Last week, I wrote all the right things before facing Michigan. ND would win by 10 if Tommy Rees found Floyd. I wrote that turnovers would kill them and they should be well aware by now. I even wrote that if Denard stayed in the pocket, ND would dominate but that it'd be best for him...to stay in the pocket.. Denard didn't listen. Michigan came back. ND lost - again.
I don't know what to write anymore. ND should win tomorrow. They are the better team. I figure however, that the best team doesn't win when ND plays. The best prepared team does. For this reason, I pin the losses to date and the win tomorrow - or the loss - not on Rees throwing interceptions or dropping a ball while in his passing motion; I don't pin the win or loss on the hopes that the defense figures out how to prevent 28 pts from being scored in the last quarter. I pin the win or the loss on Brian Kelly.
During the Weis years, i was always amazed at the fact that while we had no defence, it also took the Irish one full quarter to get up to speed with the game they were playing. It equated to any top 10 team playing 9 players for a quarter and then playing catchup. The lack of preparation I saw with Weis, I see with Brian Kelly. And this is scary.
The Irish will not go to a BCS bowl this year and I find it tragic with the talent they have in store. Tragic because these players deserve better and tragic because it is difficult to recruit when these high school kids see that the coach can't connect with the players and execute with the talent at ND.
Brian Kelly said it many times: "It is not easy being coach at Notre Dame". My 12 year old daughter knows that saying and we often repeat it, for fun. But these players, that selected this school, its academic program and the chance to play in front of a national audience every Saturday, don't think this is funny. Brian Kelly talks about work ethics, strong core values and the result you get when you marry that with talent.
I want you Brian Kelly - to live by the words with which you describe what it means to play for Notre Dame. Be prepared. Do your homework. Work hard at it. The game starts at the first second of the first quarter and ends on the last play of the 4th. Coach these kids that have put their trust in you and give them the values they came to get fromt the great Notre Dame program. The win - or the loss - is on you Brian.