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Three Things From Notre Dame’s Loss to the Michigan Wolverines

It hurt to type those last three words of the title

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

That was one of the worst things ever.

Yeah, when you grow up 20 miles from that freaking stadium, and you have to deal with those fans, and then that happens to us, I got pretty damn upset. However, the hatred went to sadness and confusion really quickly. In a totally unexpected way, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish gave us numerous questions about the season that we did not expect to deal with. I wanted to address some thoughts I had now that some of the dust has settled. After this, the focus has gotta be on the next game, because I can’t dwell on this freaking game anymore.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

3 Things I Thought Of A Bit After that Godforsaken Game

College football teaches us all the time that it can catch us so off guard

I mean, really, I don’t think ANYONE predicted that would happen, and the game had nothing to do with the rain. Even Vegas (who knew with their voodoo) opened the game at UM -4, so with that, it still would’ve been a UM win, but not an expectation of a blowout. No one could’ve predicted that the Irish would fall so flat or that Michigan, a team that struggled to beat Army and got housed by Wisconsin. By all accounts, that game and the outcome made no sense. But, this is why seasons are fluid, and things don’t always go according to plan. You never think something like that will happen to your team until it does. What a crazy shake up that is now making us think about coaching, the execution of the players, and how the rest of the season will go. College football, for better or for worse (especially with the Irish), is a weird ass sport.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Serious questions need to be asked about Chip Long

Now, before people starting jumping at me about this, hear me out fully. Yes, I DO know that the whole team (including coaches) did not prepare and totally fell flat, and that does lay at Brian Kelly’s feet. He’s not getting away with no blame. Yes, I also DO know that Brian Kelly is the head coach, and he ultimately could be the final say when Chip Long calls plays. But, Chip Long’s job is to run and operate the offense, thus calling the offensive plays. I mean how many times do we have to have this conversation? The players get the play calls from the OC. The Irish were constantly running a “run left” play call in the first quarter, probably 5 or 6 in a row. I know that Ian Book also was so spooked, so he ruined many play calls when there were passing options, but Chip Long calling those runs and then also other quick runs or pass plays was so mind boggling. We seem to have this conversation a fair amount about Chip Long. I’m not going to say this as a definitive, must-need, but there should be a conversation about maybe switching OCs at the end of the season. Chip Long, to me, is not helping the offense be as successful as possible.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not jumping ship on some players

Now, some people might call this a soft take, but I really don’t care. Is it concerning that Ian Book was spooked and had seemingly no answer? Of course. He also clearly has underperformed this season in comparison to last season. Is it also concering that the big games elude Brian Kelly? Yes, of course. But, I’m not looking for completely drastic changes. If the team lays an egg at home against Virginia Tech this coming Saturday and then loses again to another team on this pretty soft schedule to end the season, then maybe we could start to entertain these conversations. The team has still been succeeding so far this season, so calling for BK’s job is, to me, absurd. Ian Book still needs to be the starter, as I don’t think Phil Jurkovic is the guy to start. Plus, there are still games to win, so it does no good right now just to put Phil in for experience. Don’t give up totally on the season, but I do understand the frustration and the questions that are percolating. Believe me, I understand it all for sure.

Go Irish. Let’s figure it out and Beat Hokies.