Of course, now I wonder if that was true, and if it was, why in holy hell Sanford came here instead. I really like the guy based on very little but impressions from the Showtime series in 2015, and I think he'll be a very good HC in the future.
To answer the questions, I think he was slightly more qualified than Long at the time, I did hope he would help the running game. I don't think he was a success or a failure, and I'm not particularly worried he's gone just because I don't think he was ever going to be able to 'stretch his legs' as a coach under BK.
I live in Boise, so I already knew of Mike and the success he had here as an Offensive Coordinator. I also went to ND with Mike's sister and his BIL.
Also remember that Mike Sanford worked with Jim Harbaugh at Stanford prior to his departure and Shaw's promotion. I really liked what he did with the running game at Stanford and Boise State during his time with those teams, and I hoped that would translate to more success with the running game at ND. Unfortunately, I think we saw that Sanford wasn't truly given authority, responsibility, and autonomy to run his offense, and Kelly's Offense by Committee did not produce the desired results.
To answer your questions, I think that given the constraints placed on him by Kelly, he was neither a success nor a failure at ND. He wasn't allowed to do what he was hired to do, and I'm not sure why he took the job other than to be connected to ND for future opportunities (at ND or elsewhere). I think he was at least equally qualified to the OC at ND in comparison to Long, and possibly slightly more so because of the caliber of teams and coaches he had worked with previously. I am not worried that he is gone; I think our offensive success depends on whether Kelly can truly relinquish play calling to a competent OC, and I think it remains to be seen whether both of those components will ever happen. Finally, yes, I did think Sanford was going to help the running game if Kelly allowed him to do so.
matters. God himself could not call plays in our system and produce better results. The system is for piss ant teams that lack the talent to match up with other teams. It gives them a chance to stay in the game sometimes. Those piss ants beat elite teams maybe 1 out of every 20 games -- and sometimes make a few other games close.
ND has an overwhelming talent advantage against 90% of all teams in NCAA. If we ran a power offense we simply would pile drive those 90% into the ground 95% of the time the same as Lou, Ara, Devine, etc. did. Instead, our offense never wears anyone out -- it has the reverse effect for ND: it lowers us to the level of the lesser competition.
The play calling itself will have marginal affect on the outcome. It may help some in the red zone or short yardage, but the reality is in our system we do not practice running the ball enough to ever master it and we never, ever, ever, ever practice any form of power running -- so simply calling more of the few plays we do have won't change the fact we don't have plays that are designed to blow people off the ball and get you 2 yards consistently when the entire world knows you should run the ball.
And I'll add I have no confidence that Chip will run this show, and, moreover, I thought the hire was odd from the outset.
You know, in case Brian Kelly left ND for the New England Patriots or the New York Giants. I wish I was making this up, but I'm not.
Kelly was shrewd to get Mike Sanford before Urban Meyer did. Urban Meyer has been in sharp decline ever since.