You have to give Notre Dame credit; they refuse to give up. It seems that every five years they hire a new head coach when they hit rock bottom. The latest and greatest attempt to return to the top of the college football world is the hiring of Brian Kelly.
Clearly Notre Dame thinks their football program is capable of fielding a national championship team. However, since Lou Holtz departed South Bend back in 1996, the Fighting Irish have struggled to maintain their national prominence.
When Charlie Weis arrived in South Bend, again a quick return to past Glory was promised. Five years later, Notre Dame fans continue to pray for that return, and at this point would simply like a return to a BCS bowl game.
Brian Kelly has proven he can lead teams to winning seasons. However, this is Notre Dame, and the expectations will be higher than he could ever imagine.
Charlie Weis recruited well and possessed an excellent offensive mind. Unfortunately, he did not focus as much on defense, and it arguably caused his demise at Notre Dame. Not unlike Weis, Brian Kelly too is offensively sound, and has not done well defensively this past season with Cincinnati. Through 12 games this season, the Bearcats are No. 48 in total defense in a rather weak Big East Conference.
If Kelly wants to succeed at Notre Dame, he better hire an excellent defensive coordinator and pray the Rosary quite often.
We now live in the 21st Century, and Notre Dame has fallen from grace in the college football world. They may never return to prominence, and fans may need to realize that sooner than later. Coach Kelly will do his absolute best to be successful at Notre Dame, but there may be too much to overcome for that to happen.
Academics, unrealistic expectations, warmer climates, or whatever, Notre Dame is now a has been program. If Brian Kelly brings them back to the top, it will be a monumental achievement that will deserve accolades.
What can Notre Dame expect with Coach Kelly? Don't be surprised if it's the same old situation a few years from now. There is a reason why Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops didn't raise their hand when volunteers were asked to apply for the Notre Dame job. There are too many limitations for Notre Dame to be successful.
Let's hope Kelly makes it to year six for Notre Dame's sake.