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Blog Entry

Restoring the Glory since 1993

Posted on: December 11, 2009 9:58 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2009 9:59 pm
 
This is my contribution to the blog "Critical Couzens" at Blogspot.com, if you wish to see the otherviewpoints on this topic, go to criticalcouzens.blogspot.com

With the hire of Brian Kelly today, Notre Dame officially put the Charlie Weis debacle behind them (Goodbye Charlie, you will be sorely missed in Ann Arbor, we will never forget your late inning heroics in the game this year). Notre Dame fans around the country rejoiced. The bells rang from churches everywhere. The smoke rising from the Vatican finally burned white. The anointed one had come, the man who would lead the Irish from the desert of mediocrity into the promised land of excellence once again.

But did they make the hire right? Personally, I think they did. The rumor floated by my good friend The Architect was completely right; I think Michigan hired the wrong coach from the Big East when they stole Rich Rod from West Virginia. Kelly has been a proven winner at every location he has coached. Since 1991 (when he first became head coach at GVSU) he has a record of 171-52-2, a .748 winning percentage. At one point he had a 32 game winning streak with the Lakers. He successfully turned around a horrible Central Michigan program to the point where now the Chips have won 3 of the last 4 MAC championships. And he set school records for Cincinnati, winning 10, 11 and now 12 games in his 3 seasons there. My esteemed friend The Bus Driver points out that Rich Rod won everywhere he coached as well, but the point I differ with him on is the aftermath. Personally I believe a sign of a good coach is when he leaves and the teams he leaves behind continue winning. Central Michigan and Grand Valley are still winning at the same rate that they were when Kelly left, yet West Virginia has dropped off its winning significantly.

However, Notre Dame fans should temper their rejoicing for two reasons. The first is that Brian Kelly’s teams do not play great defense. In his 6 years coaching D-1 ball his defenses given up an average of 23 points per season. The adage “Defense wins championships” comes to mind, but the other fact of the matter is that Notre Dame was mediocre this season because of their defense. They gave up 311 points this season, an average of 26 points per game. They had the offense solved, and Kelly will continue that production with his spread attack. He won with 5 different quarterbacks last year and put up video game numbers with Tony Pike and Collaros this year. But, if he can’t find a way to create a solid defense at Notre Dame, he won’t be able to win as consistently as he did in weaker conferences. The second downside to Brian Kelly lies within his nature. He is a mercenary coach. He goes where the money is, and has no compassion for the people he leaves behind. While I respect him for the consistency, Notre Dame had better be prepared to be the latest team to be burned. If the NFL comes calling, I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised to see him take off faster than Usain Bolt.

This hire is Notre Dame’s Alamo. If Brian Kelly, a proven winner in every other program he has coached, can’t win at Notre Dame, it will officially signal an end to the rich tradition at Notre Dame. Short of stealing Urban Meyer from Florida, the school won’t be able to return to a national powerhouse without either drastically changing its standards academically or joining a conference. No pressure Brian.






Comments
itkitkep
Since: Dec 14, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2009 8:34 pm
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itkitkep
Since: Dec 14, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2009 8:28 pm
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Since: Oct 1, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2009 4:24 pm
 

Restoring the Glory since 1993

Good Post.  I think people forget that coaches have places they want to end up.  I'm sure anybody who had a chance to have there dream job would take it in a minute.  What about all the kids out there who leave school early to go to the Pro level.  Do we get mad at them because they have fulfilled there dream.  Or even the kid who stays all four years and then leaves for the pro-level.  Didn't they use that University as a stepping stone to fulfill their dreams. 



Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2009 5:24 am
 

Restoring the Glory since 1993

I never said I was a fan of the way he left the school. It was clearly a scummy thing to do, and I mentioned it in my post, about midway down. Brian Kelly is a mercenary. He was a merc when he left CMU for Cinncinnati before their bowl game, he was a merc when he announced he was going to leave GVSU before their championship game. Its just who he is. No I don't condone it, yes I think it was a dick move. However, you can't argue with his successes. There is no way Cincy would be where they are with him, and while its a bitter time right now, they will eventually look back on his tenure as the starting point of something special if they continue to have the same success.

Truthfully here is my opinion on this whole thing, and please tell me if I'm off base looking at this.

1) College football is a business. Simple as that, and Notre Dame is a place where he won't be passed over for the National Championship if he goes undefeated. Every coaches goal is to coach in the NFL, and the best place for him to achieve that would be in ND as compared to Cincy. I don't think anyone at Cincy can argue his decision to leave, given they were on the other side of this issue 3 years ago when they got him in the first place.

2) With the way the media is today, nothing is a secret for long. Having established this, there isn't any way he could have accepted the ND job (which was the right move for him, regardless of the circumstances as to WHY he left), and then kept it quiet until he coached in the Sugar Bowl. The AD would not stand for a guy who is not committed to the program coaching in their biggest game, and deservedly so. So how, exactly was he supposed to handle it? ND would pass him over if he waited on it, and if he agreed even in principle, it would have gotten out in this age of the internet and twitter, someone is always gonna talk.

3) Sports is the wrong place to look for role models. Tiger Woods has proven that there are no athletes (or coaches) with success who aren't ruthless and selfish, its part of the drive that made them that good. If loyalty was important, most of these guys would be stuck coaching high school football or low level D-1 D-2 teams. Athletes, coaches and everyone involved are being paid exorbitant sums of money to play a game. The environment is not condusive to role models succeeding. I don't like it, but I've come to grips with it.

Do I blame Cincy fans for being bitter? Not a chance. However, do I blame BK for doing what he did? Nope. Its just the sad reality of the way the world of sports works.

Thanks for reading and commenting though! I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post as well!


ksaugoireuo
Since: Dec 13, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2009 10:44 pm
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Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2009 9:41 pm
 

Restoring the Glory since 1993

Hey DBix- you make no mention of this 'reighteous' coach pulling the plug on his former team when they need him the most. How can you glorify anyone who does such a thing? Let me tell you something- there are a lot of  better teams out there who don't get the ink just because. Is this guy your uncle? I've never seen so much mularky lumped on one person since Saban lied about looking to go elsewhere. Go stick your head in the sand and thank Uncle BK for giving you the money. We'll see.


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