In reply to: The difference in the Cotton Bowl was their QB. * posted by domerfromkansas
That's likely the easier swap out.
To win the big games on a regular basis you have to have top players *and* a top gameplan. Kelly gets by more often than not on having top players and occasionally coming up with a good complete gameplan.
Average game plans with above average talent should get ND 6 "easy" wins a year given the schedule. 3 more of the remaining games would probably be wins with the same efforts. Thus getting 7.5 to 9 wins at ND doesn't require superhuman effort in getting players, teaching fundamentals, game planning, or in game coaching.
Getting over the top and performing at "traditional" Notre Dame standards: i.e. winning big bowl games on a regular basis, winning a National Championship at least once a decade requires that a coach, his staff, and players perform at a much higher level than ND has put forth in the last 25 years. They've been somewhat close a few times, but multiple seasons of sustained success just haven't been there.
All of that being said, I believe that there are several coaches that if they traded jobs (and staffs) with Kelly would absolutely clean his clock with the players that ND has vs what they had. I would argue that just about every coach that has already beat Kelly could do so because there have been very few instances where Notre Dame hasn't had close to equal or better talent on the field as their opponents. The primary difference has been and will continue to be the guy who is in charge.