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kickoff week. 'big picture' question--

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:23

Has anybody here set up any W/L-based "fire Kelly" tripwires for themselves this season?

big picture


Sept '10 big picture thread here, btw

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:45 @ Jay


for me it's a two factor analysis

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:23 @ Jay

Factor 1: How did the team do this year? What was the record? Was the schedule as hard as it looks now? Easier? When we lost: who did we lose to? How did we lose? Did we beat anybody of merit? (maybe that's technically more than one factor).

Factor 2: Who's the replacement? Is it somebody that we'd have to call a licensed medical professional to deal with our four hour boner? Is it somebody from the Ferentz/Tedford/Mike Riley coaching layer? Is it a coordinator or some MAC coach?

To be honest, I think 2 is much more important than any record or answers to #1 in my book (unless Kelly wins a BCS bowl). If Swarbrick can't hire somebody super awesome, might as well stick with Kelly for 2013, but Swarbrick needs to start laying the groundwork for a homerun hire ASAP.


Quick question with regars to #2

by River, Hell of the Upside Down Sinners, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:10 @ HumanRobot

Do you think that Swarbrick doesn't have a plan for beyond Kelly? People ask or state that question as if its a fact that he does not and then seem to use it as proof that Jack is not so savvy.

Based on his history I would bet that he does, but then again, I don't know.


no clue

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:16 @ River

I would have my doubts that he's currently has a relationship with a homerun coach, but that's just my intuition.

I've seen it suggested that Swarbrick and Kelly are handcuffed, but I doubt that.

My belief is that Swarbrick is a pretty good AD. If he has to replace Kelly, I'm confident that he will and am also pretty confident that the next choice will be a great one.


Make it simple.

by River, Hell of the Upside Down Sinners, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:19 @ HumanRobot

Not if he is playing footsies with Saban behind BK's back.

Do you believe he has a list?


is that an important question?

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:31 @ River

1) I'm sure that Swarbrick has an idea of who's who in football. Considering who is he has worked with and for, I'm sure he has a rolodex (or whatever new age thing) full of important contacts.
2) I doubt that Swarbrick has a list of coaches and their price for coming to ND sitting in his desk.
3) I also think #2 is incredibly naive to how hiring somebody -- particularly in college football -- works. I don't find: "Brian Kelly's head just exploded during a sideline rant in a loss to Navy? Oh fuck, what do I do? Thank heavens I made this list before the season!" plausible.

I think "the list" idea is some sort of metaphorical construct for general preparation for a coaching search. Do I think Swarbrick is prepared for a 2013 coaching search? No, because the kind of talent we need isn't readily available.


No way he has a rolodex.

by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:42 @ HumanRobot

He's the man who wants to bring NDFB into modern times. I bet he ditched the rolodex and used a blackberry.

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


I heard he switched to a Samsung two weeks ago

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:48 @



have you read some of the stuff on that trial?

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:05 @ Greg

I heard the jury room was quite a mess.


No. Got any links?

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:06 @ HumanRobot

Heading to a meeting soon and won't have time to read until this evening, but if you can link some stories I'd love to read them.



by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:13 @ Greg

I think this verdict was a huge hit for the consumer. I also suspect this ruling marks the apex for Apple -- they've shifted from innovation to IP as a primary driver.


Just like Apple for half the price? Brilliant!

by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:49 @ Greg

[ No text ]

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


/patents snarky posts

by Samari, Bahston, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:42 @

that'll be $threeve in damages


Important or not it is the semantics.

by River, Hell of the Upside Down Sinners, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:40 @ HumanRobot

Written down. Mental list. Actual backdoor communiques. Whatever.

My point is there are many that think Swarbrick is a an idiot and has no plan for the fall of Kelly. I find that naive and shortsighted and only focused on wanting Kelly to fail, expose Swarbrick and an Administration that has no interest in football at the highest level.


I agree with this line of thinking.

by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:55 @ HumanRobot

With the right person in (2), I'd probably vote to let Kelly go if he doesn't reach a major bowl game (call it BCS Title + 4 BCS bowls + Cotton, if we still have a weird in there?), so in that case where we have NickBob Meyer-Cowher signed and sealed, I guess I need to see 10+ wins.

With a big question mark in (2), though, which is surely more likely, I'd probably say my line is 6-6 or 7-5:
-- Below .500 would definitely be enough for me to say he's failed (Willinghamesque: getting continually worse results in seasons 1->3)
-- At .500 is the same, but might allow for some serious extenuating circumstances.
-- 7-5 is worse than years 1 and 2, but perhaps "equivalent" considering the schedule.
-- 8-4 is equivalent to years 1 and 2, and would be enough for me to let him keep his job; though he'd enter year 4 on a "you need to go to, and possibly win, a BCS bowl to keep your job" for me.

... By the way, in my mind, in no situation does he get any credit for in a new starting QB, since that blood's on his own hands.


We should get a better idea on the QB issue this year

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:40 @ Savage

If Crist flames out in Lawrence, I think its fair to assume that he's just not a very good football player, even though he's got quite a few nice physical tools.

And I think, fairly or unfairly, Crist's failure to develop as a quality BCS QB while in South Bend may end up having quite a bit to do with how history views the Kelly ND years.

Unless, of course, Golson becomes an amazing NCAA QB and makes us all forget about the gnashing of teeth during 2010 and 2011.


short of NickBob Meyer-Cowher

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:24 @ Savage

I think I would wind up keeping Kelly on the assumption that Swarbrick spends 2013 in an on-going effort to make NickBob Meyer-Cowher our 2014 coach. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I don't think any coach but NickBob Meyer-Cowher gets us out of where we are. Firing Kelly for the next Kelly isn't progress, it's a failure.


I almost agree.

by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:10 @ HumanRobot

Firing Kelly after year 3 just to hire the next Kelly is a failure, you're right.

On the other hand, I think at some point the time eventually comes that ND has to jettison a proven-mediocre coach even if it's to hire a non-sure-thing (even presupposing there's such a thing as a sure-thing). George O'Leary may not have been any better than Boob, but it was time to make a change and try to do better; Kelly may not prove to be any better than Weis, but it was time to make a change and try to do better.


I'm curious Sav how would you have handled the QB situation

by hobbs, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:01 @ Savage

last year?



by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:37 @ hobbs
edited by Savage, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:42

I had a long post typed out and the submission ate it. Sorry.

I expounded on a "canonical final version" of my theory that HR and I started talking about back at the very beginning of last season, but here's a very brief summary:
-- Kelly can't win with "bad Dayne" because Dayne's flaws are the one thing you absolutely have to do right in the Kelly offense.
-- Kelly could win with "good Dayne", but "good Dayne"'s strengths aren't really that important to the Kelly offense (as seen at ND), so it's not a huge plus.
-- Kelly thought he could win with "bad Tommy", but found that his proclivity for turnovers was enough to offset his better fit in the offense. Hey, nobody could have known he was that much of a tunover machine, no sweat.
-- Kelly thought he could win with "good Tommy", but found that competent DCs can shut down a kid with such a paucity of arm strength and athleticism, because they have 11 men to cover 15-20 yards, and no worries about a QB breaking contain on a scramble. This should have been obvious, but apparently Kelly didn't realize it.

In brief: I'd have stuck with Dayne.
-- in the best case, Dayne would have gotten better at the "easy passes", and Kelly would have been willing to shift to his QB's strengths. We could have been quite good.
-- in the worst case, Dayne wouldn't have gotten any better at the "easy passes", Kelly wouldn't have been willing to deviate from his "system" (any more than he found he had to just to be marginally competent with Tommy anyway) and we would have sucked.
... would our sucking have been any worse than having 20+ QB turnovers that keep even mediocre teams in the game (Pitt, BC, Wake, FSU), while having no upside to be anything better than "meh" even if the turnovers abated?

As far as going into this year, then, he could have had a QB who is physically competent to play BCS-level football coming back with some experience, and maybe Kelly would have more experience humbling himself into adapting to his players' strengths, rather than shoe-horning them into his preconceived DII/MAC/BE platonic form of "Quarterback". Or, if Crist sucked, then he'd be in the same boat he is now, but without the huge distraction of having wasted a full season and spring on practicing the kid who never could be good enough.


You made that case well

by hobbs, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:00 @ Savage

and I have no bone with you because you didn't come off Crist as the starter.

I believe that Kelly desperately wanted Crist to start and hold down the position for 2 years. But for whatever reason he lost all confidence in him.

Once Kelly decided, for whatever reason, that Crist wasn't the guy the QB position was destined to logically play out as it did.


I like the construct...

by BPH, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:54 @ Savage
edited by BPH, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:08

but I think the circumstances were a bit more complicated. Crist won the job, but just barely, and no one could have foreseen that USF first half coming. It was a compete disaster. Crist was struggling and had bad body language, and Kelly turned to Rees for a spark. If Rees had stunk up the joint, too, that would have been that, and Kelly would have gone back to Crist. But Rees didn't. Despite the turnovers, he played very well the next few weeks and started to solidify the job. There's no way to prove this, but my suspicion is, by that point, Crist had effectively checked out and was no longer fully invested emotionally.

My bigger gripe with Kelly (and others have pointed this out) is his complete ignoring of Hendrix as a change of pace QB between the Air Force and Stanford games.

(And, no, I can't believe I just typed out another rehash of the Great QB Debate.)


on the other hand, if Golson's a success

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:00 @ Savage

he gets all the credit in the world for finding him, flipping him, and developing him into that success.



by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:03 @ Jay

[ No text ]


Who's ready for Homerun Hire list 2012?

by BPH, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:45 @ HumanRobot

Yeah, me neither.


touch 'em all

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:47 @ BPH



As a rule I generally don't

by hobbs, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:32 @ Jay
edited by hobbs, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:59

but then again, I am an inveterate Kelly, er ND administration, apologist.

Football can be such a funny game with random bounces affecting the final outcome that I think its wise to look beyond the boxscore to take the measure of the program. Last year ND was as close to being an 11 team as they were the 8 win team that they ended up. If a couple random bounces went ND's way Kelly would have been hailed for a 3 game improvement on the prior seasons record. Those bounces didn't go ND's way so many now want the bum fired.

To my eye that is silly because ND wouldn't have been a fundamentally different team at 11 wins than were at 8. Given that I'm not going to call for the coaches head under those circumstances.

My coach barometer is more a matter of seeing overall growth and development. What I want to see this year isn't so much a firm record, as it is I want to come away from the season feeling that the program is heading in an upward trajectory.

I want to see E. Golson playing better at the end of the team than he was at the beginning. I want to see a defense that is better at the end of the year than they were at the beginning. I want to see growth in the offense from game 1 to game 11. I want to see ND's offense develop a consistent identity (and I really don't are what that identity is). I want to see ND play "clean" football. I want to see ND look like a well coached football team that plays smart (and doesn't kill themselves with mental mistakes).

In the end I want see a program that is moving forward. If I see growth that gives me hope I can live with a 7 win season in the hope of a better tomorrow. I much rather have a 6 win season with hope, than I would a 8 win season where ND didn't look good, didn't show any forward growth, but caught fortunate breaks to luck into 8 wins. I'd have more problems with Kelly with those 8 wins than I would 6 where we showed actual growth and development.

So in sum, I'm looking behind the W/L numbers to what I consider to be the more important, yet harder to quantify, program fundamentals.


A couple of things

by Bill, Southern California, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:48 @ hobbs

While I certainly appreciate the desire to see improvement from first game to last, I think we also need to see improvement from season to season, with a few exceptions. Albeit, I think folks would understand if we had a falloff in defensive backfield performance this year due to the newcomers at CB. But I don't think that's the case for defensive line and linebacker performance. There, I want to see better than I saw last year and then build on that throughout the season.

Offensive, I want to see better QB play than we saw last season and see that built up throughout the year. Ditto for OL and RB. I can understand a falloff at WR at the start of the year, because of the loss of Floyd. But overall, I think the offensive unit needs to start strong at the start of the season and build going forward. None of this three steps back, two steps forward stuff.


I'm beginning to think

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:43 @ hobbs

We wouldn't even know what a "good break" looked like if it kicked us in the nuts.

Sure, there were a few in the '10 SC game. But its awful tough to come up with too many more.


Good post.

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:34 @ hobbs

[ No text ]


No F-ing Way.

by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:28 @ Jay

ND could lose every single game. Every single one, and I'd be ticked off, but I'd not support firing Kelly. He wont lose every game, and so I see no bright line determination between "good enough" and "fire him." That's not to say I'd be pleased with a poor season, but to know what a poor season is, I'd have to see it. I'm in the "show me" mode in regard to poor seasons.

A new coach hired on at end of year would mean ND has hired a new coach ever 2.7 seasons since Holtz. I'm not sure another program in major college football has suffered anywhere near that much churn. Kelly will win some games, he'll lose some games too. But he's certainly, if given enough time, going to lay a stable foundation for ND Football. ND might not win like a Tier 1 team right now (though I hope they do), but I'm pretty convinced they're finally starting to operate like one - actual academic requirements and occasional xenophobia of the fans excluded.

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


Surely you are engaging in hyperbole

by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:19 @
edited by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:23

You cannot mean that you actually would retain him if he went 0-12. Think about it. You are going to retain him if he loses to Navy, and Purdue, and BC, and Wake, with a team you think is dramatically improved in talent and depth and supposedly benefitting from the third year of a coaching process you laud? You don't mean it. You would fire him if he went 0-12.


My point is there exists no pragmatic bright line...

by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:33 @ NDSF

between "acceptable" and "fire him." 5-7? 3-9? Hell if I know. There could be some really bad luck involved there, like say we're down to a walk-on QB for the last 6 games somehow. Maybe we go and anger the QB Hating Gods like Iowa did with the Running Back God.

It's the Zeno's paradox of Head Coach firing. How do we get from keeping Kelly to firing him if none of the other variables will play nice and just keep still?

I'm sure there's some condition at the end of the year that _could_ cause me to want to see him fired, but I'm far more concerned with the long-term health of the program. It was ill. It's getting better - it really is. And I'm anxious to see that translate to wins, but I'm more worried that the fans wont let it have time to translate. Again, our churn is, I believe, unmatched in CFB. That's simply not healthy. You can't possible expect actual progress toward our long-term goals with that sort of environment.*

*And yes, I know this argument in some way advocates that we should have held onto either O'Leary or Willingham after we knew what we knew. Sometimes the right argument isn't very comfortable.

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


This makes no sense, seriously

by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:39 @

Listen to yourself "the program was ill. It is getting better." You are going to say that after going 0-12? The every 2.7 years or whatever statistic re changing coaches proves we hired bad coaches not that we should have kept them longer. I have asked before for anyone to tell me which coach we fired we should have kept longer or we fired too soon. The answer is not to keep an obviously failed coach for "stability". And Kelly obviously would have failed at 0-12. I am amazed people would even debate this. Process and patience are important - they are not ends in and of themselves. Results on the field are.


Dude, do you really think it's a relevant possibility...

by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:54 @ NDSF

that Kelly might go 0-12?

If so, I'll go ahead and debate it with you, but I wont get into it until you tell me you really think he could with a better chance of doing so than I have of winning the lottery tomorrow.

At ND, fewer than 10 wins is failure. And with that in mind, ND has done a ton of failing over the last 2 decades. Deciding which version of per-season failure is reason enough to fire Kelly seems a bit myopic to me.

I was using hyperbole in my first post. Yeah. My actual imagined, truly possible "worst case scenario" is 7 losses. If he loses that many, I'll be ticked, but I still wont support firing him. Oh sure, if you tell me that upon firing him, we get whoever is the bonder-inducing-head-coaching-name-du-jour, I wont scream and shout to defend him. I just wont be grabbing a pitchfork and joining the mob.

Despite the fact that there are a ton of people who just flat don't like him, I do still believe that he's helped, along with Swarbrick, bring the program into the arena of "big boy football" - an arena we haven't really even sniffed since the mid-90s. I truly believe that the vast majority of hard-core ND fans in particular had no clue just how far behind the program had fallen. Hell, it started under Holtz's watch. So I'm absolutely interested in seeing some consistency in that foundation.

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


Where do you see the move to big-boy football?

by Kevin @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:07 @

This year's team could very well run for 200 yards a game, outshoot two of Michigan/Stanford/USC/Oklahoma, win nine or ten games, and be off to the races.

But I haven't seen much in his results to indicate he's elevated the program, even compared to Weis's overall tenure. He hasn't taken ND to a BCS game. He hasn't had a top-3 recruiting class. He hasn't won 10 games. Or 9. They're better than Weis's last three teams, but they're still not very good.


I'm talking operational stuff...

by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:14 @ Kevin

Like I said, I'm quite eager to see that start to translate to wins.

My concern is that Kelly get told to take a hike, and then the operational foundation is thrown out of whack. We hire a "pro" coach who actually destroys it b/c he has no idea what a CFB program should do to win despite his big name, or we hire a big name CFB HC who does things his way, but manages to throw things into turmoil for 2-3 seasons operationally, and we then don't see the wins we want to see. Suddenly lots of talk about how we hire Big Name "too late in his career," pipes up. Or, even worse, we hire some non-"sure fire" coach who is still essentially trying to figure out "his way" and thus spends 3 years in the vicious cycle of Weis-ian experimentation.

I'm not saying I don't want to fire Kelly. I'm saying I don't want to fire the first guy we've had probably since Holtz who actually has a formula they've tried and tested elsewhere. I don't care what that guy's name is, but that guy is our guy with an actual plan right now. I don't want to trade him for another guy who may or may not have their own plan that may or may not destroy the groundwork.

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


What are those things?

by Kevin @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:22 @

I know about the training table, which Weis never could get pushed through. We have some good assistants on staff -- Hiestand, Alford, Martin, among others -- but so did Weis (incl. Alford himself).

People say Longo is better than Mendoza, and that's probably true, but the new weight room was already there, and Mendoza's predecessor did pretty well at Florida, so it's not like we've always been in the muck S&C-wise.

We have the Shamrock Series uniforms, the appeal of which is in some dispute. But I don't want to steer this into a Crazy Train argument if you had other things in mind. It's entirely possible I've missed them.


He runs a tighter ship...

by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:40 @ Kevin

than Weis, Willingham, or Davie. It's clear from the reactions of former players. And he seems to do that b/c he treats the players as college kids who need to be told what to do and how to do it. Davie, while I was at school, was touted as a "player's coach" who we all knew to be full of lies he told to his players. Weis' only attention to details seemed to revolve around the QB. I have no good description of Ty. Do I need one?

Kelly puts together his staff based on things beyond name recognition. Weis had names on his staff, but we all saw on the field how that worked, and I think probably everyone here has heard of the stories involving that staff and their "chemistry." Davie was constantly grab-bagging. Ty went down with his crew.

The training table is a line item, but it's a huge line item. The fitness milestones and expectations are big in my book. Long-term, no matter who's coaching in 2015, they'll have players fit to play. Davie was so indecisive about body type that he turned one of the best S&C coaches in the game into a central figure for blame in his time. Now that S&C coach is working under Meyer at OSU and everyone knows he'll help OSU get back to the top quite quickly. I doubt Ty cared about this element at all. And Weis... I'm not so sure about Weis. I think he might have had a sense that this stuff was important, but he didn't get the training table to happen, and he seemed to be very, very focused on a single end-of-camp test to tell him if the team was fit. It wasn't a very holistic approach.

Kelly's recruiting philosophy by "type" is good too, I believe, for the longevity of the program. We've had 2 decades of a sort of melange of types. We'd be weak in point A and B in one year, 2 years later quite weak in points C and D. I think this recruiting by type will eliminate that. Whenever Kelly is done at ND, by choice or by boot, he'll leave a program that's tuned to play the game of football a certain way. Maybe the next HC wont be so tempted to just throw all that out with the bathwater.

As for another comparison between Kelly and Weis: I'm not afraid that Kelly might die on the sideline. I'm not trying to make jokes about Weis' weight, but he didn't do a single thing to try to ensure his own health in order to keep it from being a distraction for the program. And it was a distraction before the knee injury, and it probably became a very big distraction afterwards. Kelly isn't the picture of physical fitness, but he need not be. He's done things (reportedly) to make sure he's as healthy as he need to be so that he, the staff, and the team can focus on football.

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


There have been some recent comments by assistants

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:56 @

In responses to questions from the Rivals guys, focusing on the types of "profiles" they're recruiting among the high school kids. Everyone from Diaco to Elston to Denbrock has essentially agreed that they want to start competing against the big boys on the "getting off the bus" competition. That is, when your team walks on the field, do they "look" like big-time college athletes as to height, weight, muscles, etc.

It sounds almost stupidly superficial that they would focus on things like that, but I can remember Sampson and Prister saying that when they were watching practices before the '06 Sugar Bowl, they knew ND was going to get their faces kicked in because LSU "looked" like a football team, like a bunch of men out there on the field.

Recruiting to a strict "profile" sounds almost similarly stupid if they're going to be rigid about height/weight requirements. But they have a clear vision about making ND look like a big-time college football program.



by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:04 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

Football is still a game of force, and you can coach up a lot of acceleration through training and fitness.

Mass is harder to coach up on small frames.

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


two recent citations

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:59 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)


...and importantly, the talent and depth we've developed on the two lines, which is the cornerstone of successful football. All of those pieces are in place in a way that they weren't.

Three years ago I was down at the national championship game, down on the field, and Alabama ran out, and I said, Oh my goodness, we don't look anything like these guys. And I was on the field last year, and I said, you know, we're starting to look like these guys. Now we don't have their depth yet. They played nine defensive linemen in that game who were really, really good. But the foundation is being built.

Bobby D:

We really don't like small players in general. We believe that if we have a big defense, we're going to have a chance to have a good defense. How good? We don't know. But when we come off the bus, if we're as big or bigger than our opponent, we believe we'll have a good chance to have a good defense.


In terms of signed classes (edited)

by Kevin @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:11 @ Jay
edited by Kevin, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:30

[edit: on closer look, the LBs have gotten taller. We don't have a huge sample at DE]


LB -- Fleming (6'3"), Filer (6'3"), McDonald (6'3"), Poszluzny (6")
S -- McCarthy (6'2"), Slaughter (6'1")
DE -- KLM (6'5")


LB -- Carlo and Te'o (6'2"), Fox (6'4")
S -- Motta (6'2")
DE -- n/a


LB -- Kendall Moore (6'3"), Shembo (6'2"),Spond (6'3")
S -- Collinsworth (6"), Badger (6")
DE -- n/a (Kona is 6'5")


LB -- Grace (6'4"), Councell (6'5"), Rabasa (6'3")
S -- Hardy (6'1")
DE -- Carrico (6'6"), Tuitt (6'5"), Williams (6'6")


LB -- Okwara (6'5")
S -- Prosise (6'1"), Turner (6'2")
DE -- n/a


OK -- thanks for the responses.

by Kevin @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:44 @

I hope this year's team will execute much better and play more physically, especially against the more-physical opponents like SC, Michigan, and Stanford.


Dude, you are the one who raised it.

by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:59 @

"ND could lose every single game. Every single one, and I'd be ticked off, but I'd not support firing Kelly." If you now say you would, that's fine. I would, too. Just because you think other people hate Kelly should not be a reason to drive yourself over the edge in the other direction.


I shouldn't have brought up the "hate factor."

by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:02 @ NDSF

It should be irrelevant in my discussion.

Let me try to resolve my standing as simply as I can: I wouldn't support firing him unless I could be convinced that it wont do damage to the foundation I believe he and Swarbrick have been laying for this program.

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


Flip this line of thought on its head though

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:32 @ NDSF

How often do you want ND to keep going through coaching searches? Once every 2.7 years for the foreseeable future?

My answer is below and I stick by it. But I can certainly understand people who want to settle on a coach and stay with him for a half-decade or so before starting up the "what if he fails/who do we look for next/what is the demarcation line for failure" machine. There's something in that steady position that greatly appeals to me, due to my inherent dislike of the instability we've had and what I think it has done to the program and to us as fans. It's not my bottom line when I get right down to it, but I certainly do understand that thinking.


2.7 is a weak number to keep bringing up

by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:47 @ Greg
edited by Savage, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:01

No, I don't want them to go through coaching searches every 2.7 years (by the way, isn't it 5+0+3+5+3=16/5=3.2?), of course not -- but it can't possibly happen that way without making some disastrous mistake (O'Leary's 0 really deflates that "statistic").

I understand the continuity factor and avoiding the churn, but I don't think you're helping your case by artificially deflating the numbers -- after all, Alabama's last 5 coaches have only averaged 3 years!

But 4 years, on average (BD 5, TW 3, CW 5, BK hypothetically 3), doesn't seem completely out of whack -- it's a full cycle, and the flaws have been very, very evident in each case -- especially when you consider the shittiness of the hires involved. If we had made even a single good hire there, we'd be nowhere near that new-coach-every-2.7-(or 4)-years rate.


16/6 = 2.7

by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:09 @ Savage

I'm starting to regret the number already.

Holtz last coached in 1996. So if we fired Kelly end of season and started another coaching search, that'd be 16 years from our first search since Holtz to our latest, and the next coach would be our 6th. That's how I got 16/6. It's a bit of hyperbole, but it's a real number.

I don't think we can just treat O'Leary like a "mulligan." I thought about that a lot lately, and the entire O'Leary thing was such a huge debacle that then lead to Willingham that there's no way it's a mulligan. We've been paying for that "shot" and trying to play it through ever since.

I long for a fairway.

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


It should be 16/5.

by Ken Fowler, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:13 @

Treating both the first transition and the last transition is, at best, questionable math.




by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:17 @ Ken Fowler

We ended up searching and "finding" Davie b/c of an Admin screw-up. And in this discussion the assumption is that there's a "trigger" for a firing/search THIS YEAR. They're known elements.

The number itself isn't that important though. The point is churn hurts CFB programs unless at the end of it you can hire Saban and then let him go do whatever the hell he wants however the hell he wants to. Can we do that?

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


Thanks for that.

by River, Hell of the Upside Down Sinners, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:03 @ Savage

Makes me feel better about this weekend.


Understood, but I think instability is the product

by Kevin @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:38 @ Greg

not the cause, of our troubles. We've turned over coaches because we've hired the wrong ones. None of them were prematurely terminated.


O'Leary was prematurely terminated

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:19 @ Kevin

In fact, I think Kelly is doing right now (and from deeper in the hole) the job that O'Leary would have done if Monk et al. hadn't blinked in the face of pressure in 2001. He's rebuilding a broken foundation, restabilizing the program, and I believe we are going to get to a place where we regularly win 9-11 games per year and never win 13. And then after 8 or 9 years, he'll step aside and a new coach will come in and go from that foundation to a championship in short order. But if we keep cutting coaches off every 2.7 or 4.0 or whatever number of years we want to call it and never let a guy settle in to actually create a foundation, we're never going to get back to healthy.

Let's face it, before our current run of 24 years (and counting), the longest we had gone without winning a title in the modern era was 17 years. And our longest drought happens to coincide with a period in which significant advances have taken place in everything from facilities to nutrition to medical staffs to apparel to television such that many of the build-in advantages in 1966 just are not there today. So before we expect a coach to come in and right the ship and just win a championship on the force of his own personality and talent, I think we need to fix the program. And I think we're a long way there -- nutrition, new medical staff, new facilities, apparel that appeals to the players, working on night games with NBC to up the wow factor and still playing day games for the traditional college atmosphere. What needs to be done now is to get us to being a top-15 program year-in and year-out. And I think that Kelly, if we're patient, gets us there.

And if we're not patient and continue on our 2.7 or 4.0 or whatever cycle of coach replacements, we just put ourselves another cycle off of getting back to where we want to be and where we think we can be.



by Joe (LBbeachrat) @, Los Angeles, CA, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:47 @

[ No text ]


Well, yes and no.

by Bill, Southern California, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:40 @ Jay

A coach in his third season at ND should be taking a step forward, not backward. My expectation is that this will happen and that people will be positively surprised with the performance of this team.

If the reverse happens and we see performance regressions, I'll grow concerned. Record-wise, that probably means 8-5 or worse. And if I see a 2007-like performance of this team, I'll call for Kelly's head (as I did for Weis'). I think that 'tripwire' is probably a 5-7 record.

But I'm really expecting neither of those latter two scenarios to play out. I'm fairly confident that we'll be at least a 9 win team, and probably better.


Agree with this

by BPH, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:28 @ Bill

Although I wouldn't be surprised if we win fewer than nine games, depending on how the schedule shakes out. If we do finish 8-4, then I would really want a bowl win and the accompanying forward momentum into 2013.


Not strict W/L based

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:36 @ Jay

But if the offense doesn't start taking steps forward, and we continue to see some of the head-scratching issues that have popped up in the first two seasons, along with a few losses to teams that ND should have no business losing to, then I might have to seriously re-think my support for the current regime.


A 6-6 season would likely trip one or more of them.

by Kevin @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:35 @ Jay

That season would probably include some combination of:

1. Losing a third straight to Michigan;
2. Losing a third straight to Stanford; a/or
3. Losing to Purdue, Miami, Pitt, or BC;
as well as

4. All of the bad quotes, bad tweets, intra-team and intra-fan acrimony, and every other fun aspect of a bad ND season.

I don't think any one loss would flip the switch -- if they lost to Navy, but beat Purdue, MSU, and UM, the arguments about the next coach might die down a bit. But 5 or 6 losses, plus the Kelly Multiplier, would not create a good situation.


I think that's probably where I am

by Pat, Right behind you, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:55 @ Kevin

But I'm not really giving it much thought at this point. I figure I have a third of a year to arrive at that conclusion.

I also think that he's probably back anywhere north of a 2007 type outcome, so my own personal tripwire doesn't really mean much.


Anybody who considers #4

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:38 @ Kevin

is just looking for reasons to dislike the man. His future will be determined on whether he wins or not.


I didn't really mean it as a stand-alone thing (edited)

by Kevin @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:44 @ Pat (Moco)

That's what I meant by the "as well as" after the first three -- a bad record plus a bad overall atmosphere, and it'll probably be best to move on.


I was asking about personal tripwires

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:43 @ Pat (Moco)

#4 is perfectly acceptable in that sense. A lot of people have a personal disdain for the guy based on things BK himself has said or done. It's not out of bounds to simply say, "I don't like the guy, and I wish he weren't representing ND as our coach."


Not to be "that guy"

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:42 @ Jay

But you said W/L based. I think that anybody who brings up the purple faces or whatnot is not going to like him, regardless of the record. In that sense, I think it's a crap reason.


as a supporting factor, it's gonna creep in

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:53 @ Pat (Moco)

Call it personal charisma, or whatever you like. Devine won a national championship without engendering much love from the fan base, so like you said, it's hardly a determining factor. But it makes supporting the guy through tough times a hell of a lot easier if he's someone you like.

I don't think I'll ever really warm to Kelly on a personal level. I find him pretty phony, an operator. Maybe it's his lame attempts at jokes.


Even worse:

by BPH, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:23 @ Jay

his lame attempts to inform the assembled media that he just made a joke. Did you not get it?


No kidding

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:11 @ Jay

As someone who was touted as a "politician" when he first arrived, he's managed to get himself into some pretty lousy situations in only two years, and hasn't really been too successful at extricating himself from any of them.

Also - I know we can't expect everyone to have the charisma of a Holtz, or the ability to weave amazing pre-game/post-game speeches, but I'm continually underwhelmed whenever I see/hear Kelly speak to the team on those UND videos.


I've found this very interesting

by Eric M, Western New York, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:19 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

I agree Kelly isn't a titan of public speaking or from what I've seen, pre and post-game speeches.

However, I think he generally does a fine job when he's in front of the media. I don't care what anyone says, he's miles and miles ahead of the last three coaches in terms of speaking to the public, media, and on television. Okay, so he's not Holtz, but so what? Who is? Probably 0/10 of the top coaches in the country right now.

When Kelly goes on ESPN he does a good job. When he appears in other parts of the media he does a good job.

I'd really like someone to list the "situations" he's gotten into vis a vis his dealings with the media. Honestly, can we get a Top 5 list or something?

And once we get that list, how much of it is due to the "Stupid Shit a Coach at Notre Dame Has to Deal With" factor?

"He said field turf is coming!??!?? It hasn't been confirmed yet though!! The internet is revolting! Doesn't he know it wasn't cleared yet by the higher-ups? Why didn't he know not to say anything?? OMG HE'S SOOO BAD WITH THE MEDIA."

I really don't have a problem at all with Kelly's dealings in public and the way he acts, etc. Maybe that clouds my judgement, but I think the criticisms laid at his feet are more a reflection of our own fan base's insecurities and constant want to find Lou Holtz 2.0.

And once we get that Top 5 list, how much of it is directly related to saying something precisely because he's the coach at ND and he should know better? It's like there's a book of etiquette, unlike one any other coach in the history of the game has to follow, and people get upset about the tiniest things from that book. But yet no one stops and thinks, why the hell do we have this book to begin with?

So I think, if Kelly is this disliked (or whatever term you want to use) what would it be like if other coaches led the Irish? I have no doubt that other coaches see Kelly getting (what I would consider) unfair treatment and it turns them off from wanting to come to Notre Dame. I don't know how we can change that, and I can't argue if Kelly rubs someone the wrong way, but I generally think he does fine with this stuff. And if he doesn't, then who around the country will?


I was more referring to

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:35 @ Eric M

The Crist/Rees situation and the "quit against USC" angle. Neither of which need to be discussed further here. And I don't know that he could have handled either much better, but they were both terribly ugly situations that turned quite a few people against him.


How often did you ever see Holtz?

by Bill, Southern California, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:21 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

Back when Holtz was coach, there was barely an Internet and there certainly weren't a host of fan sites, weekly press conferences, sports stations and a bunch of reporters rushing to publish transcripts and analysis immediately following. Everybody claims Holtz was such a great speaker (and I'm not disputing that), but we had nowhere near the everyday exposure to Holtz that we have with Kelly.


Certainly true

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:28 @ Bill

And I admit that the Holtz comparison is based almost entirely from the few speeches that made it into the public domain (including, but not limited to "save Jimmy Johnson's ass for me..."), along with his record as a very successful and moving public speaker.


From Holtz we have

by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:31 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

he pre-game talk before Michigan in 86 - a loss -- that was pretty inspirational; his talk before the Pitt game in 1991, his speech caught before the Colo Orange Bowl in 1990, the rendition of his pre-Miami 1988 talk the players themselves described as incredibly inspirational. He was just, I think, a more inspirational speaker than Kelly. Doesn't mean Kelly is not a good coach, but this does not appear to be his forte. I also have seen Hltz and Kelly both in tons of public settings and Holtz is just a better, more fluid and more inspirational speaker than Kelly.


I think Holtz is an accomplished 'speaker'

by Bill, Southern California, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:40 @ NDSF

But I doubt the daily press briefings (had he given them back in his day) would have been quite so eloquent. And comparing any football coach to Holtz as a speaker is like comparing any US President to Ronald Reagan, as a public speaker. You're just not going to find many better.

Look, I really don't want Kelly spending his time getting prepped for meeting Jack Nolan, Pete Sampson and Mike Frank for post-practice comments. And I don't know why people feel the need to parse through everything that is said so that they can criticize what he said and state how he could have said it better. Check out any of the 'elite' coaches of today in the same venues and they're no better.


I am not calling for a parsing of everything Kelly says

by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:43 @ Bill

I was repsonding to the statement re how much we have seen of Holtz and how good he was as a communicator/speaker. He was excellent.


I think it's fair to say...

by BPH, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:37 @ NDSF

that among college coaches, Holtz is virtually one of a kind as a motivational speaker. It's not damning Kelly at all to say that he doesn't measure up to Holtz. From what I know about current coaches, I'd guess that Kelly is easily in the upper quartile, maybe the upper tenth.


good question

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:43 @ BPH
edited by Jay, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:50

There are a lot of drips in the college coaching ranks, even among good coaches. It's a rare gift Holtz has. Other guys:

good speaker, good coach:

* Harbaugh
* Gundy
* Spurrier
* Chip Kelly

good speaker, mediocre coach:

* Houston Nutt
* Dan Hawkins
* Neuheisel

mediocre speaker, good coach:

* Saban
* Miles
* Beamer

doesn't speak, doesn't coach

* Willingham


To make it interesting, what does BK do better than Holtz?

by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:47 @ Jay

[ No text ]


He's a better swimmer

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:05 @ NDSF

That Holtz just stands up there on the water walkin' around.


He needs to be.

by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:14 @ Greg

[ No text ]


I'm not touching the "better than Holtz" angle...

by BPH, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:53 @ NDSF

(too fraught with peril), but I think Kelly is very good at player identification, evaluation, recruitment and development. I also think he's very good at hiring and coaching assistants, at communicating the same message consistently over time, and at coaching quarterbacks within an offense that, when run correctly, can be quite dangerous.


FWIW, the answer to this can be "nothing"

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:52 @ NDSF

with Kelly still being an excellent coach.

Not saying he is, just saying.


Very true - but in fairness, I would give Kelly

by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:55 @ Dylan

garnering administration support, gaining confidence of AD.


Yet, that seems to be a problem for many people....

by River, Hell of the Upside Down Sinners, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:17 @ NDSF

...and I understand why that is the case.....But, in most cases people are happy that the AD and HC are on the same page yet at ND it is used against both. Strange, but true.

Playing a real football game will help all of this, but until then....


I am serious

by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:24 @ River

Holtz was very bad at dealing with the administration and that is an important part of the job - he created some unnecessary tension - it wasn't all their faults. He could be a temperamental person.


Honestly I think the good ones are all like that.

by River, Hell of the Upside Down Sinners, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:44 @ NDSF

Most of the time. If the HC is pushing, and in the process ruffling some feathers, he isn't doing his job.


no lisp

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:06 @ NDSF

[ No text ]


Good one. Also more Irish

by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:12 @ Jay

Straight out of central casting - could have played a ward heeler in The Last Hurrah.


he'd make a good Father Flanagan

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:31 @ NDSF

[ No text ]


"For a fat guy, he doesn't sweat much."

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:02 @ NDSF

Without going the backhanded route, I think it's obvious that Kelly has a better record of developing and implementing a passing offense.

But tactical stuff like that is comparing apples and oranges. I don't think the triple-option can work in major CFB these days (it was clear before Holtz was pushed out that recruiting was suffering at the skill positions). I think it's too early to tell on the behind-the-scenes stuff. There's just not enough to go on.


Yeah, Holtz is just better than everyone.

by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:39 @ BPH

It's a high bar. Oh sure, I too wish Kelly were at that level, but Saban, Stoops, OBC, whoever is well below the Holtz level too.

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


He spoke at the end of a Mass at the end of the '96 season.

by Kevin @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:35 @ NDSF

If I correctly remember the timing, he had just announced his retirement. He spoke after communion, when everyone just wants to get out of there. When he was done, the place was in tears.

That guy was born to coach at ND.


I don't dispute that feelings about the coach matter

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:16 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

But for goodness' sake, what we see of Holtz's motivational speeches to the kids are the really good ones, taped before wins and shown in the aftermath thereof (or in the case of the Colorado game, shown on the news in embarrassing fashion beforehand and lionized afterward). What we see of Kelly and every other coach today is day-by-day analysis of whatever is allowed to be taped. Let me tell you, Holtz gave some shitty-ass dud speeches on the practice field in his day. And Kelly's 2010 postgame SC speech was as good a postgame as anything Holtz did.

I think coaches today -- not just Kelly, but almost all of them -- are victims of the selective taping of the past and the all-encompassing presentation of the present.


Kelly may be a nice guy and a good football coach

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:45 @ Greg

I tend to think he's a type-a, asskicking type with a lot of drive and excellent organizational skills.

He is utterly charmless. He just doesn't have that club in his bag. He has a chip on his shoulder (not necessarily a bad thing). Guys like him have to make their success self-evident, and he hasn't yet.


"He's a street fighter." -- Bob Diaco

by BPH, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:54 @ Dylan

[ No text ]


"Charmless" is a good word.

by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:50 @ Dylan

Hard to verbalize the feeling he gives me but that is it. I tend to like coaches who embody what I view as the magic and transcendence of the program, but I can deal with his charmlessness if he wins.


Just out of curiousity

by Bill, Southern California, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:14 @ NDSF

Do you find that in Saban, Meyer or Stoops? I don't get the sense that any of them could hold a candle to Lou's personality and charisma. So I wonder how important a personal attribute it is in terms of building an elite football program.


Going off topic

by NDSF, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:19 @ Bill

I find Stoops very likable and always have. I have always thought Meyer was kind of nuts and hatable by everyone he wasn't winning for. He reminds me of Leahy in that regard. Saban, I really have not seen speak that muhc - he seems to stay out of the limelight.


Saban is Belichick type personality on the collegiate level

by hobbs, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:45 @ NDSF

If people think Kelly is a "charmless" personality I'd pay to hear what they'd think of Saban after a year behind ND's podium.

None of this matters anyway. Wins is all that count. If Saban won at ND I have no doubt that his dry paint personality would be lauded as him being a man of stature. If he failed then it would be highlighted as a character fault.


Definitely true

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:17 @ Greg

[ No text ]


What do you think of this:

by Ken Fowler, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:52 @ Pat (Moco)

I really don't like Kelly's sideline demeanor. As I explained last year, I think it's bad from a coaching standpoint. (I don't care about the image; I care because I want him to be able to keep his emotions in check so that he can focus on coaching, strategy, etc. And it doesn't appear to do much of a job at getting the targets of his screams to perform better.)

I also think he's said some stupid things that have bothered me a little.

But his recruiting has been great, our offensive line is as good as its been since Davie's years, we have a lot of youth and explosiveness at skill positions, and I'm generally happy with the building of the program.

Still, I'm probably going to give him a shorter leash than I might otherwise because of the "other stuff."


Respectfully, it's still crap.

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:09 @ Ken Fowler

None of us are at every single practice and I think it's illogical to judge him solely from gameday sideline demeanor that is selectively aired by NBC. The sample size is so insufficient that drawing any sort of conclusion from it is just madness.


Respectfully, I think you just fell into my trap

by Ken Fowler, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:33 @ Pat (Moco)

The fact that, in such a limited sample size, he can be caught so many times is what is worrisome for me. The amount of times shown on TV where he is losing his cool is too many. The fact that there are probably double that amount is even more disconcerting.

Remember: I don't care about the image stuff. I care about whether he's using his 3.5 hours on the sidelines wisely.


That's not a trap.

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:45 @ Ken Fowler

You haven't defined what "way too many" means. Is that more than once? Twice? By my count, I recall Michigan and Tulsa. That's two short 5 second clips in 25ish games.


That's not what the 4th factor above is limited to.

by Kevin @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:15 @ Pat (Moco)

That refers to the whole subjective package: team morale, sniping in the press, sideline stuff, player & recruit defections (not explicitly mentioned above), etc. These don't show up in wins and losses, but they're still relevant to projecting where this team might be headed under Kelly.


And I have a hard time blaming the coaching staff

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:47 @ Kevin

When idiots on the team think that resorting to Twittering and social media to vent frustration instead of being men and talking to their coaches about it is a great course of action. It says more about them than the coaches and more about the previous recruiting staff and who they recruited.


If it continues into his third year

by Kevin @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:50 @ Pat (Moco)
edited by Kevin, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:53

With two of his own classes on the team, plus two other classes he's had for nearly three years, I don't think it'll bode well for the future, fair or not.


I think we agree in principle.

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Monday, August 27, 2012, 12:30 @ Kevin

Kelly and Co. should have the sense to instruct the team on proper channels to vent frustration. However, at some point, personal responsibility has to play a part on the side of the players, and if they choose to take to social media even after receiving some sort of instruction, than they are more immature than can be helped.


And if you judge Saban by the same standard...

by scriptcomesfirst @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:18 @ Kevin

You wouldn't like him as your coach. Except for those pesky National Championships that color everyone's opinion. None of that will matter when, not if, Kelly wins. The program building talent he has is evident, and proven. Given a rational time frame (read: 5 years), I have little doubt he will have the desired results.


Which is why I said from the start that part

by Kevin @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:26 @ scriptcomesfirst

won't and shouldn't come into play if things are going well. As long as our coach is ethical and playing by the rules, he can pretty much win however he wants.


Yeah, it was under your thread, but I was really...

by scriptcomesfirst @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:34 @ Kevin

responding to Ken's post.


Somewhat OT question, particularly for the clinic guys...

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:54 @ Jay

What's your opinion on "Kelly as Innovator" as it relates to the ever-evolving principles of college football offenses? I know Chris Brown and others have done nice posts/articles about the "Kelly offense" and its spread ideas, but how new/different/radical are these ideas from those espoused by some of the other spread "giants" of the world (ie, Leach, Holgorsen, etc.)?

I know Kelly doesn't have a major-college spread background, so I tend to almost think of his offense as a "watered-down" or "copycat" version of some of the more successful modern-day spread attacks. Is this way off? Is he innovative and smart when it comes to devising plays, attacking defenses, putting in new wrinkles, etc? Or is he just "riding the coattails" of all the other guys who are coming up with these innovations?


I'm not sure he's an innovator so much as a...

by scriptcomesfirst @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 11:33 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

"refiner" of offenses. His hyper-speed pace at Cincinnati was probably the closest thing to an innovation he brought to the table. At that time, I saw few if any teams toy with the pace of a game the way he did. I think his true talent lies in play-calling & sequencing. I know the past couple years he's made some odd & even poor calls that have made some question whether or not he lost his mojo in this regard, but I think a single word can explain the disconnect: trust. Up to this point, I do not believe he has had much trust in his quarterbacks, or for that matter, his offensive coaching staff. The defections there, and the lack of resistance, were telling.

I've always called the plays for the teams I have coached, and I can tell you that the amount of trust you have in your quarterback & skill players has a powerful effect on the way you coach a game. Also, it's worth noting that he made a lot of dumb (read: unsuccessful) calls at prior stops too - they were simply overwhelmed by the high volume of brilliant (successful) calls.


Not just W/L, but...

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:34 @ Jay

...6-6 regular season with no significant injuries and no freakish losses (USF, Michigan last year) and I'm pretty much thinking the Kelly experiment failed.

I can't put it all down to W/L because I really think that this year is going to be about learning and growing as a team and pointing to next year when the team is older and the schedule is easier. But with a schedule featuring Navy, Purdue, Pitt, BC, Wake, and a bad Miami team, I think there are 6 wins basically built into the schedule. So I'd like to see us do better than that, barring freak/catastrophic injuries or space aliens landing in the middle of a thunderstorm (again). Doing significantly better -- e.g., beating Michigan, BYU, and one of Stanford or Michigan State; or two of that group of four and USC to end the season; either way ending up 9-3 or better -- would make me think we were on the right road for 2013. Sitting in at 6-6 would mean we beat the teams we should and lost to every team that posed a reasonable challenge, and that just wouldn't be good enough.

Recall, I'm the guy who said that I could envision circumstances in which I'd support retaining Kelly after an 0-12 season (e.g., entire starting 22 go down with injuries in the first quarter). So figure the "spectrum of firing" is 0-12 to 6-6 depending on the circumstances that led to the W/L record, with 7-5 and 8-4 being "Jack, who's on the list" though I'd not want ND to take any steps until after 2013, and anything better than 8-4 leaving me pretty optimistic for 2013.


Regular season: 8-4.

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:33 @ Jay
edited by Pat (Moco), Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:37

I won't be fully in the "Put his head on a spike" category but I'll be horribly disappointed. The only time I've been even close to the "Put his head on a spike" category was after Michigan last year.

This, of course, discounts whether or not we'll see progress in other parts of the game. I think if the offense can at least hang onto the ball, I'll be swayed away from the ledge. I agree with Ken below--there's a difference between a "good" 8-4 and a "bad" 8-4. If we go 8-4 and Tommy is starting and we're losing games to teams we shouldn't, then I think I'll be approaching the "Can his ass" point.


Let me make sure I understand.

by Slainte Joe, Raleigh, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:35 @ Pat (Moco)

You think he should be fired if we go 8-4 or worse this season?


I clarified.

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:36 @ Slainte Joe

I think 8-4 would start the clock. I wouldn't be calling for his head at that point.


Not at this point. I'm thinking long-term.

by Ken Fowler, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:30 @ Jay

It depends on how Golson is evolving. I could see us going 6-6, but that being a relatively "good" 6-6.

At the same time, we could go a "bad" 6-6 where Tommy ends up as our starting QB and there's limited hope for the future. Next year, we'll be replacing 3(?) starting offensive linemen. If we're 6-6 this year with Tommy Rees as our No. 1 QB, I might think it's time to change. Not definitely, but I'd be so without hope going into 2013 that I probably wouldn't do the lottery, etc. And I think a lot of people would be like that.


Rees is effectively done at ND

by BPH, San Diego, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:18 @ Ken Fowler

As I see it, in the unlikely event that Golson falls on his face, Kelly will turn to Hendrix. If Hendrix can't get it done, he'll turn to Kiel. He's not an idiot. He knows that going back to Rees is a no-win proposition.


This year is the last year where subjective criteria, IMO,

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:53 @ Ken Fowler

are still far more important than objective.

I'd say that 5-7 would probably lead me to cash in my chips on Kelly, since I think that would require pretty egregious coaching, unless we have injuries that are simply far beyond the pale.

But I can envision plenty of scenarios in the 8-4 to 6-6 range where "how" things play out could keep me from calling for Kelly's head.


Actually have not.

by River, Hell of the Upside Down Sinners, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:29 @ Jay

I am hoping to enjoy the season for a few weeks unencumbered.


We are so effing due for a fun season. Even if it

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:00 @ River

ultimately goes nowhere and means nothing (like 2000, 2002 or 2005), I just want ND football Saturdays to be enjoyable.

I'm sick spending 365 days actively following ND football and hating the actual playing of football.


I think we're going to be fun to watch this year

by CK08, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:04 @ BillyGoat

Even if we're not that good. We're going to see some dynamic young players make some big plays.

Plus opening with Navy and Purdue SHOULD be a big help. There's a lot less chance of our season being derailed by week 3. If we space out our losses, we could be ranked for much of the year.


Fun is a choice.

by ⌂ @, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:50 @ CK08

[ No text ]

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


Much like bourbon.

by KGB, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:40 @

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by Slainte Joe, Raleigh, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:09 @

But I just can't bring myself to quit following ND football.


I am cautiously optimistic that we will be.

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:29 @ CK08

[ No text ]


Those are really good points

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:11 @ CK08

Again, absent another alien invasion we should win our first two pretty convincingly and be sitting around #19 or so. Just say for the sake of argument that we lose a close one at MSU and fall to #25, rebound against Michigan and Miami, and pull what would at that point be an upset over Stanford. We'd be sitting at 5-1 having just won three pretty high-profile games and I'd bet we'd be around #16. Win at BYU, lose in Norman and fall to #22. Then beat Pitt, BC, and Wake on our march through November and rise back up to #13 or so with a 9-2 record going into the SC game. If we win, we're BCS-game eligible. If we lose, we wind up 9-3 and, if the loss is not a blowout, probably are sitting around #17 or 18. Say we lose. Follow that with a bowl win to finish the season in the top 15 and we are pretty much perfectly positioned for 2013. We'd be a preseason top 10 team due to all of our returning skill position talent (we know they don't really look at OL) and front four talent. We'd have to replace OL and Manti. But our DBs would be a year older and our skill positions on offense would be loaded.

That's the kind of thinking that gets me excited for the year.


MSU opens againt BSU

by River, Hell of the Upside Down Sinners, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:46 @ Greg

We will know where we should stand sooner than later.


Not sure about that (with regard to MSU)

by CK08, Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:21 @ River

Boise has 5 total returning starters. There's a very good chance they'll fall back to the pack this year and get creamed in East Lansing.

But that won't tell us much about Michigan State.


Yes please.

by KGB, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:44 @ River

Related: I'll worry about what happens if we lose to Navy after we actually lose to Navy.



by CK08, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:59 @ KGB

I'm taking this year one game at a time.


Yup. That is where I am at.

by River, Hell of the Upside Down Sinners, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:47 @ KGB
edited by River, Monday, August 27, 2012, 08:56

I get why people set the expectations and understand the reasoning. I am just not willing to do it before we have even played a game.


Me too

by Jeff (BGS), A starter home in suburban Tempe, Monday, August 27, 2012, 09:03 @ River

My brain and heart usually conspire to come up with some sort of expectation by now, but I think there is just too much randomness this time around. I expect the front seven and offensive line to play well, which usually points to a good season.

But, I have no idea what to expect from the DBs and skill players on offense. Couple that with a tough schedule and I've just thrown any W/L expectations out the window.

At night, the ice weasels come.

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