on everything cool and sacred about the place and now it’s a freak show.

    ND needs to be the ND of the 1920s and 1940s. That would capture hearts and minds again.

    It’s not the QB, or a fair catch, or even the coach. It’s the place. Get hungry again Notre Dame, The University.

    1. EXACTLY!!!! Then again, I say let us get the players we need to compete with all of the upper tiered teams and if they need extra time to graduate , then so be it. But they must graduate at some point within a certain time of fb being done. If that means contracts with those people, then so be it. it could be a unique thing in collegiate ranks. ND of the 20’s 40’s AND a lot of the 60’s and 70’s-THAT is AWESOME–and certianly not lost on me!

    2. C-Dog

      As an ND fan there really isn’t much room to complain about the field conditions at Stanford.

      I have seen many a slippery field at ND stadium over the years, but nothing like we witnessed at Stanford.

      This game would have been better played in the parking lot!

      Of course, in South Bend, grass stops growing at the end of September.

      In California they grow everything from tomatoes to Roses year round.

      I can understand if the teams are playing in a downpour or blizzard, but Stanford had a full week to get the field in playing shape.

      All they did was put down fresh paint on top of the mulch.

      What the Muck!

    1. It’s OK JDH,

      Our “sometimers” has kicked in! By the way, your corporate jet buddy came up as THE UPS STORE in Indy at a strip mall. Not sure what that means since several businesses there use the same address?

      1. JC that made me laugh out loud! Sorry but some of the angry, batsh*t crazy posts made me a tad confused.

        And regarding my jet buddy, me thinks he may have overstated some things. 🙂

  38. Yep, Anyone have Urban’s phone number? I like Rob’s “nuclear option.” Urban is available and ND better talk to Urban with real interest. We won’t lose any recruits with a top three HC. We need to get this dinking around over with! Another BCS bowl year squandered driving off the cliff with the wrong QB! The last thing we need is another QB circus derby next year! But hey, BK made his superior choice with a blind eye so live with it! Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuure!

    If Bk loses the fan base, no jumbotron or artificial grass will replace winning signature games period! Ticket sales will go down! The alarm is on with the jetway alums; money talks! This is without question a golden opportunity to show interest in Urban NOW! By the way, ND’s checkbook can certainly compete with OSU!

    1. What are you going to do when Urban doesn’t win or has a heart problem. He couldn’t handle one bad season at Florida without his boy Tebow. He had heart issues and quit. I don’t want Urban Meyer, he doesn’t want to coach at ND because he can’t get the criminals he got at Florida. Kelly is the right guy. I have no problem with this season. Great QB equals wins and Kelly made the wrong choice after the first game. Tommy Turnover sucks, period.

      1. Jack,

        OK, then let’s go with your favorite Nick Saban! Urban may very well end up at OSU?

        Further, because of the wrong pick at QB we are going to suffer next year dearly.

        Offer Saban the right numbers and he may be ready for a new location! In any event, We need a Championship Coach NOW!
        This season was a total bust!

      2. JC,

        I can’t stand Nick Saban, I think he is an asshat. He can not win at ND because he wouldn’t be able to pluck JC transfers like Mount Cody to sure up his defense. They can win with the line up they have, but not until they have a QB that can win a game and not manage one.

  39. The role of the 2012 ND QB will be much different than the 2011 version which was … Anybody that could accurately throw to the all-time WR Floyd. Next season the QB will need to be a offensive weapon since the talent level will be average at best at WR.
    The starting QB for the bowl game should be the player that can throw it consistently to Floyd which is a healthy Rees.

  40. Just remember the product on the field is Coach Kelly’s Product… He is 100% responsible… His excuses are part of his biggest problem… sorry I am frustrated

  41. The CW yrs we didn’t have enough talent (which as BS)…. and we were letting him develop as a college coach, Now that we Have a win Now Coach in coach Kelly (a college guy) like he did everywhere else he was and is why he was hired.. Why isn’t he winning now??? those are the question I like to talk about…. Was this a good year for anyone @ ND football…. We had Crist/ FLOYD/ Gray/eifert/ and OLINE/ on Defense we had NIX/ Smith/ Teo/ Slaughter (who played GREAT) two senior corners whcih Gary Gray just forgot how to play…. This was a year we were ready to win now… Coach Kelly isn’t a rookie coach…. Remember why we went to Kelly… That is why I am not happy with a 8-4 season….He gets no learning curve…..

  42. When Kelly took a shot at this team I think that was meant to call out his upper class, to get them mad, to get them thinking about why they have spent so long in the cellar. With all the great recruiting classes that Weis put together the teams where always soft and weak. They are starting to be tougher under Kelly, they are starting to outlast other teams in the second half. But they are not there yet. Kelly sent out a message to the upper class and the call was answered by only a few.
    The reason I bring this up here is we need to let Kelly do what he does. He turns teams into champions, he has done it at every stop. He turned the Bearcats into a perenial BCS team with recruiting classes that was never better than 60. Once this team gets used to winning then they will win big games. I think if people cant see what is happening at ND than I think that they are blind. I am positive that there is a reason for sticking with Reese all season like I said in an earlier post. Although we do not know, there is a reason. And I said before that Kelly is smart enough to know that Reese will not be the starter next year. He is not in the model of his QB, he doesn’t fit the system. But mark my words, write it down if you want, ND will be a BCS caliber team in the next two years. And the only reason I say two years is that the QB, either Hendrix or Golson, may need a year to get the system under their belt. Mark it down on your calendar. Go Irish!

    1. From what I saw last night THIS was the year for Hendrix to get under his belt!! Why not, Was BK really afraid he was going to turn it over more than twice a game (Tommy’s average)? Additionally, why is our O-line getting manhandled by Stanford? Where is the Longo-effect we have been hearing so much about? For those who like to bash Diaco, I feel a lot better about the Defense and next year than the offense and the offense has two future relatively high draft picks.

  43. irisheye62,

    Thanks! Just calling it like I see it.

    I think you’re being too harsh on shaz, though. He’s one of our loyal regulars here. His insights are always welcome. Plus, I’m not sure that shaz would say that we need to wait for ever for things to turn around. I think he’s calling for a little patience when it comes to BK.

    While I’m personally not sold on BK, I do think it doesn’t do us any good calling for his head after only his second season. The season was underwhelming, that’s true. But we can’t change coaches every 2 or 3 years, irish. We have the makings of a consensus top 10 recruiting class right now. We’d lose that if we let BK go. Also, we’d be sending a bad message to future coaching prospects.

    irisheye62– I think ND is in something of a Catch-22. We can’t win right now, but we must win sooner rather than later. We can’t fire coaches every other year, but we can’t put up with mediocrity year after year.

    I’m beginning to think that like the dinosaurs, time has passed ND football by. I see ND football closer to Ivy League level than to the top tier in the SEC year in and year out. I know, I know, I can hear it now. We’re not like the SEC schools. If that’s the case, and we can not compete at that level, then we should perhaps join the Ivy League, since that seems to be the level we can compete at athletically and academically. I want to believe that ND football can find a way to turn things around, but after 20 years of mediocrity and heartbreak, I’m beginning to have my doubts, irish.

    The “nuclear option” that’s left for ND football in case BK fails, is to literally pay whatever it takes to get a proven winner along the lines of a Les Miles, Urban Meyer, or Nick Saban to S. Bend. Given them what they want and the means to achieve greatness, even if that means sacrificing some — but by no means all — of our “holier-than-thou,” Ivy-League-like pretenses. (BTW: We did exactly that for Lou Holtz. I wonder how that turned out?!) If that fails, too, then it’s over, and ND football is done for. I sure hope I’m wrong, however.


    1. well said SFR, i agree we at least have to give 5 years. i think kelly is the right guy toget this team back to top 15 every year so 9-3 or so, and maybe a top 5. With him idont see a 3-9 or 6-6. I feel he is the man to build the man program but maybe not finish it.

    2. I don’t want to be or think we can be an SEC type, but I do think we can be better than Stanford who has crappy facilities and better academics. That means we can be in the top 15 most of the time and possibly play for it all once every ten years.

      1. fxm–playing for the National Title every ten years is a realistic thing. I HOPE we can at least PLAY like we can compete for it!

    3. SFR,

      I disagree with your analysis that ND can’t win. Look at the starting D on Alabama, there are some 3 star players in that mix and were in the mix when they went undefeated. BK has been recruiting heavily to strengthen his defense. He has recruited a stellar front seven and now is recruiting a stellar CB and Safties. Also, what athelete did they have to return punts this year, NONE. However if they get Darby or Shepard in you now have that dymnamic speed athelete to return punts and improve field position. I know this program can compete and will under Kelly.

      1. jack,

        I’m not saying ND can’t win. My sole point is that they haven’t won anything consistently in about 20 years. That’s a long time! We can always speculate about the future. None of us, however, can rewrite history. And recent history hasn’t been kind to the Irish, jack.

      2. SFR,

        I sorry for misunderstanding you. My point is that ND Administration has run this into the ground for 20 yrs. Rome was not built over night and you can not just snap your fingers and ND be an elite program. ND has had some bad CEO’s of the program over the past 20yrs and made a lot of bad decisions. The only decisions I see that BK screwed up was the QB. He made the wrong call with Rees and that is why ND is where they are at 8-4. The turnovers were directly related to the QB position which caused the losses to Michigan, USC and Stanford. Better QB play equals better record. Are they elite yet no, but are they a top 25 team, HELL YES! That is more than we can say under the previous regimes. Also, take Luck off Stanford and they are .500. You will see next year.

    4. SFR,

      I have turned the other cheek numerous times this past weekend.
      You know better than anyone that I have.

      But one more remark directed my way from that crack-pot Irisheye62 and it’s on!

      Maybe he’s finally done venting and has gone back to feeding his 20 cats!

      It’s beyond me that some can’t look back to the recent Charlie Weis years and see the progress that’s been made.

      For sure there are area’s that need improvment, but one look at the rushing stats, defensive rankings,bowl wins, wins in November, and current recruiting compaired to those of Charlie Weis should tell anyone that Kelly knows what he is doing.

      If winning National Championships was easy, then everyone would have one.
      It’s not supposed to be easy.

      1. Shaz,

        Just remember that not all of us react to adversity the same way. Some of us look at things as they stand and don’t like to hear about what ifs and could haves or should haves or would haves. These are the sayings of those who settle for “moral victories”. Others prefer to be optimistic and look ahead. That’s OK, too. It’s a needed balance to the previous group.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is that both you and irisheye62 want the same thing, namely, to see ND at the top of the college football world once again. What you disagree on is the timetable for that top happen. irisheye and others here, myself included, have frankly grown tired of playing the waiting game. How much longer before we begin to see a product on the field that honors both Our Lady and the proud history of ND football?

        If LSU or Alabama win a national title this year, how many will that be for them in the last decade or? For the SEC in the same time span? These schools sure are making winning look easy, Shaz.

        If that’s not what we’re collectively asking of ND football, then we should stop being fans or ask that ND go play in the Ivy League.

        But I agree with you that irisheye62 went personal. I know that in the past I’ve stooped there, too. I’ve tried to make amends with those I’ve offended. After all, we’re all Irish fans. So, either continue to tuen the other cheek, Shaz, or simply do unto others. I’d say the same thing to irisheye62.

        Brothers (and Sisters): Go Irish!

      2. SFR,

        Thanks Buddy.

        Thanks for keeping it real.

        The delema I see is when you look at the programs that have won recent National Championships, or are going to win them.

        LSU Football scandle 2011. Players involved in a bar fight.

        Auburn: 2010, Rent-a-QB. Scam Newton. Yeah, Cam didn’t get caught. But the message remains the same.

        Alabama: Player signs with an agent while playing for the Tide. Bama forefeited 8 wins in 1993.

        USC: Pete Carroll, Reggie Bush, nuff said.

        Penn St: Nuff said.

        Ohio St. Jim Tressel, free Tats. selfish players, Cover ups.

        The list goes on.

        I want to see the Irish win National Championships.
        But I want it to be pure. Done the right way.
        Something everyone can be proud of and never marred or taken away.

        Not sure if that is even possiable in todays college football world.

        Ask yourself ” What was it that made collages accept sports way back when they were first adolpted”?

        Was it because it instilled a competitive sprit? Taught team work, self sacrifice, and good sporsmenship?

        Was it because it inspiried school pride, integrity, and honor?

        I would say yes to all of those things.

        I would like to think that ND can win a National Championship while still adhering to those values and the lessons they teach our student athelets as part of the ND experience.

        But the deck seems so incredibly stacked agianst schools who stand by their values.

        This time of year they always talk of Rankings and the BCS computer.
        I’ve never seen this computer, or the folks who program it. I have no idea where it is located or who is in charge of it.

        I don’t think there is a computer.

        I think it is a group of money mongers who sit in some backroom drinking 30 year old scotch and smoking $20 stoggies, while try to figure out how to wrangle a few extra bucks out the college football enerprise.

        A real computer would factor in player classroom attendence, curriculum, and acheivement.
        Sportsmenship, fair play, and good behavior.
        You know,, all the things that college football should stand for.
        Things that should be factored in long before the final score is posted.

        I would really like to see ND win at least one more National Championship just to prove that it still can be done, and done the right way.

        Right now, as it stands, the deck is tacked agianst them.

    5. I wasn’t calling for BK’s head. I never suggested that. I still see some of the same old things. Stats are one thing. Stats alone don’t win games. Kelly was the ONLY man for the Job at the time and we must stick with him. That said, how I hear locally in Columbus that Meyer is going to the next BIG winner –and at what cost? I think we may be glad NOT to have him at ND. Who knows? BUT again–for heaven’s sake I did NOT call for Bk’s head. I’m NOT the ONLY one on here that sees the uninspired lack of passion in the men on the field. Win, lose ,whatever, but have some ummph and swagger. Not my observations alone–motivation DOES come from the coach. Time will tell. I never said National Championships should be won in a second year either nor did I say that it would be easy. God knows we are not good enough to be on the field with LSU or BAMA or the speed of the politically correct Cardinal. Hoping for good in 2012–jsut beat the ghetto Miami Cocaines —
      ( and yes , they are still ghetto)

  44. BTW, I can type much better when I’m not so wound up when folks keep saying ” be patient.” For those of you who like the bar lowered year after year, I will make sure that Bob Davie comes to your hosue for Christmas Dinner. I will EVEN call the butcher myself and make sure the roast beast has no bones in it. That should suit your personality and outlook just fine for a perfect match. Meanwhile, those of us who are REAL Irish fans will reflect on 1988 and a great year of 89 and 93 ( yes even with one loss each in those years.) The days when ND could win almost any game–not omg hear we go again, we could lose this one—again. “Please be patient, and pass your soggy white bread sandwich with margarine and smelly 4 day old turkey.” Bobs number btw is 1-800-avg-dung. I MEAN THIS WHEN I SAY GO IRISH–do MOST of YOU? ( I know be patient—-tell you what—dont’ come to the stadium or this site unless you mean business!) again Bobs phone # is 1-800-two-face

  45. Well, friends, another mediocre season has come and gone. Another season of what ifs and could haves, should haves, and would haves. ND should have beaten USF and Michigan if not for TOs and a 4th quarter defensive meltdown against the Wolverines. ND could have tied both USC and Stanford; they were a combined 4 yards away from doing so (1 yard against SC and 3 yards against Stanford). Get TDs in both cases and who knows how the games play out. Win 3 or 4 of the above games and ND would have been 12-0 or 11-1 and would have been invited to a BCS bowl. Should have, could have, and would have — the lame refrain of the last 2 decades of ND football mediocrity. (I find it simultaneously laughable and sad that some here argue that ND fans need to be patient; we’ve been patiently putting up with heartbreak and mediocrity for about 20 years! How much more patience do some people want from us?! Perhaps we should wait over 100 years like Cubs fans!)

    Hopefully BK can develop a true QB for his system and we can finally see what a whole BK game plan looks like. JC said it best, BK put all his eggs in the TR basket and last night that basket finally fell apart! Who knows how much better AH plays last night if he’d been given more playing time during the course of the season. That’s on BK for not having done so. Hopefully, we can find at least 1 shutdown CB and play-making safety to go along with our young front 7. Find that and Bob Diaco will all of a sudden look like a genius!

    A while back there was a discussion of whether or not Manti T’eo was over-rated. I don’t think he’s over-rated, but I also can’t think of many game-changing plays he’s made in especially big spots over his ND career. Perhaps he’s been hurt. Whatever the reason, Manti will leave ND without a clear signature moment (big goal-line or 4th down stop, caused fumble, or INT against the likes of USC or Michigan or in another big-time game).

    The bowl game should be viewed not as the last game of 2011 but as the first one of 2012. Play the players of tomorrow substantially. Give them big-time reps on a big stage (not that the Champs Bowl is really all that big!). I don’t want to see TR unless it’s mop up time or AH gets hurt (God forbid!). This off-season is all about getting AH and Golston ready to compete for the #1 in 2012.

    As for recruiting, we clearly need DBs and OL. (Sounds just like my Stillers!) It would be nice to get a stud RB and another stud WR. I’d also love to get Noah Spence.

    Finally, fire the ST coach. It’s almost statistically impossible for a team to have so few punt return yards. There needs to be a whole new scheme here. ND is giving up a lot of hidden yards in the punt return game. (I almost get the feeling the BK thinks his O is so good that it doesn’t matter where they get the ball. News to BK — right now your O scheme and QB play aren’t that talented that you can win on talent alone!)

      Be Patient, the “program is heading in the right direction” “oh you must want instant gratification” ( from shazmaarock or some smart ass with a name similar to that who can kiss my ass) but YOu Steel Fan ARE RIGHT–OMG you get it. You knwo the stats better than anyone–and most on here are talking about the men in suits in the admin. building putting things in “the right direction” and blah blah blah–meanwhile the results on the field are not just LOSING–it is the WAY we play and –THE WOULD HAVES and COULD HAVES –and things that SHOULD have been. You get it sir! I wish to heaven that most Irish fans would. Again, the bar of expectation has been lowered and most people are so apathetic about it. It’s a shame. It is mediocre play with a team that COULD be ELECTRIC. Folks, the jumbo trons and rock music are for the ice rink or the ghetto thugs like the cocaines of Miami. If that is what it takes to get the crowd “in it” then we have lost a lot more than what we realize. I WISH IT WERE NOT SO. Again, there are ups and downs with every program ( just ask Florida) But this sub par play year after year is the equivalent of a B- or a C or C-. When I put it that way maybe SOMEBODY will wake shake down some thunder somewhere and somehow. I resent it when people say “be patient” –that is something you tell Buckeye Fans in Columbus after one season of this. We have been 8-4 , 3-9 6-6 , 5-7. 6-4 -1 ( when they had ties) and it goes on and on. 9-3 10-3 are banner years. once a decade a program such as Notre Dame SHOULD or at least DID go 12-0 or 14-0. THAT is NOT asking too much and yes, I’ve watched ND since 1966 and I’m patient. STEEL FAN -you analysis is Right on the money!!

      1. well some irish fans choose to not think the sky is falling, my god relax. when i say be patient i mean wait till year 3 and 4 of a coach till u decide to write him off.we are 8-4 wich is exactly what Lou’s record was his 2nd year. I also think the program was in better shape and veiwed differently by the public. Lou also didnt have to deal with the media as much or blogs about him from any idiot with a computer. i dont care how many stars our players got from recruiting web sites they are not as talented as we think. so as far as this team being electric i dont see it, with exception of Floyd. Other then him who is a real playmaker? I like wood he is solid, gray was playing good, TJ Jones has been disappointing and without a great qb it adds up to mediocrity 8-4. We need more talent and hopefully it is coming, i believe kelly is developing players we just need better players. I do agree ND needs a new special teams coordinator that has been awful.

      2. eye62,

        A son was born(a little over 20 yrs ago) and grew up in a family of loyal ND supporters and graduates.

        He is in his 20’s now.

        During his entire life time he has never seen ND win a National Title, or for that matter, really do anything special on the football field.

        He grew up favoring michigan, and still does to this day.

        Can’t say I blame him.

        As a youngster he wanted success and excitement from college football, and the Wolverines filled that void that was left by the Irish after Holtz departed.
        (I hope ND is listening)

        I wanted the next coach to be with the team for at least 10 years. I wanted success and even more importantly, stability.

        Instead, we ended up with a revolving door mentality with our continual coaching hires.
        (with the student atheletes caught in between)

        To say I’m tired of waiting is truely an understatement.

        I have been very disapointed with the ND administration and their coaching hires since Holtz.

        But to get your mangina in a twist because our head coach didn’t deliver a National Title in his second year, or because we don’t win or we lose in agreement to your own personal exspectations, or because some fans see things in a different way, just shows how far you have your head up your own butt( which should make it convienent for you to kiss your own ass as we all know how much someone as special as you, hates to have to wait for anything)

        ND isn’t going to bring in a Junior college transfer for his senior year just to play QB like a Cam Newton.

        We have to develope our own QB’s.(and occasionally, that take a bit of time)

        ND isn’t always going to get the top talent in the country because a lot of these kids just can’t handle the level of classroom work at ND.
        To give a scholarship to a kid like that is a waste. He would spend all of his time trying to make grades, and probably never see the field anyway.
        That’s a waste of recruiting money, coaches time, and classroom space that could have been better utilized by a more deserving student.

        ND isn’t going to play a kid with certain types of injuries.(like a borderline head injury).
        Even if the kid wants to play and it costs us a win.
        (And, this is probably breaking news to you, coaches don’t always acknowledge injured players or their injuries, as, this isn’t the NFL)

        Now you can sit there and whine and cry about it, (and I’m sure you will) but that’s who you are.

        With a name like “Irisheye” I suggest you open your eyes, and stop looking at your pittifull self for once and try to see those ND students, players, and coaches, who sacrifice so much, so we can watch them play football, or as in your case, whine like a little bitch because life is so unfair because ND didn’t win a football game just for you!

        It has nothing to do with lowering the bar.

        Just once, can’t it be about appreciating the effort, dedication, and sacrifice made by those young men on behalf of ND and ALL her loyal sons and daughters?

        You have absolutly no clue as to what a REAL Notre Dame fan is.

        Finally, I think you’er the one who should’t come to the stadium. You are covered in bad karma, unsupportive self-indulgents, and a stink that permeates your every ill spoken word about a great college that still values it’s integrity and priorities.

      3. Shaz:

        Time to bury the hatchet. That said allow me to enlighten you on just a few things, please.
        1. Father of Seven-four of whom attended Notre Dame–as I did.
        2. One was a double domer–as I was.
        3. I have loved, watched and attended games home and away and have sat quietly while being called everything in the book from OSU Buckeye Fans and Wolverine Fans and WVU in Morgantown and Pitt and Penn State. Sometimes–even with a 10 or 12 year old with us.
        4. I would NEVER see that from Notre Dame People.
        5. As for “not knowing what being a REAL Notre Dame fan is” I beg to differ.
        6. I’m not in a “twist” as you say becauwe we are not up for a National Title in BK’s second year. Rather, I fear the same thing we have been seeing since Vanilla , mediocre Bob Davie took over. It is a cycle which is catch 22 AND hopefully the “program is on its way back.” I’ve heard it over and over that if BK can’t fix it at this time, perhaps nobody can. I can’t imagine the pressure he is under. HOWEVER, I’m not upset that we didn’t have a National Title in his second year. I NEVER suggested that.
        That said, with the talent we have and the countless mistakes done, something is not clicking somewhere. And-there are a lot of somewhere’s. YES I applaud every player and his effort and the contribution made to ND. I have had five cousins play NCAA football–four of them at Notre Dame over the years.
        I’ll not address your attempts to insult. We can disagree. AS Steel Fan said, we both want the same thing. It appears that you CANNOT Agree to DISAGREE.
        As for priorities, there are things to think about: Ara’s grandchildren and the disease they have and it is sad. I think of the children with trauma in Southern Israel who have been targeted by rockets from Hamas in Gaza without a peep from the U.N. and the injustice ( once again) done to Jewish People. I think of those who have no job at this time in our economy who would LOVE to go to a football game be it at ND or anywhere else. BECAUSE you see Shaz, Football used to be a diversion and a light hearted way to enjoy a Saturday and connect with one’s Alma Mater in this way. Sadly, that is diminishing with scandals and the whole NCAA thing getting way too big and schools joining conferences and breaking tradition all for the love of $$$$.
        I will always be an ND fan. I just pray the cycle of 8-4 7-5 and on and on can stop. We SHOULD be able to compete for a National Title once or twice in a decade. (THat is what I said, not the anger toward BK in his second year. If you would READ, you would have known this.) To say I’m “unsupportive” and self-indulgent is about as incorrect as one can be. Notre Dame is a passion of ours-through and through. I don’t expect us to be 14-0 every year. ( I said that too) I will not, however, apologize for the passion displayed on the page.
        I WILL apologize for the mud slung back at you and commenced by you. I hope the bar has not been lowered but I fear it has. We cannot even be on the same field with many teams. I’m shuttering the thought of playing Florida State with their speed. I could be wrong. I hope I’m wrong. 2012 is a big year and It will tell a lot. Many in the college fb world MAY be right–ND may not be significant in the big scene in NCAA Division I. ( Seems to me if the University is making money on the program, then they should do whatever it takes to bring the big players because 80 some players will not take down the Academic Success of a University whose total enrollment is less than 20,000. Might be a double standard. However, if we have Johnny ACT out there GREAT. To expect that AND upper tiered success with programs whose players can barely conjugate a verb and end every sentence with “you know” or ” we be playing better” is not a reality. Sad -and true.)
        I’m proud of our graduation rate. Perhaps we can have the players make a contract that they finish a degree within seven years after leaving ND if they are not the upper crust student. We cannot have it both ways and expect the success and compete once or twice in a decade for all the marbles. We are both ND fans and want the same thing as Steel Fan said. ( He is right about a lot including the entry into Notre Dame -as time keeps marching.)
        The fact that there are EIGHT DEFREES awarded to members of my own immediate family speaks volumes. Thirteen total degrees in the entire family with four full ride scholarships ( including myself) is something I’m proud of and grateful to be a part of such a place as Notre Dame. We dare not let the passion for Notre Dame du Lac die in any way, shape or form. God Bless You this Advent Season.

  46. the problems run too deep, the first two plays from scrimmage are penalties,
    intimidated, not inspired, not coached, the game was over in the first five minutes, like last year’s stanford game, a defense that gives up 22 pts a game on average, a total joke, they cant even find a guy to return a punt, average punt return, one yard, this hurry up offense just unsettles the players and gets them freaked out, poor crist, i think the playing calling makes no sense, where is the grind it out offense, that grinds down the other team, that was the history of nd football, this guy is just a joke, i remember the first time i saw him, he had just been selected coach and he was at a notre dame golf tournament, i almost threw up. you can feel it. the players dont believe in him. i never will. lou rudy and ara must get sick watching this tragedy.

    1. Who should be the next coach then? If you say Urban Meyer I will disregard all comments you make after that selection.

  47. I agree with Jack, Tommy is a nice back-up, but I would say that Andrew opens up the offense. There are things that the offense can do with a running threat at QB that they can not do with one that doesn’t run. I also think that until Kelly commits to a spread QB, this team will never reach it’s true potential.

    With the season over, I am pleased with the direction of the program and here is why. We finished with an 8-4 record, which is not something to brag about, but it does point to some positives. First of all, with the exception of USF, ND is beating the teams they should beat, including some blowouts. Secondly, ND was competitve in every single game this year which was not always the case in the past 20 years. 3 of the losses were to ranked teams or should be ranked (USC) and they were a couple of plays away from possibly winning each game. ND could have folded against USC and Stanford, but instead battled to the very end. Thirdly, it is clear that Kelly and his staff can develop players. We have very good young players that are getting some meaningful playing time and that is going to bode well for the future. Also, Kelly and his staff can recruit talented players. I know this class is not set in stone yet, but if ND holds them together, the future will be bright in South Bend. Finally, this defense has the chance to be really good in the future. I know there is room for improvement, but they have gotten better. It took Denard Robinson, Matt Barkley, and Andrew Luck to beat them. Those are three of the best QB’s in the nation in their own regards.

    I know next year’s schedule is going to be brutal, but to become the best, you have to beat the best. I just hope that Kelly decides to commit to a spread QB and let the Crist/Rees experiment go away. He has a few weeks to get Hendrix ready to go for a bowl game and that would set the stage for 2012.

    1. Good points. No shame in losing to any of those QBs. Overlooked this year were the injuries. With 2-3 freshmen starting on defense and nothing but 1st and second year QBs, our expectations sometimes are crazy. Hendrix was very impressive: a rifle for an arm and doesn’t mind to run. However, for next year, we will need two QBs. I doubt one QB will last an entire season with that type of offense.

  48. tommy reese did an amazing job last yr….He managed Notre Dames as a true freshmen.. He step in because Jimmy claussen went to the nfl and Dayne crist who was having a good first yr with a new system unfortunately got injured. Tommy Reese got the job b/c he played spring ball and hendrix the better prospect didn’t. Coach kelly relied heavily on the run game, defense and Michael FLoyd… he kept it simple and ND executed…..

    This yr he pulled dayne crist in the first half of the first game of the season. I supported dayne Crist it was obvious that kelly didn’t. Tommy made more than a few mistakes this season. He had a lot of good moments but ND never had that game that they dominated. Floyd was used as a glorified te b/c tommy never stretch the field.

    Coach Kelly> positives – he finally gave the stud JONAS Gray an opportunity. For some reason ND is the only program from the CW era that didn’t play with Multiple RB’s. Did you see Stanford Multiple running backs played, even when the rb fumble or made a mistake they didn’t bench the player for the season.

    Negatives> no composure…. all the turnovers in the red zone aren’t just bad luck… he is rushing in plays— screaming and yelling at players instead of calling the next play and also trying to be to cute because he wants to be the biggest star at Notre Dame. Not team team team its me me me. last night after a delay of game in the redzone he is yelling an screaming meanwhile a Backup QB who doesnt’ play is trying to calm him down so he can call the next play… the result– a missed fg.

    Can brian Kelly change– everyone can change but I just rather Urban Meyer or someone who puts the Team and university first….

    My friend called it when he left cincy (in probably there biggest game in there history )for the nd job…. I Defended coach kelly at the time b/c i selfishly wanted ND to have him for those 3 weeks. But reality and hindsight it just showed his Character which was selfishness… I do hope that Coach Kelly does a complete change like I he did last yr after the Crist injury….

    Another disappointing and underachieving ND season…..

    Hopefully next yr we will have a overachieving season…

    1. prtb, i disagree with your pionts of leaving cincinnati early and of him screaming at tommy for the delay of game. the delay of game is unacceptable when there are 2 clocks right in front of u and u just burned a timeout. At this point Reese is no longer a soph he is a a junior with a season and a half of experience under his belt. with leaving early for ND almost every coach does that these days for recruiting u look around college football and u will see, urban meyer when he took over florida, al golden taking over miami , etc. dont make kelly out to be this huge jerk bc ecause he yells on the sidelines , he is prob. sick of coaching the same things over and over..i remember when holtz was at arkansas and alumni got mad for screaming and grabbing players by the face mask and as soon as he had a bad year they got rid of him. do u think they regret it? he did the same at ND and he won a NC in year 3…his year 2 record …8-4 with a 35-10 loss to Texas A&M in the cotton bowl, i remember the uproar after that. piont being give him time

      1. I am not judging Kelly by 1 incident….. I made mention of the delay of game b/c I saw one of the signal callers trying to calm kelly… that is a college palyer trying to focus the head coach…. If he is tired of correcting the same thing over and over again that means that he is not doing a good job of teaching it the first time… My problem with Coach Kelly is that I feel that his Ego is his biggest obstacle and that he wants to be the hero… Last yr I gave up on Kelly half way thru the season, when Crist went down. he completely change his approach.. He coached to win Period… About leaving cincy… I argued for Kelly to my friend but when I see his selfishness as a coach week in and week out for 2 yrs now i can’t help to think back to my friends comments when he left cincy…. Everyone can change and I believe we are stuck with him. I do believe he is better then CW and most other coaches in the league but I wish for a high character person as head coach of ND… Screaming on the sideline doesn’t bother me at all, but all the mistakes game in and game outbother me a lot. I stop pointing fingers at the players and start pointing fingers at the coach… If coach kelly doesn’t realize that which I think he does he will never be able to fix the problem… 8-4 is a bad yr for ND… 9-3 would have been an average season of nothing special and 10-2 or 11-1 would of been something which is what I was looking for expecting… The only team we beat this season was MSU….

  49. My analysis of the game is Tommy Reese is a great back up. Andrew Hendrix runs the offense better than Crist and Reese. He has the skill set for this offense. The defense played as well as can be expected. They held Stanford under 30 points for the first time in 14 games. Injuries killed this team in this game. Braxton Cave and Jonas Gray killed this offense. Special teams are atrocious. Next year they need to find a punt returner. They need to take time in practice to show Atkins how to field a punt and work on the return blocking. Next year they should teach Darby how to return punts. Finally the sky is not falling and I like the way BK recruits. He is now shoring up the secondary. They made a one game improvement from last year and are trending in the right direction. They have been an average for 15 yrs and it will take time. ND has hitched their wagon to BK and we will see what happens. The only thing that scares me is next years schedule which is brutal.

  50. HEY SPICEYIRISH ………… NOW THAT WAS F_IN FUNNY, I DON’T CARE WHO YOU ARE. Maybe they could replace fair catch Corby, with a modern updated version, eh?? 0 yards for the entire season …12 friggin games what a waste. That was at least one thing Charlie did right. We had Zibbe…

  51. Excruciating to watch but I give major props to A. Hendrix! What a gutsy effort! That kid wants to play and, based on last night, he certainly could be the guy. The sparks that he created on both sides of the ball were OBVIOUS. The whole team played harder and with more optimism because of his leadership and mojo.

    Congrats to A. Luck and Co. They are a better team and that’s that. ND has a long way to go but a double threat QB would be a good start.

  52. when a coach cant inspire the team, he should be gone. when a defensive coach from ND gives up an average of 22 pts a game for two season, he should be gone. when an athletic director takes ten days to find a second rate coach, he should be fired. for twenty years jenkins and malloy have accepted the mediocrity of kevin white and jack swarbrick. change fighting irish to hapless irish. pray for us.

    1. I hope this isn’t the opinion of the majority. Lower your expectations for this current team and save yourself the stress. Things will get better.

      Kevin White was a disaster, but Swarbick and Kelly have this program headed in the right direction. If you fire every single coach after 2 years, it’s not productive. Let the man bring in his own recruits and win. He’s a proven coach, and not second rate. The defense would not have given up 28 points last night if the offense did anything in the first half. The only problem that needs immediate attention is the secondary.

      Hendrix should be the starter for the foreseeable future. He plays hard and with an attitude. The kid can run Kelly’s offense to perfection. He just needs to work on his accuracy a bit. I would be disaapointed if he didn’t start in the bowl game.

      1. Very well said Nova. Diaco is playing with a bunch of recruits from the Weis era, and Weis wasn’t known for recruiting defensive players. Of course there’s Teo, but we never saw a defensive recruiting haul in one class such as this past year. If we continue to churn through coaches like we have been, no one will want to come to South Bend.

        Tommy Rees knows last night was probably his last meaningful action as Notre Dame QB. Look forward and start Hendrix. I do still blame BK for crapping on Crist, because there was a reason he named him starter after a spring and summer competition. He then panicked after the first half of SF but stuck with the turnover machine the rest of the year. Crist’s fumble in the USC game I hold mostly on BK’s shoulders, because of the shuffle he had going there. But I still think Brian is the guy to resurrect this program.

        We need to exercise patience, because things do not happen over night like they may have happened for Holtz 1986 to 1988. Many things have changed since then. I’m going to expand upon that a little. We used to be able to recruit on the Notre Dame “mystique”, we were on tv every week, and it was well known Lou was given certain admission leniencies. Now the recruiting angle of playing on tv every week is gone, schools have joined the 21st century with jumbotrons and new uniform designs, just to use those two as examples. I believe we can find a balance between tradition and moving forward, but we’re stuck too much in the past.

        One of the things I’m most proud of is our graduation rate, and our unwillingness to sacrifice that to turn into a “football factory”. But we need to equal our expectations with our goals. It’s going to be very hard to turn into an 10-12 wins a season team, that’s just reality. I hope I’m wrong, but it will be tough. Our players are required to live in dorms all four years, we don’t have the modern technology in our stadiums that other powerhouses do, we don’t have the warm weather, or the bevy of beautiful women. These aren’t excuses, these are simple facts.

        We’ll still have the Dome, and the Grotto, and the band marching to the stadium every weekend. We can still salute Navy, Army, and AF after the game. We can keep the “Rakes of Mallow”, “1812 Overture”, and many others. But we can move forward with something like an interlocking “ND” at midfield or beautifully constructed jumbotrons at each end of the stadium. Heck, other coached use theirs to view replays, which may positively swing the game in their favor. Imagine the strokes the Old Guard had when we switched to new helmets and stopped the spray painting of the helmets each week, or when we started piping some music through the speakers.

        One other thing I must get off my chest. Notre Dame stadium used to be an intimidating place to play. Partially because of the team and another of the crowd. It is like that no more. My wife is an Auburn alum, and we’ve gone to many games at Jordan-Hare, and it is deafening. The crowd stands, music is played, the place is absolutely rocking. I was proud to bring her to Notre Dame for her first game and show her the Grotto, Touchdown Jesus, and our many other great traditions. But I was absolutely embarrassed as to the environment in the stadium. I was told by a couple during the game to sit down, because they couldn’t see the game. On other occasions I’ve actually been told I was yelling too loud. I’ve got an idea…the old alums that wish for a cozy spot to watch the game, not much noise, and a great view, stay home. You know what station to turn your tv to. We need to shake the foundation of that stadium each and every game.

        Fight Like a Champion Today!

    2. I dont think kelly is a 2nd rate coach i think he will get this program where it needs to go.if i remember from that year there were not a lot of candidates either, 1 being Randy Etselll who is doing so well at Maryland.our d may be giving up an average of 22 pts a game but thats skewed we gave up garbage time tds to air force and maryland we played 2 top 5 qbs in next years draft and the greatest scrambling qb ever in denard robinson ,look at the rest of the games and we were pretty good.i think we will start seeing kellys offense explode next year with AH. Kelly knows the d wont always be able to stop these elite qbs and the offense will have to outscore them …On a different note did u see a different demeanor from kelly to AH he wasnt screaming as much and seemed to do more acctual coaching, I know he was thrust in against a top notch d but to me it looks like kelly is saying your the guy i want the next 3 years and Reese was just a fill in till u learned and developed.

  53. One more comment I dont want to hear about Kelly losing his job… He is the guy trust me. You know when he was at his other schools he never blew up on the sideline. We as fans put to much pressure on our players and coaches. I don’t want to be mediocre either, but it is what it is, this year. I believe and have faith that this is the guy. You can all chew me out next year if this stuff happens again. I really do believe we will see a difference, defense will get better and the offense will pop up. Lets see who we have a bowl game with most likely FSU….

  54. He couldn’t play crlst if he played well he would of showed how.stupid coach Kellys decision was to change lbs for the season after the first half of the season… If only Jonas didn’t get stripped on that play.

  55. I have posted this before. I keep waiting and waiting and waiting. Not since 1993 have the Irish been inspirational for a long period of time. Then the upset by Boston on the last play of the last game and face it, we have not been the same since. Dont’ get me wrong, I loved and still love Lou. We should go back to a running game, control the clock and have fresh legs for the defence! It isn’t rocket science, nor am I an expert -but I’m an ND alum, Irish fan and just cannot beat another era of this. I can’t stand it anymore when I keep hearing “well maybe next year, we can be 10-3 or 9-4 -it will get better in time. ” I keep hearing this again and again! 8-4 could and should have been 10-2 with losses to USC and Stanford this year. But is that where the bar is lowered to now ? Is that where the expectation are? When I posted this before in a previous article, some idiot ( Shazamarock or some such name ) said I should go to a Justin Bieber ( or whatever his name is) I would have-but my daughters and Shaz bought the last ones and the next concert within 300 miles of my home isn’t until 10 months from now-about the same time Notre Dame begins a VERY tough season. I will stick with tickets to ND–in my fourth -seventh row in the middle -thank you very much. Meanwhile, I keep hoping, praying Literally grasping my Rosary and thinking –Is being #25 the goal? ‘Well -at least we will be top 25 ” ” Gosh -they are good–maybe we will get the Sun Bowl against Brigham Young–pass the chips please.” ” Hey can I get an ND jersey to wear to the Champs Bowl when we play Wake Forest again?” These are actual comments and people think I’m crazy or making this up. Turth is stranger than–oh never mind. I’m aghast at the standard, wonderding why we have an offense that sputters and 10 more points that SHOULD have been put on the board tonight—while not diminishing Stanford At all. I just look at the Tree –and think -they are cheering for a team –that under Holtz RESEMBLED NOTRE DAME. Doesn’t anyone get this? Seriously, without a smartass remark, does anyone see this? Will Notre Dame be upper echelon again? The bar is lowered -and the crowd in the living room and the stadiums are living with it. I’m not—thank GOD there are real things in life. It just would be nice to see a University whose Standards are so high to apply those standards to a team who consistently plays with DESIRE and A WILL–in games won or lost. With Holtz –and Ara–and Devine–ND could win any game. Now it is as if we could LOSE any game. Details, fundamentals and lack of depth and leadership. Dont’ blame this on Bob Davie–although the whole he put on the recruiting was bigger than teh Grand Canyon. THAT is when the ALUMNI should have stormed the Golden Dome Admin. Building like the Arab Spring. Complacency and decisions made behind closed doors and a few gaining $$$ or something at the expense of where a fine -if not where the finest program USED to be. Don’t lecture me folks. I’m lecturing all here–and shaking my head while I write this. Stanford–noble Institution though it is–should not beat Notre Dame with such resonation as it has for three years now. ( Never mind their “band” mocking everything from Jesus to the Cross to hard working loggers–they will get theirs in time.) I love and will always love ND. The Only thing I can compare this with is that the loyal Cubs fans in Chicago always say –well next year is coming. The Dawg Pound in Cleveland is filled with loyal folks –and only GOD knows why-trashy bunch they are–but they come and they hope and they cheer and they pay a lot of $$4 to get in there and they have a good time. Heaven forbid if you have a good time in the Stadium –sit down please–hey pass the salsa–OMG—What has happened here? Arrogance? Pride? Sitting on our fat ass and saying –“well we are ND and it will come to us because of who we ARE” ??? That is the attitude I’m picking up and hearing. NOT ME–I know 12-0 every year is impossible. But to play and hope for that most years is and should not be asking too much. I haven’t seen it–and neither has anyone here. I’m not blaming BK. This has been going on for a while–a long while. Meanwhile, Bob Davie-who I can’t stand -being the vanilla, spineless two faced person who is NOT a man backstabbing Lou is sitting and calling games. ( when he does, i turn the channel and I vomit If he calls an ND game which has happened a few times–not much but more than enough.) Oh well—there are more important things by far. The Israeli’s are getting rockets fired at them from Gaza without a peep or cry from the UN and countries are going broke and some in our own country don’t have shoes to wear. That said, football USED to be a diversion and fun. It is like a bad family reunion going bad and not getting worse -but one where the distandt cousins are eating the spoiled mayo left in the sun to spoil and people are smiling while they spread it on their sandwiches. Teo and company–beam us up please. Somebody. Please. It’s time to eat some Turkey surprise–at least their is some flavor in that–with consistency. Good Night. God Bless Us–HE will have to–we our cursing and hurting ourselves–and we could be so much better at so many things if we didn’t move at a snails pace and analyze with “could have” or “maybe if he did —” Uggghh.. I”m right and most of you with common sense know it. Love the Blue, Green, Gold forever. Just glad to move on until they announce that we are playing Ivy Tech or Prarie View or something in a game before Christmas. Happy Advent fellow Christians -Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant or non-demoninational and Happy Chunnakah later on to our Jewish Bretheren. Spin a dreidle for us–we need all the help we can get.

    1. Irisheye62….

      Is your name “Chris” Because that’s who I was talking to.
      I thought that was obvious.

      Go back and look who I was responding to… idiot.

      If you changed your name to Chrisirisheye62 then you have a point… other than the one on top of your head.

      1. Shaz: YOU ARE THE IDIOT. THat said, you WERE talking to me, asshole. I replied to you because you replied to me and I’m not Chris–I’m Irisheye 62–and THAT is WHO you replied to. You want to bring it?? Bring it then!!!!!! You didn’t turn the cheek any more than the Nazi’s. You are inept, out of sync, out of tune, have no idea about Irish football and do NOT EVER presume to lecture me on the Irish past, present and future. FATHER SORIN would cry-because young deserving kids who could be nurtured will not get the chance because Notre Dame’s Administration and you SHAZ have one thing in common: ARROGANCE. You have no clue–you are stupid.

      1. the K was to EVAN not to Shaz–after watching the Irish give in to Florida State , delusional people like Shaz still think the Irish are “heading in the right direction. ” LOL –and I weep at the same time –what kind of name is SHAZ is anyway? Arrogant and an attempt to manipulate—and is unable to have people disagree with him. The Irish are 8-5 again. Love the Irish—don’t love the direction of the program and have no respect for your opinion because YOU DO NOT LISTEN TO OTHERS OBJECTIVELY. If I’m an idiot–you are double and TRIPLE the idiot. You don’t DESERVE to be an IRISH fan.

  56. A few things I will post from tonight’s game:

    Jonas Gray was soundly missed from the offense. I hope another bruising type of strength runner can be recruited in the coming year(s).

    Andrew Hendrix gave a glimpse of what this offfensive scheme can do. His physical skills are not in question. He just needs to develop a little more intuitive ability & confidence-which results from game experience, which only comes from having serious extended playing time-something I lay on the headcoach FOR NOT providing during the regular season (Purdue, Navy, & Maryland were great opportunities for some playing time and the coach stuck with the fair haired wonder boy during big ND leads instead of putting in AH).

    I would not assume AH will be the starter next year. EG possibly could surpass him next spring-he’s a hell of lot of potential talent.

    Defense did what it could tonight. The ND offense (especially the 1st half) didn’t help them very much by their play. Luck was going to get his air yardage regardless.

    A new dance called the “The Wave” will be introduced to the country. It looks like this. You stand up and wave your right arm to & fro. It will be credited to the ND 2011 punt return team, special mention to the returner, who used this dance quite effectively all year. You know, I can’t remember a more poorly special teams unit of a team than this punt returning edition of ND’s this season.

    Kudos to Hendrix who played pretty decently when given some extended playing time and not having a lot of game experience to prepare him. HE LOOKED LIKE A QB OUT THERE AT TIMES.

    OL had a very poor game tonight. They have played well during the season overall, but, seemed like they didn’t really show up tonight.

    Champs Bowl, here we come.

    Go Irish!!

  57. Next year Notre Dame should unveil a statue of John Goodman calling for a fair catch. Then all of us can remember his record-breaking year as ND’s punt returner.

  58. ok last post, TR’s record is hollow. He may have a great starting record but when it comes to beating quality teams he doesnt have what it takes. Mark May even had to come out and tell the truth about the winning % against the teams TR has beat. All day long on the West Side of Chicago im lockin up mooks who scream “man you bogus!” when its time to hit the cell block after being incarcerated for well deserved crimes. Well there aint nothin more bogus than the career of TR against mediocre teams. He cant win the big games and his turnovers put us behind the 8-ball.

    1. Tommy would be a good QB in the lower conferences, he does not have what it takes to win on the big stage.

      Just look at how many plays Luck made with his feet.

  59. My last thoughts: it was brutal to watch us lose in the past with ‘superior’ QB’s like Quinn and Clausen. How the hell did we manage this tonight? My only other thought is that i would have liked to see Cam McDaniel get the rock a few times

  60. I agree with Erik D, it’s time to move towards the future and get a spread QB developed. They have several weeks of practice to get Hendrix ready for the bowl game. Opposing defenses have figured Rees out and when he can’t run or throw the ball deep, he is going to be ineffective against the better teams.

    Hopefully, by not playing Dayne who was supposed to be the #2 is Kelly’s way of saying it’s time to do make the change. He does not like losing and I think he misses his fast-paced offense.

    This loss may be a blessing in disguise because if Tommy would have played better, we wouldn’t have seen what Hendrix can do. Win or lose, they are going to the Champs Bowl, so I’m glad we got to see Hendrix.

    Also, thought the defense played well, just didn’t have the help from the offense. I appears that Theo is going to be a running back with Toma in the slot. I was wishing they would have thrown it to Riddick out of the backfield a lot sooner in the game.

    Hopefully, they can pull out a bowl win and end the year with 9 wins.

  61. I never thought i would say this but we only lost by 2 TDs to stanford. Obviously im out of my tree by this point in the night but Hendrix provided a spark and some of those passes were dropped at crucial moments and not his fualt. OK its obvious TR is not the answer, we have known this for a while. However i liked what i saw out ouf Hendrix and although im outta my tree at this point im optimistic for next year with this guy at the helm. Theres alot of things to fix but we didnt get totally blasted as we well deserved to be. I fly the Vatican and ND flag infront of my house in the 60655 and they will be at half mast tomorrow

  62. tail of 2 halves .Hendrix came in and played way better then i thought and the rest of the team responded.Maybe the reason this team sometimes plays lathargic is t hats the way reese plays.Hendrix played with some attitude and made plays and man that kid has a cannon it was weird seeing such arm strength.on a glass is half full outlook we won the 2nd half and i believe that was the least ammount of pionts stanford has scored all year…hopefully Hendrix keeps developing and this team explodes next year, i have a feeling kelly was developing him while trying to win as much as he could this year with reese

    1. But if Hendrix can play like that against the #6 team in the country, how would he have done against a lot of the other garbage we struggled with?

  63. Bk has been arrogant in playing TR this long. He was never a match and if you are still building then you build with thr right materials. As soon as the team lost the second game the qb position should have been open, and at the very least a rotation to see who’s really the future.

  64. well in my eyes its Hendrix’s job to lose… Until Golson gets the keys to the Car… Tommy is not the future done said and dont care about his record… I knew Andrew was the man when I was at the air force game. Ladies and Gents the offense wasnt pretty but thats what a Kelly offense is suppose to look like… Just lack of not getting to play I expect him to start the Bowl game….

  65. Here’s a good example of back up QB(s) not getting playing time and then thrust in when the fair haired wonder boy took some beatings and had to come out. Then when the backup comes in, he doesn’t perform well and people harp on that when he received no playing time when there were opportunities to gain some experience in previous games. Whole team (besides the QB) is not showing up. Where the heck is the OL in this game (oh, making a bunch of false starts). I just had my kid baptized tonite and rushed to get to a TV at the local sports bar with my family (of Irish fans) to celebrate in good Irish tradition of the baptism & watch the game. Wow, what a disappointment to an otherwise great day at this point.

    C’Mon Irish, show up

  66. its not just tommy rees, the whole team is playing horrible. penalties galore, the line looks like tissue paper, and what the hell is robert blanton doing. this may be a big game to the fans but the team isn’t playing like they think so.

    1. Are you kidding g me. Reese is horrible and it showed tonight. Matt Lovechio. You thrust Hendrix into a situation he wasn’t ready for and he did better than Reese.

  67. We have no business being on the same field as Standford. Zero points after the interception and the ball went to Stanford’s 5 yard line?

    Just wow. Stanford is CLEARLY a superior team but ND never even showed up. As I said earlier in the week, if they played with the same attitude as they did in the BC game, Standford would blow us out. So far, right on target.

    PA THET IC. Here’s hoping Hendrix can at least get some good playing time.

    GO IRISH! (do something, anything right and try not to look like school girls in the 2nd half)

  68. The USC game is coming back in spades tonight…no heart and NO FIGHT in the Irish tonight! No signature win in I dont know how long…unless there is a miracle I see 45-3 assuming they dont offer Ruffer another scolarship!…ND drop the research facility approach and bring back the Fr. Sorin imagination for young deserving kids finding their way….as it stands right now, the Irish remain..NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME!

  69. Tommy Reese is a gamer. He is 11-2 as a starter. He sucks period. Is I was BK I would have a hard time looking in the mirror on how I screwed over Dayne Crist. Tommy Reese sucks period, he needs to be benched. It can’t much worse.

  70. I am not a Crist fan but we have no choice. Hendrix can’t pass. Please, please Golson next year? Boy the secondary playing tonite ey????? Not.

  71. PA-THE-TIC are they serious with this performance?? Garbage quarterbacking and uninspired defense as usual. This whole season has been a joke. 2nd from last in turnovers in the nation. 2ND FROM LAST. You can’t win with a stat that horrible. If they get lucky they’ll have a cupcake in their bowl game. Any quality team will embarrass this sorry ass team.

  72. ugly…ugly…ugly….wheres Shaz? Irish are inept! Change at QB overdue but will only add to the spanking tonight! Drink heavily my friends…maybe next year but we still need to endure the bowl loss…..sad indeed.

  73. Such a garbage qb. Our defense is doing alright but rees is horrible yeah his record is 12 2 or whatnot but he hasn’t done anything against good teams

  74. Who in God’s name recruited Rees or was he a walk on? He frigin sucks, he is a whimp and should have been in the end zone bit whussed out. Should have been 7, missed the 3 and it will get real ugly now moving forward. Getting sick of the east-west running as well.

  75. As long as Tommy Turnover is at the helm, ND has no chance at all! The main problem is at this time slot there is no other game to watch.

  76. If ND can establish a some type of effective running game with Wood & Riddick/Atkinson 111/? running, they can keep Luck off the field and maybe reduce Stanford’s scoring opportunities. Luck will get his yardage and they may run the ball depending which ND Defense shows up. I’m very apprehensive. If Tommy has a good game, it’s close, with even an upset win in the making, otherwise, I think the Cardinal have the better chance to win, even in an ugly matter if our fair haired wonder boy decides to introduce the ball to the Stanford defense on numerous occasions, which he can be prone to do.

    Go Irish

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