Countdown to College Football: Day 82 - Notre Dame

The Vitals

School: University of Notre Dame
Mascot: Fighting Irish
Fight Song: Victory March

Head Coach: Brian Kelly (230-88-2, 59-31 at Notre Dame)

Best Place to Eat on Campus:
For a program so dedicated to revering their own history, a quality pub like Legends of Notre Dame seems like a good fit for this spot.

Greatest Program Moment:
There are many contenders for this spot, just none in the last twenty-five years.  I considered the 51-0 domination in 1966 against USC that clinched the National Title for Notre Dame.  The 1988 Convicts vs Catholics game was in contention as well.  I went with the 1973 Sugar Bowl victory against Alabama.  The Crimson Tide, coached by the legendary Bear Bryant, were in the middle of a five year stretch where they went 54-6.  The Fighting Irish went into the deep south and came out with a 24-23 victory and a championship.

 

Current State of The Program:
I find myself constantly defending Brian Kelly.  I think he is a good coach and the best Notre Dame has had since Lou Holtz. Unfortunately for Kelly, Notre Dame requires a great coach to be satisfied. Aside from 2012 and last year’s 4-8 record Kelly has danced between 8-10 wins throughout his entire tenure. Kelly has recruited well, but Notre Dame’s tough academic standards has caused significant attrition and led to depth issues. For Kelly to save his job, he will need at least 9 wins this year. Kelly has replaced both coordinators, which is often the act of a coach who will soon be sent out to sea.

Prediction:  8-4

Sept. 2: vs. Temple - W
Sept. 9: vs. Georgia - L
Sept. 16: at Boston College - W
Sept. 23: at Michigan State - W
Sept. 30: vs. Miami, Ohio - W
Oct. 7: at North Carolina - W
Oct. 14: BYE
Oct. 21: vs. USC - L
Oct. 28: vs. N.C. State - W
Nov. 4: vs. Wake Forest - W
Nov. 11: at Miami, Fla. -L
Nov. 18: vs. Navy - W
Nov. 25: at Stanford - L