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the thing is, it's easy to envision an alternate history

by Jay ?, San Diego, Sunday, September 25, 2016, 14:43 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

Say Kelly had hired someone who did a baseline Diaco performance instead of a BVG meltdown. Kelly has obviously presided over good defenses before on his teams so it's not like it's outside the realm of possibility.

In '14 we probably flip the Northwestern & Louisville losses, and possibly FSU and ASU. In '15 we beat Stanford and make the playoffs. This year, we're at worst 3-1 (maybe still lose to MSU) but more likely undefeated. This is all without changing a thing on offense. We would be sitting here 3-1 and our main issue would be to figure out how to optimize things on the offensive side of the ball, worried about leaving points on the field, instead of this Hindenburg on the defensive side sabotaging every game. Furthermore I believe team morale wouldn't have been sapped to the point that it is having avoided a series of confidence-killing shootouts with no faith at all in the defense to get a stop when needed. I'm sure this is why a number of guys on offense mentally checked out.

So the root cause here is remarkably easy to diagnose: it was BVG. Even with the recruiting misses, a competent DC would have put the unit together and not allowed a number of those losses to occur. And then we wouldn't be where we are today.

This is all to say that there's plenty reason to believe Kelly could still be successful with a different person heading up the defense. He made a bad hire and basically fucked himself at Notre Dame, and he may not recover from it. But watch him take the LSU job and flourish with Dave Aranda as his DC.

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