I realize that every time Notre Dame hires someone new, they are looked upon as the new face of the program and the "Savior" to come save one of the most historic programs in the country from its recent failures.
However, the past decade has been full of coaches who didn't make it, and Charlie Weis was no different. After what looked to be a promising start, Weis went down the same road as every other coach since Lou Holtz, and is now out of South Bend.
So, why will Brian Kelly be different?
First off, I'm going to use the picture that I'm using as the image for this article, or rant, whatever you want to call it. Kelly was 9-3 in games against ranked teams and has won two bowl games, which shows that he can win the big game.
To the contrary, Weis was just 4-12 against teams in the top 25 and only won the Hawaii Bowl. Does that even count?
Secondly, I'm going to point to what players and people close to the team are saying: Kelly has picked up the practice pace, and is really trying to nail down and get the most potential out of his players.
In a time period where Weis would get 20 things done, Kelly gets 40. Kelly doesn't want to be the players' friend; he wants to make them better.
Those seem like pretty valid points, but the next two could be the most critical. For one, Kelly actually has head coaching experience. Yes, Weis was a coach under Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick, but he never led a team by himself.
Kelly comes in with the experience of building Grand Valley State and Cincinnati all the way to the top of their conferences from the ground up. That kind of experience in doing what the Notre Dame fan base needs him to do in South Bend is a lot more critical than most people are going to take it for.
Finally, the biggest thing that separates the two coaches is the point blank ability to coach. Weis brought the best recruiting class in the country for two straight years, but couldn't do anything with them. Think about that, the group of juniors and seniors at Notre Dame last year were the most talented groups out of high school.
While he was playing with those classes, he was 16-21. Granted that this year may have been better, but he couldn't even perform well enough to get a chance at that.
Kelly has shown year in and year out that he can win with less. The difference at Notre Dame is that he can start winning with more. A great recruiter as well, Kelly will start bringing in top talent to South Bend and should actually be able to win with it.
So, for now, Kelly looks like the perfect fit for Notre Dame. Weis and Ty Willingham both did too, but there's a different kind of sparkle to Kelly. It looks as if he's here to stay and be successful for a long time.
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