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  • Irish Rolled by Alabama

    by John Vannie

    Alabama won its third national title in the last four years on Monday night with a convincing and thorough defeat of Notre Dame by the score of 42-14. The Crimson Tide raced to a 28-0 halftime lead behind a powerful running game and the crisp passes of quarterback A. J. McCarron that shredded the Irish secondary. It was a tough loss for previously undefeated Notre Dame, whose return to prominence this season took a step backward as Alabama physically dominated the contest from start to finish.

    The Notre Dame defense, which had been heroic all season, could not hold the edge against the Alabama running game. They also failed to pressure McCarron, who had an easy time picking apart the soft zone employed by the Irish back seven. Sadly, outgoing senior end Kapron Lewis-Moore suffered a significant knee injury in the second quarter.

    Offensively, quarrterback Everett Golson and wide receiver DaVaris Daniels played well, but te offensive line could not generate any running room against the Tide’s stout defenders.

    Update 1/8/2013: Sorry for the short summary above, but the game ended very late and traffic out of the stadium was horrible. As I sit here in the Miami Airport, here are the answers to the pregame questions:

    Will Notre Dame be emotionally prepared to get off to a solid start in the game? No, the Irish were clearly not ready to play a game of this magnitude.

    Can the Irish defenders tackle well enough to keep Lacy and Yeldon from breaking long runs? Not at all. The Irish were actually in position to make many tackles for limited yardage, but were not physically up to it.

    Will McCarron hurt Notre Dame with screens and deep play action passes? The Irish handled the screens fairly well, but the deep and intermediate passes were wide open all night. McCarron had enough time in the pocket to wave to his hot girlfriend in the stands.

    Which special teams will contribute a game-changing play? Almost, but the referees didn’t see it that way. Later in the game, the Irish special teams grew progressively worse.

    Will the Irish score touchdowns or be forced to settle for field goals? Notre Dame scored touchdowns, but few people were still awake to see them.

     Can Alabama effectively neutralize Manti Te’o? Manti Who?

    Will Golson’s mobility be a difference maker for the Irish? Alabama’s puirsuit made even Golson look slow. He did manage to escape long enough to throw the ball away on a few occasions.

    Which team will have the most energy in the fourth quarter? Saban was still coaching like a madman in the fourth quarter, but the most energy displayed during the period was the fight between McCarron and center Barrett Jones.

    Thanks to the Irish for a great season and many more good memories than bad. Now, go and hit the weight room in the offseason, boys.

    140 Responses to “Irish Rolled by Alabama”

    1. IrIShMaDmAN says:

      As deflating as any Irish BCS game. We don’t have it and we never will. 12-0 means nothing after that thorough beating. This was our best shot for a title and we blew it. A great season flushed down the drain. Super effort by all—NOT! Great game plan, Kelly! Reminds me a lot of your 12-0 Cincy team. We don’t have it & we never will.

      • awareinpdx says:

        Please…this is not Kelly’s fault. Game plan was not the reason they lost in a spectacular fashion. Any real student of the game will tell you the following: Bama’s team speed, especially from sideline to sideline, was far superior. Time and time again, Bama exploited NDs dearth of overall team quickness. Second, Bamas big men versus NDs big men, no contest. The much vaulted front 7 of ND was manhandled, and that’s being diplomatic. Consistently, NDs front 7 seven was pushed into their own defensive backfield. Summarily, they were just bigger, stronger, faster, and well, better.

        • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

          “Any real student of the game will tell you …”

          Any real student of the game will tell you that YOU are no student of the game. Lay off the Bailey’s brother.

      • ronisize15 says:

        Troll on there troll on, guess you would rather go back to what 8-5?

      • Ellen Bell says:

        Are you for real? Those young men just gave us the best ride since I don’t know how long. I had the time of my life watching and my hats off to them. Looking forward to September 2013. Way to go players,putting Notre Dame back on the football map where they belong.

      • alright man, when you are back watching this team next year you can conveniently forget your remarks. First off, the front seven was so good because it could handle the rush while providing support for the secondary, against Bama that wasn’t going to happen and did not happen. ND had to load up to stop the run, but subsequently put their weakest unit in an even weaker position and that was exploited. Yes tackling was terrible. EG played well, and was effective at times throughout the night. Despite constant pressure, he displayed a lot of poise for a young QB. The running game was abandoned, yes, however we needed points and we needed them now. Gimmick runs were our only hope and while GA3 showed up for one play, that is a tactic that can be neutralized easily. The team got beat convincingly by a team that was better, but why don’t you just go sit in the corner if your going to bitch about a 12-1 season.

      • So you’re sayin there’s a chance. Thanks for your enlightening comments. We’re all a bit depressed, friend, but this team deserves better fans than you.

      • IRISHMADMAN – You positive enthusiasm is admirable! Grow-up or go to a Michigan website if you want to b1tch & moan. 12-0 does not mean nothing.

    2. Deployed Irish says:

      No doubt in my mind we are better than we played today. Still can’t believe ND just played in the National Championship. Thanks for the best season since I was 12. Hope Kapron heals up soon.
      Can’t wait for next Fall.
      Go Irish.

      • ronisize15 says:

        Can’t agree more, proud of the team. Yeah ND got rolled but I didn’t even expect to be in contention for the championship game so hey they exceded my expectations.

    3. Because I don’t get ESPN I didn’t get to see the game but from all accounts this was a butt-kicking. Alabama was clearly superior up front on both sides of the ball and that’s where games are won. Our guys gave it all they had but this was Alabama’s night and they are the champions.

      Congratulations to them.

      Until we meet again.

    4. This was the type of game that Irish needed a strong offense to help the D. The defense was on the field too long and wore down. Everett is OK but I think this game leaves open the door for Hunter Kiel. Sometimes games turn into shoot outs and ND couldn’t keep up.

      • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

        Great points brother, but … the kid’s name is Gunner Kiel. Hunter Kiel is the nom-de-guerre Blair Kiel uses when he writes short hunting stories for Outside magazine whilst on Johnny Walker Black and Bailey’s … in honor of Hunter Thompson.

        Really?

        No, not really.

    5. It was a colosol collapse…..major disappointment. But we shouldn’t forget the season the Irish had. Remember at the start of the season they were not even rated. Hats off to the team and coaches.

    6. SubwayAlum_2012 says:

      Did the game go our way? Well, thats a resounding “no”. Notre Dame lost, and theres no denying that. That being said, however, this was still an amazing season that i would not trade for anything. My father and i spent a great deal of time in early August discussing potential Notre Dame outcomes for every game this year, and we came up with something like a 5-7, 6-6 record. To exceed my wildest expectations by 100% made for a magical season complete with amazing team play, a never-say-die attitude, and 2 of the most memorable goal-line stands i can remember. To watch such a dream season end in the fashion that it did was a brutal stab through the collective hearts of Irish Nation, but i for one will have nothing but the sincerest gratitude for the players, the coaches, and the support staff for delivering on an almost impossible dream: “winning the right way”
      thank you Notre Dame football, thank you so much

      go irish.

      • Winning the right way ? Stanford scored twice in overtime…robbed by refs…….Pitt should have had another shot at field goal from the 32….2 number 2s’ on the field at the same time……keep your blinders on !!!!!!

        • SubwayAlum_2012 says:

          Notre Dame has the best graduation rate this year. In that regard, the Irish are #1 with respect to what college is about; getting a degree, expanding your mind, and placing yourself in a position to be a better human. Furthermore, they were led by one of the greatest HUMAN BEINGS of this age in Manti Te’o, who boasts a GPA north of 3.3 at NOTRE DAME. So pertaining to your comment things that should have happened, didnt happen ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD, my rebuttal is that you sir, should take your blinders off. Notre Dame won games, and the players that won them will be in positions to contribute to society.

          Since you let your comments on stanford and pitt go to hypothetical land, here are my hypothetical outcomes of those two game.
          Standford gets the TD, but on the ensuing extra point attempt, Prince Shembo bench presses the offensive tackle into the holder resulting in a miss. Notre Dame wins 20-19
          Stephon Tuitt slices through C-gap and blocks the field goal against Pitt. Notre Dame wins 29-26 again.
          The ball’s in your court now. Got any more brainbusters????

        • Deployed Irish says:

          Luck swings both ways and refs make and omit bad calls all the time (reference the beautiful sideline catch and phantom interference not even reviewed Monday night). ND has been on the receiving end PLENTY, probably more often than most with no conference refs of our own. W is a W.

    7. marleyman says:

      The most telling event for me of the evening was the brief Kelly interview at the half. The look on his face seemed to relate that he had conceded the game; Notre Dame didn’t belong there. I actually felt worse for the Irish faithful who spent $2500 a seat to watch the debacle. A sad night indeed.

      However, the Irish had a great year and the program is back on track. Thanks for a great season, fellas!

      • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

        For a coach of Kelly’s pedigree to waive a white flag on national television at halftime is simply disgraceful. Kelly has done a remarkable job reviving a program that Bob Davie, Ty Willingham and Charlie Weis did their best to kill. But when the Titanic is sinking, thousands are dying and the ship’s captain tells national television reporters “honestly folks, it’s over, we’re proceeding with plans to send regrets to the family members of all those still on board” you have to wonder.

        Kelly’s comments were particularly disgraceful given the fact that he and Bob Diaco’s abysmal coaching and failure to take advantage of a month of prep to do something new was the primary reasons the players were so humiliated at the half.

        The least the architect of this little domestic disaster could do was own it and say something along the lines of “bad half, but we have proven all season we aren’t quitters and that we find a way to win and trust me … we will do that tonight.”

        Earth to Brian, swallow a couple of Cialis’s before the next National Championship Game brother and man up.

      • Irishwoman says:

        I totally agree. Kelly was not displaying the ND attitude of positive thinking and never giving up. He basically said we only have a chance if Bama didn’t show up after halftime. We lost by 28. The points made in the first half. They hung with Bama the second half and Bama wasn’t playing easy. And why didn’t he challenge Eiffert catch? Last question. Since when does ND have their names on their uniforms?

        • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

          Excellent points – both on challenging the Eifert catch – which was a catch and on the names on the back of the unit, which looked awful. Perhaps we were doomed from the jump because of that decision, who knows? But the phantom punt interference call was the dagger, and truly a game-changer. Not only did our guy not interfere, he was also clearly blocked in the back. If we score a TD and tie the game, we start believing we have a chance. Having said that, I still think we get our butts whipped. Diaco’s refusal to bring a safety down into the box and to rush 6 or 7 on obvious passing downs would’ve killed us in any case.

    8. We’ve been ALL OVER the game: Pre-game, gametime and post-game on Common Cents…

      http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

    9. Larry Delaney '60 says:

      I did not think Alabama was that good. We got embarassed!

      Maybe next year.

    10. Great analysis Vannie!

    11. Embarrassing performance. Now we have to hear all year about how overrated and lucky we were and how we didnt deserve to be there. What did they do with the last six weeks? Looks like they chased girls and drank beer and forgot how to tackle.

      • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

        We were overrated … and we clearly didn’t deserve to be there. Texas A&M rematch would clearly have been the best match up. Johnny Rotten was the only QB all year who made the Bama D look bad … and he made them look REALLY REALLY BAD. Ohio State, Oregon and Georgia would also have been far better opponents than the Irish, who, thanks to Kelly and Diaco’s abysmal play-calling, schemes, coaching and failure to make a single meaningful in-game adjustment horribly embarrassed ND nation and served to make every doubter look good. Kelly’s disgusting white flag commentary at halftime was the icing on the disaster.

    12. Rolled is putting it mildly. This game showed me just how far ND really is from winning a national title.
      Let’s be honest. Bama was bigger, stronger, faster, much better prepared for the limelight, and outcoached by a wide margin. The bottom line is winning championships and this game left a bitter pill to swallow. Congrats to Bama and one of the best coaches of all time now with 4 BCS titles.

    13. I know Alabama and Saban are very, very good but it was very evident that ND was not ready for the big stage—especially defensively….ND had a great year but, At this point, Alabama Is at least a level or two above everyone else…..I think Alabama would have beaten Oregon or any other team they might have played just as badly…To tell you the truth, as an ND alum, I was very disappointed but not really surprised…

    14. How many tackles can one defense miss? They were in position, but failed to execute the games simplest aspect – TACKLE THE DAMN BALL CARRIER!!! I wonder what Bob Diaco was scheming against?

    15. irishhawk50 says:

      Clearly Alabama was the better team, but I can’t explain why ND’s defense played so poorly. Actually Golsen and the offense were OK.In a close game I think they would have held their own even with no running game. It was a good year, far better than any of us expected and the “process” will continue next year. Go Irish!

      • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

        The defense got destroyed primarily because Diaco failed to: (1) double team Bama’s All-American linemen on running plays, (2) bring a safety down into the box to stop the run, and (3) rush 6 or 7 on obvious passing downs. The defense also got destroyed because the Tide’s offensive coordinator studied tape and knew that if the Tide shifted into certain formations, the Irish would rotate to a specified look and the Irish did so EVERY TIME. Net net, the Irish D was completely predictable and the Tide schemed to defeat the Irish’s looks. Put another way, Bob Diaco is All Grand Valley and Saban is All World.

    16. The tackling – or attempts at tackling – was atrocious. They made McCarron look like an All-American (he’s not). Didn’ help to start with some stupd penalties and some bad calls. All-around Fail. I wonder how bad the game hurt Manti’s stock. Hopefully, the Irish will have a long institutionalized memory of this whoopin’ and vow to never let it happen again.

    17. We are still proud of what you have accomplished and all that you have overcome. GO IRISH!!!

    18. Bamaforever says:

      So the mask comes off and we see the the real (non) fighting Irish. At least America could see how overrated you really are. There has been so much media bias for ND it’s incredible. Well, at least the truth came out in spades. We finally got to see what your defense and especially Te’o can do against a real team—and boy did we see a lot of nothing. I’m sure he impressed NFL scouts watching the game. If we had playoffs now, ND would not even come close to sniffing a BCS trophy. NOTE: The next time you play an SEC foe you need to first quit daydreaming about how great you are and put in the preparation it takes to compete. You embarassed yourself.

      • How much do you pay the officials for that interference call in beginning????

      • As a fomer offensive lineman, you also were able to get away with a fair amount of holding, Nix and Tuitt were held all night long. Yes, I can run the ball if I hold the other line, all night long. Just remember, ND and Miami. ND media bias??? Apparently, you missed your pal Brent cheering for ‘Bama, all night long. Kirk Herbstreit called a very good game, alongside your Alabama fan, Brent Musberger. I would rather listen to Saban or Urban Meyer call the game, that that fool, Brent. I hate listening to announcers cheering on television, even for ND, it is obnoxious.

        • For the record, Bama fans have hated Musberger for as long as you have. Gary Danielson fits in there with him too.

      • You better watch your arrogant mouth, in a few years, we are going to kick your teeth in.

      • 37-6, 1987, remember that game in South Bend, Big Boy?

      • Spooken like a true classless hater

      • In 20 years, when your guys are out of football and broke, your guys will be working for our guys.

      • What satisfaction do you get for coming onto an ND board and posting that? Far more pathetic than anything that a bunch of student-athletes did or didn’t do last night.

      • I find it interesting (and amusing) that ‘Bama fans consistently downplay their extraordinary performance by belittling the opponent , in this case, ND.
        By doing so they are, in fact, minimizing the superlative performance they exhibited.
        ND earned the right to be in this game, needed to bring their A+ game to even be competitive, and failed to do so.
        Be careful with how obnoxious and arrogant you are, ‘Bama fans. Southern California had a great run, too. As did you in the 60’s…but this is cyclicle.
        Another point:
        In no way does a 6-week lay-off mean that that teams that were playing in November are the same teams that play in mid January. Let’s do the NFL playoffs in January and the Superbowl in Mid-March!

      • As a fan of the traditional powerhouses, I love that Bama is back on top and Michigan, Ohio State and ND are at least having some success. But, you guys got your butts kicked by a Big 12 team that just joined your conference…at home. Congrats on the championship, but you still have a blemish on this season, and it is to a team most SEC fans bragged wouldn’t be able to keep up. The SEC is on top that’s for sure, but I would refer loosely to “college” in college football national championship. Grayshirting, oversigning, 70% graduation rates and graduates with wonderlic scores lower than my 10 year old niece. The SEC is basically the NFL’s minor league. Again, I love a good game, so I will be glued to the TV when Alabama plays LSU or Georgia, rooting for the tide. But, that is really not college football. Teams like Stanford and Notre Dame with actual standards are really the story even if they can’t compete yet with the NFL light teams of the SEC. That being said, BAMA looked like a finely tuned machine. It was impressive and they should be congratulated, even if they have fans like you who will revel at rubbing it in. But, I am actually more impressed with what Notre Dame and Stanford did this season given their standards. Needless to say, half of the SEC probably couldn’t pass admissions at either of those schools, but they are sure fun to watch.

        • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

          I have to say, after watching Bama dismantle the Irish – which isn’t saying much given the horrendous Irish coaching – I have newfound respect for Texas A&M and Johnny Rotten. Gig em!

      • Deployed Irish says:

        So you’re saying you’re into constructive criticism. The irony of your last sentence is not lost on us. Thanks for being a classy sore winner. Feel better? Go enjoy your team’s well-dseserved victory man! Could you please explain the University of SEC alum thing to me? Are you one of those fans that spit venom at your SEC rivals all season until the SEC plays in a bowl and magically become a fan of the entire conference? I don’t get it. Not sure I want to, but if you have the time for another constructive comment, I’d almost look forward to reading it.

        Nothing but praise for a tough Bama team. Played just about perfect. Wish we gave you the ND team that played the rest of season but we saved our worst game for last. Bummer. Congrats on a strong season and victory. Hope to see you year, every year. I mean that.

        I’d also like to point out that Bama is pretty high on their four year graduation rate, which should be lauded as well, seriously. That’s not a dig. It could be better obviously but I think its pretty good. I think 75% GR is good place for a BCS bowl cut-off value, but that’s a discussion for another time.

        As always, GO IRISH

      • Just wait until the APR look back disallows Saban to demand 75 hours a week out his players.
        Bc when the whole team are ineligible from not graduating you’ll be sidelined.

        Don’t kid yourself. This lax academic subsidy in the SEC is the only reason Saban left MSU for the south.
        And further, the only reason why miles stays at LSU. Homeboy can’t win in the north.
        Bc institutions in the north don’t subsidize their athletes with no brainier 101 course the way the south does.

        Sorry truth. And the sec poached another top caliber coach in bilema for this very reason.

    19. Disappointed to say the least. Our defense got pushed around and we weren’t wrapping up even when we did get to the running back in the back field. Arm tackle after arm tackle. Offensively there was no creativity. Throwing the ball up for grabs on forth down.. No run game.. No excuses .. They had over a month to prepare. Bama just came out a pounded the ball down our throats and we couldn’t do anything to stop it. We were better than that team displayed last night. Good season but this game hurts. Thanks for a great season you guys. Lets build off this season and learn from our mistakes this game.

    20. This humiliating thrashing by Alabama exposed many dark areas for the Irish and set them back miles despite a great regular season.
      this exposed Kelly again as a person who does not prepare well when he has more than a week. Please remember the home thrashing USC gave us last year and the horrific game plan and prep for the FSU bowl game.
      Yes Bama was better in every category but they had been exposed by many teams this year as not that dominant. they just were better prepared and had a better game plan. No one should think this team was just that much better going into the game. They weren’t. Kelly had a nice season but has a long long way to go before his is an elite coach.
      His offensive game plan was sad. He abandoned everything that got them to the big game. Fortunately Goldson played reasonably well or we could have lost by 60. The long low percentage passes on third and short were mind boggling. The lack of trying to get Goldson out of the pocket for run/pass options was also mystifying.
      On defense we had not plan. Zero pressure on a QB that got rocked by the Georgia defensive line in the SEC championship game. We will have an intact coaching staff for awhile now that Diaco will be on no ones list for a job for quite awhile.
      Overall, great regular season. In the big game–completely irrelevant

    21. Great season for the Irish! Still some work to do to catch up to Alabama. Congrats to the Tide!! Nd will be back!!!

    22. Great season, guys. Thanks for the great ride.

    23. Alabama is head and shoulders above the rest of college football and there are no signs to see that changing anytime soon. There’s stark difference between the 4 and 5 star talent that Bama recruits and the 4 and 5 star talent that ND recruits. I have been watching Notre Dame football for 25 years and I honestly don’t think we’ll ever be able to compete with a juggernaut like that Alabama team. With that said, there’s a ton of talent coming to South Bend next season and the depth chart is already loaded. Approximately 240 days till kickoff. Go Irish

    24. I was pretty down last night, but deep down I think I expected a lopsided victory for Bama. It was the first game where ND actually looked smaller than their opponent. And honestly, Bama’s O-Coordinator called a great game. Proud of this team nonetheless. It was a great season. Go Irish!

    25. First, you have to give Alabama the credit they deserve – they whipped our butts and that’s that. Why did Kelly say the Irish needed to start fast and then defer on the coin toss? Terrible calls and non-calls by the guys in the striped uniforms. I hoped for at least a good showing, but this game just overwhelms the 12-0 season. I was born in 1965 and raised an ND fan and have been painfully loyal my entire adult life. I will continue in my love and support, but I’m going to have lower my expectations. My best wishes to Manti, Tyler and all the other seniors.

    26. It was still a wonderful season for this team which continued to find itself and improve. No one has said the Irish were dominant this year, and without that, it’s not possible to take apart a machine like the Crimson Tide. It helped Alabama’s cause that they played their best game last night, almost flawless. ND just wasn’t “there,” but it probably will from now on. Go Irish!

    27. Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

      Sad end to a terrific season. Observations:

      The phantom interference with the punt returner was a game-changer. ND gets the ball and scores a TD and who knows? Eifert also clearly caught the ball on the second drive that was called incomplete due to juggling. The fact the call wasn’t overturned by replay is inexcusable.

      Kelly and Diaco clearly wasted the month of preparation and the lack of in-game adjustments was simply astonishingly bad.

      Kelly’s play-calling was awful. He repeatedly had Golson throwing the home run ball against the best CB in the nation when underneath passes were there all night. He even had Golson try a home run ball into double coverage on the crucial 4th and 5 when the game was arguably still a game. He repeatedly called running plays up the gut when it was obvious to everyone watching that such plays had no shot. None. He failed to call a single slant, a single skinny post, a single corner post, a single wheel route, a single curl route or a single reverse. How could the Irish get through an entire game without calling a single one of these basic plays? Kelly also failed to install any new wrinkles offensively. How unbelievable is that?

      For as bad as Kelly was, Diaco was worse. Everyone knew the Irish had to stop the run and we couldn’t because we refused all game to bring a safety down into the box even after Lacy had repeatedly gouged the Irish up the gut. Even more appalling was Diaco’s decision to rush 2, 3 or 4 when it was painfully obvious to everyone in the stadium the Irish needed to bring at least 6 and possibly 7 to create pressure. McCarron wasn’t touched or pressured all night. Not once!!!!

      The poor tackling was simply stunning. I rather expect it from Spond and Fox. When guys like Motta and Te’o miss tackles, you rather wonder whether some guys spent too much time on South Beach. Truly embarrassing.

      I said before the game that Davonte Neal was a concern because of his inexperience, shaky hands and tendency during the season to field punts he should have let go into zone and let go punts he should have caught. Neal pinned the Irish twice against their own goal line because of poor decisions. GAIII or Riddick clearly would have been a better choice.

      I feel bad for the team. Although Alabama was clearly the better team, the poor coaching made Notre Dame look far far more out-classed and left the team thoroughly humiliated. At halftime, you could sense that Urban Meyer knew there were adjustments he would’ve made that Kelly and Diaco simply didn’t get.

      Sad, but at the end of the day, we made it to the National Championship Game in Kelly Year 3 and Notre Dame has the 1st, 2d, or 3d best recruiting class in the country coming in next year depending upon which service you believe and several additional 4 and 5 star prep stars are still considering committing.

      All in all, a fantastic season. Go Irish!!!

      • I think the issue is more talented recruiting classes. Having played football, it is clear that we need in the area of another 2 or 3 talented recruiting classes to compete with Alabama, think ND/Miami in 1987. I do not think that Kelly had the talent to compete with Saban, at this point. I think it is incredible that we had a 12-0 season. My hats off to the senior class, thank you for such a great year, 12-1. When I watched ND in Spring practice, I thought they would be really good, but, I thought they would lose 1-2 games this year, not 5 or 6. Even Holtz can not compete without talent, as ND was beaten down by Texas A&M in 1987 Cotton Bowl. I know that Kelly will win a national title, at some point, however, he needs more talent. I thought Coach Kelly did an incredible job with the talent that he was given this year. Even the ’89 team did not win them all and they only allowed 4 rushing touchdowns, the entire year. Having played football, some games, you are going to suffer a blowout, and that is what happened, last night. As stated by Lou, “The other teams give scholarships, too.”

        • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

          Joe – You played, and your opinion is thus far more informed, but here’s the thing …

          Any team can be beaten on any given day. Perhaps because of their size and speed advantages, Bama wins this game 90 or 95 out of 100 times, … we all recognized that going in.

          Given that fact, any head coach or coordinator at this level, save ours, recognizes that he has to make significant scheme changes, take significant risks and recognize your own weaknesses.

          It was obvious to anyone who watched each of this year’s games that the Irish were not going to generate a pass rush against arguably the best O line in history unless they consistently brought the house as the Bears did in the 1985 Super Bowl. Can jailbreaks be beaten? Of course, but if rush 6, play press man, and have your corners jump the hot reads and short routes, you are certain to get picks. I’m not sure if 6 would have generated pressure against this line, but you can always go to 7. Instead, Diaco elected to rush 2, 3 or 4 and A.J. McCarron read cross-word puzzles before going through his progressions. Stevie Wonder would’ve brought a safety down into the box to stop the run after the first drive. We didn’t do it once ALL GAME!!!

          No head coach at this level would’ve had Davonte Neal take punts in a game of this magnitude. He hadn’t broken one all year and the tape shows he consistently did what he did on Monday – make poor decisions on whether and where to field punts and everyone knew his hands would be shaky.

          Kelly’s play-calling was atrocious. He consistently called home run passes that required precision down field passes against the best corner in the country. Golson improved as a passer during the course of the season, but the tape of this years games showed he couldn’t consistently throw the deep routes. The runs up the gut were idiotic and destined to fail.

          No slants, curls, wheels, corner posts, skinny posts or reverses. Not one Joe!!!

          High school coaches at elite programs, like my alma mater, St. X in Cincinnati, regularly do a better job coaching on Fridays than Kelly and Diaco did on Monday.

          Could Urban Meyer have coached the Irish to victory Monday night? I don’t know, but he’d have done a damn sight better than Kelly and he wouldn’t have trashed his own team’s chances of winning at the half, you can bet the house on that.

      • Sounds like the cheating that existed in ’91, Rocket Ismail against Colorado.

    28. Tide proved that they are the best team in the nation, but ND is still in the Top 5, an incredible accomplishment. You should post your pre-season poll to show how the Irish exceeded even their most optimistic supporters in 2012.

      The post-game press conference with Kelly and team members was an eye opener. Never realized that Everett Golson was that diminutive, especially sitting next to Tyler or in contrast to Alabama’s 6’4″ A. J. McCarron. Everett’s small size makes his accomplishments this year that much more remarkable.

      As to the coming season, the Irish should continue to improve, which after 12 & 1, is the real challenge.

      Congratulations to the entire Irish team, its coaching staff and the University. Well done.

      • Bamaforever says:

        Still in the top 5–according to some folks But Las Vegas oddsmakers came out and said that Notre Dame would be the seventh best team in the SEC—and that was before Alabama took you to the woodshed.

      • Cograts Bama, not just on a great victory, but a tremendous graduation rate and players who sound like they can barely speak English. Camera couldn’t cut away fast enough on those post game interviews. See what you and most other FBS schools fail to realize is that these are STUDENT athletes who going to school AND playing football. The SCHOLARships are given for football, yes, but the assumption is that the athlete will try apply himself in the classroom, so that when his football days are long gone, he will have a degree to see him through the remaining 50 years of his life. Sitting through that game was hard but I never lost my cool once because I love my Irish, not just for football, but for virtues that transcend the crystal ball. Bama, you can win all the championships you want, but don’t ever kid yourself that you are half the institution that Notre Dame. When you put your head on the pillow at night, you know this is true and it kills you to admit. Thank you so much for a GREAT GREAT season. Hold your heads high, look to a great future both on and off the field.

    29. To Bob Howsam, Jr…
      Bob, I think Tyler Eifert’s bobbling non-catch was a non-catch. He had it in his hands, but then he rolls it on his helmet while stepping on the white line. It was a good call, I think. Sorry, man.

      Tough, also, to say if we got jobbed on the halo call. Could have gone either way.

      • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

        First, pinning the ball to your helmet does not, under the rules, constitute a bobble. He had possession throughout the catch and, irrespective of whether it was a catch, Kelly has to challenge the call.

        Second, there is no halo rule in college football anymore. All the rule requires is that the punt returner be given an opportunity to catch the ball. The Irish defender didn’t cause the fumble, the receiver’s own teammate did. Moreover, the refs cannot call interference in that situation where the defender is blocked into the punt returner. In this case, the defender was blocked in the back into a place where the refs determined was interference. Even assuming, arguendo, that the defender interfered, an offsetting penalty should have been flagged against Bama for blocking in the back. This play happened bang-bang … most of us felt the bullet pierce our hearts – but that’s why you have replay. The replay booth presumably has the TV look, and we all saw what I just described. Even Musberger and Herbstreit agreed it was a “terrible” call.

    30. Whitecoat says:

      That was miserable. Kelly and his coaches must be accountable for that disaster. The team was nowhere near ready to compete. It was as though it was the first game of the season all over again, and that’s coaching’s fault, or lack of it. Obvously the scheme for preparedness was wanting, and Kelly’s game plan was terrible. He was spooked out of the manner in which you compete against a stronger opponent, and had zero in surprise to the Tide. They had scoped ND out fully for 27 days in every facet, and Kellly just did the same thing they scoped, and he had 41 days.

      If you guys think Golson did a good job, then you did not see the same game I did. He was like a deer in the headlights in the first half, and recovered somewhat in the 2nd half, but the deed was done. Kelly should have pulled him in the first half. Perhaps Gunner Kiel now might have a chance to compete for the position next year, because Golson has shown what Tom Lemming said about ND winning a NC……it won’t happen with Rees or Golson.
      Whitecoat – Class of ’62

    31. Notre Dame was out “big game” coached. This team is better than it played, they did a lot of things they haven’t done all season, the coaches clearly over thought their game plan. They didn’t run the ball at all, the deep passes to Eifert didn’t happen all season.

      Saban knows how the put his team in neutral during the long layoff then blast them off for the big game, ND was flat, they didn’t have their legs. Also AJ McCarron is garbage he looked like a number one pick.

      Moving forward ND will lose some recruits (I pray to the football gods Jaylon Smith stays), look for Gunner Kiel to get a long look at starting. For the defense, stopping the run is solid, but ND has to get after the QB and play more corners against four and five WRs, no more bend but don’t break play calling.

    32. They spiked the drinking water in the Irish locker room.

    33. A lot of people said before last season started that the 2013 team was going to be great, and that the 2012 season was going to be ok, but nothing special – building a foundation for next year.

      But this team just kept winning, all the other teams kept losing and lo and behold we were undefeated and #1 and in the BCS game – a year before we were supposed to be there. We were overmatched and whipped by a superior opponent. I can’t help thinking of the 1988 Cotton Bowl when Texas A&M whipped our butt, and the players on that 1988 crew must have thought about that a lot.

      Will the team – players and coaches- learn from last night? I suyre do think so. This

    34. TEAM – players and coaches alike gets better every year.

      231 days until the season starts.

      Thanks, seniors.

    35. Congratulations to the ND Irish for a great season! From a Bama fan let me thank you all for being truly gracious in the pregame activities and even more in the post game coverage. We Bama fans know this sting all to well (LSU in 2011 and A&M this year) and good things come from bad losses. It was nice to have a National Championship run in which both teams truly respected the other. The best/worst part of the game is that there can only be one winner on the scoreboard. The class shown by both teams and fanbases was a win for all though!

    36. classof98 says:

      Disappointing night. I figured Bama would win, but I liked our chances and thought it would be a closer game. Just comes down to the fact that Bama is flat out a much better team this year.

      I’m proud of the team and the coaching staff. There was no lack of effort or heart, they were just outplayed by a superior team. It’s easy to point to Kelly and blame him for poor preparation, poor game planning, etc. These days people have a tendency to blame someone for everything that doesn’t go the way they want it to. But I didn’t see any evidence that Kelly failed to adequately prepare. I saw evidence that we were beat by a clearly superior team. The result probably would have been the same if Knute Rockne or Holtz were coaching.

      How about also giving credit where credit is due – Kelly took an unranked team with a redshirt freshman at QB and went undefeated. He, the coaching staff, and most importantly, the players, gave us an outstanding season, and they should be proud of what they accomplished.

      Thanks for a great 2012!

    37. NDBonecrusher says:

      Now hold on just a minute. Enough of the “this whole year was a colossal failure blah blah blah” crap. NONE OF YOU, and certainly not me, ever dreamed that ND would run the table this year. Yeah, we got spanked pretty hard last night. But except for 2 teams, everyone else in the country was watching that game from home. So stop feeling sorry for yourselves and whining about the calls. Alabama clearly whooped our asses, but at least we were there. That is a feat NOBODY predicted.
      Rub some dirt on it, take a lap, and get ready for next season. But most of all, get some freakin’ perspective.
      See you at the Blue & Gold Game.

      • Yeah. And the facts are we’ll know when we’re “Alabama good” when we start outscoring our opponents by an average of 35 points. As Kelly said, “get used to it”. Trouble is, as I peek ahead, our schedule looks lighter next year so to bludgeon ourselves into shape for these formidable SEC squads is going to take a whole lot of self discipline since, to reach the highest level, we will not be able to measure ourselves against the Big fat 10.
        Go Irish

    38. Did the players explain the poor tackling? That was hard to watch. Like others from the midwest you can go east or west, but stay out of the south. It’s a different brand of football, and as great a season as we had, we are not tough enough yet for the SEC. And it makes me sick to say that.

    39. Overall, another embarassing night to be an Irish fan, in a season where I almost forgot being an Irish fan leads to embarassment. Playing your worst game of the year, against your best opponent of the year clearly creates a bad situation! I don’t think we would’ve beaten Navy or Wake Forrest playing that listless and flat. It reeked of a total lack of preparation. We were worried about the players partying and drinking, but heck, the coaches were apparenly the worst of them all!

      Kelly called the deep ball constantly, including on 3rd and shorts and 4th and shorts. Wouldn’t run towards the edge when it was clear the middle was going nowhere. He used none of those nifty plays that got us to this point, let alone any trick pIays or new wrinkles. What happened to that play where Goodman throws a bomb, for example, or the reverse play to GAIII? On the other side, what was Diaco’s game plan? Dialing up zero pressure? Running prevent pass coverage? I mean, I guess it is a question how much of this failure is due to poor coaching versus the players inability to simply do what the coaches want them too. But it’s been awhile since I’ve seen anyone in a Notre Dame uniform But either way it was a disaster I feel bad for the players in some ways as even though Bama is a monster team, I think we could’ve/should’ve definitely represented ourselves better in the national eye. But hey maybe sometimes you gotta get into these BCS situations, to learn how to deal with them better as a team. Hopefully the experience from this unfortunate showing will teach the ND coaches, as well as the players, how to survive in a BCS pressure cooker in the future. Great season guys! Sadly, terrible post season. May you learn from your mistakes and be ready next time. Go Irish!

    40. agree with all the great season comments –it was! But Kelly is not a big time coach or at least he has yet to show it. ND is not as bad as they looked. They were poorly prepared the game plan, play calling and preparation were all suboptimal and in fact dismal. that all falls on Kelly. I do think we made great strides but we took some huge steps backward last night and Kelly has a lot to do to prove he is a big time coach.

    41. GraceHallChapel86 says:

      I feel like I’ve been trampled by a herd of elephants. That hangover from being plastered makes thinking pretty difficult, but we need to do it anyway.

      We should all be reminded that very few thought Notre Dame would beat the likes of Oklahoma and USC, and most thought they’d have one or two losses on top of those. Many would have been moderately satisfied with a 3 loss season and a win over an ACC team in a secondary bowl, and would have been thrilled with a 2 loss season and a BCS bid. Come on, NO ONE thought we’d have a shot at the title.The fact is, we overperformed during the season, other key teams underperformed at key junctures, and against all odds we ended up playing a team that was simply way ahead of us. It should have been closer, yes. Alabama was simply superior in pretty much everyway, knew the stage and the pressure well, and that was that. But we made it there. I for one am very glad we didn’t lose to Pitt and Stanford, ending up playing Nebraska or somebody.

      I simply do not buy the cries that somehow this was our last shot and we’ll never get another title. On the contrary, I think it’s a matter of time.

      KUDOS to Kelly, his staff, and the team. Incredible job, men. We are proud of you and this gift of a season you gave us, and we know you’ll give us many more in years to come.

    42. irishhawk50 says:

      Clearly Notre Dame is not as bad as they looked against Alabama nor is Florida as bad as they looked against Louisville. Notre Dame was not prepared mentally or physically for this game. As someone else posted the game plan was obviously not very good and Alabama was well prepped and better coached. I think those of us who followed game by game this season realized ND caught some lucky breaks and the front seven protected a weak secondary. This team was clearly better than last year’s team but a couple of breaks last year might have given them a 10-2 record and them same could be said that without the breaks that went our way this year we could have easily ended up 10-2. The “process” must continue and a winning tradition and mind set must be instilled in this program, it will take time but we have the faith. Go Irish!

    43. Mr. Howsam’s reply was dead on. The center of the field was wide open. I dont think i have seen CBK call a slant or screen pass all season. Still proud of our boys. Next year will tell if we learned from this to get better or if this will still sting into next season.

    44. hey 12 wins after many, many years of losing. they had a bad night – get over it.

    45. I am not an alum of ND, my husband is but. I’m an Irish worshiper. No matter what happened I am still so proud of ND football. It just showed they were not ready for the big stage. Time to go back to work boys

    46. I’ll bet this was a particularly painful article/game summary to write. Especially after the excitement and expectations generated by a 12-0 regular season. ND cannot be that bad, nor the Red Elephants that good, as seen in Sun Life Stadium last night. The IRISH did not look well prepared for the game. Even though Coach Kelly took the “business” approach in attempting to get the team ready, the climate, both on and off the field, seemed to overwhelm the lads. Maybe he should have just set the curfew at 2:00 AM and the the guys enjoy SoFlo.

    47. Notre Dame saved its worst game of the year for the same day that Alabama saved its best game of the year. The result does not necessarily reflect the true ability of the two teams. It was like a bad repeat of the Pittsburg game, except that Bama never took its foot off the gas pedal. I get the impression that Bama is a momentum team, and once it smells blood it just goes for the kill. That is what happened last night.

    48. First thing is first, we probably didn’t belong in that game. We are smaller and weaker than the SEC conference. I tried to convince my self otherwise, but this game and the other bowl games have shown nothing but despair for teams outside the mighty SEC. I despise this conference and what they are affiliated with. Despite this they are the best in football, for now. I am sure that promising Pac 12 and Big 10 teams are preparing to give them a run for their money. Teams outside are beginning to look in, and former powerhouses like Auburn are dwindling. This game has proven that the SEC rain will continue for a while but, when it does end, I predict that the fighting Irish will have something to do with it.

    49. Yeah a real butt whipping but we will be back. ND should still claim a co-title for winning the “regualr season” polls. Of course the Tide would never do that! Maybe even add a 22 or 23 to their helmets for next year.

    50. i am a Irish fan and wrote about 5 weeks ago about watching SEC foots from Atlanta the last 35 years. This is not the Big 10 down here, the SEC is just on a different level with the passion and speed you see in every conference game. The only team that could beat Bama would be another SEC team. As i wrote the last time, you either get speed or chase it,and ND had never seen the game this quick, i was pulling for the boys but in my heart i knew they would not pull it off but i did think they could keep it close but instead they were beaten like a tied up goat. Very disappointed!

    51. Alabama is the better team, but this is truly a disappointing and heartbreaking way to end an otherwise Cinderella season. There were some crap calls in the first quarter, but I’m not sure if it would have altered the outcome to any significant degree. Dee Milliner was all over Tyler Eifert like an 18yr old marine on a stripper, but the refs never called pass interference.

      I believe the score could have been more respectable if ND was properly prepared, but it seems the longer Brian Kelly and staff get to prepare the worse they play. The ND coaching staff, especially Diaco, were flummoxed all night which was duly noted by Kirk Herbstreit. I certainly hope they learn some lessons from this humiliating defeat.

      On the positive side, my hat is off to a great, over achieving senior class. Thanks for the memories and the 2012 edition of the Fighting Irish were truly a special group of young men. I wish the outgoing seniors the best of luck in their future endeavors and the returning players to build on what they accomplished this year.

    52. Don’t think Alabama was all that great this year. They barely beat LSU, lost to A&M at home and barely beat Georgia. I know these were good teams but it showed that Alabama was beatable. But when u watched us play them it didn look like we belonged anywhere near that game. That’s what disappoints me the most. I thought in beginning of game we were two touchdown underdogs. When I said that I thought ok we would be right in game within 7points and Alabama was better so they probably would score a late touchdown and final score would be like 38 to 24.. But 42 to 14 made actually doesn’t show how bad we were especially on defense. No excuse for this kind of play. Remember this game u guys and use it as motivation Next year.. It takes complete effort from beginning of game to end.

    53. I grew up in East Tennessee. I got up every Sunday morning and couldn’t wait for the Notre Dame replay. Listening to Lindsey Nelson say, “Michigan was unable to sustain a drive and punted to Notre Dame.” I liked the Vols too, but I still get chills thinking about those Sunday mornings watching Notre Dame.

      I moved to Nashville in 1969 as a 10 year old and over the years became a Vanderbilt fan. Those gold helmets made me think about those Sunday mornings and Notre Dame. I’ve watched SEC football for close to 50 years now and have seen some great teams. UT, Bama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Arkansas and many teams outside the SEC. I played football in highschool and wished over the years that I had gone on to play in college. Looking back, I know it was a good thing that I didn’t. I can still walk and enjoy myself.

      That being said, I have an opinion for all the Notre Dame fans. The Irish didn’t have an “off night” last night. The only thing they did wrong, was play Alabama. Notre Dame would have a tuff time beating six teams in the SEC. I’m not trash talking either. I’m just stating a fact. I would love to see the Irish do good. Notre Dame needs to know that until they recruit better and work harder, this is the way it’s going to be.

      If Brian Kelly tells the truth, he will say the same thing, he knows it. You could see it in his deer in the headlight eyes when he was going in for halftime. If there was ever a belief that his team could compete in the upper echelon of college football, Alabama rolled it out of him. They didn’t do anything wrong, they just have to get better. I hope they do. I’m pulling for Notre Dame and I feel for all their fans.

      Stop believing all the goofballs that tell you how good you are. Get to work and make yourselves great.

      • I just can’t sit here and listen to your non-trash-talking trash talking. ND would lose to six SEC teams? You mean the two that lost to an ACC and Big East team? Or the ones who played rather mediocre Big Ten teams and won? Notre Dame was not prepared to play that game against Alabama and it showed after the first two plays of the game. They were diving at Lacy’s feet instead of hitting him and arm tackling. To put it simply, they were allowed to spend the break watching ESPN and listening to clowns who sound like you do tell them that they shouldn’t even show up. Notre Dame stuffed the kid from Stanford is every bit as good as Lacy, so it’s not that Lacy or the rest of Alabama or the entire SEC walks on water. They just weren’t prepared, period.

    54. This game smacked of the 2001 Fiesta Bowl exposure. Granted, we’re not “there” yet and nobody expected us to be, but man, in hindsight the best thing for this team was to lose to Pitt on that missed FG and play in a regular BCS game. Baby steps would’ve been better than biting off way more than we can chew.

      Oh well, hindsight is what it is. Ugly game, great season.

    55. As you people sadly again and again tell yourselves this was a great season, it makes me want to puke, It was all for nothing and this game was disgusting, humiliating and embarrassing ro any Irish fan. They were not ready due to the ignorance of one Brian Kelly and his pathetic coaching. Golson should be a super star but just like many other Q-Backs that have gone through Notre Dame in recent years with less than anywhere near good coaching – he will wind up like all the rest. Kelly is not the answer and they win inspite of the jerk. Please look at the preperation after this game and last year with Florida State. Now I hope for all our sakes Notre Dame does NOT go out and extend this loser for another 10 years so we can fire him and pay him forever. Get some gumption people. This was sickening to me and will be for a long time. And for the guy that said he believes we will improve next year. Hard to improve on an undefeated season and hard to be disgusting in your next game, but they did it. This is not the time to get over it – it is time to hold some somebody accountable for this nauseating performance after having 6 weeks to get ready.

    56. chrisnd93 says:

      Hey, you know what, crap happens. That’s life. At least these guys graduate, go on and do things that don’t involve professional football, and actually make a difference in someone’s life. Outside of the one or two stellar scholar-athletes such as Barrett Jones with his Bachelor’s and Masters in Accountancy, most of the rest of that team will fit right in with Trent “Goodest” Richardson. Too bad the NCAA doesn’t actually punish schools with abysmal GSR ratings, but I guess that would leave Notre Dame playing Northwestern or Duke for the National Championship every year, and ESPN couldn’t tolerate that.

      It was a fun season to watch. Despite what happened last night, there will never be a time that I won’t call myself or identify as a “Notre Dame” fan and “Notre Dame” alumni. I will take 12-1 and a trip to a BCS game over a 6-6 season any day of the year, and it certainly was fun to watch Notre Dame play this late in January. 2013 is the year in which the Fighting Irish reclaim their title as the “Winningest Program” in college football.

      Go Irish!

    57. The underclassmen got a close up look at a great team.

      Can they do it too?

      Time will tell.

    58. For all of the detractors who say we didn’t belong in this game, we were the only eligible team to finish undefeated. Of course, we belonged. We lost to a better team. Hopefully, the Irish will respond with a great off season and a strong finish to recruiting. I, for one, will treasure the memories of the season including the experience of being at the NC game, something that seemed a pipe dream only five months ago. I’m already looking forward to the fall. Go Irish!

    59. tom hurak says:

      I do not know why the Irish played so poor , we have the talent and we have hid our secondary all year. We all know how hard it is to get here , we were 12-0 and lucky but so was Alabama , it could have been Ohio State , Ga , Oregon or Stanford just as easy , somehow we have to get bigger and faster and we will , I have confidence that Kelly knows what to do but can we get back here ?
      We can’t count on Pitt to miss a 30 yard field goal or for KSU and Oregon to both go down so we get in.
      We have to take control and get depth , our class comming in looks great.
      Go Irish and thanks for giving me and my family great memories this year !

    60. ND Chicago says:

      Good coaches don’t get blown off the field with a month and half to prepare. That’s totally inexcusable in a game of this magnitude, even to a superior team. Also, it’s a disgrace that in year 3 Kelly hasn’t managed to develop a punt return unit capable of making a fair catch without it being an adventure or finding someone to put back there who knows to let the ball go if its inside the ten yard line. Finally, what is the offensive identity of this team? Is it a spread offense or a smash mouth power running team. Pick one, recruit to it, and become proficient. It was a great year, but there are still a lot of questions moving forward. Go irish!!!

      • My feelings exactly ND Chicago, Kelly is suppose to be an offensive guru, but we could hardly move the ball on these guys. There seems to be more questions than answers on our offense, and after three years of building there shouldn’t be. Also agree with the special teams like where is the blocking on kick and punt returns? After watching the game it looks like we’re still light years away. I am 59 yrs old and I would really like to see one more title before I check out . I’m tired of hearing ” We’re a year away “

        • We’re a year away.

          • marleyman says:

            Nonsense. Tom Osborne got blown away several times in bowl games before he won 3 National Champioships at Nebraska. Brian Kelly has won everywhere he has gone. He is an undefeated, championship coach. The detractors on this site amaze me! The Irish got spanked by a better team, but they will be back next year and compete for another BCS bid. Can’t wait ’til next season!

        • Lyn Beauchene says:

          Hey, I’m eighty years old and never expected to see this. I think Kelly needs to learn to diversigy the offense, but he will be a better coach for it and we will be back and I hope to get one more chance to see Irish greatness.

    61. While it was a disappointing outcome, championship-caliber programs are not built overnight, even at Alabama, where Saban was 6-6 and 12-2 in his first two seasons. ND has come from the squalor of mediocrity to a legitimate Top 10 program in three short years. Kelly has had to mature and learn to be a more sophisticated leader and manager (he’s 10 years younger than Saban), and from that success will come greater depth in personnel and higher levels of performance, discipline and strength among the team.

      Sure, Alabama kicked our butt on Monday night, and nitpicking at the game plan wasn’t going to change that outcome. Kelly led with his best weapon (defense) to see how the game would play out, and he saw the answer very quickly. The ND defense hasn’t seen the strength, speed and stamina of that kind of program in years…. maybe USC at its peak. ND has no reason to be ashamed — it lost to Alabama (what’s Florida’s excuse?). 12-1 and a Top 5 or so finish — a great year.

    62. Note to Bamaforever – Do you trash all the teams you beat convincingly? You had a great game at the right time. Why not leave it at that and cut the SEC chest pounding? By the way, the SEC really did the job against Northwestern, Clemson, and Louisville, didn’t they? Remember, you lost during the regular season and Notre Dame did not. Guess what, if Ohio State hadn’t been suspended this year, Alabama would not have had the opportunity to play for the championship. It would have been ND and OSU.

    63. Jack McGee says:

      It’s obvious, in hindsight, to see that this team was not ready. That’s the coaches’ direct failure. However, any one who saw LSU and Alabama would have known that Notre Dame needed a golden night, and it did not glow in the heavens last night at all. The opening bad calls by officials were very dubious in such a venue. Whatever the Irish game plan was, I couldn’t discern it.
      In the end, Alabama did what Alabama does; blisters the opponent and makes them earn any sort of victory. It’s called “toughness” and Notre Dame showed that all year long and last night as well; they took it and did not cry. So, no excuses and no forgetting either; they beat ND fair and square.

    64. No doubt about it, the officials gave Alabama an officiating advantage, omitting penalties to Alabama on specific dirty plays. But this merely added to Alabama’s superiority. They would have won regardless of eliminating certain bad calls and dirty Alabama plays.

    65. Kelly Gruene says:

      How many teams played 13 games and only lost 1? Three: ‘Bama, Oregon, ND. There were no undefeated teams among those that played 13 games. It’s tough to play 13 games and not lose any. ND just happened to lose its last game (and in grand fashion!).
      ND coaches will have to do a better job preparing for future big games. The players will have to play better (actually make tackles!) in future big games. The bright side? There will be future big games.
      Recruits follow teams that make it to big games. Could ND lose a recruit or two? Sure, but they’ll gain as many as they lose.
      Good things are ahead. Be prepared!

    66. Kelly was exposed as a “very average game coach”. Punt return team is pathetic. Never tried to run the ball. 4th down call was stupid , throw lob to eifert not a small receiver. When u give an honest assessment of the season you should admit nd had alot of close games against average teams that went their way . Purdue,mich,byu,Pitt . Btw Irish basketball is alive & well 14-1

      • Brian Legan says:

        Alabama is on a different level than any program in the nation. They are the best at getting ready to play in a big game and I don’t think LSU or Florida looked very good and they are from the super SEC. ND doesn’t deserve to be lumped into the lower group of teams just because they had a bad game against a Dynasty. They are on the rise and the Coach is learning. If he sticks to the “PROCESS” they will get stronger, faster and more experienced. Arrow pointing up and they now know how much farther they have to go. They should have played better to at least to the tune of 28 – 14 and wouldn’t be taking a beating in the press. Bring on basketball season!

    67. Bill Rueter says:

      At this point we don’t have Bama’s talent. Their two running backs were far and away the best that I have seen this year. We just could not bring them down.I think we are only going to better in the years to come as our recruiying improves.

    68. Gmoney321 says:

      Agree with Dan Legan’s comment…this year’s team could have been 7-5 and were 12-0 only because of the coaches on the other side and the “double deuce defense” against Pitt. Not criticizng Kelly, beacuse I am sure he knows it as well. He is on the right track, I think. The question is how does a 9-3 or 8-4 season in 2013 trend for him and the team after this year?

    69. To Dan Legan, I think Kelly is a very good coach. He maximized the talent he had on hand and covered deficiencies all year! He taught the guys how to win close games, drastically improved toughness and conditioning, and instilled a winning attitude. It was clear to me that whatever game plan Kelly had drawn up had to be thrown out the window as soon as Alabama exploded in the first quarter. Why the heck would we run the ball when down 21-0 in the first quarter? At that point it wasn’t panic time, but definitely “urgent” time, and we needed a touchdown FAST. Running the ball to a “three and out” wasn’t going to get us anywhere.

    70. I, for one am not disappointed in the 2012/2013 season. I am disappointed that the Irish lost Monday night but you cannot hang the success or failures of this team on one game. Five months ago no one outside of the Notre Dame locker room thought they had chance to accompish what they went out and did accomplish throughout the season. For many seasons fans have set the bar high for our Irish teams only to see them fall well short of those expectations. Now this season the bar wasn’ as high and the Irish exeeded everyone’s expectations only to be criticized for their shortcomings in the game that only mattered most to some. They played 13, lost 1. To me that’s a hell of a season. Nothing to be ashamed of.
      Alabama was the better team Monday night, kudos to them. Congratulations!!!!!
      I’m not one to bitch about officiating orabout calls or non calls because lets face it Notre Dame was the beneficiary of some during the season however, I’d have to question two in the first quarter. Not that they would have changed the outcome but why wasn’t Eiferts catch down the sideline reviewed? And, the punt catching interference call was awful. Any momentum Notre Dame would have gained was sucked right out of them on a bad call. Anyway it is what it is.
      Looking forward to next year.
      “GO IRISH”

    71. What a great year for the Irish with so many exciting wins. All teams that finished better than 12 and 1 can boast of being better. ND will get better–soon! Thanks—-a great year and GO IRISH !!!

    72. irishhawk50 says:

      I think as the sting of this loss wears off people will realize it was a pretty good year. Looking back over the records of the last 50 years there were very few with no losses or one loss. Even Parseghian, Devine and Holtz only had a handful. So keep things in perspective. I think we are all thinking of a BCS title run again next year. Were we thinking that last year at this time? The program is clearly on the upswing. Let’s enjoy the ride. Go Irish!

    73. TWO THINGS, IN THE SECOND HALF THERE WAS ONE ALABAMA PLAY THAT SAID IT ALL. ONE OF THEIR RB CAME OUT OF THE BACKFIELD AND A ND PLAYER BOUNCED OFF HIM LIKE A RUBBER BALL RIGHT ONTO HIS BUTT. I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS IN ALL MY YEARS.

      SECOND I WONDER ABOUT THE SIZE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO TEAMS. COULD THERE BE SOME DRUG DIFFERENCE INVOLVED???

    74. Avon Domer says:

      I think your “Manti who?” comment is a disgraceful insult to a young man who has done more for the University of Notre Dame and its football program than anyone since quite possibly Knute Rockne! Did Manti and his fellow defenders have a bad game and get manhandled by Alabama, they certainly did, but that hardly calls for such a snide comment.

      That said, I couldn’t be prouder of our footbal team in what they accomplished this year and the direction the program is going under Brian Kelly. After what we’ve seen under the Davie, O’Liar, Willingham and Weis regimes, can’t we all take a deep breath and realize that ND just posted an undefeated season, played in the national championship game, has a ton of great talent coming back and a top-5 recruiting class coming in?!!! I say stop all the whining and let’s look forward to a great future for Notre Dame Football. GO IRISH!!!

    75. Alabama was clearly the better team but I do not think Kelly had them properly prepared.
      When I heard Kelly say the team that makes ‘the most mistakes’ will win I assumed he misspoke. But he repeated it. The Game plan reflected that thought and it was bad in all aspects.

      Neal, an elite recruit, did nothing with the return game this year except avoid big mistakes. He saved his worst for this game making bad decisions and then turning the ball over.

      But, in August no one predicted that we’d win 12 and get to this game. Hats off to a very good team that had a great season due to a great senior class. I hope Kapron heals well and fast. He deserves a shot at the NFL.

      • When did Neal turn the ball over? Were you watching the same game as everyone else? He fumbled and at least had the presence of mind to knock the ball out of bounds before Bama’s defender was able to pick it up.

    76. When is someone going to ask “How is it REALY that SEC teams consistenly out perform all other conferences?” I’m guessing size and strength of playesr…steroids use. And roster, or the ability of schools like AL to “gray shirt” players and inflat the #s. Come on, does anyone really think they’re smarter in the South?

    77. Congratulations to Notre Dame on a tremendously successful season. I know the game on Monday night hurt but you can enjoy the good times and learn from the defeat.
      Alabama really is that good. They can be beat but Notre Dame is not at the level of speed or strength that most of the SEC is at this time. The weekly challenge by good teams with the SEC conference championship goal increase incentive and ability. It is an almost impossible gauntlet. Notre Dame does not experience the same level of competition that SEC teams do because they are not involved in conference play.
      Many of the media wanted to see Notre Dame play Bama close so they hyped the results of a weaker schedule and the probability of an exciting game. That makes for better TV ratings but it also gave many a false sense of confidence. Did the team buy into that? I don’t know but many fans did.
      The Irish football team played and accepted defeat with class and never quit. You have much to be proud of and belittling people in Alabama or our players as ignorant is not going to lessen the sting of losing. It doesn’t serve you well. People are the same wherever you go, some are better in ways others are not.
      Thank you for a memorable game that adds to the history of college football. You didn’t come out on top of this one but it can be the catalyst of better outcomes for Notre Dame football. Good luck except when we meet. Roll Tide!

      • A memorable game? Really? You want to remember this game? I sure as hell don’t. However, I agree with you that I am still proud of all that this team has accomplished in three seasons. It shows that the program is truly headed in the right direction. And, for those of you who still lump Weis in with the other two, get yout head on straight. If it weren’t for Weis, recruiting wouldn’t be going anywhere nesr the direction it is going now. Granted, Weis was not a player developer or gameday coach, but he knew talent and restored pipelines that had stopped flowing after Holtz left the program.

    78. CajunCrimson says:

      I am a bit disappointed by some of the comments (which I’m sure that those of you that made the comments probably won’t care). We are from the South — we were born here, live here, love here and die here. We kiss our kids on the forehead as they say their prayers. We put our arm around our wives while watching our favorite teams play.

      Our accents might be a little different. But we work hard – and are usually the most polite people you’ll ever meet. When we say “Yes Ma’am” we mean it. When we tell our Daddy “Yes Sir” we mean it.

      This team does things the right way — they follow Coach Saban’s process perfectly. They eat right, they train hard, and yes, they graduate. But because their accent is a little “thick” – they aren’t stupid. Far from it….

      Notre Dame has a reputation built on their History of winning. Most of your fans have class. Bama has a reputation built on their History of winning. Most of our fan have class too. They laced it up — and one team was far out-manned, this time. Shake hands, and move on……

      We aren’t stupid — we know that we are in the middle of a special time…. we’ve had our ups and downs as well. Right now we are up — and we are enjoying it. But, one thing we learned on our way back up…… excuses, name calling, and complaining about every little call — will NEVER make you feel better….all it does it make you look like a sore loser.

      Maybe the refs missed a call — every “bad” call you discussed could have easily been argued either way. On NDs first TD drive — I counted three bad calls in a row — one sideline reception, two – the mystery “helmet to helmet” call, and the “foot out of bounds at the 5″ reception…. not hearing anyone complain about those…..

      I also saw a mystery holding call on Norwood — where he wasn’t even touching the DB at all….

      That’s football —
      That’s life —

      None of us played in that game — but we all feel like we did.

      RTR – and good luck next season — may this be the first of many BCS games for you and the Irish!

      • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

        Very classy post. I had a friend at the game who said the Bama fans were extremely classy.

    79. Congrats ND on a great run. 12-0 and making it to the NC really IS something.

      The game itself? I just don’t know WHAT to say. It is what it is, I guess. Nothing else can (or probably SHOULD) be said about it.

      Still though, I came to congratulate you for the season and to extend a little class from the Bama Nation.

      RTR

    80. I cannot understand why Coach Kelly did not exploite the center of the field with screen, delays, draws and crossing routes over the middle with Bama doing all that blitzing.

    81. This game hurt and will for a while. But we are on the right track. Now we know what we have to do to compete for a National Championship! I for one, see that ND has to do two things to get to that level of ALABAMA! They are:

      1.) If ND can get rid of some of these games we got coming up like Texas or Syracuse and replace them with some SEC teams like Florida, Georgia, LSU or even Alabama? Do it! Because….TO BE THE BEST…..YOU HAVE TO BEAT THE BEST!!!!!!
      2.) Go get those types of linemen on both sides OF THE BALL that ALABAMA has!!!! I would never trade who WE have but the strength, power, and agility that Alabama has was AWESOME!

      I WANT TO PERSONALLY THANK BK AND THE BOYS FOR A GOOD SEASON!!!! YOU GUYS ARE RESTORING PRIDE AND PURPOSE BACK TO ND!!!!

      AS ALMOST AND FOREVER……GO IRISH…WE ARE ND!!!!!

    82. I cant figure out why on earth the Eagles would interview a coach who has no offensive imagination and cant prepare for a big game. I also cant figure out the arrogance of Kelly to even think about interviewing for a job far out of his league

    83. Let him go
      BK is not the man….for the Irish.

    84. irishhawk50 says:

      We are fans, many life-long. The reality is its a business and coaches are business men. I had hoped Kelly would stay around long enough to rebuild the program and then pass the torch. Hopefully, the recruits are more committed to Notre Dame than the coaching staff. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out.

    85. irishhawk50 says:

      Hate to say it but maybe Kelly should have been more concerned about preparing for Alabama on Monday night and less about meeting the Eagles the next day. Wonder how many days in advance of the BCS game he knew of his upcoming meeting with the Eagles?

    86. “They ran the ball effectively. For us, we’ve been able to manage the run game. They were able to run the ball effectively, and then obviously when you do that, it opens up so much of the play‑action game,” Kelly said afterwards.

    87. Dixie Girl says:

      Congrats from a Bama alum on a great regular season. You have classy players, coaches and (from the ones I met at the game) fans. I am looking forward to watching the ND program once again reach prominence and compete year in and year out and be restored to it’s past glory. We have an amazing strength and conditioning/nutrition program that the football program implements along with academic standards that Coach Saban expects. One poster mentioned Barrett Jones (an awesome young man athletically and academically) but please do not forget Greg McElroy (QB 2009) that was a Rhodes Scholar finalist. The old stereotype of the stupid southerner is narrow-minded, antiquated and short-sighted and a blight on the majority of classy fans of ND. Good luck next season.

      PS – Alabama is deadly serious about academics. Our GSR is up to 85%, just behind Vanderbilt, in the SEC. That’s risen substantially under Saban, and will continue to rise, but a large public university, some four times or so the size of Notre Dame, will never reach ND’s 97%. Our GSR is not padded with basket-weaving. In fact, some Notre Dame fans might do well to do a bit more research on Alabama academics before some of the crap I’ve seen spewed on some ND sites. For example, our law school is ranked in the 20s range, the same as Notre Dame’s.

      • StablerRaider says:

        Well said Dixie Girl. As a lifelong Bama fan, born in Birmingham, and a University of Chicago grad (not a slouch school, either), one of whose daughters has chosen Alabama to pursue her forensic debate passion, I am proud of her and her chosen school. We visited the campus and were very impressed. Notre Dame fans, you don’t need me to tell you that you have a great institution with a lofty legacy. You had an unexpectedly great season. Don’t smear it by attempting to belittle others based on stereotypes or unfounded speculation. Roll Tide! And I hope our teams meet again.

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