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  • Fourth Quarter Meltdown Dooms Irish

    by John Vannie

    Notre Dame took a precarious 20-17 lead into the final period against Stanford on Saturday night, but the Cardinal scored three touchdowns in the next five minutes with help from multiple Irish turnovers to post a 38-20 win. The loss ended the regular season for the 9-3 visitors and will knock them out of the top ten in the rankings. Stanford quarterback Kevin Costello shredded the Notre Dame secondary, throwing four touchdown passes while Bryce Love ran for 125 yards. The loss wrapped up a very disappointing November for the Irish, who once again looked like a shadow of the team that played so well earlier in the season.

    Two long scoring passes from Brandon Wimbush to Kevin Stepherson and Equanimeous St. Brown, as well as a pair of 38-yard field goals by Justin Yoon, put the Irish ahead by 20-17 as the third period came to a close. This offset a pair of touchdown throws by Costello and a Jet Toner three pointer in a see-saw game that looked like it would go down to the wire. After the Irish took their last lead of the night, Costello capped a long drive with a 19-yard strike to Kaden Smith to put the Cardinal ahead by 24-20 at the 13:46 mark of the fourth period. Then, all hell broke loose. Wimbush threw an interception on the next play from scrimmage at his own 29, and Costello cashed in that mistake moments later to extend Stanford’s lead to 31-20.

    On the ensuing kickoff, Notre Dame’s C.J. Sanders fumbled and the Cardinal recovered at the Irish 18. Cameron Scarlett scored four plays later to make it 38-20 with 10:10 remaining. To add insult to injury, two final Irish drives ended in frustration. Wimbush suffered another interception in the end zone, and an apparent scoring pass to Chase Claypool with two minutes remaining was ruled out of bounds. The outcome mirrored the entire season for the Notre Dame and Brian Kelly – the first three quarters were competitive but the final quarter of the game and this year’s schedule became a nightmare. The once-impregnable Irish defense was outscored by 123-69 over the final 14 quarters, and the offense regressed badly.

    Here are the answers to the pregame questions:

    Will the Irish have the patience to maximize their strength in the running game? Not really. The running game was not great but the Irish were doing well enough until they fell behind 24-20. The first Wimbush interception then changed everything.

    Can Notre Dame stop the short passes by Costello on third down? Costello started slowly but then turned into a cross between Andrew Luck and John Elway against the porous Notre Dame secondary.

    Will Love and the other Stanford backs be able to gain 5+ yards on first down? Love and Stanford had nowhere to run until the fourth quarter, but then the floodgates opened.

    Can the Irish avoid turnovers in the passing game? For a while, but then the floodgates opened.

    Which quarterback will have adequate time to throw? Costello had more time in the pocket and found his receivers, while Wimbush did not get rid of the ball in a timely manner on many occasions and then had to run for his life.

    Can Adams and Williams return to early season form? Once again, Adams did not look like his old self. Williams ran well but did not get enough chances.

    Which defense will do a better job in the red zone? Notre Dame did not do very well here as Costello picked them apart.

    Is it a futile exercise for me to ask another question related to special teams? Yes, Notre Dame lost field position on almost every exchange of punts. The Irish did enjoy one shining moment on special teams with a long punt return by Chris Finke. The offense was so stunned that they committed back to back penalties and had to settle for a field goal. Stanford came right back to take the lead for good, and later the fumbled kick return by Sanders added gasoline to the fire.

    Now that bigger hopes and dreams have been dashed, the season seems like a painful rerun of the 2015 campaign that ended with a disheartening loss in Palo Alto. Notre Dame will try to regroup as it awaits an invitation to a bowl game. Right now, though, the team and its beleaguered fans need a rest.

    156 Responses to “Fourth Quarter Meltdown Dooms Irish”

    1. Loyal Irish Fan says:

      The game ultimately came down to inexplicable back-to-back false starts after Chris Finke’s extraordinary punt return. If we score a TD there, face it, we win. Chip gets a dishonorable mention for continually feeding Josh Adams the ball on vanilla North-South runs that clearly weren’t working. The failure to convert the first down after the 2-and-1 was also a game-changer, as were Wimbush’s generally poor reads on the run options. Sadly, a very predictable outcome. By turning the play-calling completely over to an O-Coordinator who was out of his league in big games, Kelly doomed the Irish. Our kickoff return team has to be the worst in the nation. Sad ending to a promising season.

      • Do you really think this game came down to just those 2 false starts?

        • Loyal Irish Fan says:

          Well, no guarantee that we win if we score a TD there, but our D was inside the Cardinal D at that point and converting the short field into 7 would’ve given our O tremendous confidence boost. So net net, yes, I think that was the crucial moment in the game. The other thing I forgot to say was that for as much as everything criticizes BK, he still went from 4-8 to a few plays from potentially being in the Playoff with the worst passer, by far, in the Top 25.

          • John Vannie says:

            There is nothing more ridiculous than using a 4-8 debacle as a baseline to assess this or any other 3+ loss season. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig.

            • Loyal Irish Fan says:

              When you’re a couple of plays and a couple of ill-timed penalties from playing in either the Playoffs or a Bowl-6 Game, I’m sorry, that’s not a Pig.

            • John Vannie says:

              You sound exactly like a Michigan fan with those absurd excuses about penalties and “couple of plays away”. What horseshit. This team has regressed badly and is not close to being elite or playoff-caliber. Sadly, Kelly is not a playoff-caliber coach. Oink oink.

            • Que the scene from “Deliverance.” Squeal like a pig

            • Loyal Irish Fan says:

              But will concede that using last season 4-8 season to baseline Kelly is ridiculous. My bad.

          • I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Wimbush. He had a few great games, but he had that deer in the headlights look too many times when he was under pressure. He reminded me of Everett Golson in that respect. But not to worry, when Phil Jurkovec, from Pine-Richland arrives in the fall, Wimbush will end up being another Malik Zaire. Another great QB from Western Pa. will take ND to the top. Chip Long was a mistake, and too inexperienced for the teams ND plays, and Kelly hasn’t shined by any means. Might be time for a change or three there. Brian Polian is not the answer.

          • It’s idiots like you that have no clue how bad a coach Kelly is that have enabled this once proud football program to arrive at where are today. A second rate football team. We weren’t a ‘couple plays’ from the playoffs you twit. We were blown out by Miami and completely dominated by Stanford in the second half. That’s a lot of plays in case you forgot how to count.

            • Take a breath and try to remember we’re all ND fans, and reasonable people can have different opinions about BK. I happen to support him and think he’s better than a lot of very vocal ND fans think, but I feel the same frustration you do with our performance this year. Special teams play sucks. The defensive secondary (most of them) got burned way too many times. The O-line is extremely talented, and Harry Hiestand is a fantastic motivator and developer of talent, but the blocking schemes took too long to develop and got burned by an athletic D line.

              Let’s not turn on each other like a bunch of SEC knuckle-draggers. We are all ND fans, we all want the same thing, and some of us still think BK can get us there. If you disagree, I respect your opinion and want to hear what you have to say, as long as you’re willing to listen to me as well.

    2. Viktor Racz says:

      Kelly needs to go. This is not wine; it won’t get better with age.

      • I don’t think this comes down to a coaching failure (except for Brian Polian – he’s gotta go). What I think we need is a quarterback who doesn’t get rattled, and a much better secondary.

        • I held out too long waiting for BK to take the Irish to a national title. After a smoke and mirrors 2012 season of good fortune, he was exposed in spectacular fashion by tOSU. Plus he went AWOL on his team prepping for that game in an NFL quest. Talk about a red flag moment.

          It’s not all been all downhill since then. Sometimes his teams just jump off a cliff for the hell of it. Time and time again his teams fail to rise to the occasion against what? Top shelf, middling, inferior talent. Hint: Choose all three. This regular season could have easily ended with 4 consecutive losses. What’s it going to take to get the scales off your eyes?

          • I don’t think beating the stuffing out of the eventual PAC-12 champion was a fluke. We played some over-rated teams, definitely, but I don’t think you’re being objective about who we did beat.

            Let’s agree on this: we completely melted down in November, and that’s not the first time that’s happened under BK. We also we re playing like national championship contenders until then. Can we reasonably, objectively discuss why that happened? I’d be really interested in having that discussion.

    3. Let’s see, who will BK blame this time..himself again? ND gets beat by a freshman QB while ND has a freshman/sophomore/junior (you pick) QB who can’t seem to make a throw when he needs to. 2 years of sitting on the bench prepared him for this? BK is a poor judge of talent. Wimbush isn’t good enough to leave (for the NFL) and now isn’t good enough to stay. A lot of supporting talent was wasted. Better luck next year!

      • I totally agree. I’m still a BK fan, and I don’t think this loss can be put on his shoulders…EXCEPT that he ahould have pulled Wimbush. We needed a passer, and Wimbush isn’t mature enough and doesn’t have the right mechanics.

        • Mike Coffey says:

          He’s been at ND for three years. When do you expect him to mature and utilize the correct mechanics?

          • I think it’s very interesting to hear commentators like Herbstreit and Flutie saying how good he is in practice. Come gameday, he gets the yips. I can see how that wouldn’t show up until this year when he gets tapped to start, and I can see why the coaching staff might not be willing to give up on him when everyone in the stands is screaming m to be pulled. My two cents: I think he needs to talk to a sports psychologist.

            • Mike Coffey says:

              Either that or get an experienced, quality quarterbacks coach, not a kid who was under center himself five years ago and has never coached anywhere.

            • Very good point. I love Tom Rees and will always be thankful for the service he gave to ND, but ya, I think we need an experienced QB coach.

    4. J Van excuse my repost but I could not help the response after the game in other posts…

      “Get a special teams coach BK…special teams are the character of a winning team. That squad is supposed to be the maniacs who would do anything for your team. Return guys are supposed to be the skill guys who have to show you how passionate they are about winning … neglected terribly with BK. It’s a huge deficit when you give teams field advantage on offense and defense when they have a short field.”

      • sorry here is the rest of my post on other forums … like it will do any good?

        Elite teams put you in a vice grip when they start your offense behind the twenty. Elite teams also gain an advantage when they return beyond the twenty. No coincedence BKs lack of caring or coaching or recruiting on special teams have killed us for eight years. When we give great teams in big games a short field what do we expect?

    5. Well, at least we don’t have to go get hammered by Ohio State in a New Years Six bowl.

    6. What does it take Swarbrick or whoever to see the trend ever since hog head Kelly has been here. He needs to go and we need to move on to anybody else – PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

      • Agreed. AD Warbucks will deem this a turnaround season with a bright 2018 season to anticipate. As long as Irish faithful renew season tickets, contribute big bucks and keep buying ND merchandise to help support luxury boxes, we will remain navigating the seas of mediocrity.

    7. ND will never return elite status with Kelly at the helm.

      • I’m into second chances. It’s sports. What is the purpose of sports if not the drama of redemption, the comeback, from defeat to victory?
        The coach market tells us where we are with Kelly. Nebraska is not trying to poach him nor University of Florida. His name doesn’t come up on the wish list at Texas A&M nor Texas.
        This year was the second chance. ND is a top 15 team and Kelly did rescue us from true mediocrity so the program is relevant. It is not however ascendant.
        Thanks for running a nice website.
        Time to reboot with an emphasis on the boot.
        Ctrl Alt Del

        • No one tried to poach the ND head coach, except maybe the NFL; there’s no more high-profile coaching job in the country. I don’t agree with that being a good metric.

    8. This looked like last year’s tired offense. Defense went downhill at season’s end. Can someone please tell me what happened to this team Wake Forest week? Something is rotten in Denmark.

      • Loyal Irish Fan says:

        What happened to this team against Wake was: (1) Josh Adams suffered a concussion in the first quarter from which he never recovered for the rest of the season; (2) Wimbush had his best passing game of the season, by far, and our WRs and TEs dropped long-pass-after-long pass, laid right on their fingertips, presumably because they were wearing the wrong gloves in the cold, rainy conditions (which complemented the fact they were wearing the wrong shoes that made the skill players appear to be wearing ice skates); and (3) Wake’s superb QB picked the weak secondary apart by repeatedly failing to bring max rush, exposing the weak secondary (just as he did in the Stanford game for all but the first drive); and (4) Kelly refused to get Dexter Williams, who was all but Caspar the Friendly Ghost all season more involved when Adams went down. The failure to utilize Williams more is totally inexplicable. And don’t give me the he was banged up garbage. No running was more banged up than Bryce Love. But he laced em up and strapped it on. Williams could’ve and should’ve gotten Adams # of touches against the Canes and the Cardinal, but the coaches were so blinded by the Thomas Dolby of Adams early season romps they simply wouldn’t accept that the Wake concussion made him think he was playing for Wayne State they wouldn’t pivot to Williams.

    9. setting up for a 9-4 season w/ a bowl loss.

      next year: maybe 7-5 at best.

      Mediocrity rules @ ND!

      • This is NOT our fathers’ Notre Dame. “What though the odds be great or small, Old Notre Dame will win over all.” This really used to come from the heart when sung in days past. Since Holtz left, this verse has slowly become just another melodic, meaningless phrase on football game day. It’s very sad.

    10. Old ND will lose all big games! All Kelly’s QB’s regress and throw interceptions, offensive line so overrated, special teams consistently terrible, Josh Adams regressed, poor ND academic standards too high – yea right how about Stanford, Kelly mediocre at best coach who gets outcoached by good coaches all the time.

    11. I’m constantly stunned by Winbush and his inability to make the easiest throws, and we just don’t seem to have receivers who can make a marginal, at best, thrower even better (I’m thinking of how Samrdzija, Stovall, and McKnight made Brady Quinn look all-world…just throw it in their general direction and they would go grab it). I just don’t see how you can win with him when they other team dares him to throw. And I hate to bitch about officiating, but the goddamn PAC10/12 officials still make Big East officials look competent; they were awful. They still haven’t paid the price for reversing David Grimes’ TD against USC…maybe Kelly will get a conciliatory call from their head of officials apologizing for their complete fucking incompetence. What a consolation.

      • Loyal Irish Fan says:

        If our receivers could actually catcher-the-football-in-the-rye, we would be a shoo-in for the playoff, and Wimbush would be a shoo-in for the Theismann. Chase Claypool has the worst hands in Notre Dame history, followed not far behind by Nic “I” Wisher “I could catch a pass that hit my fingertips.” This isn’t the old days when guys like Dave Caspar the Friendly Ghost caught everything thrown within 3 time zones.

        • Loyal Irish Fan says:

          To understand how bad the Irish TE’s are relative to Dave Casper, do yourself a favor, and Google “Dave Casper, Hall of Famer, 125 years of Irish Football, Moment #073.” For as much as everyone wants to trash Wimbush, just look at what Joe-Mo-mentum had at TE versus what Brandon has. It’s boyz versus a man, … and not in a good way, …, for poor Brandon.

          • Mike Coffey says:

            And yet all those players were considered great gets when they were recruited. I wonder what happened.

        • Mike Coffey says:

          So at what point does an alleged lack of ability reflect on their coach’s inability to teach them properly?

    12. Can we hire Chip away from UCLA, he might be the only college coach out there that can bring the Irish back to a sense of its prehistoric glory. Let’s face it Brian is incapable of motivating his teams in high pressure, spotlight games. As much as he spoke this week about pressure, he sucks when the pot’s boiling.

      • Elkhart Joe says:

        As I said before many times, nothing will really change until the ND culture goes back to what it was and the Catholic high school kids want to come to ND and ND means something once again. But that would take a miracle. But miracles do happen maybe if enough pray for them.

    13. The triumvirate –
      BK, Johnny J and Swarbrick have a stranglehold on this university and athletics with the NBC contract. We are a cash cow as long as ND football remains a decent tv rating for the ND nation

      • Actually, ND gets less money from NBC than any of the Big Ten teams do from the Big Ten network. And it is several million dollars less. Check it out.

    14. goirish1988 says:

      “A week ago people were saying I should be coach of the year.” No, Brian. There wasn’t a single knowledgeable, long-suffering ND alum who was saying that.

    15. goirish1988 says:

      Please don’t play in a bowl game. We’ve seen enough lack of inspiration.

    16. goirish1988 says:

      There are three possible outcomes in a college football game: a) a close game, b) one team blows out another, and c) the other team blows out the first team. When you tell your team, “This game will come down to the final minutes,” you eliminate the possibility of your team blowing out the opponent and you end up with this.

    17. goirish1988 says:

      Each game since 1996, I’ve lost half of my interest. Damn math won’t allow me to become completely uninterested and do something valuable with my time.

    18. Now that it has gotten a lot more expensive to go to home games, and the patterns of the BK era have gotten old and predictable, I am done with ND football until a new head coach is hired. I don’t want to know what bowl game they go to. It hardly matters. I am tired of watching our coaches play checkers while the other team’s coaches play chess. You cannot turnover over the ball like that on the road and expect to win. All of over losses this year occurred when we lost the turnover the battle. While, it’s nice to go from a 4-8 season to a 9-3 season, the end result is still the same – a mediocre ending and an underperforming team. They only thing that has been accomplished this year is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. What a joke!

    19. Please all ND fan base out there, do not take one sip further of Kelly Kool-aide, until we see an Irish team finish strong in November. Yet another year is about to begin, of enduring endless heckling from OSU fans here in Ohio. They get blown out by Iowa, yet find a way to blow out a lesser team a week later and overcame a harsh environment today when the chips were down. We, on the other hand, implode on inexcusable penalties, costly turnovers, horrific special teams play…. and our secondary was toasted all night! We can’t even get a first down with a 2nd and one, really? Thank goodness we won’t be in a New Year’s Day bowl, we’ll still probably find a way to choke in whatever bowl we play. Kelly needs to take a lesson from the basketball team’s win over Witicha St. Those guys could have folded, but found a way to overcome the deficit and win!! Don’t give me jumbo trons, loud music, or a multi-million dollar upgrade to the stadium! Give us a team with a skipper who knows how to prepare and guide us back to consistent winning and not squeak out wins over teams who have no business making some wins in our house nailbitters, when they should be blowouts (navy). I’m so sick of being let down and trying to defend a once shining program that has lost it’s way by an incompetent administration, AD, and a string of bad coaching hires.

    20. So tired of this scenario late into the season.Do players feel the same ? 8
      Years of this. Can’t believe we don’t have a complete team yet that relies on all aspects of the game.
      Offense..defense… and special teams holding on for a win. Players must be spent. BK
      Time to go

    21. Greg ‘72 says:

      I am very sad tonight. I have finally come to the realization that my beloved Irish will not likely truly not compete for another NC in my lifetime. I remember foundly those four years spent at our Lady’s school and the pride I felt wearing my ND jacket back home to Cleveland during breaks. ND has always been about much more then football but somehow the house that Rock built has always been an integral part of the school and indeed the millions and now billions in endowment funds would not exist without Irish football ! In other words- all of us owe a tremendous amount of gratitude for the football that enabled ND to grow into the academic institution it has become! Yes, football and the riches it brought the school. Sadly, the product on the field today is no longer what it was nor does it seem remotely possible to ever get back to the standards of old. I am very sad…

    22. I am glad I haven’t wasted my hard earned money on attending an overpriced and underachieving football program that likely wont reach a playoff game in my lifetime. Looks like ND may be more known as a basketball school with their overachieving program.

    23. Christopher GH says:

      Kelly needs to be fired or needs to resign. Nothing else needs to be said. It truly is that simple. The “powers that be” need to take action. The players, students, alumni, sub-alumni all deserve better than this. It has been 24 years since the last time ND seriously had a chance at winning the National Championship.

      24 years!

      That’s inexcusable at Notre Dame

      Well….at least it used to be.

    24. Sorry BK, you finally lost me as a supporter. I carried your banner for all these years, even after the 4 and 8 season last year. Like Ara and Lou, you got us to the title game in year 3, but then the miserable debacle against Alabama. But there was hope. You were a winner everywhere you coached before ND, so I stuck with you. You beat MSU on the road this year and crushed USC at home, two very good teams. And still, up to last night, even after the Miami embarrassment, I could see victories over Stanford and then,in a major bowl, beating Urban Meyer, who turned down the head job at ND, giving us Charlie Weiss. Now I finally see that your October teams are world beaters and your November teams are world class losers. Now, I do not see that changing under your tutelage.

    25. AlumniDawg97 says:

      A singularly uninspiring performance in all 3 phases. Pics were absolutely crushing. Yes John EVERYONE needs a damn break. As was mentioned above,since Wake it seems like these guys are in “All right let’s get this over with” mode. I can’t imagine what has happened to the bulldozers from the beginning of the season. Where did they go?

    26. Elkhart Joe says:

      Ach du Leiber Augustine!!!

    27. Kelly needs to go. Now that he is in the spotlight all he says is… I have to coach better. Really? We need John Gruden now.

      • Jon Gruden would be great for Notre Dame! This administration won’t even consider him. They have provided 20 plus years of misery for ND fans and twice extended the contracts of coaches who couldn’t get it done. Just another embarrassment for the fan base.

    28. Johnny Tea says:

      It’s now been 30 years since NDU won a national title. I can remember being a kid in South Bend in the late ’50s-early ’60s and the old timers complaining about no title since Frank Leahy. It was 11 years between Leahy and Parseghian. This 30-year drought is because the school has gone out of its way to make weird hires. Can’t get a proven, elite-program football coach; no, they somehow need to reach down into lower ranks, even high school, to lead the most storied football tradition in America.
      Kelly is another in this 30-year habit. He absolutely cannot win the big one, gets out coached, and cannot condition his players to sustain physicality thru the season. He will never win a title. Move on, and hire someone who has PROVEN they belong at the highest tier.

    29. This is about as good as it gets with Kelly. Surely he knows himself by now he cannot take ND to a national championship title WIN. Maybe there are reasons we don’t know about. I don’t know. I do know that since Lou Holtz departed, we have been nothing more then mediocre. I frankly have a hard time watching them. It is hard to watch something you love so much continually suffer. And the people that should love Old Notre Dame the most….they make their living off Her historical football greatness….seem to care less about what made Her great to begin with. Very sad.

    30. Kelly 2-6 record vs Stanford

    31. For 8 years Kelly defenders have justified mediocrity by comparing him to failures (Davie, Willingham, Weis). To those who showed how he doesn’t measure up against championship coaches, the refrain has always been that Kelly’s performance is the best we can expect at ND these days. Nonsense. The same refrain was used prior to Ara and prior to Lou. The fact is that none of the post-Lou coaching hires have had a resume of pre-ND college coaching success that matched that of the ND coaches that won national championships. And none have gone on to have any success elsewhere after leaving ND (though I can’t wait for Kelly to have that opportunity). The shortcomings of Kelly’s teams (terrible special teams, inconsistent/unreliable running game, quarterback regression, penalties, predictable game plan) are evident week after week and usually come to the fore whenever the competition is half-way decent. To those expecting better things from Kelly next year and beyond , , , forget it.

    32. Mediocre coaching, at best, and a mediocre team. Special teams were a joke under Polian the first
      time around with him under Weis and he hasn’t gotten any better. We have a former immobile
      quarterback Weis recruited to ND as a player, brought back by Kelly as a QB coach, who has no coaching
      experience, coaching a mobile quarterback that can’t throw. An offensive line coach whose offensive
      line is pushed around in big games. Add to that mix defensive backs who never look back for the ball,
      receivers that can’t catch consistently, a new strength and conditioning coach whose players look good
      but have lost stamina as the season wears on and a head coach who remains a Division II level coach
      after 8 years. What is not to like? At least the Stadium looks great.

      The only thing that has changed in the past 20+ years is the expectation of the ND faithful. Most of us
      no longer expect to see our beloved team compete for a national championship. Rather, bone-headed
      coaching and making money rules the day. It takes planning and hard work to ruin a tradition. But the
      people in charge have pulled it off. Did not think it was possible to turn our football program into
      a punch-line. Painful to watch the ESPN announcers smirking about another ND collapse.

      At least under Faust, Davie and Willingham there was hope ND would make a change. The new model
      under Weis and Kelly is to stay the course with a coach who continually tarnishes the ND tradition.
      As much as I enjoyed the SC game, I knew it was fool’s gold. Miami showed they are not that good.
      Virginia put 28 points on them and Pitt beat them handily. Navy is never a team ND should have
      trouble with but became one under Weis and Kelly has kept that new tradition alive.

      Regrettably, I will watch my team get beat in a lower level bowl game on a weekday evening. The
      good news is only us faithful will be watching as ND has become irrelevant to college football.
      The people in charge should be ashamed of themselves. Academic standards are not the problem for
      ND. It has been and always will be the people at the top who make the decisions. Good people in charge
      made ND into a proud tradition of winning. The new administration has made it a laughing stock.

      Merry Christmas and Go Irish!

      • Under what scenario do you think a little Catholic school in nowhere, IN could evolve into a major educational powerhouse? How do you think we were able to spend over $400 million on new classrooms and a major stadium upgrade? Irish football!! Administrators and all you tenured staff should be forever greatful for the past glory on the gridiron as it has given you your comfortable and stress free lifestyle! It is time to do whatever is required (money is no object with $10billion endowment!) and may include entrance adjustments or whatever but a new Head Coach is a must! Doing nothing is an insult to those that came before and built what you now have! Do something! Hire a young coach and beg Lou to serve as his mentor for a couple years. Do something as you have the major responsibility to keep the tradition alive. It is not “just football”. It has served as the engine for the growth of Notre Dame as an international university. DO SOMETHING please!

        • Loyal Irish Fan says:

          The only thing I would say to the Kelly haters is who is out there who do think would do better who could stand the grind of: (1) recruiting, (2) coaching, and (3) feting fat-cat alums at dozens of fund-raisers at events to raise money for the next add-on to the biology lab? Kelly changed out his O and D coordinators, hired a new strength and conditioning coach who everyone credits for dramatically improving the strength and speed of the team. The guy got up at 5am to hang with the guys in the weight room, which the plays credited with helping dramatically improve team chemistry, he’ll get rid of Polian and Rees (hopefully) in the off-season. I know you guys don’t wanna hear it, but players in SEC don’t have to take the SAT or the ACT, don’t have to provide a certified high school transcript and are eligible if they have three violent felonies or less. Get over yourselves.

          • LIF, do you honestly think SEC coaches don’t experience the same grind you addressed above? Do you honestly think Saban isn’t feeling the heat after losing to Auburn? And, unless you can cite an NCAA rule that excuses SEC recruits from the basic admission requirements to SEC schools, your statement lacks substance. Get over yourself.

            • Loyal Irish Fan says:

              Cite an NCAA rule? Is that a serious comeback? Last time I checked, the rules no more apply to SEC schools than they do to Rick Pitino’s libido. The average graduation rate at SEC school’s is lower than Vannie’s average high school Chemistry and Physics tests scores combined, even when curved on the modified Stableford scoring system. Now do you suppose that’s because those kids actually attended class in high school and took standardized tests or do suppose that maybe, just maybe, they were eligible if their test scores in the 40 were 4.2, 4.3 or 4.4, and their class rank in TDs, yds/carry and #runs over 50 yds placed them in the Top 5% of the Scout 100 prospects at their position? Grow up.

            • @LIF, your response below still lacks substance.
              Perhaps you’ve thrown back too many Guinness Stouts at 1:31am while writing your response, but I put it to you again: cite the NCAA admissions rule absolving recruits from HS transcripts and SAT/ACT score requirements, and stop spouting garbage about libidos and Vanny’s test scores.
              The core topic of most of these posts is the fate of Irish Football under BK and AD Warbuck$. Your posts show your support for them and I respect that, but I for one want to see the Irish return to the glory days.
              I recommend that you put away the Guinness and go to bed at a decent hour tonight.

          • Explain losing to Stanford on the road, again.

            You are afraid of the unknown. Well, the known is insufficient.

            • Loyal Irish Fan says:

              What I said was, name one coach who you think could do a better job, year-in and year-out, than Brian Kelly. And please, for God’s sake, don’t say Chucky.

            • Mike Coffey says:

              Do you honestly believe 8-4 is the best ND fans should expect every year? If so, why the hell do you root for this team?

    33. How does a team not improve as the season goes on? How does a quarterback not improve as the season goes on? The more they play together, the better they should be. Why do BK’s teams always regress in November? Why can’t ND play well at night? Why? Why?

    34. Was hoping for a dominant performance from the Irish to keep the faint playoff hope alive. Instead, another big game letdown and going to bed with a bad attitude. Two huge prime time road games… two huge embarrassments.

    35. I wonder if ND can change it’s bye week to sometime in November and then play Mercer or Louisiana Monroe Hawks like the SEC teams do in November, maybe that will help! LOL

      • Bill Ramsey says:

        Hey Brian, are you referring to SEC teams like Auburn, that beat the crap out of #1 Georgia and TWO weeks later beat #1 Alabama? The SEC rules college football, and for you mid-westerners who don’t see these games weekly, as I do in Florida, you need to tune in. The game is fast, with rabid fans who fill their stadiums and would NEVER sell their tickets to the opposing teams. Before a recent home game, minutes from the start of the game, the camera picks up Fr. Jenkins on the new, multi-gazillion video board! What the hell is he doing on the board at that point? THAT’S the time the crowd should be rocking & getting the team pumped! I love ND, sent my daughter there & she married a Domer, but this program is irrelevant. What it also is, though, is a cash cow.

        • Hey Ramsey, I am referring to the SEC in general. Year in and year out they have at least two
          teams on their schedules that are there just to get a paycheck in like the “mid-westerner
          schools that play 12 “legitimate” FBS teams. The SEC rarely travels outside of it’s little bubble of
          the sunny southeast. If they schedule out of conference games in the mid-west and had to put up
          with the weather condition I am pretty sure they would have a loss or two on their records by
          November as well. I too live in Florida and have the SEC Network (AKA CBS), and tune in regularly
          as well and Alabama, Auburn and Georgia are very good but after those three the conference doesn’t
          have much. ND will always be relevant to the game otherwise you wouldn’t be making that comment.
          I agree ND is not competitive but they are relevant.

          • Bill Ramsey says:

            Well, Brian, the answer is simple- fix the damn scheduling! This idea that we need to play USC & Stanford year in & year out, for recruiting, is nauseating. Put a quality team on the field & the recruits will come. Yes, the academics pose an issue but there are other schools across the US with rigorous academics. TV doesn’t matter anymore due to all of the sports networks. But to say that the SEC is 3 teams is ludicrous. Is ND gonna beat LSU, Texas A & M, or UF to name a few? Our great Malik Zaire was what when healthy, 3rd string on UF? And UF’s offense stunk!

            • Well Ramsey, changing the schedule was my original point, I agree, why can’t ND play a Mercer
              or Louisiana Monroe Hawks, I’m all for it! And btw… ND’s last bowl win was against LSU and
              Malik was the QB!

    36. A frustrating end to a potentially great season. When they laid the smackdown on USC, I made the fatal mistake of believing that they were a legitimate national contender. Mental toughness is all but gone from this squad. Hopefully they can find it for their bowl game or else we’ll be searching for the TUMS again.

    37. Austinirish says:

      Very disappointed with the outcome. While we did keep trying to run, most attempts seemed to go to the right, away from our vaunted strength. I agree with previous commenters who point to the WF game as the turning point. Obviously, Adams was hurt more than was let on, but what about the Dee? Did other teams spot something as the season went on? Were there undisclosed injuries hobbling our guys?

      Having said that, most everyone would have taken 9-3 at the beginning of the season. We were in the discussion, and it was fun while it lasted. But we fell in love, and our hearts are broken.

    38. Once again the Irish regress in November. This pattern has continued for the entire Kelly era. Wimbush has regressed as well, or at best, has not gotten any better. Late throws, overthrows, and throwing into coverage never improved. Predictable play calling, with little variance and marginal success doesn’t win games against good teams. Out coached once again. To reiterate many of the prior posts, kickoff and return teams are atrocious.

    39. As much as I think BK cannot coach on the big stage against elite teams, I just cannot think of a decent replacement. There are a few up and coming coaches in the American and MAC conferences. I like Mike Norvell of Memphis but these guys from the smaller conferences are not battle tested on the big stage. Virginia Tech seem to get a good one in Justin Fuente, although VT’s offense was suspect this year. Lane Kiffen MAY work but this guy has lots of baggage to carry around for now. If you are an AD, you better think twice about dumping a 9-3 coach no matter how frustrating it is for the fans. Nebraska seems to have been through this several times as they have dumped winning coaches (Frank Solich and Bo Pelini) for coaches that led them from mediocrity to outright losing (Lincoln Riley being the latest one at Nebraska). A Tough situation for the Irish!

    40. james twarek says:

      Good bye Brian Kelly! Notre Dame is a basketball school. Mike Brey is a class act and knows how to motivate.
      We need to join the acc in football. The days of independences are over!

      • I agree, join the ACC on a full-time basis. ND already plays its other sports in that conference. Even if the Irish had beaten Stanford, there was a good chance they would have been left out of the CFP due to the fact they would not have had that conference championship game to put an exclamation point on their season. At this point, ND almost needs to run the table to get in. Even one loss puts that in jeopardy. Also, if you lose early, the team still remains in the hunt for a conference title and a berth in a New Year’s Six bowl game. Where are the Irish headed now…the Pinstripe Bowl again? Time to join the ACC!!!

    41. n.dame can’t win the big games. Kelly should be let go some coaches to. theyare not recruitingtherightplayers
      players. this certainly is not n.damefootball. Make changes real soon

    42. When the Irish were leading 20-17 at the end of the third I thought they might just eke out an ugly win to finish 10-2. But no, a quick trip to the bathroom and suddenly it was 31-20 and I knew the curse of Brian Kelly always losing in ugly fashion to ranked teams on the road still wasn’t lifted.

      The way the D got gashed, sliced and diced in the second half made me think someone kidnapped Elko and replaced him with Van Gorder.

      So we get whipped by 33 at Miami and now 18 at Stanford and Jack Swarbrick can smile and call this progress? The rosters of both teams are not superior to ND’s, so to any reasonably person this is not progress. This is embarrassing and shouldn’t be acceptable but the superfans will say, “hey, were in the top ten until the last week of the season”. But this rationale doesn’t impress the bowl or playoff committees. These are the same people who would have given Willingham and Weis 20 year contracts.

      Since Kelly has been unable to string back to back 9-10 win seasons together it looks like 2018 will be another snake bitten, injury riddled 7-5 or 8-4 season. It seems 2-3 games better than .500 and a berth in the also ran bowl is the new gold standard at ND.

      • Loyal Irish Fan says:

        There’s an easy fix. Stop playing road games against ranked teams.
        Make all games flex schedule and give the Irish the option to play
        every game at home. In all honesty, I think it’s the white uni’s.
        We always lose when we wear the white jerseys on the road.
        Couldn’t we just lose the white and stick with blue?

    43. They should have dropped Kelly off at Alcatraz on the way back to South Bend.

    44. F-ing embarrassing!!! 9-4 season! This season is all about second half season collapse of 2017!!!!! No answers, fire, or desire from the coaching staff or players!!!! We are officially a 2nd tier program!!!!!
      YES! They will LOOSE whatever friggin bowl game they go to!!!!!

    45. Nothing changes and nothing will until the dead weight is removed. America’s best/worst 3-4 loss coach marches on into ND history for the futility of his teams.

    46. We only have to ask one question. Under Kelly, will the Irish be better next year or 2019. It was a bad choice 8 years ago and now we are paying the price. Remember how he left Cincinnati. He did not even say a word to his players, he just left. He has no relationship with ND players either.

      It is time to move on without BK.

      • I would have NO PROBLEM with BK leaving without saying a word to his players. But he left UC for ND. Nobody will hire him. Besides, he has a big salary and the backing of his dillusional AD!!!

    47. stoneybehindtheciderbarrel says:

      And we got to watch Costello grow up right before our very eyes. Kelly is the steaming turd that won’t go down after multiple flushes.

    48. That game just proves to me that ND is not close to an elite team. They cant handle speed. They are outmatched in the secondary. Wimbush looks lost. How many false starts did you count? Stanford is a quality program. There is no way we find ND in a major bowl game. Adams doesnt look any where near the runner he was early in the year. ND was lucky to get by Navy. The O line doesnt really impress me. I am a lifetime fan but I dont see a bowl playoff team in the near future. Very badly coached.

    49. Binks says: In the overall scheme of things Kelly consistently ignores field position and time of possession.When the flaws happen(turnovers,penalties,poor tackling,inadequate kicking game) these flaws become double jeopardy.No team can play well with their backs consistently against the wall.

    50. Agree with many above
      kelly is who he is. The team faked us out earlier in the year but we have reverted to all the signature Kelly traits. fall apart on the road, cant put teams away, horrible play calling and no special teams. It hasn’t changed in 8 years and it never will. the team reflects the coach. At this point it is all his system with all his players and all his philosophy.
      Special teams stink and always have under Kelly, I know you can blame Sanders for his fumble but remember he got crushed on the 17 yard line when he fumbled–we cant even get a kick off to the twenty consistently
      Finke’s two punt returns were because the punter out kicked the coverage otherwise fair catches are all we do.
      the whole first half was like Miami –our starting field position in the first half was the 17 yard line–theirs was over the 35.
      Adams is worn out but only a minimal showing of Dexter Williams–stubborn pig headed coaching decision.
      Earlier in the year the word was our strength and conditioning program was so good. What a pile of lies–this team is worn out and beat up–old and tired–definitely not peaking as teams like Auburn, Clemson and other top teams are.
      Finally–every QB Kelly has coached has become a head case–he actually hurts the QBs. and to have T Rees as a QB coach is the joke of the century.

    51. Terry McManus says:

      I had to get up real early this morning so I went to bed after the 3rd quarter.

      Lucky me.

    52. “We have to coach better”

      Brian Kelly year 8

      • That’s an understatement and he’s been saying that for the last five years now. Maybe next year everything will finally click….lol.

    53. Same old crap. Kelly should be fired today.

    54. Almost forgot, Swarbrick needs to go too .

    55. Wish I could say that I enjoyed this season because as a whole, “the witch of November came calling” like it has for Kelly in the past. The final quarter of the schedule proved that this year’s journey had the usual sad ending. At least the offense had some plays to incorporate Wimbush’s running abilities for once. I did discover Mr. Vanney and Mr. Coffey at this adjunct to the NDN site and enjoyed their efforts and the posters.

    56. At whatever worthless ‘Toilet Bowl’ the Irish play in as their final game, any draft able player should be held out so to avoid another Jaylon Smith disaster.

      Playing for Brian Kelly this year was enough of a sacrifice; playing in a exhibition game should not be part required. Play next years starters for 2 quarters then clear the bench.

    57. Until Kelly figures out how to prepare his team for a these big road games against ranked opponents, ND will never truly contend for the CF playoff. Would you take them to beat any of the top 15-20 teams on the road at this point?

      • Kevin McNamara says:

        This is like Bill Zloch team. Teams figured out: duplicate GA and load box, dare Irish to throw. Wimbush cannot beat a team even if they dare him to pass. Remember, two touchdowns were on relatively short passes that our receivers turned into big plays. No consistency on offense. Costello showed what an accurate QB can do on key downs. Once again Wimbush has not developed under Kelly, like other QBs with athletic abilities. As many mentioned, don’t expect ND to win on road in November.

    58. irishhawk50 says:

      In the immortal. words of BK….”Get used to it”

    59. Fire $warbrick first

    60. I just listened to Kelly’s post game press conference. What a boring, bumbling master of the obvious. Please move on from this guy. He’s mailing it in. He has zero passion for Notre Dame. He’s a division 2 coach. Always has been, always will be.

    61. WeNeedaRocket says:

      $warbucks will need that endowment to get ND relevant again, ND will have to pay $25 million/year for a great coach to come to South Bend. Who wants to coach and play 1.5 hours from the murder capital of the US, when you can go play in FL, CA and the southeast where the women are beautiful and the weather is too, especially when you’re a 18 year old young man. Are there any marketing guru’s in South Bend? ND needs a marketing campaign along with a new head coach!

      Watching the Alabama vs Auburn game was amazing, they have their own named bowl game, their fans and atmosphere made me jealous. ND used to create that excitement, they have the venue now they just need leadership and help in marketing for young talent.

      • AlGoldenDomer says:

        Yeah, the Chicago murder rate weighs heavily on young recruits’ minds.

        And all the good recruits are going to FL, CA and the southeast, not to State College, Columbus, Madison or Ann Arbor, right? That line about South Bend weather is easily called out by reminding the recruit that if he gets to the next level, he could easily be playing his football in Buffalo, Green Bay, New England or Chicago. Plus, the weather was no better during the time of Ara and Lou (or Dan and Gerry for that matter) and none of them had any trouble recruiting.

        We already have all kinds of marketing gurus. What we need is a competent coach who “gets” Notre Dame, will sell it, and will give the young men a chance to achieve greatness. That coach is what we are lacking. We can get that coach for a heckuva lot less than $25 million/year.

    62. Why did the Brian Kelly standard of 8-9 win seasons become acceptable at ND now? I knew ND was going going to lose to Stanford before the game was even played. I told my friends and family that you should bet on Stanford to win and it was shocking that ND was actually the favorites on the road. When the fan base begins to expect an automatic loss from a team in a season then it is time for a change. I grew up in Ohio as I have said in a previous post and if this were to happen at a team like Ohio State Brian Kelly would have been canned in year 4. After the Alabama disaster they would have started considering his replacement. Why is it different at ND?

    63. Please Lord help us says:

      I tried to bet 100 grand when ND led 20-17 that they would loose but no one was around to take it.
      Kelly does not know what to do to win any game. All 9 wins this year were the result of the players, not the head the head coach.
      And don’t tell me BK wasn’t calling the plays.
      What makes me sick is that BK will stay and start Wimbush next year because he will me more mature even when Phil Jurkovec will show in August practice that he is much better.
      He runs like Wimbush, passes a million times better, has much more poise, and even thinks. He also has a strong desire to win at ND.

    64. AlumniDawg97 says:

      You Guys (gender inclusive)- Fr. John and Jack S. are NEVER gonna fire this guy. If last season didn’t do that, nothing will. Our only hope is that he gets an offer from a Pro team and he and his ego ride off into the sunset.

    65. All of you wishing for a coaching change, be careful what you ask for. See: Nebraska since Frank Solich fired after a 9-3 season.
      Besides, who are you going to hire?

      Wimbush’s failure to “make the throws during the game that he can make in practice” because of his lack of mental toughness doomed the Irish in their losses to
      Miami and Stanford. Interceptions giving the other team a short field, and an effectively one dimensional offense put pressure on your defense and make it easier to play defense against you.

      • John Vannie says:

        Ahh, the old “it’s better to do nothing than to risk failure” argument. Not only does ND need a new coach, they need to replace the people who are selecting and hiring the coaches. Until that happens (not holding my breath), you will get your wish because those timid mediocrities are not going to change anything.

        • Names please? Define failure please?

          • John Vannie says:

            There are plenty of good candidates out there, although it’s not my job to find them. Schools like Washington, Oklahoma, Georgia, UCF, UCLA and now Florida have recently made quality hiring decisions, so it’s not impossible. The common thread is an institutional commitment to improve and the ability to recognize talent. ND’s administrators have neither of these traits. Failure is defined as hiring another coach along the same lines as Davie, Willingham, Weis and Kelly. This pattern is not coincidental or due to bad luck.

            • John. Was it not frickin Monk Malloy who fired Lou and was it not he who said no to Urban?

            • John Vannie says:

              Yes, and the current board of trustees is made up almost entirely of his disciples.

            • Greg ‘72 says:

              If BK were CEO of a company he would be judged strictly by results as mandated by the Board. It appears the ND Board is content with mediocrity even though the evolution of ND as a place of higher learning has been enabled by big money. With an endowment over $10 Billion and built by the legacy of excellence in football does no longer require the excellence of past glories. In other words- ND got rich and fat and appears happy to accept mediocrity. ND would be nothing but a small Catholic college in Nowhere, IN if not for the football program. No need to strive for excellence in football anymore – $ is already in the bank! Admin jobs secure along with tenured staff. Fat and happy!

            • Loyal Irish Fan says:

              And I do wanna apologize Vannie. I trust you understand the jab around your cumulative high school physics and chemistry grade average was entirely light-hearted and not intended in any way as a diss on you. I probably should’ve referred to someone else in the context of my ill-fated attempt at levity in the course of making my point. That said, no offense intended, and sincere apologies.

        • Loyal Irish Fan says:

          Ok, I still don’t buy the anybody but Kelly argument for the aforesaid reasons, but I have yet to see the stick-a-fork-in-him crowd, which seems like 90% of you guys, put skin in the game and name someone who you think would do better than Kelly. And don’t big-hat, no cattle us all. If you name someone, compare said yet-to-be-named-someone w/Kelly’s stats over his coaching career, his bowl appearances record over the course of his Irish career, and the graduation rates of his classes over the course of his Irish and tell me w/metrics to back it up who you think would be better and how said yet-to-be named potential successor could’ve gotten a team with the worst passer in Irish history this side of Rick Slager 9 wins with Mrs. Outland Trophy and his big-bad-false-starts-in-the-clutch girlfriends?

          Talk to me Cricket Nation.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        And whose job is it to instill that “mental toughness” in the quarterback? The 26-year-old coach the HC hired? That sound like a plan?

      • Georgia got tired of finishing 8-4 and 9-3 under Mark Richt and decided to make a change. USC, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson, OSU, Penn State and other schools expect and demand excellence from their football programs and hire coaches accordingly. ND just strives for pretty goodness and pretty losses to top ten teams under the Jack Swarbrick and Brian Kelly show.

        If Clay Helton gets beat by ND again next year and finishes 9-3 he will be on the hot seat. Brian Kelly can go 0-4 at Stanford and 2-6 overall and not fear for his job. ND has radically lowered its standards and expectations.

    66. Bald Eagle Class67 says:

      ND no longer a Catholic college,,,no longer a Football college,, just your standard secular school with lots of money and research programs. Lots of “international programs”. A really nice stadium complex/package wrapper but no product to sell. You can only live on traditions for so long,,you have to keep them alive, you have to renew the echoes . There are tears in my heart.

    67. A November to remember, ahh not so much. Not sure what was said at halftime of the Wake game, but since they came out of that tunnel for the 3rd qtr on Nov 4th, this team has been horrendous. The run game is weak, QB play mostly poor, the defense has been head-scratching bad. What the heck happened? Where is the team that was supposedly trained to now avoid the November swoon that we have unfortunately become too accustomed to of late? 9-3, so what, just another decent but not up to standards record. I do not believe Kelly will be let go, but if they have another 3 loss or worse season next year, I strongly believe it will be time to move on.

    68. It is very sad and almost impossible to think of but until ND has the NBC contract threatened for mediocracy there is no reason to ever make a change, we have guaranteed money–why change. If the NBC contract depended on winning big occasionally we would find an coach and compete. thins are just too easy for ND to change their philosophy at this point. The greatest thing that ever happened to Irish football–the NBC contract is now the thing that keeps the school from caring about how mediocre the program has become

    69. Top Ten Reasons to Fire $warbucks:

      10. His arrogance and condescension are unbecoming of an ND man
      9. His bloated salary is undeserved,
      8. He failed to act prophyacticaly to protect ND from an academic cheating scandal and then failed to counsel his client on how to respond to the defense of the same.
      7. He has cheapened the ND brand demeaning its prestige, honor and historical role in the culture at large
      6. Firing ND Track Coach Joe Piane and replacing him with Alan Turner
      5. His malpractice in negotiating and renegotiating Kelly’s contracts with exorbitant buy out clauses not giving ND the flexibility it needs to make coaching adjustments
      4. Hiring an unproven Brian Kelly 9 years ago and repeating the same chronic ND mistake of hiring unproven coaches to complete at the highest level
      3. His way too slow recognition that Brian Kelly is way in over his head and has never and will never be a big time game coach competent to win on the big stage against the elites and near elites of college football
      2. His blindness in the continued retention of Brian Kelly when it is now apparent to all that Kelly is a middling coach incapable to consistently beating top flight opponents, and
      1. His callous and arrogant handling of the Declan Sullivan (RIP) tragedy.

    70. I’m with Greg’72. Just saw the tape of the game & am very sad that I will never see ND win another NC in my lifetime. BK just can’t coach in big games in November, especially on the road. He just gets out coached consistently & I don’t think he & his coaches instruct well enough so they continually improve. I just didn’t think our D would fold the way they did. I was at the Miami game & was hoping & praying we would bounce back somehow. Such a shame.

    71. Bye bye Kelly says:

      There is nothing to fade. This performance like the BK Era can be summed up as a steamy pile of horse crap.

    72. Bye bye Kelly says:


    73. This tenure under this administration and Kelly reminds me a lot of my experience as a Pittsburgh Pirates fan.The ownership of the Pirates are making good money in their beautiful stadium and are content with a mediocre product on the field. They just gave their manager a 4 year extention on his contract after a very bad year.

    74. I have read all the comments here and I agree with pretty much all of them so I am not going to repeat anything from any of your comments. But let me leave all of you with one thought. I’m really wondering if Brian Kelly or any of the players on the football team read any of these comments? I also wonder if Father Jenkins and his son Lawyer Jack Warbucks read any of these comments or any comments from the multitude of other ND sites? Can anybody take a guess at my wonderings?

    75. What happened?

      We whipped good 3 top 25 teams (USC, Mich st, NC State) early on, looked legit, had some swag.

      Then got our swag knocked off by Miami, coughing up the ball in the bright lights, and nobody from Adams to Winbush was the same since.

      What the hell happened? There was something there for a few games, and wow–by Stanford it was gone.

      At least now with 3 losses, we are less likely to find ourselves overmatched in a big bowl.

      • On paper, maybe not. But on the field, this team lacks that fire in the belly WE USED TO SEE under Ara and Lou. This team will get embarrassed in the NothingBurger Bowl and it’s all on BK and his inept preparation and inability to light that fire in his players.

    76. Kelly 9-12 in November last 5 season. Nothing else needs to be said.

    77. The simple fact is that Notre Dame played better teams in the second half of the season.
      The last six games were against teams with winning records on the season with a total of 8 out of
      12 games against teams with winning regular season records. 6-2 in those games. Temple might joint that group
      with a bowl win while Navy would drop out with a bowl loss an.

      For comparison, in 1964, ND was 1-1 in games against teams with winning records and those opponents both went
      7-3. In 1965, a 7-2-1 Notre Dame team went 1-2-1 against opponents with winning records. More recently,
      In 1990, 9-3 and 6-2; 1991 10-3 and 5-3; 1992 10-1-1 and 5-1-1 which are clearly the high water marks.
      1995 was 9-3 and 3-3 versus opponents who finished above 500.

      I could go on, but the reality is that Notre Dame’s schedule is difficult and there are more realistic
      opportunities to lose a game.

      • Bye bye Kelly says:

        Jim T, no argument in terms of the difficulty of their schedule but the eye test shows they weren’t the same team in November. Combine that with looking awestruck in Miami and then 2 weeks later losing an extremely winnable game against a far from great Stanford team and at some point we have to all agree that under Kelly their ceiling is approximately 10 wins in a 13 game season. Also, 4-8 last year included losses to good and bad teams alike. If your going to be Mr. Consistent and keep your job for being about 8-5 or 9-4 every year then you need to A.) avoid bad losses and B.) win a big game on occasion and C.) not get your doors blown off when the entire world is watching.

    78. Bye bye Kelly says:

      Playing Iowa St in the Camping Bowl or whatever the hell it’s called when 3 weeks ago we are all getting hyped for a game against Miami in contention for a playoff spot.

    79. After all the posts on this loss I have to say the most relevant one must be the Monk Malloy and his “disciples on the current board” by Mike. The direction of ND football was determined a very long time ago by the rejection of Urban Meyer as the new head coach after Lou. It all started the downward spiral. The admin decided to go in a very scary new direction. Lou had recruited some undesirables but was given a pass with the 1988 NC. I guess if we saw another repeat as National Champions in the next few years under Lou he would have turned over the keys to Urban with the boards blessing. Well it didn’t happen and Monk and the boys decided they had to take a different road and get the “bad boy” element off the campus. So we rejected Urban and settled in for 20+ years of the most generic and irrelevant coaching to bring us to the point of Hiring BK. In 2017 we have a team that Monk and the boys wanted? Not so much. We are irrelevant and our players don’t live in the dorms anymore and (Eddy Street apartments are now the football dorms) and we have all the baggage the admin was determined to get rid of. There’s no decline in the bad boy element… we aren’t squeaky clean and the only difference between Lou and Urban and the glory days under them at ND football is we clearly can’t put an Irish squad on the field who can endure the grind for a national championship run. Great vision admin.
      Mike and Van you guys speak the truth!

    80. Sorry Van that was your comment on Monk…

    81. If we let Gruden get away to Tennessee it will be a travesty beyond comprehension.
      It would be an explanation point that truly the powers that be at our Lady’s University
      do not care at all about the football program and are happy to let us shrivel into oblivion.

      Our Lady please….please pray for us.

    82. Joe Moorhead is taking the Mississippi State job. Another good up and comer is gone. Did a great job at Penn State as OC. Dan Mullen left to take the Florida job.

    83. FrustratedDomer says:

      Fr. Jenkin$ needs to be reassgined. He has not one, but two Bentley automobiles. His salary is over $800.000.00 dollars a year. That was published on the front page of The South Bend Tribune a couple of years ago. So much for the vow of poverty. He does not live on campus like past presidents have, but has a beautiful home in Granger, IN. He should be reassigned to the University of Portland or maybe one of the poor parishes run by the Holy Cross order like St. Adalbert’s in South Bend.

      $warbuck is a wealthy attorney who also needs to go.

      BK ( I always make the L for Lou Holtz during the 1812 Overture that the band plays to begin the fourth quarter and this year I was starting to get into the habit of trying to form the K. By the Navy game, I found myself doing the L, for Lou, instead. It has not been the same at ND since he left and I never realized that Monk had a part in that. I am so sad and disappointed to hear that. It has gotten worse with Fr. Jenkins and his puppet, $warbuck have been there and John Afflack Graves is also part of that team too. My friend used to work at ND and Afflack Graves would say how ND employees need to save more and that they might have to bring in their own toilet paper and that ND is hurting for money. This man making a 6 figure salary has the audacity to talk to the underpaid employees about having to save more. The decadent wealth, and arrogance is not the ND I used to know. Too many people who think their crap does not stink, but their farts give them away. I am very, very sad that ND football had so much potential this year, and once again in November, the wheels fell off. There are coaches out there that ND could court, John Gruden, who is from the South Bend area, comes to mind. I am just fed up with the wheels always coming off the cart at the end of the year.

      Frustrated Domer

    84. Kelly has been a disappointment. However if you get rid of him then you better know the next guy will definitely be better than Kelly and have a proven track record of success. David Shaw of Stanford is better than Kelly but would not leave, Stanford, when he went to school. Give me some names!

    85. Fulk's Ghost says:

      Face the facts – it’s all bad. Dumb coaching. Middling athletic players with no grit. Flaccid Irish. They will usually be top 25, occasionally top 10 and never a champion. Stanford saved them from another epic embarassment in a big bowl.

      The emporer has no clothes.