Notre Dame's Season Opener Against Purdue Is the Dawn of a New Era

Collin O'ConnorCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2010

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 17: Jimmy Clausen #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is consoled by teammate Dayne Crist #10 during a game against the USC Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium on October 17, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. USC defeated Notre Dame 34-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Last season's performance from Notre Dame was definitely one to forget. After Charlie Weis showed so much promise in his first couple years, seeing it all come crashing down was frustrating to watch.

Now, whenever people think of Weis as the head coach of the Irish, it will bring back memories of the worst teams in Fighting Irish history. Whether it's Charlie Weis' fault or anyone within the program, there's no denying that they failed the goals they set out to achieve when they first arrived in South Bend.

Yesterday I was watching an old Notre Dame video on YouTube where Charlie Weis said, "Last year, Notre Dame was a 6-5 football team. That's just not good enough."

You're right Charlie, it's not. However, 6-5 is a heck of a whole lot better than the 3-9 record you posted in the first season with your recruiting classes.

So, I'll just leave it at that. Weis is gone, and it's time for Brian Kelly to step in and turn this historic program around. Yes, that task is much easier said than done, but Kelly has shown in his past that he has what it takes to build a program from the ground up.

I've been saying it from the beginning: Kelly is different from Weis because he has coaching experience. In the amount of time where Weis would get 20 plays done, Brian Kelly runs 40.

Coach Kelly knows what he has to do to win. He understands that it's a five minute plan, not a five year plan.

That said, the opener with Purdue also brings in a breath of fresh air with new quarterback Dayne Crist.

Crist was a top quarterback in the 2008 recruit class and comes into this season after sitting out two years behind Jimmy Clausen. And, while Charlie Weis did not have that much success, he did prove that he was good at developing quarterbacks and finding good quarterback talent.

However, the main obstacle for Crist is learning the new system under Kelly which is completely different from the pro style one that Weis ran. It's obviously not easy to spend two years studying under one coach and then learning a completely different one when a new coach comes in.

That's just another step in the road for Crist and the Irish this year.

The one bright side, though, is that he will have one of the best receiving corps in the country to throw to. With Michael Floyd leading the pack, Duval Kamara, Deion Walker, T.J. Jones, and tight end Kyle Rudolph will all have big impacts in this year's passing game. Armando Allen will also be another target out of the backfield.

All in all, the opener against Purdue will give us a lot. The new system will be put out there for everyone to see, and so will the new "Golden Boy".

Only time will tell if he can live up to the hype he was given in high school.