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Notre Dame Football: All of your offensive coordinator opinions are hot trash

And so are mine

Seb Prowse of the Trades Hall’s New Inte Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images

With the departure of Tommy Rees as Notre Dame’s offensive coordinator, there are many opinions and many lists being floated around and almost all of them are hot trash — and my own aren’t much of an exception.


The online debate about Tommy Rees is pretty comical at this point. Tommy’s detractors come close to calling him Brian Ferentz 2.0, and his apologists ask you to take a walk to the imagination station. Personally, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle — as it often does.

On the latest OFD Podcast, we boiled a lot of it down to square peg being shoved through a round hole.

It’s weird to think that a guy that is Blue and Gold to the bone would be such a bad fit at Notre Dame, but that’s actually what both sides agree on after you boil down all of the takes. His time at Notre Dame was NOT a success. However you want to define that is probably fine, but you don’t need advanced stats for this one.

I really don’t know if Rakes is talking about Tommy specifically or the long list of OC candidates floating around, but in the case of Mr. Rees — points per game is all I need to know that his time in the coaching booth was less than good.

In his three years as the playcaller, Tommy’s offense averaged 33.47 points per game.

  • 2020 — 31.8
  • 2021 — 35.2
  • 2022 — 33.4

And it’s not like the schedule was full of quality defenses as about half of those games were against ACC opponents. Throw in a big handful of G5’s and those numbers just don’t cut it. In Notre Dame’s eight losses over the past three years, the offense scored 10, 14, 13, 35, 10, 21, 14, 27 points.

You can pull out advanced stats for a lot of things, and they can be very valuable in examining one game at a time, but points scored over a multi-year period is the only thing that matters. It wasn’t enough.

Just ask 1987 Heisman winner, Tim Brown:

I do wonder if Mike Golic Junior has told Tim Brown to go touch grass...


As all-knowing as some members of the Notre Dame beat come off, they simply don’t have the bandwidth to have a great grasp of what is happening nationally. As well sourced as national writers are, they don’t understand the nuance of Notre Dame enough to have a great grasp of what’s happening with the Irish football team.

And it’s fine. To think otherwise is to expect far too much from those local and national writers. So... when you view anyone’s list of OC candidates for the Notre Dame job, just keep in mind that 75% of it is total bullshit.

The good news (or bad news for some) is that Marcus Freeman is going to start interviewing candidates for the job. One of the great complaints about Brian Kelly during his time in South Bend, was that he rarely did a full national search for coaching jobs. We should expect something quite different from Freeman, which means there may be names (and interviews) that come out of left field — which is fine.

One of the first names that has developed some traction is one that slowly trickled out of the weekend because it’s nowhere near the top of anyone’s list. That name is Byron Leftwich.

To be honest, I’m not sure how viable Leftwich is as a candidate, but I am encouraged if this is going to be a real national search. Notre Dame probably has about two weeks to get this done without causing a major disruption to spring football.


Notre Dame is probably going to frustrate many of you that are looking for a quick end to this situation. Add the possibility of a defensive coordinator search if Al Golden does eventually jump back to the NFL (as the chatter goes) and the announcement timelines will be a bit maddening.

It’s a Notre Dame thing, and we are all waiting to see how this ends. The offensive coordinator hiring will likely be the defining moment of the Freeman era, so I’m willing to watch him kick a few tires for the right hire.