Brian Kelly Throws Jab at Ohio State Over Easy Schedule
Notre Dame has played only two games on its 2011 schedule and Brian Kelly is already trying to work the BCS selection committee. College football has easily the most sensitive schedule across sports. By that I mean if you lose two games early, you stand virtually no chance at winning a national championship or even qualifying for a BCS bowl game. With that in mind, the 2011 season will likely be one of little success for the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame has opened the season 0-2 after losses to South Florida and Michigan. Naturally, Kelly has faced a ton of criticism about the way his team has played. The Fighting Irish finished strongly in 2010 but things have not gone their way thus far in 2011. Kelly blames a difficult schedule for his team’s early-season struggles.
“We’ve made so many mistakes against two pretty tough teams coming out,”Kelly told the Chicago Sun-Times via CBSSports.com’s Eye on College Football blog. “Again, as you see the schedule, Ohio State is playing Toledo. I mean, teams are playing easy games early on in the schedule. We don’t get that luxury. We have to go play in front of 115,000 [at Michigan Stadium]. Those mistakes are more glaring against opponents that are physically pretty good, as well.
“I believe that we’re going to be a good football team. We won’t be until we clean up the little things that keep popping up on Saturdays.”
Perhaps Kelly should discuss this matter with his athletic department and not randomly direct his frustrations toward Ohio State. There are plenty of negative things to say about the Buckeyes program, but schools can schedule non-conference opponents as they please. By scheduling tougher games at the beginning of the year, Notre Dame hopes to gain national recognition as a BCS contender. The Fighting Irish have failed to do that.
One of your top responsibilities as a coach is to keep your players focused on their own responsibilities and not worry about what is going on elsewhere. Inviting your team to play the “poor me” card and complain about what other teams are doing sets a horrible example.