Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly often speaks his mind, but going after Nick Saban is probably a move he will come to regret.
42-14. And it wasn’t even that close.
Alabama completely dominated Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS National Championship game. It was 35-0 before the Fighting Irish would put up points on their side of the scoreboard.
Nick Saban had won another national championship, thoroughly defeating Brian Kelly’s side.
Saban is one of, if not the, greatest coaches in college football history. Kelly is barely hanging on to his job.
This is why Kelly’s recent comment regarding Saban’s strategy of bringing in former players to run scout team duty is dumbfounding.
John Parker Wilson acted as Danny Etling, while Trent Richardson played the role of Leonard Fournette while the Crimson Tide got ready for its matchup against LSU. Alabama won 10-0.
“I think it’s absolutely ludicrous,” Kelly said. “[It] doesn’t sound like college football to me.”
Let’s talk about things that are really ludicrous, why don’t we.
Ludicrous is going after the coaching of a man who will be remembered forever as a winner, who graduated players and, on the rare occasions his teams lost, took blame for players being unprepared.
Ludicrous is Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick giving Kelly a six-year contract extension this past offseason, and Kelly rewarding that trust with a 3-6 record thus far.
Ludicrous is continually tossing players under the bus after losses, as Kelly has done this season. Kelly’s game plan of throwing the ball 35 times in the middle of hurricane-like weather cost the Irish the game against N.C. State, so obviously it was the center’s fault for bad snaps. In Kelly’s mind, that makes sense.
Saban and Kelly are not that different. Both are throwback coaches that expect nothing but 110% from their players. A glaring difference between the two is Saban’s ability to adapt to the new trends and strategies in the game.
Up tempo offenses become a threat to Alabama? Saban goes out and hires Lane Kiffin and revamps the Crimson Tide offense. Each maneuver that the 65-year-old Saban pulls has a reason, and almost every time, it makes his team better.
So Kelly can say what he wants about Saban’s new ploy. Alabama is 9-0, ranked No. 1, and doesn’t look like it will be stopped from bringing home another national title, its fifth since Saban arrived in 2007. Kelly’s team must win out to even make a low-tier bowl game.
Notre Dame fans probably find that ludicrous.