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Oct 5, 2010

IBG: Passion Pitt

Thanks to Irish Round Table for writing the questions for this week's IBG:

1. Grade Brian Kelly's performance to date. We're not interested in how you think he will perform going forward. How has he done through the first five games? Grade scale is A+ to F-.

tendomer: C+. Kelly's focus on building the program from the ground up includes the strongest features of his first ten months: loading up on rangy defenders in his first recruiting class, the training table, Longo Beach, Camp Kelly, requirement that players neither remove their helmets nor put hands on knees during practice. The losses certainly bring down the grade a lot, especially due to our inability to prepare a backup quarterback, failure to play the most secure of ND's three field goal defense schemes instead of the middle option against MSU, and inability to run the ball at will. The largest negative factor is Kelly's refusal to take the points in the second quarter against Michigan.

2. Much has been made of Brian Kelly's sideline rants. Some fans like the excitement and energy others are worried that they are excessive and will wear thin on the players. Where do you stand?

tendomer: I like the intensity because I'm confident that Kelly knows how to push the players. I want BK to coach the way he's learned how to coach over the past two decades, regardless of now being on a bigger stage.

3. What is the best storyline for Notre Dame football this year? The best storyline in college football?

tendomer: ND's best storyline is William & Mary transfer David Ruffer, a walk-on kicker who hasn't missed a field goal in his ND career since coming up from Siegfried's Interhall team.

The best story is college football is BC linebacker Mark Herzlich's return to the field after beating Ewing's sarcoma.

4. We are going to test your prognostication skills with a little IBG prediction contest. Predict the following for this week's Pitt game:

Kyle Rudolph receptions: 7 (1 TD)
Points scored by Notre Dame's defense: 0
Carries by Robert Hughes: 3
Points Notre Dame wins by: 12
Tackles Manti T'eo registers: 14.5
Pass attempts by Tommy Rees: 0
Taylor Swift in Attendance(for 2 points at 5:1 odds; a correct "Yes" equals 10 points a correct "No" equals two): Yes, and she's definitely welcome in section 31.

Winner will receive a prominent post on the Irish Round Table extolling their website and awesomeness.

5. What would you like to see in place of the yellow mums on the Notre Dame sidelines?

TheNDleprechaun: Shamrocks, of course.


  1. I'd like to comment on my esteemed colleague's answers to questions 1 through 3.

    1. First off, as a former arts and letters student, I have to admit that I am a big fan of partial credit, as well as grade enhancements for effort and class participation. As a true Domer (or "throat," as some would have it) I also tend to get panicky whenever the letter "C" is involved in the grading process. I would therefore give Kelly a "B" adjusted to a "B+" for effort and class participation... which brings me to my next point...

    2. Are people seriously getting flustered over Kelly's attitude and behavior on our sidelines?! The way he carries himself, as a "tough gentleman," is exactly the type of "effort" and "class participation" that I am talking about. Our football program DESPERATELY needed a head coach that could hold our players accountable while also connecting with them as a motivator. This is precisely what Kelly is doing, and I believe it is one of the best qualities that he brings to the table. He actually reminds me quite a bit of Dr. Lou in this regard, which I need not mention is a good thing... (Remember Lou screaming at Zach Frazier for throwing an int. during the Blue Gold game a few years ago? Priceless...) One more thing on this topic... last time I checked Brian Kelly is our head FOOTBALL coach, not our head balet instructor... gimme a break...

    3. Props for both answers. Ruffer is the real Rudy, a living example of the amazing opportunities that are available for motivated and talented students at ND. He should be an inspiration to all young students and athletes. Herzlich takes that to a whole new level. His story is unparalleled in the realm of college sports, and he should serve as an inspiration to us all. If either of those guys ever write a book about their lives, I'll definitely read it.

  2. Great Blog! I agree with taking the pts against Michigan.We are a young team and pts early on can create confidence. I like BK holding his players accountable!! This team will fight to the end!! I hope NDLeprechauns prediction is right on!

  3. In addition to Ruffer and Herzlich, let me add the name Brock Mealer. He was profiled on E:60 last night. If HE ever pens a book, I'd buy that one too!

  4. More on the topic of Kelly's sideline energy:

    This letter was recently written to the editor of the Chicago Tribune:

    If Coach Brian Kelly is to succeed at University of Notre Dame he needs to change his management style. He appears nasty and angry. As a leader at a Catholic University he needs to show respect for the student athletes. Rather than berate them in public he should reprimand privately. His recent sideline reactions do not enhance the image of Notre Dame.

    -- Frank A. O'Toole, Schaumburg , Ill.

    IT'S FOOTBALL! THE SPORT REQUIRES BEING NASTY AND ANGRY AT TIMES! Ask any one of Kelly's players, or any football player in general, and I guarantee they will have no idea what you are talking about when you claim that they are being publicly berated. In no way are such actions out of line with Notre Dame's image as an upstanding Catholic university, either. We expect all of our students to work hard and reach their full potential. Within a FOOTBALL context, Kelly is doing exactly what needs to be done in order to help his student athletes achieve those goals. Look at all the football greats who have been successful, then look at Kelly's past success, then ask yourself if you should really be questioning his style of coaching this early into his career with the Fighting Irish. (Yes, there is a reason we are called the "FIGHTING Irish" and not the "Over-sensitive and mild mannered Irish"

  5. I agree with your assessment on the O'Toole paragraph. Moreover, the last thing I'd want is for BK is to try to be something he's not or to stray from his model. Just before halftime of the 2009 Pitt-Cincinnati de facto conference title game, the UC kicker missed a long FG and Kelly voiced his displeasure even to the sideline reporter on his way to the locker room. It's not any different than BK saying Manti wasn't that good last year. There's a reason behind the criticism. BK has some Herb Brooks in him..."I know exactly how hard I can push 'em."


2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule

2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule
DateOpponent / EventLocationTime / Result
09/01/12vs. Navy Dublin, IrelandW, 50-10
09/08/12vs. PurdontNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-17
09/15/12at SpartyEast Lansing, Mich.W, 20-3
09/22/12vs. SkunkbearsNotre Dame, Ind.W, 13-6
Shamrock Series
10/06/12vs. Da UChicago, Ill.W, 41-3
10/13/12vs. TreesNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-13 (OT)
10/20/12vs. BYU Notre Dame, Ind.W, 17-14
10/27/12at Oklahoma Norman, Okla.W, 30-13
11/03/12vs. Pittsburgh Notre Dame, Ind.W, 29-26 (3OT)
11/10/12at Backup College Chestnut Hill, Mass.W, 21-6
11/17/12vs. Fake Worest Notre Dame, Ind.W, 38-0
11/24/12at U$C Los Angeles, Calif.W, 22-13
1/7/13vs. AlabamaBCS CHAMPIONSHIP
(Miami, Florida)
L, :(