Just days after hiring Major Applewhite to replace Tom Herman, Houston president Renu Khator expressed what the expectations were at Houston.
“The winning is defined at University of Houston as 10 and 2," she told faculty and staff at the annual holiday party at her home. "We'll fire coaches at 8 and 4.”
Hmm...Houston has no problem firing an 8-4 coach huh? That isn’t just talk either. Houston actually has recently fired an underachieving coach. Tony Levine, Hermans predecessor, was fired in 2014 after 5-7, 8-5, and 7-5 seasons.
Notre Dame seems perfectly happy with retaining an 8-4 coach, and after this season he’s an 4-8 coach. Brian Kelly’s average record at Notre Dame is 8.4-4.4. It’s a good thing he’s not the coach at Houston because according to Khator he’d be fired.
Why does a program like Houston seem to have higher expectations than Notre Dame? This is Houston we’re talking about here. HOUSTON, a program with 0 National Championships, 18 All-Americans, 1 Heisman winner and .545 all-time winning percentage. Compare that to Notre Dame which has 11 National Championships, 117 All-Americans, 7 Heisman winners and .728 all-time winning percentage.
Notre Dame can talk all want about how they want to be an elite football program, but guess what? They aren’t and haven’t been for a while now. It starts with coaching. You can have all the talent in the world, but if the coaching isn’t there you aren’t going to win big.
It’s real frustrating when a program like Houston comes out and says 8-4 isn’t good enough. This isn’t to knock Houston either. They’ve built a good programs down there. They’ve built that program with a philosophy of not settling for anything but the best.
This is more to show what Notre Dame seems to be okay with. It’s a done deal that Kelly will return for 2017, but say the Irish have a patented 8-4 Kelly-like season. Will the Irish be like Houston and fire him? Or will they stick to their ways and retain him and settle for mediocrity?