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3 Things We Can Take Away From Notre Dame’s 45-27 Loss To USC

The battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh ends the season and a chapter.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have ended their season with a loss to the USC Trojans 45-27, we can all really start looking ahead to the next season. No one will think less of you if you would rather wait a bit though. Some of this is just too tough to handle.

Still, before we get REALLY deep with all of that stuff, we can learn a bit from this latest loss.

Jack Swarbrick has to face the public.

There is only one way for the Irish football program to begin to move forward, and that involves a clear understanding of Brian Kelly’s status as the head coach. Brian Kelly just said in the post game press conference that he will be back in 2017, but that’s an employee talking- not the boss.

Swarbrick has been silent on the subject ever since he gave his “vote of confidence” earlier in the season, but many things have changed and still... nothing more from Jack. Pete Sampson acknowledged that when Kelly spoke at the press conference, Swarbrick smiled and nodded as if to approve what Kelly was saying.

Then there are reports like this that have surfaced. So, who knows what’s happening? Well... Jack and Brian do. A more concrete statement needs to be put forth. After that, we can discuss possible replacements or possible changes to the staff (which should be massive).

The Notre Dame special teams unit needs gutted.

The last paragraph of the point above is all I really want to say about the coaches, but my disgust for what I have witnessed all season long is too great. The list is long and plentiful for the Irish this year:

  • Missed PAT’s
  • Too many missed FG’s
  • Inconsistent punting
  • Punt and kickoff coverage mistakes upon mistakes
  • Poor play on punt returns
NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

But hey... kickoff return ain’t too bad.

Scott Booker has to get run out of town and everything needs to be scrapped and rebuilt from the bottom, up. There is no way else to say it. GUT. IT.

Notre Dame has to raise holy hell with the ACC and their officials.

There is no better time to have a lawyer as an athletic director than when some strongly worded letters, followed by some meaty meetings are needed. The ACC officials have been absolutely awful this year, and they have been the worst when it matters most.

The targeting calls against Notre Dame and the ones that were never called have been a ridiculous wonder to watch. How can these band of fools get it wrong so bad each week- and still have a job? Notre Dame is a hated program by much of the country, and despite all of that... other fans and coaches have agreed with Notre Dame’s assertion of how wrong the ACC officials have been. That’s like saying today’s senior citizens empathize with millennials. IT’S UNNATURAL.

This partnership with the ACC was supposed to help Notre Dame as it moves forward in the new era of college football. And yet, since Notre Dame’s half arrival in 2013 and 2014, the Irish have continually been screwed by ACC officials. Just railroaded. This too is Swarbrick’s department, so he has a “to do list” this offseason of:

  • Take care of the Kelly situation
  • Kick in the doors at ACC headquarters and bust a few skulls.

One Foot Down will have much more on the football program and its future in the coming weeks (and months I’m sure). For now, those 3 things were just 3 from a grab-bag of stuff. Carry on.