We've said it before, we don't hate UND's current coach like we did the last guy. How could we? That last guy talked about inherent strategic advantages, not getting beaten by teams like Purdue and flashed his Super Bowl rings all the time...sure, those rings might have had something to do with his ex-boss, but nevermind that.
Brian Kelly has stayed away from the normal UND douchery that is prevalent at that God-forsaken institution...until now.
J and I discussed this away from the site, and I think Danny Hope's overly-zealous thoughts/statements at this week's presser are partially to blame for Kelly's intro to this video. Hope puts a lot of weight into the Notre Dame game, and this year with the sizable number of important recruits attending the contest, it's become more important. And I don't think anyone would doubt that this is Purdue's toughest opponent (by a lot) so far.
That said, make no mistake, this is no effing Super Bowl for Purdue.
Purdue doesn't play in the MAC or Big East (where Kelly came from). Week in-week out, the BT schedule is monstrous. And Purdue's schedule this year is especially punishing as they play four ranked teams in four weeks...two of them on the road...one of those in the top-10 (UND is unranked).
At the same time, Kelly all but complains about how difficult UND's upcoming schedule is. Purdue has bookend doormats that should be very winnable in their BT schedule. UND, conversely, plays multiple academies (but they do seem to have trouble with them), and a handful of ACC teams...weak ACC teams at that.
Kelly tells the press corps that he encourages, if not demands, his players to keep an even temper as they get ready and subsequently play this difficult schedule...something that he clearly can't do himself. But as all respectable teachers, parents and people in general say, "Do as I say, not as I do."
On the HH last week, I talked about how I liked Kelly's straight talk following their two losses. He said good teams don't make as many mistakes as UND does...He's right. He also has spoken about UND's woes in the redzone this year...those are undeniable. So, on the field, Kelly demands that his players are accountable for their mistakes.
Off the field, it's quite another story.
Afterall, it's Notre Dame, right? They get their own TV network and their own set of rules when it comes to post-season play, and in spite of another story being propagated, UND's football team has a completely different set of rules than the rest of the students on campus...so inconsistency and hypocrisy are what we've come to know and hate out of South Bend.
Kelly says that everyone gives UND their best shot...and there's probably some truth to that. It's pretty easy to have a strong disdain for Notre Dame football and all of its trappings. But, I don't hear the uber-unlikable aOSU Buckeyes complain in a similar fashion for similar effort from opponents. It's big boy football and teams want to win...with the exception of a few teams and coaches that just seem to be happy to be on the field for gameday.
So back to the original reason for this post- Do I take umbrage with Kelly's comments? A little...but not so much in that I'm surprised or shocked that those words came from Kelly. He's merely doing what UND coaches do after they've been there for a while- becoming part of a system. The good news is it's getting easier to dislike him with each season.