The Andrew Hendrix Experience

andrew hendrix feature
Will Andrew Hendrix start in the bowl game? McSweeney thinks he should.

After the Stanford game, the Notre Dame message boards understandably lit up with talk of Andrew Hendrix. Some were quick to anoint him the Second Coming. Others did their best Lee Corso impersonation (albeit minus the tight-lip cussing) and said, “Not so fast, my friend.”  The rest pretty much did what they always do: said the first inane thing that came to their heads while waxing nostalgically about how Notre Dame would never again be that a shining, beacon-like-yet-jumbotron-free school upon a hill.

But I digress…

Is it reasonable to qualify Hendrix’s second-half success versus the Cardinal as the simple result of a Stanford team that had not practiced for a read-option offense and a QB with wheels? Maybe. Should we question Coach Kelly for not recognizing this systemic weakness of Stanford’s defense given their epic losses to Oregon over the last two years? Hell yes, but that’s a debate for another day.  But the idea that Hendrix’s talent should be dismissed because of his mechanics is…well, somewhere between insane and just plain stupid.

Mechanics are a highly overrated commodity at the collegiate level; athleticism and the ability to improvise are much bigger assets. Put it this way, out of the teams currently ranked in the BCS Top 25, who’s the last QB you’d want to face in the red zone with the game on the line? Out of those same teams, who’s the one QB you can safely guarantee will never see an NFL field at QB because he’s a mechanical nightmare? Same answer for both questions: Denard Robinson.

Still unconvinced? Over the last decade college football has seen five QBs with “poor mechanics” grab the national spotlight: Cam Newton, Tim Tebow, Troy Smith, Vince Young and Eric Crouch. Bad throwing motion, accuracy problems, too dependent on his legs to bail him out: it’s a scouting report you could copy and paste under any of these players’ smiling mugs. With all due respect, you can shove that scouting report up your ass and chew on these numbers:

There have been 14 BCS National Championships, and a pro-style quarterback has been on the podium of the winning team a grand total of two times (Ken Dorsey in 2001 and Matt Leinart in 2004). If you’re not onboard the Andrew Hendrix Experience—and for the record, I hope Coach Kelly is very much onboard come the bowl game—then at least try to come to the table with something other than, “He’s not what a quarterback should look like.”

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  1. Manti is returning for his senior season as per ESPN. Now let’s hope that Eifert and Cave also come back for one more go around.

  2. I don’t know if we will be in the hunt for a National Championship, but I can see ND being a Top 10 team in the near future. If you just look back at the progression of the players currently on the roster in the regular season, 3-9, 6-6, 6-6, 7-5, 8-4, there is a sense that the program is heading in the right direction. Kelly is recruiting his kind of players and I don’t see any reason why this improvement in the record will not continue. While it may not be as fast as we all would like, there is a foundation being built.

    I know there are a lot of people who think next year is going to be a bad season, but I’m not one of them. The team will have another year in the system and another year with Longo. There is depth starting to develop and there is the potential for another really good recruiting class. The is also the possibility of a true spread QB running the offense. I think we will start to see the higher tempo offense that Kelly has been wanting to run and I think they will be hard to defend next year. The defense is improving and will continue to get better due to the fact that it will be their third year in the same system. They are not experiencing the revolving DC like they did in the Weis years.

    As far as the schedule goes, I do not see what the big deal is. I know they can lose some games, but I also know that every game on the schedule can be won. They start out with Navy and Purdue, which they should win. Michigan State will have a new QB, Michigan is at home, Miami is a winable game, Stanford will have a new QB, BYU doesn’t scare me, Oklahoma will have a new QB, Pitt is at home, BC should be a win, Wake should be a win, and USC will probably have a new QB as well. I don’t think it is unrealistic to see this team win 9 or 10 games. If ND is going to get back in the discussion of being one of the elite teams, then they are going to have to beat some of teams on their schedule. If they do happen to win 9 or 10 games against this type of competition, then it is fair to say that the program is heading in the right direction.

    I get the sense that people are starting to think that next year is going to be like the 3-9 year after Quinn and the boys left. I know that Floyd, Smith, and Gray are leaving, but the cupboard is not bare like it was in the 3-9 year. This team will continue to improve and will be a team that we can be proud of.

  3. And my friend, competing for National Championships is what will happen. BK is going after the right positions to make a championship run. He has focused in the trenches, where championship teams win the battle. Our defense is a huge inprovement over years past and they are young. We will be in the hunt within BK’s five years.

  4. Castine83d,

    One more critical point, the bar set for CW was “to be in the BCS Bowl conversation.” Interestingly enough, Swarbrick set the bar even higher for BK to be “competing for National Championships.” So it would be a huge misconception to assume that BK was hired to rebuild the football program. Clearly, based on Swarbick’s hiring comments BK was indeed hired to “compete for National Championships” now…..during the current 5year contract.

  5. B-dub,

    It’s pretty much an immediate grasp of the obvious many here want Golson to start next year. However, the turnovers at QB must be eliminated. It’s not going to matter who starts at QB if turnover problems continue.
    Unsurprisingly, with the remaining QB’s that many are clamoring for have very little game experience that could indeed extend the problem.

    Rest assured if the turnovers continue there is a high probability BK will be tar and feathered and ran out of town on a rail YEAR THREE. NEVER in the history of ND football has there been this type of turnover standard accepted at QB. So for those who think all is well in NDville have their head somewhere it does not belong. Nor will any streaks of emotional angst resolve this dilemma. Mr. “That’s Coachable” will have reset the benchmark to insure ND standards and expectations are met without fail.
    For there is this little matter of WHY we pay him millions.

    1. You are correct regarding turnrovers and no other experienced options on the bench. It was clear that Crist was on a very short leash. However, one does not have to go that far back to see that turnovers at the QB position were a problem with other young ND QBs (i.e. Kiel, Beuerlein, Mirer, Powlus, Jackson, Clausen). Point is, I suspect BK was not going to tolerate Crist’s inability to run the offense. Could Crist grasp the offense? I don’t know, but surely (don’t call me that)there was something missing.

      All that said, there were things BK did during the season that could not be explained. Why was Hendrix not used more? And, why was he used and then a mere afterthought, never to see the game again?

      I want to see more next year from Kelly and the team; however, the schedule is just plain difficult. Can it be done?

      Overall, we desired a new coach and got BK. We have back to back winning seasons and certainly show recruiting success. We easily could have been 10-2 or 9-3 this season. Were we as good as Stanford…heck no. So the only complaint should be our ranking. A BCS was never in the cards.

      Regarding the millions…yes, you are spot on, you expect results for that kind of money. Maybe that’s what’s wrong!

      1. Castine83d,

        I will remember Crist walking the team down the field on his last series without a hitch and the team kicking a field goal. It is what it is.

        I am confident no ND QB has matched TR’s turnover totals to date.

        I am with you on seeing more from BK and the team next year regardless of schedule.

        And I expect no less than one National Championship in return for the Multi-Million Dollar 5 year contract signed by BK and ND. That is the bottom line pertaining to expectations.

        There is no mystery why we signed a 5 year contract with BK.

  6. Can someone tell me why hendrix going into a game against a defense that didn’t prepare for a QB with wheels and an arm, completes 45% of his passes and somehow is the answer to all our problems?
    Let me say it again, Hendrix will not start next year! Its going to be either Golson or Gunner. Rees was a fill in for Golson’s redshirt year; please look at the obvious. Golson is the prototypical QB for Kelly’s system.

    1. I wouldn’t declare who may or may not be a starter come next year. We just don’t really know (though WE ALL have our opinions now don’t we, hahahaha) As to AH’s “stats,” hard to get good stats if you never saw much playing time overall, and he didn’t when he should have. I’ve only seen EG’s spring game involvement and the high school highlights don’t compare to Div 1 football. It will be interesting to see who will be named the starter come next year.

      1. Oh, come on storespook, you know you’re the only autodidactic head coach we have on this board?


  7. Bj,

    I appreciate your pain. I really do. But some of us here are old timers. I remember watching as a child ND beat Alabama in the Sugar and Orange Bowls back in the early 1970s. I vividly recall the 77 NC season. Needless to say, I have no problems recalling the Holtz era and the 1988 season. So, Bj, I’d say that I and others here have in fact seen “real Notre Dame football”!

    1. There have been a few great games since ’88, but only a few. Just curious what others think of this: for me, Notre Dame and it’s legacy of powerful lines and running attack ended when Pon Powlus cames to Notre Dame. It appeared to be a terrific catch for ND getting Powlus, but in retrospect, it seemed our days of dominating offensive lines ended with the new emphasis of the passing game. Love Lou, but I think he fell for the trap of wanting the sexy passing game like Florida, Miami, and Fl St.

    2. ABSOLUTELY SFR, RIGHT WITH YA ON THAT. The 73 Sugar and 75 Orange Bowls against Bama were great victories and fun to watch.

  8. you guys have never seen real notre dame football, it has been all downhill since usc cheated us out of that night game almost a decade ago,something broke after that and the team as an institution has never gained its confidence back

  9. Hey John1985,

    Get the popcorn ready looks like we will be watching Dayne in a bowl game at Kansas! Hahahahahahahahah. I wonder what BK will be doing?

    1. Other than being familiar with Weis and his system, I would advise Crist to go elsewhere. I grew up in Kansas, and BB is the game in Lawrence. I’m afraid Crist might get killed behind KU’s line. Maybe Wisconsin would work better. Hope he does well wherever he goes and has a chance to play in big games against great opponents. But, I am a KU fan, 2d behind ND, and if Crist does go there, I would love to see him stay healthy and put up big numbers.

      1. I think he’d do well at KU. The Big 12 is a pass happy league and CW’s system would fit in well there. Plus there is familiarity there and the expectatins are so low for both that the pressure will be off.

  10. Charlie Weis is going to be the next head coach at Kansas. Is Dayne Crist soon to follow? That would be a perfect fit for both of them. Charlie doesn’t have to teach the system to a new QB and Dayne doesn’t need to learn a new one at a new school. The expectations will be low, so Dayne isn’t going to be in a pressure cooker. Crist and Weis could mentor their Sophomore QB and build for the future. Crist could come in right away and be mentored by Weis and improve his draft status. I really think this move makes sense for both parties.

  11. greenday,

    Really could happen, here’s another possibility: BK acquires Keil and starts Golson right out of the box next year going for broke. Depending on Golson’s talent will indeed dictate BK’s future at ND. In the process, we lose TR. Either way, it will be a highly charged 2012! One thing is for certain, this was indeed the year to develope a QB for next year. However, I don’t think BK ever imagined the turnover problem would be the knife that killed the development process. However, in his own words: “That’s coachable!”

  12. I would like to think naming Rees is a smoke screen for a Hendrix start but I do not think it is. Kelly is scared and desparately needs a win. Rees is his security blanket! Going into his 3rd and most pivotable year with this QB situation will not bode well for his return for a 4th year. This should have been the year to develope a QB for next year and that upcoming schedule. Twinkle-toes Tommy will be back at the helm next year, they will not improve their record by any means, Golson transfers to an SEC school and shines, Keil should have his head examined if he commits to ND, Dayne C. transfers to UMASS with his OC and whatever but yeah a BCS team no way, and finally Kelly gets fired end of next season with no Bowl invite. Hope Kelly has a good financial planner (and he’ll need it) because he has demonstrated he cannot plan the future of a successful football program!

    1. I really don’t understand where you are coming from. Do you really think ND is going to ever compete again with the big boys if they keep firing the head coach every 3-4 years? Kelly hasn’t even had a .500 or a losing record and his job is on the line? Like I said in another post, ND with Tommy Rees at QB going 4-0 last year to end the season was a blessing & a curse. There is no way we get Lynch and Tuitt last year without the winning streak, but it also put Kelly in a pickle because he found a way to win with a QB that doesn’t fit the mold of a spread QB.

      On top of that, the offense was moving the ball really well with Rees at the beginning of the season, they just couldn’t stop the costly turn-overs. What-if the defense stops Michigan and they win that game. All of the sudden Rees is the next Joe Montana because he lead them on a scoring drive to take the lead with 30 seconds left.

      I believe Kelly when he says that the offense is most comfortable with Rees right now, but he really needs to develop Hendrix or Golsen in the spring. I don’t think anyone is going to transfer next year because they will all be in the mix.

      ND will be a good team next year and I really don’t think they will look anything like this years team.

    2. Greenday,

      You and many other people advocating firing a coach after two seasons are idiots. You are also the same people who were screaming for Weis to get fired and to hire Kelly. Here is the deal, keep firing coaches and you will never win. Who will want to coach knowing you are one year away from being fired. Get a clue Kelly needs to serve out his contract and let Swarbrik determine if he deserves and extension. Two year and you people think he needs to go, PLEASE GET A CLUE.

  13. If and when ND would find it necessary to join a conference. Well, let me restate: If and when ND would find it necessary to START a new conference.

    I invision ND forging alliances that would be phenomenally proactive, and a new conference by design that would insure exciting and progressive paradigm shifts for all parties involved.

  14. Good Sportsmanship,

    Organized sports, especially amateur sports, was
    supposed to be a means by which we could teach our youth
    about the values of displaying good sportsmanship.

    Today I happened upon a sports article about two Ohio high school
    football teams, that were playing for their state title.

    One player from the losing team had gotten himself suspended from school,
    and tagged with 240 hours of community service, for his display of unsportsmen like conduct at the conclusion of the game.

    Seems after the game, when players and coaches meet at mid field to shake
    hands,this kid hid a thumb tack in his glove and proceeded to stick it to 28 players on the other team.

    What a little prick!

  15. Rutgers, UConn, Louisville, Cincinnati, USF, Boise St, SMU, Central Florida, Houston, & San Diego St.

    The new Big East in football.

    Now replace any one of those schools with “Notre Dame”

    Good God Almighty!

    I don’t know about anyone else, but as a ND football fan, that conference has got to be the ugliest, most uninspired, totally dysfunctional conference of all time!

    I am so thankful that ND didn’t get roped into joining that nauseating mess!

  16. 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 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.

    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 25 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. No great coach to inspire them. 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. Jimmy Clausen left early and I heard him say on national TV, he never lost a game until he came to Notre Dame and they went 3-9. And he was a great quarterback.

    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 commitment, the leadership? Fire Swarbrick, Kelly and Diaco and find a great coach who can inspire the team!

    1. “It becomes quickly apparent the new offense is some quick start gimmick.”

      …unlike, say, the option?

      “The defensive coordinator the new coach brings allows the opposition 25 points a game on average.”

      …and by 25 points do you mean 20 points, ND’s per-game average since Diaco got on campus, which is good enough for the 28th-best scoring defense in the country and a mere two points outside the Top 10?

    2. …FDR the greatest President…please…

      ND is PC it is as simple as that. The university sold out to the secular world when Hesburgh signed the Land O” Lakes agreement in 67′. The recent focus in the mid 90’s of becoming a premire research facility vs Our Lady’s University coincided ironically with the downfall of the football program. Dats the fact Jack.

    3. BJ,

      That post is a bunch of rambling bullshit. BK and Weis yelling at players. Your great Lou Holtz used to grab players by the face mask and yell at them on National TV. Also, it is John Wooden not Wooten and he did yell at his players, he just didn’t curse. You also discuss the poor excuses for coaches and how ND hired and assistant coach, Bob Davie. I can name one better Jerry Faust. ND before Holts hired a high school coach to run their program. College football is cyclical and ND wasn’t in the NC hunt every year. Look at history and you will see there were years where they were horrible by ND standards. Now I agree that some recent picks and University decisions have caused this problem, but some of your points are just way off base and please don’t quote politicians as great people, they are mostly egotistical assholes, Republican and Democrate.

  17. DeltaIrish,

    Kudos, excellent assessment of where we are now. The 64 million dollar question for next year obviously, is it Hendrix or Golson? By not utilizing Crist for two years to allow for younger talent to develope?? Now BK is forced to make a choice if he wants to implement his style of spead before time runs out. And yes, time is certainly luxuruios at ND. The old saying goes: “Now that you’ve made your bed; lay in it!” So if it doesn’t work out next year with the gut-wrenching and tenacious shedule; don’t feel sorry for BK I’m sure he won’t leave ND impecunious.

    1. Why do you keep bringing up Crist? Did you not see him play? He is a great practice player but when the pressure is on he can’t perform. Do you not remember how he played in the South Florida game or how he fumbled on the goal line and USC ran it back for a touchdown. I am not a big Ress supporter but come on Crist has never been good so give it up already.

      1. Great practice player? Well, the last series Dayne played he walked the team down the field without a hitch and field goal was kicked. Further, Dayne exhibited excellent mobility in that series. Mobility TR will never have.

        So “never been good” does not apply for 3 points being scored due to Dayne’s efforts.
        Give credit where credit is due.

        Furthermore, 30 minutes of playing time does not represent a whole season. And it was an immediate grasp of the obvious BK was not committed to Dayne for the season as advertised. BK was way to eager to start TR and leave it that way.

        You’ll get your opportunity to see how good Dayne really is just not at ND. You will see Dayne next year at Wisc, USC or Kansas.

        Dayne will make a statement for he is part of the ND family. No one will ever take that from him.

        I look forward to Dayne playing next year as a starting QB somewhere else. I am confident he will be successful.

  18. I will never understand what exactly the reasoning was with the benching of Crist in favor of Rees and the persistence with Rees despite the turnover issues. But, in regard to Ress over Hendrix (AT THIS POINT) I think I understand.

    The pressure to win at ND is huge. A “rebuilding year” is unacceptable. Most coaches that come in to a new situation where they bring the spread and the former regime was pro-style have quite a rough first season. the personel just isn’t right. Look at what happened to DickRod at Michigan. Kelly knows that wouldn’t work at ND, so he blended his spread to mix in the pro-style components he had to try and give him the best chance to win. The result is a bastadization of both the pro-style and spread style. We had a spread that was built largely on tight ends and running backs. And getting the ball to them was the most important thing. And someone like Ress, with decent accuracy and a quick release was the best he had. As for MMF and the receivers, well, we just traded Weis’ middle screens for Kelly’s receiver screens.

    Kelly said as much in his press conference when he said Rees has a good relationship with MMF and Eifert. Floyd is gone and Eifert might be as well. Gray is out so our running back corp is down to the more spread style Wood. So, next year we will have a different style of weapons. More slot receiver, scat back style players will need to step up….thus, the spread is more brought to bear. thus, a more spread style QB is needed.

    Bowl games are either considered the end of the season or the start of the next depending on the coaching philosophy. By going with Rees (Cause he has a good relationship with Floyd and Eifert) Kelly is obviously saying this game is the end of this season. Rees can’t be the guy for next year. By then our weapons will have morphed into more of the typical spread design and we will have to have the more mobile QB.

    This game is the end of 2011. A send off for Floyd and probably Eifert. It’s also very likely a send off for Rees.

    Just my humble opinion.

  19. The only fault I see with B.Kelly performance this season is a botched QB situation and his likablity after sideline blowups.- that’s never good for recruiting. Botched since a quality player like Crist is leaving on a bad note and Hendrix didn’t gain experience in blowout games….unless Golson at QB next season is part of his plan the whole time.

    1. I have been a fan of Dayne Crist, but it bears remembering that he was a Charlie Weis recruit and CW sat him on the bench for more than two and a half years behind “his” number one guy, Jimmy Clausen.

      Weis would rather send Clausen out to finish the last four games of Clausen’s career on a toe that was so bad that it required surgury to repair, instead of playing Crist.

      What’s the message there?

      What Kelly inherited at QB in Crist was far from an experienced, finished product.

      Which was further set back by 2 yeasrs of season ending injuries.

      Charlie Weis couldn’t be botherd with Crist.

      Injuries, Charlie Weis’s stubborness, and his lack of confedence in Crist did more to derail Dayne Crist’s career than anything Brian Kelly ever did.

      Does anyone think for one minute that Charlie Weis and the University of Florida will burn a scholarship on Dayne Crist?

      I don’t.

      1. Given Florida’s current QB situation, it might. Most of them are freshman, so Crist would keep them competitive while they develop their younger guys.

      2. Kudos, and does anyone really have confidence in what BK has given us? Oh yeah, 2 QB turnovers a game? Yeah, a new modern day metamorphosis of football protocol.

        I am completely confident this will gain widespread acceptance amoung the NATIONS top 25 teams in the country!

        But gee golly willy, we need more time to get to 3 QB turnovers a game!

      3. I have to disagree with you Shaz to a point. Dayne played under CW against Purdue and Wash St. but go hurt. Thats why Dayne never played as Clausen’s toe got worse and worse, not because the faith wasn’t there. Also at that point CW new he was fighting for his job so even with a healthy Crist I think that Clausen plays because of the coaches tentative job situation. And Crist was only there for 2 years total behind Clausen not 3. So I don’t see how due to the injury and his job situation you can surmise he had a lack of confidence in Crist.

        I do think that BK derailed Crists career, although injuries definitely played a role as well. Benching Dayne after 30 minutes of football when he still had the rest of the year and 1 more year of eligibility is about as much derailing as can be done. He threw 2 years of Dayne away over 30 minutes. That said I support Kelly and this is the only decision of his I don’t agree with and have not agreed with it since the start of the second half of the USF game.

      4. natharmarshall,

        You make a good point.

        But as fans we don’t get the inside story. So we have to surmise, or assume, what might be behind a coaches decision.

        There have been more than a few decisions over the past two years that left me wondering what the head coach was thinking or trying to accomplish.

        But the man (BK) has over 20 years as a head college football coach, and had been successfull at it.

        Unlike myself he knows his players on a personal level.
        Works with them every day in practice.
        Interacts with them on and off the field.

        I seriously doubt he benched Crist because he didn’t like the way he combed his hair or the kid’s choice in music.

        The best assumption (and that’s all it is) that I can come to is there is/was a lack of confedence.

        If anyone has a better reason for why BK didn’t stick with Dayne Christ, I sure would like to hear it.

      5. By the way, Charlie Weis had jsut received a contract extension. 7 years I think.
        I don’t think job security was at the top of his list when it came to coaching decisions.

      6. I believe you are right Shaz. BK did lack confidence in Crist. Remember all last summer BK raved how great Crist was doing and when he named him starting QB he couldn’t say enough great things about him.

        Then when he played against USF he looked so petrified he couldn’t do anything right.

        Although Rees can’t run and has a weak arm he doesn’t look scared. KInd of a take-charge guy.

        a lot of people keep giving their opinions on Crist but BK just doesn’t trust him on the playing field. Nice kid, great student but lost on the field, in my opinion.

      7. Shaz I see what you are saying and you are right. As a fan we will never really know. We don’t see the behind the scenes. I certainly don’t have a better answer of why BK benched Crist. It is mind boggling to me, but as a fan I accept and still want the team to do the best possible. Now while I accept it I don’t agree with it but it doesn’t really matter with what I agree with I am not making the decisions so like I said I try to accept it and move on.

        CW was given the extension after 2006. By the end of 2008 there was talks of him losing his job and they were rampant as the 4 game losing streak was in process at the end of 2009.

  20. Not a good match up for ND going against Florida State. Of course the list gets shorter and shorter of who would be a good match up for the Irish these days. If there is anything left in the tank after such an underachieving year, ND may keep it close but I think overall speed of FSU’s defense keeps the Irish on their heels and very contained. Most every team ND played this year were able to bottle up Floyd and Kelly really had no other answer to counter with. That doesnt seem likely to change in a bowl game.

    It was refreshing to see Hendrix as it probably gave a better glimpse of what BK’s offense could be but BK has already backtracked on the fast paced offense he sought to install in South Bend. It was refreshing to see them execute it in the 1st year and they truly looked comfortable doing it but then they went totally away from it this year. As the season went on the offensive execution got slower and slower. They really seemed to play a lot better when we go hurry up. Almost none of that this year.

    In hindsight the two younger QB’s should have been in the mix early on to build on the offensive scheme that BK supposedly wants to install to match the skills the QB’s bring with them and were recruited for. Playing Crist or Rees only delays the rebuilding transition the program needs to go through.

    1. Chris,

      FSU has had it’s share of QB issues.(Sacks and interceptions)

      This game will probably come down to which teams’ QB gets the better protection and doesn’t beat themselves.

      And of course, FSU can return punts!

      1. I agree with Shazam. On paper this should be a relatively low-scoring game. FSU has a very tepid offense but good special teams. Depending on which Tommy Rees shows up and if Hendrix gets some PT, ND’s offense is much stronger but will face a solid FSU defense.

        I do think ND is the better team.

      2. JDH,

        I think ND is the better team as well, but the thought of that FSU pass rush bearing down on our statue of of QB (Rees) is frightening.

        The Stanford pass rush is all too fresh in our minds!

        Hope Micheal Floyd has a big game. Gonna miss that kid.

  21. I will say this. Root for ND because they comparitively do things the right way. I wouldn’t get too wound up about the things Kelly says or doesn’t say. They will win or they won’t win. The soap opera of who stinks and who is going to be the “Second Coming” has gotten so stale and is below us. We are ND fans. We harken to the days when a team was built on a somewhat muddy field. We harken to the days when no one was looking and the Lads came and ran over their opponent. Yes, we harken to the old days because we link those days with the days of greatness, not just of Notre Dame, but of our country. America has not over achieved since the Nasa’s Lunar program. The last great over achievement was winning WWII and before that, holding ourselves together while pulling ourselves out of the depression. Having “The Chip” on your shoulder and not waiting for someone else to lead you. Can anyone think of a leader in our country that fits that build since maybe Ronald Reagan?

    And so whining and moaning about what the coach said or whether one QB is prettier than the other might be better discussed by Barbara Walters, Joy Bahar, Whoopi Goldberg and company.

    If it is Rees, he better play to win. If Hendrix plays, he better play to win. The defense better play to win. The running backs, recievers and offensive line better play to win. The special teams better play to win.

    Kelly isn’t going to get too creative. That’s not his style. He is methodical so expect a next step to include Hendrix but not all Hendrix. If this year’s team can’t make that work, then it is a reflection on all of them.

    2011 is a year of lost opportunities. Consider that the Sugar Bowl has ND if they beat USF and Michigan.

    Let’s just enjoy the bowl, realize ND has to claw it’s way back from being just above average, and hope the Irish can find leadership and inspiratino to make 2012 a surprisingly special year.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!!!

      1. You don’t have to agree with one’s point of view to respect their leadership. For instance I am not a Franklin Roosevelt fan, nor am I a JFK fan. But I do respect that they led with their own convictions and believed in something bigger than themselves. Like Reagan, they had conviction. Let’s relate this back to ND football. Father Ted was a leader. I might disagree with several points of view, such as his attempt to dismantle the football program in the 1950’s. People forget that he made a conscious decision to de-emphasize football. When they brought it back it wasn’t nearly as big as when Leahy was there. I respect Father Ted for many of his decisions much more so than the limp wristed efeminates that have succeeded them. Their lack of conviction has reflected on the football program. Since Holtz left, we’ve had a succession of coaches who view Notre Dame as a brand without understanding that the team is an extension of a CATHOLIC school that once existed to show that downtrodden minorities could excel in the world when they applied the highest standards on themselves and each other. That’s leadership.

        ND can do it again and do it right. But there needs to be a commitment to the cause by the leadership.

  22. Scav,

    ND will not be brought back to National prominence until they have a QB that can win a game not manage a game. Rees will be out by the second quarter, because he is not mobile and FSU will be able to play tight coverage due to his lack of arm strength. The only problem I saw with this team this year is the lack of consistancy at the QB position. Jonas Grey bailed out Rees a lot. It is only a matter of time before BK looks for other options at QB.

  23. I think the Champs Bowl is the start of the QB competition for 2012. If Rees has a decent game, he is going into the off-season as the #1 QB. Kelly wouldn’t have wasted a whole season on him just to start over next year when the schedule is a bear. However, if he struggles for the third game in a row and Hendrix shows anything, I think Kelly will be forced to consider Hendrix as the QB of the future.

    Regardless of what happens, I don’t think ND is going to have same kind of hype as last year which I believe is a good thing. It will allow the coaches to push harder because the players will not be hearing how great they are going to be. I want to see this team earn national respect, not just given it because they are ND. I really like what I saw at of the end of last year when no one expected anything out of them. I think Kelly can push the right buttons in that situation.

    1. scav commented on December 5th, 2011 at 11:16 pm

      I think the Champs Bowl is the start of the QB competition for 2012.

      i think this is more the case than what everyone else is thinking.. it will be open to all 3 qb’s and maybe even 4 if we land kiel

  24. I’m just happy the home page won’t be on An Up Close Look at Stanford. This site is so sporadic with updates.

  25. Why do people think Hendrix is fast? He was caught from behind by an air force defender earlier this year. He is no Eric Crouch or Denard Robinson! He is mobile yes,but he is not “dual threat”.

    1. Joe,
      watch the replay, he stubled about the 20 yard line which allowed him to be caught. There is no one in the country as fast as Denard Robinson and Eric Crouch was an option QB not a spread QB so hew as a glorified running back. Hendrix is more like Luck who is fast enough to make defenses respect his running ability. Golson is too small right now and would be knocked out of games quick. Hendrix is big, fast and a good arm. Also, look at the 40 time from Tebow at the combine, not that fast at a 4.8.

      1. Yes that is what i’m saying. He is mobile and can be respected in the running game but I don’t him breaking off many long runs

  26. This goes to the old saying “if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks.”

    I will go out on a limb here and say the Everett Golson will be starting in the fall. I can only go by vids I have seen of the kid and limited playing in the spring game. Looks like to me he has all the weapons.Strong arm, quick release, short game, long game and touch passes. His biggest asset will be his feet. Tailor made for BK offense.

    I think that Andrew will get a lot of snaps against Fl St and he should. Rees is a turnover waiting to happen and I believe he has hit his wall.No making silk out of a sow’s ear. Heart is a good thing but talent wins in the end. We’ll find out in 24 days or so.

    1. Agreed, I think Golson is QB1 next year, Reese is just a fill in for a year that BK knew would be rough. Hendrix is not the answer. I still go back to the interview where Hendrix says that he is staying at ND no matter what because he wants to be a DR. I do not think he believes he can be QB1. He is saying that he will be a good backup but the NFL is not in my future so I might as well get an education. That is how that reads to me.

      1. So, we wasted a year so Kelly could get to “his” type of QB. Will Kelly be refunding the $$$ to those who bought tickets this year?

      2. has it ever occured to anyone that maybe tommy knew close to the whole playbook and andrew really only had half a season to work at the # 3 qb. so you could run close to your whole offense with some one who has experience and knows the playbook or run a scaled down off.

      3. Not saying that we should have played Hendrix because I don’t think he was ready. I’ve always said that we should have played Crist. Better arm and more mobile. Rees does not have the physical tools so playing him wasted a season.

  27. I posted elsewhere my views on the difference between Hendrix and Rees. I think Hendrix has a better arm. He has far more mobility. He’s able to move the football in more non-traditional ways. He gives us far more options – and he’s a big guy and tough to bring down. He reminds me of Aaron Rogers (not quite as accurate – not quite as sure — but definitely mobile an definitely able to throw).

    Having said all of that, I will stand up for Kelly from this perspective: he is trying to establish some level of consistency at the starting position and Rees has been the starter (most of his problems in the Stanford game came from the very weak offensive line that knew, early on, that it could rush four guys and get to Rees on virtually every play).

  28. McSweeney,

    We already know your a legend in your own mind. We have had this discussion before you “Suckeyed Tard-Monger.” Grow-up! Yeah, I remember your tactics from a few years back. Good memory for an old guy eh. Name calling and insighting mother mayhem seems to be your grand forte then crying wolf. Everyone is entitled to their opinion so stop slippen on your depends. School’s out pal, don’t need a lecture from a mother may I. Or is it as you would say “let’s not be a “Suckeyed Tard-Monger” about it! What else do you have in your lecturemonious armamentarium worth talking about?

    Parenthetically genius, there’s no ultrasophisticated ND offense to prep for. Otherwise we would be preparing for a BCS Bowl, duh.

    1. What else do I have worth talking about, JC? How about this:

      “I don’t think I would shed a tear if BK has to sit home next year and watch Dayne play in a BCS Bowl. Divine justice.”

      Sorry, but you kind of lost the right to lecture anyone with this sanctimonious crap. If you’re that enthusiastic to root against Notre Dame next year, go find another team; you definitely don’t deserve this one.

      1. Totaly disagree. Kelly screwed Crist in favor of a mediocre QB who was supposedly cool under pressure. Maybe against the bad teams, but not against the average (Pitt, USF), good (Michigan, Mich. St. – running game and D won that won) or the very good (USC, Stanford, both of which he looked like a frightened animal with a gun pointed at him). I’m an ND grad and been an ND fan since 1970, Theisman and Sunday’s with Lyndsey Nelson and Paul Hornung (the first ND TV deal). I’ve sat in the cold pooring rain watching a Gerry Faust team get its butt kicked by Air Force, so don’t even question my fan cred. That being said, not only do I think it would serve Kelly right to watch Crist in a BCS bowl while sitting at another scmuck bowl, I would, for the first time in my life, root for a Dayne Crist led team against my Alma Mater. Kelly is disingenuous at best and a liar at worst. He certainly is not an RKG.

      2. Amen and Amen on the disingenuous glory seeker!

        As BK loves it: “Then there is the Head Football Coach at Notre Dame!”

        I wonder how big the mirror was when he made that statement?

        Hope he gets over the fascination soon so we can find a real HC.

      3. McSweeney,

        Your firebrand is a joke, “Sanctimonious crap?” Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah.
        Your a joke. I suppose next your going to tell me one of your patented and well documented VULGAR SEC jokes presented on this site?

        Hmmm…..something about toothless individuals moron?

        People like you we can do without at ND. Take a hike!

  29. I think that we will definately see more of Hendrix in the game but FSU will know what to expect we will then see what Andrew is made of.

    That said, like it or not, Rees does bring the stability of experience and a winning record.

    The reality is that Rees is the ONLY QB on the roster (with Crist transferring)that we know anything about. Hendrix cannot be the starter. ND needs a big win on the national stage for Recruiting, etc..

  30. I have to say I agree with “McSweeney” on this one. I think BK is going to play it close to the vest for the Champs Bowl, both prior to and during the game. TR will play, yes, perhaps even a lot, but so will AH. FSU will now have to prep its D for both QB styles. That may give ND a slight advantage going into the 2011 Champs Bowl.

    Having said that, I’d also say that if we’re going to talk about bed-wetting, “McSweeney,” perhaps we should look at how BK has prepared his team for the prime-time, big-time games this year. Against USC and Stanford, the Irish came out totally uncoordinated and apparently unmotivated. Looked like bed-wetters to me and others here. Against Michigan, the Irish looked ready but ended up the game wetting the bed big time. So, “McSwweney,” if you don’t like bed-wetters, then perhaps this edition of BK’s football team — especially when it needs to show up — really isn’t for you!

    1. Thanks Rob. It is not about who starts against FSU. It is a nice card to hold in terms of preparation. I remain disturbed that at 2 turnovers a game with the status quo, why not risk the certainly better athlete who would seem to be in the design necessary to run your system? And when you watch what Oregon does to Stanford why bother waiting until the second half to try your QB that can run the complete offense that bedevils your opponent? I am not anti-BK but I want to hold him accountable.

      1. fxm,

        Your absolutely correct, normal people are disturbed about 2 turnovers per game at the QB position. In the real world, no real BCS HC allows this problem to entrench itself as an acceptable standard.

        Consequently, BK is so desperate for win #9 he can’t see the forest for the trees on how he shot himself in the foot.

        So, if BK wants to continue to rearranging the chairs on the Rees Titanic; more than likely we will end up 8-5 again.

        We are 1-3 against ranked teams and I expect this trend to continue well into next year. The next QB derby will insure more ill-will and more transfers. No real solution on the horizon for next year’s blood-bath work in progress. Especially with most of the CW guys gone! I wonder who he will blame next year?

      2. @JC

        Dang, talk about a gloom and doom, no win situation.

        Maybe you see some QB (or team) choices that I don’t.

        What exactly should coach Kelly and ND do?

        I would really, in all sincerity, like to hear what the long and short term solutions should be from your point of view if that is alright with you?

        Thanks, Shaz.

  31. The only distress I see are the ND fans whining ad nausea about Kelly’s press conference. He named Rees the starter. BIG FREAKING DEAL! What would you have him say instead? “Hey Jimbo Fisher, just wanted to give you a three-week heads up that your defense should prep for Hendrix.”

    Stop parsing everything Kelly says and magnifying it into some grand indictment of his pride. The ND faithful are turning into a bunch of bed-wetters.

    1. Finally someone speaking sense. I just cannot fathom the negativity surrounding ND Nation on BK. He has an opinion and you might not agree. Live with it. This team has been playing very entertaining football every game for the first coach in years. This year the move forward has been incremental instead of earth shaking. Live with it.

    2. @McSweeney: Speaking only for myself- Has nothing to do with the press conference whatsoever. If his announcement of Rees as the starter is a ruse, so be it. But if he starts Rees (and he will), then the comments stand.

      ND fans are bedwetters? Not compared to ND coaches, the administration etc. Whatever.

      @kmjackson: We are living with it and have been for many, many years.

  32. I am in disbelief that BK is staying with TR. BK is showing his Tulsa-I have it all figured out- attitude again, giving far too much credit to TR as the reason they have won. If I was AH’s dad – I would encourage him to follow Crist’s lead.

  33. Naming Rees the starter is simply to give ND the advantage in game prep. That way FSU preps for Rees, and not Hendrix. Expect Hendrix to provide the change up pace.

  34. dayne crist has officially been dropped from ND. He has his degree and unconditional release one year of NCAA elgibility and is now eligible to transfer to any school without penalty. Guess who is interested…You guessed it…………..USC> That’s right…Barkley is projected to be drafted as one of top 12 selections in this coming NFL draft and USC has expressed that they will pursue dayne christ as an option. Rumor has it that he spent a lot of time taking with coaches and former players he played against with in HS when they were in SouthBend. (source I won’t reveal) Since his family lives in socal and UCLA in retreat mode usc is in heavy pursuit. They have scholarship issues and Dayne is the ‘perfect fit’ and won’t have to offer him.. Look for Dayne Christ to enroll at USC in January and practice with the team this spring…Gonna create great bitterness for next year’s game.

  35. This news that Rees is starting the bowl game is distressing. I do not understand the way Kelly sticks with Rees when he was so quick to pull Crist. Baffling.

    1. I think JC’s point above may be very accurate. “Stupid pride” and ego of BK are contributing factors.

      But let’s wait and see. Hendrix MAY get a lot of PT. And Rees MAY play a great game. FSU’s defense though will give him all he can handle….

      1. I do think his ego is his Achilles heel. It is what leads to nonsense like “not my recruits” and the like. Unfortunate, I say it ad nauseum , Rees gives you 10% more higher completion %, at less yards per catch, no running yards, no deep threat, and I bet you double the turnovers. Whatever.

    1. Gradate program loophole for those that graduate but have another year of eligibility. Ex. Russel Wilson and Greg Paulus.

      I hope he gets a chance to play and does well. If UF qualifies I am sure CW would welcome him.

      1. Kudos, Without question, Dayne is an outstanding person.

        I don’t think I would shed a tear if BK has to sit home next year and watch Dayne play in a BCS Bowl. Divine justice.

  36. Jeepers cats I hope Kelly starts Hendrix. He may not be a super accurate passer yet, but he can throw it with some zip and if the play to Toma had not been overturned I bet Stanford would have been panicking a bit. Plus, his mobility and speed are excellent which is critical for a college QB.
    The pass to Floyd on the goal line was excellent and with more time and cooler preparation I think he would be ready.

  37. Nah, what he really meant to say was a “FUBAR point,” relative to BK.

    Tim Tebow? How about Tony Rice anyone remember him? Further an an exhilarating and thought-provoking idea BK would start TR. How’s that working out for us besides almost two turnovers a game?

    Well guess what sports fans, BK’s shear, stupid pride not conducive to mental acuity will start TR all next year too. Hmm…..8-5 next year new coach time love it!

  38. Mute point ….. Kelly already has anointed Tommy Rees the starter for the bowl game. I am sure his fleet footedness will overwhelm the tenacious FSU defense. Right!!! Better to record the game and skim through it later rather than waste your time watching this mess live. I don’t understand the relationship with Rees, when Hendrix gives the Irish an added dimension but hey……….there is always next year, right?? I hear Mike Martz is looking for a head coaching position in the college ranks…..

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