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The Ty Willingham fact sheet by Board Ops


1. Tyrone Willingham has lost 8 games by at least 3 touchdowns. By comparison, Bob Davie lost 4 games by 3 touchdowns and Gerry Faust lost 3 games by 3 touchdowns. That means that in 3 years Tyrone Willingham has lost more games by 3 touchdowns than Bob Davie and Gerry Faust did in their 10 years combined.

2. Notre Dame was shut out by at least 30 points twice in 2003. The last time that happened was 1904.

3. In Tyrone Willinghamís first 3 years, Notre Dame has lost by at least 30 points 5 times. For perspective, in the previous 40 seasons (1961-2000), Notre Dame lost by at least 30 points a total of 4 times. Bob Davie only lost by 30 points 1 time, as did Gerry Faust.

4. The 38-12 loss to 6-6 Syracuse was Notre Dameís first 3 touchdown loss to an unranked team since 1960.

5. From the 44-13 loss to Southern Cal in 2002 until the 20-17 loss to a 5-6 Brigham Young team, Notre Dame lost 10 games over a 15 game stretch. That was the worst 15 game stretch since 1960.

6. Tyrone Willingham is the first Notre Dame coach since Joe Kuharich (17-23) to have fewer wins by 3 touchdowns (5) than he had losses by 3 touchdowns (8). Bob Davie had twice as many 3 touchdown wins as losses (8 wins, 4 losses). Gerry Faust had over 4 times as many (14 wins, 3 losses).

7. In 2003, Tyrone Willingham became the first Notre Dame coach to have consecutive 4 TD losses to Southern Cal. In 2004, he had his 3rd in a row.

8. Tyrone Willingham has been a Notre Dame coach for 3 years out of the schoolís 117 years (2.6% of the seasons) and has coached in 36 of Notre Dameís 1,106 games (3.3%), however, he has coached in 23.8% (5 out of 21) of Notre Dameís losses by at least 30 points.

9. After starting out 8-0, Tyrone Willinghamís record since has been 13-15.

10. When Tyrone Willingham took over, Notre Dame had the #1 all time winning percentage, with a record of 781-247-42 (.749), ahead of Michiganís 813-265-36 (.746). At the end of the regular season of 2004, Michigan now has the #1 all time winning percentage, with a record of 842-274-36 (.747) while Notre Dame is #2 with a record of 802-261-42 (.745).

Some miscellaneous stats:

Three Notre Dame opponent records have been set in the last 3 years: Most passing yards against Notre Dame (425 yards)- Carson Palmer, USC, 2002
Most receiving yards against Notre Dame (217 yards)- Craphonso Thorpe,
FSU, 2003
Most passing touchdowns against Notre Dame (5)- Tyler Palko, Pitt,
2004, Matt Leinart, USC, 2004

Combined 3-year records:

Joe Kuharich: 10-18 (.357)
Ara Parseghian: 25-3-2 (.867)
Dan Devine: 28-7 (.800)
Gerry Faust: 18-15-1 (.529)
Lou Holtz: 25-10 (.714)
Bob Davie: 21-16 (.568)
Tyrone Willingham: 21-15 (.583)

Year by Year Coaching records for their first 3 years:

Joe Kuharich:

Ara Parseghian:

Dan Devine:

Gerry Faust:

Lou Holtz:

Bob Davie:

Tyrone Willingham:

Coaching Home Records for Their First 3 years:

Joe Kuharich: 7-8 (.467)
Ara Parseghian: 14-1 (.933)
Dan Devine: 12-3 (.800)
Gerry Faust: 9-7 (.563)
Lou Holtz: 15-3 (.833)
Bob Davie: 15-4 (.789)
Tyrone Willingham: 11-7 (.611)

Total Scoring Margins Through Their First Three Years at Notre Dame:

Ara Parseghian +731
Dan Devine +517
Gerry Faust +241
Lou Holtz +438
Bob Davie + 114
Tyrone Willingham +18

In the 117-year history of Notre Dame football, Notre Dame has lost by
more than 30 points 20 times.

Here is a listing of those losses, detailing year, coach, opponent, and
1900 - O'Dea - Wisconsin - 54-0
1904 - Salmon - Wisconsin - 58-0
1904 - Salmon - Purdue 36-0
1905 - McGlew - Purdue - 32-0
1944 - McKeever - Army - 59-0
1945 - Devore - Army - 48-0
1945 - Devore - Great Lakes - 39-7
1951 - Leahy - Michigan State - 35-0
1956 - Brennan - Michigan State - 47-14
1956 - Brennan - Oklahoma - 40-0
1956 - Brennan - Iowa - 48-8
1960 - Kuharich - Purdue - 51-19
1972 - Parseghian - Nebraska - 40-6
1974 - Parseghian - USC - 55-24
1985 - Faust - Miami - 58-7
2000 - Davie - Oregon State - 41-9
2002 - Willingham - USC - 44-13
2003 - Willingham - Michigan - 38-0
2003 - Willingham - USC - 45-14
2003 - Willingham - Florida State 37-0
2004 - Willingham - USC - 41-10

The Five Year Myth

It is a myth that every coach at Notre Dame has an inalienable right to five years to prove himself. That has never been policy. Fifteen coaches in Notre Dame's storied history have, for various reasons, had tenures of less than five years. That list includes Kuharich, Devore, McKeever and Anderson since Rockne. More recently coaches Davie and Faust were given five years, and those decisions proved to be miserable failures. There was some justification to warrant Faust's extra time given his high school background and Father Ted's personal commitment to him, but giving Davie five years was gross negligence. The five-year plan is not policy and even if it were time has proven it to be a colossal failure that should be learned from and not repeated. Ara himself set the standard by boldly stating upon his arrival that if you canít do it in three years, you canít do it. And without exception this has proven to be true. In the entire history of Notre Dame, no coach who failed at the three year mark, succeeded in five years. There are some who claim that because of parity, restrictions and other issues, that Notre Dame can't win anymore, but they said the exact same things before both Ara and Lou arrived in South Bend and were proved wrong. Tedford, Meyer, Carroll, Stoops, Tressel, Amato, Friedgen, Holtz and others have made immediate impacts on their schools, most with far, far less talent than Notre Dame. When the five-year myth is promulgated by media talking heads and writers, itís important to note that most of those talking heads and scribes are not fans of Notre Dame or speaking in Our Lady's best interest.

"Lack of Talent": The Excuse and The Myth

Notre Dame has more consensus top 25 starters than USC, Tennessee and Michigan. * Phil Steele

Only one Notre Dame recruiting class was ranked below consensus #7. That is Ty's latest class.*Phil Steele

Notre Dame has 15 Parade and USA Today first or second team All-Americans, including linebacker, wide receiver, defensive back, and every position along the offensive and defensive lines.

ND vs. USC - Talent
(Post script - Now that the ND-SC game is over its is easy to see there is some validity in the composite rankings below. In the 1st Quarter Notre Dame dominated USC proving they had at least similar raw talent. Then - coaching took over. The superior USC coaches steadily adjusted on both sides of the ball, and the ever-stumbling Irish coaches didn't ... resulting in their 8th blow-out loss in 3 years, more than Faust & Davie could manage in 10.)

The data below represents volumes of hard data compiled on thousands of high school football players by Parade, SuperPrep, Lemming, Emfinger, G&W Recruiting Advisor, Prepstar, AND Rivals over the past 5 years, with no thought to bolstering anyone's argument for this Saturday's ND-USC game. (Please see page 294 of Steel's 2004 issue for more information on how this data is compiled.) You may want to consider looking at all the top recruit rankings, not just Rivals to determine a more accurate picture of the composite raw talent rankings by ALL top recruiting services of ALL high school AND junior college entrants to Div 1 programs. I doubt that all of the Rivals execs will share your willingness to shout about how foolish these other services must be just because there are cases where they may disagree somewhat on an individual recruit's ranking. In my opinion, these composite rankings of all top 6 recruiting services (including Rivals), while imperfect, give us a better gauge, OVER TIME, of which Head Coaches TEND to get more from less ROUTINELY and which HC's don't do that. Every ND HC coach who has been hired on Malloy's watch has failed to inspire, teach, develop, utilize and coach the raw talent they get to even meet, never mind exceed their potential. That is unfair to these kids. If you are really determined to argue that point (other than just calling anyone who disagrees with your poorly researched argument - a "fool"), you have a lot more work to do.

ND & SC starters (taken from their web site today) and how they were ranked at their position by a composite of the top 6 recruiting services leaving high school or JC in the country.


QB Quinn (12) - Leinart (9),
BACKS Walker (13)/Grant (25)/P-Neal (36) - White (7)/Bush (5)/Webb (253)
WR Stovall (4)/McKnight (9)/Holiday (8)/Samardzija (22) - Smith (3)/Buchanan (23)/McFay (76)/Jarrett (4)
TE Fasano (8) - Holmes (5)
OL Sullivan (3)/LeVoir (4)/Morton (14)/Harris (18)/Stevenson (19) - Lutui (4)/Matua (12)/Baker (15)/Kalil (34)/Drake (113)


DL Abiamiri (1)/Pauly (4)/Landri (5)/Tuck (16) - Cody (1)/Jackson (6)/Patterson (140)/Rucker (Unranked)
LB Goolsby (4)/Curry (25)/Hoyte (29) - Grootegood (3)/Santz (23)/Tatupu (Unranked)
CB Campbell (18)/Ellick (Unranked)/Jackson (69) - Wyatt (25)/Nunn (165)
S Zbikowski (9)/Burrell (21) - Bing (4)/Leach (29)

As expected USC ranks very well in the rankings for their overall recruit classes over the last 5 years (based on a composite of these same top 6 recruiting services, including Rivals) that comprise their 2004 squad = 11, 13, 7, 1, 1 for a very low total of 33 recruit points or an average of 6.6 per year. Very few teams in the country could match such impressive numbers. Surprisingly however, ND is one of those teams. In fact ND had an even lower 6, 5, 5, 3 (for a best-in-the-country average of 4.8) prior to Ty's last #17 ranked class that brought the 2004 team total recruit points up to 36 - for a still very low average of 7.2.

Despite this none of us would argue that ND has as much talent TODAY as SC, just that they did have more comparable raw talent when each of the past 5 classes arrived at each school. The major difference is that ND's talent (under any Malloy hire) is never fully inspired, developed, utilized, taught, prepared or coached.