if it weren't for two mind-numbing, inexcusable, embarrassing losses to Marshall and Stanford, ND would've gone into the last game of the year with a legitimate chance to make the playoffs. And please don't tell me how good Marshall was. They had the fifth best record in the f'ing Sun Belt Conference.
Bad losses by any definition. I’m not arguing this was a successful season. There’s a lot to fix, but the character of the team isn’t on the list.
Using "on brand" Notre dame football: Solid special teams, a mean running game, and a few nice hits on defense to put the game away.
Clemson is a well coached and high quality opponent. We didn't edge them without the starting QB and we didn't require 2OTs to beat them. We obliterated them on live TV well into the meat of the season.
Right now we are depleted talent wise. When our main guys god own the drop off is pretty bad. Freeman recognizes that and is fixing it.
Kelly never delivered such an ass kicking save for maybe Oklahoma in 2012. As Andy is loath to hear, our ceiling is much higher with Marcus than with Rabid Barney the Dinosaur.
...Kelly was an underachieving recruiter for most of his ND career and simply left us in the lurch--one day he was here, the next he was gone; and while I respect all our players, collectively, this was not a top-5 team, as someone who might be on drugs said below.
We had a new head coach, who had never been a head coach anywhere else. We had a new starting QB that went down in the second game. We had a new starting running back.
This is a lot to overcome. My hat is off to MF, well done.
Further this is a supposition, but I feel when coaches leave winning programs for other college or NFL jobs it is because that they have had a few bad years of recruiting and they know it. A good example of this is Urban Meyer at the University of Florida. I feel that BK new that this was not going to be the stellar years he had before because of poor recruiting mainly at QB.
However, I say thanks to BK for all of the wins and playing for the national championship.
And thanks to MF for an 8-4 season in his first year. It was about what I expected. I look forward to next year.
And as always, Go Irish
Not the results or play sometimes, obviously.
He was given talent enough to win 8-10 games, a somewhat difficult schedule, solid upper-tier facilities, and a friendly AD. He left with the talent to win 8-10 games, a much more watered-down schedule, solid upper-tier facilities, and that same clueless AD.
He allegedly brought stability (and vacated wins) but functionally was only *marginally* better than the three previous failed head coaches.
Freeman needs 2-3 years of being able to haul in top 5 classes in order to raise the ceiling (and the floor) for this program.
I believe this season is the floor. Kelly managed to go much lower than this for his floor. I believe Coach Freeman can pull this program up off this floor and begin to climb.
The next steps are to close out this recruiting class in the top 5/10, navigate transfers (in and out), and use the bowl game (and practices) to jumpstart next year.
weak leadership AND acceptance of mediocrity at the AD level and above.
We are lesser as a program and an extant team. One the one hand, I believe Kelly and his meat head agent were always looking to bail and so he and meat had could parlay and cash out and Kelly for myriad reasons -because he didn’t like ND, he bristled at its expectations, and he viewed the football team as his and nobody else’s.
The quantum and quality of our depth is at or near worst ever at several positions. He left the tentacles of his horrific offense embedded like a slow release stink bomb. In other words, he crop dusted the offense. Freeman spent half of his time during games trying to spray Febreze in the press box.
Weis left some real talent on the team, though it was like termites holding hands.
You know you are hurting when Charlie Weis is more appealing than you. But that is Kelly’s legacy.
But hey we went to the playoffs like Cincinnati and got a football shoved up our asses sideways every time! The lads are better off now than they were TWELVES FUCKING YEARS AGO when rabid midget barney took over.
and Music City Bowls. All of which present incontrovertible evidence of Brian Kelly's unique program building talents.
The youngsters would say that Kelly and Jack curated the awful bowl opponent to try to infuse the program with credibility. And we still could have lost.
But Four Leaf Skinflint remembers that day fondly. He went to a bar downtown where he ordered tap waters for 4 hours and left a dollar for a tip
Johnny Lujack to pimp for a Tron. I was embarrassed for Lujack and embarrassed for Notre Dame at the time. But for Kelly, Swarbrick, and Jenkins, it was all just fine, which kind of reinforced my belief that there was no bottom to which we wouldn't sink in the manufacturing of new legends that would come to define ND Football. But who am I to complain? It did get us alternating, two shades of turf (except at the 50) to somehow represent the cutting of actual grass, which, apparently, was very important to theoretically make it look real. And it got us smoke out the tunnel! And that no-ways sanctimonious pre-game prayer broadcast on the Tron for the whole world to see just how exactly non-sanctimonious we are!!
While my optimism is buoyed regarding what the team has accomplished with Kelly gone and Freeman ideally in charge, the fact remains that Swarbrick and Jenkins are still here, so I won't be holding my breath any time soon just yet knowing there are people around who can still screw up this latest incarnation of Return to Glory.
The Pinstripe Bowl victory (now vacated) was versus Rutgers after the 2013 season.
I do recall it being a regular season game. Thanks for the correction.
We’ll be sorry when our program’s dead, and all this guilt will be on our heads.
Weis left BK a dumpster fire, especially on defense. BK left Freeman a top 5 team.
Kelly likely bolted for purpler grass because he knew his recruiting had fallen a notch or two and there was a pretty good chance he was gonna lose a few games this year.
He did not leave Freeman a top-5 team. Sure he left a top-15 team behind, to a first year head coach with a top-75 or so offensive coordinator, but it was not a top-5 team. And Freeman did about what most people expected with top-15 talent and a terrible offensive coordinator and a backup quarterback to boot.
I don't know if Notre Dame is out of the weeds with Freeman helming the program, but I know you sound like you have been smoking some....
Charlie actually recruited 5* talent.
BK inherited 3 top 10 classes including the jr class that was #2. This roster included four 5*'s, something BK would not have again in his 12 years at ND.
This group produced 4 first-round picks, one of which is a HoF lock while another is getting close. (Zach Marin, Harrison Smith, Tyler Eifert, Michael Floyd)
He also had a 5* QB and a slew of guys that would play years in the NFL: Theo Riddick Manti Teo Kyle Rudolf KLM TJ Jones Ian Williams Chris Watt Darrin Walls Robert Blanton Prince Shembo Louis Nix Chris Stewart Trevor Robinson Armando Allen Cierre Wood Jonas Gray Robert Hughes
Bennett Jackson (I'm probably missing some)
And what did he do with all that talent?
Lost at home to Navy by 3 scores and also lost to Tulsa at home and told everyone in the presser afterward to "get used to it".
He only played 2 ranked teams that year, lost to #16 Stanford by 23 and beat #14 Utah.
This years schedule will have 2 top 5 teams and at least 3 other ranked.
Charlie for all of his faults did leave the program better than he found it. His recruiting had holes in it but much smaller ones than Ty left behind. He also left Kelly better players in skill positions than Kelly left behind for Freeman.
Scheme and coordinators weren't good for Charlie but Kelly didn't leave behind a schematic advantage either.
behavior, where we were treated to thin-skinned excuses like "Get used to it" after losing to Tulsa.
Kelly left Freeman an 8-4 team, honored by Freeman's poise, class and growth.
BK left Notre Dame after 12 seasons of horrific behavior that in itself was a demonstrative dumpster fire that went far beyond wins and losses.
After all of those years with Kelly, it’s clear that he was never going to take the program where anyone with any historic knowledge wants it to be. He was going to keep it in purgatory, while behaving like a horse’s ass that has no appreciation for what this place is all about. I couldn’t be happier to see him gone.
We’re not sure yet what we have in Marcus Freeman as a head football coach, but we know he’ll work his tail off to be the best he can be, and we know he gets this place. I would much rather travel down an occasionally bumpy road with Freeman, whose ceiling I truly believe is higher than Kelly’s, than spend any more time spinning our wheels with a head coach who is content winning most of the time while offering excuses why he can’t win more.
Players, promising results when he gets his own guys?
...next season's opener?
Famously spoken by Brian Kelly after embarrassing losses at both Notre Dame and LSU. And for all we know, at Cincinnati, Central Michigan, and GVSU, too.
You really don't need to know much more than that about the difference between him and Marcus Freeman.
You are talking out your rear.
Kelly completely screwed over the QB and WR positions with his recent recruiting.
top 10 in the team composite rankings (which include all players on scholarship
Finishing 15 and 18 means you are performing at the very bottom of your peer group and providing zero chance to win a national title in 2022 unless you have a messiah QB. Which of course Kelly did not leave ND with.
Talent Composite ranking heavily titled to young players, especially the frosh class which is only highly ranked because of Freeman's impact.
USC had junior and senior classes ranked 20th, and 63th.
UNC had junior and senior classes ranked 30th and 14th.
Our senior and junior classes may be horrible classes in your opinion, but if they are, then they are 9-2 horrible classes, not 7-4 horrible classes.
Also, the 2018 class was 10th, and some of our best players were fifth years this year.
+ that's not even accounting for the heavy weight which should be placed on the QB position.
+ there are 12 games in a season.
+ USC injected an immense amount of talent through transfers into the equation which makes your comparison inaccurate. USC has the better roster/team.
+ the fact that 5th year borderline NFL draft picks (and some non-NFL players) are among the best ND players proves the point.
+ Every team has a few 5th years that are at least as good as ND's.
ND's talent/roster is top 20-25 this year. They finished ranked #19.
Jaylen Sneed was a 5* but wasn’t ready to see the field this year as a true freshman. Still think he’ll end up being a very good/great player. But he counts the same as a 5* junior/senior.
Class rankings, per 247 composite:
2019 (seniors): 15 (also includes Kyle Hamilton and Kyren Williams)
2020 (juniors): 18
2021 (sophomores): 9
2022 (freshmen): 7
that a large part of the reason that Sneed is here was the recruiting prowess of Freeman. It's not a coincidence that the highest rated of those years was the year with Freeman.
I don't care for Kelly but any analyst worth his salt will admit that he left Notre Dame in a much much better place than when he inherited it. He left it with the team you see today, which is not a bad team at all. The one exception is at QB, the most important position on the team. Freeman and Rees should have gone to the portal during the off-season to get a good QB. You know, like Kelly did with Coan and at LSU with Daniels. Put Daniels on this team and you are in the playoffs. Apparently, Freeman opted not to go to the portal so as to not rock the boat in his first year as head coach.
So yes, you are right. I do not know of a single Notre Dame analyst or beat reporter that will say anything different. Even Bryan Driskel on Irish Breakdown recognizes that he left Notre Dame football in a much better place than when he began his tenure. And that is saying a lot because Driskel hates Kelly with a passion and does not hide it at all.
Nobody is going to mistake anyone in this receiving corps for any of the WR that CW left behind and Kyle Rudolph was not a slouch even if he isn't Mayer. Also nobody will mistake any of the LB's for Manti Teo.
Charlie left him better recruits than he left Freeman and it isn't close. So are you going to hang your hat on the Jumbotron, the fake turf, or the practice barn?
Everyone says Kelly left the program better than he found it, but they forget that Kellys initial success was based largely on what Chatlie had recovered from the ashes of the Ty fire. Charlie was a failure, but his initial success got the Gug built and put ND back on the list for recruits. Kelly parlayed that into a stadium expansion and expanded facilities.
Fact of the matter is that Kelly managed to coast on by. He managed to dodge a firing halfway through his time here. He marginally raised the floor.
I simply ask what did Kelly really do to leave the program better? He offered excuses and used the program as a piggy bank until he was forced to clean up his mess enough to save face and get the hell out before the house of cards fell in again.
He likely left the same team we saw this year given the shortcomings on the roster. So he left a top 8 program (which is as an improvement). But he left probably a top 20 team.
in a much better place than when he inherited it." If you want to argue the football program is better positioned for success, you can make that argument. But Notre Dame, as a place, is not better for Kelly trying to turn it into something it has never been.
to Marcus Freeman, should include an analysis of the whole Brian Kelly experience, which was....not good.
The point, which I contest (read my original response), is that Kelly did not leave the Notre Dame football program in a better place than when he was named the head coach. My post has nothing to do with Freeman.
If you just look at records, the 2010 team went 8-5, with some catastrophic losses to Navy and Tulsa. The 2022 team is 8-4, with catastrophic losses to Marshall and Stanford. I'm not sure that records tell us much of anything.
So let's look at position groups and make a subjective evaluation. Here's which group I think I'd take:
QB - 2010, not close
RB - 2010, close
WR - 2010, not close
TE - 2022, but really close. Mayer is *really* good, but Rudolph and Eifert were both on that 2010 team.
Oline - 2022
D-line - 2022, close
Linebackers - 2010, not close
DBs - 2022, close
Kickers - Push.
There's three spots where the 2010 roster was clearly better than 2022. The 2022 roster has no such advantages over the 2010 roster, though you might make a case on o-line.
I didn't think the QB situation in 2010 was necessarily any better on paper than what we have now.
On second consideration, I'd temper that, though still award it to the 2010 team, but it's probably not a "not close" scenario when Buchner's pre-season potential is taken into consideration.
It wasn't kind and I edited it. But the post I responded to made it tricky to defend our current crop of QBs. I think Pyne, Buchner and Angeli are, as a group, just as good as the crop in 2010.
Dayne was a top 25 recruit who had enormous potential but was irretrievably ruined by Kelly. I think we jumped the gun early on Buchner who had some bad luck in HS and never had the opportunity to grow or develop. I think we jumped the gun on Angeli too. I hope both prove me wrong
We can go back and forth on this and I agree with a lot of what you said. However, when you look at the big picture, here is what you objectively see :
1. A team that has gone to the College Playoffs a few times and in the finals once (before the new system). That was not the case under Weis or Willingham;
2. A team with a composite talent that was better than any team under Weis or Willingham.
Let's not forget that the origin of the post is that it was contested that Kelly left the team in a much better place than when he inherited it, which is objectively true.
And I know for a fact you wouldn’t be if you weighted junior and senior classes as more important than freshman and sophomore classes in a talent analysis. But even weighing all 4 classes evenly, 2010 and 2022 are about even.
You seem to be glossing over this fact, when it’s a huge crux of your argument. If you want to bring up “culture” or “facilities” or “players that are experienced at winning” or any other number of intangible things as to why the program was better in Dec. 2021 compared to Dec. 2009 then go ahead. But you continuing to bring up talent composite via recruiting rankings as an example of why Freeman inherited a better program than Kelly is completely incorrect.
...which has some reliable foundation, as opposed to the conclusory flags being waved by NDQuebec and ND74KJS.
Please tie any any details to either how Brian Kelly moved ND closer to a national championship or brought the Notre Dame football program closer to ND's overall mission.
Also note which ones BK was primarily responsible for and which ones merely happened during his 12-year tenure and were not driven by him or in some cases in spite of him (such as S&C improvements/Balis).
playoffs a couple of times? And how about the fact that the recruits he left are in the top 10 of the 2022 team composite rankings. Is that not good enough for you? Ok, then check the record during the last five years. Still not good enough? Then I give up.
I implore you to look at ND’s 2007 and 2008 class recruiting rankings, since you apparently think Kelly took over the Rutgers program in 2010.
Great, he did better than Weis.
which is not a bad team at all.”
Nobody disagrees with that. What people disagree with is that 2010 team was a dumpster fire. Go look again at the 2010 roster.
Either way, neither 2010 nor 2022 rosters were good enough to win a championship. Probably the only one that was in the BK era was 2015. It’ll take a couple years, but hopefully Freeman can get it to a championship level by 2024/2025.
shows it, that Kelly left ND in a much better position than when he took it over. It is clearly demonstrated by the wins and losses during the last five years and the level of overall talent. Weis stocked up on skill position talent but overall, his teams were lacking in the other positions. Just ask Clausen what he thought of his oline. Like him or not (and I do not), he left the team in a better place than when he joined it.
Kelly left the program in better shape than it was when he came in. You're entitled to it, but it's just, like, your opinion, man.
up with objective facts.
The only information that you have presented is the composite rankings, which others have pointed out to you is flawed. As far as I can tell, you have not to responded to those points.
I will remind you that it has been demonstrated that the talent level Kelly left was at best on par with what he inherited. I would argue - note, this is my *opinion*, I am not not trying to present it as a *fact*, that our talent deficiency at critical spots such as QB, receiver, and linebacker makes this year's team worse than 2010's. It's difficult to succeed at the highest level when none of your QBs is much better than average. That's on Kelly.
The fact is, and the record shows it, that:
* Kelly had a full season vacated under his watch. That was over 5 years ago, but it is a mark against the program that never can be removed.
* A student manager died on Kelly's watch. He should have been fired on the spot. Swarbrick as well. That Notre Dame did not do so will forever be a point of shame for the university.
* The schedule at the end of Kelly's tenure was watered down, inflating his win percentage. Ref: here https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/notre-dame/index.html. Others may have better links, that's what I found with a quick search. My *opinion* is that the ACC is a weaker football conference than the Big 10.
* Kelly's team in 2012 was led by players that he inherited.
In 2005 ND took a national-champion runner-up Southern Cal team to the wire. Kelly got curb-stomped every time he encountered an elite team. That's not leaving the team in better shape.
So, I find the following statement made by you to be flawed. One might even say that the fact is, and the record shows, that it is objectively false:
"I get what you are saying but the fact is, and the record shows it, that Kelly left ND in a much better position than when he took it over. It is clearly demonstrated by the wins and losses during the last five years and the level of overall talent. Weis stocked up on skill position talent but overall, his teams were lacking in the other positions. Just ask Clausen what he thought of his oline. Like him or not (and I do not), he left the team in a better place than when he joined it."
It's your opinion, you're welcome to it. Please don't insult the collective intelligence of the board by trying to present your opinion as indisputable fact. Have a good evening.
recruiting under Weis vs under Kelly. If you see flaws in the composite rankings, maybe you will find this article more enlightening.
As for the rest, I'll just say that this year's team is much better than Weis's last team. Kelly inherited a team that was 6-6. Freeman inherited a team that was 11-2. This year's team was a QB away from being in the hunt for a national championship. Getting a good QB through the portal would have done the job. Freeman chose not to.
Finally, the rest of your points (vacated wins, etc.), have nothing to do with the question, which is: Did Kelly leave the Notre Dame football program in a better place than it was when he inherited it.
shape that what he inherited.
My opinion is that he did not. In my opinion the 11-2 record was the result of a puffball schedule. The state of the program that Kelly left was one that was incapable of winning a national championship. If you think for one second that adding a good QB - not a Heisman candidate, just a good one, would result in a non-trivial chance to win the national championship, then there's really nothing more to discuss. Even more than there already is little to discuss.
Record isn't everything. Faust's final year was 5-6. But he left a Heisman candidate and a lot of talent when he left. Likewise Weis. Weis had plenty of gaps, but he left the core of the 2012 championship run team, about which Kelly only could complain.
Kelly left the state of the larger _program_ worse than what he inherited. To me, the program is more than just the on-field results. Freeman, to his credit, is undoing some of Kelly's misdeeds.
You hold a different opinion, and that's fine. I'm heading out, so I won't be able to spend any more time debating it with you, thank goodness.
Again, have a good evening.
...You have adduced some facts, but they don't support your point.
The fact that Kelly got ND to the playoffs in 2012 and 2018 does not bear on the state of the roster when he took a powder from us in late 2021. We're not talking about NFL teams where you often have roster continuity over several years--keeping the college roster well-stocked takes very assiduous effort every single year, something that Kelly evidently did not exert.
This also is true to the extent that you consider Kelly's win-loss record as proof to support your point. What he did 2, 3, 4, 5 years ago on the field of play is a red herring, or at best distantly related to the issue of the roster coming into 2022 versus what he came into in 2010. Take a look, again, at what KeoughCharles05 posted (at the link below); your reply to him indicated some agreement, but then you cited the playoffs, which as I said are not to the point.
Defensive players on the roster when Weis left included:
Manti T'eo - multi-year NFL career
Brian Smith - played in the NFL
Harrison Smith - 6 time pro bowler
Kapron Lewis-Moore - multi-year nfl career
Robert Blanton - multi year nfl career
Zeke Motta - drafted into the NFL
Ian Williams - Multi-year NFL career
We'll not mention Prince Shembo...
Dan Fox - played in the NFL
Bennett Jackson - played in the NFL
Darrin Walls - played in the NFL
Darius Fleming - multi year NFL career
Weis didn't leave the 85 Bears behind, but it wasb't a dumpster fire either.
On offense, when Weis left, the following players still had eligibility:
And that's without even going into the linemen...
The original poster's point was that, though 6-6 when Weis was fired, there was ample talent for that team to be better in the following year. And that was correct. Weis's last two teams were young with a thin roster, and Kelly inherited a stable of good recruiting classes Kelly. This includes several guys that spent 4-6 years in the NFL, as well as guys with longevity like Te'o and a possible NFL Hall of Famer in Harrison Smith. (To say nothing of the surefire NFL Hall of Famer in Zack Martin). Kelly didn't inherit 6-6 talent. A decent college coach would've been expected to get more out of that. He inherited at least 8-5 talent, which was Kelly's record despite choking against Navy and Tulsa.
Similarly, Kelly didn't leave a Top 5 team because he didn't leave Top 5 talent. The leading RB and WR were gone, as were the All-American safety. ND's upper classes this year were in the 13th to 18th range in recruiting, and there were big gaps in offensive recruiting. There were holes at WR and QB that would've affected Kelly just as much as they would've affected Freeman.
Going into the year, 8-4 was my baseline expectation because of these deficiencies. But I expected the team to be notably better at the end of the year because of these shortcomings and because the line was still young and developing. It would've taken a huge leap from Buchner to do better than this. This assessment proved to be accurate. Despite choking to Marshall and Stanford, the team looked a lot better by years' end.
All in all, both Kelly and Freeman more or less performed in line with the situation they were dealt. Both adjusted. Kelly ran the ball more at the end of 2010 to win. Freeman also may or may not have exerted more influence in offensive game planning to pound the ball after early season failures and qb injury. Obviously, the SC game was a setback. I'm still hopeful that we respond in the bowl game against a decent opponent.
was not the ingredients for a top 5 team.
Obviously, not the be-all, end-all (and not always accurate) and there are certain intangibles/culture/development attributes that need to be taken into account, but if you want to call entering a situation with a roster that has Manti Te’o, Zack Martin, Harrison Smith, Tyler Eifert, Michael Floyd, Kyle Rudolph, Jonas Gray, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Theo Riddick a “dumpster fire” I will disagree.
QB's (Clausen left before Kelly could ruin him)...Weis recruited Rees first and Crist
RB's: both Wood and Riddick were Weis players
WR's: Floyd left after '11 (Tate left early like Clausen)
OLine...Weis left a lot of good players including Z Martin, Golic Jr, Watt, and Cave
TE...Rudolph (left after '11) and Eifert
Te'o...obviously, Motta, KLM...lots of good players and leaders
Weis played a full strength USC(and well coached no matter how much we can't stand Carroll)...Kelly played a very bad USC program and benefitted from it.
Let alone an empty one.
And Kelly went unranked and 8-5 his first two seasons
Freeman had a better first year than Kelly’s first two, with top 20/25 talent
He was a lazy fuck recruiter. This is the team he left Freeman.
I like everything about your post.
What you said about Pyne was so right. He played his ass off against USC and thank God he did because we would have lost by 4 TDs had he not. That game had Miami 2017 written all over it through the first few series. Pyne wouldn't let that happen.
I've got great respect for what he did, with the talent he has. Yeah, the fumble was bad and the INT was result of him pressing because of our defense's complete inability to keep us in the game, but Pyne kept us from getting our asses blown out and the staff did well to help him to get to that point.
... on other boards or even the comments following an article about the game in The Athletic are actually blaming Pyne for ND losing the game.
Rock's House continues to 50 miles ahead of any place else when it comes to intelligent discussion.
I think people are looking at what Caleb Williams is and rightly think that if ND doesn't get someone closer to that level they're going to lose to the teams that do just about every time, even when guys like Drew Pyne play about as well as they can possibly play, like Drew did Saturday.
A lot of people are blaming Pyne and his two turnovers for the loss.
I wasn't giving an opinion here. It's fact. I read the comments - and even went to battle with a few of them.
They controlled both lines of scrimmage and outrushed us 200-90 or whatever. They controlled the clock. They beat us at our game.
The only questions is whether Williams would have still been the difference if ND had stopped the run and ran the ball reasonably effectively itself.
If you put Slovis or Dart under center instead of him, Southern Cal does not win. And they're not 10-1 entering the game.
Every time they needed a play, he made it.
Play number 1: With 2:18 to go in the second quarter, USC faced a second and 8. Williams dropped back to pass, was flushed from the pocket, danced around, ran to his right, and threw the ball about 40 yards for a 23 yard completion to the 25. Had he not made that play, USC would have been facing 3rd and long around midfield, 3rd and REALLY long had he been sacked. Instead, they moved on to score a TD (after another scramble play that he kept alive long enough to get a holding call.)
Play number 2: With a 10 point lead and the ball on the ND 16, USC faces 4th and 2. One of Notre Dame's slow linebackers comes too far upfield (or too slowly upfield...either way, I doubt the plan was for him to jog himself out of position) and Williams sprints in for the final nail in our coffin. Had he thrown an incomplete pass or otherwise not made the first down and the rest of the game played out as it did, USC would have been looking at a 3 point win.
That's just two plays, but if those two plays go our way, we might have been looking at a different result. The fact that we realize how silly that hypothetical is shows just how big of a difference Williams was - of course he made those plays and of course he would have made more.
STOP SLAMMING REEEEZE
It was his ability as a QB that opened things up for the USC running backs late in the game. If ND didn't have to spy and do so many things trying to account for Williams they would have played the run very differently.
It was his ability as a QB that opened things up for the USC running backs late in the game. If ND didn't have to spy and do so many things trying to account for Williams they would have played the run very differently.
Zero chance their running game would have had the same efffectiveness with a different QB.
Americans will be on our roster mext year? Alt? Perhaps our freshman CB
. Maybe Estime.
Kellylovers overstated the quality of our recruiting classes every single year. And glossed over the failures.
Perhaps Freeman was aware of the talent when he assembled his staff. He gave primacy to presumed recruiting skill over raw acumen with a couple of exceptions. And then the ground shifted under Freeman's feet with the NIL sham.
I believe that Freeman needs to upgrade his staff as well as the talent.
Although I do think his citing of recruiting being a critical coaching skill (work ethic?) is reasonable since the industry is college football.
He also mentioned teaching ability and appreciating ND as the other key attributes, if I recall correctly.
But the TE, Special Teams, RB, and obviously OL coaches...I don't think of them as necessarily recruiters/sales reps, at least not primary.
He inherited O'Leary (terrible recruiting track record), Mickens, Rees.
And Golden would seem to be a wet dream profile-wise - experience on both sides of the ball - the last 35 years spent as a Penn State TE, DC at Virginia, HC twice, NFL positional coach experience on both sides of ball. Freeman singled Golden out for being someone he can lean on to provide "I've been there" advice, the type of guidance apparently his OC turned down.
For recruits, he was an unknown quantity. I think this was the perfect season to sell Notre Dame, “look how well we did with a slow undersized roster imagine what we could do with you”. And when I say “pass”, we still will likely finish up with a top 10 possibly a top five class
If he needs a pass it’s Marshall and Stanford.
That the likelihood of us dropping out of the top five is pretty high.
That’s why I clarified by “pass” it’s still a very good but not elite class
Keeley, Elijah Page, Dante Moore and maybe Peyton Bowen.
Is that still your position?
I think we will be top 5 with Bowen and even without the others.
Oklahoma is still his expected destination. His girlfriend is headed there to play soccer.
No one believes the drama associated with this kid will end once he signs with someone.
Guys that at least seem like they could get there based on flashes we have seen would be Meriweather, Sneed and Raridon. Probably some of the young offensive lineeman (Schrauth) have that potential.
Estime is a solid back, but I don't see him as an AA-type.
I just had a feeling that the QB was going to hold us back all year and it did...OSU-yep, figured for a loss but I thought we fought pretty hard on defense (Michigan beatdown of OSU stings a tad) and USC also figured to be at a loss...the team with the better QB normally wins the game. Not always, but usually. USC's Williams was superior to Pyne every physical measurable (Pyne seems like an awesome young man)
Pick six against Marshall, and that stupid 4th and 2 on the goal line against Stanford instead of a chip shot FG.
Both plays provided the margin of defeat.
On the other hand, there's any number of plays in the Stanford game that would have created a different outcome.
In the Marshall game, we were down 19-15 when the pick-six happened. Then, the next drive we threw another interception. We didn't score the final TD until Marshall was up 11, with 14 seconds left.
In the Stanford game, in addition to the play you mention, not lining up wrong on a play earlier that drive would have resulted in a TD. Not fumbling on the final drive of the first half would have deprived Stanford of the end of half FG. Had Estime not fumbled, we likely would have scored, as Estime was in FG range when he fumbled, and we were starting to run the ball at will. Hell, had we not gotten an off-setting penalty on Stanford's next drive, we likely would have gotten the ball back with 6 minutes at our 35, instead of 2 minutes at our 10. That isn't to say we deserved to win the Stanford game, but everything had to go *just* so for Stanford to eke that win out. Definitely not the case in the Marshall game.
To wit, it would be an even better outcome if Uga were to ejaculate in both of Kelly's eyes.
Because I don't care if Uga does it personally or if he has help