There were lessons for Notre Dame to learned from last night’s LSU win.
It sucks to be close, but never close enough. It’s demoralizing to be the team that others use to boost their strength of schedule. It’s embarrassing to always have a team that you just can’t beat. It’s disheartening to always lose on the biggest stage.
You just want it to stop.
Well, LSU made it stop. They beat Alabama, won a National Championship, had a Heisman Trophy quarterback and a magical season. Now, wouldn’t it be nice for Notre Dame to exercise their own demons?
The Fighting Irish should try going about it like LSU. Brian Kelly needs to look in the mirror and modernize his offense. That doesn’t mean do RPOs because everyone else is doing RPOs. It means put faith in your quarterback to read the defense and adjust plays. Trust receivers to adjust routes, while being on the same page as your quarterback. It means running an offense that has a NFL passing scheme, mixed with a college run scheme. It means running hurry-up, and keeping the defense in mismatches.
Ed Orgeron, the old school Cajun, was able to. So why shouldn’t Brian Kelly be able to?
When Kelly came to Notre Dame, he ran a cutting edge offense. He got the Notre Dame job because his Cincinnati Bearcats averaged 39.8 points per game in 2009. Kelly came to Notre Dame, with a new offensive coordinator, and seemed to regress behind the other offensive minds.
He built the modern Notre Dame on defense and offensive line play. That’s old school. It’s how Georgia is built, and how LSU was built. There’s a reason Georgia hasn’t gotten over the hump. There’s a reason it took LSU moving on from three yards and a cloud of dust to win another National Championship. The game has changed. It’s not 2011 anymore. Offense wins championships.
You don’t need elite recruits to win at the highest level. You need good player development. You need great schemes. You need great work ethic. LSU had those things this season, which they didn’t have in seasons prior. Notre Dame needs to find those things, particularly an elite offensive scheme.
Notre Dame still doesn’t have an offensive coordinator. If they can find their own version of Joe Brady, the LSU passing game coordinator, then the Irish will finally be able to get over the hump. Otherwise, Brian Kelly and Notre Dame will be stuck in the world of “good but not good enough.”