Will Kelly Be Notre Dame's Grant?

Bruce AcreeCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2010

SOUTH BEND, IN - DECEMBER 11: Brian Kelly speaks to the media at a news conference after being named new football head coach at Notre Dame University on December 11, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana.  Kelly most recently led the University of Cincinnati to two consecutive Bowl Championship Series appearances including a perfect 12-0 record this past season. (Photo by Frank Polich/Getty Images)
Frank Polich/Getty Images

I hardly write articles anymore. My promotion finally went through. And between a different shift, my 4 and 6 year old playing baseball and spending time with my wife, I just don't have time. Good for you guys! Ha ha. But allow me this brief one if you would.

I am somewhat of a civil war buff. Well, military history in general to be honest. So many fascinating people, so many strategies. So many aspects to apply to one's own life.

Ulysses S. Grant is one of my favorites. In fact, I use some of his principles for my daily life. His straight forward, simple, aggressive, yet humble style is to be admired. These qualities, along with his brilliant taking of Vicksburg is what prompted Lincoln(the greatest man our nation ever produced) to proclaim 'Grant is my man'.

I posted the following Grant quote on my FB page: The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. Ulysses S. Grant

This received several comments. One in particular was from a gentleman stating how he felt it applied to politics as well. I agree. In fact, it applies to an awful lot of things in life. In cluding FOOTBALL.

In football, so many of us try to make it more complicated than it is. 90% of the time, the more physically gifted team will win. If equally matched, the team that blocks and tackles better will win 90% of the time. The above Grant quote reminds me of Jimmy Johnson's philosophy while coaching the Dallas Cowboys: Aquire talented players, put them in position to win, and keep it simple. They won. And they won alot.

For so long, Notre Dame has NOT won alot. They enjoy huge name recognition, their own TV network, a national recruiting and fan base, state of the art facilities and historical singificance. But despite this, they have not won big since the early 1990's. They have had incompetant, outmatched or too complicated and indesicive leadership at the reigns.

The same could be said for the Union in the early years of the civil war. They had every advantage. However, Incompetant, timid and outdated generals such as McClellan were still fighting napoleanic wars while Generals such as Lee, jackson and Stuart where just mopping the floor with them. Then, Grant rises in the west. First Shiloh, then Vicksburg, then Chattanooga. Lincoln appoints him Lieutenant general of all Union armies.(Only George Washington ever had this title!)

He immediately puts Sherman in charge of the western theatre. Grant takes command in the east. He implements a 'total war' doctrine. He uses his superior numbers and supplies. He keeps it simple, organized, smart, and aggressive. He proceeds to attack the invincible Lee....over and over again. Never letting up, never letting him rest. Winning 3 out of 4 battles against him. The 4th being a draw. Lee understands it's over. Grant is competent and effective, smart and unrelenting. He is not Napolian of course. But neither was Wellington.

I'm hoping Kelly is our Grant.
I'm hoping Diaco is our Sherman.

Weis was never able to put a staff together. He couldn't stick to one defense or keep a clear vision of things. As organized as he was personally, his program was not. Far too often, his teams would lose to vastly lesser programs. He finally was yanked from his command. And it was time.

I'm hoping that Kelly will create a program that is organized, well thought out, simple yet effective. Competent and unrelenting. A program that can take the advantages that the program naturally has and concentrate them into building a winner. A winner that Notre Dame deserves. A winner that the Notre Dame fanbase, Alumni and subway alike, deserve.