It’s Time For Notre Dame To Move On From Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly just passed the great Knute Rockne for all time wins in Notre Dame football history and you’re probably thinking why would or should the Irish be looking for their next head coach?

Well I can give several reasons.

1) 1-7

As Notre Dame’s Head Football Coach Brian Kelly is 4-11 vs top 10 teams and 1-7 vs top 5 teams. Every Notre Dame fan on the planet should appreciate Kelly for what he did to claw Notre Dame back into relevancy, but I believe he has taken the Irish as far as he can. Simply put, Kelly cannot win the big games.

2) No Fire

It was great to see NBC broadcast Brian Kelly’s pregame speech before the Notre Dame vs Cincinnati game and I don’t understand why they cut it off (sarcasm). For a second, I thought I was watching a pregame show for the golf channel. Does anyone remember when Lou Holtz famously led Notre Dame out onto the field to upset the number 1 ranked Miami Hurricanes? What did he say again? Leave Jimmy Johnson’s ass for me.

“His face was red,” Pat Terrell said. “He was mad and we had no idea what was going to come next. You assumed he was going to go off on us for fighting, but he said, ‘We’ve got an hour to play and a lifetime to remember.’ He said, ‘If we want to fight in the parking lot after the game, that’s fine. You represent our school properly in the game. But do me one favor: After we kick their butts, you leave Jimmy Johnson’s ass for me.’

When was the last time Brian Kelly said anything remotely close to that? When has he ever said anything at all to get his guys to run through a brick wall for him? Instead, what I remember is when number 3 ranked Notre Dame went down to face number 7 ranked Miami and had a brick thrown at their bus. What would Lou Holtz have done if that had happened to the Irish back when he was the coach? Maybe throw that brick right back at them SOBs, or at the very least use it as motivation to win the game, what did Kelly do? He led the Irish right onto that field to get whooped 41-8.

3) Time

Brian Kelly is about to be 60 years old and he’s in his 12th season. Kelly is only one year shy of Knute Rockne who coached for 13 seasons for the Irish. He also now has one more season coaching the Irish than Lou Holtz, Ara Parseghian, and Frank Leahy, who all coached the Irish for 11 seasons. The big difference with all of those coaches mentioned is they were able to win championships, while serving as Notre Dame’s head coach.

Now I still give credit to Kelly for getting the Irish to a BCS National Championship Game and 2 College Football Playoff appearances. But that’s all the Irish did in those games, appeared. All 3 were blow outs, why get there if you aren’t even going to fight? They are called the “Fighting” Irish, aren’t they?

4) Cade McNamara / Phil Jurkovec

In my opinion both Cade McNamara and Phil Jurkovec will be playing on Sundays, or at the very least, they will both get a shot in the NFL. On the other hand, Jack Coan, Tyler Buchner, and Drew Pyne won’t even get water boy duties at the next level. Both McNamara and Jurkovec should be on Notre Dame today. Why aren’t they? The answer is simple, Brian Kelly.

Cade McNamara committed to Notre Dame originally then decommitted and has led the Michigan Wolverines to a 5-0 start to the 2021 season. I also believe he will be the difference maker for Michigan in beating Ohio State this year.

Phil Jurkovec was a better QB than Ian Book, but Kelly decided to go with the experienced, but no good Ian Book over Phil Jurkovec last season, so Jurkovec transferred to Boston College. Jurkovec did get hurt this season, but if not hurt he’d be the clear cut starter for the Eagles and he would be the clear cut starter for the Irish this season.

Instead, the Irish are stuck with the cast from the movie “The Goonies” for their QB room. Even without McNamara and Jurkovec, why can’t Kelly land a top 3 QB? Why? Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State all had their QBs go in the first round in the most recent NFL Draft. Meanwhile, Ian Book who shouldn’t have even been drafted, went in the 4th.

Having either Cade McNamara or Phil Jurkovec in a year where Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State all have new quarterbacks would have given Notre Dame their biggest chance to win it all.

5) Recruiting

Notre Dame will always be a University that pumps Offensive Linemen and Tight Ends into the NFL. But wouldn’t it be nice to see a top dog RB or WR or heck a QB go pro and tear it up at the next level? Or what about an elite pass rusher, hard hitting linebacker, lockdown corner or ball hawking safety?

Look at the guys that Alabama puts into the NFL, or heck look at the guys the SEC, Big10, and ACC put in. Why can’t Notre Dame get those guys? I understand the higher GPA and going to class is hard and Notre Dame isn’t in the South and blah blah blah. You know what all those are, excuses. It’s time to put away all the excuses and look at the facts.

How in the world did Lou Holtz beat Miami, wasn’t that the Catholics vs Convicts game? How did Parseghian beat the great Bear Bryant, not once but 3 times? How did Dan Devine land Joe Montana? Shoot even incompetent Charlie Weis got recruits. Why now is it acceptable to think Notre Dame can’t land big name players? They always did in the past. What’s changed?

Serious question, would you want to play for a guy that gives pregame speeches similar to that of attending a Mass on a Sunday morning? What do you think his in-house visits are like? Is the entire family pinching each other to stay awake so they don’t fall asleep listening to Kelly give his speal as to why their kid should play for Notre Dame?

Every game is nationally televised, it’s one of the most established colleges to get a degree, they hand pick their schedule so you get to play all over America, they play games at NFL and MLB stadiums, and they have the most loyal fans in the country. Does he mention any of this?

6) Coaching

Since Brian Kelly has been the coach at Notre Dame, fans haven’t seen very many blow outs. Wait, let me rephrase that statement, fans haven’t seen many blow outs by Notre Dame, we’ve seen our fair share of Notre Dame getting blown out.

Why is that? It’s coaching and play calling. The Irish always play down to their level of opponents. How many times has an unranked team beaten Notre Dame then immediately get ranked the next week? You very rarely see that happen to Ohio State and Clemson, and I don’t know if it’s ever happened to Alabama.

So many times Kelly coaches his team not to lose the game rather than coaching to win the game. So many times the Irish put together a good drive then go away from what was working.

Too many times on offense the play calling is so predictable that people sitting at home know exactly what they are gonna do, what do you think the defense is thinking?

Big leads never last because the team gets too conservative on both offense and defense. On offense they run the ball over and over and on defense they play prevent. You may make the argument that running up the score is bad sportsmanship, but who cares if you win and isn’t letting a team back in the game worse?

But as long as the worse Athletic Director in the history of Notre Dame is there, Jack Swarbrick, Brian Kelly will most likely remain as the head coach. And Notre Dame will continue to disappoint fans all over the world.

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