Ever since Brian Kelly’s arrival at Notre Dame, the football program has been in a dog fight. Although I can say with confidence that the football program is light years ahead of what it was during the Davie/Willingham/Weis era, there still seems to be room for improvement (to put an optimistic spin on it).
One of the
many problems that Notre Dame has right now is that it is too good of a product. What do I mean? Imagine you’re a college football fan with no real bias one way or another towards Notre Dame. That seems strange, but I suppose that some do exist- and even if they can’t keep their bias against Notre Dame out of their opinion... they can admit a good game when they see one.
Brian Kelly is 56-25 during his time at Notre Dame. That’s 81 games y’all. Notre Dame has been involved in a one score final (8 points or less) in 37 of those games. That’s almost half of the games that Brian Kelly has coached have been within one score.
Let that sink in a moment and maybe you’ll understand why Notre Dame fans are a bit edgy these days. Here’s the rundown:
37 games and Notre Dame is 22-15 in those games. That’s not even a .600 winning percentage.
Notre Dame football is a great product to sell and it’s no wonder that networks bend over backwards to place them in prime time as much as possible (fist pumping the nooner against Syracuse). However, this is not great news to Notre Dame fans.
If Notre Dame wants to be elite, they have to cut their average of about 6 close games a year in half. They had 5 in 2012, and most of the fanbase could barely enjoy the ride to being undefeated because they were reaching for their blood pressure medicine.
Championship teams, on average are teams that mostly plow through their schedule. Maybe they are not all blowouts, but their is a HUGE difference in 10 point wins as opposed to 8 point wins. Perception is reality, and in the era of committees deciding who gets a shot at the title, perception is KING.
Brian Kelly is a good head coach and has done an immeasurable service for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football program. However... all of that will be moot if these games don’t get turned around.