It gave birth to Hope, something we have not known since 1996. I would love to win a NC but too much has to go right to count on it. I suppose it is a matter of perspective. Many will argue that Pitt was unranked and a horrible fiasco despite the win. It was one of the most exciting (and interesting) games I have ever seen and will never forget. 2012 was a special year for me. I had made my peace with God that none of my 6 children would be able to attend ND. My daughter unexpectedly got it and 2012 was her first year and she graciously let me live vicariously though her. And my 2 oldest sons are still big ND fans. So UM, Stanford, Pitt were magical moments for us. It was the first time in their lifetimes that we had the opportunity to share bonafide excitement. I understand we could be a better team in 2013 and lose 3-4. I do not disagree with you. Luck is my best friend. Hopefully, we will continue to make "discernable progress" and have another satisfying year. I still do not know if we are capable of it in today's landscape. But at this moment in time there is hope for 2013.
Most notably, the goal line stand against Stanford. That easily could have been called a TD, and could have withstood the test of 'irrefutable' evidence.
ND slept through that game. Never thought it was in doubt, quite frankly.
Outside of the Pitt game, were there times when ND truly got lucky? Are you counting Purdue?
But overall, I agree and think we weren't as lucky as it may seem.
With a good defense and a young QB, Kelly's approach was to make fewer mistakes en route to winning close games, in lieu of a wide open offense that would've inevitably led to more points but also more turnovers and a couple losses.
The same people who blame many of ND's losses on "bad luck" also have to accept that there was approximately the same number of wins in 2012 that can be associated with good luck. The defense was better; I'd say the offense was pretty well a wash with losing Gray and Floyd but having Golson at QB. The offensive line was better too I suppose.
The same people who blame many of ND's losses on "bad luck" also have to accept that there was approximately the same number of wins in 2012 that can be associated with good luck.
That line is a 2-way street. I was shouted down a time or 2 for thinking that ND was very easily a 10-11 win team in 2011. This whole idea of luck can't be a one-way street such that we can only use "luck" to critically evaluate (or even denigrate) the football program, because very few were willing to grant 2011 as a potentially better season than 8 wins.
I am willing to say that ND played like a 10-11 win team in 2012. But that holds true for 2011, too. But many pointed to 2-straight 8 wins seasons as an indictment against Kelly.
Biggest 'what if' in that discussion will always be how '11 would have changed if Gray scored on first drive v. USF.
Total wins is a nice metric but only a starting point. You don't hear fans of Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska proud of their 10 win seasons (9 for UT).
BK could have one or two more 10 win seasons if we would schedule Wyoming instead of Navy and swap New Mexico for Tulsa. But they would still have been disappointing teams that would have been exposed in the bowls.
Maybe you think I am going with the "bad luck" angle which I certainly am not.
In my eyes, the fact we didn't win 10 games in 2011 is viewed as a failure on Kelly's part, not a result of bad luck. It was inexcusable to lose to USF at home and then piss away a massive lead in Ann Arbor. Kelly panicked in the USF game and his playcalling late against UM was questionable, on both sides of the ball.
But others were trying to use the consecutive 8-5 starts as an indictment of the program's progress and improvement under Kelly. Fact is that the 2011 version of the Irish bore little resemblance to the 2010 version. It was greatly improved even if things Kelly did cost ND 2 games in 2011. It's irrefutable.
But it all goes to this notion that the adopted perspective generally tends to be the one that casts ND in the most negative light possible. We are now trying to rewrite the 2012 results. Whether luck or some other factors were involved, the 2011 team should have easily won 10 games, which would be marked improvement over 2010.
But now the narrative is the 2012 Irish shouldn't have won 12 games. In other words, the 2011 team wasn't better than 8 wins and the 2012 team wasn't as good as 12 wins. Some are having a lot of cake and trying to eat it all, too. Can't win for losing (or winning, for that matter).
What if Gary Gray didn't decide to throw the game? (OK, sorry kidding)
What if Tommy Rees didn't drop the ball?
What if Denard didn't recover his own team's fumble and scores a TD?
I still have nightmares from that 2011 game. Absolutely no one can convince me that Michigan deserved to win that game.
continuing defense of all things Kelly?
I'll edit for you.
EDIT: And another thing. My "defense of all things Kelly" is rich. Except that I conceded we were fortunate to win a couple of games in 2012. But that's not the point. Rather, if one is to say we weren't deserving of some victories in 2012 then they should apply consistent standards to the games of 2011. That you choose not to is your own prerogative, and a biased one at that.
several years back. Pardon the name dropping but it is like it is.
I attended the Monogram Club Mass, meeting, and dinner in June of '89 and was invited to sit at a table that included Ara and Father Joyce. Needless to say I kept my mouth shut and ears open through the whole meal.
When Father Beauchamp was acknowledging the '88 Nat'l Championship team he said something like "now that ND is the national champion we want to see what heights of excellence Coach Holtz can take this team to" in years to come. I glanced at Ara and he was looking down, almost with disbelief, and negatively shaking his head. I cannot read minds but I can imagine he was wondering just how much blood do they want to squeeze out of a coach?
Like instead of Fr. Bill giving Lou accolades, he was telling him he needed to get better. Win more titles, beat teams worse, generate more income. It must have bothered Lou some also because he wasn't ready with his usual one liners.
I think a lot of our "luck" in 2012 can be attributed to improved personnel overall, better preparation, and being comfortable in the systems of play on defense and offense. As opposed to the previous year when it seemed the only luck we had was bad luck. That said, we will need to continue to improve, and significantly, to be the caliber of an Alabama.
And they just signed a great recruiting class and how much will the team and coaching staff learn from last season and the National Title Game. They saw what it is going to take to be the best so what do they do. We will see. I am still excited about the future but at the same time like I mentioned what will be done betweeen now and Kickoff 2013.
The team did wipe the floor with a few teams and a few other they should have, they didnt.
Navy vs Purdue
WF vs Pitt
Miami vs BC
The fortunate bounces brought this at best 9-3 team undefeated to the NC game. I will take it, we all will, but it is obvious to me as well. We need to get better.
they were, objectively, poor.
The way I see it, there were 3 50/50 games: Pitt, Purdue and Stanford. In a normal year we go 1-2 or 2-1 in those games.
to the 1986 team. ND was very lucky the past season, and their record reflected that. The 86 team was very unlucky (except for USC) and their record reflected that. I don't think the 2012 team was really as good as a 12-0 team, nor was the 86 team as bad as a 5-6 team. However, what both seasons did was inspire hope for the future. Holtz delivered. I'm thinking Kelly will too.
2011. We had some really unlucky breaks in 2011 (USF, UM, heck, even FSU) and easily could have had a much better record. We had some lucky breaks in 2012 and could have had a slightly worse record.
We're 20-6 over the past two years and that is just about right. Water seeks it's own level. Now, the way we can gain better consistency is to continue to recruit well and develop the guys; I am confident we can do that. This staff appears to be relentless in recruiting and we have shown some dramatic improvements.
What is that old Lou quote? When he got here, there were guys that didn't know if they wanted to win. Then they knew they wanted to win but didn't know how. That's kind of where we were in 2010 and 2011; now we want to win and we do know how to do it. Someone is going to need to step up for the departed seniors but we have some guys that have the chops to do it; they just need to do it.
We played lights out D 12 out of 13 games. Against Alabama, we were whipped by a superior team (especially their O line).
1986 team was sloppy, heavily penalized and played crappy D. Holtz had to break them of years of bad habits learned under Faust. We did have Tim Brown though, who was largely a non-factor until Holtz came along.
Michigan throwing six picks?
Riddick's run vs. BYU?
Two #2s not being noticed by the refs?
The D was excellent. That doesn't mean we weren't lucky at times.
There's nothing wrong with that, all good teams need a little luck (see: 1988 vs. Michigan). But let's not pretend we were some dominating team that somehow had a bad game on 1/7. Let's continue the progress.
Balance, practice, skill, coordination.
that warn't luck. That was a commitment to the running game.
of them and rattled them.
I wouldn't call Riddick's run luck, we pounded at them and broke one. That's what happens.
The terrible 2s followed terrible luck on Cierre's fumble.
That said, this was no where near a dominant team. Our S/T and offense, were objectively, terrible. Our defense was remarkable.
I'll take defense every time over the others as the top priority, but we're not going to always get the nod in tight games like we did this year.
It was a combination of bad play-calling, pressure on Robinson, and defenders not dropping passes thrown in their vicinity (and I should note that at least one happened at the end of the 1st half).
An outlier? Absolutely. Lucky? No.
I will grant you that ND was lucky that the refs missed the two #2's. And Pitt missing the FG.
But those plays never would have occured if Wood had not fumbled as he was crossing the goal line in OT. That play was the opposite of good luck for ND.
Not to mention ND had the misfortune of guys missing time(Nix) and not being up to par due to the flu vs Pitt.
And not many acknowledged a similar sort of luck necessary for South Florida, Michigan, and Florida St. to beat ND in 2011.
It does work both ways, but there seems to be an attitude here that when ND has misfortune then ND was responsible for such occurrences. Yet, when it works in ND's favor it's random, flukish, and wasn't earned.
Very few here were ever open to the possibility that ND could have easily been an 11 win team in 2011. But somehow it's not hard to imagine that ND's 2012 team could have had only 9 or 10 wins. Nature of the beast, I guess.
Giving up a game-winning TD drive with less than a minute to go is poor play, not luck.
Being unable to pressure a QB playing behind four inexperienced OL is not bad luck.
I'm sure we had plays go against us that shouldn't have in 2011, just as we had plays go for us that shouldn't have in 2012.
In 2011, ND didn't finish with 11 wins because they played poorly overall and lacked leadership both on the field and on the sidelines. In 2012, ND finished with 12 wins because they played well overall and had leadership both on the field and on the sidelines. Luck may have factored in to both, but that doesn't make it a prime determinant.
But I'm sure we can agree the ref not seeing two players wearing #2 was luck.
Enough to factor into some of ND's unfortunate results in 2011.
But I agree with your overall point. There's some selective criteria at play here.
ND's fumbling the ball wasn't a product of lack of practice. Over time turnovers tend to even themselves out. Just like Michigan wasn't able to continue its overly fortunate string from 2011. And similarly, our TO margin turned around from 2011.
It's hard for me to say that TOs in 2011 were symptomatic of some kind of problem with Kelly or the program because he didn't have a history of such.
My greater point was that very few were willing to cut any slack over the 2011 season. Now? Well, after having a somewhat fortunate 2012, built on much more than luck, people still seem somewhat unwilling to grant much benefit of the doubt for the current staff/program.
People want to point out the deficiencies, which is a good and right thing to do, but folks should realize that this staff has publicly recognized there needs to be continual improvement and progress. The message isn't lost on our current staff who has been preaching such a message since day 1. I guess what I am saying is I am somewhat uncertain of the motivations of folks here who continually point out those deficiencies. Is it to keep the fan base apprised? Is it a way to keep pressure on the coaches? I just am struggling to understand why the focus on the off season is about all the things the program is doing wrong, with not much conversation about what has gone well (outside of recruiting).
Conversations on the board usually start in reaction to events.
Those events are caused by one or more things.
When the events are caused by good things, we talk about the good things.
When the events are caused by problems, we talk about the problems.
as I said, we hare 20-6 over the past two years which is just about right.
I'm sure SC fans would argue Barkley's injury was unlucky for them.
That usually results in a fumble, so I can understand your point.
Was Atkinson's go-ahead TD run "lucky" as well?
...it's a highly unusual play.
Everyone at the gamewatch I was at called it "lucky", so I know I'm not alone in my position.
Riddick's actions on that play. Assuming ND does that drill, or something similar, it's a trained response. That's no luck. But it was one helluva play at a clutch moment in the game.
does not mean it was lucky. It was a great play by Riddick, requiring great balance and determination. It didn't require a fortuitous bounce or a questionable call by a referee. We had a number of lucky plays during the year, but Riddick's run was not one of them.
I guess we have a different definition of lucky.
Has to provide more cushion than 25-26 ppg. If we can get that # to 32-35, without sacrificing defensive performance we can make another title run.
that our 2012 team didn't. Yes, we were screwed on the call against Michigan where our TE caught the ball way in bounds and they ruled him out. Yes, that TD would have beaten them. However, we also fumbled the ball away multiple times that game to cost ourselves the game. That same thing happened a lot in 1986.
The 2012 team did very little to beat itself. That's why they were able to get what appears to be all the breaks. In reality they got a few breaks -- the same as the 1988 team got a big break that Michigam missed the 47 or so yard FG that would have ended our season before it ever started. Every undefeated team gets at least 1 big break.
Lou's best teams were 1989 and 1993 and his next best team was probably the 1992 team. He won a title with his 4th best team in 1988. In 1989 all he needed was his DL to fall on the ball on the 3 yard line and the game was over. They didn't, 3 and 47 happened next and the title was gone. The 1993 just needed a LB to catch a ball that he would catch 90 out of 100 times, but he dropped it and a kid made a 40+ yard FG to end the season. Even then, all we needed was Nebraska to make that same 40 yard FG to beat FSU in the bowl game and we'd still have won the title. We didn't get the 1 break those years that we got in 1988.
The 2012 team had the best defense ND has put on the field since 1980. That's why they won all the close games. It really is that simple.
if they had made the field goal. We needed Nebraska to clank a chip shot field goal off the upright on the last play to lose for us to be MNC. Almost went according to script.