Blog Entry

Brian Kelly is the Notre Dame Litmus Test

Posted on: December 10, 2009 5:41 pm
Notre Dame ain't what it used to be, and if you ask me, it's never going to be what it used to be -- one of the dominant programs in college football -- ever again. Not without massive changes in admission standards and scheduling, meaning, a relaxation of both.

But I could be wrong about that. Maybe Notre Dame can stay high and mighty when it comes to academic standards and scheduling practices and still return to its greatness of decades ago. Brian Kelly will be the litmus test.

Urban Meyer wouldn't have worked as a litmus test, because Urban Meyer is too good. Urban Meyer could coach at Ball State, and Ball State would become a national powerhouse. Urban Meyer at Notre Dame? Instant powerhouse, and not because it's Notre Dame. But because he's Urban Meyer.

Brian Kelly is a poor man's Urban Meyer, and if you think that's an insult, think again. That would be like saying I'm a poor man's Ernest Hemingway. I'd take that as an enormous compliment.

And so should Brian Kelly fans. He's a poor man's Urban Meyer, which is to say, he has a lot of Meyer's ambition and ego and offensive flair. But he's not Meyer. He's good, but he's no Meyer.

And so my point is this: If Brian Kelly can't return Notre Dame to its previously great heights, then it can't be done. Short of the hiring of Urban Meyer, which, as I've said, wouldn't prove anything because Meyer would win huge at Baylor or Kentucky or, yes, Notre Dame.

My theory on Notre Dame -- great tradition, but it's never coming back -- will be put to the test by Kelly, who's perfect for the job. He runs a crazy-fun offense that will win over recruits, and he has a huge personality that will win over the media, and he's Irish-Catholic to boot. His name is Brian Kelly , for crying out loud.

Kelly is as good a coach as Notre Dame is ever going to get -- but he's not a can't-miss genius. He could possibly miss. And if he does miss? Then I was right: Notre Dame ain't never coming back.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Feb 1, 2008
Posted on: September 6, 2010 9:49 pm

Brian Kelly is the Notre Dame Litmus Test

Kelly and ND will be fine.  everything is cyclical, they will be back in the hunt sometime soon.  they probably won't dominate like the Lahey years, there is more parity in college football now, even florida isn't gonna be national champion every other year.

Since: Oct 31, 2009
Posted on: December 18, 2009 7:09 pm

Brian Kelly is the Notre Dame Litmus Test

Breaking News - FBI Arrests Three Terrorists At Notre Dame - Bin Whinin, Bin Cryin, Bin LosinCry .

You say that Notre Dame football will never be one of the dominant programs unless they relax both their admission standards and their schedule. Did you do your homework before writing this column? I have many Catholic friends, I'm sure everyone with a personality left of the uni-bomber's probably does, also since 1 in 4 Americans are Catholic. If you don't understand how that translates into success google up any state's high school football championships or watch the movie Rudy . Why Catholic high schools tend to dominate is simple; they can "recruit." Rudy went to Joliet Catholic in Illinois. A couple of weeks ago Joliet played in the 5A championship game seeking their record 14th state title. They came up 1 point short as their opponent scored a touchdown and converted a 2 pointer with 32 seconds left. Who was the opponent? Montini Catholic.

If you look at any state which doesn't segregate the parochial from the district schools you'll see a huge disparity in the percentage of Catholic schools winning titles vs. the percentage of schools being Catholic. This same advantage exists at the next level. Most Catholic players have a little "Rudy" in them. Is there any other school besides ND which could command viewership that would entice a major TV network to give them an exclusive contract? Let's not downplay that little perq. either. The fact that they will be on national TV every week is a tremendous recruiting tool.            

This concept that academic standards are too high is ridiculous in that it has always been an excuse in the off years. Read this quote by Parseghian from an article written by Terrence Moore of Fanhouse 12/02/2009: "If you go back and look at the newspapers and read the concerns that people had before my hiring when Joe Kuharich had been there and when Hugh Devore had been the interim coach, I mean, it was something. 'You can't win at Notre Dame anymore.' And then you ought to go back and see what they were saying after Gerry Faust left prior to Lou Holtz coming (in 1986). These same things that you hear today - that you can't do it because the academics are to high at Notre Dame and all those other things they keep bringing up - it's just nonsense."

Now let's look at this rugged schedule: 2009 Nevada - no comment needed, Michigan - 5-7 in a weak conference, Mich. St. - 6-6, Purdue - 5-7, Washington - 5-7, USC - 8-4, tied for 5th in Pac 10, Boston College - 8-4 Don't bother to look and see who they played, Washington St. - 1-11, Navy - 9-4, Pitt. - 9-3 probably the toughest of teams, Connecticut - 7-5, Stanford - 8-4. Nothing else needs to be added about the scheduling. 2010's is much the same.

There is a reason for the parity in today's game which many fail to recognize. Ever wonder why we are seeing the Cinncinatis, Boise St.s, and TCUs and why traditional powerhouses like Nebraska, Michigan, Forida St. and the Miamis of the world are no longer staples of the top 10? The answer is parity. Why is there more parity in today's game than ever before? Because the number of scholarships was reduced from 120 to 95 by the mid-1970s, to 92 in 1992, to 88 the following year, and to 85 in 1994. The traditional powerhouses  can no longer stockpile players. If you are a Husker fan like me, this may not be enjoyable, but overall the game is more entertaining for a larger audience. The BCS computers don't seem to have a component in its complicated equation to factor this parity into the equation. That should be corrected.

Oh, and by the way, the problem with Notre Dame doesn't appear to be with the recruiting, at least according to the rankings by ESPNU. I know this is hardly an exact science and that biases add to the errors of subjectivity, but for whatever it's worth here are the overall team rankings: 2006 - 5th, 2007 - 8th, 2008 - 9th, 2009 - 14, 2010 - 18.

For all of the ND football haters enjoy this while it lasts, but don't count on Doyel's prediction. 


Since: Mar 7, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2009 7:59 am

Brian Kelly is the Notre Dame Litmus Test


Since: Jan 23, 2007
Posted on: December 12, 2009 3:27 pm

Brian Kelly is the Notre Dame Litmus Test

Why is CBSSportsline running a 24 year old editorial? Is this a slow time in 'expert' sports commentary? The dateline on this story is DECEMBER, 1985 - simply substitute the name Lou Holtz for Brian Kelly in young Hemmingway's article above.

Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: December 12, 2009 1:54 pm

Brian Kelly is the Notre Dame Litmus Test

What in God's green planet are you talking about. Urban Meyer wins because he gets only the best recruits, and had a good staff. Losing Charlie Strong will KILL Florida. Considering Brian Kelly went 12-0 without any ESPN Top 150 prospects in the last 4 years says Kelly is a great coach. Brian Kelly was coaching at Cincinatti, and if Urban Meyer coached there they wouldn't be as good as he was at Florida. The Bottom line is who did Urban Meyer coach under. Incase you didn't know, he coached under Lou Holtz. YEA HOLTZ DID COACH AT NOTRE DAME AS AN ASSISTANT. Urban Meyer is a snake oil sailsman, and I would definitly not want him. He wins because he is a house hold name, coaching at one of the nations premiere schools, not because you make him sound like he is a God. Same with Pete Carroll. Carroll recruits only the best and has/had one of the best staffs in college football. Carroll is not a God either, he is another Snake Oil Sailsman that takes after LOU HOLTZ (how many times can I say his name) by talking up the other team.

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: December 12, 2009 12:12 pm

Brian Kelly is the Notre Dame Litmus Test

More Doyel drivel! The only way your name would appear in the same article with Hemmingway is if you wrote it! You hint at problems with ND's system but no details. Typical Doyel

Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: December 12, 2009 11:08 am

Brian Kelly is the Notre Dame Litmus Test

No top 10 team in the country will play Boise State unless they are forced to by the ridiculous bowl system that is in place. Tell me if you can even look at that blue field?  If Boise St. wants to be big time, they got to get rid of that blue field.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: December 12, 2009 1:18 am

Brian Kelly is the Notre Dame Litmus Test

Only if you are takung the long way to an SEC school.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2009 10:32 pm

Brian Kelly is the Notre Dame Litmus Test

Tate was the second best receiver on the team.  Floyd will break every record at ND.  They will be fine.  THe reason michigan sucks is that RIch Rod is a DICK.  Kelly will be fine.  Rich Rod didnt exactly dominate at West Virginia.

Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2009 9:15 pm


Mark Stoops is hired as new DC at FSU

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