Freeman got a pass for the Fiesta Bowl debacle. Does this continue?

IrishFforida

Irish Expert
Jan 7, 2018
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The bar for Brian Kelly, especially these past 4 years was very simple and very high. Win every game or else.
ND was 44-6 that past 4 seasons. CFP 2018 & 2020, and 1st runner up for the CFP in 2021. Brian Kelly was crucified for every loss.

2018 Clemson (Brian Kelly does not get his teams ready to play in big games, and is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Georgia (Brian Kelly is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Michigan (Brian Kelly cannot win road games vs ranked teams)
2020 Clemson (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2020 Alabama (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2021 Cincinnati (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games & Jeff Quinn sucks)

The 44 wins were ALL explained away with a "soft schedule" and Trevor Lawrence, and a few Clemson defenders were hurt. For starters the schedule has nothing to do with Brian Kelly, nor did Brian Kelly have any control over the fact USC, Stanford, and FSU turned into trainwreck programs. Those responsible for those disasters are Lane Kiffin, Sark, Clay Helton, Jimbo Fisher, Willie Taggart, Mike Norvell, and the unbelievably overrated and overpaid David Shaw. Brian Kelly's job was to beat those teams. And he did from 2018 to 2021. ND was 9-0 in those games.

The loss to Oklahoma State was DEVASTATING. It was 100% coaching inexperience and incompetence. What made the loss more devastating, was the fact this was the first MAJOR BOWL GAME, since the 1994 Cotton Bowl vs Texas A&M. That ND had:
1. The higher ranked team
2. The favored team on the betting line
3. The better QB and roster

ND have been underdogs to heavy underdogs and overmatched in all these games going all the way back to
1995 Fiesta Bowl
1996 Orange Bowl (Krug at QB)
2001 Fiesta Bowl
2006 Fiesta Bowl
2007 Sugar Bowl
2012 BSCG
2016 Fiesta Bowl
2019 Cotton Bowl
2020 Rose Bowl

This was a game ND had to win and should have won. If Brian Kelly was a "lazy recruiter" then he must have been a genius at masking the holes in the ND roster and winning football games? You can't have it both ways.

Marcus Freeman lost this football game period end of the story.

1. To turn the defense over to Elston was total amateur hour and a horrible decision
2. Allowing Rees to throw the ball 68 times, when you basically played 3 WR the whole game is how you score points in the 1st half and completely die in the 2nd half.
3. Then my personal favorite sequence of incompetence.
a playing a quality run defense
b. not having Kyren Williams
c. having Tyler Buchner, extra bowl practice time, and knowing you need to scheme up some kind of ground game because you likely will not be able to knock OSU off the ball. You give TB NO SNAPS!!!!!!

I get all the cliche's "one game does not define a coach" "he needs to get his guys" blah blah blah. But the undeniable fact is that being a football player, an assistant coach, and a coordinator is nothing like being a Head Coach. And being the Head Coach at ND is nothing like being a Head Coach anywhere else. The 3 first-time head coaches in my lifetime, all went down in flames. (Faust, Davie, Weis) The 4 Head Coaches hired in my life with experience (Devine, Holtz, Willingham & Kelly) 3 out 4 worked out 75% seems a whole lot better than 0%. Are you guys who held Kelly to the highest standards, ready to hold Freeman to those same standards?
 

echowaker

BlueandGold All Star
Feb 5, 2003
19,101
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113
The bar for Brian Kelly, especially these past 4 years was very simple and very high. Win every game or else.
ND was 44-6 that past 4 seasons. CFP 2018 & 2020, and 1st runner up for the CFP in 2021. Brian Kelly was crucified for every loss.

2018 Clemson (Brian Kelly does not get his teams ready to play in big games, and is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Georgia (Brian Kelly is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Michigan (Brian Kelly cannot win road games vs ranked teams)
2020 Clemson (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2020 Alabama (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2021 Cincinnati (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games & Jeff Quinn sucks)

The 44 wins were ALL explained away with a "soft schedule" and Trevor Lawrence, and a few Clemson defenders were hurt. For starters the schedule has nothing to do with Brian Kelly, nor did Brian Kelly have any control over the fact USC, Stanford, and FSU turned into trainwreck programs. Those responsible for those disasters are Lane Kiffin, Sark, Clay Helton, Jimbo Fisher, Willie Taggart, Mike Norvell, and the unbelievably overrated and overpaid David Shaw. Brian Kelly's job was to beat those teams. And he did from 2018 to 2021. ND was 9-0 in those games.

The loss to Oklahoma State was DEVASTATING. It was 100% coaching inexperience and incompetence. What made the loss more devastating, was the fact this was the first MAJOR BOWL GAME, since the 1994 Cotton Bowl vs Texas A&M. That ND had:
1. The higher ranked team
2. The favored team on the betting line
3. The better QB and roster

ND have been underdogs to heavy underdogs and overmatched in all these games going all the way back to
1995 Fiesta Bowl
1996 Orange Bowl (Krug at QB)
2001 Fiesta Bowl
2006 Fiesta Bowl
2007 Sugar Bowl
2012 BSCG
2016 Fiesta Bowl
2019 Cotton Bowl
2020 Rose Bowl

This was a game ND had to win and should have won. If Brian Kelly was a "lazy recruiter" then he must have been a genius at masking the holes in the ND roster and winning football games? You can't have it both ways.

Marcus Freeman lost this football game period end of the story.

1. To turn the defense over to Elston was total amateur hour and a horrible decision
2. Allowing Rees to throw the ball 68 times, when you basically played 3 WR the whole game is how you score points in the 1st half and completely die in the 2nd half.
3. Then my personal favorite sequence of incompetence.
a playing a quality run defense
b. not having Kyren Williams
c. having Tyler Buchner, extra bowl practice time, and knowing you need to scheme up some kind of ground game because you likely will not be able to knock OSU off the ball. You give TB NO SNAPS!!!!!!

I get all the cliche's "one game does not define a coach" "he needs to get his guys" blah blah blah. But the undeniable fact is that being a football player, an assistant coach, and a coordinator is nothing like being a Head Coach. And being the Head Coach at ND is nothing like being a Head Coach anywhere else. The 3 first-time head coaches in my lifetime, all went down in flames. (Faust, Davie, Weis) The 4 Head Coaches hired in my life with experience (Devine, Holtz, Willingham & Kelly) 3 out 4 worked out 75% seems a whole lot better than 0%. Are you guys who held Kelly to the highest standards, ready to hold Freeman to those same standards?
Gross overreaction in my opinion. Make a routine field goal and this thread doesn't exist.
 

savvyandsassier

BlueandGold All Star
Dec 16, 2013
22,351
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I love Marcus Freeman, he seems awesome, but the OP is probably right. In as much as meeting BK 2.0's bar is going to be practically impossible. And of course that would be true for any coach replacing BK, not just a young rookie HC.

And while it's certainly debatable how foreboding or inauspicious or whatever the bowl game loss really was or not in the grand scheme of things... the way in which we lost, the almost appalling 2nd half collapse, was definitely something you would have to at least consider as a bad sign, and something that very possibly doesn't bode well for the future. Because that was ugly.
 

Get Nasty

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Gross overreaction in my opinion. Make a routine field goal and this thread doesn't exist.
Oklahoma state missed a fg too

Oklahoma state fans “don’t have two really really close fumbles and we score 50”

freemans D gave up over 600 yards. We got lucky they only scored 37
 

Get Nasty

I've posted how many times?
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Couldn't agree more. It was Freeman's first game as HC. How about giving the guy a chance? A typical "hold me" post by OP.
It wasn’t just dumb first time HC decisions…. His D gave up over 600 yards

rightfully so, we fans always blamed Kelly when the offense laid an egg even though he is head coach not OC…. Same goes for freeman with D


Not sure what’s worse, Kelly’s offense in big bowl games or freeman’s D…. I think freeman’s D because that was an average offense that lit us up. Kelly bombed vs elite defenses
 

bullpride9

Irish Insider
Jan 6, 2015
95
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So let me get this straight. Kelly dating back to his last couple of years at Cincinnati has put 6 teams into major NYD/BCS/CFP games- 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2020. In each of those six years his teams lost in embarrassing fashion against top 10 teams, blowouts, hardly competitive and in most cases over by halftime. Granted he didn't coach the 2009 Bearcat team when they got blown out by UF in the Sugar, since he ran away like he did this year, but still relevant. AND NOW, when Kelly ran away again before another major NYD bowl his replacement Coach Freeman for the first time in 14 years actually put a competitive product on the field in the NYD game, and nearly won the game and we should be concerned?

If history is any indication to me, at least from the bowl results, is if we had Kelly as coach for the Fiesta Bowl he would have tightened up like a sailors knot and probably figured out how to lose that Fiesta Bowl by 2 touchdowns. History doesn't lie, and historically nothing has shown that Kelly would have done any better then Freeman in that game, and in fact history does suggest that we maybe lose that worse if Kelly was at the helm...but yeah sure let's be concerned, and not give Freeman a pass for almost winning a game and proving this offense can actually throw the ball vertically!
 

NDDadx3

ND Expert
Dec 20, 2020
972
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ND scored 35 and lost by 2 … in the previous 2 playoff games ND lost by 27 and 17. In the BCS championship game ND lost by 28. In the last fiesta bowl ND lost by 14.

Up 28-7 in first half … I think it’s the first time we led in a major bowl game in decades. This was far from the debacle we have become accustomed to. It was nice to actually show up for a big game vs a quality opponent.
 

bullpride9

Irish Insider
Jan 6, 2015
95
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ND scored 35 and lost by 2 … in the previous 2 playoff games ND lost by 27 and 17. In the BCS championship game ND lost by 28. In the last fiesta bowl ND lost by 14.

Up 28-7 in first half … I think it’s the first time we led in a major bowl game in decades. This was far from the debacle we have become accustomed to. It was nice to actually show up for a big game vs a quality opponent.
And for the first time in one of those bowl games down a couple of coaches, and a DC who was doubling as a HC. Worry about his ability to finish, about how the defense played, but concerned overall from that result is a joke considering how much Kelly led teams embarrassed us on NYD for over a decade.

I will say this, if Freeman allows Rees to open things up like that more often than not we're going to be a lot more exciting team to watch and win more games-- I really put more of that loss on defense then offense anyway a lack of depth on defense did us in that game. Offense like that is attacking and if we're going to stand a chance of beating an OSU, or Clemson next year, or bigger programs beyond we need to get more of that attack first mentality. You saw it the last ten years when we played Bama, OSU, and Clemson. They brought the buzz saw to us early and often.
 

savvyandsassier

BlueandGold All Star
Dec 16, 2013
22,351
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ND scored 35 and lost by 2 … in the previous 2 playoff games ND lost by 27 and 17. In the BCS championship game ND lost by 28. In the last fiesta bowl ND lost by 14.

Up 28-7 in first half … I think it’s the first time we led in a major bowl game in decades. This was far from the debacle we have become accustomed to. It was nice to actually show up for a big game vs a quality opponent.
Here we go again with the Kelly bashing. Now you're bashing him for a game he didn't even lose. Turning the bowl loss into an another occasion to actually bash BK and not MF, if anyone. Even though those opponents are not comparable, and you know this, and you disingenuously treat them as if they are. Two of the more dominant teams of the last decade compared to this Okie St. team.....

And beyond that, there's the implied logic train that since MF's bowl game loss was not as bad as BK's losses to Bama and Clemson, or so your portray it, then why wouldn't MF end up being a better coach all around than BK?? Isn't a close loss to Okie St., albeit an excruciating one considering the way we gave it away, better than losing by twenty to Bama or Clemson??

Am I right? That's the only basis we have to go on so far according to you. This one bowl game loss. And according to your sterling logic, or so your post seems to suggest, this loss to Okie St. should be considered a good sign. Even after only one single game with a career record of 0-1, he's already better than BK....

And you say you're not a hater....
 

88ND

I've posted how many times?
Sep 9, 2013
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The bar for Brian Kelly, especially these past 4 years was very simple and very high. Win every game or else.
This is WRONG.

As I've pointed out many times it's the games that were completely lopsided.
If he just had sheer bad luck and lost every major bowl/playoff game ..ok.
(Kind of unlikely to lose them all closely)
The real problem is the manner in which we lost those elite games.
Steamrolled. Deer in headlights. Unprepared. Embarrassing football.
Take any of them and they apply to BK's performances in the elite stage. (Including Cincinnati)

He didn't HAVE to win every game provided we had a chance in them. Hell even some of them.
We had ZERO chance in those games. Every single one was lopsided.
Every
Single
One
 
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Golson5

BlueandGold All Star
Apr 15, 2019
15,565
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The bar for Brian Kelly, especially these past 4 years was very simple and very high. Win every game or else.
ND was 44-6 that past 4 seasons. CFP 2018 & 2020, and 1st runner up for the CFP in 2021. Brian Kelly was crucified for every loss.

2018 Clemson (Brian Kelly does not get his teams ready to play in big games, and is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Georgia (Brian Kelly is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Michigan (Brian Kelly cannot win road games vs ranked teams)
2020 Clemson (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2020 Alabama (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2021 Cincinnati (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games & Jeff Quinn sucks)

The 44 wins were ALL explained away with a "soft schedule" and Trevor Lawrence, and a few Clemson defenders were hurt. For starters the schedule has nothing to do with Brian Kelly, nor did Brian Kelly have any control over the fact USC, Stanford, and FSU turned into trainwreck programs. Those responsible for those disasters are Lane Kiffin, Sark, Clay Helton, Jimbo Fisher, Willie Taggart, Mike Norvell, and the unbelievably overrated and overpaid David Shaw. Brian Kelly's job was to beat those teams. And he did from 2018 to 2021. ND was 9-0 in those games.

The loss to Oklahoma State was DEVASTATING. It was 100% coaching inexperience and incompetence. What made the loss more devastating, was the fact this was the first MAJOR BOWL GAME, since the 1994 Cotton Bowl vs Texas A&M. That ND had:
1. The higher ranked team
2. The favored team on the betting line
3. The better QB and roster

ND have been underdogs to heavy underdogs and overmatched in all these games going all the way back to
1995 Fiesta Bowl
1996 Orange Bowl (Krug at QB)
2001 Fiesta Bowl
2006 Fiesta Bowl
2007 Sugar Bowl
2012 BSCG
2016 Fiesta Bowl
2019 Cotton Bowl
2020 Rose Bowl

This was a game ND had to win and should have won. If Brian Kelly was a "lazy recruiter" then he must have been a genius at masking the holes in the ND roster and winning football games? You can't have it both ways.

Marcus Freeman lost this football game period end of the story.

1. To turn the defense over to Elston was total amateur hour and a horrible decision
2. Allowing Rees to throw the ball 68 times, when you basically played 3 WR the whole game is how you score points in the 1st half and completely die in the 2nd half.
3. Then my personal favorite sequence of incompetence.
a playing a quality run defense
b. not having Kyren Williams
c. having Tyler Buchner, extra bowl practice time, and knowing you need to scheme up some kind of ground game because you likely will not be able to knock OSU off the ball. You give TB NO SNAPS!!!!!!

I get all the cliche's "one game does not define a coach" "he needs to get his guys" blah blah blah. But the undeniable fact is that being a football player, an assistant coach, and a coordinator is nothing like being a Head Coach. And being the Head Coach at ND is nothing like being a Head Coach anywhere else. The 3 first-time head coaches in my lifetime, all went down in flames. (Faust, Davie, Weis) The 4 Head Coaches hired in my life with experience (Devine, Holtz, Willingham & Kelly) 3 out 4 worked out 75% seems a whole lot better than 0%. Are you guys who held Kelly to the highest standards, ready to hold Freeman to those same standards?
Yawn
 
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Get Nasty

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Jul 26, 2006
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ND scored 35 and lost by 2 … in the previous 2 playoff games ND lost by 27 and 17. In the BCS championship game ND lost by 28. In the last fiesta bowl ND lost by 14.

Up 28-7 in first half … I think it’s the first time we led in a major bowl game in decades. This was far from the debacle we have become accustomed to. It was nice to actually show up for a big game vs a quality opponent.
comparing ok st to the teams you mentioning us getting whipped vs is pretty laughable. Those were generational teams with generational qbs. This ok state team was a good team, but we were favored. WE were 10 point plus dogs do all the other teams we lost to.

Not even a close comparison. 18 point different in spread.
 
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Tru2Irish

ND Expert
Aug 2, 2013
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The bar for Brian Kelly, especially these past 4 years was very simple and very high. Win every game or else.
ND was 44-6 that past 4 seasons. CFP 2018 & 2020, and 1st runner up for the CFP in 2021. Brian Kelly was crucified for every loss.

2018 Clemson (Brian Kelly does not get his teams ready to play in big games, and is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Georgia (Brian Kelly is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Michigan (Brian Kelly cannot win road games vs ranked teams)
2020 Clemson (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2020 Alabama (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2021 Cincinnati (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games & Jeff Quinn sucks)

The 44 wins were ALL explained away with a "soft schedule" and Trevor Lawrence, and a few Clemson defenders were hurt. For starters the schedule has nothing to do with Brian Kelly, nor did Brian Kelly have any control over the fact USC, Stanford, and FSU turned into trainwreck programs. Those responsible for those disasters are Lane Kiffin, Sark, Clay Helton, Jimbo Fisher, Willie Taggart, Mike Norvell, and the unbelievably overrated and overpaid David Shaw. Brian Kelly's job was to beat those teams. And he did from 2018 to 2021. ND was 9-0 in those games.

The loss to Oklahoma State was DEVASTATING. It was 100% coaching inexperience and incompetence. What made the loss more devastating, was the fact this was the first MAJOR BOWL GAME, since the 1994 Cotton Bowl vs Texas A&M. That ND had:
1. The higher ranked team
2. The favored team on the betting line
3. The better QB and roster

ND have been underdogs to heavy underdogs and overmatched in all these games going all the way back to
1995 Fiesta Bowl
1996 Orange Bowl (Krug at QB)
2001 Fiesta Bowl
2006 Fiesta Bowl
2007 Sugar Bowl
2012 BSCG
2016 Fiesta Bowl
2019 Cotton Bowl
2020 Rose Bowl

This was a game ND had to win and should have won. If Brian Kelly was a "lazy recruiter" then he must have been a genius at masking the holes in the ND roster and winning football games? You can't have it both ways.

Marcus Freeman lost this football game period end of the story.

1. To turn the defense over to Elston was total amateur hour and a horrible decision
2. Allowing Rees to throw the ball 68 times, when you basically played 3 WR the whole game is how you score points in the 1st half and completely die in the 2nd half.
3. Then my personal favorite sequence of incompetence.
a playing a quality run defense
b. not having Kyren Williams
c. having Tyler Buchner, extra bowl practice time, and knowing you need to scheme up some kind of ground game because you likely will not be able to knock OSU off the ball. You give TB NO SNAPS!!!!!!

I get all the cliche's "one game does not define a coach" "he needs to get his guys" blah blah blah. But the undeniable fact is that being a football player, an assistant coach, and a coordinator is nothing like being a Head Coach. And being the Head Coach at ND is nothing like being a Head Coach anywhere else. The 3 first-time head coaches in my lifetime, all went down in flames. (Faust, Davie, Weis) The 4 Head Coaches hired in my life with experience (Devine, Holtz, Willingham & Kelly) 3 out 4 worked out 75% seems a whole lot better than 0%. Are you guys who held Kelly to the highest standards, ready to hold Freeman to those same standards?
Hello,Brian Kelly.
 
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Golson5

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Apr 15, 2019
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comparing ok st to the teams you mentioning us getting whipped vs is pretty laughable. Those were generational teams with generational qbs. This ok state team was a good team, but we were favored. WE were 10 point plus dogs do all the other teams we lost to.

Not even a close comparison. 18 point different in spread.
I didn't know Aj mccaron was a generational qb. That is a new one to me.

Also, Tua was not a generational qb either.

Trevor was
 

Kelso86

BlueandGold All Star
Sep 3, 2003
16,160
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The bar for Brian Kelly, especially these past 4 years was very simple and very high. Win every game or else.
ND was 44-6 that past 4 seasons. CFP 2018 & 2020, and 1st runner up for the CFP in 2021. Brian Kelly was crucified for every loss.

2018 Clemson (Brian Kelly does not get his teams ready to play in big games, and is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Georgia (Brian Kelly is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Michigan (Brian Kelly cannot win road games vs ranked teams)
2020 Clemson (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2020 Alabama (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2021 Cincinnati (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games & Jeff Quinn sucks)

The 44 wins were ALL explained away with a "soft schedule" and Trevor Lawrence, and a few Clemson defenders were hurt. For starters the schedule has nothing to do with Brian Kelly, nor did Brian Kelly have any control over the fact USC, Stanford, and FSU turned into trainwreck programs. Those responsible for those disasters are Lane Kiffin, Sark, Clay Helton, Jimbo Fisher, Willie Taggart, Mike Norvell, and the unbelievably overrated and overpaid David Shaw. Brian Kelly's job was to beat those teams. And he did from 2018 to 2021. ND was 9-0 in those games.

The loss to Oklahoma State was DEVASTATING. It was 100% coaching inexperience and incompetence. What made the loss more devastating, was the fact this was the first MAJOR BOWL GAME, since the 1994 Cotton Bowl vs Texas A&M. That ND had:
1. The higher ranked team
2. The favored team on the betting line
3. The better QB and roster

ND have been underdogs to heavy underdogs and overmatched in all these games going all the way back to
1995 Fiesta Bowl
1996 Orange Bowl (Krug at QB)
2001 Fiesta Bowl
2006 Fiesta Bowl
2007 Sugar Bowl
2012 BSCG
2016 Fiesta Bowl
2019 Cotton Bowl
2020 Rose Bowl

This was a game ND had to win and should have won. If Brian Kelly was a "lazy recruiter" then he must have been a genius at masking the holes in the ND roster and winning football games? You can't have it both ways.

Marcus Freeman lost this football game period end of the story.

1. To turn the defense over to Elston was total amateur hour and a horrible decision
2. Allowing Rees to throw the ball 68 times, when you basically played 3 WR the whole game is how you score points in the 1st half and completely die in the 2nd half.
3. Then my personal favorite sequence of incompetence.
a playing a quality run defense
b. not having Kyren Williams
c. having Tyler Buchner, extra bowl practice time, and knowing you need to scheme up some kind of ground game because you likely will not be able to knock OSU off the ball. You give TB NO SNAPS!!!!!!

I get all the cliche's "one game does not define a coach" "he needs to get his guys" blah blah blah. But the undeniable fact is that being a football player, an assistant coach, and a coordinator is nothing like being a Head Coach. And being the Head Coach at ND is nothing like being a Head Coach anywhere else. The 3 first-time head coaches in my lifetime, all went down in flames. (Faust, Davie, Weis) The 4 Head Coaches hired in my life with experience (Devine, Holtz, Willingham & Kelly) 3 out 4 worked out 75% seems a whole lot better than 0%. Are you guys who held Kelly to the highest standards, ready to hold Freeman to those same standards?
"Marcus Freeman lost this football game period end of the story"

One of the most idiotic statements made on this board -- and there have been some doozies!

So, what you are saying -- Fire Freeman now? Good flippin Lord -- he was not involved much in game planning as he was all over the board, he truned it over to Rees and Elston to run (and now we know why Elston was not named a DC) -- give the guy a break -- named a HC and only 2 weeks into his time .. This game they came out prepared and energetic -- something we NEVER saw under Kelly for the most part --

"Are you guys who held Kelly to the highest standards, ready to hold Freeman to those same standards?"

When Freeman has a body of work to assess (2-3 seasons) -- then yes!
 
Last edited:

echowaker

BlueandGold All Star
Feb 5, 2003
19,101
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So let me get this straight. Kelly dating back to his last couple of years at Cincinnati has put 6 teams into major NYD/BCS/CFP games- 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2020. In each of those six years his teams lost in embarrassing fashion against top 10 teams, blowouts, hardly competitive and in most cases over by halftime. Granted he didn't coach the 2009 Bearcat team when they got blown out by UF in the Sugar, since he ran away like he did this year, but still relevant. AND NOW, when Kelly ran away again before another major NYD bowl his replacement Coach Freeman for the first time in 14 years actually put a competitive product on the field in the NYD game, and nearly won the game and we should be concerned?

If history is any indication to me, at least from the bowl results, is if we had Kelly as coach for the Fiesta Bowl he would have tightened up like a sailors knot and probably figured out how to lose that Fiesta Bowl by 2 touchdowns. History doesn't lie, and historically nothing has shown that Kelly would have done any better then Freeman in that game, and in fact history does suggest that we maybe lose that worse if Kelly was at the helm...but yeah sure let's be concerned, and not give Freeman a pass for almost winning a game and proving this offense can actually throw the ball vertically!
The interesting thing is not one of those teams you cited were remotely close to being a favorite in any of those games. You'd think there would be at least one upset along the way.
 

Bumpdaddy

ND Expert
Oct 20, 2014
1,257
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The bar for Brian Kelly, especially these past 4 years was very simple and very high. Win every game or else.
ND was 44-6 that past 4 seasons. CFP 2018 & 2020, and 1st runner up for the CFP in 2021. Brian Kelly was crucified for every loss.

2018 Clemson (Brian Kelly does not get his teams ready to play in big games, and is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Georgia (Brian Kelly is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Michigan (Brian Kelly cannot win road games vs ranked teams)
2020 Clemson (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2020 Alabama (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2021 Cincinnati (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games & Jeff Quinn sucks)

The 44 wins were ALL explained away with a "soft schedule" and Trevor Lawrence, and a few Clemson defenders were hurt. For starters the schedule has nothing to do with Brian Kelly, nor did Brian Kelly have any control over the fact USC, Stanford, and FSU turned into trainwreck programs. Those responsible for those disasters are Lane Kiffin, Sark, Clay Helton, Jimbo Fisher, Willie Taggart, Mike Norvell, and the unbelievably overrated and overpaid David Shaw. Brian Kelly's job was to beat those teams. And he did from 2018 to 2021. ND was 9-0 in those games.

The loss to Oklahoma State was DEVASTATING. It was 100% coaching inexperience and incompetence. What made the loss more devastating, was the fact this was the first MAJOR BOWL GAME, since the 1994 Cotton Bowl vs Texas A&M. That ND had:
1. The higher ranked team
2. The favored team on the betting line
3. The better QB and roster

ND have been underdogs to heavy underdogs and overmatched in all these games going all the way back to
1995 Fiesta Bowl
1996 Orange Bowl (Krug at QB)
2001 Fiesta Bowl
2006 Fiesta Bowl
2007 Sugar Bowl
2012 BSCG
2016 Fiesta Bowl
2019 Cotton Bowl
2020 Rose Bowl

This was a game ND had to win and should have won. If Brian Kelly was a "lazy recruiter" then he must have been a genius at masking the holes in the ND roster and winning football games? You can't have it both ways.

Marcus Freeman lost this football game period end of the story.

1. To turn the defense over to Elston was total amateur hour and a horrible decision
2. Allowing Rees to throw the ball 68 times, when you basically played 3 WR the whole game is how you score points in the 1st half and completely die in the 2nd half.
3. Then my personal favorite sequence of incompetence.
a playing a quality run defense
b. not having Kyren Williams
c. having Tyler Buchner, extra bowl practice time, and knowing you need to scheme up some kind of ground game because you likely will not be able to knock OSU off the ball. You give TB NO SNAPS!!!!!!

I get all the cliche's "one game does not define a coach" "he needs to get his guys" blah blah blah. But the undeniable fact is that being a football player, an assistant coach, and a coordinator is nothing like being a Head Coach. And being the Head Coach at ND is nothing like being a Head Coach anywhere else. The 3 first-time head coaches in my lifetime, all went down in flames. (Faust, Davie, Weis) The 4 Head Coaches hired in my life with experience (Devine, Holtz, Willingham & Kelly) 3 out 4 worked out 75% seems a whole lot better than 0%. Are you guys who held Kelly to the highest standards, ready to hold Freeman to those same standards?
A lot of made-up/overexaggerated arguments in this post.

"Win every game or else" - That's BS. It wasn't the expectation. Compete for the playoffs? Yes, but not "or else." There might have been 1 year out of the last 4 where most thought ND could go undefeated.

"Lazy recruiter" - No, most thought he didn't recruit as hard as he could have or as hard as other top coaches like Saban and Meyer did, but that's not the same thing as being lazy. Most people thought he was a good recruiter but could have done more. It was a legit criticism.

"The 44 wins were ALL explained away..." More BS. Sure, there are BK haters and some said that, but the vast majority of fans on this board gave BK credit for those 44 wins and recognize he turned us into a perennial top 5 or 6 program.

"Marcus Freeman lost this football game" - OK, sure. It goes in his loss column but you are completely overexaggerating the things you think he did wrong and completely ignoring the major BK-imposed obstacles that MF had to deal with after BK bolted. In less than a month, MF had to deal with the media frenzy centered around his hiring, travel across the country to keep the recruiting class together, work out the staffing and coaching logistics for the bowl game, and, finally, come up with a game plan and practice schedule. It was a whirlwind of expectations for someone who had no idea he would be responsible for any of those things at the end of November. But you think MF was supposed to pull it all off without a hitch? Ridiculous. You even put Kyren not playing on him. That's dumb.

I was extremely disappointed with the way we lost. The in-game coaching will certainly need to be improved moving forward, and that will be MF's responsibility. But, wow, this post is way overboard. You might want to dunk your head in a tub to douse the fire.
 

Patrirish

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Gross overreaction in my opinion. Make a routine field goal and this thread doesn't exist.
Not true, unless the details and substance of a game aren’t worth evaluating.

If we had won the game you would still have to dissect and analyze play by the players and the decisions by the coaches.

so let’s pretend that we did win the game.

Do you think that it was a well coached game ?
 
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Bumpdaddy

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Not true, unless the details and substance of a game aren’t worth evaluating.

If we had won the game you would still have to dissect and analyze play by the players and the decisions by the coaches.

so let’s pretend that we did win the game.

Do you think that it was a well coached game ?
You are adding nothing to the conversation by strawmanning, Pat. Saying the OP was a gross exaggeration doesn't mean Echo (or anyone else) thought it was a well-coached game. Are you trying to stir up trouble for no reason?
 

Get Nasty

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I didn't know Aj mccaron was a generational qb. That is a new one to me.

Also, Tua was not a generational qb either.

Trevor was
I was referencing the last two cfp games.

mac jones led one of the best offenses all time in college football and we know Trevor was amazing.

I completely forgot we played Tua, yeah he’s not a generational talent. OH WAIT, we never did play tua!!!! Dulp!!!
 

NDDadx3

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I was referencing the last two cfp games.

mac jones led one of the best offenses all time in college football and we know Trevor was amazing.

I completely forgot we played Tua, yeah he’s not a generational talent. OH WAIT, we never did play tua!!!! Dulp!!!
JT Barrett also did a number on us … but more concerning is the fact that our offense missed the bus every time. It really wasn’t just an opposing QB problem. Give a good coach 4 weeks and BKs offense were a non factor unfortunately.
 

Patrirish

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You are adding nothing to the conversation by strawmanning, Pat. Saying the OP was a gross exaggeration doesn't mean Echo (or anyone else) thought it was a well-coached game. Are you trying to stir up trouble for no reason?
It’s you who are missing the point and the object of this thread, which is to present a reasoned analysis of MF’s Fiesta Bowl performance and whether or not future games will be viewed with a blind eye.
 
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Golson5

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I was referencing the last two cfp games.

mac jones led one of the best offenses all time in college football and we know Trevor was amazing.

I completely forgot we played Tua, yeah he’s not a generational talent. OH WAIT, we never did play tua!!!! Dulp!!!
You were talking about all 3

Aj mccaron was not generational.

Either was Mac jones

We lost to one generational qb, not 3
 
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Get Nasty

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JT Barrett also did a number on us … but more concerning is the fact that our offense missed the bus every time. It really wasn’t just an opposing QB problem. Give a good coach 4 weeks and BKs offense were a non factor unfortunately.
Agree 100%… same thing happened with freeman’s D
 

Get Nasty

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You were talking about all 3

Aj mccaron was not generational.

Either was Mac jones

We lost to one generational qb, not 3
Mac jones stats are insanity his senior year…. He also will get offensive rookie of year

203 rating, 77% completion percentage… 44 tds and just a few picks, 4500 yards

Curious what qb has had a better season ?
 

Bumpdaddy

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It’s you who are missing the point and the object of this thread, which is to present a reasoned analysis of MF’s Fiesta Bowl performance and whether or not future games will be viewed with a blind eye.
Nope. You were strawmanning and trying to stir up drama and now you are pretending you weren't doing that.
 

rivals50

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Was on Freeman bandwagon just like everyone else.. But the way he failed miserably in the 2nd half of fiesta bowl is giving me some doubt to his coaching ability. Him being a defensive guy it was very disappointing that he was given a huge lead and it just melted away in the 2nd half.. Okie State ran their offense @ will and had it not been for two fumbles one in the end zone they could have won it with 21 points.. Very disappointing game indeed..
 

Get Nasty

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Was on Freeman bandwagon just like everyone else.. But the way he failed miserably in the 2nd half of fiesta bowl is giving me some doubt to his coaching ability. Him being a defensive guy it was very disappointing that he was given a huge lead and it just melted away in the 2nd half.. Okie State ran their offense @ will and had it not been for two fumbles one in the end zone they could have won it with 21 points.. Very disappointing game indeed..
I think he can be better head coach than DC… need to hire bolden as dc

inspire
Lead
Recruit
 

Golson5

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Mac jones stats are insanity his senior year…. He also will get offensive rookie of year

203 rating, 77% completion percentage… 44 tds and just a few picks, 4500 yards

Curious what qb has had a better season ?
Yeah he was really good in his senior year. He wasn't a generational qb.

Tua and Bryce Young were really good at Alabama too

And he's an average nfl qb

Put him on almost any other team in college and hes Kenny Pickett

Hes a nice qb, far from generational. Don't try to defend your point, you know hes not even close to generational
 

Get Nasty

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Yeah he was really good in his senior year. He wasn't a generational qb.

Tua and Bryce Young were really good at Alabama too

And he's an average nfl qb

Put him on almost any other team in college and hes Kenny Pickett

Hes a nice qb, far from generational. Don't try to defend your point, you know hes not even close to generational
He’s borderline… a lot of Tom Brady characteristics
 

Golson5

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He’s borderline… a lot of Tom Brady characteristics
Get the hell out of here. Man, you'll say anything to not admit you were wrong.

Like I said, kenny pickett

Joe Burrow has a lot of Tom Brady characteristics. Mac Jones has a lot of Andy Dalton characteristics, actually that may be a little too much
 
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Get Nasty

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Get the hell out of here. Man, you'll say anything to not admit you were wrong.

Like I said, kenny pickett

Joe Burrow has a lot of Tom Brady characteristics. Mac Jones has a lot of Andy Dalton characteristics, actually that may be a little too much
Joe burrow can move unlike Brady

you thought nd played tua and glossed over that abomination

Joe burrow has elite wrs,
Jones has nothing
 

Patrirish

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Nope. You were strawmanning and trying to stir up drama and now you are pretending you weren't doing that.
Oh, so now you’re the great Kreskin and can read minds despite not having one of your own !

I’m rather direct and don’t need to mask my intentions.

My post essentially asked everyone to evaluate the coaching decisions in the game irrespective of the score/outcome.

Have someone explain that to you.
 

NDDadx3

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Was on Freeman bandwagon just like everyone else.. But the way he failed miserably in the 2nd half of fiesta bowl is giving me some doubt to his coaching ability. Him being a defensive guy it was very disappointing that he was given a huge lead and it just melted away in the 2nd half.. Okie State ran their offense @ will and had it not been for two fumbles one in the end zone they could have won it with 21 points.. Very disappointing game indeed..
on the other hand if not for NDs 2nd half fumble and int in scoring drives or missed FG they win the game. You don’t get to cherry pick the plays you want and call them lucky. Every play counts.
 
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NDinNJ

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The bar for Brian Kelly, especially these past 4 years was very simple and very high. Win every game or else.
ND was 44-6 that past 4 seasons. CFP 2018 & 2020, and 1st runner up for the CFP in 2021. Brian Kelly was crucified for every loss.

2018 Clemson (Brian Kelly does not get his teams ready to play in big games, and is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Georgia (Brian Kelly is a lazy recruiter)
2019 Michigan (Brian Kelly cannot win road games vs ranked teams)
2020 Clemson (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2020 Alabama (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games and lazy recruiter)
2021 Cincinnati (Brian Kelly cannot get his teams ready to play big games & Jeff Quinn sucks)

The 44 wins were ALL explained away with a "soft schedule" and Trevor Lawrence, and a few Clemson defenders were hurt. For starters the schedule has nothing to do with Brian Kelly, nor did Brian Kelly have any control over the fact USC, Stanford, and FSU turned into trainwreck programs. Those responsible for those disasters are Lane Kiffin, Sark, Clay Helton, Jimbo Fisher, Willie Taggart, Mike Norvell, and the unbelievably overrated and overpaid David Shaw. Brian Kelly's job was to beat those teams. And he did from 2018 to 2021. ND was 9-0 in those games.

The loss to Oklahoma State was DEVASTATING. It was 100% coaching inexperience and incompetence. What made the loss more devastating, was the fact this was the first MAJOR BOWL GAME, since the 1994 Cotton Bowl vs Texas A&M. That ND had:
1. The higher ranked team
2. The favored team on the betting line
3. The better QB and roster

ND have been underdogs to heavy underdogs and overmatched in all these games going all the way back to
1995 Fiesta Bowl
1996 Orange Bowl (Krug at QB)
2001 Fiesta Bowl
2006 Fiesta Bowl
2007 Sugar Bowl
2012 BSCG
2016 Fiesta Bowl
2019 Cotton Bowl
2020 Rose Bowl

This was a game ND had to win and should have won. If Brian Kelly was a "lazy recruiter" then he must have been a genius at masking the holes in the ND roster and winning football games? You can't have it both ways.

Marcus Freeman lost this football game period end of the story.

1. To turn the defense over to Elston was total amateur hour and a horrible decision
2. Allowing Rees to throw the ball 68 times, when you basically played 3 WR the whole game is how you score points in the 1st half and completely die in the 2nd half.
3. Then my personal favorite sequence of incompetence.
a playing a quality run defense
b. not having Kyren Williams
c. having Tyler Buchner, extra bowl practice time, and knowing you need to scheme up some kind of ground game because you likely will not be able to knock OSU off the ball. You give TB NO SNAPS!!!!!!

I get all the cliche's "one game does not define a coach" "he needs to get his guys" blah blah blah. But the undeniable fact is that being a football player, an assistant coach, and a coordinator is nothing like being a Head Coach. And being the Head Coach at ND is nothing like being a Head Coach anywhere else. The 3 first-time head coaches in my lifetime, all went down in flames. (Faust, Davie, Weis) The 4 Head Coaches hired in my life with experience (Devine, Holtz, Willingham & Kelly) 3 out 4 worked out 75% seems a whole lot better than 0%. Are you guys who held Kelly to the highest standards, ready to hold Freeman to those same standards?
This post has so many holes in it, it's not worth the effort or time tearing it apart.
 
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NDinNJ

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rightfully so, we fans always blamed Kelly when the offense laid an egg even though he is head coach not OC…. Same goes for freeman with D
Sorry, but most on this board, including myself at the time didn't blame Kelly for the Tulsa loss at home in year 1 or the USF loss at home in year 2, the blowout loss to Alabama in year 3, the mediocre seasons in years 4 and 5, or even the pathetic 4-8 season in YEAR 7. So yea let's blame Freeman for a loss to a top 10 team, (which by the way Kelly had an abysmal record vs top 10 teams) in his first game as head coach with a makeshift coaching staff.,
 

NDinNJ

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Here we go again with the Kelly bashing. Now you're bashing him for a game he didn't even lose. Turning the bowl loss into an another occasion to actually bash BK and not MF, if anyone. Even though those opponents are not comparable, and you know this, and you disingenuously treat them as if they are. Two of the more dominant teams of the last decade compared to this Okie St. team.....

And beyond that, there's the implied logic train that since MF's bowl game loss was not as bad as BK's losses to Bama and Clemson, or so your portray it, then why wouldn't MF end up being a better coach all around than BK?? Isn't a close loss to Okie St., albeit an excruciating one considering the way we gave it away, better than losing by twenty to Bama or Clemson??

Am I right? That's the only basis we have to go on so far according to you. This one bowl game loss. And according to your sterling logic, or so your post seems to suggest, this loss to Okie St. should be considered a good sign. Even after only one single game with a career record of 0-1, he's already better than BK....

And you say you're not a hater....
Here we go again, acting like a jilted lover. i already posted the link to the LSU board for you in another thread, this is a Notre Dame board not a Brian Kelly forum, why are you still here?
 

Get Nasty

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Sorry, but most on this board, including myself at the time didn't blame Kelly for the Tulsa loss at home in year 1 or the USF loss at home in year 2, the blowout loss to Alabama in year 3, the mediocre seasons in years 4 and 5, or even the pathetic 4-8 season in YEAR 7. So yea let's blame Freeman for a loss to a top 10 team, (which by the way Kelly had an abysmal record vs top 10 teams) in his first game as head coach with a makeshift coaching staff.,
You didn’t blame Kelly for usf or Tulsa, who was at fault then? Only the players?