If you couldn’t tell over the past month — I’ve been a little annoyed with so much talk about the November 7th matchup between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Clemson Tigers. It’s not that I’m one of those people that think talking about future games is forbidden fruit as I shout “CONCENTRATE ON [insert opponent]. No... it’s been more different than that.
I will always be annoyed with one game referendums because I’m a passionate lover of the college football season as a whole. There’s just too much fun to be had to constantly going to the WHAT DOES THIS MEAN WHEN IT COMES TO CLEMSON level.
And yet... I’m as guilty as anyone, even if it comes in lighter doses. It’s important, and can be the key to the most successful regular season in the Brian Kelly era. It’s so important, that even BrianKelly touched on it after Notre Dame’s 45-3 win over the Pittsburgh Panthers:
“A lot of times you kind of get caught up in the grind of just trying to win football games. We kind of said, ‘look, we’re past this. We’re not interested in just winning football games. We’re interested in being a championship football team.”
“Just playing to win games is not good enough anymore. We need to elevate our compete level. We need to coach better. We need to play better. We need to play at an elite level. It starts with playing at a level that allows you to not all of a sudden play your best when you have to but have that ready to go because you are playing at a high level. And that hasn’t been the case. So that was the challenge.
“That’s it’s risky, right? Because you’re in some instances, people would say, ‘well, you’re looking ahead.’ Well, we are looking ahead a little bit. We needed to get this football team to understand that they are really good.”
So, there it is. We get a blowout win in the books and one more preamble with a road trip to play the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Everything means everything as we rapidly approach a massive game.
You can watch the full presser in the player below.