Notre Dame Football Stock Report: Week 5

Photo: Matt Cashore // USA TODAY Sports

Things are bad right now folks, there are no two ways about it. Notre Dame is going to be in a downward trend no matter what happens the rest of the way, unless of course the Irish play like a completely different program for the remaining eight games, which I don’t think anyone sees as plausible. In last weeks stock report, Brian VanGorder was given the moniker of a “sell” and Notre Dame sold, as he was fired on Sunday as the defensive coordinator following the disaster that unfolded against the Blue Devils of Duke. For many Notre Dame fans, this was four games too late, following what they saw in the final two games last season and for most of 2014. While reasonable people can argue it should have been done sooner than it was, the move has been made, and the focus now shifts to the coaching tenure of Brian Kelly.

Any serious conversation about the coaching status of Kelly would have been regarded as laughable; it was a conversation that frankly had no merit. That is no longer the case. Going back to Lou Holtz, many can remember the moment when it was apparent that the Notre Dame coach didn’t have it. For Lou, it was the loss in 1996 to Air Force. For Bob Davie, it was his 24-3 loss to unranked Texas A&M to drop the Irish to 0-3 in 2001. Tyrone Willingham’s moment came at the expense of Tyler Palko in a 2004 loss to Pittsburgh and Charlie Weis dropping a game to Navy in 2009 was the beginning of his end. Unfortunately, this 38-35 defeat to Duke, dropping the Irish to 1-3 will likely be the moment everyone looks back on and says, yes, that’s when we knew. That’s just how these things go at Notre Dame.

Trending Up

Dexter Williams, Running Back

Brian Kelly singled out Williams as the only player that he saw that displayed “emotion and fire” during the loss to the Blue Devils. Doesn’t say much for the rest of the team, but it does speak well of the way Williams played on Saturday in the limited chances he was given (seriously, Kelly, if he’s the only one who displayed emotion and fire during the game, maybe hook the guy up with a little more than five carries). His tackle breaking 13 yard touchdown run in the 2nd quarter to tie the game at 21 was reminiscent of any number of Julius Jones type runs in 2003–speed, power and decisiveness.

Given Kelly’s comments regarding the play of Williams and his intensity/attitude being singled out as a positive by the coach, you’d think he is a lock for more playing time moving forward. Of course, Kelly also said they were going to make a concerted effort to get Chase Claypool more involved on offense following the game against Michigan State. So naturally, he didn’t play one snap on offense against Duke. Good times. Hopefully Williams gets more of an opportunity against Syracuse.

Line-up Changes On Defense

Kelly also alluded to making a lot of personnel changes on defense in his post game press conference, announcing that every position, yep all 22, is now up for grabs. Which is, of course, ludicrous. It’s fair to say that at most seven positions are up for change, and most of those are coming on the defensive side of the ball. If I may put on my market predictor role for a second, this is what I think we might see:

  • Jay Hayes in for Andrew Trumbetti at Defensive End– This was a thing all throughout spring and into summer camp and then Hayes hurt his ankle and it no longer became a thing, even with Hayes appearing in every game after Texas. Part of the reason many suspected, myself included, that defensive line would be strong against the run was the presence of the 290 pound Hayes at end instead of the 260 pound Trumbetti. We’ve all seen the results with Trumbetti in there, let’s see what it looks like with Hayes.
  • Donte Vaughn in at Corner– First, the young made a pretty good interception against Duke in the end zone. Second, Julian Love is Notre Dame’s nickel corner and it makes sense that they would want to limit his work load to focus on his nickel spot. Third, Nick Coleman has simply been not good so far this year. It’s just not happening for him right now and it looks like he needs some time to figure things out technique wise. Vaughn has the size and athleticism to do it and he’s shown out in real game action. Let’s see what he’s got.
  • Chase Claypool at Safety– Wait, what? Ok this one probably won’t happen, but given what we’ve seen from Claypool on kickoff and punt coverage, can he not be taught to play on the hash and get down hill on runs? Would anyone at safety have better range than what Claypool would bring to the table?
  • Jalen Elliot at Strong Safety- This is the move that is more likely to happen at safety. Tranquill is lost right now, and Sebastian seems like a stop gap, emergency guy. Safety is going to be a problem, there is no miracle solution at this spot. If they have to struggle, they should struggle with the youth because Studstill and Elliot are the two guys that are the future for Notre Dame at this spot.

Trending Down

Drue Tranquill, Strong Safety

This young man’s struggles are not a matter of effort or caring. The popular opinion regarding Tranquill is he’s playing out of position and is a better fit for SAM linebacker. My personal opinion didn’t fall in line with that, I thought he had the athleticism to play the spot. Whether his two ACL injuries have sapped that athleticism, or he simply doesn’t have the instincts for the position to make up for his deficiencies, it’s just not working out. And unfortunately, James Onwualu at SAM is playing the best ball of his career and is a captain; hard to say that he should be taken off the field. There just doesn’t seem to be an obvious place for Tranquill and his skills right now, although it might be worth it to give him a shot at WILL linebacker in passing situations.

CJ Sanders’ touches 

This is a baffling one that doesn’t make much sense. Teams are getting hip to the fact that Sanders is dangerous with the ball in his hands and are kicking away from him on kickoffs. They can also limit his touches with directional kicking as a punt returner. Yet, Notre Dame doesn’t seem to be going out of its way to manufacture offensive touches for Sanders. He has 13 receptions through four games, about three a game, and he doesn’t have one carry as a runner. Meanwhile, Notre Dame drew up two gimmicks for Malik Zaire last weekend, which resulted in about 10 lost yards total. Sanders clearly needs to have a greater impact on the offense; Notre Dame does the defense a favor by not designing plays around the best run after catch option on the entire team. A jet sweep that was so effective with CJ Prosise? An option out of the backfield? A reverse? Three touches on offense just isn’t going to get it done.

What To Watch For

More and More Freshman On Defense

Generally speaking, when a coach opens up all positions to competition, that means he’s going to give an extended look to the young guys. On defense we’ve already seen a lot of Julian Love, Daelin Hayes, Donte Vaughn, Devin Studstill and Jalen Elliot. I’d expect to see a lot more of all of those players and add defensive end Khalid Kareem to that mix as well. Young guys are hungry and are less apt to be deterred by the teams poor start in terms of their attitude. When you’re a freshman, anything is better than not playing. Can the coaching staff, with a new defensive coordinator, get them up to speed quick enough so there aren’t massive breakdowns? It’s a scary proposition.

Will Kizer Get His Swagger Back?

Let’s be clear, Kizer is not the problem on this team. He’s clearly their best player. That being said, have we ever seen worse body language from him at the end of that game? He’s lost some of that confidence that was so apparent all of last season, and he has now had the ball with a chance to win or tie the game for Notre Dame in the 4th quarter in each of the three losses and he has failed to do so. This is really close to becoming a thing, if it hasn’t already. It’s comforting knowing that with DeShone Kizer on the team, they’ll always have a chance, because he’s good for 4-5 touchdowns every week. But, Notre Dame has had Kizer in the first four games and they are 1-3. No need to speculate on the reasons why, I don’t know him and I’m not around the team. But, if Notre Dame is to have any chance of turning around this season, their best player needs to get out of this funk.

50 comments

  1. Ron Burgundy 3 years ago

    The UHND server thanks you for your absence Damian.

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  2. Damian 3 years ago

    George,

    You’ll get your wish. I’ll be gone after today for the next few days so no more posts after today for a while.

    I’ll be interested to see if the defense progresses under Hudson at all. Right now I just hope they beat Syracuse and NC State.

    Go Irish!

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  3. Bruce Gregory Curme 3 years ago

    George, if we are not “elite” in this society, to whom does that fall? Harvard educated Wall Street Bankers?
    Don and Hillary?
    Baylor and Mr. Starr?
    Stanford’s swimming team?
    Gangster Max?

    Please.

    Bruce GC

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  4. George 3 years ago

    ND “continues to try to be elite?” Time to renege again, Damian.

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  5. Bruce Gregory Curme 3 years ago

    Damian – there is a way to know (or at least guesstimate). Notre Dame lost its tax exempt status for “merchandise” a long time ago in a court battle with the IRS. The IRS held that you can’t be showing that much profit and legitimately call yourselves non-for-profit. A bad ruling? Probably.
    We have to pay taxes on all those sales. But the amount of money cranked in is still beyond HUGE. Subway alumni have done more than their part to fund this place. They just do it in a different way.

    When I said earlier that a ratings dip for NBC would get Development’s attention real quick, I suppose almost everybody thought I was talking about money. And I was, of course. But their mission in Development, amongst other things, is to “bring the world to Notre Dame and to bring Notre Dame to the world.” Losing the subway alumni and NBC would certainly set that mission back. But it’s also important to get the message right as best as you can. That’s one reason I’m blogging, Damian. Normally, I hardly ever blog anything (except maybe Indiana education issues).
    Bruce GC

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  6. Damian 3 years ago

    BGC,

    I know in my area of PA, there are a lot of ND fans, but few of which are actually alumni. In fact, in my neck of the woods it’s mostly Penn State fans and ND fans. ND is certainly a national brand though. There’s no way to know for sure, but there are a lot of subway fans.

    In a way guys like BJ should be very proud his school garners so much support from people like myself who weren’t fortunate enough to go there. That tells you what a great place ND is. I have great respect for an institution that continues to try to be elite the right way.

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  7. Bruce Gregory Curme 3 years ago

    Jim Frick once said something like this: Don’t tell me where your priorities are: show me where you spend your money. Then I’ll tell you what your priorities are.
    Jim Frick lived across the street and down a few houses from us.
    Gerhart Niemeyer (I probably misspelled that) lived across from Mr. Frick. I mowed his lawn when I was a kid. These kinds of men loved Notre Dame, but not for football, although Mr. Frick certainly loved football, at least good football.
    I hope that place still has those types of men. It’s more important to have them, than to have 5 star recruits for football…or boosters trying to buy influence…or lax academic standards. I’ll tell you something – past athletes including some I’ve known personnally, DO NOT WANT ACADEMIC STANDARDS LOWERED HERE. They say “that would diminish the value of my degree eventually.” And they are right.
    So quit with the “lower the standards” talk.
    Bruce GC

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  8. Bruce Gregory Curme 3 years ago

    We didn’t always smoke grass, but when we did – it was loco weed for sure.
    Is that a commercial?
    And Oh! Indiana? Will you be the last state to give us medical marijuana?
    Yes, of course. After American Samoa and Puerto Rico!
    And if you are a Northern Indiana Hoosier, you know what I mean.

    Bruce GC

    Hey, if Damien can renege, so can I. Damian, do you have any clue what per cent of the fanbase is “SUBWAY ALUMNI” are? Half the fanbase? Let’s say there are 120,000 Graduates – Alums.
    That means there would be 240,000 fans total + families of Grads…let’s say 750,000 total ND fans. So perhaps there actually are a mind boggling huge number of subway alumni. And that’s where the taxable income comes from – not so much from football donors. ND has great donors – lot’s of them, God bless them. But not too many football donors, at least compared to other schools.
    There is an SEC school that actually has a JC football team’s field adjacent to, and parallel with, one of the universities practice fields. Notre Dame doesn’t even take athletic transfers, at least not for football. We will never do, or allow, anything like that to be done with our program. But does that mean we can’t take a transfer per class? Look at the numbers of Notre Dame kids who transfer out, for all kinds of reasons, and compare to those who transfer in.

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  9. Ron Burgundy 3 years ago

    Or a domers allegiance to grass or repeating the same mantra over and over.

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  10. George 3 years ago

    Brevity is the soul of wit

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  11. bruce johnson 3 years ago

    Don’t ever doubt a Domers allegiance to nd you have no idea

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  12. Ron Burgundy 3 years ago

    Whatever college Damian went to did not have a class on brevity apparently.

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  13. George 3 years ago

    Great point on the lack of 5 star athletes. I was going to say that myself, but I figured we should be able to beat the teams we lost to without elite talent; and therefore pointing out this fact would be somewhat irrelevant. But should all the stars align someday and ND make the playoff, THEN the lack of 5 stars plays a huge role (see 2012). Even still, talent IS lacking on the defensive side of the ball, but again, there should be enough there to at least beat DOOK.

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  14. Damian 3 years ago

    Haha, I stopped for a few days last week prior to Duke. Once I catch myself being repetitious I try to stop for a while (though it’s not until after I’ve thoroughly annoyed everyone first). I should take a break myself. Not much going on until Saturday anyway.

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  15. Damian 3 years ago

    Bruce GC,

    I get aggravated at the BJ types who think only alumni can be fans. I mean, half the fan base are probably subway fans. I can understand it if a subway fan were here trashing the team and the institution.

    While I wish I could have gone to ND as a student, but I luckily did fine so I have no pity parties. For people that were able to attend school there, count your lucky starts. They are one of the best universities in the country and a degree from there counts for a lot. I did at least get to go to a sister college run by the same Holy Cross order, so it seemed natural for me to follow the Irish.

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  16. Bruce Gregory Curme 3 years ago

    SORRY I’M DOING IT AGAIN:

    I meant Page and Lynch were from Ohio, not Stock. I don’t remember where Stock was from at the moment.

    Oh the senility! I think I am going to be like Damian and stop posting for awhile – at least until after Syracuse.
    Bruce GC

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  17. Bruce Gregory Curme 3 years ago

    I got my tuition paid for me (but I had to work a student job, in the Golden Dome) because my father (God rest his soul) was on faculty. Strangely, my first choice was University of San Francisco, not ND. I loved that place, and I loved San Francisco, but after a short time there, I had to transfer back to ND because I could not afford either the tuition at USF or the apartment cost in SF! So I actually went to ND because I couldn’t afford to go anywhere else! (FAC BRATS RULE). But ND was always my second choice anyway. I mean, who wants to graduate from a football factory like USF?

    I digress. Adding to my comment above, our roster is about 25% Illinois/Ohio (because Kelly knows what he’s doing, mostly – that’s why I still like him). But the roster still lacks the 2 or 3 5 STAR guys we’d always seem to get back in the day…Page and Stock were from Ohio…Zorich from Chicago.
    I wonder where they are going (LOL)!

    Bruce GC

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  18. Damian 3 years ago

    Whatever BJ. While I would have given my right arm to go to ND, being as I had to pay my own way through college, going to ND wasn’t in the cards for me. Glad you were blessed to be able to go there. A shame you don’t seem to have the same respect for it I do.

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  19. bruce johnson 3 years ago

    No insults from a non domer

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  20. Bruce Gregory Curme 3 years ago

    Damian – you bet they are – to the tune of about 7 million per. But you know what – Houston is going to up his salary from 3 mill to 5 mill on top of some kind of bonus that’s coming. Now, if BK resigns, or is dismissed this year, what I said above doesn’t matter – we would have to contact him with an offer right now, of course (assuming he doesn’t despise us for some reason, like JH).
    But should we dismiss BK just to get in a bidding war with LSU? So what if Herman gets bought by LSU, jumps ship after two years at Houston, sinks their bid to get into the Big 12, and his interesting recruiting network there pitters away. Is he really the guy we wanted?
    But suppose he’s thinking like this: “I’ll stay one more year, help transit to the Big 12, solidify a new QB – then take a shot at rebuilding ND…money isn’t everything, and I’ve got more than enough” then politely tells LSU “I’m honored, but not done here at Houston yet”…that’s exactly the guy I want here!
    But again, if Kelly leaves after Thanksgiving of 2016 – our hand is forced.

    By the way, what he’s done with “close to home” recruiting is similar in some ways with what a couple of our great coaches did immediately upon taking the ND job…reestablish Chicago and area (100 miles west) and Ohio (100 miles east) our natural and historical recruiting homes since Rockne came here as a student athlete! That interests me, Damian. A lot!

    Bruce GC

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  21. Damian 3 years ago

    Bruce GC,

    I have a feeling LSU is going to try to nab Herman. I think he has potential, though part of me can’t help but feel like there’s some parallels with BK before he came to ND. But Herman does seem like the real deal. Also, if Houston is allowed into the Big 12, he may decide to stay (well, plus he hasn’t actually expressed interest in leaving yet).

    I don’t think ND will get rid of BK this year either. I think money-wise they are not going to want to pay BK millions to stay home. So at the very least, BK will have to 2017 to get his house in order. If things fall apart again next year though, I’d be surprised to see him back after that. Even if they miss out on Herman, though, there are others like him out there. Maybe there’s someone on ND’s staff now that would be a good fit for a HC. Sanford, for instance, usually gets high marks.

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  22. Damian 3 years ago

    George,

    Read some comments by a few people (I did say it was only a few). No one on this particular article has said they hope the Irish lose (though I sometimes wonder about Bruce Johnson).

    And I agree with SFR, you can criticize the program yet hope they win. Even when I was on the BK bandwagon, I hope I never suggested otherwise. I mean I’m obviously not afraid to argue my point, sometimes ad nauseum, but I don’t personally assume a BK critic is out to see him fail. Now I’m in that boat myself, and I know I want them to win.

    I’m a fan of ND Basketball too, and I remember not too long ago I was finished with Mike Brey. Year in and out, they kept getting knocked out of the 1st and 2nd round, sometimes by much lesser teams. It was becoming a joke. Now 2 years in a row they go to the elite 8 (and a year ago, they were 1 play from getting to the final 4–I still think about that, 1 positive play and Kentucky would have gone down, that still sucks–and ND was good enough that I think had they got past Kentucky they had a real shot at their first NC, but I digress). This past year, they managed another elite 8 despite losing some key starters. So it’s certainly possible BK can do a complete self re-evaluation and overhaul himself. I’ll continue to hope for that to occur. I’m not particularly fond of the alternative, getting a new coach and basically starting over, so if BK can somehow do the trick, I’m all for it.

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  23. Bruce Gregory Curme 3 years ago

    Damian,
    I think (without knowing any details about the man) that Houston’s coach would be one guy I’d take a look at. In some ways he fits the profile of past successes here. But, again without knowing, I suspect that we’d have a better shot at him after the 2017 season than this one. He seems like the kind of guy who would like to finish building what he has started…not just “jump up a level” after one or two great years. But you know what – I respect that more than certain “elite” coaches who come into great programs trying to rebuild (like Tennessee, for instance) and then “jump up” a level after just a year or two – or at their first chance.
    And again, like you, I will still support the program, and still hope for, as someone said it, a minor bowl (with a win) and a great year next year. I guarantee you, your guy will still be at Houston then – he’s just warming up. But I’d like a second or third prospect too. And remember, we don’t even know if he would want the job (at least I don’t know). We always knew Lou wanted it.
    Bruce Curme 77′ 82′

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  24. George 3 years ago

    Nobody hopes ND loses. Damian is just off his rocker again.

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  25. SteelFanRob 3 years ago

    Damian,

    Even as my heart is in the right place, I can’t leave my head behind. Rating for ND doesn’t preclude criticism of BK and Co. I think a lot of people on here believe this is either/or. Instead, in keeping with orthodox Catholic theology, we should think of it being both/and, i.e., rooting for ND with our heart and remaining critical with our mind. At least I can do both. Apparently bj can only hate and BB can only delude himself and lecture us on how much smarter, wittier, better writer, more knowledgable about football he is than me (and by logical extension, not pandering to the crowd, those on here who are as critical as I am).

    Both/and, Damian. As is in both grace and faith (as well as works that attest to genuine faith), scripture and tradition (big-T Holy Tradition takes in both scripture and little-t traditions), local assembly and universal church (true unity in diversity), etc.

    Go Irish!

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  26. SteelFanRob 3 years ago

    I will never root against ND! I’d rather be proved wrong over and over and have the Irish win. Sadly, however, even as I’ve wanted ND to win, some of my predictions/observations have come true. Regardless of what BB intimates, I derive no satisfaction from my critical opinions about the current state of ND football. Wouldn’t it be great for starting this weekend have BK and Co. go on a record-breaking winning streak that culminates years from now with multiple NCs?! Would any of us here not wish for that?! Would you root against ND simply out of spite?!

    Go Irish!

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  27. Damian 3 years ago

    SFR,

    Exactly. They are few thankfully, but there are some out there who seem to hope ND loses in the hopes BK gets fired. I have nothing against BK personally so if he makes me look like a dope next year by winning a NC, I’m ok with that.

    For the rest of this year the team should treat every game like a bowl game. If there is on positive thing I can say right now about BK’s teams over Willingham-Weis is his teams don’t quit, so don’t start now.

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  28. SteelFanRob 3 years ago

    Damian,

    If you’re a real ND man (or woman) you root for BK and this team, not against them, regardless of personal opinion. Plan and simple. However, cheering for ol’ ND doesn’t mean we need to bury our collective heads in the sand and not call a spade a spade when we see bad, undisciplined, gutless football.

    If somehow ND wins out then the season can be salvaged. Heck, at this point I just want ND to get bowl eligible. Then beat whomever is some second or third tier bowl.

    GO IRISH!

    BEAT THE CUSE!

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  29. Shazamrock 3 years ago

    Here’s a short list of Coaches that some might have considered “Great” at one time or another and
    a particular period of interest in their coaching careers.

    Penn St. -Paterno, Sandusky,1998-2001
    Baylor -Art Briles 2016
    Ohio St.- Jim Tressell
    UNC- Butch Davis
    USC- Pete Carroll 2001-2009 / Steve Sarkisian 2015
    Colorado- Gary Barnett
    Alabama- Mike DuBose 2005-2007
    Florida 1984 -Steve Spurrier/Charlie Pell
    Florida St- Bobby Bowden 2007
    Oklahoma- Berry Switzer 1989
    Miami- Jimmy Johnson the entire 1990’s
    Arkansas- Bobby Petrino 2012
    Texas A$M- Jackie Sherrill 1988
    Notre Dame- George O’Leary 2001.

    While some of these coaches brought Championships, all of them brought some degree of shame.
    Be careful for what you wish for because at ND, it’s not always as simple as you might think.

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  30. Damian 3 years ago

    Bruce

    It’s true ND’s best coaches, for the most part became elite when they came to ND. It just seems some posters, like the other Bruce, are under the mistaken impression that the current elite coaches out there, coaches like Nick Saban, are just waiting for their big break to come to ND. Some people may say, why not try to go after them? Because you end up looking like a loser if you keep going after coaches and they turn you down. Then up and coming coaches that are good who may have considered you may think otherwise if they see others keep turning you down. I think they’d be better served by trying to get Herman type coach, someone who’s a rising star. There are coaches like that that would give ND a look over.

    I’ve lost all hope in BK. But, I won’t root against the Irish. I’d love nothing more then to see BK effect a miraculous turnaround. I just want to see ND elite again, if that happens to be under BK or some other coach, that doesn’t matter so much. They try hard to be the good guys of CFB and I’d love to show schools like Florida State and Alabama that you don’t have to sell your soul to have an elite football program.

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  31. Bruce Gregory Curme 3 years ago

    Damian,
    I can’t think of a single coach who was already “elite” before he came to Notre Dame. Not one. Lou would be the closest, I guess, because of his stint at Arkansas. But Lou wasn’t widely embraced by the networks or the public at large before coming here from Minnesota. He was feared by other coaches though!
    Leahy was not “elite” either, but all the pros inside football knew he was great at BC before he came here.
    Same with ARA, same with Devine.

    So exactly when has this place ever been a destination for “elite” coaches, other than “elite” HS coaches like Brennan and Coach Faust (and they both were that, for sure, if there is such a thing). Leahy wisely gave Brennan a year of experience as Freshman Coach. It was almost enough. Nobody gave GF anything in the way of the kind of experience ANY college head coach would need, let alone at ND. They should have known better and some people out there told them so, but they would not listen. They were hypnotized by success, and rightly impressed by the quality of HS players GF sent here…most ready for prime time as freshmen. They did not understand the significance of experience as a head coach (not so much in the X’s and O’s – but in the hundreds of details you have to attend to year after year in any big time program.
    ARA once said something like this ” when I came to ND, I had 22 years of college coaching experience, and believe me, I needed every one of them.” That’s exactly one of the main reasons Kelly was hired.
    Now before you guys all run out and hire our next coach, please remember 3 things:
    1. Brennan was a pretty good coach and Devine was a great coach (except for benching Joe for personal – not football reasons, a professional blunder). Yet they were both dismissed in shameful manners (in my opinion) and afterwards, either buried from memory completely, or demonized in popular film. Let’s not do that again! BK is also a pretty good coach in a lot of ways. If he leaves, let it not be a tar and feather job.
    2. He ain’t gone yet! He may save his job, have a great year next year (like 2012 or 2015) and then actually win the bowl. This is possible, but unlikely. But as long as it is possible, he deserves support. He does know his X’s and O’s.
    3. When we pick our next HC, remember guys – there are three things that matter as much as being an “elite” coach (A) experience, experience, experience and (B) the respect of the other good and great coaches out there (C) where you come from…in 1963 Father H had to decide between DD (from the Biggie Munn school of thought) and ARA (from the Cradle of Coaches). That was a decision that could not go badly either way, even though neither guy was a glitz and glamour guy in the media’s eye. Father H definitely picked the better of the two, but they were both outstanding prospects, and Father Ted knew it, and so did Jim Frick, Moose Krause, probably Father Joyce, and other key administrators at a crucial time in Notre Dame’s history. Rather than kicking around a bunch of names publicly, or putting all our chips on one guy and going after him, like we seem to have with UM, let’s find two good men who can both do the job and want the job, and do our best to choose between them. But not yet.

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  32. Damian 3 years ago

    ND is just not a destination right now for coaches that are already elite. Until we get a coach that brings ND back to the elite ranks, for guys like Saban and Meyer, they see it as a step down from where they are now.

    That’s why we need our next coach to make ND elite again, so it can become a destination again. Guys like Herman, who have a lot of potential. That’s what ND needs to get, and can get.

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  33. George 3 years ago

    Well maybe if BK was allowed to do anything he wanted, recruit who he wanted, run the program how he wanted, and got paid millions, ND might be able to beat Dook. But I know, I know….ND wouldn’t be special if football was a priority.

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  34. Damian 3 years ago

    Bruce,

    If you think Saban, Meyers, Harbaugh or Miles are ever coming to ND I have a bridge to sell you. Will never happen.

    In fact, Meyers already left them at the altar once. Fool me once and all that. He/Florida had to pay Utah to go to Florida when he could have went to ND with no buyout, that’s how much ND was his “dream job”.

    Our best shot is a rising star like Herman from Houston. Someone who has a bright future and has something to prove.

    Saban, Meyer, they are basically gods in their respective schools and can do anything they want, recruit who they want and run the program how they want. And they get pain millions. They’re not going anywhere.

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  35. HURLS 3 years ago

    There was more than any of us know to BK retaining BVG. But what we do know is that it’s time to cheer for ‘ole Notre Dame. Stop the negativity. Support this new OC. And GO IRISH!

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  36. bruce johnson 3 years ago

    Shazam I know you love these losers Bvg bk and js

    I think the idea is simple find somebody that can bring us a nc

    None of these guys can do it

    Pick somebody great get it not some guy from grand valley prairie state or wherever these children came from

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  37. david 3 years ago

    Ron Burgundy. Irrelevant Lives Matter.

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  38. Shazamrock 3 years ago

    Bruce “Artie” Johnson,

    Your comments are very interesting….. but stupid.

    Harbaugh is a Michigan man, he hates ND and wouldn’t come here for all the tea in China.
    Les Miles is still unemployed so technically ND hasn’t missed on him.
    As you’re well aware, Lou drives a hard bargain. The only way he’ll ever come back is if Alan Page agrees to run the defense and Paul Hornung the offense.

    Although, Al Borges is still available so there’s still a glimmer of hope you still might get your man!

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  39. mzipprich 3 years ago

    Pete Fiutak, College Football News: “Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is making in the neighborhood of $4 million a year and recently signed an extension through 2021, but he’s now 1-3 after an inexcusable loss to Duke at home. That means he’s going to lose three games or more for the fourth straight season and for the sixth time in his unremarkable seven-year tenure. While Ohio State managed to stay fantastic despite returning just six starters, and Alabama is No. 1 again after losing its entire offensive backfield and several key parts of a national champion, the Fighting Irish continue to fumble along in a hazy malaise of extreme over-averageness. And now, with that 1-3 start, Notre Dame is the worst possible thing of all – totally irrelevant for the rest of the 2016 college football season.”

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  40. bruce johnson 3 years ago

    Why is swarbrick still here? Why is kelly still here.
    We missed harbaugh, we missed Meyer, let’s miss miles, saban, etc

    Fire em and hire Lou as consultant to give us a restart
    And hire the very best. Not these losers

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  41. George 3 years ago

    You mean promoting analysts

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  42. bruce johnson 3 years ago

    Saban and Meyer talking to lsu miles looking what the hell are we doing? Promoting assistants. It’s a gd joke,

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  43. Ray 3 years ago

    Well, the problem with Kizer is he performs well when there is nothing to lose or he is down big. Another poster has said he is not more than an 8-4 QB and guess what, his record as a starter now is 9-6. He is a solid pro prospect but college ball and pro ball are very different. As disturbing as showing a lack of ability to bring a team back with three opportunities to do so, is the fact that he went three and out three straight times against MSU. He turned the ball over throwing into coverage, when just one drive might have helped bail out a defense that was on the field a long time. Also it looked like he gave up when he turned the ball over on Duke late leading to their winning drive. His ability to escape a rush or get rid of a ball and not take a sack at key times does not affect his stats which are going to look good in a Kelly offense. Everett Golson was 16-1 as a starter before going down hill. At least Kizer has pro size.

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  44. C-Dog 3 years ago

    This is a very well done article. I am of course going to take a little exception on a point or two. Holtz was put on probation at the beginning of the 1996 season by the AD Wadsworth who himself turned out to be a looser. Funny how a new bad AD in 1980 and in 1996 ran out National Championship winning coaches for total flops. Davie was a tool from the beginning. They don’t even invite him back. Faust was a really nice high school coach Willing ham it is said was a lazy recruiter. He decimated Stanford and beat the sheriff to the door. He decimated Washington and yes despite he heritage he was able to decimate Notre Dame.

    Kelly is a dead man walking at this point. They should pay him to find a successor and exit gracefully. Maybe he can take credit for finding the next coaching legend.

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  45. Mike "King" Kelly 3 years ago

    Holy Toledo! Kizer should have gone there. They got votes and We didn’t!

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  46. Ron Burgundy 3 years ago

    Hilarious post/joke regarding Madoff (get it).
    Compelling and rich. Comedic genius!

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  47. George 3 years ago

    I agree with the article. Coleman should not see the field again this year. Trumbetti needs to be 3rd string.

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  48. Damian 3 years ago

    I like the comparisons to the prior coaches and their turning points. Duke could very well be a turning point. It was for me. Until that game I was pro-BK.

    Some things he can do to try to salvage some games at least. One is to turn over day to day operations of the offense to his assistants. It seems a lot of people agree we do have some good assistants on the offensive side of the ball. It’s time to use them and get BK out of play calling for the offense. The play calls, even for me, just a fan, are mind boggling.

    The other is just hope that Hudson can at least get the defense to tackle and stay disciplined. Don’t take dumb penalties. Those are killers. They won’t be elite, but even if they just do those 2 things, they’d at least be able to break up some plays and maybe get some 3rd down stops.

    Special teams, is there anything they can do there? We may just have to ride that out and hope for the best. It’s just a hodgepodge of problems. But if they can try to take care of what they can on offense and defense, maybe they can at least win a few games.

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  49. david 3 years ago

    Here’s the “Stock Report for Notre Dame”…..your fund manager is Bernie Madoff.

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  50. Peter Recchio 3 years ago

    Like this article Greg, well done

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