Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brian Kelly from a BC perspective

Prior to our 2006 game against Central Michigan, I wrote the following:
This could serve as Brian Kelly’s audition for the BC job. Yes it is the longest of long shots, since TOB is not leaving Chestnut Hill any time soon. But if CMU were to hang with us and go on to a winning season, people would take notice. We will search a conference like the MAC for our next coach. With a few winning seasons, a Mass native like Kelly would certainly be on the short list. And if (God forbid) CMU beats BC, look for some BC fans to try to hire Kelly on Friday.


Little did I know we would make a coaching change after the season. Kelly wasn't in the mix of candidates to replace TOB though...because he had already moved on to Cincinnati. If Kelly hadn't taken the Cincy job, he certainly would have earned an interview with Gene.

Now, three years later, the Massachusetts native has ascended to the highest profile position in college football. Will he be the one to finally turn around our Catholic rival? I don't know. At the time of their respective hires, I thought Davie, O'Leary, Willingham and Weis would all be good fits for the Irish.


While I have no love for Notre Dame, I am not naive or myopic when it comes to their potential. Despite what most college football fans and talking heads say, Notre Dame is not irrelevant. A good coach can win there. Kelly might be that guy. If he's not, the Irish will be making a change again in three or four years.

As for BC, Kelly and what could have been, I don't have any envy of the Irish. Kelly could have done good things at BC, but there are plenty of very good coaches out there. Right now I wish him luck right up until we play them.

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33 Comments:

At 3:25 AM, Blogger rmorgan said...

So Davie, Willingham, O'Leary and Weis were simply not good coaches?? everything else is hunky dory in South Bend?? Give me a break.

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Kelly was a decent selection given his past success. However, I kind of lump him into the Charlie Weis mold. A great offensive mind, that terribly neglects defense. Cincy's defense was awful this year as was ND, which pretty much sunk ND. ND didn't need more of the same. It needed a defensive mind to come in and try to make it a defensive oriented team like it was in the late '80s and early '90s, which was the last time ND really mattered on the national stage. Plus, all the defensive work would make the offense much more physical and aggressive instead of being a finese, pass happy team. The game is won in the trenches, not through the air. Edsal from UConn I thought would have been a better fit.

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

I don't think you can consider O'Leary to be an ND coach. He was there about a month and never coached a single ND game.

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger Chris Agresta said...

Kelly coaching change yet another reason for a playoff system

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger DustBowl said...

I see Kelly is a St John's prep alumni (Danvers, MA). Great school. (for those from NY, St. John' is to North Shore Mass as Chaminade is to Long Island.)

Same place Brian St Pierre was from.

Although from SJP he went to Assumption College. He probably put more effort into football than school work!

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger Dan said...

I don't really get the lovefest with Kelly. Does he look like a good coach, sure. Great coach, I'm not convinced. His record at CMU was 19-16 in 3 years with the best team in a terrible conference. He did at least trend upwards year after year I guess. Cincy numbers were ok but again the Big East isn't exactly a powerhouse and V-Tech beat up on them in last year's bowl.
I think the thing that did him in for me was the press conference maybe 1-2 weeks ago when he kept saying "I'm not gonna talk about it" and then would talk about it. And then couldn't understand why when they asked him questions regarding his own comments from that day why he was the "primary source". Didn't strike me as the broghtest bulb.

After 6 years of being "The Man" I hope he's ready for the scrutiny that's coming.

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger Dan said...

I guess when I call someone out I should spell brightest correctly...

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger Darius said...

Bravesbill, that awful defense went 12-0 and allowed fewer points than nearly 100 of the 119 other FBS teams. If games are won in the trenches, how come OLine U has but one 4-way conference co-championship to its credit, while Kelly's led every one of his teams to numerous championships and now to the BCS for the second year in a row? I think his approach works just fine. "There's more than one way to skin a cat"--or to win a football game.

Kelly's a winner. As a college coach. A college head coach. Weis was (and will again be) an arrogant NFL assistant, a favorite son of a similarly arrogant school. There's simply no comparison between them. This was an excellent hire.

 
At 11:28 AM, Blogger Darius said...

Dan, CMU had a great team this year--led by Brian Kelly's QB. Time will tell if they remain any good. But the program sucked before Kelly got there. 19-16 doesn't sound great, but consider they were 12-34 the prior 4 years. At Cincinnati, he took a program that was 18-17 for the three years prior to his arrival, and went 33-6 with it. I would not be surprised to see him do something similar at Notre Dame. I don't think people will ever acknowledge what an awful, awful coach Weis was at Notre Dame.

 
At 11:35 AM, Blogger DustBowl said...

Darius, excellent points!

 
At 12:40 PM, Blogger I'm copping two... said...

http://a.espnradio.com/stations/losangeles/mason/mason091209.mp3

Frank Spanziani was interview on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles this week.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Darius, obviously you weren't paying attention to the last 4 games of their season. Their total points might seem good on paper considering they played Southeastern Missouri State, Miami (OH), Louisville, and Syracuse, which severely inflated that statistic. Even Rutgers and South Florida were not known by their offensive prowess this year. Thir only good game came against a good Oregon State. And let's not get into yards per game given up, which puts Cincy squarely in the middle of the pack.

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger Gorgias said...

Kelly is just Weis minus the blubber. ND will stay mediocre.

Kelly only has success in the little leagues. Even if we are a middle-of-the-road team next year, BC will still beat ND

Great to find out who turned ND down ... Meyer, Stoops, B Davis, C Kelley, Cowher, TCU guy, Spazaini (!).

Sawbrick sounds like the classic stuffed shirt AD. who knows jack about Football.

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger eagle1331 said...

Reading the articles all over, it seems like Kelly's departure at Cinci was TOB's departure 10x over. He went through the whole post-season dinner without telling anyone, and it was finally told to the team 3 hours after the news broke on ESPN. Players walked out of the meeting, nobody congratulated or clapped for him, and everyone in the program seems genuinely pissed.

I don't recall the same reaction when TOB left.. just surprise..

Edit: ironically, the word for verification is "botched"

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger Ry said...

i understand the interest in kelly going to ND with them being a rival and all...but seriously, what is with all the attention? who gives a crap? are we really going to waste time analyzing and arguing over how good the coach they just hired is? are we really debating how good CMU and Cincy were when he coached there?

i think it's interesting that ND hired a coach, yes. i don't really feel like thinking about it beyond that.

 
At 2:57 PM, Blogger Matt said...

anyone see the interviews on espn of the cincinnati players? Man there is no love lost there. Gilyard and then a TE and D-Lineman all had very negative things to say about how Kelly left.

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger Gorgias said...

Cincy players are boneheads.

Who would turn down the opportunity to get the bleep out of Cincy for a MAJOR program.

they are on the Louisville plan now -- straight to the bottom within 2 years. . . . bye-bye Cincy, the flash in the pan has flashed...

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger blist said...

He seems like a good hire - you can't argue with the success Cincy has had, although Kelly will face somewhat stricter admissions at ND. As much animus as I have for ND football, it's not a bad thing for them to be successful - heck, maybe even Kelly will do a reverse Frank Leahy and come home to BC after winning a national championship one day.
And as a Chaminade alum who now lives near Danvers, always like seeing the props for my Flyers, DustBowl

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger NYCeagle said...

We shouldn't be wasting our time discussing Notre Dame. They are not part of what BC is about eventhough a lot of people think that is the case. BC will no longer play ND after next year (maybe a few games here and there). We, as BC alumni and fans, should focus on how we can continue the sustained success that BC Athletics has attained. BC has its own great history and tradition. Let's not give ND as much attention as we typically do because that institution does not deserve it.

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

Look at this comment from the ESPN article:

"Kelly has long admired Notre Dame, which seemed to be the perfect fit for an Irish Catholic coach raised in the Boston area"

Sad commentary on BC football.

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger blist said...

I don't think that reflects badly on BC, Ryan -- who doesn't say so-and-so is "a perfect fit for me" after they get hired? Jags did certainly. A coach only wants to go the more prestigious/better paying program - if he was offered the BC job, he would have taken it, b/c it's an improvement over Cincy.

 
At 4:40 PM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

FLA's Maurkice Pouncey won the Rimington Award today: still great that Tennant was a finalist.

 
At 4:45 PM, Blogger Groundhog said...

from a BC perspective, i like the move b/c i want to see Cincinnati football fall back to earth as quickly as possible. I'm worried about preserving our Cincinnati pipeline.

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

I meant more of ESPN's assertion that ND is the "perfect fit" for a Boston area Irish-Catholic, when BC is right down the street.

 
At 6:18 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

I completely agree with Ryan. In fact I made a similar point yesterday:

At 8:47 PM, mod34b said...
Yep, Kelly to ND. Great choice for ND. Guy is a winner.

Here is the kind of line from an AP story that makes my hair stand on end (or should i say gets my Irish up):

"Kelly has long admired Notre Dame, which seemed to be the perfect fit for an Irish Catholic coach raised in the Boston area."

WTF??

ND should be the fighting slavs, or fighting germans not the Fighting Irish (a a name of a civil war brigade appropriated by ND). An Irish Catholic from Boston should be admiring BC.

Just one of those really aggravating things about the ND myth. BC is the school built by Irish Catholics for Irish Catholics (originally). ND was not. ND did not become the Fighting Irish until 80 years after it was founded! 80 years!!

But it is a fact that is just completely ignored by all media.

 
At 6:44 PM, Blogger eagleinexile said...

This is true, ND was founded by Franciscans who were not Irish. The rest of the country is not really aware of BC's ethnic history, and I do not think that is really that bad. However, being from Boston, whatever your ethnicity, should be correlated with BC as the perfect fit, not some chump change, poser school in the middle of nowhere, Indiana.

 
At 7:31 PM, Blogger Coast said...

I think you may have jumbled your words, eagleinexile. Notre Dame was founded by French priests from the Congregation of Holy Cross, not Franciscans.

Wikipedia link

 
At 8:23 PM, Blogger eagleinexile said...

True, they were from Congregation of Holy Cross but only one of them was a priest and the rest were brothers, I thought they were Franciscan monks, my bad.

Either way, the only thing Irish about them was the whiskey they drank, maybe.

 
At 12:37 AM, Blogger eagleboston said...

I think Notre Dame will return to the BCS under Kelly. He is a proven winner and he will be able to attract talent at a high level to go along with his player development skills.

Gang, Notre Dame is no longer the enemy. We play them 1 more time and that is it. We may fight for recruits here and there, but aside from that, we are just not going to run into ND anymore. We need to focus on Clemson and Florida State.

 
At 1:42 AM, Blogger CT said...

ND will soon have no bearing on where this program stands.

Let's move on.

 
At 1:55 AM, Blogger Dan said...

While I could sit here and badmouth ND all night, the bigger issue we should be looking at is the FSU transition.
They've gotten commits from 2 of the top 5 recruits in this class and finally got rid of that dummy Chuck Amato and brought in Mark Stoops at DC. Those are moves that could put a serious crimp in the "The next few years look bright at BC" plans we all have.

 
At 12:42 PM, Blogger Emil said...

Dan, it's nothing to worry about when we have Uncle Dave's vast years of experience.

 
At 3:35 PM, Blogger John B said...

I don't really see any comparison between Kelly and the Weis/Willingham/Davie trio. Kelly has been a big winner everywhere he's gone. He's got two D2 National titles, two MAC titles, and took Cincinnati of all teams to a BCS game. The guy's a great coach. Weis and Davie were never head coaches before they went to Notre Dame. Willingham had moments at Stanford, but he was very up and down. I think he does really well. With that said, it won't really affect us one way or the other since they're coming off the schedule.

 

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